Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2 Big Dividend increases

Over the last 24 hours shareholders of two companies received a very nice pay raise. I own one in my taxable account and the other in a Roth IRA. Both of these stocks had big increases last year also. I remeber Boeing being 50% and 3M may have been 33%. Those raises are bigger then I may be able to achieve from any company in a lifetime of a working career.


First was Boeing raising the dividend 25% from $0.73 to $0.91/share and approving a higher buyback amount of $12B worth next year. Also a bullish outlook with a record baklog helped them raise the dividend above analysts expectations.  Below is from a press release:

Boeing Co. said its board authorized the repurchase of $12 billion of the aerospace and defense company's shares over the next two to three years and raised its quarterly dividend by 25%. The company's quarterly dividend will rise to 91 cents, up 18 cents from its previous payout to shareholders of 73 cents a share. The dividend increase results in a yield of roughly 3%. The dividend is payable to stockholders of record as of Feb. 13, 2015.

3M wordmark.svg

This morning was 3M raising the dividend 20% from $0.855 to $1.025 per share. 3M also said that they project 12% earnings growth next year. This is from the 3M press release:

The board of directors of 3M (NYSE:MMM) today declared a dividend on the company’s common stock of $1.025 per share for the first quarter of 2015, a 20 percent increase over the quarterly dividend paid in 2014. The dividend is payable Mar. 12, 2015, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 13, 2015. 3M has paid dividends to its shareholders without interruption for 98 years.

Anyone else a happy shareholder in these names?

Photo Sources:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing

Monday, December 8, 2014

November 2014 Dividend Update

November is over already and we are already over a week into December. I have final exams this week in my classes and then it is really time to start celebrating and getting ready for Christmas. I hope everyone is doing well. I noticed the big selloff and dividend cut in my prospect shares as well as the closed end fund GGN cutting the dividends a good amount. It would be nice to see the external management fees brought down on Prospect and I am interested on how the spinoffs would be handled. I am going to continue to hold and collect a still generous yield while waiting for more information to be released.

Monday, November 3, 2014

October 2014 Dividend Update

It has been a volatile month in October. With a big pullback and a snap back rally that caught many investors by surprise. As many have noticed the ARCP accounting scandal that ended the month was not welcoming. Many investors lost all confidence in the company and sold.  I cannot blame them after what management has already put them through.  However, I am not the same type investor as everyone else focused on a longer term as I still believe the assets and rent are there to make this company worth owning a position. Call me a contrarian or crazy, but if there are not any more major skeletons being uncovered in a few years I will be happy I did not sell at a loss. Another benefit to this ordeal is I am not underwater that much because I got some shares for a better price with the takeover ARCP did with COLE. I will be able to continue to collect the dividends and counting on them not to cut it if they can avoid it. Even with a cut the yield would be quite high and the properties and rental income should be able to cover the payments. Over time this should be able to dissolve assuming no major news comes out. It is a calculated risk worth taking and since you should be well diversified to start with, it is a lesson to some. In other news Enerplus (ERF) recently terminated the stock dividend program that was beneficial for shares and tax payments.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dividend Update- September 2014

September is over and it is time to count up all the dividends received throughout September 2014.  A new personal best was set and will stand until December where I should be able to improve on.  I am still anticipating I will likely fall short of my goal this year in total dividends of $2700.  This is mainly because my buying has been put on hold for a couple months because of the cost of school and books these days.  I hope to be more active with acquiring income producing assets in the near future, but have been kind of stuck lately.  I eliminated my car payment debt at least and now own it 100%. The nice thing about this strategy is most of my dividend stocks are being reinvested in additional shares.  The portfolio continues to power along with higher income and share amounts without me at times.  Looks like we may see some decreases in our balances, but as long as our income keeps growing I'll be happy.  Once it is set up compounding can really take effect and if you are in a position to add more fresh capital you can reach Financial Independence that much faster.  I encourage everyone to keep on going down this path.  We started to get a little bit of a pullback that could be used to buy more value on the way down.  It can continue to correct for a bigger period of time then we expect.  That should not cause panic for the long term income investor, but rather encourage us to pick out the best values out there and accumulate more.

Monday, September 22, 2014

New Milestone! 30K Pageviews

It has been quite awhile since I have posted and wanted to give a little bit of an update on my thoughts now.  I am honored and humbled to reach over 30K page views .  Many of you have been communicating with each other since the inception of my blog.  Thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me along the way to keep this blog running.  I also paid off my car a couple days ago which was one of my goals.  I have been working a lot of days to pay for school which starts this week as well.  I am still very much focused on the same things as many of you.  I am always looking to learn valuable knowledge to apply to my investment strategy.  It is nice to be mentioned in the same company as many successful bloggers and their kindness to even include me in their blogrolls.  I look forward to many more months and years of communicating the successes and also sharing what we learn when something ultimately does not work out the way we had planned.  This community has been an encouragement to many beginning investors because it is mostly about sharing our investment experiences and building each other up.  I don't think you find it in too many other communities where they rally around each other and share in successes like we do.
Congrats to all the finalist and winners of FINCON 2014.  I think I will make an effort next year to join several others who plan to attend.  It will be nice to find out where it is going to be well ahead of schedule so I can plan ahead.
I hope everyone is having a great September.

Monday, September 1, 2014

August 2014 Dividend Update

August has ended and it is time to tally up the dividends received for this month.  I am anticipating I will likely fall short of my goal this year in total dividends of $2700.  This is mainly because my buying has been put on hold for a couple months because of the cost of school and books these days.  I hope to be more active with acquiring income producing assets in the near future, but have been kind of stuck lately.  I will at least get rid of my car payments altogether in September and own it.  That eliminates about $210 a month out of the expense category.  The nice thing about this strategy is most of my dividend stocks are being reinvested in additional shares.  The portfolio continues to chug along with higher totals and share amounts without me at times.  Once it is set up compounding can really take effect and if you are in a position to add more fresh capital you can reach Financial Independence that much faster.  I encourage everyone to keep on going down this path.  I hope we all get there and achieve our goals.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I have been nominated for the LIEBSTER award by The The Dividend Family Guy.  He has made some great contributions to the blogging community since he started journaling his family’s progress.  I would like to thank him for accepting his previous nomination from another fellow blogger Living At Home.  The award is designed for you to answer 5 questions your nominator asks you and then to pass it on by nominating other bloggers and formulating your own questions.


Here are his questions:

1.      Why is the Sky blue?  Good question and one I cannot fully answer other then I will say I believe God had the authority to make that decision.

  1. If everyone knows saving is good and you should not spend more that you make why is America the way it is?  I think it comes down to people’s wants being prioritized more than their needs.  I get it and think it is great to have nice material possessions, but not at the expense of being a slave to lenders with debt.  People are not being taught responsibility as well as they should and seem to want more for less work.
  2. If you were an old billionaire (say $10 billion) would how would you split up your money between family and other things important to you?  That is a tough one I’d probably make sure family is taken care of.  I’d likely donate some income to great charitable organizations as well.  A lot of it though would still be invested I think because I just find a lot of enjoyment in researching stocks and staying in the game for the long haul.  With that amount of money the income it would throw off would be enough to do a lot of things to help in much needed areas.
  3. Is a house a worth it? I don't see many super frugal people blog about owning one.  To most I would say a house is definitely worth it.  The value used to go only up for a long time.  Lately it has been harder to realize the benefits of it.  It takes a lot of work and money to fix things, but in the end especially if you have a family and kids owning a home as opposed to renting a apartment is worth it if you can afford to in my opinion.  Condos are not too bad idea if you can get into the market while prices are depressed.
  4. How much time do you research stocks you invest in?  Got me with that question.  I am constantly researching stocks and trying to keep up to date with all the news.  There are so many companies to monitor and research for prospective and current investment candidates.  I would say maybe 50 hrs or so a week on average.  I enjoy it though and it’s not like I have a boss forcing me to do it.

Once again I thank The Dividend Family Guy for nominating me for the LIEBSTER Award.  Some of these guys are busy and may not be able to find the time to do this. I now have to come up with some nominees, but it’s hard to find a new blogger who has not been nominated yet.  I will go with some I have been reading for awhile:

1.      $25,000 Dividends

2.      Dividend Mantra

3.      My Dividend Journey

 Here are a few questions for them:

1.      Do you think it is better to buy a car or lease a car?

2.      If you had to do college again knowing what you know now would you still pick the  same degree major?

3.      What was your first stock?

4.      At what age did you start getting interested in the stock market?

5.      Did a person or event help you learn at any time that you were heading in a direction you did not want to go that would lead you into too much debt?



Sunday, August 3, 2014

July 2014 Dividend Update

We now have 7 months on the books for 2014 and it is time to update my dividend progress for July.  We have started to get a correction to end the last two days of July and looking forward to what the markets can bring us here in August.  The dividends steadily rolled into the accounts buying me more shares.  I have not been buying too much lately so it is mostly the compounding effect powering the totals a little bit higher from my April total.  I expect next month to be a similar total and September to be a better month like it is for most of my fellow DGI investors.  August I am expecting to receive two dividend from GLAD for some reason they are paying one the 5th and another the 29th instead of the last day of the month of July like it usually has done for many months.

How was you your July?  Hope you are doing well in August!

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Recent Buy for Roth IRA

I have been neglecting my Roth IRA for awhile in favor of my taxable account and Roth/traditional retirement accounts from work.  I decided to make a move and contribute a little money to my IRA and bought 4 shares of MPC at $79.00 on Wednesday July 30, 2014.  The company raised the dividend 19% from a quarterly rate of $0.42 to $0.50 and announced additional buyback of $2 Billion worth of shares.  They announced earnings today and beat the estimates and it showed in the stock price.  They also said the review of the deal to acquire Hess Retail LLC. Has been completed and should close by the end of the year.  I am a happy shareholder of MPC even though I’d rather have a lot more shares or maybe bought some call options before this big rise.

Photo Source: www.marathonpetroleum.com .

Monday, July 21, 2014

Should I add this new trading avenue to achieve my long term goals?

As a big supporter of DRIP investing because of limited capital to invest I am always looking for ways to accumulate more shares.  I like to acquire shares that are either undervalued or reasonably valued.  This in return provides me with a ever increasing amount of dividends and more shares in mostly well known companies that have proven to stand long periods of time and thrive in different economic times.  Last year I became interested when Scottrade came out with the FRIP plan.  Up until now I have not really been able to participate or open another account.  Recently I have been starting to get frustrated with E*Trade’s $9.99 commission because it is higher than just about every competitor.  I have been an E*Trade customer for a long time and am comfortable with the tools and platform though.  I have not had too many major problems with them when contacting customer service. 

I also am interested in all these newer brokerage firms and innovative ideas, but not sure if they are worth the risk.  The one I am leaning most towards is Scottrade with $2.99 less commission and the ability to FRIP the percentages I want towards any stock I want to without paying commissions and keep excess cash if I want to as well.  This would be a significant cost savings over time for someone who can only afford small purchases.  I would have to make 1500 at E*Trade trades a quarter just to get about that same rate that is already offered.  This is probably a lot easier to keep track of for records and tax treatment as well since you can only acquire full whole number amount of shares.  Once I clear out some of my current expenses I might look into opening a Scottrade account because have to start with $500 I believe.  I am a couple months away from finishing my car payments and owning it.  The unknown is how I am going to go about paying for school.  I am making the transfer to a higher cost school, but am 15 classes away from getting my Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance.

Anyone out there have any issues with Scottrade?  Do you participate and/or like or dislike the FRIP program?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A 3.7% Dividend Raise from this REIT

National Retail Properties today announced a 3.7% dividend raise.  This increase upped the dividend from $0.405 per share to $0.42.  This is another company I don’t track on my monthly dividend reports as I hold it in my Roth IRA.  This is another REIT that seems very committed to supporting shareholders with long term dividend growth.  The website features photos of checks in the mailbox to symbolize the importance of shareholders receiving the income they provide.  As stated on the press release earlier today: National Retail Properties (NNN) is one of only four publicly traded REITs and 102 publicly traded companies in America to have increased annual dividends for 24 or more consecutive years.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A 10% dividend raise from this BDC


Checking my brokerage account after the market closes I noticed some news across the screen of a dividend increase of 10% on its way from Fifth Street Finance Corp.  10% is significant amount, but this is after a couple dividend cuts that were larger than that.  I prefer not to take a cut in dividend income at all, but the effects were minimal at my age and hopefully temporary as I have more shares and a slight increase snapback in the rate.  I will gladly take ~82 cents or so more a month anytime.  Apparently the dividend cut was necessary to bring their dividend rates more closely aligned with Net Investment Income (NII).  I am glad management has taken the steps necessary and are confident enough to raise it back up a little bit.  The company has been focusing on safer loans which as a whole usually yield less then more riskier ones.  BDC’s may not be for everyone, but a couple authors in Seeking Alpha are worth reading and learning about them from.  The problem is some are safer than others and yields vary sometimes.  I like to focus on stocks that regularly increase their dividends.  On the other hand, I like some high yield plays that have growth potential also.  That way even if the stock is sideways and the dividend is static to higher I will get more dividends each month as well as shares from the Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIP). 
I am aware BDC's and REIT's are taxed at ordinary rates and not favorable tax rates so that makes it less of a SWAN investment for higher earners in nonretirement accounts.  Along with flucutations and having to balance portfolio loans and defaults it is not worth the headache for other investors to read up on and I don't blame them. It is risky and noone wants to get burned if they could avoid it.  That said, its been a good ride so far for me and I would like it to continue.
I am tempted to start a position in FSIC as they are planning on paying 2 special dividends this year in addition to their regular monthly payments.  We will see what I end up deciding as I am looking at some other companies like PG, WHLR, GE, MSFT, and CSCO for further consideration.
What’s on your radar?  Are BDC’s worth the risks to you?

Photo Source:http://tickerreport.com/banking-finance/240037/fifth-street-finance-corp-coverage-initiated-by-analysts-at-jmp-securities-fsc/

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June 2014 Dividend Update

As we start the month of July it is time to update the income received during the month of May.  I am happy with the progress I have made so far this year.  I am falling behind on my ambitious goal of $2700 in dividends this year halfway through the year.  I still feel like I am in a good place and have a chance at reaching for this goal.  Even if I fall short I will know I am heading in the right direction as I am on pace for about a 30-35% increase year over year in dividend income.  I am encouraged and inspired by all the bloggers out there who have documented their progress.  Whether you are new to it or I have been reading for a couple years I thank everyone for their support and insight.

 How was your June?  Are you on pace to hit your goals this year?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Why higher interest rates don't scare me away from these stocks

As many have realized I own a lot of securities in the REIT and BDC industries.  Many have expressed concerns about when interest rates rise these income investors will steadily decline.  While that may be the case I am not sure that it is a given.  There is a lot of time for companies to plan and structure accordingly to minimize the risks now.  Sometimes management can have the foresight to take a hit now for a more prosperous future.  Here are a few examples of why higher interest rates do not frighten me.  I will use a company from each sector and run through why I think they can continue to outperform the overall market.  These companies are showing that management has shareholders best interest in mind.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Recent Buy


I like to share what I am doing with my portfolio especially during this overheated market.  It is nice to see other investors and how they persevere through the different economic times and through trouble.  I made another recent purchase that involves more risks then I usually like, but has the potential to pay off long term especially if average down on it.  It is a long term turnaround story. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Recent Buy

The York Water Company logo

I have not been very good at updating my blog often when changes occur.  I understand a lot of people I read and follow along with are better than I have been at it.  I will attempt to be more transparent and shortly after buying something post an explanation.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

May 2014 Dividend Update

May has passed and I have turned 28 years old in the process.  I am very happy with the progress I have made within the last year and being able to share the success and failures with like minded investors.  I started June with a little trading activity with some success through options to supplement my dividend strategy.  A little risk and excitement I am willing to take for the potential profit.  I have decided to try and work less hours then usual at work and changed the days I am available.  I may have to pick up some days, but hope to be able to maintain and enjoy my time monitoring companies and investing or trading with the same success.  May was a nice month for me leading up to June which should set a new monthly record in dividends.

Friday, May 2, 2014

April 2014 Dividend Update

April was another great month for dividend investors as the payouts kept on coming.  The cumulative amounts are rising slow and steady month by month in the account.  Eventually before long it will multiply, expand, and buy my way to freedom if I so choose.  Not only was it a good month for regular dividends, but the month was filled of several dividend raises.  I remain convinced that this investment strategy is one of the best ways to build wealth and by focusing on companies that share their success with you are the way to go.  Not only do many of the high quality companies share some of the profits, but they increase it regularly. This makes one feel safe and valued to invest in such fine businesses.  My April 2014 dividends are as follows:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Early FI is achievable regardless of what people say

Often times at work I have conversations with people about the desire to retire early and have more time to enjoy life.  Usually the thought comes up when I am stressed out and being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  Although there are some people who seem to be content and enjoy the day to day grind.  I think these are the people in the minority rather then the majority.  There are a few excuses why people don't think they too could pursue financial independence like I am.  One is the time and effort would be too much nonetheless the mounting bills adding up.  Inflation for everything except the paycheck.  There are a couple weak excuses also I have come across from people about FI being a negative.  Here are two of them and sometimes I think jealousy is at the heart of these claims.

Friday, April 4, 2014

March 2014 Dividend Update

March 2014 is in the books and was another nice month for dividend income.  It is nice to see the real numbers hitting the account  Progress shows that the plan is working and anyone can do it even with a small work salary.  Every little amount helps us become closer to achieving our goals and buys blocks of time towards FI.  That way we can pursue and find things that are more important and worthy of our time besides full time work.  Some people love their jobs and I think that is great.  Others are mistreated and underappreciated for the work they perform and I applaud them for taking the path of investing to get some of their time back.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February 2014 Dividend Update

Another month has passed and brings another opportunity to report on the progress that my dividend portfolio has been making.  It seems time is moving fast on me and with it being a limited commodity I find myself more determined each and every day to grow this income source so I can have the security of knowing I have something to fight with in case of a catastrophe.  I am overall happy with this portfolio's income in February and look forward to March which will be a monthly record for me and I hope many of you reading along.  Thank you for all the support and following along with the journey.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

How Dividends will buy my Freedom!

Have you ever searched for a way to make money for doing nothing?  Does that sound too good to be true?  Well it is possible to do and 100% legitimately.  No cheating or cutting down anyone to get ahead.  In this article I am going to attempt to explain why dividend stocks are the best way to invest (especially for young people).  There are a few different ways to make passive income such as bond interest, rental properties, and of course my ultimate favorite DIVIDENDS!

 I believe dividends are the safest and most reliable way because of the proven track record coupled with the interest rates and ultra low yields on bonds.  The housing market may be a great investment as well, but I’m not near that stage where I can afford to drop enough money to participate.  I make a very small income from my job, but am still able to grow dividend income little by little by buying pieces of well run companies, holding onto them through time, and reinvesting dividends into them to build a compounding machine.  So many people I talk to are scared of investing and think it is like gambling.  I would say maybe day traders gamble a little bit, but still have much better chances at favorable outcomes.  I take a little bit of issue with those who advocate 4% withdrawal no matter market conditions.  Who knows how the market will act from year to year?  What if you are selling assets at their all time low during a recession instead of accumulating shares. 
I believe our plan (as well as many bloggers is a much more solid) See here of holding onto the ownership of these quality companies and at the same time being able to cover all expenses and thus live off of the income they throw off to you.  That gives you a safety net to fall back on in case you unexpectedly lose your job or take a pay cut.  The ultimate goal for most of us is to have the option to not work if we so choose not to and as soon as possible.  It will take a little discipline and some work to maintain your portfolio.  It is not exactly easy to do all the research always while working full time and/or going to school full time.  I know this firsthand, but I believe it will be well worth it in the end.  Do you think you need a high degree to figure it out?  I would argue that it may help you since I am going to school as I type this, but I don’t think at all you have to be a scholar.  Just do the research yourself, find what companies you are comfortable with and learn from your mistakes if you lose money on some then move on because you cannot always predict with 100% accuracy and win every single time.  Getting started may be the hardest part and a lot of people I know say don’t have enough cash to start an account.  At the same time I see a lot of those same people find enough money to spend on less productive things.  I am definitely glad I started investing early and very happy I found my primary strategy of dividend investing.  It will allow me to eventually OWN my time and one day give me the freedom to spend the time doing things I enjoy instead of adhering to the strict schedule someone else drafts out for me.

What about you?  Are you a trader or someone who invests for income?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

January 2014 Dividend Update

January started off the year with a decent amount of dividend income.  I am posting this update rather late, but have been really busy working 40 hours every week and taking a Statistics class and accelerated online MSOffice class.  I really do appreciate the support of all the dividend bloggers and the dividend updates they post.  Just a few days ago the ARCP and COLE merger closed and my shares were increased in ARCP.  Not too happy about another $20 reorganization fee from the brokerage.  It is a great way to inspire each other to keep on improving our income.  Here is my January dividend update:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

December 2013 Dividend Update and 2014 Goals

December has passed and wrapped up the year that was 2013!  What a great run it was for most investors in equities.  It left many high quality dividend stocks priced at high levels.  Time to look forward to 2014 and make some goals.  My goals will be to continue my strategy of finding quality dividend paying stocks and reinvest the dividends to gain an ever increasing stream of income.  When the opportunity arises I may try to chase some options to boost capital to buy more shares of stocks.

My goals for 2014 are to get as many classes I can finish in school and cover the expenses involved without taking on any, or very little debt.  I will target a goal of getting to $2,700 in dividends in 2014.  Ideally I'd like to double my dividends for as many years as I can, but I have to make the goal achievable and hope to be able to underpromise and overdeliver!