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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Recents Buys JNJ, KMI, T

Earlier this week, I saw some buying opportunities for existing positions.  So I made a flurry of small buys in my free Robinhood account.

I bought a single share of JNJ for $127.50 doubling my stake. 
I bought 2 shares of T at $29.84 per share to continue to build that position. 
I also bought a share of KMI at $16.09. 

These were all existing positions I continue to believe in. I had owned a single share of JNJ as a place holder and it finally dipped low enough to add to it. The yield for T at this value was hard to ignore and KMI continues to have a strong upside. 

Disclosure: Long T, JNJ, KMI

Disclaimer

Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Additional Disclosure I long everything.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

November Dividends

November was a great month for Dividends. Ten companies paid me a total of $35.47 more than tripling last year's total of 4 companies paying 10.98. I also added to my positions in 3 of the four companies that paid me last year. I think this shows a healthy growth rate for my tiny portfolio which I an excited about.




CVS    $1.50
T        $11.00
GIS      $5.39
ABBV $3.84
KMI     $1.00
O          $3.75
WELL  $4.35
DAL     $1.40
SBUX   $2.88
INN       $0.36

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Recent Buy BAC

I had been looking to build on some existing positions and had Bank of America had been one of my more successful buys in the past. With a low payout ratio of 23.8%, Four consecutive years of dividend growth, I felt comfortable investing in one of America's largest banks. 23 of 30 Analysts has them as a buy or strong buy with a consenus price target of 34.34. I felt I got a solid company in a banking sector that is underrepresented in my portfolio.

My purchase was 8 shares at $27.50 per share or $220.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

October Dividends

October is one of my slowest months. But free money is free money. This month I earned $5.40 from two stocks.  I will take it. Below is a list of dividend payers for October.

TIF $1.65
O $3.75


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Recent Buy CAT

Yesterday I grabbed 2 shares of Caterpillar at $116.87 per share. Caterpillar has 8 years of dividend growth and a 3.02 percent yield. The payout ratio is just 29.6 percent and with short term concerns over the China trade war it is currently trading 34.21 percent off of its 52 week high. Morningstar as a 4 star stock with an average price target of $156.38. Nine of 22 analysts list CAT as a buy or strong buy. While Caterpillar's stock has taken a hit, it's business is strong overall beating earnings. For me this was worth taking a small nibble.

Disclaimer

Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Additional Disclosure I long everything.

Long CAT

Sunday, September 30, 2018

September Dividends

I say it all the time I love quarter months. It's great to truly see a payday. This month 16 companies paid me a total of $34.67. It feels good to keep building like this each month. This time last September I earned $27.18 in dividends. So this is significant progress.


PEP                                 $3.71
BAC                                $0.30
GM                                  $1.14
CMP                                $3.60
DUK                                $3.71
O                                      $3.74
FLO                                 $1.80
JNJ                                   $0.90
EMR                                $2.43
TGT                                 $6.40
AMGN                             $1.32
ADM                                $0.34
DFS                                  $2.00
UL                                    $0.91
HBI                                  $1.51
WFC                                $0.86

Recent Buy D

I recently initiated a small position in Dominion Energy. I bought 3 shares at 70.07 per share. Though D has a payout ratio of 80.9 percent. It also has a track record of 9 years of dividend growth and a current yield of 4.75 percent. The average price target is 73.07. Dominion produces and distributes energy in Virginia and North Carolina to residential, commercial, and governmental customers. This is my second utility. I also hold shares of Duke. This recent buy brings utilities to a healthy 6.3 percent of my portfolio.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

August Dividends

This August really highlights the snowball of even a small DGI like myself. Last August I earned a $11.82 in dividends. I had experienced a 625% Year over year growth and I was over the moon.  This year I earned $32.51 in dividends or 175% year over year growth.  It's nice to see that kind of growth heading into a quarter month.


T:                $10.50
GIS:              $2.94
CVS:            $1.50
ABBV:         $3.84
KMI:            $1.00
O:                 $3.74
DAL:            $1.40
WELL          $4.35
SBUX          $2.88
INN:             $0.36

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Recent Buy GIS

I've been looking to build upon existing positions. I know GIS has gotten beaten up a little short term. But by diversifying into pet foods and with cereals that I don't believe are going away anytime soon I still believe in them long term. This was a chance to grab a 4.32 percent yield, lower my cost basis for a company with 14 years of dividend growth. With a 64.3 percent payout ratio and a 5-star rating from Morningstar there is room for continued growth. Sign me up.


Disclaimer

Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Long: GIS
Additional Disclosure I long everything.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Goal Update

I'm happy to say my two biggest goals for 2018 have been achieved. I'm officially an indentured servant. My wife and I closed on a house in July. Finally we are home owners and in a lot of debt. I also now feel confident in saying I've achieved my goal of a dividend portfolio of $8000. With the $200 in cash I have in my Robinhood account I've crossed $8,400 mark. It's nice to be able to start thinking about 5 figures.

Other financial achievements not mentioned on the goal sheet. I've continued to increase my month RothIRA payments. I'm quickly approaching maxing out my yearly contributions there as well. So between my Dividend account, Roth index fund account and pension I'm slowly inching towards my goal of retiring on or before the end of June 2039 when I turn 59.5.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

July Dividends

July has traditionally been a slow month for me and this year is no different. That monthly O dividend has made every month a little better. That said I love the three companies I received dividends from this month. This July I received $7.07 in dividends. This nearly doubled last year's total of $4.15. The majority of this is due to my increased stake in O.  Below is the breakdown.

DIS $1.68
O     $3.74
TIF  $1.65



Disclaimer

Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Additional Disclosure I long everything.

Long DIS, O, and TIF

Monday, July 30, 2018

Recent Buy T

I haven't been able to post in a while because I've been in the process of moving. But last week I grabbed a single share of T for $30.50. Nothing detailed here just a chance to lower the cost basis a little bit.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Recent Buy DAL

Today I made a small purchase of 4 shares of Delta at a cost of 212.52 or $53.13 per share. In terms of value I believe I did okay. Morgan Stanley has a price target of $64 a share. It is a 4 star Morningstar stock that is down 3 percent in the last year. The yield is a respectable 2.68. Delta has 4 consecutive years of Dividend growth.

What drove this purchase was the dividend growth potential. Delta has a strong brand and is more than just an airline. It is also a refinery. Over the past three years Delta has averaged dividend growth of more than 50 percent. With a 25.1 percent payout ratio and a P/E ratio of 10.82  there is a lot of room for continued growth. With any airline there is always concern about rising fuel costs and an aging fleet but that wasn't enough to keep me away.

Disclaimer

Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Additional Disclosure I long everything.

Long DAL

Monday, July 2, 2018

Midyear Goal Review

Goals and milestones are very important part of any personal finance bloggers life. It's our motivation, discipline, and the purpose behind the investments. Midway through the year is an excellent time to check on the progress of goals. I'm excited to say on well on my way to making most of them.

1. The biggest goal of 2018 was home ownership --  On July 12th my wife and I are set to close on our first house. What has been holding us back has been really two things. My wife and I were both in the process of transitioning to new jobs in the first half of 2017 and we didn't want to limit our search by buying a home. The second issue was we wanted to save for a down payment. Overall our decision I believe was responsible. We both have relatively stable jobs, we didn't max out what we could get approved for. We did pay a bit of a premium in terms of the area we chose. But it gives us great public schools for our soon to be kindergartener and younger daughter and a reasonable commute for both my wife and I. It also moves us closer to my in-laws who provide us with support in terms of help with the children.

What I don't like is that we didn't save enough to avoid PMI, and while we are definitely not buying above our means, we aren't living below our means either. Especially not with one in childcare and one in aftercare. This will not prevent me from saving. But it may slightly slow the increase in savings. Overall I do think this is the right move for the family.

2. $8,000 Portfolio -- I'm proud that I was able to secure a mortgage without blowing up my DGI portfolio. This was a huge win. I have a savings plan and was able to purchase a home without dipping into what I've saved or preventing me from adding to it. I had told myself this wouldn't happen and it didn't so that is a win. With a current portfolio of $7,559 plus another $200 in cash in my Robinhood account, I'm well on my way to make this goal. That said it was a conservative goal to begin with. I'm hoping for a more aggressive savings goal next year.

3. Earn $250 in dividends -- With 124.05 saved in the first half of the year and more forward dividends ahead I'm well on track to meet this goal.

4. At least one holding of $1,000 -- It's not that I'm opposed to diversifying. I plan to. But in the past I had jumped on every stock on my watchlist as soon I had enough for a share or two. I can do this at no cost because I use Robinhood.  But I didn't I was making the smartest purchases all the time. So I put goals like this one in to keep me disciplined. I may achieve this goal my O holding is already at $914. However, it's okay if I don't. I think I've accomplished the larger goal of strengthening some of my existing positions.

Overall -- I'm satisfied with my progress. I would give myself a B- for this midterm if I had to grade myself. I spent slightly more than I should for this new home. Though I do think we can afford it and will grow into the payments more in the near future. I also think goal too is modest. Finally I'm not fully funding my Roth IRA account yet. But I am making progress there. I'm currently depositing 380 per month there. I'm hoping to full fund it within the next two years.

Disclaimer

Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Disclosure: Long O

Additional Disclosure I long everything.


Saturday, June 30, 2018

June Dividends

It's a new record! For the second time ever I cracked the $30 mark. 16 companies paid me a total of $33.96 in dividends. Quarter months can be so exciting. Last year this time I earned $23.93 so the progress is apparent. It's a 41.9 percent year over year growth. I will take it.


WFC           $0.78
 HBI            $1.50
 UL              $0.96
 DFS            $1.75
ADM           $0.34
AMGN        $1.32
TGT            $6.20
EMR           $2.43
JNJ              $0.90
CMP            $3.60
O                 $3.73
DUK           $3.56
FLO            $1.80
GM             $1.14
PEP             $3.71
BAC            $0.24

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Recent Buy SBUX

I love capitalizing on short term bad news. Moody's recently downgraded Starbucks credit rating. A recent survey showed a decline in light coffer users during the afternoon. This is a concern. But they still have 4.5 times as many stores as next closest rival.  Starbucks remains the brand with the most loyal customer base. It has a clear niche that I don't believe is going away anytime soon. Neither does Morning Star which gives it a four star rating and a fair value of $64 per share.

Today I grabbed 6 shares of Starbucks  for $289.98 or $48.33 per share. This brought down my cost basis down to 50.15 per share. What I got was a 2.98 percent yield with 7 years of dividend growth and a 60 percent payout ratio. Morning Star has SBUX with a 4 star rating with a fair value of $64 per share. SBUX also has a P/E ratio of 15.38 as well. As a dividend growth investor what is more music to my ears is the 20 percent dividend growth. The average dividend growth of 24 percent over the last 5 years. To get this at some value, I'll take it.






Disclaimer
Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Disclosure Long SBUX

Additional Disclosure I long everything.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

5 Things I learned about blogging from dividends.

1. It's a great way to connect with strangers about finances: This may seem funny but it's true. For some reason people you know will talk about every detail of their private family life, but they keep their finances a secret. I understand this. I really don't want people I know to have too much information about my networth. It's nice to be able to connect with like minded individuals and just talk money.

2. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt: Everyone has there own process for choosing their investments often time, they conflict with each other. What's right for one person's circumstances isn't right for everyone.  In some instances people are looking for a certain number of clicks. Be careful of that they may be posting quantity over quality. A good tell is if they are suggesting a particular stock is a great buy, but then don't invest in that stock themselves.

3. Writing it down keeps you grounded: One of the biggest aids to me has been the written aspect of this. The routine of writing and documenting my investments, helps me to stick with my strategy. It's also nice to be able to regularly check in with where I am versus what my goals are.

4. Goals are important: I heard a saying once that a goal unwritten is just a wish. I couldn't agree more. Because I have certain short and long range goals, I find money where I wouldn't normally. I'm constantly trying to build to get there.

5. The competition is only with yourself: I love looking at people with 60 percent savings rates with a goal of retiring in the next 5 years. They are truly inspiring.  It doesn't fit my desired life style or career goals. However, their are certain habits exhibited by the super savers that benefit me. I love taking a portion of what they do and incorporate into my savings plan. Frugality does matter, but I do it to my comfort level.  

Saturday, June 2, 2018

May Dividends

May was a fantastic month for dividends. Nine companies paid a total of $23.98. Last May I earned $8.51 in dividends. So my year over year growth was 181.79%. The snowball is real.



T:              $10.50
GIS:            $2.45
CVS:           $1.50
ABBV:        $3.84
O:                $3.73
KMI:           $1.00
WELL:       $4.35
SBUX:       $0.60
INN:           $0.36


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Recent Buys PEP and GIS

Nothing exciting here. Had small holdings of both stocks. Both are solid long term dividend payers that are trading at a reasonable price now.

I added two shares of PEP @98.96 per share. This brought down my cost basis. That's 45 years of dividend growth, a 3.76 yield and 65.1 percent payout ratio. Pepsi just raised it's dividend and isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Pepsi is 19.08 percent off it's 52 week high. Morningstar rates Pepsi 4 stars with a fair value at 123. The consensus price target is 115.5.

I added just a single share of GIS at $43.54 to bring down my cost basis. GIS has been a name floating a lot around the dividend community. Until recently many had it on their always buy list. The price and new competition never got me too excited about it. But this was a price I couldn't ignore. This is another stock Morningstar likes right now as it has a 5 star rating. It has further diversified by entering into the petfood market. At 4.50 percent the yield is solid. There are 14 years of dividend growth and a payout ratio of 63.6 percent.

Disclaimer

Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Additional Disclosure I long everything.

Monday, April 30, 2018

April Dividends

April is traditionally a quiet dividend month for me. This year was no different. 2 stocks paid me a total of 5.23. Up significantly from $1.80 last year. This comes mostly from shares of O I've been slowly adding.

This months dividend payers were:

TIF $1.50
O    $3.73


Monday, April 9, 2018

Savings Rate for 2017

I've been a little afraid to calculate my savings rate. Mainly because I wish it was higher and I'm afraid of how low the number was. I also struggled with whether to count my pension as part of my savings rate? Would be interested to hear thoughts on this. In the end I did decide to count my pension payments. The logic being it's money that's being invested. I decided not to count the money I saved towards my oldest daughter's 529 plan. I also decided not to count money being set aside for a house.

Given these numbers I was able to come up with a baseline savings rate of 15.9%. This isn't where I want it to be, but it's definitely a good baseline number. Of course if I disregard my pension contributions that number would be much lower.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

What is Generational Wealth? How do you build it?

I've made no secret that my goal is to build Generational Wealth. What that means to me is to provide a stable financial environment for my children and grandchildren. But my professional career and research are teaching me that this may be harder than it seems. 

As an aspiring school leader I was able to initiate several programs that brought positive change for students in my school. Without getting too much into the details each one had a fatal flaw. They depended almost entirely on me. When I stopped running the programs they died. I quickly learned that in order to create sustained change, I needed to put systems in place that would become institutionalized and continue to function without me. The same goes with wealth. It's not enough to simply build it and pass it on. What a waste it would be to accumulate wealth for my children only to have it squandered.

Recently I started reading the Millionaire Next Door. One of the pleasant surprises was how many millionaires in this country are first generation Americans. They lived simple lives and invested their money. However, the book also highlighted the challenges of creating lasting wealth. When parents provide for their children and support them with money, it hinders their ability to learn to develop budgeting habits. With every generation that lives in this country people tend to become more and more consumer based. In fact many millionaires want that for their children and unknowingly encourage them to do things that hinders wealth accumulation. They send them to elite colleges, encourage graduate school, delay their start to the work place, and continue to provide for them into adulthood. They want them to have the things they didn't have including the extravagant life style.

There in lies the challenge. I not only need to build wealth, and pass it to my children. But I have to help give them the knowledge to take care of it and pass it on to the future. The latter seems to be the biggest challenge. Influences like my amazing mom that spoils my children with far more gifts and designer clothing than they need (or than we can store), is developing a consumer mentality in my oldest daughter. Both my girls have incredible 529 plans.

Wealth accumulation also comes with challenges as well. My wife and I are currently renting a house that is larger than what we need. We are going to buy a house in a neighborhood with great schools and high prices. We spend well of 30k per year on private daycare. So even though we aren't spenders otherwise, these two costs alone limit our savings. My wife and I also both went to graduate school and got a late start saving.

That said we do have plenty of advantages. We both make fairly decent salaries. Nothing I would describe as affluent. But we are both over 90k per year. We both have room for upward growth in those salaries as well. My mother essentially took care of college for our kids. We can focus on wealth accumulation and don't have to worry about burdening our children with debt. My job comes with a pension that means I can retire with a steady income aside from my savings.

In order to build generational wealth the first task is accumulating wealth.

1. Continue to grow professionally. The more successful I am as an administrator the more room for growth and with it more salary. This is also a basis for my pension a major component of my retirement income. Goal here is to secure administrative tenure, and continue to build my resume towards another promotion. My pension is based on my salary the last 5 years in the work place. So I need to put in work professionally to have it pay off financially. The bonus here is I love my job.

2. Invest every pay raise. Currently saving $550 a month over my pension payment. That's not near enough for what I'm hoping to accomplish.Both my wife and I have established time frames and investing thresholds. I'm hoping to be investing $833 per month in 5 years, $1250 in 10 years, $2,500 in 20 years.

3. Enable my wife to save. Daycare costs, my teacher salary, and paying for my administrative certificate has placed her behind. As the daycare burden relaxes it will be nice to see her savings takeoff.

4. We put a mission plan in place to guide our spending.

Generational Wealth Objectives (Still developing)

1. Actively talk to our children about savings and the importance of saving a minimum of 15-20% of their salary. I know this number is relatively low for most Dividend investors. But It's a number that should accumulate wealth if there is already a base there.

2. Talk about monthly bill pay and what things cost, and be open about financial limitations. Talk to them about the opportunity cost that buying designer clothing can cost in missed investments.

3. Don't give our children too much money too soon. It is important to let them go into the world them go into the world themselves and make their own way. A little struggle is good. Provide assistance, but not support.

4. Start Roth IRAs for kids with their first jobs, even if they are in high school. Let them get an idea early how their money can work for them.

5.  Build a 529 fund for my grandchildren. Take that burden off the plate of their parents and ensure a good start for that generation.

Disclaimer



Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Additional Disclosure I long everything.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Recent Buys CVS and KMI

I guess it took a trade war with China and some anti-Amazon tweets from 45 to get some value back into this market. I capitalized on this recent dip with a couple of small buys today. 

I opened a new position with CVS buying 3 shares @ 61.80 per share. 

I added a share of KMI @ $14.83

I had been following CVS for a while and today I finally pulled the trigger. What I got was a 5 star rated Morning Star Stock just $5 per share off their 5 year low. Fifteen out of 24 brokerages have CVS as a buy or strong buy. Their one year consensus price target is 88.57. Talk about an upside. But the best part for a dividend investor is the payout ratio is just 31 percent, 10 years of dividend growth and a solid 3.28 percent yield. They've taken on a lot of debt buying Aetna, but have positioned themselves to dominate the market with pricing long term. I'm really happy with this purchase and the price. 

The KMI purchase was a straight value play. There's a lot of upside $14.83 brought down my cost basis a little. KMI has a solid 3.36 yield and a payout ratio of 58.8. There have been rumors for a while that they are finally going to start raising their dividend again. KMI is rated as a 4 star Morning Star stock that is 32 percent off its 52 week high. 14 out of 22 brokerages rate them a buy. There may also be good news with their Kinder Morgan Canada.

Overall happy with these two purchase. I am trying to save for a house. However, if this freefall continues there may be at least one more purchase this month.

Disclaimer



Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Additional Disclosure I long everything.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Power of time...

When my oldest daughter was born I was very concerned with her not having to know college debt they way my wife and I did. I took out a 529 when she as just 8 months old. I started small $25 per month and increased it when I could. Today she four and a half and when I peaked at her account a few weeks ago it stood at $120,665.18. 

No that isn't a typo. It also isn't because I'm some great investor. My mother came into a windfall of money and invested in both my daughters futures. This number came from combining the $5,243.04 in the account I saved for her. With the $115,422.14 in each of my daughter's accounts. Still out of habit I fund the oldest's 529 the minimum of $25 a month. 

Part of me had some guilt about this. I had an account for my oldest child that I funded and continued to fund, but I had nothing for my youngest. Bottom line is both of my little ones have far healthier portfolios than me. The thought had occurred to stop funding them all together. Another thought was that you can always transfer a 529 to a grandchild. How cool would that be to start saving decades before the child is even born. 

But curiosity got the best of me. Which child's portfolio was actually better off. 

I did some simple math. My oldest will go to college in about 13 years. So I took her 120,665.18 at 6% interest per year and $300 per year contributions and got $263,375

Then I did the same for my youngest who will be going to college in 16 years, has $5,243.04 less in her account and isn't getting the $300 a year that my oldest is getting. Her payout projects to 293,213. Just further proof that time matters. 

March Dividends

Quarter months are a wonderful thing. And while the market hasn't exactly taken off recently. My dividends have. Lots to be excited about. This month 17 companies paid me $31.11in dividends. My first $30 dividend month. That's nearly a $10 increase over last's years 21.12. Below are this months dividend payers.


INN        0.36
WFC      0.78
AMGN  1.32
DFS       1.75
EMR      2.43
TGT       6.20
JNJ        0.84
HBI       1.50
ADM     0.34
O           2.85
CMP     3.60
DUK     3.56
FLO      1.70
UL        0.89
GM       1.14
BAC     0.24
PEP      1.61

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Recent Buys O and T

I had been going back and forth with a few different ideas and yesterday I chose to pull the trigger and buy 4 shares of O at $50.99 per share. I also added a single share of T at 36.63. Not much really to say here these were two stocks that I plan on holding for a long time. Both are dividend growing machines with sound financials. I saw a chance to lower my cost basis and I jumped in. I do feel I've been a little REIT heavy lately. But I did go into 2018 with plans on building on current positions. I did have some thoughts about buying GIS this time around but in the end I went with O.

One nice tiny little milestone from this buy I cross $250 in forward dividends. That's a nice chunk of change that I didn't have to work for.

Disclaimer

Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Additional Disclosure I long everything.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

February DIvidends

February has been an interesting month. The market has cooled off a little bit. Which means there is a little more value to be found. But from a dividend perspective there was a lot to be excited about. Eight companies paid me a total of $23.07. I have never had a non quarter month over $20. In fact last August was the only time I was in double figures on an off month.  T's payment of $10 was the first time I earned double digits from a single company. Last February, I earned $5.73 in dividends. It was nice to more than quadruple last February's total. Below are a list of dividends. Hope everyone else had a fantastic month as well.



T:            $10.00
GIS:          $2.45
O:             $1.97
KMI:        $0.50
ABBV:     $2.84
HCN:       $4.35
SBUX:     $0.60
INN:         $0.36


Monday, February 19, 2018

1st Biannual Personal Finance Summit Schedule with my Wife

I've done the rounds of reading financial blogs as well as books and expert articles. From everything I read achieving FIRE is not some complicated thing. Invest early and often, live below your means, stay disciplined and continue to increase your investments. 

I'm lucky to have a partner that in many ways fits that mold. She does like to "shop". We aren't foodies, we haven't truly vacationed since our honeymoon 6 years ago, our nicest car is a 2010 Corolla. That said we do have our indulgences -- big ones. Certain things we won't compromise on. Ours kids. We spend well over $2,300 a month on Daycare related expenses. We aren't in a position to receive family help and we both work long hours. This gives us peace of mind. Our experience with this daycare is it's worth the cost. I'm sure we could probably get equivalent daycare cheaper. But not without some risk. This choice is safe. The other big cost is the townhouse we rent. We spend close to $2,600 here. As you can see it adds up fast. She also has student loans. 

A casual conversation with my wife about her retirement account and the degree it has been underfunded, followed by a mild dispute as to when to replace a 2009 Yaris hatchback with 90,000 miles on it, led me to call our first personal finance summit. My wife is totally on board and actually excited for it. Prior to this year, when I got my job promotion, my wife had been paying majority of rent and the majority of daycare. Now our payments are more evenly split. We make the same salary. However, I see less because health insurance comes out of my paycheck as does my pension payments. So I was surprised to find out she is unable to save when I can find 600-700 a month to save. Am I not contributing enough? It's a real possibility there is a bill she has that I'm not considering, this is why we need to have these conversations regular -- with two kids and soon to be a house transparency is important. Some explanations of the difference in contributions is I do things to create money like putting everything on rewards cards, paying it off immediately and investing the cash each month. I don't go out for lunch often and sometimes skip lunch all together. I currently have a much shorter commute, so gas may be a factor as well. I do get a tiny income stream from dividend growth investing and from a lending club account that I'm slowly transferring over to my Robinhood account. My wife also is pretty dependent on coffee.  

But we've made big plans and currently don't have a common vision. This year we plan on purchasing our first home. I want to make sure we are on the same page in terms of what we want and what we can afford. However, most of all I think we need to come up with family goals. Not just savings goals but a mission. What are we willing to spend money on and what won't we spend on. While there is a part of me that strongly envys the 65 percenters. I don't know if we will ever invest that percentage of our income. Not if it means never taking our kids to Disney World or sending them to subpar schools. But I do want to improve our discipline and build towards financial independence. We aren't wealthy by any standard. But we make more than most. We should be putting away more money. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Recent Buy O

I try not to be too reactionary. I spent the same $200 I was planning to spend. I didn't expect to go to the REIT well again. But with the market doing what it was doing I saw an opportunity and took it. I grabbed 4 shares of O for 198.04 or 49.51 per share. This brings my overall cost basis for O down to $53.99. Not bad for a 5.25% yielder with 22 years of dividend growth. The 91% payout ratio and the potential for rising interest rates is a little concerning. But the business model is still solid. Long-term leases, stable companies, built in rent increases.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

January Dividends

I'm excited to kick off 2018 with $6.70 in dividends. Last year this time I earned $4.66. I'll take it. My first dividends of the new year. Starting off slow, but have a feeling this year will be big for me.


PEP          $1.61
TIF           $1.50
DIS          $1.68
O              $1.91

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The NJ Pension Crunch


I'm not complaining about my future pension (well not too much). I know I'm lucky to have it. A paycheck for life that I'm eligible for at 60 with 25 years of service. I'll take it. Even if it isn't what it once was, or even currently is. I know many private sector employees would love a pension, even the third least generous pension in the state. I'm fortunate enough to be in a financial situation that allows me to plan outside of my pension. But like many state employees today, I am feeling the pension crunch.

Being part of a state pension system these days is both a blessing and a curse. Especially the NJ Teacher Pension and Annuity Fund. By now the story is almost famous once upon a time over 20 years ago, the government borrowed from a pension surplus to balance the budget, and then didn't contribute to the pension for nearly two decades. The result the pension isn't solvent and is the 3rd least generous in the nation. The result for all NJ Employees (but in my case I'll focus on the educators fund) contribute more and more, in order to receive less. The state has kicked in a ton of money which has stressed it's budget, and is still unable to contribute enough to close the gap. Do the math NJ workers. Your going to be paying more for less.

At the same time healthcare costs have ballooned out of control and for state workers percentage of their healthcare cost increases with every $5,000 of salary. I've had my take home pay decrease in a year because I crossed a healthcare salary threshold.

I only mention this because typically when you look at retirement numbers the more you contribute the better off you will be. But that is not the case with the pension system. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining. If the pension is still there. It's nice to be able to have a salary for life. But the fear is where is the money coming. Here is a look at the contribution numbers in recent years.

TPAF Percent of salary contribution numbers

2004 5%
2005 5.5%
2011 6.5%
2012 7.5% (phase in over a 7 year period)

And this number is likely to increase further. The state treasurer cut the percentage the state can assume it will make on it's investments from 7.65 percent to 7%. This adds to the pressure for pension reform and increased contributions.

This is frightening to the average worker that may be asked to contribute close to 10 percent of their salary for an uncertain benefit. Oh and sorry for those of you that were hired after me. Your contributions are the same. But your benefit is even less. You will be working even longer for less.

If you were enrolled in the system in before July 2007 You can retire at 60. Your benefit is calculated as the average of your final 3 years of salary/55.

Hired after June 28, 2011 and you have to work until 65 and it's the average of your final 5 years salary/60.

It is essential that NJ employees plan to save outside of their pension fund. But many are feeling the squeeze in pension, healthcare, salary caps, and on the other side as taxpayers. I know for a fact many educators aren't able to save outside of their pension plan. Many of those that are, aren't saving enough.  I have heard from 40 somethings that have been saving $50-100 per paycheck.  What's worse is that those that are saving mostly do what's easy; speak to the 403(b) representatives that prey on teachers in the faculty rooms. In one sense these representatives are doing the teachers are service. They are visiting them and getting them to save early and often. But it comes at a cost -- Many 403(b) funds available to teachers have high management fees and mediocre performance that eat into the bottom line.


So the message to NJ state employees is this. Have a backup plan. Whether it is being frugal, a side gig, you need something. Save early, save often and be savvy about where you put your money. The fees and the quality of the investments matter. For me it's been the dividend fund I blog about and a Roth IRA. But you have to find what works for you.

Disclaimer

Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Additional Disclosure I long everything.








Thursday, January 4, 2018

Recent Buy HCN

Well that didn't take long. Just the 4th day of the New Year and I made my first purchase of 2018.  5 shares of HCN @ $63.65 per share.  I had been looking to diversify my REITs which are comprised primarily of Realty Income. What I like about Welltower is I think it's a relatively safe model. The Baby Boomers are retiring and seniors are living longer than ever. I think as a long term play senior housing and outpatient care isn't going anywhere. The price is in the 52 week low territory and the main reasons for the price drop is the threat of higher interest rates is effecting the sector. Otherwise I have a company with 8 years of dividend growth, a solid model and a 5.5% yield. At 9.9 percent my portfolio is a little REIT heavy right now. I would like the number closer to 6-7% but I do think that I should be able to balance that over the course of the year.

Disclaimer

Material presented on 'Dividend Seedling' is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author (a social studies teacher and not a financial advisor). None of the information should be relied on or taken as investing advice or a recommendation to invest. None of the information or opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Please do your own research before making any investments. Do not making any purchases unless you are prepared to lose your entire investment.

Additional Disclosure I long everything.


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