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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Review of 2017/Goal Setting for 2018

2017 has been fantastic and terrible all rolled into one. There were major changes with my career, some serious family challenges and the decision that 2018 will be the year that my wife and I buy our first house. In terms of personal finance I'm excited to say I was able to hit every goal I set in this young portfolio. 

2017

The Job
I like to start with the good. The transition from being a teacher to a district administrator is one of the most difficult to make. Everyone wants an experienced administrator, because it's in many ways an entirely different skill-set than being a highly effective teacher. Managing children is completely different than managing adults. Many of the skills evaluating programs, teachers, hiring, budgeting aren't part of the day-to-day job as a teacher. I was lucky enough to become a first time administrator this year. Sure it came with some costs -- losing the direct interaction with the kids. What I gained is incredible. I get seat at the decision-making table and the ability to affect real change beyond the four walls of a classroom. I have people looking to me to make a difference, parents, teachers, and students. I feel like I'm planning five weddings every day, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Family
All that excitement comes at a cost -- time. I have less time for  everything. My kids are in daycare entirely too long. My house has never been messier, I have a mother with a terminal illness that I don't see enough, and by the time my wife comes home from work, I spent from work and then watching our children after work. It makes it clear to me why so many 20 and 30 somethings are trying to build portfolios that will let them retire in 10 years or less. Time is the one thing you can't get back. 

Money

This has been huge for me. The new job came with a higher salary. I finally could pull my weight in terms of my finances. My post tax salary increased by about $1,000 per month. It's amazing what salary based healthcare will take out of a paycheck. Also that didn't mean I had $1,000 more to invest. Renting a townhouse, with two kids in a corporate daycare costs money. We had been dipping into our savings account (with investments we were still able to add to our net worth overall) a little in order to cover the bills. So $600 of that $1,000 went to a higher rent contribution. This allowed us to maintain our savings, gave my wife a little breathing room and pay the daycare increase. So surely I invested the other $400 per month? I wish. I did double my Roth IRA contribution, But I also invested in the teachers that worked for me. Little things like cakes for long-time teachers that moved onto new jobs, bagels and fruit salad during large meetings. Believe it or not when working with a large staff, that adds up. It's also important. I'm nothing without these people. If I want to be effective at this new job, I need to show them I appreciate them. Also I had to upgrade my clothing. The new job requires me to be in a suit most days, and they aren't cheap. I didn't mind this because the bulk of this cost is upfront. My Robinhood account which I use for my dividends continued to grow as well (somehow). I went from making a regular deposit of $40 plus whatever I could side hustle, to making a regular $50 deposit plus whatever I could side hustle. The side hustles always have been the bulk of my deposits into this account. It comes from a lot of different places: dividends, rewards card purchases,payments on old Lending Club notes (what a mistake that was), and frugality.   

Review of 2017 Portfolio Goals

By every measure I achieved my goals. I was hoping to grow my dividend portfolio to 4k. Barring a catastrophe in the next couple of days, I'm finishing the year with nearly $6,400. I set out to make $100 in dividends. I earned $151.39. I wanted two holdings of $500. This was mainly because I was getting too buy happy and way too many positions of 1-2 shares. I have 3. 

2018

On the surface these goals seem modest. An 8k portfolio, when I already have nearly $6,400 and project for at least $210 in dividends without investing a dime, would normally be way too safe. At my current pace I easily make that goal. Same with the goal of $250 in dividends and a holding of 1k. I do hope I can shatter these goals, but I'm not changing them. The main reason is goal number 1 is a house. I'm very committed to not liquidating my dividend holdings for a deposit. I believe we have enough saved and our credit is good enough that it won't come to that. But without knowing exactly what my mortgage, taxes, moving costs, etc. I think it would be irresponsible to include a projection for 2018 that involves ramping up my investments at this time. 

I think something would also be amiss if I didn't include some non-financial goals. I want to continue to be a fantastic father to my two little ones. I want to carve out some more time for my wife. I've heard of too many relationships that end because of this. I'm not sure anything is a greater cost on finances, children, and myself then divorce or a bad marriage. I love my wife. I'm a product of a divorce. I don't want my children to go down that road.  This is probably the goal that needs the most work. I also want to continue to grow in this new position. I've wanted this for so long, I can't allow myself to fail. It's a ton of work, but it's a dream job. I also hope to continue blogging, it keeps me focused on my financial goals. 



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

December Dividends

I'm going to keep this about December and not make the big end of the year/goals post. I'm still going through my thoughts there. But not surprising the year closed with another fantastic month. When all is said and done in December I will have earned 26.55. This compares to just $8.70. I was hoping for a record month but didn't quite get there. The reason being that Pepsi paid a dividend last quarter and is paying me again in January. I think the fact that this time last year, I was writing about hoping to crack the $10 mark and this year I'm on the verge of $30 speaks for itself. Here are my December dividends.

INN           .34
SBUX       .60
WFC         .78
ADM        .32
DFS        1.75
AMGN   1.15
TGT       6.20
EMR      2.43
JNJ          .84
UL           .84
O            1.06
FLO       1.70
CMP      3.60
DUK     3.56
GM       1.14
BAC       .24

Friday, December 22, 2017

Added to my 4 shares of O to my position

I generally don't view REIT investments as safe and stable. But O seems to be the exception. 21 years of dividend growth, monthly payouts, and 12% off it's 52 week high. What I love even more is long term leases with built in increases. Today I was able to grab 4 more shares at 55.68 per share. This is exciting because even it takes my dividend projections for next year to $210.54. That is if I don't make a single buy or dividend raise. This puts me well on track to achieve my goal of $250 in dividends in 2018. In fact I may need a more ambitious goal. Life is good.

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.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Done licking my GE wounds, Recent buy HBI

When I sold GE last month at 18 dollars a share it was a difficult decision. It was a loss. The company had a big name and a long history. Many were talking about this being the price to get in on. For the record I do believe GE long term will be alright. But they did cut their dividend. They have issues. There really isn't a clear vision going forward. There are cash flow issues. Largely they've been flat until the big drop. I have been trying to keep my emotions out of my investments. I think I've been doing a pretty good job of it. In this case my decision to sell my shares of GE came down to the emotions saying the opposite. I asked myself four questions... Would I invest in GE now had I not owned shares? The answer was no. Aside from the name and the valuation what reason do I have to invest in this company? The reasons weren't persuasive. What's the cost of selling? Nothing. Could the money be invested better elsewhere? Yes.

Today I bought 10 shares of HBI at 20.50 per share. At 2.96% the yield is better. At 30.9% the payout ratio is excellent. As is the 12.5% pe/ratio. It's a product that doesn't need to reinvent itself. People will always be buying socks, t-shirts, and underwear. The dividend has increased the last 3 years and is operating at discount being down nearly 15% over the last three months. Morning Star has given HBI a 5 star rating and 10 of 14 analysts rate HBI a buy or strong buy. It feels good to be buying again.

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.

Friday, December 1, 2017

November Dividends

Another double digit dividend month thanks largely to owning shares of T. $10.98 in total dividends and below is the breakdown.  Last year this time I had $3.71 in dividends. Life is good.


T          6.86
KMI       .50
ABBV  2.56
O          1.06

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