Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 2016 Review / January 2017 Preview & End of Year Review

Happy New Year Gremlin here to talk about December and the end of this year.  December has meant presents and family, similar to what November holds plus the presents.  Personally it means winter is here to stay, and more importantly that January is here so I can wind down.  "The Season" always seems to come and go so fast.  Frantically acquiring gifts you hope people will like.  For me, I am simple - give me a nice backyard, some drinks, and anyone willing to play yard games.  But now that time is over, soon it will be back to the normal grind.  So let's enjoy 2016 while it lasts for the good it has brought and the silver linings we can find in the world everywhere else.

December:

I was able to put $660 to work in three existing positions across my taxable and Roth accounts.  As much as I want to keep up this pace, it will be hard knowing how I plan to be saving extra cash for unrelated reasons. 

Last month I brought in a total of $262.32 in dividends ($83.10 taxable, $60.29 Roth, and $118.93 in my IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($101.34 total) by 158.58%.  My SEP IRA continues to make this comparison silly, but it will just have to be that way until the end of next year. Its yet another month over $200.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized five this month from McDonald's (MCD), Microsoft (MSFT), Union Pacific (UNP), VF Corp (VFC), and Emerson Electric (EMR).  Raises ranged from less than 1% to  over 10%. 

Next month I will realize one dividend increase from Realty Income (O), the usual minor increase.  For 2016, I have realized 36 dividend increases!  I know of a few next year already, but I have been less than diligent in editing my spreadsheet, so some will just be happy surprises.

January:

The only debt that remains are extremely low interest auto loans.  Looking ahead, I will be saving a solid amount of cash.  This is related to the fact that my wife and I will look to get a house sometime in the next 2 years.  I want to go in with a decent down payment to make sure we get what we want.

I keep being lazy about putting up a beer review, perhaps I just have not had any that remarkable.  Side note, I will be starting a Trivia Night at my side job.  For me its fun, sure there is a little bit of cash out of it, but its more about the fun.

Next month should produce around $80 in dividends, which is a 5% YOY increase.  January has just never been a strong dividend month for me.  Also on an investing note, I am keeping a very diligent eye on commercial real estate markets.  Why?  Something seems off about it, similar in a way to 2007 with the residential market, though the bomb is probably a little smaller...

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

2016:

Wow, what a year.  A lot of good things occurred, as did of course many unfortunate things - but lets keep it positive.  On a personal note I upgraded my income, my wife has a less stressful job, we went on a great vacation, and I was still able to put a solid amount of cash into investments.  So let's look at how I did last year.

Last year I had hope I would achieve several goals.  So to reference them they are below.  With the results in RED.
  • $1100 in total dividends in 2016 (taxable and Roth).  Success, beat that number by $60.
  • $250 in Loyal3 dividends in 2016.  Success, more like $323, or 29% higher.
  • End the year with a forward-12 month dividend estimate of over $1200 (between taxable and Roth).  Success, currently sitting a few bucks over that. Way more with IRA...
  • Pay off my wife's student loan debt of $5,500 (ish).  Success, her loans are toast.
  • Get a raise at my current or another job.  Success, got a new job with a raise!  Then I got a strong side job!
  • Continue to exercise 5 times a week at a minimum, and ride my bike places when possible.  Failure.  Part of the failure was due to a bad ankle sprain in the fall.  Overall I am working out 4 to 5 times a week though.  Also biking has faded because my new employer pays me to commute with public transit, and they have no shower (I sweat a lot if I bike anywhere).
Overall that is a 5/6 success rate.  Next year, I plan to have fewer goals; so this section is easier to write and I can focus harder on those goals.

2017: 

Well, on a personal note my biggest goal is to rectify that bottom goal.  Otherwise, right now my life has been on a good track and I want to keep that momentum.  So here are my goals for next year.

  • Break $2500 in total dividends.
  • Achieve forward dividends for taxable accounts of $1000.
  • Get back into shape, specifically workout 5 times a week.
  • Bike to as many local places as possible, do less driving (already half way there as I do not drive to work).
There are so many ways I can improve my situation, but little changes can make a huge difference.  Time to test out lifestyle and money saving changes!

Hope everyone has a great January and a Happy New Year!
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Recent Buys, December 2016

Holiday Gremlin here to talk about some more recent buys.  I hope everyone is gearing up for a great holiday weekend, which will include family, fun, football of both varieties, and food of course.  It is no question that I am ready for it, and am anticipating a nice long weekend.  Christmas is the time for giving, and sometimes you need to give to yourself / family in the form of financial security.  Today I am pushing for more of that with a few buys that I was able to make fee free.  This year I have had a few extra free purchases, and these were set to expire if I did not use them, so I would be damned if I let freebies go to waste.  So anyway, lets get on with what I bought.

First, I added shares of Abbott Laboratories (ABT) in my Roth account, this is an addition to an existing position as are the other buys.  I bought 6.24 shares, with a total cost of $250.00 ($39.39 / share).  The current yield is 2.72%.    The P/E ratio for ABT sits today at approximately 17.  I really want to add more in the healthcare sector in general, and this will be a part of that.  This position is one I definitely plan to expand in the future, especially with its 48% payout ratio and 43 years of dividend growth.  This purchase will add $6.62 to my Roth totals next year.

Second, I added around three shares of VF Corp (VFC) to my Loyal3 account.  The current yield is 3.12% (on current cost).  The P/E ratio is much better than it has been around 20, but the payout ratio on the yield is a sweet 40-ish-%.  That leaves a lot of room for growth, and it is a company I really like so this just another brick in that wall.  This purchase will add $5.04 to my Loyal3 account totals next year.

Lastly, I added shares of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM) to my taxable account.  I bought 3.1 shares, with a total cost of $260 ($83.72 / share).  The current yield is 4.48%.  The P/E ratio is around 10.25, which is great.  The payout ratio is approximately 44%, which still leaves room for growth.  In general the big Canadian Banks provide a lot to love.  I plan on adding to my other Canadian Bank, Scotiabank (BNS), next month.  Of the big 5 Canadian Banks, CM was my first purchase and remains my favorite.  Despite currency headwinds, they consistently improve their dividend in their local currency and I see results here in the USA.  Their are critics who believe they are too highly concentrated in certain markets, especially the Canadian housing market, but I do find that their system is designed to be safer than what the USA had.  If nothing else, they looked south at us and learned what not to do.  This purchase adds about $13 to my totals next year, pending foreign exchange valuations.  
 
These purchases are the last ones for 2016.  Overall, a good way to round out a year that has been good to me.
What do you think of ABT, CM, and VFC?

I will update my portfolio page at the end of the month.

I hope everyone has their shopping done and is prepared to sit inside and drink hot chocolate for a day.  Oh wait you're not, me neither, DAMN!
- Gremlin
- Long ABT, BNS, CM, VFC

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Review / December Preview, 2016

Mountain Climbing Gremlin here to talk about this past month and the future.  My ankle is doing well, well enough to climb a mountain?  Probably, but this mountain I am referring to is Financial Independence, or FI.  Today that mountain has gotten a little smaller, as I (we) have extinguished the last remnants of student loan debt.  Bye bye, no one will miss you.  In addition, I made three buys of which two were sizeable.  Then to top it off, November had Thanksgiving, which is a great time to see family.  Sure there are always negatives, and shocks (like that crazy relative of yours).  However, nothing is crippling me from earning that FI a little faster.  In fact, even negative situations provide opportunity.  So lets see how I did. 

November:

I bought three stocks this past month across my Loyal3, regular taxable, and Roth accounts.  In all, a total of $762.01 was invested, and that money should generate around $27 next year.  It is pretty nice to acquire securities like that.  In addition, YUM split off its China division, giving me a new position in YUMC.  YUMC will likely be sold at some point, but when is the real question.

Last month I brought in a total of $235.86 in dividends ($39.34 taxable, $58.71 Roth, and $137.81 in my IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($82.13 total) by 187.2%.  My SEP IRA really adds a new dimension, and its almost making this month apples to oranges in terms of a comparison.  I plan on keeping my method the same and recognizing that the SEP IRA has a big impact on total numbers in the short term.  Overall, not including my SEP IRA I am still up over last year.  Either way, over $200, sweet.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized two this month from YUM and American Express (AXP).  Both raises were around 11%, which is solid. 

Next month I will realize five raises, from McDonald's (MCD), Microsoft (MSFT), Union Pacific (UNP), VF Corp (VFC), and Emerson Electric (EMR).  The increases range from less than 1% for EMR to 10+% for MSFT and UNP. Thus far for 2016, I have realized 29 dividend increases!

December:

Things are getting exciting.  As I stated, student loans are trashed, all that remains are extremely low interest auto loans.  Looking ahead, I will be to saving a solid amount of cash.  This is related to the fact that my wife and I will look to get a house sometime in the next 2 years.  I want to go in with a decent down payment to make sure we get what we want.

Since I did not post a beers of Thanksgiving, just a simple review, perhaps I will do a beers of Christmas.  Wintertime has the best seasonal stuff in my mind.

Next month should produce around $240 in dividends, which is a 136% YOY increase, most of which is attributable to my new IRA. I am now ahead of last year, and I need to remain focused.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a great December!
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned

Monday, November 21, 2016

Recent Buys, November 2016

Thanksgiving Come Early Gremlin here to talk about some more recent buys.  I hope you all, at least those of you in the USA, are ready for a day of cooking, turkey, and fun.  I sure am, and the plan is to get into pure relaxation mode for that whole weekend.  To be fair, Thanksgiving is probably my 4th or 5th favorite holiday (blasphemy, I know), but I can still crush stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all the fixings at will.  I hope all of you are as hungry for turkey as I am and for pushing forward with FI!  This month, I made three purchases in three different accounts.  They were all small, but also fee free, which is super cool.

First, I added shares of Ameriprise Financial (AMP) in my Roth account, this is an addition to an existing position.  I bought 5 shares, with a total cost of $437.07 ($87.41 / share).  The current yield is 2.63%, but when I purchased it the yield was closer to 3% (on current cost).  That difference between the yield now and then is due to a massive, almost $20 / share, run up in cost immediately following our recent election cycle.  Needless to say, its cool and mind boggling.  The P/E ratio for AMP sits today at 15.53, but it was closer to 12 when I made the purchase.  I am generally interested in asset managers and other financials, and this seemed like a nice opportunity to increase an existing position.  This purchase will add $15 to my Roth totals next year.

Second, I added a share of VF Corp (VFC) to my Loyal3 account.  The current yield is 3% (on current cost).  The P/E ratio is much better than it has been around 21, but the payout ratio on the yield is a sweet 35-ish-%.  That leaves a lot of room for growth, and it is a company I really like so this just another brick in that wall.  This purchase will add $1.68 to my Loyal3 account totals next year.

Lastly, I added shares of Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) to my taxable account.  I bought 5 shares, with a total cost of $264.94 ($52.99 / share).  The current yield is 4.22%.  The P/E ratio is around 12.69, which is very good.  The payout ratio is approximately 47-50%, which still leaves room for growth.  In general the big Canadian Banks provide a lot to love.  I plan on adding to my other Canadian Bank, CIBC (CM), next month.  This purchase adds about $11 to my totals next year, pending foreign exchange valuations.  

I have two more free purchases to use before the year is up, and I plan on putting those to work next month.  These investments are made with an eye on 2017 and beyond.  All of them are in great companies that have excellent histories.

What do you think of AMP, BNS, and VFC?

I will update my portfolio page at the end of the month.

- Gremlin
- Long AMP, BNS, CM, VFC

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November, 2016 Brewery Review

Patriot Gremlin here on Election Day!  Now I know, and hopefully you do too that all of the USA's founding fathers were either brewers (well Sam Adams and T. Jefferson were) or enjoyers of the craft (Now that is definitely true - though wine, applejack, and cider were the top drinks).  So in honor of the national history I will do a quick review of a local brewery to honor their legacy.  The brewery in question is located in the DC area and is named Denizens.  Their layout is nice, with an upper and lower area plus they do have bottling services so you can find their creations outside of their main location (which is important).  However, it will be hard to find anything they make outside of the general DC area.

So in running through their beers, there were four main candidates.  Each was very different from the other and I would argue that these are the best four they had out of the 9 or 10 they had on tap.  So here they are below on a scale of sip, sample, half pint, and full glass (not displaying their branded names).

Sip - Porter: Not my favorite breed in general, but among those who do prefer the more coffee or chocolate-centric flavors, this is the one for them.  Having tried it I would say that it is not too heavy on either flavor and is fairly light as it goes down.  This is what I would recommend for staying in near a fire during a snowstorm.  3.2/5

Sample - Rye IPA: In general I drink a fair amount of IPAs, but I prefer those more with a floral flavor versus the very bitter.  This was not too bitter, which can be common with rye types, but it did have a nice floral finish.  This is a summer and early fall drink right here for me.  3.5/5

Half Pint - Belgian Triple: Do you like sledgehammers?  Because this is a sledgehammer.  Most people will only need one glass of this before they have to hail a taxi to get home.  Still, it had a great taste with a great spice mix, and it was light going down.  I have to say I would have drank more of this, had I not known it was a trap with its 10% alcohol (A. By Volume) content.  4.2/5

Full Glass - Kvass: This is a sour beer, so if you don't like sour beers then quit right now.  I love sour beers, even though they are hard to find.  Kvass is an Eastern European style drink, which has morphed here into a beer.  Typically low in ABV (normally kvass is 0.5-1% ABV, this one is 3.5%), this sour is loaded with flavor.  This is my top by far and the one I would most consistently return to.  4.8/5

Happy / Hoppy Voting!

Gremlin 4 Pres:

Monday, October 31, 2016

October Review / November Preview, 2016

Almost Healthy Gremlin here to talk about this past month and the future.  So far my ankle's recovery has gone well, though its still not at the point where I can run at a meaningful pace or distance, and I look as graceful as a baby deer.  Still, its better and continues to get better so hopefully that is finished soon.  On the home front the household student loans stand at less than $1k, which means they are almost over.  In addition, my new employee stock program and 401k have started accumulating.  Looking around at everything else I can say I am excited for winter, hockey, and for fantasy football to end.  I have got to learn to do a split football team in the future, and by split I mean just show up for the draft party but not draft... 

October:

I bought two new stocks in my new SEP IRA, however due to my lack of paying attention I neglected to post those buys so here I go.  I bought 30 shares of HCN for a total cost of $2,101.13 and 75 shares of OHI for $2,497.95.  Those are two huge purchases and round out the SEP IRA investments for a long time.  Only a negligible amount of cash remains in that account, and I will probably not be deploying that plus new dividends until next fall.  In the meantime I will soak up those dividends!

I also rounded out my position in YUM on Loyal3.  This is the final purchase I will make into YUM for a while, and I am deciding what action I will take on the YUM China (YUMC) stock, which  I will receive in November.  Exciting times over there at Loyal3 to be sure.

Last month I brought in a total of $81.58 in dividends ($61.22 taxable, $20.36 Roth).  This is an increase from last year ($53.45 total) by 52.6%.  Next month my SEP IRA will start to kick in distributions, and it will probably annihilate prior totals I have posted before.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized two this month from Realty Income (O) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS).  The raises ranged from 0.2% to 3% (approximate in $USD from $CAD). 

Next month I will realize two raises, from YUM and American Express (AXP).  The increases are around 11% each. Thus far for 2016, I have realized 27 dividend increases!

November:

Things are getting exciting.  As I noted above, one of my wife's student loans is gone.  Looking ahead two months, I will start to save a solid amount of cash.  This is related to the fact that my wife and I will look to get a house sometime in the next 2-3 years.  I want to go in with a decent down payment to make sure we get what we want.

I will post a Beers of Thanksgiving article, which will highlight my favorites for this time of year.

Next month should produce around $200 in dividends, which is a 426% YOY increase, most of which is attributable to my new IRA. I am now ahead of last year, and I need to remain focused.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a great November!
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Loyal3 Buys, Oct. 2016

Fall Gremlin here to talk about how I've been improving my portfolio via Loyal3.  Things have been coming along pretty well for the past few months, and I added a few shares to in Loyal3 as noted on my monthly updates.  Finally, I got my position in YUM up to a point I am satisfied with.  YUM is about to spin off YUM China (YUMC) at the beginning of November so it is easy to understand why I pursued YUM.  Once the deal is completed I will own shares in both, but YUMC will clearly be its own animal.  Part of me would still like to have seen YUM carry on as is.  There is a strength in companies like Johnson and Johnson (JNJ),  where width of their brands and innovation complements their depth.  Hopefully, after the spin off the two YUMs both do their thing and do it will.

I bought 3.2654 shares of YUM for $290.  This will add $6.66 to my forward annual income, considering the recent dividend raise.  More importantly, my total number of YUM shares now stands at just above 12, and I am happy with the size of the position currently ~ enough to start buying other things.

YUM has been the focus of this account for much of the past few months.  With other finances back in order and a slightly larger free hand, I will be able to tackle other Loyal3 stocks moving forward.  It is still my plan to fill up positions to a specific point, then merge them with my regular account.  This will create a lot more buying power concentrated in one place, which is the ultimate goal. 

Either way, have a great rest of October and enjoy the start to fall!
- Gremlin
- Long YUM and JNJ