Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Gremlin's Asset Review

Bookkeeping Gremlin here to discuss a topic that deserves a good solid review: my net-worth.  Technically, it is our net-worth between my wife and I, but she does not care to do the math so its just me doing this number crunching exercise.  So in this review I will cover a lot of things: my current and future debts, investments, employment / income, goals, and some miscellaneous items.  What will not be covered is my liquidity, height, weight, etc.  This is a look to see where we are and how we are, starting naturally with the ugliest of things.

Debts:

Debt sucks, period.  Most people accept debt as normal, and I have personally found arguing with them to be taxing.  Most people just accept it, but I fight it.  Still, I have debt.  I have worked to alleviate some of it, but I will likely come into more debt due to my housing situation.  So here goes:

Car #1 (my car): $10028.96 (maturity: 6/2021, $240 / mo.) interest = 1.9%
Car #2 (her car): $18,044.33 (maturity: 10/2020, $475 / mo.) interest = 1.5%
Student Debt: None. Eliminated as of 10/2016.
Mortgage*: None at present.
Revolving debt / credit cards: None at present, credit cards are paid off monthly.
Total monthly payments = $715 + revolving

At the end 2015 is when I first started actively tracking my debt.  At that time it was approximately $46000.  Today it stands at a total of $28073.29.  In less than two years we have managed to eliminate just under $18000 worth of debt, including student loans totaling $7000+ (to be fair, my wife had done a lot of work on this already before I decided to squash it).  Currently, we pay my wife's car in exact amounts, and I pay a little extra on mine.   The dates listed are estimated by the loan company, my goal is to finish them in advance.

* = We are in the process of buying a house.  It was determined this is necessary, mainly because of future space constraints we will have related to a mini-Gremlin.  This will be discussed in the future.  At present we expect to close on a house next month, and will begin the journey of home-ownership.  For now, that number is $0, but not for long sadly.

Income:

My wife and I both work, however with the advent of mini-Gremlin in the future, there will be a slight time gap concerning her paychecks.  I have steady employment, at a solid firm, doing niche work that is needed and not easily back-filled.  To date I have received a small pay increase, and likely will receive another one later this year.  In addition, I work a second job at a brewery, and have plans to take on a third line of work using the internet (not here).  At present the extra cash goes towards investments, but it may end up shifting towards debts in the future.

Assets:

This is the fun part.  Current assets that are to be considered are my taxable investments, Roth IRA, IRA, 401K, and other retirement savings.  Cash, Health Savings Accounts, and miscellaneous assets are not counted unless they fit into another category.  I work to shield liquidity this way, and separate out what is needed versus what can be invested.  Assets including cash in accounts:

Taxable Invested Assets: $31021
Roth IRA: $17993
Traditional IRA: $34211
401K: $6707
Wife's Retirement / Pension: $10915
Total = $100847

At the beginning of 2015 the total stood at $47000.  At the end of 2015 it was $54000, and at the end of 2016 it was $87000.  Since the start of 2016 both my rate of investment and the market have been on tears.  Purchasing a house will stifle this, but only briefly.  This past month is the first time our total assets broke $100000, so time to double down.  It is my goal to make this number hit $150000 by end 2018.

Total Net Worth = $72773.71


Goals:

My short term financial goals are - eliminate one car loan in the next two years (early) and increase my taxable investment account by $10000 per year (in addition to Roth and 401k additions).  My income goals are to increase my take home pay by acquiring more useful certifications and adding extra income / employment where needed.

My long term goal as always is financial independence.  There will always be bumps in the road, but those are the times to double down - not to change course.

Conclusion:

At the moment we are doing well relative to our peers.  However, though our peers represent a good metric, they are not what I want to use to measure my life's progress.  The primary drive will be to substantially increase general income and use the proceeds to bolster investment accounts.

- Gremlin

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Review / June Preview, 2017

Summer Gremlin here to discuss the wonderful month that was May.  So far this past month has been relatively uneventful, which is good.  I had one weekend away from my home, and it was only one day at that.  Things are moving at what seems to be a breakneck pace, specifically searching for housing.  It would appear that my hope that we would buy in 2 years, is more like we will buy this summer.  These things happen, and other people have ways of changing your plans faster than you can yourself (if you are married, you understand this).  That is not always a bad thing, indeed this is smarter in the long run in generating value and wealth.

As of this moment I am still waiting on ol' Loyal3 to transfer funds, as requested.  Apparently their transfer department was swamped by transfer requests.  Guess they found out you cannot dupe thousands of people into paying you money easily.  The new brokerage that has my account has told me to wait about 10 business days, and that was 7 business days ago, so time will tell if they can get it done in any normal amount of time, doubtful.  I hope it goes smoothly, much easier to be nice on the phone instead of a big jerk.

May:

This past month I put $1035.26 dollars to work in my IRA account, and started a new position in T. Rowe Price (TROW).

Last month I brought in a total of $246.08 in dividends ($36.86 taxable, $66.14 Roth, and $143.08 IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($85.54 total) by 187%. The IRA money does it again, destroying a prior month.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized four this month from Apple (AAPL), Ameriprise Financial (AMP), General Dynamics (GD), and Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI).  Raises were between  1.5% to more than 9%.  Thus far for 2017, I have realized 25 dividend increases!

Next month I will realize four raises, from Pepsico (PEP), Unilever (UL), Johnson and Johnson (JNJ), and Exxon Mobile (XOM).  The increases range from around 2% to more than 8%.

June:

This is my birthday month.  I will post a serious look at my net-worth and general progress in life in terms of FI (and still having a roof over my head / food in the fridge).

Our only remaining debt is extremely low interest auto loans, however that may change.  Stashing of cash for the impending house continues.  In addition, I expect a significant amount of cash to come my way when my Loyal3 account transfers.  This should speed another purchase in my brokerage account.  At the moment the market is all over the place, the cash might sit for a month waiting for instructions.

Next month should produce around $293 in dividends, which is a 152% YOY increase, which is mainly attributable to my IRA and a few newer positions plus some growth in my other accounts.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a great June, suns out - guns out!
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Recent Buy, May 2017

Clean Teeth Gremlin here to talk about some more recent buys. Today I accomplished two things.  One, I went to the dentist then starved myself for a few extra hours because my teeth felt so damn clean - minty fresh.  And two, I bought some stock.  I have been making fewer purchases since the demise of Loyal3 (which I will also discuss today), but going forward my purchases will all be bigger in terms of quantity.  Also because I cannot shotgun approach investing as I could with Loyal3, I a being a little more price conscious.  Still those are not bad things, and what did I buy?

Today, I added a new position by purchasing shares of T-Rowe Price (TROW) in my IRA  account.  I bought 15 shares, with a total cost of $1035.26 ($69.01 / share, including commission).  The current yield is 3.21%.    The P/E ratio for TROW sits today at approximately 13.34, below it historical average.  TROW boasts around a 43% payout ratio and 31 years of dividend growth.  This purchase will add $34.20 to my 12-month forward income.

TROW has been raising their dividend as long as I have been alive.  Last year was their weakest raise in a long time, below 4%, however looking at them over the last 5-10 year frame one can see their assets under management (AUM) have increased, and the dividend TROW pays has typically been increasing between 6 and 10%.  That is the kind of growth I want.  Overall, I am a supporter of asset managers, after all I already own AMP and would like to own a few others.

I agree with dividend bloggers who have stated online before that 'the market and investing are not that hard to understand.'  Still most of those people (and people less driven or intelligent than them)  who even do understand the basics jump for ETFs, Mutual Funds, and other types of index funds.  Why?  Because it is easy.  Investing as a dividend growth investor takes time and patience.  Most people don't have those things.  Picking a few low cost index funds is much easier (for the record if you're not interested in stocks, I fully support people going that route). In a sense this investment along with AMP show that I do think people will invest, but I don't think they will doing the investing.  Perhaps that is a somewhat cynical thought, but in doing my regular work, my side job at a bar, and overall daily life it is easy to think most people fall into that category.

As for Loyal3, I am still waiting on them to transfer my assets to my main account.  Apparently the tiny transfer division at Loyal3 was completely swamped with transfer requests when they announced their recent shutdown.  Who did not see that coming?  Answer - clearly just Loyal3.  I would imagine a lot of the low costs users immediately looked for the next best option, and it was not the one being offered to them at the outset.  So all those fleeing the ship did the same thing, jumped to a better ship or an island in my case.

I will update my portfolio page at the end of the month.  Here, again, is to a stronger 2017.

What do you think of TROW? 

- Gremlin
- Long TROW and AMP

PS - I hope Nashville gets the Stanley Cup!

Monday, May 1, 2017

April Review / May Preview 2017

Party Gremlin here to discuss the wonderful month that was April.  Before I get to finance I will just say I had a few nice weekends away, both in the state of Pennsylvania.  One trip was for sports, and the other was to celebrate the fact that a friend of mine is losing the ability to claim the 'single-not married' box on his taxes.  Congrats to him, but we all know that those parties really are for the other guys, especially the married ones, like me, in attendance.  No there were no clubs of the stripped down variety, but that is no impedance to fun!

Apart from the fun, Loyal 3 announced they were ceasing operations and changing their format.  I have already begun an account transfer to move the shares out into my existing brokerage.  Though many positions I had there were not yet completed, the fact remains is that they will continue to pay me and boost my output.  I intend on holding those positions, and adding to them when the valuations become justified in the future.  The 'loss' of Loyal 3 is not a loss so much as it is merely a transition that I anticipated making anyway.

April:

This past month I put $1600 dollars to work between Loyal 3 and my regular brokerage.  With the loss of Loyal 3, my regular large purchases should become much more common.

Last month I brought in a total of $70.94 in dividends ($70.94 taxable, $0 Roth, and $0 IRA).  This is a decrease from last year ($84.31 total) by 16%.  The reason for the decrease remains the change in payout structure from Kraft-Heinz (KHC), which has switched to paying on the 3rd month of each quarter.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized six this month from Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)*, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM)*, Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS), Coca Cola (KO), Realty Income (O), and Walmart (WMT).  Raises were between  0.2% to more than 9%.  Thus far for 2017, I have realized 21 dividend increases! (* = in local currency)

Next month I will realize three raises, from Ameriprise Financial (AMP), General Dynamics (GD), and Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI).  The increases range from around 1.5% to more than 9%.  I will also likely realize a dividend increase from Apple (AAPL), however it has not yet been announced.

May:

Our only remaining debt is extremely low interest auto loans.  So far I have stashed a significant amount of cash, with the impending doom of home shopping on the horizon...

Next month should produce around $242 in dividends, which is a 183% YOY increase, which is mainly attributable to my IRA and a few newer positions plus some growth in my other accounts.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a great May (have fun)!
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bye Loyal 3

Auf Wiedersehen Gremlin here to wish Loyal 3 Good-Bye.  Last night the brokerage sent out a mass email to all its users informing them that they will be shutting down and transferring everyone's assets to "low cost" FolioFirst.  Loyal3 is giving three options: 1 - sell everything, take the money, and run; 2 - do nothing and they will transfer your assets into FolioFirst; or 3 - transfer your shares into another brokerage.  For me this is an easy decision, I will take door #3.  With it Loyal 3 will be selling my fractional shares, depositing whole shares in my main brokerage, and depositing all remaining cash in my checking account.  In addition, they will waive the standard transfer fee.

As for the other options, option 1 is just not my game - selling it all and running for the hills is not what I would do (though it is what survivor-gremlin would do...).  Option 2 was intriguing, FolioFirst offers up to 2000 free trades on 200 companies per month.  However, starting in August they would levy a $5 monthly fee for the account.  Though it would be cheaper to maintain an account here if one was buying / selling often enough considering commissions, it still rings hollow.  I also don't do enough buys to justify this.  Going forward, I plan on reducing costs by trying to increase my buy minimum from $1000 up to $1200 or 1500.  That will reduce my fee percentage, and if necessary the size purchases can be increased.

I had hoped Loyal 3 would continue for another year or two, but in the end the result was going to be the same.  That account was going to be merged with my main brokerage account.  If anything, I am happy that they were around to allow some of my positions to be built from scratch.  In the long run, these positions, regardless of size, will become cogs in the engine that is under construction.

So long Loyal 3, we had a good run.

- Dividend Gremlin

PS if you want a better break down of changes go visit the Dividend Growth Investor.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Recent Buys, April 2017


Health Gremlin here to talk about some more recent buys.  This past weekend was one of the few away I've had in a while.  Many fun jokes were told, sports were played, drinks and merriment were attained by all (or at least most).  Before I left town I made sure I executed some purchases I had been waiting to attend to.  Some of these were in my Loyal3 account and will be included here along with my major buy that I made.  So, what did I buy and why?

First, I added a new position by purchasing shares of Amgen Inc. (AMGN) in my taxable account.  I bought 8 shares, with a total cost of $1305.54 ($162.32 / share).  The current yield is 2.80%.    The P/E ratio for AMGN sits today at approximately 16.  I really want to add more in the healthcare sector in general, and this will be a part of that.  AMGN boasts a 40% payout ratio and 7 years of dividend growth.  This purchase will add $36.80 to my 12-month forward income.  I like AMGN's products, product pipeline, payout ratio, and general moat.  AMGN has been a monster of a company over the past several years, and the products they provide will be profitable for a long time.

Second, I added another new position consisting of around two shares of Starbucks (SBUX) to my Loyal3 account.  The current yield is 1.54%.  The P/E ratio is still high at 29+, but this is a position I have wanted to have for a while.  It will be my window unto the company.  The payout ratio on the yield is a sweet 44%, which is lower than the majority of the industry leaving plenty of room for growth.  Personally, I am not a coffee drinker, but I know that most people are and a lot of them seem to like SBUX.  To be sure, some like Dunkin Donuts (DNKN) too, so I figure it is time to own both.  This purchase will add $2 to my 12-month forward income.

Third, I added around one and a half shares of American Express (AXP) to my Loyal3 account.  The current yield is 1.62%.  The P/E ratio is 13.76.  I also own Discover (DFS) in my Roth.  I like the credit market companies.  They have carved a way forward for the overall world economy.  Its hard to find a place that does not take credit, and its harder deal with those places.  There is also so much more on the financial side to both companies.  Hopefully in the future I can add their other competitors Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA).  This purchase will add $1.65 to my 12-month forward income.

Finally, I added shares two of YUM! Brands (YUM) to my Loyal3 account.  The current yield is 1.87%.  The P/E ratio is around 16.  The payout ratio is approximately 76%, which is high at the moment.  This move was to fill up the position I had started, which split its value with the creation of YUMC.  I think YUM in the long run will be a nice holding, and they are relatively cheap right now.  However, sorting out their finances might slow dividend growth in the short term with the absence of the Chinese contingent bringing it revenue.  Still, I am positive on them, and its a long road ahead. This purchase will add $2.40 to my 12-month forward income.

I will update my portfolio page at the end of the month.  Here is to a strong 2017.

Happy 100th post to me!


- Gremlin
- Long AMGN, SBUX, AXP, DFS, YUM, YUMC

Friday, March 31, 2017

March Review / April Preview 2017

Warm Weather Gremlin here to talk about this past month and the next month.  At this point in the year snow is gone, the sun is shining, and shorts are (almost) becoming the norm for weekend wear.  It also means allergies, but lets not think about that.  March was a successful month, though a busy one.  My side job continues to provide a lot of extra revenue.  Our cash reserve has hit an all time high, thanks to tax refunds, which is great as we attempt to pursue a house at some point soon.  All in all, March has been a window unto the future.  Sadly I have not visited any new breweries or done a lot of fun things, but I think I can knock that in April along with some larger buys.

March:

This past month I put $285 dollars to work on Loyal3, and as if that was not enough I added an extra share of Target for the month (for a total $335 invested).  I aim to keep this pace up for a long time.

Last month I brought in a total of $281.48 in dividends ($98.48 taxable, $61.04 Roth, and $121.96 IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($111.86 total) by 151%.  The IRA being added into the equation really blows this month out of the water

In terms of dividend increases, I realized six this month from Dunkin Donuts (DNKN), Eaton Corp. (ETN), Waste Management (WM), Prudential (PRU), Archer-Daniels Midland (ADM), and 3M (MMM).  Raises were between 2% to more than 9%.  Thus far for 2017, I have realized 15 dividend increases!

Next month I will realize six raises, from Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM), Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS), Coca Cola (KO), Realty Income (O), and Walmart (WMT).  The increases range from around 0.2% to more than 9%.

Thus far, I have achieved $645.38 in total dividends, which is more than I had in 2011 through 2013, and almost matches my total of 2014.  Being now a little over three years into this, I am starting to see how investing over time really can be supercharged by targeting companies that grow their dividend consistently.

April:

Our only remaining debt is 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 (few) year(s).  I want to go in with a decent down payment to make sure we get what we want.

I hope to post more than one time next month... But we will see, April is already slated to be busy.

Next month should produce around $71 in dividends, which is a 15% YOY decrease, which is attributable to KHC switching its month of payment.  Things are otherwise coming together nicely.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a great April (stay dry)!
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned