Friday, May 29, 2015

May Review / June Preview, 2015

Dividend Gremlin here to discuss this past May and upcoming June.  May was a good all around month, especially with an extra paycheck - though some of it went to my 1st car payment.  There were a few setbacks including my Capitals losing to the NY Rangers.  However, that was canceled out by an exciting end to the Barclay's Premier League and the arrival of great weather.  It has been a strong social month too, with  a wedding and a beach weekend sprinkled in there.  It is nice to stay busy!

June should also be a great month. It will be easy to find fun and inexpensive activities (such as tubing/floating down rivers) in the good weather.  In addition, I will be at 2 bachelor parties - both of which will be fairly inexpensive and have budgets (though one might fall back to July).  Huzzah!  Savings and fun.  Also on a sad note I will be turning 30 in June.  I've been told to be excited and or disappointed.  I am feeling neither, because age is just a number and 28 was the best birthday anyway.

May:

Last month I brought in a total of $66.12 in dividends ($17.19 taxable (ugh), $48.93 Roth).  This is a increase from last year ($60.97) by 8.45%.  Part of this is still due to the lingering cut from Pengrowth Energy (PGH).  As discussed earlier, PGH will hang around partly because its still worth it and as a lesson to myself.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized two this month; Kinder Morgan (KMI) and Apple (AAPL). No new dividend increase announcements were made for of my stocks, we are starting to enter the slower summer period; however a few are still on the radar for the year. 

As with prior months I continued my Loyal3 march towards FI.  I added 4 shares of Unilever (UL), making it a full Loyal3 position!!  And 3 of Coke Cola (KO).  I have been keeping at Loyal3 while building funds in my Sharebuilder taxable and Roth accounts, with the purpose of keeping costs low.  In a typical month (2 paychecks), I average putting $175 in Loyal3 and add $140 to my Sharebuilder accounts, split evenly.

June:

My only long term debt is my car, which shall continue.  Additionally, my wife wants a dog, but we will see how that goes.  Our first prospect we were interested in turned out to not be good with kids and ate away a door frame.  So we (she) are still looking.

Next month should produce around $68 in dividends, which is a 19% year-over-year increase.  I expect to realize two raises next month, JNJ and UL.  I expect to pick up more shares of either KO, MSFT, UL, K or VFC in my Loyal3 account - value dependent.  I will also be approaching a full investment in my taxable account, which has gone for a while since it has seen that.

Hope everyone has a great May.
- Dividend Gremlin.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Fear of Working Forever

Take-a-seat Gremlin here.  Last week I had the privilege of working outside all week for field work.  This happens in my industry from time to time, and I was fortunate enough to be outside with good weather and in a relatively nice area, which is not always the case.  I work this way several times per year, sometimes lasting one day and others multiple weeks.  However, this past week made me think a lot about passive income creation for two reasons.  One was my outlook on my job, whilst being able to pull in a secondary stock generated income at the same time.  The other thing was my on-site coworker's view on things.

First, a secondary income is excellent in the sense that it provides security that a regular job cannot.  I am very certain that my position in JNJ or Coke (KO), for example, will be around for a long time generating increasing income year after year.  It is not just JNJ or KO, but also most other positions providing income.  I cannot be so sure when it comes to my job, though it is good right now, what if my company is a house of cards?  If it folds or fails, I have work to find employment; and there are no guarantees.

To be sure, I like the place I work at right now.  The pay is not industry leading, but it is still a nice small place that provides me with a level of flexibility, training, and opportunity for advancement.  My field coworker is with another company and has switched jobs a lot.  In our industry recently, lots of big companies have taken hits and he was fortunate to escape one only to land in a small company that has so much work that its employees have a tough time keeping up.  I would not want to be in either of those situations (though the latter is far better).  So yes my job is good, but the real light in the tunnel is not increasing my salary or promotions, its that I am establishing a second stream of income that will work regardless of how my day job goes.  It is the ultimate ace up my sleeve.

The second item I thought about was that same coworker's view on life.  To be fair he has more debt due to school than me and has had some crap experiences with employment, but those must be taken with a grain of salt.  He believes that he will work until he dies, wins the lottery or someone great and rich comes along offering to marry him.  Those last two things seem unlikely, so let's focus on the 'work until death.'

He told me that he always finds something to spend money on, one way or another.  Some of it makes sense to me, plenty of it doesn't.  Yes you need a car for our type of work, but no you don't have to blow your whole wallet on it or other luxuries (you don't need to eat out or make a steak every night).  He expressed his fear and disillusion with the market, and does not see that stocks could be used to generate a passive income stream to help him achieve wealth.  I've long ago realized I cannot make someone want to become a dividend investor, or investor at any level.  All you can do is lay out the strategy as a suggestion, if a person sees the point they hop on the wagon.  Most people do not see the point, and continue to work and spend, and spend and work.  Still it is something that will continue to boggle my mind, which is the belief that there is no way out.

That belief is one of the reasons I am building my passive income stream.  Not everyone believes the stories they hear, or that something works for them to make money.  So one of the reasons I am working towards passive income is that it will make me example to my friends.  It will show that any person of normal means can generate passive income through savings, smart investments, and patience.

I am sure many dividend growth investors think the same way.  Now for those on the USA, have a fun Memorial Day weekend.  I'll be at the beach, hope to see you there.
- Gremlin
- Long JNJ and KO

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sun's Out!

Not Yet Tanned Gremlin here to talk about some spring time activities and consumption habits.  Normally at this time of year most people are finally going outside and enjoying the weather and sunshine.  I am no different.  In this post I will be talking about my favorite summertime pastimes and beverages.

My favorite summer pastimes include hiking, swimming, ultimate frisbee, soccer, tubing (down a river), kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding.  It is impossible to pick a favorite activity from the list above, because they are all so awesome.  Each one of these also can get people to to relax, enjoy life, and sweat; personally I sweat a lot - thanks Dad...

There is nothing like enjoying the weather and then enjoying a lazy end to a good day.  Once you  feel ready to be lazy, what better way to enjoy a cool down than with a good beer?  If you answered a good wine, I would accept that as well.  Either way, below is my Summer Beer List for this year.

1 - K├Âlsch 151 by Blue Mountain (VA)
Cost is $9.99 per 6 pack, ABV = 5.0%.  PS# = 1.998

This might not be the strongest beer, but it is awesome in summer.  It has a cool crisp flavor and finish, and each one makes you crave another.  I could go on all day on this one, its my favorite for most of the year.

2 - 21st Amendment Monk's Blood (CA)
Cost is $11.99 per 4 pack (x 1.33), ABV = 8.3%.  PS# = 1.921

Get outta the way!  This one is one is meant for the late evening as time is winding down on a hard day.  A strong Belgian ale with plenty of spice and smoothness to go with it.  Its delicious, but this is only for those with a good sense of strong beer and the palate to match.

3 - Ways and Means by Port City (VA)
Cost is $10.99 per 6 pack, ABV = 4.5%.  PS# = 2.442
Somewhat hoppy, but mostly refreshing is how this beer should be described.  It is not the strongest, but is full of flavor and not the kind that fills you up after a one bottle.

4 -  Samuel Adams Summer Ale (MA)
Cost is $9.49 per 6 pack, ABV = 5.3%.  PS# = 1.791

Sweet with a little spice; this is a summertime staple.  I enjoy it, and it is partly on this list because its is one of my wife's favorites.  They are in my house or cooler and lot because of that, and due to that I have come to appreciate it.

5 - White Hatter by New Holland (MI)
Cost is $10.99 per 6 pack, ABV = 5.5%.  PS# = 1.998

Yikes summer beers are expensive, but they are tasty!  This is a nice refresher for someone who likes the IPA bitters plus the smooth sensation of lighter spiced style, all done in the way a Belgian would.  White Belgian IPAs really are excellent choices for a hot day under the sun.

$/% (The PS#) = $ cost per 6 pack (in local stores) / % Alcohol By Volume (ABV)
This is updated from my last post, and corrected.  A 4-Pack Multiplier of 1.33 (to make up for lost cans/bottles is now introduced).

This list could easily be longer.  I left out some of my other favorites like Starr Hill's Soul Shine, Leinenkugel's Shandy series, New Belgian's Fat Tire and Shift, and Blue Point's Blueberry Lager to name a few.  Summer might be the best or second best season for beer, after winter of course.  The variety is astounding, however the beers typically lack the strength of the winter types.  That being said, this will be followed up by a 'Wines of Summer' list later this summer - it will be heavily influenced by my wife's side of the family.  Though that is not to say I will not be partaking in tasting.

Have fun its nice out.  Sun's out, guns out!
- Gremlin