Monday, September 18, 2017

Big Changes

Real Talk Gremlin here to talk about some major changes.  In life most changes come slowly.  We get older, wiser, taller, slower, stronger, etc. over a long window of time.  However, there are specific times where things can change rapidly.  Going off to school, buying your first house or car (just like the house we bought...), and having a child come to mind.  Well that last one will be happening soon, which makes for several major changes in the past year: a new job, new house, and new person in our house. So that there is a huge change.

Naturally everyone points to the cost of raising a new child, which in some ways is undeniable.  Clothing, food, and medical needs are all requirements and will be present in someway for a baby.  However, many of the believed requirements are not requirements - especially as kids age.  For instance, if your child wants to learn an instrument, they don't need top of the line equipment to start.  Now to be honest, our child will have opportunities to do fun / stimulating stuff, but it will not be rammed down their throat.  Part of being a kid is about trying and learning new things, if there is too much emphasis on specific things that bigger picture of the world is missed - and from their perspective its likely not fun.  So the goal is to give them a chance to explore their world while not forcing on them nor breaking the bank.

"You don't have to buy your kid a Stradivarius if they want to learn to play the violin." - me

From a family perspective, I also see a relative cost savings up front on some items.  Food - we won't be trying as many new places outside of our kitchen.  Travel - probably not happening very much, outside of our family events.  I doubt there will be any splurges of any sort, outside of stocks and the occasionally required ice cream.

Regardless of these big changes, I still intend to pursue financial independence.  Debt is being knocked out faster, and investments are still being made.  I will continue working at two jobs to achieve this faster, and obtaining professional certifications to further my main money making abilities.  Not all is lost, in fact really nothing is lost - including my time.  Children demand time, regardless of the age, however that is no way time lost.  Its just a different journey, one that is much less predictable.

Here's to new beginnings.
- Gremlin

Friday, September 1, 2017

August Review / September Preview, 2017

Bug Eyed Gremlin here to talk about the roller-coaster that has been this past month. We bought a house - cool.  My commute is different, but takes about the same amount of time, and it does not impact my budget (and no car) - also cool.  Mostly everything has been organized, except for the presents we got because sometime late September or mid October there will be a copy of me gracing this Earth. A scary thought indeed.  What is most notable is how fast it all has happened.  At this point a year ago I had just started a new job and taken a trip to Europe.  None of these other items - a house, kid(s), or a backyard to mow were in my mind.

Inserted in all of this is the fact that I have taken on new job responsibilities, which should benefit me in the long run, but do add a small layer of stress in the short term. Still, no matter how crazy life gets, the goal here is to generate passive income by building a quality portfolio of dividend paying stocks.

August:

This month I made one new purchase, Archer Daniel's Midland (ADM), in my taxable portfolio.

Last month I brought in a total of $239.61 in dividends ($37.44 taxable, $58.34 Roth, and $143.83 IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($95.21 total) by 151%.  It could have been higher had Discover (DFS) paid this month as expected, but they moved their payment back to September.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized* one from this month from Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI).  The raise was around 2%.  Thus far for 2017, I have realized 31 dividend increases!

Next month I will realize six raises from Discover Financial (DFS), Hershey's (HSY), Kellogg's (K), Kraft-Heinz (KHC), Target (TGT), J.M. Smucker's (SJM), and Westlake Chemical (WLK).  The increases range from 3.3% to 16.8%.

* I only count increases when realized, because until that money is delivered any statements or declarations simply appear to be conjecture.  

September:

My wife and I have moved into our new home, now the mortgage bills can start - bye bye rent. Our debts for the moment currently outstrip our assets.  However, I am not selling stocks to pay for it all.  Rather it is time to double down - blast debt and buy assets. 

I have cash on hand to make another buy, but I might not depending on other needs.

Next month should produce around $315 in dividends, which is a 174% YOY increase.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a great September, sorry for those who are back to school, but don't want to be...
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned