Sunday, November 3, 2019

October Review / November Preview, 2019

Roller coaster Gremlin here to review and look forward. My daughter was born less than a week ago, so my focus has been there entirely. On top of that she will need heart surgery, so its easy to imagine how that can weigh on a person. I do plan on scaling back my investments in my taxable account and closely monitoring costs.  My insurance should cover almost everything, but naturally the internet is full of horror stories where the industry fails the captive audience consumers... Might make for a fun / terrible article.

On a much more positive note, our final car loan was paid off, so massive success there.  So with all that said, how did I do?

October:

This month I made several stock purchases this month.

I brought in a total of $128.98 in dividends ($95.43 taxable, $23.25 Roth, and $10.30 IRA).  This is an increase from last year (95.72 total) by 34%.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized* three raises from the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM), and Realty Income (O).  The increases ranged from 0.2% to 3%. I have now realized 51 raises thus far this year.  I also realized one cut of approximately 33% by KHC.

Next month I will realize 7 raises from the American Express (AXP), My Employer (B**), Eaton Vance (EV), the Royal Bank of Canada (RY), Starbucks (SBUX), Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI), and Verizon (VZ).  The increases range from just about 1% to more than 17%.

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

November:

The mortgage continues and I am putting extra cash towards the principal monthly - not a huge number, but every little bit counts. Our debts currently outstrip our assets.  Outside of our house, we still have very low interest auto debt (1.5% for our car), which I am aiming to pay off by the end of the year.  I am coming for you next, Mortgage.

I will be doing rolling purchases going forward, but I will likely focus on retirement accounts as in case I need to deal with healthcare costs.

Next month should produce around $347 in dividends, which is a 17% YOY increase.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Recent Buys, October 2019

Baby Watch Gremlin here to give you my October buy updates. My daughter is due soon, so if my next monthly update is late, you will understand why...  As I noted in a recent post, zero fee investing is allowing me to change the way I invest.  I will rapidly deploy money to attractive stocks in more of a shotgun fashion.  This will enable me to average into one or several positions overtime. I will also use this approach to round up positions in a practical manner.  I don't expect this to be a common methodology, but I thrive in chaos so it works for me.

No purchase or account fees were paid this month. I added shares of the following companies by account (* indicates a new position, which will be discussed below):

Taxable:
MSM* - 5 shares on 10/16 @ $71.21 / share ($356.05 total), $14.06 income added
SON - 2 shares on 10/17 @ $57.12 / share ($115.43 total), $3.44 income added
KTB - 5 shares on 10/18 @ $38.14 / share ($76.27 total), $4.48 income added
EVR - 1 share on 10/18 @ $77.51 / share ($77.51 total), $2.32 income added
KR* - 5 shares on 10/18 @ $24.21 / share ($121.08 total), $3.20 income added
Total Invested = $746.34
Annual Income Added (AIA) = $27.50

Roth:
WBA - 3 shares on 10/14 @ $53.61 / share ($160.82 total), $5.49 income added
XOM - 1 share on 10/14 @ $68.79 / share ($68.79 total), $3.48 income added
MATW - 1 share on 10/14 @ $34.86 / share ($34.86 total), $0.80 income added
KMI - 2 shares on 10/14 @ $20.11 / share ($40.21 total), $2.00 income added
SJM - 1 share on 10/18 @ $108.08 / share ($108.08 total), $3.52 income added
GLW* - 5 shares on 10/18 @ $29.33 / share ($146.63 total), $4.00 income added
Total Invested = $559.39
AIA = $19.29

Standard IRA:
WLK - 5 shares on 10/14 @ $62.47 / share ($312.34 total), $5.25 income added
Total Invested = $312.34
AIA = $5.25

Totals:
Invested = $1618.07
AIA = $52.04

*New Positions:
Most of my investments went to existing positions, so I will not cover my reasoning on them.  However, new investments are detailed below.

MSM (MSC Industrial Direct Co.): MSM is best described in their own words - "distributes metalworking and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) products in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company’s MRO products comprise cutting tools, measuring instruments, tooling components, metalworking products, fasteners, flat stock products, raw materials, abrasives, machinery hand and power tools, safety and janitorial supplies, plumbing supplies, materials handling products, power transmission components, and electrical supplies". I like this type of repeatable, necessary industry plus MSM is valued very nicely.  MSM Overview Link

KR (Kroger): Here we have a grocery company, that follows on the heels of Walmart (WMT). The grocery industry is changing, and like all the rest so is KR - which is why is a slight bargain. Not everyone, but most people will still want to inspect their food before they buy it. In addition, having a physical store, which doubles as a local distribution center, people can find what they want and easily transition from physical to digital or vice versa. This is a huge market space, big enough for lots of competition.  KR Overview Link

GLW (Corning Inc): They are responsible for making glassware ranging from cookware that goes in the oven to high-tech products for your cell phone.  I like this company a lot, they are akin to the people selling pick-axes and shovels to miners during a gold-rush. They stand to make money regardless of how many ounces of gold are found.  GLW Overview Link

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

What do you think of these companies?

- Gremlin
- Long all tickers mentioned

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Game Change of Fee Free Investing

Aggressive Gremlin here to talk about how fee free investing in a regular brokerage is a complete game changer - an outright epiphany if you will. Previously, I would stockpile cash to ensure that my expense ratio was super low.  That means investing $1000+ each time.  With fee free investing that concern is gone, and now the lightning round / golden age of investing is here. It is like the old Loyal3 or Robinhood set up, only faster.  So what does this mean?

Rapid Deployment: I will no longer let cash pile up, it will be deployed as quickly as possible to attractively valued stocks.  This might seem chaotic to some, but I like chaos.  It will further allow me to grow my annual projected income rapidly and regularly.  Additionally, after my second child comes along I will not have a ton of excess cash flow for about 8 months, so my dividends will be doing a lot of the lifting.

Instant Diversification: I will aim to add new positions, provided they are worth adding, all over the place.  If $500 is invested in a month, it will not be an all eggs in one basket.  Certainly some people will chime in with the 'diworseification' comment, but unless they're Copernicus or got a working crystal ball...

Rounding Up: I will be looking to round up stock positions by a few shares here or there, pending good value.  Nothing special here, I just prefer round numbers.

Once Monthly Posting: No longer will posts for recent buys occur, now it will be a monthly purchase update across all accounts. 

All changes will be reflected in my portfolio at the end of the month.

How will you use fee free investing to your advantage - beyond the obvious?
- Welcome to the brave new investing world.
- Gremlin

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

September Review / October Preview, 2019

Happy Fall Gremlin here to talk about this past month and look forward into the next.  Where did September go?  Between a blistering pace at work, family visits on weekends, and the day to day it all seems to go by so fast.  The market has rocketed up (mostly), and at times pushed some stocks off a cliff.  A lot of great companies are sitting out there ready to be purchased at good valuations.  Some are stretching so hard they are about to throw their backs out.  And yet here we sit with more dividends rolling in each month.  So with that said, how did I do?

September:

This month I made no stock purchases this month.

I brought in a total of $436.50 in dividends ($187.16 taxable, $90.58 Roth, and $158.76 IRA).  This is an increase from last year (397.59 total) by 9.8%.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized* nine raises from the Hershey's (HSY), Kellogg's (K), Target (TGT), Union Pacific (UNP), Discover Financial Services (DFS), JM Smucker (SJM), Walgreen's Boots Alliance (WBA), Westlake Chemical (WLK), and Aqua America (WTR).  The increases ranged from 2% to greater than 10%.  I have now realized 48 raises thus far this year.  I also realized one cut of approximately 33% by KHC. In addition, Kontoor Brands (KTB) initiated a dividend and VF Corp (VFC) decreased their's, however these add up to the same respective amount so this stat will not be added in as this is due to the KTB spin off by VFC.

Next month I will realize three raises from the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM), and Realty Income (O).  The increases range from just about 0.2% to 3%.

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

October:

The mortgage continues and I am putting extra cash towards the principal monthly - not a huge number, but every little bit counts. Our debts currently outstrip our assets (I choose not to count the house or cars as assets).  Outside of our house, we still have very low interest auto debt (1.5% for our car), which I am aiming to pay off by the end of the year.  Debt is being eliminated, and we are aggressively building and assets.

My next purchase will be in November.  Our focus is on eliminating the auto debt before next year.

Next month should produce around $128 in dividends, which is a 34% YOY increase.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a great October.
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers

Friday, August 30, 2019

August Review / September Preview, 2019

Good Morning Gremlin here to talk about my progress from this past month and take a look into the future.  Life with a two year old never seems to have a dull moment, though there are tiring ones.  This summer we went to the beach on our annual family vacation, which was an excellent experience for our son.  And also a taxing experience for the rest of us.  Sadly, summer is now drawing to a close as kids return to school and life returns to normal.  So with that said, how did I do?

August:

This month I made one new purchase this month acquiring shares of 3M (MMM) in my taxable account.

I brought in a total of $338.97 in dividends ($113.48 taxable, $69.01 Roth, and $156.48 IRA).  This is an increase from last year (281.30 total) by 20%.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized*one raise from the Bank of Montreal (BMO).  The increase was 3%.  I have now realized 39 raises thus far this year.  I also realized one cut of approximately 33% by KHC.

Next month I will realize nine raises from the Hershey's (HSY), Kellogg's (K), Target (TGT), Union Pacific (UNP), Discover Financial Services (DFS), JM Smucker (SJM), Walgreen's Boots Alliance (WBA), Westlake Chemical (WLK), and Aqua America (WTR).  The increases range from just about 2% to 10+%.  In addition, Kontoor Brands (KTB) initiated a dividend and VF Corp (VFC) decreased their's, however these add up to the same respective amount so this stat will not be added in as this is due to the KTB spin off by VFC.

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

September:

The mortgage continues and I am putting extra cash towards the principal monthly - not a huge number, but every little bit counts. Our debts currently outstrip our assets (I choose not to count the house or cars as assets).  Outside of our house, we still have very low interest auto debt (1.5% for our car), which I am aiming to pay off by the end of the year.  Debt is being eliminated, and we are aggressively building and assets.

My next purchase will be in October or November.  Our focus is on eliminating the auto debt before next year.

Next month should produce around $448 in dividends, which is a 12% YOY increase.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a great September.
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers

Friday, August 16, 2019

IRA to Roth IRA Conversion Part 1

Retirement Gremlin here to talk about a new long term process I will be undertaking to convert my IRA holdings to Roth over time.  For those not in the know, a person can have a Roth if they meet income requirements, and if you don't you can fund it via a 'backdoor' conversion option.  Even if you do meet the requirements you can still convert IRA funds into a Roth, which is where we are at today.  For more information on this process ask a professional or do what I do - use the internet.

The goal of this process is to lessen and draw out the tax burden of IRA to Roth conversions.  If done all at once it can be a hefty tax bill, if done piecemeal it will be small amounts each time.  Clearly, if I am doing something one way to avoid taxes there has to be a catch so I will highlight that now briefly (since other places do it much better).

IRA - This money can be pretax (as mine is - due to being 401k rollovers).  Additional post tax funds can be added.  Eventually these types of accounts, including 401ks, are subject to Required Monthly Distributions (RMDs).  Money is not typically accessible before 59.5 years of age without penalty.
Conversion to a Roth - this would create a taxable event.  The lesson here is if the amount lost by taxes now (compounded) is greater than the amount saved via future taxes thanks to the Roth the conversion should not take place.
Roth - the X factor here is that money in a Roth is 100% in the owner's control.  It is subject to no future taxes or required distributions, assuming the law and tax code stay the same.  Each dollar there is yours, theoretically.  Money is also not typically accessible before 59.5 years of age without penalty, excepting for a few special circumstances where no taxes are leveled.

Strategy: to avoid unnecessary taxable events, I will move around 1 to 2 "positions" a year.  At this rate I will be able to move the whole IRA to my Roth in about 25 years - perfect timing, to maximize growth and minimize taxes (pending changes in that and the law of course). 

Process: Since my accounts are all at the same brokerage, I can for no fee transfer single positions after a few mouse clicks.  Maybe its too simple, but works well for my needs.  If I want I can transfer partial positions down to the share.  This time I moved a whole position, but in the future I will likely be moving smaller pieces over to the Roth.

Part 1:

For my first / test conversion I moved my position in Matthews International (MATW), valued around $900 from my IRA to my Roth.  This was a reduction in initial investment value.  Taxes should be minimal.

Part 2 will happen next calendar year.

All changes will be reflected in my portfolio at the end of the month.

Are you planning on funding your Roth this way?
- Gremlin
- Long MATW

Monday, August 12, 2019

Gremlin Talks Adaptability

Pondering Gremlin here to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while.  If you read this blog, at all, you clearly are deeply involved with the online financial independence movement, so congrats to you. This post is about people who are in this group, and what I believe is a major trait that sets us apart from others.

What sets us apart are the double character traits of adaptability and drive.  Focusing on the drive real quick, it is our drive to be independent financially so we can spend our time as we see fit. That reasoning is par for the financial independence course.  We may choose different tools - indexing, DGI, renting houses, etc. to get there plus a generally frugal lifestyle.  That drive is well understood - it is what makes so many blog writers and financial freedom successful.  It is the adaptability part that receives far less attention.

A month ago the idea of adaptable people hit me like a ton of bricks while discussing music with my family.  Why are some people so adaptable, and able to find something they like anywhere or workarounds to their problems?  Why is it that I can count on specific people at work 200% of the time and others less than 50%?  Turns out, someone has already studied this, and the single trait of adaptability strongly can define the success of people - not just in adverse circumstances, but in seemingly positive ones.

Turns out, thanks to a study (link below), this can be measured to show that approximately 1 in 3 people are able to adapt to any circumstance.  There is no magical background that enables one person to be better suited than others, but it does appear that maybe having a tougher time earlier in life lead to that.  Thinking of other successful financial freedom writers several worked hard as young adults, had tough childhoods, or experienced something that set them mentally on this path to be able to, literally, tell anyone to 'take this job and shove it.'  Personally, I relate a little bit - not that my childhood was hard, but I was at the polar opposite of the end of the social ladder from the cool kids.  It definitely has led to thicker skin, and a more intense drive to achieve FI than those around me.  Still this is not an exact indicator.  I see people in my family who have had tough times and just dwell on them.

I could turn around and say how this might reflect reflect on people who are not adaptable, but they have a roll in life too.  Not everyone is adaptable, and I believe we who are in that 1/3 group need to take the biggest possible advantage of it to better ourselves - at least financially. So this is more of something to keep in mind, how we can work to adapt ourselves to the financial situation around us.

For me it means cutting out more things I don't need to buy or own.  It means digging for those extra dollars with my drive, while adapting my methods to be more successful.  It means most of all, steering my drive through the chaos of life.  We call can do it, cheers to us, keep it up.

Article for reference link.

Do you feel adaptable?  Or do you feel financial freedom is something so you don't have to be?

- Pondering Gremlin