Monday, July 5, 2021

Q2 Review / Q3 Preview, 2021

 Big News Gremlin here to recap Q2 - Spring has Sprung. A lot of changes came last quarter - my daughter's 3rd open heart surgery was a major success, my investment accounts on the taxable side smashed through $100k in value, we traded in my car for a van (sad times), and oh we had our 3rd kid. He, and by that I mean #3, will be the last one. It was a nice surprise, he's healthy and growing already. Otherwise life is starting to get back to some sort of normal, but I will caveat that with a general observation that things are very different. Less stress about surgeries, some new stress about the baby, and an honest sinking feeling that the world (USA at least) thinks the pandemic is over when in reality I'd bet its at halftime. Having some experience in the environmental and biologic world, it just seems that way. Don't quote me, I'm not a doomsayer - rather just a pragmatist.

I keep adding to my positions - both dividend and my small speculation pool. I am hoping to really crush my annual totals by last year with a solid margin. Lets see how my dividend pool is working to achieve that.

Q2 2021:

Over the last quarter I added to Amgen (AMGN), American Express (AXP), my employer, Johnson and Johnson (JNJ), McDonald's (MCD), Medtronic (MDT), South Jersey Industries (SJI), Sonoco (SON), and VF Corp (VFC) in my taxable account. I also added to Arrow Financial Services (AROW) and isco (CSCO), and Portland General Electric (POR) in my retirement accounts.

No positions new were opened.

Last quarter I brought in a total of $1,165.55 in dividends ($602.78 taxable, $272.74 Roth, and $290.03 in my IRA).  The dividend count was 27% higher than last year. 

In terms of dividend increases, I realized 15 raises from Apple (AAPL), CSCO, Evercore (EVR), General Dynamics (GD), JNJ, Coca Cola (KO), Realty Income (O), Pepsico (PEP), Raytheon (RTX), Union Pacific (UNP), Walmart (WMT), Ameriprise Financial (AMP), Deere (DE), Kimberly Clark (KMB), and Kinder Morgan (KMI). The increases range from just about .2% to more than 18+%. This brings my total raises to 31 on the year.

Next quarter I already know that I will realize 7 dividend increases from Kroger (KR), Leggett and Platt (LEG), MDT, Morgan Stanley (MS), POR, TGT, and Essential Utilities (WTRG).  The increases range from 0.2% to 100%.

No additional profits from options and speculation trading 2021. I will probably just issue an end of year total as its a lot more work to add this up even quarterly, and I'm trying not to add extra work.

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

Q3 2021:

The mortgage continues,at its new lower rate and monthly payment, with extra cash towards the principal monthly. Our debts currently outstrip our assets, since I do not count my home as an asset until I own it outright. Also sadly I traded in my car for a new minivan. 3 kids in 3 car seats - even the smallest ones these days are huge.

The buys shall continue until financial independence improves - with monthly rolling buys of course.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a safe summer!

- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned

Friday, April 2, 2021

Q1 Review / Q2 Preview 2021

 

Winter is over Gremlin, and I'm here to talk spring.  Specifically, daylight's savings time, I would that hour back. Anyways, what a wild first quarter. It has had it all - an attempted insurrection, a short squeeze(s?), multiple hedge funds deciding they didn't want to continue making money, vaccine shots, a surgery postponement, and a home refi. Now I could talk about all of those to myself for hours, so I'll skip the things you should know about and get into the ones you probably don't.

First, my second vaccine shot is in ten days and my wife has gotten hers, sweet. Second, my daughter's next surgery was postponed to Q2 - giving us ample time to crush our out of pocket max. Third, we refinanced our home and now pay less each month at a significantly better rate. That couldn't have come a moment too soon as we will be running on one income (mine) for the next year or so.

Long term, I have been pouring anything I can into investments. My speculation has produced a decent amount of returns that helped me buy a few more shares here and there.  It all counts, and sure dividends are the boring road at first. However, the increases are starting to get to a point where they are doing some solid lifting and I cannot wait to see how this year goes with regard to that.  So lets see what I bought and what has changed.

Q1 2021:

Over the last quarter I added to Apple (AAPL), Cisco (CSCO), Hershey's (HSY), Kroger (KR), Medtronic (MDT), Morgan Stanley (MS), Norwood Financial (NWFL)*, Portland General Electric (POR)*, South Jersey Industries (SJI)*, Unilever (UL), Waste Management (WM), and WalMart (WMT) in my taxable account. In addition, my Eaton Vance (EV) position was converted to MS and cash as it was acquired by MS - in my taxable account.  I also added to Arrow Financial Services (AROW), CSCO, Kinder Morgan (KMI), POR*, and First of Long Island (FLIC) in my retirement accounts. Finally, I moved 5 shares of 3M (MMM) from my IRA to my Roth as a rollover distribution.

* NWFL, POR, and SJI all represent positions new to my accounts.

Last quarter I brought in a total of $1,113.92 in dividends ($527.01 taxable, $265.90 Roth, and $321.01 in my IRA).  The dividend count was 5.8% higher than last year and that does not include $888.38 in special dividends received - in this case from MS/EV transaction. 

In terms of dividend increases, I realized 16 raises from  my employer, Archer Daniel's Midland (ADM), Amgen (AMGN), Canadian National Railway (CNI), Eastman Chemical (EMN), Eaton Corp (ETN), MMM, Realty Income (O), Sonoco (SON), Unilever (UL), Waste Management (WM), YUM Brands (YUM), Abbott Labs (ABT), Corning (GLW), Prudential (PRU), and T Rowe Price (TROW). The increases range from just about .2% to more than 18%. This brings my total raises to 14 on the year.

Next quarter I already know that I will realize two dividend increases from CSCO, Coca Cola (KO), O, WMT, and Kimberly Clark (KMB).  The increases range from 0.2% to around 6%.

In addition, I added $1313.68 in profits from options and speculation trading for 2021 so far.  This total will be taxed at a higher rate, but it is clear that this is an important tool to add to the portfolio.  The extra cash was mostly put towards new dividend shares and creating a perpetual trading machine on the side. I do not use a lot of cash or chase lots of risks.

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

Q2 2021:

The mortgage continues, but was refinanced!  We now have a lower rate, lower monthly payment, and I am still putting extra cash towards the principal monthly - not a huge number, but every little bit counts. Our debts currently outstrip our assets, since I do not count my home as an asset until I own it outright.

The buys shall continue until financial independence improves - with monthly rolling buys of course.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a great spring!

- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Q4 2020 Review / Q1 2021 Preview

Cold Brew Gremlin here. Wow.  What an end to a long and strange year. This 2020 has seen a pandemic (which will continue longer than people realize), an election, a massive stock market sell off, record stock market highs, the rise of news organization arguing over what actually happened, multiple international conflicts (Armenia-Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, the Ukraine, etc.), the rise of SPACs, a postponed Olympics, etc.  Its hard to remember a year that has had more events from which I have felt almost completely detached.  

On top of that there have been some amazing personal moments.  My daughter underwent and now has recovered from an 15 hour open heart surgery, which is definitely the biggest win for my family.  I promised to talk about that, so here is my quick soap box talk. My daughter has undergone two open heart surgeries at two different hospitals. The total cost from the hospitals, not including doctor costs, has been approximately $1.5 million.  If you were to include doctor costs it is easily 1.6 or 1.7.  Our total costs, annually, have been $8000 and $8300 in 2019 and 2020, respectively.  The remainder was picked up by insurance.

This is also not the end of her care; she will have her next surgery in early 2021 and none of the travel or external costs are represented.  Luckily my employer has a few plans to choose from. Since I knew we were having children I selected the most aggressive plan with the lowest out of pocket maximums.  I know a lot of personal finance sites eschew this in favor of cheaper plans or none at all, but if you have the choice pay it up front.  Specifically this applies to people who have medical issues in the USA or anyone having any kids (and definitely with any special issues like one with a heart problem).

Financial wise I have continued adding dividend positions, but I have also added options and speculation. The vast majority of our portfolio is still in dividend growth stocks (95%). Our net-worth has also increased this year, which is a bit nuts.  So many people have had lives destroyed this year, which is just awful - and that is a constant reminder to me.  As our net-worth improves I always try to give a little back. Though we are still only on one income until at least the fall of 2021, so the ship is a little being run tightly.

So lets look at Q4 from a dividend perspective. 

Q4 2020:

Over the last quarter I added to American Express (AXP), Black Hills Corp (BKH), Evercore (EVR), Johnson and Johnson (JNJ), National Retail (NNN), Pepsico (PEP), Raytheon Technologies (RTX), and AT&T (T) in my taxable account. In addition, I closed out my Disney (DIS) and Kellogg's (K) positions in my taxable account.  I also added to Arrow Financial Services (AROW), Cisco (CSCO), and First of Long Island (FLIC) in my retirement accounts.

Last quarter I brought in a total of $1,251.82 in dividends ($696.93 taxable, $234.51 Roth, and $302.38 in my IRA).  In closing 2020, the dividend count was 12.51% higher than last year and that does not include $272.50 in special dividends received. 

In terms of dividend increases, I realized 9 raises from BKH, EVR, McDonald's (MCD), VF Corp (VFC), AROW, Broadcom (AVGO), Matthew's International (MATW), Emerson Electric (EMR), and FLIC. The increases range from just about 1% to more than 15%. This brings my total raises to 72 on the year, 14 more than last year's final total. I also realized one cut of approximately 33% by KHC.

Next month I will realize two dividend increases from Realty Income (O) and Eastman Chemical (EMN).  The increases range from 0.2% to around 5%.

In addition, I added $720 in profits from options and speculation trading.  This total will be taxed at a higher rate, but it is clear that this is an important tool to add to the portfolio.  The extra cash was mostly put towards new dividend shares and creating a perpetual trading machine on the side. I do not use a lot of cash or chase lots of risks.

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

Q1 2021:

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, since I do not count my home as an asset until I own it outright.

The buys shall continue until financial independence improves - with monthly rolling buys of course.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

2020:

  • Invest a total of $10000 across all accounts. Done.
  • Receive $1900 in dividends from the taxable account. Sorta, without special dividends 1844, with them 2117 - so I'll take the win.
  • Exercise ~ 4x per week. Fail, between the pandemic and a prolonged hospital stay this just got left behind.
  • Reduce total spending (after mortgage payments) by 5%.  Because of hospital stuff I don't even know how to count this one fairly, but definitely a fail by all standard measures due to travel. While at home we actually did reduce costs so, that is cool.

Last year I ended with this phrase "I have a feeling, no matter what happens 2020 will be another wild ride." Holy crap, I did not realize how right I was.  Well hopefully 2021 is a little less wild.

2021:

I only have a few goals for next year, but here they are:

  • Invest a total of $11000 across all accounts.
  • Receive $2200 in taxable dividends and $1500 in speculative cash.
  • Weight, get back to my regular weight (lose the Covid 15).
I sincerely hope everyone has a better 2021 than 2020.  That said the it is always darkest just before the dawn and so go into 2021 as mentally, financially, and physically prepared as you can.

Hope everyone has a great January, a better 2021, and a Happy New Year!
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned

Saturday, October 3, 2020

September Review / Q4 Preview 2020

Back Home Gremlin here to talk about September and the path forward.  It has been a long time since I've been home and still am working to find my feet.  The world seems to be, amazingly, in a weirder state than when we first traveled for my daughter's surgery.  I certainly did not expect it to go that way, but here we are (its like humanity never learns, same with the market). Investment wise I eliminated two laggard/mediocre positions and increased some that are better geared for my goals.  In addition, I have a small pot of play money I am using for trading - which I view as a small amount of resources to look for big returns.

The situation for everyone is likely vastly different than it was 7 or so months ago, and I am no exception.  My daughter will require more attentive care while at home until her next major surgery early next year.  That is on top of the usual work - parent of young children life balance problems that I (and a lot of others) share. Because of these facts I am going to only post an update for next quarter and my end of year closeout this year. Going forward I will probably stick to quarterly updates.  Portfolio wise I hope to provide an update for August and September combined, and for Q4 I will combine all of my portfolio / dividend updates in one place.  For the record, my Q1-Q4 will line with the calendar.

September:

This month I added shares to 11 positions in my accounts.

Last month I brought in a total of $497.29 in dividends ($211.21 taxable, $125.36 Roth, and $160.72 in my IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($436.5 total) by 13.9%.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized 6 dividend increases from Hershey's (HSY), Kroger (KR), Target (TGT), Smuckers (SJM), Walgreens (WBA), Westlake Chemical (WLK), and Essential Utilities (WTRG). This keep my total amount of raises to 39 for 2020.

Next month I will realize 2 dividend increases from Realty Income (O) and the First of Long Island Corp (FLIC).  The increases range from 0.2% to 5.5%.  My fund also experienced a 1 to 4 split from Apple (AAPL).

My fund has absorbed the following cuts or suspensions this year: Disney (DIS) [sold], Dunkin Brands (DNKN) [sold], the Gap (GPS) [sold], YUM China (YUMC) [sold], Kontoor Brands (KTB) [sold], WestRock (WRK) [sold], and Welltower (WELL) [hold]. In addition, I have eliminated Kellogg's (K) and Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) - my simple reasoning here is these companies should have had excellent years and have been mediocre.

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

Q4:

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, because I consider our house a liability and NOT an asset.

I will continue to make rolling purchases going forward, and I will supplementing with minor trading - separate from my primary portfolio.

My portfolio page will be updated soon.

Hope everyone has a chance to relax a little.
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers, minus those sold

Sunday, August 30, 2020

August Review / September Preview 2020

Game Time Gremlin here to discuss August and look at September. It has been a long year for a lot of reasons, but it would appear a few of the big what ifs are finally coming to a close.  First, after over a month of recovery looks like it is almost time to take our daughter home.  She has recovered from surgery - but we will be back in several months for another surgery to complete her heart repair.  As an aside, if you know any families who have to go through pediatric heart surgery - just know its a tough journey and that any support is always appreciated.  

Second, the election season is almost here.  I wish we had a shorter election season and I will be glad when ours is done.  Finally, the election should add some spice / volatility into the market so we can get some quality stocks on sale.  Anyways, how did we do?

August:

This month I added shares to 7 positions in my accounts, and my update will published in about a week.

Last month I brought in a total of $361.75 in dividends ($136.84 taxable, $109.61 Roth, and $115.30 in my IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($338.97 total) by 6.7%.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized no dividend increases in August. This keep my total amount of raises to 33 for 2020.

Next month I will realize 6 dividend increases from Hershey's (HSY), Kroger (KR), National Retail Properties (NNN), Target (TGT), Smuckers (SJM), Walgreens (WBA), and Essential Utilities (WTRG).  The increases range from 1% to 7%.

My fund has absorbed the following cuts or suspensions this year: Disney (DIS) [sold], Dunkin Brands (DNKN) [sold], the Gap (GPS) [sold], YUM China (YUMC) [sold], Kontoor Brands (KTB) [sold], WestRock (WRK) [hold], and Welltower (WELL) [hold].

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

August:

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, because I consider our house a liability and NOT an asset.

I will continue to make rolling purchases going forward, and I will begin minor supplementing with options.

Next month should produce around $505 in dividends, which is a 15% YOY increase.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a calm September (like that will happen...).
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers, minus those sold

Thursday, August 13, 2020

July Review / August Preview 2020

Tired Gremlin here to discuss July and look into August. This is probably the latest I have ever posted a review, though there are good reasons. Mainly closely monitoring my daughter as she recovers from her surgery, which was 15 hours long. We'll be back here in the middle of winter to do it again to finish the repairs. These surgeries are highly specific and are only done a handful of places in the world. The experience has definitely taught me a lot about healthcare - both in broad and specific ways.

Meanwhile the stock market, economy, Covid, and world in general remain a mess. Even the most informed people really only have rough guesses as to how this will continues. For this reason I generally think we will see another solid market correction, from which it will take a decade to recover. Anyways, how did my stock fund do?

July:

This month I added shares to 3 positions in my accounts.

Last month I brought in a total of $150.28 in dividends ($117.16 taxable, $11.80 Roth, and $21.32 in my IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($133.34 total) by 12.7%.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized 3 dividend increases from Cardinal Health (CAH), Medtronic PLC (MDT), and Realty Income (O).  The increases range from 0.2% to 7%. This brings my total raises to 33 for 2020.

Next month I will realize 0 dividend increases, but in September I will realize 6 dividend increases from Hershey's (HSY), Kroger (KR), National Retail Properties (NNN), Target (TGT), Smuckers (SJM), Walgreens (WBA), and Essential Utilities (WTRG).  The increases range from 1% to 7%.

My fund has absorbed the following cuts or suspensions this year: Disney (DIS) [sold], Dunkin Brands (DNKN) [sold], the Gap (GPS) [sold], YUM China (YUMC) [sold], Kontoor Brands (KTB) [sold], WestRock (WRK) [hold], and Welltower (WELL) [hold].

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

August:

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, because I consider our house a liability and NOT an asset.

I will continue to make rolling purchases going forward.

Next month should produce around $347 in dividends, which is a 2% YOY increase.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a warm but cool August.
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers, minus those sold

Thursday, July 30, 2020

July 2020 Buys

California Gremlin here to talk about what investments and sales I have made over the past month.  I am currently away from my usual stomping grounds as my daughter recovers from her heart surgery.  It was a long and grueling procedure, but things are looking a lot better now than they were a week ago. Kids are amazing in how resilient they are, and indeed people in general are such.  These surgeries (she will need at least one more major one) have made me rethink things about financial independence and health care. Anyways, enough about that let's talk about what was bought.

No purchase or account fees were paid this month (* indicates a new position, which will be discussed below):

Taxable:
SALES: None.
KR - 5 shares @ $32.90 ($164.50), $3.60 income added
JNJ - 1 share @ $155.26 / share, $5.88 income added
Total Invested = $319/76
Annual Income Added (AIA) = $9.48

Roth:
AROW - 1 share @ $28.04, $1.04 income added
Total Invested = $28.04
AIA = $1.04

Standard IRA:
None.
Total Invested = $0
AIA = $0

Totals:
Invested = $347.80
AIA [net] = $10.52

Sales and Cuts:
D: This was a bit shocking, to receive a 33% dividend cut from Dominion.  I am leaning towards selling the stock for a minor profit, but I can see their new approach being prudent as well.  I will continue to ponder this unless the price moves to a point where I would be satisfied with a sale.

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

What do you think of these companies?

- Gremlin
- Long most tickers mentioned.