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.
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.
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.
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned