Friday, October 30, 2015

October Review / November Preview 2015

Reviewer Gremlin here to talk about October.  The theme of the last few months seem to be be traveling for work.  This past month I did a long circuit trip through New England, spending some time in each state and I am glad to be back for Halloween.  In the last 2 months my finances have vastly improved, but it seems like my free time has decreased.  This is not all my fault, part of it is my wife's work; that is exactly the point of our financial independence.  To get time back on our side.  So let's take a look and see how things went.

First off, I was able to put $598 to work in Loyal3 over the course of last month, so that was a good start.

Last month I brought in a total of $53.45 in dividends ($46.61 taxable , $6.84 Roth), way less than expected.  This is a decrease from last year ($70.52 total) by 24.2%.  The main reason this occurred is Kraft Heinz (KHC), who have not continued the Kraft dividend.  That should change, however I plan on monitoring this position closely for the rest of the year.  It is my personal belief they are setting up to pay in a different month.  Also my position in PGH reduced its payout, it hurts, but as stated before this is a legacy stock - one that I am happy to no longer depend upon.  

In terms of dividend increases, I realized two this month; Realty Income's (O) with a small percentage increase and CIBC (CM) with a small increase as well.  Unfortunately with CM, the ForEx ratio meant that very little was realized by me in the USA.  Two new raises were reported, Kinder Morgan (KMI) adding another 4% and VF Corp pumping up their dividend by15%!  KMI has now given me a raise ever quarter since the first I've owned them.


Our only long term debts are our cars, which will continue though I plan to pay mine off as fast as possible.  I have already gotten ahead on my monthly payments and that will not stop.  My wife's car will receive this attention after mine is finished.  Hopefully I can travel for work less so I can enjoy stuff around me more, that is starting to become too common in my life.

Next month should produce around $62 in dividends, which is a 1% year-over-year increase.  I expect to realize one raise next month from KMI.  On the Loyal3 side, I plan pursue increasing positions in VFC, Walmart (WMT), and Hershey's (HSY) - all stocks that have seen price declines making them more attractive.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Happy Halloween!
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stocks mentioned

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Loyal3 Buys, October 2015

Travel Gremlin here to talk about how I've been improving my portfolio.  I have been on the road a lot this month again; this time I am traveling to a bunch of different places in the Northeast, and travel brings in a little extra capital of course.  That combined with some extra work in saving money has allowed me to put even more money into the market.  Also helping is my wife's return to employment from the summer and her improved job situation.  We are now seeing more money coming in and I am putting it to work.

$ Invested
Shares Purchased
Annual Income Added
VF Corp


A total of $598 was put to work, an increase of 39% from last month when I added $429.  It adds $13.48 of annual income to my forward outlook.  The money was mainly split between Consumer Staples and Consumer Discretionary, with some going to Information Technology.  Not all of my moves were made at the best valuation (in particular VFC), but time in the market matters more than timing the market.

Next month I plan to continue pursuing my goals with my Loyal3 account.  Several stocks have been beaten down, and I plan to act on recent weakness and invest as effectively as possible.  My existing positions that I am aiming to improve upon are DIS, HSY, VFC, and WMT.  Of those VFC has recently seen a huge price drop off, so I will be excited to increase my stake there.  I see VFC as a solid long term holding, and one that has been particularly adept at keeping up with trends between its many brands.  In addition, a position in YUM might be added to my account.

Along with Loyal3, I've toyed with the idea of adding a Robinhood account.  However, the issue is that a Robinhood account cannot be transferred into a standard brokerage, and I want that flexibility in case the brokerage experiences future issues.  Otherwise, Robinhood does seem like the better option.  Do you use one, or perhaps both and have preference?

- Gremlin
- Long all stocks, except YUM.
- Portfolio values and shares will be updated at the end of the month.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Updating the Books and Links Page

Internet Gremlin here to say I am adding a few new things to that page.  Specifically, a Podcast section.  Because I have been traveling a lot I've had time to get in a lot of listening, so I am adding a list of things I have really liked.  Naturally this list is, like all other lists, incomplete as I will never find everything I enjoy.  Still, for now check out some of the ones I have linked to on the page.  The topics so far include History, Comedy, and Crime (from a mystery standpoint).  If you feel there are some good ones out there, one way or another feel free to let me know.

- Gremlin

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall Mix Pack

Drinking Gremlin here to chat about the 'work' and experiences I had a few weeks ago.  I was once again out of town for work, so I took some time to put in a little research.  This time the topic was Fall Drinks.  So I snatched up six different fall flavors for a taste test.  Below are the results, hopefully you will be able to try some of these one day!  Brewery is in bold, beer in italics, percentage in [brackets].

Shiner - Märzen-Style Oktoberfest [5.8%].  A Texan attempt at Germany's greatest party beer.  It has a quality malt with a complete flavor.  I find it almost has a little bit of caramel after taste.  Grab a pretzel, a big pretzel, and drink a few!  6/10

Brooklyn - Oktoberfest [5.5%].  A different approach than Shiner, a bolder malt flavor with a slight touch of bitterness.  At this point I am almost sad I did not add a German Oktoberfest to the role to compare them.  Out of the two German celebrations this is my favorite on the list.  I feel over the course of a 6 pack this one would be tougher to drink more of, but on an individual basis it is the one I would first order in a stein.  6.5/10

Southern Tier - One Buffalo [4.8%].  An American Blonde Ale, made specifically for and with the Buffalo Bills in mind.  Nothing says 'Fall' like football.  The beer is very smooth and crisp, no exotic flavors, but does have a fantastic after taste.  This is a nice lighter beer, one that you can enjoy with a game on TV.  For me it went very well with some Asian food.  7/10

CB- Harvest Jack Pumpkin Ale [5.5%].  Wow, this beer has a ton of flavor.  When I first opened it I had low expectations, it is a pumpkin beer and that usually means I will get my hopes only to get disappointed.  I was not; this beer describes itself as rich and creamy with a pumpkin flavor, and that is the best way to describe it.  It reminded me of some type of pumpkin bread, perhaps with chocolate chips.  I would venture to say this is best enjoyed as a dessert beer or for one crazy weekend breakfast.  9/10

CB- MacBubba [6.5%].  This time CB was chosen to be represented twice.  A Scotch Ale made with the usual fury you typically find a Scotch Ale.  I've had this beer before at their brewery and I must say I loved it there, in fact it was my favorite one I tried.  Now sampling out of the bottle I found I still like it a lot, it has a strong malt flavor and almost has a hint of that roasted caramel type flavor.  I'd recommend this beer with a big juicy burger and some fries.  7.5/10
Fun fact: during the reign of Diocletian of the Roman Empire, the Romans tried to set prices on all items bought and sold within the Empire.  This included beer, of which there were three types - Celtic, Pannonian (modern day Hungarian Plain), and Egyptian.  The first two cost the same, the Egyptian half as much because it was likely half as good.  Making it the Schlitz of the ancient world.

Kuka - Banana Nut Brown Ale [5.5%].  The name is a great description of this beer.  It is not my favorite brown ale that I've come across, but it has some really interesting flavors.  I taste a little bit of banana nut, but I really want more.  This could be a solid dessert beer, but it lacks a little bit of punch that I got out of the Harvest Jack above.  It is still a solid make, but perhaps I need to actually have some banana nut bread with this one.  5.5/10

Good luck in your tasting, may you enjoy whatever you are looking for this Fall Season (my favorite of beer seasons).!

- Gremlin
PS: many of these in various reviews will be hard to get outside of regional areas.  In this case Brooklyn and Southern Tier are widely available in the Mid-Atlantic of the USA and Shiner (from Texas) is fairly accessible throughout the whole country.