Monday, November 30, 2015

November Review / December Preview 2015

Wacky Gremlin here to talk about November.  I continue to be on the road traveling for work; I've been in the Northeast and part of the South this time.  In the long run my goal is the leave this line of work for something that keeps me at home more.  Travel is not conducive to having a family and can really wreck plans no matter how mundane they may seem.  So I'm keeping my eyes open for what I can find, but I am being very selective.  In the meantime, I will use the extra income to continue pushing for our financial independence.  So let's take a look and see how things went.


First off, I was able to put $600 to work in Loyal3 over the course of last month, so that was a good start.  That included starting a position with the Gap (GPS), which I think will be a nice long time addition to my account.

Last month I brought in a total of $82.13 in dividends ($12.69 taxable , $69.44 Roth), way more than expected.  This is an increase from last year ($91.99 total) by 32.5%.  The main reason this occurred is Kraft Heinz (KHC) switched its payout month to last month.  Naturally, this hurts last month and makes this one look better, but in the long run its all entering the same pot so little momentum if any is lost. 

In terms of dividend increases, I realized two this month; KHC and Kinder Morgan (KMI) both with around +4% increases.  KHC has been decent with its raises (considering its raise last year as KRFT), and KMI has given me a raise every quarter I have owned it.  These two are killing it for my Roth!

Next month I will realize 3 dividend increases: MCD, MSFT and VFC.  All were above 4%, though MCD was just barely at 4.7%!


Our only long term debts are our cars and my wife's student loans (now I include hers with mine since we merged bank accounts), which will be paid off as fast as possible.  I have already gotten ahead on my monthly payments on my car and that will not stop.  The first priority though is my wife's student loans.  It is a lower payment with higher interest, making it the lowest hanging fruit.  I expect to have it fully paid off by May/June of 2016.

Next month should produce around $91 in dividends, which is a 17% year-over-year increase.  I expect to realize three raises next month from MCD, MSFT, and VFC.  On the Loyal3 front I will probably invest $400-500 on existing locations, with the goal being to push up next year's forward income.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Have a good December!
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stocks mentioned

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Loyal3 Buys, November 2015

Travel Gremlin here again to talk about how I've been improving my portfolio.  I'm on the road again this week, this time in upstate New York.  Though I am writing this while trying out a new six pack of beers, I am not going to be writing a review of them because there are better things to talk about.  Getting to it, I've put a solid amount of capital to work this month buying more shares to push my passive income higher.  This time I added to 4 existing positions and started one new position.  Two of my positions were Consumer Discretionary and the rest were Consumer Staples. Lets see what I bought.

$ Invested
Shares Purchased
Annual Income Added
Dr. Pepper Snapple
The Gap, Inc.
VF Corp


A total of $600 was put to work, an increase of 0.3% from last month when I added $598.  It adds $16.39 of annual income to my 12-month forward outlook.  I like all of the companies, though I want to see a few better valuations.  Still DPS and VFC are not always available at good prices, but I like their long term outlook.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.

GPS is a new position for me, and they have garnered some nice attention at other DGI blogs, and I will let you look there for hard number valuations.  Looking at their numbers you will see a low P/E and a nice recent history, especially in the dividend raises column.  However, my perspective is a little different.  When we get a package with clothes in the mail, its likely from the Gap.  My wife claims their jeans are the only ones that fit her ass right, no joke.  I like their shirts, and 100% of my jeans are from Old Navy.  Sure their clothes are not made of indestructible burlap, but they at least don't need ironing (non-iron shirts are awesome), they don't break the bank, and they look alright.  I see this position being a small one, but even the small ones have their usefulness and niche.

Next month I plan to continue pursuing my goals with my Loyal3 account.  I will likely have a smaller selection next round, targeting very well priced stocks.  I also plan on adding a position in YUM at some point, but I am still eyeing it and waiting.

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

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Celebration Gremlin here!  Today I will be discussion Anniversaries.  Technically this site (blog, rant section, etc.) has been around for well over one year so 'woohoo' that's cool, but what I am really celebrating is my marriage.  It hit one year this last weekend.  It feels like time has flown past.  Naturally work seems to accelerate the passage time, with less freedom and of course travel (mostly for work).  Do I want time to slow down?  A little, but I would also like more of it.  Seeing that neither of those things will happen, it is time to focus on making the present and the future the best they can be!

So this weekend my wife and I had a very nice dinner out at a somewhat fancy restaurant.  Normally we do something reasonable / affordable for our meals.  That was not this moment, and so we splurged a little bit on a good meal so we could celebrate our first year of marriage.  I was told by friends that our bill was 'not that bad,' however my impression of it was that it was very high - but that is not an issue for a one off type event.  If we ate out like this frequently, we would have virtually no money to put towards retirement, investments, and paying off debt.

Sure, our first year had its ups and downs; we got a dog, and had to replace cars (one was not voluntary; the other had been explained to me as being mandatory - yes there is a difference).  Those were the big financial events that might impact our march towards FI, but we compromised as best as we could.  The dog might cost us some, but he is a great addition to our household (one day he'll get a picture on here).  The cars are really nice, however I wish we could have held off on at least one for awhile.  Still these are just temporary obstacles, but we've had a lot of ups as well.

We have collaborated to save more money by eating more at home and making smart decisions with how we spend our time outside of work.  In particular I have focused a lot of saving money in terms of how I spend my time when at home and when it comes to meals.  I used to eat out very often for lunch, now I do it about once a week tops.  The only reason I do it is to get out of my office for my sanity, and I keep my selections reasonable.  I also actively shop around for deals on everything; a dollar saved is so much more than one dollar, it is that plus interest and growth over time.

My wife has a much improved job situation and our finances are turning a corner.  Her job takes long hours and is stressful, but it provides a lot more income than before that is being funneled into savings, debt, and investments.  It will also allow an avenue of change we want in the future and should become much better in time.  Those changes have given me extra motivation to improve my job situation and our incoming cash flow.  I want to really take huge strides the next few years in growing passive income from my investments.

I sincerely believe that one can have the things they want if they work for it, of course a little luck does not hurt.  We could be aggressively chasing down our debt or adding to our investments, but I advocate for going after both.  It is spreading the wealth around a little bit, but it does not mean that my efforts cannot have extra focus in specific areas when the issue merits it.

So without further ado, here is what has really been on my mind.  Goals for our 2nd year of marriage:

1 - Paying off my wife's student loans.
2 - Taking a trip to a foreign country (traveling mainly on credit card points).
3 - Moving closer to our jobs.
4 - Not take our time for granted.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful November!
- Gremlin