Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Review / December Preview, 2016

Mountain Climbing Gremlin here to talk about this past month and the future.  My ankle is doing well, well enough to climb a mountain?  Probably, but this mountain I am referring to is Financial Independence, or FI.  Today that mountain has gotten a little smaller, as I (we) have extinguished the last remnants of student loan debt.  Bye bye, no one will miss you.  In addition, I made three buys of which two were sizeable.  Then to top it off, November had Thanksgiving, which is a great time to see family.  Sure there are always negatives, and shocks (like that crazy relative of yours).  However, nothing is crippling me from earning that FI a little faster.  In fact, even negative situations provide opportunity.  So lets see how I did. 


I bought three stocks this past month across my Loyal3, regular taxable, and Roth accounts.  In all, a total of $762.01 was invested, and that money should generate around $27 next year.  It is pretty nice to acquire securities like that.  In addition, YUM split off its China division, giving me a new position in YUMC.  YUMC will likely be sold at some point, but when is the real question.

Last month I brought in a total of $235.86 in dividends ($39.34 taxable, $58.71 Roth, and $137.81 in my IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($82.13 total) by 187.2%.  My SEP IRA really adds a new dimension, and its almost making this month apples to oranges in terms of a comparison.  I plan on keeping my method the same and recognizing that the SEP IRA has a big impact on total numbers in the short term.  Overall, not including my SEP IRA I am still up over last year.  Either way, over $200, sweet.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized two this month from YUM and American Express (AXP).  Both raises were around 11%, which is solid. 

Next month I will realize five raises, from McDonald's (MCD), Microsoft (MSFT), Union Pacific (UNP), VF Corp (VFC), and Emerson Electric (EMR).  The increases range from less than 1% for EMR to 10+% for MSFT and UNP. Thus far for 2016, I have realized 29 dividend increases!


Things are getting exciting.  As I stated, student loans are trashed, all that remains are extremely low interest auto loans.  Looking ahead, I will be to saving a solid amount of cash.  This is related to the fact that my wife and I will look to get a house sometime in the next 2 years.  I want to go in with a decent down payment to make sure we get what we want.

Since I did not post a beers of Thanksgiving, just a simple review, perhaps I will do a beers of Christmas.  Wintertime has the best seasonal stuff in my mind.

Next month should produce around $240 in dividends, which is a 136% YOY increase, most of which is attributable to my new IRA. I am now ahead of last year, and I need to remain focused.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a great December!
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned

Monday, November 21, 2016

Recent Buys, November 2016

Thanksgiving Come Early Gremlin here to talk about some more recent buys.  I hope you all, at least those of you in the USA, are ready for a day of cooking, turkey, and fun.  I sure am, and the plan is to get into pure relaxation mode for that whole weekend.  To be fair, Thanksgiving is probably my 4th or 5th favorite holiday (blasphemy, I know), but I can still crush stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all the fixings at will.  I hope all of you are as hungry for turkey as I am and for pushing forward with FI!  This month, I made three purchases in three different accounts.  They were all small, but also fee free, which is super cool.

First, I added shares of Ameriprise Financial (AMP) in my Roth account, this is an addition to an existing position.  I bought 5 shares, with a total cost of $437.07 ($87.41 / share).  The current yield is 2.63%, but when I purchased it the yield was closer to 3% (on current cost).  That difference between the yield now and then is due to a massive, almost $20 / share, run up in cost immediately following our recent election cycle.  Needless to say, its cool and mind boggling.  The P/E ratio for AMP sits today at 15.53, but it was closer to 12 when I made the purchase.  I am generally interested in asset managers and other financials, and this seemed like a nice opportunity to increase an existing position.  This purchase will add $15 to my Roth totals next year.

Second, I added a share of VF Corp (VFC) to my Loyal3 account.  The current yield is 3% (on current cost).  The P/E ratio is much better than it has been around 21, but the payout ratio on the yield is a sweet 35-ish-%.  That leaves a lot of room for growth, and it is a company I really like so this just another brick in that wall.  This purchase will add $1.68 to my Loyal3 account totals next year.

Lastly, I added shares of Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) to my taxable account.  I bought 5 shares, with a total cost of $264.94 ($52.99 / share).  The current yield is 4.22%.  The P/E ratio is around 12.69, which is very good.  The payout ratio is approximately 47-50%, which still leaves room for growth.  In general the big Canadian Banks provide a lot to love.  I plan on adding to my other Canadian Bank, CIBC (CM), next month.  This purchase adds about $11 to my totals next year, pending foreign exchange valuations.  

I have two more free purchases to use before the year is up, and I plan on putting those to work next month.  These investments are made with an eye on 2017 and beyond.  All of them are in great companies that have excellent histories.

What do you think of AMP, BNS, and VFC?

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

- Gremlin
- Long AMP, BNS, CM, VFC

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November, 2016 Brewery Review

Patriot Gremlin here on Election Day!  Now I know, and hopefully you do too that all of the USA's founding fathers were either brewers (well Sam Adams and T. Jefferson were) or enjoyers of the craft (Now that is definitely true - though wine, applejack, and cider were the top drinks).  So in honor of the national history I will do a quick review of a local brewery to honor their legacy.  The brewery in question is located in the DC area and is named Denizens.  Their layout is nice, with an upper and lower area plus they do have bottling services so you can find their creations outside of their main location (which is important).  However, it will be hard to find anything they make outside of the general DC area.

So in running through their beers, there were four main candidates.  Each was very different from the other and I would argue that these are the best four they had out of the 9 or 10 they had on tap.  So here they are below on a scale of sip, sample, half pint, and full glass (not displaying their branded names).

Sip - Porter: Not my favorite breed in general, but among those who do prefer the more coffee or chocolate-centric flavors, this is the one for them.  Having tried it I would say that it is not too heavy on either flavor and is fairly light as it goes down.  This is what I would recommend for staying in near a fire during a snowstorm.  3.2/5

Sample - Rye IPA: In general I drink a fair amount of IPAs, but I prefer those more with a floral flavor versus the very bitter.  This was not too bitter, which can be common with rye types, but it did have a nice floral finish.  This is a summer and early fall drink right here for me.  3.5/5

Half Pint - Belgian Triple: Do you like sledgehammers?  Because this is a sledgehammer.  Most people will only need one glass of this before they have to hail a taxi to get home.  Still, it had a great taste with a great spice mix, and it was light going down.  I have to say I would have drank more of this, had I not known it was a trap with its 10% alcohol (A. By Volume) content.  4.2/5

Full Glass - Kvass: This is a sour beer, so if you don't like sour beers then quit right now.  I love sour beers, even though they are hard to find.  Kvass is an Eastern European style drink, which has morphed here into a beer.  Typically low in ABV (normally kvass is 0.5-1% ABV, this one is 3.5%), this sour is loaded with flavor.  This is my top by far and the one I would most consistently return to.  4.8/5

Happy / Hoppy Voting!

Gremlin 4 Pres: