Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 2016 Review / January 2017 Preview & End of Year Review

Happy New Year Gremlin here to talk about December and the end of this year.  December has meant presents and family, similar to what November holds plus the presents.  Personally it means winter is here to stay, and more importantly that January is here so I can wind down.  "The Season" always seems to come and go so fast.  Frantically acquiring gifts you hope people will like.  For me, I am simple - give me a nice backyard, some drinks, and anyone willing to play yard games.  But now that time is over, soon it will be back to the normal grind.  So let's enjoy 2016 while it lasts for the good it has brought and the silver linings we can find in the world everywhere else.


I was able to put $660 to work in three existing positions across my taxable and Roth accounts.  As much as I want to keep up this pace, it will be hard knowing how I plan to be saving extra cash for unrelated reasons. 

Last month I brought in a total of $262.32 in dividends ($83.10 taxable, $60.29 Roth, and $118.93 in my IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($101.34 total) by 158.58%.  My SEP IRA continues to make this comparison silly, but it will just have to be that way until the end of next year. Its yet another month over $200.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized five this month from McDonald's (MCD), Microsoft (MSFT), Union Pacific (UNP), VF Corp (VFC), and Emerson Electric (EMR).  Raises ranged from less than 1% to  over 10%. 

Next month I will realize one dividend increase from Realty Income (O), the usual minor increase.  For 2016, I have realized 36 dividend increases!  I know of a few next year already, but I have been less than diligent in editing my spreadsheet, so some will just be happy surprises.


The only debt that remains are extremely low interest auto loans.  Looking ahead, I will be 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.

I keep being lazy about putting up a beer review, perhaps I just have not had any that remarkable.  Side note, I will be starting a Trivia Night at my side job.  For me its fun, sure there is a little bit of cash out of it, but its more about the fun.

Next month should produce around $80 in dividends, which is a 5% YOY increase.  January has just never been a strong dividend month for me.  Also on an investing note, I am keeping a very diligent eye on commercial real estate markets.  Why?  Something seems off about it, similar in a way to 2007 with the residential market, though the bomb is probably a little smaller...

My portfolio page is currently up to date.


Wow, what a year.  A lot of good things occurred, as did of course many unfortunate things - but lets keep it positive.  On a personal note I upgraded my income, my wife has a less stressful job, we went on a great vacation, and I was still able to put a solid amount of cash into investments.  So let's look at how I did last year.

Last year I had hope I would achieve several goals.  So to reference them they are below.  With the results in RED.
  • $1100 in total dividends in 2016 (taxable and Roth).  Success, beat that number by $60.
  • $250 in Loyal3 dividends in 2016.  Success, more like $323, or 29% higher.
  • End the year with a forward-12 month dividend estimate of over $1200 (between taxable and Roth).  Success, currently sitting a few bucks over that. Way more with IRA...
  • Pay off my wife's student loan debt of $5,500 (ish).  Success, her loans are toast.
  • Get a raise at my current or another job.  Success, got a new job with a raise!  Then I got a strong side job!
  • Continue to exercise 5 times a week at a minimum, and ride my bike places when possible.  Failure.  Part of the failure was due to a bad ankle sprain in the fall.  Overall I am working out 4 to 5 times a week though.  Also biking has faded because my new employer pays me to commute with public transit, and they have no shower (I sweat a lot if I bike anywhere).
Overall that is a 5/6 success rate.  Next year, I plan to have fewer goals; so this section is easier to write and I can focus harder on those goals.


Well, on a personal note my biggest goal is to rectify that bottom goal.  Otherwise, right now my life has been on a good track and I want to keep that momentum.  So here are my goals for next year.

  • Break $2500 in total dividends.
  • Achieve forward dividends for taxable accounts of $1000.
  • Get back into shape, specifically workout 5 times a week.
  • Bike to as many local places as possible, do less driving (already half way there as I do not drive to work).
There are so many ways I can improve my situation, but little changes can make a huge difference.  Time to test out lifestyle and money saving changes!

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Recent Buys, December 2016

Holiday Gremlin here to talk about some more recent buys.  I hope everyone is gearing up for a great holiday weekend, which will include family, fun, football of both varieties, and food of course.  It is no question that I am ready for it, and am anticipating a nice long weekend.  Christmas is the time for giving, and sometimes you need to give to yourself / family in the form of financial security.  Today I am pushing for more of that with a few buys that I was able to make fee free.  This year I have had a few extra free purchases, and these were set to expire if I did not use them, so I would be damned if I let freebies go to waste.  So anyway, lets get on with what I bought.

First, I added shares of Abbott Laboratories (ABT) in my Roth account, this is an addition to an existing position as are the other buys.  I bought 6.24 shares, with a total cost of $250.00 ($39.39 / share).  The current yield is 2.72%.    The P/E ratio for ABT sits today at approximately 17.  I really want to add more in the healthcare sector in general, and this will be a part of that.  This position is one I definitely plan to expand in the future, especially with its 48% payout ratio and 43 years of dividend growth.  This purchase will add $6.62 to my Roth totals next year.

Second, I added around three shares of VF Corp (VFC) to my Loyal3 account.  The current yield is 3.12% (on current cost).  The P/E ratio is much better than it has been around 20, but the payout ratio on the yield is a sweet 40-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 $5.04 to my Loyal3 account totals next year.

Lastly, I added shares of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM) to my taxable account.  I bought 3.1 shares, with a total cost of $260 ($83.72 / share).  The current yield is 4.48%.  The P/E ratio is around 10.25, which is great.  The payout ratio is approximately 44%, 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, Scotiabank (BNS), next month.  Of the big 5 Canadian Banks, CM was my first purchase and remains my favorite.  Despite currency headwinds, they consistently improve their dividend in their local currency and I see results here in the USA.  Their are critics who believe they are too highly concentrated in certain markets, especially the Canadian housing market, but I do find that their system is designed to be safer than what the USA had.  If nothing else, they looked south at us and learned what not to do.  This purchase adds about $13 to my totals next year, pending foreign exchange valuations.  
These purchases are the last ones for 2016.  Overall, a good way to round out a year that has been good to me.
What do you think of ABT, CM, and VFC?

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

I hope everyone has their shopping done and is prepared to sit inside and drink hot chocolate for a day.  Oh wait you're not, me neither, DAMN!
- Gremlin
- Long ABT, BNS, CM, VFC