Friday, March 29, 2019

March Review / April Preview, 2019

Busy Gremlin here to talk about this past month and focus in on next month.  The big news for me is that my car has been fully paid off - freeing up a small, but significant amount of cash flow.  It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, but I am still carrying plenty of things, so there is no rest for the weary.  On top of that personal success, an old 401K was rolled over into my IRA account, which will enable me to make an extra purchase pretty soon.  It is a real boon that I found that extra money just hanging around and that I was able to reclaim all of it (I laugh in the face of vesting agreements).


This month I made one purchase, acquiring shares of Eaton Vance (EV) in my taxable account.

Last month I brought in a total of $429.55 in dividends ($180.51 taxable, $93.08 Roth, and $155.96 IRA).  This is an increase from last year (380.61 total) by 12%.  Even with the Kraft-Heinz KHC dividend cut, my growth is not stopping.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized* eleven (11!) raises from the Archer Daniel's Midland (ADM), Amgen (AMGN), Canadian National Railway (CNI), Dominion Energy (D), Dunkin Brands (DNKN), Union Pacific (UNP), Waste Management (WM), YUM! Brands (YUM), Prudential (PRU), 3M (MMM), and T. Rowe Price (TROW).  The increases are from about 4% to about 15%+.  I have now realized 18 raises thus far this year.  I also realized one cut of approximately 33% by KHC.

Next month I will realize seven (7) raises from the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM), Coke Cola (KO), Realty Income (O), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), WalMart (WMT), and Kimberly Clark (KMB).  The increases are from about 0.2% to about 10%.

* I only count increases when realized, because until that money is delivered any statements or declarations are simply conjecture.


The mortgage continues and I am putting a little extra cash towards the principal monthly - not a huge number, but every little bit counts. Our debts currently outstrip our assets (I choose not to count the house as an asset).  Outside of our house, we still have very low interest auto debt (1.5% for our car).  My car was paid off in March, freeing up some monthly cash!  Debt is being eliminated, and we are still building and assets.

My next purchase will be in April, which will make for 10 consecutive months of buys across all accounts.

Next month should produce around $105 in dividends, which is a 40% YOY increase.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.

Hope everyone has a great April.
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers

Monday, March 18, 2019

Gremlin Talks Cents

Teachable Gremlin here to introduce a new section and page.  I plan on discussing some of the crazy things I do to save money, some of which are funny, all of which save bottom line cash.  To get this party started, I am going to focus on the value of the penny.  Yes a penny, $0.01.  On its surface it is worth next to nothing, indeed it costs more to make one than it is worth.  Still they have value, even if minimal to the everyday person.  Yet, even things with minimal value can help create something of value.  Take a car, it has hundreds of little screws, bolts, and nuts that on their own are worth very little, but when combined create a very valuable device.  So my first discussion here will be on pennies (really loose change in general).

I keep a penny bank in my house, really it stores all coins, but who cares.  Many of these coins are received when something is purchased in cash - an activity that is rare for me, but much more common for my wife.  In addition to that, I have an eagle eye for anything that is remotely shiny and on the ground.  If I were to say I had a super power, it is finding loose change.  I was blessed with this ability at a real young age, you know when this kind of thing is cute, funny, and seemingly useful.  Fast forward to my early 30s, and its not cute anymore.  However, it is still hilarious.  It has led to so many good jokes at my expense.  The apex of this is an ongoing text conversation where I am asked if I would pick up a coin, and then the picture follows.  Usually the coin is somewhere terrible - in an intersection, urinal, etc.  Often I say no, but sometimes I say yes.  In real life, if there is something socially weird or unsafe, no I touch that crap up, but otherwise - hell yes.  Then that coin along with all the loose change in the house goes into the penny bank.

Once you have all that loose change what will you do with it?  No one is going to roll those coins, no one has that kind of time.  No one is going to go to a Coinstar machine and suffer a 3-6% fee ... OR will they?  The thing I have discovered is Coinstar machines allow people to convert the coins, fee free, to give certificates for companies of your choosing.  These include Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and Walmart (WMT).  Since my wife loves AMZN, the answer is clear.  Recently, I tested this out by taking my coins to the local grocery store, and getting a sweet gift code for Amazon.  The timing could not have been better as I had a necessary purchase to make at that time.  Saved me a solid $85 that I would have otherwise had to take out of my bottom line - away from investments.

Coming full circle, one of my friends is the polar opposite with me when it comes to loose change.  He literally throws it away, especially pennies.  Sure maybe over his lifetime that will about amount to $20-30 total of pennies, but that is one extra hour of your life you need to work.  Rather than doing that work, just save it.  Every cent in your pocket is one more you can have working for you.

What do you do with your loose change?

- Gremlin
- Long WMT

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Recent Buy, March 2019

Busy Gremlin here to discuss a recent buy.  Yesterday I added a new position, keeping the push alive to for FI.  I had considered closing a position to assist in the buy, specifically the Gap (GPS) after they announced the company would split.  However, I did not do that and I will patiently wait to see what happens there.  My GPS position is so small that eventually closing would be worth it as I refocus my effort on building larger positions of greater quality.  Now don't get me wrong, their clothes are fine - and some of the few that actually fit me pretty well (Gap and Old Navy), but I do not see their future including consistent dividend raises comparable to other quality stocks out there.  I must digress, what did I buy?

So yesterday, I added shares of Eaton Vance (EV) in my taxable account.  I bought 25 shares, with a total cost of $1,029.45 ($40.90 / share, plus commission).  This was a limit buy, and when I placed it I thought it would not be fulfilled; I am glad it was - though I could have waited 1 more day.  The current yield is 3.35%. For a detailed summary of their history, etc. please visit: EV's Seeking Alpha Profile.

EV joins Amerprise Financial (AMP) and T. Rowe Price (TROW) as the asset managers in my portfolio.  In addition, many of my Canadian banks and Prudential (PRU) also are involved in this industry.  It is one where scale and growth of the economy / assets work together in some sort of synergy to throw off money like a hurricane at sea throwing around water.

Asset managers are hard to escape, anyone who has a 401k or similar retirement account knows this.  Indeed, many people opt towards various types of funds as a way to set their money and forget it by virtue of letting someone else do it.  In a world where there is more money and people everyday, and where those people are so busy they cannot even slow down enough to enjoy a beer - there will be a space for companies like EV.  That coupled with excellent fundamentals including a great valuation, excellent payout ratio, and dividend growth propelled me to buy EV.

This purchase will add $35 to my forward 12 month dividend income.

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

What do you think of EV?

- Gremlin
- Long EV, GPS, AMP, TROW, PRU, and the big 5 Canadian banks