Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Weekly Sharebuilder Purchases

Here are my automatic investments for this week.

  • BP:  6.51 shares @ $38.42 --- Yield  6.25%
  • RDS-b:  3.56 shares @ $69.94 --- Yield  5.38%
  • CVX:  2.21 shares @ $112.94 --- Yield  3.79%
  • XOM:  2.68 shares @ $92.92 --- Yield  2.97%

Total capital invested is $1000 ($250 in each company) and the combined yield is 4.60%. These purchases will add $45.98 to my yearly dividends.

Three yards and a cloud of oil.....and a very looooong YAWN.

After last week's minor mishap with Sharebuilder I am back on the oil train.  I must admit that I am getting a bit tired of buying energy companies, but that is where I believe some great long term value lies.

Building my positions in these companies and dripping them should create some serious long term wealth along with a great source of future dividend income. It's kind of like a boring offense in football that just keeps grinding forward, moving the ball down the field a few yards at a time with each play. Slow steady forward progress is what these companies should deliver over time. There will probably be some more bumps and bruises along the way, but I will continue with great resolve going forward!

At the end of the day, putting points of the board (ie dividends) is the name of the game. There may not be much excitement from a fan's/investor's perspective, but I will patiently await the results that will take place over the next 30-40 years.

Could these companies be trading 20-30% lower over the next several months? Obviously I don't have any crystal ball, but if they are I plan on continuing to "hold my nose" and keep buying. The thought of someday receiving $5000-$6,000 a year in dividends from these companies is incredibly exciting.

Stocks on my radar for next week include the four purchased this week along with VZ, T, IBM, BA, and PM.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Lending Club is a no-go in Texas

One of my goals for 2015 is to diversify my income streams. After seeing many bloggers report their peer to peer lending successes, I thought it might be a good idea to jump in the waters as well.  There are many bloggers out there who are exceeding 10% in interest returns which I find very exciting. I actually set up a LC account back in 2007, but I never entered my banking information and for whatever reason I didn't  pursue the matter further.

After spending a few hours browsing through many different types of loans, I finally went through the different application pages and set up a transfer. The whole process was incredibly easy and I was certainly excited to make my first loan.

While browsing through the many types of loans, I noticed that the credit scores were all over 680 and I was also surprised to see some individuals with high 700s and low 800s credit scores who were prepared to enter into loans in the 6-8% range. I actually find this difficult to believe because people with credit scores in the high 700s and above have a virtually 0 percent default rate. While many investors might chase some of the high risk borrowers, I would probably stay with the more stable loans and could live a 5-7% rate of return.

Once my initial transfer of $500 went through, I saw the standard "Welcome to Sharebuilder" acknowledgement, but they also mentioned that due to restrictions from the state of Texas I could not initiate any loans right now. I find it funny that in Texas, which probably has the fewest number of business regulations in the country, one cannot enter into LC transations. I guess it is easier to erect an oil derrick in your back yard than it is to loan money in Texas.

LC did say that I could purchase existing loans on another website called Foliofn I believe. At this time I will probably pass on this option. Hopefully sometime during the next few years LC will become available in Texas.

It has been almost a year since I have purchased any high yield bonds, so I might start adding to my bond positions as an income alternative. Also I have noticed that many BDCs have been dropping in value recently. I may investigate this option as well.

If anyone has any other ideas, I am very interested in hearing about them.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Weekly Sharebuilder Purchases DJIA--18K

Here is my automatic investment for this week.  S&P 500:  2083

  • PAYX: 10.52 shares @ $47.55 --- Yield  3.20% 

Total capital invested is $500 at 3.20%. This will increase my yearly dividends by $16.00.

I was planning on investing in oil companies again this week, but apparently my purchase was locked in on Friday instead of Monday. Sharebuilder highlights the day that the investment choices have to be made (which is usually Monday) and I don't remember last Friday being highlighted.

Luckily I saw that PAYX had dropped a bit after earnings and I at least requested that purchase last Friday. In the future, I will have a generic order ready every Friday to make sure I make some kind of purchase.

While oil prices continue to stay at depressed levels, the broader market is soldiering its way up to new all time highs. This has been a strange year to say the least. I can't wait to see what next year brings!

Companies I have on my radar for next week include CVX, XOM, BBL, RDS-b, IBM, PM, and T.

Friday, December 19, 2014

AT&T raises dividend 2.17% --- New yield is 5.61%

Today AT&T announced that is will be raising its quarterly dividend from $.46 to $.47 a share. This represents a 2.17% increase over last year's increase. It is also the 31th consecutive year of dividend increases. The record date is January 9th and the pay date is February 2nd.

Since I own 355 shares, my annual dividends will increase by $14.20.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Weekly Sharebuilder Purchases


And upon closer inspection, much of it is within my energy positions.

Here are my automatic purchases for this week.  S&P 500: 1998

  • BP:  8.33 shares @ $36.03 --- Yield  6.66%
  • BBL:  7.29 shares @ $41.17 --- Yield  6.02%
  • RDS-b:  4.56 shares @ $65.75 --- Yield  5.72%
  • CVX:  2.88 shares @ $104.05 --- Yield  4.11%

Total capital invested this week is $1200 ( $300 in each company) and the combined yield is 5.63%.  These purchases will add $67.53 to my yearly dividends.

Needless to say the bloodbath continues in oil and commodity names. How low can oil prices go? I don't know, but the WTI price this morning has been hovering around $54 a barrel.

I certainly am not advising anyone to buy energy companies, especially if you have limited liquidity within your portfolio. However, I think this is a fantastic opportunity to start or like me continue building your energy positions. If the idea of having a stock lose 30-50% of its value over a relatively short period of time too difficult for you, stay away from this sector. There are plenty of less volatile companies out there.

I plan on continuing to swim in the deep end of the pool where both opportunities and risk reside.

Stocks on my radar for next week include the four listed above along with T, GE, IBM, XOM, KO, BA, and PM.

Monday, December 15, 2014

PFE raises dividend 7.7% --- New Yield is 3.61%

Today Pfizer announced that it will be increasing its quarterly dividend from $.26 a share to $.28 a share. This represents a 7.7% increase and the new yield currently is 3.61%. The ex-dividend date is February 4th and the pay date is March 3rd.

Since I have 186.5 shares, my yearly dividends will increase by $14.92.

After last week's disappointing news from GE, this is very welcomed news. Pfizer has been a pretty steady performer this year and the dividend increase certainly reflects this.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

2015 Goals

Here are few of the goals I would like to achieve during 2015.


Create a strong hybrid FI plan incorporating
  • Dividends/Interest
  • Safe withdrawal plan (SPY and cash)
  • 72T early distribution from my 401k
  • Side hustles that do not include a traditional W2 job
Open a Lending Club account and build up $10,000 in loans
Reach $18,000 in forward passive income in my taxable account
Receive $16,000 in passive income in my taxable account
Avoid more speculative investments with unstable dividends (this will be difficult)

Build the following positions by year end
  • 100 shares of Exxon
  • 400 shares of Coke
  • 150 shares of Procter & Gamble
  • 700 shares of AT&T
  • 800 shares of General Electric
  • 100 shares of Chevron
  • 100 shares of Johnson & Johnson
  • 100 shares of Pepsi
  • 300 shares of Altria
  • 100 shares of Caterpillar
Reach 100% savings rate during at least 2 months this year

Health goals

Run a half marathon
Run at least 20 miles each week
Buy a bike and start riding (pretty vague I know)
Eat more grilled chicken and fish
Kayak on the lake more often

Education goals

Read at least 30 books on various business topics investing, retirement, sales, real estate, passive income, motivation, personal improvement

Start seriously researching side hustles in case I unplug from the work force prematurely
Read past Chapter 1 in my Microsoft Office 2013 manual
Take a couple of college courses on any subject excluding math, physics, chemistry, or any other subject that is subject to cause long term psychological damage (maybe photography, marketing, real estate, or stock market analysis)

Fun goals

Attend all 8 Houston Texans home games (I used to go to every game for 8 years)
Attend at least 2 Longhorn football games in Austin
Attend a weekend baseball series at Disch Falk field in Austin
Take a long road trip through Colorado with the wifey
Take a long road trip through California along the PCH (again with the wifey)
Learn how to play guitar
Transition back to a 5 day workweek
Spend more time drinking cold beer in my hammock (Must achieve 5 day work week first)
Build a new deck for the backyard
Learn to play golf
Install indirect lighting throughout the house
Enter 20 different 5K and 10K runs in different cities

Professional goals

Continue to build a world class and dominant sales team
Promote at least two of my hand picked sales proteges into management
Increase sales by 10% and net profit by 25%
Increase Linked In contacts to at least 1500 people
Earn $250,000 from my day job
Spend more one on one time with sales associates (Not a negative like many may think)

Blog goals

Create an About page
Learn to create graphs (without throwing the monitor through the window)
Use the HTML button without destroying the blog
Add more information to the month end summary (Income, expenses, networth)
Create a few more entries each month

Friday, December 12, 2014

GE raises dividend 4.54% --- New yield is 3.66%

Today GE increased its quarterly dividend from $.22 a share to $.23 a share. This represents a 4.54% from last year's increase. Since I currently own 411.4 shares of GE, my yearly dividends will increase by $16.46.

The ex-dividend date is December 18th and the pay date is January 26th.

I must admit this is not overly impressive in my opinion, but I will take a pay raise regardless of the amount. I am glad that I waited for this announcement before I added more shares. I will probably wait to add more GE if the yield gets closer to 4%.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Weekly Sharebuilder Purchases

Here are my automatic investments for this week.   S&P 500:  2042

  • RDS-b:  2.93 shares @ $68.21 --- Yield:  5.51%
  • MCD:  2.19 shares @ $91.31 --- Yield:  3.72%
  • IBM:  1.24 shares @ $161.43 --- Yield:  2.73%

Total capital invested is $600 ($200 in each company). The combined yield of these purchases is 3.99% and will add $23.94 to my yearly dividends.

Energy companies continue to fall so I will keep adding to these positions. Energy currently represents 12% of my overall portfolio, therefore I still have room to expand these holdings. I would ideally like to be around 15%. If I am temporarily out of balance that is ok. I believe 20% of my portfolio in any one sector would be too high.

Also, I have noticed that Canadian banks have been taken to the proverbial "woodshed" in recent week so I may start to take a closer look at some of these companies. I have a strange feeling that the falling energy and commodity prices are starting to spread to the banking sector. Hopefully their loan portfolios aren't over-exposed to unstable energy companies. Significant problems could start to arise if that is the case. I will do some more research, but most likely I will continue to stay away from the banking sector. I really hate to rule out any sector, but as a whole this is one that has not had a very good track record in my view.

Stocks on my radar for next week include T, VZ, IBM, CVX, RDS-b, BBL, GM, and GE.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Weekly Sharebuilder Purchases

Here are my automatic investments for this week.

  • RDS-b:  4.16 shares @ $72.12 --- Yield  5.21%
  • BBL:  6.27 shares @ $47.83 --- Yield  5.19%

Total capital invested is $600 ($300 in each company) and the combined yield is 5.20%. These purchases will increase my yearly dividends by $31.20.

As tempting as it was to go stronger into the energy markets, I decided to just nibble a bit this week. I have lost a couple of fingers already trying to catch falling knifes (more like flying battle axes in some cases). Hopefully the bottom for oil is somewhere in the 60s. If oil continues its descent down into the 50s or worse down to the 40s, things could get a bit dicey to say the least.

Stocks on my radar for next week are T, MCD, IBM, GE, BBL, RDS-b, XOM, GM, and PM.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Random Blog Charts

Last week Asset Grinder posted some of his blog stats.  That got me to thinking what do my blog stats look like? Quite honestly I really never expected anyone to stop by. But I certainly am glad people find some benefit to my weekly posts. Anyway the last month, last week, and the YTD charts are shown below.

Why are my charts blacked out? Who the hell knows. Other than a few random "cut and paste" codes that I copied from a Google search, I have not made any technical adjustments as those  could prove fatal to an already fragile blog structure. :-) Copying and pasting these charts along with trying to write on the side of the charts was a chore in itself. This may be the first and last time I ever do this. And why is the word time in the last sentence out of line???? 

Graph of Blogger page views
What happens when Dividend Mantra mentions you on his blog? That big spike up over 2,100 page views in one day is what happens. That is like a giant steroid boost!

Graph of Blogger page views

My typical week normally looks like the chart on the left between 400 and 600 views a day.


Graph of Blogger page viewsAfter a rather slow start back in January, My pageviews have increased each month. In November I had 17,950 pageviews for the month. Will I ever reach 20,000 pageviews? Odds are probably better that I hit $20,000 in forward dividends first.