Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weekly Roundup - November 21, 2014

Well no weekly roundup this week because Lynsy went in to labor yesterday and Lucas Dean finally joined us.  The real battle for him begins now that he's outside of her and I'll update with pictures whenever I get the chance.

I'm not sure I'll get out a post about the latest purchases in my Loyal3 portfolio but rest assured they will eventually get posted.  I did initiate a new position in my regular taxable account and have enough cash for one more smaller purchase.  I'm looking at adding either Ventas (VTR) or Omega Healthcare (OHI) to my portfolio so let me know what y'all think of those two.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  I know ours is going to completely change everything.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Recent Buys

Whenever I make a new purchase for my portfolio I feel it's only fair to get a post written giving all of the juicy details. I want to be as transparent as possible with my journey to reach financial independence through dividend growth investing. Being open about the moves I make allows for better discussion with all of you and helps spread ideas around as well as letting me create my own "investing journal" to chronicle why I purchased a company in the first place and that way I can revisit if something changes and make the decision on whether to continue owning the company or not.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weekly Loyal3 Purchases

Back in August I started a new portfolio with Loyal3.  Loyal3 is a new brokerage that allows you to make purchases with no commission costs.  That's right, fee free investing.  Well, I just got an email on Friday from Loyal3 and they will no longer be accepting credit cards for purchase of stock.  So the credit card arbitrage is now over, but that doesn't take away from the value that Loyal3 offers investors.  It's still a no fee way to dollar cost average into wide moat companies which you just can't beat.  There's still a little bit of time to make purchases with credit cards so I'll most likely load up on some extra purchases next week and then slowly bring down my investments through Loyal3.  The plan is to still invest there but probably not at the same rate that I was originally planning on.

Each week I plan to make small purchases in several companies to slowly build up the positions.  This allows me to get some capital invested every week, for free.  The valuations might not always be the best but it does help me to consistently build up my portfolio and dividend stream that will eventually allow me to consider early retirement.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Weekly Roundup - November 15, 2014

Another week down!  Although this one was rather boring, but right now boring is good.  We finished up the last job early Monday morning so I started heading back towards Houston to meet up with my wife at the hospital.  Well, go visit her at the hospital.  Things were looking kind of shaky last Sunday night and that Luke might be joining us sooner rather than later, but miraculously things calmed down once I got here.  Now it looks like we can probably push the balloon removal surgery until next Tuesday which will give him almost 6 week with the balloon in.  Then we'll see what happens from there.  I'll be heading back to work tonight or early Sunday morning to get in another 2 days and then it's back to the hospital.

Earlier this month I decided to start making monthly exercise goals to keep me on track.  In hindsight, they were too aggressive.  Not because of physical reasons but due to my sometimes hectic work schedule, sleep is much more important. In case you forgot my goals are:
  1. 1,000 pushups
  2. 1,000 squats
  3. 1,000 burpees
  4. 30 minutes of planks
 I didn't do too well on my goals this past week with only 2 days of being semi-successful.  It's not that I didn't want to do them but my priority was making sure my wife was okay.  Plus a big cold front moved in early this week and dropped the temperatures down a lot and here I am with nothing but t-shirts and shorts.  
  1. 245 pushups
  2. 225 squats
  3. 65 burpees
  4. 5 minutes of planks
Hopefully I'll get back on track next week but who knows what tomorrow will bring let alone the next week.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Net Worth Update - October 2014

While cash flow is more important when it comes to financial independence, it's still good to look at the balance sheet too, which is why I provide these net worth updates.  The S&P 500 had a whirlwind month declining at much as 5.5% to start the month and then charging back 8.3% to finish the month with a 2.3% gain for the month.  Since more and more of my net worth is tied to the markets, there's a larger correlation between my net worth and the markets and for August my net worth rose with the markets.  As a dividend growth investor I'm not overly concerned with the short-term gyrations as long as the dividend stream remains in tact, but the markets' effect is noticeable.  I had just under $6,200 in after-tax savings from my paycheck, just over $1,000 in ESPP contributions, and just over $1,400 in 401k contributions counting the employer match.  The rest of the changes were due to dividends received and changes in the stock market.  All in all October saw a $10,144.45 increase in my net worth.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bemis Company, Inc. Dividend Stock Analysis

As part of building a diversified dividend growth portfolio it's important to own not only a number of companies but also companies that operate in a variety of industries. Previously I've looked at some restaurants, beverages, and consumer staples companies, but today I wanted to examine a consumer goods company that we've probably all put our hands on their products but none of us realize. This dividend champion has 31 consecutive years of dividend growth. Bemis Company, Inc. (NYSE:BMS) closed trading on Thursday, November 6th at $38.83 giving a current yield of 2.78%.

Discounted Earnings:

Analysts followed by Yahoo Finance expect Bemis Company to grow earnings 5.70% per year over the next 5 years and I've assumed they can grow at 5.13% (90% of 5.70%) for the next three years and at 5.00% in perpetuity. Running these numbers through a discounted earnings analysis with a 10% discount rate and summing over 30 years yields a fair value price of $39.58. This means the shares are trading at a 1.9% discount to the discounted earnings analysis.

Click here to read the full analysis of Bemis Company, Inc. at Seeking Alpha.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Recent Buy

Whenever I make a new purchase for my portfolio I feel it's only fair to get a post written giving all of the juicy details. I want to be as transparent as possible with my journey to reach financial independence through dividend growth investing. Being open about the moves I make allows for better discussion with all of you and helps spread ideas around as well as letting me create my own "investing journal" to chronicle why I purchased a company in the first place and that way I can revisit if something changes and make the decision on whether to continue owning the company or not.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekly Loyal3 Purchases

Back in August I started a new portfolio with Loyal3.  Loyal3 is a new brokerage that allows you to make purchases with no commission costs.  That's right, fee free investing.  Well, I just got an email on Friday from Loyal3 and they will no longer be accepting credit cards for purchase of stock.  So the credit card arbitrage is now over, but that doesn't take away from the value that Loyal3 offers investors.  It's still a no fee way to dollar cost average into wide moat companies which you just can't beat.  There's still a little bit of time to make purchases with credit cards so I'll most likely load up on some extra purchases next week and then slowly bring down my investments through Loyal3.  The plan is to still invest there but probably not at the same rate that I was originally planning on.

Each week I plan to make small purchases in several companies to slowly build up the positions.  This allows me to get some capital invested every week, for free.  The valuations might not always be the best but it does help me to consistently build up my portfolio and dividend stream that will eventually allow me to consider early retirement.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Weekly Roundup - November 8, 2014

Well that week flew by really fast.  I can't believe that we're already a week into November.  It really seems like August started just a week or two ago.  But that's the beauty of pursuing financial independence, eventually you'll get to claim every hour for yourself and your family instead of having to devote that time to work.  I made 2 purchases this past week that will help me along my own path and hopefully I'll get posts up about them early next week.

Last week I decided to start making monthly exercise goals to keep me on track.  In hindsight, they were too aggressive.  Not because of physical reasons but due to my sometimes hectic work schedule, sleep is much more important. In case you forgot my goals are:

  1. 1,000 pushups
  2. 1,000 squats
  3. 1,000 burpees
  4. 30 minutes of planks
 I did okay on my goals this first week but there's still a lot to improve on.  Here's where I sit after the first seven days.
  1. 185 pushups
  2. 165 squats
  3. 60 burpees
  4. 3 minutes of planks

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Can United Technologies Corporation Move Your Portfolio?

As part of building a diversified dividend growth portfolio, it's important to own not only a number of companies but also companies that operate in a variety of industries. Previously I've looked at some restaurants, beverages, and consumer staples companies but today I wanted to examine an industrial powerhouse and dividend contender with 20 consecutive years of dividend growth: United Technologies (NYSE:UTX). Shares closed trading on Friday, October 31st at $107.00, giving a current yield of 2.21%.

Discounted Earnings:

Analysts followed by Yahoo!Finance expect United Technologies to grow earnings 11.08% per year over the next 5 years and I've assumed they can grow at 8.31% (75% of 11.08%) for the next three years and at 5.00% in perpetuity. Running these numbers through a discounted earnings analysis with a 10% discount rate and summing over 30 years yields a fair value price of $153.54. This means the shares are trading at a 30.3% discount to the discounted earnings analysis.

Click here to read the full analysis of United Technologies Corporation at Seeking Alpha.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Income Update - October 2014

I'm a big proponent of tracking every single penny that comes into your hands if you're really wanting to make a change to your finances.  Mental accounting is too difficult to keep track of and the mundane everyday expenses get forgotten.  Once you keep a detailed history you can see that you're really spending $400 per month on restaurants or $100 on coffee or whatever little expenses that are fine by themselves but add up quickly to destroy a budget.  This is why I like to keep track of all of my expenses to help keep myself accountable and looking to see what areas I'm just plain doing poor in.  If you want to improve your finances, then please track everything for a 3 month span and then take action to make positive changes.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dividend Update - October 2014


October was a big drop from September's record setting month but that was completely expected.  I did set a personal best for dividend payments in the first month of a quarter though.  These dividend updates reflect all dividends that I receive through my investing pursuits and I hope can help inspire you to take control of your own finances and invest to build a passive income stream.  What you use that stream for is up to you, whether it's to fund early retirement, just provide some FI/FU money, or even to provide for an annual vacation; the key is that it can provide options and opens up all sorts of possibilities.  You can check my dividend income or progress page to see what dedication to an investment plan can give you.  I was able to set a personal best in dividends received during March which is great motivation and helps to keep me on track.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Weekly Loyal3 Purchases

Back in August I started a new portfolio with Loyal3.  Loyal3 is a new brokerage that allows you to make purchases with no commission costs.  That's right, fee free investing.  Even better is that you can make the purchases with your credit card and earn cash back rewards.  For me that's an extra 1% yield on the first year's dividend.  It's a great way to dollar cost average into positions over time although they do have a limited selection of companies you can invest in.

Each week I plan to make small purchases in several companies to slowly build up the positions.  This allows me to get some capital invested every week, for free.  The valuations might not always be the best but it does help me to consistently build up my portfolio and dividend stream that will eventually allow me to consider early retirement.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Weekly Roundup - November 1, 2014

October has been a crazy month and I can't believe that it's already done with.  I didn't get to take advantage of the market selloff, well at least not with larger purchases, because investing was hardly my priority for the month.  Essentially the whole month was spent with a few days at the hospital then a few days back at work then some more days at the hospital then a few more at work.  There's been so many changes for Lucas but things are looking good and stable right now.  Now we just need another 2 weeks and then as much time after that as he'll give us.  He's still not out of the woods yet because the real action will start once he gets here but he'll definitely be starting out in much better shape.

If you read through my 3rd Quarter Goals Update post I failed pretty miserably on my health related goals.  The 3rd quarter was a hell of a quarter and I'm glad that it's over with.  Even though we're already one month into the 4th Quarter, there's no time like the present to get started on a goal.  I'm planning on going an working out this evening once I get off work and with a new month I want to set some mini-monthly goals to hopefully keep me more motivated throughout the month and do at least a little bit every day.  So my monthly goals for November are going to be:

  1. 1,000 pushups
  2. 1,000 squats
  3. 1,000 burpees
  4. 30 minutes of planks
That works out to 33 pushups/squats/burpees per day and 1 minute of planks.  We'll see how these goals go and ideally these will be done on top of regular exercise at the gym as well.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weekly Loyal3 Purchases

Back in August I started a new portfolio with Loyal3.  Loyal3 is a new brokerage that allows you to make purchases with no commission costs.  That's right, fee free investing.  Even better is that you can make the purchases with your credit card and earn cash back rewards.  For me that's an extra 1% yield on the first year's dividend.  It's a great way to dollar cost average into positions over time although they do have a limited selection of companies you can invest in.

Each week I plan to make small purchases in several companies to slowly build up the positions.  This allows me to get some capital invested every week, for free.  The valuations might not always be the best but it does help me to consistently build up my portfolio and dividend stream that will eventually allow me to consider early retirement.

Friday, October 24, 2014

2014 Goals - 3rd Quarter Update


Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future.  Somehow the first half of the year is already over.  It seems like just a few weeks ago I was reporting on my progress for the first quarter and now another quarter is over and done with.  I think it's important to set specific, measurable goals at the beginning of each year to keep you focused and motivated towards hitting your goals.  It's important for them to be measurable so you can see exactly how you're progressing.  Back in January I set several goals covering budgeting, savings, investing, blogging, and personal goals, so it's high time I take a look and see how I'm doing.

2014 Budgeting Goals - 1st Half Results
Goal 2014 Amounts Status
Grocery spending < $200 per month $220.31 Needs Improvement
Restaurant spending < $110 per month $124.68 Needs Improvement
Average monthly expenses < $2,350 per month $2,641.54 Needs Improvement

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Intersection of Dividend Growth Investing and Financial Independence

Tired of working under fluorescent lights day in and day out?  Well besides winning the lottery the only way to get away from working 9-5 til 65 is to spend less than you earn and invest the difference.   Most of the blogs that I follow are focused on dividend growth investing and they usually have a tilt, heavy or light, towards financial independence.  Financial independence is the point where your savings and investments can provide enough monthly income to cover your expenses.  Now some people say it's just your base expenses (food, housing, utilities...) and others say enough to support your lifestyle.  It doesn't really matter what it is because the end goal is the same, cover your expenses through passive income.  The intersection of your expenses and passive income is the crossover point.  Once you reach that point serious congratulations are owed to you because you no longer require work and its income in order to support your lifestyle.  That doesn't mean you can't work but you now have the option not to.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weekly Loyal3 Purchases

Back in August I started a new portfolio with Loyal3.  Loyal3 is a new brokerage that allows you to make purchases with no commission costs.  That's right, fee free investing.  Even better is that you can make the purchases with your credit card and earn cash back rewards.  For me that's an extra 1% yield on the first year's dividend.  It's a great way to dollar cost average into positions over time although they do have a limited selection of companies you can invest in.

Each week I plan to make small purchases in several companies to slowly build up the positions.  This allows me to get some capital invested every week, for free.  The valuations might not always be the best but it does help me to consistently build up my portfolio and dividend stream that will eventually allow me to consider early retirement.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Net Worth Update - September 2014

While cash flow is more important when it comes to financial independence, it's still good to look at the balance sheet too, which is why I provide these net worth updates.  The S&P 500 declined 1.55% during September and crossed the 2,000 mark for the first time.  Since more and more of my net worth is tied to the markets, there's a larger correlation between my net worth and the markets and for August my net worth rose with the markets.  As a dividend growth investor I'm not overly concerned with the short-term gyrations as long as the dividend stream remains in tact, but the markets' effect is noticeable.  I had just under $5,200 in after-tax savings from my paycheck, almost $800 in ESPP contributions, and just under $1,100 in 401k contributions counting the employer match.  The rest of the changes were due to dividends received and changes in the stock market.  All in all September saw a $1,573.43 decrease in my net worth.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Recent Buy

Whenever I make a new purchase for my portfolio I feel it's only fair to get a post written giving all of the juicy details. I want to be as transparent as possible with my journey to reach financial independence through dividend growth investing. Being open about the moves I make allows for better discussion with all of you and helps spread ideas around as well as letting me create my own "investing journal" to chronicle why I purchased a company in the first place and that way I can revisit if something changes and make the decision on whether to continue owning the company or not.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Weekly Loyal3 Purchases

Back in August I started a new portfolio with Loyal3.  Loyal3 is a new brokerage that allows you to make purchases with no commission costs.  That's right, fee free investing.  Even better is that you can make the purchases with your credit card and earn cash back rewards.  For me that's an extra 1% yield on the first year's dividend.  It's a great way to dollar cost average into positions over time although they do have a limited selection of companies you can invest in.

Each week I plan to make small purchases in several companies to slowly build up the positions.  This allows me to get some capital invested every week, for free.  The valuations might not always be the best but it does help me to consistently build up my portfolio and dividend stream that will eventually allow me to consider early retirement.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Weekly Roundup - October 4, 2014

Another week down and we can count off September as well.  The second half of September took the markets on quite a ride but with volatility increasing that usually means lower prices and better entry points.  I took advantage of the volatility earlier this week to initiate a new position in United Technologies (UTX) and add to an existing one as well, that write up is coming early next week.  I love when one month ends and another begins because that means it's time for dividend updates to be coming out.  That's honestly one of my favorite things, seeing how many of you are taking control of your future by investing today for tomorrow.

Other than that it was another work filled week which was honestly welcomed after the craziness of the past few months with Lucas, our son.  It was nice to get back into a semi-routine and have a sense of normalcy.  Plus it didn't hurt that I was able to actually write some posts here.  It's a nice little escape.  Other than that we're stuck in limbo with Lucas until Monday when we'll hear back from the FDA.


I know it's a bit old but it's interesting to see nonetheless.  The New York Times had an interesting chart showing the tax rates, across all levels, for companies in the S&P 500 between 2007 and 2012.  During that period 9 companies paid no taxes at all and 1 out of 7 paid less than a 10% effective tax rate.  The insurance and energy industries had the highest effective tax rates at 51% and 37% respectively.  Anyways, here's the link to the interactive infographic if you want to play around with it.