Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Net Worth Update - January 2015

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.  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 but in the long run as I continue to save and invest the net worth trend should be higher even though short term fluctuations can vary wildly.  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.  During January my net worth decreased $15,178.59.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dividend Update - January 2015


I've just about got all of my spreadsheets up to date which is good because now it should just be maintenance to worry about.

These dividend updates reflect all dividends that I receive through my investing pursuits. I hope they 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 open up all sorts of possibilities. You can check my dividend income or progress pages to see what dedication to an investment plan can give you.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2014 Goals - Full Year Recap


I know it's after mid-February and I'm just now getting out my 2014 goals update ,but there's been so much going on that I had to step away from the blog for a few months.  I still have no idea what happened to 2014.  The first half was a blur and the second half was even blurrier.  Now that I have a bit more time on my hands I need to check on my goals for last year.  There were a lot of "failures" but the good thing about those failures is that I still made good progress on the majority of my goals.   It's important to set specific, measurable goals so you have something to compare it to and keep motivated along your journey.  Enough stalling, let's get into the goals.

2014 Budgeting Goals - Full Year Results
Goal 2014 Amounts Status
Grocery spending < $200 per month $190.16 Reached
Restaurant spending < $110 per month $208.49 Failed
Average monthly expenses < $2,350 per month $2,676.59 Failed

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Net Worth Update - December 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.  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 but in the long run as I continue to save and invest the net worth trend should be higher even though short term fluctuations can vary wildly.  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.  Between my last update covering October 2014 through the end of the year my net worth increased $18,475.94!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dividend Update - December 2014


I'm still working on getting all of my spreadsheets up to date and just about have my portfolio taken care of.  There's still going to be the massive undertaking that will be my budget spreadsheet but that's for another day and time.

These dividend updates reflect all dividends that I receive through my investing pursuits.  I hope they 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 open 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.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Dividend Update - November 2014


It's been a while since I last had a chance to post, almost 3 months in fact.  I didn't disappear or anything but was having to deal with medical issues for my son, Lucas.  He's one heck of a strong willed kid and whenever he gets out of the NICU I know he's going to be a handful.  It's been a crazy wild ride that my wife, son, and I have been on but he's doing a bit better now and hopefully we can keep him stable while we work on his nutrition and get him to grow.  The short story is that he has a congential diaphragmatic hernia, CDH, and his diaphragm didn't form right while in utero so some of his organs were in his chest cavity which made his lungs very underdeveloped.  It affects about 1 in 2500 kids and unfortunately the survival rate is only about 50%.  But Luke is still fighting which is all we can ask for.  If you want to follow along with what's going on with him you can check out BabyLukeBlog.wordpress.com.

So I'll be recapping the past few months to get caught up on the juicy details of my portfolio(s) and most importantly dividends.  Those dividends act as seed money for investments and will eventually allow my wife and I to reach financial independence.  I expect the rate of new capital investments to slow down a bit from my usual pace at least for the next month or so while I build up savings, deal with medical costs, finance a full household expenses since my wife quit her job to be with our son, and since I work in the oil field a little extra buffer won't hurt considering the state of the patch right now.  So please bear with me while I get everything up to date between my own spreadsheets, Google spreadsheets, and around the blog.

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