Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Recent Buy

Today seemed like a good day to average down in my McDonald's (MCD) position as well.  McDonald's also recently announced slightly disappointing earnings as revenue was up but profit numbers were down.  I'm not worried about McDonald's long-term prospects, especially as a dividend growth stock.  They recently increased the dividend by 10% starting with the next payment in December.  October was a busy month with 7 purchases being made, 6 in the FI portfolio and 1 in the Roth IRA.

Recent Buy

This morning I added to my position in Norfolk Southern Co. (NSC) by purchasing 20 more shares at a price of $61.96 in my Roth IRA.  Earlier this month NSC announced disappointing 3rd quarter results and the share price quickly sold off.  It lost over 7% the day the earnings were released.  With the addition of 20 more shares I doubled my position in NSC from my original purchase in late September.

New Blog Layout

I've been playing around with this for a while and finally decided to go on and make a change to my blog because when I first started it I just chose a very simple and basic one to get started.  I wasn't sure if I would be able to fully commit to the blog so I didn't want to invest a lot of time on the layout before I knew that I would remain focused on the blog.  There's still a few things I might change but I should keep this for a while.

What do you think of the new layout?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dividend Increase - Phillips 66

I'm a little late to the party on this one but I figured it was worth posting in case anyone else missed it like me.  On October 3rd the board of directors for Phillips 66 (PSX) announced a $0.05 increase in their quarterly dividend from $0.20 to $0.25.  This is a 25% increase which is great news for investors because they were targeting a 5% annual dividend increase when they were spun off from ConocoPhillips (COP).  The new rate is payable to shareholders of record as of October 15th and payable on December 3rd.

Monday, October 29, 2012

US Stock Market closed

The US Stock markets will be closed today due to Hurricane Sandy.  Normally this wouldn't be an issue since my desired holding period is forever, but I was hoping to get a chance to pick up some more shares in great DG companies since the futures were pointing to another 100 point drop for the DJIA.  So much for that with the closed markets.

*Update - US markets will be closed again on Tuesday.  This storm isn't physically going to affect me but it's proving to be quite annoying.  I hope that everyone that has been/will be affected will be safe.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Averaging Down in a Position

When given the opportunity to average down in a position that I own and want more of I'll normally take the chance when it's the best opportunity available. Averaging down gives you a chance to lower your cost basis in a company that you have already deemed investment worthy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Recent Buy

This morning I noticed that the stock market was set to sell off early so I set up a limit order for 25 shares of McDonald's $87.76.  I was debating on what price to set my limit order at but chose the $87.76 mark instead of $87.51 because $87.76 is still well under my fair value for McDonald's to trade for.  As it turns out McDonald's sold off to $87.32 at one point so I could have purchased them for a little cheaper, but in the long run it won't make that big of a difference.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekly Roundup - October 20, 2012

Time keeps on rolling by as another week has gone.  I only made one purchase this week and pretty much exhausted my cash for the time being by adding to my recently initiated position in KMI.  Now on to the links.

Blue-Chip Dividend Aristocrats - There is a Lot of Value in this Market: Part 4 - A great article on Seeking Alpha by Chuck Carnevale.  This article should be standard reading for anyone interested in DGI.  He focuses on valuing some well known dividend growth stocks and whether they are under, fairly or overvalued.  

Savings Money is like Losing Weight - Dividend Mantra had a great post discussing how saving isn't a quick process and requires determination and focus to achieve your goals.

Friday, October 19, 2012

McDonald's (MCD) Earnings Miss

McDonald's reported earnings for the 3rd quarter this morning before the opening bell where they beat on sales but missed on profit.  The good news for long-term believers in McDonald's is that shares sold off 3.40% after the announcement and is currently set to open below $90 per share.  I'm hoping for a further pullback so I can average down my position after I get my capital to my brokerage account, but I'd have no qualms with initiating a position at the current price.

Recent Transaction

With today being expiration Friday, I figured we'd revisit the call options that I sold on 200 shares of Bank of America back in mid-August.  I originally performed a buy-write of 200 shares which involves purchasing the shares and simultaneously selling a call option per 100 shares purchased.  The advantage to doing this is that you save on the commission by only having to pay once instead of one for the share purchase and one for the option sale.  Barring over a 15% pullback in tomorrow's trading, the call options should be executed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kinder Morgan Inc. Dividend Increase

Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) announced an increase in their quarterly dividend from $0.35 to $0.36 per share.  The new payout is payable to shareholders of record on October 31st and is due to pay out on November 15th.  This is a 2.86% increase over the last quarterly payout and a 20% increase over the 3rd Quarter 2011 payout.  Since becoming a public company KMI has increased it's dividend in 6 of 7 quarters.  This article sums up the quarterly dividend increase and the highlights of the quarterly report.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Harris Corporation Pullback

Harris Corporation (HRS) has seen it's share price dip from it's recent high of $51.97 to around $46.80, a 10% drop.  I last purchased shares of Harris around this price level and if it dips further it will be high on my list of potential next buy candidates.  I posted my stock analysis on Harris back in April of this year and while it's a little out of date, most of the changes for the company have been positive.  For example, they've increased their dividend twice in 2012, once by almost 18% and once by 12% for a total increase this year of 32%.  While this level of dividend growth can't continue for too long, an annual 10-12% growth is very attainable.

Recent Buy

This morning I picked up 36 more shares of KMI at $34.36.  I added to the recent position that I initiated last week.  You can check out that post here.  The 36 shares will provide an extra $50.40 per year in dividends before future increases or reinvestment.  Speaking of future dividend increases, according to this article, KMI will be recommending a $0.01 increase to it's quarterly dividend payable next month.  If the $0.01 increase goes through that will be a 2.86% increase.  This isn't what I like to see for an increase; however, with KMI they've had history of increasing it on a quarterly basis.  This would be their 6th increase in 7 quarters.  You can check out KMI's dividend history here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekly Roundup - October 13, 2012

This past week has flown by with me heading back to work.  It also brought about 3 new purchases that will contribute an extra $170 in dividends before any future increases.  You can check out my Recent Buy posts from this past week here, here and here.  Now on to the links.

How to Go from Middle-Class to Kickass - Mr. Money Mustache had a great post highlighting the budgeting aspect to reach early retirement.  His blog is one of the best around.

Recent Sale - Dividend Mantra recently sold his position in Total  (TOT).  Total no longer fit in his portfolio, check out his post to see why.

Friday, October 12, 2012

401k Contribution

I originally had a goal of maxing out my 401k this year but have since changed my goal and lowered my contribution rate.  Since my ultimate goal is to retire by 40 I need as much cash available to invest in taxable accounts as possible.  I was contributing 10% to my 401k which was going to have me on track to contribute around $11.7k this year.  I backed my contribution percentage down by two points to 8% and I am thinking of backing it down further to 6%.  Changing my percentage for the rest of this year is only going to put an extra $700 or so in my pocket before taxes; however, that's an extra $700 I can have full access to whenever I do hit financial independence.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Recent Buy

I decided to go on a bit of a spending spree today and also purchased of 23 shares of Cummins (CMI) at $87.49 per share.  You can check out my other purchase today here.  It's hard for me to keep cash in my brokerage account because I want to get it working for me.  Based on the last quarterly payout of $0.50 per share my YOC for this position is 2.28%.  The CMI shares will provide an extra $46 in annual dividends before any further increases or reinvestment.  I'll also receive my first payout from Cummins later this year in December with a $11.50 payout.

Recent Buy

This morning I pulled the trigger and purchased 23 shares of Caterpillar (CAT) for $82.75 per share.  Based on the recently announced quarterly payout of $0.52 per share my YOC for the position is 2.50%.  The CAT shares will provide an extra $47.84 in annual dividends before any further increases or dividend reinvestment.  I'll be receiving my first payout from Caterpillar in November with a $11.96 payout.  I was able to purchase the shares at a 16% discount to my calculated fair value.  You can check out my analysis on Caterpillar here.

Portfolio Update - October 2012

Today I've updated my portfolio for everyone to see the changes.

Check out My Portfolio here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Recent Buy

This morning I picked up 55 shares of Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) at $35.04 per share.  Assuming an annual dividend from KMI of $1.40 per share, based on the last quarterly payment of $0.35, my YOC for the position is 3.98%.  The 55 shares will provide an extra $77 annually before any dividend increases or reinvestment, with $19.25 being paid out this year in November assuming they follow the same payout schedule they've already established.  My forward 12 month dividends just breached the $1,000 mark with this purchase, sitting at $1,014 before any further dividend increases or reinvestment.  It's pretty exciting to finally cross that mark.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

2012 Goals - 3rd Quarter Update

Well, another quarter has come and gone so it's time to see how the 3rd quarter went.  The first three quarters of this year have been great for me financially and let's not forget personally.  I got married the middle of this year and can't be happier.  The first nine months of the year have been pretty good on the goals that I set for the year.  Without further adieu let's check out the numbers.

2012 Budeting Goals - 3rd Quarter Results
Goal Actual through 3rd Quarter Status
70% take-home pay savings rate 75.96% average savings (Jan 74.51%, Feb 73.09%, Mar 75.10%, Apr 71.42%, May 66.93%, Jun 87.23%, Jul 81.49%, Aug 74.05%, Sep 79.83%) Exceeded Goal
Less than $1,600 required expenses $1,528.77 average (Jan $1,694.02, Feb $1,682.70, Mar $1,590.72, Apr $1,541.32, May $1,549.48, Jun $1,252.68, Jul $1,608.65, Aug $1,417.13, Sep $1,422.25) Exceeded Goal
Reduce Misc. Expenses by 20% (Exp. < $131.62 per mo) $114.39 Exceeded Goal
Reduce Restaurant Expenses by 20% (Exp. < $128.12 per mo) $148.35 Needs Improvement
Reduce Grocery Spending by 10% (Exp. < $214.07 per mo) $209.52 Exceeded Goal

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weekly Roundup - October 6, 2012

I can't believe another week has just flown by.  This weekend I'm getting a chance to go camping with my wife and I've been looking forward to it for a while.  It'll be even nicer that a cold front will be moving in over the weekend getting some fall weather down in our neck of the woods.  Here's some interesting posts from my fellow bloggers from this week.

Covered Call Strategy in my Traditional IRA Update - My Journey to Millions highlighted how his covered calls have worked out for him.  I know a lot of people aren't comfortable with options but I like them especially put options because it's another way to put in a limit order.

September 2012 Monthly Expenses - FI Fighter recapped the month of September.  I really like the rental income and hope to be able to get a rental property myself within the next few years.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Net Worth Update - September 2012

September was an awesome month with a $10+k positive move in my net worth.  That was my 3rd highest monthly increase since I've kept track and my 2nd highest for 2012.  Over half of that was from my after-tax savings and the rest came from my 401k contribution, employer match and ESPP withholdings plus the changes due to the markets.  For the month I contributed just over $1,260 to my 401k and another $670 to my ESPP that will be purchased in January of next year.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Income Update - September 2012

September was an okay month for my spending.  I let my expenses creep up higher than where I would like but I was still lower than my average for the year so far.  My minimum expenses for September ended the month at $1,422.25.  This brought my average minimum expenses in 2012 down to $1,528.77.  Total expenses for the month was fairly well under control at $1,565.71 although there's still work to be done, mainly on the required expenses front.  My average total monthly expenses for 2012 is down to $1,703.91.  Thanks to one of my lowest expenditure months on top of my highest monthly dividend total my PRI of $169.13 covered a total of 11.89% of my minimum expenses.  My FI at the end of September was $167.21 which would cover 11.74% of Septembers minimum expenses.  I was surprised to see that my PRI, which is just dividend and interest income, covered almost 12% of my expenses.  That was great to see.  I can't wait until I'm averaging at 12% coverage ratio, which based on September is receiving just under $2,000 in annual dividends.  I like seeing the teal line at the bottom of the graph get higher and higher every month.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dividend Update - September 2012

September was an awesome month for dividend payouts with 13 companies paying me in my FI portfolio and 3 in my Roth IRA.  The month also brought my first $100+ month of dividends for my FI portfolio which I blew past with $165 in dividends.  With the recent addition of 100 shares of INTC my forward 12-month dividends is over $930.  The INTC shares will provide an extra $90 per year in dividend before reinvestment or increases and an extra $22.50 this year with their December payout.  I'm slowly getting close to the $1,000 mark and 2013 will see me surpass that mark on an annual basis.