Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekly Roundup - September 28, 2013

This past week was pretty good.  We finished another well and things went pretty smooth.  Now I get to be home for my cousin's wedding today and through the rest of the weekend.  Unfortunately I'll be heading back to work sometime early next week.  There's was also a lot of blog news this past week.  I analyzed both Starbucks and Stryker this past week and I like both companies from a dividend growth perspective but not necessarily at current prices.  There was also some changes to my FI Portfolio where I trimmed positions in both Caterpillar and Intel to put that capital to work in companies I'm more bullish on for consistent growth in Baxter and Johnson & Johnson.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Recent Buys

I discussed in my post yesterday about half of the changes I made to my portfolio, namely the sells that I made.  Today I want to cover what I did with the proceeds from those sells.  I was a bit hasty in my decision to pick up shares of dividend growth stalwart, Johnson & Johnson, but took advantage of a sell off in Baxter International that saw shares close down around 6%.  When I see moves like that in what should be fairly stable companies I get intrigued and start scouring the internet to see if there is some explanation for the decline like a huge recall or some government regulation that was just enacted.  The only thing I could really find were that analysts at JP Morgan had downgraded Baxter.  For a long term investor, this is just noise and represents a buying opportunity.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Recent Sells

Well Wednesday brought about some changes to my portfolio.  This is something I've been thinking about doing for a while with two of my positions.  Both Caterpillar and Intel are great companies although they've fallen on hard times.  Caterpillar is suffering from the slowdown in the global economy leading to lowering demand for their products.  Intel has been late to the game in mobile/tablets and is trying to make up ground.  Earlier this year Caterpillar increased their dividend by 15% which I took as a very positive sign from management.  Lately though I'm not so sure about it.  Intel failed to increase their dividend after four straight quarters of paying $0.225 per share and they are struggling to make inroads into mobile.  I reduced both positions on Wednesday morning in order to be able to put that capital to work in companies that I feel have better prospects going forward and to gain exposure to another sector.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stryker (SYK) Dividend Stock Analysis

I really want to get more exposure to the healthcare industry as I currently only have Medtronic in my FI Portfolio.  Late last month I looked at Baxter International (BAX) and really liked what I saw, but unfortunately I had no free capital so I couldn't purchase.  I'm still hopeful that I'll get an opportunity later this month or sometime next month to pick up some shares.  I also received a request to look at Stryker Corporation (SYK), so that's who we'll look at today.  Stryker was trading around $71.28 per share on Monday, September 23rd, giving a current yield of 1.49%.

Company Background (sourced from Yahoo! Finance):

Stryker Corporation, a medical technology company, provides reconstructive, medical and surgical, and neurotechnology and spine products for doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Its Reconstructive segment offers orthopaedic reconstructive implants used in hip and knee joint replacements; and trauma implant systems, as well as other related products. The company’s MedSurg segment provides surgical equipment and surgical navigation systems, endoscopic and communications systems, patient handling and emergency medical equipment, and reprocessed and remanufactured medical devices, as well as other medical device products for use in various medical specialties. Stryker Corporation’s Neurotechnology and Spine segment offers neurosurgical and neurovascular devices, which include products for use in endovascular techniques, products for use in traditional brain and open skull base surgical procedures, and orthobiologic and biosurgery products, as well as products for the treatment of acute ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. This segment also develops, manufactures, and markets spinal implant products, such as cervical, thoracolumbar, and interbody systems for use in spinal injury, deformity, and degenerative therapies. The company sells its products through direct sales, and third-party dealers and distributors in the United States and approximately 100 countries worldwide.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Starbucks (SBUX) Dividend Stock Analysis

I've been trying to take a look at some of the next potential dividend growth champions that can string off a 40+ year record such as Johnson & Johnson or Coca-Cola or Proctor & Gamble.  I want the core of my portfolio to be made up of the normal stalwarts, but I believe there's a place for at least some position in some of the combination high growth businesses that also are growing their dividends, even though their streaks are fairly short.  Last month I took a look at Visa, which fits the bill of the high growth and high dividend growth company that I'm looking for.  I like their prospects so much that I also initiated a small position.  Today I want to look at another budding dividend growth candidate, Starbucks (SBUX).  Starbuck's closed trading on Friday, September 20th at $76.12 giving a current yield of 1.10%.  So here's a little reading for you while you sip your Starbucks this morning.

Company Background (sourced from Yahoo! Finance):

Starbucks Corporation operates as a roaster, marketer, and retailer of specialty coffee worldwide. As of September 30, 2012, the company operated 9,405 company-operated stores and 8,661 licensed stores. Its stores offer regular and decaffeinated coffee beverages, Italian-style espresso beverages, cold blended beverages, iced shaken refreshment beverages, premium Tazo teas, packaged roasted whole bean and ground coffees, Starbucks VIA Ready Brew soluble coffees, Starbucks coffee and Tazo tea K-Cup portion packs, Starbucks Refreshers beverages, juices, and bottled water. The company’s stores also provide various food items, including pastries, prepared breakfast and lunch sandwiches, oatmeal, and salads. In addition, it licenses the rights to produce and distribute Starbucks branded products to The North American Coffee Partnership with the Pepsi-Cola Company, as well as licenses its trademarks through licensed stores, grocery, and national foodservice accounts. The company offers its products under the Starbucks, Tazo tea, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, Starbucks Refreshers, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange, and Verismo brand names. Starbucks Corporation has a strategic agreement with Danone to create and develop a line of dannon-branded fresh dairy products.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekly Roundup - September 21, 2013

This past week has been an absolute whirlwind.  My wife and I continued to move things over to the new house and then of course it was time for me to head back to work on Tuesday.  I really dislike when I first get back because we drill for a day and then we're off for a day then we drill for a day and a half and then we drill to finish the well.  So my sleep gets messed up and the drilling is pretty fast so I don't get much time to just relax during the day while at work.  And then yesterday the sky just opened up and dropped buckets and buckets of rain where we're at.  Didn't realize I would have to swim to get to work.  Other than that it's been a pretty good week and I'm excited to get back home sometime next week.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Weekly Roundup - September 14, 2013

This past week has been really busy.  We signed all of the papers on Monday but unbeknownst to us, the sellers weren't going to be at the title company until later that afternoon so we didn't get the keys until later that evening.  It's exciting to be able to start moving into our new house although the big move won't be for another week.  Unfortunately for my wife I won't be home for the big move due to work so she'll be flying solo on that but some friends should be there to help out as she has recently helped 2 of her friends move.  Now it's time for payback!  Earlier this week I also discussed why we opted for a 30 year mortgage rather than a 15 year.

I'll be heading back to work sometime this weekend so I should finally be able to get a few more posts up.  I've gotten a request to do a stock analysis on Stryker and should hopefully be able to get that out sometime in the middle of the week.  As always if there's any company you'd like a stock analysis on, feel free to ask.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Why we chose a 30 year mortgage when we can afford a 15 year

When we first went and talked with our mortgage broker he had suggested that based on our income and financial responsibility that we should take out a 15 year mortgage rather than a 30 year. At first we were both pretty gung ho about it because we could easily afford a 15 year note. However, once I started crunching the numbers to see how exactly our budget would look I quickly changed my mind. The mortgage note alone wouldn't be an issue to cover, but when you add in all the other expenses including insurance, taxes, full maintenance costs, increased utilities and furniture, the monthly outlay quickly rose from just the 15 year note. Adding to the risk is that my job is currently stable but far from being as stable as my wife's job as a teacher. If you've studied the oilfield, or just paid some attention to the news, over time is a very boom and bust industry. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Net Worth Update - August 2013

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 was down a little over 4% for the month of August which pushed the value of my investments down; however, thanks to my highest monthly income and a great savings rates I was able to counter the negative pull from market fluctuations.  It was a bit of a let down that my net worth didn't increase more considering I had my highest monthly savings total as well but that's what happens when you have more and more of your net worth tied to the markets.  I had a little over $1,800 in combined 401k contributions, $1,320 in ESPP withholdings, and over $9,800 in after tax savings from my income.  The rest of the change was due to market changes and dividends.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Weekly Roundup - September 7, 2013

Another week down and my wife and I are that much closer to closing on our house.  My coordinator the job that I'm on right now has got a replacement for me to come out today so I can be home to close on the house on Monday.  It'll be a big relief to finally be done with all of the house because the time seems to have just drug on and on.  Well in relation to the house it seems to have taken forever, but in relation to just about everything else it seems like we didn't even have an August.  I know my wife will be happy that I'll be at closing because we ended up deciding to go with the mortgage just in my name to keep her credit open in case we do move forward with a rental property purchase in 2014.  Anyways the reason she'll be happy is that one we get to close on the house and two that she doesn't have to have power of attorney for me which would have entailed her writing a sentence stating as such for every place where I would have to sign the documents.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Income Update - August 2013

Well the satellite that we use at work has been messing up all week so I haven't been able to get any posts up this and haven't commented much.  Fear not though, I have a new satellite, actually it's our third one, so I can get back on track.  I'm a big proponent of tracking every single penny that comes into your life 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 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, September 2, 2013

Dividend Update - August 2013

There wasn't much news on the portfolio for the month except for two small purchases, one in IBM and one in Visa.  I'm a big fan of both companies although I have to admit that Visa is probably going to be more of a total return investment thanks to the sub 1.00% starting yield.  Feel free to check out my analysis on IBM and on Visa if you want to learn more about the qualities that make for good investments.  Other than that it was a pretty quiet month, but the beauty of a dividend growth investing strategy is that the dividends will continue to roll in from high quality companies every month.  This was my first month that wasn't on the March, June, September, December payout schedule to surpass the $100 mark.  Although July almost made it, coming up less than $4.00 short.  So a little bit of an investing milestone was accomplished and going forward I expect to continue to receive at least $100 every month from here on.  That's passive income I can use to invest in other opportunities now or use to pay for expenses later.