What a busy week, although that's the norm right? But I'm striving to really slow down that busy-ness level, especially since it's not devoted to doing things I really want to pursue. Don't get me wrong, I actually like my job, but there's times where it absolutely sucks. We should be able to finish up here sometime this weekend and then I'll be headed back home. I can't wait to be back home with my wife, now if only she could be off work whenever I was off work and things would be even better.
It was a great week as far as the portfolio is concerned with dividend increases from Coca-Cola, Lorillard, and Wal-Mart. I was a bit disappointed with the WMT increase but not really surprised given their results from the last quarter. So far five of my ownership stakes have announced increases this year with one more expected next week. I calculated the overall dividend growth of my holdings and I'm quite happy with the results. It only accounts for dividends paid through the end of 2013 but the weighted growth rates are all over 10%. I hope to keep that up but I expect it to work its way down to the 7-10% range over the long-term so I'll ride it while it lasts.
I posted two stock analyses this week over at Seeking Alpha. One on Coca-Cola and one on PepsiCo. Go check them out if you want to see what I think about them. SPOILER ALERT: I like them, despite their struggles in 2013. I'm hoping to review Dr. Pepper Snapple Group next week to get the trifecta and then get a nice summary comparison of all three so it's easier to see the relative value between them.
I need some help from my readers, especially those that have a bit more artsy/creative side. You didn't think this blog was free, did you? I think it's about time I get a logo for my blog so if anyone has any ideas/suggestions or would even like to help me out with one, please let me know.
Thanks again to each and every one of you. Last weekend I crossed the 300,000 pageview level here and I continue to be amazed at the growth. I set out to document my journey to try and keep myself focused and have a living, breathing example of what I'm trying to do with my finances. Seeing everyone's comments is always inspiring and some of you have even started blogs of your own so we can all get a glimpse of what's going on in your world.
Newbies: These 11 words will give you all the motivation you'll ever need to get started on Bigger Pockets - While the post is about real estate investing, it applies to just about anything. "If your motivation is just leading to excitement which leads to more motivation which leads to more excitement...it's worthless". I've been stuck in this cycle a bit with trying to expand into rental properties so I guess I need to put this quote front and center.
Review of Retire with Dividend Growth: A Better Way by Fast Weekly - I was able to read the book myself and Fast Weekly's review is spot on. Go get a copy now before the price increases. It's a great book for anyone looking for
Juicy Details: Income, Expenses, and am I going to Sink or Swim, Pt 2 by Create My Independence - Kraig made some great progress over the last few months. He's still cash flow negative overall but this guy has some stones to quit a steady job/income with a load of savings and an idea. I wish you the best Kraig!
Should I buy a stock at its 52-week high? by the The Dividend Guy - Personally I don't ever look at the 52-week range. The key is to remain focused on the future of the company and the valuation of that future growth.
The Power of Pennies by Dividend Mantra - I really like Jason's ability to explain the complex in a simple fashion. I don't know if he's quite up to WB's level, but he definitely has a knack for it. What better way to invest than with companies that continue to earn and pay you more money, year after year.
Warren Wednesday: H1 1961 by Pulling Ourselves Up Financially - I love this series and only wish I had come up with the idea. One of the things I like about the series besides Buffet's wisdom is the events that were going on. It's a reminder that there's always something that's going to be the end of the world, but it just seems to pass and the great companies just keep on trucking along.
The Half-way Point: Owning Five Rentals (What's next?) by FI Fighter - 5 rentals and 7 units. Considering how quickly he's gotten to this point, he's going to be FI in no time. He's really encouraged me to pursue rental properties as another means of passive/semi-passive income.
Position Review: 5 Years of Owning Emerson Electric by Retire Before Dad - I can't wait to get some longer holding periods for some positions to really get a good look at dividend growth in action. I made my first individual stock purchase back in August 2011 when I was first starting down the DG path. The results have been great but there's still a lot of work to do.
Dividend yield vs dividend growth by Roadmap2Retire - Roadmap has a great mix of dividend yield and dividend growth with his portfolio. I think it's a good exercise to look back every now and then at some very simple visuals of where your portfolio stands. He's off to Aruba for the week and didn't invite any of us. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Volatility is not your enemy by A Wealth of Common Sense - As an investor you should welcome volatility because you get opportunities to buy assets for cheaper. One interesting stat from the post. "Even though the long-term average return is 9.6%, there have only been 5 calendar years (about 6% of the time) that ended with a return of 7% to 12% on the S&P 500.
I hope you all have a great weekend!