Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekly Roundup - June 29, 2014

I can't believe that we're almost half way done with 2014.  Time is just flying by although that just continues to reinforce my desire to reach financial independence.  This past week was awesome though as we finished up the well we were on and we had also reached a pretty rare and significant milestone.  The guy that's been working nights for me for the last year and I reached one year of having no tool failures.  Essentially this has never happened before or at least very rarely has happened.  So my boss, my boss's boss, and 2 of my boss's boss's bosses took Francis and I out to lunch on Friday.  It was pretty awesome to get recognized for a job well done and even better was that the steak house we went to was absolutely delicious.  As we were leaving I told them that we'd see them again in 6 months.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Semi Recent Buy and Two Recent Sells

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.  I normally try to get these posts out within a day or two but between work and being sick I've had very little energy the past week and a half.  I'll quickly run through these moves and give my thought process on each one.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Short Term Price Movements Are Not Indicative of Value

In late February I posted a stock analysis over at Seeking Alpha where my conclusion was to wait for lower prices.  The company was undervalued on a relative basis against its competitors but it seemed a bit overvalued on its' own merits based on my analysis.  It wasn't grossly overvalued but it was trading higher than my fair value calculation and I felt that there were better values to be had at the time.  Thus my conclusion was to wait for a small retreat in the share price to give better value for the long term investor.

I've received a bit of criticism because between then and now the share price has increased about 16%.  Ooops!  Now don't get me wrong I can take criticism and I want each of you to question everything you see here and anywhere else for that matter.  We're all looking to improve our investing skills and an open forum for that is the best way.  Discussion breeds improvement.  Due to that criticism I decided to take a look at some common metrics for the company to see whether the value has gotten better in conjunction with the increase in share price.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Weekly Roundup - June 21, 2014

As usual it was a busy, busy week with work.  There were lots of issues which led to us having to change out tools a bunch of times this past week and to top it off I picked up a bit of a head cold on Tuesday and been fighting it ever since.  Is it just me or do head colds in the summer seem a lot worse than head colds in the winter?

So work was busy although not as productive as I'd have liked and unfortunately Mr. Market continued to be in a happy mood and didn't give much opportunities for me to put extra capital to work.  I did close out my position in Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) and sold about 40% of my position in Lorillard (LO) and I hope to get a write up about those soon but this darn head cold has really worn me out.  Other than that my portfolio just continued to churn out dividends as I had three companies pay out this past week.  That's the beauty of dividend growth investing.  Whether the markets are on fire or dropping like a rock, the dividend checks keep coming from high quality companies.

I'd just like to say thanks to everyone that stopped by, commented and shared posts from Passive-Income-Pursuit this past week.  I truly appreciate it all of your continued support and I just hope to reciprocate.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Rethinking Our Debt Payoff Plan

I'm sure most of you know that last year my wife and I bought a house.  While we love the house the unfortunate thing is that we went from renting a fairly small house to owning a much larger one.  One of the hidden costs in making that move was that we didn't have nearly enough furniture to really utilize our new house.  So we made a trip down to the local furniture store and picked up a new living room and bedroom set and went to Sears to purchase a new refrigerator.

Since we were able to purchase everything at 0% interest we weren't in a big hurry to pay off the debt especially while the markets were still offering solid values.  We figured why throw extra money towards our debt, especially at 0%, when that's such an easy hurdle to beat through investing.  Mr. Market has continued his relentless march higher and it's been doubly bad because I'm sitting on a bunch of cash right now, much more than I'd like to.  That's why I've been making a few more purchases over the last couple of weeks even though they haven't been at the most ideal valuations.

Monday, June 16, 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.  On Wednesday of last week I initiated a new position in Deere & Company (DE) (Full Analysis Here as of 12/2013).

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Weekly Roundup - June 14, 2014

It's been a busy and fun week.  I've been back to the grind at work now and I can't say I'm all that excited about it.  Especially now that my wife is on summer break and has loads of free time.  It makes it that much more difficult to be away from her when I know we could be spending lots of time together.  After all that's the whole reason we're striving for financial independence.  But the good news is that my wife drove down to come and see me yesterday and we got to be together.  We're trying to see what will be going on with my work for tonight to decide whether she should stay or not.  That's the joy of having a job that can completely screw up plans like that.

After being fairly quiet with my portfolio over the last 1-2 months I've gone on a bit of a buying spree.  Is is the best time to be investing capital?  I'm not really sure, but as long as I can find quality companies at reasonable valuations I'm going to continue to invest.  I'm still undecided on whether to pursue real estate investing and becoming a landlord so in the meantime I've started to invest more capital in the markets.  It just doesn't make sense to me to have $30k sitting in a savings account earning next to nothing.  I added to my position in Wal-Mart early this week as well as initiated a new position and added to another.  I've only put about $5k to work but it feels good to be able to invest some capital again.  For those of you that don't follow me on Twitter@JC_PIP you're just going to have to wait to find out about the other two purchases.  I still might change my mind on real estate but it just doesn't seem like it's going to work for us at this time.  Although that's probably just me over-analyzing the whole thing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Net Worth Update - May 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 was up 2.1% during May.  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 May a rising tide lifted all boats.  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 over $6,200 in after-tax savings from my paycheck, around $1,030 in ESPP contributions, and 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 May saw a $9,140.28 increase in my net worth.

Thursday, June 12, 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.  On Monday of this week I added to my position in Wal-Mart (WMT) (Full Analysis Here).

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Target Corporation Increases Dividend 21%

A very positive sign from management and the Board of Directors at Target (TGT) is the 21% dividend increase announced this afternoon.  The quarterly dividend was increased from $0.43 to $0.52 for a 20.93% increase.  The new dividend will go ex-dividend on August 18th and is payable on September 10th.  It's great to finally get some positive news from Target after the credit card data breach last December, the struggling expansion in Canada, and the recent departure of the CEO.

Income Update - May 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, June 9, 2014

Alternative Brokerages

When it comes to investing there's more than the normal definition of investing across multiple companies that operate in different sectors of the economy.  There's also diversification among the brokerages that you have capital invested at.  In the case of a brokerage firm becoming insolvent most times your assets will be transferred in a timely manner to another registered brokerage firm.  There's also SIPC insurance that will kick in that acts in much the same way as the FDIC insurance that banks fall under.  You can read more about SIPC and what happens in the event of a brokerage firm failure here.  The transfer of your assets should take place in a timely manner but I'd hate to be relying on access to my dividends once I reach financial independence and having to deal with a brokerage failure.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Recent Sell

Nothing major to report but I do like to give a full update on any changes made to my portfolio.  Yesterday I closed my position in Halliburton (HAL).  Halliburton isn't exactly a dividend growth stock, although they have increased it the last few years, plus they're my employer so I don't want to be too exposed to one company since they are my job income.  Every quarter I acquire more shares of Halliburton through paycheck withholdings and luckily it's at a great 15% discount.  While the immediate 15% is nice it's really awesome in the middle of a bull market as the shares continue to climb higher.  But every now and then I like to take some of the investment off the table, actually that's how we funded the majority of our downpayment for our house purchase last year.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dividend Update - May 2014


May was a solid month for dividends and pretty much steady as she goes.  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.