Saturday, October 31, 2015

Weekly Roundup - October 31, 2015


Another week down and after today another month will be done with.  Of course that means today is Halloween.  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  Down here in Texas the weather is finally starting to get better and there's no shortage of haunted houses.  It's always fun to go to the haunted houses for a little bit of scary fun.  While those are sometimes scary, there's nothing scary about receiving six dividend raises throughout the month.

We finally started doing things again and I was so thankful to have to work.  A week and a half of being away from the house and actually going backwards instead of making progress is way too long.  We're moving slow right now but at least we're moving in the right direction which is more than I can say for last week.  I'm slowly building up my workout regimen and it sure is nice being just a few miles from the gym.  Even better is that since I'm working nights that means I get to go to the gym during the day when there's a whole lot fewer people.  So there's no waiting for people to quit using what I need.  I get in, work out, and leave usually within 30-40 minutes which is great.  Just the little bit of exercising I've done has already made a tremendous difference in the way my body feels.  Focus on your health people!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Dividend Growth Investing at Work - Two More Increases to Close Out October


Something I love about dividend growth investing is that each month I get to hear about companies I own deciding to pay me more money in dividends.  Just for owning a small portion of said companies.  Not going and doing R&D for new products or technology.  Not selling any products.  Not managing any employees or inventory.  Not making sales calls.  All I had to do was have the foresight to invest some of my savings in excellent companies.  That's dividend growth investing at work!  I mean who doesn't like getting a raise for doing nothing?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Portfolio Management: Considering Closing a Position


In a post last week I discussed our forecast tax situation for 2015.  It's a weird place to be in as I don't expect us to normally be in the 15% tax bracket but there's a big benefit to that: qualified dividends and long term capital gains are taxed at 0%.  That's a great position to be in and since then I've been examining my portfolio for potential candidates to take advantage of the long term capital gains being taxed at a lower rate.  One position I'm considering selling is Baxter International (BAX).

One of the reasons that Baxter is on my consideration list, heck the biggest reason, is that after spinning of the biotech arm in Baxalta (BXLT) they took the opportunity to decrease the combined dividend payout of the two companies.  Prior to the spin-off Baxter was paying $0.52 per share each quarter and now the combined dividends from both companies is equal to $0.185 per share per quarter.  That's a 64% decrease.  I don't have a hard and fast rule about selling no matter what if there's a dividend cut and figured that Baxter has been a truly excellent company for decades if you look at all of the spin-offs they've completed.  I've already disposed of my Baxalta shares so today I wanted to take a closer look at Baxter's future prospects.

Use The Recent Selloff In V.F. Corporation To Pick Up Shares

Clothes.  We all need them and chances are you have at least a couple of the wares that V.F. Corporation (VFC) offers.  V.F. Corporation has a huge stable of brands with two sporting $2 B in annual revenues and several with double digit year over year growth.  The recent selloff is not a sign of operations declining but rather just brings the valuation down to more reasonable levels.  The dividend was just increased by 15% to $0.37 per quarter which marks the 43rd consecutive year of increasing dividends making V.F. Corporation a true dividend aristocrat.  Shares of V.F. Corporation closed trading on Tuesday, October 27th at $66.30 giving investors a current yield of 2.23%.

The following tables/graphs are taken from my personal stock analysis spreadsheet.  Data for the stock analysis was sourced from V.F. Corporation.'s investor relations page, Morningstar, and Yahoo Finance.

Historic Growth Rates:

Owners of V.F. Corporation's share have earned absolutely outstanding returns over the last decade.  According to longrundata.com, shares of VFC have earned investors a total return of 549.6% or 20.6% annualized over the last decade.  Those numbers are market returns at specific snapshots in time and aren't necessarily indicative of the business results over the same time period.  Looking at the historic growth rates for per share dividends, earnings, revenue, and free cash flow gives a better idea of the true operational results that V.F. Corporation has delivered.

Continue reading the V.F. Corporation dividend stock analysis on Seeking Alpha.

Also check out more of my stock analyses on my Stock Analysis page.

Image source

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Emerson Electric: Short-Term Headwinds Make For Attractive Long-Term Returns


Investing in dividend aristocrats has long led to solid and stable returns for investors. What's not to like about getting a raise that beats inflation year after year just for owning an excellent company. However, just because a company has grown its dividend like clockwork doesn't mean that the shares are currently offering value. It's been far too long since I did a full in-depth analysis of Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR), and the 20% decline in EMR's share price brought it to my attention. Shares of Emerson Electric closed trading on Friday, October 23rd at $48.18, giving investors a current yield of 3.90%.

The following tables/graphs are taken from my personal stock analysis spreadsheet. Data for the stock analysis was sourced from Emerson Electric Co.'s investor relations page, Morningstar, and Yahoo Finance.

Historical Growth Rates:

Owners of Emerson Electric shares have earned sub-par returns over the last decade. According to longrundata.com, the shares have earned investors a total return of 86.0%, or 6.4% annualized, over the last decade. Those numbers are market returns at specific snapshots in time, and aren't necessarily indicative of the business results over the same time period. Looking at the historical growth rates for per share dividends, earnings, revenue, and free cash flow gives a better idea of the true operational results that the company has delivered.

Continue reading the Emerson Electric Co. stock analysis on Seeking Alpha.

Also check out my Stock Analysis page to see more analyses.

Image sourced from Wikipedia.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Dividend Growth Investing at Work - Higher Payments from the Leading Payment Processor


Something I love about dividend growth investing is that each month I get to hear about companies I own deciding to pay me more money in dividends.  Just for owning a small portion of said companies.  Not going and doing R&D for new products or technology.  Not selling any products.  Not managing any employees or inventory.  Not making sales calls.  All I had to do was have the foresight to invest some of my savings in excellent companies.  That's dividend growth investing at work!  I mean who doesn't like getting a raise for doing nothing?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Weekly Roundup - October 24, 2015


One strange thing about my job compared to most is that I will randomly have time to do nothing related to work.  That's been the case this last week as they started having problems with the well last Friday.  It's now over a week later and we haven't done anything else.  They keep running into other issues which is fine by me because even though they aren't making progress and we aren't drilling I still get paid.  This past week I've been paid to write, read, nap, watch tv, workout and pretty much anything else I've wanted to do.  That's perfect.  Although it does come with the caveat that I'm away from home longer.  If I'd have known that it'd be over a week I would have gone home but my luck usually works to where I'd be home for a couple hours and everything would have been fixed out here quickly.

I've been taking advantage of the location that I'm in just outside of Shreveport/Bossier City to get back into working out.  It's not that I really wanted to stop but I'm at the mercy of where I'm at and whether there's a gym near me.  Luckily there's several nearby and one of them is only 7 miles from the rig.  Since it had been quite a while since I had worked out regularly I've been taking it easy with the workouts to get my body back into the groove of being pushed but I'm making gains each workout.  Even better is that I can already notice a difference in the way I feel with just the 4 workouts I've done so far.  I need to do a better job working out whenever I'm not near the gym but the big thing is starting a new habit, even if it's an old one you used to have.  Maintaining good health is so crucial to achieving financial independence.  I mean who wants to retire at 40 or 50 but be so out of shape that you can't enjoy all of the time that you've freed up.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Taxes!

 Photo provided by ratch0013 on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I know, sorry to scare you like that especially with 6 months to go before your taxes will be due next year.  But we all have to pay them and they aren't as much fun as that guy in the picture looks like he's having.  However, they're an important part of the full personal finance picture and are likely one of the largest expenses that most of us encounter on an annual basis.  Even if it doesn't seem like it since you don't feel the bite of paying the payroll taxes since your employer withholds the money for you each paycheck.  

I mentioned in last weekends Weekly Roundup that I had been compiling all my pay stubs, sole proprietorship income from the blog, capital gains and losses, and qualified versus non-qualified dividends.  Well all the compiling is done and everything has been put into my tax spreadsheet so I finally have a much better picture of where we stand in regards to our potential tax bill.  So far this year federal income tax withholding is about 11.5% of my gross pay and throwing in Social Security and Medicare taxes on top of that brings it up to 18.5%.  That's a hefty chunk of my income that I'm missing out on.  So it makes sense to look for ways to minimize one of your largest expenses.  

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dividend Growth Investing at Work - Piping In Higher Dividends


Something I love about dividend growth investing is that each month I get to hear about companies I own deciding to pay me more money in dividends.  Just for owning a small portion of said companies.  Not going and doing R&D for new products or technology.  Not selling any products.  Not managing any employees or inventory.  Not making sales calls.  All I had to do was have the foresight to invest some of my savings in excellent companies.  That's dividend growth investing at work!  I mean who doesn't like getting a raise for doing nothing?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Go To Lowe's To Improve Your House But Not Your Portfolio... Yet


Peter Lynch told us to "buy what you know".  Now I've never worked in a Lowe's before, or retail of any kind for that matter, but I much prefer Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW) to The Home Depot, Inc. (HD).  At the Lowe's near my house the service is better than their counterpart across the street and the products I need have always been in stock.  So I wanted to take a more in depth look at this giant in the home improvement business to see if there's value in the shares.  Shares of LOW closed trading on Friday, October 16th at $72.78 giving investors a current yield of 1.54%.

The following tables/graphs are taken from my personal stock analysis spreadsheet.  Data for the stock analysis was sourced from Lowe's Companies Inc.'s investor relations page, Morningstar, and Yahoo Finance.

Historic Growth Rates:

Owners of Lowe's have earned excellent returns over the last decade.  According to longrundata.com, shares of LOW have earned investors a total return of 176.8% or 10.7% annualized over the last decade.  Those numbers are market returns at specific snapshots in time and aren't necessarily indicative of the business results over the same time period.  Looking at the historic growth rates for per share dividends, earnings, revenue, and free cash flow gives a better idea of the true operational results that Lowe's Companies has delivered.

Continue reading the Lowe's Companies, Inc. dividend stock analysis on Seeking Alpha.

Also check out more of my stock analyses on my Stock Analysis page and if there's any company in particular that you'd like to see an analysis on please let me know.


Monday, October 19, 2015

You'll Need That Kleenex From Kimberly-Clark Corporation If You Buy Shares Now


With the bull market being a bit long in the tooth and lasting about 6.5 years now I feel it's important to figure out my potential buy zones on some of the greatest defensive companies around, consumer staples.  That's why I've been performing full analyses on the other consumer staples giants in preparation for a sour market and potential recession.  I have no idea whether these will come tomorrow, next week, or five years down the road but I want to be prepared to purchase more consumer staples companies for my portfolio whenever the time comes.  Consumer staples offer downside protection investors since they have generally inelastic demand for their products and also have pricing power over the medium term.  This leads to consistent growth across most of the sector and consistent growth in operations leads to consistent growth in dividends.  One such company that has always seemed to elude me if Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB).  Kimberly-Clark has increased dividends paid to owners for 43 consecutive years.  Shares of KMB closed trading on Friday, October 16th at $117.28 giving investors a current yield of 3.00%.

The following tables/graphs are taken from my personal stock analysis spreadsheet.  Data for the stock analysis was sourced from Archer Daniels Midland Company's investor relations page, Morningstar, and Yahoo Finance.

Historic Growth Rates:

Owners of Kimberly-Clark have earned excellent returns over the last decade.  According to longrundata.com, shares of KMB have earned investors a total return of 206.4% or 11.8% annualized over the last decade.  Those numbers are market returns at specific snapshots in time and aren't necessarily indicative of the business results over the same time period.  Looking at the historic growth rates for per share dividends, earnings, revenue, and free cash flow gives a better idea of the true operational results that Kimberly-Clark has delivered.

Continue reading the Kimberly-Clark Corporation dividend stock analysis on Seeking Alpha.

Also, to see more of my stock analyses check out my Stock Analysis page.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Weekly Roundup - October 17, 2015


This past week was a bit bittersweet since it involved leaving home yet again, but luckily it's only 4 hours from home this time and in a much better location.  Just outside of Shreveport/Bossier City, Louisiana.  I haven't been in this area in about 4 years but it really is one of the more enjoyable areas to work.  Now I just need to make sure that I don't head to the casinos!  Although a trip or two might be in the works.

While home my wife and I went out to go see a movie.  I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I saw a movie in the theaters mainly because of the ridiculous prices.  But I'd been wanting to go because there's something different about seeing a movie on a huge screen rather than our tv at the house.  We ended up seeing The Martian with Matt Damon and I have to say it was better than I was expecting.  It was lower on my list of movies to see but it was the only one that the timing worked out unless we wanted to sit around for 30-45 minutes for another movie to start.  It was a pretty inspiring story about what one man will do to survive and how others will come to help.  I liken it to the battle for financial independence, although at much lower stakes.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dividend Growth Investing at Work - Dividend Increases to Keep You Healthy


Something I love about dividend growth investing is that each month I get to hear about companies I own deciding to pay me more money in dividends.  Just for owning a small portion of said companies.  Not going and doing R&D for new products or technology.  Not selling any products.  Not managing any employees or inventory.  Not making sales calls.  All I had to do was have the foresight to invest some of my savings in excellent companies.  That's dividend growth investing at work!  I mean who doesn't like getting a raise for doing nothing?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Net Worth Update - September 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.

Well, my net worth took another huge hit in September due to a stock market that declined for a second straight month and a very poor cash flow situation for our personal finances.  The main catalyst for the decline in September was due to stock market declines.  Unfortunately short term volatility is what you have to deal with when your net worth is heavily invested in the stock markets.  While my portfolio and net worth have both declined it's important to focus on what dividend growth investing is all about: dividends and the growth of them.  Dividends continue to roll into my portfolio with just under $850 coming in and even better is the FIVE dividend increases that were announced as well.  Ignore the noise and stay focused on the long term goal.  That's how you win with dividend growth investing!  During September my net worth declined $19,811.57 which is a 4.87% decline from the end of August.  I don't exactly feel like the guy in the picture above after the last two months!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Archer Daniels Midland Co. Is Approaching Buy Territory

Oftentimes it's the behind-the-scenes companies that make investors rich. The companies that the average person might have never heard of, but use some form of their products every day. Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM) is one such company and is a world leader in agricultural processing as well as having a vast transportation network that gives them an advantage over smaller players in the industry. Archer Daniels Midland has paid a dividend every year since 1927 and increased it for the last 39 consecutive years. Shares of Archer Daniels Midland are trading around $44.70 giving investors a current yield of 2.51%.

The following tables/graphs are taken from my personal stock analysis spreadsheet. Data for the stock analysis was sourced from Archer Daniels Midland Company's investor relations page, Morningstar, and Yahoo Finance.

Historic Growth Rates:

Owners of Archer Daniels Midland have received average returns over the last decade. According to longrundata.com, shares of ADM have earned investors a total return of 117.2% or 8.1% annualized over the last decade. Those numbers are market returns at specific snapshots in time and aren't necessarily indicative of the business results over the same time period. Looking at the historic growth rates for per share dividends, earnings, revenue, and free cash flow gives a better idea of the true operational results that Archer Daniels Midland has delivered.

Continue reading the Archer Daniels Midland Company dividend stock analysis on Seeking Alpha.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Weekly Roundup - October 11, 2015


Quick update this week as I've been on the road quite a bit.  We finally finished up with work and I got to come home and while I love coming home a 10 hour drive alone is never something that I look forward to.  I'm looking forward to a lazy Sunday of napping and watching some football as well as some Astros playoff baseball.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

General Mills: Buy The Products Not The Stock


Consumer staples companies make for excellent dividend growth investments due to their steady nature. I mean we're all going to continue to eat even if the economy isn't exactly firing on all cylinders. That's why you see some pretty hefty dividend growth streaks concentrated in the sector. One such company is General Mills (NYSE:GIS), which has a 12-year streak of increasing dividends paid to owners but 117 consecutive years of uninterrupted dividend payments. From time to time, they might keep the dividend steady but in over 100 years, it's never once been reduced. That's a company that I can get behind. Especially when you add in that they have some of the great pantry staples brands among their portfolio including Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Yoplait, Nature Valley and several more. Shares of General Mills are trading around $56.32 giving investors a current yield of 3.13%.

The following tables/graphs are taken from my personal stock analysis spreadsheet. Data for the stock analysis was sourced from General Mills, Inc.'s investor relations page, Morningstar, and Yahoo Finance.

Historic Growth Rates:

Owners of General Mills have received excellent returns over the last decade. According to longrundata.com, shares of GIS have earned investors a total return of 316.9% or 12.2% annualized over the last decade. Those numbers are market returns at specific snapshots in time and aren't necessarily indicative of the business results over the same time period. Looking at the historic growth rates for per share dividends, earnings, revenue, and free cash flow gives a better idea of the true operational results that General Mills has delivered.

Continue reading the General Mills Dividend Stock Analysis at Seeking Alpha.

Also, you can check out more of my stock analyses at my Stock Analysis page.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dividend Growth Investing at Work - More YUMmy Dividends


Something I love about dividend growth investing is that each month I get to hear about companies I own deciding to pay me more money in dividends.  Just for owning a small portion of said companies.  Not going and doing R&D for new products or technology.  Not selling any products.  Not managing any employees or inventory.  Not making sales calls.  All I had to do was have the foresight to invest some of my savings in excellent companies.  That's dividend growth investing at work!  I mean who doesn't like getting a raise for doing nothing?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.: Low Prices Have Shares Trading For A 10%+ Discount

 Wal-Mart logo from 1968-1981

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) has a rich history of generating returns for investors and 42 consecutive years of increasing the dividend. Of course, that's what happens when you grow a 1-store business into the world's largest retailer with sales approaching $500 B annually. However, just because Wal-Mart has been one of the great American success stories doesn't mean that the valuation warrants an investment. I'm going to take an in depth quantitative analysis at Wal-Mart stores in order to determine what price I'm willing to purchase shares. Wal-Mart Stores closed trading on October 2nd at $64.98 per share giving investors a current yield of 3.02%.

The following tables/graphs are taken from my personal stock analysis spreadsheet. Data for the stock analysis was sourced from Wal-Mart Stores' investor relations page, Morningstar, and Yahoo Finance.

Historic Growth Rates:

Owners of Wal-Mart have received steady, but unspectacular, returns over the last 10 years. According to longrundata.com, shares of WMT have earned investors a total return of 184.6% or 6.3% annualized over the last decade. Those numbers are market returns at specific snapshots in time and aren't necessarily indicative of the business results over the same time period. Looking at the historic growth rates for per share dividends, earnings, revenue, and free cash flow gives a better idea of the true operational results that Wal-Mart has delivered.

Continue reading the Wal-Mart Stores Dividend Stock Analysis at Seeking Alpha.

Also, you can check out other stock analyses at my Stock Analysis page.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Dividend Update - September 2015


It's the end of one month so it's time for my favorite update: my dividend update.  These 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.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Weekly Roundup - October 3, 2015


This was another sunrise I was able to catch this past week.  It was absolutely gorgeous and the picture doesn't do the majesty of it justice.  I love how the rays are lighting up the clouds.

This past week was crazy.  We had all sorts of issues with work, none related to my stuff, and then Wednesday afternoon I finally got to go home.  Or so I thought.  I made the 10 hour drive back home and then Thursday afternoon I get a phone call.  Turns out the company we were working for changed their mind and wanted to use our tools to finish the well instead of the other company that they had been using.  So early Friday morning after about 24.5 hours at home I got back in my car to drive another 10 hours and get everything ready again.  What a mess!  I can't say I was too happy about that and was very close to telling them there's no way I can go back out there.  But like the good little worker bee that I am, plus since I'm the sole provider for our household, I grudgingly drove back out there.  It should hopefully be for less than a week but you never know how things will go out here and you could easily be 5 hours from going home and then end up being gone for another 3 weeks.

I got some writing done this past week with two stock analyses going up on Seeking Alpha but for the most part I was doing data collection.  Data to catch up on my own finances from the previous month or two and also to start being able to write some more stock analyses.  I've got several lined up but now I need to spend the time writing them.  It's good to be back into a routine and back to "normal" and I plan on writing much more often that I have been so far this year.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

3M Company: A Diversified Conglomerate Poised To Continue Delivering Results

The industrial sector has been seeing large declines so far through 2015 due to varied reasons: a strong US dollar is hurting the large multinationals, interest rate hikes, China's economy slowing, potentially another recession in the works. Pick your disaster du jour and the stock markets are responding. In volatile market scenarios, it pays to invest your capital with the highest-quality companies you can find with proven histories of weathering all sorts of economic storms. The company I want to look at today has increased the dividend for 57 consecutive years, holds over 100,000 patents, operations in over 70 countries, and has a product lineup that covers just about every industry possible. The company I'm taking about is 3M Company (NYSE:MMM), and it is trading around $139 per share, giving investors a current yield of 2.95%.

The following tables/graphs are taken from my personal stock analysis spreadsheet. Data for the stock analysis was sourced from 3M Company's investor relations page, Morningstar, and Yahoo Finance.

Historic Growth Rates:

Owners of 3M have received solid returns over the last 10 years. According to longrundata.com, shares of MMM have earned investors a total return of 246.5% or 9.4% annualized over the last decade. Those numbers are market returns at specific snapshots in time and aren't necessarily indicative of the business results over the same time period. Looking at the historic growth rates for per share dividends, earnings, revenue, and free cash flow gives a better idea of the true operational results that 3M Company has delivered.

Continue reading the 3M Company stock analysis on Seeking Alpha.

Also, you can check out other stock analyses at my Stock Analysis page.