Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dividend Growth Investing at Work - Beaming Up Higher Dividends

Concept of how dividend growth investing works
Getting a pay raise while sitting on the couch?  Sign me up!  Thanks Harris Corporation for the pay raise!
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?  Dividend growth investing is far from a get rich quick investment strategy, rather you need to remain focused on the long term goal to be successful.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Seeking Alpha With Realty Income, Hardly

dividend growth investing, value investing, discounted cash flow analysis
Realty Income (O) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016
Seeking Alpha: That's the name of this wonderful website that brings together investors from around the world to share their thoughts and ideas. Of course, the term seeking alpha is more than that once we move into the investment world.
Alpha is the excess return of an investment compared to a benchmark like the S&P 500. Looking at the following chart Realty Income (NYSE:O) has provided 20.7% positive alpha year to date, compared to the S&P 500.
Investment alpha can be generated in a number of ways. It can be through spotting opportunities for the company through acquisitions or new markets for their existing product lines before the investment world at large recognizes them. Alpha can also be generated by recognizing a coming shift in the valuation that the market as a whole places on a company's shares.
Take REITs as an example that have seen large shifts in their valuation over the last year or so. No one knows for sure the exact reason for that valuation shift, but there are plenty of ideas, such as: (1) the low interest rate policy has pushed bond proxies to high valuations, with no real end in sight, or (2) REITs becoming their own asset class this month after being broken out from the financial sector classification, or (3) any number of other reasons.
Continue reading the article on Seeking Alpha.

Seeking Alpha - Realty Income (O) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Weekly Roundup - August 27, 2016

Curated list of articles on dividend growth investing, financial independence, freedom and passive income
Happy Weekend!  Check out what's been going on in my world and some of the best articles from around the blogosphere.
Our daughter just continues to grow and learn and explore more and more every day.  It's awesome to see early childhood development first hand.  Lately she's been all about mommy and wants to cuddle up with her most of the afternoon.  But whenever she's awake and not in cuddle mode she's becoming more and more interactive every day.   

Friday, August 26, 2016

Net Worth Update - July 2016

July 2016 Net Worth Update
July 2016 Net Worth Update
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.

The S&P 500 marched higher yet again during July climbing higher by 3.6%.  Since the majority of my net worth is tied to the performance of the markets my net worth moves in line with the markets.  So good months in the markets typically turn into good months for the net worth and vice versa.  Of course I love getting to see those dividends roll in each month because they're always a positive portion of return.  In July I received over $270 in dividends across all 3 of my accounts.  

For the month our net worth decreased $2,432.54.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

It's Quiet...A Little Too Quiet

Embrace the volatility, VIX option

For the most part I've been on the investment sidelines for much of the past year.  Part of that was due to not seeing many investment opportunities, but mostly it was due to having other needs for our cash.  The past year has seen both of us without a full time job at the same time, the birth of our daughter, becoming a SAHD and so many other changes.  Unfortunately just about everything requires cash which means investing has been on the back burner.

One of the advantages of being on the sidelines is that I get to sit back and just observe.  Something that's surprised me a bit is the lack of volatility this year.  For the most part the major indices have taken after the tortoise rather than the hare this year.  Even more so since the "Brexit" vote.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Should You Be Taking Profits In General Mills?


dividend growth investing, value investing, discounted cash flow analysis
General Mills, Inc. (GIS) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016
For decades, cereal has been the go-to breakfast for Americans, because it's quick, easy and relatively healthy. That makes it a staple in the pantry of millions of American households. The domestic cereal market is dominated by the two largest players, General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) and Kellogg Company (NYSE:K), both owning around 30% of the ready-to-eat cereal market.
General Mills is much more than just a cereal company, with well-known brands found in kitchens everywhere. There's baking products such as Bisquick, Betty Crocker, Gold Medal Flour and Pillsbury. Haagen-Dazs ice cream in the frozen section. Larabar, Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen in the organic/natural space. Fiber One and Nature Valley for those quick snack granola bars, and one of the most well known yogurt brands, Yoplait.
As a long-term investor, I want to stock my portfolio up with as many great companies as I can and buy shares at fair value or less. Identifying great companies is the easy part of that equation, but you make your money ensuring the value is right when you buy shares.
Let's examine some qualitative factors of General Mills and why I feel that it meets the high-quality standard, and then dig into whether the shares represent a value.
Continue reading the article on Seeking Alpha.

Seeking Alpha - General Mills, Inc. (GIS) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weekly Roundup - August 20, 2016...Finally A Break

Weekly Roundup filled with some of the best articles on dividend growth investing, stock analyses, personal finance and financial independence from the past week.
Happy Weekend!  Check out what's been going on in my world and some of the best articles from around the blogosphere.
We finally got a break from the oppressive heat that had just been sitting on top of us for the last month or so.  Of course, in typical fashion that break came with a swing in the opposite direction.  Every day this past week we've had gray skies and rain.  It's rarely a nice mix here in Houston, but I'll definitely take gray and rainy over 100°F+ by the early afternoon.   

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rio Olympics, Gold Medals and Bad Investments



Rio Olympics, Gold Medals and Bad Investments
2016 Rio Olympics
I don't know about all of you, but I've been loving the 2016 Olympics.  Of course it helps that I'm currently unemployed and get to check out the events whenever I get a chance during the day.

Seeing all of these athletes from around the world competing and getting to see 4 years of hard work be put to the test is inspiring.  I've seen Olympic records, World Records and heard some great stories behind the athletes.

By now I'm sure just about everyone has heard of Michael Phelps and his insane accomplishments.  In the Rio Olympics alone he's amassed 5 gold medals and was involved in a 3-way tie for the silver medal he won.  Over the 4 Olympics that he's been in he's hauled in 28 medals.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

McCormick & Company: Overvalued No Matter How You Cook It

dividend growth investing, value investing, discounted cash flow analysis
McCormick & Company (MKC) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016
Spices and herbs. Those are the epitome of kitchen staples and the largest player is McCormick & Company (NYSE:MKC). Consumer staples companies are historically some of the most consistent payers and growers of dividends because of their stable businesses.

McCormick & Company offers excellent diversification in the spices and flavors portion of your kitchen with both general consumer and industrial customers. The consumer segment, that's you and me, provide approximately 60% of McCormick's sales while the industrial segment accounts for the other 40%. McCormick also offers global diversification with just over 40% of 2015's revenues coming from outside the United States.
There's two parts to determining whether a company should be added to one's portfolio. The first is the quality of the company so we'll examine if McCormick & Company meets that standard. The second is whether the market is undervaluing, fairly valuing or overvaluing the shares in relation to the value of the company.
How about that dividend?
A company's quality is crucial for investors with a long term mindset. Unfortunately companies aren't just labeled high quality we have to look for cues within the numbers. One of the easiest signs to read is a company's dividend history because companies don't just wander into a multiple decade long streak.
Continue reading the article on Seeking Alpha.

Seeking Alpha - McCormick & Company (MKC) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Nike: Attractively Valued And Poised For Double-Digit Returns

dividend growth investing, value investing, discounted cash flow analysis
Nike, Inc. (NKE) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016
Nike, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) has long been synonymous with athletes everywhere. With the Rio Olympics going on and the free advertising with close-ups of just about every athlete what better time to analyze Nike as a potential investment than now?

Nike has delivered investors 20.6% annual returns over the last decade and 12.2% returns over the last twenty years. There's very few companies that can maintain that level of consistency and wealth generating ability, yet Nike has done superbly.

Nike has extremely strong brand strength with consumers routinely buying more product and willing to pay more for that "Nike Swoosh" on the side of the shoes. Nike's brand strength might be untouchable and the company high quality, but that doesn't mean it makes for a good investment if the market is valuing the shares to richly. Let's examine why Nike is an excellent company and then we'll see if we should purchase some shares.
How about that dividend?
The quality of a company is crucial to an investor looking to own the company forever. However, determining the quality is difficult so I look to the numbers. Companies don't just stumble into decades long dividend growth streaks which is why the dividend history is one of my first stops when analyzing a company.
Nike's streak sits at 14 years currently based on calendar year payouts. That gives them the title of Dividend Contender.
Continue reading the article on Seeking Alpha.

Seeking Alpha - Nike, Inc. (NKE) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Weekly Roundup - August 13, 2016...I'm Melting Edition

Weekly Roundup filled with some of the best articles on dividend growth investing, stock analyses, personal finance and financial independence from the past week.
Happy Weekend!  Check out what's been going on in my world and some of the best articles from around the blogosphere.
The 3 day SAHD trial this week turned into a 4 day trial, but no one was worse for the wear.  Our daughter had a few tears, but I'm happy to report that there were none from me.  It's hard to believe it, but as of August 9th she's already a month old.  This past month has been a complete blur and it's amazing to see how much she's changed in just one month.  She went from essentially only sleeping and eating to now being awake for an hour or so at a time and exploring her world.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Trouble Ahead For Kimberly-Clark Investors?

dividend growth investing, value investing, discounted cash flow analysis
Kimberly Clark Corporation (KMB) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016
As a new dad going through plenty of diapers I couldn't help but look into the maker of Huggies diapers. We're going through an 88 pack box in about a week's time which means lots of cash leaving my pocket and going to the maker, Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE:KMB).
I love consumer staples as part of the core of my portfolio and Kimberly-Clark is a company that I've always had my eye on, but have yet to add it to my portfolio. You can't get much more staple with your product lineup than diapers, Kleenex and paper towels.
Let's examine Kimberly-Clark a bit closer to see what makes them tick and how they've been able to amass a 44 year dividend growth streak. Of course a quality company doesn't mean it will make a good investment so we'll look at the valuation too.
How about that dividend?
First and foremost for dividend growth investors is the quality of the company. If a company consistently grows the dividend payment year after year there's a high likelihood that the company is high quality.
Kimberly-Clark is no exception with 44 consecutive years of increases. A streak that long is enviable and gives them the title of Dividend Champion.
Continue reading the article on Seeking Alpha.

Seeking Alpha - Kimberly Clark Corporation (KMB) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

Racing To Dividends With 3M Company

dividend growth investing, value investing, discounted cash flow analysis
3M Company (MMM) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016
Diversification plays a key role in risk management for any investment plan as well as for running a company. If a company relies on income from just one segment of the economy, the economic cycles are felt especially hard in the bad times.

3M Company (NYSE:MMM) is a one-stop shop for diversification with 5 business segments that range across the economy: Industrial, Safety and Graphics, Health Care, Electronics and Energy, and the Consumer. 3M Company also gives global diversification, with 60% of 2015's sales being derived internationally.
The geographic and product diversification allows different segments of the business to zig when others zag. In other words, the business can continue to march forward more often than not even if some of the segments are going through a rough period.
Periodically, I like to re-analyze the companies that I own to update the valuation in order to determine if now is the time to make bolt on purchases.
How about that dividend?
As a dividend growth investor, one of the first things I examine is whether a company has consistently paid and grown the dividend payout. You'd be hard pressed to find many companies with a better track record than 3M.
Assuming the two remaining 2016 dividend payments are made, 2016 will mark a huge milestone for 3M. This will be the 58th consecutive year of dividend increases and also marks the 100th consecutive year of uninterrupted dividend payments. That firmly gives it the title of Dividend Champion.
Continue reading the article on Seeking Alpha.

Seeking Alpha - 3M Company (MMM) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Weekly Roundup - August 6, 2016...How is it August edition?

Weekly Roundup filled with some of the best articles on dividend growth investing, stock analyses, personal finance and financial independence from the past week.
Happy Weekend!  Check out what's been going on in my world and some of the best articles from around the blogosphere.
How in the world is it August already?  This year seemed to just be dragging on and on then once June hit we just kind of fast forwarded to August.  Of course there's good reason for that in our household with our daughter being born in early July.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Dividend Growth Investing at Work - One More Increase From July

Concept of how dividend growth investing works
Getting a pay raise while sitting on the couch?  Sign me up!  Thanks Bank of America for the pay raise!
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?  Dividend growth investing is far from a get rich quick investment strategy, rather you need to remain focused on the long term goal to be successful.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Dividend Update - July 2016

dividend growth investing, stocks, financial independence
Dividend Update - July 2016

It's the end of one month and the beginning of another so it's time for my favorite update: my dividend update.  These dividend 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 pages to see what dedication to an investment plan can give you.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

No Deals At Costco Wholesale Corporation

dividend growth investing, value investing, discounted cash flow analysis
Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) Dividend Growth Stock Analysis 2016
My wife and I became members of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) earlier this year and the warehouse really is fantastic. We've been to the store closest to us a few times over the past few months and compared to some of the other large retailers in our area I have to say that Costco is by and far the best one to visit.

I've long heard of Costco's merits from shoppers and investors alike. Now that I've had the Costco experience first hand it's time to investigate the company as an investment.
How about that dividend?
As a dividend growth investor one of the first things I examine is whether a company has consistently paid and grown their dividend payout.
Costco has increased the dividend payout for 13 consecutive years giving them the title of Dividend Contender. There's plenty of other companies that have streaks longer than Costco; however, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step...or in Costco's case 13.
The following chart shows the quarterly dividend payment from Costco since initiating a dividend in 2004.
Continue reading the article on Seeking Alpha.

Seeking Alpha - Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) Dividend Stock Analysis 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

Dividend Update Preview - July 2016 Infographic

Come look at how many dividends these excellent companies paid out in July!  And 5 companies even handed out some pay raises!

The full breakdown will come later this week, but you can get the advanced look here!

How were your dividends in July?

dividend growth investing, dividends, stocks, investing, financial independence
My real-life portfolio monthly dividend update for July 2016