Weekly Roundup - May 3, 2014
Another week and another month is in the books and now we're on to May. With the markets going everywhere and nowhere during the month and May now upon us, the usual chatter of "sell in May and go away" is coming up. Personally I'm looking forward to the markets retreating some to allow us all to invest in great companies at better valuations. There's definitely some headwinds for the markets since it's been a somewhat disappointing earnings season with a lot of companies beating on earnings but missing on revenues. To me that signals better cost control and cost cutting rather than solid core fundamental growth. But all we can do is invest capital at whatever we feel are good valuations. I try to stay away from building too large of a cash position because I haven't found a way to time the market and no one else has either. A lot of people were calling for a big decline all throughout 2013, but we ended up with about 30% gains across the market.
I love when the end of the month rolls around so I can tally up all of the dividends I received. As a dividend growth investor there really isn't anything better than that, although dividend increase announcements sure are nice. April treated me quite nicely on the increases with 8 of my holdings raising their dividend and I received over $200 in dividends. And I even made two purchases this past week by adding shares of American Realty Capital Properties and Starbucks. So it was a pretty solid month on the DGI front.
Consumer staples companies are wonderful for dividend growth investors. There's a reason you can find them all over the lists of annual dividend growers. Most of them sell a product that gets used quickly and most importantly generates repeat and frequent purchases. You won't find them amongst the list of the high flying growth stocks, but when it comes to consistency and being able to improve whether the economy is going gangbusters or jumping off buildings, consumer staples companies really can't be beat. This past week I had two analyses get posted on Seeking Alpha, one on Procter & Gamble (Full Analysis Here) and one on Colgate-Palmolive (Full Analysis Here).
I'm very excited though now that the weekend is here and I'll be home early morning Sunday. And the best part is that I'm going to be off for at least a week and hopefully a week and a half. I've got vacation scheduled because one of my buddies, I've known him since elementary school, is getting married later this year and we're doing his bachelor party up big. We're heading out to Vegas on Thursday! It's been about 2 years since we last went and it was awesome. Other than that I'm looking forward to not having to be near my phone for a week and tending to our small garden that we started the about 2 weeks ago. Hopefully I can squeeze in some writing too since I know I'll be home for a while. I'm also hoping to talk with some turnkey real estate companies to see what they have to say. I still think that rental property can be a great complement to a dividend growth investing strategy and with 30 year mortgages still at historically low levels the cash flow numbers look pretty solid for good properties. I'm also wanting to grill/smoke every day that I'm home because I just don't the chance to do it like I wish I could. The weather is supposed to be nice and there isn't much that can beat a relaxing day of grilling with an ice cold beer in your hand and a radio on.
Thanks again to everyone that stopped by, commented, or shared posts from Passive-Income-Pursuit this past week. I truly appreciate it and can't thank you all enough. Also, be sure not to miss any posts by signing up to receive them by email here or at the Subscribe page. And be sure to follow me on Twitter as well for real-time updates of new purchases.
The investments that got away by Financially Integrated - We all have our own list of companies that we were close to buying but for some reason or another decided against it. One that I missed out on was Apple. I was close to buying some shares around $90 back in 2007 or 2008 but kept procrastinating the purchase. I think everyone knows the story of Apple since then. The key is to learn from your mistakes and to improve your thought process for the future.
The CAPE Ratio and a Range of Historical Outcomes by A Wealth of Common Sense - I think most people have heard of the CAPE (Cyclically Adjust Price to Earnings) ratio and I've been hearing it talked about more and more as the markets continue to hit new highs. Check out Ben's analysis of the data on the CAPE, if anything it's made me even less worrisome about investing capital in a heated market.
A Taste of Independence - My Sabbatical by FI Pilgrim - I wish all companies would give a 1 month paid sabbatical to let their employees relax and recharge. I think we all dream of what our lives will be like once we reach financial independence and luckily FI Pilgrim got a taste, even if it was just for a month.
What's the Bigger Sacrifice: Living Below Your Means or Working for Most of Your Life? by Dividend Mantra - When you decide to pursue financial independence, especially if you're striving for potential early retirement, you have to make sacrifices. You're not going to be able to buy a new car every 2-3 years or eat out at fancy restaurants every night. To some people that sacrifice isn't worth it, but to others the sacrifice is committing yourself to working for 40 years.
Do you look back after a trade? by The Dividend Guy - If you invest in individual companies, eventually you're going to have to sell a position. Sometimes it's to take some profit and others it's because you lost faith in the company or management. And inevitably a stock you sell is going to rise. Don't dwell on the lost potential profit. You made a decision that you felt was right at the time.
New Rental Property on the Horizon? by Retire Before Dad - Rental property can be a great complement to a dividend growth strategy to help diversify your income. RBD has an interesting opportunity on deck to purchase a rental property.
7 stocks currently on sale by Dividend Growth Stock Investing - The markets so far this year haven't presented a lot of value opportunities so you have to look harder to find companies that are trading at discounts. Luckily, Dan did some of the work for us all and gave us seven ideas to look further into.
Maintaining Moats in Times of Technological Changes by Dividend Growth Investor - One of the big reasons to stay up to date on the companies that you own is to be on the lookout for potential industry changes. You don't want to be stuck owning a newspaper business as the internet is picking up steam.
Frequent Traveler University: What I Learned by FI Fighter - Travel hacking is awesome. It's something I really need to get into to build up rewards/travel points. The fact that you can earn points through sign up bonuses and regular expenses and travel essentially free is just plain amazing.
My First Dividend Purchase by DivHut - I always find it interesting to hear about the first purchase that my fellow bloggers make. Mine wasn't a purposefully chosen dividend growth stock but it's always fun to find out how you all ended up pursuing a dividend growth strategy.
I hope you all have a great weekend!
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