Monday, October 3, 2016

Financial/Life Update

Good Evening Everyone,

This post is going to be quite extensive so if you do not want to take 10 min to read everything, scroll to the bottom and I'll give you the main points.

So where to begin? First, I would like to apologize to all the readers who have stopped by in the past few weeks and have had no new material to read.  Life is always hectic in the summer time and although we have not had weddings every weekend, something has always seemed to take priority over the blog.

Since my last true post back on August 2nd my life has been quite the whirlwind with regards to everyday life, finances and fun.

My wife and I went on a week long vacation like we do every year in the middle of August.  We had weekend trips to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  My wife started a new job, my work won a much needed contract, the stock market rallied, and dividend checks kept rolling in.  I tried to slow life down a bit by relaxing on the weekends (to no avail), and the blog went silent.  My grandpa past away so the family has been working on his house which took up more time and before you know it, 2 months have passed.

This year has moved faster than any other year previously in my life.  To be sitting here and its already October seems crazy to me.  It still feels like spring was just yesterday, the flowers were starting to grow, the grass needed cutting, and weekends at the pool just around the corner.

With that bit of information out of the way, lets move onto the main topics of the post:

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Dividend Income - September 2016 Update

Hi Everyone,

Once again another killer month for my wife and I!  I might be jumping the gun on posting these results because it is only the first of the month.  Usually I do not see payouts from the 401K funds until sometime after the 1st of the month even though Vanguard counts it towards the month prior.  Check back again for updates!

Getting to the point, Septembers total came in at $548.75!  which is an increase of just 4% compared to last year$527 and a 19% decrease compared to last quarters $674... Bummer.

In the future, you will see my payouts go down pretty drastically so don't get too excited about the larger payouts.  Which is part of the reason I am not taking nearly enough time to write extended blogs for August and September.

Believe me, I am happier than ever with the decisions my wife and I have made regarding finances but dividend posts are not the place to discuss.  A gigantic blog post is just around the corner that will lay out all of the changes.

Hope you all had a great September!

ADD

Dividend Income - August 2016 Update

Hi Everyone,

Way late on this post.  Too busy living life recently....  Sorry!


However, those big investments continue to roll in the huge payouts!   Augusts total came in at $529.65!!  which is an increase of 60% compared to last year$331 and a 54% increase compared to last quarters $345!

No chart this month as big changes have been made to the portfolio and we will get into those in future posts.

Jump over to our dividend income page to see the increases month after month. There is also a nice chart on that page for all you visual learners out there. On that page, you can easily see dividend income investing at work which hopefully one day will be greater than our expenses and that's what we like to call The American Dividend Dream! Check out our complete portfolio here.

ADD

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dividend Income - July 2016 Update


Hi Everyone,

As Ray Charles once sung, Let the good times roll!!

All those big investments from extra money "laying" around are really paying off!   This months total came in at $425.20!!  which is an increase of 68% compared to last years $252 and a 23% increase compared to last quarters $345!



July Dividend Income:

 

Total: $425.20


Big positives from last year include new positions in: STAG, RAI, BNS, CSCO, STJ, UVE, CAH & PEB.  Holy cow, that's alot!!

Jump over to our dividend income page to see the increases month after month. There is also a nice chart on that page for all you visual learners out there. On that page, you can easily see dividend income investing at work which hopefully one day will be greater than our expenses and that's what we like to call The American Dividend Dream! Check out our complete portfolio here.


How was your July?


Thanks,
ADD

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Recent Buy - Cisco (CSCO)

Good Evening,

After my wife graciously allowed me to invest $16,000 into stocks back around May, we have been slowly building back up cash reserves and slowly buying stocks.  After we updated our 401K investments to lower our taxable income, there has been less money around to invest into the taxable accounts.  Over the past 2 months, we have only made two purchases:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Waking Up Stress Free

Hi Everyone,

As I have eluded to in previous posts, work has been crazy busy recently. 

I just finished helping my company put together a large proposal on work ranging in the $100+ million range.  Unfortunately, this has caused me to work more hours than usual and spend less time doing things that I enjoy.  The stress and long hours put a strain on my physical and mental state.  I was tired all the time and the only thing I wanted to do was ESCAPE! 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Saying Thank You to MMM

Where to begin?

If you read my May dividend income post, you noticed that I was quite busy over the past 2 months.  Blogging will always come second to living life but during this sabbatical, I did some of the most eye opening early retirement reading of my entire life.

I read Mr. Money Mustache from the first post to the last in a span of 2 months!!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Dividend Income - June 2016 Update



Hi Everyone,

Quick update since I just gave you all the run down in the post 5 minutes ago...

Absolutely killed it!!!   This months total came in at $689.79!!  which is an increase of 46% compared to last year and a 17% increase compared to last quarter!

June Dividend Income:

Total: $689.79


Big positives from last year include new positions in:  BA, AMGN, PH, STAG, WBA, MMM, UNP.  Holy cow, that's alot!!

I also invested more into:  XOM, ADM, & DOV.

UA paid a special dividend to shareholders due to the C class shares and the 401K funds all increased their payouts from last year!

BOOM!  Almost $700 in one month.  Truly remarkable to see!  To think that All of our guaranteed monthly expenses are paid for, minus the mortgage is incredible.  No longer have to worry about Electric, Gas, Water, Phone, Internet, Car Insurance, and some of our food.  Fantastic.  Now, this is only 4 months out of the year right now but we are slowly creeping up there!

All told, there was an increase of $216.64 from last year, and $98.76 from last quarter!  Gotta love the growth!

Jump over to our dividend income page to see the increases month after month. There is also a nice chart on that page for all you visual learners out there. On that page, you can easily see dividend income investing at work which hopefully one day will be greater than our expenses and that's what we like to call The American Dividend Dream! Check out our complete portfolio here.


How was your June?


Thanks,
ADD

Dividend Income - May 2016 Update

Hi Everyone,

My apologies to everyone stopping by and expecting new material here at the site. 

It has been a hectic two months.  My mother in law was living with us for 1.5 months, work was nuts, my grandfather was having medical issues so he needed extra care for.  His basement flooded and we opened up his pool/took care of lingering maintenance around his place.  Continuing the excuses, we took a long weekend to the beach, we planted a vegetable garden and did spring cleaning on all the windows, doors, garage, basement, you name it.  And finally, the best of all...  we were just trying to live life.  Bike rides/walks/spending time with friends who just had babies, you name it, we probably did it. 

Unfortunately for the readers out there, the blog takes back seat to living. 

After the "My wife is awesome post" below, I'd like her as well as you all out there know that those particular investments are up over $1,000 in less than two months!  If we sold now, it would have taken 35 years to make that in interest from the bank.  If that alone does not give you proof that you should invest, I don't know what will.  Granted, the market could have collapsed over 2 months, but then again we would still have that $1,000 of dividends every year to make up for it.  I'm still a believer of investing!

Any way, lets get down to the numbers....

This months total came in at $344.29!!  which is an increase of 34% compared to last year! 

May Dividend Income:
Total: $344.29


Big positives from last year, I invested heavily into OHI, a purchase of AAPL and HCP.  Losses from GLP and  KMI offset some of the gains or else we really would have had a blowout month.

All told, there was an increase of $87.11 from last year!  Gotta love the growth!

Jump over to our dividend income page to see the increases month after month. There is also a nice chart on that page for all you visual learners out there. On that page, you can easily see dividend income investing at work which hopefully one day will be greater than our expenses and that's what we like to call The American Dividend Dream! Check out our complete portfolio here.


How was your May?


Thanks,
ADD

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A lot of Updates - Part 2 - Recent Buys!

Hello again,

A continuation from the last post results in great information for you guys about what has been going on around here. First of all, the...

Stock Purchases and Sells
Goals

...pages have been updated.  Perhaps you noticed the stock purchases and sells page already in the last few days and in that case, you'll see that a lot of purchases were made!!

I alluded to the fact that my wife is awesome in the previous post and now I'll tell you why.  Many years ago, she was given a small inheritance when an aunt passed away.  This inheritance paid off her small student loans, a new car (Nissan Versa), a trip to Ireland and finally it has increased our pursuit of early retirement!

We have had roughly $16,000 sitting in a separate bank account for the past 2+ years.  Over the course of these 2 years, a lot of uses for this money has been talked about but nothing has ever been done.

First, we wanted to update our master bath.  We wanted to knock out a wall, put in a shower (so we have two) but the contractors we had come in to give us an estimate wanted $5,000 or more.  That number scares us both because personally I think I can do all that work for much cheaper.

Then, we wanted to completely redo our kitchen.  It is closed off, old cabinets, no pantry, fridge is in a weird location, etc.  No contractors for this to tell you quotes, but just new cabinets alone were running $5,000.  Our kitchen is perfectly fine the way it is.  It does everything we need it to do and in the 4 years we have owned the house, it has never let us down.  So why change it?

Finally, the big one...   Completely finish our unfinished basement.  I have started this undertaking already.  The studs are up, all duct work is framed out, and some additional pieces (doors and such) have been purchased.  Thing is, we never go down there currently and there is no reason to.  Our living room already has everything we need.  It is just my wife and I in a 3 bedroom 1.5 bathroom house.  The only thing a finished basement adds is more costs to furnish it, more time to keep it clean, and more space that we currently don't use, etc.

So that brings us to two weeks ago.  I received our QUARTERLY statement from the bank account and what I saw was shocking...   We made, wait for it...   SEVEN DOLLARS! in 3 months!  Roughly $2.33 a month in income.  Absolutely PATHETIC!  Reading early retirement blogs have changed my life and this bank statement was just the kick in the ass I needed to try to persuade my wife into using this money to make more money.

Before I go on, can we all admit that the interest the banks pay out...   SUCKS!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A lot of Updates!!

To all the readers out there:

Sorry I have been such a lame ass with updating the blog recently!!

I was looking at the pages on this blog and noticed that I had not updated some of them since November 2015...  WEAK.

So, for all my readers out there, I apologize and now the...

401K Portfolio
Portfolio
Dividend Income

... pages have all been updated.  I am working feverishly to catch up with the stock purchases and sells and the goals pages.  I will get a new post out on those two soon!

Sorry,
ADD

Dividend Income - April 2016 Update

Hi Everyone,

Sorry this is so late ya'll...   but man, I think it was worth the wait!!

We have not been able to put away as much income this year due to increasing the 401K contributions but I've got a surprise in an upcoming post --  Hint:  My wife is awesome!

With that being said, our prior investments and additional compounding growth have allowed us to set new records for the month of April.


This months total came in at $345.53!!  which is an increase of 25.88% compared to last year and a 5.80% increase compared to last quarter.

April Dividend Income:


Total: $345.53

As you can see, there were quite a few new investments along with some one time payouts, along with some respectable compound growth.  I sold O (perhaps a bad call since I have not been able to buy it back cheaper yet) and OHI & TROW were one time payouts last year.  Those were all the big negatives.

Big positives from last year, I invested heavily into WPC, a purchase of RAI earlier this year, along with new purchases of BNS, CSCO and STJ.

All told, there was an increase of $71.04 from last year, and $18.94 from last quarter!  Gotta love the growth!

Jump over to our dividend income page to see the increases month after month. There is also a nice chart on that page for all you visual learners out there. On that page, you can easily see dividend income investing at work which hopefully one day will be greater than our expenses and that's what we like to call The American Dividend Dream! Check out our complete portfolio here.


How was your April?


Thanks,
ADD

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dividend Income - March 2016 Update

Hi Everyone,

What a great month of March we just had and we are loving the income!  This was our third highest income total ever behind the last two December's and a whopping 42% higher than last March. 

Keeping this post quick because the Masters is on so lets just get right down to the numbers...

This months total came in at $591.03!!  which like I said was an increase of 42% compared to last year but a 65% decrease compared to last quarter.  December is the high payout month due to mutual funds from the 401K.

March Dividend Income:


Total: $591.03

As you can see, there were quite a few new investments along with respectable compound growth.  LO was the reason for the -$22.02 but that has been replaced with RAI which pays out in a different month.

Jump over to our dividend income page to see the increases month after month. There is also a nice chart on that page for all you visual learners out there. On that page, you can easily see dividend income investing at work which hopefully one day will be greater than our expenses and that's what we like to call The American Dividend Dream! Check out our complete portfolio here.


How was your March?


Thanks,
ADD

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Financial changes to help with taxes

Good Afternoon Everyone!

In the past, my wife and I have done quite well with regards to our taxes at the end of the year.  I do not think either of us have ever had to pay taxes at the end of the year.  Well, this year is no different.  We will be getting a refund.  However, you can hardly call the refund something to write home about.  The reasoning for this is because we now make too much money...  definitely not a bad thing!  We have hit the next tax bracket, do not have any other deductions to take however, we are not maximizing our potential tax savings like we should be. 

So this year, it finally hit me!  We need to start maximizing our tax-free accounts as much as possible to reduce our tax burden.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Recent Buys - Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), Amgen (AMGN), St Jude (STJ)

Hi Everyone,

Well, after our sell of Realty Income (O) we have put an additional $3K to work or a total of about $6K.  First we went and bought RAI and now we have purchased BNS, AMGN and STJ! Reasoning behind all the purchases:

Bank of Nova Scotia:  Well, I didn't want to directly invest in the Oil and Gas sector as I am quite overweight in that area already.  From what I have read, most Canadian banks have fallen quite a bit due to their relationship with oil.  The yield of BNS was quite enticing and after quite a significant drop I thought it was a prudent time to make our first investment with the country up north.  BNS is also quite diversified throughout many other countries in the world so I thought their big pullback was unwarranted.  Finally, I bought right after there last earnings statement and I liked what I saw.  In total:

I purchased 33 shares of Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) at $43.62.  This purchase adds $71.28 of annual dividends to our account at the current .54 quarterly dividend.

This is my first purchase of a company outside of the US so it will be interesting to see the taxes/exchange rate but we shall see.  If you readers out there have a better understanding, please comment below!

Amgen (AMGN) & St Jude (STJ):  I felt our portfolio needed some more healthcare related stocks and AMGN and STJ fit that bill for us right now.  I'd really like to get some medical device stocks such at Stryker or Becton Dickinson but they have rallied hard since the market drop of a couple months ago.  Either way, I think there might be some other good healthcare stocks available so please, comment below!

We purchased 10 shares of AMGN at $146.65 and 18 shares of STJ at $55.44.  These purchases add $40.00 and $22.32 for a total of $62.32 to our annual dividends.

All in all, that $4,000 of investments added $133.60.  Which gives us a 3.35% dividend yield.  I am hopeful that these purchases will give us a tad bit more dividend growth than buying a REIT stock.  It is looking more and more like in 10 years time we will be close to retirement at our current pace.  I have been playing around with dividend calculators a lot recently and the 10 year mark seems like a good crossover point where lower yielding stocks with higher dividend growth rates take over the stocks that have a higher initial yield but lower growth rates.  For example, a stock with 3.5% dividend yield with average 8% increases over 10 years will roughly be the same as a stock yielding 5% now with a 3% growth rate.  However, after the 10 year mark the lower initial yield stock really starts taking off.  Just another one of the reasons I've been wanting to add some medical device companies to our portfolio.  Their business model is great because they build consumable items so once they are used, they are gone.  Their dividend growth has been amazing as well over the years which makes them really interesting to me.

So there you have it, the next building block on the path to the American Dividend Dream!  What do you think, good purchase, bad purchase?  What are you looking to buy next?

ADD