Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Sunday, September 6, 2020
During the month of August, I collected $91.19 in net dividends against the $86.62 in dividends collected in May 2020, which represents a 5.3% quarterly growth rate.
More striking, is the fact that the $91.19 in net dividends received during the month represents an 86.4% YoY growth rate compared to the $48.93 in dividends collected in August 2019!
Going into more detail, I received $78.96 in dividends from 15 companies within my Robinhood portfolio net of the $5.00 in Robinhood Gold fees and $3.03 in Robinhood Gold margin costs. I also collected $11.93 in dividends from 3 companies within my Webull portfolio. Finally, I collected $0.30 from 14 companies in my M1 Finance portfolio.
The $4.57 increase in my dividends from May 2020 to August 2020 was as a result of the following activity within my portfolios:
I received an additional $0.61 in dividends from my positions in British American Tobacco (BTI) within my Robinhood and Webull portfolios.
As a result of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT) recent suspension of its dividend, my dividend income from my SKT position was reduced by $3.93.
I also received $0.07 less in dividends from Equitrans Midstream Corporation (ETRN) as a result of the recent merger (including the $0.02 reduction in my M1 Finance portfolio).
My Robinhood Gold/margin costs in August of $8.03 were $7.96 lower than the $15.99 in costs during May 2020.
Despite an effective distribution cut via ETRN and a dividend suspension via SKT taking effect this month, my dividend income in August managed to advance by mid-single digits over May 2020.
This was primarily due to my deleveraging of over $1,900 of Robinhood margin over the past few months.
Given that I believe the worst is finally behind my portfolio and I'm not expecting any further dividend cuts from the companies that are scheduled to pay dividends in the middle month of the quarter, I am expecting a new record in November for a middle month of the quarter.
How was your dividend income during August?
Did your portfolio feel the impact of cuts/suspensions during August?
Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments in the comment section below!
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
It was a few weeks ago when I used a couple days vacation and therefore had a 4 day weekend, that I began to seriously ponder how I would structure my time in the event that I was financially independent.
As my vacation progressed, I started to realize just how important it is for my days to have at least a semblance of structure.
It would probably feel great to be FI and have unstructured days for the first few weeks initially and be mostly unproductive because I don't remember the last time that I was able to do so, which makes it a bit of a novelty to me that I would at least try for a bit.
However, I do believe that free and easy approach to FI would wear off for me after a while as I typically tend to follow the same pattern each and every weekend, whereby I balance my weekends with side hustles, media consumption, exercise, and spending time with family.
It is with that in mind, that I present my tentative daily FI schedule that I have been occasionally contemplating for the past few weeks.
10:00-11:00 AM: Wake up to no alarm clock, prepare/eat breakfast, brush teeth, etc.
11:00 AM-11:00 PM: Read several of my favorite personal finance blogs, watch various YT videos pertaining to personal finance, browse Seeking Alpha, and prepare/eat lunch
1:00-3:00 PM: Research, draft, edit, and publish a daily post for the blog
3:00-5:30 PM: Write and edit roughly half of a Seeking Alpha article on an enticing and timely dividend stock that caught my attention
5:30-7:00 PM: Exercise, shower, and prepare/eat dinner
7:00 PM-1:00 AM: Spend time with family, binge TV series, and get ready for bed
While I'll readily admit that this schedule is at least a decade in advance of when I am anticipating I will reach FI and my interests are bound to change to at least some extent over the next decade, I maintain that it is never too early to begin planning what you would do when you eventually achieve financial independence.
This was an interesting activity to me because I had never thought about an FI schedule to this extent before and upon doing so, I have found that life is really open to possibilities when you aren't working 40+ hours/week at a day job.
I admittedly have barely filled the majority of my waking hours with activities I am confident I will feel the same about in 10 years (i.e. exercising and blogging/freelance writing in some capacity) upon contemplating an FI schedule, so I need to continue to work on filling this schedule with what truly drives me in life and gives me meaning to achieve the feeling of life fulfillment and fully enjoy financial independence.
Have you ever thought about what your schedule would potentially look like in FI?
If not, do you believe that you will eventually get into a routine when you eventually achieve financial independence based on your values and interests?
If you have thought about what your schedule would be upon achieving FI, have you achieved FI yet and did your schedule end up being relatively similar to what you thought it would be?
As always, I appreciate your readership and welcome your comments in the comment section below!
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
What we'll be discussing in more detail today is something that all of us aim to achieve beyond simply attaining FIRE, which is happiness. It is the reason that we all live and breathe. Without even a remote chance of attaining true happiness, what would the actual point of life be?
The particular action that I often catch myself and others engaging in is the dirty deed of "wishing." While it sounds innocent to wish and wishing while taking action is actually a fine pursuit (commonly referred to as dreaming), simply wishing for something is the worst thing that one can do for both their short-term and long-term health and well-being for reasons detailed below.
Wishing Deprives You Of Happiness By Focusing On What You Don't Have
I'd be willing to wager that we all have passively wished for something, whether it be a million dollars, time to pass or rewind, etc.
The issue with those wishes is that aside from the second being impossible, (unless time travel becomes feasible, which seems unlikely) it also is impractical to wish for something without aggressively pursuing it.
As a quip to someone passively wishing something that I've heard a few times in my Midwest upbringing goes, "wish in one hand and @#$% in the other and what do you have?"
Rather than focusing on what you do have (something I have referenced in a past post), you focus on what you don't.
This action psychologically has been proven to deprive you of happiness. There's a reason that the concept of gratitude is as prevalent as it is when discussing how to attain happiness.
All That Time Spent Wishing Could Be Spent Chasing Your Dreams
As I've alluded to in another post, the best time to start chasing your dreams was yesterday, but today is the second best time, so what are you waiting for?
One of the biggest reasons that you absolutely must chase your dreams, is that the inaction and the mystery of what could have been will haunt you until your very last breath.
I also have found that as you disclose your dreams to others, there may be some that try to dissuade you from pursuing that dream and there will be some that support you in the pursuit of your dream.
And finally, I have found in my journey of striving for financial independence and attaining at least $20,000 in annual forward dividends to do so, it can be overwhelming at times to fathom how much dividend income that seems to be to me at this time.
When you reframe your mindsets from the common fears referenced above into the latter pragmatic mindsets, chances are that you'll find yourself invigorated with a sense of purpose that allows you to fearlessly chase your dreams.
Wishing isn't a bad thing by itself because desire is the first step toward achieving a goal, but it becomes a problem when you aren't taking any action toward realizing your dream. The worst thing in this life is to one day draw your last breath and realize that your life is replete with regrets.
Have you ever succumbed to the trap of passively wishing for something?
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Second Dividend Cut: Dominion Energy (D)
Given the mounting costs and delays in getting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline online that Dominion Energy owned a 53% stake in (after buying out Southern Company's 5% stake earlier this year) and Duke Energy owned a 47% stake in, the two companies made the decision to abandon the project.
D also announced that it was cutting its quarterly dividend 33.5% from $0.94/share to $0.625/share, which is disappointing.
It does make it an easier pill to swallow knowing that D's dividend payout ratio will be much more sustainable and allow the company to focus on generating earnings growth in the future.
Over the 4 shares of D that I own, my annual forward dividends dropped by $5.04.
Any dividend increase or even a dividend announcement in line with the previous is fine with me, so I warmly welcome SJM's dividend increase.
Across my 2 shares of SJM, my annual forward dividend income advanced $0.16.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
With that said, I'll now get into the intent of this post, which is to discuss the dividend stock purchases and activity within my portfolio for June 2020.
These capital contributions/dividends allowed my stake in CAIBX to advance from 111.333 shares heading into June to 116.430 shares heading into July.
The 5.097 shares of CAIBX that were added during June are expected to add $10.91 in annual forward dividend income, assuming annual dividends/special dividends/share of $2.14, which equates to a net dividend yield of 3.74%.
The only other bit of activity within my portfolio for the month of June was a $295.00 deposit into my Robinhood account and the dividend income within my Robinhood portfolio to bring my Robinhood margin balance down from ~$2,500 to ~$2,100.
The reduction of ~$370 of my Robinhood margin increased my net annual forward dividend income by $18.50 at the current Robinhood margin interest rate of 5%.
Overall, I deployed $661.35 in capital during the month of June, which works out to a yield of 4.45% when considering the $29.41 in net annual forward dividend income added on the aforementioned capital investments.
As a result of the capital investments and the dividend cut from Simon Property Group (SPG), my net annual forward dividend income advanced about 1%, from $1,222 to $1,232.
I have since pushed my timeline back to begin fully investing the $1,500-$2,000/month that I was anticipating this month to September as I failed to factor in some debt that needs to be repaid in the next couple months, so the last 3-4 months of 2020 are positioned to bring a renewed intensity on the capital deployment front.
Did you deploy more or less capital than you anticipated for the month of June?
Did you endure any dividend cuts as was the case for me with SPG?
As always, I appreciate your readership and welcome your comments in the comment section below!
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Every country has its fair share of past mistakes and America is no exception, be it slavery, the displacement of Native Americans, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, or any other number of human rights issues that arise from a less than perfect humanity.
However, on this day, we're reminded of the incredible tales of bravery of those Americans that fought and sacrificed for this country's ability to gain and maintain its independence, while also fighting for the good of the world as a whole, helping the Allies of World War II free tens of millions of Europeans from Adolph Hitler's brutal reign of terror.
It's a lesson to us all that it is more noble to have died fighting for what we believed in than to have cowered in fear and lived our lives as traitors to our beliefs.
With that aside, I would like to take a moment today to discuss my dividend income for the month of June 2020, which I am happy to report, was a record month of dividend income.
During the month of June, I received $136.28 in dividends net of the $10.66 in Robinhood Gold membership fees and interest on the margin over $1,000 in my Robinhood account (the DLR and AVGO dividends were recorded for July 1 in Robinhood, though they were to be paid June 30).
Against the $90.31 in net dividends collected in March 2020, this works out to a 50.9% quarterly growth rate and an even more impressive YoY growth rate of 115.9% compared to the $63.11 in dividends received in June 2019.
Breaking this down a bit further, I received $76.33 in dividends in my Robinhood account from 20 companies ($65.77 net of the Robinhood Gold membership fees and interest costs), $56.68 in dividends from my CAIBX mutual fund holding in my employer-sponsored retirement account, $13.35 in dividends from 6 companies in my Webull account, and $0.48 from 24 companies in my M1 Finance account.
The additional $45.97 in net dividend income from March 2020 to June was as a result of the following activity within my various portfolios:
PepsiCo's (PEP) recent dividend increase boosted my dividend income by $0.14 from March to June.
I received an additional $3.25 in dividends from Broadcom (AVGO) due to my purchase of another share in March after the ex-dividend date.
Despite my purchase of another 5 shares of Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B) in March, I only received $0.04 more in dividends compared to March (factoring in my M1 Finance position in the stock as well), as a result of Shell's recent announcement that it was cutting its dividend.
I also received an additional $4.37 from British Petroleum (BP) as a result of my decision to purchase another 7 shares of the stock in late March.
As a result of my decision to purchase an additional share of Home Depot (HD) in late March, I received an additional $1.50 in dividends from Home Depot during the month of June.
My purchase of 6 shares of Prudential Financial (PRU) within my Robinhood portfolio also paid off as this was the first time I collected dividends from the stock in this account, which boosted my dividend income by $6.60 from March to June.
My purchase of 16 shares of Main Street Capital (MAIN) in March also paid off in my Robinhood account, increasing my dividend income by $3.28 from March to June.
Realty Income's (O) announcement of its dividend increase coupled with my decision to purchase an extra 3 shares of the stock in March led to a $0.70 increase in my dividend income from March to June.
Consistent with the theme of my March dividend stock purchases paying off in June, United Parcel Service (UPS) added $4.04 to my net dividend income within my Robinhood account.
International Business Machines' (IBM) dividend increase and my purchase of a share in March led to a $1.66 increase in my dividend income from March to June.
My March purchases of 5 shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM) in March added $4.35 to my dividend income from March to June within my Robinhood account.
Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) dividend increase in April helped me collect an additional $0.12 in dividend income in June compared to March.
Another April dividend increase that helped increase my June dividend income was Southern Company's (SO), which added $0.10 to my dividend income from March to June.
My decision to purchase an additional 4 shares of Pfizer (PFE) in March also added $1.52 to my dividend income from March to June.
My purchase of 3 shares of Wells Fargo (WFC) within my Robinhood account added $1.53 in dividend income to June.
As indicated above, I incurred $10.66 of Robinhood Gold and margin expenses in June, which was a $4.29 improvement over March's $14.95 of expenses.
Within my Webull account, I benefited from UnitedHealth Group's (UNH) dividend increase, which added $0.17 to my dividend income from March to June.
As a result of the retirement contributions of myself and my employer to my retirement account, my dividend income from my Capital Income Builder (CAIBX) mutual fund increased by $8.32 from March to June.
The final piece of activity came within my M1 Finance portfolio on the news a few months back that Boeing (BA) was suspending its dividend, which decreased my dividend income by $0.01 from March to June.
June was a great month in more ways than one for my portfolio. Not only did it mark my first $100 net dividend month since I began investing nearly 3 years ago, my dividend income of $136.28 for the month was well above the requirements to surpass the triple digit figure of $100.
Given the fact that my income will soon be more readily available to deploy into investments once I pay off the remaining amount of debts that I owe, I wouldn't be surprised if my dividend income surpassed $225 next June.
How was your June?
Did your portfolio enjoy a record month of dividend income?
As always, I appreciate your readership and welcome your comments in the comment section below.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
And for the sake of this post, I'll be recapping key dividend announcements during the month of June and looking ahead to the sole dividend increase that I'm expecting during July.
Actual June Dividend Announcements
Expected Dividend Announcements for July
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
I recently returned to work in a traditional capacity 3 days a week and have been remotely working the other 2 days a week.
Over the past 3 months, I have benefited significantly in a number of ways as a result of being able to work remotely, which I'll delve into below.
For someone that really needs their 7-8 hours of sleep each night to most efficiently function during the day, I am so grateful for this opportunity to work remotely because I save a significant amount of time in the morning not having to get ready for work in the traditional sense.
Before I go into work each morning, I take care of personal care tasks, including brushing my teeth, showering, and combing my hair.
While I still brush my teeth two to three times a day, I am able to defer showering and combing my hair into the evening when I have more time, and don't have to rush as much with getting ready in the morning when I am working remotely.
As I'm sure most of us can attest, it can become tiring to also commute to traditional work, which leads me into my next point.
Extra Time And Improved Health
While I'm lucky in the sense that my 24 minute round trip commute to work is far less than the national average 26 minute one-way commute time, a 24 minute round trip commute 5 days a week is still 2 hours a week or about 1.3% of the total hours in a week (and much more of my waking hours when factoring in sleep).
Over the past 3 months (factoring in the 9 days that I have went to work over the past 3 months), I have saved about 1,320 minutes or nearly an entire day that I would have otherwise spent commuting.
This is time that I have spent engaging in more fulfilling activities, such as writing blog posts, exercising, spending time with family, and researching investment opportunities.
The other major benefit from a health standpoint, is that I don't have to deal with overly cautious drivers in front of me going 10 mph under the speed limit in ideal driving conditions while I'm on my way to work or maniacs behind me wanting to go 10 mph or more over the speed limit while I'm on my way home from work.
In support of this observation, a study of 33,000 UK drivers found a link between commute times and mental health. The longer and more frequent commutes that workers make to arrive at their jobs results in an increased risk of depression and work-related stress.
And aside from the extra sleep, time, and improved health, I have also saved about $66 over the past 3 months in fuel expenses (825 miles/25 mpg, assuming $2/gallon gas).
While that isn't necessarily a lot, my typical monthly fuel expenses are about $30/month at $2/gallon gasoline, so my fuel expenses have been cut by roughly 70% over the past 3 months.
It has been a blessing to have the privilege of working from home more often than not over the past 3 months. The benefits of extra sleep, improved health, and extra money leave me hoping that I am able to at least work remotely 1 day a week indefinitely.
Have you had the privilege of working remotely over the past 3 months?
If so, have you observed the benefits that I discussed above or any other benefits? If not, would you prefer to work remotely?
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
After over 12 weeks of no NBA basketball and the Bucks' potential championship run being on hold, I am excited for the end of July to see what this team can accomplish in this season of unprecedented challenges.
With that exciting announcement out of the way, I'll be discussing the investment activity within my investment portfolio for last month.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
The past few months have definitely been an adjustment in terms of my time commitment as the Bucks used to consume 7-8 hours a week of my time between games and occasional perusing of Bucks news/team and player grades for each game.
Fortunately, I have this blog, dividend investing, mobile gaming, spending time with family, and playing basketball in the driveway to fall back on or I would have completely lost my mind by now.
With that being said, I'll be examining my dividend income for May 2020.
During the month of May, I collected $86.62 in net dividends against the $86.62 in dividends collected in February 2020, and generated a 96.7% YOY growth rate compared to the $44.04 in dividends received in May 2019.
Delving into things a bit further, I received $74.84 in dividends in my Robinhood portfolio from 16 companies net of the $5.00 in Robinhood Gold fees and $10.99 in Robinhood Gold for my use of margin. I also collected $11.46 in dividends from 3 companies within my Webull portfolio. Lastly, I received $0.32 in dividends from 15 companies in my M1 Finance portfolio.
The same amount of dividends collected from February 2020 to May 2020 was as a result of the following activity within my taxable accounts:
I benefited from $1.44 in additional dividends from Williams Sonoma (WSM) as a result of my purchase of another 3 shares in March.
I also received an extra $3.36 in distributions from Energy Transfer (ET) because of my decision to purchase 10 units of ET during my March buying spree and 1 unit of ET in February.
I received an extra $1.76 in dividends from British American Tobacco (BTI) as a result of my purchase of 3 shares in March, net of ADR fees.
I also benefited from my purchase of 2 units of Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP), which boosted my dividend income by $2.06 during May.
My purchase of an additional 3 shares of Realty Income (O) in March and O's dividend increase resulted in an additional $0.70 in dividend income in May.
Another purchase that boosted my dividend income was my purchase of 1 share of AbbVie (ABBV), which added $1.18 to my May dividend income.
My purchase of 16 shares of Main Street Capital (MAIN) in March resulted in an extra $3.28 in dividend income collected in May.
I also collected an additional $0.02 in dividend income as a result of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers' dividend increase, though the company later suspended its dividend, which will likely impact my August income report.
EQM Midstream Partners' (EQM) recently announced distribution cut affected my distributions for the first time in this report, which resulted in a $3.09 reduction in May distribution income.
I also added 12 shares of ONEOK (OKE) in March, which led to an additional $11.22 in dividend income during May.
My purchase of an additional 5 units of Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) resulted in an additional $2.23 in distribution income in May.
My purchase of another share of General Dynamics (GD) in March and GD's recent dividend increase boosted my dividend income by $1.26 in May.
The March purchase of an additional 2 shares of Lowe's (LOW) added $1.10 to my May dividend income.
An additional 3 shares of AT&T (T) that I also purchased in March added $1.56 to my May dividend income.
Due to the timing of The GEO Group's dividend payment, I collected $5.76 less in dividends during the month of May.
Due to the fact that Simon Property Group is deferring its dividend announcement until June, my dividend income was $6.30 less in May than it was in February.
My Robinhood Gold subscription deducted $5.00 from my net dividend income and the interest on my margin deducted $10.99 from my net dividend income.
The final activity came within my M1 Finance portfolio, again, when EQM Midstream Partners paid me $0.03 less in distributions compared to February.
Overall, I'm pleased with a steady mid-quarter month in May compared to February as it was a few months ago that we began to see the impact of dividend cuts and suspensions within my portfolio and many other dividend investor's portfolios.
While I do believe that there will be a couple more cuts within my portfolio over the next two months, I am encouraged by the fact that I have paid down nearly $2,500 (half of my total margin heading into May) and over 60% of the margin that I intend to pay off as I plan on using the first $1,000 in interest free margin to essentially cover the cost of Robinhood Gold with dividends on that $1,000 to access Morningstar's reports and the other benefits of Robinhood Gold.
The significant deleveraging that I was able to execute during May will more than offset the impact of any of the dividend cuts that I am expecting in the next two months and since I anticipate that I will begin investing to the tune of $1,500-$2,000/month once again beginning in July, I am forecasting a slight uptick in my August dividend income, approaching $100 net of Robinhood Gold fees and interest.
How was your May in terms of dividends collected?
Did you benefit from any first time dividend payments from new holdings?
What are you forecasting for your August dividend income?
As always, I thank you for your readership and welcome comments in the comment section below.