Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Recent buy: MO and PM

Both dipped around 2 to 3% after the open after some claims about the validity of the  IQOS trials. I took this opportunity to add more to these two high yielders.

$1500 invested
$900 to PM and the rest to MO

Monday, December 18, 2017

Recent buy: KMB

I purchased 17 shares of KMB (Kimberly Clark Corp) today. They sell toilet paper and tissues and other stuff that aren't very exciting. It offers a juicy 3.24% yield right now and has a decent P/E ratio that isn't sky high. It is a dividend aristocrat with a 44 year history of increasing dividends.

17 shares = $2034.05

Friday, December 15, 2017

November 2017 Portfolio Summary

The general market has been ramping up in value quite intensely over the last several weeks. Check the plot below of the S&P500 to know what I mean.

The Consumer Staples sector was previously lagging quite hard but recently the staples sector has made a large come back. Industrials, discretionary, financials, and tech are doing very well. The price of companies are increasing which is great for people who like to look at the dollar value of their portfolio, however I care more about the dividend and it is hard to buy more shares at a good value when everything is so expensive.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

November 2017 Dividends Received

November dividend received was $465. Below is the breakdown.
Note that TJX usually pays in December. For some reason they paid out at the end of November. The HRL's dividend are the vestiges from fractional shares after I sold off the position.

November is a light month for me. Not many companies I own pay in November.

Ticker      Total    Taxable         401k
T $141.57 $141.57
PG $70.17 $59.75 $10.42
O $53.79 $53.79
CLX $36.35 $36.35
APD $33.47 $33.47
GIS $31.63 $0.02 $31.61
TJX $25.49 $25.49
CL $24.93 $24.93
MA $17.47 $7.05 $10.42
ABT $15.99 $15.99
GD $13.44 $13.44
INTEREST $0.51 $0.14 $0.37
HRL $0.14 $0.14
$464.95 $358.34 $106.61

Friday, December 1, 2017

Recent buy: NEE

Bought $2,516 of NEE today.  I now own $17,548 in this energy company. It's one of the most consistent and stable growing diversified utility company I know of and as a result it has always costed a premium.

This purchase will nudge my yearly passive dividend income up to $10,486

Monday, November 27, 2017

Recent buy: PM & CLX

Today I added more cigarettes and bleach. Not a large buy but nonetheless, these two dividend aristocrats will help add more income to my portfolio.

PM: 6 shares - $618 total
CLX: 5 shares - $675 total

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

October 2017 Portfolio Summary

Last month's portfolio summary can be summed up as "business as usual".

Investing like this is boring, it isn't for everyone but the long term reward is great. Nothing spectacular happened in October. I cashed in checks that came in from my job. And I also cashed in checks that came in from my companies' dividend payments. Buys and sells have been quite slow recently. I have been quite content with holding a lot of cash. I think that as my portfolio gets larger and larger, I have a less motivation to spend my cash position immediately. The cash position even if it's in the 5-digits is not such a large percentage of my assets anymore. So I just tend to hold it and keep the "rainy day fund" untouched.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Recent buy: V, PM, KMB, T ...

Today the following was added:

V: 20 shares = $2237
MDT: 5 shares = $389
CHD: 8 shares = $350
T: 10 shares = $330
PM: 6 shares = $617
KMB: 10 shares = $1119

The portfolio now looks like this (nothing changed really).

Sunday, November 5, 2017

October 2017 Dividends Received

October 2017 was a good month. Below is a list of companies that paid me dividends last month.

Ticker      Total    Taxable         401k
ADP $40.12 $40.12
KO $53.35 $53.35
KMB $65.93 $43.94 $21.99
MO $468.99 $419.76 $49.23
ITW $39.08 $39.08
PM $327.30 $279.75 $47.55
XEL $38.41 $38.41
MDT $41.68 $28.52 $13.16
MKC $55.55 $35.90 $19.65
SYK $12.36 $8.52 $3.84
O $53.58 $53.58
FRT $16.00 $16.00
INTEREST $0.33 $0.07 $0.26
$1,212.68 $987.42 $225.26

Note that the months 1, 4, 7, 10 are my highest paying months. Below is a graph showing the trend over the years. The line is the quarterly moving average. For November I am predicting I will get $470 and in December I am planning for $950.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

September 2017 Portfolio Summary

I am a little late to write a summary for September. I guess this post will be a summary of September plus some of October. My portfolio closed at an all time high on Friday so I will post my progress so far on that date. Here are some charts showing what the market looks like right now.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

September 2017 Dividends Received

The end of the month is always an interesting time. I login to my brokerage account, scroll to the activity tab, and filter the list for Dividend and Interest. I then write down all my dividend payments and add them up to see how much money my companies paid me in the last month. The dividend payments keep getting larger and larger!

There were many companies that paid me this month and although each one by itself may not look much, all of the companies together make a decent payout. Big payers are Johnson & Johnson, Home Depot, and Pepsico. These are all companies with stable payout ratios.

Ticker      Total    Taxable         401k
JNJ $139.69 $134.35 $5.34
HD $110.85 $85.86 $24.99
PEP $108.18 $81.70 $26.48
KHC $58.51 $58.51
BDX $56.42 $56.42
O $53.27 $53.27
MMM $47.23 $47.23
D $45.57 $6.10 $39.47
NEE $34.59 $34.59
SO $33.44 $33.44
WEC $31.30 $31.30
MCD $30.26 $30.26
V $29.28 $23.46 $5.82
ROST $29.03 $29.03
CHD $26.83 $14.87 $11.96
TJX $25.38 $25.38
SJM $14.10 $14.10
WTR $6.38 $6.38
INTEREST $0.32 $0.04 $0.28
$880.63 $713.02 $167.61

In September 2017 my dividend checks totaled $880. I just look back many years ago while I was still in university and I was making $800 a month part time as an IT repair man. Now I can make more than that amount every month on average without having to work at all. Passive income is surely the way to go, and those hard earned dollars I have saved over years and years are starting to pay off. The dividends started out like a waste of time (like $20 a month) but now after several years they are becoming small snowballs that will continue to grow and grow. I hope one day this passive income will be able to support all of my monthly living expenses from housing to transportation to food to entertainment.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Reclassifying of Core and Supporting positions

I took some time to look through my holdings and make more stringent what I consider a Core holding and what are Supporting positions. When building my portfolio I started with the core positions as they are my foundation. I then diversified with more aggressive higher growth companies in the speculative areas. Supporting companies are a way I diversify away from non-cyclical consumer staples-like corporations. A lot of my supporting companies are in discretionary, industrials, or material sectors that suffer from down years but grow quickly on up years.

As a background, my portfolio is broken down into the following categories:
Super Core: Have all the qualities of a Core position but also a strong credit rating. Must be rated with a financial rating of A+ or higher by S&P, a Value Line financial rating of A++, and have a Value Line safety of 1.
Core: Less cyclical more stable businesses. Have long track records and most are dividend aristocrats. offer products and services people use all the time even during bad economic times. I will likely hold these for life unless the business environment changes substantially and the dividend gets harmed. The goal with these types of companies is to build a foundation that offers consistent predictable dividend income to live off of. Capital appreciation is secondary to the dividend and the growth of that dividend.
Supporting: Held for the mid to long term. Are companies with proven track records but often times are in more cyclical industries with earnings that can go up or down depending on the economic climate
Speculative: Bought for capital gain purposes. If the direction of the stock is heading the wrong way I will sell and move on.

Here are some companies I moved classifications around from Core to Supporting:

Dominion (D) and WEC Energy (WEC): I moved these from Core to Supporting. It does not meet the quality metrics of better utilities like Next Era Energy (NEE).

Illinois Tool Works (ITW): It is not as stable as a 3M during economic recessions. It is more cyclical. However, it is a very well run company (dividend aristocrat) and the growth has been spectacular. I am putting this as a Supporting position behind 3M.

Air Products & Chemicals (APD): Materials is a cyclical industry. I moved this to Supporting.

Kraft Heinz Co (KHZ): I have more stable packaged food companies that have more established histories. MKC and GIS I have as core since the history is more established. KHZ's balance sheet is not the cleanest and it only has a BBB- credit rating. I label this now as Supporting.

Stryker (SYK): Moved it to Supporting behind my core positions like JNJ and BDX and MDT. SYK is a great company with a strong credit rating and balance sheet. Good growth and stable growth. But it is overshadowed by my "big 3" healthcare stocks.

I also recently bought a new position in General Dynamics (GD). GD is a Supporting position for me. The business is less diversified than a 3M and it's a cyclical business. It has the cleanest balance sheet of all the defense companies, and it is a dividend aristocrat with a proven track record.

Recent buy: NEE

I added around $2200 in Next Era Energy (NEE) today. The positions were in my 401k. NEE yields around 2.66% so $2200 is around $58 in annual dividends.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tax loss harvesting

I did several transactions today in my brokerage to finish all of my tax loss harvesting for 2017. I should net around $3000 in losses which I will use to reduce my taxable income this year. I estimate that I can get around $1000 in state and federal tax credit back, so my loss will be reduced to $2000.

Several of these trades are temporary and I will be looking to revert some of them back after the wash 30 day rule. My portfolio's dividend income has dropped due to the temporary positions but it should be over the $10,000 in dividends a year relatively quickly in a few weeks as more cash piles in.

Selling is rare in my portfolio. The usual time I sell is to harvest -$3000 in losses each year since the taxes I pay each year are high. I also take this time to offset the gains from positions that are being bought out.

I get 100 free trades a month with my broker. So all these trades were done free. I paid around 12-14 cents per sell because the SEC charges a sell fee, so I probably paid up to a $1.00 in SEC sell fees.

Sold all of Hormel (HRL) - Sold $5777  Harvested -$530
Replaced MMM and NEE (split evenly)
I intend to buy back Hormel after the 30 day period but the position will likely first start at $3k, I won't be buying back all $6k at once. I am not a fan of its low yield, it needs to be higher. I prefer a 2.5% or higher yield on HRL.

Sold part of General Mills (GIS) - Sold $6888  Harvested -$521
Replaced with XEL + JNJ + ITW (split evenly)
I intend to buy back General Mills after the 30 day period if it falls to a 4% yield.

Sold all of JM Smucker (SJM) - Sold $1942  Harvested -$419
Replaced with MDT
I do not have an urge to buy back SJM if I buy back GIS/HRL. It's a secondary quality stock on my list, behind GIS and HRL (who are in the same food sector that is getting hit hard right now). I would rather pickup a utility company with a higher yield than what SJM sports today.

Sold part of Kimberly Clark (KMB) - Sold $2144  Harvested -$124
Replaced with D
I intend to buy back KMB after the 30 day period. I still hold a relatively decent position.

Sold part of Starbucks (SBUX) - Sold $3309  Harvested -$165
Replaced with GD
Starbucks is a hold to me. I do not have an urge to buy it back after the 30 day period. I tend to limit how much consumer discretionary companies I buy. I want to fill up my utilities, healthcare, and industrials before I add more to discretionary stocks.

Sold part of Kraft Heinz (KHZ) - Sold $2396  Harvested -$247
Replaced with KO and MDT
KHZ is a hold to me. I do not have an urge to buy it back after the 30 day period as I still hold a chunk of it. If it goes over 3.6% yield that will interest me.

Sold part of Altria (MO) - Sold $22,000  Harvested -$1853
Replaced with $12,000 BTI and $10,000 PM
I will be selling BTI to buy back my MO after 30 days. I'll keep the PM as it is so in the end my position of MO to PM will roughly be evenly split (50 / 50). I like the MO business and it feels awkward to have sold it for the temporary 30 days. I already had the stock on the ex-dividend so I will get the fat dividend check next month. I am hoping any gains in tobacco will be felt by the BTI's American position in RAI (Reynolds American). PM and international segment of BTI trade rather differently than American MO now. There isn't another tobacco American company I can really replace MO with temporarily, VGR isn't really a good pick. So I stuck with BTI and its ownership of RAI.

Total tax loss harvesting is around -$3859

I offset the losses with two gain sells. BCR is being acquired so I will have to sell soon as BDX is acquiring it this fall. WTR I sold because the position was way too small and I did not want to follow another utility small position in my portfolio. WTR is a great company but I hold a lot of good utilities already that yield higher %.

Sold CR Bard due to being acquired (BCR) - Sold $2227  Gain +$670
Replaced with utilities NEE + D + XEL + T

Sold Aqua America (WTR) - Sold $1040   Gain +$90
Replaced with  utilities NEE + D + XEL + T

Total sell gain $760

Net tax loss harvest = -$3099

Here is a treemap showing how my portfolio currently stands. Overall the distributions remain relatively similar. I have tried to increase my weighting in healthcare and utilities and industrials so that my portfolio is more diversified.

I'll write back on October 23 when I revert some of my tax loss harvest trades! Stay tuned.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

An interesting look at share dilution and share buybacks

I did some homework yesterday to review what the number of outstanding shares looks like for each of the companies that I hold. As a background, companies usually buy back shares to reduce the number of outstanding shares on the open market. Companies are measured by earnings per share (EPS). This is done by dividing total earnings of the company by the total number of shares on the market. With a lower share count, the EPS goes higher. Also with a lower share count, the company does not have to dish out so much cash to pay for all those quarterly dividends.For example Coca Cola pays 37 cents per dividend every quarter. If they bought back 10,000,000 shares back for $460,000,000 then they would be able to save paying $14.8M a year in dividends.

Companies can also dilute shares. Sometimes a company needs to finance a large acquisition. Or maybe the company needs more money for various reasons to operate. Diluting shares is bad for investors unless the money spent is able to add more to the earnings relative to how much dilution occurs. Usually debt heavy industries such as real estate and utilties dilute shares to fund expansion. With each new share sold on the open market, the amount of dividend dollars a company needs to pay increases. Every new share needs to be paid the dividend making the dividend burden even bigger.

I get my share data from Morningstar. I look at a 5 year window up to 2016 and just divide the percentage decline or increase over that 5 year period to get a rough estimate of how much the company on average changes the number of shares.

The example above shows Illinois Tool Works (ITW). In my portfolio this company has been the best at reducing share count over a 5 year window and they are also a very well performing dividend aristocrat with rising earnings per share. The share count at the end of 2016 was 357M and it was only 495M 5 years earlier. This is a very impressive decrease of 5.5-6% a year.

I did this investigation for all of my holdings. I noticed that a lot of my best portfolio performers have very nice share count decreases. These include ITW, Home Depot (HD), Visa (V), MasterCard (MA), Ross Stores (ROST), and 3M (MMM). Most of my normal "C" Corps have made an attempt to reduce or at least keep the number of shares flat. Keep in mind companies do pay their execs and employees stock for bonuses and incentives. Companies have to keep buying these stock back in order to avoid diluting the share base.

Name Ticker Sector ShareCnt5yr
Illinois Tool Works Inc. ITW Industrial -6%
Home Depot Inc HD Discret -4%
McDonald's Corporation MCD Discret -4%
Visa Inc V Financial -3%
Mastercard Inc MA Financial -3%
Ross Stores Inc ROST Discret -3%
3M Co MMM Industrial -3%
TJX Companies Inc TJX Discret -3%
Bard (C.R.) Inc BCR Health -3%
Philip Morris International Inc PM Staples -2%
PepsiCo PEP Staples -2%
General Mills, Inc. GIS Staples -2%
Kimberly-Clark KMB Staples -2%
Automatic Data Proc, Inc ADP Tech -2%
Church & Dwight CHD Staples -2%
Colgate-Palmolive Co CL Staples -2%
Altria Group Inc MO Staples -1%
McCormick & Company MKC Staples -1%
Procter & Gamble Co PG Staples -1%
The Coca-Cola Co KO Staples -1%
Stryker Corporation SYK Health -1%
Abbott Laboratories ABT Health -1%
Johnson & Johnson JNJ Health 0%
Becton Dickinson and Co BDX Health 0%
Starbucks Corporation SBUX Discret 0%
Clorox Co CLX Staples 0%
Hormel Foods Corporation HRL Staples 0%
Air Products & Chemicals, Inc APD Materials 0%
AT&T Inc T Telecom 1%
Xcel Energy Inc XEL Utilities 1%
Dominion Resources, Inc D Utilities 1%
The J. M. Smucker Company SJM Staples 1%
Aqua America Inc WTR Utilities 1%
NextEra Energy Inc NEE Utilities 2%
Southern Co SO Utilities 2%
Federal Realty Investment Trust FRT REIT 3%
WEC Energy Group, Inc. WEC Utilities 7%
Realty Income Corp O REIT 40%
Kraft Heinz Co KHC Staples N/A
Medtronic plc MDT Health N/A

Some companies are the product of mergers and acquisitions so I was not able to really get a good idea of share count growth or decline. The Utilties and REIT space are the worst sectors in terms of minimizing share count. I don't own any MLPs but MLPs also operate similarly. Realty Income (O) has increased the number of shares drastically from 126M in 2011 to 256M in 2016. This is basically a doubling of the number of shares in just 5 years. REITs need to make public offerings to acquire cash for purchasing additional properties. REITs pay the large majority of their earnings back to the share holders, which means they cannot keep a lot of the money they earn. Diluting the share base is the way they can fund their expansion. If the expansion purchases add more to the bottom line compared to the dilution of shares, then the overall company performance will continue increasing. This can be seen in well managed REITs like FRT and O. However, the dilution of shares still concerns me which is why I do not have a super large position in REITs.

Although share buybacks are important. It is not the panacea for increasing company earnings per share. I would rather see executives invest in the company organically instead of financially engineering the company's earning statistics. Buying back stock can only work so much but one must innovate and keep up with the competition by having good products and services. That requires investment back into the company and buying back shares is only a way to "cheat" in the short term. Additionally, companies oftentimes buy shares back at market highs since that is when the company is doing their best and spare cash is abundant. That money might have been better used in dividends or company reinvestment or acquisitions.