Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Watchlist for March

Well, most of the companies I own that I was looking to add have rallied higher. In fact, a lot of them are quite excessively valued for my taste at this moment. This makes it very hard to add. Names that I wanted to add to include MO, PM, HD, PEP, CL, PG, MKC, and V.

You can take a look at what stocks I hold and their 12 month chart on this page: 

I have been accumulating a lot of cash that is sitting in a savings account. I have decided to taper off the rate at which I accumulate that cash and start to invest some more in dividend paying stocks. I am slowing down the rate at which I am looking to purchase a house due to the uncertainty of my employment situation.

In the end, even if the market is rising I will continue to add to positions. This is my principle of dollar cast averaging. Since I cannot count on myself to outsmart the market and time exactly at the right time, I just purchase stocks periodically month after month after month. Over time I average out times when I buy at the highest of highs and when the market is at its gloomiest lows. By being persistent I guarantee that my income every month can increase.

For next month I am eyeing the following stocks:

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Getting wealthy is a boring process

I have only been investing for a short amount of time compared to others. I started investing in October 2013 in index funds. I was a graduate with little insight into financial planning. I spent a lot initially without giving much thought to what I should do with the extra cash sitting in my bank account. Over time my view of surplus money has changed.

Over the last 3-4 years I have learned a lot about the slow and gradual process of how wealthy people I know grew their wealth. There are a lot of stories out there about people becoming wealthy quickly. These stories usually try to sell an idea which may be enticing at first but over time one realizes that easy money is hard to come by. Statistically speaking, one would be better off leaving the get rich schemes from their financial strategies and focus on real wealth generation. From the wealthy people that I know and the strategies they employ, the real way for an average person to generate large amounts of wealth in one lifetime is to live below his or her means and continuously invest the surplus into assets that hold or grow in value. Additionally, most of the wealthy people I know receive their starting wealth from their career. And then over time that wealth creates more wealth on its own without requiring the career as a base. Finding the right vocation that pays the right value is very important in getting the right start.

Living below your means does not entail being cheap. You only live once and it's just not worth saving a nickel or two while compromising your health, living condition, or the people around you. Wealthy people I know do not skimp on what is important. They take care of their family and friends. Even if something is expensive, the purchase will be done given that the purchased item or service can provide good value. They do not save the nickel and dimes for what is important to them. Living below one's means does not mean one becomes a miser. Money needs to be spent in society for one to survive but frivolities such as a new sports car or the newest television or fancy clothes can be better spent elsewhere.

In all honestly wealth building is boring. It is unexciting. Balance sheets and financial reports and tax filing is just not most people's cup of tea. People I talk to do not want to hear about it. There may be a reason "smart" people in the technical or academic sense are not all rich. Making money or getting rich is just not as exciting as curing cancer or flying to the moon. Receiving high grades or knowing everything does not mean one will be successful. In the end, money is blind. It cares not if you are smart, gifted, talented, or where you came from.

Having a high income does not mean one is wealthy. Having a high net worth to income ratio is what makes one wealthy. Having assets that generate more income than one's main job or living expenses makes one wealthy. Real wealth building takes decades. Not months or years. Telling someone that they can be wealthy after several decades is just not sexy. They would rather appreciate the short term pleasures of buying material goods and enjoying the moment. Enjoying the results of one's investments will likely not be immediately "feel-able". The move towards wealth is so slow and gradual one's brain becomes accustomed to one's increasing net worth month after month without much thought. The numbers crawls up so slowly that there is no euphoria or appreciation for "the moment".

Compared to what we see on TV, my job is not very exciting. I wake up every morning, go to the office, sit on my desk, perform my tasks, then go home. There are no  luxurious such as free gourmet lunches, or luxury buses driving me home, or free massages or fun travels or big sales deals being made. It's just a regular cubicle desk job that simply generates a decent income. Every 2 weeks I receive a check and that gets deposited. When I deposit my check from my employer, I put a few Benjies into my checkings account for living costs. Then I put the majority of the rest in my investing accounts. Everything is on auto pilot and frankly speaking there isn't much "hoorah" going on. In fact it is much less glorious than I thought. However, every year I see my passive income increasing and increasing. My net worth may or may not increase depending on the economy, but my income continues to increase. Every month, I receive ever increasing dividend checks and my broker automatically deposits them into additional shares.

The only real way to notice I found is to look back at my old blog posts and put myself in my "old" shoes and see how much of a difference the years have been. Over time I hope I can look back and appreciate my younger self for planning ahead when most of America is too pre-occupied with the present moment.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Today I hit $300,000

My portfolio today just barely slipped above $300,000 after today's Friday session. I'm sure this will likely drop back down next week due to market turbulence, but nevertheless it's a step in the right direction.

Thinking back when I started at $0, I remember how I was always browsing through all the various dividend and investing blogs with high 6 digit values and hoping I would someday be there. It's a very satisfying feeling now looking back and seeing that all my effort was not in vain.

My first $100,000 was back in April 2015. My second $100,000 was in May 2016. And the third on February 2017. This is all possible by saving and investing most of my take home pay, and watching the portfolio carry itself forward with dividends reinvested and upward earnings guidance. $100,000 is just a small drop in the bucket, but it is still a step forward in the right direction.

Charlie Munger had said in the past “The first $100,000 is a bitch”. After each $100k, the next $100k becomes progressively easier to reach. This is because the earlier achieved $100ks can now provide their own individual growth to one's future growth. When starting out for the first time, one must rely solely on one's saving rate which is a much slower process than compounding returns.

It's always good to invest earlier. The growth of dollars invested early will have a more profound impact than dollars invested later.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Name Ticker Sector       Value   Weight        Divies      Yield S&P Fin VL Fin VL Safety
Altria Group Inc MO Staples $47,872.98 15.95% $1,600.80 3.3438% A- B+ 2
Home Depot Inc HD Discret $13,541.89 4.51% $261.42 1.9305% A A++ 1
Philip Morris International Inc PM Staples $13,282.71 4.43% $533.21 4.0143% A B++ 2
Realty Income Corp O REIT $11,875.13 3.96% $494.39 4.1632% BBB+ A 2
Johnson & Johnson JNJ Health $11,675.12 3.89% $314.32 2.6922% AAA A++ 1
Ross Stores Inc ROST Discret $11,214.08 3.74% $88.38 0.7881% A- A 2
Visa Inc V Financial $11,048.51 3.68% $83.40 0.7549% A+ A++ 1
Starbucks Corporation SBUX Discret $10,570.10 3.52% $165.91 1.5696% A A++ 1
Kraft Heinz Co KHC Staples $8,947.21 2.98% $222.06 2.4819% BBB- A 2
PepsiCo PEP Staples $8,313.45 2.77% $231.48 2.7845% A A++ 1
Kimberly-Clark KMB Staples $8,280.92 2.76% $243.69 2.9427% A A++ 1
Becton Dickinson and Co BDX Health $7,912.94 2.64% $127.77 1.6147% BBB+ A++ 1
General Mills, Inc. GIS Staples $7,653.34 2.55% $248.05 3.2411% BBB+ A+ 1
McCormick & Company MKC Staples $7,210.71 2.40% $138.92 1.9266% A- A+ 1
Church & Dwight CHD Staples $6,996.10 2.33% $101.37 1.4490% BBB+ A+ 1
3M Co MMM Industrial $6,404.38 2.13% $155.44 2.4270% AA- A++ 1
Mastercard Inc MA Financial $6,241.19 2.08% $50.20 0.8043% A A++ 1
The Coca-Cola Co KO Staples $5,046.06 1.68% $171.47 3.3981% AA- A++ 1
Dominion Resources, Inc D Utilities $4,381.10 1.46% $179.35 4.0938% BBB+ B++ 2
Automatic Data Proc, Inc ADP Tech $4,276.91 1.42% $97.85 2.2878% AA A++ 1
TJX Companies Inc TJX Discret $4,166.93 1.39% $56.19 1.3484% A+ A++ 1
McDonald's Corporation MCD Discret $4,131.48 1.38% $121.58 2.9428% BBB+ A++ 1
Air Products & Chemicals, Inc APD Materials $3,988.48 1.33% $107.12 2.6857% A A+ 1
NextEra Energy Inc NEE Utilities $3,836.25 1.28% $105.29 2.7447% A- A 2
Xcel Energy Inc XEL Utilities $3,807.87 1.27% $123.33 3.2389% A- A+ 1
Procter & Gamble Co PG Staples $3,787.40 1.26% $111.52 2.9444% AA- A++ 1
Stryker Corporation SYK Health $3,340.38 1.11% $44.94 1.3455% A A++ 1
AT&T Inc T Telecom $3,082.47 1.03% $145.65 4.7252% BBB+ A++ 1
Southern Co SO Utilities $2,725.69 0.91% $127.76 4.6872% A- A 2
Abbott Laboratories ABT Health $2,673.09 0.89% $63.40 2.3719% BBB A++ 1
Colgate-Palmolive Co CL Staples $2,550.73 0.85% $55.30 2.1679% AA- A+ 1
Medtronic plc MDT Health $2,233.49 0.74% $48.69 2.1800% A A++ 1
Verizon Communications Inc VZ Telecom $2,188.61 0.73% $102.74 4.6942% BBB+ A++ 1
Clorox Co CLX Staples $1,916.18 0.64% $45.86 2.3931% A- B++ 2
The J. M. Smucker Company SJM Staples $1,874.25 0.62% $41.37 2.2073% BBB A++ 1
Bard (C.R.) Inc BCR Health $1,754.10 0.58% $7.53 0.4290% A A+ 1
WEC Energy Group, Inc. WEC Utilities $1,397.25 0.47% $50.53 3.6161% A- A+ 1
Aqua America Inc WTR Utilities $945.22 0.31% $24.08 2.5471% A+ A 2
Misc Type ……….. Partial Totals Weight Yrly Dividends  Avg Yield …..832 …..9 …..82
Equity Stocks $263,144.71 87.67% $6,892.33 2.6192%
Investable US Dollars $4,527.59 1.51%
House Fund Cash Savings US Dollars $27,992.63 9.33%
Miscellaneous Assets $4,505.25 1.50%
. .. Equity + Misc Weight …..2 ….. …..222 …..2222 …..223
Total $300,170.18 100.00%