Saturday, January 26, 2019

Investing Update 1/26/2019

Here is this week's investing update -

1/1/20191/26/2019Change since Jan 1stAvg/Week
Robinhood Portfolio Value$4,434.08$4,676.95$242.87
Money from my pocket$4,593.98$4,643.98$50.00$19.44
Gains/Realized & Unrealized-$399.90-$213.49$186.41

My overall portfolio increased $242.87 since January 1st. I have received $6.46 in dividends in 2019 and added $50.00 from my pocket. That means the other $186.41 increase came from the value of my stocks going up.

Here are the year-to-date numbers on my dividends -

Dividends Received in 2018$6.46
# of Dividends Received in 201818
Average Dividend Payment Amount$0.359

I received six dividends last week, totaling $1.13 - 

Seagate TechnologySTX$0.131.33%
Arrow Dow Jones Global ETFGYLD$0.053.72%
Cisco Systems, Inc.CSCO$0.334.36%
Gabelli Dividend & IncomeGDV$0.116.81%
WisdomTree U.S. High DividendDHS$0.122.08%

This is my second dividend from Seagate this month. They paid a 50 cent dividend on January 2nd, 2019, and now another 13 cent dividend. This combined matches what they paid out the last four quarters, of 63 cents.

18 dividends in January so far, which is pretty cool! My average dividend payment is going down, but it will eventually go up once I buy more of the shares I own, instead of new shares. 

Have a good weekend.



Tuesday, January 22, 2019

First Ally Bank Interest Payment

I opened up an Ally Bank account less than a month ago, and I've already got an interest payment. I got $0.56 in my savings account with Ally. To compare, I have a LOT more money in savings in my regular big bank, and I got $0.07 in interest after THREE MONTHS

Yes, savings accounts aren't meant to be forms of investments. But if my money is going to sit, I might as well get some of the interest instead of the big bankers and their million dollar bonuses. I have around $500 in Ally, so - 

  • $500 x 0.02 (2%) = $10 per year
  • $10/12 months = ~$0.83/month
  • I got $0.56, but again, I didn't have the account open for a full month yet. 

Ally recently said their savings account interest is going from 2.00% to 2.20%. It's nice to know there are other options out there besides the big banks. I've never really been "wronged" by my current bank, but I'll personally never bank with Wells Fargo again after they wouldn't help me with my mortgage situation a while back. 

Ally is great so far. 



Sunday, January 20, 2019

Rough Weekend

I didn't post yesterday due to having a rough weekend traveling. I hit some debris on the interstate and it caused some damage to my vehicle. I had to call 911 and insurance.

Since I was traveling, I didn't bring my laptop to post for my blog. I tried to post from my phone, but since I didn't have my Google Titan key, I couldn't log in to my account, and my Google Authenticator was on my old phone, left at home. While I was bummed I broke my posting streak, I was happy that I secured my account enough to where I couldn't even get into it.

I'm pretty bummed about what happened, but I had great support from friends to talk about it, and my family reminded me that no one was seriously hurt, so it's going to be OK.

I already called insurance, but I'll check in with my local agent tomorrow (if they're open, Martin Luther King day is tomorrow). I'll also call the body shop tomorrow to get my car scheduled to be taken in.

Thanks for reading.



Friday, January 18, 2019

Investing Update 1/18/2019

Here is this week's investing update - 

1/1/20191/18/2019Change since Jan 1stAvg/Week
Robinhood Portfolio Value$4,434.08$4,682.91$248.83
Money from my pocket$4,593.98$4,643.98$50.00$19.44
Gains/Realized & Unrealized-$399.90-$206.40$193.50

My overall portfolio increased $248.83 since January 1st. I have received $5.33 in dividends in 2019 and added $50.00 from my pocket. That means the other $193.50 increase came from the value of my stocks going up.

Here are the year-to-date numbers on my dividends -

Dividends Received in 2018$5.33
# of Dividends Received in 201812
Average Dividend Payment Amount$0.444
I've received one dividend since last week's update, and that was from Realty Income (O). I got a 22 cent dividend, and this dividend yield is at 5.15% (5.15% dividend yield for me. If you bought the stock today, the yield would be lower)

It was a pretty quiet week with dividends, but my portfolio value went back up which was nice to see. 

My monthly dividend stock and ETF dividends should star rolling in next week, hopefully!

Have a good weekend.



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Checking my Stocks Less

When I was testing, using, "gambling", with stock options this summer, I was on my phone a lot. There were days where my portfolio would go up $500. I was distracted at work and checking my phone at an unprofessional level. Well, all the money I made from options, I lost.

From losing money in options, I switched back to solely investing in dividend-paying stocks. These stocks are nearly as volatile as stock options, and I now I check my Robinhood app a lot less. I check it when the market opens to see what kind of day it'll be, and I usually check once in the afternoon to see how the day went.

From a minimalism/distraction standpoint, checking my phone less is good. From a technology standpoint, I'm saving battery on my phone, which is good (Although I've never had a concern that Robinhood is a battery drain). From a health standpoint, it's good, because I'm less anxious about my stocks.

I'm not done with options forever, but right now, when I still have student loans to pay off, I have better outlets for extra money.



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Mid-Month Dividend Check-In

So we're already halfway through January 2019 (wow!) and I thought I'd do a check-in on where I'm at on my dividends. From the beginning of the year, I projected I would receive $8.66 in dividends in January. 

In the table below, here's a breakdown of my where my dividends are at for January.
  • Green means I've received the dividend
  • Yellow means the dividend is pending
  • White means it hasn't shown up yet, paid or pending

Stock NameTickerDividend/Share
Illinois Tool WorksITW$1.00
Bank of Nova ScotiaBNS$0.64
Seagate TechnologySTX$0.63
Iron Mountain Inc.IRM$0.61
Cisco Systems, Inc.CSCO$0.33
Realty Income DelawareO$0.22
AdvisorShares High Yield ETFHYLD$0.21
WisdomTree High Div FundDHS$0.20
iShares US Preferred ETFPFF$0.17
HP Inc.HPQ$0.16
PowerShares KBW High DivKBWD$0.15
Eaton Vance Tax Advantaged Dividend Income FundEVT$0.14
PowerShares S&P 500SPHD$0.14
Global X SuperDividendDIV$0.13
Global X SuperDividendSDIV$0.13
YieldShares High Income ETFYYY$0.13
HP EnterpriseHPE$0.11
Principal Real Estate Income FundPGZ$0.11
Arrow DJ Global Yield ETFGYLD$0.10
Multi-Asset Diversified Income ETFMDIV$0.09
PowerShares Financial Preferred PortfolioPGF$0.08
S&P 500 Low VolatilitySPLV$0.08
PowerShares Preferred PortfolioPGX$0.07
PowerShares High YieldPEY$0.06
Global X SuperIncome Preferred ETFSPFF$0.06

It makes sense that quite a few aren't paid or pending yet. I have a lot of monthly paying dividend stocks/ETFs, and those are the ones not showing up. Since they pay monthly, I believe most of them have ex-dividend dates and record dates in the same month they pay the dividend. 

Yes, I realize it's riskier having these monthly paying stocks/ETFs, but I'm trying to get my dividend snowball rolling, and I'm trying to make up for lost time :) 

The end of the month, just like December 2018, should be fun and full with dividends!



Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Realty Income Stock

I've owned Realty Income for over three years now, and it has paid me a lot of dividends (see attached picture and I apologize if the large size of the photo causes issues when viewing this blog post).

I bought the stock for $51.31 and my first dividend from it was 19 cents. My initial dividend yield would have been -

$0.19 * 12 (dividends paid monthly) = $2.28

$2.28 / $51.31 = 4.44% dividend yield

My latest dividend payment, today, paid me 22 cents.

$0.22 * 12 = $2.64

$2.64 / $51.31 = 5.15% dividend yield.

4.44% dividend yield 3 years ago, 5.15% dividend yield today. I didn't sell the stock, and I haven't purchased any more shares. Maybe in another 3 years it'll be a 6+% dividend yield.

In the three years I've had Realty Income, I've received the following dividends -

1 - 19 cent dividend = $0.19
12 - 20 cent dividends = $2.40
12 - 21 cent dividends = $2.52
12 - 22 cent dividends = $2.64

In total, I've received $7.75 from Realty Income, or 15.1% of the original price I purchased it for.

At this current pace of increasing dividends, I will expect the next dividend in February to be 23 cents.

I've bought and sold a lot of stocks in my Robinhood Portfolio, but Realty Income is one of the few stocks that has been consistent almost from the beginning.



Monday, January 14, 2019

Roth IRA - Dollar Cost Averaging

I spend a lot of time talking about my Robinhood Portfolio, but I don't spend as much time talking about my Roth IRA. A Roth IRA is an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) where you put money in that's already taxed, and the gains you make in the account won't be taxed. There's a few more details to it, but you can google search "Roth IRA" and learn more. 

I'm regularly contributing to my Roth IRA again, and it feels good. I couldn't for awhile due to my job/work situation, but I have money taken out of my account every week into my Roth IRA. I can't quite max out my Roth IRA (putting in $5,500 per year), but I know I'm doing good by putting in what I can. 

I'm buying the same mutual fund in my Roth IRA, and since I'm buying it on a reoccurring basis, I'm buying the mutual fund at different prices, and this is called "Dollar Cost Averaging". Here's an example - 

  • Week 1 - $100 into Roth --> buy mutual fund at $20.00/share = 5.00 shares purchased
  • Week 2 - $100 into Roth --> buy mutual fund at $19.85/share = 5.04 shares purchased
  • Week 3 - $100 into Roth --> buy mutual fund at $19.18/share = 5.21 shares purchased
  • Week 4 - $100 into Roth --> buy mutual fund at $20.18/share = 4.96 shares purchased

The gut reaction when we see the stock price go down is to get anxious or concerned. When the stock price goes down, and you're using the same amount of money to buy shares, you'll buy more shares. This down market since October has been good because I'm buying more shares of the mutual fund in my Roth IRA. The market will go back up eventually, and my Roth IRA portfolio will go back up. 

Thanks for reading,



Sunday, January 13, 2019

Caffeine/Sugar Withdrawals

I don't talk about Health topics very much on the blog anymore, because I always start strong with trying to lose weight, and it always fails. Last Sunday, I decided that I was going to stop drinking pop, including diet pop. Yes, I'm from the midwest, and we call it pop not soda :) 

I was pretty sick this past week, evening taking a 1/2 sick day just so I could sleep. Now I think there's a lot of factors that contributed to this -
  • Traveling a lot last weekend
  • Only sleeping for 5 hours last Sunday into Monday
  • Taking public transportation (germs)
  • Stopping pop
  • Stopping caffeine halfway through the week

Part of me thinks I was having sugar/caffeine withdrawals. Yes, I was drinking a lot of sugar previously, and I drink more over the holidays. I also had a lot of caffeine to help keep me awake on the long drive I had to travel the previous weekend. 

This past week, I was craving sugar. I'm not 100% sure how to describe it, but I could feel it in my mouth and stomach, that if I had a pop, I'd feel better. I stuck with not drinking pop, and started drinking tea and sleeping more. 

I'm feeling better today, through a combination of a lot of rest and drinking lots of water and tea. The past week was pretty brutal though, but a bad sign if my body was having that big of a reaction to not having sugar. Hopefully that's the most "sick" I get this flu/germy/sickness season, and hopefully I can stick to not drinking pop. Maybe my sleep patterns will get better too without the caffeine?

I hope you have a good Monday, and I hope you beat the Sunday blues. 



Saturday, January 12, 2019

First Three Stock Purchases in 2019

I've purchased three stocks in 2019 so far. Two of these stocks are brand new and one is a stock I already own. 

I bought one share of Hanesbrands (HBI) for $12.60. The last five dividend payments were $0.15/share, paid on a quarterly basis. So $0.15 * 4 = $0.60. $0.60 / $12.60 = 4.76% dividend yield.

I bought another share of AT&T (T), bringing my total shares to two shares. I bought this share for $30.06. I bought this share after the ex-dividend date, so I won't get this latest dividend, but that's OK. The upcoming AT&T dividends are $0.51/share, and dividends are paid quarterly. $0.51 * 4 = $2.04. $2.04 / $30.06 = 6.79% dividend yield. 

I bought one share of Gabelli Dividend & Income Trust (GDV) for $19.37. This pays dividends monthly, and the last dividends were paying $0.11/share. $0.11 * 12 = $1.32. $1.32 / $19.37 = 6.81%. 

  • I now have 65 stocks/ETFs in my Robinhood Portfolio
  • In the next 12 months, I will receive 408 dividend payments. 
    • This averages out to 1.12 dividends/day. 

I still have a few new stocks I want to buy, but at this point, I should focus on averaging down on stocks that I already have. I think I have a good amount of dividends coming in now, and if I average down on stocks I already have, it'll increase the rate at which I can grow my account through compound interest. 

Hope you're heaving a good weekend!



Friday, January 11, 2019

Investing Update 1/11/2019

Here's this week's investing update. I've received 11 dividends so far in 2019, and we're done with 11 days of 2019. So on average, I got paid once a day in 2019 so far!

1/1/20191/11/2019Change since Jan 1stAvg/Week
Robinhood Portfolio Value$4,434.08$4,594.55$160.47
Money from my pocket$4,593.98$4,643.98$50.00$31.82
Gains/Realized & Unrealized-$399.90-$294.54$105.36

So my overall portfolio increased $160.47 since January 1st. I have received $5.11 in dividends in 2019 and added $50.00 from my pocket. That means the other $105.26 increase came from the value of my stocks going up.

Here are the year-to-date numbers on my dividends -

Dividends Received in 2018$5.11
# of Dividends Received in 201811
Average Dividend Payment Amount$0.465

Here's a breakdown of the six dividends I received - 

CompanyTicker SymbolDividend AmountMy Dividend Yield
Arrow Dow Jones Global ETFGYLD$0.128.93%
Global X SuperIncome Preferred ETFSPFF$0.088.39%
Global X SuperDividendSDIV$0.818.02%
Global X SuperDividendDIV$0.276.45%
Illinois Tool WorksITW$1.003.20%

I bought a few stocks this past week, and I think I'll talk about them on tomorrow's post.

Thanks for reading. 



Thursday, January 10, 2019

New Career Advice

This doesn't really fall under the umbrella of my blog topics, but sometimes I deviate and write about other things.

About six years ago now I was very early into my first full-time job as an engineer. I was a December college graduate and was fortunate enough to have a job offer before I graduated. This time of year reminds me of what I went through during the first few months of leaving college and starting work. If there are any new college grads starting work, maybe you could benefit from what I learned. I will preface that this advice would be centered around a more office-based, administrative job.

  • Daily Summary - I spent the last 10 minutes of each day summarizing what I did that day - 
    • I also made notes about people's names and what role they played in the company/organization
  • Set up your voicemail - I honestly hate setting up voicemails at work, but it'll make our boss happy, so I'd do it. 
  • Don't get comfortable with your routine - Yes, it's nice to eventually build a routine, but you'll need to eventually add more work once you can do repeated tasks/work faster. Don't become rigid on your schedule that forms during the first few months. 
  • Bring some snacks - In college you can have a pretty flexible schedule and can grab food/snacks from campus dining, coffee shops, convenience stores on campus. At work, you might have a cafeteria, and/or a vending machine. Vending machine costs will add up, along with being tempted to get a candy bar, which isn't the best thing to do on a daily basis! 
  • Clear Expectations - Request/review the expectations of your job. Ask any clarifying questions to your supervisor. How should you request time off? How should you call in if you're sick? What is the expected dress/uniform?
  • Finding a Mentor - I found a mentor at work about the second month in and it made a world of difference. This person took me under their wing and gave me support and also challenged me to grow and do better at my job. 
These are things I'm still learning how to do in my current job, and it's good for me to reflect on these things. 

Tomorrow is Friday and I'll provide an investing update. 



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Beginning of 2018 Minimalism Checklist

So at the end of December I worked on a Financial Checklist - I basically completed everything on that list, besides selling a small of amount of cryptocurrency (I was using two different services for Crypto).

I actually had success with making a checklist, and I feel I should make another one. I've noticed my apartment getting a little "fuller", since I've now lived here for over 1.5 years. Staying in one spot is uncommon for me, I moved a lot after college. This checklist won't be 100% minimalism, as it'll focus a lot on inventorying and putting like-items together. I believe though, once I'm more organized, I can work on reducing the number of items I have and the things that eat up my time.

  • Organize my technology/cables/devices into one area
  • Inventory my cooking supplies/utensils
    • This will help with eventual food prep
  • Update my inventory of clothes
    • Donate those that I don't use. 
  • Sort through my food in cupboards/fridge/freezer, and bring soonish expiring food to the front to use/eat. 
  • Uninstall 5 apps from my phone
    • I used to do this a lot and I enjoyed doing it. It kept me accountable to removing apps on my phone that I didn't need. 
  • Put all loose papers in one area. 
    • Create a mail processing bin near my front door. 

I think this is a good list to start with and maybe I can start 2019 being more organized. 



Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Google Titan

I've had the Google Titan Security Key Bundle for a little while now. Google link here - 

I was interested in Google Titan after learning about Yubikeys -

What do the Titan Key and Yubikey do? I set it up on my e-mail account to where I need my username, password, and I have to plug in the Titan Key to log in to my account. I would feel comfortable giving my friend my username and password to my e-mail, and I could sleep at night knowing they wouldn't be able to log in because they don't have the physical Titan Key.

The key is similar to authentication apps that provide a 6 to 8 digit number to log in to an account, or when you get a text message sent to your phone with a 6 to 8 digit number to log in.

The pack that I got came with a physical USB plug in key and a bluetooth connection key. Both of these keys are linked to my e-mail, so if I misplace one (which I hope to never do), I can use the other to log in.

What is somewhat concerning though is that when I went to the Google Store website tonight to link the Titan Key up above, I couldn't find it on the main page. I had to manually search for it. I hope they're not discontinuing the product already. I actually had to wait about a month and half before receiving it because Google was out of stock. It seems like a good idea of a product, so I'm not sure why it's not displayed on the Google Store website.

I need to add the key to a few more apps/logins to make the cost worth it ($50), but even just knowing my e-mail is secure is a good feeling.



Monday, January 7, 2019

Reviewing Overall 2018 Spending - Part 2

I broke down my 2018 spending a little bit more. It's good to know more of where my money went in 2018, and it's also annoying to see how much I'm spending on some things. Overall, this will make me a better spender in 2019.

In 2018 I spent -

  • $2,890.20 on my car payment
  • $1,938.00 on student loans
  • $1,494.39 on my Verizon Wireless cell phone plan (yuck)
I can keep breaking things down, but as of now, I'm only looking at my checking account. A lot of my food/grocery/gas spending was on credit cards, which will require looking through another year's worth of transactions. This sounds harder than it is, but for now, I want to go slow and make sure I understand as much as I can from my checking account. 

My car payment is more or less a fixed cost, my student loans I could actually pay more on, and my cell phone bill is an opportunity to decrease. I get great service through Verizon, but wow is it expensive. 

Overall though, I spent less than I earned in 2018. I put money away in Robinhood and in my Roth IRA. I have a good job and a roof over my head. I need to get my health in order and lose some weight. 

Thanks for reading.



Sunday, January 6, 2019

Reviewing Overall 2018 Spending

I'm taking on a large task that I probably shouldn't. I'm going to breakdown my spending in 2018.

I'm in the early stages, but I'm looking at two main things - Money coming in, and money going out.

Sources of income -

  • Regular Work Paycheck
    • I received 12 paychecks, so that's good.
      • I get paid once per month, which is a little annoying. 
  • Tax Refund
    • I received 3 refunds, 1 from the federal IRS, and 2 from the 2 states I worked in during 2017. 
  • Credit Card Cashback
    • I received cash back from two of my credit cards (this amount will be less this year.

Money Spent - 
  • I wrote two checks the entire year - I continue to write checks less and less. 
  • Money to main credit card
  • Money to less often used credit cards
  • Money to debit card
  • Money to student loans
  • Money to car payment
  • Money to phone bill 
  • Basically any money coming out of my checking account. 
I will break this down more, but it's very interesting (and frustrating) to see where my money goes. One of the biggest things so far is seeing my after tax income. I know what my stated salary is, and it's depressing to see what I actually get in terms of take-home pay. 

So this post isn't exactly helpful to those reading it, but if I can provide any sort of value, it's to continue to look back at what you've done to help determine what you'll do in the future. We don't change overnight, but with data and information on what we've done, we can use that to numerically/quantitatively guide us to change. That's what I'm doing with my spending.



Saturday, January 5, 2019

Investing Update 1/5/2019

Here's the first investing update of 2019!

1/1/20191/5/2019Change since Jan 1stAvg/Week
Robinhood Portfolio Value$4,434.08$4,433.28-$0.80
Money from my pocket$4,593.98$4,593.98$0.00$0.00
Gains/Realized & Unrealized-$399.90-$402.60-$2.70

So my overall portfolio dropped 80 cents since January 1st. Since I received $1.90 in dividends in 2019 already, and my portfolio still dropped 80 cents, then that means the overall value of my stocks dropped $2.70. 

Here are the year-to-date numbers on my dividends -

Dividends Received in 2018$1.90
# of Dividends Received in 20185
Average Dividend Payment Amount$0.380

Here's a breakdown of the five dividends I received - 

CompanyTicker SymbolDividend AmountDiv Yield
HP Inc.HPQ$0.165.56%
HP EnterpriseHPE$0.113.10%
Seagate TechnologySTX$0.505.10%
Iron Mountain Inc.IRM$0.617.45%

I'm pretty happy to have already received five dividends in the three trading days of 2019 (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday). The Seagate dividend was smaller than projected. According to my projection from previous dividends, I projected to get $0.63, but instead received $0.50. I'm not sure what caused the dividend reduction, but it's still a nice dividend.

Thanks for reading.