Thursday, December 20, 2012

Final Post on 2012 goals

I just wanted to make one final post on my 2012 goals, just to sort of put them to rest as I get ready for 2013.  I had 5 goals for 2012, and I already gave an update on them here.  I just wanted to talk about goals 4 and 5 here, as the first 3 goals were pretty much already met.

4.  Contribute as much as possible to my roth IRA.   I was able to contribute the maximum $5000 for 2011; what I bought with it is detailed here.  I plan on doing the same thing for 2012, but like 2011, it will have to wait until 2013, when I get a better idea of my MAGI.

- I plan on making my 2012 contribution next month.   I think that my MAGI will be over the limits for the Roth IRA, but I plan on doing the non-deductible IRA contribution and then shortly thereafter converting it to a roth.  I'll write about it after I do it.

5.  Increase my dividend income by $2000 next year.  When I wrote this, I was making $18,000 a year in dividends.  Due to a few nice dividend increases and purchases, my projected dividend totals for the next 12 months is now $20,700!  I obviously blew this goal out of the water, and I'm now aiming to add $1300 in more dividend income for the year, for an even $22,000.

- Well, my projected dividend total for the next 12 months is now $22,234!  I blew this goal out of the water twice in the same year!  I'll have another goal around this number for 2013, and hopefully it will be one that is a little more reasonable for a 12 month time period.

So there you have it, the 2012 goals completed.  I'll be coming out with my 2013 goals soon! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Recent Purchase - FGP

I recently made a purchase:

I picked up 84 shares of ferrellgas (FGP) at $18.00 per share.  This will provide an additional $42.00 in dividend income per quarter, or $168 per year.  This will probably be my last purchase of the year, and a while, as I plan on focusing any investing efforts next month on my roth ira.  The portfolio page has been updated accordingly.

What is everyone else buying?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Recent Purchase - LINE

This post has taken me a while to write, but as promised, I'm finally here to write it!  Last month, I purchased an additional 51 shares of LINE at $39.03 per share.  Obviously wish I would have waited a few weeks to make this purchase, as the price has gone down some, but I'm still satisfied.  This purchase gives me an even 1,000 shares of LINE in my portfolio, which means it will probably be the last purchase of LINE that I will make for a while, as while I like the company, I don't want to get too overweight with it.  This buy will provide $147.90 in additional dividend income per year, bringing my projected dividend income for the next 12 months to $22,066!  This brings me over my 2012 goal, and I still plan on making a small purchase in December.

Other than that, things are still pretty much the status quo here; still looking for a house, still happy with my job.  Be on the lookout in the next few weeks for my 2013 goals!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November Dividend Income Update

I've been pretty busy lately between work and looking for a house, so I haven't posted much recently.  I did make another purchase this month that I haven't written about yet, but I hope to soon.  Any, my dividend income for the month of November:

Taxable Account:
O - $10.60
CLMT - $429.66
ERH - $75.00
LINE - $688.03

Total in Taxable Account - $1,203.29

Roth IRA:
ARR - $99.90
STB - $18.48
GGN - $9.00

Total in Roth IRA - $127.38

Yet another great month! Next month won't be anywhere near as good, but I'm working on that.  Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving and great November dividend income!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Recent Purchase - AT

Well, that was the correction we were looking for!

I took advantage and picked up 154 shares of atlantic power (AT) at 12.74 per share.  This will provide around $14.50 per month in dividend income, or $174.02 per year.  I know that I didn't get it at its absolute bottom, but I'm happy with this purchase price.

I get another infusion of cash in my taxable account at the end of this week.  Hopefully prices will stay depressed for the time being and I'll be able to get more good deals!

What did you guys buy on the correction?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

October Dividend Income Update

Another month has passed, and its time to update my monthly dividend income.  I had a great month this month; I wish they were all this good.  Without further ado, my October Dividend income:

Taxable Account:

CIM - $135.00
Bank Stock "X" - $3,798.00
GE - $17.00
O - $10.60
NM - $18.00
ERH - $75.00

Total in Taxable Account - $4,053.60

Roth IRA:

ARR - $99.90
GGN - $9.00
STB - $18.91

Total in Roth IRA - $127.81

TOTAL - $4181.41

Another great month!  ARR's dividend got cut, but I'm not terribly concerned.  The mREIT environment is a little shaky right now, so its not a company specific thing.  Second, its still a large dividend, one that was large enough to pretty much purchase the shares that I have in GGN, as those shares that were purchased this month were almost exclusively purchased with the dividends I have collected from ARR throughout the year.  Anyway, a long-winded way of saying I'm not concerned.

It was a busy month for me, I made 3 purchases overall; GGN for my roth, INTC and FGP for my taxable account.  I still have some money in my taxable account, so look for November to be another busy month as well.  How was your October?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Recent Purchase FGP

When I purchased intel last week, I also made another purchase:

I picked up 100 shares of FGP at $18.27 per share.  Ferrellgas is an MLP (I've written about those before) in the propane business.  They pay a quarterly distribution of 50 cents a share, and have been for several years.  This is a little bit more of a risky play, as their balance sheets look a little shaky, but I feel that the business model is strong, and the company will maintain the distribution.

As far as my portfolio goes, my projected dividend income for the next 12 months now sits at $21,741.  I probably could hit 22K by the end of the year, but I'm not going to push it.  I still have a fair bit of cash currently sitting in my investment account, so I could make another purchase soon.  Any suggestions?  Aside from that, october was another great dividend income month, and I'll be writing the update shortly.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Recent Purchase - INTC

As I said, I made a couple of purchases on Friday.  I'm going to talk about one of them here today:

I purchases 100 shares of intel (INTC) at $21.30 a share.  This is a new position for me, the stock has been falling for a few weeks now, so I felt like now was a good time to get in.  One of the major reasons for the price drop has been the slow down of PC purchases, as more people opt for using tablets and their smart phones for their computing needs.  However, I have faith in intel; I feel like they'll be able to get their chips into those devices as well.  Further, their competition doesn't have anywhere near the talent or resources that intel has.  The only thing that really concerns me with intel is this "take it or leave it" business model they cling to; I feel like it leaves the door open for a competitor to come in and work better with customers to create a better overall device.  However, there's no one in the space right now that poses a real threat to intel.

With a purchase price of $21.30, my yield is 4.2%.  The purchase will give me a dividend income of $90 a year, bringing my projected dividend income for the next 12 months to $21,541.17!  This figure also includes the recent CLMT dividend increase.

I'll shortly be writing about my other recent purchase.  Also, I still have some cash left in my account that I hope to use before the end of the month.

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Swagbucks Experience

I've been away for a while, but there are a few posts that I've been meaning to write, as I've recently made a couple of purchases.  But I wanted to write about swagbucks.  I wrote about signing up for swagbucks here.  I've now been using it for a few weeks, and I wanted to write about my experience with it.  Just so you know, I am in no way being paid for writing this article.

I would use swagbucks here and there, really only when I was sitting around at home and was doing something else, like listening to the radio.  My objective was to earn 4500 swagbucks, which would net me 10 X $5 gift cards.  I got the lion's share of my swagbucks by signing up for a discover card, which got me 3600 points (I never did activate the card).  Other than that, I sort of very slowly accumulated the 4500 points required to get me the $50 dollars worth of amazon  credit.  It took me until about the middle of september to get there.

One thing that I noticed early on was that a $5 amazon gift card was 450 swagbucks, while a $50 amazon gift card was 6000 swagbucks.  Some quick math would suggest that the higher amount gift card was a swagbucks rip-off.  I actually contacted customer service about this, and they said it was indeed correct, they want a lot of people to be able to get the gift cards.  I figured, "ok, well, I'll just get 10 X 5 dollar gift cards instead of one 50 dollar gift card."  I knew that you could use as many gift cards at a time as you wished with amazon, so I was at least clear on that front.

While the swagbucks service rep didn't lie to me, she also didn't tell me the whole truth either.  It turns out that you can only request 2 amazon gift cards a day from swagbucks.  Ok, no problem, I'll just request 2 a day for 5 days.  Then, it turns out you can only request 5 in a calendar month.  So clearly, there is an advantage to getting just one $50 gift card as opposed to 10 $5 gift cards.  You wont find any of this on their website either (unless you try to order more than 2 per day or 5 in a month).  It ended up not being a huge deal, but it certainly left a sour taste in my mouth.

It took a few days to get the gift cards after I requested them.  Why there was a lag in time I don't know; they were just e-giftcards that were emailed to me.  Once I got all 10, I loaded them into my account, and ordered a 1-ounce silver bar.  I got the silver bar a few days later, so no problems with amazon.

So, with all that being said, I have a few final thoughts.  It was nice getting a bar of silver for doing little to nothing.  That being said, my swagbuck days are probably over.  That customer service "white lie" left a real sour taste in my mouth.  It wasn't really a big deal, but my concern is if I were to keep doing this, would they change the rules while I was in the middle of collecting swagbucks?  If they did change the rules, would they even notify me of the change?  Anyway, I'd rather stick with global test market, I get a check about every other month for 50 bucks, its pretty straight forward, and its cash, not gift cards.

Anyone else have experience with these types of sites?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

September Dividend Income Update

September was a pretty quiet month on the for investing for me, as I only made the one small purchase on the last day (GGN).  Dividend income was small too, however it was better than last quarter.  My dividend income:

Taxable Account:

DUK - $21.42
ERH - $75.00
O - $10.58

Total - $107.00

Roth IRA:

ARR - $111.00
STB - $19.05

Total - $130.05

Overall total - $237.05

Total for September 2012 - $73.77

Wow, my dividend income in my taxable account was up almost 50 percent from last year!  Its great to see this progress.

And next month will be more active, as I'll have fresh capital for my taxable account.

How was your month?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Recent Purchase - GGN

I didn't make any deposits into any stock trading accounts this month, but Friday I was still able to make a purchase.  I made the purchase completely through dividends accumulated in my Roth IRA.  I bought:

75 shares of GAMCO Gold and Natural Resources (GGN).  This is a closed end fund from the Gabelli fund family.  I made the purchase at $14.34 a share.  This purchase will provide 9 dollars a month of dividend income in my Roth IRA.  The fund invests primarily in shares of gold and natural resources companies, and makes additional money by writing covered calls on shares in its portfolio.  It pays a monthly dividend of 12 cents a month.

More purchases coming next month!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

All quiet on the home front

September's been a pretty quiet month for me on the investing front.  On one hand, the market has been on fire, which results in less value to be had.  On the other hand, September has been a pretty expensive month for me, with car insurance, new tires, a wedding last weekend, and quarterly taxes due. Because of all this, I haven't made any new purchases, and the blog has been pretty quiet.  But fear not, activity is brewing.  If I don't buy anything next month, I'll definitely be making some purchases next month.  On top of that, I've started looking at some affordable houses to buy.  I just can no longer make sense of paying the amount of rent that I do and keeping a ton of money in a bank account doing next to nothing, when I could be living in a place of my own, building equity for not that much more money than the rent (if anything more at all).  This does not mean that my dividend investing days are over, I still plan on investing as I always do.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

August Dividend Income Update

Yet another month has come and gone, meaning that its time to update my monthly dividend income.  Another great month:

Taxable account
ERH - 63.30
O - 10.23
CLMT - 408.87
LINE - 644.53

total - $1126.93

Roth IRA
ARR - 111.00
STB - 18.69

total - 129.69

Total Dividends for the month:  $1,256.62

As I said, another great month. This compares to August of 2011, where my monthly total was $714.01.  I think almost all of my purchases in the past year have been of companies that pay distributions in August, so the increase is a little bit skewed, but its still nice to see good progress.  September is never the best month for me from a dividend perspective, so it won't be as good as this, but I'm working on it.  How was your month?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Recent Purchase

Well, the markets are still running wild, and its been tough for all value investors to find deals.  However, I was able to get in on a slight dip this week in one of my favorite stocks:

I picked up 60 shares of Linn Energy (LINE) at 39.18 per share.  This will add $43.50 per quarter to my dividend income.  My projected dividend income for the next 12 months is now a staggering $21,368.01.  I don't think that I'll make 22k by the end of the year, but its still impressive none the less.  On deck for next week is my monthly dividend income update - its another good month! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Earlier this week, The Dividend Lifestyle Blog turned one year old!  Its been a great year, filled with ups and downs, but one thing is for certain - my finances are back on track, and its been a great experience being able to track my progress towards accumulating great dividend paying stocks.  Now, my monthly updates will include a look-back at at where I was 12 months ago to monitor progress.  As far as a purchase this month, I have a good amount of cash sitting in my account as of right now, just waiting on a good price on some certain equities to use it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Why I'm hanging on to Chimera (CIM)

One of my stocks, chimera (CIM) is a real estate investment trust holding both agency and non-agency (not backed by the government) mortgage backed securities.  The non agency portion poses a lot of risk, and with interest rates so low plus a poor housing market, its tough to make a lot of money on such speculative investments.  Further, this particular REIT has failed to report results since the third quarter of last year, which has caused investors to become nervous and sell.

How has this affected me?  Well, I purchased CIM at $4.02 a share back in 2009, and at the time, it was paying a dividend of 11 cents a share per quarter.  Now, its trading at $2.38 and paying 9 cents a quarter.  Most dividend investors probably would have cut bait on this stock when the dividend cut, but I decided to stay the course.  Why?

Well, a few reasons.  Lets look at the fact that until earlier this week, CIM had failed to report results for almost a year.  I felt like the stock was oversold based on this results reporting, and it looks like I was right:  what they reported this week wasn't pretty - net income fell by 695 million in the past year, yet the stock went up 8.3% just due to the fact that the report was filed.  This tells me that there was certainly a "wall of worry" phenomena going on with this stock.

But simply reporting results does not make a good stock (obviously).  So what keeps me on board?  Well, I still have faith in the management.  CIM is owned by another mREIT, Annaly (NLY), which is one of the older, more successful REITs.  Secondly, the housing market cant stay down forever.  I honestly feel that with the help of decent politicians, we will finally get back to the old mantra of "if you can't afford a house, you can't buy one."  Not everyone needs to own a home, it shouldn't be a dream of our politicians!  I feel as we slowly get back to this line of thinking, less and less "bad loans" will be made to purchase homes, and companies that make money from these loans will recover.  Finally, its not like I'm talking about a lot of money here, the initial investment was only $6K.  I acknowledge its a risk, but certainly not one that can wreck my portfolio.  Trust me, if I took my portfolio to have it analyzed by an "advisor" they'd have far more problems with it than my investment in CIM.

What do you think?  Would you have sold before now, right now, or hang on like me?  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New Swag Bucks Gagdet

A few months ago, I wrote about a new stream of cash flow, here.  Since that, I've earned about 350 dollars from this, which is pretty good for just sitting around the house answering a survey here and there.  Today, I stumbled upon a new way to make some extra spending money, using swagbucks.  Its a lot easier than the survey taking (which isn't very hard), you sign up, install a toolbar, and do searches using the toolbar for the chance to earn "swag bucks."  You can also sign up for free offers on, take surveys, watch movies, like on facebook, etc, all to earn swag bucks.

So what are swagbucks worth?  Well, there are a lot of gift offers, but for me, the only thing worth it are the 5 dollar amazon gift cards, which cost 450 swag bucks.  I envision buying silver/gold coins from amazon after amassing a few of these cards.

How many rewards do you earn for the different tasks?  As you could predict, the simple stuff, like using the search engine, watching commercials on the site, taking a one question poll, earn you anywhere from 1-10 swag bucks.  Signing up for the site and doing some short surveys earn you 50 swag bucks.  Signing up for free offers and trials can earn you anywhere from 100 to 1200 swag bucks.  One example of this is signing up for a free month trial of netflix for 1000 swag bucks (just remember to cancel it within the trial period if you don't want it).

Again, just a way to make a few extra bucks while lounging around the house.  Like I said, amazon has a ton of stuff on it that I can probably use, if I can't find anything, I'll simply buy a few more late issue coins/bars of silver.

If you feel like this article was useful to you and you want to sign up for swag bucks, please click the gadget on the right side of the page.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

July Dividend Income Update

Wow, the summer is flying by, and its time for another dividend update!  July was a very good month, just a tick down from April due to a dividend decrease from CIM (I might write about this in the very near future).  Anyway, here are this month's dividends:

From taxable account:
ERH - $63.30
O - $10.23
NM - $18.00
GE - $17.00
CIM - $135.00
bank stock - 3798.00

Taxable Account total:  $4041.53

From Roth IRA:

ARR - $111.00
STB - $18.23

Roth IRA Account total:  $129.23

TOTAL FOR JULY:  $4170.76

As, I said, another great month, which lead to two really nice purchases in my portfolio.  Other than that, things are looking up - it looks like all of my financial goals are coming along, the job is going good, etc.  Here's hoping everyone is having a great summer!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Recent Purchase - CLMT

I made another purchase this week in my taxable account, picking up 135 shares of calumet specialty products:

I was able to buy on a bit of a dip, at 24.31 per share.  Not bad considering where it has been trading lately and the fact that its going ex-dividend next week, but not quite as good as I did here.
At the current distribution, this purchase will provide $318 in additional income per year.  The two purchases this week bring my projected dividend total for the next 12 months to $21,252.77!  I think that I'm on pace to reach my goal of $22,000 by the end of the year.

Be on the lookout for my July dividend income update, should be coming soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Recent Purchase, ERH

I just made another purchase for my portfolio.  I picked up 156 shares of the closed end fund wells fargo utilities and high income (ERH).  I made the purchase at 11.65 a share.  This will provide an additional $11.70 in dividend income per month.  I now own an even 1000 shares of this fund.  I have another purchase coming before the end of the month as well, so stay tuned!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Calumet Announces Distribution Increase

One of the larger positions in my portfolio, Calumet Specialty Products Partners (CLMT), announced a quarterly distribution increase from 56 cents to 59 cents a share.  This is the second 3 cent per share increase in the last 12 months.

I currently own 558 shares, so this increase will mean a dividend income increase of $16.74 a quarter, which is nice.  I have been wanting to add to this position for a while now, I just haven't found a great entry price recently.  I wish I had purchased more back here.  I'm hoping to buy more of this one on a dip soon.  I have a decent amount of cash sitting in my account, I'm hoping to make a purchase or two before the end of the month!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Waiting on a Pullback

July is usually a month where I make a large investment purchase, as its one of my big dividend paying months.  However, a lot of the stocks I have my eye on right now have really run up in price the last few weeks.  I anticipate maybe making a small purchase this month, and then waiting on a pullback for other purchases.  I guess this post has been a long-winded way of saying nothing new to report, check back soon.  Hope you are enjoying your summer.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why the double standard?

I'm taking a break today from personal finance and dividend investing for this week, as its been sort of slow with a holiday week.  Please indulge me in a little rant, and go ahead and comment to try and help me see the folly in my thinking:

On the 4th, waiting for a friend to come over, I was watching one of those tv judge shows.  The plaintiff was living with the defendant in a roommate situation, and they had signed a lease together.  After a month, the plaintiff moved out, but continued to honor the lease by paying it every month.  A few months after that, the defendant moved out, however he stopped paying on the lease, citing "lonliness" caused by the plaintiff's moving out as the reason he wasn't honoring the lease.  The plaintiff was suing the defendant for the unpaid portion of the lease, as well as punitive damages, like damage to his credit (apparently this all came to light when the plaintiff tried to apply for a loan, and was rejected due to the fact that due to the defendant not honoring the lease, as his name was on a delinquent lease).

The judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff for the balance owed on the lease.  However, the judge did NOT give the plaintiff anything for punitive damages.  The judge's reasoning was that the plaintiff willingly entered into this lease agreement with the defendant, and knew upfront of the type of risk they were taking on by splitting a lease with another party.  So far, no problem with me, I agree completely with the judge's ruling.

But this is where things get a little murky for me - in the above scenario, replace the lease agreement with a marriage agreement.  Why aren't these things treated the same way?  I liken the fact that the plaintiff was made whole in this case by being given back the money owed on the lease to an equal distribution of marital possessions after a divorce.  But the second part of the ruling seems to fly in the face of alimony payments.  "Well, she didn't make as much as him, and got used to living a better lifestyle; that shouldn't be taken away from her," or "Well he stayed home with the kids and compromised his career to do so, he should be compensated for that."  I say (and apparently this judge might say) SO WHAT?  You willingly entered into this agreement (marriage) with this person here, and made these decisions knowing full well the risk that you were taking on by getting into this marriage agreement.  WHY DON'T WE AS A SOCIETY TREAT MARRIAGE AS AN AGREEMENT LIKE THE ONE IN THE EXAMPLE?  If we're not going to do that, then why are divorces in government-run courts in the first place?  Can anyone help me try to understand this?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Revisiting my 2012 Goals

Happy July 4th!

Since its an important holiday about half way through the year, I thought it would be a good idea to review my 2012 goals today.  Without further ado, he are my goals in bold, followed by my update:

1.  Get a new job.  Mission accomplished!  I started at my new job on February 27th.  I do miss my old friends at the old place, but it was time to move on.  The company is not in the best financial position, and I had taken a paycut.  I actually heard not too long ago that if I hadn't left, someone would have been laid off, so it sounds like I made the right choice. And as for the new job?  Well, my pay increased by a great deal, the company is huge and not going anywhere, but more importantly, I like the job and feel like I have a real opportunity there.

2.  Move into a less expensive apartment.  Also done; as my rent decreased by 60 dollars a month in April.  I know 60 dollars a month isn't much, but the place is much nicer than my last one, is closer to my job (which is really important to me) and is much more quiet.  All in all, a good move.

3.  Start maxing out my 401k.  I actually decided against fulfilling this goal, however I did more than double my contribution.  In the 4 months I've been with my new job, I've contributed more to my 401k than I did at my old job all of last year!  I do plan on maxing this out some day, but not this year.

4.  Contribute as much as possible to my roth IRA.   I was able to contribute the maximum $5000 for 2011; what I bought with it is detailed here.  I plan on doing the same thing for 2012, but like 2011, it will have to wait until 2013, when I get a better idea of my MAGI.

5.  Increase my dividend income by $2000 next year.  When I wrote this, I was making $18,000 a year in dividends.  Due to a few nice dividend increases and purchases, my projected dividend totals for the next 12 months is now $20,700!  I obviously blew this goal out of the water, and I'm now aiming to add $1300 in more dividend income for the year, for an even $22,000.

Well, there you have it; its been a great 6 months financially!  Here's to a great 2nd half of 2012!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Dividend Update

Another month is at its close, and its time to update my dividend income for the month.  This month wasn't that great compared to others, and I think getting The March-June-September-December dividends higher is going to be a priority in 2013.  Without further ado:

Taxable Account Dividends:

DUK - 21.25
ERH - 63.30
O - 10.21

Total - 94.76

Roth IRA Dividends:

ARR - 111.00
STB - 18.09

Total - 129.09

Overall Total:  223.85

Overall, not a bad month, but I think starting next year I do want to focus on getting more dividend stocks that pay during this month.  Next week, I 'm going to haul out my "goals" post from January and do a checkup to see where I am 6 months into the year.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Recent Purchase

It was time to make my monthly purchase for June.  I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but I purchased more Linn Energy (LINE).  I picked up 33 shares at $36.07.  This purchase will provide an additional $95.70 a year in dividend income.  Not a huge purchase this month, due to the fact that I don't get a lot of dividends in June, as you'll see next week in my June dividend income update.  Overall, I'm happy to add more Linn Energy to my portfolio, and I'll probably add a touch more by the end of the year.  Thoughts?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

May Dividend Update

Well, another month has come and gone, and its time for another monthly dividend update.  It was a great month for dividends, and I've experienced another increase compared to last quarter.  Without further ado, my May dividends:

ERH - $63.30
LINE - $580.73
O - $10.21
CLMT - $312.48

Total for taxable account = $966.72

ARR - $111.00
STB -$18.40

Total for ROTH IRA = $129.40

Total May Dividends = 1096.12

I was able to go over 1000 for the month in total dividends!  I don't really consider my Roth dividends as part of my dividend income though, so for me the milestone will be when the taxable account only is over 1000, which could happen as early as next quarter.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Recent Purchase

This is going to be another great month for dividends!  I took some of those dividends and combined them with my monthly cash infusion to purchase 55 more shares of linn energy:
I purchased the shares at a price of 36.50.  Oil/natural gas stocks have taken a hit recently; to me that just makes it a good time to purchase them (think CVX, COP, etc.).  I hope they stay low for a few more months so that I can get into more!

Anyway, the shares purchased will provide an additional $159 a year in dividend income, bringing my projected dividend income for the next 12 months in my taxable accounts to $20,691.12.  This number is the total dividends I would receive over the next 12 months if all of the companies I own shares in keep their dividend payouts the same as they are now.  This is more than I earned at my first somewhat real job, which I started just 10 years ago in the fall (I've moved several times since then).  Its incredible to me to think about how hard I worked at that job, and now I make more than that for doing pretty much nothing.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

April Dividend Update

Well, another month has come and gone, so its time to take a look back at April to review my dividend income.  I must say, this was far and away my best month ever!  It would be great if I could do this every month!  Anyway, without further ado, my April dividends:

Taxable Account:
ERH - $63.30
O - $10.21
GE - $17.00
NM - $18.00
CIM - $165.00
Bank stock - $3798.00

Total in taxable account - $4,071.31

Roth IRA:
ARR - $111.00
STB - $18.50

Total in Roth IRA - $129.50

TOTAL:  $4,201.01

Wow.  The next few months won't be anywhere near as good, but I'm working on it! 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Recent Purchase

Well, it took me a few months, but I finally decided to make a purchase:

I added to my position in Linn energy by purchasing 160 shares on Friday at 39.70.  Its a little more than I would have liked to pay, but a few things on that to keep in mind:
1.  I plan on keeping these shares for the long haul.  That being said, the dividends that an MLP pays out are not taxed, instead, they go against your cost basis, such that when you sell them, you pay taxes on the capital gains plus the distributions you received from owning them.  Since is pays a distribution in the next few weeks, my new cost basis will be 38.975.
2.  This is a stock I feel pretty comfortable with.  They're a natural gas exploration company that has natural gas prices hedged through the next few years, meaning that the business' success hinges upon the ability to find natural gas rather than demand.  I'll take my chances with that.

So what does this purchase mean for my portfolio?  Well, this purchase will provide $464 of dividend income a year, which actually brings my dividend income for the next 12 months to $20,531!  This purchase and some recent dividend increases, I've surpassed the 20K mark, which was actually my goal for this year!  I guess my modified goal for the year is to try and get to 22K by december, but that might be a bit out of reach.  Soon enough though!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Plans with the old 401k

Haven't been posting much, partly because I've been pretty busy, but also due to the markets running wild, and I'm waiting for a bigger pullback than we've seen recently.  I'm sitting on a lot of cash right now though, so I'm hoping to make a purchase within the next week or so.

After much thought, I've decided to roll the old 401k into the new one.  The new plan has more choices (and better choices) than the old one, so that's good.  I changed my mind though from my initial plan, which was to just roll it into an IRA.  I've decided against this due to tax implications.  I currently do not have a non-roth IRA.  Not having one is actually an advantage if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is too high to regularly contribute to a roth.  As it stands without one, next year when my AGI is too high to contribute directly to a roth, I can open a non-deductible IRA, and then immediately convert it to a roth, since there is no cap on the conversion.  Since I don't get an initial tax break on opening the non-deductible IRA, there will be no tax bill on the conversion.  If I were to do this already having an IRA, then there would be a taxable event, as the government would consider the total of all of my IRAs (the non-deductible and the rolled over 401k) when determining my tax bill, and I have obviously received a tax advantage from the 401k, so I would have to pay taxes on a portion of the conversion.  Does all of this make sense?  More importantly, am I right?  Hope to be back to more exciting stuff in the future.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March Dividend Update

Another month has come and gone, and now its time to give an update on my dividend progress.  March is typically a small month for me, although I did manage to collect more dividends than I did in December, a quarter ago.  Without further ado:

Taxable account:
O - 10.19
ERH - 53.63
DUK - 21.25

Total from Tax account - $85.07

Roth IRA:
ARR - 122.10
STB - 18.66

Total from Roth IRA - $140.76

Dividend Total - $225.83

Not bad!  However I really don't like to count the dividend total from the roth IRA since if something really went wrong, I couldn't rely on it for cash flow.  This total should go up some next quarter, but not a lot, since none of the stocks on my current watch list pay quarterly dividends in Jone.  April though is looking like its going to be another banner month for me, so stay tuned!

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Its been a while since I've posted, I've been pretty busy lately.  I moved last weekend; so far I really like the place (better than the last one).  Financially speaking, the rent is cheaper here, its smaller so heat and electric should be less, and its also much closer to work, meaning that I'll spend less on gas.  Also, the new job is going great so far, I'm starting to get into the groove there.  Also, the new paycheck is nice.

Its been a while since I've made a stock purchase.  I'm waiting for my April 15th dividend check from the bank, then I plan on combining that with some savings to make some purchases next month.  Should be exciting!  I plan on posting my March update within the next few days.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bank Stock Splits 3:2

Just a quick update to say that my bank stock split 3:2 as of March 1.  I received my new shares earlier this week, and have updated my portfolio page accordingly.  This happened once before, and it worked out pretty well for me then, as the share price gradually rose to where it was before the split.

Other than that, the new job is going well so far; I was able to reconnect with a colleague at the new job with whom I worked with at a previous position, which was nice.

No purchases yet this month, I'm thinking of holding off until next month for a pullback and to build up some capital.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

February Dividend Income

Well, another month has passed, its time to see how I did this month with dividend income.  All in all, its been a pretty good month; I started a new job that' going well so far, and I made a good purchase as well.  The markets are so far up right now, I'm not sure that I'm going to make a purchase in March, we'll have to see.  Without further ado, February's Dividend income:

ERH - $53.63
LINE - $442.29
CLMT - $295.74
O - $10.19
Total in taxable account = $801.85

In Roth IRA
ARR - $122.10

Total Dividends Received = $923.95

Wow, what a great month! Much better than last February, or last November even.  March will be a bit of a down month, but hopefully in time, they'll all be good!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Recent Purchase

A lot is going on for me right now.  On Monday, I start my new job (yeah!).  Last Monday, I signed a lease on a new apartment, thats $130 a month cheaper than my current place (yeah!).  In spite of all of this activity, I also made a purchase this week:

I picked up 129 shares of ERH, a closed end fund, for 11.75 a share.  This will provide me with an extra $9.68 a month in dividend income.  This makes me a little bit closer to my goal for the year!

Anyway, looking forward to having a higher salary, living in a cheaper apartment, so that I can get to those investing goals a little sooner!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Upcoming Purchases

Well, I'm going to need to make 2 purchases in the upcoming future, the first one is for my taxable account, the second is for my 401k conversion to an IRA.  I think I pretty much know what I want to purchase for my taxable account, unless there are drastic changes between now and the middle of next week.  For the 401k conversion, I was thinking of creating an IRA at a discount brokerage and buying a few blue chip dividend stocks.  It will be a while still, but does anyone have any thoughts?  I was thinking along the lines of JNJ, PG, MCD, etc.  Which ones are good buys right now?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Recent Purchase

I recently made a purchase for my roth IRA.  I picked up 400 shares of student transportation Inc. (STB):

This company provides school bus transportation to private schools in North America.  It also has relatively small holdings in oil and gas positions.  I purchased the 400 shares at a price of 6.7525 per share.  This position will provide $18.68 per month for my Roth IRA.  I'm happy with this purchase, again, I feel like its a little safer of an investment than a heavily leveraged REIT while providing a good yield, which fits with what I want to accomplish with my roth.

I start my new job on the 27th of February.  I've passed the drug test, my background check is almost complete; its only a matter of time now!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My New Job - A good problem to have

As I've alluded to, at the end of February, I'll be leaving my position at a small biotech startup for a position at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies.  Crunching the numbers, in order to contribute to a roth ira, I'm going to need to max out my 401k so as to lower my modified adjusted growth income (MAGI).  If my dividend income (and income at work for that matter) keeps increasing as it has in the last few years, 2013 will be totally out of the question.  So I guess my question is, is all of this manipulation worth it?  I really don't like 401k's; I'd prefer to just contribute to the match and forget the rest, but I have no problem at all with Roth IRA's, and I'd hate to lose the ability to contribute to it.  What would you do?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January Dividend Income

Another month almost in the books, and its time to update my dividend income for the month.  This has been a great month for me, as I just accepted a position with a major pharmaceutical company as a senior scientist.  This position comes with a hefty raise for me, but just as importantly, is more stable than my current position, and is more interesting to me as well.  On the dividend side, as I alluded to in my last post, it was my BEST MONTH EVER.  Without further ado, my dividend income for January:

Bank Stock - $3354.00
ERH - $53.63
NM - $18.00
O - $10.19
GE - $17.00
CIM - $165.00

Roth IRA
ARR - $122.10

total dividends = $3739.92

Wow!  Man, if I could get this month every month, I'm not sure I'd even bother to work (or at least take an extended vacation).  I know I won't have a month like this again until April, but I'm pretty happy that I'll be able to build up the other months a little quicker with this money, as well as the income from my new position.

Big J

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Recent Purchase

Sorry its been a while since I last posted, but I've been pretty busy lately.  And busy in a good way; I've reached a new agreement with another company, a large pharmaceutical company, and I hope to start by the end of the february (I'll write more about this later).  I wanted to post about a recent purchase that I made this morning:

I purchased 41 shares today of Linn Energy, a Natural Gas MLP.  I've owned shares of LINE for over 2 years now, its one of my favorite stocks - its hedged for fluctuations in natural gas prices, it pays a respectable (~7.2% at the time of this writing) cash distribution, and the distribution itself has a good history of growth.  I'd like to really increase my holdings in LINE over the next 12 months, so I feel like this is a good start. 

Stay tuned for my January dividend update.  Its going to be my best month ever!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Starting the New Year off Right

I just wanted to write a quick update today on my employment status.  I heard it will be a week or two more before I hear back from the place I interviewed.  At my current job, they reinstated my salary and are going to pay me everything I lost on the salary cut.  This is great news; I'll probably use the found money to buy some more stocks.  Also, I have my dividend from my bank stock coming on the 16th; I plan on using it to finish my 2011 roth contribution, as well as making a purchase in my taxable account.