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!