2013 Investing Recap

Good evening! As promised here is a quick recap of my 2013 investment activities. These were made through a combination of my taxable brokerage and Roth IRA accounts.

*Note: When I first opened my brokerage accounts I received 6 months of free trades which is why you will see a lot of activity from January through June. During this time I often only traded only a few shares of stock at a time. After June is when I stated having to wait to save up enough to justify paying a commission, which for me is at least $600.

 

Well here is a brief run-down of all my investing activities in 2013. I tried to keep this one as short as possible while still being able to give a quick sentence or two on each trade. In the future I’ll be doing monthly recaps so I’ll have the chance to expand a little bit more on my investing decisions.

 

January

Buys: Altria (MO), AIG (AIG), Apple (AAPL)

Quick Hits: I began my DGI portfolio with Altria Group (maker of Phillip Morris products in the U.S.) and then followed it up with Apple which I considered to be undervalued and a possible DGI stock in the future. AIG was bought as a trade, not an investment as I considered it to be too much of a deal to pass up. This purchase I made within my Roth so I wouldn’t have to pay any capital gains taxes later down the road.

 

February

Buys: Intel (INTC), Altria (MO), Apple (AAPL)

Quick Hits: No sells this month as I continued cost averaging into already established positions in Apple and Altria. The Intel purchase fell under the undervalued category similar to AIG plus it had a nice yield to collect until it could be sold.

 

March

Buys: Altria, Intel, Powershares Financial Preferred ETF (PGF), Chevron (CVX)

Quick Hits: Looking to add some yield I bought shares of PGF, an exchange-traded fund that invests in the preferred stock of financial companies. Good example of an investment where I was “chasing yield” looking back on it now, however I was still learning, and thought it was the best buy to add some yield to my portfolio when so many of the more traditional DGI names at the time appeared overvalued. It also paid monthly with an annual yield around 6%. I continue to hold it and the distributions have remained steady.

 

April

Buys: Intel, Chevron, Apple, General Electric (GE)

Quick Hits: Do I need to mention that I’m an Apple bull? I continued to dollar cost average into the technology giant and added to other positions in Intel and Chevron. Looking to add some sector diversification I initiated a position in General Electric as well. Although the company cut its dividend during the financial crisis of 2009, it has since started getting back to its industrial conglomerate roots, slowly reducing the size of its financial arm.

 

May

Buys: IBM (IBM), Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT), General Electric

Quick Hits: I jumped the gun too early on IBM, but then again hindsight is always 20/20. I was most impressed with its strong buyback history which has led to robust dividend growth. Continuing with more sector diversification after being too heavy in technology and oil stocks for the first quarter of the year, I added some retail names in Wal-Mart and Target, both of which have impressive dividend growth and share buyback histories.

 

June

Buys: Realty Income (O)

Quick Hits: Finally, I was learning how to add some yield without sacrificing quality as I begin to research Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). I decided to add “The Monthly Dividend Company” after its shares corrected following the first of several Federal Reserve rate taper scares this past year.

 

July

Buys: AT&T (T)

Sells: Intel

Quick Hits: This was effectively a one for one swap as I decided to only focus on adding quality companies to my portfolio and businesses that I could understand. A phone company is much easier to understand than a semi-conductor. I think Intel is the best of breed in that industry, however I just don’t have the knowledge to be able to effectively do homework and keep up with the company. Intel’s lack of dividend growth also started to concern me. AT&T fills the role of a high yield, utility type stock for my portfolio.

 

August

Quick Hits: No activity this month, although I made the decision to begin dripping all of my holdings in the Roth. Since I won’t be able to use the dividends as income for close to 30 years, and being limited to only 5500 a year right now, it made the most sense to try to grow the portfolio as much as possible. I will still continue to collect and manually re-invest dividends in my taxable account as after this month, I should be making regular monthly additions of new capital.

 

September

Buys: BP (BP), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB), Coca-Cola (KO), Realty Income, AT&T

Sells: AIG

Quick Hits: It was around this time that I finally finalized my financial plan and came up with a better “business plan” for my portfolio, continuing to focus on accumulating shares of high quality DGI stocks. I was and continue to be able to do this by committing to spending my money wisely outside of the stock market so that I can maximize the amount of money I can invest. The oil majors were at the time and continue to be to a lesser extent an undervalued sector of the market as I loaded up on both BP and Royal Dutch Shell. When KO fell below $40 a share, it became too good of an opportunity to pass up. Realty Income and AT&T were added to, as they continued to trade at reasonable valuations. I unloaded AIG this month as well, once I decided I wanted to focus on only purchasing DGI stocks.

 

October

Buys: Phillip Morris (PM), IBM, Realty Income

Quick Hits: Phillip Morris’s pullback from the high 90’s along with its strong dividend growth potential made it a buy in October. I probably got in a little too early as it quickly dropped to the mid-80’s soon after my purchase. This stock remains on my watch list and I plan on adding to my position this year.

 

November

Buys: Realty Income

Quick Hits: O continues to trade at attractive valuations and with my current work and financial situation, REITs remain the best way for me to invest in real estate.

 

December

Buys: None

 

Conclusion

So this wraps up my recap of my 2013 investing activities. I started out a little slow, not really sure the direction I wanted to take with my portfolio. Once I figured out how dividend growth investing worked, I did a lot better and made better stock purchases setting up a solid foundation for my Dividend Growth Portfolio for the years to come.

 

Full Disclosure: I am long T, MO, BP, CVX, GE, IBM, PM, PGF, O, TGT, WMT, AAPL, KO, RDS.B, RDS.A (RDS.B cannot be dripped, dividends are distributed as RDS.A shares).

 

What do you think of my purchases? Do you invest in any of these companies? Drop me a comment below and continue the conversation. Thanks for reading.

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  4. I’m happy to say that I own AAPL, PM and IBM (via options). I think you’ve found a good list of stocks to start with, but you might want to start to look slightly smaller. Almost all of these companies are gigantic, which means capital gains will be quite muted going forward.

    There are lots of great dividend payers with market caps under $10 Billion. Have you poked around that area at all for ideas?

    Long Term Brian

    1. I’ve started to look at smaller stocks but haven’t really researched any to the point of looking to buy. Right now I’m just focusing on building up a solid foundation for my portfolio with some of the more traditional, large cap dividend growth names before I start branching out. I do have some small cap/growth exposure through an index fund in my TSP (401k) though, but it doesn’t pay dividends.

      Thanks for commenting,
      SFZ

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