Category Archives: Monthly Investing Recaps

A quick summary of all my investing activities during a month.

Monthly Investing Recaps: November 2014 to August 2016

Catching up from my year away from blogging today I’ll review all of my investing activity over the past year plus.  I decided to not invest any money into my Roth IRA these past years so I could focus on building up my taxable accounts.  In addition, I continued investing a small amount each month in my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).  The TSP is basically a 401K plan for federal employees including the military.  It only offers index funds but does have probably the lowest expense ratios around.  Right now I’m investing in the C Fund (mirrors S&P 500) and the S Fund (small caps).

Note:  All total invested numbers include commissions.  All transactions are buys as I had zero sells during the time period.

 

November 2014

Taxable Brokerage

36 shares of BP @ $40.44 per share=$1464.79 invested.

Loyal3

1.0566 shares of McDonalds (MCD) @ $94.65 per share=$100 invested.

1.0878 shares of Disney (DIS) @ $91.93 per share=$100 invested.

.5518 shares of Disney (DIS) @ $90.62 per share=$50 invested.

2.4976 shares of Unilever (UL) @ $40.04 per share=$100 invested.

1.2892 shares of Walmart (WMT) @ $77.57 per share=$100 invested.

November 2014 Quick Hits:  November marked the beginning of me focusing on raising the overall yield of my portfolio to provide a larger base of slower growing, high yielding stocks.  Hindsight being 20/20 this was probably not a good time to load up on BP as the price of oil would soon decline.

 

December 2014

Taxable Brokerage

50 shares of BP @ $39.59 per share=$1988.45 invested.

18 shares of Chevron (CVX) @ $109.00 per share=$1970.95 invested.

22 shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM) @ $90.40 per share=$1997.75 invested.

12 shares of International Business Machines (IBM) @ $161.75 per share=$1949.95 invested.

December 2014 Quick Hits:  Again, not the greatest timing for loading up on the oil majors looking back but overall I think some good buys using fulfilling my Christmas stock shopping spree of 2014.

 

January 2015

Taxable Brokerage

63 shares of AT&T (T) @ $33.74 per share=$2134.57 invested.

Loyal3

.6002 shares of Unilever (UL) @ $39.99 per share=$24.00 invested.

 

February 2015

Taxable Brokerage

73 shares of AT&T (T) @ $33.36 per share=$2444.95 invested.

 

March 2015

Taxable Brokerage

30 shares of Kinder Morgan (KMI) @ $40.92 per share=$1236.55 invested.

25 shares of BP @ $39.69 per share=$1001.20 invested.

16 shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) @ $100.92 per share=$1623.67 invested.

Loyal3

.5626 shares of Microsoft (MSFT) @ $40.88 per share=$23.00 invested.

March 2015 Quick Hits:  Continued investing in some high yielders (KMI/BP) as well as building up a core position in JNJ.  The majority of small Loyal3 purchase beginning in March were the result of reinvesting dividends.

 

April 2015

Loyal3

4.9517 shares of Microsoft (MSFT) @ $40.39 per share=$200.00 invested.

.2866 shares of Microsoft (MSFT) @ $41.87=$12.00 invested.

12.216 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $40.93 per share=$500.00 invested.

 

May 2015

No investing activity.

 

June 2015

Taxable Brokerage

22 shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) @ $97.66 per share=$2157.47 invested.

 

July 2015

Taxable Brokerage

12 shares of Chevron (CVX) @ $94.95 per share=$1148.35 invested.

59 shares of Kinder Morgan (KMI) @ $34.98 per share=$2072.76 invested.

Loyal3

.5567 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $39.52 per share=$22.00 invested.

.3445 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $40.64 per share=$14.00 invested.

1.0861 shares of Hershey (HSY) @ $92.99 per share=$101.00 invested.

 

August 2015

Taxable Brokerage

46 shares of BP @ $31.65 per share=$1464.85 invested.

Loyal3

1.0892 shares of Hershey (HSY) @ $91.81 per share=$100.00 invested.

4.878 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $41.00 per share=$200.00 invested.

1.7351 shares of Apple (AAPL) @ $115.27 per share=$200.00 invested.

.0151 shares of Google (GOOGL) @ $664.28 per share=$10.00 invested.

.0736 shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) @ $135.89 per share=$10.00 invested.

 

September 2015

Loyal3

5.123 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $39.04 per share=$200.00 invested.

3.0257 shares of Walmart (WMT) @ $66.10 per share=$200.00 invested.

.0967 shares of Disney (DIS) @ $103.36 per share=$10.00 invested.

.4466 shares of Apple (AAPL) @ $112.47 per share=$50.00 invested.

.1088 shares of Hershey (HSY) @ $91.88 per share=$10.00 invested.

.2467 shares of Unilever (UL) @ $40.53 per share=$10.00 invested.

.5861 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $39.24 per share=$23.00 invested.

6.3939 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $39.10 per share=$250.00 invested.

.0776 shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) @ $128.94 per share=$10.00 invested.

.0153 shares of Google (GOOGL) @ $652.28 per share=$10.00 invested.

September 2015 Quick Hits:  Starting in September I began to use Loyal3 as my primary investing account investing smaller amounts as I focused on saving up money for my post-military transition in 2017.

 

October 2015

Loyal3

.3633 shares of Microsoft (MSFT) @ $46.79 per share=$17.00 invested.

4.217 shares of Walmart (WMT) @ $58.80 per share=$250.00 invested.

.8811 shares of Apple (AAPL) @ $113.49 per share=$100.00 invested.

.0147 shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) @ $681.23 per share=$10.00 invested.

.0741 shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) @ $134.94 per share=$10.00 invested.

.8685 shares of Walmart (WMT) @ $57.57 per share=$50.00 invested.

 

November 2015

Loyal3

4.4279 shares of Walmart (WMT) @ $56.56 per share=$250.00 invested.

2.9544 shares of Hershey (HSY) @ $84.62 per share=$250.00 invested.

.0732 shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) @ $136.56=$10.00 invested.

.0128 shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) @ $781.70 per share=$10.00 invested.

.1668 shares of Walmart (WMT) @ $59.96 per share=$10.00 invested.

.232 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $43.11 per share=$10.00 invested.

1.2213 shares of Starbucks (SBUX) @ $61.41 per share=$75.00 invested.

.1863 shares of Microsoft (MSFT) @ 53.69 per share=$10.00 invested.

.0753 shares of Nike (NKE) @ $132.88 per share=$10.00 invested.

 

December 2015

Loyal3

.8573 shares of Hershey (HSY) @ $87.48 per share=$75.00 invested.

.2024 shares of Walmart (WMT) @ $59.28 per share=$12.00 invested.

.0131 shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) @ $762.50 per share=$10.00 invested.

.0767 shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) @ $130.37 per share=$10.00 invested.

.1646 shares of Walmart (WMT) @ $60.77 per share=$10.00 invested.

 

January 2016

Taxable Brokerage

35 shares of AT&T (T) @ $34.00 per share=$1198.95 invested.

 

Loyal3

.1125 shares of Apple (AAPL) @ $97.81 per share=$11.00 invested.

.0137 shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) @ $730.40 per share=$10.00 invested.

.0794 shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) per share@ $125.91=$10.00 invested.

 

February 2016

Loyal3

1.5787 shares of Apple (AAPL) @ $95.02 per share=$150.00 invested.

.0138 shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) @ $723.00 per share-$10.00 invested,

.0761 shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) @ $136.37 per share=$10.00 invested.

 

March 2016

Loyal3

.2653 shares of Hershey (HSY) @ $90.45 per share=$24.00 invested.

.8204 shares of American Express (AXP) @ $60.36 per share=$50.00 invested.

.0131 shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) @ $761.85 per share=$10.00 invested.

.0702 shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) @ $142.54 per share=$10.00 invested.

 

April 2016

Taxable Brokerage

24 shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) @ $108.82 per share=$2620.63 invested.

 

Loyal3

.4611 shares of American Express (AXP) @ $60.73 per share=$28.00 invested.

.1675 shares of Nike (NKE) @ $59.69 per share=$10.00 invested.

.1672 shares of Starbucks (SBUX) @ $59.81 per share=$10.00 invested.

1.6304 shares of Apple (AAPL) @ $110.40 per share=$180.00 invested.

3.9507 shares of American Express (AXP) @ $63.28 per share=$250.00 invested.

5.2748 shares of Hershey (HSY) @ $94.79=$500.00 invested.

.0129 shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) @ $776.01 per share=$10.00 invested.

.0687 shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) @ $145.52 per share=$10.00 invested.

April 2016 Quick Hits:  This month marked the last big stock purchase I had this year as I’ve begun saving up cash for a 2017 transition to the civilian sector.

 

May 2016

Loyal3

2.122 shares of Apple (AAPL) @ $94.25 per share=$200.00 invested.

.0139 shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) @ $718.48 per share=$10.00 invested.

.0707 shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) @ $141.43 per share=$10.00 invested.

 

June 2016

Loyal3

1.4497 shares of Target (TGT) @ $68.98 per share=$100.00 invested.

1.0066 shares of Apple (AAPL) @ $99.34 per share=$100.00 invested.

.9116 shares of Nike (NKE) @ $54.85=$50.00 invested.

1.2077 shares of American Express (AXP) @ $62.10=$75.00 invested.

.0141 shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) @ $709.34 per share=$10.00 invested.

.0699 shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) @ $143.03 per share=$10.00 invested.

 

July 2016

Loyal3

.8972 shares of Nike (NKE) @ $55.73 per share=$50.00 invested.

.2642 shares of Apple (AAPL) @ $94.64 per share=$25.00 invested.

 

August 2016

Loyal3

.1804 shares of Starbucks (SBUX) @ $55.43 per share=$10.00 invested.

Monthly Investing Recaps: October 2014

At the start of each month I detail all the buy/sell activity here for each of my 3 individual stock portfolios: Loyal3, Roth IRA, and Taxable Brokerage accounts. It’s just one way I am chronicling my journey to financial independence here at Starting From Zero.

In addition to these 3 accounts, I also continued investing in my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) again this month. Right now I’m contributing 4% of my base pay but may adjust this in the future. The majority of my investing will still be in my taxable and Roth accounts. The TSP is basically a 401k plan for federal employees including the military. It only offers index funds but does have probably the lowest expense ratios around, even lower than Vanguard. Right now I’m putting my contributions in the C Fund which mirrors the S&P 500 and the S Fund which is a small cap index fund. Since these deposits typically take a while to reach my account, I won’t be detailing those transactions here.

Loyal3 Account

Buys

.528 shares of McDonalds (MCD) @ $94.69 per share=$50 invested.

Quick Hits: Although I wasn’t able to buy MCD at its low mid-month, I added some more to this position at a decent valuation.

 

Roth IRA

No activity this month.

Quick Hits: Contribution limit maxed out until next year.

 

Taxable Brokerage

Buys

38 shares of Kinder Morgan (KMI) @ $38.92 per share=$1487.91 invested including commission.

Quick Hits: With KMI set up for projected 10% annual dividend growth over the next few years, I decided to double my position in the energy giant. Although I ended up raising my cost basis here, I still think KMI presents good value here when factoring in the upcoming consolidation of Kinder Morgan Partners (KMP) and Kinder Morgan Management (KMR) under KMI.

 

Full Disclosure: I am long all stocks mentioned. This post is not intended to be a buy or sell recommendation for any stock mentioned and is intended for educational/entertainment purposes only.

How was your October for investing? What do you think of my stock picks this month? Share with a comment below and thank you for reading!

Monthly Investing Recaps: September 2014

At the start of each month I detail all the buy/sell activity here for each of my 3 individual stock portfolios: Loyal3, Roth IRA, and Taxable Brokerage accounts. It’s just one way I am chronicling my journey to financial independence here at Starting From Zero.

In addition to these 3 accounts, I also continued investing in my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) again this month. Right now I’m contributing 4% of my base pay but may adjust this in the future. The majority of my investing will still be in my taxable and Roth accounts. The TSP is basically a 401k plan for federal employees including the military. It only offers index funds but does have probably the lowest expense ratios around, even lower than Vanguard. Right now I’m putting my contributions in the C Fund which mirrors the S&P 500 and the S Fund which is a small cap index fund. Since these deposits typically take a while to reach my account, I won’t be detailing those transactions here.

Loyal3 Account

Buys

.1064 shares of McDonalds (MCD) @ $93.90 per share=$10 invested. After accumulating over $10 in my account for the first time this past month from dividends, I used the money to add some McDonalds stock.

1.5912 shares of McDonalds (MCD) @ $94.26 per share=$150 invested.

Quick Hits: With much of my time this month occupied with school and then a very busy couple weeks of work, I only made a few small purchases this month through Loyal3. With slowing revenue growth and a smaller than expected dividend increase this year, MCD has fallen into what I consider fair value for the dividend champion and I plan on continuing to dollar cost average into the stock below ~96 per share.

 

Roth IRA

No activity this month.

 

Taxable Brokerage

Buys

7 shares of Visa (V) @ $213.47 per share=$1503.24 invested including commission.

Quick Hits: With Visa pulling back below $215 this past month I felt like the stock presented a good value so I doubled my position in the global payment processing company, slightly raising my cost basis. With its excellent balance sheet, low payout ratio, and high earnings per share growth, Visa looks primed to continue their high dividend growth going forward.

 

Full Disclosure: I am long all stocks mentioned. This post is not intended to be a buy or sell recommendation for any stock mentioned and is intended for educational/entertainment purposes only.

How was your September for investing? What do you think of my stock picks this month? Share with a comment below and thank you for reading!

Monthly Investing Recaps: August 2014

At the start of each month I detail all the buy/sell activity here for each of my 3 individual stock portfolios: Loyal3, Roth IRA, and Taxable Brokerage accounts. It’s just one way I am chronicling my journey to financial independence here at Starting From Zero.

In addition to these 3 accounts, I also continued investing in my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) again this month. Right now I’m contributing 4% of my base pay but may adjust this in the future. The majority of my investing will still be in my taxable and Roth accounts. The TSP is basically a 401k plan for federal employees including the military. It only offers index funds but does have probably the lowest expense ratios around, even lower than Vanguard. Right now I’m putting my contributions in the C Fund which mirrors the S&P 500 and the S Fund which is a small cap index fund. Since these deposits typically take a while to reach my account, I won’t be detailing those transactions here.

Loyal3 Account

Buys

1.0686 shares of McDonalds (MCD) @ $93.58 per share.

.5314 shares of McDonalds (MCD) @ $94.10 per share.

1.0668 shares of McDonalds (MCD) @ $93.73 per share.

2.5164 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $39.74 per share.

.8351 shares of Target (TGT) @ $59.87 per share.

1.3354 shares of Wal-Mart (WMT) @ $74.88 per share.

1.3204 shares of Wal-Mart (WMT) @ $75.74 per share.

Quick Hits: With too much time spent on school work this past month, I only made some small purchases through this account throughout the month. I plan on continuing to dollar cost average into KO anytime the stock dips below $40. With WMT, MCD and TGT all presenting good value at different times throughout the month I also continued dollar cost averaging into those stocks.

 

Roth IRA

Sells

.539 shares of RDSA @ 80.54 per share=$43.41. Realized gain of $4.71.

Quick Hits: I currently hold both my taxable brokerage and Roth IRA through my bank’s brokerage service. They recently  converted their brokerage service to a separate company and any holdings that were less than 1 share were automatically sold. Since dividends from Royal Dutch Shell’s class B shares (RDSB) can only be reinvested into class A shares (RDSA), this is how I ended up with a a fractional amount.

 

Taxable Brokerage

No activity this month.

 

Full Disclosure: I am long MCD, KO, TGT, WMT and RDSB. This post is not intended to be a buy or sell recommendation for any stock mentioned and is intended for educational/entertainment purposes only.

How was your August for investing? What do you think of my stock picks this month? Share with a comment below and thank you for reading!

Monthly Investing Recaps: July 2014

At the start of each month I detail all the buy/sell activity here for each of my 3 individual stock portfolios: Loyal3, Roth IRA, and Taxable Brokerage accounts. It’s just one way I am chronicling my journey to financial independence here at Starting From Zero.

In addition to these 3 accounts, I also continued investing in my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) again this month. Right now I’m contributing 4% of my base pay but may adjust this in the future. The majority of my investing will still be in my taxable and Roth accounts. The TSP is basically a 401k plan for federal employees including the military. It only offers index funds but does have probably the lowest expense ratios around, even lower than Vanguard. Right now I’m putting my contributions in the C Fund which mirrors the S&P 500 and the S Fund which is a small cap index fund. Since these deposits typically take a while to reach my account, I won’t be detailing those transactions here.

Loyal3 Account

No activity this month.

 

Roth IRA

No activity this month as I maxed out my annual contribution limit for the year with last month’s purchase of Deere.

 

Taxable Brokerage

Buys

16 shares of Philip Morris International (PM) @ $82.96 per share.

Sells

None.

Quick Hits: With shares dipping recently after their latest earnings report, it gave me the chance to average down and increase my position in the global tobacco company. I originally initiated a small position (6 shares) last October. With shares trading at 16.1 times trailing 12 month earnings and 14.6 times forward earnings, I think PM presents good value at current levels. For comparison the stock’s 5 year average P/E stands at 15.7. With a 4.6% dividend yield and steady buyback program that has reduced shares outstanding from 2116 million in 2007 to 1591 million in 2014, there are a lot of things to like about this dividend challenger with 6 consecutive years of dividend increases.

Although the company has increased their debt load quite a bit in recent years, taking advantage of low interest rates to finance their large buyback program, I’m not too concerned right now. However this is a situation that I will monitor closely going forward. Even with the increased debt, PM still has a solid interest coverage ratio of 12.36 and carries an A- credit rating by Morningstar.

 

Full Disclosure: I am long DE and PM. This post is not intended to be a buy or sell recommendation for any stock mentioned and is intended for educational/entertainment purposes only.

How was your July for investing? What do you think of my stock picks this month? Share with a comment below and thank you for reading!

Monthly Investing Recaps: June 2014

At the start of each month I detail all the buy/sell activity here for each of my 3 individual stock portfolios: Loyal3, Roth IRA, and Taxable Brokerage accounts. It’s just one way I am chronicling my journey to financial independence here at Starting From Zero.

In addition to these 3 accounts, I also continued investing in my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) again this month. Right now I’m contributing 4% of my base pay but may adjust this in the future. The majority of my investing will still be in my taxable and Roth accounts. The TSP is basically a 401k plan for federal employees including the military. It only offers index funds but does have probably the lowest expense ratios around, even lower than Vanguard. Right now I’m putting my contributions in the C Fund which mirrors the S&P 500 and the S Fund which is a small cap index fund. Since these deposits typically take a while to reach my account, I won’t be detailing those transactions here.

After not investing any new funds in May, I pooled all the cash I had and made one final purchase for my Roth IRA for the year and used the excess to make some smaller purchases through Loyal3.

Loyal3 Account

Buys

3.43 shares of Target (TGT) @ $58.31 per share.

3.3624 shares of Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) @ $59.48 per share.

Sells

None.

Quick Hits: With Target continuing to trade at an attractive long-term entry point and recently announcing a 20.9% dividend increase, this dividend champion was a no-brainer to add to.

Dr. Pepper is a new position for my portfolio. DPS is a manufacturer and distributor of non-alcoholic beverages that are sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company’s brands include its flagship Dr. Pepper and Snapple drinks, Sunkist soda, 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Crush soda, Hawiian Punch, Mott’s, Schweppes, and my personal favorite as a kid, Yoohoo. Unlike its main competitors, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, both of which are trading at P/E’s of 19+, Dr. Pepper’s P/E comes in at 17.5 with a forward P/E of 15.2, both of which are less than the S&P 500′s current and forward P/E ratios of 18.3 and 17 respectively. Although they have only been growing their dividend for 5 years, the stock does sport dividend growth rates of 10.4% for the past year, and 22.8% average for the last three years while still keeping the payout ratio at 47%.

Roth IRA

Buys

23 shares of Deere (DE) @ $91.80 per share.

Sells

None.

Quick Hits: Deere is another new position for my portfolio and one I’ve been looking to add for a while now. Growing up in a rural town and with plenty of farmers and other users of Deere tractors and equipment in my family, I guess I have a soft spot for the stock. Although earnings are expected to decrease in the coming few years, I like the long-term growth story of this company which is summed up nicely at their investor page. After keeping their dividend static for five quarters, Deere recently announced a 17.6% increase, bringing the quarterly payout up to $0.60 from $0.51. Sweet. :) Even after the recent run-up in price the stock continues to trade at an attractive valuation with a P/E of just 9.9.

Taxable Brokerage

No activity this month.

 

Full Disclosure: I am long TGT, DPS, DE, and KO. This post is not intended to be a buy or sell recommendation for any stock mentioned and is intended for educational/entertainment purposes only.

How was your June for investing? What do you think of my stock picks this month? Share with a comment below and thank you for reading!

Monthly Investing Recaps: April 2014

At the start of each month I detail all my buy/sell activity for each of my 3 individual stock portfolios: Loyal3, Roth IRA, and Taxable Brokerage accounts. It’s just one way I am chronicling my journey to financial independence here at Starting From Zero.

In addition to these 3 accounts, I also continued investing in my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) again this month. Right now I’m contributing 4% of my base pay but may adjust this in the future. The majority of my investing will still be in my taxable and Roth accounts. The TSP is basically a 401k plan for federal employees including the military. It only offers index funds but does have probably the lowest expense ratios around, even lower than Vanguard. Right now I’m putting my contributions in the C Fund which mirrors the S&P 500 and the S Fund which is a small cap index fund. Since these deposits typically take a while to reach my account, I won’t be detailing those transactions here.

With my tax refunds hitting my account this month I was able to invest more than normal as I put all of my refund into stocks. Here is what I did in April.

Loyal3 Account

Buys

7.72 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $38.86 per share.

1.6361 shares of Target (TGT) @ $61.12 per share.

8.3479 shares of Target (TGT) @ $59.89 per share.

Sells

None.

Quick Hits: After receiving my tax refund this month I put all of my normal monthly investing capital to work here increasing my stake in Target. I plan on continuing to dollar cost average into KO as long as it remains at or below $40 as I would like this dividend champion to be a core holding in my portfolio.

Roth IRA

Buys

7 shares of Visa (V) @ $199.30 per share.

22 shares of Aflac (AFL) @ $61.00 per share.

Sells

None.

Quick Hits: I received a combined federal/state tax refund of just over $2800 which I quickly put to work initiating two new positions for my portfolio. I detailed my buy list recently and ended up going with Visa and Aflac. With its low yield it is easy to look at V as only a growth stock and not consider it as a dividend growth stock. However, the global payments processor now has a 7 year history of raising their dividend since going public and with a low payout ratio and high earnings growth figures to be able to continue doing so at a high rate in the future. With the shares dipping below $200, off a 52 week high of $235, and trading at a reasonable 25x earnings I started a position.

Aflac is a dividend champion in the insurance industry with a 31 year history of annual dividend raises. Due to currency concerns regarding their large amount of business in Japan, AFL is trading at a very attractive P/E of 9.

Taxable Brokerage

Buys

None.

Sells

29 shares of Powershares Financial Preferred ETF (PGF) @ $17.81 per share.

Quick Hits: This was one of my first purchases when I started buying individual stocks/ETF’s last year. I was attracted by the fund’s high yield and monthly payouts and not exactly understanding how preferred shares work, started a position. While the monthly payout is nice for individuals needing income today, I’d rather have more growth so I sold all my shares this month at a little bit of a loss and reinvested that money in my Loyal3 account.

 

Full Disclosure: I am long AFL, KO, TGT, and V. This post is not intended to be a buy or sell recommendation on any stock or ETF mentioned and is designed for educational/entertainment purposes only. Only you are responsible for your investing and I always encourage you to conduct your own research prior to investing. Please see my disclaimer page for more information.

How was your April for investing? What do you think of my buys/sells for my portfolio? Share with a comment below and thank you for reading.

Monthly Investing Recaps: March 2014

At the start of each month I plan on detailing all my buy/sell activity for each of my 3 individual stock portfolios: Loyal3, Roth IRA, and Taxable Brokerage accounts. It’s just one way I am chronicling my journey to financial independence here at Starting From Zero.

In addition to these 3 accounts, I also started investing in my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) again this month to help put more of my money in tax advantaged accounts. Right now I’m contributing 4% of my base pay but may adjust this in the future. The majority of my investing will still be in my taxable and Roth accounts. The TSP is basically a 401k plan for federal employees including the military. It only offers index funds but does have probably the lowest expense ratios around, even lower than Vanguard. 😉 Right now I’m putting my contributions in the C Fund which mirrors the S&P 500 and the S Fund which is a small cap index fund. Since these deposits typically take a while to reach my account, I won’t be detailing those transactions here but will now be including a total on my portfolio page.

I also received a surprise check from my college late in March with a tuition refund of $721.50 which was from me overpaying my tuition bill for the last 3 semesters before some of my scholarships were deposited. I knew I was getting a refund at some point but had completely forgotten about it. 🙂 I put this money to work immediately, combining it with most of the cash in my Roth to initiate a new position in Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI) which was one of the stocks on my buy list that I highlighted here.

Loyal3 Account

Buys: 03 Mar: 7.6296 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $38.01 per share.

19 Mar: 2.0854 shares of Target (TGT) @ $59.94 per share.

19 Mar: 3.0985 shares of McDonald’s (MCD) @ $96.82 per share.

19 Mar: 1.297 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $38.55 per share.

Quick Hits: Similar to last month as I continue dollar cost averaging into both Coke and Target. Looking to diversify a bit more this month I added McDonald’s, a dividend champion with 38 years of dividend growth. With a P/E of 17, I consider the stock to be fairly valued and will likely continue to add to my position in the coming months.

Roth IRA

Buys: 31 Mar: 33 shares of Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI) @ 32.13 per share.

Quick Hits: I combined some fresh capital this month with the cash I had just sitting idle in my Roth and finally pulled the trigger on KMI with the energy giant trading at an attractive valuation relative to its 52 week trading range. At current prices the stock boosts a dividend yield of 5.10% and is expected to be able to grow that dividend by 8% annually. Like all of my Roth holdings, the dividends received will be automatically reinvested. I plan on doing a full blog post on KMI here soon.

Taxable Brokerage: No buy or sell activity this month.

Overall a pretty solid month of investing. Combined all of my purchases this month added $78.62 to my projected annual dividend income. With the purchase of KMI, this puts me slightly overweight in the energy sector and will most likely be my last energy pick-up for a while. (Unless of course, another bargain presents itself next month. 😉 ) With a relatively small portfolio, I’m comfortable being overweight in certain sectors or stocks (like Realty Income) at the moment knowing future additions will help balance it out in the coming years. Once I get closer to financial independence, portfolio allocation is going to become more important. Until then, I plan on continuing to add whatever stocks are trading at fair value (or below) and meet my guidelines.

 

Full Disclosure: I am long KO, MCD, TGT, and KMI. This post is not intended to be a buy or sell recommendation on any stock mentioned and is designed for educational/entertainment purposes only. Only you are responsible for your investing and I always encourage you to conduct your own research prior to investing. Please see my disclaimer page.

How was your March for investing? What do you think of the additions to my portfolio? Share with a comment below and thank you for reading.

Monthly Investing Recaps: February 2014

Okay, so with the 2013 Recap, January Recap, and this post, I’ve caught all of you up on all my investing action since I started from zero in January 2013. 🙂
I will continue doing these posts once a month highlighting all the buy and sell activity I made throughout the previous month in my Brokerage, Roth IRA, and Loyal3 accounts.

Overall February was a pretty boring month as I continued to save up for moving out into my first apartment this summer. I should have enough saved up by the middle of April, when I can get back to investing larger amounts per month. I also will be starting to invest again in my Thrift Savings Plan account at work in March in a S&P 500 index fund which I will be including in future Monthly Investing Recaps.

Okay, so here is a rundown of my buy/sell activity for February.

Loyal3

Buys: 03 Feb: 1.3344 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $37.47 per share.

18 Feb: 1.3298 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $37.60 per share.

Quick Hits: As I mentioned in my January Recap post, I consider KO fairly valued below $40 a share and the most attractive stock in the Loyal3 catalog to invest in right now.

Brokerage and Roth IRA: No activity this month in these accounts.

 

Full Disclosure: I am long KO. This post is not intended to be a buy or sell recommendation on any stock mentioned and is designed for educational purposes only. Only you are responsible for your investing and I always encourage you to conduct your own research prior to investing. Good luck!

Monthly Investing Recaps: January 2014

Still trying to catch up on all my posts from my planned start date of the beginning of this year. As the Starting From Zero Blog didn’t officially kick off until February, over the next few days I’ll continue updating everyone here in my financial journey so far in 2014. I’ve already given a quick run down of all my investing activity in 2013 and from now on will be doing these monthly posts highlighting all the buys and sells I made throughout the month in my brokerage, Roth IRA, and Loyal3 accounts.

Brokerage

Buys: 03 Jan: 37 shares of Realty Income (O) @ $37.43 per share.

Quick Hits: Due to Fed tapering fears, Realty Income, the self-proclaimed “Monthly Dividend Company” continues to trade at attractive valuations considering its status as a blue-chip Real Estate Investment Trust. Realty owns and operates over 3800 properties in 49 states in the retail industry and distributes its dividends monthly to shareholders.

Roth IRA: No activity this month but I continue to drip all dividends received (post coming soon on recent dividend income 🙂 ). Probably won’t be adding any money to this account until later this year. I’d like to be able to put in as much of the max as possible at once and make 1-2 trades, thus minimizing commission costs.

Loyal3 Account

Buys: 15 Jan: 1.2629 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $39.59 per share.

16 Jan: .8466 shares of Target (TGT) @ $59.06 per share.

16 Jan: 3.4099 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) @ $39.59 per share.

Quick Hits: I ended up with quite a few of those Visa gift cards for Christmas and my birthday in November so I decided to use them all up this month at Loyal3 as they accept credit/debit cards as payment for stocks (how awesome is that?!). Nothing better than combining free money with free commissions. I don’t know how long this new online brokerage firm will continue with their free trades so I might as well try to take advantage of it as long as possible.

Target is a discount retailing giant with a market cap of $38 Billion and has 1797 stores in the U.S. and 124 in Canada where they recently started expanding into. Although the transition to Canada hasn’t gone as well as expected initially I believe they will be able to successful there with time. With Target’s share price dropping after their recent credit card data breech, it provided a good time for long-term investors to buy. Although it offers a low initial yield, Target has a surprisingly high long-term dividend growth rate for such a mature company with a 5 year dividend growth rate (DGR) of 21.4%. They also have nice margin of safety in their payout ratio, paying out only 46.11% of their earnings in dividends.

Coca-Cola needs no introduction as one of the greatest blue-chip stocks ever and always a staple of any dividend growth portfolio. KO continues to trade at an attractive valuation and I consider KO to be fairly valued at $40 and below and share. It doesn’t offer as much of a margin of safety as other stocks I’ve bought in the past but I’m willing to pay a premium for such a blue-chip dividend growth stock.

Full Disclosure: I am long O, KO, and TGT. This post is not intended to be a recommendation to buy these stocks and is for educational uses only. Only you are responsible for your investing and I always encourage you to conduct your own research. Good luck!

What do you think of my investments for January? Anyone else pick up shares in any of these dividend growth stocks recently?