Tag Archives: monthly investing recaps

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: 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: 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?