Thursday, December 18, 2014


We tried this out for the first time last month I thought it went well so I am planning to continue with an "Ask the Reader" post every month. 

As we did last month, we have selected four stocks on our current watch list that we have considered buying at this time.  But rather than stress ourselves out trying to decide which one to buy, we have decided to add some fun into our buying process and turn to our fellow bloggers and readers to find out what you think we should buy. 

Please spend a few minutes to vote for one stock from this group that you would consider buying in the upcoming week.  Also, please briefly tell us why you like the stock that you picked. 

Thanks in advance for your contribution!

  • Sector: Materials - Metals & Mining
  • Market Cap: 93 Billion
  • Dividend Yield: 4.26% 
  • Consecutive years of dividend increase: 11 Years
  • Paying Dividends Since: 1990
  • Payout Ratio: 56%
  • P/E Ratio: 11.6
  • Sector: Industrials - Electrical Equipment
  • Market Cap: 252 Billion
  • Dividend Yield: 3.5% 
  • Consecutive years of dividend increase: 3 Years
  • Paying Dividends Since: 1899 
  • Payout Ratio: 67%
  • P/E Ratio: 19.1
  • Sector: Energy - Oil & Gas
  • Market Cap: 206 Billion
  • Dividend Yield: 4.10% 
  • Consecutive years of dividend increase: 19 Years
  • Paying Dividends Since: 1912 
  • Payout Ratio: 39%
  • P/E Ratio: 10.0
  • Sector: Energy - Oil & Gas
  • Market Cap: 85.9 Billion
  • Dividend Yield: 4.6% 
  • Consecutive years of dividend increase: 1 Years
  • Paying Dividends Since: 1934
  • Payout Ratio: 38%
  • P/E Ratio: 9.25


Monday, December 15, 2014

Collection of Stock Analyses (NEW additions) : Mid-Month (December 2014)

For those who are not yet familiar with my extensive collection of individual dividend stocks. The collection is currently comprised of 531 stock analyses (and still growing) with links to various stock analyses that I found throughout the dividend blog community.  
The collection was created in a Google Docs Spreadsheet so that I may continue to maintain and update the list periodically. My plan is to provide bi-monthly updates (one at mid month and another and the end of the month) to inform everyone of new stock analysis I have recently added to my collection. 
The collection goes back two years.  Eventually, as the collection grows, I am planning to only keep stock analyses for a one year time period. You should also know that to help highlight the stock analyses that have recently been created during the last 2 months, I have provided NEW!! at the end of those analyses.

The following is a list of newly added stocks analysis that were prepared during the first half of the month of DECEMBER (2014):
    1. Air Products & Chemicals, Inc (APD)
      • by Dividend Ladder
    2. Acher-Daniels Midland Co (ADM)
      • by Roadmap 2 Retire
    3. Archer-Daniels Midland Co (ADM)
      • by Sure Dividend
    4. BHP Billiton Plc (BBL)
      • by Cazadividendos
    5. BHP Billiton Plc (BBL)
      • by Pollies Dividend
    6. Chevron Corp (CVX)
      • by Pollies Dividend
    7. Chevron Corp (CVX)
      • by Average Dividend Yield
    8. Cisco Systems, Inc (CSCO)
      • by Dividends 4 Life
    9. Coca Cola Company (KO)
      • by Sure Dividend
    10. Consolidated Edison (ED)
      • by Dividend Growth Stocks
    11. Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM)
      • by Dividend Growth Investor
    12. Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM)
      • by Pollies Dividend
    13. Family Dollar Stores, Inc (FDO)
      • by Sure Dividend
    14. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
      • by Sure Dividend
    15. National Oilwell Varco (NOV)
      • by Dividend Developer
    16. PepsiCo, Inc (PEP)
      • by Market Realist
    17. Realty Income Corp (O)
      • by Dividend Growth Stocks
    18. Texas Instruments, Inc (TXN)
      • by Dividend Growth Stocks
    19. Union Pacfic Corp (UNP)
      • by Roadmap 2 Retire
    20. Walmart Stores, Inc (WMT)
      • by Sure Dividend
    21. Walmart Stores, Inc (WMT)
      • by Dividends 4 Life
    22. 3M Company (MMM)
      • by Dividend Ladder
    Hope you like the new and improved updates
    with links provided directly in this post!
    Please feel free to leave me a message if you prepared a stock analysis during First Half of December 2014 that I did not include in my post.  I would be more than happy to add your stock analysis to this post and my collection.  Please make sure to confirm that it is a dividend paying stock and that it is a individual stock analysis.

    My goal is to make this collection become the centralized source where one begins their research on a particular dividend stock company or at the very least, a source to confirm if a company stock is worth buying. Whether your a beginner or a veteran, I want this list to become an invaluable reference tool for you all. Best part, unlike other subscription based sites, I plan to keep this completely free for everyone to enjoy and benefit from. Feel free to share with all of your friends and family! 
    Click on Link Below

    Complete Collection of Stock Analyses

    Also don't forget to check out our:

    NEW!! Collection of Recent Buys

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    P2P Accounts (Update) - December 2014

    November was somewhat flat month for us on Lending Club as we purchased a total of $422.13 worth of notes this month (a total of $300.00 in new notes and $122.13 notes from the trading platform).  We came close to our goal of reinvest the money we collect each month. And this past month, many of the notes purchased (outside of the trading platform) was done through an automatic investment program. This was the first month and so far so good.  It has definitely saved me a bunch of time...time I really don't have because work has gotten really busy for me lately.  I received a promotion back in August but I'm definitely earning every penny of that promotion. 
    On December 1st, our Lending Club account balance was at $9,092.76 (an increase of $46.83 from last month). We received $489.18 in payments from our active notes; of which, we received $53.48 in interest (a decrease of $9.00/mo.).  The principal balance of our active notes was $8,338.40 (a decrease of $64.68 from last month), with $125.00 of loans in review or funding and a remaining cash balance of $754.36 (increase of 236.51).  We are currently generating 5.03% on our seasoned notes. One loan in the amount of $5.57 was charged off this month.

    Again, November was another disappointing month for our Prosper account as we purchased a total of only $284.86.  For the fourth month in a row, we didn't find enough notes to reinvest our payments for the month. And unlike Lending Club, we unfortunately didn't even come close to reinvesting the money we collected last month meaning our money didn't get the immediate compounding effect that we strive to achieve through our P2P accounts. We are started the automatic investing for Prosper towards the middle of the month so we are hoping that in December, we begin to see things turn around a bit.  Either that or I will need to somehow find the time each night to look for notes. 
    On December 1st, our Prosper account balance was at $8,758.00 (an decrease of $2.47 from last month).  We received $441.35 in payments from our active notes; of which, we received, $57.76 in interest (a decrease of $5.70/mo.).  Since we were not very successful in finding new Prosper notes to invest in, the principal balance of our active notes was $7,896.99 (a decrease of $125.33 from last month). We are currently sitting on a cash balance of $861.01, of which a total of $175.00 is  pending investments and $681.01 available to invest.  We are currently generating 7.18% on our seasoned notes.
    Total Value of Both P2P accounts: $17,850.76
    ($44.36 increase from last month)
    Total Interest Earned in November: $111.24
    ($14.70 decrease from last month)
    Estimate Average Interest Earned: 6.10%

    Click below to view  our peer-to-peer lending accounts




    Our family has been investing in peer-to-peer lending notes for approximately 3 years now. And because of past defaults, we have now refined our search criteria. As a result, we now take a slightly more conservative approach with the notes we invest in. Currently, we only invest in notes that fit the following initial criteria:
    • Amount requested is under $6,000;
    • Credit score of 700 or more; and
    • Monthly payment will be less than $250.
    From those we evaluate (Employment Status):
    • The borrower's income (prefer > $50,000 but depends on amount requested);
    • Length of employment (must be > 2 years); and
    • Their occupation (certain occupations, known to be more secured, are more desirable).
    We then look at (Ability To Pay):
    • Their credit history;
    • Revolving balance; and
    • Debt to income level, etc.
    We do not invest in any notes where borrow is currently delinquent, of if they have had  a public record within the last 12 months. We also do not invest in notes where the description provided is "Other." We feel that there is too much risk involve when the borrower is not willing to reveal why he/she needs the money.


    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Retirement Accounts (Update) - December 2014

    For several years now, our retirement accounts have been growing at a decent pace...this year, however, the performance has been pretty anemic! I am thankful that, overall, we are not losing money. But as our readers probably already know, the anemic growth is one of the reasons why our family has now decided to switch our focus towards building our Dividend Stocks Portfolio and P2P Lending Accounts so as to have optional income streams in retirement. Nevertheless, we will still continue to track these accounts as they are still part of our retirement plan.


    Below is a quick update to show the current values of our retirement accounts as of December 1, 2014.  For a more comprehensive list of values (beginning January 2014) and details of these accounts, please visit the Retirement Accounts page on our blog.

    As of December 1, 2014

    Cash Value of Pension$210,287
    ($1,817 increase from November update of $208,470)
    Total value of 457K: $118,660
    ($750 increase from November update of $117,910)
    Roth IRAs
    Total value of Roth IRA accounts: $55,018
    ($435 increase from November update of $54,583)
    For the second straight month, we saw increases in all, three of our retirement accounts.  In all, these three accounts increased a total of $3,002. Not as good as the $6,311 we saw last month but I will take a monthly gain over a monthly loss any day!

    As it stands, the total amount of our retirement accounts is currently valued at: $383,965 (up from $380,963 reported last month). We currently contribute to my 457K (up to my company's match - 3%) and also $200 each to a Roth IRA for both myself and my wife. Although we are not entirely happy with their growth, we still feel that the 457K and Roth IRAs should remain part of our retirement plan.  If for nothing more, the 457K and Roth IRAs will help supplement my pension. 
    Click below to view retirement accounts page 




    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Mortgage Balance (Update) - December 2014

    If you have viewed our family's Net Worth Page, you probably already know that it does not include the equity in our home.  Although, we do realize that it is technically part of our overall net worth, we decided that since our home equity is not an asset that we can count on for income (unless we sell and buy something cheaper) we would exclude it from our net worth calculation.
    For the purpose of this blog, we are more interested in documenting our loan balance rather than our home equity.  With that said, we will use the current Zillow value as our estimated home value and use it to figure out the percentage we owe on our home. For those interested, we will include the amount of our home equity, but know that we are less concerned with the equity since we have no plans to cash out or otherwise sell our home. Our main goal is to pay off our home on or before my retirement date. 

    According to Zillow, our home is currently worth: $784,294 (slightly up from $781,080 in November post). The housing market in our area has been steadily climbing this year but the gains have definitely subsided since reaching the summer highs. 

    Mortgage Balance (November 2014):
    $336,849 (down from $338,557 in November)
    Percentage Owed:
    42.95% (down from 43.34% in October)
    Home Equity:
    $447,445 (up from $442,522 in October)

    Even though we don't consider home equity as part of our net worth, since I am sort of a statistics nerd, I still like to look at the numbers and draw fancy comparisons. :) 

    With that said, our home equity did increase by almost $5K this past month (a total of: $4,923). For percentage owed,  the number slightly decreased, going from 43.34% to 42.95% during the past month.  For now, I think the housing market will remain least until the Feds decide to raise interest rates.  I have a feeling we may see a dip in home prices in 2015 when the Feds raise interest rates as expected.  

    Mortgage Background:
    For those that have not read the Preface on our home equity, we currently hold a 15-year fixed rate mortgage at the incredibly low rate of 2.875%.  My goal is to retire within 13 1/2 years so we are setting out to pay off our mortgage on or before my retirement date. Right in line with my retirement goal, we have a little less than 13 1/2 years left on our mortgage. Nevertheless, I would like to have it paid off in another 10 years (or less). If we accomplish that, I plan to use the last few years to aggressively build our passive income to help supplement our retirement and defer tapping into the 457K as long as we can so it can continue to grow. 
    Right now we are not putting any extra money towards the principal given our low 2.875% interest rate. We feel that we could make our money grow faster by investing it and while keeping the money more liquid. At a certain point, maybe in 8-10 years, we may consider using money from our investment accounts to wipe out the remaining mortgage balance.  Until then, we will continue to grow that money outside, rather than have it locked into our home.
    Click on the link below to view our mortgage balance history:

    Monday, December 8, 2014

    RECENT BUY - BHP Billiton Plc (NYSE: BBL)

    • BHP Billiton Plc (BBL)
      • Purchased 15 shares of BBL on 12/5/14 at $46.00
      • Total Spent: $690.00
        • $36.30 added to annual dividends

    In case you missed our recent post, ASK THE READERS - Should I buy BBL, UL, XOM, or BNS?, we had asked our readers of four stocks selected, which one they would purchase, BBL was the clear winner! (BBL-7; UL-2 , XOM- 2,BNS-1). 

    Follow our readers pick, we purchased 10 shares of BBL near the end of November when the stock was around $50.  On Friday, the stock set a new 52-week low. Since we believe in the stock's long term prospects and the company's ability to recover from the woes, we think BBL offers a great value here.  So on Friday, we decided to pick up another 15 shares of BBL. We now own a total of 45 shares in our family's dividend stocks portfolio.

    Our family's dividend stocks portfolio currently has a total of 31 dividend paying companies that pay us just a little over $2,903/year in dividends (excludes our Edward Jones account). 

    Our family's dividend stocks portfolio may be found by
    clicking on the link below: 

    We also maintain an extensive list of stock analysis
    that can be access through the link below: 

    We also just started a list of Recent Buys by other bloggers
    that can be access through the link below:



    BHP Billiton Plc (BBL)
    • P/E: 10.04
    • Payout Ratio: 56%
    • Dividend Yield: 4.80%
    • Dividend Growth rate (5yr AVG): 8.19% 
    • 11 consecutive years of dividend increases
    • Recent dividend Ex date: 9/3/2014
    • Next dividend Ex date: approx. 3/5/2015
    • Have paid a dividend since: 2002 (12 years)
    • Pays a dividend 2 times a year.
    • Market Cap: 138.7 Billion
    • 52-week high: $71.44
    • 52-week low: $45.75
    If you missed it, I had prepared a stock analysis of BBL back in May of this year where I concluded that I felt the stock was a good value under $60. Well, the stock has continued to dip and is now near $50 and my feelings haven't changed so took the opportunity to invest in a company I think is a good value at today's prices.  

    What are your thoughts about my recent purchase?

    What are you buying?


    Sunday, December 7, 2014

    NEW Twitter Account!


    You can now follow us on our new Twitter account:
    Check out AFFJ (@FrugalFamilyof4):
    We finally did it.  It took me a while but I finally found the time to open up a twitter account today.  I am hoping to use the twitter account to help me stay more in tune with everyone's updates.  I figure, the quicker I find out about a Recent Buys and a Stock Analysis, the sooner I can add it to your collections. 
    If you have a twitter account, feel free to stop by and say hello! :) AFFJ