Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Recent Buys - (NYSE: AFL, GE, ORI, & DE)

  1. Aflac Inc (AFL)
    • Purchased 10 shares of AFL on 7/30/14 at $61.40
      • $14.80 added to annual dividends.
  2. General Electric Co (GE)
    • Purchased 20 shares of GE on 7/28/2014 at $25.50
      • $17.60 added to annual dividends
  3. Old Republic Int'l Corp (ORI)
    • Purchased 35 shares of ORI on 7/28/2014 at $15.20
      • $25.55 added to annual dividends
  4. Deere & Company (DE)
    • Purchased 6 shares of DE on 7/25/2014 at $86.00
      • $14.40 added to annual dividends
AFL was the only company I had already owned. I originally purchased shares of AFL earlier this year (see previous post in May 2014).
GE, ORI, and DE were new holdings for our family's dividend stocks portfolio. Glad to have had the opportunity to grab some shares in these great companies while the valuation appears attractive. The recent purchases added $72.35 to our family's annual dividends payout.

      Aflac Inc (AFL) -
    • P/E: 9.50
    • Payout ratio: 23%
    • Dividend yield: 2.30%
    • Dividend growth rate - 5yr average: 7.03%
    • 31 consecutive years of dividend increases
    • Next dividend ex date: 8/18/14

     General Electric Co (GE)
    • P/E: 19.99
    • Payout ratio: 69%
    • Dividend yield: 3.30%
    • Dividend growth rate - 5yr average: 4.66%
    • 3 consecutive years of dividend increases
    • Next dividend ex date: approx. 9/19/14

     Old Republic Int'l Corp (ORI)
    • P/E: 9.19
    • Payout ratio: 33%
    • Dividend yield: 4.90%
    • Dividend growth rate - 5yr average: 1.29%
    • 7 consecutive years of dividend increases
    • Next dividend ex date: approx. 9/2/14

     Deere & Company (DE)
    • P/E: 9.32
    • Payout ratio: 23%
    • Dividend yield: 2.80%
    • Dividend growth rate - 5yr average: 14.03%
    • 10 consecutive years of dividend increases
    • Next dividend ex date: approx. 9/26/14

What are your thoughts about my recent purchases?

Monday, July 28, 2014

I was nominated for a Liebster Award !!

I was recently nominated for a Liebster Award by Happy, Healthy and Wealthy Girl.  Even though I had no idea what a Liebster Award was, I was still happy to have received the nomination.  
In case you are wondering, after doing a quick Google search, I found out exactly what a Liebster Award was all about.
  • The Liebster Award was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere.
  • This aware only exists on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.
  • It is like a helpful hand for new blogger you like and want others to hear about.
Basic Rules:
  • In order to accept an award, you are supposed to answer 5 questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Then you find your own 5 new blogs to nominate the Liebster Award to and create a list of questions for them.
  • Lastly, post your Liebster Award proudly on your blog for all to see.

Thank you Happy, Healthy and Wealthy Girl for the nomination!!


Here are my answers to the questions from Happy, Healthy and Wealthy Girl:
1. Your favorite vacation spot
Although it has been awhile since we have visited Hawaii, I must say that it is one of my favorite all time places to visit.  Doesn't matter which island we visit, it always feels like a vacation in Hawaii.
2. Your first stock
My first stock purchase was in Sprint PCS (before it had merged with Nextel). 
3. Your worst and best investment
My worst investment was in Sirius Radio just before the Howard Stern deal (thinking the deal would boost the stock - I did just the opposite).  My best investment has to be in B of A (immediately following the banking crisis & bailout).  I bought a ton of B of A shares at around $5 and in roughly a year, I had doubled my money.
4. Do you have pets? 
We do not have any pets.  Growing up with also frugal parents, I only had a pet fish and turtle.  I may do the same with my kids. :)
5. What will you do if you win a lottery tomorrow? 
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would pay off our only remaining debt (our home!). But since I rarely play the lottery (tax on the poor as Dave Ramsey calls it), I guess my chances of winning is pretty slim. :)
For my nomination I pick
1. Dividend Diplomats 
2. Dividendasaur 
3. Wallet Engineers 
4. Starting From Zero
5. A Dividend Dream
My Questions for my nominees:
1. What is your main reason for blogging?
2. Who is the one person you admire the most? Why?
3. How close would you say you are from retirement (percentage)?
4. What would you do with $10,000? 
5. What is your favorite book of all time?

Friday, July 25, 2014

7 things you simply shouldn't penny pinch on!

We currently live a pretty frugal lifestyle by choice.  We've been known to buy generic store brands over name brands and we sometimes we also buy lightly used goods as opposed to buying new. But through the years, we have learned that there are certain things in life that you should never penny pinch on.  In pretty much all of the items listed below, we have found that you almost always get what you pay for.  Since these items may have lasting and sometime irreversible impacts if the wrong ones are chosen, it is our opinion that you should never penny pinch on the following seven items below:


1.  Mattress. One item that you would be wise to pay more money for is a mattress. After all, you spend a third of your life on it. People who have made this mistake will likely tell you that a sagging mattress will generally give you back, shoulder, or neck problems in the long run. This will cost much more than it would have cost to buy a decent mattress in the first place. Whether you pay through future medical bills, or quality of life because of constant pain, you'll almost always regret not spending the few extra dollars for the higher quality mattress. 
2. Car Seat. Another item we feel you should not penny pinch on is a car seat. A car seat has the important task of keeping your baby or toddler safe in the unfortunate instance that you get into a fender bender or major accident. I'm pretty sure that everyone who has owned a car seat will tell you that not all car seats are created equal, and you tend to get what you pay for. Rather than picking out the least expensive or trendiest car seat, do your homework, check the safety ratings and compare against other models. 
3. Doctor or Lawyer. I am a firm believer that, for the most part, you truly get what you pay for in this category. Fair or not, this generally means the wealthy have the best access to the best doctors and lawyers. Haven't you noticed how wealthy individuals always get the best medical care of legal defenses.  I can assure you that they are not bargain basement shopping. :) 
I will say that there are exceptions in this category because of the simple fact that doctors and lawyers, who eventually become great, need to start off somewhere.  If you are lucky to have retain a good one early in their career, you'll likely be getting a steal of a deal.  But the reality is that good and experienced doctors or lawyers always demand more money. Even the doctor or lawyer that you found early on in their career will likely become more expensive as their reputation and demand grows. 
4. Insurance. For this item, we would like to stress the importance of insurance coverage.  So not pinching in this category starts with actually getting the insurance your family needs instead of trying to do without. It goal without saying that every family should have the basic health insurance. You will also need life insurance if you have dependents. If you own a car or home, you should also maintain an insurance policy for them as well.  
Don't overkill here but don't under insure also.  Each family is different so it would be unrealistic for me to sit here and say you must have certain types or amount of coverage.  As you sit down and decide, just keep in mind that insurance is just is basically a back up plan in case something tragic happens.
Once way to save money here is to combine policies as many companies will provide you with a multi-policy discount.



These three items kind of goes without saying but we thought it was worth mentioning anyhow.  If for nothing more, maybe provide you with a quickly chuckle.  :)
5. Contraception. Again, this is a product where we think it safer to go with quality over price or quantity. But at the end of the day, something is better than nothing. If you truly can't afford it, most types of contraception are free at government clinics.
If you don't have access to a government clinic, don't choose to go without.  Paying for contraception yourself will always end up being much cheaper than a baby. A few extra pennies here can save you thousands in diapers, food, clothes, medical bills, etc.
6. Tattoos.  I think we've all seen a tattoo that looks like someone used a lead pencil. It is blurry, with no colors, no shadow effects, etc.  Make no sense at all! 

Although it is technically possible these days to remove a tattoo, it is at least twice the cost ,and we hear it is twice as painful as the original tattoo. Because the permanent nature of a tattoo, we have never understood why some do not find and pay for the best artist available.
7. Boob Job. While we’re all for ladies boosting up their bra size,  or otherwise re-shaping their melons, the difference between a bad boob job and a good boob job are night and day. (Just ask Tara Reid.) The best boob jobs don’t look like boob jobs, they look like boobs.  And preferably with minimal visible scaring. The goal should be a finished product that visually could not be distinguished from the real thing. Oh, and preferably two of somewhat proportionate  size. :)
For the record, none of the items on the funny list was learned through our own experience. lol

So those were our top 7 items,
what items would you not penny pinch on?