Thursday, August 28, 2014

Recent Buy - (NYSE: VZ)

    • Purchased 10 shares of VZ on 8/28/14 at $49.25
      • $21.20 added to annual dividends

Before today, we had already owned quite a few shares of AT&T (T) in our family's dividend stock portfolio.  Because of the high yield, one probably would not think that either T or VZ would be a dividend growth stock; well, at least until you look at their current 9 year streak of consecutive dividend increases.  Even at their attractively high yield, it appears that both companies are committed to raising dividends.  And if VZ continue with their current streak, they should be announcing another dividend increase very soon!
My recent purchase of VZ was yet another new holdings for our family's dividend stocks portfolio. Our family's dividend stocks portfolio now has a total of 25 dividend paying companies that pay us just a little over $1,800/year in dividends. As shared above, the recent purchases in VZ added $21.20 to our family's annual dividends (assuming no increase is announced before the next ex-dividend date).

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: 


Verizon Communications Inc (VZ)
  • P/E: 10.66
  • Payout Ratio: 45%
  • Dividend Yield: 4.30
  • Dividend Growth rate (5yr AVG): 2.87% 
  • consecutive years of dividend increases
  • Next dividend Ex date: 10/8/2014
  • Have paid a dividend since: 1984 (30 years)
  • % shares held by institutions: 86.79%
  • Market Cap: 204.8Billion
  • 52-week high: $53.66
  • 52-week low: $45.08
What are your thoughts about my recent purchase?
What are you buying?

Monday, August 25, 2014

I was nominated AGAIN for a Liebster Award!!


In July, I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Happy, Healthy and Wealthy Girl.  Just recently, I was nominated again by two other bloggers.  Both All About Interest and My Dividend Pipeline nominated me for the award.  Thank you both for the recognition and support.    
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 All About Interest and My Dividend Pipeline for the recent nomination!!

And thank you again
Happy, Healthy and Wealthy Girl for the original nomination!!
Here are my answers to the questions from All About Interest:
1. Where did you grow up and do you still live there?
I grew up in Norwalk, California. I lived in Norwalk from 2nd grade to my mid 30s. 
2. What are your plans once you reach financial independence?
I plan to spend more time with kids, travel and do volunteer work.  And of course, spend time blogging and staying in tune with the market.
3. What was your best/worst financial decision?
My best financial decision was selling my bachelor home at the height of the housing market and living with my in-laws for 9 months to save and watch the market cool down.  My worst financial decision was investing in a small time Ponzi scheme where I lost approx. $15K.  It was a lot of money to me at the time because I was only making about $25K at the time. 
4. What is your favorite part about investing? 
The best part of investing is watching it grow.  I do a monthly net worth report and must admit that I look forward to seeing the results each month.
5. Who's your biggest idol and why? 
My biggest ideal would have to be Kobe Bryant.  I know many people don't like him but I admire his work ethic and his competitiveness.  Greatness doesn't come easy and it certainly doesn't come overnight!
Here are my answers to the questions from My Dividend Pipeline:

1. If you could retire with ONLY 5 dividend stocks in your portfolio, what would they be? (cannot choose JNJ, KO, CVX, XOM, PG)
I would choose the following half-century dividend growth stocks: CL (51yrs), GPC (57yrs), ITW (51yrs), LOW (52yrs), and MMM (55yrs).

2. What is the most important thing you would do in your first month of early retirement that you can't do know because of your job commitments?
I would take morning jogs...with my current work schedule, I only have the opportunity to take a morning jog on weekends.  Unfortunately, that is when I catch up on my sleep.   
3. Mentally, how do you prepare for a massive stock market correction/collapse like we experienced in 2007-2009?
I would remind myself to be greedy when others are scared, picking up all the historically consistent and dependable companies at bottom basement prices. It doesn't hurt to be financially prepared for a correction/collapse either.  That is exactly why we always have excess funds laying around in our portfolios.
4. What one major sacrifice will you make next year to accelerate your FI plans? 
A sacrifice we have taken and will continue take is living on a budget.  As Dave Ramsey would say, where every dollar has a name. Staying discipline is the fastest way out of debt and so far the fastest way to build wealth. 
5. If you decide to open your own business today, what kind of business would it be? 
A dream business would be to own an exotic car rental business. Realistically, I would probably consider owning either a laundromat or mechanical car wash.    
For my nomination I pick:

 1. Dividend Diplomats - Two guys in their Mid-20’s string to exit the rate race before the “normal” retirement age of 59.5. Both are CPAs and both are dividend stock investors.

2. Dividendasaur - Neil grew up in Montana. He has served our County through serving as military intelligence for the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force. His blog takes you along his journey toward FI.

3. Wallet Engineers - A Chemical Engineer and Mechanical Engineer, with their non-traditional view of American finances (No debt, spend less and save more mentality). They blog about credit cards, mortgages, budgets, finances, investing, retirement and money savings.

4. Starting From Zero - A 21 year old who started investing in January of 2013 and blogging in February of 2014.  He has an ultimate goal of FI by 40. His blog takes you along his journey toward FI.

 5. A Dividend Dream - A blogger who fell in love with investing at 14-15 years old.  A dividends dream's ultimate goal is to one day live of the dividends from their investments. 
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, August 22, 2014

Recent Buys - (NYSE: ESV & RIG)


  • Ensco Plc (ESV)
    • Purchased 5 shares of ESV on 8/6/14 at $49.00
    • Purchased 5 shares of ESV on 8/18/14 at $48.75
      • $30.00 added to annual dividends

  • Transocean Ltd (RIG)
    • Purchased 10 shares of RIG on 8/5/14 at $38.30
    • Purchased 5 shares of RIG on 8/22/14 at $38.00
      • $45.00 added to annual dividends
ESV was a company I had already owned. I originally purchased 10 shares of ESV in May of this year. The recent purchases brought my total shares in ESV to 20 shares (or $60.00 in annual dividends total).
My recent purchases in RIG were new holdings for our family's dividend stocks portfolio. Glad to have had the opportunity to grab some shares in this company while the valuation appears to be attractive.  As mentioned above, the recent purchases in ESV have added $45.00 to our family's annual dividends.

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: 


Ensco Plc (ESV)
  • P/E: N/A
  • Payout Ratio: 46%
  • Dividend Yield: 5.90
  • Dividend Growth rate (3yr AVG): 27.13% 
  • consecutive years of dividend increases
  • Next dividend Ex date: 9/4/2014

  • Transocean Ltd (RIG)
    • P/E: 8
    • Payout Ratio: 52%
    • Dividend Yield: 6.80%
    • Dividend Growth rate (3yr AVG): 93.73%
    • consecutive years of dividend increases
    • Next dividend Ex date: 8/20/2014

    What are your thoughts about my recent purchases?
    What are you buying?

    Friday, August 15, 2014

    Stocks Added to Blog Collection (Update) - Mid-Month (August 2014)

    For those who are not yet familiar with my extensive collection of individual dividend stocks. The collection is currently comprised of 348 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 immediately provide updates for new stock analysis the moment I become aware of them. So please make sure to check back periodically as the list will be updated frequently.
    The collection goes back two years.  I will continue to delete old reviews that are more than 2 years old.  But to also highlight the stock analyses that have recently been created during the last 2 months, I have provided NEW!! at the end of those analyses.

    Originally, I was only planning to provide monthly updates. However, seeing that there is already a decent size list of stocks to report just in the first half of the month, I have know decided that I will provide two updates to my blog collection. One at mid month and another and the end of the month.  This will allow everyone to be more up-to-date with the newly added stock analyses.
    With that said, the following is a list of newly added stocks analysis that were prepared during the first half of the month of AUGUST (2014):
    1. Alfac, Incorporated (AFL)
    2. American Express Company (AXP)
    3. American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP)
    4. Clorox Company (CLX)
    5. CSX Corporation (CSX)
    6. Deere & Company (DE)
    7. Diageo PLC (DEO)
    8. EMC Corporation (EMC)
    9. Gentex Corporation (GNTX)
    10. Hershey Company (HSY)
    11. Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) - 4 analyses!
    12. Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY)
    13. Procter and Gamble Company (PG)
    14. Universal Health Realty Income Trust (UHT)
    15. United Technologies Corporation (UTX)
    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

    Collection of Stock Analyses

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    P2P Accounts (Update) - August 2014

    July was pretty busy month for us on Lending Club as we purchased a total of $875.00 worth of notes this month. At the end of July, our Lending Club account balance was at $8,542.25. We received $517.75 in payments from our active notes in July; of which, we received, $53.94 in interest (an increase of $3.20/mo.).  The principal balance of our active notes was $8166.62 (an increase of $1,064 from June total), with $150.00 of loans in review or funding and a remaining cash balance of $225.63.  We are currently generating 5.21% on our seasoned notes. No loans were charged off this month.

    Although our Lending Club account was pretty active, the month July was a bit lower for us on Prosper as we purchased a total of only $375.00 worth of notes this month. Considering that we received $460.35 in payments, this meant we didn't even re-invest all of the monies we received this past month.  Hopefully, August offers more opportunities for quality notes as we simply didn't find as many that fit our criteria this past month.

    At the end of July, our Prosper account balance was at $8,587.15 (an increase of $224.23 from our balance at the end of June). We received $460.35 in payments from our active notes in July; of which, we received, $62.06 in interest (an increase of $4.96/mo.).  The principal balance of our active notes was $7,846.96 (an decrease of $0.23 from June total), with $155.00 of loans in review or funding and a remaining cash balance of $449.40.  We are currently generating 7.55% on our seasoned notes.

    In an effort to grow both P2P accounts, we are currently re-investing all of the payments that we receive from our notes. And when the cash balance is low, we are continuing to add more funds to the account so that we may constantly purchase new notes.
    Total Value of Both P2P accounts: $17,129.40
    Average Interest Earned: 6.38%
    Total Interest Earned in July: $116.00


    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.

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


    Thursday, August 7, 2014

    Retirement Accounts (Update) - August 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 still thankful that we are not losing money. But that is 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 August 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.

    August 1, 2014

    Cash Value of Pension$202,796 ($2,001 increase from July total of $200,795)
    Total value of 457K: $115,602 ($1,146 decrease from July total of $116,748)
    Roth IRAs
    Total value of Roth IRA accounts: $52,890 ($500 decrease from July total of  $53,390)
    Overall, the month of July was a flat month as our retirement accounts increase $355 from the July 1, 2014 totals.  As it stands, the total amount of our retirement accounts is currently valued at: $371,288.
    Click below to view retirement accounts page 


    Mortgage Balance (Update) - August 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. 

    Home Value:
    According to Zillow, our home is currently worth: $798,131 (up from $788,317 in July). The housing market in our area has been steadily climbing in the last few months. We had a roughly $10K gain since last month. In July, we saw our housing value increase by roughly $20K. 

    It's nice to see home values go up but the reality is it is simply a paper gain until we actually go to sell our home. Meanwhile, the higher value translates to more property taxes. 

    Mortgage Balance (August 2014):
    $343,687.93 (down from $345,379.74 in July)
    Percentage Owed:
    43.06% (down from 43.81% in July)
    Home Equity:
    $454,443 (up from $442,938 in July)

    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. 

    Although 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. :) This last month was another decent month in that our home equity grew another $11,505 As for percentage owed, the number continues to decrease ever so slightly. The percentage dropped a measly .75% this past month. 

    But .75 of $345K is still a pretty decent amount so I'm still OK with that. The reality is that we are not putting any extra money towards the principal given our low interest rate. We feel that we could make our money grow faster by investing it and while keeping the money more liquid.
    Click on the link below to view our mortgage balance history:
    Mortgage Balance History