Sunday, February 22, 2015

ASK THE READERS - Should I buy BAX, JNJ, PM, TD?

 
We tried this out back in November and then again in December.  But we had too many stock purchases in January and had no capital left to do an ASK THE READER post. 

But since our other two ATR posts went relatively well, and the two related stock purchases are up 11.41% since we bought them (see chart below), we figure we will  try to continue to do a ATR post once a month and maintain these stocks in a separate portfolio just to see how they perform.



So for each ASK THE READER post, we will select four stocks on our watch list that we feel are worth buying.  But to add some fun into our buying process, we have decided to put our faith in our fellow bloggers and readers once a month. 
 
Please spend a few minutes to vote for one stock from the four companies listed below.  Tell us why you like the stock that you picked. 

Thanks in advance for your STOCK PICK!
 
STOCK #1 (BAX)
  • Sector: Health Care - Medical Instruments & Equipment
  • Market Cap: 36.8 Billion
  • Dividend Yield: 3.0% 
  • Consecutive years of dividend increase: 6 Years
  • Paying Dividends Since: 1934
  • Payout Ratio: 60%
  • P/E Ratio: 14.8
 
STOCK #2 (JNJ)
  • Sector: Health Care - Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
  • Market Cap: 280.4 Billion
  • Dividend Yield: 2.8% 
  • Consecutive years of dividend increase: 52 Years
  • Paying Dividends Since: 1944 
  • Payout Ratio: 46%
  • P/E Ratio: 17.6









STOCK #3 (PM)
  • Sector: Consumer Products - Tabacco
  • Market Cap: 128.4 Billion
  • Dividend Yield: 4.8% 
  • Consecutive years of dividend increase: 6 Years
  • Paying Dividends Since: 2008
  • Payout Ratio: 82%
  • P/E Ratio: 17.45
 

STOCK #4 (TD)
  • Sector: Financials - Banking & Savings
  • Market Cap: 79.4 Billion
  • Dividend Yield: 3.6% 
  • Consecutive years of dividend increase: 4 Years
  • Paying Dividends Since: 1857
  • Payout Ratio: 51%
  • P/E Ratio: 13.04

**LET US KNOW WHICH STOCK YOU WOULD PICK AND WHY**


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

P2P Accounts (Update) - February 2015


On February 1st, our Lending Club account balance was at $9,148.82 (an increase of $56.06 from last month). We received $583.55 in payments from our active notes; of which, we received $58.53 in interest (an decrease of $2.06).  The principal balance of our active notes was $7,830.71 (a decrease of $119.32 from last month), with $50.00 of loans in review or funding and a remaining cash balance of $1,268.11 (an increase of $363.44).  We are currently generating 5.00% on our seasoned notes. No loans were charged off this month.
We are thankful that we are don't seem to be losing any money, but with the automatic investments strategy not working out very well, more and more of our money is standing idle and thus losing value when inflation the opportunity costs are factored in. 
 
Any ideas on where we could invest this growing cash pile?
_____________________________________________________________ 


On February 1st, our Prosper account balance was at $9,169.98 (an increase of $335.66 from last month, but this included a cash infusion of $300 on January 23rd).  We received $448.95 in payments from our active notes; of which, we received, $61.56 in interest (an decrease of $1.90). The principal balance of our active notes was $8,173.36 (a increase of $346.71 from last month). We are definitely having much better luck with the automatic investing on Prosper as compared to Lending Club. Nevertheless, we are still currently sitting on a cash balance of $996.62 (an decrease of $11.05), of which a total of $120.00 is  pending investments.  We are currently generating 7.44% on our seasoned notes, and 7.22% on all notes invested to date (includes profits from paid off notes).


 ________________________________________________________________
Even though we not having great luck finding notes that meet our criteria (described below, at least the accounts are continuing to show growth. Below are the updated numbers that include both Lending Club and Prosper accounts: 
 
Total Value of Both P2P accounts: $18,318.80
($391.72 increase from last month)*
 
Total Interest Earned in December: $120.09
($3.96 decrease from last month)
 
Estimate Average Interest Earned: 6.28%

*The increase shown for the past month does include a cash infusion of $300.00. 

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

PEER-TO-PEER LENDING ACCOUNTS

________________________________________________________________
  

NOTES CRITERIA:

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.

 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Stocks Added to Collection of Stock Analyses (Update) - Mid-Month (February 2015)

For those who are not yet familiar with my extensive collection of individual dividend stocks. The collection is currently comprised of 592 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 FEBRUARY (2015):
    1. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co (ADM)
      • by Dividend Growth Stocks
    2. Coca Cola Company (KO)
      • by Sure Dividend
    3. Coca Cola Company (KO)
      • by The Arbor Investment Planner
    4. Genuine Parts Co (GPC)
      • by The Arbor Investment Planner
    5. Nordson Corporation (NDSN)
      • by Dennis McCain
    6. PepsiCo (PEP)
      • by Sure Dividend
    7. Phillip Morris Int'l Corp (PM)
      • by Dividend Diplomats
    8. Steelcase, Inc (SCS)
      • by Dennis McCain
    9. Sysco Corp (SYY)
      • by Dividend Growth Stocks
    10. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (WMT)
      • by Sure Dividend
    11. W.P. Carey, Inc (WPC)
      • by Dividend Growth Investor
    12. 3M Co (MMM)
      • by The Arbor Investment Planner
     
    Feel free to click on links provided
    directly in this post!

    Please feel free to leave me a message if you prepared a stock analysis during First Half of February 2015 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

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Retirement Accounts (Update) - February 2015

    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.

    EXISTING RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS (FEBRUARY UPDATE):

     
    Below is a quick update to show the current values of our retirement accounts as of February 1, 2015.  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 February 1, 2015

    PENSION
    Cash Value of Pension$214,389
    ($1,801 increase from January update of $212,588)
     
    457K
    Total value of 457K: $118,121
    ($280 decrease from January update of $118,401)
     
    Roth IRAs
    Total value of Roth IRA accounts: $54,550
    ($201 increase from January update of $54,349)
     
    After seeing a roughly $6K in November and another $3K in December, we are seeing some measly gains thus far in 2015.  Especially when you consider the fact that my pension value is mainly due to somewhat large contributions from both myself and my employer each month. Nevertheless, from all three accounts, we saw an overall increase of $1,722.

    As it stands, the total amount of our retirement accounts is currently valued at: $387,060 (up from the $385,338 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. With some of the uncertainties around government pension these days, they could very well serve as back-up plans as well. 
     
    Click below to view retirement accounts page 

    RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

    Sunday, February 8, 2015

    Mortgage Balance (Update) - February 2015

    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: $776,325 (up from our January post). Housing has cooled down a bit from the highs last summer but as long as interest rates remain low, home buying should remain steady.  This should bode well for the housing market.
    Mortgage Balance (February):
    $333,421 (down from $335,136 in January)
    Percentage Owed:
    42.9% (up from 43.16% in January)
    Home Equity:
    $442,904 (up from $441,189 in January)

    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. :) 

    But like the stock market, one shouldn't constantly look at the values.  As long as my mortgage balance continues to go down consistently each month, in the long run, I know we will be in a good position at retirement.  We love our home, our neighbors, the schools, local markets, etc. We have no plans to move anytime soon. 

    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 13  years  - 4 months (160 months) 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:

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    Dividend Stocks Portfolio (Update) - February 2015

     
    Here is the recent update to our dividend stocks portfolio – February 2015.

     

    SALES 

    We are still trying to re-balance our portfolio as there are a few companies we simply view as short-term investments and thus do not plan to hang onto for the long term.  However, we did not sell any shares in our portfolio this past month.  On the positive side, since we did not sell any shares, that means that our annual dividends did not decrease.

    TOTAL VALUE OF ALL SALES: $0.00

    OVERALL DECREASE TO ANNUAL DIVIDENDS: $0.00

     

    PURCHASES

    The month of January ended up being another very active month for us.  We ended the month with a total of 8 buy transactions. Since we already had committed more cash than usual this month, we decided not to do an "Ask the Readers" post this month.

    So out of the 8 transactions this past month, 6 were companies we had already owned and were merely buying more shares to lower our overall cost basis. The remaining 2 transactions were new companies that we decided to add to our family's dividend stocks portfolio.  With our recent purchase of TD and CVX, our family dividend stocks portfolio now contains a total of 34 different companies/ETF that all pay us a dividend.
     
    The following are the actual buys that we made during the month of January:

    1/6/15
    10 shares of VZ (Verizon Wireless) at $46.49 ($464.95)
    • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $22.00
    1/12/15
    15 shares of NOV (National Oilwell Varco Inc) at $59.97 ($899.64)
    • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $27.60
    1/13/15
    15 shares of GE (General Electric) at $23.75 ($356.25)
    • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $13.80
    1/14/15
    12 shares of BBL (BHP Billiton Plc) at $38.75 ($465.00)
    • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $29.04
     1/14/15
    10 shares of TD (Toronto Dominion Bank) at $42.00 ($420.00)
    • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $14.86
    1/16/15
    10 shares of GE (General Electric) at $23.50 ($235.00)
    • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $9.20
    1/28/15
    12 shares of NOV (National Oilwell Varco Inc) at $54.00 ($648.00)
    • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $22.08
    1/30/15

    5 shares of CVX (Chevron Corp) at $100.00 ($500.00)

    • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $21.40

    TOTAL SPENT ON NEW ACQUISITION: $3,988.84*
    *We receive 100 free trades per year through our brokerage account so there was no commission paid on these purchase.

    As of 2/4/2015, we still have 57 free trades to make until 9/15/2015

    OVERALL INCREASE TO ANNUAL DIVIDENDS: $159.98

    With the additional $159.98 in annual dividends, our new estimated annual income is now $3,296 or and average of approximately $274.66/month.   

     

    DIVIDENDS

    December was a great month in terms of dividends received.  During this past month, our dividend total was $277.19.  We had 9 companies/ETFs pay us a dividend this past month. All in all, we started the year right on track with our actual dividends coming within $5 of our estimated monthly payout of $274.66/month. 

    For the month of December, we receive the following dividends:

    WELLS FARGO INVESTMENT ACCOUNT:
    1/2/15 - Dividend from BPY (Brookfield Property): $15.66
    1/2/15 - Dividend from EDIV (SPDR Emerging Market ETF): $11.16
    1/2/15 - Dividend from TCK (Teck Resources): $56.25
    1/15/15 - Dividend from OXY (Occidental Petroleum): $3.60
    1/15/15 - Dividend from THFF (First Financial Corp): $7.35

    1/15/15 - Dividend from ARI (Apollo Comm RE Finance Inc): $50.52
    1/26/15 - Dividend from GE (General Electric): $4.60

    1/30/15 - Dividend from AMTG (Apollo Residential Mortgage Inc): $82.02

    EDWARD JONES INVESTMENT ACCOUNT:
    1/28/15 - Dividend from CMCSA (Comcast Corp): $46.03

    OVERALL DIVIDENDS TOTAL THIS MONTH: $277.19*

    * We currently receive our dividends as cash in all stock positions held.
     
     
    In case you interested, our family's dividend stocks portfolio may be found by clicking on the link below:
     

    Sunday, February 1, 2015

    Stocks Added to Collection of Stock Analyses (Update) - End-Month (January 2015)

    For those who are not yet familiar with my extensive collection of individual dividend stocks. The collection is currently comprised of 579 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 second half of the month of JANUARY (2015):
    1. Boeing Co (BA)
      • by Dividend Engineering
    2. Clorox Co (CLX)
      • by Dividend Growth Stocks
    3. Coca Cola Company (KO)
      • by Dividend Growth Stocks
    4. Colgate-Palmolive Co (CL)
      • by Dividend Growth Stocks
    5. Consolidated Edison (ED)
      • by Pollies Dividend
    6. General Mills Inc (GIS)
      • by Dividend Growth Investor
    7. Genuine Parts Co (GPC)
      • by Dividend Ladder
    8. HCP Inc (HCP)
      • by Dividend Growth Investor
    9. JP Morgan Chase (JPM)
      • by Sure Dividend
    10. Kellogg Company (K)
      • by Dividend Growth Stocks
    11. McGraw-Hill Financial (MHFI)
      • by Dividend Ladder
    12. PepsiCo (PEP)
      • by Roadmap 2 Retire
    13. PPG Industries (PPG)
      • by Dividend Ladder
    14. PPG Industries (PPG)
      • by Passive Income Earner
    15. Praxair Inc (PX)
      • by Dividend Dream
    16. Qualcomm Inc (QCOM)
      • by Dividend Growth Stocks
    17. Stanley, Black & Decker Inc (SWK)
      • by Pollies Dividend
    18. Target Corp (TGT)
      • by Dividend Growth Investor
    19. Wells Fargo and Co (WFC)
      • by The Dividend Guy
     
    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 Second Half of January 2015 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