Wednesday, October 22, 2014



    • Purchased 3 shares of IBM on 10/20/14 at $167.50
    • Total spent: $502.50
    • $13.20 added to our annual dividends
    • Purchased 6 shares of AFL on 10/15/14 at $55.69
    • Total spent: $334.14
    • $8.88 added to our annual dividends
    • Purchased 40 shares of ARCP on 10/15/14 at $11.50
    • Total spent: $460.00
    • $40.00 added to our annual dividends
    • Purchased 5 shares of OXY on 10/15/14 at $83.00
    • Total spent: $415.00
    • $14.40 added to our annual dividends
With the recent retreat that we have all seen from the market these past few weeks, our family has continued to added to our portfolio and thus our annual dividends.  During the last 7 days, we added to our currently holdings in AFL and ARCP and also became shareholders in two new companies: OXY and IBM.  With these two companies, our family's dividend stock portfolio is now comprised of 30 different companies.  And what I am most thrilled about, these recent purchases added a total of $76.48 to our annual dividends. 
Our family's annual dividends now stands at an estimated $2,406.  We are making tremendous progress considering that fact that we just reached our $2K milestone only a month ago! I hope the market takes its time to recover because frankly I'm enjoying these opportunities.


  • IBM
    • P/E: 13.29
    • Payout Ratio: 25.1 %
    • Dividend Yield: 2.72%
    • Percent off 52-week high: -18.78%
    • Consecutive Dividend Increases: 14 years
  • AFL
    • P/E: 9.11
    • Payout Ratio: 24%
    • Dividend Yield: 2.57%
    • Percent off 52-week high: -14.70%
    • Consecutive Dividend Increases: 31 years
  • ARCP

    • P/E: N/A
    • Payout Ratio: 101%
    • Dividend Yield: 8.28%
    • Percent off 52-week high: -19.32%
    • Consecutive Dividend Increases: 2 years
  • OXY
    • P/E: 11.85
    • Payout Ratio: 36%
    • Dividend Yield: 3.21%
    • Percent off 52-week high: -15.09%
    • Consecutive Dividend Increases: 11 years

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

Dividend Stocks Portfolio


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

Collection of Stock Analyses

Monday, October 20, 2014

P2P Accounts (Update) - October 2014

September was somewhat flat month for us on Lending Club as we purchased a total of $563.32 worth of notes this month. A total of $100.00 in new notes and $463.32 notes from the trading platform. Considering we received $622.04 in payments from our outstanding notes, this meant we didn't even find enough notes to reinvest that money. Personally, I'd rather hang onto the cash and wait for good quality notes than to invest in riskier notes that I end up having regrets about later. 
This past month, as well as in August, we found a large portion of notes for notes from Lending Club's trading platform.  We are essentially picking up notes from others who are looking to liquidate their notes. For these notes, we continue to use the following search criteria (in no particular order): 
  1. Borrowers credit score has increased by 20pts or more;
  2. The notes has between 9 and 27 months left
  3. The value of note is less than $25;
  4. The borrowers credit score is minimum of 720
  5. The borrower is both current and never late; and
  6. The note is not marked up. In fact, if we can find them, we prefer ones where the seller is offering at a discount. :)

At the end of September, our Lending Club account balance was at $8,989.69 (an increase of $156.20 from our balance at the end of August). We received $622.04 in payments from our active notes in August; of which, we received, $60.73 in interest (an increase of $1.14/mo.).  The principal balance of our active notes was $8,354.07 (an increase of $3.68 from July total), with $50.00 of loans in review or funding and a remaining cash balance of $560.62 (increase of $102.52).  We are currently generating 4.88% on our seasoned notes. No loans were charged off this month.


The month of September was somewhat of a disappointment for our Prosper account as we purchased a total of only $318.11.  Once again, we didn't even find enough notes to reinvest our payments for the month.  That meant our money didn't getting the immediate compounding effect that we always hope to achieve through our P2P accounts. Part of the reason is that work has been quite busy lately. For whatever reason, I can't seem to even find the 5-10 minutes I use to have  each day to do a quick search for new notes. I hope this changes soon because one of the biggest draw for us toward P2P notes is the ability to immediately re-invest our notes into more notes almost immediately each month.

Similar to our Lending Club account, we are also buying notes off the trading platform.  Unfortunately, we there aren't as many quality notes as we seem to have found in Lending Club.  As I mentioned last month, I think the main reason is because Prosper notes are mostly offered through an auction format and not as fixed price notes. I definitely prefer the Lending Club format over the Prosper trading platform.  Hopefully, Prosper wises up and change their existing format soon.

At the end of September, our Prosper account balance was at $8,671.51 (an increase of $28.70 from our balance at the end of July). It is not much, but I'm still thankful it is a positive number and not a negative number.  We received $424.08 in payments from our active notes in August; of which, we received, $60.64 in interest (a decrease of $6.55/mo.).  The principal balance of our active notes was $8,127.14 (a decrease of $105.96 from August total). We also had $25.00 of loans in review or funding and a remaining cash balance of $544.38.  We are currently generating 7.64% on our seasoned notes.

Total Value of Both P2P accounts: $17,661.20
($184.90 increase from September update)
Total Interest Earned in August: $121.37
($-5.41 decrease from September update)
Estimate Average Interest Earned: 6.26%



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


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stocks Added to Collection of Stock Analyses (Update) - Mid-Month (October 2014)

For those who are not yet familiar with my extensive collection of individual dividend stocks. The collection is currently comprised of 432 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.
The following is a list of newly added stocks analysis that were prepared during the first half of the month of OCTOBER (2014):
  1. A.O. Smith Corporation (AOS)
    • by Dividend Developer
  2. AT&T Corp (T)
    • by Dividends 4 Life
  3. Automatic Data Processing, Inc (ADP)
    • by Sure Dividend
  4. Bard (C.R.) Inc (BCR)
    • by Sure Dividend
  5. Becton, Dickinson and Co (BDX)
    • by Sure Dividend
  6. Canadian National Railway (CNR)
    • by Roadmap 2 Retire
  7. Chevron Corp (CVX)
    • by Dennis McCain
  8. Chubb Corp  (CB)
    • by Sure Dividend
  9. Copa Holdings, S.A. (CPA)
    • by Dividend Developer
  10. Clorox Co (CLX)
    • by Sure Dividend
  11. Disney (Walt) Co (DIS)
    • by The Dividend Blog Guy
    • by Dividend Growth Investor
  12. Ford Motor Co (F)
    • by Dividend Diplomats
  13. Franklin Resources Inc (BEN)
    • by Sure Dividend
  14. Genuine Parts Co (GPC)
    • by Dividends 4 Life
  15. Illinois Tool Works, Inc (ITW)
    • by Sure Dividend
  16. Kimberly-Clark Corp (KMB)
    • by Dividends 4 Life
  17. Mattel, Inc (MAT)
    • by Dividend Diplomats
  18. McCormick & Co (MKC)
    • by Sure Dividend
  19. Pentair Plc (PNR)
    • by Dividend Developer
  20. Target Corp (TGT)
    • by Sure Dividend
  21. TD Bank (TD)
    • by Roadmap 2 Retire
  22. T.Rowe Price Group Inc (TROW)
    • by Dividend 4 Life
  23. United Health Group Inc (UNH)
    • by Dividend Developer
  24. M Co (MMM)
    • by Dividends 4 Life
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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Net Worth (Update) - 3rd Quarter 2014

Originally, I was only planning to provide annual Net Worth updates.  However, since I am now part of an active list of bloggers who provide their net worth on Rockstar Finance's page - The Ultimate List of Blogger Net Worth, I have decided to start providing quarterly updates.  Providing quarterly updates will allow us to keep our readers more updated with our overall progress towards Financial Independence. It will also allow us to stay accurate and current on the Rockstar Finance's Ultimate List of Blogger Net Worth.
As of the end of September 2014 (3rd Quarter), our family net worth is as follows:
Retirement Savings:                       $374,652
P2P Lending Accounts:                    $ 17,713
Dividend Stock Accounts (DSA):      $ 51,162
DSA - Surplus Cash:                       $ 14,305
Investment Accounts:                     $ 26,307
Cash and Savings:                          $ 88,177
(Increase of $6,445 since 6/1/14)
As posted in our recent Mortgage Update, our Home Equity is:
(Decrease of $1,764 since 6/1/14)

Well, even though this past quarter was not very impressive, I must say I am happy to report that our Net Worth continues to climb (albeit slower than we would have like).  With the market stumbling a bit lately, we are definitely glad we are not reporting a decrease to our Net Worth. 

In the end, I'm happy to also say that we are still technically millionaires (on paper). Unfortunately, a millionaire in California (and especially Orange County), is nowhere near Financial Independence. We, therefore, will continue forward on our journey and hopefully we will reach the finish line in 13 years (or less). :) 

NOTE: If you follow us, you know that we do not consider the home equity in our home as part of our net worth. Although others do consider home equity, and even cars, collections, etc. as part of their net worth, it is our opinion that since these items are not very liquid and the value of these items is highly dependent on what others are willing to pay for them (at the present time), we have decided not to consider these assets as part of our recognized family net worth.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Retirement Accounts (Update) - October 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 October 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.

October 1, 2014

Cash Value of Pension$206,596 ($2,298 increase from August total of $204,298)
Total value of 457K: $115,356 ($3,443 decrease from August total of $118,799)
Roth IRAs
Total value of Roth IRA accounts: $52,700 ($1,849 decrease from August total of  $54,549)
So the month of September was not a good month as we essentially gave back our gains from the previous months.  In all, our accounts decreased a total of $2,994 from the September 1, 2014 totals.  Since we are not near retirement, this paper loss to us only means we get to buy additional shares at discounted prices.  

As it stands, the total amount of our retirement accounts is currently valued at: $374,652. 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 my 457K and our Roth IRAs should remain part of our retirement plan.  
Click below to view retirement accounts page 


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mortgage Balance (Update) - October 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: $781,435 (down from $849,688 in September post). The housing market in our area has been steadily climbing this year. Even though we've consistently seen gains every month this year, the gains seemed to have hit a wall this past month. 

As I has mentioned last month, I have my doubts on the accuracy of Zillow. The current Zestimate only proves my suspicions. According to Zillow, our home price dropped $34,077 (see snapshot below).  However, if you compare the current Zestimate with the one I posted in September with our home value at $849,688, the value of our home actually dropped a total of $68,253

Although nobody likes seeing the value of their home (or any investment for that matter) drop, the decrease is simply a paper loss.  Nothing is reality until you actually go to sell.  Since we love our home and may end up never selling, this paper loss really does not means much to us.  
Mortgage Balance (September 2014):
$340,261.45 (down from $341,961.35 in September)
Percentage Owed:
43.54% (down from 32.65% in September)
Home Equity:
$441,174 (down from $507,726 in September)

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 shrank this past month a total of $66,552 (10.89%) giving back some of the gains from previous months. As a result, our home equity is back below $500K. As for percentage owed,  the number increased from 32.65% to 43.54% due to the loss of home equity tied to home values decreasing.

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. We have a little less than 14 years left on our mortgage but I would like to have it paid off in another 10 years (or less) so I can use the last few years to aggressively build our retirement nest egg.  
Right now 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. 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:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dividend Stocks Portfolio (Update) - October 2014

Here is the recent update to our dividend stocks portfolio – October 2014.



As noted in the narrative for our dividend stocks portfolio, we are in the process of re-balancing our portfolio to meet our current stock criteria. Some of our holdings, therefore, do not reflect our current goals. We are in the process of selling a few of them as they reach our pre-established limit price.

We are now currently in the 6th month of re-balancing our portfolio. Our goal is to finish the transition sometime before the end of the year. Unfortunately, our re-balancing efforts was non-existent again this month as we did not sell any shares in our portfolio this past month. With stock prices on the decline, we didn't see any worthwhile opportunities to sell. 


Since we did not sell any shares this past month, that means our annual dividends did not decrease.



Although we did not sell any shares, that did not stop us from picking up a few shares this past month.  As stocks appear to be on the decline, we decided to seize the opportunity to add some more shares to our family portfolio. In all, we made a total of 12 purchases during the month of September.  We initiated shares in 2 new companies that we previously had not owned.  Both SDRL and BBL were companies we did not owned prior to our acquisitions this past month. With the two new acquisitions, we now own stocks in 27 companies.

With the recent decline of DE, TIS, ESV, KMI, and VZ, we took the opportunity to average down our cost basis in these companies.
The following are the actual buys that we made during the month of September:

3 shares of DE (Deere & Co) at $83.00 ($249.00)
  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $7.20
10 shares of TIS (Orchids Paper Products Co) at $26.10 ($261.00)
  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $14.00
10 shares of ESV (Ensco Plc) at $47.00 ($470.00)
  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $30.00
8 shares of KMI (Kinder Morgan Inc) at $38.50 ($308.00)
  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $13.76
5 shares of VZ (Verizon Communication Co) at $48.45 (242.25)

  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $11.00
15 shares of SDRL (Seadrill Ltd) at $32.48 ($487.20)
  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $60.00
5 shares of RIG (Transocean Ltd) at $36.25 ($181.25)
  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $15.00
10 shares of TIS (Orchids Paper Products Co) at $25.75 ($257.50)
  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $14.00
10 shares of BBL (BHP Billiton Plc) at $59.75 ($597.50)
  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $24.20
9 shares of SDRL (Seadrill Ltd) at $28.50 ($256.50)
  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $36.00
5 shares of ESV (Ensco Plc) at $43.50 ($217.50)
  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $15.00
5 shares of BBL (BHP Billiton Plc) at $56.50 ($282.50)
  • Estimated Annual Dividend Received: $12.10
*We receive 100 free trades per year through our brokerage account so there was no commission paid on these purchase.

As of 10/2/2014, we still have 92 free trades to make until 9/15/2015. We made a few trades both yesterday and today that are not reflected in the September activity.

With the additional $252.26 in annual dividends, our new estimated annual income is now $2,209.95 or and average of approximately $184/month.  We have added a pretty decent amount of money to our portfolio these past two months.  As a result, I am definitely happy with the progress we've been making.



September was an average month in terms of dividends received. During this past month, our dividend total was $164.92. To date, we are averaging $166.15 in dividends each month.  We had 11 companies pay us a dividend this past month.  I believe that is a new record for us!

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

9/02/14 - Dividend from ENB (Enbridge Inc): $6.45
9/02/14 - Dividend from AFL (Alfac Inc): $10.73
9/05/14 - Dividend from BSBR (Banco Santander Brasil): $11.93
9/09/14 - Dividend from BSBR (Banco Santander Brasil): $4.25
9/10/14 - Dividend from TGT (Target Corp): $13.04

9/10/14 - Dividend from EXC (Exelon Corp): $18.58
9/15/14 - Dividend from ORI (Old Republic Intl Corp): $6.39
9/15/14 - Dividend from ARCP (American Realty Capital Properties Inc): $13.33
9/16/14 - Dividend from MCD (McDonalds Corp): $4.86
9/18/14 - Dividend from RIG (Transocean Ltd): $7.50
9/19/14 - Dividend from ESV (Ensco Plc): $15.00
9/30/14 - Dividend from FTR (Frontier Communications Corp): $52.86
No dividends received from EJ Account.


* 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: