Monday, May 22, 2017

RECENT BUY: Verizon Communication Inc (NYSE: VZ)

WE RECENTLY PURCHASED THE FOLLOWING


Verizon Communications Inc (VZ)
Purchased 15 shares of VZ on 5/17/2015 at $44.88

Total money spent: $673.20
$34.65 added to annual dividends


Since our purchases of Verizon Communications Inc (VZ) today were shares in a company that we already owned, our family's Dividend Stocks Portfolio remains the same with a total of 59 different dividend paying stocks/ETFs in the portfolio.

Our estimated forward dividends, however, grew another $34.65, putting our yearly dividends at approximately $2,820.84/year (excluding our Edwards Jones account) and $3,235.46/year (including our Edward Jones account). 

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 analysis
that can be access through the link below:
COLLECTION OF STOCK ANALYSES

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


HERE IS A QUICK FACT SHEET FOR THE STOCK JUST PURCHASED:


Verizon Communications Inc (VZ)
  • P/E: 15.19
  • Payout Ratio: 77.0%
  • Dividend Yield: 5.09%
  • Dividend Growth rate (5yr AVG): 2.90% 
  • 11 consecutive years of dividend increases
  • Last dividend Ex date: 4/6/2017
  • Next dividend Ex date: 7/6/2017
  • Dividend Payback Period: 17 years
  • Pays a dividend 4 times a year.
  • Market Cap: 185.2 Billion
  • 52-week high: $56.95
  • 52-week low: $44.46
  • Purchased Price: $44.88

What are your thoughts about my recent purchase?

What are you buying?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

We Just Joined the 500K Club!!

A BIG "Thank You" to everyone that has supported, and continues to support and visit our blog...whether you have been with us from the beginning or you've just recently joined the journey, we would like to thank each and every one of you for your support.  

We started blogging about our frugal family's journey roughly 38 months ago, on March 15, 2014. Our blogging journey started out as a hobby and simply a way to keep on track of our progress. Flash forward 3 years and roughly 2 months later, I am thrilled to announce that because of each and every one of our readers, we just reached yet another milestone.  As of yesterday, May 19, 2017, we became proud members of the 500K club! 

It took approximately 15 months to reach our first milestone of 100,000 page visits to our blog. The second milestone of 200,000 page visits took 6 months and 28 days. Our next milestone of 300,000 page visits, even with a 6-week hiatus last summer, took us 7 months. Our last milestone of 400,00 page visits then took 4 months and 22 days.  We did that on February 2, 2017. 

And thanks to all of you, our progress steadily continues to increase at a faster pace. I'm happy and blessed to say that we reached the 500,000 page milestone yesterday, in just 3 months and 17 days!
Since I am somewhat of a stats nerd, below are some additional stats behind our 500,000 visits.

Top Referring Sites

Google searches and internal cross links within our posts play a vital role in our blog traffic. But we also want to recognize and give special thanks to our twitter followers, as well as Captain DividendMy Dividend PipelinePassive Income Pursuitand Rockstar Finance for the traffic from your respective blogs. Lastly, although not present on the list above, I would like to also thank two other fellow blogger and friend, Roadmap2Retire for your continue support and mention of our Collection of Recent Buys and Collection of Stock Analyses.  

Also, thanks to all that have tweeted or re-tweeted our posts.  Our additional presence and our followers on Twitter continues to help get our blog grow. In case you would like to follow us on Twitter, we can be found under: @FrugalFamilyof4.  I'm proud to say that we now have 1,666 followers on Twitter. That is 191 new followers since our last milestone post on February 2nd.

Most Popular Page Visits
Our top three most popular page visits are: 1) Dividend Stocks Portfolio with 17,815 page views; 2) 2015 - Collection of Recent Buys with 13,052 page views; and 3) 2016 - Collection of Recent Buys with 10,988 page views. It is great to see that our readers are utilizing our free reference tools. We will continue to do our best to continue to maintain both collections to ensure they remain current and popular. 

Most Popular Posts

Our top three most popular posts are: 1) Stocks Added to Collection of Stock Analyses - December 2016 with 16,385 page views; 2) Stocks Added to Collection of Stock Analyses - November 2016 with 13,437 page views; and 3) P2P Accounts (Update) - August 2014 with 2,083 page views. It appears that readers value the UPDATES to our Collection to Stock Analyses more than the actual collection itself.  Seeing these results, we will certainly make sure to provide updates more frequently.  

Top Page Views By Countries

We are tremendously grateful that our blog has seemed to have a worldwide presence as evident by the chart above.  However, the top page views to our blog came from the following top three countries: 1) United States, with the largest presence at 328,740 page views; 2) Russia in second with 21,839 page views; and 3) Germany in third with 20,482 page views. The top four has remained unchanged since our last milestone post.  

Its fun to look at the stats and maybe even create a little friendly competition with them.  But the reality is, near or far, first or tenth, we truly value each and every reader.  Thank you for visiting!! Our blog and posts received the page views they did because of you (our readers and fellow bloggers).  Thank you for reading and/or sharing our post with others. We truly appreciate each and every one of you for the support!

THANK YOU FOR HELPING US 

REACH YET ANOTHER HUGE MILESTONE!!

Friday, May 5, 2017

APRIL 2017 - DIVIDENDS RECEIVED


Below is a recap of the dividends/partnership distributions that we received from our family's dividend stocks portfolio –  APRIL 2017 (recap).

DIVIDENDS

During the past month, our family received dividends/partnership distributions from a total of 12 companies/ETFs/Partnerships!! The total monies received from those 12 companies/ETFs/Partnerships was: $314.29

Below is a breakdown of the dividends/partnership distributions received this past month:


WELLS FARGO INVESTMENT ACCOUNT:
4/03/17 - BPY (Brookfield Property Partners): $3.96
4/03/17 - WMT (Walmart Stores Inc): $20.91
4/03/17 - TIS (Orchids Paper Products Co): $17.50
4/03/17 - GPC (Genuine Parts Co): $3.38
4/04/17 - BPY (Brookfield Property Partners): $6.88
4/17/17 - WPC (W.P. Carey Inc): $5.97
4/17/17 - VER (Vereit Inc): $61.88

4/17/17 - OXY (Occidential Petroleum Corp): $15.20
4/17/17 - ARI (Apollo Commercial RE Finance Inc): $97.66
4/25/17 - GE (General Electric Co): $6.00
4/26/17 - ORCL (Oracle Corp
): $2.09
4/26/17 - BNS (Bank of Nova Scotia): $8.41

EDWARD JONES INVESTMENT ACCOUNT:
4/26/17 - CMCSA (Comcast Corp): $64.45

OVERALL DIVIDENDS TOTAL THIS MONTH: $314.29


In case you interested, our family's dividend stocks portfolio 
may be found by clicking on the link below:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Net Worth Report (April 2017 Update)

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. ;)

So at the end of the first quarter, our family net worth is as follows:

Retirement Savings:                      $ 468,092
P2P Lending Accounts:                   $  12,649
Dividend Stock Accounts (DSA):     $  75,040
DSA - Surplus Cash:                      $  18,238
College Savings Accounts:              $  64,382
Cash and Savings:                         $  65,239

GRAND TOTAL
$703,640
(Increase of $11,675 since January 2017)

Although we do not count it as part of our Net Worth,
it is still nice to know that our Home Equity is:
$546,375*
(Increase of $13,793 since January 2017)

Although we don't consider our home equity as part of our Net Worth, we understand that some people do.  So for those who include home equity in their Net Worth, our family's net worth would be considered: $1,250,015 (Increase of $25,468 since January 2017).  It's a pretty awesome figure when you include the home equity but until we can accumulate 7 figures without our home equity, I refuse to consider myself a millionaire. 

* 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 type of assets as part of our family's recognized net worth.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

2017 Goals (1st Quarter Update)




 2017 GOALS (1st Quarter Update)


Overall, whether the increases are big or small, the main goal is to keep move forward. I've been writing both annual and long-term goals since my early twenties. I can say with confidence that our family would not be were we are today without having accomplished the short term goals along the way. Sure, like everyone else, there were setbacks along the way.  But the goals have always helped us get back on track.  They keep us accountable and help ensure that we always progress.

2017 has been a great year so far.  Hope it has been the same for you and your family. With three full months behind us, below is where we stand with our goals as of March 31, 2017:

DIVIDEND STOCKS:
1.  Earn $3,550 in dividend income.

  • 1st quarter: $818.70
2.  Increase projected annual dividend income to $3,750.

  • 1st quarter: $3,133 
3.  Bring value of dividend stocks accounts to $90,000 total.

  • 1st quarter: $75,045.81

BLOG:
4.  Write at least 100 posts (8.33 posts/month).

  • 1st quarter: 22 posts
5   Reach 575,000 total hits by end of the year.

  • 1st quarter: 484,861 hits
6.  Reach 1,800 Twitter followers by end of the year.

  • 1st quarter: 1,631 followers
7.  Reach 400 all-time earnings from Google AdSense.

  • 1st quarter: $294.28

FINANCIAL MILESTONES:
8.  Increase value of retirement accounts to $500,000.

  • 1st quarter: $468,092
9.  Increase Net Worth to $675,000 (excluding home equity).

  • 1st quarter: $647,754
10.Reduce mortgage balance to $270,000.

  • 1st quarter: $285,424

FUN GOALS:
11.  Try out 12 "new" restaurants/dessert place.

  • 1st quarter: $5 new restaurants
12.  Go on 26 "new" hikes (1 every other week).

  • 1st quarter: 15 new hikes completed

13.  Visit 3 new parks.

  • 1st quarter: 1 new park visited

14.  Volunteer for two project/event (ex. beach clean up, clear hiking trail, race event, serve food, etc.)

  • 1st quarter: 0 volunteer project/event completed

15.  Get kids outside more - A total of 52 activities (run, walk, hike, etc.) as a family, with a minimum of 1 mile and 30 minutes each.

  • 1st quarter: 8 activities completed

Below is a landing page for our 2017 goals (with quarterly updates provided).  Please feel free to follow along and see our progress!!




Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mortgage Balance (UPDATE) - APRIL 2017

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: $831,799 (up $7,036 in the last 30-days according to Zillow). I don't understand Zillow and I don't think I ever will.  Last month, I posted that our home was worth $846,208 according to Zillow.  This month, our home value went down roughly $15K, however, Zillow site states that it is up $7,036 in last 30-days. Say what *&%?


Mortgage Balance (As of April 1st):
$285,424 (down $1,911 from our post last month)

Percentage Owed:
34.3% (up .4% from our post last month)

Home Equity:
$546,375 (down $12,498 from our post last month)
   
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 10 years and 2 months (122 months) so we are setting out to pay off our mortgage on or before my retirement date. Right now we are a few months behind the target retirement date. Currently, we have approximately 11  years and 0 months (132 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 6-9 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, April 12, 2017

MARCH 2017 - DIVIDENDS RECEIVED


Below is a recap of the dividends/partnership distributions that we received from our family's dividend stocks portfolio –  March 2017 (recap).

DIVIDENDS

During the past month, our family received dividends/partnership distributions from a total of 26 companies/ETFs/Partnerships!! The total monies received from those 26 companies/ETFs/Partnerships was: $305.01

Below is a breakdown of the dividends/partnership distributions received this past month:


WELLS FARGO INVESTMENT ACCOUNT:
3/01/17 - WF (Wells Fargo & Co): $7.60
3/01/17 - ENB (Enbridge Inc): $12.73
3/01/17 - AFL (Aflac Inc): $6.45
3/02/17 - HCP (HCP Inc): $3.33
3/10/17 - TGT (Target Corp): $3.60
3/10/17 - IBM (International Business Machines Corp): $8.40
3/10/17 - XOM (Exxon Mobil Corp): $8.25

3/10/17 - EXC (Exelon Corp): $19.63
3/10/17 - EMR (Emerson Electric Co): $16.80
3/10/17 - CVX (Chevron Corp): $19.44
3/13/17 - MMM (3M Co
): $3.53
3/14/17 - JNJ (Johnson & Johnson): $3.20
3/15/17 - UL (Unilever Plc): $4.07
3/15/17 - IP (International Paper Co): $4.63
3/17/17 - ESV (Ensco Plc): $2.31
3/17/17 - FLO (Flower Foods Inc): $5.28
3/20/17 - VFC (VF Corp): $6.30
3/27/17 - BBL (BHP Billiton Plc): $75.20
3/28/17 - RDS.B (Royal Dutch Shell Plc): $21.62
3/29/17 - EDIV (Spdr S7P Emerging Markets ETF): $3.86
3/30/17 - TROW (T Rowe Price Group Inc): $4.56
3/30/17 - GILD (Gilead Sciences Inc): $7.80
3/31/17 - VTR (Ventas Inc): $4.65
3/31/17 - UNP (Union Pacific Corp): $12.71
3/31/17 - NOV (National Oilwell Varco): $2.25
3/31/17 - FTR (Frontier Communications Corp): $36.81

EDWARD JONES INVESTMENT ACCOUNT:
N/A

OVERALL DIVIDENDS TOTAL THIS MONTH: $305.01


In case you interested, our family's dividend stocks portfolio 
may be found by clicking on the link below:

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mortgage Balance (UPDATE) - MAR 2017

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: $846,208 (up $9,949 in the last 30-days). My wife and I are not in the real estate profession so we are not sure why home prices have soared in recent months but we certainly welcome them.  On paper, we certainly feel slightly more wealthy. ;)

Our hunch is that the increase is possibly cause by home buyers looking to get into a home as interest rates continue to rise, which would make their monthly payment less and less affordable, and could eventually take them out of their desired neighborhood.  With one rate hike already gone into effect (and possible 1-2 more will occur before the year ends), it has triggered some urgency in those whom are in the market for a home and hoping to lock in a mortgage at current rates before they go up further. 


Mortgage Balance (As of March 1st):
$287,335 (down $1,907 from our post last month)

Percentage Owed:
33.9% (up .6% from our post last month)

Home Equity:
$558,873 (up $11,109 from our post last month)
   
We are very blessed to be able to say that in just 2-months, our mortgage home value has gone up: $20,583; our balance has gone down: $3,810; and as a result, our home equity has risen: $24,393!! 

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 10 years and 3 months (123 months) so we are setting out to pay off our mortgage on or before my retirement date. Right now we are a few months behind the target retirement date. Currently, we have approximately 11  years and 1 months (133 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 6-9 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:

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Collection of RECENT BUYS (February 2017 Summary)

Since our family began investing in dividend stocks approximately two and a half years ago, I've been keeping a personal log of what other dividend bloggers and dividend investors are buying. The collection essentially highlights the Recent Buys that I discover throughout the dividend blog community. Its nice to see what others are buying, if for nothing more to get some ideas.  

This collection started out as my own personal data sheet but I have since decided to share it with the DGI community.  I am glad I did because, as evident in our recent post (We Just Joined the 400K club), it has been once of the more popular pages on our blog!! We hope it everyone continues to use our Collection of Recent Buys and it remains a great resource for all. It can be a lot of work to maintain but we remain committed and will do our best to keep this list up to date. 


Please feel free to bookmark or share the page: 



AND NOW FOR THE SUMMARY OF
WHAT EVERYONE HAS BEEN BUYING THIS PAST MONTH

During the month of January a total of 58 buys were found throughout the DGI community. Even with the DOW above the 20,000 threshold, and uncertainty of the impact from Trump administration policies, it appears that DGI investors continue to find the value buys.  This is evident in the slight spike in buying activity in February compared to the month of January.   

Below is a chart and corresponding table that identifies those companies that were purchased at least two times this past month: 
To summarize the past month, out of a total of 58 buys found around the DGI community (with a minimum total of $300), a total of 43 companies were purchased with a total of 11 companies that were bought more than once. From the buys collected,  DGI investors picked up a stock not purchased by others 74.1% of the time. We definitely like to see the diversity in purchases made throughout the DGI investing community.  The wide range of stocks bought shows independent analysis and strategies among investors and indirectly introduces new stocks to those whom are looking for ideas.   
For the second consecutive month, V.F. Corporation (VFC) lead the charge as the most popular stocks among DGI investors. Once again, UL was purchased by 5 different investors throughout the DGI community. Our family grabbed a few shares back on January 26, 2017 and with the stock staying near its 52-week lows, we took the opportunity to grab a few more this past month.  On February 11, 2017, we grabbed 7 additional shares of V.F. Corporation (VFC) at $49.58.  We now own a total of 15 shares with a cost bases on $50.87.
There was a cluster of stocks competing for the second place spot this past month, including to Canadian based stocks. Always nice to see this collection extend beyond the US borders. ;)

In all, there were ten dividend paying stocks that rounded up second place with buys from 2 different DGI investors throughout the DGI community. They were: 3M Co (MMM) , Target Corp (TGT) , Walmart Stores Inc (WMT) , Apple Inc (AAPL) , Coca Cola Co (KO) , Verizon Communications Inc (VZ) , Gilead Science Inc (GILD) , Pfizer Inc (PFE) , Brixton Metals Corp (BBB.V) , Canadian Utilities Ltd (CU.TO). 


Data used for this SUMMARY is from our 


What have you been buying?  Please feel free to share in the comments or send me a link to your Recent Buy post in case I happened to have missed it.

If you have a chance, make sure you also take a look at my COLLECTION OF STOCK ANALYSES!! As with my collection of recent buys, my goal is to make this collection also become a centralized source for everyone. It could become a place where one can get ideas on what to invest in next, to establish a desired stock purchase price, or simply to see what your favorite blogger is buying.  Whatever your reason, my hope is that this collection proves to be a great reference tool and helps provide you that little extra advantage that you are looking for in order to succeed with your investing.

Also, if you have a chance, make sure you also follow or visit Adam over at I Want to Retire Soon (IWTRS) as he generally provides a weekly summary of recent buys! A link to past summaries is maintained on his blog. Another great resource for ideas if you are not sure where to invest next!