Another month has gone by, 1st Quarter is officially in the books and earnings are starting to come out. Stock market is loosing a little steam and seems to be going sideways the past few weeks and I’m still investing.
One interesting fact is this marks the one year mark where I decided to switch gears in investing and approach more of Dividend Growth Investing strategy. So far the results have been producing a nice stream of income and is more reliable that speculative buying of stocks.
VZ (added 50 shares @ $47.13, total of 55 shares), 4.28% yield
JNJ (added 10 shares @ $121.76, total of 29.1196 shares), 2.73% yield
IBM (added 3 shares @ $160.36, total of 9 shares), 3.31% yield
I’m still on the accumulating phase and been trying to scrap every little dollar I can and transfer to brokerage account. Credit card rebates, coupon savings difference all get sent to brokerage account as new capital. This year I added is $4145.45 of new capital, compared to $960.40 for last year. Growing very nicely.
April has continued the growth streak, I’m still not anywhere where I want to be in terms of aggressive dividends due to tax refund not coming in yet but still showed growth from previous year. I received $106.14 in dividend income compared to $12.99 for last year, a 7-fold increase 🙂
Dividend increases also propelled nicely and added an additional $17.33 in future income.
March is now behind us and we are looking forward to April. Its the third month in the quarter and my biggest dividend income month. I’m still adding new capital and buying solid companies.
I also took advantage of the SNAP IPO and made a cool grand on getting right at when market opened and flipping 1 hr later for $998.51 profit. I did not try in being greedy and repeating it and just moved on.
March also marked a full month at my new brokerage Merrill Edge and I am extremely happy with how everything turned out. I highly recommend using them if you have Robinhood and are past the $50,000 portfolio size.
March was a good month financially for me overall. I finally was able to pay off all the debt I had except for Mortgage with the Tax Refund so starting in April, New Capital should have Nitrous Oxide attached to it as I’m kicking into overdrive for monthly average of at least $6000 by year’s end.
Total new capital for March $4458.98, compared to $566.72 for 2016.
Portfolio has been growing nicely with new capital and dividends starting to come in on a weekly basis 🙂
The month ending portfolio balance was $62,284.86, +$7,186.26 from previous month.
This is one of my biggest months in dividends payments ever since starting in this journey. March 2016 dividends was $13.19, March 2017 a staggering $317.10, over 23x growth 🙂 I can definitely say the snowball is growing very nicely.
Current dividend growth average for my portfolio is sitting at 7.33%, a little drop from February’s average but still growing which is awesome news. The growth helped add an extra $44.75 in yearly income. Nice little raise.
February has been another crazy month. Lots of steam in still in the engine room and engine refuses to give up. I continue to buy in this market and looking for values that are still there to be found. I’m finally done with the move to Merrill Edge from Robinhood and so far the move has been great.
Overall experience has been great and went on a buying spree at the end of February. Some of my other purchases were covered on the Mid-Feb update.
QCOM (added 12 shares @ $56.715 for a total of 19 shares) -3.74% yield
UPS (added 6 shares @ $105.41 for a total of 7 shares) – 3.15% yield
KO (added 8 shares @ $41.699 for a total of 41 shares) – 3.55% yield
HRL (added 10 shares @ $34.79 for a total of 24 shares) – 1.95% yield
DIS (added 2 shares @ $109.64 for a total of 3 shares) – 1.42% yield
VFC (added 12 shares @ $52.89 for a total of 21 shares) – 3.14% yield
XOM (added 10 shares @ 81.06 for a total of 12 shares) – 3.70% yield
TGT (added 33 shares @ 57.95 for a total of 60 shares) – 4.14% yield
New capital for this month was $3,299.45, not as high as I hope to save/invest because I had some unexpected bills that came up. Its still higher then my average monthly new capital contributions for 2016 by $162.37, thats a success in my book so far. Thats 2 months down, 10 more to go and plenty of time to recover and achieve the 2017 goals. New capital for the year is at $10,220.58.
I’m finally starting to have data for 2016 which I can compare to see the growth that is happening across my portfolio. February 2016, I clocked in $12.70 in dividend income, in 2017, that number jumped to $105.52. More than 7x in growth. My goal is to live off this portfolio in the future so I’m racing as fast as I can to continue to put in growths in the charts.
This was a good month for increases, lots of my holdings increased the dividends bringing in $13.87 in new dividend income for the year 🙂 My portfolio average dividend growth is 8.30%.
Bring on March, we are ready for you.
The portfolio ending balance for February is $55,098.60
I been a loyal user of Robinhood since I got my invite in March 2015 and slowly I have been adding funds to the account. At first I was chasing yields with the mREITS and BDCs and a little bit of swing trading. It was a lot of work and most of these strategies only work in the short term, not in the long term growth that I was looking for.
Dividend Growth Investing
I found out about the power of Financial Independence and Dividend Growth Investing in the beginning of 2016 and have slowly been building my portfolio. I was reading all what the other bloggers were buying, and had in their portfolio. I took all the stocks they owned and weighted and had a starter portfolio.
Now that I had a list of all the stocks, I needed a way to organize all the stocks and saw that everyone was using Spreadsheets to keep track. I needed to find a easier way to organize the data since I was not buying huge lots of stocks and was dollar cost averaging and buying at the most 1-2 shares at a time.
I started doing research on what was available and found out that someone had figured out Robinhood’s API and since I am a developer my self, this is exactly the light I needed and when my internal FI Stocks Tracker was born.
FI STOCKS TOOL
I love charts and to visualize data so I built a couple of scripts to start downloading everything that was on the Robinhood API into MySQL to later on start charting later, keeping track of dividend growth etc.
When you start visualizing all the data, it comes alive and you get a better picture.
Robinhood API does not have all the info that I needed such as a history of dividend payments, if they were qualified or non-qualified, frequency of payments, etc. Luckily, there are tons of sites/places that provide this sort of stock data such as Yahoo! Finance and Nasdaq.
the migration to merrill edge
This is a difficult one, since Merrill Edge does not have a “nice” API to work with. I needed to find a solution to continue downloading the data nightly locally to further analyze and generate beautiful graphs.
Most banks and brokerages have an OFX Server to automate the download of the data into Quicken/Money.
I found resources online that pointed to that server, did some test runs and everything that I needed was inside the export file. Challenge number 2 was to process the individual items and make sure they go to the right place.
Was I happy with Robinhood? Yes, I was as it gave me a starting point to start on this journey, but I was increasing growing concern with the non-existent support and over 2 weeks to get a response.
When the portfolio passed the $50,000, I started the search for another broker that would continue to let me purchase small batches of stocks and Merrill Edge fit the bill, 30 free trades a month if you have over $50,000 in assets with them.
The whole process took a little over a week and half to move. So far it has been a pleasant experience.