Saturday, March 29, 2014

Goals and Milestones

In October last year, I wrote my first milestones post and reported that I had reached three of my 2013 goals. I also reported on several additional milestones, including crossing $200 in projected monthly dividend income and reaching 10,000 page views. Today, I'd like to report on several recent milestones and provide a goals update.

I wrote my first post on January 10, 2013. Since then, I've written 103 posts (including this one), so I've quietly reached the milestone of 100 posts in DivGro! In the process, I've learned a tremendous amount about blogging, dividend growth investing and how to value dividend growth stocks. My portfolio has grown substantially and, if all goes well, it should reach six figures sometime in August.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Recent Buy: MDP


Mar 14, 2014: Bought 55 shares of MDP at $45.18 per share.

Founded in 1902 and headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, Meredith Corporation (MDP) is one of the leading media and marketing companies in the U.S. with interests in publishing, broadcasting, integrated marketing and interactive media. The company operates in two business segments: National Media and Local Media.

MDP is a Dividend Contender with a 21-year streak of dividend increases. It pays quarterly dividends in March, June, September and December. The current dividend is 43.25¢ per share, so my starting yield on cost is 3.83%.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dividend Increases, March 1-15, 2014

I'm a little behind on my posts, as things have been heating up at work. For the most part, I'll be posting only on weekends. Even weekends will become busy, as I'll have to focus my attention to doing our taxes soon...

Twice a month, I compile a table recent dividend increases for stocks in my watch list. My main motivation is to keep track of dividend increases for stocks I own in DivGro, in order to make yield on cost adjustments. For other stocks, monitoring dividend increases is a way to track the long-term health of dividend paying companies.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Recent Buy: APU

Mar 14, 2014: Bought 120 units of APU at $42.27 per unit.

AmeriGas Partners, L.P. (APU) is a publicly traded master limited partnership (MLP) and the largest U.S. retail propane distributor. It conducts business through its principal operating subsidiary AmeriGas Propane, L.P. Revenues come from five retail markets: residential, commercial/industrial, motor fuel, transport, and agriculture. APU also earns income from wholesale customers.

require a premium yield of at least 6.75% when purchasing units in MLPs and limited liability companies (LLCs). The reason is that ownership requires special treatment at tax time, which I'm only prepared to do if I can earn a great yield. APU certainly offers a great yield – my starting yield on cost is an impressive 7.95%!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bonus Deposit, March 2014

On Friday, March 14, I deposited $5,000 cash into my DivGro portfolio. This bonus deposit is in addition to my regularly scheduled deposits of $2,500 per month. As I did on a previous occasion, I transferred this money from one of my other portfolios.

The main reason for this bonus deposit was to boost available cash in DivGro, particularly so I could buy units in a master limited partnership (MLP). I prefer to allocate about $5,000 when buying units in MLPs, which is double the amount I usually spend on regular stock purchases. I'll report on the MLP purchase in my next post.

Recent Sell: SJR

Mar 14, 2014: Sold 105 shares of SJR at $23.20 per share.

Today I sold all shares of Shaw Communications Inc (SJR), the first time I've sold shares since I started DivGro. I have several criteria for selling shares, none of which applied to SJR. So, why then, did I sell SJR?

SJR is a monthly dividend payer with an 11-year streak of dividend increases. When I bought SJR in December last year, starting yield on cost was 4.3%. It has a solid 5-yr dividend growth of 12.24%.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

10 Dividend Growth Stocks for March, 2014

This year, one of my goals is to increase the number of holdings in DivGro to 36, balanced across all 10 sectors in my watch list. To facilitate this change, I've changed the way I look for candidate stocks. I now look for the top performers by sector based on certain selection criteria.

I start with Dave Fish's CCC list and apply a series of filters to reduce the number of candidates to 30 stocks, 3 per sector. Then I score these stocks based on my selection criteria, assigning a star rating to each candidate out of a maximum of 7 stars.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Monthly Review: February 2014

This month was an exciting one for DivGro! I had a (surprisingly) popular post that received many more page views and comments than normal, propelling the total page views of this blog above the 30,000 mark. My blog is still young, but I sense some acceleration happening now!

In February, I reworked the Performance page to show an overview of DivGro's holdings and performance in a visually pleasing way. I wrote about the inspiration for the radial charts I created – a logo my dad designed many years ago for a real estate agency. This week, my brother took a photo of a billboard containing the logo. It is great to see the business is still operational, after 38 years!

Dividend Increases, February 16-28, 2014

With February behind us, I'd like to report on dividend increases announced for stocks in my watch list the past two weeks.

My mid-month post on dividend increases reported no less than 27 increases, ten of which were above 7%! In the present low-interest environment, this is a remarkable accomplishment and one of the main reasons why I find dividend growth investing so fascinating. The fact that I don't own a single share of any of the ten biggest increasers in DivGro is a matter that needs some attention...

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