Saturday, December 31, 2016

Some Recent Sells

This last day of 2016, I'm posting another catch-up article – this time to report a few sells executed in December. Only one of the sells involved closing out a position. With the other three sells, I'm getting rid of shares held in my FolioInvesting brokerage account, but not the corresponding shares held in my Scottrade account.

Recall that my DivGro portfolio is distributed across several brokerage accounts. As far as possible, I try not to have the same stock in multiple accounts. I prefer simplicity, and splitting a position across multiple accounts adds unnecessary admin. When I consolidated all my brokerage accounts into the DivGro's fold, some duplicate positions came along for the ride.

Another reason I want to "clean things up" is to cater for options trading – specifically covered calls – which requires 100 shares for every options contract. Split positions across multiple accounts do not qualify for covered call trades. I'll be using the cash from these sells to round out more of my positions to 100 shares or multiples of 100 shares.

Following are details of four sell trades executed on 23 December.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Some Recent Buys (Part 3)

Today I'm completing a 3-part series of articles on my December buys. For various reasons, I couldn't report on these trades earlier. All the buys are additions to existing positions rather than new positions. Part 1 detailed four buys and Part 2 detailed three additional buys.

This article presents my final buys in 2016, all executed earlier this week. Tomorrow, I'll post my last article for 2016 detailing a few sell transactions.

I've been consolidating DivGro and preparing for options trading, closing several positions and using the cash to round out remaining positions to 100 shares (or multiples of 100 shares). With a solid foundation of dividend growth stocks, I can boost dividend income by selling covered calls on the stocks I own.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Some Recent Buys (Part 2)

Yesterday I posted Part 1 of several December buys that have gone unreported so far. The buys are all additions to existing positions rather than new positions.

For several months now, I've consolidated my DivGro portfolio with the goal of preparing for options trading. To do so, I closed several positions and used the cash to round out remaining positions to 100 shares (or multiples of 100 shares) for covered call trading.

I'm also moving much of my portfolio to Interactive Brokers because of the company's competitive commissions, especially for options trading. This process will take some time to complete and I'll probably have a short period in which no trading would be possible.

Anticipating a short trading hiatus, I've completed several buys and sells (not yet reported) this month. Following are summaries of three buys I executed on December 7th and 9th:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Some Recent Buys (Part 1)

I have yet to report my buys for December. In addition to spending some 30 hours traveling back from South Africa, I've been quite busy doing the research for and writing my recent Seeking Alpha article Top Holdings of Dividend ETFs. I'm happy to say the article is generating a lot of interest and is keeping me quite busy replying to comments.

Several buys have gone unreported and the goal of my next three articles is to detail them. All the buys are additions to existing positions. In some cases, I immediately sold call options on the underlying shares but I'll defer reporting those trades to my next options update article.

Following are summaries of four buys I executed on December 5th and 6th.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Options Update: December 2016

In June this year I started trading options in DivGro. The idea is to use to boost dividend income with options income, in effect leveraging the ownership of a substantial portfolio of dividend growth stocks. While my focus will remain on dividend growth investing, options trading provides an interesting and potentially lucrative sideline activity.

Every month, I compile an update of all options activity shortly after options expiration Friday. Doing so allows me to report any options that expired or got assigned. I also report new options trades and provide a running tally of options income to date.

Soon I'll write about my goals for 2017, which will include a new goal related to options trading.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Goals for 2017

The year 2016 is almost over, so it is time to set new goals for 2017!

I believe in setting stretching yet achievable goals. It is not useful to entertain goals that are impossible to achieve. On the other hand, setting goals that are easy to achieve will not require special effort and will not leave you with a special sense of accomplishment.

Stretching goals demand extra effort and focus. They require commitment, patience, and constant monitoring. Sometimes, when progress is not sufficient, they require a course correction.

In this article, I'll do a quick review of my 2016 goals and present my goals for 2017.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

12 Dividend Increases: December 12-23, 2016

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list helps me identify candidates for further analysis.
  • In the past few weeks, 12 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases, including 2 of the stocks I own.

Friday, December 23, 2016

DivGro Pulse: December 2016

The goal of my monthly pulse articles is to monitor the health of DivGro, my portfolio of dividend growth stocks. I provide various charts to visualize recent performance. I also provide updated fair value estimates and compare those estimates to current market prices. My goal is to help inform investment decisions.

These articles are strategy focused. I consider undervalued stocks to see if they are suitable for further investment. Underperforming stocks, on the other hand, could be candidates for the chopping block. Additionally, I may analyze a handful of stocks not yet in my portfolio to see if any of those pique my interest.

Last month, I identified three positions I wanted to close. I closed two of these positions at the end of November. The third, PennantPark Investment (PNNT), will remain in DivGro until the end of December or possibly into January 2017.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Recent Sell: Union Pacific Corporation


Founded in 1862 and based in Omaha, Nebraska, Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) operates the largest public railroad in North America, with 32,000 miles of track linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States. UNP hauls coal, industrial products, intermodal containers, agricultural goods, chemicals, and automotive products.

I bought shares of UNP on several occasions starting in February 2014. Most recently, I bought 44 shares to round out my position to 100 shares.

On 26 September 2016, I sold one contract of option UNP Dec 16 2016 97.50 C for $2.18 per share, collecting $210.30 in options premium income after commissions.

Last Friday, the option was exercised and I sold my shares for $97.50 per share.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Top Holdings Of Dividend ETFs

In my first exclusive article for Seeking Alpha, I presented the Blogger's Portfolio, an imaginary portfolio compiled by aggregating the public portfolios of dividend growth investment (DGI) bloggers. At the time, McDonald's Corporation (MCD), The Coca-Cola Company (KO) and AT&T Inc (T) topped the list of most popular dividend growth stocks held by DGI bloggers with public portfolios.

I repeated the exercise last year, creating the 2015 edition of the Blogger's Portfolio with data from 43 public portfolios listed on my blogroll. The most popular stock, held by no fewer than 36 out of 43 portfolios, was Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). AT&T and Coca-Cola swapped places, while McDonald's dropped to seventh place.

Soon I'll present the 2016 edition of the Blogger's Portfolio.

With this article, I'm presenting a similar analysis using a different data source – the top 25 holdings of dividend ETFs (exchange-traded funds). The analysis produced a ranked list of the 45 top dividend growth stocks held in dividend ETFs.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Recent Sell: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, the company provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through approximately 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet, and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries.

I bought shares of WFC in June 2016 and locked in a yield on cost (YoC) of 3.27%. After my purchase, the stock price steadily climbed until news broke about the accounts scandal in which bank employees opened accounts without customer's authorization. The stock price dropped more than 12%, then recovered nicely along with the market after Trump's election victory.

Now that WFC is trading well above my entry price, I've decided to close my position.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

10 Dividend Increases: December 5-9, 2016

Includes: AREAXSBMYCHRWDEIERIEGGGMAATHGVTR

Summary

  • Companies can only raise their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch is one way to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • Recently, 10 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Monthly Review: November 2016

I'm writing this monthly review at my parent's home in South Africa. Three weeks ago, my father underwent quintuple bypass surgery. While he is still weak, he is recovering slowly but steadily. We're all grateful to be on this side of the operation... it was quite stressful, especially for my 80-year old mother.

In between helping my parents, I've had ample time to tinker with DivGro and to continue writing articles. One Seeking Alpha article, 10 Dividend Growth Stocks For November 2016, has received more than 10,000 page views, the first time I've reached that milestone! Meanwhile, my new options update and pulse article series are generating lots of interest.

This month, I closed two of my DivGro positions and added shares to another position. Along with three dividend increases, the net result is that DivGro's projected annual dividend income (PADI) increased by about $216 to $11,505. I'm quite close to achieving my 2016 goal of increasing PADI to $12,000, but it will be touch-and-go!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

10 Dividend Growth Stocks For December 2016

Includes: ABCACNBENCVSGWWHRLLOWQCOMTGTVFC


Summary

  • Every month, I rank a selection of the CCC dividend growth stocks and present the top 10 ranked stocks as candidates for further research.
  • To introduce variation, I use different screens to trim the list of more than 750 stocks.
  • I rank these candidates and assign a 7-star rating to each stock. Stocks with 5 stars or better are worthy of further analysis.
  • This article reveals the top 10 ranked stocks for December, as well as their ratings.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

9 Dividend Increases: November 28-December 2, 2016

Includes: CORDFTDISMKCNUEPFGSLGUHTWEC

Summary

  • Companies that regularly raise their dividend payments show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • I monitor dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • This past week, 9 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends, including 1 of the stocks I own.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Closing Two Positions

In my latest DivGro Pulse article, I reiterated my plans to sell three stocks. Today I'm reporting on selling two of these stocks. The third, PennantPark Investment (PNNT), will remain in my DivGro portfolio until the end of December and possibly into January 2017. I first want to collect PNNT's last 28¢ quarterly distribution. The company cut its distribution by 29% last week.

This year, I've repositioned DivGro for options trading. While my focus will remain on generating a reliable and growing dividend stream, I want to leverage my stock ownership and boost dividend income with options income.

Repositioning involved closing several positions and buying more shares of existing positions, rounding out the number of shares to 100 or multiples of 100 shares. As a result, I've reduced the number of positions in DivGro from a high of 66 at the end of June, to 51 at the end of October.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Options Update: November 2016

The main goal of DivGro is to generate a reliable and growing dividend income stream. I'm fully committed to investing in quality, undervalued dividend growth stocks.

This year, I've added an interesting sideline activity to DivGro, namely using options to boost dividend income. By selling calls against stocks I own or selling puts on stocks I'd like to own, I can collect options income and so boost DivGro's dividend income.

I compile my monthly options update articles shortly after options expiration Friday. That way, I can report on options that expired and those that got exercised. Usually, these articles will also report new options trades and provide a running tally of options income to date.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

7 Dividend Increases: November 21-25, 2016

Includes: AYRBDXHRLLANCMRKROPYORW

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • I like monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks because I consider such stocks to be candidates for further analysis.
  • In the past week, 7 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

DivGro Pulse: November 2016

This is the third edition of my new monthly article series in which I'm monitoring the health of DivGro, my portfolio of dividend growth stocks.

These pulse articles are strategy focused. I provide updated fair value estimates and compare them to current market prices. Undervalued stocks are candidates for further investment. I rate stocks on a 7-star scale and consider 6-star or 7-star stocks to be quality dividend growth stocks.

I also provide various charts to visualize recent performance. If a stock performs poorly, it could be a sign of some underlying problem. Hopefully, these charts will help identify potential problems and inform my investment decisions.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

11 Dividend Increases: November 14-18, 2016

Includes: AELAIZCOLMEPRMDUNKERGLDSBUXSYYUNPVAL


Summary

  • Companies can only increase their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • This past week, 11 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends, including 2 of the stocks I own.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monthly Review: October 2016

I'm rather late with my monthly review post. Some heavy options trading activity last month resulted in two fairly lengthy options update posts, which spilled over into the first week of the month when I usually prepare my monthly reviews.

This month, I closed one of my DivGro positions, Caterpillar, Inc (CAT). I'm concerned about CAT's near-term future and the sustainability of its dividend. I also trimmed my Cisco Systems, Inc (CSCO) after a covered call option was exercised. I used the cash to add shares to an existing DivGro holding, Pfizer Inc (PFE).

The net result of my October trades is that DivGro's projected annual dividend income (PADI) decreased by about $49. I'm still on schedule to achieve my goal of increasing PADI to $12,000 before year's end.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

10 Dividend Growth Stocks For November 2016

Includes: ADMCMIIBMLMTPEPQCOMTGTTROWTXNVFC

Summary

  • I rank a selection of David Fish's CCC dividend growth stocks every month. The top 10 ranked stocks are great candidates for further analysis. 
  • I use different screens every month to trim the list of more than 750 stocks to a more manageable number of candidates.
  • I rank these candidates and assign a 7-star rating to each stock. Stocks with 5 stars or better are worthy of further analysis.
  • This article reveals the top 10 ranked stocks for November, as well as their ratings.

Monday, November 14, 2016

9 Dividend Increases: November 7-11, 2016

Includes: ABCADPATOBPLCOREHPQMCHPSIXUVV

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • Recently, 9 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends.

Friday, November 11, 2016

19 Dividend Increases: October 31-November 6, 2016

Includes: AWRBGSDTEEMCIEMRFUNGGPGXPIRMKLACLNCMCYMHLDROKSESEPTNCVVCWRK

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch is one way to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • Recently, 19 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Options Update: October 2016 (Part 2)

In Part 1 of my October Update of my October options update, I covered new covered calls and cash-secured puts and provided a running tally of my options income to date. I reported ten new options trades, four covered calls, and six cash-secured puts. In all, I have executed 23 options trades of which 16 remain open. 

In Part 2, I'll discuss assignments and present expired and open positions. One assignment added new shares to my DivGro portfolio and a few covered calls expired, so I have several uncovered positions to consider. These positions offer opportunities to generate more options income.

As I mentioned in Part 1, I consider myself a beginner options trader with lots yet to learn. If you're an experienced options trader and see anything I do that looks suspicious, please let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Options Update: October 2016 (Part 1)

Time again for an options update!

I usually write these articles shortly after options expiration Friday, but I decided to delay this one by a week because I sold a weekly option that expired last Friday. I wanted to include details on that trade in this month's update. I won't be trading weekly options again in the foreseeable future. Weekly options have lower volume and strike prices have wider spreads.

Last month I added nine new options trades. This month I'm reporting ten new options trades, as well as two expirations, a partial exercise, and an assignment. As usual, I'll give an update of all open trades and a running tally of my options income to date.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

18 Dividend Increases: October 24-28, 2016

Includes: ABBVAEPAFLCVXEQMEVRHONHUBBISBCKIMMSEXMSMPSASASRSXLTMPTXNUBSH

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • In the past week, 18 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases, including 2 of the stocks I own.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Recent Sell: Caterpillar Inc


Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:CAT) was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Peoria, IL. CAT manufactures construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. It provides technology for construction, transportation, mining, forestry, energy, logistics, electronics, financing and electric power generation.

I bought shares of CAT on two occasions, in August 2013 and in February 2015. After my initial purchase, the stock shot up nicely but in summer of 2014 things turned around. CAT slid all the way down to about $58 before turning around and launching somewhat of a recovery.

This short article explains why I closed my CAT position.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

One More Home Run!

Almost two years ago, I wrote about the San Francisco Giants beating the Kansas City Royals in game 7 of the World Series, the annual championship series of Major League Baseball in North America. Of the 57 runs scored in that series, only two were home runs.

I don't think we'll see only two home runs between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians this year! In Game 1 of the 2016 World Series, catcher Roberto Perez hit two home runs to back up a shut-out performance by starting pitcher Corey Kluber and reliever Andrew Miller. The Indians won 6-0.

In case you're wondering what baseball has got to do with dividend growth investing, I use the term home run to describe any position in my portfolio that has crossed the 100% mark in total returns.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

15 Dividend Increases: October 17-21, 2016

Includes: ACNATRAVXCTASHBANHEPIDALECOMMPPAGSCLSSBSXTTLPWES

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • I like monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks because I consider such stocks to be candidates for further analysis.
  • This week, 15 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

DIY Investing With Simply Investing

A few weeks ago I started corresponding with Kanwal Sarai of Simply Investing. With more than 17 years of dividend investing experience, Kanwal has a wealth of knowledge to share. He does so through regular blog posts, a self-paced online investing course, live seminars, and a monthly subscription-based report, called the Simply Investing Report.

In this article, I'll be reviewing the Simply Investing Report. Kanwal provided two monthly issues for me to review. I'll briefly describe the report contents and how Kanwal suggests using the report. As part of the subscription, subscribers get access to a spreadsheet containing data of stocks covered in the report. I used this data to compare Kanwal's valuations with my own. I find the comparison fascinating!

Kanwal has graciously offered a one-year subscription to one reader of this review! If you're interested in a free subscription, be sure to read the review for details on how to qualify!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

DivGro Pulse: October 2016

Last month I started a new monthly article series in which I'll be monitoring the health of DivGro, my portfolio of dividend growth stocks. These pulse articles will be strategy focused. I'll provide updated fair value estimates and compare those estimates to current market prices. I'll also provide various charts to visualize recent performance. My goal is to help inform investment decisions.

In contrast, my monthly review articles present a summary of the past month's activities along with a snapshot of DivGro's current state, including metrics such as projected annual dividend income (PADI), average yield on cost (YoC), percentage payback and projected annual yield.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

7 Dividend Increases: October 10-14, 2016

 Includes: BROEVHCSGIPOHIPOLTHO


Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase their dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • I monitor dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • In the past week, 7 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases, including 1 of the stocks I own.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Quarterly Review, Q3-2016

Quarterly reports summarize the actions I've taken during the preceding quarter. I provide a summary of dividend income, dividend adjustments, and portfolio performance. I also create charts to review the performance of individual stocks. If stocks start to perform poorly, I want to be aware of that so I can decide if any actions are warranted.

In the third quarter of 2016, I worked hard to prepare DivGro for options trading. I closed several positions to raise cash so I could round out the number of shares of other positions to 100 shares or multiples of 100 shares. This process will continue into the fourth quarter, and I'm hoping to complete this preparation by year's end.

Meanwhile, I've executed several options trades this quarter. While I'm reporting the total options income received in this article, most of those options are still open. This means that I have not yet secured the options income. In my monthly options update articles, I keep a running tally of the total amount received in options income, as well as the total secured so far. See my September 2016 update for the latest tally.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

9 Dividend Increases: October 3-7, 2016

Includes: AFGEPDGELINTUIRLTCNWNOZRKRPM 


Summary

  • Companies can only raise their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • In the past week, nine companies on my watch list announced dividend increases.

Monday, October 10, 2016

10 Dividend Growth Stocks For October 2016

Includes: ADMADPCAHCSCOPIIQCOMRHITROWVFCWMT


Summary

  • Every month, I rank a selection of the CCC stocks, an invaluable source for dividend growth investors compiled by David Fish.
  • I use different screens to trim the list of more than 750 stocks to a more manageable number of stocks. Using different screens introduces some variation.  
  • I rank the remaining stocks using a multi-stage dividend discount model and fundamental analysis, and assign a 7-star rating to the top 10 ranked stocks.
  • This article reveals the top 10 ranked stocks for October along with their ratings. These stocks are great candidates for further analysis.

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