Apr 2018 Update

The month was relatively crazy with geopolitics driving the highs and domestic lunacy driving the lows.  In between were relatively strong earnings and interest rates inching higher driving the question of the bull market sustainability.  Personally, I’m not overly concerned yet but Marco Rubio‘s “implication that Republicans have found no good answer to the problems Mr Trump described is irrefutable.” may be an omen of things to come.   Meanwhile, I took advantage of some dips and stayed the course.  April saw the S&P rise 0.27% and my portfolio outperformed the index by registering a rise of 0.65%! YTD I still lag the S&P by 0.43%.

Portfolio Updates:

  • Added to CLX (prior to ex-div – an attempt to increase it to target weight)
  • Lost DST (merger completed for cash, proceeds reinvested into:)
  • Added to IBM (down after earnings)
  • Added to SRC (preparation for spin)
  • Added to BKSC (preparation for 10% stock dividend)

So I ended the month with one less holding.

DIVIDENDS

This is where my main focus resides.  Market gyrations are to be expected but my goal is to see a rising flow of dividends on an annual basis.  I’m placing less emphasis on the quarterly numbers as the number of semi-annual, interim/final and annual cycles have been steadily increasing in my portfolio.

  • April delivered an increase of 23.47% Y/Y fueled by dividend increases and purchases.  Of note: this month saw my first Swiss and Swedish dividends.
  • April delivered a 12.87% increase over last quarter (January).
  • Dividend increases averaged 11.87% with 48.8% of the portfolio delivering at least one increase (including 1 cut (GE) and 1 suspension (DST-M&A).
  • 2018 Dividends received were 40.2% of 2017 total dividends putting us on pace to exceed last year in early November.

Spinoffs:

Spirit Realty Capital (SRC) – scheduled for May 31, ex-dividend May 18, 1 sh SMTA for each 10 sh SRC.

Mergers:

Apr 16 – DST merger completed into SS&C for $84 cash per share.

Jan 31 – XRX announced a merger with Fujifilm for stock and $9.80 in cash.  This is currently in jeopardy.

A few others are rumored to be in play including Humana and Shire.

Summary

Despite the uncertain times, a good month.  Like Well Rounded Investors has enjoyed, a daily buying opportunity (until Friday) to start the month.  I trialed another free-trade platform that I will share in next week’s post.

Hope all of you had a good month as well.

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7 thoughts on “Apr 2018 Update

  1. You’re hanging in there well against the Index Charlie! Certainly better than I’m faring so far against my buddy Indexing Ian…

    IBM sounds like an interesting one – very solid dividend yield, but looks like Buffett has given up completely on the stock in favour of Apple. You think it has turnaround potential, or are you in it for the dividend?

    Cheers, Frankie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Frankie! I think our styles – while similar – are different in that my foundation is built on (primarily) Aristocrats and yours is aligned more to potential. A part of this is probably the lack of ASX dividend streaks (due to the nature many of your companies to pay dividends as a percent of earnings resulting in cuts during an off year). The ‘Frankie style’ is more of long-term view whereas Ian’s is more the ‘here-and-now’.

      Now it’s the rare day I disagree with Buffett but this is one. In interviews, he identifies with the ‘consumer facing’ nature of Apple. While true, a company can live (and die) by this metric. The core value (my opinion) is the ecosystem (music, fitness, payments, etc.). IBM is rebuilding their ecosystem as well around Watson (though experiencing fits and starts). I suspect theirs will be Cloud, Blockchain and Watson apps geared for businesses. All while receiving ongoing fees from their legacy lines. So Apple is a larger holding for me (and will continue to be so), but I have a much better cost basis than Buffett on both.

      Like

  2. I could be wrong, but yeah. It’s taking a little longer to take hold but assuming their ‘new’ services business continues to accelerate I think they’ll be fine. Plus a good dividend while I wait (and they remain less than the 1% threshold). Also since DST was technology, I wanted to pretty much maintain that sector allocation.

    Since you posed the question on Young Dividend’s site, next weeks’ post on a free trade platform may be of interest. Thanks for the visit!

    Like

  3. Welcome to this eclectic corner of the blog world, Mr. Robot! IBM is one of my ‘other’ category holdings which means it contributes less than 1% of my dividend tally. Couldn’t pass on the sale price post-earnings particularly as some of the analysis I see is a little lacking (non-cash impact on earnings due to the tax code revisions) and the debt ratio (gross including global finance vs. net).

    But as I stated above, I could always be wrong 🙂 Thanks for the compliment!

    Liked by 1 person

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