January 2020 Update

What a way to start the new year.  Beginning with the reshuffling of my portfolio and continuing right into earnings season and the inevitable debate over the Coronavirus impact on the economy … all I can say is yep it’s a lot to digest – and it’s only January.  With the gyrations in the market, all but two of my low-ball limit orders executed, probably the most controversial being MTR Corporation – the Hong Kong high speed rail line recently at the forefront of the protests. Anyway, I added two Canadian companies (Fortis and TMX Group – (Toronto stock exchange)) and starting the long rumored whittling of some of the non-core holdings (XRX and MSGN).  Most of the other action was moving Canadian companies from my taxable accounts to the IRA – some of which were done as a rebalance to minimize fees (hence the slight additions to the other holdings). Also selling part of the PB stock (which went overweight due to a merger) to fund these movements. As I indicated last week, this is the first of a multi-month transition. Obviously my timing was decent (this time, anyway) as the S&P lost 0.16% for the month while my portfolio gained 1.81%.

PORTFOLIO UPDATES

DIVIDENDS

My primary focus resides on dividends with the goal being a rising flow on an annual basis.

  • January delivered an increase of 22.73% Y/Y primarily the result of last years’ dividend cuts rolling off.
  • Dividend increases averaged 11.48% with 8.5% of the portfolio delivering an increase.
  • 2020 Dividends received were 1.86% of 2019 total dividends putting me on target to exceed last year’s total in November. The YTD run rate is under my 110.0% goal but I anticipate this will normalize as my portfolio movement becomes clearer and the current year begins to distinguish itself from the last. 

Note: I updated my Goals page to provide a visual of these numbers.  Based on Mr All Things Money’s instruction set with a conversion to percentages.  My code only updates when the monthly Y/Y number is exceeded.  Otherwise, the prior year actual is used.

AT A GLANCE

Inspired by Simple Dividend Growths reporting

The relationship between market action and purchase activity was roughly 95/5.  As I’m generally playing with ‘house money’ (proceeds from sales, M&A activity and dividends), I doubt there will be a significant variance until I fund my 2019 IRA contribution.  The Net Purchase Expense being less than 1 or 2% illustrates the ‘house money’ concept. Timing did play a part as I sold early in the month (before the drop) and most of the purchases were in the latter part of the month. 

SPINOFFs

On Oct 4, 2018 MSG filed a confidential Form 10 to spin the sports business which remains in progress.

MERGERS

Spirit MTA REIT (SMTA) voted on Sept. 4th to approve the sale of most assets to HPT for cash. A second vote was held to liquidate the REIT. The first payment was received and awaiting final settlement payout. Fully expecting a profitable outcome for one of my most speculative positions.

SCHW to acquire AMTD for 1.0837 sh SCHW to 1 AMTD.  My only surprise with AMTD being taken out was the suitor – I had expected TD.  Regardless, I have three concerns over this deal, 1) profit margin compression with the onset of $0 fee trades, 2) possible liquidation of a partial TD stake to reduce their ownership share from 13.4% to 9.9% (the same issue Buffet regularly faces) and 3) 10 year phase-out of AMTD/TD cash sweep account relationship.  The third one means TD has a low cost (albeit, decreasing) source of deposits for the foreseeable future. After the first of the year, I’ll probably cash in AMTD and increase TD a little further.  

SUMMARY

Overall, the only complaint is the sluggish start to the year. Minus the drag from last years’ dividend cuts I figure this will be short lived.  On my goals, progress was made as follows:

  • Scenario 1 – TD is now confirmed
  • Scenario 2 – Half complete, awaiting timing issues for the sell part
  • Scenario 3 – Determination of maximum contribution amount complete
  • Scenario 4 – 2020 RMD amounts identified

Here’s hoping your month was successful!

Nov 2016 Update

November was a wild month with a downward trend leading into the US elections and what is being referred to as the ‘Trump Rally’ following the widely unexpected result.  All major indexes achieved record highs on November 21st.  Fortunately I was able to redeploy the majority of the merger funds prior to the election.  This month The S&P gained 3.42%.  My portfolio recorded a gain of 11.49% (no normalization) largely reflecting my overweight position in the Financial sector.  This increases my lead over the S&P for the year to 17.74% with one month to go.

Headlines impacting my portfolio:

  • 11/2 – EPR acquires CLLY properties in liquidation
  • 11/8 – XRX spin (CNDT) set for 12/31/16, ratio 1:5
  • 11/14 – Maine is final approval for the BHB/LSBG merger.  Closing expected Jan 2017.
  • 11/15 – BMO designated as Canadian clearing firm for renminbi trades
  • 11/16 – AMC gets EU approval to for Odeon & UCI merger

Blog Updates:

I chose not to do an October portfolio update due to all the activity which distorted the results a little, especially the XIRR column.  The November data has been compiled and should be posted in the next couple of days with the goals update later in the week.  The Unabridged portfolio should be next week as per normal.

Portfolio Updates:

  • Added to DIS
  • Added to UL
  • Added to PEP
  • Added to TD
  • Added to KMB
  • Added to NJR
  • New position – IRM
  • Added to TRP
  • Added to KOF
  • Added to CCE
  • Added to FLIC (they chose to round up fractionals on a split)

Dividends:

  • November delivered an increase of 29.1% over November 2015.  This was due about evenly between dividend increases (Y/Y) and late 2015 funding.
  • November had a 2.1% increase over the prior quarter.
  • Announced dividend increases currently average 12.5% with 71.81% of my portfolio having at least one raise so far this year.
  • Through November, dividends received exceeded total 2015 dividends by 13.8%.

Spinoffs:

The XRX spin (Conduent – CNDT) is on track to complete 12/31/2016.

Mergers:

LSBG/BHB expected to close in January 2017.

Prepping for ’17

In my inbox I found a message inspired (?) by my last post.  In a nutshell, it was a request for further insight into my October purchases.  I have to admit that, on the surface, the appearance is that I was throwing stuff against the wall to see what would stick.  I would like to think I’m slightly more calculating.  To set the scenario, I had an oversized cash position due to a merger, the markets had started their pre-election downward drift and the FBI just breathed new life into Candidate Trump’s aspirations.

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Rolling Unabridged Monthly Portfolio

It seems that at times I seem to be a little late to the party. In late 2013, I stumbled across investment blogs and the DGI community in particular. With a knowledge of databases, I began to enter blogs I encountered into a table followed shortly thereafter by their holdings in another table. Obviously Ferdi (DivGro) had a similar thought as in February 2014 he presented the initial Blogger’s Portfolio. Initially 31 stocks within 20 portfolios, it was subsequently expanded to its’ current form of 60 companies within 43 portfolios.

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Recent Buy – SJI

A little late, but finally received notification of my purchase on February 29th.  This was purchased through the company sponsored DRIP as they currently offer a discounted price on reinvested dividends.  I debated last month when I purchased NJR so I figured a decision that difficult probably ought to be both.  SJI is a gas utility serving southern New Jersey.  A dividend contender, they are undergoing the permitting process for two natural gas pipelines – one a direct access to an electric company and the other a 20% stake in the PennEast pipeline.  Until approved, I would consider them a slightly higher risk than NJR.  New Jersey, as is most of New England, is currently highly dependent on heating oil which is why I consider their pipeline exposure a decent asset.

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Recent Buy – NJR

I was looking for a utility to replace PNY when it gets sold via its merger with DUK.  I was leaning towards one out west but some questions were raised regarding the regulatory climate that I need to investigate further.  So meanwhile, I opened a position for NJR in my Wells Fargo DRIP account.

Generally I don’t DRIP much anymore, but this is one holding that provides a discount to market at NJR’s discretion.  So a decent company with the possibility of 2-5% discounts on reinvested dividends makes this one a buy now and one I’ll likely add to once PNY’s merger is complete.

njr

Ticker: NJR

Acquired: 1/15/2016

Cost basis: $33.295

Current Portfolio Status: Hold

Dividend Reinvestment: Y

Dividends paid quarterly in Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct

Shares held on account at Wells Fargo

New Jersey Resources Corporation, an energy services holding company, provides regulated gas distribution, and retail and wholesale energy services. The company operates through Natural Gas Distribution, Energy Services, Clean Energy Ventures, Midstream, and Home Services and Other segments. The Natural Gas Distribution segment offers regulated retail natural gas services to approximately 512,300 residential and commercial customers in central and northern New Jersey; provides storage management services; and participates in the off-system sales and capacity release markets. The Energy Services segment provides unregulated wholesale energy management services to other energy companies and natural gas producers, as well as maintains and transacts a portfolio of physical assets consisting of natural gas storage and transportation contracts in the United States and Canada. The Clean Energy Ventures segment invests in, owns, and operates distributed power projects, including commercial and residential solar projects located in New Jersey; and onshore wind projects in Montana, Iowa, and Kansas. The Midstream segment invests in natural gas transportation and storage facilities. The Home Services and Other segment offers heating, ventilation, and cooling services; holds and develops commercial real estate properties; and provides solar equipment installation, and plumbing repair and installation services. This segment is also involved in water appliance sales, installation, and servicing activities. The company was founded in 1922 and is based in Wall, New Jersey.