Oct 2016 Update

October was basically a quiet month with OPEC failing – once again – to shore up their hold on the oil markets.  Chevron announced a small increase in their dividend maintaining their status as a Champion.  Several small positions were added at month end as the market began a pullback (continuing into November) enabling me to start redeploying funds received from PNY’s merger with DUK.  This month The S&P dropped 1.94%.  My portfolio was basically flat, ending down 0.1%.  Note: I normalized these numbers to consider the impact of cash infusion from the merger.  My ‘pure’ equity positions decreased by 4.15%.  The need for this normalization should end as my excess cash is used.  This increases my lead for the year to 11.5% with two months to go.

Headlines impacting my portfolio:

  • 10/3 – JNS to merge w/ Henderson
  • 10/11 – SRCE gains FRB approval for Sarasota, FL branch
  • 10/19 – C finalist to be designated as clearing firm for Renminbi trades

Blog Updates:

I’m a little behind again this month but the portfolio data has been compiled and will 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:

  • Closed PNY due to merger
  • Added to BMO
  • Added to CVLY prior to ex-div for the stock dividend
  • Added to JNS (weakness on currency exposure)
  • New position – ABM
  • New position – AMT (Jan)
  • New position -BLL
  • New position -CASY
  • New position -CHCO
  • New position -KOF (Mex. peso exposure)
  • New position -COKE
  • New position -CCE (UK exposure)
  • New position -CSAL
  • New position -CTBI (Jan)
  • New position -CCI
  • New position -HUM (Jan)
  • New position -LAMR
  • New position -NWFL
  • New position -OCFC
  • New position -ONB
  • New position -OUT
  • New position -PLD
  • New position -QCOM
  • New position -DGX (Jan)
  • New position -SRC (Jan)
  • New position – SGBK (Cuba exosure)
  • New position – BATRA
  • New position – VALU
  • New position  – VER (Jan)
  • New position  – YUMC (YUM spin-off)

Dividends:

  • October delivered an increase of 28.9% over October 2015.  This was due about evenly between dividend increases (Y/Y) and late 2015 funding.
  • October was down 10.68% from the prior quarter due to special and semi-annual payments in July.
  • Announced dividend increases currently average 12.59% with 67.11% of my portfolio having at least one raise so far this year.
  • Through October, dividends received exceeded total 2015 dividends by 7.2%.

Roughly half of the PNY/DUK proceeds have been redeployed with an additional 3 orders pending for January payers.   I’ve filled some of the hole I’ll face in January, so I plan on maintaining a small cash position through the election before making further decisions.

Spinoffs:

The XRX spin (Conduent) is on track to complete by year end.  MetLife has filed for a spin of their Brighthouse Financial unit under the ticker BHF.

Mergers:

Proxies were received and voted for both the LSBG/BHB and AGU/POT mergers.

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The Most Wonderful Time

Alright, with apologies to Andy Williams maybe the second, but as we turn the corner and head into the final quarter it’s a good feeling to have exceeded the 2015 full year dividend payments with a bunch of 2016 left.  Last year, Wonderful Day was September 9th.  This year it was October 4th with Kimberly-Clark’s dividend.  The three week difference is a reflection of the growing portfolio.  A compression would be indicative of a fund withdrawal -a not too unusual event in the distribution phase.

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Sep 2016 Update

Last month saw the commencement of the Congressional take on the ‘bully pulpit’ with first Heather Bresch (Mylan (MYL)/EpiPen) then John Stumpf (WFC) called on the carpet.  One would think Heather would have been smart enough to avoid taking the same path blazed so brilliantly by Martin Shkreli (Turing/Valeant (VRX) fame).  Her show was overshadowed by the even greedier Wells Fargo with John either portrayed as ‘asleep at the wheel’ or a criminal mastermind.  Wouldn’t life be interesting if Congress actually did anything other than use hearings to frame media sound bites?  The S&P was basically flat for the month ending down 0.12%.  My portfolio was basically flat as well, ending up 0.04%.  This increases my lead for the year to 11.88% with one quarter left to go.

Headlines impacting my portfolio:

  • 9/1 – CHD 2:1 stock split
  • 9/2 – Ireland to appeal EU anti-AAPL tax ruling
  • 9/6 – ENB to acquire SE
  • 9/12 – AGU/POT reach merger agreement
  • 9/19 – REITs officially become their own sector
  • 9/26 – YUM spin set at 1:1 YUMC for 10/31
  • 9/29 – Supreme Court agrees to hear credit card surcharge case
  •           – PNY/DUK merger approved, closing set for 10/3

Blog Updates:

I’m a little behind this month but the portfolio data has been compiled and will 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:

  • FMBH replaced FCLF due to merger
  • Added to TOWN – this ‘makes whole’ this holding following my sale of MNRK prior to the merger.  (didn’t want to hold TOWN across two accounts)
  • Added to AROW prior to ex-div for the stock dividend (shares added Sept 29)
  • Added to SBUX

All were funded by dividends with no ‘new cash’ deployed.  New cash was deployed for the  annual funding of the trust I manage (skip generation).  The trust is excluded from my DGI portfolio and WFC is this year’s addition.  This is only the second time I’ve duplicated one of my holdings – the other being DIS.  The other trust holdings are GIS, HSY, PG, WMT, WGL, UNP, KHC and TXN.

Dividends:

  • September delivered an increase of 24.7% over September 2015.  This was due about evenly between dividend increases (Y/Y) and late 2015 funding.
  • September was up 4.4% from the prior quarter.
  • Announced dividend increases currently average 12.91% with 63.09% of my portfolio having at least one raise so far this year.
  • Through September, dividends received were equal to 95.7% of all 2015 dividends, keeping me on pace to exceed last year’s total -now estimated to be October 4th (as compared to 2015 being Sept. 9th).

With the cash from PNY/DUK, I’ll be looking to redeploy primarily into existing Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct payers within my portfolio with no new positions expected.  Losing PNY and the expected loss of LSBG (another merger) will leave about a 5.07% hole in my January dividend receipts unless I act now.

Spinoffs:

The YUM spin has been set for Oct 31st with YUMC to begin trading Nov 1st.  I don’t think the XRX spin date and ratio have been set.

 

 

Jul 2016 Update

Last month the sky was falling primarily on Brexit concerns.  Just a few short weeks later, the S&P and DOW are setting all time records.  Similarly you can choose a Cleveland view of the US economy (“it’s on the cusp of a recession”) or the Philadelphia view (“Tremendous progress has been achieved”).  Sadly reality probably sits squarely in between.  Meanwhile, I’m keeping an eye on Italian banks.  For good measure, the S&P outperformed my portfolio for the first time this year – 3.56% vs 3.0%.  For the year though, I’m ahead by 11.65%.  Headlines related to my portfolio this month include:

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Portfolio Weightings

When I researched my holdings and dividends for my quarterly review, I noticed something that required further analysis.  I put it aside while completing my taxes, but resolved to readdress it.  The issue is portfolio balance – or more specifically – being out of balance.  I noticed over the past few months that portions of my portfolio were sliding farther from their assigned allocations.  I currently rank my holdings by value (price * # shares).  I then weight by category.  The companies I’ve identified as Anchor positions would comprise a maximum 18% of the total value.  Frankly, none of these positions has yet attained the 6% threshold since I only added this category last year.  WEC (5.4%), CLX (4.6%) and KMB (3.8%) hold these slots and I haven’t been adding to them this year outside of dividend reinvestment due to valuation.  So my ‘heavy hitters’ aren’t out of balance.

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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.

 

My Goals for 2016

  1. Exceed the performance of the S&P 500

This has been one of my goals since 1980 and achieved 31 times.

  1. Re-establish portfolio balance per the strategy

This most likely a two year goal since my largest strides will have to take place following the completion of the PNY/DUK merger

  1. Minimize portfolio sales (ideally none)

Holdings are maintained separate from my published portfolio to supplement my income via a covered call strategy in an attempt to avoid unplanned sales. Dividend Growth Investor covers this nicely with a glaring exception: Major medical expenses.

  1. Complete the acquisition process with about 160 total stocks

Other than a handful of companies to fill a few gaps, I want to add a final round to my Regional Bank strategy

  1. Increase my Canadian holdings to 3-5% of the portfolio

No new holdings are expected, only additions to existing positions. I figure to add while the US dollar is strong with the expectation that – at some point – the situation will be reversed.

  1. Maintain my walking regimen

Weather permitting average 20 miles per week

  1. Improve blog functionality

There remain some sections that don’t work quite right

  1. Write 52 posts

We’ll find out just how much I have to say

  1. Reduce mortgage balance to 30% LTV
  2. Volunteer 50 community service hours

Motivated by Well Rounded Investor’s goals