The market came out of the chutes and barely looked back this month, the catalysts being the realization of the tax plan’s impact on corporate earnings and few earnings reports being significant disappointments. The lower tax rates started trickling into paychecks (average about 3.5%) but the average gas price nationwide increased by roughly 5% primarily due to the weakness in the US dollar (caused in part by the prospects of increased deficits from the tax plan that haven’t been offset by jobs, productivity or GDP gains yet). At least we can watch commercials touting unrealized benefits even though it is way too early for any tangible impact to be realized. Kind of makes me wonder a little. For the month, the S&P index increased by 5.62%% while my portfolio value increased by merely 3.81% putting me behind by 1.81% to start the year. Continue reading
May was generally quiet with the market trending generally higher. With few pullback opportunities, I barely deployed new dividends so my cash position increased again. At least the turmoil I experienced moving from Loyal3 subsided and I could resume a more moderate pace. An upcoming election in the UK may present a buying opportunity on weakness in the GBP versus the US dollar. The S&P ended the month up 1.16% while my portfolio recorded a gain of 1.37%. For the year (so far), I’m ahead of the index by 4.07%
Headlines impacting my portfolio (bold are owned):
- 5/1 – DRE sells medical office portfolio to HTA
- 5/1 – TIS suspends dividend
- 5/4 – FHN to acquire CBF
- 5/30 – JNS/HGG.L merger completed (becoming JHG)
- 5/31 – KEY acquires HelloWallet from MORN
- Initiated position in SGAPY
- Added to IVZ
- Added to PWCDF (proceeds from sale of TIS)
- Added to DST
- Added to PLD
- May delivered an increase of 51.44% over May 2016 with the vast majority of this attributable to foreign dividend cycles not held last year.
- May delivered an increase of 38.94% over last quarter (Feb) for the same reason.
- Declared dividend increases averaged 8.89% with 48.02% of my portfolio delivering at least one increase (2 cuts – XRX and YUM; 1 suspension – TIS)
- YTD dividends received were 47.11% of total 2016 dividends which if the current run rate is maintained would exceed last year’s total in early November.
Note: with 14.6% of current dividends paid by foreign sources, the weakening US dollar is providing a tailwind with exchange rates i.e., increasing my return.
The MET spin (Brighthouse Financial – BHF) remains in regulatory review.
Agrium/POT, SGBK/HOMB remain pending
Every now and again events are thrown our direction which necessitate a change. Being one who abhors change, I tend to procrastinate until the absolute last minute. I knew the drive in my laptop was on its’ last legs a year ago when I bought a new one. Last week it bit the dust. I did perform regular backups so data loss was minimal. What loss exists is not due to Wanna Cry but their evil twin, Micosoft (MSFT). Though I have an Office license, my use (legally) of an upgraded version resulted in the inability to perform a backward migration. It appears my best recourse is to purchase an upgrade. My frugal nature has an issue with this solution (being held hostage?). Meanwhile, seeing if Google fills the void. I did add a sheet to my Dividends spreadsheet (Div Dates) which – assuming I get the hang of conditional formatting – has the potential of automating my watch list.
I couldn’t let May get too far gone before making my first purchase. Singapore Telecom was purchased May 2nd at $26.47 (USD). This is an ADR with a 10:1 ratio, meaning each ADR share has 10 Singtel shares as its’ basis. Based in Singapore, its operations span the globe with significant operations Australia, Thailand, India, Africa, Philippines and Indonesia.