Showing posts from July, 2014

Windstream, My friend or foe?

I was sitting at my desk and got an alert on my phone.  The price of WIN jumped way up (52 week high of $13.30).  I was very curious as to why but since my time is not my own I had to wait until lunch to see what was going on.

Looks like Windstream (WIN) is going to attempt to spin of assets into a publicly traded REIT.  I have a 37% of my taxable portfolio allocated to WIN.  I used to work for the company so I understand the business.  However I purchased these stocks before I knew much about dividend investing and evaluating stocks.  I did a quick screen of stocks under $15 dollars that had the highest yield.  Never even looked at the P/E, dividend growth rate, or even knew what a dividend aristocrat was.  

That was about four years ago and not much has changed with the company.  Yes I collect a nice dividend every quarter but it hasn't moved and neither has the companies stock price.  Then along comes this year.  I can only guess this spin-off was a rumor or people were flocking …

The Cost of A Vacation for Six

All investing and no fun can lead to a happy me but a not so happy family.  I am the only one who actually doesn't mind managing the finances and money matters in my family.  The kids are slowly learning and my wife leaves it to me since I use my computer and online services.  Both systems work but my system allows me to get things done faster and produce reports I enjoy studying.

Here is the breakdown of our 7 night trip to the beach and a 2 day visit with my brother:


This was the largest expense.  We stayed at hotels during the trip there and while visiting my brother.  Luckily we have a relative that works at a major hotel chain and is able to pass a discount on to us.  The remainder of it which was the big chunk was the condo on the beach that we stayed at.  

I found it as one of the deals on  Overall the site was easy to use and compare different places.  Unfortunately I should have listened to the reviews.  We have stayed in condos and beach houses befor…

June 2014 Budget

I am back from vacation at the beach and was looking at my TODO list.  Last months I started using for my personal Kanban board (the list).  It helps me get things done and focus on important goals.  One of them is presenting my budget every month.  It is well into July so I better get my June budget up.

This month was another tough one.  Not many people know this but when I switched jobs to reduce my stress I took close to a 10% pay-cut.  This hurt allot so the year hasn't been going well.  The bulk of the money I earn goes into supporting my family of six.

Fixed Costs58% over target

On the bright side I spent $200 dollars less on food this month compared to May.  On the not so bright side I had to have some maintenance done to my wife's 2006 minivan so that offset any food savings. 

My utilities did jump up this month as well.  With summer in full swing and my phone bill finally kicking in that bumped it by almost $200 dollars.  At my previous job I had a company cel…

Analysis of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp - SNP

I do not have much of a format for analysis yet.  We will take a look at the 4 areas I rank each stock on and then have some discussion around the company. My goal is to take no more than an hour researching and writing this post to maximize my time with the family.  Over time I will have to come up with an approach that is repeatable to maximize this research time.  As always your feed back and tips will be welcome.

One of the things I do to reduce the number of stocks I have to rank in my screen is to solely use Dave Fish's U.S Dividend Champion's spreadsheet (USDC).    This thing rocks!  The Champions have raised dividends for 25 or more straight years.  The Contenders for a little less time but still pretty decent are at 10-24 years.  The last are the Challengers.  They have only been doing it for 5-9 straight years. He has all 3 combined on the All CCC worksheet.  I like to include all three as some of the younger dividenders (is that a word?) have some potential for growt…

Saving With Home Repairs

Hello readers.  This post doesn't have much to do with dividend investing but I wanted to share with you the things I do to save a buck (so that I can invest).  Houses are a money pit.  Things break in my house faster than I can fix them.  I will have the run the numbers someday but I am pretty sure I spend my on my house (not including the mortgage) than I do investing.

The Frugal ProjectToilet leaking
The Real Project (still frugal but not fun)Fix that and more and more.
Estimated Cost of a Contractor Fixing$300
My cost$40
Savings for investing$260

My half bath on my first floor had a funky smell to it.  I had replaced the failing wax ring when we painted the room about 3 years ago.  Since then the nuts holding the toilet had become loose over time and the toilet must have rocked just enough over the past years that it would leak every now and then.  Eventually I noticed some discoloration in the wood and a wet spot in my basement.  Once my man cave had water in it I immediately shut …

The Dividend Family Guy Stock Screen

Time is ShortAs a busy family man I have about an hour each night to get things done like this blog, paying bills and other things I choose not to do while my kids are awake.  While they are awake I try to spend as much time with them as possible.

I did not realize how much time it takes to write a good blog.  My writing skills are no where near what they should be.  I hope to improve upon that by sharing with you several times a month. I applaud all of the well written blogs I read.  Maybe it comes naturally or maybe it takes them allot of time.  All I can say is they do a good job and I hope to be like them one day.

However being on a time crunch I have to develop investment strategies that take the least amount of time.  One of them involves my monthly screen.  After I developed my initial spreadsheet with calculations I can put it together in about fifteen minutes.  After that it is about researching the top overall stock picks.  

What is Overall?I have 4 categories I rank stocks on,…

June 2014 Dividends

For the month of June I decided to also include my IRA that I started in April.  I started a new job this year and transferred my 401k from my previous employer to a place where I was in control.  This gave me the freedom to focus on quality stocks that pay decent dividends.  I do contribute 6% pretax into my current employer's 401k.  This is solely to get the "free" money they match.  The only downside to that is I won't be 100% vested in until I work for them for 4 years.  I guess that makes it not entirely free.  I will probably include those numbers as well when I post my net worth.

My taxable account generated a whopping $26.31.  That is barely enough money to buy my family one meal at a fast food restaurant.  It isn't much but it is something I know will continue to grow over time.

My IRA is about 4 times the size of my taxable account.  For June this generated $379.86.  This is enough income to pay for my electric, gas and cable bills.  Not bad at all.  Unfo…

May 2014 Budget

Here are the May Budget numbers for the Dividend Family Guy (or percentages) for what I am tracking against.  Currently I am doing percentages until I decide if I want to disclose my actual income.  My budget has 60% allocated to Fixed/Needs, 10% to investments, 10% to savings, 15% to Guilt Free Spending Money (GFSM) and 5% to various charities.

The Day Job +50%My budget accounts for just 2 paychecks a month.  This month was one of two triple paycheck months.  This comes in handy and helps with unexpected expenses.

Fixed + 4%I am not overly pleased with being 4 percent over.  Mainly because this is a triple paycheck month.  I should have been way under given 60 percent of 3 paychecks is allot more than 60% of 2.  The two largest expenses are my mortgage (30%) and close behind are groceries (20%.)  With the cost of food increasing (seems like monthly) feeding six people on a budget is difficult.  This does not include dining out as that falls under GFSM.  I usually budget $…

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This webpage is provided for general information only and nothing contained in the material constitutes a recommendation for the purchase or sale of any security. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at dividendfamilyguy at gmail dot com.