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Believe it or not, I am typing this with my left hand one letter at a time so I can, at the very least, bring you this month's update. I am not trying to be a hero or anything, but since many regular folks have come to rely on these updates I feel that is only appropriate to do my best with at least the updates, until I am healed enough to write regularly.

This update will be brief and very direct. Let's get right to the numbers.

July Was A Very Good Month For Team Alpha

The Team Alpha portfolio consists of Ford (NYSE:F) Chevron (NYSE:CVX) Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), AT&T (NYSE:T), General Electric (NYSE:GE), BlackRock Kelso Capital (NASDAQ:BKCC), KKR Financial (KFN), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), CSX Corp. (NYSE:CSX), Realty Income (NYSE:O), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Annaly Capital (NYSE:NLY), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).

We had a so-so June report as was detailed in this update, and I was leaning towards hunkering down for the summer, and carefully making a shopping list in case of an overall market pullback. As it turned out, the only pullback was in the mREIT sector, in which we had just increased our position in Annaly.

With the mixed signals from the Fed and the pop in interest rates, the mREIT sector was whipsawed down to levels we have not seen since before the Great Recession. I am not going to sell our position in NLY as I believe that the selling pressures have been overdone.

That being said, I will not be adding any more to this dividend opportunity stock, and will keep a close eye on its upcoming earnings report and conference call.

From a positive standpoint, just about every stock in our portfolio performed quite well, even with the plethora of earnings reports flooding in. Another stock that we had just purchased, Intel, was also knocked down by continuing weakness in the PC market. I might be considering adding to this position at some point simply because the company has plenty of cash, is a stellar blue chip, and has a very compelling dividend yield of close to 4% as of now.

Stock#Shares8/1/2013TotValueOrig. Price
Cash Rsvsxx8317
Tot Valuexx145629

Our total portfolio value increased by about $4,000 or nearly 3%, just for the month. The overall gain from the beginning of this portfolio, stands at a very robust 45.63%. Over the same time frame, the S&P 500 has risen by 46.90%, not including a dividend yield of 1.98%.

While the Team Alpha Retirement Portfolio is now keeping relatively even with the larger index, the portfolio is well positioned to continue performing quite well. Based on all of our current dividends, our yield on cost is just a tick over 5%, which continues to produce an annual income of more than $6,500. When we started out, our income was roughly $4,100, and has increased by more than 50%. To me, that is what this portfolio "adventure" is all about: dividend income growth.

There were no ex-dividend dates for August to add in, but of particular interest has been the recent strong performance of Apple, and we are now in the black with that stock as well.

The Bottom Line

No fluff this month, just the facts and some notes of interest. I probably will be more or less out of commission for at least a month. If I can write some simple articles like this, I most certainly will.

Thanks for following me!

Disclosure: I am long AAPL, BKCC, BMY, CSCO, CSX, CVX, F, GE, INTC, JNJ, KO, KFN, MCD, NEM, NLY, O, T, WFC, XOM. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.