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January 2019 Portfolio Update

Summary

Trades made and dividends received.

Plans going forward.

Trades and Dividends Received

January was a light month. I spent all my cash on December 24 except for the $7,000 I added to my Roth on January 1. Then I waited. I finally made a couple of buys, both in the Roth, and both NOT according to plan which I'll cover later.

Trading Activity:

  • 1/22 - Bought Altria Group (MO) at $44.64.
  • 1/30 - Bought AT&T (T) at $29.10.

Dividends Received:

  • 1/2 - WalMart (WMT)
  • 1/10 - Disney (DIS)
  • 1/10 - Hannon Armstrong Infrastructure (HASI)
  • 1/10 - Illinois ToolWorks (ITW)
  • 1/10 - Medical Properties Trust (MPW)
  • 1/15 - Uniti Group (UNIT)
  • 1/25 - New Residential (NRZ)
  • 1/28 - Two Harbors (TWO)

NOTE: I DRIP dividends in my Roth. In my taxable account I take them as cash. The cash is in a Fidelity money market which pays a little over 2%.

The Trades:

This was interesting. I have been using my Roth for what I consider high yield stocks. My definition of high yield means pretty much Real Estate Investment Trusts or REITs and Business Development Companies or BDCs. And if I ever buy them this will also include Closed End Funds or CEFs. I had some REITs and BDCs I was looking at but was waiting to see if the market would retest the December lows. Then MO and T dropped to where their respective yields were over 7% and I picked them up instead.

Buys made in my taxable account are with the idea that I'll never sell. This is not the case for the Roth. It is a total return account. The goal is to make the most money I can in it by hook or by crook. I have no tax liability for anything that happens in it and if I ever trade again it will be in this account. So if MO or T has a price pop I could sell it - same for any other Roth stock. And if they don't I'm happy to collect and DRIP the 7%.

But it was not the original plan.

I made no sells in January.

Dividends:

This was a good dividend month for me, well above my average 2018 month. I am hoping it is part of the new normal, not an outlier. Based on my projections February should be a better dividend month but we shall see. It doesn't mean all that much but my January 2019 dividends were an increase of 106.90% over January, 2018. This is more due to a change in my portfolio and an increase in the amount invested than due to dividend increases though some of this was in play.

Plans Going Forward

still plan on selling WMT if it reaches $100 though if this happens close to February 20 I may hold off for the next dividend announcement. If they continue raising it by a penny a quarter as they have done since 2014 it'll confirm it as one to sell. If they raise it by $.05 it will completely change my plans - and be a big surprise. My retirement is not far off. Owning a company paying just a little over 2% and only increasing the dividend 2% annually does not fit my plans for growing income.

Before buying MO and T I had planned to sell either NRZ or UNIT from my Roth to maintain a fairly consistent overall BDC and REIT level in my accounts. They were in a race - NRZ at $18 or UNIT at $20. Whichever reached its respective level first would be sold. That plan is on hold. I own each in my Roth so it's not that I dislike them, I just dislike paying taxes on the ordinary dividends. Either could still be sold if it is trading high and something else I like goes on sale.

It doesn't matter much but for the month my portfolio value increased by 6.78%. This does not include the money I added to the Roth but does include dividends.

January was a slow month after the hustle and bustle of December. That's OK - other than the Roth I was pretty much out of cash anyway. But dividends are coming in and at some point will be put to use.

Disclosure: I am/we are long All companies in the trade and dividend lists.

Additional disclosure: I am not a professional investor and do not offer investing advice. I have a college degree in Animal Science and used to train horses for a living. Would you really want to tell a loved one you invested based on something an ex-horse trainer/animal scientist wrote?

I didn't think so. Please perform your own due diligence when making investing decisions.