Archive for April, 2014

Stock Buybacks Should Get More Credit

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.30.2014 (3:00 am)

stock exchange investmentWe often hear about companies that have a solid record of paying back their shareholders but mostly those that choose to do so through dividend payments. I get it, I’m a big fan of dividend stocks and manage a decent part of my investments by targeting solid dividend stocks in my USDP portfolio. That being said, I also feel like companies that are sung their cash to do buyback programs (where a company buys back its own stock) don’t get nearly enough credit.

It’s not always the case but it’s often much better for most shareholders to have money “returned” to them in such a way. Why?

-Postponing taxes: As many of you know, I hold a decent stake in Apple and intend to keep it in the very long term. When the company pays out a dividend, I’m thrilled to have money come in my account and it makes the payment more “real”. However, when Apple takes that same amount to buy back some shares, there are also benefits:

  • This (all things being equal) increases the value of other outstanding shares which increases the value of my stake. However, I will not pay any taxes on them until I sell my stake (which could be 10-20 years down the line). Not only do I avoid those taxes now but I get to “keep that money invested” while that happens. It’s very likely that I’ll be paying a lower tax bracket by the time I’ll sell my shares and have to pay. Yes, I’ll be paying capital gains instead of income but I’ll have avoided paying taxes for over a decade.

-It can be beneficial for the company: one of the issues that Apple and many companies face is having much of their cash reserves stuck abroad and being unable to bring them back. By using innovative methods, companies like Apple are able to buy back shares using foreign cash and thus avoid paying taxes.

-Usually a good sign: Stock buybacks generally also send a signal to the market that the company’s executives (which should know) think the stock is undervalued and buying back is a good use of cash reserves. While it’s not always the case, it’s been a fairly good indicator.

Why Do These Moves Get So Little Credit?

I personally believe the biggest reason is it’s just harder to evaluate. It’s very easy to determine which stocks pay dividends, for how long, etc. That makes it easy for indexes to track things like dividend aristocrats, sustainable dividend payers, etc. It’d be very tricky to calculate such metrics for stock buybacks because the information is not as easy to get, to compare, etc.  Does that make it any less valuable? Where would I even go to find the “best” stocks in terms of historical buybacks, etc?

hlf

Reluctantly Closing A Long Apple ($AAPL) Position

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.28.2014 (3:00 am)

$AAPLA couple of years ago, I decided, after feedback from many of you, to let my winning trades ride a bit longer. I do still stick to my -20% stop loss limit but have been more flexible with winners and overall that has worked out extremely well. This morning I’ll be closing a trade that has been above the +20% “limit” for a little while. It was my first trade of the year and (by far) my highest conviction trade.

On January 7th, I went long Apple (AAPL) and shorted Rackspace (RAX). I believed strongly in the trade and that belief has only gotten stronger since then. Why? I generally do my long & short trades based on stocks that pair well against each other but this was a case of holding the stock that I liked the most (in terms of risk vs reward) vs a stock that I continue to believe is overhyped.

Apple delivered strong results last week and had a nice bump. I do think it will go a lot higher though and will certainly keep my long term speculative position which is much more significant. I’ll write more about Apple soon (it’s been a while) but it continues to look like a no-brainer. Are there some concerns? Yes, but from a valuation perspective, this screams “winner”.

$RAXRackspace on the other hand is a great company in an exploding field. You’d think that could justify its high P/E ratio. It just doesn’t. Everything related to cloud based hosting will be a very tough environment. Facing competition from the likes of Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG) and others is just not going to be a good proposition. These players are ready:

-deploy billion $ investments to build
-play the very long term (read decades) game
-offer pricing that is barely break-even (Amazon does that for much of its business while others are simply trying to gain competitive positioning)
-have existing relationships with virtually all of the existing and potential RAX clients

Yes, Rackspace’s offering is not identical or even that close to what those players offer. But their pricing has a big influence on what RAX can charge its customers, they are also fighting for the same talent, etc. Cloud is the future, but it’s a very low-margin one.

Why Close The Trade Then?

As of Friday’s close, this trade stands at +40% and at this point I’m ready to take the gains and re-evaluate. I do follow Apple very closely and can tell you right now that I’ll take a new position soon but I do need to do more homework on RAX before shorting it again. I’ll take a week to go over things and then get back into it with what could be the same trade again, we’ll have to wait and see.

AAPL Chart

AAPL data by YCharts

Things continue to look promising for the long & short trades as the average trade has returned 9.85% this year, far above my “target” return for these trades. You can see those trades here:

http://www.intelligentspeculator.net/livetrades

Disclaimer: Long Apple (AAPL) and short Rackspace (RAX)

Weekend Readings

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.25.2014 (3:00 am)

monacoWow, it’s been a good week for someone like me that holds decent stakes in Facebook (FB) and Apple (AAPL). I’m not sure why Facebook (FB) has not seen more growth in its price given how good the numbers were but still…! Here are a few readings here:

General Readings

Anonymous stock tips @ BloombergView
Get used to it: The rich get richer @ TheFiscalTimes

Dividend & Passive Income Readings

Why China is about to crash your portfolio @ TheDividendGuyBlog

Tech Stock Readings

Apple knocks it out of the park @ TechCrunch
AirBnB offers to pay hotel taxes in NYC but hotels say no @ TechCrunch
Facebook’s plan to conquer the world @ Wired
Samsung keeping its options open @ TechCrunch
How can Yahoo be worth less than zero? @ BloombergView

 

Living In A Google ($GOOG) World And What It Means…

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.24.2014 (3:00 am)

googleEarlier this month, Google celebrated its 10 year anniversary of offering email through Gmail. One of the crazy parts for me is that Google at first was unsure about launching such a product. Why? Because Google was a search engine. With competitors such as Altvista and Lycos trying to build portals to serve users every need, Google was able to offer a clean and easy alternative. It would do one thing only but would do it incredibly well. That thing was search. Over time, Google changed its mission to organizing the world’s information which has taken it on a journey that keeps getting bigger. Let’s just look at how a Google world looks like:

Google has wind plants that makes it possible to generate cheap energy that it uses for its server farms. Thanks to those server farms, Google has been able to not only offer web services but also get into offering actual high speed internet access in an increasing number of cities. It has also ventured to offer free wireless internet access to some parks (Central Park), cities, Starbucks locations. It also is working on expanding its internet offering through Google venture initiatives such as loon (balloons), drones, etc.

Of course, once Google has you connected on the internet, it will nicely invite you to connect to its services. If you are a Google Fiber subscriber, can you get tv and phone. But in any case, Google will offer those services through an upcoming Android tv-set box, its Google Hangouts, etc. If ever you’re using a mobile device, Google would appreciate if you used one of its nexus phones or tablets to do it. But even if you’re not, you’re most likely connecting through an Android-powered device. And in the case where you’re not, Google still offers its different apps such as Gmail, Search, Maps, Youtube, Google music, etc to other ecosystem users. Oh and just in case you’re thinking about going online, you are most likely using the top used browser, Google Chrome, seeing ads through Google Adsense.

In a cloud based-world, Google is also more than happy to help you back up your content with Google Drive, use cloud-based software through its free to-use Google docs. It also has cloud-based computing to offer to startups, developers, etc.

What about if you’re not on one of your devices? That’s also assuming you’re not using a device like a Google watch or Google glasses which are never really “off”. Then you will soon get the opportunity to have a connected home that will feature Google’s (Nest) thermostats and fire detectors or perhaps a through the next generation of cars that will be connected to Android. You might prefer not owning a car and instead use services such as Uber which Google is a part owner of. If you wait a few years, you will perhaps even get a self-driving Google car.

When you end up buying either online or offline, you might end up paying using a Google wallet. Google’s new shipping service will soon be able to ship that stuff directly to your home.

No matter how you’re travelling, chances are that you’re using the world-leading Google maps to get there which are adding all kinds of different content and will likely have access to a lot more when those robots powered by artificial intelligence start travelling the world on behalf of Google. It can also help you book flights and hotels, etc.

Google’s Competitors

Basically, Google is trying to fight off these companies:

-Apple (mobile devices & software)
-Amazon (shipping, digital goods, software services, etc)
-Microsoft (software, devices, search, living room, etc)
-Comcast, Time Warner, etc (broadband access, etc)
-Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, etc (devices)
-Facebook (social)
-eBay (mobile payments, etc)
-car producers
-Yelp (reviews)
-TripAdvisor, Priceline, etc (travel reviews)
-Lyft (car ownership & rentals)
-Expedia, Kayak, etc (trip booking)

The list goes on and on and on, especially when you start including smaller, more nimble startups, etc. You could certainly make the case that it is impossible for Google to build a superior product for all of these categories. You could also argue that apart from search, very few of these divisions are actually generating profits or even revenues.

Is Google Spreading itself Too Large?

One of my favorite tech analysts Horace Dediu has argued that Google does not have an actual business plan and it’s becoming harder and harder to believe that Google knows what it’s doing here. That is certainly a big reason why I’ve so far resisted in buying Google stock. It’s growing more and more and the idea that you could get an accurate picture  of how much the business is worth is quickly disappearing. That being said, I’m a big believer in the ecosystem play and there is no doubt that Google has been the top player in terms of expanding its horizon. Google has more data than any other player and is likely better at using it as well. In a future world driven by software, Google will be a major force to be reckoned with.

What is Google’s products are (mostly) not the best on the market technically but the integration between them makes it nearly impossible to not use them? How much would that be worth? 

Where will Google eventually stop its ecosystem expansion? Will it start producing its own content? Start producing clean energy on a large scale? Start its own bank? Where does all of this end?

I know this brings more questions and few answers but I continue to believe that the ecosystem is incredibly important and as the top way to play it, Google is certainly a worthwhile stock to consider buying. But what its actual value is in a whole other question!

Passive Income Update – April 2014

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.23.2014 (3:00 am)
PIN_1-million_dollar_circle_caren kate cuWhen we hear about being a millionaire, it’s generally meant in terms of net worth but that certainly brings a new dynamic to those of us that have a significant part of their net worth in their house. It’s something I can worry about at some point down the road but it’s safe to say that I’ll reach the $1M in net worth a few years before getting $1M in investable assets.

Why Do I Post This?

The main reasons why I post this monthly account of my passive income are to keep myself accountable and also establish a clear process where I can build and track my journey. I’ve been fortunate so far in doing very well with my USDP portfolio as the income being generated has continued to increase at a very rapid pace. That and my side business are the core of my early retirement plan.

For example, if my base salary is currently 100K, my objective is to make 100K of passive income on an annual basis. This could be done through a variety of methods which I will be exploring of course. A few people tried to figure out how much capital I have by looking at the USDP size. The main issue is that the USDP is only part of my dividend income. I also get income from my ETF holdings, etc.

My primary objective remains to generate 100K in passive income on an annual basis as soon as possible, ideally from a few different sources.

April Updates

-I did publish the April update of the USDP

How Much Do I Really Need?

I am aiming for an income of 100K or so, before taxes as a first goal. To be clear, I feel like I need significantly less than that. Why? I’ve described how I am living off of significantly less right now (I’m paying taxes, paying my house, saving, etc). I also have the option, as discussed of retiring in a foreign location. I discussed the idea of needing 100K in yearly income here.

Overall, I feel like aiming for the same level of income as I am currently making is very very reasonable and I could easily live with less but why aim lower if I’m confident I can reach that 100K?:)

Why Am I Doing This?

I’m a strong believer in working with clear objectives but also holding myself accountable so writing about these objectives will without any doubt help me reach financial independence more quickly.

pi3

Current Passive Income Flows:

7.77% – Dividend/Investing Portfolio: Not much to report here but the expected dividend income did increase slightly in a very slow month of dividend news.

8.08% – Private Investment In My Online Company: No changes here although I did meet my biz partner and we do expect to raise our kickbacks later this year which will hopefully make a decent difference.

Total: 15.84%

It’s not spectacular by any means yet. That being said, I am 32 years old and do have a decent base (I could live with less easily).. I will continue to work on getting that total as close as I can do 100%:)

pi2

Passive Income Ideas

0% – Real Estate: I have started writing about adding real estate to my income flows. One aspect that I love about Real Estate Investing is how much of an inflation hedge it will represent for my portfolio. So I started looking into some aspects such as investing into residential or commercial real estate as well as the question of becoming (or not) a landlord. I’ve also looked into the possibility of renting property that I’d own though AirBnB (and an updated post here) and a few other questions I had been wondering about.

0% – P2P Lending – I started exploring the idea and wrote my first post about it here🙂

0% – Annuity – No intention of buying an annuity for the time being

0% – Farming – I know it sounds crazy but I’ve started looking into it as you can see from my post a couple of weeks ago

0% – Other ideas – I could end up starting other businesses or projects will I’ll certainly keep you posted about.

What I Am Not/Will Not Include

Pensions: I do know that the government will be paying me a sum of money once I retire. However, given how poor government finances look like these days, I personally think it’s crazy to count on the government actually fulfilling its promises. It won’t happen. Yes, there will be money, but not anywhere what is currently being promised. Whatever I do end up getting will be a nice surprise.

I feel like I am being extremely conservative here. By not including my government pension and also not including the fact that lower revenues will mean less taxes to be paid, I’m overestimating the amount of passive income that is truly needed. That is more than fine by me. I’d also like to think that my house will be paid by then making my level of spending lower all things being equal.

My Long Term Passive Income Objectives

January 2014: $12,000/year
January 2018: $25,000/year
January 2023: $50,000/year
January 2030: $100,000/year

pi1

I continue to see that little blue line slightly above of the red line so everything is looking very good:)

Do you have any questions or comments? I’d love to hear any ideas or how you’ve been managing on your end as well!

 

My Live Long & Short Trades & Closing 1 Of Them

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.21.2014 (3:00 am)

tradingI love writing on this blog and over the time what I’ve been writing about has changed significantly but one thing has remained. Mondays are my favorite day because I’m usually able to open a new long & short tech trade. I started last weekend with that exact intention once I saw I’d have a free spot. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, I didn’t find a trade that I felt good about. A few years ago, I would have forced myself to find one but I’ve learned the hard way that those usually don’t work out. Just as a reminder, when looking for possible trades, I do the following:

-start with the list of tech stocks that I follow
-remove stocks that I currently have positions on
-take out stocks that are reporting earnings in the next few days (as we enter the earnings period, that takes out quite a few)
-remove stocks that I don’t have a good feeling about and would rather not trade (most China-based stocks, Blackberry, Groupon, Twitter, etc)
-stocks that I do not have a good enough sense of in terms of valuation

Once I did that, I ended up with 5 stocks! I usually get 12-15 or so from which I look for pairs. This time, I did seriously consider one move but ended up not pulling the trigger. I hesitated discussing it here because if it turns out well, I’ll probably regret not going ahead but…. 🙂 The one trade that I seriously considered was:

-Long OpenTable (OPEN) & Short Yelp (YELP)

Pros:
-While both names trade at extremely high P/E ratios, YELP is at a much higher one despite not being profitable
-In terms of sales/revenues per share, OPEN’s ratio is much more favorable
-YELP faces much more competition in the local space

Cons:
-Yelp continues to be a potential takeover target which would spell disaster as a short position
-I was not impressed by what I heard out of OPEN`s most recent earnings call
-YELP does have stronger revenues growth

YELP Revenue (Quarterly YoY Growth) Chart

YELP Revenue (Quarterly YoY Growth) data by YCharts

So while it did look like the most attractive trade, the potential gain/loss was not good enough for me at this point.

Current Trades

As of the time I wrote this, I do have 7 live trades but I will be closing one. Last week was a rather good one for me with my long & short trades, thanks in big part to Travelzoo (TZOO) which announced extremely disappointing numbers on Thursday with earnings of $0.31 (est $0.36) and revenues that actually declined by 5% y/y.

My trade (long $EXPE/short $TZOO) is thus now sitting at +30% and I’ll be closing it on Monday’s open.
ycharts_chart
Otherwise, the trade I continue to love is my Long Apple (AAPL) & Short RackSpace (RAX) which stands at about +17%. Cloud computing is incredibly competitive and even though RAX offers a different type of service than players like Amazon, Google and Microsoft, the pressure on pricing will continue. I don’t think RAX will be able to live to its current valuation. That and Apple (AAPL) being as good of a value (in terms of risk vs reward) as you’ll find in the market and you can see why I love the trade.
My long position on LinkedIn (LNKD) is a very tough one. I continue to believe in the company and the valuation is finally starting to make sense after years of being overvalued. The ride has been brutal for holders though and I personally will have to sell if the trade reaches -20% (currently stands at -13%), I simply can’t afford to go against a very powerful trend.

LNKD Chart

LNKD data by YCharts

Otherwise, not much is happening, but with an average return by trade over 8% so far this year, I certainly can`t complain! As always, you can see my live trades here:

http://www.intelligentspeculator.net/livetrades

That’s all for me, wishing all of you a great start to this week:)

Weekend Readings

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.18.2014 (10:07 am)

Ahhh it’s about time, but I think winter and cold weather is finally behind us. I can’t tell you how big of a relief that is for me;) In the meantime, here area few interesting readings that you will hopefully enjoy:)

General Readings

Interview with legendary investor Fred Wilson @ BusinessInsider
The new venture landscape @ K9Ventures
Clean coal is the future @ Wired

Dividend & Passive Income Readings

Top 20 most powerful dividend stocks to buy @ TheDividendGuyBlog

Tech Stock Readings

Google buys drone maker @ TechCrunch
Google getting good at lobbying @ WashingtonPost
Facebook (FB) to launch payments @ TechCrunch
The truth about Google-X (GOOG) @ FastCompany

The Stock Market

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.17.2014 (4:15 am)

Benjamin_Graham_3007The other day I ran across this quote which is one of my favorite ones about the markets:

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.”
― Benjamin Graham

I strongly believe in that concept. One clear question though is what the “short run” represents. I’d argue that over  few days or even a few weeks, stocks move mostly based on how “popular” they are but if a stock stays “out-of-value” for too long, a longer term fund or asset manager will end up buying or taking a short position. That is partially what I try to do with my long & short stock picks. My USDP and long term speculative picks are much longer term in nature and depend almost entirely on the actual performance of those companies.

Any thoughts?

The Biggest Battle Yet For Ecosystems ($AAPL, $GOOG, $FB, $MSFT, $AMZN)

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.16.2014 (3:00 am)

threescreensAs i continue to be fascinated by the ecosystem battle that is raging on, it is becoming very clear that there will not be one winner that will take the whole market. Instead, we will have a few strong players that have dominant ecosystems and specific apps will be dominated by players no matter what the ecosystem is. Some of those battles already have clear winners:

-Social: Facebook (FB)
-Search: Google (GOOG)
-Mobile O/S: Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG)
-App stores: Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG)
-Maps: Google (GOOG)
-Online Commerce: Amazon (AMZN)
-Physical Shipping: Amazon (AMZN)
-Online music: Apple (AAPL)
-Digital books: Amazon (AMZN)
-“Work” Software: Microsoft (MSFT)
-Gaming consoles: Microsoft (MSFT)

You get the idea. Each of those products face serious competition and could eventually lose their lead but at this point, they are dominant.

The Biggest Battle Has Yet To Begin

When we think about financial services, it’s easy to get an idea of the incredible potential. Just think of companies that are actually generating billions through payments:

-Credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, Amex, etc)
-Credit card processors
-Online payment solutions (eBay’s Paypal, Square, etc)

MA Revenue (Quarterly) Chart

MA Revenue (Quarterly) data by YCharts

We do not know how this will play out but it does seem clear that over time, an increasing part of our online and offline payments will be made through our phone. This could be done directly from the O/S, from an app, from the web, etc. It’s also unclear if there will be more than one dominant players in this arena. Already, all of the existing players have been gaining significant ground here in transforming themselves for this new era and it would be crazy to think they don’t have a shot. However, I’d argue that the 5-10 years from now, several of these players will be dominant in the payments arena. They will be able to leverage their existing ecosystems to gain a solid advtange over competitors. Users have already entered personal information and have established connections either through their contacts, messaging apps, etc.

$FBLet’s take a look at how each player is doing:

Apple (AAPL): Apple is rumored to be making a big push into payments in its upcoming iOS version and with its fingerprint ID technology, making offline payments could become very easy. Apple has a strong market share in the US which would be ideal to take the lead.

Google (GOOG): While the company has made some progress through the creation of Google Wallets and the gradual implementation of payments by Gmail, it does not seem as advanced so it’s not shocking to hear that it has looked into acquiring Square, one of the leading payments technologies.

Amazon (AMZN): With hundreds of millions of customers having stored credit card information, the potential is clearly there. Amazon is also working on a smartphone which will reportedly launch later this year which could help and is also looking at payments as a major new segment.

Facebook (FB): As the world’s most “social” company, Facebook does have an edge here and could clearly leverage its messaging apps (Facebook+WhatsApp) in order to get it started. The company has been working on getting licenses and I personally think that is the exact move that Facebook needs to do. Every time I make a bullish case for Facebook, I express my opinion that user growth is not a big factor in its long term growth. Rather, I think Facebook can leverage its platform in other ways than advertising. It makes little sense to value Facebook exclusively in terms of advertising revenues when it has a billion users and millions of small companies that could be leveraged in other ways.

Microsoft (MSFT): At this point, Microsoft does not seem ready to make a move here. It’s trying to catch up in a multitude of areas (mobile, cloud, etc) and while the new CEO has looked promising, payments is probably not near the priority.

Netflix (NFLX) – not a factor here

The Potential Is Significant

When you consider revenues of a few of these players, it’s easy to see how attractive of a business this could become. Yes, it is technically difficult and the margins might not be as great as what they’re used to (apart from Amazon), but it creates a bigger lock-in effect to their ecosystem.

Far From A Done Deal

Though unlikely, alternative digital currencies such as Bitcoin could become the way payments are made in the future. It’s also possible that the ecosystem will not be enough to become significant players in the space although I personally doubt it.

Disclaimer: Long Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT)

Ultimate Sustainable Dividend Portfolio – April 2014 Update

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.15.2014 (3:00 am)

moneytreeIn September 2011, I did some in-depth research to find long term sustainable dividend stocks and have been doing updates on this Ultimate Sustainable dividend portfolio since then in the attempt to show how well such a portfolio can perform over the long term. I would personally say that things have been going very well and will certainly continue to evolve. I do have a few more things planned which I will discuss in the near future.

The USDP is obviously a critical part of my now very public quest to replace my job income with passive income. you can see my most recent update here.

The last month was a difficult one for the overall markets but the USDP continued to generate steady returns. I will be publishing more analysis of the stocks from the portfolio in the free newsletter. If ever you would like to receive those types of updates, please join, it’s free:

Keep in mind that this portfolio was built by selecting 20 stocks out of thousands. The goal is not to pick the best dividend stocks but rather to pick a diversified, high quality portfolio that will keep dividends increasing over time.

Here are the holdings as of last night to start off:

P.S: Small note. In early March, one of my holdings, DOV, spun off part of its business, KN which I should have included last month, I did this time.

TickerNameSharesApr 14 2014 PriceApr 14 2014 Values
OMCOmnicom Group Inc31$68.87$2,134.97
MSFTMicrosoft Corp73$39.18$2,860.14
JCIJohnson Controls Inc41$46.11$1,890.51
PEPPepsiCo Inc/NC29$83.55$2,422.95
ETNEaton Corp32$71.03$2,272.96
DOVDover Corp25$81.56$2,039
KNKnowles Corp12.5$30.02$375.25
ITWIllinois Tool Works Inc29$81.64$2,367.56
XLNXXilinx Inc38$51.69$1,964.22
SJMJM Smucker Co/The20$95.39$1,907.80
BLKBlackRock Inc12$298.47$3,581.64
TROWT Rowe Price Group Inc30$77.99$2,339.70
OXYOccidental Petroleum Corp23$94.32$2,169.36
COPConocoPhillips26$71.51$1,859.26
XOMExxon Mobil Corp20$97.86$1,957.20
ADIAnalog Devices Inc45$52.46$2,360.70
HASHasbro Inc31$53.65$1,663.15
MATMattel Inc44$38.14$1,678.16
INTCIntel Corp54$26.56$1,434.24
AFLAflac30$61.19$1,835.70
BAXBaxter International25$72.76$1,819
IVZInvesco Ltd68$34.41$2,339.88
VWOVanguard FTSE Emerging Markets61$41.26$2,516.86
BNDVanguard Total Bond Market33$81.54$2,690.82
Cash$337.42
USDP$50,818.45
SPX15.32335164$3,302.90$50,611.55

Dividends Received

Ahhh.. as great as March is in terms of dividends, April is usually much slower and while I will be earnings over 50% more than the same period last year, it still amounts to only about $18. Ah well…As long as the numbers continue to increase, I certainly can’t complain.

usdp2

Ultimate Sustainable Dividend Portfolio News

Not much to report here as no dividend increases were signalled.

Returns

As would expect, the decline in the overall market in the past month ended up helping my returns when compared with the overall market. I am now slightly above of the S&P500 total return index (assuming the same investments).

usdp1

Trades

One thing that I will be doing shortly is probably getting rid of the new Knowles Corp (KN) position which I got through a corporate action. Otherwise, I did end up buying about $1400 worth of my 2 ETF positions, VWO and BND, which now represent about 10% of my portfolio.