Portfolio Update: July 2015

Is it just me or does time go by much faster as we get older?  I can’t believe July is already history, but what’s past is past and with that comes another portfolio update.  My portfolio is my ticket to financial independence; the more money I can save and invest today, the faster I’ll get there.  I’m investing in high quality businesses that have long track records of increasing their dividend payouts each year.  This rising cash flow will one day cover all of my expenses and I’ll be financially free.

I witnessed my very first stock spin-off over the month when medical device maker Baxter International (BAX) parted ways with their biotechnology division Baxalta (BXLT).  It was sad that my total dividend was cut, but based on Baxter’s rich spin-off history I had a sneaking suspicion it would go down that way.  Both companies reside in my ROTH IRA where they’re sheltered for many years without the ability to touch those dividends anyway, so I’m eager to let them ride.  I’ll be posting an analysis of Baxalta in the coming weeks and will further discuss my expectations from both businesses going forward.

In July I initiated a position in Eaton Corporation (ETN) and then added to it again shortly after the stock dropped over 8% from my original purchase price.  When there are no fundamental changes to a business and the market offers me more dividend income for less invested capital, I simply can’t refuse.   I also continued adding to Wal-Mart (WMT) in my Loyal3 account.  In total, I invested $3,231.02 over the month.  I was cautious with my 2015 contributions goal due to my upcoming wedding, our Greek Island honeymoon, and the unpredictable nature of my career in the entertainment industry.  I’m happy to say I’m well ahead of where I thought I’d be and I will 100% beat this goal in August.

2015_JULY_PCThese constant capital infusions have helped my portfolio value increase every single month since the end of 2013 when it was worth less than $6,000.  I’ve come a long way, and if I can keep at this for a few more years I’ll have way more options and flexibility in life.  At the end of July, my overall portfolio value stood at $68,511.56.  This was a 4.65% increase over June’s $65,469.16 and year over year the portfolio grew 170.10% from just $25,365.07.

2015_JULY_PVHThe energy sector is the main eye sore and weakness of my portfolio at the moment.  While I’m a firm believer in averaging down, the fundamentals of these businesses have changed dramatically over the past year.  History shows us that these downturns in oil prices tend to shoot back up before we know it, but I’m still cautious and uncertain because I haven’t personally experienced this before in my short investing career and there are so many global factors to consider.  I’m bullish in the very long term, but I’m going to continue to wait on the sidelines until my gut feeling and logic tell me it’s time to back up the truck. Here is a portfolio snapshot I took at the end of the month:

2015_JULY_PSHow was your July?  How are you dealing with the energy sector?

My Dividend Growth

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32 thoughts on “Portfolio Update: July 2015
  1. Dividend Hustler

    Awesome progress Ryan. Keep at it bud. Hustle it up and your progress will be LIFE CHANGING. Dividend Investing has changed my life for sure. Let’s continue on this awesome journey and build our portfolios to greater heights. Thanks for sharing.

     
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  2. Tawcan

    Looking good Ryan. Continue adding fresh capital toward investments will be huge for you as we go down the road. Power of compound interest, gotta love this magical friend of ours.

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      Glad to hear you’re on the same page, FFdividend. I’m at around 8% of the portfolio devoted to oil, so I’m excited to finally add when I think it’s time. There’s definitely room 🙂 Glad to hear from you and hope you have a nice weekend!

       
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  3. JC

    Man you’re almost at your annual investment goal and you still have almost 5 months left. Thats amazing! And some to be really proud of. You’ve made some great progress this year on building up your portfolio. Im also cautious on further investment in the oil patch because my job income is tied to it as well. Keep up the good work Ryan!

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      I’m pretty shocked and stoked about my contributions this year, JC. They’re still not quite as high as yours in the old days (and coming years I’m hoping). I’ve seen first hand from your progress what’s possible, and my motivation is higher than ever. I always taking notes on your activity in the energy sector because of your involvement. Too bad there aren’t more entertainment businesses worth investing in or I’d be all over that inside knowledge. Hope all is well with you and the family and it’s great to hear from you!

       
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  4. Joel

    Keep it up, Ryan. Looks like you’re on track to surpass your 25k goal in August. At this pace, you’ll be at the 100k mark in under a year. What’s exciting is that once you hit 100k, the snowball effect will be much more noticeable. Like Charlie Munger once said, “The first 100k in a bitch”.

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      Thank you much, Joel. I’ve actually already passed the goal as of this week, and it feels so good to be this far ahead of where I thought possible at the start of the year. Tack on my new job and better future opportunities and it’s been a solid 2015 this far. I’m excited to hear more about your journey once you get up and running 😉

       
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  5. Ken

    Wow incredible progress Ryan. It looks like you will hit your portfolio contributions goal 4 months early! Good call on being patient in the energy sector. I wish I would have followed your lead. I’ve been investing heavily in oil stocks over the past month and I’ve been hit pretty hard. Should be ok long term though.

    Also congrats on the upcoming wedding!!

    Ken

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      I completely agree about the long term of the energy sector, especially with so much development around the world. Many places are only just now starting to get cars, machinery and easy access to goods that we’ve been used to for decades. Your dividends should be safe there and while price declines are tough on the emotions, your logic seems to be winning which means you’re a great investor 🙂 Thanks for the kind words and I hope you have a great weekend, Ken!

       
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  6. Dividend Mantra

    Ryan,

    Great work over there. You’re putting away more than $3,000 per month, which is just incredible. A quick look at a compound interest calculator will tell you exactly what can happen with that kind of activity over a ten-year stretch. Amazing things lie ahead, my friend. Keep it up!

    Best wishes.

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      It’ll be insane to see the math actually unfold, Jason. What’s even more inspiring is that you’re so far ahead of where you thought you’d be right now. Even if a correction or crash happens, those dividends will keep rolling in bigger and better all the time. I’d be happy to land on the lower end of all those calculations, but who knows… maybe I’ll get to witness my own ‘freedom fund’ exceeding anything I ever imagined. You’re proving to the world what can be done and I’m so happy to have found you! Have a great Florida weekend 🙂

       
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  7. The Dividend Drive

    Pretty solid results, Ryan.

    I agree, the commodity sector in general has given a lot of portfolios (including mine) something of a pounding of late. long-term they should reward investors. But I agree that actually bringing yourself to average down it quite a challenge. I may wait until there is some sort of wiggle upwards.

    We will have to see! Keep up the good work!

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      Thank you very much, DD 🙂

      Yeah the oil and gas majors confuse me quite a bit because the fundementals have changed and even though it’s suppose to be short term noise, I can’t put a limit on when that noise will end. If I miss the lows, I’ll chalk it all up to a lesson learned. Hope all is well over the ocean my friend and thanks for the comment!

       
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  8. Dividend Diplomats

    MDGJ,

    Nice growth month over month with those monster capital infusions. I am pumped you’ll hit your goal. Any reason why you chose that area for the honeymoon? How pumped are you? I hope then you’ll be able to slow down time and truly enjoy each second you have with your soon to be wife, sounds amazing… it’ll happen soon!

    -Lanny

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      Thank you Lanny, I feel very fortunate to put this amount of capital to work 🙂

      Greece has so much history and is one of the top romantic destinations in the world. I love the idea of seeing the Mt. Olympus and other areas from Greek Mythology. The prices were super cheap, we got our round trip flights for about $800 a piece. I also think right now is the perfect time to visit Europe with the attractive exchange rate. We’re really looking forward to slowing down the pace of life for a few weeks like you said and I can’t even put into words how pumped I am! We’ve never done a long flight like that before and that’s really our only hesitation. Hopefully we’ll be able to sleep a bit on the plane and be ready to roll upon the landing. Thank you for the kind words of support as always my friend!

       
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  9. Vivianne

    Congrats on getting married!
    Greece or Europe in general is a great destination to visit now that the euro is almost one to one with the dollars. I might get mr to go visit sometime before the euro recover 🙂

    Do takes tons of picture and tips after you go!

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      Hi Vivianne! Thank you!

      That attractive exchange rate was one of our biggest driving factors, who knows when it’ll be this favorable again? I hope you guys make it over before the year is over. I’ll take some pics for sure and be sure to share them.

      Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

       
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  10. No More Waffles

    Ryan,

    Glad to see you’re still trucking along! Strong performance even with your energy stocks in the gutter – join the club. I’m always amazed to see how fast you build your net worth, truly impressive.

    Keep it up,
    Best wishes,
    NMW

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      It’s hard to believe I’m still at it, NMW. The life of my finances has changed so much since starting this blog, it’s awesome that it’s helping all of us bloggers get better in that area. I hope all is well with you these days and it was great to hear from you 🙂

       
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  11. Mr. Modern Millennial

    Hey Ryan,
    Thanks for sharing this update. I enjoyed it as usual. You’re on fire with your contributions and growth. I’m also sitting on the sidelines right now as far as a direct oil/gas play is concerned. I am already way overweight there, and while I don’t have a full position in any major energy company, I’m going to spectate a bit before diving in again. I’m new to the game, so rather than get too excited right now about some good deals, I’m going to take this time to learn a bit.

    Good luck with your wedding preparations. The islands of Greece look beautiful, like something you see on the movies!

    Dylan

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      Hi there Dylan, thank you very much for the kind words! I’m very new to the game too, so it’s great to see others in the same boat. I’m eager to see how the oil/gas sector plays out and more than anything I also want to learn from all of this. Meanwhile, we’ll both be able to reinvest those dividends just in case this is as low as it gets.

      We’re so pumped for the Greek Islands, I’ll be touching down in Athens ready to hop on a fairy in about two months and I’ve never been outside of the US aside from Canada. It’s suppose to be home to some of the bluest water in the world and I can’t wait to see all the history.

      Glad you found my blog and I’m excited to follow along with your as well. Thank you for the support!

       
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  12. DivHut

    Solid update and performance despite the sore looking energy sector. Oil has taken down a lot people so nothing to feel bad about except keep calm, maybe average down if you are so inclined and ride it out. I saw every single stock in my portfolio deep in the red in 2009 and I just kept buying every month like always. Keep on your path with your saving and investing. You are well ahead of many.

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      Thanks for the great comment, Keith. You’ve got a solid plan there of averaging down just in case. It’s so hard for me to tell and I like hearing from more experienced investors such as yourself. The fact that you’ve been through a crash and held on speaks volumes to us newer investors. I have so much respect for that! I hope all is well with you these days and that the family life is getting even better with the latest addition 🙂

       
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      Hi Mike! That means a lot coming from you. I can’t help feeling like I’m still far behind, but the logical part of me sees the projected long term growth from here and gets very excited. I just have to keep plugging away to bring that magical FI crossover date even closer. Hope all is well with you my RV driving friend 😉

       
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  13. Dividend Gremlin

    Ryan,
    Man you’re killing it this year. When are you going to Greece? Anyway, that dividend income I bet is starting to look real nice a sweet. Keep that dream rolling.
    – Gremlin

     
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