Category Archives: Updates

Accumulating cash

I’ve been very quiet on my blog so far because there’s nothing happening for me in the investing world. I’m holding my current positions and I have recently received dividend payments on some of my stocks. Those payments I’ve taken and re-invested into the same stocks. At this point I am waiting for the rumored stock market crash so that I can pick up some bargains and to increase my positions on the stocks that I currently own.

In the meantime, as my funds for investments come in I’m just accumulating them into my investment cash account. My focus is to acquire additional dividend stocks, primarily, and to increase my current positions when the opportunity presents itself. This is my sub-strategy for the next 8-12 months. Then I plan on changing gears to focus more on increasing my current positions, primarily, and then to acquire additional dividend stocks when the opportunity presents itself.

But so far all I have been accumulating has been investment funds. I’m looking to find stocks or ETFs that pay dividends on a monthly basis. All of my other criteria still are in place whenever I research where I should invest.

Modifying Your Investment Strategy

I’ve decide that it was time to modify my investment strategy. Not because it was wrong but because it wasn’t moving things along fast enough. Again, as I’ve stated before I have a timeline that is considerably shorter than the normal “rule of thumb” timeline of 30 years. My timeline is only 5 years, albeit a rolling 5 years. One cannot turn back the clock and try to redo the past so all we can do is work with what we have. My goal is still to stop working and live off of the dividends. To do so I have to have a extremely larger amount of money invested than I do presently. To this end I am putting any discretionary funds into investments.

I have outlined my strategy previous but now I’m going to be adding another point. And that is that I will be focusing on companies and funds that pay dividends on a monthly basis. Quarterly payouts are nice, but monthly is much better. If you are a believer in compound interest then you know what I am getting at. Why wait for the quarterly dividend in order to re-invest when you can re-invest the dividend on a monthly basis. All other criteria in my strategy still holds.

My focus will be Exchange Traded Funds (ETF). This will allow me to diversify and to minimize my risk. I get to own a little bit of everything instead of trying to own everything all at once. I also don’t have to keep a constant eye on the market value to determine when the stock no longer performs to meet my goals. Someone else does that. Yes, I’m willing to pay someone to do that…to a limit. I still have my criteria of not getting ETFs that charge over 0.6% in costs. There is a high yield ETF that has a dividend yield of 7.77%. Seems good. Except that the Expense Ratio is 1.25%. Morningstar rates the Risk as Above Average and rates the Returns as Low. So, I am not going to blindly invest just on a high dividend yield. I am not a great risk taker. Especially with an abbreviated timeline. I like my risks to be Average or Below. The returns should be rated Average or Above.

So, what caused me to tweak my strategy? I had viewed the video 5 Monthly HIGH Dividend ETFs (5%+) ETFs that Pay Monthly Dividends that I had posted on my blog previously. This video is put out by Learn To Invest. He does put out quite a few useful tutorial videos about investing. This one got me to thinking that his presentation of ETFs could help me accelerate my investment activity and thus increase my investment values at a higher pace.  So, I have to determine if I should liquidate all or some of my individual stocks and put the proceeds into ETFs or do I just invest my money solely into ETFs going forward from now on, leaving the individual stocks untouched.  

So, follow my blog to learn what I end up doing. Maybe you’ll get something out of this taht you can apply to your investment strategy.

My Current Investment Positions

I am fairly pleased with my current portfolio since I developed my own investment strategy. My investment activity is still not as accelerated as I’d want it to be but slow and steady is good. I got rid of all but one of the first stocks I bought before I really knew what I was doing and have been focusing my effort on investing in dividend stocks.

I have been investing at least $200/month. I wish it could be more but reality is a bitch. Reality is what we normal people have to deal with regardless of what the so-called “investment experts” on the internet say.

But so far, my portfolio as increased 13.51%. My holdings:

$ABR
$ACRE
$KO
$O
$OBLN
$T
$VDE
$VNQ
$VYM

I’m also looking to diversify my portfolio a bit more by buying some bond EFT’s (i.e. either $VTIP or $VTEB). Also, with the current pandemic it might be good to invest in a pharma company. But which one? I might look to buy some $VHT, an ETF that invests in pharma companies within the Healthcare sector.

All Data Is Transferred

moving van clipart

About 2 weeks ago I initiated the transfer of my account from Robinhood over to TD Ameritrade. The majority of the account transfer was completed within the week. But I was still lacking the detail information for my stock purchases that were completed on Robinhood. It’s difficult to track how well your stocks are doing when the cost information is missing from the position listings.

Well, I checked my record information on TD Ameritrade and found that the details were finally transferred over from Robinhood. The information seems to be complete. And my Robinhood account, although still active, is listed as restricted but will no stocks listed and a zero cash balance. At some point I expect I will no longer be able to log into my Robinhood account.

The Move Is Done!

moving van clipart

Last week I had published an article about my move from Robinhood over to TD Ameritrade. There’s a lesson to be learned here. Because I am still new to investing and working with these investing platforms, one of the things that I didn’t know was that there is a transfer fee for when you move your whole account from one platform to another. I just thought it was the same as with transferring an account from one bank to another.

Robinhood charges a one-time transfer fee of $75.00. Well, in of itself I didn’t have a major issue with this except for the fact that I didn’t have enough funds in my cash portion to cover that fee. I wrote to Robinhood to ask how that would be handled. Would the transfer be held up until I deposited enough funds in my Robinhood account? The answer to this was no. As soon as Robinhood received the transfer request from TD Ameritrade (the receiving platform initiates the transfer & the sending platform completes it) they restricted my Robinhood account. This meant that I couldn’t deposit, buy, sell, or withdraw from Robinhood. OK, fine I can wait. But how was the $75 fee going to be covered? Robinhood stated that if there wasn’t enough funds in my account they would transfer the account as a margin account. In other words they would charge TD Ameritrade. They also suggested I contact TD Ameritrade to find out if they would accept a margin account as a transfer.

I did contact TD Ameritrade and asked them if they would accept a margin account with the transfer. I explained the situation and how the margin account came into being. A very helpful asset transfer representative replied back. Their specific reply was:

Yes, we are going to accept the transfer for you, and if you will please notify us once the transfer is completed, we will be glad to reimburse that fee back to you!  You may simply reply to this message to let us know that the transfer has been completed,and to move forward with the reimbursement.

Great! Seems the problem was solved. Even if TD Ameritrade didn’t reimburse me for the fee, I was happy that they would accept the transfer. Otherwise, the transfer would have failed and I’d have to start all over again.

My ETF Portfolio

I was glad to see that my Vanguard ETF portfolio grew in value. Even though I’m investing for the long term benefits, I just wanted to check and see what the funds were doing. I have another portfolio of individual stocks I am invested in but the ETF portfolio hold the most promise. My ETF portfolio currently holds the following ETFs:

  1. VDE – Vanguard Energy
  2. VNQ – Vanguard Real Estate
  3. VYM – Vanguard High Dividend Yield

Yes, they are all Vanguard funds. I have a preference for Vanguard. This is not to say any others one, like Fidelity, are worse but I just prefer Vanguard. Checking today’s market value and I find that the portfolio has increased by +3.07%. I won’t have a comparison with the S&P 500 or the NASDAQ Composite until the end of the day. I’ll be check back then.

I only started on my investment journey since the beginning of the year with ETFs and stocks. Last year I started my 401K with my employer. What’s in my 401K?

  1. VFIAX – Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares

Now, I look at other factors with my funds to decide if I increase my position with any or all of them or look for another investment (except the VFIAX, which is automatically invested into).

  1. VDE is currently trading at $48.85. This toward the low end of its 52 week range. I may end up buying a couple of more shares of this fund. The expense ratio is high for my liking (0.10%) but the fund pays $2.74/share (a yield of 5.61%). VDE invests in giant-cap and large-cap U.S. energy stocks.
  2. VNQ is trading at $80.71 which is right in the mid-range of the 52 week range. This one is one that I’ll keep an eye on. I’m not overly happy with the expense ratio of 0.12% but the dividend paid is $3.11/share (a yield of 3.85%). Situations do change so this one will stay on HOLD.
  3. VYM is my pride & joy. I love this fund. Currently it’s trading at $82.47 and that puts it on the high side of its mid-range of the 52 week range. The dividend is $2.96/share (yield of 3.58%) and the expense ratio is a happy 0.06%. This is one that I may increase my position by a few shares.

I don’t have much to say about VFIAX because it is on auto-pilot within my 401K account. I am still fairly new to this investment process so I don’t have much on how I am doing on the amount of dividends I have been paid. Stay tuned for new updates as they develop.

Making My Move

moving van clipart

Everyone and everything evolves. when I first started on this path of investing I started by using the commission-free brokerage on Robinhood. After spending time learning whatever I could about investing, researching companies and stocks, and learning how to minimize my risks I came to the conclusion that I needed a more robust brokerage account. I ended up opening a TD Ameritrade account in addition to my Robinhood account. I had kept my Robinhood account because I had a couple of stocks on there and it was pretty simple to use. I also needed time to learn my way around all of the tools and features that were available on TD Ameritrade. I endedn up using my TD Ameritrade account for my ETFs and Robinhood for my individual stocks. But I found myself spending more time on the TD account researching different stocks. I started a Watchlist on TD to list my stocks from Robinhood so I can see all of my investments in one place. There was more information with TD Ameritrade than with Robinhood.

So, I decided to move my stock investment account from Robinhood to TD Ameritrade. First thing you must remember is that you must already have the receiving account created because that account is the one that starts the ball rolling. I logged onto my TD account and began the transfer process. I had to fill out an online form letting TD know what account I wanted to bring over. I had to make sure that I had a previous statement from Robinhood because there were crucial bits of information to give TD. TD Ameritrade then informs Robinhood that I have initiated and authorized the transfer of my account there to TD Ameritrade. This part of the process is fairly quick.

Within a day I was notified that my Robinhood account was restricted, my cash management has been downgraded, my debit card and ACH transfer would no longer work, and any outstanding limit buys or sells would be cancelled. My cash account would no longer be earning any interest. This made sense, otherwise it would be like trying to hit a moving target if they were going to try to sweep up any and all pending transactions to transfer over to TD Ameritrade.

The transfer should take anywhere from 5 to 7 days. Where TD Ameritrade initiated the transfer process, Robinhood control the speed of that process and its completion. I’m doing all of my investment activity on TD Ameritrade and just waiting for my stocks and cash from Robinhood to show up.