Monthly Archives: August 2020

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.

Where Can You Learn from The Experts?

If you’re like me then you are new to the investing you end up being on “intake”. Where you try to absorb as much information as possible. But from where? That’s the key question. I’ve been searching for different groups and forums to try to find someplace where I can find useful information. Unfortunately, they are very few reliable sources of good information.
I’ve joined a couple of groups on Facebook but the most discussion thread I see there are “I have $XXX to invest. Where should I invest it?” Wow! And then the replied come back with almost every conceivable stock ticker. But not single one with an explanation of what it was about that stock that made them pick it. Dumb!
And following certain “investors” on Twitter is no better. I’m starting to limit my follows to actual financial news outlets (i.e. Seeking Alpha. Marker Watch, The Street, etc). Most of the individual people seem to on Twitter just to sell you something. I know that there are no free lunches but you can’t even get the cutlery & place setting without paying for it. When you ask them about how they came about selecting a specific stock or series of stocks they have recommended, what you get back is “Buy my book”. Now, I’m a big proponent of buying books to learn from but I want to be able to vet the author and insure that they’re not just some snake oil salesman. That they really know what they’re talking about.
You can learn from reading:
Morningstar
Seeking Alpha

You can buy books from there guys:
Warren Buffett
Phil Town

And there are some good videos on YouTube that go through many of the fundamentals:
Learn To Invest

Just to name a few. One source of information that I am currently reviewing in order to subscribe is American Association of Individual Investors. The service sounds exclusive but it’s not. My initial review found that it’s a non-profit financial education company, that manages a real-money stock portfolio to show its members how to capitalize on the most promising academic research. It’s more on-hand than theory. They offer a free guide to profitable retirement planning. I’m still looking into them but it seems to be looking good and I am seriously going to consider subscribing to their service.

One of the key factors for me to follow someone on Twitter or to subscribe to their service or Youtube channel is that they don’t just throw a stock at you, they give you details of why and what details they were considering. Or they’re actually walking you through the calculations and analysis that they went through. You’re not left on your own. Jim Cramer is another good one to follow on YouTube; and YouTube allows you to replay a portion or the whole segment if you weren’t able to keep up with him initially.


What’s more important, stock price or dividend yield?

The answer to the question will depend on your investing strategy and your goal. Speaking for myself, I prioritize on dividend yield with an eye on stock price. Regardless of either one, the stability and longevity of the company is paramount. I’m the type of person that would have missed out of Tesla when it first came out. I don’t speculate/gamble with my money. My goal is to create an income stream from my investment where I can stop working (I am overdue to officially retire and I still work because I have bills to pay). Now, in order to reach that goal my strategy is to invest heavily in dividend stocks (those stocks that pay you cash dividend periodically). If the company hasn’t paid any dividend consistently for 5 years, I’m just not going to seriously consider investing my money with them. Am I missing out on some tremendous windfall profit? Probably. But then I’m missing out on all those tremendous jackpots because I don’t go to casinos, either.
When I look at a stock or fund I look to see what they are paying and how often. I then look at the stock price and determine if the stock price is worth paying to get that dividend. Again, this is a subjective determination for me. I don’t believe that there’s a right or wrong answer. Two people can look at a stable company that has been in business for a long time (i.e. Coca Cola or Intel) and based on the criteria I used, one person can decide that the stock price is worth it while the other one feels that it isn’t. Their choices based on their goals, strategy, and comfort zones.

I’ve come across a few stocks/funds that someone said was a great investment based on the dividend yield. The last one I encountered was YYY (Amplify ETF TR High Income ETF). The stock price is cheap at approx. $15/share. The dividend yield is at 10.39%. Very high. In the relationship to the share price this comes out to about $1.56/share. So for $1500 you can buy about 100 shares of this ETF and get $156 in dividends. Sounds great? To me the one factor that makes me pause is the Expense Ratio (both Gross & Net). It’s at 2.17%. I like my expense ratios below 0.10%. This is a deal-breaker.

In addition to dividend yields & payouts, and price shares I’m looking at expense ratios. I don’t want to invest in a fund with high dividend yields that end up being eaten up by fees. The dividend history and growth are also important to me. What about share price? Well, it is important in determining how many shares I can buy and the future acquisition plans going forward. If the share price drops it’s an opportunity to buy more (barring that all other factors remain basically the same) shares and collect even more dividends. If it goes up than the value of my shares increases and I still get to collect dividends.

What about Bonds.

As I said previously, I’m a novice investor who is still “learning the ropes” about investing. As I read and watch tutorial videos I learn what I am doing correctly, incorrectly, and how to improve my portfolio.
This last one if the important part. As I was reviewing some information about portfolio management, being a senior who is looking to finally reap what I sow, I was confronted with the analysis that my portfolio needed to be tweaked some more. I was informed that as I got older that I should be invested more in bonds in order to offset and protect my overall investment assets. My current portfolio is all stocks & stock funds. No bonds or bond funds. So, now I need to modify my investment strategy and look to invest more in the bond market without sacrificing my other holdings.

I’m seriously looking at VTIP and VTEB. Again, I prefer funds to individual holdings. Both seem to be good acquisitions; VTIP is trading at $50.92/share and at the high end of its 52 week range. The Distribution Yield for VTIP is 1.57% with an expense ratio of 0.05%. VTIP is rated as low risk along with a below average return rating.

VTEB is trading at $54.74 with the price being at it high end of the 52 week range, also. The Distribution Yield is a bit better at 2.15% while the expense ratio is at 0.06%. VTEB is rated as average risk with a rating of average for returns. Everything else being equal, in my mind, VTEB (Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund ETF Shares) seems to beat out VTIP (Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index Fund ETF). This insight is based on my criteria that I use to determine which funds to buy. It may not necessarily be what you would decide. Every investor has to make their own determination and this post just give a general outline of how I do mine.

VHT vs. VGT; Adding a New Sector To My Portfolio

For those that follow my blog and my Twitter feeds, you are aware that my current portfolio is heavy with ETFs, About 82% of my investment portfolio consists of ETFs and the balance of 17% are individual company stocks. Within those ETFs I have the following areas invested in:

  1. Real Estate – VNQ (Vanguard Real Estate ETF).
  2. Energy – VDE (Vanguard Energy ETF)

The other 2 Vanguard funds are concentrated on high value & high dividends across many sectors (VFIAX & VYM).

I would like to add a healthcare ETF and a technology ETF to my portfolio. I am looking at VGT and VHT. Both are pricey by my standards but both are paying decent dividends, and that what I in this for. So, I now have to go through the decision process of which one do I invest in first. I will be investing in both but it’ll be completed over the next few months. I do have other expenses that I am obligated to handle first.

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I looked at the data for VHT (Vanguard Health Care ETF) via my TD Ameritrade account. Currently the fund is trading at $204.84 per share which is a bit high for my purposes. In looking at this fund’s 52 week range you see that its share price is at the end of the high range. The chart shows the fund’s value is increasing so I doubt that the price will be dropping drastically, barring any unforeseen circumstances. But now for the key question. What about the dividends? VHT has an annualized payout of $2.55/share (a 1.24% yield). If the share price were to drop to the other end of the price spectrum of $138.11 the yield would then be 1.85%. The average 5 year dividend growth rate is 23.01%.

According to Morningstar the risk factor for this fund shows that it’s rated as Below Average and the returns are rated as Average. Both of which are a positive factor for me. Morningstar has the fund designated as a Large Blend fund. The one thing that I am not happy with for this fund is that the Net Expense Ratio is about 0.10%. This is the maximum I would prefer.

The market Return for the funds is 6.39% so far for 2020, For 2019 it was 21.86%. Some of the company stocks that are included in this fund are:

  1. JNJ – Johnson & Johnson
  2. UNH – UnitedHealth Group
  3. PFE – Pfizer Inc
  4. MRK – Merck & Co Inc
  5. ABT – Abbott Laboratories
  6. TMO – Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc
  7. ABBV – AbbVie Inc
  8. AMGN – Amgen Inc
  9. BMY – Bristol-Myers Squibb Co
  10. MDT – Medtronic PLC

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The other Vanguard fund that I checked out on TD Ameritrade was VGT (Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF). This fund is another pricey one that is trading at its 52 week high range of $313.59, Morningstar has this fund rated Below Average risk and Above Average return. They also have it designated as a Large Growth fund.

In digging into the data for this fund I find that the dividend payout is annualized at $3.00/share (a 0.96% yield). In screening just for high paying dividend stock with a yield greater than 5%, this fund would not have shown up on my radar. But is still pays a decent dividend even if the share price makes it a challenge for the average person to purchase more than just a couple of shares. The Net Expense ratio is also at the maximum preferred ratio of 0.10%.

The returns for this fund for 2020 so far are 21.33%. For 2019 the returns were 48.61. Some of the company stocks that are included in this fund are:

  1. AAPL – Apple
  2. MSFT – Microsoft
  3. V – Visa
  4. MA – Mastercard
  5. NVDA – Nvidia
  6. PYPL – PayPal
  7. ADBE – Adobe
  8. INTC – Intel
  9. CSCO – Cisco
  10. CRM – Salesforce

I really like both of these funds but I can’t afford to buy both of them at this time. So, I have to make a decision which one I want to buy first. It comes down to 2 factors: a) share price, and b) dividend payout (after all, that’s what I’m interested in). They’re both pretty close in both of these areas.

The final decision at this time for me will be that I will be buying the funds in this order:

  1. VHT (Vanguard Health Care ETF)
  2. VGT (Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF)

Diamond in the Rough?

A couple of years ago I came into a large sum of money. I didn’t want to waste it or just have it sitting around in a bank account while it was pissed away. So I decided I wanted to put the money to work for me. At that time I knew very little about investing and decided to go to my bank to seek out a financial advisor to help me out. As luck would have it my bank was running a promotion where they would deposit a small amount of money into your account if you invested a large amount of money through them.

Well, off I went. Again, knowing very little about investing (except that I didn’t want my money left in a statement account), i discussed my financial goals at the time with my new financial advisor. Since that time my financial goals have changed/evolved. I still am more on the conservative side and prefer safer investments with minimum risks but I also am looking for accelerated (not aggressive) growth. I want stocks & funds that grow but I want them to grow at a faster rate. Which is why I am now participating in DRIPs with all my investments. I prefer dividends be paid as often as possible; prefer monthly, will accept quarterly but reluctantly take semi-annually.

This past April when the last fund expired/matured/closed and liquidated the shares from that fund and invested in a unit trust (FKUVBX). I don’t know anything about these type of funds but the value of it has increased 26.37%. This seems good. Initially, I told my financial advisor (FA) that I wanted to be conservative and to protect my assets. I still do but my thinking that has changed is that I am now interested in compounding my funds. FKUVBX only pays dividends twice a year and I can’t find any information about it other than the value increased. I don’t find that much information on the fund. My normal sources of investment info come up blank and only place I find the ticker FKUVBX is on CNBC.

I know very little about this fund other than it is trading at the high end of its 52 week range. Right now it’s up 26.37% but what companies/industries make up this fund? What’s the dividend rate, if any? I guess I’ll stick with it until the end (2022).

The Move Is Done!

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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.

Do You Use Google Sheets?

I like to use Google sheets for most of my investment calculations. There are many reasons that I like to use it. The main one being that I can access my spreadsheets from anywhere as long as I have access to WiFi or my wireless network. I started to fully utilize Google and all of their apps when I was in the real estate business. You’re out in the field and you need to access some information and calculated data. If you only had access to it through your desktop, you may end up losing an opportunity.

If you do use Google sheets I have come across an add-on feature that I find useful. It’s called Marketview. It allows you to build a formula within any cell to pull stock market data on almost any ticker and whatever data you wanted to be displayed in the cell. I use it for my list of stocks that I am comparing. I pull the key data elements such as: share price, dividend, and dividend yield.

You can add Marketview to your spreadsheet by clicking on the Add-On link at the top of the spread sheet form. Then click on Get Add-ons. A new window from G Suite Marketplace will pop up. In the search box at the top enter MARKETVIEW and press enter. You’ll then be presented with the app. Just click on it and follow the instructions to install. Once done, all you do is click on Add-on again, then go to Formula Builder. You then indicate where you want the results to be placed, where is the ticker symbol you want to use, what type of data you want to use, and then what specific data you want.