Tag Archives: dividend investing

Is General Dynamics a Good Stock To Own?

For some reason General Dynamics caught my eye. I looked at it through my criteria filter to see if it would fit within my investment strategy. The first thing I noticed that $GD was paying a very nice dividend payout of $4.40/share. How did this compare to the share price? The dividend yield is 3.03%, which is better than the industry average. So far so good. I wasn’t too happy with the share price of $144.62/share at the time I am writing this. Ten shares would cost me $1446.20 and yield me $44.00. This would give me another 0.30 shares of stock, if the share price remained the same for a year.

I also noticed that the stock was trading at around the mid-point of its 52 week range and the trend looks to be heading down. This stock may go down a bit more. Earnings look strong. As a matter of fact, the fundamentals for the company look very good. The stock looks like it would be a good one to invest in. But for me I’ll take a wait and see approach. I’ll wait to see if the stock price continues its downward journey and wait for a buying opportunity.

Seriously Considering Shares of Intel Corporation

Since the beginning of the week I took notice of Intel Corp ($INTC) stock price. Seeing as my investment funds are limited, I was hesitant in putting this stock on my watchlist. Upon careful review I think that this would be a prime candidate for my dividend portfolio.

What am I seeing? I’m seeing a stock trading at the low end of its 52 week range while at the same time paying out a very decent dividend of 2.67%. That’s something that I look for. Higher dividend payout relative to its share price. Its revenue growth is above the industry average, and there’s room to grow the dividends because it is below the industry average.

So, I’ll add this company’s stock price to my watchlist and see what happens. If the share price drops further than the dividend yield goes higher and makes this stock more desirable for me. I prefer a dividend yield that is high relative to its price. To me it is more important to have a high, sustainable payout per share than just high share price. Dividends are paid on a per share price so I’m interested in picking up as many shares as I can.

I also have certain criteria for choosing specific dividend stocks. As I mentioned before, a high dividend yield. I like my yields around 5% or higher but based on the company, its dividend history and growth, I can tolerate around 2% or higher. If the company pays out a decent dividend payout but the yield is below 2% then I’ll wait for the share price to drop. There are a few companies out there that pay a very decent dividend but their share price is too high for what I would get in dividends, as noted by a low (under 2%) dividend yield. To me that would be like paying a premium price.

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.

When Do I Sell?

I haven’t been investing for that long of a time. I’ve acquired a few company stocks and ETF’s. But my sales have been few. Right now I’m looking for sell all of my Obalon (OBLN) stock because it is one of the first ones that I bought when I was first starting out. At that time I really didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do. I didn’t have a strategy. I bought Obalon and and a couple of others because they were companies that were in the healthcare industry. That was it. None of them paid any dividends and there wasn’t any real growth with them.
After developing my own investment strategy I decided that the money I had invested in those companies could be better used with other investments. I sold the others at a bit of a profit but held Obalon because it was trading under what I paid for it. I decided to wait to see if the price would come back.

When I first started investing I opened an investment account with Robinhood. When I did that I received a free stock for Lyft. I decided to hold that one for a little while. When I was given that share of stock the price was around $42/share. It also wasn’t paying any dividends. I held that stock for a little while and the price dropped down to the low $30’s per share. The stock fluctuated in that neighborhood for a while. I finally decided to sell my share and put the money to better use.

Now I have developed my own investment strategy and I feel confident that I know more than I did when I first started. I now invest in dividend stocks. If a company doesn’t pay dividends then I don’t have a real interest in investing my money with them. Am I missing out on windfall returns? Maybe. But I’m also missing out on catastrophic losses. I’m at an age when I can ill afford to lose money because I don’t have as much time to recover from major losses. Also, if I am going to be investing in a company for the long term then I want to get paid for my time that I am waiting for the stock to grow, thus the dividend payout. The dividend payout is the company’s payment to me for being patient and sticking it out with them.

So, based on all of the above when do I sell my stock? I will only consider selling my stock when either of the two conditions below are met:
1. The company drastically cuts their dividend payout 2 times or more in a row.
2. The stock price increases 200%+.

So far I’ve been lucky in that none of my investments have had their dividend payouts cut. But I will tolerate 1 such payout cut but if they go to 2 in a row, they’re history.

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.

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.

medical caduceus black white outline clipart

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

cloud computing clipart

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)

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.

More About My Investing Strategy

I’m going to expand on the details of my investing strategy. Previous posts I have stated which stocks I prefer and basic outline of my criteria in selecting specific stocks to buy. Again, I’m going to state that I am a dividend investor and not a value investor. In my mind, the essential difference is that the value investor focuses on share price of the stock. The dividend investor focuses on whether the company issuing the stock pays dividends or not. I know that this is a very simplistic view, but bear with me.

As a dividend investor the price per share isn’t ignored. But it isn’t the primary importance. Just like the value investor, the dividends paid are not ignored, either, it’s just not as important as the price. The value investor looks for pure growth (i.e. increases in share price) even though they may plan on holding the stock for years. That’s how they view their stock holdings.

Dividend investors, at least for me, look at stocks growing in value also, but I also look at increasing the number of shares increasing by reinvesting those dividends that I receive. Value investors look to increase their stock ownership by additional purchases of the stock, especially during a DIP (Drop In Price). Again, this is another oversimplification.

To me the goal is to increase the number of shares I won with the minimal cost to me. Like a value investor, I will buy additional shares of stock on a DIP, otherwise I maintain my Divident ReInvestment Plan (DRIP). Basically, maximizing benefits and minimizing costs. When I review any potential stock to purchase I look at many factors.

  1. Does the company issue dividends? If no, I then move on to the next potential stock.
  2. If the company pays dividends, how much does it pay?
  3. How frequently does it pay dividends? Quarterly, monthly?
  4. What is the 5 Yr dividend growth?
  5. How long has it been paying dividends?

Once I get the answers to these basic questions, I look at the stock price. I then go through the similar analysis that a value investor goes through to determine if it is a stock to invest in or not. The stock may be one that I don’t feel is right for me at this point in time so I may put it on my Watchlist. Additionally, my strategy doesn’t just deal with buying stocks, I also have a strategy for when I should be selling. Because I am a dividend investor, dividends are key. If a company cuts/reduces their dividends two (2) period in a row, it becomes a prime candidate to be sold. I will now review the numbers in a different light and look at the stock to determine if there is a chance for the dividends to rebound. If in the they reduce it a third time or eliminate dividends, it becomes an automatic sell.

That’s my strategy for dividend investing in a nutshell. You may agree with it or you may not, but it is MINE. I really don’t have a hard and steadfast set of numbers for any of the quantitative elements. It really comes down to what I am comfortable with when I look at the numbers. To me stock selection is a subjective process, unique to the person. I may decide one way about a certain stock and you may decide another way. It has to do with how much risk you are willing to tolerate. Part of my strategy is to avoid high risk investments. How much risk am I willing to take on? Again, it’s subjective. I prefer ETFs over individual stocks for that very reason. If I buy individual stocks, I prefer an established company to a start-up. My tolerance of risk is tied to my timeline, which is now short. So, I don’t have much time to recover from any massive losses that I may incur. And lastly, my investment strategy is a “living thing”. As I progress and learn my investment strategy evolves and changes.

You can look at investment strategies from multiple people and take-away what you feel comfortable with and what lines up with your goals. Don’t let anyone else dictate what your strategy should be because if you find someone that tries to pressure you into adopting their strategy, keep digging and you’ll find out what their hidden agenda is.