After 35 years of clocking in and out of work and religiously saving at least 10% annually in my 401K every year, my countdown to financial independence is in sight. Each month is a step closer and let’s look at how this past month is getting me there.
For the month of January I made $4369.93; an increase of 18.13% versus this time last year. A very nice way to start the year off.
In January I received 6 dividend raises from APD, CVX, FAST, KMB, UPS & VLO. Together this will add an additional $151.49 to my annual income going forward. However, AQN cut their dividend by 40% essentially negating the gain.
For the month I did my regular purchase of ETF SCHD. I also sold my GATX position as the stock was getting too rich, with a div yield of just 1.92%, P/E of 26 and a mid-single digit dividend growth rate. I thought my money could be put to better use by funneling all the proceeds into SCHD which has a higher yield and dividend growth rate (technically a distribution growth rate).
Another change to portfolio was Newtek (NEWT) officially changing from a business development company to a bank holding company changing the classification of my holding from BDC to an equity dividend growth. Since this left a gap in my portfolio for a BDC allocation of 5% I initiated positions in Main Street Capital (MAIN) and Capital Southwest Corp (CSWC). These two buys did not bring the portfolio up to my 5% allocation (almost 1% short) but my intention is to DRIP the dividends over time until I hit the desired allocation.
On the home front there is a lot to unpack. We started the year coming off the relaxing holidays by packing up all the decorations for another year. We closed on my father-in-law’s house and paid all his outstanding medical bills from the proceeds. All that is left to do is get through probate even though there is little value left to the estate. It has been hard to watch this event unfold as a lifetime of building a life is liquidated in a matter of months. Makes your efforts for carving out a life feel insignificant knowing it can all disappear in a New York minute. The experience has left my wife and I questioning our own situation to start cleaning up our possessions and ask why we are holding on to this or that.
In mid-January another family crisis emerged as my oldest sister, who is 68 and alone, fell and broke her leg. For now her care has fallen into my hands and I also had to assume taking over her financials, bill paying, and finding her a place to live once she finishes rehabilitation. This has been a challenge as she is low income and physically unable to work. We have a plan to get her to a better place financially, but it is something that will take years to improve upon. In the meantime, I feel confident our plan will get her a place to live with some level of dignity.
As I was dealing with the latest family crisis my daughter let us know she is finally being let go at the end of March as the company she works for is closing its doors. Such is the life of working for biotech startups which usually have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years. She was lucky enough to have stayed until the very end and impressed many of the board members. She believes a few of the board members may offer her a job at another of their start-ups. Thankfully she was still living with us with the intent of saving for a home so financially the impact is lower.
Finally, just when I thought I was going to leave the month of January unscathed I came down with a case of shingles. This is my own fault as I had been lazy about getting the vaccine. Kept telling my wife I should get it but never got around to doing it. Now I get to have a couple weeks of living in pain thanks to my laziness.
Enough of me droning on, here are the metrics we love to see.
|1/3/23||BBY||BEST BUY CO INC||$21.67|
|1/3/23||DIVO||AMPLIFY ETF TR CWP ENHANCED DIV||$113.33|
|1/3/23||WEYS||WEYCO GROUP INC||$26.71|
|1/5/23||IRM||IRON MTN INC||$500.07|
|1/9/23||XRMI||GLOBAL X FDS S&P 500 RISK||$52.92|
|1/9/23||XYLD||GLOBAL X FDS S&P 500 COVERED||$141.73|
|1/12/23||MPW||MEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST INC||$217.82|
|1/13/23||AQN||ALGONQUIN PWR UTILS CORP||$344.36|
|1/13/23||KBAL||KIMBALL INTERNATIONAL INC||$2.54|
|1/13/23||LEG||LEGGETT &PLATT INC||$307.57|
|1/13/23||O||REALTY INCOME CORP||$3.34|
|1/13/23||PKG||PACKAGING CORP OF AMERICA||$20.37|
|1/13/23||WPC||WP CAREY INC||$587.14|
|1/17/23||CPT||CAMDEN PROPERTY TRUST||$14.42|
|1/18/23||ACRE||ARES COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE CORP||$252.35|
|1/19/23||PSEC||PROSPECT CAP CORP||$98.13|
|1/23/23||AMNF||ARMANINO FOODS DISTINCTION INC||$44.10|
|1/27/23||OGE||OGE ENERGY CORP||$148.72|
|1/30/23||NUSI||ETF SER SOLUTIONS NATIONWIDE NASDQ||$15.89|
|1/31/23||BNS||BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA||$39.24|
|1/31/23||CM||CANADIAN IMP BK COMM||$309.85|
|1/31/23||M1 Finance||M1 DIVIDEND GROWTH ACCOUNT||$47.65|