Saturday, July 26, 2014

My First Stock Purchase

After I read an interesting back to 1989 story of DivHut  about his first stock purchase I looked back and thought about my first stock purchase.

I think I bought my first stock in 2003.  I did not know much about investing and did not have a trading account.

First of all I had to write a report for one of my University classes about one stock. So I had to pick the stock.

At this moment I was married and we were trying to pay all debts my ex husband accumulated before he had met me. So after reading a bunch of books on how to eliminate debts and reviewing our expenses, I noticed that every morning my ex husband would go to Starbucks and buy a latte and banana bread. I asked him to stop. I even made him banana bread at home. He took my banana bread but said he couldn't live without his cup of Starbucks. I was mad. This is how I made my choice of stock for my school project. I thought there should be not just one person being addicted to this coffee.

It turned out I was right and after my research paper I liked the stock but I did not buy it yet.

Later same year my ex husband got obsessed with the idea of moving to a bigger house. He said it was the one and only opportunity and perfect timing. So at the end we actually built a bigger house. One night while we were at the party and my ex was bragging about our new house to his boss I said, "yeah but it is lots of cleaning". My ex's boss told my ex to get a cleaning lady for me. He even gave me a phone of his cleaning lady.

I called and asked cleaning lady for her fee. Back then it was something around $80-$100 per cleaning. Then I don't know how but I got this idea in my head that instead of inviting and paying cleaning lady every time I clean the house I would put money into investment account and invest in stocks.

This is how I got my first share of Starbucks. It turned out to be a good investment. I actually sold my shares last year but I might buy it again one day.

My Weekly Stock List (7/26)

This week I did not sell any stocks but I bought shares of MCD@95.46. So I told my daughter that now I own a small piece of McDonald's and every time she or her brother buy food there I actually am getting some money back. :)

This picture was made in Russian McDonalds in 2000. :)

Here is my list for upcoming week:

Stock Name, descriptionprice as 7/26Dividend Yield
DRIDarden Restaurant group$44.664.40%
MATMattel (toys - barbie, fisher price, baby gear, etc)$35.303.90%
RCIIRent-a-Center inc$24.133.20%
WFMWhole Food Market$36.881.20%
ROSTRoss Stores$63.461.20%

As you can see I added a new stock to my current watch list.

GSK - GlaxoSmithCline is trading at 52 weeks low due to not good earning report and I guess news about bribery in Syria. I have this stock on my main watch list for a while but finally price went down. 

We all know this drug manufacturing company, which manufacture most of vaccines, some specific prescription drugs as well as over counter medicine and everyday products like Aquafresh, Sensodyne, Tums... Plus they are in process of Research and Development on many new drugs and vaccines.

4.7% Dividend Yield paid for more than 20 years sounds great to me.

PE 13.81, 1 Year Target price is $58. 

Read my post about ROST - ROSS Dress for Less stores - here

DRI - Darden Restaurant group, RCII - Rent-a-Center  here

MAT - Mattelhere

By the way if you are a big Harley Davidson (HOG) fan, check out their stock. It is trading in the middle of 52 weeks low/high. But their dividends only 1.5%, although projected 1 year Target price have room to grow.

Also check A Frugal Family Journey Collection of Stock Analysis here

My complete Watch List of Dividends Stocks here. I update this watch list at least once a month.

My stock picking strategy here

Please share your thoughts and watch lists.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 25, 2014

I've got Liebster Nomination :)

So today I got a Liebster Nomination from Kip from Frankly Frugal Finance. I had no idea what it was about, so of course I googled it. :)
It turned out a Liebster award is like a helpful hand for new bloggers you like and want other people to hear about. In order to accept an award in your turn you are supposed to answer 5 questions from the person who promoted you and then find your own 5 nominates for Liebster awards and create list of questions for them.

Thank you Kip for making me feel special today! :)

Here are my answers for Questions from Kip.

 What is your favorite color? 
My favorite color is pink. :)
2.) What is your quest?
If I understand the question correctly my quest is to find the way to live happy, healthy and wealthy life.
3.) Do you know what the first two questions are in reference to?
description of blogger?
4.) What is your favorite blog post to date?

My own favorite blog post was my Feng shui for health wealth and happiness because I organized my notes in a table and sometimes I come back and refer. Like for example when I have to pick a spot for a picture...
5.) Do you have any big travel plans once reaching financial independence?
We already travel here and there and I have one international trip for work once a year for sure. Next summer we might go to Europe or Russia but it will depend if I make a good planning and find good deals on flights. 
For my nomination I pick

1. A Frugal Family Journey 

2. Dividend for starters 

3. Living at Home 


5. My Dividend Pipeline

My Questions for my nominees:

1. Your favorite vacation spot

2. Your first stock

3. Your worst and best investment

4. Do you have pets? 

5. What will you do if you win a lottery tomorrow?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Stock Picking Strategy

When I describe my stock picking strategy, many people think it's weird.

I wrote about my Stock picking strategy before, you can read it here.

Here is my updated list:

1. The stock should pay dividends. I added it as a rule. I still have stocks from my "before dividends stocks picks", which I am waiting to sell.

2. I have my list of stocks I like, which I update monthly here

In order to put stocks on my list I look through

- all financial data - Ratios, Income Statement, Balance Sheet. I make sure all their numbers are positive and debts make sense.

- 10K, 10Q (not always) - usually if this is unfamiliar stock and I need more info

- company website, especially if I am unfamiliar with industry or stock. The stock should make sense to me - well known brand, love by many, one of necessities, have future, etc.

- Insider transactions ( I do not like when insiders are selling)

- Historical prices and years of dividends

- Current articles and reviews (just to see what's going on)

I watch my list on yahoo finance. I created my customized view, which helps me track my stocks.

It includes

Stock name / stock price / change&%change / 52-wk high/ 52-wk low / Yield / EPS/ PE/ Div Pay date/ Ex Div Date/ 1-yr Trgt price

I like how I can sort by different criteria and I can easily see how each stock is doing.

3. I move stocks to my "Maybe to buy list" if

- stock is already on my watch list (it means I already research stock)

- it is trading close to 52 week low

- 1 Year Target Price is higher then stock trading price

4. I sell stock if it earned >35%, not including dividends, stock is trading at the same price with some ups and downs for 2-3 months and if the current price of stock exceeds 1 year Target price.

I mostly use my IRA accounts for these kinds of transactions.

Some of you asked me why I sell my winners. I have limited capital and by rotating stocks - repeatedly selling winners/buying losers I can increase my capital faster.

5. New stocks. 

- I review % Losers and Most Active on Yahoo Finance daily. I check if any stocks can be added to my list.

- I analyze other bloggers stocks picks

- I read Financial part of local newspaper.

What about you? How do you pick your stocks?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Weekly Stock List (7/20)

I did not buy or sell any stocks this week.

It is reporting time for many companies, so we might see more stocks selling at bargain price.

if you visit my blog regularly, you might notice that my Weekly stock list is longer this week.

Stock Name, descriptionprice as 7/19Dividend Yield
CAGConAgra Foods inc$30.673.10%
ARIApollo Commercial Real Estate$16.559.50%
MATMattel (toys - barbie, fisher price, baby gear, etc)$36.203.90%
ROSTRoss Stores$63.311.20%
DRIDarden Restaurant group$44.384.40%
RCIIRent-a-Center inc$24.773.20%
WHRWhirlpool corp$139.502.20%
CPBCampbell Soup$43.952.70%
WFMWhole Food Market$37.101.20%
* If I move stock to this list, it means there was a price drop or current price is somewhere in the middle.
I do not buy stocks at their highest prices. I might miss some good stocks but I prefer to sit and wait.
If I have a stock on my list, it means I like something about this stock. If I buy one of these stocks, it does not mean I plan to keep them forever. I might sell them if their price would go up a lot and I feel it's time to sell.

I noticed that MCD(Mcdonald's) shares price went down this week. This is one of the stocks I really want to have in my portfolio. Even if I am a healthy freak, I still like Mcdonalds. I believe they do have some "healthy" fast food options. My favorites are yogurt with fruit for breakfast, salad with grilled chicken or snack wrap for lunch or dinner.

ROST Ross Stores was trading at their lowest this week $91.90 on Thursday.
Read my post about ARI  hereROST here.

I wrote about DRI - Darden Restaurant group, RCII - Rent-a-Center  here, WHR -Whirlpool here, CAG - Conagra food here

I already have shares of WFM - Whole Food Market which I purchased in  May. The stock is trading at lowest now and if you believe in organic food market, you might consider this stock as a small addition to your portfolio.

I have shares of MAT - Mattel, which I purchased at their previous not good report. I added this stock back to my watch list because this stock is trading close to 52 lows. Everybody is saying "bye bye Barbie' but MAT - Mattel is not only Barbie. They also sell Fisher price toys, baby gear - seats, chairs, swings, nursery furniture, Polly Pocket, Hot Wheels, My American Girl, some Disney toys, etc. If you have a child, you know that we always will buy toys as well as Fisher price baby gear.
PE: 14.75, Dividends Yield 3.9%, paying dividends every year since 1990.
I believe this stock is a great addition to anyone portfolio.

I added CPB - Campbell Soup to my watch list. The dividend yield 2.7% is a little low for me but if the price of stock will keep going down, I might consider to purchase this stock. As I mentioned before I don't like to buy stocks when they are trading over 1 year target price. 1 year target price for CPB now is $41.27. PE 26.54.

My complete Watch List of Dividends Stocks here. I update this watch list at least once a month.

Please share your thoughts and watch lists.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Whirlpool WHR - added to my watch list

I added Whirlpool WHR to my watch list because the stock is trading at 139.23, which is in the middle of 52wk Range:118.92 - 160.01.

I really like this brand. All my major appliances in my house are Whirlpool. Out of all brands Whirlpool usually has one of the best ratings. My most recent purchase is my dishwasher. I replaced my old Whirlpool with a new one. Everytime I use it, I sing a song of praise to Whirpool. It's very quiet, fits twice the dishes than the old one and cleans very good.

Dividend yield is not very high 2.20%, but the company pays dividends for many years and slowly increase it.

PE 15.37.  1 year Target is $172. But if you look into historical prices, you will notice how prices vary.

Whirlpool buys 60% of struggling Italian brand Indesit (read here), and because of this investment Moody downgrades Whirlpool  due to increasing debts after this purchase. But it can be a two way road. If the Italian economy is struggling at this moment, I would think Whirlpool might get a good deal - like discounted price for business? Stakes in Italian brand can help Whirpool to enter and get more influence in European markets.

The Value Investor at Seeking Alpha is in doubt about Whirlpool here

TheStreet rated WHR as a Buy here.

What do you think about this stock?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My weekly Stock watch list (7/11) and my stock activities

I did not post my list last week because I didn't see any updates.

This week I sold some of shares of WIN to realize my 36% profit. I bought WIN in the beginning of February 2014 in my IRA account.
I decided to follow this way because I have a very conservative mother, who doesn't believe in stock market at all. So I want to show her that stock market can work. Plus this way I can build my portfolio faster. I will sell my dividend stocks if I reach more than 35% earnings (dividends not included in this calculation) and stocks are trading close to 52 weeks highest at that moment. Then I will reinvest this money into a different dividend stock, which is selling close to 52 weeks lows. I already know some dividends stocks will never go to my "to be sold list".

After selling WIN I bought DRI@44.28. I know everybody does not like DRI right now. But even with all negativity around this stock, analyst 1 year target price is $50. Plus 4.6% dividends gives some safety cushion. Their profit declined but they pay dividends since 1995. The company got rid of Red Lobster and trying to revamp all existing restaurants. From my own observation: all DRI restaurants in our area are booming and we just got a new one - LongHorn Steakhouse. Teenager girls and lots of women love Olive Garden. My son and his dad already reported that steaks at LongHorn Steakhouse were amazing.

Here are some articles on DRI

Will Darden Restaurants' (DRI) New Plan To Revamp Olive Garden Help Its Stock? TheStreet rates DRI as a Hold, but most of the time they say this about any stock which

Is a Turnaround Finally Starting to Happen at Olive Garden? Motley Fool thinks turnaround is starting for DRI

Zacks' Bear Of The Day: Darden Zacks doesn't like DRI at all

I was going to buy CAG - Conagra foods but I missed their 52 lowest and Analyst estimates are equal to what stock is trading for. I still might buy some shares of CAG

My watching list for upcoming week

Stock Name, descriptionprice as 7/11Dividend Yield
CAGConAgra Foods inc$30.593.10%
ARIApollo Commercial Real Estate$16.509.50%
RCIIRent-a-Center inc$25.883.20%
ROSTRoss Stores$65.801.20%
DRIDarden Restaurant group$44.444.40%
* If I move stock to this list, it means there was a price drop or current price is somewhere in the middle.
I do not buy stocks at their highest prices. I might miss some good stocks but I prefer to sit and wait.
If I have a stock on my list, it means I like something about this stock. If I buy one of these stocks, it does not mean I plan to keep them forever. I might sell them if their price would go up a lot and I feel it's time to sell.

I love Sales on my regular shopping sprees and I use this strategy for my stock shopping... :)

Read my post about ARI  hereROST here.

I added RCII - Rent-A-Center inc. to my watching list. Their profits are down and they are trading close to their 52 low. It's a growing company. They "generally offer high quality 

durable products such as major consumer electronics, appliances, computers, and furniture and 

accessories under flexible rental purchase agreements that typically allow the customer to 

obtain ownership of the merchandise at the conclusion of an agreed-upon rental period. These 

rental purchase agreements are designed to appeal to a wide variety of customers by allowing 

them to obtain merchandise that they might otherwise be unable to obtain due to insufficient 

cash resources or a lack of access to credit."

Plus they offer their products for businesses as well to people on temporary assignments. They are expanding in Mexico, which is unprofitable right now.

For me it is a weird market, but considering lots of people's behavior as "want to have better things even if they can't afford it", this company lets them have what they want for a small monthly fee. I  see the future for this company and want to watch this stock. They started paying dividends in 2010.  P/E 12.61.

My complete Watch List of Dividends Stocks here. I update this watch list at least once a month.

Please share your thoughts and watch lists.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why I prefer to use credit cards...

In 2008 I wrote why I use credit cards here. Back then I had just two credit cards.

I still use Discover for most of my purchases as well as most of my online shopping. Usually they have 1% on most purchases and 5% on certain purchases which vary from month to month. With online shopping you can earn up to 20%. I pay my balance in full every month, so I never pay any fees.

Last year I earned $650 in different gift cards. So far this year I have gotten $300 worth of gift cards.
I usually get Lowes gift cards for my gardening. Starbucks for my daughter's Starbucks coffee addiction. Macy's, TJ Max, Bath and Body Work and Old Navy for shopping sprays and gifts.

If you don't have Discover card yet - here some advertising for you! :) Become a @Discover cardmember and you’ll get $50 Cashback Bonus with your 1st purchase within 3 mos. Click here

My second card is MileagePlus Master Card. I do not use this card much anymore. I only pay my electric bill with this card. It slowly accumulates some points. When I opened this card, I've got bonus points and I use it a lot. So way back before Discover card I accumulated enough points to pay for my mom's round air ticket to Russia. I believe now I have enough points for one USA travel ticket.

My third card is Kroger 123 rewards card. I use this card only for shopping at Kroger and for gasoline at Kroger gas station. It gives me a great discounts on gasoline, accumulates rewards points and very valuable coupons which are tailored to my purchases.

Last year I opened 3 cards with retailers.

Kohls. Kohls runs lots of promotions, such as $10/25, $10/50 or even $10/10 coupons, send bunch of extra coupons and I get extra 15-30% as a card member.

Victoria Secret. I mostly shop at VS when they have a good promotions. As an angel card member you get more coupons and promotions. So many more free panties and discounted bras. :)

Palais Royal. I was shopping at Palais Royal because they keep sending their $10/25 coupons and then one day when I found lots of stuff I liked, the cashier signed me up for the card for extra discounts.

As I mentioned early all my cards have no fees and I pay balance on each card in full. I use my cards very wisely. I am looking for another card to add, so I can utilize 5% offerings and earn more points.
By using various credit cards, I keep my balances low and it's actually good for my overall credit score.

Also I usually carry only one or two credit cards with me, keeping the rest at home. I plan my shopping trips and only take certain cards with me when I plan to use it.

You have to have self control and discipline in order to use credit card rewards without paying any fees or overspending.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

June Progress

June was a busy month. Kids were out of school for summer.
I discontinued working on one of my projects, so it decreased my cash inflow. I wrote why I did it here.

I did not buy as many stocks as I planned. I added a new stock to my portfolio - PG. I increased number of shares of ARCP.

I did not sell any of my non dividends stocks.

Since I just started seriously investing into dividends stocks only recently, it was my first month when I received more than $100 in dividends. $126.98, almost $127. It's progress for me. :)
My dividend paying stocks were: FTR, ARCP, RYN, PEP, UN, WU, MAT, EXPE, CNP.

This month I've got a $50 bonus from Sharebuilder for putting 5k into Roth IRA in the beginning of the year.

I earned an interest of $28.

I earned $56 in points on my Discover card. I use credit cards to pay for all purchases and some bills in order to get points. I pay my balance in full every month. I got $100 Lowes card for my previous points on my Discover card (I paid $90 in points). I use this card toward my gardening projects. I count new points balance toward my passive income because it is free money.

So my total financial passive income for the month of June $261

At this moment my goal is to have $1k in passive income from dividends and other financial institutions.