November 2017 Monthly Purchases (Fall Cleaning)

I did yard work almost every day this month. It felt great to get outside and do some projects I’ve been wanting to do for months. I did a little fall cleaning in my portfolio as well!

My dividend growth strategy has been in motion for a while now, but I had some stocks left over from my high-yield, tax-inefficient early days. I sold a lot of holdings this month and re-invested the funds into some of my favorite dividend growth stocks. This was a crazy month for me, and my portfolio looks a lot stronger now.

Sold Some Portfolio Clutter

I hope to have set myself up for years of dividend growth with this month’s moves, but I also cleaned up some of my “portfolio clutter.”

Sold 14 shares of CALM @ $43.51/share ($609.14)

Cal-Maine Foods was one of the first purchases I ever made a year ago. I mistakenly believed they had a high dividend yield, when really they had just cut it completely. I held onto it this long anyway because I got lucky with my entry price and believe people will always want to eat eggs! The one-year mark passed and I sold to minimize capital gains.

Sold 20 shares of CTL @ $15.38/share ($307.60)

Centurylink has been painful to own over the last year. I still love my Centurylink internet service at my house, but I guess that doesn’t translate to a good stock price. I purchased this early on based on high yield and “buying something I know and use.” The lesson here is that I really don’t know the nuances of a business like this! Also, I tried to catch a falling knife.

Sold 17 shares of OHI @ $28.01/share ($476.17)

I’m selling my REITs as part of my fall cleaning. I was initially attracted by their high yield. I’m not as fond of REIT dividends being taxed at ordinary income rates in my taxable account. I’ve also seen very little capital appreciation in my REITs compared with the rest of my portfolio. From now on, I will not include REITs in my portfolio.

Sold 29 shares of HCP @ $27.09/share ($785.61)

The juicy dividends offset some of the price loss in the past year, but I’m moving on from REITs. I like the buy and hold strategy, but would rather buy and hold other stocks.

Sold 14 shares of RCS @ $8.63/share ($120.82)

I originally picked this high-yielder out of a hat because I had a few dollars left over. I managed to come out ahead, but it was time to remove it from my portfolio and

Bought Some Portfolio Backbone

All the fall cleaning left me with substantial funds to play with. I generally bolstered holdings I already own, but I did open new holdings in Apple and Accenture.

Bought 7 shares of VTI @ $132.40/share ($926.83)

Another month of sticking to my goal of balancing individual stocks purchases with a broad market ETF (Vanguard Total Stock Market). I can’t wait for the last month in each quarter when VTI pays out its dividend.

Bought 3 shares of AAPL @ $172.66/share ($517.98)

Apple was maybe the most glaring omission in my portfolio. I recently took a trip to China and was amazed to see the brand strength there. Apple has grown their dividend recently and has a lot of room left to go if they choose. I may be late to the Apple party, but I feel good getting in now.

Bought 4 shares of AAPL @ $169.02/share ($676.08)

After some of my stock sales posted in my account, I immediately increased my Apple holding to among my highest.

Bought 1 share of DIS @ $103.45/share ($103.45)

Despite the uncertainty around ESPN, I still love Disney’s brand and think it is generally getting stronger. It is one of my favorite holdings already, and it was time to add a little to it.

Bought 1 share of CSCO @ $33.98/share ($33.98)

Cisco is becoming my go-to stock when I just have a few bucks left over or accumulate enough dividends. I’ve slowly picked up 9 shares in 8 purchases and am growing a nice holding.

Bought 5 shares of SBUX @ $56.59/share ($282.95)

I have a few holdings that I feel confident adding to any time, and Starbucks is one of those. I love bolstering these high dividend growth stocks!

Bought 4 shares of AAPL @ $169.02/share ($676.08)

Apple was maybe the most glaring omission in my portfolio. I recently took a trip to China and was amazed to see the brand strength there. Apple has grown their dividend recently and has a lot of room left to go if they choose. I may be late to the Apple party, but I feel good getting in now.

Bought 1 share of MMM @ $227.59/share ($227.59)

3M has been one of my best performers. I love their product diversity and believe they will be around a long time. It was easy to add another share of 3M.

Bought 2 shares of TRV @ $267.04/share ($267.04)

Travelers Companies exceeds so many of my metrics and it gives me good exposure to the insurance industry. I am always tempted to open a new holding in Aflac, but decided to grow my Travelers holding a bit more. I am sure I won’t regret it. 13 years of growth, 2%+ dividend yield, and about 10% dividend growth per year. Only a 32% payout ratio. This is a no-brainer.

Bought 1 share of V @ $110.79/share ($110.79)

Visa is another no-brainer. It has gone up nicely in value since I first bought it, but it seems to always go up in value. Glad to strengthen my Visa holding!

Bought 5 shares of Low @ $79.04/share ($395.20)

Another one of the best dividend growers out there – 55 years running and 20%+ dividend increases recently. I don’t spend much in retail, but a lot of it is at hardware stores.

Bought 1 share of HRL @ $33.20/share ($33.20)

Along with Cisco, Hormel Foods is one of my go-to stocks when I have enough dividends accumulate or a few dollars left over after some purchases. 51 years of dividend hikes, great growth lately, and a 42% payout ratio. These all sound good to me. I’ve now picked up 10 shares in 9 instances and they’re turning into a significant holding for me.

Bought 5 shares of ACN @ $146.50/share ($732.50)

Accenture has been on my watch list for the longest time and I’m glad to now see it in my portfolio. 13 years of dividend growth, about 9% dividend increase per year, and 49% payout ratio. Accenture helps businesses do what they do better and works with 75% of the Fortune Global 500.

9 thoughts on “November 2017 Monthly Purchases (Fall Cleaning)

  1. Great fall clearing and buying Dozer! We share companies now like Cisco, HRL. I’m looking into opening DIS but haven’t found the right moment yet.

    1. Great day for HRL today! DIS is a complicated one. There are so many sides to their business. Obviously ESPN is dragging them down, while the popularity of Frozen/Star Wars/Beauty and the Beast is a huge positive. I have to assume all these considerations are already priced in, which boils the decision down to whether I like the overall future for Disney. I am happy to bet on Disney when I look at it like that!

  2. Hi DD,
    Whew! That’s a lot of activity. You’ve been busy this Fall. I like what you’ve done. I agree the portfolio will be stronger given the changes you’ve made.

    1. Thanks EngDivs! It’s like doing clay on a potter’s wheel – constantly shaping and adjusting!

  3. You had quite a month, lots of activity. It is nice to do some cleaning every now and again to align with your goals. What are you using for a broker? Robinhood? Hopefully you don’t have to pay trade fees on all those buys and sells, that would add up quick.

    I agree, I don’t like getting taxed on REIT so much, but they still give big dividend income. And again, it depends on your goals. I want to ideally, live off my dividends so having some big paying REITs will help produce that income. If you are looking for higher capital appreciation and maybe sell to live off the proceeds later in life, then yeah they may not work for you as well. I have seen a few people put their REIT into tax free accounts to avoid that and still receive the benefits. I like market index funds too for my retirement accounts though. Keep the individual stocks in my taxable account. Easier to track that way and they aren’t tied up with restrictions for when I need the income they generate later in life.

    Thanks for sharing. Lots of quality companies you picked up with your cleanse. They should do great long term.

    1. Yep, Robinhood makes it possible for me to make tiny moves and build holdings sometimes one stock at a time. Most of my Vanguard accounts hold their ETFs, so those are free commissions as well. It’s definitely saved me a few hundred dollars in the last year!

  4. Hey there! I’ve been reading your weblog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!

    1. Hey Stephen! Thanks for reading! If you ever have anything you’d like an article about, let me know!

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