Freedom Fund Update – September 2012

Well, the time has come to update the Freedom Fund once again as we start another month. The Freedom Fund is my portfolio, and I think it’s aptly named. My portfolio is my way to freedom; freedom from working at a job I don’t enjoy to purchase goods I don’t need to impress neighbors I don’t care about.

I feel extremely fortunate and thankful that I’m able to post these updates every single month which shows the power of monthly contributions to investments because of the high savings rate I maintain. It shows how a relatively large sum of money can be built through the power of time, patience and perseverance.

It’s been a little while since I published an update on my portfolio due to my “summer break”. My, where does the time go? This summer really flew by and with me spending more than I usually do I have much less to show (in terms of capital) for the time. Spending more money and receiving no increase in overall happiness is disappointing, but eye opening. Rather, I’ve found spending more money and having little to show for it further proof that I’m doing all the right things. Moreover, time does make me happy and the more of it I can buy the more enriched my life becomes. 

The S&P 500 has been up and down since my last update, but is almost at the same exact number as it was on May 1. It was at 1,405 points on May 1, 2012 and it’s now at 1,406 points. So, the increase in the value of my portfolio was based on dividends that I received and reinvested, the advancement of individual positions that I purchased on a value basis and freshly allocated capital. Freshly allocated capital was used to purchase stocks that I’ve listed below.

I purchased 15 shares of Chevron Corporation (CVX), 50 shares of Intel Corporation (INTC), 14 shares of McDonald’s Corporation (MCD), and an unpublished purchase of 30 shares of Emerson Electric Co on 6/29/12 for $44.25 per share since my last update. You’ll also see the number of shares I own of The Coca-Cola Company (KO) have doubled, since the recent 2-1 stock split was fully completed.

The current market value of the Freedom Fund now stands at $76,156.47. This is a nice increase since my last published value of $67,900.79. Again, this increase comes mostly from the purchases I laid out above as well as capital gains in some of my holdings.

I’m currently invested in 28 positions. This is an increase since my last update, due to the split of ConocoPhillips (COP) and the new entity Phillips 66 (PSX).

These updates are mainly designed to show the increase in the value of the underlying equities I’m invested in, but the main purpose of investing in dividend growth stocks is for the rising stream of dividends over time. So, with that said I don’t put too much emphasis in these monthly updates on the value of my portfolio. I think it is a good idea, however, to keep track of the rising (or falling) value of one’s securities and be aware of where they are in terms of the marketplace and whether or not certain stocks are attractively priced or not. It proves to be a useful exercise, for me at least, to update the values monthly. It gives me fresh perspective on which equities are performing well and which aren’t, and from there I can make educated decisions (based on further due diligence) on which stocks I’d like to add fresh capital to (while considering portfolio weight as well).

How are your portfolios doing?

Thanks for reading.

Comments

    • says

      Drizzt,

      Collecting $1,600 in dividends in one quarter is fantastic! That’s more than I collected all of last year. Great job.

      The portfolio value may have stagnated, but the passive income that the portfolio generates is ultimately why we’re all doing this.

      Best regards.

    • says

      SFI,

      I agree. Owning defensive secular stocks that do well in all markets is the way to go right now with all the uncertainty around the world.

      I’m also awaiting that increase from PM. I’m anticipating it being fairly large as this company has simply been on fire. They’re smokin’…pun intended.

      Best wishes!

  1. says

    August was a boring month (which is not necessarily a bad thing), but my portfolio is doing well. I just posted my monthly review on my blog.

    Perhaps September will be more interesting and Mr. Market will provide us with some nice dips. I am looking forward to the announcement of dividend increases from MCD and PM. They are my two largest dividend payers, so I am hoping for good-sized increases.

    • says

      DGM,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Boring is beautiful, right?

      I’m also hoping for some dips. I, like you, have a little cash on hand and buying on sale is always nice. MCD and PM increases should be pretty healthy…especially PM. Let’s kee our fingers crossed!

      Best wishes!

  2. Anonymous says

    I truly enjoy reading you blog and am glad you are back from your “sabbatical”. I like your common sense approach and encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing. Watch the pennies and the dollars will follow.

    I have been tracking our dividend income for a few years now. Our annual dividend income from 2007 – 2011 has been: $18.6K, $19.3K, $19.3K, $17.7K, and $21.5K. This year we are on track to land somewhere between $29K – $30K.

    The performance of our holdings has suffered somewhat in that my wife and I live in Canada and our Canadian dollar has strengthened over the past few years thereby reducing the value of our US holdings and dividend income (it appears this is something you don’t have to worry about). Our Canadian dollar at one point was worth about $0.72USD but lately our Canadian dollar has been pretty much at par with the USD so the foreign exchange is a factor that can have a huge impact on our portfolio (roughly 50% of our holdings are in US listings including ADRs such as TOT and E).

    One of our goals is to grow our net worth by at least $100K on an annual basis. We have been successful in this regard for several years but as with you, I don’t want to touch our capital during our retirement years. We intend to live off our dividends, rental income, and pension income (defined benefit) which I have through my employer; Canada Pension Plan income will kick in when we are much older.

    My wife’s eyes glaze over with this kind of stuff but she at least understands the importance of not relying on others to provide for our future. As a result, our goals are in sync even though investing is even more painful for her than watching paint dry. I feel for couples where one likes to grow net worth while the other likes to spend. If there is one key piece of advice I can impart that will help you build your wealth….choose your partner carefully!! All your hard work over several years in building your net worth can be destroyed very quickly!!!

    On a final note, I like reading your blog so try not to take a break from writing for a prolonged period of time.

    Cheers.

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Thanks for the support and kind words. Much appreciated.

      Huge dividend income there! If I was receiving that kind of dividend income there is no doubt that I would be putting in my two-weeks notice. It’ll be quite a while before I see that kind of passive income, but congratulations to you for building up that kind of portfolio over the years. That takes patience and a sense of value in delayed gratification. Plus you have the private and public pensions. Wonderful! Keep up the great work.

      Stay in touch!

      Best wishes.

  3. says

    Awesome to see these updates again! Looks like the portfolio is doing well. Did you ever receive the extra shares from the SBSI split? You ought to have 63 shares now. If you never got them you should call your broker immediately and raise hell!

    Really like the EMR purchase, great price there.

    • says

      CI,

      Thanks for the support! You’re doing fantastic on your end as well. Your portfolio and dividend income is growing leaps and bounds.

      Wow, thanks for cathing my error on the SBSI holdings. I transferred the total value over correctly, but not transfer over the additional shares. I have just now corrected that to 63 shares. Thanks!

      I’m always interested in adding to EMR at those levels. I love owning a company that Benjamin Graham discusses in The Intelligent Investor. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy. :)

      Take care!

  4. Chad says

    What are your thoughts on PSX? I’m probably going to sell my shares since they are yielding less than 2% with the recent price run-up. Also, management is hinting that the dividend growth might not be all that high.

    Glad to see that you’re back to updating your Freedom Fund. Just passed over 2k in dividends for the year myself. Your inspiration has gotten me this far. Keep up the good work.

    • says

      Chad,

      I’m keeping an eye on PSX. Right now the yield is extremely low and if the dividend growth is going to only remain around the 5% management has mentioned targeting then I may have to move my capital elsewhere. It’s definnitely something that currently has my attention, but I liked COP as a complete entity so I’d like to hold both remnants if I can.

      Congrats on passing $2k in dividends this year. You’re slightly ahead of me. I’ll definitely hit that mark before the end of the year, which is one of my goals.

      I’m really glad you find inspiration here. You’re inspiring me as well! Hitting $2k in one year is fantastic, and before you know it it’ll be $3k, then $4k.

      Best wishes.

  5. says

    What do you think of BP and BTE? BP is holding on though continually being punished by the Fed for the rest of this term. (Not to get into politics, but I believe partially because of Political interventions). A solid company at a discounted price tag.

    BTE has grown strongly in the Utility Departments, and pays a nice dividend yield. I believe for the long term.

    • says

      FreeYourChains,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      I don’t really follow BTE at all, so I can’t comment on it effectively or informatively.

      BP comes and goes on my watch list. It’s got a nice yield, but with the cloud of uncertainty hanging over it in regards to the Deepwater Horizon spill and the ultimate liabilities resulting from such, I just can’t convince myself to invest in the company. Especially when you can get similar, or higher yields with other oil majors.

      Best wishes!

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