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 a job I don’t desire to purchase goods I don’t need to impress neighbors I don’t care about. This journey is all about freedom and flexibility. One day the dividend income this portfolio generates will fully replace my day job’s income and my time will be completely my own. What could you possibly want to own more than your time?
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It’s important to keep in mind that while updating the overall value of my portfolio is important for historical reference and for purposes of keeping track of total return, my main focus is on the rising dividend income stream the Fund provides.
March was yet another really successful month for the Fund. I can’t say how glad I am that I’m able to take excess capital and invest it in high quality companies. Frugality is so underrated. So is hard work. And for that matter, luck is as well. I continue to realize how lucky I am, but also feel proud of just how hard I’ve worked to put myself in the position I now find myself in. And the greatest thing about all of this is that I’m nobody special. Anyone reading this article – and that means you! – can do exactly what I’ve done. Formulate a plan, stick with it through thick and thin, and be true to yourself. Live below your means. Focus on what brings you happiness. Do all of this and you’ll have no choice but to increase your wealth.
I had a rather active month, and perhaps one of my last really busy months for the rest of the year. I’ve taken a pretty hefty pay cut at work, and that cut is now starting to realize itself in my paychecks. It’s unfortunate, but I’ll continue to do everything in my power to maximize my savings and invest free capital intelligently.
During the month of March I invested in two companies – one of which was a new position for me. The first investment for March was adding to an existing investment with General Electric Company (GE). I’m a big fan of GE at these levels, so it was a pleasure to add to my position at what I thought was a rather attractive price for the long haul. My second investment in March was the initiation of a new position with the tiny paper products manufacturer Orchids Paper Products Company (TIS). This is an investment fraught with risk, but one also with a ton of potential upside and growth potential. We’ll see how it turns out.
The current market value of the Fund stands at $156,195.12. This is an increase of 4.1% over last month’s published value of $149,982.21. This was a rather big jump for me, as some of my biggest positions – notably Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – had a strong month.
Looking forward, I expect less capital available for purchases due to the aforementioned changes at work. However, don’t think I’m taking this jab lightly. I’m light on my feet and I’m looking to counter with an uppercut of my own. I’m considering any and all options and I hope later this year I can make some changes that will better my situation.
I’m currently invested in 46 companies. This is an increase since last month’s update, as TIS was a new investment. I’m nearing 50 investments now, which is a number I don’t want to go much over. My portfolio will likely be completely built when I’m somewhere just north of 50 positions, and at that point I will refrain from investing in new companies unless I make room with the sale of an existing position. And as everyone knows, I don’t sell often. So I’m taking every new investment very seriously here.
These updates are mainly designed to show the increase or decrease 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 on 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. 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).
Full Disclosure: Long GE, TIS, JNJ
How was your March? A great month for your portfolio?
Thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net