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 cover my expenses 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It’s important to keep in mind that while updating the overall value of my portfolio is important for historical reference and for purposes of keeping track of total return, my main focus is on the rising dividend income stream the Fund provides.
June was yet another solidly boring month for the Fund, much as I prefer it to be. Watching paint dry would probably be more exciting for some people than tracking my portfolio, but it’s a thing of beauty for me. Slow and steady is the name of the game. As such, I continue to make one or two strategic equity purchases per month which fosters the growth in passive income the Fund is able to generate. And June was more of the same.
After updating my watch list for the month of June, I decided to add to my position in Baxter International Inc. (BAX) at what I thought was an attractive valuation for the long term. This is a high-quality company, and bolsters my exposure to the healthcare segment, which is a segment of the economy that I’m always interested in investing in. I had no sales, which is par for the course for me.
The current market value of the Fund stands at $166,288.88, which is a 2.14% increase over last month’s published value of $162,809.40. A pretty solid showing; however, the portfolio’s value was hurt over just the last few days of the month by the recent weak performance in shares of Philip Morris International Inc. (PM).
Looking forward to July, I’m planning to invest in at least one of the companies currently on my watch list. However, if a really strong opportunity presents itself elsewhere then I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to investing fresh capital there instead. We’ll see what kind of mood Mr. Market is in over the coming weeks!
I’m currently invested in 47 companies. This is unchanged since the last update, as the investment in BAX was an addition to a current position. I continue to remain selective about investing in new companies as I near 50 positions.
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 BAX and PM.
How does your portfolio look? Was June a good month for you?
Thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Edit: Added chart for visuals per a reader’s suggestion.