Friday, March 10, 2023


 What a completely hectic month.  I spent the past 5 weeks living without a kitchen ond one of two bathrooms as we are going through a very overdue remodel.  

Last month I sowed a picture of the demo.   Now we are about 95% done.  Phew. 

Here's a look

Now we are down to the tile in the 2nd bathroom, refinishing my 103 year old fir floors, and resurfacing the deck. 

This is not cheap.  But thanks to my strong portfolio, I can pay for it and still have a retirement.  

Meanwhile, the dividend still came in like clockwork.  Let's take a dive:


February was a record month again.  (I do not plan on going backwards..)  I received 37 dividends totalling $1,781.95 of passive income.  That's an increase of 18.05% over 2022's $1,509.50   I like that.  Just 3 years ago, I earned $874.83 in dividends.  Over 100% increase in 3 years.  Holy cow.  Persistence pays off.

It's always about reinvesting the dividends, adding a chunk of each paycheck, and getting some great dividend increases.   The regulars, AT&T, OMF, and OHI contributing the biggest amounts.  I use those funds to buy more of ones that are under a cost basis of my $5,000 goal.  


February dividend increases were fantastic.   

Got 18 increases, adding $197.08 to my annual dividend income.  It averaged out to a 5.48% increase.  Some were huge, like Steel Dynamics increasing their dividend by 25%.  Look it up..


February was a more typical month for my buying process.  Invested all of my dividends, a $1,000 of my own cash, and moved money from savings into the account.   Added $7,986.17 to the account which will increase my annual dividend income by $381.69.   That's a 4.78% yield.   Seems small, but is $31.81 per month.  Keep doing this every month really adds up.  

On a normal month where I only invest dividends and $1K of my own money, I am investing about $3,000 and adding about $110 a month to the income.  Next year I'll be investing at least $3,110 .  But since I do this investing every month, it compounds.  And I'd be investing somewhere around  $4,300 a month.  

And so on and on and on and on.  This is how I went from $36,000 in 2011 to this kind of thing.  

Yes, you can do this.  At whatever level that is comfortable.  

Saturday, February 4, 2023


 January's been a hectic month.  That's just peanuts next to February, as we are into the middle of remodeling our kitchen and upstairs bathroom.

Currently in rough in stage with the plumbing and next comes electrical.

There is nothing like living with only a toaster oven and microwave.  The world is my oyster..

I can't wait for the finished product as I will ramp up posting recipes online.   I actually want to start up a new food blog as well as a vinyl blog about new records and cool oddities in the record world.   Combining them all here is messy.    I was thinking about starting "John Cooks Things" back up and naming my vinyl one something like "Vinyl Hoarder" or something close.

Here's my kitchen...

What does not stop is progress with my portfolio


Fruitful month.   It just keeps growing and growing as I keep putting spare change into it, getting dividend increases, and reinvesting every penny I have into my holdings.

Received 37 dividends totalling $2,503.64   That's a modest 2.68% increase over 2022's $2,438.20    I do look forward to the other months of the quarter as those have increased much more.

As you can see below, the big payout was from Whitehorse Financial (WHF).  I hold this one just to fund the others.   They do not raise the dividend, but do pay out 10%, so I treat it like my ATM.   

Here's the nitty gritty:


January's dividend increases met my expectations.   Got 10 increases, adding $104.02 to my annual dividend income.  It averaged out to a 7.4% increase average for those holdings.  .  

The big increase of the month was from Wintrust Financial (WTFC) and a 17.6% increase.  That is inflation beating.  It's more fun knowing I only bought the first share of this company because I got a laugh out of the ticker name.  I never expected it to be so kind.  WTF indeed!..


Here is where stuff went off the rails.  I decided to close another account I never used in my dividend income calculations and rolled the funds into the one I do.  So I decided to consolidate it all track it in one spot.  

I made 42 total transactions:  5 sells and 37 purchases.    This resulted in adding $54,590.39 in stock that will add $2,589.05 to my annual dividend income.  That is a 4.74% yield from the buys.  Nice haul that adds an average of $200 extra each month that I will only flip into more dividends.

First, I will go over the sells.  I decided to jettison a few holdings that do not perform to my liking.  I did some math and found out that even with an equity loss on some of these, I still will make more in dividends putting it elsewhere and allowing it to yield more than I did before.   

The sells are Cincinnati Financial (CINF), Bank of America (BAC), Dover Corp (DOV), Robert Half (RHI), and Orion Office REIT (ONL).   They just yield so little and also have been sinking of just not growing in value to make any sense in holding them in a dividend growth portfolio.  

Among the buys are the holdings I annually buy to match the money I spent in 2022 at their stores.  Those are: Starbucks (SBUX), McDonald's (MCD), AT&T (T), Apple (AAPL), Costco (COST), Home Depot (HD), Kroger (KR), and Target (TGT).   I plan on matching what I spend there to get some of it back.  Target is my main store for all sorts of stuff as it is only 2 miles away and it's also really discounted at this time.  

Most of the other holdings were ones I already had in my portfolio, but had not yet maxed out to the $5,000 cost basis maximum I set for myself.   All 124 holdings I had left are now at least at a $5K basis.     

Now that I got all of them at the  $5K floor, my new goal is making the floor go up to $6K.  That will take a little time...

I did get a couple of new holdings:   Movado (MOV), and JPMorgan Equity PRemium Income ETF (JEPI).  

Movado is know for that thin black watch that looked so cool since I was in high school.  What I learned recently is that they are the main watchmaker for many fashion watch brands you see out there, like Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Calvin Klein, etc.   

Yes, the Apple watch is taking over, but fashion watches are still a thing and are not going away any time soon IMO.   MOV pays a nice dividend of 3.83% and has a nce track record of increasing those dividends annually 21% over the past 5 years!  Plus, it was at a nice discounted price with a rock bottom 8.3 P/E ratio.  I gladly welcomed them into my portfolio.

JEPI is JPMorgan's dividend growth ETF that also plays the option game with a chunk of their holdings.  It has a 10% yield, and also pays monthly.  So I just had to have some of that.  

Here's the list.


The remodel is taking up most of my free time at home, but will not stop reinvesting my dividends.  This month I will have another smaller windfall from STOR being bought out.   I will be on the hunt for a new holding. or just increasing what I have.  

I'll let you know.

So that's it for this long post.   

And remember:    If a total fool as I happen to be can build a retirement from nothing, so can you.   Never ever ever ever think you can't!

Sunday, January 29, 2023


 Sorry for the delay folks.  Been really busy getting ready for life with no kitchen and one of our two bathrooms.  suddenly January is almost over and i have not posted.  EEK!   

Meanwhile, here is our street covered with 1 solid inch of ice. I hung onto the car to prevent sliding down a half block.

Here goes!


Another month of knocking it out of the park and speeding head first towards financial independence. 

In December I got 59 payments that added up to $2,665.74.   That's a 25.88% increase over December 2021's $2,117.71   This is the kind of growth that makes me tingle.  I'll hit F.I. sooner than later.   

Here are the payments I got.


December 2022 gave me 10 dividend increases increasing my annual dividend income by $92.12   Not Bad!   Here it is below.   The increases averaged a 4.82% hike.  


I was more concentrated in my purchases in December.  I had a goal of increasing my ownership of QSR and NSC.  In total, I invested $3,488.96 and will earn and additional $114.84 of annual dividend income.   Every penny counts


Quite the year for improving my annual dividend income and sticking with continually adding to the portfolio.  Here's the numbers:

STOCK BUYS:    $49,861.89 invested for a $1,437.42 annual dividend.   That's a 2.88% yield.

DIVIDEND INCREASES:  $589.23 of increases

This is a total of adding $2,026.65 to the annual income.  That's $168.88 of additional income per month.  Yay!

Now for the drumroll.......

TOTAL 2022 DIVIDENDS:  $27,254.02   BAM!

That is an increase of 73.93%from 2021's $15,669.90    An almost 12 thousand dollar increase.  Remember, I made a ton of investment moves in November and December of 2021 that made this bump happen.

What is my 2023 goal?   Just keep it up.   I want to see my dividend income go to $35K by the end of the year.  IT will take a lot of extra savings, but I will sure try.

If I do not try, I will never achieve it.

Sunday, December 11, 2022


 I will sound like a broken record as to why I have not blogged in a month again.    Another SUPER busy month just flew by...

Really.  Let me explain....  

Our home, a cute little 1918 craftsman bungalow, has been showing some signs of wear and tear over the past couple years.  The original Douglas Fir floors are really beat up, the main floor bathroom tub looks beaten.  The kitchen countertop plywood underlayment is rotting, so the sink will soon fall onto the floor, the fridge is dying, and the old fridge is only 30" wide, so replacing it has very limited options.    Look at this beat up floor and formica..

So for the past month, we've been in the middle of planning out a full remodel of the kitchen, moving the sink and stove so we have longer counter runs and much more cabinet space.  It requires plumbing and electrical moves.  That means we pull up the crappy warped oak floor and replace it with a new laminate floor.  Here are the renderings..

Lots more counter space!

The bathroom will get a new tub, toilet, flooring, and tile walls.  

After that, the main floor doug fir floors will be repaired and refinished.  Then new paint.  

It's not cheap and with the interest rate on a loan for these repairs being as it is, I will be cashing some of my lower yield shares to pay for it.  We are thinking it all is in the $80K range for the whole process.  And that is why I have not written anything. Excuses, excuses..

Also, I am introducing a new format for posting updates.  Instead of having separate posts for dividend income, new buys, and dividend increases, I will summarize it in one post.   So here goes!


November was another fantastic month.  I received 35 payments for $1,552.73.  That's an increase of $485.94 over the $1,066.79 in November of 2021.  A 45.5% increase year to year.  I'm liking seeing the combination of increased dividends, reinvesting every penny, and adding at least $1,000 per month to the fund.  The result is stunning growth.   Here are the details below.

Not too shabby.  Hopefully, the remodel will not sink it too much.


Last month  I sat a total of $104.53 of increased annual dividends announced .  I may have missed one somewhere, but a nice total.  The average of the increases was 6.51%.  Snap-On (SNA) was the home run with a 14.1% hike.  Sweet!  Here's the nitty gritty.


Last month I bought $1,788.47 of good companies that pay shareholders an ever increasing dividend.  I ended the month with a stash of cash that I proceeded to buy more the first few days of December, but that is for next month's report.  This resulted in adding $51.82 of annual dividend income.

The big buy was starting a new position in Restaurant Brands International (QSR).  The company that owns Burger King, Tim Hortons, Popeye's, and Firehouse Subs had been on my watch list for a while now and felt it was time to pull the trigger.  They have a nice track record of beating quarterly estimates, have a moderately low P/E ratio, a dividend payout ratio that's in the upper end of the swet zone at 70%, and a dividend growth rate of 21% over the past 5 years and should be due to increase it again, fingers crossed.  Glad I got them.  

The other purchases were additions to earlier holdings that I am inching towards my goal of a $5,000 cost basis per holding.   Here are the details.

Sticking with a plan to continually buy dividend growth stocks, reinvesting all dividend income, and having a large moat of holdings has resulted in inchin closer and closer to my goal of replacing my work income with passive income.  I went from almost no dividend income to over $2,250 per month average in 9 years.  In 10 years, I should be at my goal and will only want to work to save money on health insurance until social security kicks in.  

If a shopping addicted neandertal can do this, you can too!

See ya!

Tuesday, November 1, 2022


Howdy folks!  I'm Back.    It's been a while and I apologize for skipping the past 6 weeks.   

I have been quite busy with projects on my home, dealing with the new school year, caring for my mom who entered hospice, and simply ran out of time in life to even remotely blog.

Most of my time was spent releasing my music.  I put out a single and 3 albums. One album of electronic music, one album of downtempo music, and a Halloween compilation.   The comp had a song called "October" that had 63K plays.   That's a big leap over having less than 200 listens for  typical song.  

I also promised to try to create a new song, or at least a new fragment of one per day.  Very time consuming, but a great feeling and a ton of fun.   

My music can be found on Spotify at:   Chickenwizard's Music

My spawn did the amazing art.   Here's an album cover for The Moon.

We did have some fun, like go to the Seattle Kraken vs Buffalo Sabres game.  7th row seats.

Also went to the NY Giants visiting the Seattle Seahawks and got the best seats in the house.

And 2 months went by collecting dividends.   Passive income, currently being reinvested is the key to becoming financially independent.   
Let me cut to the chase:  


September was record setting.   59 dividend payments that added up to $3,087.46.   That's a 87.6% increase over September 2021's $1,645.13.    I honestly surprised me.   That total was padded by the special dividend I got from OHI.   The details are below


Kept the ball rolling in October by making a 112.61% increase over October 2021.   
38 payments for a total of $2.555.27  This is the month I get the giant Whitehorse Finance dividend of $1,065 that I hold to invest on other holdings in my portfolio.   Going from $1,201.85 in 2021 to more than doubling it is also mind blowing.   I want to keep doubling my returns.  I will reach my goal of surpassing my work paycheck sooner than later.   Whoot!
Here's October:

The compounding is making more of an impact as it grows over the years.  It took forever to make it to a $1,000 a month dividend income month.  Three short years later, I am breaking $3K.   

I sound like a broken record, but If an idiot like myself can do this, then you can too.