Tuesday, April 11, 2023


Just spent the last month in a hectic world of remodel insanity.   Had  the floors refinished, so we spent a week in an extended stay hotel.  

I am at the point of hating eating at any restaurant anywhere.  Usually, I see it as a treat.  Now, dining out is what you do when you have no kitchen.  Now that I have a remodeled one, I have a re-inspired motivation to cook and enjoy kicking back at home. 

It all has made me keenly aware of prioritizing my time.   I only have so much time for so much life.  A always wanted to run this financial blog, a food blog and one for vinyl record collecting.  And as you can tell, I really have no time to write on this blog.  The lack of hits is the result and that results in not wanting to put in the time.


 That said, with this monthly update, this will be my last financial post.  

I have always been transparent with my finances. You can see the pattern of growth.  I think this is enough info for others to see and will no longer be providing updates of my personal wealth.  It's honestly too much work for too few views.

After beginning this financial blog since February of 2019,  I've gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about finance, dividend investing, and running a blog.  

The hardest part of those three is running a blog.  Specifically getting hits.  I mention I've always done this to primarily educate my daughter in the future about passive income.  I believe I have provided the knowledge and track record I need for her to get a strong foothold in the future when she someday will take over my portfolio. 

So this blog will now be drifting over to becoming a food and recipe based page.  

I've always wanted to do that and feel the time and effort I put into this will be better served posting recipes I make at home.  And I have a great new kitchen to do so.


I want to thank those who have stuck with me through my journey.  I am not going anywhere, as I am not going anywhere on social media like Twitter or Facebook / Instagram.  I still am Chickenwizard on all platforms and can be found.

 I am just not doing this anymore.

Soon, this blog will be taking on a new look.  The financial stuff will be archived, but will no longer be the focus.  



In March I made $2,935.54 in dividend payments, up from the $2,680.00 in March of 2022.  That's a 9.54% increase.  I made ZERO buys in March. For the first time in years, I took my dividend earnings and paid for the refinishing of my floors.  In my opinion, it is money well spent.

I am not posting a spreadsheet page.

Come back in a few months and check out my new look and content.   Hope it does not suck


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.