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!