It is Valentine’s Day and here I am wondering/thinking – wow, it’s been almost two weeks since I have made a stock purchase. My last purchase was another small investment using a free trade credit into IBM and it was a small – $547.00 investment at that. It hasn’t been a full two weeks, looking back, as the trade happened on February 3rd (I didn’t write about it, it was very minimal to my eyes) but when you are used to making almost weekly purchases, the dividend growth investor anxiety kicks in.
Last year I deployed over $45,000 of capital, in a single year alone, as I stated during my portfolio review and assessment. I still am thinking back at that time period and cannot even begin to think how I was even able to do that, it’s truly a feat I didn’t think I could cross. Almost $4K a month of contributions being plowed into a portfolio? What’s wild – is that the total is closer to $50,000 when I add in reinvested dividends, as my total was over $4,000 for the year. The life of a dividend growth investor has been a true ride for me and I’m starting to wonder why I haven’t made many purchases during the first 14 days of February.
Lower amount of Capital
One of the reasons could be is that my capital cushion right now is at it’s lowest point it has ever been. I had a busy January with investing close to $3K, but I also have been working between 65-80 hours per week since January 5th, so my savings rate has also approached 60%, so capital really shouldn’t be the problem, right? I think it could be that I am investing every savings dollar that I have, so I do come to the conclusion that I have a lower amount of capital to invest. Traditionally I used to invest a typically $1-$2K and this year alone – every single one of my stock purchases have been less than $1,000 a piece into stocks. One reason I am anxious as a dividend growth investor is due to lower amounts of capital to invest. The anxiety has built up as My Dividend Pipeline has large purchases at least once a week and Dividend Mantra recently deployed more into his NOV. The anxiety to purchase a stock as I watch my fellow DGIers do the same, has been difficult.
Somehow, YTD – the S&P has trucked upwards almost another 2% overall. It hasn’t been smooth – as many stocks have taken beatings, come back up to values, taken beatings, repeat. Oil companies and pipeline businesses have performed this, allowing Bert to buy Schlumberger in the last day of the year, upon multiple shares of CM. However, the last week has seen surges in prices, as my Tupperware purchase has already increased over 20% in barely a month, including over 12% for DOW. I think that higher prices/valuations on stocks has had me on the sidelines as well, as I build new capital for the next big discount. What’s funny, is my personal net worth also hit new highs going into this weekend at $175K, with my portfolio hitting over $140K for the first time – one would think a traditional investor wants to keep buying as prices are going up in the market – not a fundamentally sound, dividend income and dividend growth investor.
Another reason behind all of the delay in February could be due to time. As you, the readers know, Bert and I are CPAs and audit financial institutions. Busy season started on January 5th and I have been working the 65-80 hour week grind, as well as travelling for weeks on end – I actually flew home from Wichita Kansas this week, as I was out there for a full week with a new engagement team. The travel and going out to eat beats it out of you. I know that when i stare/work/look at a screen for 12+ hours per day that the last thing I want to do now is to be in front of it even more to research, review and do other investor-like things. I pay attention still during the day with the market, but luckily, as I explained above, no great one’s have jumped out directly at me. However – it is hard to review and see what’s going on with investments and dividend income stocks hwen you have to have multiple meetings, talk to clients, introduce engagement team members to individuals, receive support for your work… and the list goes on. I need to be better with my personal time management – my work management is fine, but when it comes to my personal life and endeavors – I have to be better, simply put. I find it sometime shard to say no to dinners and lunches (however I said no to going to dinner once this week, and stayed in/got to go a few lunches; however – that was just to try to get more things done for work…) and to use that time (even if it is not billable) to focus on Lanny. As a dividend growth investor, looking for dividend income producing stocks that have great dividend growth rates, sharebuy back plans and to read earnings releases – it’s hard when you don’t set that 30-60 minute break for yourself. I need to be better at this.
This year so far hasn’t been a total decline/drop in activity – as if you include dividends this month and my best January dividend month (fine… fine, I guess Bert had a decent month too) – I actually have placed approximately $3,900 into the market, which I am therefore on pace for over $31,200 (if we are at the 1.5 month point) for the year. Obviously not as much as what 2014 had to offer, but still a decent amount, nonetheless. I do realize I am still on track and pursuing my other goal of paying down my mortgage by an extra $500 per quarter – which also tightens up the savings account. The dividend growth investor anxiety is at a high right now and I need to just re-focus, I believe plain and simple.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever gone through this as an investor? Does this make you feel like you’re behind? What do you typically do to overcome it? Thank you, everyone, your thoughts are truly appreciated! Excited to hear the insight you may have, please comment below!