Lanny’s Portfolio Review and Life Lessons

Similar to as Bert has performed on his review and assessment, I wanted to piggy back on that idea, and to have a snapshot of what my portfolio holds at December 31, 2014, but also introduce 5 life lessons I have taken from 2014.  I typically do keep a copy in PDF of my portfolio every quarter, but this also provides a blog’d example of where I stand, so I can always refer back on the site the historical position of my portfolio.  To echo what Bert had stated – this has been a wild year for us dividend investors on our pursuit to financial freedom, and I’m excited to dive into what had happened!

The market has hit all time highs, month after month and the ability to find an undervalued priced stock is very difficult at the moment.  We have had a few wild swings in the oil sector, but most of the company’s have already bounced back to previous marks already – therefore – there are short windows for when stocks drop due to macro pressure that one must be cognizant of and to take advantage when value becomes “available”.   Here is the S&P through Mid-Day 12/29:



Though we have faced this upstream in the S&P, I was still extremely busy this year.  This will be a much quicker/to the point snapshot post that I wanted to simply share with the community and is a good benchmark for my 2015 goal year and to always be able to look back on where I stood at year end.  Here is the breakdown of my contributions this year, my portfolio stance, my estimated income and the yield’s to go with it:

Portfolio Review

  1. Contributions (Including Retirement) YTD 2014: $45,601.13*
  2. Portfolio Market Value as of 12/31/14: $133,174.64
  3. Portfolio Estimated Income for 2015 as of 12/31/14: $5,062.32
  4. Portfolio Yield (Overall): 3.74%
  5. Portfolio Yield Individual Account: 3.85%
  6. Portfolio Yield Retirement Accounts: 3.56%
  7. Portfolio Yield on Cost (Overall): 5.01%
  8. Positions in my Individual Account: 30
  9. Positions, including 2 mutual Funds and 1 ETF in Retirement Account: 7
  10. Total Dividend/Distributions Received in 2014: $4,011.92
*I was able to do this because my cash reserve of $13,283 at 12/31/2013.  The contributions total, however, does not include reinvested dividends.

Lessons Learned

    1. One of the lessons I’ve learned in 2014 is that doing as much as you can now truly is all that matters in the game of dividend investing.  If you didn’t do it yesterday, the next best day is today and tomorrow will thank you for it.  How does that sound?
    2. Another tid bit from this year is to make decisions quicker.  There were times when I was looking to purchase a stock but was weary on where the “price” would move after I bought it.  I was concerned about 25 cents per share and if I was buying 20 shares – Does that $5 really matter?  I have learned that if it’s a good investment or company – buy it and make that decision quicker, as you’ll be mad at yourself that you had not done so.  This allows your mind to be clearer after you commit to the action, as the decision and action was made with no further question, hopefully, after.  This is similar to my recent purchase into Rockwell Automation.
    3. Another great lesson is the combination of dividend yield and dividend growth.  I think I like a yield + growth rate to be > 10%.  Whereas, if an investment has a 3% yield, I’d like to see a 7% growth to that dividend within it’s history or track record.  A good example is my last purchase of ROK, it had a yield above 2.3% when I purchased it, however, the growth rate in the previous year was 14.35% YOY dividend received and the 5 year track record was over 15% aka the combination of the two displayed well over 10%.  Another one is BBL, it currently yields approximately 5.54% and the YOY dividend received in 2014 to 2013 had a 4.31% jump aka a combined 9.85%, therefore – it reaches extremely close to the 10% mark.  The power of the dividend growth rate, as I wrote about, is very real!
    4. Understand where your money goes.  When we took on the 60% savings challenge, this definitely opens the doors to see where your money is flowing to.  Given this information, you then can find ways to lower different expense categories where you can and push to reduce some of the more -fixed nature expenses – such as, your internet bill, auto insurance, refinancing of loans etc.. by negotiating and trying to work through deals.  With this power, you can increase your savings rate and have more control over YOUR money.  This will then fuel investment opportunities for you in your life to reach the financial freedom or financial place in your life that you’d like to be in.
    5. Similar to another blogger, I have learned that your ideas and beliefs regarding investing and living choices are not even remotely close to someone else’s.  When someone makes fun of me for not having cable, I used to take offense to that and always had to think of my reasons to tell them why I don’t have it.  Now I just say – Because I don’t need or want it.  End of discussion.  Additionally, when they talk about investments, such as buying a hot stock in hopes of extreme appreciation in 6 months to a few years, I simply listen and hope it works out for them.  I have learned that not many people understand the way us Dividend investors do things, which Bert can attest to.  I now find more enjoyment out of individuals who ASK about what I do, how to get started and for my help & guidance on their journey to set up a plan similar to my own; simply because they see the excitement from my face and find ways to know the methods are working.  I no longer try to preach my ideas & beliefs with living and investing.  Serenity prayer of “O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, the courage to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other” has been a gift to me.

Conclusion & Summary

The year that we have all had has been phenomenal and a learning process without a doubt, especially after having a thorough portfolio review.  I’ve learned the power of dividend reinvestment is real by automating continual purchases throughout the year.  Further, in the push to save 60% of my income has allowed me to have much more capital than I thought would be possible, which eluded me to have over $45K in contributions this year.  2014 has had many personal events happen in my life and it has made me wiser and stronger, without a doubt.  I am learning more on what makes me happy and inch a step closer each day to the pursuit of this and following my passions.  This year has been a remarkable year for us two Diplomats, as our twitter following reaches over 1,000 and our page views touch over 18,000 in a single month.  The most important fact is becoming friends with everyone within this community of dividend investing, the push to financial freedom, frugality and the like.  This would not be as much fun as it is without all of you going through it with us, together.  Here is a cheers to 2014 and my arms are extended to welcome 2015.  Ciao!


10 thoughts on “Lanny’s Portfolio Review and Life Lessons

  1. Lanny,

    Very well said. I think it important to continue learning and improving ones self. I especially like Lessons 2 & 5. For Lesson 2, I try not to fret over the price of the equities I want to buy too much. Sure it can go down or up, but if I believe in the fundamentals, then I’ll just buy. You can always average up or down later on. And for Lesson 5, I think this is something that comes with age and maturity, being comfortable with yourself and confident in your decisions. Not everyone will agree with our decisions and we in turn will not agree with theirs. The best I think we can do is try to understand one another and in that, perhaps gain a new perspective.

    2015 is already started well, as the dividends have already started for January! Good times!

    – HMB

  2. You summarized it well. Lesson 2 and 5 are great things to realize. Lesson 3 is very important too, that’s something I’ll pay more attention in 2015.

    • Tawcan,

      Thank you so much. How are you doing? Having a great first week so far? It’s been a busy month, I am sure. I have to make my rounds this weekend due to work keeping me occupied during the day. It’s all about lessons learned and bringing them to light to use them to your “future” advantage. Thanks Tawcan, talk soon.


  3. Hi,

    I liked all of your lessons learned. I feel like I could have written down those same lessons. 3M was a regret I have during its last dip. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick that up soon. I also have people joke with me all the time about cable. The “we don’t need it” reasoning shuts them up pretty quick. Especially when you hear them complain about the service and the monthly bill! Good luck in 2015

    • ADD,

      Thank you so much. You definitely will able to pick up an investment, may not be 3M per se, but you will able to and realize the huge value the company can unlock for you.

      I love that you talk them down about cable – it’s been a funny back and forth for a few years for me and guess what – more and more people I know are finally cutting down, some the same ones that used to say/make fun of me for not having it. Funny how that works its way around…

      Thanks again ADD, talk soon!


  4. Hey man, you’ve had a fantastic 2014 – you both have actually.

    Love what you said for points 1 and 2, especially the latter – it’s important to remember that as dividend investors, “time IN the market is more important that TIMING the market”. As long as you’ve done your research, if the stock is good value, then you should go for it. We cannot waste time worrying about whether the price might drop a bit more. The price could go up on some good news, and then you’d be even more annoyed!

    Best Wishes for an awesome 2015!


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