I’ve always felt that investing is like a bar of soap. The more you handle it, the smaller it gets. – Darcy Howe

It’s been too long! At least once a month I will make the time to review my divi taxable account though! Let’s get into the juicy details that aren’t so juicy. It’s more like a Grade F meat type of juicy…

  • I received $0.00 in divis this month.

Ok thank you for dropping by.

 

 

In all seriousness, this was the first month that I have received nothing from my holdings since starting this process in August 2015. I am ok with that because February will be ground breaking territory for divis. My philosophy has also evolved over the past two months. I am not sure if evolved is the right word, however, if it has become simpler. I will let English majors (swear I’m not hating on you) quarrel over such trivial matters (ok maybe a little).

I read a book on Maverick’s trading system in December as trading was something I was becoming increasingly interested in. I am still interested in it, but I am no longer interested in actually doing it. I have made the decision to just be a spectator and enjoy (and be amazed) learning about the success of the really great traders. They really do exist unlike unicorns so I’m told.

I am pretty high on this book and the methods discussed in the book even though I do not intend on using them going further. Like all systems that warm my heart, risk management (defining the amount of money you are willing to lose if wrong) is the overarching principle. I believe 100% that risk management is the most important theme to keep in mind while investing or trading.

  • Random side note: Shorted AKRX using 2:1 risk/reward. Risked $35 for potential $70 gain. Learned a lot. Got stopped out. Check in the box.

 

I will use the overused folksy saying from Mr. Buffett himself:

“Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1

I am highly confident that I wrote in an older post that if I discovered I was under performing the benchmarks then I would switch to more passive methods (indexing/ETFs). While I do not have hard details due to my brokerage switch (laziness?), I would be hard pressed to say my divi account beat my ROTH IRA account which is fully invested in VSIAX (a small cap value fund, expense ratio 0.08%) which is up 24.78%. While I can tout successes of VALE, I have to admit failures like KMI. What does this mean going forward?

I am pretty much committing this fund as a future down-payment on a home in a rough time frame of 1.5-3 years. I do plan on contributing more to this portfolio while reinvesting the dividends when I think it is beneficial. Risk Management will be the key. Overall, I am very happy with my current cost basis on all 6 holdings. NAT is a dark horse that could give a nice profit. I will probably sell most if not all at $12 for a nice gain as opposed to holding longer so I do not miss the opportunity of being able to make a larger down-payment and reduce stress (priceless) going forward.

My 2017 Financial Bullet Plan

  • Finish 2017 Contribution to Roth (time frame: mid March)
  • Save enough bread for short term events / CFP course from Bryant University (time frame: good portion of 2017)
  • Once bread is saved and stored continue contributing to this portfolio

After I liquidate this portfolio (still pretty far down the road), I will invest in VOO (Vanguard S&P ETF 0.05% expense ratio) going forward. Heck, I might even use VOO in this account for the house. I’m not sure yet.

It’s hard for me to dislike this ETF. It has low expenses, proven track record, very simple, and Buffett approved! Largest holdings include: Apple, Microsoft, Exxon, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, etc…

This leads me to my…

Future Financial Bullet Plan

  • Max company match of 401k whatever % it is (Do not have this option currently but will take advantage if/when presents itself.)
  • Max Roth IRA yearly
  • Finish maxing 401k if possible
  • If anything left after maxing 401k then simply put in taxable account using index/ETF like VOO

Also, besides Maverick Trading (might re-read one of these days even though don’t plan on implementing) I have other good books on the way! It will be a surprise when they get to me as logistics are kind of complicated at this point and time.

  • The Dhando Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns
  • CFP Board Financial Planning Competency Book
  • Your Money and Your Brain
  • Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation
  • How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn

Trying to avoid being my worst enemy,

 

JT

 

 

 

The final month of the year (though writing this in 2017). I am going to use this time to look at gains / losses and the way ahead in trading . However, first I will start by going over the fun stuff first…divis!

  • Kroger (KR) = $42
  • Starbucks (SBUX) = $38
  • BP = $154.70
  • Total December 2016 divis = 234.70  (132.95% YoY increase from Dec 2015 divis)
  • Total divis in 2016 = $2,109.775 (251.09% YoY increase from 2015 divis)

I received divis from two stocks (KR / SBUX) that got sold for profits along with BP that I have been an owned in since I started this dividend adventure.

I hit my goals for 2016 and am now going to do what I’m not supposed to do: Make less concrete goals for 2017.

The Three P’s

Preparation: I think of this in the physical and mental aspects. I plan to continue using running and reading as the primary methods to achieve this. I am, however, looking to spend more time reviewing my trades and studying different indicators / methods for possible implementation. End state: Run more, Read more, and Review more.

Planning: I have been reading more trading books as opposed to investing books (read retirement books like “Retired Inspired” too) of late.  Books like “The Complete Turtle Trader” and “New Market Wizards” have been a couple of my favorite. I am looking to have a solid plan by the end (hopefully before) to figure out my OWN method. I will need to dabble with others then mix and match to see what fits me. Before writing this, I just read from a book called “The Market Whisperer” (yes, sounds sketchy but actually has good information in it. Many sketchy ones are just that…TERRIBLE.) about using Bollinger bands with the 100 stocks in the Nasdaq. Basically, you buy as soon as it goes below the low band and either sell when it goes above the band again or sell after 20 days. Sounds too easy and i’m sure it is. The time frame it was back tested for gave good results. However, the book is dated and the method may or may not work. If a rube like me can read and implement it then don’t you think many others could do the same? This probably makes the method invalid. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a simple answer to trading? I think it’d take the intrigue away and also a system also has to be able to adapt because if many people start to use the same thing then it loses its ability. Waves, bands, RSI (Relative Strength Index), and MAs (Moving Averages) are all around me, but I still don’t have a plan.

I do have a few money management techniques that I am currently using. Three to be exact:

  1. Only risk 1% of account value in any given trade. This helps set position size and stop.
  2. Limit myself to three trades at a time. (Breaking this one because I’m kind of on a trading hiatus. Granted, I do consider SJM, VOD, GIS, and PFE to be ‘trades’)
  3. Use stops, use stops, USE STOPS. I must admit that I didn’t place my stops on SJM, VOD, GIS, and PFE until writing this article. I reprimanded myself. (No stops on NAT or BP because I have specific price goals and will collect divi along the way.)

Patience: In “New Market Wizards” a father told his 11 year old son that had just purchased a stock that the stock has been around longer than you so it does not have to go up just because you bought it. That 11 year old, as you could probably guess, did become a very successful trader. Almost all of the great traders from the book said that patience (along with discipline) were key for success. It could probably be argued that patience is one of the highest virtues. I do not have the patience for that though.

I hope to have the patience to continue learning and to persevere against the setbacks that undoubtedly await me. I want the patience to admit that I was wrong and move on. I do not wish to dwell on past failures. Also, I do not want the dark side of patience, stubbornness to keep me from admitting that I was wrong on a position.  Finally, I want to have patience in all areas of my life and not just trading.

 

A different flavor of goals for the year but with the same end in mind of improving myself. I hope you had a great 2016 and an even better 2017.

 

Take Care,

JT

“Journeyman Trader”