November has flown by faster than a speeding train, and with its end comes the time to tally up dem dividends! Man, it’s hard to believe that 2015 is nearly over; it still feels like yesterday that I had just stumbled upon the world of personal finance and investing, and I vividly remember the feeling of excitement I felt when I purchased that first share of Intel…my very first stock in the history of ever!
That was in December 2014. Wow. I honestly can’t believe I’ve been at this for almost a year now! And I’m happy to say that I am just as excited, just as motivated, and just as dedicated to reaching financial independence as I was when I first started.
With that said, let’s get to the meat of this post and see how I fared this month.
|BreitBurn Energy Partners||$4.17|
|Omega Healthcare Investors||$34.72|
|Procter & Gamble||$3.98|
A little less than 2 dollars short of $70! I definitely can’t complain about that. It’s a nice little wad of change, especially considering that my first month of dividends earned me a mere $6.26 — and that was only 10 months ago!
Unfortunately, my portfolio has taken a few blows this month, and it will set back my dividend growth a little bit. First, Textainer Group Holdings (TGH) announced that it was cutting its dividend in half, and while I didn’t hold a huge position in the company, it will still hurt. Textainer was one of the first stocks I purchased when I started investing and honestly, looking back, if I had known better I probably wouldn’t have bought it. The company hasn’t been doing well in recent times, but back then I was still a complete newbie and I got caught up in the fat 6% yield without really thinking of the bigger picture.
Second, we have BreightBurn Energy Partners (BBEP), who announced it was suspending its dividend just a few days ago. This was also one of my earliest investments, and I truly regret buying it. Same deal as with Textainer, though. I didn’t know much about evaluating a company back then; I got wooed by the high yield. And now, unfortunately, I am left with equity that has depreciated by over 75% of my cost basis and, in suspending its dividend, taken away $50 of annual income from my portfolio. Ouch.
That’s not to say that BreightBurn is a bad company, because it isn’t; the poor MLP has just been absolutely decimated by the oil glut, which has seen its share price tank from around $20 a year ago to the ridiculous $1.59 where it sits at right now (I purchased at about $6.75/share). I never would have expected it to get this bad. Ah well, you live and learn…
So what am I going to do with these 2 companies now? Am I going to sell them or keep them? Well, I know that most dividend investors have strict rules about cutting a company as soon as a dividend cut occurs. However, at this point, both of these stocks have lost so much in paper value, and my position in them was so small to begin with, that selling them off wouldn’t amount to much. I mean, I could certainly harvest some tax losses, so there’s that. But I think I would rather hold on to them for the time being. This oil glut can’t last forever, and when the price of the barrel finally does starts going up again, BreightBurn could make a strong rebound.
As for Textainer, a higher-interest-rate environment would be beneficial to its leasing business, and with the strong possibility of the feds hiking rates in just a few weeks, this could be just what the company needs to start turning things around. And in the meantime, it’ll still pay me a solid dividend, albeit a lesser one than what I was currently receiving.
So yes, I’ve run into a few setbacks this month, and it sucks, but it is nothing major in the grand scope of things. I’m still progressing much faster than I had ever initially imagined, and I’m very proud of how far I’ve come in just a year. I’ve learned sooooo much about finance, investing, economics, fluffy kittens, etc. since last December, it’s almost unquantifiable. Seriously, at this time last year I barely understood what a stock was, let alone how to evaluate one (not that I’m an expert now, but still). I was about as financially literate as an earth worm with down syndrome. Lulz.
Anyway, it’s time to wrap up this post and to look to the future. Onward to December!
How was your November, fellow financial-independence warrior? Did you rake in some nice payouts? Let me know below!
Disclosure: long AAPL, AXP, BBEP, HAS, KMI, OHI, PG, SBUX, TGH, VZ