Meter Updates

March 2016 Dividend Meter Update

March 2016 Dividend Update

My dividend spreadsheet is broken. Today is April Fool’s Day, but this is no joke. Myself and others have been experiencing problems this past week with the IMPORTDATA formula properly updating the annual dividend figure in the spreadsheet.   Yesterday, changing the small case “d” to an upper case “D” in the following column G formula did improve performance for me:


I remember this same problem happening a few months ago, and performance cleared up on its own despite changing anything from lower to upper case. This appears to be a frustrating recurring reliability issue with Google Sheets.  Another tip: add another tab to your spreadsheet to duplicate your Dividend Meter, and replace the IMPORTDATA formula in column G with the actual annual dividend amount.  Unfortunately, this tab won’t automatically update with dividends raises or cuts, but everything else should update fine.

Duplicate Spreadsheet

This is a good time to solicit any app developers out there who might want to partner with me to create a “Dividend Meter” app.  How cool would be to have a Dividend Meter app that could instantly show a reliable meter reading, and provide buy and sell notifications based on your custom yield triggers? If you’re interested in helping with this endeavor visit the Contact page and drop me a line.

Anyway, let’s talk about happened in March to the Dividend Meter.  Despite the poor spreadsheet performance, my Buy/Sell indicators worked fantastic this month for exposing three trade opportunities that contributed to raising the overall annual meter reading by $235.46. In March, one new position, OHI (Omega Healthcare Investors Inc.), was added to the spreadsheet and acquired.  Here’s a summary of March’s activity:

3/3/2016 $5,492.99 Bought 8 shares DFS with accumulated dividends in IRA Rollover#1
3/3/2016 $5,513.69 WM dividend increase, raises meter reading $20.70
3/8/2016 $5,550.69 Sold 100 GIS, bought 142 MET
3/12/2016 $5,565.57 GIS Dividend increase, raises meter reading $14.88
3/21/2016 $5,661.17 Sold 100 COP, bought 326 F, raises meter $95.60
3/24/2016 $5,668.37 Added $500.00 new savings to TradeKing account, bought 9 SBUX
3/29/2016 $5,719.49 Sold 100 CALM, bought 154 OHI

To view a snapshot of the entire Dividend Meter spreadsheet at the end of March, visit the Member’s Club page.

February 2016 Dividend Meter Update

February 2016 Dividend Meter

I know many of you have been anxiously awaiting the end-of-month damage report to the Dividend Meter portfolio from ConcocoPhillips’ dividend cut.   If you’ve previously downloaded a copy of my spreadsheet, it’s painfully obvious I’ve held a concentrated position in COP – more than $2,000.00 of my total annual dividend income came from COP.   For me, I learned an important lesson in February:

  • If a nagging gut instinct is telling you to diversify your portfolio, it’s probably a good idea to do it now, rather than wait.

Late last year, I recognized the need to improve the diversification of my portfolio. In fact, finding additional dividend stocks to buy at good prices was a chief catalyst for creating my dividend tracking spreadsheet. But I had hoped to sell off shares of my larger positions on the upside over time. However, the crash in oil prices caught up with COP and my portfolio.

Here’s the good news though – my spreadsheet was invaluable for finding alternative investments to COP and other concentrated positions.  The spreadsheet helped me identify stocks that were trading at good buy prices, and measure the impact to total annual dividend income.  I did begin selling shares of COP and two other concentrated positions:  AAPL and AWR.  Here’s what happened in February, a direct copy of my spreadsheet journal notes:

2/1/2016 $5,872.35 HCP dividend increase, raises meter reading $3.16 annually
2/2/2016 $5,884.67 Bought 11 DFS with new savings in TradeKing account
2/4/2016 $5,006.22 Sold 200 AWR, bought 257 PPL, COP cuts dividend 66% OUCH!!!, sold 200 COP, bought 200 HCP
2/5/2016 $5,430.42 Sold 206 COP and 50 AAPL, bought 100 RDS/B, 100 CALM , and 82 OGE
2/8/2016 $5,432.99 PPL dividend increase, raises meter reading $2.57
2/15/2016 $5,436.39 DPS dividend increase, raises meter reading $3.40
2/25/2016 $5,449.11 Bought 6 shares of ADP in TradeKing account with new $500 savings
2/26/2016 $5,472.11 Sold 32 COP in regular account (get tax write-off) and bought 50 OGE
2/29/2016 $5,484.03 ETN dividend increase, raises meter reading $11.92

So, a few dividend increases, adding about $1,000.00 in new savings, and swapping a few shares of COP, AAPL and AWR for RDS/B, CALM, PPL, HCP, and OGE helped offset the huge dividend cut from ConcocoPhillips.  All in all, total dividend income is only $385.16 lower than January’s meter reading.

I still own 249 shares of COP, as I want to maintain some exposure to the oil market in my portfolio. Although I did buy 100 shares of Royal Dutch Shell B shares in February to get into an integrated upstream and downstream oil company, I’m hesitant to exchange anymore COP for RDS/B or any other oil company because the dividend cut has already happened for COP. I’d hate to buy more RDS/B just for the higher yield now, only to have it cut it’s dividend soon after.

During the month of February, I also did quite a bit of stock research and added several additional companies to my “watch list”, already exceeding one of my new year goals. Other than Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS/B), which I added to the spreadsheet and purchased, here are the additional companies I’m now tracking for possible future purchase:

  • F – Ford Motor Company
  • PKG – Packaging Corp of America
  • MET – Metlife, Inc.
  • PPG – PPG Industries, Inc.
  • TROW – T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.
  • SIX – Six Flags Entertainment Corp.

If you would like to view the entire Dividend Meter portfolio and watch list as of the end of February, please visit the Member’s page to register and download the report.

January 2016 Dividend Meter Update

January 2016 Dividend Update

With the stock market surging upward nearly 2.5% on Friday, I thought to myself:  Whoa, wait, I was hoping to get more cash into the market ….  January, 2016 certainly was a volatile month for stocks. Despite Friday’s huge gains, there are still many excellent buying opportunities showing on my investment spreadsheet, and I hope to take advantage of them, commission free, over the next three months in my new TradeKing account. ()  However, let’s review January’s activity:

Dividend Meter Reading Up $137.12

Compared to December’s meter reading of $5,732.07, the current annual dividend income for my portfolio is $5,869.19.   January’s increase was mostly attributable to fully funding my 2016 Roth IRA contribution, purchasing 50 shares of Aflac (AFL) and 48 shares of Starbucks (SBUX) at the beginning of January. With additional non-IRA savings, I added five more shares of SBUX later in the month.

New Position Established

For a long time, I have wanted to purchase shares of Automatic Data Processing (ADP).  And January’s steep sell-off provided an ideal opportunity to establish an entry-level position in ADP.  I purchased six shares of ADP at $77.60 per share, also in the new account. At the time, I wish I had extra cash available to buy more shares – the stock is already back up to $83.09 a share as of Friday’s close.

Two New Stocks Added to the Spreadsheet

One of my goals for 2016 is to add five more stocks to my “watch list”, increasing my tracking spreadsheet from 25 companies to 30.  I made progress towards the goal by adding Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (CALM) and A.O. Smith Corp. (AOS) to the Dividend Meter spreadsheet.  Cal-Maine is a leading producer and distributor of eggs. CALM appears to pay irregular dividends, but longer-term, the overall dividend growth trend is positive.  A.O. Smith Corp. is primarily a manufacturer of water heaters and just announced a whopping 26% increase in its dividend. Be sure to check back soon, as I plan to share more specific research for each company during the month of February.

December 2015 and Year-End Dividend Meter Update

December 2015 Dividend Income

Today is New Year’s Eve, and it’s time for a final 2015 Dividend Meter update. The month of December was highlighted by the first ever dividend cut by a member of the Dividend Meter portfolio, Kinder Morgan (KMI).  The KMI dividend cut was significant enough to reduce the total Dividend Meter income value below November’s high water mark of $5,802.97.  However, despite Kinder Morgan’s dividend reduction and my subsequent immediate sale of KMI shares on December 8th, the damage to the Dividend Meter reading was mitigated by investing KMI’s sale proceeds into HCP, adjusting for an announced dividend increase from Pfizer (PFE), adding new savings, and putting accumulated cash dividends to work in shares of stock. Here’s a summary:

Stock Sale and New Watch List Addition

I sold 175 total shares of KMI from the Dividend Meter portfolio after the Company announced a 75% dividend cut. The stock sale reduced the annual Dividend Meter income reading by $357.00. I also removed Kinder Morgan completely from my spreadsheet watch list and news alert services, eliminating the stock from future re-investment consideration. Taking KMI’s place on my “watch list” is Dover Corporation (DOV).  Dover, a manufacturer of various equipment and parts for energy and food industries. is a current Dividend Aristocrat.

Three New Positions Added to the Dividend Meter Portfolio

My Dividend Meter investment spreadsheet tracks 25 companies, and currently I own shares in 18 of them after the addition of three stocks in December. With a combination of sale proceeds from KMI, accumulated cash dividends from existing positions, and new savings, the following new positions were established in December:

79 shares of HCP (HCP, Inc.)

20 shares of SBUX (Starbucks Corporation)

20 shares of OGE (OGE Energy Corporation)

Added Shares to Existing Position

Also in December, I added an additional 19 shares of Eaton (ETN) to an existing position with some winnings from a college fantasy football league and additional new savings. For the last few months, Eaton’s share price has drifted lower, trading at a level that has triggered my personal dividend yield buy signal on the stock.

Dividend Increases

Two Dividend Meter stocks announced dividend increases in December, Waste Management (WM) and Pfizer (PFE). My spreadsheet has automatically updated the imported new annual dividend figure for PFE, increasing the needle on the meter by $27.76 (a 7.1% dividend raise from PFE!). Waste Management’s announced dividend increase isn’t reflected yet in the automatic import – hopefully I’ll get to see the meter needle move higher in January for WM’s raise.

New Archive Page Added to Website

Above, you’ll see a new snippet of my dividend spreadsheet as of today, December 31st, 2015. With the conclusion of each year, I plan to update this blog’s top header image with a year-end screen capture of my own Dividend Meter spreadsheet. . I’ve also added a new page to the website to archive the header images.

Looking Forward to 2016

The temporary setback in total annual dividend income caused by KMI’s dividend cut in December should be brief. I’m looking forward to establishing a new high water mark for the Dividend Meter reading in January 2016 when I make my 2016 Roth IRA contribution.  Be sure to check back in early January when I will also summarize 2016 personal, investing, and website goals. For those celebrating the arrival of 2016 tonight, have a great time ringing in the New Year, and be safe.