Here are Turning Point Money we are all about working smarter than harder. This month I simplified how I will be reporting out our expenses and investments. I used Personal Capital previously to centralize our taxable investment portfolio’s only. I did not include the accounts to capture our monthly cashflow. It was really simple to do, I just added our AMEX credit card that we pay off every month and our central checking account. Now we have a clear picture of all of our expenses and it does a decent job categorizing everything.
I spend about ten minutes providing categories for checks and correcting a few items that were unclassified. The entire process saves me about twenty minutes per month.
In my opinion we made some decent cut backs from the previous month. Nothing was painful. We still have some areas we can improve.
Or mortgage payment includes an additional $500 of principal each month. If we back this out actual expenses were $7,688.
August also included a six month payment to our auto insurance. This ideally would be spread over the months, but I will display the expense as incurred.
We also topped out the entertainment budget this month. We hosted a birthday party for our four-year old at the neighborhood bounce house. We haven’t had an extravagant party before. He really wanted to invite his class to the party.
Month over Month Change
We cut our expenses by 28%. Some of this was too be expected as July had two weeks vacationing on the Carolina coast. I still expect to see further progress going forward.
There were some things like the dog walker who cashed some residual checks, birthday party, insurance and a few medical bills to deal to pay for this month. Not to mention August is our highest electricity bill.
More progress to come.
Passive Income from Dividends
For the past few years I have transitioned away from some large cap dividend payers. Some of the consumer products and a few financial institutions valuations were stretched. I repurposed those funds into a couple of non-dividend paying companies that are now part of the value portion of our taxable portfolio. While our turnover is minimal, once in a while the opportunity cost is too great and we free up capital to make a large purchase.
Over time, I intend to increase our investments in dividend growth stocks. My intention for trimming the dividend portfolio for the past couple years was due to being in an unfavorable tax bracket and having to write a large check to the federal government to cover our dividend income. Since we don’t required the income right now it really doesn’t make a difference to me how the companies return capital to shareholders.
Stock repurchases are just as good in my book. For now anyway.
Investments Made for August
DRIP and DSPP Accounts
Most months I dollar cost average into a few companies with little to no investment cost through transfer agents like Computershare and Wells Fargo Shareowner Online. This has been automated for some time. Typically the companies I choose to purchase this way are large cap stocks with durable competitive advantages that typically trade at a premium. Good examples of these are Hersey and McCormick. Both companies, I will likely hold forever if we are given the opportunity. None of these companies are undervalued at the moment.
For August I made the following small recurring DRIP investments:
Other Investments Made
From time to time I make purchases in other equities with monthly contributions to our brokerage accounts, pooled dividends, proceeds from sales or other extra money from our day job. This month I made on purchase in the food industry.
Just like a few of our favorite companies, McCormick shares always trade at a premium valuation. There never seems to be a good time to initiate a position in this company. My strategy is to dollar cost average and buy on dips
On the 18th I added 30.709 shares for a total cost of 3,000. This was added to an existing position in McCormick. This is one of our favorite holdings. Ideally we are comfortable if this company makes up 10% of our taxable portfolio. Right now it stands as a very small percentage of the portfolio due to the premium valuation.
I took advantage of a share price dip when they issued shares to help p for the acquisition of French’s mustard and hot sauce. We think these brands make great additions to the portfolio.
We are hoping the CEO doesn’t continue to dilute shareholders to fund acquisitions. I’d rather see these funded from cash from operations. At this time we will continue to add shares on the dips.
From time to time we pay down our mortgage on our primary residence. As of today our mortgage is our only debt. For August we paid an additional $500 to our mortgage. Our Mortgage payment is automated and includes an additional $500 draft.