Recent Buy

Late last week and early this week the market finally cooled off a bit from its upward trend.  I used this as an opportunity to add a few new positions to my portfolio.  I didn’t use all of my cash reserves in these purchases, but did use what I had set aside for short-term use.   I will continue to divide new capital in this means: short-term use and long-term corrections or *gasp* a market crash.

Annaly Capital Management, Inc  (NLY)

NLY has been on my watch list for almost a year.  There has been no shortage of commentary as to whether it is a good REIT investment or not.  I like the way NLY’s management has steered the company through many different market cycles, even when that means dividend cuts as we have seen recently.  I picked up 221 shares of NLY at 15.80.  NLY will be held in my IRA so you will not see it or its dividends reported in the portfolio listed here.

New Jersey Resources Corp (NJR)

I’ve wanted to add a utility to my portfolio for a while.  Although I would prefer for the yield to have been higher, I’m happy with how NJR has grown its dividend and I am focusing more on the possibility of dividend growth vs. high yield.   I already have a few high yield stocks and as I continue to diversify I would like to add stocks with lower yields but better prospects for the growth of those dividends in the future.

I purchased 70 shares at a cost of 43.04.  I would like to have purchased more shares, but I think there is a very real possibility of a lower share price later this year as the glut of natural gas supplies continues to impact the price of natural gas.  I think the initial price of these shares was fair and will add to the position on future dips.

National Presto Industries Inc (NPK)

NPK is another company I have watched for a while.  Although there have been recent concerns with the demand for ammunition from the U.S. military as it scales down its activity in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as recent demand for it household appliance products, I don’t think those concerns justify the hit in its recent price.  Maybe those concerns combined with the reduction in the dividend this year is what is causing the share price to drop.  Who knows.

The thing to remember is that the dividend “cut” with NPK is not your typical cut.  NPK issues a special dividend each year along with its normal dividend of a dollar a share.  The dollar a share dividend is what you will see reported on Google and Yahoo, missing the rather large special dividend paid each year.  If the company does well then the special dividend is higher.  If revenues/earnings are not so great the dividend will be reduced.  Some people will not like the unpredictability of the dividend payout.  For me, I get it.  Considering the CEO owns several shares of the company herself, I see no reason the company will not continue to be managed in a way that continues to be favorable to shareholders.  Also, the fact that the company has no debt means it is in a much better position to handle changes in market demands for its products.  I purchased 27 shares at 71.87 and will add more on future dips.

Telefonica S.A.  (TEF)

So, for those of you who follow along with my investment activities you didn’t think  I would let the recent drop on TEF go without picking up a few more shares did you?  I’ve stated my case for TEF here and here so I’m not going to elaborate much more on it now.  I like the steps that TEF is taking to reduce its debt and the policy for shareholder remuneration, which includes share buybacks.  A lot of people have different ideas of whether company buybacks are good for shareholders.  This can be debated, but to me it is much better when a company like TEF buys shares when the cost is at lows it has not seen in six years versus say APPL who has decided it would now be a good time to buy back shares.  I’ll let you decide which makes more sense.

Added a 100 shares at 15.46

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts on these purchases or the ones you may have made.

Changing Your Life By Working Abroad: The Fun Stuff

As I mentioned in the first post of this series: Changing Your Life By Working Abroad: The Financial Benefits, there are some challenges associated with being away from home.  Last year was really the first year that I began to “settle” since my divorce in early 2009.  With this settling came the reality of living day-to-day life without all the excitement that comes with constantly being on the move.  When I was in Afghanistan my life was lived out of a small backpack.  I was constantly moving from camp to camp and learning new things, never a chance to get bored or reflect on the life altering event I had survived.  Anyone who as lived through a divorce and the financial peril that comes with it can tell you what an uprooting, heart wrenching experience it is.  2011 was the year things calmed down. Continue reading

March 2012: A Look In The Rear View Mirror

The first quarter of 2012 has come to an end.  Hard to believe really.  Seems like it was just yesterday we were celebrating the New Year.  The first quarter of 2012 has been a great one for The Stoic Investor, here are a few of the accomplishments so far this year.

  • Opened a Roth IRA
  • Average savings rate of 81% for the past three months
  • Investing In Cash was a success and I have 15k waiting to be invested
  • At the end of March I crossed the six figure mark for my net worth!

The last one is a nice psychological milestone.  I’ve mentioned before that my net worth was (-) 13,400 in February of last year.  I’m very happy to make this much progress in such a short amount of time.  Having paid off all of my debts last year I should be able to make even better progress over the next year.  It is motivating to see this improving.

I’m going to claim success for the first quarter.  So, what does the second quarter look like?  My income will come back down to normal levels for the rest of the year now that my “remote” assignment at work is finished.  The only big expense in Q2 is my annual leave.  Travel expenses tend to have a way of creeping when I go on leave.  It was actually one of my top three expenses for last year.  I’m going to try to give myself a budget and stick with it this year.  Q2 should be another good quarter on the financial front.  The biggest goal I’m going to work towards is getting my savings rate to an average of 85%.  That is my goal for the year and I think it is doable.  Wish me luck!!

How was your first quarter?  Any success stories or failures you would like to share?  I always enjoy hearing from you guys.  It is what makes blogging so much fun!