2014-06 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for June, 2014.

The monthly dividend income came out to $522.86. The yearly income total for 2014 through the end of the month was $1933.90.

The income for June, 2013 was $351.48, and the yearly income total up through that month was $1492.72.

This is the first month I got more than $500 without any special dividends. This is due to a few factors.

One is that there are a lot of stocks that pay in March/June/September/December. I have about twice as many stocks that pay dividends in those months as I have that pay in January, April, July and October.

Another is that I bought shares of Kellogg.

Another is that I bought more shares of Exxon and Aflac, bringing my total number of shares in each company above 100.

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for June, 2014:

  • AFLAC Inc: $38.14
  • American States Water Co: $21.97
  • Black Hills Corp: $13.50
  • Bemis Co Inc: $26.92
  • ConocoPhillips: $72.74
  • Vectren Corp: $20.18
  • Archer-Daniels-Midland Co: $15.34
  • Chevron    CVX: $24.03
  • Emerson Electric Co: $22.91
  • Johnson & Johnson: $23.62
  • Sonoco Products Co: $21.12
  • Exxon Mobil Corp: $75.02
  • 3M Co: $11.19
  • Walgreen Co: $17.78
  • Valspar Corp: $15.03
  • Consolidated Edison Inc: $18.43
  • Dover Corp: $8.44
  • Kellogg Company: $46.00
  • RLI Corp: $20.20
  • Questar Corp: $10.30

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use


Thoughts On “Voyager”

I am still going through the Star Trek canon.

After I got done with The Next Generation, I started going through Deep Space Nine. After I got started CBS started taking episodes off the site. There are still 160 episodes of Voyager, so I started watching that. There are currently no episodes of Enterprise, five of The Next Generation and two of Deep Space Nine. Last week there were 55 of The Original Series, then 34, and now there are 24.

So far I like Voyager. Somewhere I read that out of all the series that Voyager is the only one for which several of the regular actors said that making the series was not a happy experience. Robert Picardo (The Doctor) was 43 during the third season. I am 43, and I think he looks older then than I do now. I assumed he was in his 50s when the series started.

I thought Jennifer Lien (Kes) has one of the hottest voices of any women I have ever heard in my life. I liked what I heard the first time I heard her speak. I haven’t gotten to any of the Seven Of Nine seasons yet, but if they made the switch to up the babe factor, they could have kept Kes on. The Doctor is a lucky hologram to get to spend so much time with her in sick bay (“Please state the nature of your sexual emergency”). I thought the forehead ridges on B’Elanna Torres looked a bit odd, but the more I see her the more I like her. She’s fit, smart and intense. If they needed to up the babe factor, they could have just had those two wear something tighter.

Maybe later I will write something up about Deep Space Nine. I might just wait to see if I can get through all of Voyager before they take episodes offline. I was hoping to get through Star Trek to put off paying for a subscription to Netflix. Now Netflix is having conflicts with Verizon and Comcast will be merging with Time Warner, so who knows what will happen with online content.

Image from Memory Alpha, copyright owned by CBS, assumed allowed under Fair Use


More Thoughts On Snowden

So our good friend Edward BenedictArnoldovich Snowden gave an interview to NBC in which he stated that he raised concerns within the NSA. Glenn Griftwald said this was an important revelation.

Then NSA released an email in which Snowden asked a question about whether executive orders supercede federal statutes. Granted, before this the NSA said there was no paper trail. Perhaps they were looking for something substantive. When the email turned out to be underwhelming, Greenwald had nothing more to say on it. Did he know about the supposed paper trail?

As many commenters at Little Green Footballs pointed out, this email was sent after Edward I-Love-My-Sugar-Vladdy Snowden had already been in contact with Greenwald and Laura Poitras. Snowden and Greenwald said there are more emails that the NSA has not released. Many commenters pointed out (as I did) that it seemed odd that Snowden and Greenwald have not released those emails themselves. I think Snowden did not keep those emails. If these people were smart, they would have released those pretty early. I know that 1.5 million documents is a lot to go through, but I would guess something that corroborates your story would be at the front of the list.

Snowden says he was trained as a spy. Didn’t they cover that in spy school?

I have also looked at a few lists of the documents. Yes, there is a LOT of spying on Americans. But there are also a lot of examples of the USA spying on foreign countries, their leaders and their citizens. I really don’t like that, but I really don’t think people in other countries have any rights under the US Constitution.

Plus some of the documents were looking at the activities of Iran, Russia and China. I really have no issues with the US spying on them. At all. Anything that makes China or Russia stronger relative to US/NATO is a bad thing in my opinion.

The UK has said that some criminals have gone off the radar thanks to the Snowden leaks. He has released info on spying by the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Sweden and the Netherlands. Why haven’t Snowden/Greenwald/Wikileaks shined a light on China and Russia? I do not have high expectations for China or Russia as beacons of freedom or democracy. It just seems odd that Snowden/Greenwald/Wikileaks say they are advancing freedom, yet their actions all seem to benefit China and Russia.

Snowden may not be a Russian spy, but the Russians have said they have had their eye on him since his time in Switzerland. That is interesting, because people who think that he is a Russian spy think he became one in Switzerland. So if he is not a spy, then perhaps Russia has been using him all this time.

Did Snowden keep the paper trail in which he raised concerns? Did Greenwald lose the files? Why didn’t Snowden only take files about NSA surveillance on Americans? Did not know how to only get those files? Or did he not care?

Are Snowden, Greenwald and Wikileaks stupid and incompetent? Or just apathetic and evil? Is one better or worse than the other?

I really hate it when people who don’t know what they are doing tell me they are looking out for me freedom. I’ll take my chances before trusting idiots.

Image of Snowden’s other role model from Wikipedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use


I Am Looking At Deere Again

I am thinking about re-buying shares in Deere.

They increased their dividend a few weeks ago by about 17%. It was one quarter late, but I think it still counts towards their streak.

I know I keep saying I should stick to my rules, but I am still trying to work out what my rules are. How strict should I be? I held on to Intel after they had gone 8 quarters without a dividend raise. Deere raised theirs after five quarters. They have a nice P/E ratio, and they are still making money.

Plus they are in the agriculture business. Sort of. I think along with energy that food and water will be huge issues (and huge money makers) in the next decades. I think Deere is a good way to play that. Plus they are based in Illinois.

I bought Kellogg recently. I read an article that pointed out that most things we buy at the grocery store come from a handful of companies. Kellogg is on the list. I will start looking at some other companies listed in the article: Kraft, General Mills, JM Smucker, even Pepsico (even though we are a Coke family).

Image from John Deere web site, assumed allowed under Fair Use


2014-05 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for May, 2014.

The monthly dividend income came out to $280.01. The yearly income total for 2014 through the end of the month was $1,411.19. If I had 100 shares of each of the stocks that paid out in May, 2014 I would have made $591.86.

The income for May, 2013 was $242.65, and the yearly income total up through that month was $1,141.24.

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for May, 2014:

  • AT&T: $27.05
  • Verizon: $7.42
  • WGL Holdings Inc: $14.15
  • ABM Industries Inc: $8.47
  • Lowe’s Cos Inc: $9.51
  • Clorox Co: $38.59
  • Air Products & Chemicals Inc: $11.86
  • Abbott Laboratories: $11.56
  • Colgate-Palmolive: $38.33
  • Hormel Foods Corp: $9.40
  • Northwest Natural Gas Co: $25.76
  • Procter & Gamble: $35.94
  • Texas Instruments: $16.09
  • Eaton Corporation: $25.88

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use


Portfolio Update: Aflac, Kellogg And Deere

I have made a few changes to my stock portfolio.

I sold Deere a while back, about two days after I wrote a post about not knowing that to do with it. It did not raise its dividend this year. I decided I am going to stick to my rules.

I also bought about 50 or so shares of Aflac. I now have about 103. When I stared buying dividend stocks, I just bought as many shares as I could get for $1000. Before too long I changed my mind and I then went for 50 shares of each stock. Now I want to get to 100. (I don’t know what I will do about stocks that split.) I still have only 13 shares of 3M and 15 of Air Products.

Aflac has a P/E ratio of 9.5 or so. A lot of stocks have pretty high P/E ratios. I am going to start out my maxing out on the stocks that are lower than average at the moment. I think the historical average for the S & P 500 is 16. The webmaster of Dividend Growth Investor will not buy a stock with a P/E over 20. I wonder why he/she is willing to go a bit higher than the historical average.

I also bought 100 shares of Kellogg. Maybe it was not a great idea to buy a new stock when I still have a lot under 50 shares, but the P/E ratio is 12.96 (right now), and I wanted to get more into the food/water/land sectors.

I don’t know if I bought Aflac in time to get a dividend payment for all 100 shares. I intend to hold these stocks for a while, or at least as long as they make their payments. I honestly do not pay too much attention to the ex-dividend date or the date of record too much. Yes, I want to make as much as I can, but I have held Aflac for four years. Missing out on one payout is not the end of the world. When I bought 50 more shares of Exxon I missed the cutoff date.

Images from Aflac website and Kellogg website, assumed allowed under Fair Use


Obama Takes on False Equivalence

I have written a few times about false equivalence, which I have called the “both sides fallacy” (see here, here, here, here, here and here). It is also called the balance fallacy or false balance.

We see it when people talk about the inability of government to solve our problems, or pass any meaningful legislation. “Both parties are to blame”. Democrats have been willing (sometimes I think too willing) to compromise, while Republicans have not. And our so-called “liberal media” has been either perpetuating or going along with the “both sides” meme.

Now, President Obama is calling out the media in speeches. There is an article about it in the Washington Post. He lists issues that Republicans have not been willing to discuss, and legislation they have torpedoed. You can’t blame both parties for Congress being broken when one party wants it to be broken. You cannot blame government for being ineffective when a lot of people in it do not want it to be effective.

The article was also mentioned in The Immoral Minority, Salon and a site I had not heard of until now called Driftglass. I will have to look at this Driftglass site. He (or she) says he was talking about this for a while, as I have.

Go read them. There are some pretty good quotes from Obama on the topic.

Image from Hollywood PQ, assumed allowed under Fair Use



Possibly Last Thoughts On The Next Generation

I got through Star Trek: The Next Generation this weekend.

There is one thing I did not like thoughout the series, or at least the last couple of seasons.

Picard had this uniform that was a jacket that he always wore open, with a purple shirt underneath. I did not think it was appropriate for the captain to walk around with his jacket open. It looked like he was getting sloppy. It was very un-military in my opinion. I do not think the purple shirt underneath looked good either. It made Patrick Stewart look small. He did not seem to fill out the shoulders and arms. Just about all the men on TNG looked pretty muscular in the standard uniform. Supposedly Patrick Stewart asked for this uniform to stand out, but I do not think it looked good at all.

Granted, Counselor Troi spent most of the series in non-standard clothes, and I think it all looked good on her. Even the standard uniform looked good on her. Pretty much anything looks good on Marina Sirtis. I think they should have kept the season one unitard longer. I think the v-belt accentuated her waist. T&A are nice, but lately I have been noticing women’s waists. I saw a web page in which one guy said he never noticed how hot Linda Park was on Enterprise since they were all in the garage mechanic uniforms most of the time. You just need to know where to look.

I watched a video on YouTube in which she spoke with her natural accent. Maybe it was just a bad sample, or she had a cold, but she did not sound pleasant at all. She sounded like a British person trying to imitate a Noo Yawk-er, or vice versa. Her Troi accent was much nicer.

Another thing I did not like about Picard is that Patrick Stewart always seemed to let his arms hang limp a lot. He was just a talking head. I actually did a bit of googling about this, and it appears I am the only one who ever got that impression. I think if he made more gestures, he would have had a more dynamic presence, and he would not have needed the open jacket uniform.

Images from Memory Alpha, copyright owned by CBS, assumed allowed under Fair Use





Thoughts On the Shale Gas Revolution

We have seen a lot of predictions that the “tight oil” revolution will change everything about America. The shale gas and shale oil and the fracking and the horizontal drilling will make USA energy independent. It will lead to a resurgence in US manufacturing. It will change the balance of power in many regions throughout the world. There is enough to last 100 years.

The CEO of NRG said that many people will go off the electric grid in a few years. They will stay on the gas grid, using the gas for heating and some electricity generation. He says that people will get most of their electricity from solar, and use gas to fill the gap.

I am not against all of this, but I think we need to be careful about some of these predictions. Maybe there is not enough shale gas to last 100 years. Some people are saying that we do not need to invest in solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal or wave power because gas and oil will still fulfill all our energy needs.

The issue I have with all of this is I think a lot of people in the energy industry did not see this coming. And given that shale wells run out a lot more quickly than conventional, we should be worried.

This occurred to me while seeing a couple of stories a few times in the past few weeks.

Charif Souki, chairman, CEO and president of Cheniere Energy Inc. was the highest paid executive in Houston in 2013, taking home $142 million dollars, mostly in stock awards. Chenire Energy is coming on like gangbusters because they are preparing the first terminal in the USA to export natural gas. It is actually a bi-directional terminal, although most articles will refer to it as an export terminal. They got this export terminal up and running just in time for the shale revolution because they originally built it as an import terminal. According to a press release on the DOE site, they will “retrofit an existing LNG import terminal in Louisiana so that it can also be used for exports.” If a cheap gas company didn’t see all this cheap gas coming, will they be able to predict when it will end?

The other event was the bankruptcy of Energy Future Holdings (articles in Bloomberg here, here, here and here, article in New Yorker here, article in Washington Post here). It was the biggest private equity deal, and now it is one of the biggest bankruptcies. They produce a lot of their energy from coal and nuclear. They thought gas would stay expensive. But gas got cheap, and when it did, it brought the price of other types of generation down as well. They could not pay off the debt, and the rest is legal and financial history. It looks like the trial will be take several months.

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use


Thoughts On Finishing The Next Generation

I am almost through watching (mostly re-watching) Star Trek: The Next Generation. There are about five, including the finale. I think I have not seen three of them all the way through. I also finally saw an entire episode of Voyager all the way through.

I seem to be putting off watching them. Perhaps once again I am just getting old and thinking of the good old days, when my life was full of possibilities instead of bad choices. TNG ended in 1994, twenty years ago, in May. As any good skeptic will tell you, humans love nice round numbers.

At the time I was living with my father. He introduced me to Star Trek when I was a kid. I remember going to see The Motion Picture when I was 8. We were living in Colorado. We went with my older brother. The theater was packed. My brother and I sat together, and my dad went further up front to get a seat.

When TNG was ending, things were not too good between us. My mother finally left him a few years before that. He did not treat her well. Let’s leave it at that.

I had gotten a useless humanities degree. After starting martial arts, I decided to go back to get a degree in exercise physiology. I needed financial aid to get it, so I got the FAFSA and started filling it out. If you are single, not a parent, not in the military and under the age of 25, you have to put information about your parents’ income on the form. I assume because you have to be registered with the Selective Service until you are 25. He insisted this was a plot by my mother to get more info about his income and assets.

Then he got upset when I told him that I was going for another undergraduate degree. For some reason he thought I was going into a graduate program. I think the idea of going into a graduate program for a hard science with a humanities undergrad degree is absurd. Plus I never mentioned the GRE. I guess he drank more booze than I had thought. So he accused me of lying twice in a short period of time. We watched All Good Things… in separate rooms. I went back to UIUC that fall, and we have not spoken since. Which is fine with me.

The 1990s were the golden age for Star Trek: Three series and a few good movies. First Contact is one of my favorites. I did not have a lot of money (or access to a television), but in general times were good in the 1990s: plenty of jobs, interest rates were low, people were hopeful about the future. I never wanted to be one of those old people talking about the good old days, but for Trek fans and the economy in general, the 1990s were pretty good.

Now after each episode I look at its article on Memory Alpha. It is a pretty neat resource.

According to MA, the producers did not put Crusher and Picard together so they could have Picard involved with other women. I think they should have put Dr Crusher and Capt Picard together. (I never violated the Prime Directive.)  I think some fans would have preferred that. Picard would save The Amazing Beverly that we have known all these years, instead of some character that drops out of the sky.

Nurse Ogawa had the prettiest face, but I think Ensign Ro probably had the best body. Too bad women on the Enterprise D did not walk around in boots and miniskirts.

I always had a problem with the Klingons in TNG. They had warp drive, cloaking devices and all this advanced technology, but they always seemed too rowdy. Can you imagine a bunch of Klingon undergrads taking a calculus exam? There would not be any students or professors left after a few semesters.

I am looking forward to DS9 and Voyager.

Image from Memory Alpha, copyright owned by CBS, assumed allowed under Fair Use