2015-06 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for June, 2015.

The monthly dividend income came out to $612.21. The yearly income total for 2015 through the end of the month was $2415.32.

The income for June, 2014 was $522.86, and the yearly income for 2014 through the end of June was $1933.90.

I started a taxable brokerage account that I have started funding. I plan on buying enough shares in some stocks such that each quarter’s dividend would be enough to buy an additional share. I have found a few stocks for which I can do that for under $6000 each. Some of them will replace shares in my IRA accounts (which will leave more money in those accounts to bulk up on what’s left) and some will be shares in new companies.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each June from 2011 through 2015:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2015-06 $2415.32 $612.21 $411.83 $409.95
2014-06 $1933.90 $522.86 $333.10 $320.58
2013-06 $1492.72 $351.48 $257.79 $291.91
2012-06 $1574.81 $305.84 $260.85 $276.29
2011-06 $1351.34 $236.50 $235.38 $203.23

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for June, 2015:

  • AFLAC Inc: $41.21
  • American States Water Co: $23.69
  • Black Hills Corp: $14.43
  • Bemis Co Inc: $28.65
  • ConocoPhillips: $79.97
  • Vectren Corp: $22.06
  • Johnson & Johnson: $48.65
  • Chevron: $24.93
  • Emerson Electric Co: $25.76
  • Sonoco Products Co: $23.79
  • Exxon Mobil Corp: $81.71
  • Archer-Daniels-Midland Co: $32.26
  • 3M Co: $13.73
  • Walgreen Co: $19.41
  • Dover Corp: $9.18
  • Consolidated Edison Inc: $19.85
  • Kellogg Company: $50.48
  • Valspar Corp: $17.59
  • RLI Corp: $23.10
  • Questar Corp: $11.76

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use


Thoughts On Ireland and the Roman Corrupt Church

Recently, the Republic of Ireland voted to allow same sex marriage. I’m sure you have heard all about it.

Some Catholic conservatives are saying that foreign money influenced the vote. They are upset about this. And completely oblivious to the fact that the Roman Catholic Church is ultimately a foreign institution in Ireland. They seem okay with the Roman Corrupt Church.

Jim Bob Duggar ran for US Senate and lost. He thought he lost because of “sin in the camp.” Granted, there was sin in the camp, but in both cases it is interesting that a lot of conservatives just cannot accept that some people disagree with them. There always has to be some cosmic explanation or the other side cheated or grand conspiracy to keep people from the truth. They never look at the most obvious possibility: People really do not want what you are selling.

A few conservatives hoped that Ireland will endure another Cromwell or another famine. Someone wishes that a country will endure a repeat of two of the worst things that ever happened to it. Simply because Ireland wants all people to have the same rights. Please, conservatives, define freedom for me.

The Roman Cadillac Church has been losing influence in Ireland ever since it was revealed that Eamon Casey, the bishop of Galway, had used church funds for several years to pay child support for his son. There have been other abuse cases all over Ireland. Frankly, Ireland should have booted the Roman Corrupt Church out 1500 years ago. Lost the land, lost the language, kept the oppressive religion. Pretty raw deal. I think the Irish have done more for the Roman Corrupt Church than they have done for us.

There have been a lot of abuse cases for the Roman Corrupt Church on multiple continents over several decades. The standard response from the Roman Corrupt Church is to pay hush money, move the priest somewhere else, and wind up repeating the cycle. And blame the victim if it ever goes public. This pattern is so pervasive in the Roman Corrupt Church and has gone on for so long, I think it comes from or has the approval, knowledge or imprimatur of people high up in hierarchy in the Vatican itself.

I know a guy here in Austin who grew up in Dublin in the 1970s. When he started junior high school, his older brother took him aside one day and told him not to get too close to any priests: No retreats, no sports. He might meet one of “those” priests. There were not that many, but if things go badly you were on your own. So people in Ireland knew about this in the 1970s. It looks like Sinéad O’Connor was correct.

Some people defend the Roman Corrupt Church by saying “it’s not that many priests”. True, it’s not. I have read that the number of priests who engage in this bad behavior is actually in the low single digits. The problem is that the Roman Corrupt Church protects its own criminals, pays off the victims, moves the criminal priests around without any attempt at rehabilitation or finding them some other job or turning them over for prosecution, and then the criminal priest engages in the same behavior in their new parish. As people said during Watergate: It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup that counts. And a coverup usually results in the crime repeating.

When people defend the Roman Corrupt Church by saying “it’s not that many priests”, they are showing that 1. They are pretty stupid individuals, and 2. Tacitly admitting how truly evil and stupid the Roman Corrupt Church is. If they Roman Corrupt Church took these guys out of circulation somehow at the first sign of trouble, there really would not be a problem. But, no, protecting the church takes priority.

A few years ago, Mark Zuckerberg gave Newark public schools $100 million. My brother posted a long rant on Facebook (of all places) going on and on about how stupid Mark Zuckerberg was for doing this. He said that problem was that the Newark public school system was a bloated bureaucracy that cared more about itself than the people it claimed to be serving.

Which to me sounds like the Roman Corrupt Church.

Image from Wikimedia,  assumed allowed under Fair Use. Ever since the 2000 United States presidential appointment, I thought that blue on maps was good, and red was bad. This is an exception (although the Ulster Prods are real loony tunes).


2015-05 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for May, 2015.

The monthly dividend income came out to $361.99. The yearly income total for 2015 through the end of the month was $1803.11.

The income for May, 2014 was $280.01, and the yearly income for 2014 through the end of May was $1411.19. At the end of April, 2015 I had made $1441.12, so I am a month ahead.

The only other news is that my 12-month moving average is above $400 for the first time. It took me five years, and I can now cover half my rent. Frankly, I thought this whole dividend thing would be a bonanza more quickly.

There is not really a whole lot to report. Like last month, I have not been able to devote as much time to my stocks as I would like.

I am thinking about taking some of my savings and buying some dividend growth stocks. Some of them would be new stocks that I have not bought yet, while some would replace shares in my IRA. I would sell these in my IRA to free up funds there. One snag is that my bank will only let me transfer $500 at a time. I found this out after I got an account there. I can transfer more, but I need to call them up to do that. The broker I am thinking about using gives me 50 free trades for the first 90 days. If I can only transfer $500 at a time, the offer would expire by the time I got enough money over. My plan is to buy enough shares of each stock so that each quarter’s dividends will be able to purchase an entire share.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each May from 2011 through 2015:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
May 2015 1803.11 361.99 411.92 402.51
May 2014 1411.19 280.01 304.77 306.30
May 2013 1141.24 242.65 260.91 288.11
May 2012 1268.97 258.15 257.13 270.51
May 2011 1114.84 266.55 233.03 194.61

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for May, 2015:

  • AT&T: $48.20
  • Verizon: $55.65
  • WGL Holdings Inc: $15.46
  • ABM Industries Inc: $8.94
  • Lowe’s Cos Inc: $12.35
  • Clorox Co: $41.48
  • Air Products & Chemicals Inc: $12.77
  • Colgate-Palmolive: $41.33
  • Hormel Foods Corp: $11.94
  • Northwest Natural Gas Co: $27.11
  • Procter & Gamble: $38.15
  • Texas Instruments: $18.71
  • Eaton Corporation: $29.90

Image from Wikimedia,  assumed allowed under Fair Use


Mister Ben Condescending

Ben Carson recently said he wants to get rid of the income tax, and replace it with a flat tax. He did not use the term, but that is what he was talking about.

He said that poor people can pay the same percentage as rich people, and then he said it is “very condescending” to say otherwise.

Do not tell me what is condescending, Mr. Carson. I will tell you what is condescending. At the top of the list is: Mister Ben Carson.

Followed by just about every other Republican.

First off, you trot out the flat tax. And then you tell us it’s just one of your new, fresh, common sense ideas. And that your policies will not favor the wealthy, but instead will be better for everyone. And you think that people will not notice that your new ideas are really the same old ideas, and that you are just another fool carrying water for people who want to bring back feudalism.

Conservative politicians have proposed the flat tax. Many times. They tell us their experts have told them that all we have to do is close the loopholes, and we can make it 10 to 15%, and we can bring in just as much revenue as we do today. And every time, just about every economist who is not advising the latest doofus to push the flat tax tells us that none of it is true. All the other economists say that in order to maintain revenue, the flat tax would have to be closer to 30%, and that low income people would wind up paying a LOT more under a flat tax. And the wealthy would pay a lot less.

And then what happens is the politician pushing the flat tax will exempt people below a minimum income from paying. Which is a concession that the flat tax was regressive even though they said it was not. And makes it less flat and less simple. This happens just about every single time. I think we should pass a law that suggesting a flat tax disqualifies you from elected office.

And a note to Mike Huckabee: You can call the flat tax a “fair tax”, but it is basically the same thing.

What is also condescending, Mister Carson, is you go on about self-reliance and we should get rid of programs that help poor people, when you yourself have admitted that you got government help growing up and would not be where you are today without it. But now that you are successful, you want to pull the ladder up after you and lecture everybody else. Like Paul Ryan and Social Security. Or Marco Rubio with Medicare and student loans. It’s always Republicans who do this. And they seem to think we would not notice. Or that we should change the rules for them. And yet it’s everybody else who is “condescending.”

It seems Mister Carson thinks he is better than all the poor people in this country. That HE can make use of a handout and that they are all too stupid. Yet somehow it’s everybody else who is “condescending.”

One thing I found strange about Mister Carson talking about the flat tax is that he said low income people would pay less under his scheme. Yet Mitt Romney told us that a lot of people pay no taxes at all. So I am not clear how low income people will pay less under a flat tax than they do now.

I don’t think the GOP really wants to change the tax code. They need the IRS to kick around. Granted, if they hate how the IRS operates, they could pass changes to the tax code, since they have the House. During part of Bush 43’s time in office, they had both houses of Congress, yet there was no simplification of the tax code. I think it is because if we had a flat tax, they can’t promise goodies to people.

Plus, how would a flat tax work in reality? I think the government has the power to levy income tax because of the 16th Amendment. If you wanted to get rid of income taxes, wouldn’t you have to overturn the 16th Amendment? What would stop a future president and Congress from going back to an income tax?



Image from Democratic Underground, assumed allowed under Fair Use


I Am Now TBTF Bank-Free

I have gotten rid of all of my accounts with JP Morgan Chase. I am not TBTF Bank-free.

There were some issues with the second credit card. I thought about getting one through my IRA broker or the U of I Alumni Association, but they are both through a company owned by Bank Of America. It looks like a lot of affiliate cards are handled by Bank Of America.

Then when I got the card, there seemed to be no way on their website to make a payment. I made a small payment through my bank. It took about a week, which I really did not like.

Then I went back to the credit union site, and it turns out the credit card is run by a company EZCardInfo. I have not been able to figure out who owns them. They seem to do third-party credit card processing for a lot of credit unions. When I searched for excardinfo on Google, I got a lot of hits to the sites for different credit unions. I had to set up an additional user name and password with this site, I had to pick a security image, and go through four security questions. It’s nice that they take security seriously, but it would have been great if I had an idea of how many steps were in the process as I was going through it.

So after I made a few payments, I called Chase and shut down both of my remaining Chase accounts.

I do not know if I will stay in Texas for the rest of my life. If I do not, having banks in Texas may be more hassle than it is worth. But a lot of people say they are tired of the big banks kicking them around, yet the market share of the big banks actually increased. Maybe a lot of other people have tried this experiment and failed, or maybe a lot of people do not strive for consistency in their lives.

That said, I might still invest in Wells Fargo. I know they have kicked some people around, but I have accepted it might be necessary to have a bit of amorality when investing.

Image from Wikipedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use


Thoughts On Embracing Failure

I think I realized part of the reason I don’t get too much stuff done during the weekends. I think I am afraid of failure.

I try to learn new software skills on my free time (because I frankly hate my job). Everybody says practice makes perfect. But when I get a lot of stack traces and error messages it is hard to believe that I am making progress.

Especially when I realize I am making a mistake that I should not have made. Today I tried to use a closure to iterate through a map in Groovy, but instead of typing “mymap.each” before the closure, I typed “mymap”, and for several minutes I could not figure out why it was not working.

I know we should all be open to learning, but my employer does not pay me to learn. They pay me to get stuff done, and frankly that frequently takes me longer than it should.

Image from Wikipedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use


2015-04 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for April, 2015.

The monthly dividend income came out to $261.30. The yearly income total for 2015 through the end of the month was $1441.12.

The income for April, 2014 was $196.43, and the yearly income for 2014 through the end of April was $1130.58.

There is not really a whole lot to report. I have not been able to devote as much time to my stocks as I would like. My plan was to listen to conference calls more. I am looking at buying shares in water utilities. I am also thinking about putting some of my savings into a taxable account, and either buying more stocks or perhaps some ETFs. I did buy some ADM in early April. My goal at the beginning of the year was to buy something once a month. So far I have only made three purchases in four months. Hopefully the adage “Sell in May and go away” will hold true this year, and some stocks will be selling for lower prices.

I notice that PE ratios are still going upward. Perhaps there is some difference in the economy that I cannot articulate that is pushing the media PE ratios up for some valid reason, and the rising ratios is not a sign of some sort of bubble or excess. I know the gold bugs, inflationistas and austerians say rising stock prices is a sign that the economy is a sham and it will all collapse any day now. They have been saying this for at least five years. Some have said it their whole lives, regardless of what is going on. I have been saying for a year now that I hope/think that PE ratios will stop climbing, but that does not seem to be happening. I might just start buying and hope for the best. I plan on holding everything I buy for a few decades, if not the rest of my life, so while I don’t like the idea of paying more than necessary, it is not quite the disaster it would be for someone who relies solely on price.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each April from 2011 through 2015:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
April 2015 1441.12 261.30 409.21 395.68
April 2014 1130.58 196.43 323.64 303.18
April 2013 898.59 179.23 262.82 289.40
April 2012 1010.82 218.56 274.05 271.21
April 2011 848.29 203.10 216.30 179.46

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for April, 2015:

  • Automatic Data Processing: $28.60
  • Chubb Corp: $58.13
  • Coca-Cola Co: $36.48
  • MDU Resources Group Inc.: $10.29
  • Kimberly-Clark: $49.76
  • Illinois Tool Works: $26.28
  • Piedmont Natural Gas Inc: $20.10
  • Sysco Corp: $17.00
  • RPM International Inc.: $14.66

Image from Wikimedia,  assumed allowed under Fair Use


Language: The word “diet”

I want to look at how people use the word “diet”.

When I was younger, people would use the word “diet” to refer to something temporary. The word was mostly used as a noun. They would “go on a diet”, usually before some event, such as a wedding or a reunion. The main idea was to reduce the amount they ate, or to radically change what they ate. This would be done temporarily. After the big event and they impressed their old friends, people would go back to their old patterns of eating behavior.

Today we call this behavior a “fad diet”: A short-term change or reduction. This is why some people say “diets don’t work; you just go back to your old way of doing things.” Many of the screenshots on the fatlogic subreddit are from people in the fat acceptance/health at every size movements who use the word “diet” in this way.

The word “diet” was used to refer to the short-term change. But the normal, regular eating habits and patterns were never given a label.

If you talk to a biologist who studies another species, they will talk about the diet of that species. The biologist uses it to mean that species’ patterns of eating behavior: what they eat, when they eay, in some cases where and/or how they eat. They do not use the word “diet” to refer to a temporary change or restriction.

Over the past decade, people’s use of the word has been changing. More and more people are starting to use it in the second sense of the word. People talk about “low carb diets”, or “the paleo diet”, or the “Mediterranean diet”. I read and hear people talk about changing their diet, not “going on a diet”.

Now, people use the word “diet” to refer to their normal, common, consistent eating behaviors.

This is a good change. The fact is, everybody is always “on a diet”. Even Elvis was on a diet. It seemed to be fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, with lots and lots of pills. It was a terrible diet, but it was still a diet.

Maybe this is why many of the people in the screenshots on fatlogic can’t lost weight, and why they think “diets don’t work.” They are using the word to refer to something temporary, something that will get them towards some distant goal, and once they reach that goal, they will go of the “diet”. Stop using the definite and indefinite articles when using the word “diet”. Use pronouns. Do not go on “a diet”. Think about “your diet”.

As I get older, I am finding out that intense exercise is not as helpful to keeping in good shape and preventing myself from getting fat as it used to be. Now I need to pay attention to my diet.

I don’t need to go on a diet. But I do need to change my diet.

Image from My World, assumed allowed under Fair Use


Language: Big Words

As someone with a degree in exercise physiology, spends more time than I should in the bowels of Reddit and Craig’s Lust, and a guy who tries in general to pay attention, I have noticed a few things about the use of language by some of the larger members of our society.

It is interesting that a lot of fat people like to say they have “a lot of meat on my bones”. You might have some meat, but frankly you also have a lot of fat on your bones, and that’s the turn-off.

Fit women never call themselves “curvy”, yet they themselves are not rectangular.

A lot of fat women describe themselves as “sassy”, and say they are “queens”. I don’t hear these words from fit women.

Fat people think they are “normal”, and everybody smaller than they are is “skinny”, as if being “skinny” is some sort of condition. Thin people seem to describe themselves as “thin”. As far as fat people calling themselves “normal”, it implies that fit people are abnormal. Then again, maybe few fat people have friends that exercise.

Usually when a woman calls herself or another woman “a real woman”, it is someone who is fat. Has any women pointed to a women who runs marathons and called those women “real women”?

Another observation: How can you tell if you are fat? Here is a little test. If you have no problems saying you would not date a fat person, but you get upset if you hear a fit person say they would not date a fat person, then you are fat.

Image from University Of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, assumed allowed under Fair Use


Thoughts On Illinois and Voter Turnout

I saw an article recently stating the new governor in Illinois has a very low approval rating.

I wonder why this guy was elected in the first place.

Part of me thinks I know why: Most people do not vote. So I guess the real question is: Why don’t more people vote? Why do they let snakes like Rauner into office? I know people would rather vote for someone they like than vote against someone they do not like, but some people deserve being voted against.

He seems like a typical conservative: It seems the answer to the world’s problems is to give the wealthy free reign, and trust me, the crumbs for the rest of you will be wonderful.

From what I could tell, his campaign’s main message was that Illinois is not very friendly to business. He made about $50 million in 2013, and his net worth is about $900 million. He owns serveral homes. In one year he paid more in property tax on one home than most people in Illinois earn. He spent about $24 million on his own campaign. If Illinois is so bad for business, how did he get so rich? And why did people fall for it?

He is engaging in some short-sighted job poaching targeting Indiana. As Richard C. Longworth writes, American states need to realize that their competition is not each other, but Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Now he wants to decrease the minimum wage, and pay highway construction workers less money. Why is it that rich people think that a prosperous society requires everybody else to be poor? And why do people fall for it? I paid some attention to the campaign from here in Texas. I wonder if he tried to paint himself as a different kind of conservative, or saying that he has new, fresh ideas. It sounds like the same old conservative feudalism to me.

According to Wikipedia, 3,627,690 people in Illinois voted in the 2014 election. According to the US census, in 2014 the population of Illinois was 12,880,580. 23.5% were under the age of 18. So there are about 9,853,643 eligible voters in Illinois. So only about 36% of the eligible voters took part in this last election. What the heckflame and darnation is wrong with people?

In all seriousness, why don’t people vote? Non-voters that I talk to seem think they are too smart to vote, they are not fooled by the system, that the two parties are the same. It is hard to take these people seriously. They think they are beyond the two party system, they are smarter than the general electorate, yet I think they are the ones being taken for a ride. If you are not willing to press a button once a year, is it rational to expect society to be something that you approve of?

If voting did not matter, why is the GOP trying to limit people’s access to voting? If voting did not matter, why are the Koch brothers planning on spending almost $1 billion to influence the 2016 election? A few hedge fund billionaires in Chicago gave a LOT of money to Bruce Rauner. I am guessing they voted.

Over time, as turnout decreases, distrust in government increases (I know this shows the numbers for federal government, but I think the point is valid).  So many people are cynical about government and think that government will try to restrict our freedoms. Perhaps people need to realize that the real threat is some parts of the private sector encroaching on other parts of the private sector.

What we are stuck with is more bitterness, and more people souring on “both sides”. I was happy to see some pushback on Little Green Footballs against the “both sides” fallacy: “Both parties not measuring up to desired standards doesn’t mean that both parties are the same.” Another commenter pushed back on some “both sides” nonsense to tell someone that if they REALLY did not like the two main parties, then look into third parties.

Every election, turnout decreases, people are more unhappy with government, and nobody makes the connection.

Someone on Little Green Footballs wrote We get the government we deserve.

I am NOT getting the government I deserve. I am stuck with the government other people deserve.

Image from Wikimedia,  assumed allowed under Fair Use