MY DIVIDEND REPORT Q1 IN 2019

Welcome to My Dividend Report. This Report is dedicated to tracking my quarterly dividend income. Many of you already know I love Growth and Income stocks as a great way to beat inflation while companies pay you to wait while they execute there growth plans. My Goal is to average $5,000/month or $15,000/ quarter in dividend income.

Current Dividend Income

Behind the scenes graph data

Money Sense With Kyle Quarterly Dividend Income

       
Quarter201420152016201720182019
Q1$8,040.00$9,620.00$9,035.00$8,622.53$11,643.79$11,739.07
Q2$6,660.00$10,280.00$7,055.00$11,015.00$9,040.39 
Q3$7,860.00$9,380.00$7,535.02$9,035.00$10,706.69 
Q4$7,580.00$8,307.50$8,262.53$9,183.79$12,099.07 
       
Summary$30,140.00$37,587.50$31,887.55$37,856.32$43,489.94$11,739.07
Delta 19.8%-15.9%15.2%13.0% 
       

My dividend income is devised of investments in Altria (MO) in the Tobacco Industry and Blackstone Group (BX) in the Asset Management Industry. Blackstone Group current stock price $44.42 and dividend yield 5.0 % (.54/share $2.17/year pays a fluctuating dividend based on company results. Altria's current stock price $47.35 and dividend yield 6.76 % (.80/share $3.20/year) pays a consistent dividend and has raised the dividend 53 times the past 49 years. As you can see in the chart above annual total dividend payout dropped (-15.9%) in 2016 due to Blackstone Group reporting market fluctuations. 2017 and 2018 bounced back at 15.2% and 13.0% increase in total annual income. Also in 2018 Altria raised the dividend twice 6.1% and 14.3% for a total 20.4% dividend increase in 2018 due to the Trump administration corporate tax cuts. Altria's corporate tax rate dropped from 35% down to 21% which freed up a lot of cash to be distributed back to stockholders in the form of dividends and stock buy backs. This is why Growth and Dividend stocks make good Money Sense. I will see you next quarter and report the distribution.

7 STEPS TO CREATE A WINNING BUDGET IN 2019

          A sound financial plan starts with a solid budget. If you’re planning a vacation or paying off bills a budget is crucial to meeting your financial goals. Here are 7 steps to creating a winning budget:

  1. Understand Your Expenses. “How much are you spending each month?”

Record what you are spending. Gather check registers, bank statements, receipts, and financial files. Microsoft Excel has a nice budget spreadsheet template you can use. Just modify or change any categories, or specific items. All the math is done for you. Open Microsoft Excel click File New Personal Monthly Budget. It has a projected and actual monthly budget so you can track and stay within budget. You can save the file for each month of the year to track your spending.

Personal Monthly Budget
Personal Monthly Budget

2. Set Realistic Goals

After setting up your budget you can see how much money is coming in and how much is going out. If you are spending more than is coming in, you need to look for opportunities to reduce or eliminate spending to improve cash flow. Review categories in your budget and use the projected cost column to set your budget, using realistic goals, for each category. Then enter the total spending for each category in the actual cost column. You can then see the difference for each category and adjust each month to stay within budget.

3. Live Within Your Means

Review your monthly income and live within your means. It takes discipline and sacrifice to stay within a budget until you can do better. To improve your take home pay you may work overtime if available, work a second job. ask for a raise, get that degree etc.

4. Determine Needs and Wants

Make your budget based on your needs first and if extra money is available you can budget for that summer vacation, shopping spree or whatever else you want. Otherwise, use the extra cash to build a cushion so you have carryover each month. Get serious about your needs and wants. When you can see where your money goes you will find ways to save.

5. Build a 3 to 6 Month Cushion For Emergencies

Build a 3 to 6-month cushion in your account to address emergencies such as losing a job, a medical emergency, automobile repair, or replacing a refrigerator etc. You know things “come up” set money aside to pay these expenses.

6. Pay Yourself First

Pay yourself first each month. Invest in your 401K at work a percentage you can afford. Try to contribute an amount equal to your company matching. Most companies match between 3% to 6%. That is free money Folks!

7. Put Your Budget into Action

Balance your budget with your income. It may take a few months to adjust but once your budget is balanced you will be more in control of your life and reduce stress. Take control of your spending. It is good Money Sense.

In conclusion, following the above 7 steps will have you on your way to a winning financial budget plan and is good Money Sense.

5 Steps Why to Invest in Growth and Income Stocks for Retirement in 2019

          Investing in Growth and Income stocks provides a great way to beat inflation while a paying you dividends each quarter to supplement your retirement along with pensions, investments, or other money streams. Reasons to Invest in Growth and Income stocks:

  1. You’re a Dividend Growth Investor

It’s a great way to maximize total returns over time. It’s a great strategy for long term investor to provide for a comfortable retirement.

2. Dividend Growth Stocks Outperform the Market Over Time

Dividend reinvestment over time is very important to overall returns. So, reinvesting dividends over the years allowing dollar cost averaging of additional shares provides a nice income stream during retirement.

3. Dividend Growth Stocks are Less Volatile Over Time

They are usually considered a Dividend Aristocrat in they tend to outperform the market during periods of a bear market but do well when markets are performing strongly. They are a company who has raised dividends for at least 25 consecutive years.

4. Must be a Disciplined Investor

Dividend growth investors tend to avoid knee jerk reactions like selling during earnings miss or market correction. Dividend growth investors are being paid to wait for the company to execute its growth plans and stick to a “buy and hold” mentality.

5. Dividend Growth Stocks Provide Income Stream for Retirement

During retirement Dividend Growth Stocks provide income along with pensions, social security, or other income streams.

In conclusion, following the above 5 steps will have you on your way to be a disciplined Dividend Growth Investor and provide an additional income stream during retirement. It’s good Money Sense.

 

 

8 STEPS TO A 800 CREDIT SCORE

On the standard a 300-850 range is used by FICO, a credit score of 800+ is considered “perfect.” That's because higher scores won't really save you any money. The number helps lenders decide how much of a credit risk you are. Paying attention to your credit score is a vital part of your financial health. Here are 8 Steps to a 800 Credit Score:

1. Understand the Facts. “What is a perfect credit score?”

It’s a three-digit number that determines how much you pay for credit. It can affect all expenses in your life. Lenders use it to determine how much of a credit risk you are.

2. Establish a Long Credit History

Building your credit score takes time. It takes a history of good habits and on time payments. You must have an account opened 6 months or longer and at least one creditor reporting your activity to the credit bureaus the last 6 months. Keep accounts open unless you have a compelling reason to close an account. Closing an account can hurt your credit utilization and reduce your average account age.

3. Pay Your Bills on Time

Make 100% of your payments on time. This includes credit accounts and other accounts such as utility bills. Unpaid bills that go to a collection agency will seriously hurt your credit score.

4. Redefine Credit Card Usage

Stick to one or two cards for simplicity. This will help you manage your credit score. Pay them off each month in full. Be disciplined with your spending. 6, 12, 18, or 24 month no interest offers to pay off an account are a good way to pay off a large purchase and enable you to pay the balance over time without any additional interest and build your credit score. This is good Money Sense.

5. Diversify Your Accounts

3 types of credit are: revolving, installment and open accounts. Their characteristics are as follows: Revolving accounts – The most common example of a revolving account is the credit card. These types of accounts involve different payments each month, depending on how much credit is used. Installment accounts have a fixed payment for a fixed period. An open account is a transaction sale where goods are shipped and delivered before payment is due.

6. Cut Spending

Make a budget, track your spending. Get serious about your needs and wants. When you can see where your money goes you will find ways to save.

7. Limit Your Liability

Use credit cards not debit cards for online purchases. Use ENV chip card technology that secures transactions and protects against counterfeit. Keep your credit card and CVV (card verification value) safe. Avoid entering sensitive information on public computers and Wi-Fi. Set up alerts on your credit cards tied to irregular activity. The faster you report a loss or theft the better.

8. Restrict Hard Inquiries

Checking your score won’t affect your score. Hard inquiries, which can negatively affect your credit score appear when a lender checks your credit when applying for  new credit. Soft inquires appear when a company pulls your credit without your prior authorization, or when you pull your own report.

In conclusion, following the above 8 steps will have you on your way to an 800-credit score which is vital to your financial health and is good Money Sense.

 

 

BUY A HOME DON’T RENT

When I graduated college in 1982 I had just enough money to get an apartment, pay the first month’s rent, deposit, and turn on the utilities. I had just started a job in Quality Finishing Department for Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. I married my high school sweetheart and thought “life was good”. Living in an apartment was not what I thought especially when you were working graveyard shift and sleeping during the day. It was hard to sleep when people are coming and going all day and noise from the traffic. Also, spending all day in the laundry mat was no fun either. It did not take long for me to figure out apartment living is not for me. So, I worked hard saved my money and within 6 months we saved enough to move into a duplex. It was located in a nice neighborhood and was the closest thing to owning a home. My wife and I moved in and the tenant next door was single and very polite and very quiet. “Life was good” again. We were able to establish a credit history and purchased a washer and dryer which was wonderful since I did not have to sit all day on Saturday washing clothes at the apartment laundry mat. We had enough furniture to furnish the duplex and only had to purchase a few items. I continued to work hard by working overtime and saving 10 % of my take home pay and in 6 months had enough saved for a down payment on a home. We had talked to the bank to understand how much house we could afford and found out we were eligible for a First Time Home Buyers low interest loan. It’s a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) low interest loan for young couples starting out that makes it easier to qualify for a loan.  We began looking and found a nice home on a cul de sack and “BAM!” purchased our first home within the first year out of college. We had a 30-year mortgage and the payment was about the same we were paying for rent. But now we were building equity in our home and not giving to the landlord. So, after 6 months apartment renting and 6 months duplex renting and now a new home, “life was good”. As I look back over the years, buying my first home was the best move I ever made to reach my path to financial freedom.

 

After living in the home for 3 ½ years my marriage ended–it happens. People drift apart but no regrets. It was difficult to experience but I was able to recover and my life flourished. I was being recognized at work and promotions were coming along with salary increases which attributed more to my 401K and Cooper stock share purchases. After living in the house for 10 years I had accumulated a $400,000 nest egg due to Cooper stock splits and quite of bit of equity in the home. My equity in the home soared after my divorce due to paying extra on the payment to reduce interest owed on the loan and build equity quicker. After 10 years in the home I met the wife of my children and even though we had a 13-year age difference we were very much on the same page. After marrying in 1992, we sold the home for $64,000 and I received about $30,000 equity. We used $15,000 to purchase the lot to build my 2nd home and applied the remaining $15,000 to the loan to build the house. We built the 2nd home in 1994 for $95,000 which was the $15,000 applied to the loan and financed $80,000. We were able to pay the loan off in 7 years due to paying about extra $200 /month towards the principle. In 2001, at approximately 42 years old, I no longer had a mortgage payment, and this freed up about $ 1,100 per month of cash flow. It was a big relief to be free of having any debt since we had no mortgage, no car payment, and no debt. It’s the best feeling in the world and I made sure I never had any debt the rest of my life. So, I would highly recommend living life within your means– SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! Live within a budget, stay disciplined, establish and maintain good credit (750 or higher), make sound financial decisions or what makes Money Sense and life will treat you well. Life is not a smooth ride all the time, there will be bumps in the road. How you handle these hurdles and the decisions you make will determine if you reach financial freedom or not. So be smart and make good Money Sense decisions.

In 2005, I went through my 2nd divorce and I really did not see it coming until it was too late. It hit me hard especially since my daughters were approximately 8 and 10 years of age. I felt like a failure. If I failed at anything in life, it is marriage. So today I am a 60-year-old single, retired millionaire, dad and grandfather.  Without a prenuptial agreement I was left unable to fully protect the assets I had grown prior to my 2nd marriage. I had to liquidate assets, pay her for equity in the home and Quadro part of my 401K plan, and pay child support for approximately 10 years. Even though this was a set back in my financial goals journey, my goal of being financially independent never changed. Actually, it was a blessing. My relationship with my daughters flourished, my 401K grew due share price increasing, and “life was good”, again. So, the lesson here is your going to have ups and downs in life. You must take a step back and get your mind wrapped around the situation, regroup and plow forward with your goals to reach financial freedom. It is not always easy or fun but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I can attest.

          In summary, saving early in life for a down payment on a home is a smart Money Sense move that will get you the boost you need to meet your financial goals. Growing your equity instead of giving it away in rent is not smart Money Sense. So, remember, buy a home, don’t rent, and build equity because Life is Good.

 

 

INVEST IN YOUR LAND | TREE FARMIMG

Growing up in South Arkansas I always enjoyed visiting my grandparents. We would get up early in the morning eat a hearty breakfast and work outside and in the garden. We would come inside by noon eat a hearty lunch and Fishing in the evening. As we trekked down in the bottom land, we would cross Family Forest land that had a natural stand of Pine Trees and Hardwoods. My Grandfather would tell me how it provided them an income stream for a comfortable retirement. He told me he always wanted to manage the forest but wanted to leave it for generations to provide them extra income to live life more comfortably. I never forgot what he said and years later it made Money Sense.

After my grandparents passed away my mother who was an only child inherited the family property, they sold off 240 acres and cut timber on 120 acres and then in 1997 passed on the 120 acres to myself, brother and sister. My brother and I bought my sister out, and years later I bought my brother out and now own the 120-acre Family Forest. In the year 2000 we had a serious ice storm and a lot of the young pine trees were damaged. Wondering what to do next, I remembered what my grandfather always wanted was to manage the land. So, my Tree Farming experience started.

I contacted my District Forester, I was in District 4 in South Arkansas, a Forestry Consultant and myself and we assessed the property what best to do next. Their recommendation was to cut the remaining Timber clear the property and reinvest the proceeds. They also recommended I sign up through the Arkansas Forestry Commission Stewardship Program and they would create me a management plan with Technical advice to manage my property. This at no cost to the landowner. I cut the remaining Timber about $27,648 and reinvested about $19,167 back into 46 acres that was damaged. After harvesting the remaining Timber, I hired a contractor to shear, and rake, the 46 acres to prepare it for planting. They left the remaining tops and debris in wind rows to be burned. We were unable to burn due it being in the winter wet season. The remaining 74 acres was left to grow as is. After my management plan was completed in 2001, I began to follow it per the Technical expertise of Forestry experts. The Forestry Stewardship Management Plan was written by the Arkansas Forestry Commission District Forester with assistance from Consulting Forester, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The Management Plan specified I clear and replant the damaged 46 acres and leave the remaining 74 as is but recommended I spray by helicopter an Herbaceous spray to control understory competition and release of Pine production. Then hand plant 29,250 1st or 2nd generation improved Loblolly Pine at 7 x 10 foot spacing (622 trees per acre). Planting to be done in the months December through March. Here’s my journey and costs:

Tree Farm Practices
 

As you can see from the chart above, I received $27,648 from the harvest and clear cut of the 46-acre ice storm damaged acres. Paid consultant $2,211 8% commission, Ordered 29,250 2nd Generation improved Loblolly Pine seedlings $1,404 (.048 cents/1000), hired contractor to single pass site prep by Helicopter 15 GPA, 36 oz chopper, 4 oz Oust Extra, 8 oz Sunset for competition control and pine release, completed heavy mechanical site prep $8,100 $105/ac Shear, 85/ac Rake, and hired contractor to hand plant 29,250 2nd Gen Pine seedlings $1,932. My total costs were $19,167 but it made Money Sense.

The $8,100 spent was costly but as I look back today, it was well worth the money since the 46-acre tract is in shape to be efficiently managed for years to come. It enabled me to have a high 90+ % survival rate as reported by my County Forester after the 1st year of growth and maximized the maximum number of Loblolly Pine trees to grow on the tract. My management plan recommended I sign up with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for potential cost share practices. I recommend you do this because I received a 50 % cost share reimbursement of $2,760 for the Single Pass Site Prep competition control and pine release. When you sign up with NRCS they will rank you based on completed qualified practices with other landowners and Federal money available as an incentive for landowners to be good stewards.

Based on the soil sample of my management plan the soil has good potential for Loblolly Pine (Site Index 96). I plan to predominately plant Loblolly Pine on the 120-acre Tree Farm.

After completing planting 29,250 seedlings on the 46-acre tract in January 2004 and spraying for competition control and pine release the survival rate was high 90+ %. I then went away and let it grow only doing a yearly walk of the land to monitor growth. After completing the practices in my management plan, I was audited and received Forest Stewardship Certification and a sign to post on my Property.

 

My District Forester forwarded my information to the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). I was 3rd party audited for completing my practices per the ATFS Standards of Sustainability and received ATFS Tree Farm Certification and sign in 2013.

I stayed in contact with my Forestry Consultant in January 2019 and after 15 years decided it was time to thin the 46-acre planted tract and clear cut the remaining 74 acres. The problem you run into is pulpwood and saw log prices have been depressed for years but I received $9.00 per ton for the pulpwood and $27.00 per ton for the saw logs. You hope that markets and prices will be there when time to cut but you still have to manage the land no matter the price. I am hoping for a better market in the years to come since I will have utility poles on the 46-acre tract at final cut which bring a premium price. It does payoff to be certified since it opens you up to more markets for certified wood and they usually pay a better price for your wood.

As of February 2019, I have thinned my 46-acre tract and the logger is about to complete clearcutting my 74-acre tract. I generated a nice income stream and will replant the 74-acre tract. I plan to plant the 74-acre tract with 3rd Gen improved Loblolly Pine and compare to the 2nd Gen planted on the 46 acres for cost comparisons. You must continually assess, manage, and improve your land.

If you have 10 acres or more of Forest land do you have what it takes to create a Family Legacy Tree Farm and leave an income stream to your heirs.

CONVERT YOUR FOREST – TREE FARM

If you have 10 acres or more of forestland purchased, inherited, or gifted consider converting it to a Tree Farm. Why? Well there are many opportunities you could consider with your land, but Tree Farming does not require as much of your time and attention as other crops but can be rewarding in many ways. It can provide a nice income stream especially depending on the kind of trees planted. You could be recognized for your efforts managing your land for timber, soil and water conservation, wildlife habitat, stream side management zones, recreation, and aesthetics with The American Tree Farm System and proudly post the green and white diamond shaped sign on your property. Landowners come from various backgrounds, but all share the commitment to improve their forestland through responsible forest management and conservation techniques.

The American Tree Farm System Sign

Why become a Family Forest Owner and join the ATFS System?

The American Tree Farm System® is a network of 73,000 Tree Farmers sustainably managing 19 million acres of certified forestland.

These landowners play an important role in helping stem the loss of America's woodlands. You can identify their land by the widely recognizable green and white diamond-shaped Tree Farm signs.

The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) provides family forest owners with tools and resources to help them care for their woods and ensure they are delivering wood, wildlife, clean water and recreational opportunities – all of which are highlighted on the famous green and white sign.

While the American Forest Foundation (AFF) administers the program at the national level, it is implemented on the ground by individual State Tree Farm Committees. State Committees are comprised of private and family forest owners, state forestry agency partners, forest products companies, consulting foresters and others. These State Committees provide a wide range of support for woodland owners – a community of fellow landowners to help mentor, opportunities to get involved in addressing critical forest issues, a way to advocate on behalf of forestry and much more. Each state’s program is unique, working to meet the needs of their local landowners and the needs of the communities and the companies that operate there.

But what unites all these forest landowners across the country is their commitment to sustainability by following the ATFS Standards of Sustainability, a set of guidelines designed to help woodland owners be effective stewards of the land. The Standards are based on international sustainability metrics and North American guidelines for sustainable forest management and serve as the basis for the third-party certification portion of the program.

To become a member of ATFS and have your forestland certified, you must:

  • Own at least 10 acres of forestland
  • Have and be actively using a written forest management plan
  • Adhere to the ATFS 2015-2020 Standards of Sustainability for Forest Certification for Private Forestlands

What’s Next?

If you are interested in joining ATFS contact the American Tree Farm System website and find your state program. Your state program will give you information to contact your District Forestry Commission Forester, County Forester, and Consultants. Express your concern of joining the Tree Farm System and they will assist in writing your Management Plan for your forest. This is Free and no cost to the landowner.

Contact and sign up for programs through your local Natural Resources Conservation Service and Forest Service Agency. Get to know these resource Technical professionals who will provide Technical plans to manage your land based on your objectives Timber, Soil and Water Conservation, Wildlife etc. These professionals will tell you how best to use your land to meet industry objectives and standards of sustainability. Such as, based on your soil type what tree is best specified to plant, what practices are needed for Forest Health, Forest Protection, General Recommendations, Property Boundaries, Soil and Water Conservation, Water Management, Threatened and Endangered Species, Historic, Cultural, and Archeological Sites, Wildlife Management, Cost Share Assistance, and Forest Stewardship Recognition.

Then What?

Begin following your management plan. Consult with your District and County Foresters, and/or Consultant for a list of contractors to cut and log timber, mark timber to be cut, marking boundary lines, cutting fire lanes, chemically treating for herbaceous weed control and tree fertilization etc. You the landowner can complete any of these practices you want it’s how much you want to be involved in physically managing your land or hiring it done. After completing your initial management plan practices, it is a waiting game generally 8 to 10 years before a thinning or clearing is done and you start over again but reap the rewards of an income stream. Part of this income should be used for purchasing seedlings, planting, spraying, or Consulting help. Then assess your land and make and implement improvements for the next rotation.  

Now What?

You enjoy the benefits of becoming an American Tree Farm System Tree Farmer and proudly post the Green and White Tree Farm sign on your property and unite with other Tree farmers in your state. Be proud that your land is actively managed, and you are one of 73,000 Tree Farmers who have committed to the standards of sustainability to help woodland owners be effective stewards of their land. Then get involved in your state and attend association meetings, landowner meetings, workshops, or become an advocate but get involved. You enjoy the benefits of becoming an American Tree Farm System Tree Farmer and proudly post the Green and White Tree Farm sign on your property and unite with other Tree farmers in your state. Be proud that your land is actively managed, and you are one of 73,000 Tree Farmers who have committed to the standards of sustainability to help woodland owners be effective stewards of their land. Then get involved in your state and attend association meetings, landowner meetings, workshops, or become an advocate but get involved.

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MY JOURNEY AND FINANCIAL PLAN TO RETIREMENT

Hello and welcome to my personal financial and lifestyle website I created to share my journey of establishing my financial goals, meeting my financial goals, and creating income streams to retire early, and live a comfortable lifestyle. I plan to share with readers my successes along the way in order to help others do the same.

My name is Kyle and I just retired a year ago at 59 years of age and through sound financial management through the years have created several income streams to support my retirement lifestyle and enjoy my family, be financially supportive to my family, and do the things in life I want to do.

After 36 years in the Tire and Rubber, Rubber Roofing, Aerospace and Defense, Financial Services, and Quality Consulting Industries I am officially retired with no debt. When I graduated college in 1982, I had $700 in my checking account. This is where my financial journey started and today I am retired with $1,000,000 + in My IRA account with several income streams such as growth and dividend stocks, company pension, and income from family land converted to a Loblolly Pine Tree Farm as another income stream source. I continue to invest in new potential income streams.

I created this blog to share with others my successes, journey, financial planning, budgeting, investing, and creating income streams to enjoy the American Dream of being financially independent.

I graduated from Southern Arkansas University in 1982 with a Biological Science Major and Chemistry Minor. After graduation, I began my career and financial goals journey with Cooper Tire and Rubber Company in Texarkana, Arkansas in the Tire & Rubber Industry as a Quality Systems Engineer. After 25 years, I left Cooper Tire and worked as a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, Quality Consultant , Quality Manager with Amfuel, and Lapeer Industries in the Aerospace and Defense Industry, Internet Automotive Sales Consultant, Home Weatherization Director, Consultant with Google Street View Project, and SR. Process Engineer in the Rubber Roofing Industry with Firestone Building Products in Prescott, Arkansas which I retired May of 2018.

I am a 60 year old Divorced single Dad and Grandfather to daughters Jessica (26), Lindsey (24), and three grandchildren.