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Today I’m started Part 1 of a new multipart crytocurrency blog series. How many parts there will be is to be decided, but it will be at least two parts since I’m already almost done with Part 2.

I remember back in 2009 hearing about this new crytocurrency called Bitcoin. I think I read about on Slashdot, which coined the phrase, “News for nerds. Stuff that matters.” Bitcoin, especially then, with the discussion of cryptography and the blockchain, was the perfect topic for a technology forum. I still check out their site but not daily like I used too when I was in college and medical school. Reddit has sort of taken over now-a-days.

Back then Bitcoin was trading for less than a dollar, even a few cents. I remember thinking that it was a cool concept but that it likely wouldn’t have caught on. Boy was I wrong! I wish I had “invested” everything I owned into it back then and I would be incredibly wealthy. Heck, even with a cheap standard home computer you could have mined a couple bitcoins a day. Now the cost of mining (in terms of time and electricity) is so high that only large operations with low electricity costs can do it efficiently.

At the behest of one of my best friends who has been getting paid partly in bitcoin for a couple of years, suggested that I buy a small amount. (This friend is actually the Johnny that is the co-creator of this site! It would be great to get an update from him about the crytocurrencies that he is investing in.) That small amount was around $800 and I sold when it was worth around $2600, which I thought was at a crazy valuation back then. I wish I had held on to the $19,000 level!

Fortunately, I hadn’t sold everything and still had about 0.08 btc remaining in my account. After reading about how some other dividend bloggers were purchasing computing power to mine bitcoin, I decided to do the same and set up an account at Hashflare. At the time, 0.08 btc was worth about $1600(!) so I was able to purchase 11 TH/s of mining power. This amounts to a little over 0.2 BTC per year. At the time, the breakeven point was a little under 6 months, meaning that I would generate about $1600 in 6 months. Anything after 6 months was profit.

Currently I have 0.09460104 BTC in my Hashflare account that I can withdraw at any time. I am still generating 0.2020129 BTC per year. At current prices this is worth about $1540 per year. Hashflare does offer the ability to reinvest mined bitcoin to continually increase your hashing power. That was very tempting to do (sort of the equivalent of dollar cost averaging or reinvesting dividends), but ultimately I decided not too. I know some of the dividend bloggers using this mining service have and I am interested in learning how their results have been.

I chose not to reinvest because the Hashflare contracts expire at the end of a year. It wasn’t always the case that contracts expire at a year. In fact, there was a controversy when Hashflare retrospectively changed old accounts to expire at a year. The fact that they changed the terms of the contract this way really bothers me and, had I known this when I was creating an account, I would have avoided them and gone with a competitor. I’m not sure what ended up happening to the accounts that Hashflare changed without telling its owners.

Hashflare has limits at the levels that you can withdraw your bitcoin. The worry that I had was that once my year expired, I would only have very tiny amounts of bitcoin working for me and it would be near impossible to transfer them out. This would have been less of an issue had bitcoin prices stayed near the $19,000 range or gone higher since the mined bitcoins would have purchased more hashing power as the prices went up. Since the bitcoin price went down, the problem would have been just accentuated.

See The Risks of Mining Bitcoin on HashFlare

As it stands right now, I’ll continue to mine bitcoin at Hashflare until my year expires and then transfer it out.

What are your thoughts on bitcoin? Are you mining it and have you been happy with your results now that bitcoin mania has calmed down?

Part 2 of multipart cryptocurrency blog series will be available soon.

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Two Investing by Scott - 1M ago

May 2018 was another great month and provided a substantial increase from last year. Last May brought in $632.02. This May brought in $941.62…almost another month reaching $1000. I’ll definitely hit that mark next year.

Options: See my Options trading page for open trades. I have no premium income to report since I did not close any trades this month.

Symbol Dividend Amount
AAPL $163.09
BMY $28.75
CAT $43.36
GROW $1.25
KKR $26.96
NSRGY $345.55
O $19.27
PGX $0.14
RY $38.59
T $274.66

Total dividends for May 2018: $941.62
Total cumulative dividend income for 2017: $3,943.47

Forward 12-Month Dividends: $10,088.68
Hourly wage based on 40 hour work week (2087 hrs): $4.83/hour
Hourly wage based on non-stop work (8760 hrs): $1.15/hour

Total option income for May 2018: $0
Total cumulative option income for 2018: $1,674.27

Full disclosure: Long all the above stocks

Full disclosure: Long all the above stocks

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Better late than never. This seems to be the theme lately. I’ve been way too busy with work and wedding planning to keep this up-to-date. I’m going to do my best, but things will settle down after the wedding in September.

The good news is that the investments continue to grow and the dividends keep coming in. Things are on auto pilot as far as the investments go. I’ve also started contributing to my company’s profit sharing 401k, though I’ll save that discussion for another post.

March Income
Dividend Income: $1560.64 (a 49% increase from last March)
Option Income: $318.56

April Income
Dividend Income: $483.58 (a 53% increase from last April)
Option Income: $176.13

Cumulative 2018 Income
Dividend Income: $3001.85
Option Income: $1674.27
Forward 12-Month Dividends: $10,220.18
Hourly wage based on 40 hour work week (2087 hrs): $4.90/hour
Hourly wage based on non-stop work (8760 hrs): $1.17/hour

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Better late than never! There’s been a lot of developments in my life that have taken me away from being able to update the blog as regularly. Foremost, I got engaged a couple of weeks ago. I’m very excited to begin this next part of my life with a wonderful woman by my side.

This has resulted in increases in costs too. I saved up money to buy the ring and have some additional expenses of saving money for the wedding and a future down payment on a house (we’re planning on building). And, to top it off, I started having some car issues so am buying a car as well. I’m not struggling but have not been able to invest as much lately because of this. I also could not be happier!

I will be trying to begin a more regular blogging schedule again, but work and wedding planning are, understandably, taking up a lot of my time.

I received $606.69 in dividends for February 2018. This is an approximately 161% increase from last February when I received $232.81.

Options: I am also back to trading some options again. I closed a couple calls that I had bought on BUD and made $1179.58 after fees. See my options tracker for more details.

Symbol Dividend Amount
AAPL $140.24
BMY $28.57
CAT $43.14
O $12.87
PGX $72.69
RY $38.07
T $271.11

Total dividends for February 2018: $606.69
Total cumulative dividend income for 2018: $957.63

Forward 12-Month Dividends: $10,882.74
Hourly wage based on 40 hour work week (2087 hrs): $5.21/hour
Hourly wage based on non-stop work (8760 hrs): $1.24/hour

Total option income for February 2018: $1179.58
Total cumulative option income for 2018: $1179.58

Full Disclosure: Long all the above stocks

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This January I received $350.94, compared with $156.89 in January 2017. This is an increase of 124%. I also maxed out my Roth IRA this month. In an upcoming post I’ll be talking about the investments that I made with that money.

Options: See my options trading page for further details.

Symbol Dividend Amount
AMH $10.00
BAX $5.21
CSCO $34.49
CY $28.12
DIS $42.12
GE $180.84
O $12.44

Total option income for January 2018: $0.00
Total cumulative option income for 2018: $0.00

Total dividends for January 2018: $350.94
Total cumulative dividend income for 2018: $350.94
Forward 12-Month Dividends: $9,619.51

Full disclosure: Long all the above stocks

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Statistics
Beginning 2017 Account Value: $242,093.83
Ending 2017 Account Value: $429,504.78

Dividend income in 2017: $7,614.25
Forward 12-month dividends: $9,565.88
Options income in 2017: $779.86
Total lifetime dividend income: $20,046.17

Post-tax salary: $219,438

Effect of dividend increases: $570.58. This is equivalent to investing just over $19,000 at a 3% yield.

Goals for 2017:

1) Retirement Accounts – PASS
An easy pass. I maxed out my traditional IRA in early January and then converted to a Roth in late January.

2) Receive $7000 a year in dividends – PASS
I was thinking this was going to be a stretch goal, but ended up getting it without too much problem. My portfolio brought in just over $7600 in 2017.

3) Get $3000 this year in options income. – FAIL
I got distracted with work and with life and wasn’t able to devote the time or resources to meet this goal. I only brought in $780 in option income in 2017. Still better than nothing. I will be discussing my options investing in the not-too-distant future. Briefly, I have also started investing in long term puts…profits (or losses) from that may happen in 2018, the first of the puts expires in January 2019.

4) Improve Two Investing layout and content – PASS
My brother did an excellent job helping us with the new logo. I especially like how it scales for mobile use. I’ve also used the same “Two” symbol for my gravatar icon. I think I also wrote a post per month on average. There were some months where I wrote more and some less. A lot of this depends on the schedule of my day job (I’m a radiologist).

In fact, while I love the fact that more and more people seem to be using and enjoying the spreadsheets, keeping the spreadsheets up-to-date has been a challenge giving the issues that spring up when thousands of people are using them. I’m so glad that I decided not to charge for it. Sure, I could have made a lot by charging a bit for it, but that would have also obligated me to provide more timely support, which I just can’t do right now.

5) Invest at least $10,000 in smaller cap growth companies – PASS
I invested approximately $25,600 in non-dividend paying growth stocks. I’ll do a post of this soon, but the majority have been good winners for me. The best ultimate investment is the one that has the highest overall gains, be that from capital gains and/or dividends. Since I don’t rely on the dividend income to pay expenses at this point in my life, the best stocks to be in are the ones that will perform the best. Once I get to retirement, then I can always sell these stocks that have a lot of capital gains and invest in income generators at that point.

I think I did pretty well with these goals. I’ll have to write my 2018 goals soon. I can’t believe that it is already February! I also apologize for not dedicating enough time to respond to everyone else’s blog…that will be one of my 2018 goals.

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While not the most exciting of titles, I did just release version 5.1 of the dividend portfolio spreadsheet. Since the loss of the Yahoo Finance API, I had to switch to a combination of IEX and Alpha Vantage to look up stocks.

While I’m still trying to figure out all the exchanges that Alpha Vantage supports, it does appear to have some international support. (I’m going to be compiling an FAQ with a list of the known ones.)

Quite a few people have asked when I’ll be updating the international version of the spreadsheet to support the Alpha Vantage API. I could still do that if desired, but thought it would be easier to just support a single version of the spreadsheet. So, I’ve merged the currency conversion features of the international version into the dividend portfolio spreadsheet.

In cell E4 you’ll choose the currency you want the Totals converted to. In the example above, I picked US Dollars. The calculated market value of all the stocks will be converted into whatever currency you choose. If you don’t desire for any currency conversions, then just pick US Dollars in column E. The spreadsheet should otherwise work as it has always.

Know issues:
1) The Dividend Calendar and Summary page’s dividend tables default to US Dollars. I’m working on a way to remedy this, but it is not yet ready.

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Total dividend income for December 2017 was $1278.18. This is up 62.7% over the dividend income received in 2016! I had three months this year where I broke over $1000. December’s dividends also bring me up to just over $20,000 in lifetime dividends received (since 2011).

I’ll be coming out soon with my 2017 recap.

Options: See my options page for further details.

Symbol Dividend Amount
MGMXF $1.95
ADM $19.68
AFL $29.09
AMGN $103.39
AVA $61.12
BAC $49.13
BMS $16.58
BP $46.66
CVX $30.51
DBD $27.07
EMR $52.03
GILD $91.99
HRS $30.47
HSY $20.52
IBM $104.40
JNJ $127.03
KR $31.57
KO $35.09
NAVI $115.29
O $12.37
PGX $0.98
TGT $126.11
TROW $11.12
UL $6.75
V $25.46
WFC $35.82

Total dividends for December 2017: $1278.18
Total cumulative dividend income for 2017: $7,614.25

Forward 12-Month Dividends: $9,565.88
Hourly wage based on 40 hour work week (2087 hrs): $4.58/hour
Hourly wage based on non-stop work (8760 hrs): $1.09/hour

Total option income for December 2017: $0.00
Total cumulative option income for 2017: $779.86

Full disclosure: Long all the above stocks

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Here’s my November 2017 dividend income report. Better late then never. I have actually been away from the computer (and work) the last 12 days traveling with my girlfriend. As such I’ve been slow to update my blog, respond to comments, or comment on the blogs of others. I hope to use the evenings of the next few days to accomplish all of these.

I received $491.83 in dividends for November 2017. This is a 75% increase from last November. My cumulative annual dividends are also nearly $1500 higher than what I received all of last year. The major reason for the year-over-year increase this month has been due to continuing purchasing of AT&T, which pays greater than a 5% dividend.

Options: See my options tracker for more details.

Symbol Dividend Amount
AAPL $139.72
BMY $27.68
CAT $42.90
KKR $26.53
O $12.32
PGX $0.84
RY $37.94
T $203.90

Total dividends for November 2017: $491.83
Total cumulative dividend income for 2017: $6,336.07

Forward 12-Month Dividends: $9,342.06
Hourly wage based on 40 hour work week (2087 hrs): $4.48/hour
Hourly wage based on non-stop work (8760 hrs): $1.07/hour

Total option income for November 2017: $0.00
Total cumulative option income for 2017: $779.86

Full disclosure: Long all the above stocks

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As I’m sure all of you are aware, General Electric just announced some restructuring and a 50% dividend cut that has not enthused too many investors. Investors nowadays like to see immediate results. A couple of year delay to see the restructuring play out doesn’t sit well with those of us that want our Amazon delivery shipped to our door in a couple hours.

Prior to the dividend cut, GE was paying me $1206.71 per year. The dividend cut brought that down to $603.35. GE stock price has also been the worst performer in the Dow Jones over the last year. It dropped even further with Flannery’s announcement.

Rather than sell, which seems to be the mantra with many hardcore dividend only investors, I recently picked up some more shares.

On November 14th I bought an additional 150 shares at 18.082 and on November 16th purchased 100 more shares at 18.2256. Altogether, these purchases totaled $4545 and added $120 in annual dividends.

I’m now bringing in $723.35/year in dividends with GE’s new rate. Not too bad. Once I get paid this month I may even look to purchase more.

Did you guys more GE as well? Are you waiting for some more catalysts first? Or, does the dividend cut (second since 2008), completely remove GE from your investment criteria?

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