1)Macy’s-I sold out of Macy’s a while back but for some reason I’m still getting dividends. Hey no arguments. Macy’s paid me $4.53
2)Eastman Chemicals paid me $33.00
3)Schneider Trucking paid me .91 cents
So as you can see not a WHOLE LOT in Dividends this month in my Brokerage account. I go into the reasons behind that below.
Moving on to my IRA account, lots of REITS:
Medical Properties Trust-$26.46
Xenia Hotels $1.65
Ryman Hospitality $13.30.
Both XHR and RHP have suspended their dividends due to the Coronavirus environment; so this is probably the last dividend this year I’ll be getting from either of those companies.
IEF Bond Fund paid me .72 cents.
Mcgrath Rent Corp $4.62
This brings me to the following totals:
$39.89 in my Brokerage account
$46.75 in my IRA account
A COMBINED TOTAL of $86.64
Here is my latest DIVIDEND GRAPH since my initial investing. Once again, you will see that the amount of dividends paid has dropped considerably. This is because I sold some of the stocks paying dividends and I had one dividend get deferred (American Eagle outfitters).
Overall, I’m still happy to be getting the dividends even though they certainly have decreased. COVID-19 is an usual situation that most companies simply weren’t prepared for. Hopefully, these dividend cuts don’t last for a year.
Given that I’ve been concentrating more on growth/tech investing; I am not as concerned about the dividends at the moment. However, no one likes to see their dividends get cut. At the same time, whatever a company needs to do to make ends meet in this trying time. Far better they cut the dividend than go out of business.
So, over the last month I’ve been doing more SWING TRADING.
What is SWING TRADING?
Swing trading is when you specifically buy a stock with the intention of selling it shortly thereafter. Hold times can be a few days to a few weeks.
Home Depot (in my IRA): I bought this 3/16 through 3/20 and sold on 3/24 for a 6.06% gain
Lowes: I bought on 4/1 and sold on 4/6 for a 8.77% gain
Smucker: I bought this on 3/17 and 3/27 and sold on 4/17 for a 9.7% gain
What sort of strategy do I use for Swing trading?
I only pick stocks I’d be happy holding long-term if I had to. This is just in case the trade turns bad short-term
I ideally want 5-10%; however, as the position size increased and duration is decreased, I am happy with 3%.
I look for support and resistance as well as past chart patterns. I am not much of a technical analysis guide. However, I do base my buying points on previous support levels. I choose when to sell based on prior resistance levels.
Some stocks are cyclical short-term and make good swing trading stocks. Some of these are Delta, Leggett & Platt, Kaiser Aluminum, and Mueller Water Products.
I don’t risk much so if things don’t go my way, I am not out much. At this point, if I can make $100 a month on swing trading I am happy. I prefer buying and holding longer-term ( a year or more). If I sense I can make 10%, I will risk say $500, with a $50 goal in mind. If the stock isn’t as volatile, I will use a larger position $800-$1000 and try for 3-5%.
Personally, I think a lot of LUCK is involved. I don’t have a system. I realize that is not the answer you want to hear, especially when so many people claim to have a system using technical analysis. No exact technical analysis stuff here, I can’t help you really make successful trades other than the small bit of advice I give above to increase your chances. I just look at stocks that I think are unfairly beaten down. Some I watch each week, so I see what I THINK are patterns in their movements, you get familiar with them over the course of a year and that can help as well. There is nothing scientific about it but I must say a bit of a gut feeling is involved after watching the same stocks for long periods of time.
Some stocks are easier to swing trade like Delta, the graph exhibits waves up and down over time. Simply buy when the wave is nearer to the bottom than the top and ride it up for a few percentage points. Kaiser Aluminum looks a lot like that as well. Leggett and Platt is another, very cyclical stocks over a period of months.
I’ve sold very FEW things on eBay this past month. This was partly due to mostly concentrating on cleaning things out at my parent’s house and trying to sell those things for my mom. Not to mention just scrambling to increase my online music business in a bunch of different ways.
I lost about $400 in income a month because I work part-time in after school programs at an elementary school. Yes, school has been canceled for the REST OF THE YEAR here in Georgia!
Anyways, the Coronavirus has, of course, stopped my thrift store hunting. The good part about this is maybe I can get rid of some inventory before getting more. I was starting to run out of room a bit.
Here is the break down:
1)These little Fisher-Price characters were part of a grab bag I got. The price paid is 79 cents each. They went for $4.35. After fees and shipping, I made a profit of $3.20
2)This Superman toy was part of a larger lot of toys I paid $25.00 for. It sold for $10.00. After taking into account fee/shipping, I was left with $5.02…This is all profit because it is from a $25 lot of toys I’ve already made my money in.
3)Massive Darkness. This was part of a lot of 2 I gave $70 for. The price for the individual item works out to be about $7.00. It sold for $10.99. After taking into account fees/shipping I made $2.95
4)Paw Patrol Toy. I gave $2.13 for this. It sold for $4.15 and the total profit for this was only $1.21. I got tired of waiting on this to sell, so I dropped my price very aggressively, which did not help my margin here.
So, as you can see I made a whopping profit of $12.38 in March from selling Toys. On the other hand, I did also sell some old exercise equipment and books that I had laying around for a bit more profit, money that can be invested into the market to generate a greater return.
I continue to need to be a little more aggressive with all of this. I just kind of post stuff and lower prices at my own leisure. I’m sure I good do A LOT better if I put more work into this but I really don’t want it to be like another job. I kind of envision it being something where maybe I could make an extra $200 a month at some point. On a positive note, I HAVE gotten a lot better with shipping costs and that continues to be a way to add to my profits, using the eBay shipping services.
One question I keep seeing all over the internet is was March 23rd the bottom? Well, that remains to be seen. Maybe, maybe not.
I am of the opinion that the market could keep going up and that COULD have been the bottom. At the same time, we could also go lower from here.
At the same time, I can’t say I care one way or the other. The majority of my investments are on a 5-20 year timeline. All that matters to me is that the prices we saw in January are not the highest we will EVER see again. I expect that we will get back to All-time highs and go higher after this is over. The pressure is building and when we hear good news, I fully expect the market will rally like never seen before. I won’t be surprised if a rally occurs faster than most people expect.
As long as the market is up higher than the current ATH during your investment horizon, you are getting dividends, reinvesting, making regular contributions, then the current market conditions are not something to worry about.
How is the Coronavirus itself looking?
We are now seeing a slowing of Coronavirus cases in Italy and Spain. Cases are increasing under 3% and deaths under 4%. This is reassuring. Who knows how long it will be until those economies open back up. However, we are seeing a move in a positive direction. Here in the states, we are still seeing an increase of 8.4% in cases and a whopping 18% increase in deaths today. We have a ways to go, especially here in Georgia, where I don’t believe we adequately prepared for this. Our governor is a bit of a disappointment.
I think life as we know it will probably change until the end of the year. Things will gradually open up but we will all be cautious of going to a crowded concert or restaurant again. Who wouldn’t be???
I have largely been staying in, only to go out for mail/groceries and a rare walk (most places are closed). My fear is not the illness itself but perhaps the medical bills that come with it. My greater fear is having it, not knowing it and giving it to my elderly mother who is an extremely high-risk case here. These are the things that linger at the back of our minds as we face this. My wife’s job has been TERRIBLY affected because she is a full-time musician who depends on gigs for a living. Imagine all of your work gone in a blink of an eye. Myself, I am lucky that I do mostly online teaching anyways and my business has even increased due to the virus.
I fear what will happen to the country during this downturn. So many small businesses could go under here. I see LOTS of businesses over leveraged, borrowing more so they will be “prepared” if this goes on longer.
Anyways, what moves have I made this week with my buying and selling?
1)I keep buying Stanley Black & Decker. I am up an incredible 42% in one tranche I bought, not even that long ago. Of course, I keep buying, so overall I’m up something around 18% in the stock. Nice Dividend Aristocrat and solid company LONG-TERM
2)I am taking nibbles at ITOT every couple of days. I am NOT trying to time the bottom here. I am sticking to my plan of buying anywhere near 2400 and under. I am also buying smaller portions at 2600. I think these are decent entry points long-term.
3)I am gobbling up QQQ on any dips. I think this is a SUPERB ETF to be in. It is less exposed to things like restaurants, hotels, and cruise lines. It is tech-heavy, but I am fine being tech-heavy during these times.
4)I bought Lowes for a SWING TRADE. I only made around $24 bucks off of it but I only held it like three days. I continue to play either Home Depot or Lowes for weekly Swing trades. I like these stocks for swing trades, because I am fine holding either long-term if I can’t get out of my trade quickly for a profit. I made around 8.4% off of this trade. Last week, I traded Home Depot in my IRA account for even a greater profit. I think THIS is the type of market to swing trade-in. You will see tremendous volatility, swings of 8-10% in one day. Why not take advantage of it to go with your long-term investing??
5)I am still playing the TRUCKING SECTOR as I feel these stocks were already beaten down prior to the crash and are holding up well. Marten Transports is one that continues to perform well. So far, up over 8% in the stock over the course of a few days.
As always, here is the YOUTUBE video discussing Some of this:
1)Buy and Hold is a great strategy but not ALWAYS the best strategy. I have had serious winners (up 30%) turn to losers (down 30%) in a hurry. I held on because I believed in buy and hold. Meanwhile, I would have been better off to take some off the table. I ALWAYS take a bit off the table every other quarter or so. This provides a psychological benefit of “winning” as well 🙂
2)Check a companies BOND RATINGS. This has become even more evident during the recent Coronavirus Crash. You are seeing companies that have paid dividends for decades have to cut their dividend. Many of these companies were downgraded to Junk and downgraded again. Look to see the standing of the bonds of the company you are investing in. Use the Moody’s website, create a free account. You can do this research quite easily for most large-cap stocks.
3)Check companies’ EARNINGS in detail. If you see the earnings dropping quarter to quarter over the course of a year or more, it may be time to get on another horse. These companies are not growing. It doesn’t matter if they pay a dividend if your TOTAL RETURN is seriously negative. Buy companies with some growth, whose revenues and earnings are increasing.
4)Debt/Equity Ratio-Once again, the Coronavirus Crash is showing just how important this is. If the company is overleveraged, in hard times like this, it will not be able to meet it’s debt. Invest in companies with PLENTY of cash and reasonable debt levels.
5)Don’t over diversify-I think one issue I had with my portfolio initially is simply too many positions to keep up with. Ideally, I’d like 20 at the most, maybe even 15 really good ones. You don’t HAVE to own every sector with individual stocks if you already have a good index fund.
6)Don’t fall for the P/E trap. What I mean is, just because something has a low P/E, does NOT mean it is undervalued. First and foremost, it is ridiculous to believe the rest of the investing world can’t look at a P/E number and ascertain whether it’s valued appropriately…..so yeah, it’s most likely “priced in.” Not all sectors have the same P/E values, tech can have higher P/E values. Companies on their last leg can have very low P/E numbers but that doesn’t make them undervalued.
7)Don’t forgo BONDS-Luckily, I never had this problem but it bears repeating. I often see people tell younger investors you don’t need to use bonds/bond funds. I think this is ridiculous. One of the reasons my IRA and Roth aren’t down as bad as they could be is because of the bonds. They have a HUGE purpose in a portfolio.
8)”Cash is Trash”. A famous investor recently said that and I know I’m taking it out of context but cash is DEFINITELY not trash. Cash is SUPER important and should be conserved so when a buying opportunity comes along, you can take advantage of it. One thing I did wrong last year is I just kept buying, all the time. Then, when I had lower prices, I didn’t have enough cash to buy. NEVER AGAIN! I think I want to have 10% of my portfolio in cash going forward. Get the money in the market but also don’t just throw it all in at once.
9)Cut losers QUICKER. That is right, when a company drops 20%, maybe it’s time to sell. Not always but sometimes. Personally, I’ve found when I get a quick drop like that I almost always come out better if I just sell. Have a game plan, once you lose a certain percentage, get out. Do not mindlessly use a buy and hold approach, reassess the situation.