My Investing Journey with Passive Income, Stocks, and Cryptocurrencies!

Tag: Roth Ira

QQQ ETF is Fantastic | My Portfolio

The two main ETF’s I’m buying this month are QQQ and ITOT. QQQ is weighted towards the Nasdaq and technology. I think during this Coronavirus crash, weighing heavier towards technology is a wise move. So far, it has paid off quite well.

I just added $400 to my ROTH IRA and $500 to my Traditional IRA. In addition to the above ETF’s, I’m also buying these individual stocks-Universal Forest Products and Chewy. I am up over 25% in Chewy, it is of course a growth stock. Chewy is a company that specializes in pet foot delivery. We use their services and see Chewy boxes all around us via our neighbors each week.

In this video, I discuss these ETF’s and bring you my dividend report SO FAR for the month of June **More Dividends to come!**


So far, my DIVIDENDS are as follows:

Stanley Black & Decker $11.04, IEF $0.61 for a total of $11.65 in my TRADITIONAL IRA

PMM $0.61 in my BROKERAGE. Lots more DIVIDENDS to come in this account!

In my ROTH IRA, VBILX $6.77

I’m FINALLY able to add to my accounts this month, so, I’m looking forward to watching that money grow in the market.

I am currently sitting at 6%; one of my short-term goals is to get my total market ETF’s/Index Funds up to 25%. I also want to continue increasing my position in Chewy, Universal Forest Products, Marten Transports, and Fortinet. I feel strongly that these stocks are going to GROW big over the next few years.

Lastly, I’ll briefly mention my Swing Trade for the month. I am swing trading ROKU. This won’t be a long-term hold for me, I’m simply looking for a 8% gain. I am sitting at 2% right now, holding a bit longer. Update later!

Coronavirus, Correction and Buys

The Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the stock markets. A possible Bernie Sanders nomination played into things here in the US as well.

The market has seen some of its fastest losses ever as well as its fastest gains. I believe we are in for a volatile market over the next few months.

What have I done? What am I doing to navigate these rough waters? Here you go:

First and Foremost, I did sell a portion of FFNOX in my Traditional IRA before the market turmoil. I did this after the Coronavirus announcement; I feared it would be worse than assumed at that time. Turns out I got lucky and was right. With that 20% I moved to cash I saved myself about -10%. I do plan on getting back in within the next month.

On the other hand, my portfolio is still down and in the red on the year here because so many of my stocks have been getting pummeled.

What have I bought?

I bought more AKAMAI #AKAM, this is my favorite growth stock. It’s a cybersecurity and content delivery company that I believe is pretty shielded from the virus and somewhat recession-proof.

I bought Westrock #WRK. The dividend is now almost 6%, and with a payout ratio of only around 50%; I believe the dividend is quite safe. The company does carry a good bit of debt; however, they are paying it off gradually each quarter.

I also bought a few shares of Darden Restaurants. Darden is down over 20% in the last month; it’s hard to not want to buy at these levels. The dividend is now 4%. Darden owns Longhorn Steakhouse and The Olive Garden. I fully expect the Coronavirus to harm the restaurant business; however, I AM investing for the long-term here. I don’t expect the coronavirus to be an issue a year from now.

I bought two shares of Mimecast to increase my position. Unfortunately, MIME has not had a good month either. The stock is looking a bit pitiful; however, I do remain hopeful. MIME is an email cybersecurity stock that I think is well-positioned in its field.

What did I sell?


I sold just a small portion of my Putnam Municipal CEF, I did this because it was getting near highs and I wanted to build up cash to buy stocks after they fall lower.

I sold almost all of my SIX FLAGS at a loss. I’m currently using it to tax loss harvest. I’m glad I sold 75% of it after earnings because all it has done is go down more and more. I chalk this up as a SERIOUS MISTAKE and hope I’ve learned from it. I knew it was a risky play; hence why it only made up about .3% of my portfolio.

What am I going to buy?


First and foremost, I’m looking for a nice entry point on ITOT (Ishares Total Stock Market ETF). I will take the 20% cash funds in my retirement account and dump them there over time.

In my brokerage account, I’m looking to buy more QQQ. Once again, allocating more towards simple ETF’s.

One of my top 5 holdings in my IRA is Ryman Hospitality Properties #RHP. It is down over 30% in the last month due to the virus and being exposed not only to the hotel industry but the entertainment/concert industry as well. This company just had an INCREDIBLE earnings report and is growing like a week. If it goes below 50 I’m buying a lot of RHP. It currently has a 6% dividend at this price.

I’d like to pick up some more Fortinet under $95 dollars. It is still overvalued if you ask me. Many tech stocks still haven’t taken THAT much of a hit in this correction. Still waiting patiently.

January 2020 Stock Moves

I started the first week of 2020 by buying more Netflix and Akamai. I want to increase tech/growth exposure in my portfolio going forward.

What have I sold?

I sold all of my Kroger in my IRA for around 17-18% profit, I sold all of my shares of 3M for about a 5% gain, Verizon I sold out of also for about a 2% gain. All of my Fidelity Healthcare Services Mutual Fund is gone in my brokerage account as well; however, I did keep some in my IRA.

The second week of January I sold another portion of my Leggett & Platt. I know this is a good dividend stock that’s had a great run up. However, I feel looking at the chart it is losing ground here and will slide back to the 44-46 range. I will rebuy around that range, I feel the stock is currently overvalued.

I made a hard decision this week, I sold some of my American Eagle Outfitters at a loss. It was just a small portion but I simply want to start reducing my position over time as I feel the company has turned into a falling knife here. It’s looking worse than Macy’s share price did a year ago.

I am currently sitting in the largest cash position I’ve had since becoming an active investor. I am not waiting on a crash nor will I will be waiting over a month. However, I did feel it was appropriate to take some off the table going into 2020.

Last year one mistake I made was I was ALWAYS buying. This didn’t leave me with much cash in the reserves when great buying opportunities arose. Cash is an important position to have; otherwise, you miss out.

One position I’m CONSIDERING selling out of is Schneider Trucking, SNDR. I am looking at exit point of 25 there. It’s had a nice run the last six months but I just feel I’d be better off buying a total market ETF with that money than keeping it in SNDR going forward. News is once again talking trucking recession and there are certainly lots of trucking companies hurting and going out of business. In the long-term, I think this puts SNDR in a good place but I just want to reduce my risk level right now. If I do sell out of SNDR, my plan is to use those funds as a contribution to my 2019 IRA. I still have about $1000 I can contribute, and I have until April to do so!

Anyways, thanks for tuning in, I am looking forward to 2020. 2019 served me well but I do have better performance on my radar. I learned some things and hope to do an even better job of implementing them.

2019 in Review, Where to go from here?

First and foremost, I want to say that 2019 was a great year in investing for me. It marked my first year of really being an active investor. Previously, most of my investing choices were index funds.

POSITIVES?
-Increased my Cash Flow/Dividends tremendously

-ROTH IRA which was three index funds was up 30%, Traditional IRA was up around 19% 1 year return

General Mills, Leggett and Platt, Kaiser Aluminum, Medical Properties Trust turned out to be some of my best performers.

NEGATIVES?

My Brokerage Account truly underperformed the market, including Dividends.

Buying Macy’s was a BAD mistake, it cost me around $200 in losses, not much but still more than I had hoped. Retail/Apparel stocks overall did awful this year and I’m still in the hole on American Eagle Outfitters.

THOUGHTS GOING FORWARD?

I’ve decided to change my strategy a bit

1)While I will continue to buy Dividend stocks, I am going to concentrate on individual stocks less and buy more Total Market ETF’s like ITOT for instance.

2)I want to reduce my number of positions. I will be selling out of my Healthcare Mutual Fund in my Brokerage entirely, Selling Kroger in my IRA, and possibly even selling my Verizon in my IRA as well. I just want fewer positions and I already feel like I’m diversified enough.

Should you invest in Index Funds or Dividend Stocks?

I see many people advocating one or the other. These discussions often turn into us versus them battles. I can’t say I hold this mindset. I see no reason a person can’t do BOTH. That’s what I do and will continue to do.

For instance, I hold largely index funds in my retirement accounts and only dividend stocks in my brokerage. Why? Different goals require different approaches.

My retirement account goal is to capture the total return of the market. It is to build up my net worth into old age. It’s money I will not touch for 20 years. Index investing is easy to do and it doesn’t require lots of work or time. Mutual Funds and ETF’s are a great way to diversify as well for those not interested in researching stocks, looking at balance sheets and watching the market.

I own the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index in my Roth IRA; it’s done great since 2009. That was the only investment I had for over 10 years! I also added a REIT index and Intermediate Bond Index Fund to that account last year. I probably look at that account once every two months or so.

My Traditional IRA is slightly more active. I hold the Fidelity 4 in 1 fund in it. This is, in my opinion, a GREAT beginner investor fund. It’s already a bit diversified (equities, bonds, international). I also own the Fidelity Long-term bond fund and a Healthcare sector fund in this account as well. Besides the funds, I own two REITs, Kroger’s stock and Sterling Construction (a growth stock) inside my IRA. It’s a few levels above set it and forget. I like holding the REIT’s in my IRA because they spit out income that I can then reinvest within my IRA (even if I’m over the max contribution). Kind of a sneaky way of investing even more than normally possible 🙂

Lastly is my brokerage account. The most time consuming and perhaps the most fun (at least on the days it’s not going down!). The goal of my brokerage account is for it to become TODAY money at some point. My first goal is to generate $100 a month from dividends in this account. A longer-term goal is $500 a month. At some point, I’ll use the income from this account to pay bills and assist in my living. I’m self-employed and some months my income is better than others, dividend investing will help smooth it out. Since my goal is income, the index funds are not the tool for the job. I would have to sell them and depend on market conditions to withdraw.

I think of dividends as having a steady/consistent check. Sure, it requires initial research and reading balance sheets but once it’s done you don’t have to watch the markets every day if you don’t want (I usually do because i enjoy it). You can be a dividend investor and check in once every two weeks or so and still be fine. Perhaps even longer in the right environment. Some will argue that dividends can be cut and they are right but that’s why you do the best research you can and why you hold MANY stocks. If something goes wrong with one, the others are there to take up the slack. I own SEVENTEEN companies, some people own FORTY. I can’t EVER see myself holding that many stocks. Heck, I’ve had trouble finding 17 I want to hold long-term.

Anyways, I’m here to tell you, don’t ever feel like you have to choose. There is room for both in the world of investing. You have to search for your own goals and make a plan on how to reach them. Most importantly, whatever methods you pick, be consistent. That is the key to all of this.

Here is the video I did on this topic:

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