Administrative Note

Readers of Dividend Tree may have noticed the messed up layout for last few days. Based on my own experience, I know that this kind of funky layout does not provide a good reading experience. My apologies if the funky layout has been a distraction in your reading and/or navigating experience.

This issue stems from my choice of template theme for this blog. I am using WP-lightbreaker layout theme since I moved to word press platform and my own domain name. The reason for this choice was more white space. This theme is very dynamic and has lots of inter-linkages. Any small change I make may seem to have no impact on one layout, but it may result in multiple issues on other linked layouts. I am now evaluating few other themes which are (1) relatively simpler than my current theme; and (2) provide a similar white space as this one. Simple in a sense that there should be less number *php files. My assumption is less number of php files means less complicated layout.

I am currently evaluating following themes on another dummy site:

  • WP-Ligthbreaker   : 27 *.php, one *.css (existing theme, baseline)
  • PassionDuo_Green : 15 *.php, one *.css
  • Mimbo2.2 : 14 *.php, one *.css
  • Indomagz_blog3 : 13 *.php, two *.css
  • WP-Premium red : 14 *.php, one *.css (final fall back option)

This comparison shows that may be I am using one the most complicated layout with almost twice the number of php files.

I hope to get this done in next couple of days.

Moving Dividend Tree from Nursery to Farmland

I am in process of transplanting my Dividend Tree from nursery (blogspot domain) to its own farmland (own domain). While I have registered the new domain, dividendtree.net, I am still in process of figuring out what changes will be required and how I am going to make this happen. continue reading rest of the article….

Dividend Tree is One Month Old


Today it is exactly one month since I started actively posting on Dividend Tree. It is a very short time frame, but it feels like I have been doing this for a long time. It has been quite an experience from:

  • early pessimism turning into encouraging optimism;
  • time wrenching schedule impacts to a regular feature in my daily routine;
  • extreme frustration of staring at HTML code to “oh! that was easy”;
  • can’t think what to write to a long list of 40+ topics;
  • random surfing and reading to now always reading with dividends as my frame of reference; and
  • many more……

I started slowly with about two posts in a week. By third week, I got hooked and started posting almost very day. I did not have much content on my blog spot and hence, there was practically no traffic and subscriber list was empty. To be honest, I did not have any expectations. I was of the viewpoint that why anybody would read my ramblings on dividend investing and my portfolio.

From third week onwards, I started participating in blog carnivals. And then there was deluge of visits. The cumulative traffic on Dividend Tree went from single digit (in first three weeks) to 500+ page views (in just fourth week). The subscriber list went from zero (in first three weeks) to 40+ (in fourth week). Wow what a jump! Unfortunately, my blog spot was not set up properly and hence, my comments section was almost empty. You see, I was still learning the nuances of setting up the blog spot. Thanks to Jae Jun at Old School Value who pointed out this error.

I now believe I have a platform and momentum to interact with like-minded fellow bloggers. I hope to continue frequent postings and continue to share my experiences in my quest for building a sizeable passive cash flow.

I express my sincere thanks to all the readers/subscribers of this blog spot. I hope you will continue this journey with me.

So hop on and ride along with me!

Stocks in My Dividend Portfolio


In order to make my holdings public, I contemplated a lot about how much detail and what information I would be comfortable with in sharing with readers of this blog spot. In the end, I narrowed it down to the parameters that would be relevant to the themes, objectives, issues that I discuss on this blog spot. This will be a good location where one can find how my investments will evolve over a period of time.

This page lists the individual company stocks, exchange traded funds, and closed-end funds that I hold in dividend-focused portfolio. Along with the list, it also includes the corresponding percentage annualized dividends, original and today’s percentage capital value.


A Customary Disclaimer: These are dividend-based portfolio holdings for me, compatible to risk I am willing to take, the resources I have, and the amount of time I am willing to spend on managing it. This is for informative-purpose only.

Introduction

Dividend Tree Blog is my platform to interface with individuals who believe in dividend and value investing. I hope (and expect) that this blog will be interesting read to individuals who design, develop, and sustain their own portfolios. To begin with, I hvae post few articles on the approach and method I use for my dividend portfolio. I believe that I need to ensure “adaptability” in my investing method and continue to evolve (with consistency in philosophy and/or strategy). Being an amateur investor, I think it will be a hell of ride in the tumulus terrain of investing jungle, and all I am attempting is growing a tree in this jungle, with a hope to reap fruits sometime later.


What do I think about Financial Advisors/Planners/Brokers, mutual funds, portfolio managers, etc?

My primary source of income is my engineering career and as everybody else, I work hard to earn it. So why not work hard to use my hard earned money to invest it the way I want, the way I like, and not get biased by somebody else. I know what is important to me and what has relevance to me. I fail to understand how can an outside advisor tell me what is good for me. The whole investment industry works on fees and commissions, and hence the likelihood of swaying away from your own investment goals is very high. Additionally, the historic data seems to suggest that majority of the mutual funds (or portfolio managers) are not able to beat the general market indexes. So why should I pay fees, commissions, loads, etc. for this under performance. Why I shouldn’t just buy the low cost index fund? I read an article sometime back (forget to bookmark it) that one investor had significant reduction in value of its mutual fund holdings, but had to pay short term capital gains tax. While devil is in the details, but I thought that was little contradictory to me. To me, if one charges a fee for the service, I expect some level of quality behind that service. Perhaps financial advisory/planning/brokerage is the only industry, which does not stand behind its product (or service). Would you buy anything when the service provider or seller tells you upfront, that he cannot stand by it or held accountable because of such and such risks? Sorry, I don’t buy such products.


How I became a dividend investor?

I started dabbling in investing around middle of 2003 (with serious effort around middle of 2005). Being a novice in investing arena, during 2005 and 2006, my approach (and goal) was to make few quick trades, look for $100-$150 profit, and hence increase my capital. I started with a risk capital of $5000. After two years, with 30+ trades, all the efforts, and continually glued to screen, media, etc. all I had to show was balance of $5300. With so much time, effort, and risk I realized that it was not a right approach. In early 2007, on analyzing some of the positions bought in 2003, I realized that without doing anything, they still had higher total return. This was primarily due to small holdings in dividend-based stocks such as C, GE, and BAC. I paused for a while and continued reading more about dividend-based investing. This reading shaped my thinking process and changed my approach towards dividend investing.

My investment philosophy?

Have a goal, decide a strategy, measure the progress, and be open to adaptation. There is no such thing as “right” or “wrong”. Right or wrong depends on the context and its relative ness. Even a clock that has stopped ticking is right twice a day. So, if it meets the goal or facilitates achieving it, then it is right. Keep it as simple as possible.

Why I am here?

Use this blog as a platform to discuss, present, and share experiences that works (or not work) for me. I will also use this blog to track my efforts in increasing my passive cash flow. For me, the passive cash flow here is defined as cash flow other than my primary source of income. The approach I have adopted is using dividend-based income stream.


I would love to hear from you so please do leave your comments.

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