Monday, October 29, 2012

Ka-Ching! AFLAC just gave me a 6% raise

Another week, another raise... a guy can really get used to this. AFLAC (AFL), the supplemental health and life insurance company, increased its quarterly dividend 6.1% to $0.35 per share. The dividend is payable on December 3, 2012, to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 14, 2012. The yield based on the new payout is 2.8%

Now I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I have to admit I'm a little disappointed in the size of this increase. Based on the very low free cash flow payout ratio of 6% and latest quarter's debt to total capital of only 21%, AFL could have easily increased the dividend by double digit percentages.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pay Yourself to Wealth

It amazes me how many people think they "can't afford" to fund a stock portfolio. Even when I tell people I started with just $50 / month they act like that is too much. Of course these are the same people who don't think twice about spending that on dinner and drinks several times a month. Or they are the type who rush out to buy a newer car once they have their old one paid off.

I understand that it's fun to have new things. The excitement of owning something new is a powerful force and the American economy relies on it. But this force is also what holds a lot of people back from building wealth.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ka-Ching! Phillips 66 just gave me a 25% raise

Phillips 66 (PSX) announced last week that it was increasing its quarterly dividend by 25% to $0.25 / share.  My position in PSX came from the split of ConocoPhillips (COP) this past April.  PSX now focuses on energy & chemical refining and transportation while COP focuses on the exploration side.

To be honest, I wasn't sure how I felt about PSX and considered selling it as its price increased 50% since May.  This recent increase and statement by their CEO has made me a believer in PSX's dividend growth future.

“This 25 percent increase reinforces our objective to provide competitive and growing dividends,” Phillips 66 Chairman and CEO Greg Garland said in a company statement. “Allocating capital to dividends and repurchases while continuing to invest in the growth of our business is fundamental to our philosophy of delivering shareholder value.”

Monday, October 1, 2012

Payout Appreciation: Some Investors Pile Into Stocks Likely to Keep Raising Dividend

Note: I'm going to be traveling the next couple of weeks so there likely won't be any original posts from me.  I'll be reposting articles I find interesting and applicable during this time though. Below is an article from the Wall Street Journal that points out how money management firms are now focusing on companies that pay and grow their dividends each year.  What an interesting concept!

Call them the new growth stocks.  After rushing into dividend stocks of all stripes this year, some investors are homing in on a more select group: stocks of companies that are likely to keep raising their dividends at a fast clip.

It is all part of the chase for better returns on the heels of the Federal Reserve's announcement last week of another round of bond buying aimed to keep interest rates at rock-bottom levels until the economy improves. As yields on the 10-year Treasury wallow at near-record lows and "junk"-bond yields also are sinking, investors are seeking anything that offers some extra income. READ MORE

Disclosure: I am long VZ, HAS.