Another month is over, so here I come with another financial overview. To be honest I’m quite happy that April has passed. Since Baby Roadrunner started to go to the kindergarten, there was not a single week when I was fully healthy.
This month I got a typical children’s disease and right now I literally can’t talk because of a throat infection. Luckily I can still write. Conclusion: you can start your own blog even if you’re mute! 🙂
Questions of the month:
- If you’re a parent with small kids, how do you boost your immune system? Right now I feel like Tom Hanks in the movie Philadelphia…
- Are kindergarten nurses some sort of super human? Can they be sent to highly contiguous areas without protective clothing?
Ok, that’s enough of weeping, let’s see the numbers!
Changes in the Portfolio
If you read my April investment ideas, this won’t come as a big surprise. All investments I made were mentioned there.
First of all I sold my shares in AES. It made me a nice profit during the last year (including dividends around 20%), so I don’t regret having it in my portfolio for a while. Nevertheless I’m not that comfortable about the growth potential and the sustainability of the dividends, so it had to go.
At the same time it also means that there is a new addition to the portfolio. The company is Brinker International (EAT). They own and operate the restaurants Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy.
As they have very limited European presence, I have never tried their food (US readers: Any comments?), but their financial numbers look good for me, and I believe at current levels with a 3+ % dividend yield, it’s a great purchase.
On the top of this, I’ve increased my holdings in IBM and Qualcomm. Both stocks were beaten down recently, but as I’m very optimistic about them on a long term, I couldn’t resist buying the dip.
All together my fresh money added to the portfolio is not as high as usual. This is because after the long struggle of mortgage hunting, it looks like we finally found the solution. Because of this reason I rather have some extra cash for unexpected expenses around the buying of the apartment. An extra EUR 1,000 has been added to the cash reserves accordingly.
Related article: Hunting for an investment mortgage in the Netherlands
Portfolio Fun Facts
Even though the stock markets were slightly up this month, the portfolio value (which I track in euro) was negatively impacted by the weakening USD.
The euro got stronger over 2% in April which means that even those American stocks that had a slight gain in USD, had a value decrease in euro.
This means that without the new purchases April would’ve been a negative month, but like this I can still report an increase in the portfolio value.
The 3 best performing stocks in the portfolio (in terms of value, not percentage) were Western Digital, ABN AMRO and Unilever.
Western Digital is having incredible months. Since I bought the stock in last March and April, the share price is going up, up and up! In euros it has nearly doubled my original invested amount. How did I know that it will be a good investment? Honestly speaking I didn’t. I just saw a company with a beaten share price with not bad numbers and sustainable dividends. That time it had over 4% yield, versus the current 2.25%… I don’t think that all my investment ideas will turn out this well, I’m just hoping that I will have more success stories than failures.
Even at an expensive stock market you can find some hidden treasures. I also consider Unilever as another great purchase. I only wish I had more money when I had a chance to buy into this stock a few times during last year (all below EUR 40).
Of course where we have winners, there must be losers as well. The 3 worst performing stocks for me in April were CF Industries, AT&T and IBM. (Wow, finally Target made it off the list! 🙂 )
As I mentioned, I used this sell off in IBM to buy some new shares. For me it was a no brainer. Can the share price go lower? Of course, last February it was traded for $118 and 9! P/E. Now it’s $160 at this level and below I’m definitely buying.
AT&T is something I only keep for the dividends. If the price would fall around $36, I might buy again, but at these levels I just let it do whatever it wants to.
I’m not as comfortable with CF Industries. They have a lot of headwinds these days. Luckily it’s one of my smaller holdings so I can watch what will happen in the future without being too nervous.
You can check my updated portfolio HERE.
The first month of the quarter is the most boring for me in terms of dividend payments, but in April I got some great news about dividend increases.
4 companies from my Dirty Thirty Portfolio have announced a dividend increase:
- Qualcomm – 7.5% increase
- Ameriprise – 10.6% increase
- IBM – 7.1% increase
- Exxon Mobil – 2.6% increase
I’m really happy about such news, and I only wish my own employer would increase my salary with the same rate… 🙂
Cash and Real Estate
As mentioned before, I put some extra aside to the cash reserves in order to cover the expenses of our (hopefully soon) real estate purchase. The majority of the deposit will come from our bonus and holiday allowance that we will receive in May/June.
The Road to One Million
We’ve made another small step forward on the road to one million. No significant increase in April, but it was still a positive month. As mentioned, it is only due to the monthly contribution.
The end balance of April is EUR 77,512 As the months passing by, I start to have the feeling that (also depending on the bonus amount) we might be able to cross our first threshold of EUR 100,000 by the end of this year. This would be awesome; I never expected this around year ago when this whole journey has started.
How about you dear readers? How was your April? What do you think of my new purchases? I would especially like to hear your opinion about Brinker International! I don’t really see this stock coming up at other discussions. Am I missing something or I found a hidden gem? 🙂
What are the investments you’re thinking about in the near future? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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Disclaimer: This post or any other information on the site is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice or any other advice. I am solely sharing my idea, plan and progress on financial independence and early retirement.