Current Investment Portfolio Review

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May 7, 2021
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Toward the end of last year, I was very excited to begin investing in a taxable brokerage account. My goal was to earn some passive income and I think I've been doing pretty well. I do have some thoughts on where I am at the moment though, so I thought I'd take a moment to share them. Last year, I began small with around $75,000 and then the last time I actually put any money into this account was in June of 2020. That was a big chunk of change. I think it was around $110,000. If memory serves, I bought VYM with that, which I thought was a good choice. It was down at $77 then and it's now hovering near $90. It was the dividend I was after though, so share price for this ETF isn't my primary concern. Dividends and diversification are primary for me. Here, take a look at my current portfolio:


The onset of Covid 19 has been interesting for those who invest. While everyone thought they'd lose their shirts, there was actually a lot of money to be made. If you trusted the fact that the central banks were going to pump capital into the system, you bought like nuts when the time was right. I knew they were going to do that because they always do that, so I tried my best at timing my purchases. I'm not a market timer, so I only did that a few times and I never sold anything. Well, that's not exactly true. I sold some stocks I wish I never bought.

Okay, so here goes. I'm happy with VYM, or otherwise known as the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF. That'll be my go to investment from now on. Early on, I thought I wanted to go the individual stock route, but that was a mistake. I initially purchased 10 blue chip stocks and was going to continuously add to their positions, but after the virus hit and I began losing lots of money, reducing risk became a priority. That's why I decided to buy VYM. Having something so diversified helps me sleep at night. I think there are oven 300 stocks in that one and many of them are blue chip. With a relatively high dividend for passive income, it's a no-brainer.

I have five individual stocks left. I plan on selling them perhaps next year and putting the proceeds into VYM. My least favorite stock is XOM (Exxon-Mobile) because I'm an environmentalist at heart and I'd love to get excited about electric cars and alternate sources of electricity. I feel as though while I own XOM though, I end up pushing for higher gas prices and more consumption. That goes against my way of thinking, so when the price goes back up, I'll dump that stock. They do have a good dividend though. I'll give them that.

My second least favorite stock is T (AT&T). This stock isn't far behind XOM on the least favorite list though. AT&T seems like a company that's run fairly lousily, if that's even a word. They've got massive debt and buy absolutely stupid things. I think they own CNN, which I despise and they also own Time Warner and HBO, which are terrible. While the world moves toward streaming and new technology, they move towards cable. It's like...what? They're almost as regressive as XOM.

As far as IBM goes, they're somewhere in the middle. I don't not like them, but I don't like them either. They're an old and slow company, but they do have a good dividend. That's why I bought all of these stocks - for their dividends. IBM has a new CEO that would like to turn the company into a high performing cloud computing enterprise, so I hope that happens. I plan on selling this stock when the price goes up, but with my luck, the minute I sell it, it'll turn into a Microsoft and go sky high.

As far as SO (Southern Company) and MMM (3M), I like them both. They're both solid companies with good dividends and I may or may not keep them. I'd like to sell every individual stock and buy more VYM with the proceeds, but it's those individual stocks that may scream higher when this pandemic ceases to exist. I may try patience for once and let the chips fall where they may.

One stock I wish I had bought was NLY (Annaly Capital Management). I used to own this company in my retirement accounts years ago and they give a huge dividend. I think it's just over 10% right now. The problem is, it's a REIT, so it's not taxed favorably, so that's why I didn't include it in my taxable account. Plus, the share price dropped to $4 during the beginning of the pandemic, so I'm glad I didn't own them. I should have bought them, because now it's up to $8. My old position in this stock was way overboard, so I got nervous that the company was going to go out of business. I sold. I shouldn't have. I may still buy to hold in my taxable account in the future though. The dividend is just too good not to.

So there it is. How is your portfolio doing? What are your thoughts on it? Are you happy with what you have? Will you be buying? Selling? Please let me know below.