Dividend Portfolio Update

I started writing this blog and then the bottom fell out of the market. When I saw this happening I held off on publishing because when I see an irrational move in the markets that is an opportunity to buy which would have made this blog inaccurate the moment it was published. So now I have created a revised version of my original blog but it was worth the wait.

When I decided to start this portfolio in April the original intent was to only use money earned through the blog via affiliate links and advertising (for which we still have not received a penny). Since that time some things have changed and we started work camping and earning some extra money so I made a small modification to add some of this money to the portfolio as well. It’s money we didn’t plan for in our budget and it’s only temporary income so why not put some of it to work? Our work camping gig ends at the end of August and when that time comes we will go back to the original goal of only using money earned frm the blog.

With this modification however we have been able to grow this account to about $5,500 with an average dividend yield of 4.30% which will generate annual forward dividens of about $236. This is a significant increase over the last time I gave an update for this account in our May Financial Update blog. Additionally since that update the DRIP has started to take effect as we have earned and reinvested $18.11 in June and July. Sure this isn’t alot but everything starts out small and grows from there.

As of now our dividend portfolio is only 0.3% of our total portfolio so there is no risk to our big picture by holding some individual stocks. Especially when those stocks are mostly high quality companies that are not going anywhere.

Here is the breakdown of our current portfolio:

Kellogg (K) = 2 Shares

General Mills (GIS) = 5 Shares

Kimberly-Clark (KMB) = 2 Shares

Coca-Cola (KO) = 2.016 Shares

Altria Group (MO) = 8.036 Shares

AT&T Inc. (T) = 9 Shares

Southern Company (SO) = 2.01 Shares

AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) = 7 Shares

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) = 5 Shares

Realty Income Corp. (O) = 2.014 Shares

3M (MMM) = 3 Shares

Dow Inc. (DOW) = 5.021 Shares

Iron Mountain Inc. (IRM) = 10.073 Shares

Arbor Realty Trust (ABR) = 2 Shares

Black Hills Corp. (BKH) = 2 Shares

Medical Properties Trust (MPW) = 5.042 Shares

International Business Machines (IBM) = 3 Shares

SpartanNash Co. (SPTN) = 6.062 Shares

As you can see this is really just a who’s who of quality dividend paying stocks. I don’t feel like there is really anything speculative about it or any one compay that could cause the portfolio harm. You can see the stocks we have received and reinvested dividends from because they have fractional shares so we have only scratched the surface so far.

I don’t try to time the markets and run that fools arrand so our entry point is whereever I feel the stock is fairly valued. We are in this for the long haul so if the price of any stock we own happens to go down from our original entry point I will average down with it if nothing has fundamentaly changed. After all if I felt the price I paid was already fair then the lower price is even better.

So ther you have it, this is our dividend portfolio in a nutshell. It has been alot of fun to watch it grow and even more fun watching the reinvestments on each stocks distribution day.

If you have a favorite dividend paying stock or want to provide some feedback on our portfolio let it rip in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media for events as they happen.

Thank you for reading…………………


June 2021 Financial Update

We are halfway through the year and four months into our fulltime RV journey and we are having the time our our lives.

One of the things we love is being spontaneous and taking things as they come. When you are living on the road you never know when opportunities will come your way. June was one of those months where once again the unexpected happened but at least this time it was for good as opposed to what happened to us in March. Click here if you don’t know that story. This time we were offered jobs at the campground due to some work campers leaving unexpectedly and after giving it some thought we decided to go for it. You can read all about it in our previous blog.

We are now a few weeks into our new positions and we are really enjoying our time learning new things and all about the operations of a campground. Most people come into the campground and are excited to be there which makes for a great atmosphere and it can be a lot of fun. Of course there are always some folks that are just miserable people and have nothing better to do than complain about stupid stuff and often about every other campground they have stayed at along the way. In those instances we do our best to appease them and move them along because they will never be happy no matter what you say or do. Sometimes I wonder why these people even bother to RV if they are so unhappy all the time.

Becoming work campers is something we always considered doing because it fits perfectly into both the RV and FIRE aspects of our lives. We get to do a little work to keep ourselves busy, learn some new skills and make a little bit of money. Work camper jobs typically also include a free campsite and utilities for the duration of your agreement so you are also saving money on your budget. And the best part is you can choose where you want to go and plan your travels around different opportunities. It really is the perfect plan for us and we will certainly be taking more jobs in the future.

In other work related news something amazing happened this month. It’s something that seemed like it would never come to fruition. It’s something that we have discussed for months if not years but it was always met with resistance, questions and concerns. But now it has finally happened and there is no turning back! What could this miraculous turn of events be you ask?

Well, one day I was working a shift at the campground and Mrs. RVF decided to pay me a visit. As she walked through the office door she had a big smile on her face and proclaimed “I did It!” At that moment I had no idea what she was talking about so I looked at her hand to see if she was holding an adult beverage. She then reminded me that she had her monthly call with her management team at her regular job on this very day. And during this call she did the unthinkable! She decided it was a good time to officially give notice that she will be retiring at the end of August. Yes, my dear readers you read that right!! MRS. RVF will be retiring and enjoying the RV life without being strapped down to a corporate job at the end of August! I was/am shocked as I never thought she would go through with it. She has worked non stop since she was 16 with only vacations here and there. It’s a big step and a huge decision but that’s what we plan for.

In light of this amazing development, we need to start putting our retirement plan into action so we can be ready for the day when there will be no more corporate paychecks. We have been doing really good on our budget the last couple of months so I don’t have any doubt we will be successful. There are a couple of things we do need to be ready for such as paying for one more year of college for our son and figuring out medical insurance once our corporate coverage expires. These are both going to be costly, but they were already accounted for in our plan so barring any unforeseen complications, it is just a matter of laying out the cash as needed.

While we are on the subject of cash, here is how our portfolio performed in June 2021:

Portfolio = $1,564,318

Portfolio Goal = $1,500,000

Amount Needed To Reach Goal = ZERO

Our Portfolio Increased By $17,575 or 1.14% From The End Of May

Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Increased By 27.01%

Net Worth = $1,597,968

Our Net Worth Increased By $20,869 or 1.32% From The End April

Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Increased By 10.81%

June was a rocky month but we managed to once again end on the positive side which is always a good thing. The month also brought along dividend payments that totaled just under $7k all of which was reinvested into our various mutual funds and stocks in the mini dividend portfolio. This was also a nice recovery from the beating our dividend payments took in the second quarter of 2020 when the pandemic forced many companies to suspend or cancel dividend payments. These cuts caused a 32% decrease in our payouts in Q2 2020 versus Q2 2019 but with things getting back to normal our payout for Q2 2021 increased by over 56% year over year to put us back on track with our historical trend

Going into July I am very weary of where the markets are heading. We are off to a good start but the inflation data is cause for concern and market prices are high. The fed maintains that inflation is only transitory and will subside which reinforces their stance to not raise rates for some time in the future, like 2023. I hope they are right about this because if not then we are in for some pain if they are forced to reconsider that stance and raise rates sooner than expected. The bright side is it will be a buying opportunity but I prefer to not have a market correction just as we are putting our retirement plan into action. However, if for some reason we do head into a correction, we will be fine as we have enough cash to get us through a couple of years which allows some time for our investments to recover any losses. But let’s hope we don’t have to experience that anytime soon.

We have two more months left in Utah and our work camping jobs. After that we will be heading to Arizona for the Fall where Mrs. RVF will experience life outside of the corporate world for the first time as an adult. We are really looking forward to being able to go hiking and sightseeing without worrying about keeping a schedule.

Thank you for reading our blog. Please follow us on social media for more updates as they happen.

Until next time…………


We Got A Job!

Well sort of. We have now been at the same campgroud for over a month and for the most part we have enjoyed our time here. While Mrs. RVF continues working her full time job I have spent most of my time doing strenious activities like hiking, fishing, vehicle maintenance and tending to our new mini dividend portfolio.

One thing you get to see when you are at a campgroud for an extended period of time, as opposed to just overnighting or stopping for a weekend stay, is the business side of running a campground. The daily chores, maintenance, unexpected problems, contractor delays and the never ending projects that campground owners work so hard to complete in order to better their property. All of this is going on while at the same time trying not to disrupt service or create a negative experience for their customers. It’s a delicate balance and as much fun as it sounds like it would be to own a campground it really is a tough business.

Continue reading “We Got A Job!”

May 2021 Financial Update

May was a relatively quiet month which was a nice change of pace from what we have experienced over the last few months. It feels like we are settling into a new routine and we have been able to enjoy more time in the outdoors. We did a few hiking trips this month, two of which were in Bryce Canyon National Park, and I have been going up to our favorite lake a couple of days a week to fish with our son and my dad. At this point the most difficult thing to deal with is helping family understand we are not on vacation and we can’t go out to dinner every night or stay up late and play cards. Mrs. RVF still insists on continuing to work so we still have a schedule to keep for the time being.

Continue reading “May 2021 Financial Update”

April 2021 Financial Update

The month of April came and went in what seemed to be a flash and we are happy it is over. The month began with us still being stuck camping in a bodyshop parking lot as repairs continued on our RV. Once the wonderful folks at M&M Coach completed the work it was time for us to head to South Dakota so we could complete the process of becoming residents.

Of course everything we hoped to avoid on our journey to and from South Dakota ended up happening. And why not since Murphy’s Law seems to be our copilot and trial by fire is the gauntlet we apparently have to run through in order to live this amazing life.

We hit below freezing temps, snow and heavy winds pretty much every single day in Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota. Just the week before these same places were enjoying sunny 80 degree days but now it’s snowing in the middle of April. We made sure to fill our water tanks every chance we got because several campgrounds were unable to turn on their water due to the risk of the pipes freezing. This also meant we had to ration water because getting more would require breaking down camp and driving the RV somewhere in snowing conditions to refill the tank. No thank you!

Continue reading “April 2021 Financial Update”

Becoming South Dakota Residents

To us one of the essential parts of becoming full time RV’ers was to establish residency, or domicile, in a state other than California. This is something most full timers do if they no longer intend to have a permanent residence or home base in a state. There are several reasons both financially and logistically to take this step and although it takes a little bit of work it is a fairly easy process and well worth the time.

When it comes to full time travelers some states are more beneficial than others. Have you ever noticed that many RV’s on the road are to be registered in South Dakota, Texas or Florida? This is because these three states are considered full time friendly states and make it very easy to become residents even though you don’t intend on being in the state most of the time. Another thing these three states have in common is they have an income tax rate of ZERO!! That’s right, if you are a resident of one of these three states you do not have to pay a state income tax. Contrast that with California who has one of the highest state tax rates in the nation and you can start to understand our motivation for getting out of the state. Continue reading “Becoming South Dakota Residents”

March 2021 Financial Update

There is not much more that can be said about our current situation than we outlined in our previous blog. The good news is that there is now light at the end of the tunnel and we are taking everything one day at a time.

Financially the month of March was pretty good considering we had a large cash outlay to pay off our son’s first year of college. Due to this expense we expected that we would, at the very least, have a negative month. We were really just hoping it wasn’t too negative. Throughout the month the markets were very choppy due to rising yields, inflation concerns and of course covid-19. In the end some positive news pushed the markets up and much to our surprise we were able to squeak out a small gain. Continue reading “March 2021 Financial Update”

What To Do With Cash Now?

I don’t know about you, but I remember the days when you could earn some interest on your cash. This is definitely not the case in today’s low no interest rate environment.

Back in the 90’s and early 00’s we had a cash account with a brokerage where we parked our emergency cash fund. Our balance back then was about $35k and we would happily earn about $75 a month in interest. It wasn’t crazy money but it was better than a bank savings account and was still liquid should an emergency arise. We at least felt like the money wasn’t getting killed by inflation while it was protecting us from unforeseen events. Continue reading “What To Do With Cash Now?”

February 2021 Financial Update

We are one week into living the RV life and to say the last month has been a whirlwind would be a drastic understatement. After getting everything loaded up and driving to our first stop we looked around and saw a giant mess. It looked insurmountable at first, but once we started tackling each area of our storage we became more encouraged as we cleared out bag after bag of our belongings. It turns out we had a lot more stuff left than we realized but after a week of organizing and adjusting to a new routine we feel a lot more at home. Continue reading “February 2021 Financial Update”

New Beginnings On The Open Road

We did it! After years of planning, saving, investing, researching and pandemic delays we are finally living in our RV as full timers. There is still a lot to do but the hard part is done now that we took the leap and made it to the other side. It’s wonderful to say we actually achieved a long term goal and hopefully our journey will help inspire others to do the same.

We all have goals in life. Some people write them out or track them in one form or another while others just keep a mental note of things they would love to do and call it a goal. Typically those that track their goals are actually working in some fashion to achieve them while those keeping a mental note are mostly just dreaming about it. I call it the “maybe someday” syndrome, which is something we suffered from for many years. Continue reading “New Beginnings On The Open Road”