A month into the march

March toward $1,000,000: Week 5 (Aug. 27-Aug. 31)


It’s been one month since I blew up my portfolio and started from scratch and let me tell ya … the month ended a lot different than it began.

My (second attempt at a) march toward a $1,000,000 portfolio started innocently enough, with purchases of high-yielding stocks like Ford and AT&T getting me off the ground.

I went with dividend growers the following week, adding companies like 3M and Illinois Tool Works.

After that, I scooped up a share of Intel as my portfolio crept past the $1,000 mark.

The fourth week of August featured a bit of an audible. Instead of building a portfolio with small positions in anywhere from 100-150 companies (like I did before), I vowed to build more substantial stashes of shares from just 15 different companies. You know, to create a considerably more concentrated foundation.

Well, now, at the end of week 5 – one full month into my march – I have my 15 stocks … and none of them are ones I already mentioned. That’s right, none. Like I said, a ton has changed since Aug. 1 – things like the stocks I want to buy and even the brokerage I want to buy them with.

Let’s discuss …

Goodbye Robinhood, hello Chase You Invest

Let me start by saying this: I love Robinhood. It’s a super-slick app with incredible ease of use. I was on board pretty much since launch and loved every second of my time with the game-changing brokerage. Free trades! Who doesn’t love free trades?

Then, literally within the last week, I got an email from Chase saying I was eligible for 100 of the almighty free trades per year with it’s new You Invest platform. I figured I owed it to myself to at least check it out. Chase is a bank I trust. My mortgage is through Chase and, most importantly, my wife and I have our paychecks directly deposited into a Chase checking account.

If nothing else, I figured it would streamline my finances a bit.

So, did I open a You Invest account? You bet I opened an account and, well, those of you who are good with context clues and such can probably piece together my desire to stick with it. I mean, the subhead to this section of the post is “Goodbye Robinhood, hello Chase You Invest” for cryin’ out loud.

That said, you probably want to know specifics as to why I made the switch. I’m happy to oblige. For starters, I like the fact I can DRIP (dividend re-investment plan) all my stocks. I think that’s a huge bonus when it comes to building wealth over a long period of time. Robinhood, meanwhile, doesn’t offer any sort of DRIP.

Another thing Chase offers that Robinhood doesn’t is real-life people I can talk to over the phone. Once I have a significant sum of money invested, I’ll feel better knowing I can get in touch with someone if I need to. Robinhood only offers an online ticket type of situation. I never had to use it, so I can’t tell you how long it takes for someone to get back with you, but I’ve heard people say it can take days.

Honestly, those are pretty much the only two reasons I have for the switch. Like I said before, I love Robinhood. Chase, though, at least in my opinion, has a more info-rich and robust investing platform.

I’m excited about the switch (even though I still love Robinhood).

My top 15 foundational stocks

Now the fun part … let’s talk stocks.

The switch to Chase You Invest got me thinking: what else could I change for the better?

Other than the brokerage, the only other thing an investor can realistically change is the companies they’re investing in. I took a good, long look at my basket of stocks and, well, wasn’t sure they were the type of stocks for me to build a foundation with.

AT&T and Ford are great income stocks, but how much growth can I realistically expect from them over the course of the next 30 years? Ford, while severely undervalued, isn’t even a DGI stock. It’s cut its dividend several times in the past and very well may do it again. That’s not a terrible thing as it would undoubtedly help the company, which is working on some pretty big things right now (autonomous vehicles and smart cities), but I figure I can jump on Ford anytime. Right now, while I build my foundation, I need stocks that are growing their dividends at respectable rates. Those are the stocks I need to stockpile. Those are the stocks that will make me a millionaire 20-30 years down the road.

So, what are those stocks? I’m glad you asked. I picked five that pay quarterly dividends starting in January, five that pay starting in February and five that pay starting in March. By selecting five that pay on each of the three schedules, I ensure I’ll receive five payments a month. I’d like to eventually get at least $50 a quarter from each ($250 a month) before I branch out.

January-April-July-October payers

The first basket of stocks includes Chase (JPM), Cisco (CSCO), FedEx (FDX), Royal Caribbean (RCL) and Comcast (CMCSA). What do they all have in common? Dividend growth, of course.

Cisco has been boosting its dividend for six straight years at an average clip of 15.75% over the course of the last three, Chase has seven straight years of hikes (10.98% average boost over the last three years), Royal Caribbean has four straight years of raises (26% average over the last three years), Comcast has nine straight years of raises (13.57% average over the last three years) and FedEx has four consecutive years of raises (whopping 36.53% average over the last three years).

Nice averages, huh?

February-May-August-November payers

Same story … dividend growth is the goal. This group of stocks include AbbVie (four straight years of raises, 19.50% average over the course of the last three), Starbucks (seven straight years of raises, 25.3% average over the course of the last three), Apple (five straight years of raises, 11.18% average over the course of the last three), Lowe’s (56 straight years of raises, 20.83% average over the course of the last three) and Texas Instruments (14 straight years of raises, 22.45% average over the course of the last three).

All good names I can invest in and sleep well at night.

March-June-September-December payers

Last but not least, here’s the final handful: Microsoft (12 straight years of raises, 10.72% average over the course of the last three), Boeing (six straight years of raises, 23.74% average over the course of the last three), UnitedHealth (eight straight years of raises, 24.77% average over the course of the last three), Blackrock (eight straight years of raises, 9.41% average over the course of the last three) and Nvidia (five straight years of raises, 18.30% average over the course of the last three).

March on!

2 Responses to “A month into the march

  • Wow – congrats on the purchases and massive portfolio shifting. Also, gotta respect the move to the new Chase platform. I used Capital One because I could use their investing platform and banking. I loved having it all under one umbrella. I”m sure it will be very easy to transfer capital at the time of a purchase. I’m excited read more about it from you as time goes one.

    In terms of your foundation stock, that is some serious growth right there. I saw some awesome growth rates, that’s for sure. However, I didn’t see too many Aristocrats or companies that have demonstrated it for a long period of time. There were some, but I was hoping to see more. That being said, that is a great listing of companies right there. Keep up the great work!


    • I’m loving Chase’s new platform, Bert. Can’t say enough good things. As for the foundation stocks, you’re right, I went with growth over track record. That said, I plan on adding a few aristocrats (JNJ, APD, PG) in the next month or so. You’re right … companies that have proven track records are always great to have!
      Thanks for the comment. March on!

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