Grow Your Dough: February Update

Grow Your Dough: February Update

Here’s where my Grow Your Dough portfolio stands as of the end of February. 

As you may — or may not — know, I’m participating in the Grow Your Dough Throwdown, a fun little challenge orchestrated by Jeff Rose and involving several personal finance bloggers. We’re all putting in $1,ooo a portfolio, and seeing what we can do to make it grow.

I’ve decided to take a dividend approach to my challenge portfolio. I probably won’t win overall, but it’s been a good excuse to start an income portfolio. Or at least what I hope will turn into an income portfolio.

Here’s how things stand at the end of February (well, I took the snapshots on Saturday, March 1) for my portfolio:

Grow Your Dough Challenge Portfolio

As you can see, I’ve got some cash that I need to put to work. I need to find a relatively cheap something to buy, since the cash isn’t doing me any good. I should probably buy another share of something I already own, but I can’t buy partial shares with where I’m at, so that leaves something new. I’m doing a little research on dividend yielding investments to see what I can come up with.

Replacing a Stock

I’ve never been a big fan of stock picking, so the fact that I had two individual stocks has been a bit odd for me. I did finally get tired of having AT&T in my portfolio, since it wasn’t doing that well. So, even though I’m not much in trading a lot, I went ahead and used a couple of my free trades from Kapitall to sell and then do something kind of stupid. I decided to buy a dividend-paying commodity fund.

Grow Your Dough holdings

Of course, the commodity fund isn’t doing any better than AT&T was, but I’ve never done anything with commodities, and there are those who think this is the year for commodities, particularly precious metals. So I figured I’d give it a try. The other funds are doing well enough, though. I’m not big on chasing the big score, though, so we’ll see if I can do ok with what I have.

So far, though, even with the losses in a couple of the investments, I’m still ahead. Kapitall even offers you a chance to see how you stack up against other indexes. Here is how I stack up, when looking at things over a period of a month:

NASDAQ DIJA SP500

As you can see, I’ve managed to keep pace with the S&P 500, probably due to the S&P International dividend fund I have. I’m ahead of the Dow — at least for the month — but the Nasdaq has me beat. Not too bad overall, really. At least, that’s what I tell myself. I’m trying to keep from getting too excited about the gains, before I go haring off and do something stupider than investing in a commodity-based asset.

I’ve also been happy to see dividends. Of course, I saw that one of the best dividend-payers was AT&T (it is a dividend aristocrat, after all) after I sold it. So now I’m hoping that the commodity fund at least pays out in a way that is competitive with the equity shares I sold.

Grow Your Dough Dividends

So far, thinking about all of this has been a bit overwhelming for me. I’ve always been quite boring as an investor, so the idea of trading and checking my performance regularly is a bit out of character. But it’s been kind of fun so far, and I am interested to see how the other participants are doing.

What do you think of my portfolio?

photo by: 401(K) 2013

Written by Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger, specializing in personal finance, small business, and investing topics. She writes for a number of financial web sites and blogs, and has been featured in numerous media. Read about life as a freelancer at MirandaMarquit.com and in her book Confessions of a Professional Blogger.

4 Responses to Grow Your Dough: February Update

  1. That’s a great idea for a challenge. It will be very interesting to see the approaches people take. What have you seen most people do with their $1,000? I guess “business ventures” will end up being the most successful (and least successful) investment of the $1k in the short term.

    • It really depends on the person. Some are putting it all on something with high risk/high potential reward. Others are trying for value stocks. I’m just looking for income funds.

    • I think Kapitall is ok, and that it is easy to use. However, the flat fee is kind of high. I have some free trades from Kapitall, so I’m not paying the transaction fees right now. My favorite for retirement investing, though, is Betterment.

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