May 2023 Investing Update

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For the month of May, the DOW went down 1190 points. This puts the DOW down 0.68% for the year, and down by 1% in the past 12 months. Interest and dividend income was $1834 for the month. Withdrawals for living expenses came to $1141 in the past month. I added another 50 shares of CVS Health at $68.48 per share. This gives me an even 100 shares. I decided to sell my 200 shares of FTXL (First Trust Nasdaq Semiconductor ETF) at $58.66 per share. I should have held it for another week because the price increased shortly after I sold it. I would be a buyer of this semiconductor ETF again if it drops below $55 per share.

I like investing in stocks that pay dividends. Although, a good dividend doesn’t mean the stock is going to hold its value. It’s easy to get stuck with a stock that drops in price making your dividends worthless. Right now, my stock portfolio isn’t looking good. All six stocks are in the red. I’m down to only one non-dividend paying stock. The annual dividend payout for the other stocks is estimated to be $863. However, that doesn’t cover the current $3039 unrealized stock loss. There is a chance that a few of these stocks may recover before the end of the year. At this point it’s about generating income and not putting too much cash at risk.

This past month there was more bad news for Walgreens. A $230 million settlement with San Francisco to settle claims regarding its role in the city’s opioid epidemic. And a settlement with consumers over claims that the company was aware of fraud at now-defunct blood-testing firm Theranos. Just last week, they have asked a U.S. judge to vacate an arbitrator’s award of more than $642 million to Humana Health Plan Inc. in a drug-pricing dispute. It seems like every week there is another huge judgement against them. They recently announced that they will be laying off 10% of their corporate workforce. It seems unfair to blame Walgreens for the opioid epidemic. But they are a profitable business and are the easiest link in the chain to go after. Despite all of the bad news, only 4.23% of shares are short. If they decided to cut their dividend, things could get worse for their stock price. I just hope that they can survive this and turn things around.

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