June 2024 Investing Update

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For the sixth month of 2024, the DOW added 547 points, which was a 1.42% gain. Interest and dividend income was $2416 for the month. Withdrawals for living expenses came to $1135. Overall, my account balance increased by 0.97% from the prior month. The total balance is only $1946 away from the high set in December of 2021. I could have easily hit the high mark if not for several unfortunate trades. In the past month I decided to sell my shares of Skyworks (SWKS) because the price had dropped by $3 per share in two weeks. I put the money into SCHD, a US equity dividend fund that was due to pay its dividend. Not more than a few days later, Skyworks jumped from $91 to $106 on news that Apple would be releasing an AI powered smart phone. Apple is Skyworks’s biggest customer, contributing almost 60% in total revenue to the company. I lost out on a $1200 gain by selling when I did. Although, I made up some of the loss by collecting dividends and Skyworks is in the SCHD ETF. I also sold 50 shares of LVS and bought 50 shares of STM. Six days later, I sold all 100 shares of STM and bought 100 shares of USB. I decided to get rid of STM because the dividend was low, it was not performing well, and it is not a US company. US Bank’s current dividend is almost 5% and their share price may increase as interest rates start coming down later this year.

I went from aggressive to conservative when I started seeing share prices drop. I wanted to get back to good companies that are paying dividends. The annual dividends I collect are now at around $7000. This doesn’t include interest payments, which could add around $16,000 in passive income this year. I plan on adding to SCHD if the price goes below $76. It is risky to buy individual stocks when the market is at an all-time high. I was just notified that the interest rate on my mortgage will be changing from 7.25% to 8.13%. Because I have made extra principal payments, the new monthly payment will be $381. With 204 months remaining on the loan, the amount going toward the principle each month is very small. At the new rate it is worth paying off the loan which will save $60 per month in interest payments.

There has been a lot of talk about whether Biden should continue his campaign for a second term after his poor debate performance on June 27th. It reminded me of how my father looked and acted before he was diagnosed with early-stage dementia. On February 28th, 2024, he was declared fit for duty by doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Four months later, he displayed tell-tale signs of dementia during his debate with Donald Trump. The condition can be hidden for quite a while, but stressful situations can cause symptoms to be more visible. This is not someone who should be planning to serve another four years in the white house. The fear is that voters will consider this and decided that Trump, despite his many flaws, is the better option.

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