Starbucks Corp – My Top Pick for 2016

As the year 2015 wraps up, we can look back at the year that was: a volatile market that has gone nowhere in particular, ending the year pretty much flat. More importantly, with the turn of the calendar year, we can start to look ahead as to what 2016 will bring. In addition to setting financial goals, I am also considering what stocks to invest in, as I continue my journey towards financial independence.

I am yet to finalize a list of targeted companies broken down sector-wise that I will be sharing with the readers in the new year, but I wanted to get a jump start and share my top pick.

This year’s top pick for me is no different than my top pick for 2015 – Starbucks Corp (SBUX).

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Starbucks Performance YTD 2015

Starbucks started the year 2015 at a (split-adjusted) price of $41.07 and as of this writing, is currently trading at $61.13. The stock price has appreciated a massive 48.8% and paid an additional 1.2-1.3% in dividends bringing the total return to a neat 50%.

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Goals for 2016

The year 2015 is almost over and as we wrap up and look back at the year that was, a question always emerges on the horizon – What Next? As investors, we all want to achieve financial independence and build our income stream so that we may have the freedom of choice to do what we want. To make steady progress on a regular basis requires determination, patience and of course a target in mind. This is where goals come in. Setting and writing down goals and working towards them are one of the best ways to make progress. Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about setting financial goals and setting targets. Following are the goals that I am setting for 2016.

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Chatter Around the World – 128

Chatter Around the World is a curated weekly update of articles related to economics, investing, dividends and personal finance. In these weekly updates, I also capture my blog updates and news related to my portfolio holdings.

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2015 Illustrated in One Image

Let’s dive into the links that caught my attention this week.

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Setting Financial Goals

As the year wraps up and the new one approaches, it is common to see everyone setting their annual goals. While there are always some goals that each one of us wants to achieve – for e.g., financial goals may include earn more, save more, invest and grow nest egg more etc, I want to take this time to reflect on some things to keep in mind when setting financial goals.

Goal setting can be a great way to achieve success in life. Of course there are exceptions to the rule – and depends on each individual’s commitment, personality, ability and other uncontrollable circumstances. But something that is highlighted a lot in media is to set SMART goals. SMART is a mnemonic acronym standing for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-related. A lot has been written about SMART goals and I will not try to repeat things here – but I encourage you to read up and think about this as a goal setting measure.

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SCANA Corp Dividend Stock Analysis

SCANA Corp (SCG) is an electric and gas utility company operating in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. It owns nuclear, coal, hydro, natural gas and oil, and biomass generating facilities. The major subsidiaries include:

  • South Carolina Electric & Gas – provides electricity and natural gas throughout South Carolina. A regulated public utility and principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation, SCE&G generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity to over half a million customers in 24 counties and provides natural gas to customers in 36 counties.
  • PSNC Energy – provides natural gas services in North Carolina. A regulated public utility, PSNC Energy purchases, sells and transports natural gas to more than 508,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers.
  • SCANA Energy – markets natural gas services in Georgia. A leading natural gas marketer, SCANA Energy serves about 460,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers statewide.
  • Other subsidiaries include: SCANA Energy Marketing Inc (markets natural gas and provides energy-related services), SCANA Services Inc (provides administration, management, and other services to SCANA subsidiaries), South Carolina Generating Company Inc (supplies electricity for SCE&G), and South Carolina Fuel Company Inc (fuel supplier for SCE&G).

SCANA Corp is a Dividend Contender having raised dividends for 15 consecutive years and has a Chowder Rule of 5.8. The new nuclear facility construction in S.Carolina is seeing higher costs and delays resulting in a credit rating downgrade from both Moody’s and Fitch. Is the company a buy at the current level?

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