Recent Sell – SO, VXUS

I have sold two positions in my holdings – The Southern Company (SO) and Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS). Regular readers of this blog are probably familiar with our recent purchase of a house. In order to cover the down payment, the plan has always been to sell some of my stock/fund investments. Last month, I sold my positions in mutual funds, but that does not cover all of our needs, so I have sold and closed my positions in SO and VXUS.
Why these positions?
I want to hold onto my dividend growers and sell my positions in funds and high income non-dividend growing stocks.
Although a dividend grower, I decided to sell my position in The Southern Company (SO) as I see a lot of headwinds in the utilities sector. I will be posting details on that in a separate blog post later this week. Moreover, my average cost basis on the stock is just below the current price even after the gains this year -so, my YOC is pretty close to current yield; SO also doesnt have the best dividend growth rate record in my portfolio, which currently stands at 3.82% for the 5-yr dividend growth rate.
The ETF VXUS has seen quiet a bit of run up and has hit all-time highs as the ECB decided to take its rates negative (a big part of the fund composition is in European stocks). I sold the position while it was at an all-time high. We might re-instantiate a position in VXUS in the future when we move my wife’s portfolio from mutual funds to ETFs. See the Goals page for details.
I have updated my Holdings page. See my current list of holdings here.


The Southern Company (SO) Dividend Increase

The Southern Company (SO) announced that its quarterly dividend will be raised by 3.44% to 52.50 cents from 50.75 cents per share per quarter. This dividend increase is the company’s thirteenth consecutive annual increase. The new dividend is scheduled to be paid on June 6, 2014 to shareholders on record as of May 5, 2014. The new dividend rate results in an annualized yield of 4.65% based on SO’s closing price today.


My portfolio consists of 50 shares of The Southern Company, which increases my quarterly dividends from $25.38 to $26.25 and an annual dividend raise from $102 to $105.