End of Year Updates

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For starters – sorry I have been so quiet on here lately.  It’s been three months since I have added a blog post!  I should preface by saying I do most of my writing on Seeking Alpha and with a full time family and other endeavors this is the area that tends to be forgotten.  In any event, I wanted to give a little update on some activities going on.

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Custom Stock Alerts

I have a few updates regarding Custom Stock Alerts.  Firstly, I hope you are using the site and enjoying it and I am always looking for feedback.  In particular I wanted to make sure that any dividend investor was using the “Ex-Dividend” tool.  I’ve tried to make it easy to stay on top of when your companies will be paying YOU dividends.  In fact I have used it several times in real life trading.  With so much going on all the time it can be hard keeping track of all of the dividends and especially the yearly raises from many companies.  In particular I added to my Altria and Starbucks holdings based on the texts I receive from the tool.  Amgen is another one that recently announced a large increase that I need to do a little more research into.

API Access

Secondly, I have quietly developed an API from a subset of data I have available on the site.  I still need to flesh out the sourcing of the data but API access is available currently for paid users.  The goal is to provide information that you can import into Google Sheets or Excel.

As a quick sample here is what I have worked into my Sheet that I use for all of my portfolio tracking.

google sheet with columns populated by api

Those numbers would be a pain to manually keep track of, rather it has been distilled down to a couple API calls in my Sheet.

=ImportData(Concatenate(“https://api.customstockalerts.com/v1/getData?symbol=”,‘Dividend Rates’!$B$1,“&field=oneyeardividendgrowth&key=YOUR_API_KEY_HERE”))

As an example this will fill my entire column of one year dividend growth based on the tickets in my column B.  The one weakness right now is that a lot of the extensive dividend history only comes from the wonderful “CCC” list by David Fish.  As an example, Abbott Labs currently is not on the sheet after their spinoff of AbbVie a couple of years ago.

Like I said, I need to do more formal documentation on it but also to polish it up, but the concept works.  My curiosity and love of Amazon Web Services led me to being able to build it fairly rapidly.

Social Media Integration

For anyone who follows me on Twitter, you may have noticed lately some alert related tweets showing up over the last few weeks.  Twitter is actually the perfect medium for this type of information, a short informational burst.  I have a few alerts, between both tools, that will be auto-tweeted out from my admin account.  For dividends it’s mainly the biggest dividend payers there will be a tweet prior to the payment and if any increase is forthcoming.

Facebook autoposting is also on my todo, it’s just a little more complicated with a larger platform.

Site Tweaks

I have a list of features I’m tinkering with and have gotten a few suggestions.  One notable one I’ll work on is being able to keep certain alerts on after notification.  For example, the daily price change alert, I would always want to know when one of my stocks goes through a 5% price swing.  I’ll set it up to only do one of those a day per stock but I can look to getting that done sooner than later.

Cryptocurrency

I could go into a whole detailed article on crypto and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it.  That said, I am dabbling with creating my own mining rig.  Again, my curiosity has gotten the best of me and the skills required to create one are exactly up my alley.  In my opinion it’s a great mesh between hardware and software.  This is a current work in progress and I hope to bring more details in the future.

I know this may be out of left field but there is a corollary I can make.  In reading The Single Best Investment: Creating Wealth with Dividend Growth by Lowell Miller, he makes an analogy in the book about building a compounding machine.  Each dividend paying stock is a gear and through dividend increases, buying more shares and reinvesting dividends, we are creating our compounding machine.  I see that being a similar case with mining except in this case I am building a literal machine.

Summary

2017 has been an interesting year.  From a personal low of being hospitalized for appendicitis to the all-time highs in the market, it’s been a hell of a ride.  I look towards 2018 as another year of opportunity and look to hit the ground running.  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas or holiday and a Happy New Year!

 

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