Don’t you just love technology?

Did you see the Stephen Fry programme last night on which he gave us, the geek viewing public, a run down of his top 100 gadgets?

I only watched the first hour, the rest is recorded on my Personal Video Recorder (PVR) which quite rightly made an appearance in the top 100, so don’t spoil the surprise by telling me what gadget sat proudly in the top slot. If I had to guess I would say it’ll probably be the iPod or the iPhone.

The programme got me thinking about how important gadgets and technology are to most of us.

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Another addition to the High Yield Portfolio

The Amateur Investor made another addition to the High Yield Portfolio today. After yesterday’s addition of Admiral I decided to go defensive again.

With Autumn and Winter just around the corner, before we know it we’ll be putting the central heating back on again so I decided to look for a company that would benefit from a harsh winter like the last two winters we have experienced.

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Investing For Income

Investing For Income - David Stevenson

Investing For Income

If you’ve read a few Amateur Investor blog entries you will know that my investing style is increasingly moving towards investing for income.

Having read a few blog posts (on the excellent Monevator website for instance – such as How to live off investment income), I decided I needed to invest in some reading material to help me improve my income seeking investment decisions from simply looking at the yield column of share price listing.

Enter Amazon. Don’t you just love Amazon!

One book caught my eye straight away….

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An early morning trade – Admiral

Despite Admiral announcing record interim results this morning (pre-tax profits grew by 27%, increasing half-year pre-tax profit to £160.6m from last year’s £126.9m), shares in the car insurer lost over 5% this morning.

Turnover jumped 53% to £1.1bn from £720.5m the year before.

The interim dividend was declared at 39.1p, up from 32.6p last year (ex-dividend date 28th September 2011, payment date 21st October 2011). Earnings per share improved to 43.3p from 33.7p last year.

The Admiral board decided to give every member of staff £1,500 in shares, worth over £8m in total.

I managed to buy in at 1,434.75p per share this morning (including Stamp Duty), so the interim dividend I will receive in September represents a yield of just over 2.7%.

The forecast dividend for the year ending 30th December 2012 is 98.54p (according to my Share Centre account) which would represent a yield of 6.87% based on my buying price today.

Another good addition to my High Yield Portfolio?

The shares have dropped to 1,423p while writing this blog entry, but as I wrote in a previous entry, I’m becoming less worried about daily share price fluctuations and more interested in investing for income.

Note: I was already a holder of Admiral, previous to becoming the Amateur Investor, at 1,556p per share, so the shares bought today are just over 120p “cheaper” than the last lot I purchased.

Update at 17:04 – Admiral shares ended the session down 182p at 1,353p (a fall of 11.86%). If they continue to fall I will be looking to buy more at around the 1,200p level.

Ex-Dividend Dates

Regular readers of the Amateur Investor will know that investing for dividend income has quickly become an important part of my overall investing strategy.

I believe investing for income is largely overlooked by many investors (especially amateur investors), as they chase capital appreciation.

The big falls seen on stock markets around the world over the last couple of weeks will have resulted in many portfolios looking less than healthy. But if you are investing for income then you probably haven’t had as many sleepless nights as those investing for growth. Indeed, income investors may well have used the late “summer sale” to stockpile more income producing shares at rock bottom prices (therefore increasing the dividend yield in theory).

While the likes of Investors Chronicle list shares approaching their ex-dividend date (usually at the back of the magazine) I wondered if anyone had come across a source of ex-dividend dates for all shares listed on the FTSE?

I would like to have dividends rolling in on a weekly basis (if possible), and so a list of ex-dividend dates would be useful in facilitating this.

Can anyone help with this please?

Stock markets end another turbulent week with more losses

The FTSE100 has closed down just over 1% to end the week at 5040.76 after spending some of the day below the 5000 level.

Autonomy was the outstanding winner today, up over 70% as the market digests the news that it has agreed to be bought by US giant Hewlett Packard. The biggest purchase of a FTSE100 company since Kraft took over Cadbury.

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