Wednesday, August 21, 2019

ESG Investing: The Case of Ecolab

Ecolab Inc. (ECL), headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, is an American global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services to the food, energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets.

Lately, I've been tracking companies that rank higher on various ESG guidelines. ESG refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a company or business: Environmental, Social and Governance. For instance, Ecolab is the 2nd biggest position (after Microsoft) in the MSCI USA ESG Select Index. This index is optimized to be sector diversified, targeting companies with high ESG ratings in each sector.

The question is whether these criteria could help to better determine the future financial performance of companies and the potential return for its investors. Let's take a look at Ecolab and discuss whether it can be a good addition to your portfolio at current prices.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Dividend raise: Union Pacific (+10%)

Three weeks ago Union Pacific (UNP) declared a $0.97/share quarterly dividend, which is a 10% increase from its prior quarterly dividend of $0.88. Since I own 15 share of UNP this raise adds about € 5 to my forward annual dividend income. This is a really solid dividend increase in my book, and it's its second raise this year!

I purchased my shares about 4 years ago for $108 a piece. Currently they are worth around $162, so that's roughly an 11% annual rate of return, based just on the price appreciation alone.

In the past years I've received about 10% of my original purchase price in dividends. The dividend has grown from $0,55 per share (quarterly) to its current level of $0,97 per share. That's an awesome growth rate of 14% each year. At this pace the dividend is expected to double in value about every six years! I am really content to have added this company to my portfolio a few years ago.
So far this year I've received 17 dividend raises which added almost $50 to my annual income stream.

What do you think the dividend raise by UNP? Do you consider adding shares to your portfolio at its current price?

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Dividend report: July 2019

It's time to give an update of the dividends I received last month. Five companies decided to pay me a dividend for my ownership. Total dividends (after tax) are around € 72, which is an increase of more than 35% compared to last year. The growth was fueled by a bigger dividend from my own employer Brink. Last year I doubled my position to 20 shares, hence the bigger payout. I expect to purchase another batch after the summer. Other dividend increases have been rather muted (O, KO). BAX has grown a lot relatively, but it's a rather small position. PM raised its dividend a quarter early last year. I expect them to raise their dividend next quarter.

You can see the breakdown in the table below.

It's been my best July so far!

As of now, my annual dividend income hovers around € 1.485 before taxes. This is a solid increase from last months € 1.425. Most of this increase is due to my new position in BEP.

In terms of cumulative dividend income I am about 30% ahead compared to last year. Let's keep rocking!

How was your month?