Oftentimes, people ask me about the tools I use as a self-directed investor. The last piece that I published here at Income Minded Millennial was focused on a recently discovered online tool that I’ve fallen in love with regarding financial organization/portfolio tracking: Personal Capital. I’ve gotten some positive feed back from that piece so I decided to put together a couple more articles highlighting different investment related services that I enjoy using. In this piece I will be focused on another website whose services I really like: simplysafedividends.com. While Personal Capital serves as a one stop shop for individuals looking for detailed information on their overall financial outlook, from their investments and their savings, to their cash flows and spending habits, and finally, to their retirement goals, Simply Safe Dividends serves as a one stop shop for all things specifically related to dividend growth investing.
I’ll start off with the negative. Unlike Personal Capital, Simply Safe Dividends does charge a slight membership fee. Full disclosure: I don’t pay for SSD’s services. Oftentimes in the financial blogging world respected content producers are given free access to services so that they can try them out for themselves and realize their true value. SSD is one of many financial services that I’ve been given access to. With that being said, other than access I have no business relationship with SSD and I won’t see financial benefits from SSD for writing this article in any way. I sincerely enjoy their products and I think that other income oriented minded investors might as well.
Typically, I try to avoid excess fees of all types when it comes to managing my money. I don’t own mutual funds because of their high expense fees. I got rid of my professional money manager years ago because the 1.25% he was charging me really rubbed me the wrong way (he was also putting my entirely into mutual funds, meaning that my fees were more than 2% annually when I was investing with him). The vast majority of my portfolio is made up of individual holdings, but when I buy an ETF I make sure that it’s one of the low cost variety. I’ve taken steps to reduce the commissions that I pay on trades and while I don’t think that it’s always a good idea to let the tail wag the dog with regard to taxes, I do consider the tax implications of my maneuvers in the market and do my best to make them as efficient as possible. However, with all of this focus on efficiency and cost savings from a capital perspective, I do feel as though several services (believe me, I don’t offer ringing endorsements for many of the services that I’ve been given free access to) are well worth the price that users have to pay them, one of which is Simply Safe Dividends.
My favorite aspect of Simply Safe Dividend’s service is the portfolio tracker that it has. I’m able to input all of my holdings that pay dividends and SSD shows me a variety of income oriented metrics, from yield and yield on cost, to dollars received annually from each position, as well as several dividend sustainability data sets, including the scores that the people behind SSD generate with their fundamentally based algorithm with regard to dividend yield, growth, and safety. I don’t think any investor should rely on third party scores like these entirely when thinking about buying or selling stocks, but I definitely consider SSD’s dividend scores into my due diligence process.
Not only does SSD break down annual cash flows, it breaks down passive income to a month to month basis. It’s nice to see your income stream broken down into monthly segments like this. I’m not retired at the moment, meaning that I don’t count on my passive income to pay my bills, but if I were, this type of tool would be invaluable. Obviously investors could generate spreadsheets that generate this sort of information for themselves, but paying a small monthly fee to save on this hassle (especially if you manage a large, diversified portfolio) might be worth it in itself.
Yet, the portfolio tracker isn’t the only benefit that a SSD subscription offers. The editors over there regularly publish top notch DGI related content, including several monthly rankings/watch lists that I’m regularly getting actionable ideas from. Speaking of ideas, SSD offers an investment screener where users can type in sector, dividend yield ranges, dividend safety score ranges, and annual dividend increase streak ranges to look for companies that might fit their needs. When performing these screens, I oftentimes come across companies that I wasn’t previously familiar with and it’s always nice to add another high quality stock to my shopping list. In this same vein, SSD “manages” 3 different portfolios: “Conservative Retirees”, “Long-term Dividend Growth”, and “Top 20 Dividend Stocks”. I read a lot of investment related content across the internet but I like stopping by SSD on a regular basis because I know that the information that I consume there will be aligned with my passive income oriented goals.
So, if you decide stop by Simply Safe Dividends and check them out, let me know what you think. I’m pretty sure that they give users a free trial, so you’ll be able to test out their services for free yourself. What’s more, I’d be more than happy to hear which investing related services you enjoy using – I’m always looking for ways to become more efficient in my portfolio management and/or my due diligence process. Time is money, after all.
The header image of this article was sourced from Simply Safe Dividends's homepage.