How I´m Building a Portfolio from Scratch

This blog post is about how I´m building a dividend growth portfolio from scratch. Last year I found out that my grandmother, who is now more than 90 years, has been quite the investor.  She bought a Norwegian active fond (DNB Norge) following the Norwegian market decades ago,  and never sold off a bit. The total return in the investment was more than 400 % during two-three decades. First I thought, Holy shit! That´s awesome!

Fund fees

Then I looked a bit more, and found out that this fund was very expensive (around 1,5 % – 2%), and during the investment time it barely matched the Norwegian index. What was way worce, is that she paid more than 40000 NOK or $4800 in fund fees during that time. So, short story told I sold the fund ASAP and I´m now building a new portfolio. (The fund is now being lawsuit by Forbrukerrådet / the norwegian consumer agency  )

As we all know, this market is isn´t cheap, but I think I have found some decent prices / done some decent purchases after all. I´m holding a bit cash right now (20-30 %), and I´m not finished with the other purchases. But I´ll take my time. No stress here!

I have bought stocks in the following companies:

  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc at  $163,95
  • CVS Health Corporation at $76.87
  • Cisco Systems at $31.09
  • General Mills Inc $56.34
  • Kopparbergs B 205,13 SEK
  • Omega Healthcare Investors $30.70
  • Pandora AS 660 DDK
  • Pfizer 298.24 SEK
  • Realty Income Corporation $55.88
  • STORE Capital Corporation §19.94
  • VEREIT at $7.65
  • Teva at $28.17 [Sold at $31.50]
  • Hormel Foods Corporation at $33.20

Monthly savings

  • Db x-trackers FTSE 100 UCITS ETF
  • Global index
  • Emerging markets index
  • Small cap US
  • Small cap nordic
  • Nordic indexes
  • KLP flytende rente (bonds)

As for myself, I started a super small position in Cisco at the same price. Hopefully, we will see a market with a bit more action and cheaper prices. Remember:

Red numbers does not mean you have lost money! It means you can buy your favourite stocks at better price. Nothing wrong with that. So keep calm, and just relax. Let the money do the job for you, and enjoy life. Feel free to leave a comment if you liked this blog post =)

19 comments

  1. Nice portfolio.
    How much % of your holding in each company and monthly index trackers? Would be nice to know how much u save each month both in index trackers and maby just cash for later buys?

    1. Thanks!

      The single stocks make up of about 70 % of the portfolio, with the biggest position being VEREIT, O and BRK-B.

      The rest is of the invested amount is funds (30 %). I´m holding about 20 – 30 % cash for now.

    1. Hi Dividend Daze,

      Thanks! Hopefully, I can just let this portfolio do it´s own thing and almost forget about it. Will probably only do changes (purchases and so on) when we reach a bear market. Other than that, it´s locked away. Also, this is not a income portfolio like mine, so no need to watch it often.

  2. You hold many solid dividend paying stocks in your portfolio which is great to see. Investing these days is much easier than when your grandmother started investing. With zero or no commission brokers out there and small minimum buys anyone can build a portfolio from scratch. My own portfolio has been build up over a decade. Very slow and very steady. Time is the key element here. Keep building that passive income stream!
    DivHut recently posted…Recent Stock Purchase II May 2017My Profile

    1. Hi DivHut

      I must admit that I´m quite envy of you US investors. Not only do you have $ as your currency, which makes it way easier to invest in the greatest companies out there. But you also have super low commission (1-2$). When I buy a stock trading at nasdaq, I pay $5. Yes, it´s cheap compared to 30 years ago, but double the price of what you pay!

      Also, keep in mind that this is my family portfolio (not my portfolio as you can see in the meny bar)

  3. Stockles, that’s a good list of stocks and you’ve included some of my favorites, including Realty Income. I also like PFE.

    I definitely agree that when there’s a bear market, it’s a buying opportunity. It can still be scary though especially for individual stocks. No one wants to invest in the next Enron or the likes. But, like you said, you can definitely buy your favorite stocks at better prices.
    Dividend Portfolio recently posted…Passive SavingsMy Profile

    1. Hi Dividend Portfolio,

      First I just want to say thanks for always stopping by =)

      Glad you liked some of the companies. I plan to hold them for a VERY long time. Keep in mind that this is not my main portfolio. You can see that one in the meny bar.

      Regarding red stocks. Yes, for sure. Nobody wants to invest in the next Enron. However, I was trying to point out that when we get a correction / crash, everything will go down, and that´s not something to be scared off.

      1. Fair enough. Your site is on my list of resources. My MO is to go through that list and read the latest blog posts and make a comment if possible. So, for better or for worse, you’re stuck with me! Haha.
        Dividend Portfolio recently posted…Passive SavingsMy Profile

    1. Hi ATL,

      I´m mostly doing DGI, and that´s where most of my money goes. Remember that this is my “family portfolio”, not my main portfolio, so I do not plan on tracking this often.

      However, I will continue to stay hybrid, because some investmens are hard to do by buying single stocks (those markets are my monthly savings)

  4. I agree that market dips are good opportunities to buy stocks. However I still sell stocks when I think it’s going to be a bear market or big correction. I don’t like to see my portfolio down 30%

    1. Hi Troy,

      Yeah, I get that. The problem with that strategy is that your trying to time the market, and you might end up selling a stock that will go up several more years before we reach a bear market. Just take notice of all the people who have been saying since 2010 that the market is overvalued and stayed outside. Huge profitt has gone by while predicting the future.

      However, I agree that it might be smart to sell stocks if they go far beyond intristic value, or if you just want more cash in your portfolio. Unfortunatly, the market will go down 30 % sometime. That´s a fact.

  5. Hi there, thanks for the article.

    Just getting started into investing and am really focused on building a well rounded retirement portfolio with a focus on dividend stocks. My hope is that by the time I retire, I’ll be able to live off of the dividend payments only and not have to sell and shares of what I own to get by.

    I’m currently 25 and, as I mentioned, just getting started. I want to be consistent about investing as much as I can every month into my portfolio, but I also don’t want to lose a ton of money on brokerage fees. I own my own business, so the amount I have available to save varies month to month. One month it may be 1,000, another only 200. Either way, I still want to be investing that money into good value dividend stocks every month to increase my portfolio. I’m curious what your advice would be as far as how often I should buy more shares of the stocks I own? To me, it seems almost counter-productive to buy 200 worth of shares and pay a 5-7 dollar commission. Do you think I’d be better off waiting until I have over certain dollar amount to invest so that it offsets the amount of trade fees I’m paying? Also, since I want to diversify across different classes, it seems that’s going to require paying a lot of brokerage fees for each different stock I decide to invest in as well.

    Ultimately my questions is just about how you go about consistently investing into more shares across varied classes while not getting eaten alive by brokerage fees?

    Thanks for the advice!

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