With the run-up in stock prices since the beginning of 2013, I've been much more selective when making additional investments over the past six months. This means we have a lot of cash ready to deploy but not much more invested than we had at the end of 2012. I've been somewhat frustrated because most of the names on my watch list are trading far above the price I'm willing to pay for them. I guess I need to remain patient.
One thing I did notice, however, is that the amount already invested is making a subtle difference in our cash flow. We try to put as many purchases as possible on our credit cards, so we can take advantage of the 2-5% cash back. However several of our utility bills can't be paid by credit card (without tacking on enormous "service fees" which wipe out the cash back and then some). Therefore I pay all of these using the bill payment service in our brokerage account. These bills include electricity, water, sewer, and natural gas.
Our brokerage account is also where dividends accumulate from our investments. I noticed that the amount of dividends received year-to-date exceeds the amount we've paid out to the utility companies from the brokerage account. So you could say that our passive investing has allowed us to cover our basic utility expenses on an ongoing basis. Not a huge milestone, but certainly not a bad thing either.
If/when the prices of some stocks fall back to more reasonable levels, we'll be willing buyers. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to deploy more of our cash and boost our future cash flow.