Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Expected Dividend Increases for January 2019

The last week of 2018 is officially upon us. With that said, the month is drawing to a close. That means it's time to examine the next month of dividend increases. Prior to discussing the next month of dividend increases, I'll recap the dividend increases that we received in December. With a week left in the month and year, I don't expect any additional dividend increases. However, if any others are announced within my portfolio, I will revise this article. 

December was quite the month for dividend increases. It was easily the busiest month of dividend increases that I have had since I began investing back in September 2017. Of the seven increases that I received this month, I received 3 of them on the same day in PFE, D, and T. The six companies that I predicted would raise their dividends in December did just that. Most increases were about what I expected. However, the real surprise was an increase from one of my holdings that typically increases in dividend in January. I received raises from the following companies:

December Dividend Increases:

Increase #1: Realty Income (O)

Realty Income announced a 0.2% dividend increase from a monthly dividend of $0.2205/share to $0.2210/share. Overall, this raise was in line with what I predicted in my expected dividend increases for December 2018 article. This dividend increase of $0.006 a year resulted in an increase of $0.024 in my annual forward dividends across my 4 shares.

Increase #2: WP Carey (WPC)

WP Carey announced a 0.5% dividend increase from a quarterly dividend of $1.025/share to $1.03/share. Similar to Realty Income, WP Carey raised its dividend by the amount that I was expecting. This increased my annual forward dividends by $0.06 across my 3 shares.

Increase #3: Ventas (VTR)

Ventas announced a 0.3% dividend increase from a quarterly dividend of $0.79/share to $0.7925/share. This dividend increase was well below the 1.9% increase that I was expecting. I'm slightly disappointed by this increase, but quite honestly, an increase is an increase. For every high yielding, low growth stock in my dividend portfolio, I have other stocks to make up for small increases such as Ventas's. That is essentially why we diversify. I don't expect massive raises from a company such as Ventas. Perhaps I should have adjusted my expectations a bit knowing that the industry is facing short-term headwinds, with other healthcare REITs such as Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI) freezing their dividend. Overall, I think Ventas made the right decision and the conservative approach will pay off in the long run. This raise led to an increase in my annual forward dividends of $0.04 across my 4 shares.

Increase #4: AT&T (T)

AT&T announced a 2% dividend increase from a quarterly dividend of $0.50/share to $0.51/share. This dividend increase was as expected as well. Much like Ventas, I don't expect AT&T to go gangbusters and raise its dividend by 10% or something like that. With a company that's yielding near 7%, I simply expect raises roughly in line with inflation, which is what AT&T has delivered for years now. I expect dividend growth to transition from the deceleration of penny increases to larger 3-4% increases in a few years once AT&T shifts its focus from paying down its debt. This dividend increase led to an increase in my annual forward dividends of $0.64 across my 16 shares.

Increase #5: Pfizer (PFE)

Pfizer announced a 5.9% dividend increase from a quarterly dividend of $0.34/share to $0.36/share. This dividend increase was also what I expected from Pfizer, continuing the trend of annual $0.02 quarterly raises. This raise led to an increase in my annual forward dividends of $0.64 across my 8 shares.

Increase #6: Amgen (AMGN)

Amgen announced a 9.8% dividend increase from a quarterly dividend of $1.32/share to $1.45/share. This dividend increase was actually what I expected when I made this projection a few months back in my notepad on my phone. However, I changed my projection upon actually writing my predictions a few weeks back, for apparently no reason aside from the fact I completely forgot about that note of projections. At any rate, this increase led to an increase in my annual forward dividends of $0.52 across my single share.

Increase #7: Dominion Energy (D)

This dividend increase took me and most of the community by complete surprise! Dominion has generally announced their dividend increase in January for the past few years. I expected this trend to continue, but Dominion announced a dividend increase on December 14th, about a month earlier than usual. The company announced a 9.9% dividend increase from $0.835/share to $0.9175/share. This increase was just as management indicated it would be many months ago. My annual forward dividends increased by $0.99 across my 3 shares. 

Expected Dividend Increases:

Increase #1: Realty Income (O)

Realty Income increased its dividend just a couple weeks ago, but its largest increase of the year will likely be coming in January. Historically, the company has raised its dividend in January by 3-4%. I expect that trend to continue and I am forecasting an increase in the monthly dividend from $0.2210/share to $0.2290/share. If this does in fact occur, my annual forward dividends will increase $0.384 across my 4 shares.

Increase #2: Enterprise Products Partners (EPD)

Enterprise Products Partners increased its dividend this past October, as it has done for every first month of the quarter for several years now. I expect this trend to continue with a raise in January. I am forecasting the typical raise of $0.0025 that Enterprise has done for 5 consecutive quarters now. This will increase the quarterly dividend by 0.6% from $0.4325/share to $0.435/share. If this prediction proves to be correct, the raise will increase my annual forward dividends by $0.09 across my 9 shares.

Increase #3: EQM Midstream Partners (EQM)

I believe that EQM will continue its streak of increasing dividends every quarter by announcing an  a 2.4% in the quarterly dividend from $1.115/share to $1.14/share. If this does happen, my annual      forward dividends will increase by $0.40 across my 4 shares.


Phew, this was quite a lengthy write-up. I wouldn't have it any other way! Overall, I received 7     raises for the month of December! One of which, I expected would increase dividend in January, but I'll take that Dominion raise any time of the year. 9.9%, thank you very much! These 7 raises increased my annual forward dividends by $2.914, which is undoubtedly my largest increase in annual forward dividends in a month stemming from solely dividend raises. It would take an investment of $72.85 at a yield of 4% to create the same impact as $2.914 in dividend              increases.

Although there will be an inevitable slowdown in January, it appears as though my annual forward dividends should increase by about $0.874 for the month of January from dividend increases alone. Along with my occasional fresh cash contributions and dividend reinvestment, the portfolio      continues to make strides.


Has your December been as full of raises as mine? Are you expecting any raises in the last few days of this year? As always, I welcome and appreciate your comments. Thanks for reading and keep on rolling that dividend snowball!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Act of Remaining Grateful While Staying Hungry

As I approach the remaining few months of undergrad and as we're in the midst of the holiday season, it dawned on me that I have so much to be grateful for. With that said, the fire in me also still burns (pun intended).

It's truly a balancing act between remaining grateful for all that you have, but also remaining hungry and chasing personal growth at the same time.

For instance, I'm grateful for the following:

Supportive parents: Without living rent free, I'd be in a mountain of student loan debt rather than sporting a portfolio worth over $10,000 with no student loan debt.

Supportive grandparents: Overall, my grandparents have provided roughly $4,000 in Christmas money, birthday money, and high school graduation money over the span of my life. This was very helpful in completing my first two years of my college journey costing about $12,000 at my local 2 year college.

From there, the foundation was set when I landed my first real job in July 2017. Being over halfway through the $27,000 in books and tuition costs to complete the final 2 years of my 4 year degree.

Health: This leads me into my next point of remaining fairly healthy during this time. Look, it's quite difficult to be productive and achieve your goals when you aren't feeling well. Need I say more? I am most grateful for my health.

This community: Where would I be without this community? I wouldn't be collecting $462 in annual forward dividends, I can tell you that. The support of this great community is one of the primary reasons I began blogging and I'm pleased to say I haven't been disappointed in the slightest with the support from this community. Everyone in this community is so supportive and we all bring out the best in each other as we work toward our goals.

Having barely scratched the surface of all that I'm grateful for, I also haven't really discussed what I'm still striving for (although the first point should be rather obvious).

Financial freedom: Ah, the primary driver of the content on this site. I've already covered what motivates my inner drive towards FIRE in this article, so I won't delve too deep into it.

Fulfillment of human potential: Everyone's reasons are a bit unique for FIRE, but the autonomy of FIRE to strive toward your full potential as a human is certainly the primary motivator for me. It's considerably more difficult to do that when you're in the usual Monday-Friday work routine, so FIRE grants one the time to focus on what's important to them.

It can be difficult to keep your perspective and quite easy to take your blessings for granted. With that said, you may be wondering why I'm seemingly just being philosophical in this post.

I'll cut straight to the point, which is that the purpose of remembering what we have to be grateful for is to guide us through those difficult and trying times. Because believe me, there will be trials and tribulations in life. We've all faced them, but it's keeping that grateful perspective (there is always something to be grateful for) that can allow us to push through tough times and to crush our personal goals.

In crushing those personal goals and seeking the path of personal development, we can capture the essence of what it truly means to be human - we can fulfill our true potential.


What are you grateful for? What are you still pursuing? Have you found that the practice of gratitude guides you through your challenges and motivates you even more to reach your goals? As always, thanks for reading and I appreciate this community's insights.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Broke Mindset Versus the Poor Mindset

A common misconception among those that are relatively new to the world of personal finance or those that are unfamiliar with personal finance is the belief that being broke is the same as being poor. Sure, the two terms both are similar in that one has limited access to wealth. That's where the similarities end though.

As a college student, I've lived relatively broke for the past 3+ years despite having a portfolio worth over $10,000. However, for all intents and purposes, I'm basically living paycheck to paycheck like most everyone else while I pay my way through my last 8 months of college.

What separates me and other newcomers to this community of FIRE and dividend growth investing from everyone else though is the mindset that we adopted at some point in our lives.

Although newcomers to the community such as myself may be broke currently, the distinction is that because of our mindset, with a bit of luck, we won't continue to have limited access to resources. We will eventually be free of our reliance on an employer to maintain our lifestyle. This is the very essence of the community.

We could contrast this to the poor mindset. Being poor is a circumstance that extends well beyond being dependent upon an employer or others to support one's lifestyle; the poor mindset is a set of beliefs that makes this dependence a chronic or permanent situation, at least until one's mindset or perspective radically changes. Obviously, there are exceptions to someone having no money solely because of an improper mindset. Bad luck can make it incredibly difficult to transition from no money to being financially secure.

The point of this is to inform everyone that unless you are born wealthy with a multi million dollar trust fund, you too will start with fairly limited resources or money (Gee, how insightful, Kody). Therein lies the opportunity to take control of your destiny to an extent and realize that the mindset you choose to adopt will be the difference between whether you identify as being broke or poor.

Chances are if you are reading this, you have reliable access to awesome amenities like electricity and the internet. These are privileges that those 100+ years ago weren't blessed with. They have fundamentally improved the lives of many millions of people.

We live in the Information Age. It wasn't long ago that if you wanted to learn about a subject, you needed to read books. That was the only real opportunity to learn anything. Now, almost anything you would ever like to know or need to know can be found in seconds with a simple Google search.

You have the choice how you view your current situation and how to respond. Maybe your circumstances are similar to mine and you're just getting started investing. Maybe you haven't yet started investing. Whatever your circumstances are, I want you to know that you are the architect of your life. If you aren't happy with your financial circumstances, just know that can be drastically improved with a bit of time, patience, luck, and discipline.


Were you able to distinguish between being poor and being broke before reading this post? What do you believe is the most striking difference between being poor and being broke?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

November 2018 Dividend Income

Another month has passed and we have officially entered the last month of the year! It really is unbelievable how quickly the year has passed us by, especially in my case. I guess work, school, and running a blog will seemingly speed up a year. Anyways, with the passage of another month, it's time for me to delve into what November provided for me in terms of dividends.


Overall, I received $41.42 between my Robinhood account and M1 Finance account. Of the $41.42, I received $41.13 from 12 different companies in my Robinhood account with the remaining $0.29 coming from 15 companies in my M1 Finance account. This amount was a YOY increase of over 333% from the $9.56 in dividends that I received in November 2017!

You may have noticed that my Robinhood says that CVS paid me on October 31, which I instead included as November income because the dividend was payable on November 1. I'll certainly take a dividend a day early though! When compared to my dividend income in August, I experienced 0.6% quarterly growth from $41.19 in August to $41.42 in November. Although this seems like a low growth rate, this is primarily due to the effective distribution cut from the Energy Transfer merger. For my 11 shares of ETP, I received 15 shares of ET. This reduced my quarterly distributions from $6.22 to the $4.58 shown above, for a quarterly reduction of $1.64. I received an additional $0.10 from EQM with their recent dividend increase and an additional $0.02 from EPD, for a total of $0.12 in additional dividends from dividend increases (link to November Dividend Increase article). Also, I received dividends for an additional share of T and an additional share of ABBV (from my purchase of ABBV a couple months ago). This increased my income by $0.50 and $0.96, respectively, for a total increase of $1.46 from purchases. Finally, the dividends from M1 Finance added $0.29 in dividends compared to August. The above distribution cut, dividend increases, additional Robinhood accoubt purchases, and the opening of the M1 account led to an increase in dividend income of $0.23 compared to last quarter.

Although the growth was basically non-existent this quarter, there was one massive benefit that came out of the past few months. The completion of the Energy Transfer merger will streamline the company structure and strengthen the company's financial position, leading to a much safer distribution. With a coverage ratio of over 1.7 in the recent Q3 report, ET offers one of the safest distributions in its industry, compared to a coverage ratio of just over 1.1 when ETP was an independent publicly traded company. Although a coverage ratio of over 1.1 is considered to be safe for MLPs, 1.7 is absolutely incredible and once more of ET's projects come online, those results will continue to improve.

Within my Robinhood account, my dividend income actually declined from $41.19 in August to $41.13 in November. This decline was offset by the addition of the M1 Finance portfolio that produced $0.29 in dividends.

Looking ahead to the dividends that will be paid in February 2019, I am forecasting a modest growth from the $41.42 that I received in November 2018. Abbvie announced an increase in their quarterly dividend from $0.96 to $1.07. O, EQM, and EPD should also be announcing modest dividend increases. I don't envision adding any capital to any companies that will pay dividends in February (as I continue to add to Iron Mountain), so the growth will be entirely from dividend increases.


How was your November? Did you have any new brokerage accounts pay dividends similar to how my M1 Finance portfolio paid me dividends?