Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Updated Personal & Financial Goals for 2020

Given that fall is barely a week away at the time that I'm writing this blog post, I thought it would be an appropriate time to reexamine my personal and financial goals for 2020 as it has been nearly 9 months since I initially set my goals for 2020.

There have been a few developments in my life over the past 9 months that have necessitated reevaluating my goals for the remainder of the year.   


Image Source: MyRoomIsMyOffice

Below are my updated financial goals for the year:

1. Collect $1,200+ in dividends for the year
2. End 2020 with $1,450 in annual forward dividends
3. Amass $35,000 in investments/end 2020 with a net worth of $45,000

Given that I have prioritized paying off various small debts over the past several months, this year hasn't quite been as favorable to me in terms of dividend income as I expected it would be when I set my goals 9 months ago.

Adding to the headwinds in terms of dividend income, is the fact that my portfolio has endured multiple dividend cuts and a dividend suspension this year primarily as a result of COVID-19.

It's for that reason I am revising my goal down from collecting $1,500 in dividends during the year to $1,200.

As it stands now, I am on track to collect about $1,125 in dividend income this year, so I believe that $1,200 is a realistic goal in that I will have to push myself a bit to achieve the goal given my continued deleveraging of my personal balance sheet.

As far as my second goal, I have revised my goal down from ending the year with $2,000 in annual forward dividend income to $1,450 for the same reasons that I outlined above.

I estimate that by late October, I will be entirely debt-free aside from $1,000 in interest free margin within my Robinhood portfolio, so I'll have two months to boost my annual forward income from about $1,300 by that point to $1,450 with dividend increases/dividend reinvestment/fresh capital contributions.

I'm also revising my investment/net worth target down significantly from $45,000/$60,000 to $35,000/$45,000, which I believe I will be able to barely meet in a base-case scenario.


Now that I've outlined my updated financial goals for the few months remaining in this year, I'll be discussing my updated personal goals for 2020.

1. Continue to publish at least one blog post each week
2. Publish at least one article a week on Seeking Alpha and reach 5,500 followers

Starting with my goal to publish at least one blog post each week, I feel that one blog post each week strikes a nice balance my personal life and pushing myself to produce content that I enjoy producing. 

Therefore, this goal remains the same as I outlined in my previous post when I set my goals.

Next, I am significantly reducing my goal of Seeking Alpha articles for 2020, and my follower goal as a result.

Initially, I was shooting for 100 articles this year, which would have been a pace of nearly 2 articles a week. 

I have actually been publishing an article each week on Seeking Alpha this entire year rather than the 2 that I used to publish, and despite the roughly 40% reduction in content production, my earnings from Seeking Alpha are slated to be only about 20% lower than last year.

I was compromising the joy that I got out of my Seeking Alpha side hustle for the sake of making only a bit more money, so I have been very pleased with my decision to cut back on Seeking Alpha and to make more downtime for myself on weekends.

One other time commitment that I mutually parted from was my agreement to write for I Prefer Income and to provide my input on the program.

The rationale behind this decision on my part was that I didn't feel I was an appropriate partner for I Prefer Income and I also wanted to prioritize my health to minimize the impact of burnout similar to my decision regarding cutting back on Seeking Alpha content production.

Concluding Thoughts:

While my goals were very attainable in 2019 and I achieved them with relative ease, I appear to have overcompensated with my goals this year in an effort to challenge myself.

Now that I have adjusted my goals to account for my overcompensation from too easily achieving last year's goals, I believe that I can realistically achieve this year's goals as long as I continue to remain disciplined and committed to accomplishing them.

I'm looking forward to these last few months of the year to exit this year with an even stronger foundation than when I entered this year.

Discussion:

Do you put pen to proverbial paper to make note of your goals or do you just note them mentally?

Have you set any goals that you felt were realistic at the time you set them only to realize they weren't attainable for the given time frame?

As always, I appreciate your readership and look forward to reading your comments in the comment section below!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

August 2020 Dividend Income

I'm surprised that another month has passed us by already, but pleased to announce that my portfolio recorded yet another record month in terms of dividend income for the middle month of a quarter.

Despite deploying limited capital over the past few months due to paying off debt, the capital that I did deploy that was used to deleverage my Robinhood margin helped tremendously in boosting my dividend income during the month.

Without further ado, I present my dividend income for August 2020:






Analysis:

During the month of August, I collected $91.19 in net dividends against the $86.62 in dividends collected in May 2020, which represents a 5.3% quarterly growth rate.

More striking, is the fact that the $91.19 in net dividends received during the month represents an 86.4% YoY growth rate compared to the $48.93 in dividends collected in August 2019!

Going into more detail, I received $78.96 in dividends from 15 companies within my Robinhood portfolio net of the $5.00 in Robinhood Gold fees and $3.03 in Robinhood Gold margin costs. I also collected $11.93 in dividends from 3 companies within my Webull portfolio. Finally, I collected $0.30 from 14 companies in my M1 Finance portfolio.

The $4.57 increase in my dividends from May 2020 to August 2020 was as a result of the following activity within my portfolios:

I received an additional $0.61 in dividends from my positions in British American Tobacco (BTI) within my Robinhood and Webull portfolios.

As a result of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT) recent suspension of its dividend, my dividend income from my SKT position was reduced by $3.93.

I also received $0.07 less in dividends from Equitrans Midstream Corporation (ETRN) as a result of the recent merger (including the $0.02 reduction in my M1 Finance portfolio).

My Robinhood Gold/margin costs in August of $8.03 were $7.96 lower than the $15.99 in costs during May 2020.

Concluding Thoughts:

Despite an effective distribution cut via ETRN and a dividend suspension via SKT taking effect this month, my dividend income in August managed to advance by mid-single digits over May 2020.

This was primarily due to my deleveraging of over $1,900 of Robinhood margin over the past few months.

Given that I believe the worst is finally behind my portfolio and I'm not expecting any further dividend cuts from the companies that are scheduled to pay dividends in the middle month of the quarter, I am expecting a new record in November for a middle month of the quarter.

Discussion:

How was your dividend income during August?

Did your portfolio feel the impact of cuts/suspensions during August?

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments in the comment section below!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

August 2020 Dividend Stock Purchases

I'm gradually building my position in Capital Income Builder (CAIBX) within my retirement account as I'm continuing to deleverage my Robinhood margin and pay off credit card debt.

This month was another month of relatively little activity in terms of capital deployment, but with each passing month, I am getting closer to resuming my previous capital deployment of $1,500-$2,000/month.

With that aside, I'll delve into my dividend stock purchases for the month of August 2020.

As shown above, between my 7% gross contribution and my employer's 3% match on the contributions, I was able to contribute gross capital of $293.34 and $280.13 in capital net of sales charges to my retirement account.

These contributions to my retirement account helped my CAIBX position grow by 4.727 shares from 120.546 entering into August to 125.273 shares entering into September.

Factoring in $2.14 in annual forward dividends/share, the additional 4.727 shares of CAIBX boosted my annual forward dividend income by $10.12, which equates to a net yield of 3.61%.

When also including the $78.96 reduction in my Robinhood margin from $1,762.87 at the start of August to $1,683.91 at the end of August, my annual forward dividend income increased by $3.95 (given the 5% cost of capital for Robinhood margin).

Concluding Thoughts:

Overall, I deployed $359.09 in capital (including dividend reinvestment) during the month of August 2020 and added $14.07 in annual forward dividend income as a result of my capital deployment, which works out to an average yield of 3.92%.

When also factoring in the dividend announcements during the month of August, my annual forward dividend income is down just under $7 and I am about 2.2% off of my all-time high annual forward dividend income of $1,252.

Given that I would like to have most of my $4,000 in debt paid off before I refocus on investing, it will be a few more paychecks before I am able to revert to my previous $1,500-$2,000/month capital deployment schedule.

Discussion:

Did you experience any dividend cuts during August like I did with GEO and BP?

How was your month in terms of capital deployment?

As always, I thank you for your readership and look forward to reading your comments in the comment section below!



Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Expected Dividend Increases for September 2020

I feel like a broken record every time I write these blog posts lately, but another month is on the verge of passing us by, which will mean the year is officially 2/3 over!

With that aside, I'll be delving into the intent of this post by examining the dividend announcements during this month and previewing dividend announcements for next month. In the event that any more dividend cuts or increases come in over the next week, I will update this post to reflect such dividend announcement activity.


Dividend Announcements Since The Last Post:

Dividend Increase #1: Altria Group (MO)

Altria Group (MO) threw a curveball to shareholders a few weeks ago when it announced its dividend in late July rather than the late August that we have grown accustomed to over the years.

MO announced a 2.4% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.84/share to $0.86/share, which was slightly below my expectations of a 3.6% increase in the quarterly dividend to $0.87/share as I predicted in my previous post of this series.

Overall, I'm pleased with MO's dividend increase this year as the increase still outpaced inflation despite an unparalleled societal response to COVID-19 that has upended the results of many businesses throughout the economy.

It goes without saying, but any dividend increase in a generational crisis such as this one is most definitely welcomed and a testament to the quality of MO as a business.

Across my 17 shares of MO, this dividend announcement boosted my annual forward dividend income by $1.36.

Dividend Increase #2: Lowe's (LOW)

Lowe's (LOW) announced last week that they were increasing their quarterly dividend 9.1% from $0.55/share to $0.60/share.

The company opted to delay its usual late May to early June dividend increase by a quarter, which was certainly a prudent move in light of the uncertainty.

While we certainly aren't out of the woods yet relating to COVID-19's potential disruptions to the economy and a widely distributed vaccine isn't a guarantee, I remain confident that the quality of Lowe's as a business will continue to deliver outsized results through this pandemic.

Across my 4 shares of LOW, this dividend announcement padded my annual forward dividend income by $0.80.

Dividend Cut #1: The GEO Group (GEO)

While GEO Group's (GEO) dividend cut came as a bit of a surprise, I understand why the company took the action that it did to reduce its quarterly dividend by 29.2% from $0.48/share to $0.34/share earlier this month.

Given that COVID-19 has resulted in lower occupancy levels at several of GEO's facilities and programs beginning in March and persisting through Q2, GEO has lowered its AFFO guidance for FY 2020 significantly from $2.57-$2.67/share in February to $2.29-$2.33 in August.

Adding to the rationale for the dividend cut, is the fact that the company will be allocating an additional $50-$100 million annually to debt repayment, which will help the company to deleverage to more sustainable leverage ratios for the long-term while also maintaining its status as a REIT.

Although the move hurts my dividend income in the short-term, I appreciate that GEO Group's management team made a decision that will be beneficial to the company in the long-term.

Across my 16 shares of GEO, my annual forward dividend income declined $8.96.

Dividend Cut #2: BP Plc (BP)

BP Plc (BP) announced earlier this month that it opted to cut its quarterly dividend by 50% from $0.63/share on its ADRs to $0.315/share.

Given the decline in global oil demand this year and fall in WTI crude's price from a 52 week high of $62 a barrel to the $40 range that it has been hovering around for a while now, it wasn't surprising to see that the company opted to cut its dividend for the near future as oil prices continue their gradual recovery.

Across my 11 shares of BP, this dividend announcement resulted in a $13.86 drop in annual forward dividend income.

Expected Dividend Increases for September:

Expected Dividend Increase #1: Realty Income (O)

Moving into the expected dividend increases section of this post, there are a number of very reliable dividend growers that I am confident will deliver dividend increases in the weeks ahead.

Starting with one of the most consistent dividend growers in my portfolio, I am expecting Realty Income (O) to increase its monthly dividend 0.2% from $0.2335/share to $0.2340/share.

As we have come to expect from a company of such high-quality, Realty Income has delivered solid results even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, growing its AFFO/share by 6.7% YoY from $1.63 through H1 2019 to $1.74 through the first half of this fiscal year.

Across my 7 shares of O, I anticipate that my annual forward dividend income will be boosted $0.042.

Expected Dividend Increase #2: W.P. Carey (WPC)

Yet another consistent dividend grower in my portfolio is W.P. Carey (WPC), which has also delivered steady results.

In light of WPC's essentially flat AFFO YoY in the midst of an unparalleled operating environment fraught with challenges, I anticipate that W.P. Carey will announce a 0.2% increase in its quarterly dividend from $1.042/share to $1.044/share.

Across my 5 shares of WPC, I am forecasting my annual forward dividend income will be boosted $0.04 following WPC's expected dividend increase.

Expected Dividend Increase #3: Philip Morris International (PM)

Moving to Philip Morris International (PM), my second largest tobacco holding, I am anticipating a 2.6% increase in the quarterly dividend from $1.17/share to $1.20/share.

PM has reported relatively solid results through the first half of this fiscal year, with adjusted diluted EPS declining 2.0% YoY and increasing 8.0% on a like-for-like basis, excluding currency.

Across my 9 shares of PM, this dividend announcement would result in a $1.08 hike to my annual forward dividend income.

Expected Dividend Increase #4: Lockheed Martin (LMT)

As I outlined in a Seeking Alpha article on Lockheed Martin (LMT) earlier this month, I was quite impressed with the company's results through the first half of this year.

In short, the company grew its diluted EPS 7.9% YoY from $11.00 through H1 2019 to $11.87 through the first half of this fiscal year, while FCF surged 38.0% YoY!

Despite a difficult operating environment, LMT has shown little signs of slowing down as the company's fundamentals have improved in virtually every key area through a year fraught with uncertainty.

LMT's resiliency leads me to believe that the company will be announcing an 8.3% increase in its quarterly dividend from $2.40/share to $2.60/share.

This would result in a $0.80 increase in my annual forward dividend income given my single share of the stock.

Expected Dividend Increase #5: Visa (V)

Despite a difficult year for Visa (V) amid reduced consumer spending due to travel restrictions and the closure of many businesses across the world, I remain confident that V will deliver a dividend increase in the weeks ahead.

While I don't envision a teens or twenty percent plus dividend increase being announced in September as I believe V's management team and Board of Directors will be conservative in their dividend announcement, I am forecasting 10.0% increase in the quarterly dividend from $0.30/share to $0.33/share.

Across my 2 shares of V, I am forecasting a $0.24 boost in my annual forward dividend income.

Concluding Thoughts:

Even though my annual forward dividend income dropped by $20.66 as a result of dividend announcements during the month of August, these declines have mostly been offset by the deleveraging of my Robinhood margin (via dividend income) and fresh capital investments in my Capital Income Builder (CAIBX) mutual fund within my retirement account.

My annual forward dividend income heading into September is down about a percent compared to what it was at entering into August and is just under 3% off of the $1,252 annual forward dividend income record that was set earlier this year prior to the barrage of primarily COVID-19 related dividend cuts.

Fortunately, September appears as though it will be my first month where dividend announcements are positioned to propel my annual forward dividend income forward as I believe the bulk of the dividend cuts are finally behind the portfolio.

Discussion:

How was your month in terms of dividend announcements?

As always, thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments in the comment section below.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Importance Of An FI Schedule And What Mine Would Look Like

It was a few weeks ago when I used a couple days vacation and therefore had a 4 day weekend, that I began to seriously ponder how I would structure my time in the event that I was financially independent.

As my vacation progressed, I started to realize just how important it is for my days to have at least a semblance of structure.

It would probably feel great to be FI and have unstructured days for the first few weeks initially and be mostly unproductive because I don't remember the last time that I was able to do so, which makes it a bit of a novelty to me that I would at least try for a bit.

However, I do believe that free and easy approach to FI would wear off for me after a while as I typically tend to follow the same pattern each and every weekend, whereby I balance my weekends with side hustles, media consumption, exercise, and spending time with family.

It is with that in mind, that I present my tentative daily FI schedule that I have been occasionally contemplating for the past few weeks.

FI Schedule:

10:00-11:00 AM: Wake up to no alarm clock, prepare/eat breakfast, brush teeth, etc.

11:00 AM-11:00 PM: Read several of my favorite personal finance blogs, watch various YT videos pertaining to personal finance, browse Seeking Alpha, and prepare/eat lunch

1:00-3:00 PM: Research, draft, edit, and publish a daily post for the blog

3:00-5:30 PM: Write and edit roughly half of a Seeking Alpha article on an enticing and timely dividend stock that caught my attention

5:30-7:00 PM: Exercise, shower, and prepare/eat dinner

7:00 PM-1:00 AM: Spend time with family, binge TV series, and get ready for bed

Concluding Thoughts:

While I'll readily admit that this schedule is at least a decade in advance of when I am anticipating I will reach FI and my interests are bound to change to at least some extent over the next decade, I maintain that it is never too early to begin planning what you would do when you eventually achieve financial independence.

This was an interesting activity to me because I had never thought about an FI schedule to this extent before and upon doing so, I have found that life is really open to possibilities when you aren't working 40+ hours/week at a day job.

I admittedly have barely filled the majority of my waking hours with activities I am confident I will feel the same about in 10 years (i.e. exercising and blogging/freelance writing in some capacity) upon contemplating an FI schedule, so I need to continue to work on filling this schedule with what truly drives me in life and gives me meaning to achieve the feeling of life fulfillment and fully enjoy financial independence.

Discussion:

Have you ever thought about what your schedule would potentially look like in FI?

If not, do you believe that you will eventually get into a routine when you eventually achieve financial independence based on your values and interests?

If you have thought about what your schedule would be upon achieving FI, have you achieved FI yet and did your schedule end up being relatively similar to what you thought it would be? 

As always, I appreciate your readership and welcome your comments in the comment section below!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

This Action Is Depriving You Of Happiness And How You Combat It

Although the purpose of this blog primarily focuses on the logistics of achieving financial independence, I also go beyond that on occasion. After all, money is meaningless if one doesn't develop their character to paraphrase Aristotle.

What we'll be discussing in more detail today is something that all of us aim to achieve beyond simply attaining FIRE, which is happiness. It is the reason that we all live and breathe. Without even a remote chance of attaining true happiness, what would the actual point of life be?

The particular action that I often catch myself and others engaging in is the dirty deed of "wishing." While it sounds innocent to wish and wishing while taking action is actually a fine pursuit (commonly referred to as dreaming), simply wishing for something is the worst thing that one can do for both their short-term and long-term health and well-being for reasons detailed below.

Wishing Deprives You Of Happiness By Focusing On What You Don't Have

I'd be willing to wager that we all have passively wished for something, whether it be a million dollars, time to pass or rewind, etc.

The issue with those wishes is that aside from the second being impossible, (unless time travel becomes feasible, which seems unlikely) it also is impractical to wish for something without aggressively pursuing it.

As a quip to someone passively wishing something that I've heard a few times in my Midwest upbringing goes, "wish in one hand and @#$% in the other and what do you have?"

Rather than focusing on what you do have (something I have referenced in a past post), you focus on what you don't.

This action psychologically has been proven to deprive you of happiness. There's a reason that the concept of gratitude is as prevalent as it is when discussing how to attain happiness.

All That Time Spent Wishing Could Be Spent Chasing Your Dreams

As I've alluded to in another post, the best time to start chasing your dreams was yesterday, but today is the second best time, so what are you waiting for?

One of the biggest reasons that you absolutely must chase your dreams, is that the inaction and the mystery of what could have been will haunt you until your very last breath. 

It's oftentimes difficult to chase your dreams, whether that dream is to become financially independent, a successful musician, (insert your dreams here).

This is for a variety of reasons, including your own fear of "failing" (a winner is really just a loser that doesn't quit, so don't fear "failure"), your perceptions of what others will think of you (helpful hint: they're probably too busy living their own lives to care or they don't share your dream, so they'll never truly understand), or perhaps you're overwhelmed with the amount of work that it will take to achieve your dream (remember that every 1,000 mile journey begins with a single step).

In my case, I find comfort in the fact that regardless of whether or not I achieve financial independence at an early age, I'm giving everything I have to achieve that goal that I have held for many years, and that I will be better off financially, even if I fail to achieve my dream. 

When you are doing everything that you can to realize a dream as I am, all you can do is continue to work toward that dream, and reevaluate as your circumstances change.

I also have found that as you disclose your dreams to others, there may be some that try to dissuade you from pursuing that dream and there will be some that support you in the pursuit of your dream.

Some may try to dissuade you from pursuing your dream, but it is worth noting that they probably don't understand your dream precisely because it isn't their dream. 

Not everyone will understand and that is fine, so you need to work toward realizing your dream in order to eventually achieve self-actualization on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which is essential to achieving happiness and living a fulfilling life.

And finally, I have found in my journey of striving for financial independence and attaining at least $20,000 in annual forward dividends to do so, it can be overwhelming at times to fathom how much dividend income that seems to be to me at this time.

The important thing that I remind myself of time and time again is that simply starting the process itself is a small victory. 

Breaking down a goal into many small and actionable steps increases the odds of achieving that goal, which is what I have done by setting various financial milestones, such as $100, $500, $1,000 in annual forward dividend income, and so on.

When you reframe your mindsets from the common fears referenced above into the latter pragmatic mindsets, chances are that you'll find yourself invigorated with a sense of purpose that allows you to fearlessly chase your dreams.

Concluding Thoughts:

Wishing isn't a bad thing by itself because desire is the first step toward achieving a goal, but it becomes a problem when you aren't taking any action toward realizing your dream. The worst thing in this life is to one day draw your last breath and realize that your life is replete with regrets.

While it can be difficult to chase your dreams, the reality is that you have no choice but to do so if you wish to live a fulfilling life with few regrets.

Once you reframe your mindset from one of self-defeat to empowerment toward realizing your dreams, you will find that working toward your dreams will become instinctive, thereby increasing your chances of living a fulfilling life.

Discussion:

Have you ever succumbed to the trap of passively wishing for something?

Do you share the same mindset that I do toward letting go of your fears of not achieving your dreams, what others will think of you, or that your dream is overwhelming?

As always, I appreciate your readership and welcome your comments in the comment section below. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

July 2020 Dividend Stock Purchases

Today, I'll be highlighting dividend stock/mutual fund purchases within my portfolio during the month of July.

As I'll discuss below, July was a continuation of relatively low deployment of investment capital for me due to the fact that I am finishing up on deleveraging from a bit of credit card debt before my promo 12 month interest free APR expires (which will soon carry a ~25% APR) and other various small debts.


As illustrated above, between my 7% gross contribution and my employer's 3% match on my contributions in my retirement account, I was able to contribute gross capital of $251.24 and $239.94 in capital net of sales charges.

These contributions allowed my Capital Income Builder (CAIBX) holdings within my retirement account to grow from 116.430 shares entering July to 120.546 shares entering into August.

Assuming $2.14 in annual forward dividends/share, the extra 4.116 shares of CAIBX boosted my annual forward dividend income by $8.81, which equates to an average net yield of 3.67%.

When also weighing the $300 of my own capital that I contributed to my Robinhood portfolio and the $60.09 in dividends that reduced my margin balance from approximately $2,100 entering July to just under $1,750 heading into August, my annual forward dividend income was increased by ~$18.00 (given the 5% cost of capital for Robinhood margin).

Concluding Thoughts:

Overall, I deployed $600.03 in capital during the month of July to investments/deleveraging Robinhood (compared to $661.35 in June) and added $26.81 in annual forward dividend income, which worked out to an average yield of 4.47% on my capital deployed.

When factoring in the impact of dividend announcements during July (D and WFC dividend cuts and an SJM dividend increase), my annual forward dividend income increased $8.81.

While it has been a slow and steady endeavor to restore my dividend income to my all-time high of $1,252 just a couple months ago, I'm now less than 2% away from doing so.

Discussion:

Did you experience any dividend cuts during July as I did with D and WFC?

How was your month in terms of dividend stock purchase activity?

As always, I appreciate your readership and look forward to reading your comments in the comment section below.


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

July 2020 Dividend Income

As I'm writing this post, the month of July will come to a close in just 3 days!

The temperatures remain too high for my liking as it has regularly been in the low to mid-80s here in Central Wisconsin and I'm looking forward to the fall to provide a respite from this oppressive heat.

With that aside, I'll turn to the intent of this blog post, which is to provide a rundown on my dividend income received during the month of July.







Analysis:

Overall, I collected $73.79 in dividends during the month of July 2020 net of the $9.21 in Robinhood Gold fees and interest on margin during the month of July.

This represents a 49.0% quarterly growth rate compared to the $49.52 in dividends that I received during the month of April 2020 and a YoY growth rate of 118.1% against the $33.84 in dividends collected in July 2019.

Factoring out the timing of a dividend payment from Simon Property Group (SPG) that skewed my dividend income higher for July, my dividends collected during the month would have been $65.99, which still represents a solid quarterly growth rate of 33.3% and a YoY growth rate of 95.0%.

Going into the specifics of my dividend income during the month, I received $60.09 in dividends in my Robinhood portfolio (from 16 companies) net the $9.21 in Robinhood Gold fees/interest on margin during the month, $13.46 in dividends from 6 companies within my Webull portfolio, and $0.24 from 11 companies in my M1 Finance portfolio.

The $24.27 increase in dividend income from April 2020 to July 2020 is as a result of the following activity within my taxable accounts:

The timing of Simon Property Group's (SPG) dividend resulted in an additional $7.80 in dividend income for the month of July.

W.P. Carey's (WPC) most recent dividend increase resulted in an extra $0.01 in dividend income for the month of July.

My March 2020 addition of 3 shares of Leggett & Platt (LEG) boosted my dividend income by $1.20 during the month of July.

My second tranche of shares of Main Street Capital (MAIN) that were also acquired in March 2020 paid dividends for the first time, which added $1.02 to my dividend income in July.

The announcement from Ventas (VTR) that it was cutting its dividend was first felt in July, which resulted in a $2.41 subtraction from my dividend income during the month (including the $0.01 reduction in my M1 Finance portfolio dividend income).

GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) varying dividend payments resulted in $0.65 less in dividends during the month of July.

My March 2020 purchase of a share of Philip Morris International (PM) led to a $1.17 increase to my dividends collected during July.

My purchase of 2 shares of Genuine Parts Company in March 2020 resulted in a $1.58 boost in the amount of dividends that I collected in July.

The $9.21 in Robinhood Gold fees/margin interest during the month of July was a $14.20 reduction compared to the $23.41 in expenses during the month of April, leading to a significant increase in net dividend income.

My April purchase of 1 share of STORE Capital (STOR) within my Webull account helped me to collect an additional $0.35 in dividend income during the month of July.

Concluding Thoughts:

Despite enduring a few dividend cuts this year that have wiped out about 7% of my pre-COVID-19 dividend income, my dividend income continues to hold fairly steady as I go about deleveraging from my Robinhood margin, which currently sits at just under an $1,800 balance.

In less than 2 months, I'll finally be able to return to material capital deployment in the range of $1,500-$2,000/month.

Discussion:

How many companies that you received dividends from during July cut or suspended their dividend since your April income report?

How has your dividend income fared on a quarterly and a YoY basis during the month of July 2020?

As always, I value your readership and look forward to reading any comments that you leave in the comment section below.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Expected Dividend Increases for August 2020

As I'm writing this post, the month of July is less than a week and a half away from ending.

It's difficult to believe that we'll soon be entering the month of August and fall will soon be upon us, which will bring a respite from the oppressive heat that we've been experiencing here in Central Wisconsin.

With that out of the way, I'll turn my attention to the intent of this post, which is to discuss my expectations for dividend increases for the upcoming month.


Actual July 2020 Dividend Announcement(s):

Dividend Cut: Wells Fargo (WFC)

Just last week, Wells Fargo (WFC) announced that it would be cutting its quarterly dividend 80.4% from $0.51/share to $0.10/share.

Given the current economic environment and challenges that WFC has encountered (WFC posted its a loss in Q2 2020 for the first time since 2008), it is understandable that WFC would announce this dividend cut while former Visa CEO and newly minted WFC CEO Charles Scharf aims to turn the ship around following WFC's 2016 scandal that revealed WFC's employees were pressured into hitting sales targets and opened millions of phony accounts to do so.

Across my 8 shares of WFC, this announcement resulted in a $13.12 decline in annual forward dividends.

Second Dividend Cut: Dominion Energy (D)

Given the mounting costs and delays in getting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline online that Dominion Energy owned a 53% stake in (after buying out Southern Company's 5% stake earlier this year) and Duke Energy owned a 47% stake in, the two companies made the decision to abandon the project.

D also announced that it was cutting its quarterly dividend 33.5% from $0.94/share to $0.625/share, which is disappointing.

It does make it an easier pill to swallow knowing that D's dividend payout ratio will be much more sustainable and allow the company to focus on generating earnings growth in the future.

Over the 4 shares of D that I own, my annual forward dividends dropped by $5.04.

Dividend Increase: J.M. Smucker (SJM)

J.M. Smucker (SJM) announced a 2.3% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.88/share to $0.90/share, which is precisely what I forecasted in my previous post of this series.

Any dividend increase or even a dividend announcement in line with the previous is fine with me, so I warmly welcome SJM's dividend increase.

Across my 2 shares of SJM, my annual forward dividend income advanced $0.16.

Expected Dividend Announcement(s) for August

Dividend Increase: Altria Group (MO)

I'm expecting Altria Group (MO) to build upon its 50 consecutive years of dividend increases this August.

Despite COVID-19, MO delivered solid operating results in Q1 2020 as I outlined in my previous Seeking Alpha article on the company.

It's for this reason that I am expecting MO to announce a 3.6% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.84/share to $0.87/share as it works to strengthen its balance sheet and continue to diversify away from its core tobacco business, especially through its partnership with Philip Morris International (PM) to distribute IQOS in the United States.

Concluding Thoughts:

My dividend income has declined by $18.00 during the month of July as a result of the aforementioned dividend announcements.

It has been a difficult year as far as my dividend income is concerned with regard to dividend announcements as my annual forward dividends have been reduced by $85.04 this year as a result of dividend cuts and suspensions, which represents a roughly 7% cut to my annual forward dividends.

As a result of my contributions to my retirement account and the deleveraging of my Robinhood margin through occasional deposits and dividends received in the account, my annual forward dividend income over the past few months has held steady despite the cuts and suspensions to date.

Discussion:

Have you endured any dividend cuts during the month of July?

Do you think most dividend cuts/suspensions have already been announced to date or have we not yet experienced the worst of the COVID-19 recession?

As always, thanks for reading and I welcome your comments in the comment section below.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

June 2020 Dividend Stock Purchases

With the 4th of July now past us, summer is now unofficially in full swing. Relying on the temperatures alone reinforces this argument, as it has reached into the 90s several days in the past week here in Central Wisconsin.

With that said, I'll now get into the intent of this post, which is to discuss the dividend stock purchases and activity within my portfolio for June 2020.


As illustrated above, my employer and I deployed $302.39 in capital (including the $56.68 in CAIBX dividends during June) and $291.35 in capital net of sales charges.

These capital contributions/dividends allowed my stake in CAIBX to advance from 111.333 shares heading into June to 116.430 shares heading into July.

The 5.097 shares of CAIBX that were added during June are expected to add $10.91 in annual forward dividend income, assuming annual dividends/special dividends/share of $2.14, which equates to a net dividend yield of 3.74%.

The only other bit of activity within my portfolio for the month of June was a $295.00 deposit into my Robinhood account and the dividend income within my Robinhood portfolio to bring my Robinhood margin balance down from ~$2,500 to ~$2,100.

The reduction of ~$370 of my Robinhood margin increased my net annual forward dividend income by $18.50 at the current Robinhood margin interest rate of 5%.

Concluding Thoughts:

Overall, I deployed $661.35 in capital during the month of June, which works out to a yield of 4.45% when considering the $29.41 in net annual forward dividend income added on the aforementioned capital investments.

As a result of the capital investments and the dividend cut from Simon Property Group (SPG), my net annual forward dividend income advanced about 1%, from $1,222 to $1,232.

I have since pushed my timeline back to begin fully investing the $1,500-$2,000/month that I was anticipating this month to September as I failed to factor in some debt that needs to be repaid in the next couple months, so the last 3-4 months of 2020 are positioned to bring a renewed intensity on the capital deployment front.

Discussion:

Did you deploy more or less capital than you anticipated for the month of June?

Did you endure any dividend cuts as was the case for me with SPG?

As always, I appreciate your readership and welcome your comments in the comment section below!








Tuesday, July 7, 2020

June 2020 Dividend Income

As I'm writing this blog post, the USA is celebrating its 244th anniversary. It's hard to believe that despite how long 244 years seems, it wasn't really that many generations ago that America was fighting for her right to be free from Great Britain's rule.

Every country has its fair share of past mistakes and America is no exception, be it slavery, the displacement of Native Americans, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, or any other number of human rights issues that arise from a less than perfect humanity.

However, on this day, we're reminded of the incredible tales of bravery of those Americans that fought and sacrificed for this country's ability to gain and maintain its independence, while also fighting for the good of the world as a whole, helping the Allies of World War II free tens of millions of Europeans from Adolph Hitler's brutal reign of terror.

It's a lesson to us all that it is more noble to have died fighting for what we believed in than to have cowered in fear and lived our lives as traitors to our beliefs.

With that aside, I would like to take a moment today to discuss my dividend income for the month of June 2020, which I am happy to report, was a record month of dividend income.










Analysis:

During the month of June, I received $136.28 in dividends net of the $10.66 in Robinhood Gold membership fees and interest on the margin over $1,000 in my Robinhood account (the DLR and AVGO dividends were recorded for July 1 in Robinhood, though they were to be paid June 30).

Against the $90.31 in net dividends collected in March 2020, this works out to a 50.9% quarterly growth rate and an even more impressive YoY growth rate of 115.9% compared to the $63.11 in dividends received in June 2019.

Breaking this down a bit further, I received $76.33 in dividends in my Robinhood account from 20 companies ($65.77 net of the Robinhood Gold membership fees and interest costs), $56.68 in dividends from my CAIBX mutual fund holding in my employer-sponsored retirement account, $13.35 in dividends from 6 companies in my Webull account, and $0.48 from 24 companies in my M1 Finance account.

The additional $45.97 in net dividend income from March 2020 to June was as a result of the following activity within my various portfolios:

PepsiCo's (PEP) recent dividend increase boosted my dividend income by $0.14 from March to June.

I received an additional $3.25 in dividends from Broadcom (AVGO) due to my purchase of another share in March after the ex-dividend date.

Despite my purchase of another 5 shares of Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B) in March, I only received $0.04 more in dividends compared to March (factoring in my M1 Finance position in the stock as well), as a result of Shell's recent announcement that it was cutting its dividend.

I also received an additional $4.37 from British Petroleum (BP) as a result of my decision to purchase another 7 shares of the stock in late March.

As a result of my decision to purchase an additional share of Home Depot (HD) in late March, I received an additional $1.50 in dividends from Home Depot during the month of June.

My purchase of 6 shares of Prudential Financial (PRU) within my Robinhood portfolio also paid off as this was the first time I collected dividends from the stock in this account, which boosted my dividend income by $6.60 from March to June.

My purchase of 16 shares of Main Street Capital (MAIN) in March also paid off in my Robinhood account, increasing my dividend income by $3.28 from March to June.

Realty Income's (O) announcement of its dividend increase coupled with my decision to purchase an extra 3 shares of the stock in March led to a $0.70 increase in my dividend income from March to June.

Consistent with the theme of my March dividend stock purchases paying off in June, United Parcel Service (UPS) added $4.04 to my net dividend income within my Robinhood account.

International Business Machines' (IBM) dividend increase and my purchase of a share in March led to a $1.66 increase in my dividend income from March to June.

My March purchases of 5 shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM) in March added $4.35 to my dividend income from March to June within my Robinhood account.

Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) dividend increase in April helped me collect an additional $0.12 in dividend income in June compared to March.

Another April dividend increase that helped increase my June dividend income was Southern Company's (SO), which added $0.10 to my dividend income from March to June.

My decision to purchase an additional 4 shares of Pfizer (PFE) in March also added $1.52 to my dividend income from March to June.

My purchase of 3 shares of Wells Fargo (WFC) within my Robinhood account added $1.53 in dividend income to June.

As indicated above, I incurred $10.66 of Robinhood Gold and margin expenses in June, which was a $4.29 improvement over March's $14.95 of expenses.

Within my Webull account, I benefited from UnitedHealth Group's (UNH) dividend increase, which added $0.17 to my dividend income from March to June.

As a result of the retirement contributions of myself and my employer to my retirement account, my dividend income from my Capital Income Builder (CAIBX) mutual fund increased by $8.32 from March to June.

The final piece of activity came within my M1 Finance portfolio on the news a few months back that Boeing (BA) was suspending its dividend, which decreased my dividend income by $0.01 from March to June.

Concluding Thoughts:

June was a great month in more ways than one for my portfolio. Not only did it mark my first $100 net dividend month since I began investing nearly 3 years ago, my dividend income of $136.28 for the month was well above the requirements to surpass the triple digit figure of $100.

Given the fact that my income will soon be more readily available to deploy into investments once I pay off the remaining amount of debts that I owe, I wouldn't be surprised if my dividend income surpassed $225 next June.

Discussion:

How was your June?

Did your portfolio enjoy a record month of dividend income?

As always, I appreciate your readership and welcome your comments in the comment section below.





Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Expected Dividend Increases for July 2020

As I'm writing this post, June is a day away from ending, which means the year will soon be half over. The speed with which time is passing never ceases to amaze me!

And for the sake of this post, I'll be recapping key dividend announcements during the month of June and looking ahead to the sole dividend increase that I'm expecting during July.


Actual June Dividend Announcements

Dividend Increase #1: Realty Income (O)

As I expected in my previous post in this series, Realty Income (O) came through once again when it announced a 0.2% increase in its monthly dividend, boosting its dividend from $0.2330/share to $0.2335 share.

In a difficult operating environment such as the one we currently find ourselves in, it's reassuring to know that I own plenty of high-quality dividend paying stocks, such as O.

Across the 7 shares of O that I own, my annual forward dividend income was boosted by $0.042 as a result of O's dividend announcement.

Dividend Increase #2: W.P. Carey (WPC)

Just as O came through with a dividend increase as I expected, W.P. Carey (WPC) announced a 0.2% increase in its quarterly dividend, upping its dividend from $1.040/share to $1.042/share.

Across the 5 shares of WPC in my portfolio, my annual forward dividend income increased by $0.040 as a result of WPC's dividend announcement.

Dividend Increase #3: UnitedHealth Group (UNH)

As a result of not owning UnitedHealth Group (UNH) when it announced its dividend increase last June, I forgot to include my expectation for UNH's dividend increase in the previous post of the series.

Boy, was that quite the omission on my part, as UNH announced a 15.7% increase in its quarterly dividend, taking it from $1.08/share to $1.25/share.

UNH once again delivered a strong dividend increase, which is always appreciated, especially in this environment!

Across my single share of UNH, my annual forward dividend income was boosted by $0.68.

Dividend Cut: Simon Property Group (SPG)

Simon Property Group (SPG) announced a while back that it would be announcing its dividend later than usual toward the end of this month.

It was just today that SPG announced a 38.1% cut to its quarterly dividend, decreasing it from $2.10/share to $1.30/share.

While it is disappointing to see SPG announce a dividend cut considering it is one of my 10 largest positions in terms of dividend income, I don't blame SPG for temporarily cutting its dividend just to err on the side of caution. I fully expect that within the next year, SPG's dividend will be restored to its previous level.

Across my 6 shares of SPG, my annual forward dividend income decreased by $19.20.

Expected Dividend Announcements for July

Dividend Increase: JM Smucker (SJM)

Given the uncertain operating environment, I am expecting JM Smucker (SJM) to announce a smaller dividend increase than usual, which I believe will be a 2.3% increase in its quarterly dividend, from $0.88/share to $0.90/share.

If this occurs, my annual forward dividend income would be boosted by $0.16 across my 2 shares of SJM.

Concluding Thoughts:

Even though my dividend income stemming from dividend announcements declined by $18.438 during the month of June and my dividend income has now fallen by roughly 6% after the SPG cut and previous cuts/SKT's dividend suspension, I am confident that 2021 will usher in a return to growth and dividends will then quickly be restored to previous levels.

Discussion:

Did your portfolio experience any dividend cuts during June?

Are you expecting any dividend cuts down the road?

As always, thanks for reading and I welcome your comments in the comment section below.




Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Remarkable Benefits of Remote Work

As I'm writing this blog post, today is the 90th day or 3 month mark of when I began working remotely.

I recently returned to work in a traditional capacity 3 days a week and have been remotely working the other 2 days a week.

Over the past 3 months, I have benefited significantly in a number of ways as a result of being able to work remotely, which I'll delve into below.

Person Using Macbook Pro

Image Source: Pexels

Extra Sleep

For someone that really needs their 7-8 hours of sleep each night to most efficiently function during the day, I am so grateful for this opportunity to work remotely because I save a significant amount of time in the morning not having to get ready for work in the traditional sense.

Before I go into work each morning, I take care of personal care tasks, including brushing my teeth, showering, and combing my hair.

While I still brush my teeth two to three times a day, I am able to defer showering and combing my hair into the evening when I have more time, and don't have to rush as much with getting ready in the morning when I am working remotely.

As I'm sure most of us can attest, it can become tiring to also commute to traditional work, which leads me into my next point.

Extra Time And Improved Health

While I'm lucky in the sense that my 24 minute round trip commute to work is far less than the national average 26 minute one-way commute time, a 24 minute round trip commute 5 days a week is still 2 hours a week or about 1.3% of the total hours in a week (and much more of my waking hours when factoring in sleep).

Over the past 3 months (factoring in the 9 days that I have went to work over the past 3 months), I have saved about 1,320 minutes or nearly an entire day that I would have otherwise spent commuting.

This is time that I have spent engaging in more fulfilling activities, such as writing blog posts, exercising, spending time with family, and researching investment opportunities.

The other major benefit from a health standpoint, is that I don't have to deal with overly cautious drivers in front of me going 10 mph under the speed limit in ideal driving conditions while I'm on my way to work or maniacs behind me wanting to go 10 mph or more over the speed limit while I'm on my way home from work.

In support of this observation, a study of 33,000 UK drivers found a link between commute times and mental health. The longer and more frequent commutes that workers make to arrive at their jobs results in an increased risk of depression and work-related stress.

Extra Money

And aside from the extra sleep, time, and improved health, I have also saved about $66 over the past 3 months in fuel expenses (825 miles/25 mpg, assuming $2/gallon gas).

While that isn't necessarily a lot, my typical monthly fuel expenses are about $30/month at $2/gallon gasoline, so my fuel expenses have been cut by roughly 70% over the past 3 months.

Concluding Thoughts:

It has been a blessing to have the privilege of working from home more often than not over the past 3 months. The benefits of extra sleep, improved health, and extra money leave me hoping that I am able to at least work remotely 1 day a week indefinitely.

Discussion:

Have you had the privilege of working remotely over the past 3 months?

If so, have you observed the benefits that I discussed above or any other benefits? If not, would you prefer to work remotely?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Life Isn't About Money As Much As Freedom And Fulfillment

From time to time, I reminisce about the past as most of us do.

Recently, I recalled being a kid in middle school and stumbling upon the concepts of dividend investing, as well as building long-term, generational wealth through Joshua Kennon on About.com.

When I first came upon the concepts, I was misguided as you would expect a middle school kid to be in that I wanted to build obscene wealth during my lifetime that would put me among the Forbes billionaires just for the sake of being obscenely rich and giving into consumerism.

I would continue to possess this mindset of striving for obscene wealth for no serious reason (though, perhaps my reason in the back of my mind was the freedom aspect that I'll delve into) until I began high school.

Around the time of high school about a year later, I began reading Joshua Kennon's personal blog, Jason Fieber's Dividend Mantra blog (and as of a few years ago, his MrFreeat33 blog), and Tim McAleenan Jr.'s The Conservative Income Investor blog.

It was really upon reading those blogs, and especially Jason's blogs that I began to think about more than just the scoreboard aspect of money and more deeply about the aspect of money that is the most powerful, which is the fact that one of the things that money is capable of buying is freedom over one's time to choose what they'd like to pursue.

I'll Take Freedom And Frugality Any Day Over Excessive, Meaningless Wealth

As part of my foolish thinking in my early teen years, I envisioned that I would own my own exclusive and luxurious private island somewhere in the Caribbean in my later years. How I thought at the time that purchase would be able to allow me to live a fulfilling and happy life is beyond me to this very day.

I suppose that would be a reflection of the consumerist culture we live in and the fact that by the time an American teenager reaches age 18, they have seen approximately 350,000 advertisements, according to the University of Washington, which all seem to promise happiness and fulfillment designed to encourage consumerism.

As I read about dividend growth investing and the ability for average wage earners to achieve financial independence at a relatively early age by spending purposefully and investing aggressively in high-quality dividend stocks, a light bulb went off in my head that I could be one of those people to achieve financial independence and pursue my passions rather than having to work a job just for the sake of paying bills.

Even though I don't have all of the details of what my post-FI life would look like at this time, I know that I wouldn't mind having more time to exercise, watch sports, blog more, write more for Seeking Alpha, and spend time with family. I often find that weekends go by too fast and I am unable to do all that I would like to do.

I came to the realization that rather than simply working at a job I may not be fulfilled at for the sake of acquiring wealth beyond what I would even be able to reasonably spend as a naturally frugal person, I would be happier by achieving financial independence to enable myself to pursue the interests and activities that enhance my quality of life.

While obscene amounts of wealth aren't necessarily a bad thing (and one can actually create even more significant wealth by being FI and leveraging their enthusiasm for their passion to produce valuable goods or services for society), I came to the realization years ago that beyond the basics of food/an abundant source of clean water, housing in a reasonably safe area, quality healthcare, and taxes being covered, nothing else is needed to fulfill the two rungs of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which cover physiological needs and safety needs.

Simply by having the financial means to passively provide the basics in life and a bit of money for discretionary spending, you are living better than the vast majority of the world, which lives in fear of possibly losing their job and being unable to provide for themselves and their family's basic needs.

It is from that point, one is able to focus solely on building stronger relationships and connections with others to meet their psychological needs and to focus on their passions to give themselves a sense of accomplishment and eventually, self-actualization.

When someone is getting ready for a job, working a job, and decompressing after a job, they lose much of their time that they could otherwise be focusing on working toward self-actualization, which is necessary to live a happy and productive life.

Concluding Thoughts:

Money is a tool and just as it can be used for bad purposes that prevent one from living a fulfilling and happy life (one purpose of which, is unchecked consumerism), money can be used as a tool to improve one's friendships and connections, and to pursue passions in a manner that would otherwise be difficult when working full-time at a job that may be unfulfilling.

It took me until high school to come to this realization, but I'm glad I did because I believe it will ultimately help me to live a more purposeful and fulfilling life.

Discussion:

Did you have any excessive consumerist thoughts that were guided by a society of consumerism as a teen? If so, what were they?

Since you're on this blog, I'm assuming that you have probably since changed your beliefs on consumerism and have adapted a more mindful approach to spending.

If that's the case, what made you change your beliefs and adopt frugality as a way of life?

As always, I appreciate your readership and look forward to reading the comments that you are free to leave in the comment section below.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

May 2020 Dividend Stock Purchases

As I'm writing this blog post on June 6th, the NBA is set to resume its season at the end of July and the NBA Finals are expected to conclude sometime in mid-October.

After over 12 weeks of no NBA basketball and the Bucks' potential championship run being on hold, I am excited for the end of July to see what this team can accomplish in this season of unprecedented challenges.

With that exciting announcement out of the way, I'll be discussing the investment activity within my investment portfolio for last month.


The only actual activity within my portfolio that involved the purchase of stocks or mutual funds came within my retirement account, where I invested $391.96 between my contributions and the contributions of my employer. 

Net of sales charges, my employer and I contributed $374.33 to my portfolio and my total share count of Capital Income Builder (CAIBX) increased by 6.761 shares from 104.572 shares to end April to 111.333 shares to end May.

As a result of the above capital contributions, my annual forward dividend income was boosted by $14.47, which equates to a net yield of 3.87%.

The only other activity within my investment portfolio was my $2,475.19 reduction in margin debt from $4,964.66 to $2,489.47.

This halving of my Robinhood margin resulted in a $123.76 increase in my annual forward dividends net of margin interest.

Factoring in that I need to pay off a bit of credit card debt that will start bearing interest this September and my usual living expenses, I am well on track to eliminate all of my margin debt in July aside from the interest free $1,000 portion that will essentially cover the cost of Robinhood Gold and allow me to access Morningstar's reports for free.

Concluding Thoughts:

As a result of a 3 paycheck month and a $1,200 stimulus check, May was a great month in terms of deleveraging my Robinhood portfolio and building my retirement portfolio.

Including the suspension of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers' (SKT) dividend last month, my annual forward dividend income was boosted by $122.50 from just under $1,100 to $1,220. 

I deployed a total of $2,849.52 in May at an average yield of 4.85%.

Discussion:

How was your month in terms of capital deployment?

Did you endure any dividend cuts or suspensions during the month of May as I did with SKT?

As always, thanks for reading and I look forward to the comments that you leave in the comment section below!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

May 2020 Dividend Income

As I'm writing this blog post here on May 31st, it has been an astounding 83 days since the Milwaukee Bucks last played and the MLB season has yet to start about 2 months after what was scheduled to be Opening Day.

The past few months have definitely been an adjustment in terms of my time commitment as the Bucks used to consume 7-8 hours a week of my time between games and occasional perusing of Bucks news/team and player grades for each game.

Fortunately, I have this blog, dividend investing, mobile gaming, spending time with family, and playing basketball in the driveway to fall back on or I would have completely lost my mind by now.

With that being said, I'll be examining my dividend income for May 2020.






Analysis:

During the month of May, I collected $86.62 in net dividends against the $86.62 in dividends collected in February 2020, and generated a 96.7% YOY growth rate compared to the $44.04 in dividends received in May 2019.

Delving into things a bit further, I received $74.84 in dividends in my Robinhood portfolio from 16 companies net of the $5.00 in Robinhood Gold fees and $10.99 in Robinhood Gold for my use of margin. I also collected $11.46 in dividends from 3 companies within my Webull portfolio. Lastly, I received $0.32 in dividends from 15 companies in my M1 Finance portfolio.

The same amount of dividends collected from February 2020 to May 2020 was as a result of the following activity within my taxable accounts:

I benefited from $1.44 in additional dividends from Williams Sonoma (WSM) as a result of my purchase of another 3 shares in March.

I also received an extra $3.36 in distributions from Energy Transfer (ET) because of my decision to purchase 10 units of ET during my March buying spree and 1 unit of ET in February.

I received an extra $1.76 in dividends from British American Tobacco (BTI) as a result of my purchase of 3 shares in March, net of ADR fees.

I also benefited from my purchase of 2 units of Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP), which boosted my dividend income by $2.06 during May.

My purchase of an additional 3 shares of Realty Income (O) in March and O's dividend increase resulted in an additional $0.70 in dividend income in May.

Another purchase that boosted my dividend income was my purchase of 1 share of AbbVie (ABBV), which added $1.18 to my May dividend income.

My purchase of 16 shares of Main Street Capital (MAIN) in March resulted in an extra $3.28 in dividend income collected in May.

I also collected an additional $0.02 in dividend income as a result of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers' dividend increase, though the company later suspended its dividend, which will likely impact my August income report.

EQM Midstream Partners' (EQM) recently announced distribution cut affected my distributions for the first time in this report, which resulted in a $3.09 reduction in May distribution income.

I also added 12 shares of ONEOK (OKE) in March, which led to an additional $11.22 in dividend income during May.

My purchase of an additional 5 units of Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) resulted in an additional $2.23 in distribution income in May.

My purchase of another share of General Dynamics (GD) in March and GD's recent dividend increase boosted my dividend income by $1.26 in May.

The March purchase of an additional 2 shares of Lowe's (LOW) added $1.10 to my May dividend income.

An additional 3 shares of AT&T (T) that I also purchased in March added $1.56 to my May dividend income.

Due to the timing of The GEO Group's dividend payment, I collected $5.76 less in dividends during the month of May.

Due to the fact that Simon Property Group is deferring its dividend announcement until June, my dividend income was $6.30 less in May than it was in February.

My Robinhood Gold subscription deducted $5.00 from my net dividend income and the interest on my margin deducted $10.99 from my net dividend income.

The final activity came within my M1 Finance portfolio, again, when EQM Midstream Partners paid me $0.03 less in distributions compared to February.

Concluding Thoughts:

Overall, I'm pleased with a steady mid-quarter month in May compared to February as it was a few months ago that we began to see the impact of dividend cuts and suspensions within my portfolio and many other dividend investor's portfolios.

While I do believe that there will be a couple more cuts within my portfolio over the next two months, I am encouraged by the fact that I have paid down nearly $2,500 (half of my total margin heading into May) and over 60% of the margin that I intend to pay off as I plan on using the first $1,000 in interest free margin to essentially cover the cost of Robinhood Gold with dividends on that $1,000 to access Morningstar's reports and the other benefits of Robinhood Gold.

The significant deleveraging that I was able to execute during May will more than offset the impact of any of the dividend cuts that I am expecting in the next two months and since I anticipate that I will begin investing to the tune of $1,500-$2,000/month once again beginning in July, I am forecasting a slight uptick in my August dividend income, approaching $100 net of Robinhood Gold fees and interest.

Discussion:

How was your May in terms of dividends collected?

Did you benefit from any first time dividend payments from new holdings?

What are you forecasting for your August dividend income?

As always, I thank you for your readership and welcome comments in the comment section below.