Tuesday, February 18, 2020

3 More Lessons I Have Learned After 2+ Years Of Investing

It's incredible to think that I've been investing for over 2 years at this point as illustrated by the screenshot of Robinhood above.

As a testament to the notion that time really passes us by without us even noticing, I was somewhat planning on writing and publishing a followup post last fall to my post titled "Lessons After One Year of Investing."

I never created a draft for this blog post, so it was only now after several months have passed, that I am finally getting to writing this post. But better late than never, right?! Without further ado, I'll present 3 more lessons that I've learned over the past couple years of being invested in the stock market and dividend growth investing.

Lesson #1: Don't Underestimate The Power Of Small Investments Here And There

As someone that has been interested in the theoretical aspect of investing for the past decade, one big influence on my overall views of personal finance and even my life in general to an extent has been Joshua Kennon through the works on his personal blog and About.com (and The Balance after About.com).

Although Joshua took down many of his posts prior to launching his asset management firm, Kennon-Green & Co., there are still a tremendous amount of posts between his personal blog and The Balance.

One of the first lessons that I learned from Joshua after initially stumbling on his early work through About.com and later his personal blog, was Zechariah 4:10, which to paraphrase was "do not despite the day of small beginnings."

Even the vastest of fortunes were built from the ground up. When given enough time, small and steady investments of capital grow into significant amounts of capital that allow an individual to become financially independent.

It was the adoption of this mindset from an early age that would eventually lead me to begin investing at age 20 while I was still in college.

While I was eventually able to graduate college debt free (thanks to a bit of insight on my part and admittedly, a lot of luck as well), I wasn't too much different from most college students in that I was on a pretty tight budget throughout most of undergrad. This was especially the case because I was paying all of my tuition entirely out of pocket, which left me with limited funds to begin investing.

As a byproduct of the low commission era we live in and fintech companies like Robinhood, which revolutionized the industry by democratizing investing for even relatively broke college students like myself, I was able to begin investing in September 2017 with my initial deposit of $2,240.00 shortly before I started my final two years of undergrad.

It was from that point, I rarely invested more than a few hundred dollars a month until I finished undergrad last summer.

During that time, my portfolio has steadily grown to a value of $22,000 and is producing $934.91 in annual forward dividends as of February 2020.

While the portfolio undoubtedly has a ways to go and I'll continue to build it in the years ahead, my point is that I've definitely seen the benefits of compounding in real time over the past couple years of investing, which leads me into the next point.

Lesson #2: Dividends Sure Are Sweet

The great thing about starting your investing journey, especially as a dividend investor, is that you are able to gradually transition from an employee to an owner in real-life businesses that conduct operations throughout the globe and generate tons of cash flow, which is passed onto you as the owner in said businesses, in the form of dividends.

In my particular case, I have collected $1,104.93 in dividends since I received my first dividend from Genuine Parts Company (GPC) in October 2017.

Obviously, $1,104.93 isn't a life changing amount of money. The flip side of the coin is had I never made the decision to invest my spare capital, I would have collected zip, zero, nada in dividends.

This is cold, hard cash that can be used however I'd like it to be. While I plan on actively reinvesting all of these dividends to build the portfolio over the next 15-20 years, the option is there for me to eventually begin living off of dividends.

And building off of the first lesson in this post, the really incredible thing is that in the 28 months that it took me to collect my first $1,104.93 in dividends, I anticipate that from now until the end of 2020, I will be able to match that amount.

Let that sink in...in the barely 10 months we have remaining in 2020, I will have collected as much and maybe even a bit more in dividends than I have in the first 28 months!

If that doesn't sell the importance of investing for cash flow and why we must start investing as early as possible, I'm not sure what will!

Lesson #3: There Are Sure To Be Short-Term Bumps In The Road

What I mean by this is that when I purchased most of the companies in my portfolio, I did so with the intent of benefiting from immediate dividend growth.

Sometimes companies such as CVS Health (CVS) focus on paying down debt in the aftermath of completing a large acquisition as was the case with the company's acquisition of Aetna, which is what happened when the company announced its acquisition of Aetna just 3 months after I opened my position.

It's important to note that even though companies do freeze their dividends from time to time, that isn't necessarily a cause for concern and reason alone to sell.

In the case of CVS, the company is doing quite well since the closing of its acquisition of Aetna. Not only is CVS deleveraging, but it's also producing strong operating results.

It's these two simple reasons that lead me to believe that the dividend is almost sure to resume high-single digit growth in 2-3 years.

While things sometimes won't go as you planned they would in the short-term, you need to be patient and realize that as long as you believe the investment thesis is intact in your investments, you would be wise to continue to hold them for the long-term.

After all, the other companies in your dividend portfolio will likely be making up for the companies that have elected to freeze their dividend for a while.

Concluding Thoughts:

Investing can be intimidating because we're often misinformed that in order to begin investing, we need to start with thousands of dollars, but this simply isn't the case nowadays. Investing has been revolutionized by the likes of Robinhood and a race to the bottom in fees.

Along those same lines, although dividends begin small and seemingly insignificant, those dividends are the start to an incredible journey to achieve financial independence.

Like all things in life, investing isn't always easy and investments don't always go to plan. However, a valuable lesson I have learned in the past couple years is to hold investments for the long run so long as the investment thesis remains intact.


Which of the lessons did you find most helpful to learn or be reminded of in this post?

Are there any other lessons that you've learned since you began investing that I failed to mention in this post and my initial post in this ongoing series?

As always, your readership is very much appreciated and I look forward to replying to any comments that you are free to leave in the comment section below.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

January 2020 Dividend Income

As I write this blog post, the Bucks are continuing with their winning ways and stand a good chance of being the third team in NBA history to achieve at least 70 wins in the regular season.

While that's all fine and dandy, the more exciting aspect of the Bucks' incredible progress since head coach Mike Budenholzer took over in the 2018-2019 season is the continued progression in absolutely destroying opponents.

The Bucks' net rating of 8.47 last season was head and shoulders above the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors, which was what brought the Bucks within 2 wins of the NBA Finals and likely beating a banged up Golden State Warriors team if it wouldn't have been for Kawhi Leonard's heroics in the Eastern Conference Finals and Fred VanVleet going off on the Bucks.

If there were any doubts that the Bucks could sustain such dominance going into this season, those doubts have been crushed like many Bucks opponents have been this season. Through the first 51 games of the season, the Bucks are 44-7 and have a chance at posting the best net rating in NBA history.

It's so difficult to contain my excitement and brimming optimism toward this Bucks team, but for the intent of this blog post, I'll be examining the dividends that I collected in January 2020.


Overall, I collected $45.81 in dividends during the month of January.

This represents a 9.3% quarterly growth rate compared to October 2019's $41.91 in dividend income and an even more impressive 77.5% YOY growth rate compared to the $25.81 in dividend income received in January 2019.

Breaking this down further by account, I collected $38.77 in dividends from 13 companies in my Robinhood account, $6.77 from 3 companies in my Webull account, and $0.27 from 12 companies in my M1 Finance account.

There were numerous developments that were responsible for the $3.90 increase in my dividend income compared to last quarter.

Starting with the Webull account, the $0.74 in dividends that I received from Albemarle (ALB) came as a result of my purchase of 2 shares of the company as detailed in my September 2019 Dividend Stock Purchases post. Dividends across my PM and MO positions within the Webull account remained the same.

Dividends within the Webull account managed to grow 12.3% sequentially from the $6.03 collected in October 2019 to $6.77 collected in January 2020.

I benefited from an additional $0.84 in dividends received from Altria Group (MO) as a result of the purchase of an additional share of MO back in November 2019.

Moving to the Robinhood account, dividends received in January 2020 from WP Carey (WPC), Realty Income (O), Leggett & Platt (LEG), Ventas Realty (VTR), Philip Morris International (PM), Albemarle (ALB), PPL Corp (PPL), and Genuine Parts Company (GPC) remained the same as they were in October 2019.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) also paid an additional $0.24 in dividends in January 2020 compared to October 2019, which was entirely as a result of a sequentially higher dividend from one quarter to the next.

PepsiCo (PEP) paid its final dividend of 2019 in September 2019, which explains why dividend income was $0.00 from the company in October 2019. This added $1.91 in dividend income from October 2019 to January 2020.

Eastman Chemical Company (EMN) announced a dividend increase in December, which boosted my dividend income by $0.12 from October 2019 to January 2020.

Rounding out dividend increases in the Robinhood account, Iron Mountain (IRM) also announced a dividend increase in October 2019, which increased my dividend income by $0.03 for January 2020.

Dividends received within the Robinhood account managed to increase 8.8% from the $35.63 received in October 2019 to the $38.77 received in January 2020.

Factoring out the $1.91 in PEP dividends that were as a result of timing, dividends received actually grew 3.5% sequentially from October 2019 to January 2020.

Factoring out the impact of PEP not paying dividends in October, but paying dividends in January, dividends across the M1 Finance account remained the same.Concluding my changes in dividend income from October 2019 to January 2020, the only change in the M1 Finance account was once again the payment of PEP's dividend in January 2020, whereas the dividend was last paid in September 2019. This increased my dividend income in the M1 Finance account by $0.02 compared to October 2019.

Concluding Thoughts:

Dividends across the board in my 3 taxable brokerage accounts managed to remain the same or grow when including the impact of PEP's dividend payments.

I'm satisfied with the quarterly dividend growth and the YOY dividend growth that represents nearly a doubling of total dividend income is a reflection of just how effective dividend investing can be even when contributing as little as I have on an absolute basis.

Given that I recently purchased my first car on my father's line of credit that I'll be repaying in the next month and that I need to save up for parts, I expect fresh capital contributions to be relatively limited over the next couple months.

I wasn't expecting to find a car this soon and that explains why I was forecasting that I would pass $1,000 in forward annual dividends in March. In light of my exciting news, I'm not expecting to reach this milestone until late May of this year.


How was your month in terms of dividends received? Did you receive dividends from any new companies during the month of January?

As always, thank you for reading and I would appreciate any comments that you are free to leave in the comment section below!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

A Tribute To Kobe Bryant And The Lessons Learned From His Life

Image Source: Business Insider

Kobe Bryant. 18 time NBA All-Star. 5 time NBA Champion. 2 time NBA Finals MVP. 2 time Olympic gold medalist. Businessman. Author. Producer. Philanthropist. Father. Husband. Brother. Man of faith. And last, but not least, a role model that touched the lives of so many, even those of us that he never met, including yours truly.

For those that don't follow me on Twitter, I recently tweeted about the personal impact that Kobe had on my life beginning on the basketball court. Like countless other youth that have been inspired over the years by Kobe, I proudly wore the number 24 when I played basketball.

As I indicated in my January 2020 Dividend Stock Purchases post last week shortly following the passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gigi and 7 others, I wanted to take the opportunity this week to honor none other than the Black Mamba and highlight a few key life lessons that translate on and off the basketball court.

Before I get into the life lessons that Kobe indirectly taught me and so many others, I just wanted to take a moment to personally discuss the highlight of Kobe's career that amazed me the most.

As a bit of context, I have been a fan of NBA basketball in general since I was 6 years old (too bad because I missed out on the 2000-2001 Milwaukee Bucks that were the best Bucks team in my life until the past year and a half).

As such, I vividly remember the evening of January 22, 2006, when the Los Angeles Lakers played against the Toronto Raptors and were trailing by 14 points at the half, with Kobe carrying the offensive load, scoring 26 points in the first half.

Just when it seemed as though the hope of a Lakers victory was lost, Kobe erupted in the second half with 55 points, bringing his scoring total to 81 on the night. The Lakers would go on to stage a tremendous comeback and win the game 122-104 as a result of Kobe's incredible all around performance, where he finished with a +25 plus-minus.

While he fell 19 points short of tying Wilt Chamberlain's record of 100 points set in 1962, I would argue that Kobe's 81 is just as impressive as Wilt's 100 for the simple reason that Kobe needed only 42 minutes to score his 81, whereas Wilt needed 48 minutes. Kobe's 81 points also accounted for more of his team's total points (66.4%) than Wilt's 100 (59.2%).

Lesson #1: Never Sell Yourself Short

Among the many things that I find to be remarkable about Kobe's life, the one thing that really sticks out to me is when he discussed how he had a meeting with his guidance counselor when he was 10 years old.

Somehow, this guidance counselor had entirely dismissed the fact that Kobe was absolutely obsessed with basketball and that basketball was literally in Kobe's genetics, with his father being an NBA player for the Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers, and Houston Rockets.

This guidance counselor had asked Kobe what he wanted to be when he grew up, to which Kobe replied, he wanted to be an NBA player. The guidance counselor then replied, "You know, that's not very realistic."

Many of us have dreams that we eventually give up on after we are told that we'll never be able to accomplish them and that they're "not realistic," but Kobe did himself a favor and didn't sell himself and his potential short.

As if Kobe needed any more motivation to make his dream come true, this stuck with him and motivated him to put in the work necessary to make his dream a reality, which leads me into the next lesson that Kobe taught me and so many others.

Lesson #2: Don't Be Afraid Of Dreaming...Or Hard Work

I always find it admirable when somebody recalls knowing from such a young age what they wanted to accomplish, and then years later, they eventually accomplish it.

However, I think it can sometimes be easy to forget that dreams don't just happen.

Sure, Kobe had the physical characteristics and the upbringing of basketball and that played a role in his arrival to the NBA and eventual superstardom, but physical characteristics and a basketball background can only take a player so far.

Not much even needs to be said when there are countless examples of Kobe's work ethic in articles across the internet, but one of the most striking examples of Kobe's work ethic in action is evidenced by the fact that according to a Team USA trainer, Kobe held a gym workout from 4:15 am to 11:00 am, and refused to leave the gym until he made 800 shots.

When a guy is so committed, competitive, and willing to improve his game that he won't even leave the gym until he makes (not takes!) 800 shots, that is a prime example that Kobe's work ethic was second to none.

When you find your passion like Kobe did with basketball, the real lesson is to continue to put in the work. There will be days that you don't always feel like putting in the work, but you need to do it anyway if you want to be the best you possibly can be.

Lesson #3: Live Every Day Like It's Your Last

As much as Kobe accomplished in his 41 years on Earth, it's still a bit hard to believe that it can all end just like that.

It sometimes comes as difficult to believe for me being only 22 years of age and not really having to endure any deaths of immediate family members in my life to date (especially such sudden deaths like Kobe and those on board his helicopter), but if someone as legendary as Kobe can have their life cut short in an instant, it really can happen to anyone.

Kobe's recent passing was really an eye opener to me that in the end, no matter what our accolades, we're all human and we're all bound to leave this Earth at some point.

This just gives us all the more reason to find our passion and to pursue it with everything we have. Life is too short to be spending your disposable income and hours of your life on a bunch of consumer crap that doesn't really improve your quality of life and only makes you a captive to a job that you don't particularly enjoy or find real meaning and value in as a human being.

Concluding Thoughts:

If Kobe's life taught us anything, you're the only one that can truly know what you are capable of. You should never let anyone tell you what you are capable of for that very reason.

However, your dreams will never come true unless you're willing to put in a sustained, maximal effort. When you want to accomplish your goals as badly as you want to breathe, you put yourself in a position to succeed.

Perhaps it's my age and my lack of having to endure such sudden and untimely deaths in my family, but it still seems a bit unreal that someone can be perfectly fine one day and so gracious as Kobe was in congratulating Lebron in passing him in career points, and be gone the next.

Kobe's passing really serves as a lesson in my case or a reminder to others that life here on Earth can end in a split second, so we really need to live each day like it's our last, because one day, it will be our last.


What life lessons did you learn from Kobe? What was your favorite moment in Kobe's basketball career?

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

January 2020 Dividend Stock Purchases

I just want to begin by saying that for all those who passed away in the helicopter crash on Sunday which led to Kobe Bryant's passing, they and their families remain in my thoughts and prayers. As I write this post, Kobe Bryant's passing from a couple days ago has sunk in and the healing process is still progressing for me.

As someone that has learned several valuable life lessons indirectly from Kobe over the years (probably deserving of its own post next week) and who deeply admired Kobe, this loss hits me pretty hard. I can only imagine the grief and sorrow that those closest to the victims of crash are experiencing at this time.

On a lighter note, the Milwaukee Bucks are a win away from at least securing a 0.500 season.. This is despite the fact that we are still over 2 weeks away from NBA All-Star Weekend and the season is barely half over!

With all that aside, since I don't anticipate any additional dividend stock purchases this month, I will be discussing my dividend stock purchases for January 2020 in this post.

Retirement Account Activity:

I entered this month with 87.442 shares of my mutual fund holding, Capital Income Builder (CAIBX). I ended the month with 91.109 shares of CAIBX as a result of the $244.00 in capital contributions to my retirement account between my employer and myself, of which $233.03 was invested after the sales charges shown above.

The 3.667 shares of CAIBX that were added this month boosted my annual forward dividends by $7.85, which equates to a 3.37% yield based on the $233.03 of net capital that was deployed during January in the retirement account.

Taxable Accounts Activity:

Transitioning to my Webull brokerage account, I added 4 shares to my position in Iron Mountain (IRM), bringing my total position to 8 shares.

The 4 shares of IRM added during the month of January at a total cost of $123.32 increased my annual forward dividends by $9.90, which is equivalent to an 8.02% yield on this block of shares.

I would refer interested readers to my recent Seeking Alpha article on IRM for a detailed explanation on my decision to double my position in the company.

Moving to the bulk of my activity during the month of January, the most recent activity in my Robinhood account was my purchase of 1 unit of Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) at a cost of $28.29, bringing my ownership to 28 units.

The $1.78 in annual forward distributions that were added as a result of this purchase work out to a 6.29% yield. I'm continuing to build upon my position in EPD because of the company's stable operating fundamentals and the steady distribution increases.

Prior to the purchase of EPD in my portfolio, I decided to add another share to my position in The GEO Group (GEO) at a cost of $15.37.

This brings my total position to 12 shares and added $1.92 in annual forward dividends to my portfolio income, which equates to an absurd yield of 12.49%.

I expect my article that provides rationale for this recent investment decision to be published on Seeking Alpha in the hours after I publish this blog post.

Simon Property Group (SPG) was a new position that I recently added to my portfolio, which I explained in a recent article on Seeking Alpha (please note the article is behind SA's paywall).

I initiated a 3 share position in SPG at a total cost of $435.24, which boosted my annual forward dividends by $25.20.

This works out to a yield of 5.79%, which is IMO a nice entry point for a company with the steady dividend growth of SPG and its stable operating fundamentals.

The last bit of activity in my Robinhood portfolio was when I decided to open a 2 share position in General Dynamics (GD) at a cost of $361.80.

When considering the $8.16 in annual forward dividends added by this purchase, my entry yield on this position is 2.26% (with a raise likely to be announced in March).

Like IRM and SPG, I recently explained the factors on Seeking Alpha (also behind the paywall now) that led me to initiate a position in GD.


Overall, my annual forward dividends/distributions were boosted by $55.53, from $873.51 entering this month to $923.03 to end this month (note annual forward dividends/distributions are off by $0.01 d/t rounding on the IRM position).

Of the $55.53 of annual forward dividends/distributions added this month, $54.81 came directly as a result of my investments during this month.

On the $1,197.05 of net capital deployed during the month, this represents a 4.58% yield, which is right around my target yield of 4.0-4.5%.

Dividend increases during January 2020 chipped in the remaining $0.72 that was added to my income during the month.


How was your January in terms of capital deployment? Did you add any new positions like I did via SPG and GD?

As always, thanks for reading and I welcome any comments that you leave below.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Expected Dividend Increases for February 2020

As I write this, the Green Bay Packers are a couple days removed from their 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. As I had indicated in my November 2019 Dividend Stock Purchases post last month and last year (it still feels a bit weird to think that 2019 was last year), I didn't believe the Packers would advance past the NFC Championship Game, and I was unfortunately proven correct.

On the upside, the Bucks are continuing to prove in my mind why they are the odds on favorite to win the NBA championship. The Bucks took care of business against the Chicago Bulls on MLK Day at Fiserv Forum just as everyone expected, winning 111-98. Milwaukee's net rating of 12.0 means the Bucks are on track to post the best net rating in history while also unsurprisingly being on pace for 71 wins this season (after an impressive 39-6 thus far), the latter of which would make them only the third team in NBA history to do so.

Aside from the typical sports talk, the intent of this blog post is to recap the dividend increases that I have received in January, and to also predict the dividend increases for next month.

Admittedly, I am writing this post on the very day that I plan to publish it because I made it a point to relax this weekend, and my OCD-like tendencies otherwise prohibit me from not publishing my 79th consecutive Tuesday blog post. A blog post on a Wednesday? No way!

Anyway, with that all out of the way, let's delve into the dividend increases that I have been fortunate enough to receive to date in the month of January and what I'm expecting for February!

Increase #1: Realty Income (O)

True to form, Realty Income (O) announced another predictable dividend increase during the month of January roughly in line with my prediction outlined in my previous post in the series. O increased its monthly dividend 2.2%, from $0.2275/share to $0.2325/share. With another 4 small raises likely to come this throughout the rest of this year, O offers dividend growth that exceeds inflation. It's both fortunate and unfortunate that the company is viewed as a safe haven by so many other individual and institutional investors because I'd love to buy more of this company, but the valuation has become too rich for my liking over the past number of months.

Across my 4 shares, O's new dividend announcement boosted my annual forward dividends by $0.24.

Increase #2: Enterprise Products Partners (EPD)

As yet another steady dividend (or distribution rather) grower in my portfolio, Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) didn't disappoint. EPD raised its quarterly distribution for the 62nd time, with its quarterly distribution increasing 0.6%, from $0.4425/unit to $0.4450/unit.

Given my 27 units of EPD at the time of the new distribution announcement, my annual forward distributions increased $0.27.

Increase #3: Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP)

As Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP) has done for the past couple of distribution increases, it has completely eluded my radar. I was about to write that I hadn't yet received an increase from MMP, but in a surprising twist, I just learned that the company increased its distribution today rather than the announcement later this week that I was expecting based upon previous distribution history.

Just as expected, MMP announced a 0.7% increase in its quarterly distribution, up from $1.0200/unit to $1.0275/unit.

Across the 7 units of MMP that I own, this distribution announcement padded my annual forward distributions by $0.21.

Expected Dividend Increases for February 2020

Expected Increase #1: Digital Realty Trust (DLR)

Given Digital Realty Trust's (DLR) past dividend increases, I am predicting that the company will announce a status-quoesque 6.5% increase in its quarterly dividend from $1.08/share to $1.15/share.

With my 3 shares, this would boost my annual forward dividend income by $0.84.

Expected Increase #2: PPL Corp (PPL)

Given the uncertain nature of what the outcome will be with Brexit and PPL Corp's (PPL) exposure to that market, I wouldn't be surprised if we see another dividend increase that is fairly similar to the one last year.
It's for that reason, I am predicting that PPL will announce a 1.2% increase in its dividend, taking the quarterly dividend from $0.4125/share to $0.4175/share.

Across my 8 shares of PPL, this would increase my annual forward dividends by $0.16.

Expected Increase #3: The Home Depot (HD)

While I don't expect The Home Depot (HD) to repeat its absolutely monstrous 32% increase in its quarterly dividend from last year, I am expecting the company to increase its quarterly dividend from $1.36/share to $1.56/share.

This would add $0.20 to my annual forward dividend income as a result of the single share that I own.

Expected Increase #4: Genuine Parts Company (GPC)

As a relatively predictable dividend growth company, I am expecting Genuine Parts Company (GPC) to continue its trend of increasing its quarterly dividend in the 5-7% range.
I believe GPC will increase its quarterly dividend 6.2% from $0.7625/share to $0.8100/share.

Assuming this occurs, my annual forward dividend income would increase by $0.57 across my 3 shares.

Expected Increase #5: Prudential Financial (PRU)

Even though Prudential Financial (PRU) could afford to increase its dividend a good bit more than its earnings growth, I'm expecting PRU's dividend growth to decelerate a slight bit compared to the 11.1% last year.

I'm predicting that PRU's quarterly dividend will be increased from $1.00/share to $1.09/share.

Given that I own 3 shares of PRU, this would boost my annual forward dividends by $1.08.

Expected Increase #6: Albemarle (ALB)

Albemarle (ALB) is another dividend growth company in my portfolio that I predict will deliver high-single digit to low-double digit dividend growth this year.

I'm expecting an 8.2% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.3675/share to $0.3975/share, which would result in an additional $0.60 in annual forward dividends for my portfolio given my 5 shares of ALB.

Expected Increase #7: Simon Property Group (SPG)

Given that Simon Property Group (SPG) has a recent history of increasing its quarterly dividend twice per year by $0.05 (late January to early February and late July to early August), I believe SPG will continue that trend in February.

A 2.4% increase in SPG's quarterly dividend from $2.10/share to $2.15/share would boost my annual forward dividends by $0.60.

Concluding Thoughts:

January may not have brought the most dividend/distribution increases in terms of volume or percentages, but it seems like the beginning month of every quarter brings with it a nice level of consistency pertaining to dividend and distribution increases.

All 3 companies that announced increases during January are among the most consistent in my portfolio, with quarterly dividend/distribution increases coming in at or near my estimates every time.

The $0.72 in annual forward dividend/distribution increases that I received during the month of January would require an investment of $18.00 at a 4% yield to replicate.

I expect to benefit from 7 dividend increases during the month of February, with 4 holdings expected to increase their dividends for the first time since I have initiated positions in them (DLR, PRU, ALB, and SPG).

Depending on the outcome of the dividend increases that I expect next month, February 2020 could go down as my new record in terms of the dollar amount of dividend increases in a single month!

For a comprehensive discussion that summarizes several of the reasons that steered me in the direction of dividend investing in the first place and how to eventually live off of dividends, I would refer interested readers to this post by Tom of Dividends Diversify.


How many dividend increases are you expecting for the month of February? Are you expecting any dividend increases for the first time since you initiated your new positions?

As always, thank you for taking the time to read the dividend increases that I received during the month of January and what dividend increases I am expecting to receive in February.

I look forward to any comments that you may leave in the comment section below.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

December 2019 Dividend Income

As I write this post, we're just a couple days away from entering into 2020! It really is unbelievable to think back on how fast this year passed us by. With that in mind, now is a great time for me to go into further details about the dividend income that my investments generated for me in the very last month of 2019.


During the month of December, I collected $91.63 in dividends (although I also received $50.24 in long-term capital gains from my mutual fund holding, which purchased almost an entire share of CAIBX by itself).

This represents a 30.9% quarterly growth rate compared to the $70.00 collected in September 2019, and an even more impressive 70.2% YOY growth rate compared to the $53.84 in dividends produced in December 2018.

Breaking it down further, I collected $32.37 in dividends for my Robinhood account during the month, $9.63 in dividends in my Webull account, $49.15 in dividends in my retirement account, and the remaining $0.48 came from 24 companies of the 49 companies held in my M1 Finance account.

The $21.63 in additional dividends collected in December compared to September were as a result of the following developments by account:


Adjusting for Pepsi's dividend that was paid in September and the next that will be paid in January, there was no dividend growth in any of the companies that paid dividends in my Robinhood account during the month of December. Because Pepsi doesn't pay a dividend in December, this was responsible for the $1.91 decrease in dividend income originating from the Robinhood account that will be made up for in January.


The entirety of the $9.63 collected in my Webull account during December came as a result of the dividend stock purchases that I made in October, when I added a share of UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Prudential (PRU), Visa (V), Wells Fargo (WFC), and Lockheed Martin (LMT).


The $42.01 in regular dividends that I received from my retirement account mutual fund holding, CAIBX, represented a $6.77 increase compared to September. The other component that led to higher dividend income in December compared to September was the $7.14 in special dividends that I collected from CAIBX as a result of the end of year dividend being larger than all the preceding dividends.

All told, I received an additional $13.91 from the retirement account compared to September.

Concluding Thoughts:

I'm relatively pleased with the month of December and it was a great way to close out the year, although I came up a bit short of the $100+ in dividend income that I was expecting for the month.

This was as a result of CAIBX's special dividend being a bit less than I thought it would be and less than it was last year. Had the special dividend been maintained compared to last year at $0.14/share rather than the $0.085 this year, my dividend income would have came much closer to the $100 mark.

Fortunately, I am confident that I will be able to finally break the $100 mark in March due to continued contributions to my retirement account, anticipated investment in my taxable accounts, and dividend increases to help boost my dividend income over that milestone.


How was your December in terms of dividend income? Did you have any new dividend payers in your portfolio during the month as I did?

Thank you for reading and I look forward to replying to any comments that you may leave below in the comments section.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

December 2019 Dividend Stock Purchases

We've officially ushered in the New Year and the Milwaukee Bucks had quite a nail biter against a shorthanded (without Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins), but scrappy Timberwolves team last Wednesday!

Fortunately, they sent the fans at Fiserv Forum home with a 104-102 win to ring in the New Year with style. You won't catch me complaining about blowout wins for the Bucks, but it's the close wins like this one that prepare a team for success in the postseason.

Aside from the Bucks' win on Wednesday, a new month and a new year mean that it's time for us to examine the dividend stock purchases that I made to close out 2019!

Similar to last month's dividend stock purchases, the month kicked off with a purchase of another unit of Energy Transfer (ET) in my Robinhood account. I would add another unit to my ET holdings on two more occasions in my Robinhood account, and once in my Webull account.

The 4 units of ET that I ended up adding in December came at an average cost of $12.47/unit. Factoring in the current distribution of $1.22/unit, this equates to a 9.78% yield on this block of units. These purchases boosted my annual forward distributions by $4.88.

The next purchase that I made was Digital Realty Trust (DLR) in my Robinhood account, which I purchased 3 shares of at an average cost of $114.00 a share.

Given the annualized dividend of $4.32/share, my entry yield is 3.79% on this purchase. The great news is that DLR's dividend is also likely to be increased 6-7% next month, which will provide a nice boost in my annual forward dividends without having to wait too long after my purchase.

For those that are interested in a further explanation for my decision to initiate a position in DLR, I recently wrote an SA article on the company. This purchase added $12.96 to my annual forward dividends.

My final purchase in my taxable accounts came in my Webull account, when I purchased 1 share of Broadcom (AVGO) at a cost of $321.20.

AVGO's past few dividend increases really caught my attention and put the company on my radar. When I coupled the 4.05% starting yield on my purchase with the 13.3% annual earnings growth that Yahoo Finance expects over the next 5 years, it became clear that for those willing to stomach the volatility of AVGO's shares, this company is likely to continue delivering impressive dividend increases in the years ahead to really ramp up my yield on cost.

The purchase of AVGO boosted my annual forward dividends by $13.00, having purchased my share shortly after the news of the 22.6% dividend increase.

The final bit of activity came within my retirement account, where I invested $345.10 (including my employer's 3% match and the dividends/capital gains received during the month).

Accounting for the 4.5% sales charge, these contributions and the $49.15 in dividends/$50.24 in long-term capital gains collected from the CAIBX position, increased my holdings of CAIBX from 82.332 shares at the beginning of the month to 87.442 shares at the end of the month.

The 3.694 shares of CAIBX that were added as a result of capital contributions boosted my annual forward dividends by $7.91 while the 1.416 shares of CAIBX that were added as a result of dividends/long-term capital gains added the remaining $3.03 in annual forward dividends, for a total of $10.94 of additional annual forward dividends. This equates to an average yield of 3.17%.

Concluding Thoughts:

December was a somewhat light month compared to the past few months of capital deployment in the taxable accounts. I deployed $713.07 in capital within my taxable accounts during the month of December, while I also deployed $345.10 in capital within my retirement account, for total capital deployment of $1,058.17 during December.

The $41.78 in annual forward dividends/distributions added during the month equates to a 3.95% yield on the capital that I invested, which is right around my target of 4-4.5%.

Entering the month of December, my annual forward dividends/distributions were at $828.92 and ended the month at $873.51.

The $2.808 of dividend increases in terms of annual forward dividends/distributions accounted for the remainder of the income that was added during the month.

I ended 2019 with 45 whole share stock holdings, 23 unique fractional share holdings in my M1 Finance portfolio, and a mutual fund holding. Given that my only monthly dividend payer is Realty Income (O) and all my other holdings pay quarterly dividends, that equates to 284 payments throughout the course of the year heading into 2020 alone!


What are your annual forward dividends/distributions heading into 2020? Were you able to add any new positions to your portfolio as I was able to with the purchases of DLR and AVGO?

As always, thanks for reading my summary of dividend purchases during the month of December 2019. I look forward to reading and replying to any comments that you are welcome to leave in the comment section below!