Happy New Year everyone! 2014 is officially in the books and we turn the page to a new, exciting year. 2015 will be the year of major moves, as we all continue to build on our success and grow our passive income. You know that dividend income we all received this year, we will receive more this year just from the power of DRIP and increasing dividends (See the impact of dividend growth on your portfolio). Since the year is over, I wanted to take one final look at the dividend income I received in 2014 and review my December 2014 totals. I have a surprise in store for everyone, possibly a new dividend record for me! So let’s begin.
Dividend Income Summary
All, I am excited to report that his has been the most successful month of dividend income of my life! Many more are going to follow, which is why I am so excited. This month, I received $1,103 in dividend income. No, that is not a typo. I received over a thousand dollars of dividend income this month. Holy smokes, I still can’t believe it. Before December, my largest dividend month was June with $205 in dividends received, so I blew my past record out of the water! With this record breaking month, my final dividends received in 2014 tally increased to $2,241! Which is funny, because December accounted for 48% of this total.
Before, I dive into the details of my month, there is one other thing worth noting. For the first time, I have defeated Lanny in my internal dividend income competition. I have been waiting for this moment for quite some time. Month after month, I would read his dividend income summary and sigh because he received, double or triple the dividend income I did. Which makes sense, considering the size of his portfolio is significantly larger than mine. So I have been patiently waiting for the day I would defeat him. And now, I can proudly boast about it in this article. Since this may only happen once every year if I am lucky, I have to use this opportunity to brag! So Lanny, last time I checked, $1,103 > $952!
Now that I got that out of my system, it is time to dive into the detail.
Dividend Income- December
Below is my schedule of dividends received for the month. Take one look at the table and you will easily be able to figure out how I was able to cross $1,000 this month:
December is a great month because it is the month that mutual funds pay out their capital gains distributions. I checked every day to see if my funds announced their distribution because I had a hunch that this was going to be a crazy month. And boy I was not disappointed! My largest fund, VWNAX, is the fund that I selected in my employers Roth 401(k) plan. VWNAX is a large-cap, value fund that has an SEC yield of over 2% and pays a dividend semi-annually. This month, the fund announced a capital gain distribution of $4.63/share! I called Lanny immediately, especially considering that I owned over 120 shares at the time, because I was so excited. As you can see in the table above, that had quite the impact on my income this month. I know a capital gain distribution is not technically a dividend, but since I selected the DRIP option and I received new shares as a result, it is considered a dividend in my eyes. Let me know if you account for this differently. In addition to VWNAX, I had several other funds pay out a capital gains distribution as well; however, while they provided a solid increase to my dividend income, they did not pack the same punch as VWNAX. At the end of the day, mutual funds accounted for $966 of my December dividend income (Lanny chiming in here — if you take away his funds, Bertie only received $137 in dividends outside of funds, step it up young buck). I know going forward I cannot always expect this kind of December since capital gain distributions are subjective and dependent on the fund’s annual performance. Regardless, I will take advantage of the great times now and use the distributions to continue to grow my retirement portfolio’s foundation.
Outside of mutual funds, I received the standard quarterly dividends from the usual stocks in my portfolio. Of all the purchases I made over the last couple of months (IBM, CM, etc.), I either missed the ex-dividend and therefore, the December dividend, or they are set to pay their dividend in a different month in the quarter. I know I always discuss it in my monthly article, but the table above clearly shows the power of dividend re-investing. The dividend increase above for BP, Shell, etc. is due solely to dividends received on the additional shares received from the previous quarter’s dividend. So outside of capital gains distributions from mutual funds, this was a pretty boring month for dividend income. But in this community, boring = great!
As I type this post, I am still in disbelief. I knew December would be a great month and I knew I was going to set a record. But I was never expecting this kind of a month. Receiving over a thousand dollars in dividends further justifies all the hard work, research, and hours invested in finding the best fitting dividend growth stock for our portfolio investing that we as a community have been doing. I have found a new passion over the years, and I couldn’t be happier that the passion has been investing in quality income producing assets. A month like this shows the potential long-term fruits of our labor. I know I have been going on a lot philosophical rants recently (I guess I have been around Lanny too much), but after reviewing my portfolio and analyzing my dividend income, I am just so excited about my progress over the year. Everyone, we need to keep at it, keep pushing ourselves, and work as hard as we can to get the dividend snowball rolling!
Thanks everyone for following along in 2014. Cheers to a great 2015 and beyond! How did you perform this month? Did you break your dividend record this month? How did you benefit from your mututal funds’ capital gains distributions? Did anyone else crush Lanny in dividend income this month? If so, let’s hear about it!