Bert’s September Dividend Income Summary

Is it just me or is 2017 flying by??  I cannot believe that the third quarter came to a close!  This third quarter was an exciting one for my wife and I and I think we spent nearly every free minute we had together fixing our new house, painting walls, packing (and then unpacking), and finally settling into our first home.  It was a stressful process for sure, but man I am excited that it is over.  I’ve been looking forward to reporting my dividend income for September because let’s be honest, who doesn’t like reporting their income in the final month of a quarter when their mutual funds pay dividends?   Now it is time to check out my September dividend income report. dividend income

september dividend income summary

In September, I received $748.83 in dividend income from 27 different companies/mutual funds.  This was a 96.77% increase from September 2016.  Of course, this is the first year I am including my wife’s dividend income in my monthly summary; so the results are slightly skewed since I only reported my income in 2016.  To combat that, I also calculate my own individual dividend income growth rate to see how much my personal income stream has grown during the year.  Even without my wife’s dividend income, I was able to post a 42.28% increase compared to 2016.  The chart below provides a detailed summary of the companies and mutual funds that paid us a dividend in September:

Here are some of my highlights and observations from the month:

  • Lanny wrote about his tax strategy and how he is focused on taking advantage of every legal tax incentive possible.  I have followed suit and have since increased my traditional 401(k) contributions and HSA contributions.  My increased contributions are invested in low-cost Vanguard mutual funds (VINIX and TSMX).  While I do not think I am going to fully maximize my 401(k) contributions this year due to the fact that we were hoarding cash in the first part of the year for our house purchase, the impact of this strategy is really starting to be felt. My dividend income from VINIX (401k mutual fund) has tripled over the last twelve months and I received $10 from VTSMX (HSA investment account) compared to $0 last year .  I’m really liking this strategy and I cannot wait to maximize this benefit in 2018!
  • This was the first dividend I received from one of my recent purchases, Kroger.   It is always nice to receive a dividend for the first time from one of your investments.  Now the fun begins and I may even look to add to my stake as the current price has fallen below my purchase price.
  • I continue to have to explain how KHC changed the month they paid their dividend during the year.  It has come up nearly every month so far in 2017.  While it looks like I received a new dividend from KHC, the large increase in the chart above is simply a timing difference.
  • I’m so excited to see how well my wife is doing in terms of dividend income.  Sure, this isn’t the first year she received dividends (rather, it is just the first year I have reported them).  But I have enjoyed monitoring her portfolio, showing her the results, and getting excited about our future early retirement with her.

My Debt Payment Coverage Ratio

One of my favorite aspects of Lanny’s dividend income report is how he compares his monthly dividend income total to his average monthly housing expenses.   It is amazing that Lanny was able to cover over 100% of his housing expenses (including utilities) in September.   I’m going to use Lanny’s report as inspiration for this new section in my monthly dividend income report.  Last month I wrote an article about how I am fed up with debt and I want to begin aggressively paying down my debt.   I’m tired of seeing such a large portion of my monthly income to banks and other financial institutions and have a plan in place to aggressively pay off my wife’s student loan debt.  If I want to retire early, I am going to have to have my income stream cover my monthly expenses, right?

In the article, I mentioned that my current monthly principal and interest payments are $1,975.54.   My September dividend income of $748.43 would cover only 38% of my monthly debt payments.  Man, looks like I have some work to do.  Time to become even more aggressive with my side hustling so that I can allocate every extra dollar I can to pay off some of my debt, reduce my monthly outflows, and begin drastically increasing that coverage ratio.  One step at a time!


Despite the fact I can only cover 38% of my monthly debt payments with my September dividend income, I cannot help but smile, encouraged, and motivated by the results this month.  How could I not be?  Twelve months may have flown by, but this review has reminded me of how much hard word Lanny, myself, and all of you have put in and how much progress we have been able to make in this short period of time.   We say it all the time, but I am believing it as much now as I ever have.  Every dollar counts and can make a huge difference in our journey towards financial freedom.  Every dollar we can invest turns a cash outflow into an income producing asset that continues to grow with each re-invested dividend.  Man I cannot wait to start diving into all of your dividend income summaries to see your results and progress over the last year!

How did you perform in September?  Were you able to set a new record?  What percentage of your debt payments did your September dividend income cover?   What moves are you planning on making in the fourth quarter to continue to grow your dividend income?


50 thoughts on “Bert’s September Dividend Income Summary

  1. Hell of an increase Bert!
    Even without having your wife’s funds, the 42% gain is incredible. Especially considering all of the changes you are going thru financially.
    Congrats on the great results and keep chugging! Both of you guys have come a long way over the past year and I look forward to continue watching your progress.

    • ADD,

      Thank you very much! It has been a long year that’s for sure and my balance sheet has been turned upside down, that’s for sure. I’m just happy to see great results again. It has been a blast following your journey as well and seeing you and others in the community just crush it!


  2. Hey Bert,

    Congrats! Again and again:-)…that are great results for September, i like the 42% year over year increase. The power of DividendGrowthInesting and the concept of “every dollar counts”. Won’t be long and you hit 1k for a month…
    My Sep was a record for this month with 483$ of dividend income and 24% yoy increase. – And a few minutes ago i made two new purchases :-)…PEP and Welltower. The blog post will follow. After my amazing trip to NewYork City (which cost a few bucks) i’m back into saving mode…

    Keep it up!

    • Dividend Solutions,

      Thank you so much! I’m doing whatever I can to now make every dollar count more after seeing these results. I’m pumped about the increase and I know I can continue to do better in the months and years to come. Results like these just continue to motivate me and push me forward.

      Congrats on the increase as well for you. Nothing is better than setting a new record and seeing the real results of all the hard work you have been putting in. Look, with everything you’ve done, you were still able to post awesome results and enjoy a nice trip to NYC. That’s what frugal living is all about.


  3. Hi Bert, great results and again amazing growth. I must be on repeat because this seems to happen every month! Hard work pays off.

    I’ll be posting my results shortly!

  4. Awesome job. With or without your wife’s numbers both those numbers rock. You almost have a dividend a day coming in which in itself is awesome. Keep it up.

  5. Great job Bert!
    Nice to see a couple Vanguard Funds included in the mix. Probably like you, I’m a stock picker at heart. But, it can be good to have a couple low cost funds mixed in for the auto pilot diversification they provide. Just guessing that you might hold them in you and your wife’s retirement accounts.

    • Gremlin,

      Thank you so much. I’m very fortunate to have a wife that helps me out and is supportive. We have our little money/spending tussles, that’s for sure. But overall she is frugal minded and is supportive. Do you have Fidelity or Vanguard funds in your 401k that you are adding to? What was your growth rate from funds during the month? I am looking forward to continuing to pump the funds and seeing my quarterly distributions increase.


      • Bert,
        In my 401k I have 3 funds – they are all run by State Street, though my 401k is through Voya. The 3 funds are all low fee (0.05% ish). One tracks the S&P 500, and the other two are based on the Russell 2000 – one being a dividend value and the other a growth. I break the money up 50, 30, and 20%, respectively. The growth rate has been fairly spectacular across all 3, averaging a few % points a month it seems lately.
        As far as my wife’s stuff, its all state run, so we have no access to how it grows, its more like a locked pension system that shows a balance. Its not nearly as fast growing or nifty as mine.
        Clearly you don’t need to be told to take advantage of the 401!
        – Gremlin

  6. Congrats on a great month Bert! 🙂 Great gains compared to last year as well. I managed to crack the $8000 mark in forward dividend income, so I am quite happy about that. Looks like it was a good September all around. 🙂 Congrats again!

    • MDD,

      First off. CONGRATS ON CROSSING $8,000 in forward income. That is freaking amazing and I cannot wait to swing by and read your report. I would be ecstatic with crossing that milestone! Thank you so much by the way 🙂


  7. That’s another solid month for you Bert with huge double digit increases from last year. I really like the comparison between your dividend income and the amount of your monthly expense (in this case housing) that it can cover. Doing so helps put things in perspective and is sort of a motivator to keep that dividend snowball going.

    • Dividend Portfolio,

      Thank you so much. It was a great month indeed. This was the first time I have done the comparison and I look forward to doing it on a monthly basis. It gives me a great goal to shoot for and a new goal to aim for. After all, I want to keep on creeping closer and closer to the 100% mark, right?


  8. Awesome job Bert. Almost 100% YoY, even with including your wife, is definitely some significant growth. Keep it up! SEP was great for me as well.
    -Passive Income Dude

  9. As you shift yiur focus towards your debts I still hope you focus in your investments as well. Im not excussing mortgage debt as a good thing but money not in the market is opportunity money lost more income on it then you’d be paying on a mortgage. Plus it’s tax deductible.

    • Diligent,

      Of course, I’m not going to leave my investments behind. As I mentioned in my debt payoff article, I plan on maximizing my 401k and HSA contributions next year. That way, I will know that I am automating and still pumping up my investment portfolio while taking advantage of the tax breaks. Then, I’ll use excess cash to work on paying down debt and adding to individual investments here or there. I agree 100% with your comment and don’t want to become too singularly focused on one that I forget about the other.

      Thanks for the comment.


  10. Awesome results, as usual, Bert! Nice bumps up for TGT and TROW, too. I see your Wife’s Funds top the list… you’d better get to work if you want to reclaim the top spot! Now let’s go make Q4 a record setter…

    • Thanks Engineering! You’re right, I have some catching up to do. My wife earned that spot fair and square. But I am determined to best her one of these months! Keep pushing me and getting on my case when I am not haha


  11. That’s an amazing increase, Bert! It’s unbelievable that you also managed to purchase a house while increasing your dividend income at the same time 😀
    My dividend income was only ~$6 but the good part is that I don’t have any debt to cover 😀
    Keep it up!

    • BI,

      Thanks you very much. First, kudos to you for having a greater debt payment coverage ratio than me! That is awesome that you do not have any debt. What’s funny is that I haven’t thought of it like that. In the heat of it, I lost site of the fact tha my dividends were working behind the scenes for me while I was busy working on my place.

      Thanks for the great comment.


  12. That is a huge month. Nice work! Big growth numbers too. Can’t beat seeing almost 100% increase from the prior year. Even 50% from just your own investments is a great accomplishment. Still waiting to post my dividends next week. I was pennies shy of triple digits for the month. Slow and steady, getting there. Great job this month.

    • Thanks Dividend Daze. I appreciate the support. The great news is that you are going to crush $100 dollars in December because of the re-invested dividends from your September. Cannot wait to swing by and view your report when it is available.

      Take care,


  13. 96% or 42%, either are outstanding results and really serve to illustrate how much hard work you’ve put into saving this year. Awesome work, congrats!

  14. Bert,

    That’s an awesome increase even without the wife’s piece of the puzzle. Having more than 1/3rd of your debt covered is pretty awesome and that number is sure to improve next September!

  15. Bert,

    your numbers look great! With or without wife. I brought in over 500 aussie Dollar last month which means a YOY growth of 88 percent. I never did the math on how much of my expenses I could actually cover with that, maybe I give that a try in the future.

    • Martin,

      Thank you very much! Congrats on the great month on your end and I’m excited to swing by check out your results as well. This was the first month I added the debt coverage ratio and I enjoyed doing it. It is a fun exercise that I would recommend.

  16. This looks like a great month Bert. Passive income is a beautiful thing. Even when were not able to contribute as much as we would like, the dividends will continue working for us. Good job Bert. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing!

  17. Very nice Bert, the machine working flawlessly is just a beautiful thing to watch to just see money growing literally on “trees”. The YoY over increase is where progress is happening. Keep it up. 🙂


  18. These are motivating results indeed. I think it’s amazing that you can cover a healthy amount of your monthly expenses with your dividend income. Just imagine when you cross the 50% mark and know that half of your monthly expenses are covered via dividends. Every step closer to that 100%+ goal means less pressure to remain at your traditional job. I think you are well on your way with or without reporting your combined passive income. Growth is in the air and that’s what counts. Keep up the encouraging work for others to see. Your year over year gains are quite amazing.

    • Thank you very much Divhut! I know, I cannot wait to hit the 50% figure and I cannot even imagine crossing the 100% threshold. I appreciate the support and the kind words. You and everyone else are huge sources of motivation for me to keep on pushing and grinding.

      Take care,


  19. Love the steady progress Bert! Almost 50% increase YoY and very good to have your wife on board with you in saving for an early breakout from work. Like you say, ‘every dollar counts’ – that has been ringing in my head often lately!

    • Thanks you very much! I’m so lucky to have my wife on board and it makes this journey that much more fun. Hopefully we will be able to replicate these great results in the fourth quarter and through 2018.

      Take care.


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