Crossing $3,000 in Projected Dividend Income

What a journey it has been so far.   Last week, after a sudden drop in earnings, Target’s price fell and I swooped up an additional 30 shares of the major retailer.  Now, I own 80 freaking shares and couldn’t be happier.  But the good great news didn’t stop there.  No, that investment also put me over a milestone that I have been eyeing for a few months now.    This last purchased pushed my forward dividend income over the $3,000 mark and you know what, there is no turning back now.   How did I get to this point?  Let’s take a look!

crushing it

The last time I crossed a thousands milestone was in May 2015, when I surpassed $2,000 in projected dividend income.    Ironically, the stock purchase that pushed me over the $2,000 mark was Citizens and Northern Bank, yes that is the same bank that Lanny purchased last week,  Looks like the two of us are going to be in an arms race to see who has a larger position.  Challenge freaking accepted Lanny.   Woah, I just got off track there.   So in 15 months, I was able to add another $1,000 in forward income via dividend reinvestment, stock purchases, and good old-fashioned dividend increases.    I don’t want to sit here and go through every…single….purchase I have made over the last 15 months; that would be extremely boring.  Instead, I want to summarize some of the observations about the change in my portfolio during this time stretch.   Most will be good, but of course there will be some bad.

First, with the bad.  I want to get the bad stuff out-of-the-way first so I can end on a positive note.    I was progressing along great last year and my dividend income was beginning to take off.   Then we all remember what happened last November, right?  KMI, the darling of the dividend community at the time, slashed their dividend 75% in 2015.  How could anyone who was impacted by the cut forget that day?   Owning ~100 shares at the time, that was quite a step back in the journey.   KMI is now a stronger company because of it and trust me, I would take long-term dividend security over day over a short-term high dividend.     But  man did it suck losing $100+ in annual dividend income in one day.  Lesson learned, that’s for sure…and now I consider debt levels and I even ran a screener focusing on companies with lower debt to equity ratios.  The other negative factor is something all of us have been dealing with in the dividend growth investor community.  This year, compared to the last several, dividend growth rates for a large amount of companies has slowed.  So not only was my income getting slashed by one of my companies, but the forward income levels for my other positions weren’t growing as quickly in the past.  Some interesting headwinds I faced in the last 15 months, but luckily, the upcoming good events helped me prevail!

And now to the fun part.  After reviewing a crazy 15 months (Heck, I got married in the last 15 months!!),  there were a few things that jumped out at me as major contributors to crossing $3,000 in income.  First, the most obvious, I have invested a larger than expected amount of capital since May 2015.  My “no kidding” moment of this article because it is pretty obvious that if you invest in more dividend paying stocks your dividend income is going to increase.  In the last 15 months, I have invested $28,505 in the market, and that doesn’t even factor in my semi-monthly 401k match that is used to purchase a Vanguard Index Fund yielding over 2%.   This also parlays very well with my second point.  If you all remember, last year Lanny wrote and article and sold me on the concept of purchasing stocks in large amounts (ideally over $3,000 per purchase).   When the funds are available, I absolutely try to buy in large amounts because I love the large/powerful DRIP that I will receive quarterly.  Plus, not intentionally, my last few large stock purchases have  been higher yielding stocks (Pfizer, Citizens and Northern, T.Rowe Price and Target) and this has certainly helped.  For example, I now own over 200 shares of Citizens and Northern, the bank Lanny purchased last week. With each dividend, I will receive 2+ shares via DRIP, which then produces an additional  $3 in forward dividend income.  Is this  the largest means of growing your forward dividend income…no.  But man do the large DRIPs help accelerate this cycle in my opinion and after a while, those large DRIPs really begin to add up.  Last buy not least, I received my employer’s 401k match a few months ago.  Free dividend income right there, and this added over $20 in forward dividend income without lifting a finger.

So now what?  Where do I go from here now that I have crossed $3,000 in forward income.  Time to put the pedal to the metal here and keep on accelerating.  Lanny is over $7,000, so I have to work my tail off to try to catch him.   Seriously though, I still have some progress to reach some of my 2016 investing goals.  By the end of the year, I want to cross $3,250 in forward dividend income and invest over $20,000 in “New Capital.”  Currently, after crossing this milestone, I am sitting at $3,033 and $10,025, respectively.   Time to roll up my sleeves and get to it!

I am a true believer in the “Every Dollar Counts” mentality.   Folks, the results are real here.   I started  dividend investing in 2012 with $0 in dividend income and in less than 4 years my income has grown to over $3,000.  The only way to get to where we want to go is by finding a way to scrape, claw, and get every dollar we can to help increase our passive income streams.  Man I can’t wait to hit financial freedom, but for now, I have my eyes set on crossing $4,000 in forward income.  I’m challenging myself to get there in half the time it took me to increase my income this time around (15 months).  So here it is, I am aiming to crush $4,000 in dividend income in 7.5 months, or by the middle of April 2017.  How ironic is it is that it is right around tax day?  Couldn’t be more appropriate for a CPA.  Thanks for joining me on this amazing ride everyone!





39 thoughts on “Crossing $3,000 in Projected Dividend Income

  1. That is awesome! $3,000 is a solid number. Most months our expsenses are less than 3k and that’s with 5 kids! =) We track out net worth twice a year, but really keep an eye on our passive income. We aren’t saving this year, because we are taking a year off of work, but I am excited to jump back in next year!

    • Ms. Montana,

      Thank you very much. One day, I’ll get to the point where it is $3,000 monthly. By the way, keeping your expenses under $3k with 5 kids is AMAZING. Wow, you’ll have to share some tips with us. I’m jealous you are taking a year off work. I’ll have to stop by your website and read about your story/journey. Ready to take next year by storm???


  2. Keep it up Bert. Congrats on the milestone bro. Keep at it and celebrate each and everyone one.
    1 goal at a time and before you know it, you’ll reach your dream.
    Thanks for sharing and happy for you and the mrs. Cheers bro.

    • HUSTLER!! Thank you very much. So kind of you. One day, one investment at a time. Just keep the ball moving forward. It is a marathon, not a race. So why try to do everything at once and jeopardize the long game. Soon I’ll be blowing past you (haha kidding, kidding).


  3. Awesome work Bert! Every 1000 is a 1000 closer to freedom and not to mention quicker compounding! Glad you took the time to celebrate this achievement and look forward to you destroying your goals!

    • Stefan,

      Thank you so much. You I can’t wait to see the impact of quicker compounding. It should really set in during the last quarter of the year. And yeah, plenty of time to celebrate. The lady and I have sipped on a few glasses of wine to celebrate haha I’m ready to crush these freaking goals and knock them out of the park. TEDDY FREAKING WILLIAMS KNOCKS IT OUT OF THE PARK (Name the movie that quote is from. One of my favorites).

      As always, thanks for stopping by.


      • Inglorious Basterds for the quote – Eli Roth is one of my favorite actor/directors. Also congrats on the 3K. I’m looking forward to the 2K mark, but probably won’t hit it until early 2017.

        • haha yes! I love that movie…classic. Congrats on the approaching $2,000 as well. Hopefully we can knock it this milestone at the same time. Man it is awesome seeing and hitting those milestones. One step and one investment at a time.


  4. YOU DA MAN !!!!
    Congrats on hitting another big round number.
    2 wishes –
    1.Wish it had been one of my daughters you’d married. 2 of my 3 sons in law have bought and drank the union kool-aid, that the union pension will take care of them.(Just hope I can teach them something before they get part of my life’s work at some point, hopefully very distant future)
    2. Wish someone had told me what you were fortunate to learn at an earlier age than I, back when I was your age. I even worked for 2 of the major Wall Street firms, but they did not teach gradually building up a portfolio, but to trade your way to the top. HA HA HA !
    Keep up the great work.

    • hahah Boyd thank you so much. Gave me a good laugh reading this comment (my wife….not so much. Kidding!). I’m sure your preaching will break through eventually, time will play its course. I am very lucky that I have been able to get started at such a young age. It is all about getting the ball in motion at an early age to set the table for a strong future and a nice journey through financial freedom. And I don’t think there are too many Wall Street firms that preach long-term dividend growth investing. ou may need to go to Omaha for that teaching philosophy.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully we will continue to see you around!


    • Thank you Doug. I hope you are right. The compounding will be larger and produce income faster; however, I will still have to put in a lot of capital. We shall see, but I am gunning for it. April 2017 is circled on my calendar!


  5. Awesome job Bert, when you think about it – $3,000 is a big amount of income, you’re doing fantastically well! And the great thing is, each $1,000 should get easier and easier as your income increases. Good luck for $4,000!


    • Tristan,

      Thanks! You are right, $3,000 is huge and it definitely adds a nice amount to my income. No complaints here and I am blessed to have the ball rolling like this. You hit it on the head, each $1,00 comes faster because of the compounding and the impact of each dividend increase on your portfolio. Plus, I really want that $4k, so I’m going to be pushing even harder to hit that mark and get as much in the market as possible.


  6. Congrats on crossing the $3k threshold. I still remember the KMI cut ;-(, but I’m not too worried about the stock. I just sold a put yesterday. Maybe I’ll get more shares at a discount. Keep up the great work Bert.

    • TDM,

      Congrats! It isn’t even September yet and you are approaching your goal. Any way you think you can sneak to $1,000 by the end of December? Excited for you. Hopefully I can get to $4,000 before the tax deadline. That would be sweet.


  7. Congrats on the milestone! It’s so cool that you were able to get there in 15 months. I’ve read some talk that Dividend Investors are worrying that there will be a downshift in growth in the next few years. Do you think the naysayers are right?

    • ZJ,

      Thank you very much. Dividend growth rates has definitely slowed down over the last few years, that’s for sure. I don’t know, I wish I did. But that’s why we look for companies that have a long-term history of paying a dividend and increasing it along the way. Sure there will be periods of boom dividend growth rates and there will be slow periods when there is a slowdown in the broader economy. However, over the long run, the cash flow will find a way to consistently grow. I don’t know if that answers your question directly, but that is how I am thinking about the question you asked.


  8. Congratulations Bert. That is a great milestone to achieve. It is always such a nice feeling when we are able to achieve our goals. I hope that all has been going well. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks MD! Much appreciated. You are absolutely right, the feeling of crossing the goal is amazing and usually results in a nice cold beer to celebrate haha That’s the fun part about setting goals, especially challenging ones. The feeling of satisfaction that comes along with knocking out that goal is pretty freaking sweet. Hope all is going well with you as well!


  9. Hi Bert,
    It’s great to read a recap of the last year and some of the lessons learned / changes made in your investing strategy. Congrats on beating your milestone and am looking forward to reading about the next milestone you break!
    Best wishes,

    • DL,

      Thank you very much! Looking forward to what the next stage of the journey is going to bring me as well. One of the things I love about investing is that you are always learning. Just when you think you know it all, the game somehow changes on you. Honestly, thinking you know everything is a first class ticket to losing some money and getting bit.


  10. Congrats on crossing $3k in forward dividends! That’s awesome stuff. Every extra dollar of dividends will push your snowball just a little bit harder for you.

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