Happy New Year and Happy Holidays to all (though it’s a bit late)! December dividends did not disappoint, per usual. The market went up significantly 2019, making it harder to find dividend stocks to purchase. However, dividends continue to pour in. Without further-ado, time to jump into my December Dividend Income results!
Dividend Income is the fruit of the labors for all investments being made. Further, Dividend Income is my primary vehicle on my road to Financial Freedom, which you can see through my Dividend Income and my Dividend Portfolio.
I am adding to my Dividend Income with each Dividend Stock Purchase. How do I research & screen for dividend stocks prior to making a purchase? I usually put the stocks through our Dividend Diplomat Stock Screener and trade on Ally’s investment platform (one of our Financial Freedom Products).
I also automatically max out, pre-tax, my 401k through work and my Health Savings Account. This allows me to save a TON of money come tax time (aka thousands), which allows me to invest even more. In addition, all dividends I receive are automatically being reinvested back into the company that paid the dividend. This helps take the emotion out of timing & making a decision.
Lastly, Dividend Increases add quite a bang to the portfolio, as well. As you saw from my recent post in October, dividend increases added almost $330+ for the year through September! I will update this again, at the next quarter-end (middle January), to show you how critical this can be for YOUR portfolio.
During December, we (my wife and I) received a total of $5,459.80 of dividend income. There are NO words for this month. Speechless. Wow. Wow. As you’ll see, majority of this is within retirement accounts. We are so fortunate. Each month, luckily, I have been able to have a record month in and to finish 2019, each beating the prior year’s comparable month. Further, this is also the third month where I am showing our combined Dividend Income and she surely packed a nice punch : )
Here is the breakdown of dividend income for the month of December!
Target (TGT), when combined with my wife’s dividend, came in with the gold trophy at $112+ in dividends collected. My legacy Lockheed Martin (LMT) investment came in heavy, almost at $92. Shell (RDS), one of my watch list stocks, also was right there with over $70. That’s on the taxable side. Now, as you can see, Vanguard (Who and What is Vanguard) killed it for us – we both own VINIX and she also has VIIIX. In total, we received $3,184.24 from Vanguard funds in our retirement accounts!
Here, it shows that we received a total of $3,963.39 (up from $1,759.32 last year) or 73% of our income stemmed from retirement accounts and the other 27% was from the individual taxable portfolio. This % allocation increased substantially, due to a few reasons. First, my wife also has significant retirement dividend income that was added. Second, dividends on the mutual funds and ETFs were much higher than anticipated (not complaining, though!).
Dividend Income Year over Year Comparison
A dividend increase, year over year, of $1,940.74 (when including my wife’s dividend of $861.67 last year in December with my $2,657.39)… This is a solid 35.5% growth rate from prior year. I cannot believe it, but I know it’s true. In the words of Kurt Angle, “It’s Damn True”. First, as you have seen from my $500,000 milestone article, we have been steadily investing consistently over the last 3 years.
Obviously this growth cannot even have a discussion without mentioning the 401k dividends, as they were massive this year. We had > $3K in Vanguard mutual fund dividends, which was incredibly higher than last year. However, T. Rowe’s PRFDX was substantially lower, as you can see above.
So many new investments, such as LyondellBasell (LYB), United Parcel Service (UPS), Cummins (CMI), to name a few.
In total, this December was higher by $1,941 or 35.5%. At this rate, $7,300+ for next year?? Let’s get it! Dividend increases and dividend reinvestment should take care of part of the growth.
Quite a few names were on Bert’s article for December increases, such as Pfizer (PFE) and Realty Income (O). AT&T (T) kept their dividend consistent at $0.01 per share, per quarter, with a 2% increase. Pfizer’s was also a given. Isabella Bancorp (ISBA) came in with the surprise/finger-crossed dividend increase of 4%. For the most current version – see Bert’s Expected Dividend Increases in January and see if your stock is on the list.
My favorite has to go to Isabella. Why? Because this was one that was not guaranteed, given their delays in announcing an increase. Their operational performance warranted an increase and glad they came through!
Overall, $29.97 added would require an investment of $856 at 3.50% yield, in order to produce that result.
Dividend Income Conclusion & Summary
The name of the game is to apply what you learn through financial education. The next steps are to maximize every dollar for investment opportunities and live a balanced life. My plan is to show that dividend income can be a revenue engine. A revenue engine that allows you to take back control of your life. Dividend investing, once you learn the right way, becomes easier and starts to immensely make sense!
There is a nice adjustment to my most recent monthly expenditures article. Sadly, my property taxes increased by 14% in 2018. Therefore, our new average is $1,040 per month Due to that, my current dividend income would cover 100%+ of that amount. December was a bigger month and you better believe the goal is to make ALL months like this!
Excited for the future, no doubt. Further, all of the investing from last year and moves this year, shows that my aim to save 60% of my income, and making every dollar count, has allowed promising results already this year.
I hope you had a prosperous December and all of 2019! 2020 is here, folks, time to kick some A$$ and take names. Financial Freedom, Financial Independence, insert your freedom phrase here, awaits! Please share your thoughts, questions and feedback below! Excited to read how everyone did this month, as well. Thank you again, good luck and happy investing!