Portfolio Update – Introducing Our Family Portfolio

For the last few years, I have reported religiously the happenings of my portfolio and every cent in dividend income I have received.  Looking back, it is insane to see how fast my portfolio has grown in such a short period time and I love seeing similar growth rates in so many other people in the dividend investing community.  Man is it a lot of fun!  But there has been one key piece of the equation I have kept under wraps from all of you…the happening of my wife’s portfolio and the impact it is having on our “Family Dividend Income” and not just mine.  So for the first time on this blog, I would like to discuss my wife’s investment portfolio and briefly discuss how I will begin reporting things differently here on our blog!

My Wife’s Portfolio – Background

My wife and I were dating for nearly eight years before getting engaged in 2014 and then eventually married earlier in the year.  Our started in high school, where we met at our part-time job, and just took off from there.  We always knew we were going to get married, it was just a matter of when that would occur and when we would finally be ready to make the plunge.  In 2014, the time was finally right and the rest was history.  Why am I bringing this history up?  The year 2014 was important in terms of finances as well because it was really the first time the two of us had a serious conversation about our finances, the status of our student loans, and our investing strategy.   She knew I was into finances and investing and I always knew she was frugal minded and meticulous about paying her bills on time and keeping things in line, but we never had the “finance talk” until we both felt that it was time to take our relationship to the next level.   It was kind of a “respect your boundaries” thing until everything would become ours, if that makes sense?

At this point, my  wife discussed that she was contributing the amount needed to her 403b plan to receive the maximum match from her employer…perfect!  In terms of investing though, that was about it.  So I sent her a referral link from my personal Capital One Investing account and she opened her first Roth IRA.  The plan, of course, was to maximize her Roth IRA contributions annually with recommended investments from her financial adviser (aka…me) to help get her dividend income and dividend snowball rolling!  We would begin embarking on this journey to financial freedom together and getting as much into our investment portfolios as possible during our young age.  We didn’t open up a regular investing account at that time, so her introduction to investing would be limited predominately to Roth IRA investments and her 403b contributions.

My Wife’s portfolio

Now the fun part, after giving you all her background, I can’t wait to tell you about her portfolio.  Quick note, for ease of reporting over the year, goals tracking, and respect for her privacy, I have not reported our finances together since we were married about halfway through the year and technically our investment portfolios were independent until we tied the knot.   However, 2017 is a completely story.  We own everything together now and are in this together for the rest of life.  So before I finalize our goals for 2017 and begin reporting our results, I wanted to give a starting point for our combined family portfolio.  If I am going to be transparent with all of you, it is only fair that I report the good and the bad, whether it is her stock portfolio or the student debt incurred as she kicked butt and completed her grad school program.

Through today, my wife’s portfolio has a market value of $47,591.93 with a forward dividend income of $1,178.54.  Her portfolio consists of three Vanguard mutual funds in her 403b plan and 10 individual stocks, many of which overlap with my holdings.  Here are some of the highlights from her portfolio.

  • The three Vanguard mutual funds she holds have a market value of $30,402 as of today, producing $536 in dividend income.  Unfortunately, two of the funds are in her old employer’s plan and that plan did not have the world’s best mutual fund offerings.  These two funds account for approximately $10,000 of the fund and I am in the process of considering moving the funds to a different brokerage with better fund options and a sign-up bonus.  That is a 2017 project for sure.  Approximately $20,000 of her market value is within the Vanguard fund VIIIX, the standard S&P 500 that closely resembles my holding VINIX.  The key was identifying the mutual fund holding with a very low expense ratio…and that was your winner!
  • I mentioned that she had ten individual holdings earlier and the individual stocks in her portfolio have a market value of $17,189, producing forward income of $641.66.
  • Her three largest holdings are straight from our Top 5 Foundation Stock listing for good reason.  When we started her portfolio, we aimed to find the cream of the crop.  The three largest holdings and their dividend income figures are:
    • AT&T – 70.39 shares, $3,008 market value, $137.98 in annual dividend income
    • McDonalds – 23.2404 shares, $2,861.82 market value, $87.38 in annual dividend income
    • Johnson and Johnson – 21.2353 shares, $2,462.45 market value, $67.95 in annual dividend income
  • She owns two stocks that are not in my portfolio, Caterpillar and Starbucks.  I am really, really jealous of the fact that we purchased her shares of Starbucks considering their insane 25% dividend increase recorded during the year. I’ve been hot on their trail since Lanny analyzed the company last year and they have made appearances on several watch lists throughout the year as a result of this courting. Her market value with SBUX is only $1,557, so the dividend income figure is not that large.  However, I would love to add to this position in the coming year as I continue to like the news that is coming out of Seattle.
  • I’ll just quickly list these out, but her other portfolio holdings include Kinder Morgan, HCP, QCP after the spin-off, Philip Morris, and Chevron.

our family portfolio – summary

Heading into 2017, our portfolio is going to have a lot of steam – partially attributed to the insane market environment we have all been experiencing over the last few months.  Earlier in the year, I was fortunate enough to crush my goal of forward dividend income of $3,250 for my personal portfolio.  Now that I am going to evaluate my family’s portfolio over time, I am happy to report that our combined portfolio has a market value of about $147,000 and $4,515 in forward “Family Dividend Income!!”  I am having to bring in backup to try to catch Lanny and his insane $8,000 in forward dividend income figure.  But I have got to say, I would not have defeated my goals or be anywhere close to this mark without the support of my wife and the fact that she is on board with the journey to build a dividend income snowball that cannot be stopped.  The fact that we are in this together makes all of this so much more fun and rewarding and I love seeing how excited she gets when I give her constant updates on how things in our portfolio are shaking out.

The next biggest challenge I am going to face is finding the easiest way to report our dividend income in our monthly summaries.  It will take a few months to figure out the best format, but I think I will show both portfolios separately to show how we are each progressing separately and then summarize the results together.  So everyone, hang in here with me as I experiment with this during the first quarter and please provide me with your feedback!

What are your thoughts on my wife’s holdings?  Do you know of any good investment promotions for transferring/rolling over a 403b plan?  What stock do you think I should purchase next in my wife’s portfolio?

Happy holidays everyone!  I cannot believe 2017 is rapidly approaching.


10 thoughts on “Portfolio Update – Introducing Our Family Portfolio

  1. Congratulations and your wife’s portfolio is already quite impressive! It is really good that you two see eye-to-eye on financial matters. That’s a blessing. All the best for 2017 and happy investing!

    • Thank you very much Ferdi! I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if we were not on the same financial page nor would I want to figure it out. It makes things so much easier when you can trust each other with the big financial decisions, let alone all the other big life decisions that you will make.

      2017 will be a great one. It can’t get here soon enough. Happy holidays!


  2. First rule of the man club is…..o wait wrong thread. Yes report hers to as if I was married I would and it shows what your true investing is. And watching it grow also will be fun

  3. Hi Bert,
    It’s great that you’re working together on your investments. VIIIX is like the big brother to VFINX and eight times cheaper so it’s a good fund to hold.
    I’d suggest to just report as one big portfolio, rather than two separate plus a summary. You can always break out the performance of individual holdings but it shouldn’t really matter who owns how much of each. You’ll probably be making purchases based on the portfolio as a whole in any case, so that you’re not too exposed in one stock for example.
    Best wishes and happy Christmas,

  4. Hi Bert,
    That is a nice surprise that there is a second portfolio all of a sudden but guess you are not as surprised as your readers 🙂
    I agree with Dividend Life, that I would just report the two portfolios as one.
    Thanks for writing all those post a this year! Dividenddiplomats.com is really motivating and a huge inspiration.
    Happy holidays!

  5. Thanks for the update and congrats on the portfolio. Gotta love posting about increasing your dividends per year as well as net worth. Not only did your portfolio go up at least a third in value which will lead to faster growth, but you also get the tax benefits of filing taxes jointly. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to following your progress in the new year!

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