How My Stock Portfolio has Skyrocketed

Finally, a fun title, right?  Labor day has just ended and I am writing this article, as I have recently updated my portfolio and just smiled at what has occurred.  As the community may remember, I have been writing about my new strategies that I have put in place on my portfolio, and the results are quite pleasing.  This article, I am hoping, will show you the actual impact on my portfolio from the actions I have taken and to also share my progress towards financial freedom.   Remember – I am trying to keep as much money in our pocket from our income, to maximize the amount of assets we can buy, to decrease this thing called “time” that we are counting down towards financial freedom!

Hopping on the Skyrocket

My portfolio has skyrocketed to new levels in the last two months.  How is that possible?  One or two (maybe more?) of you may ask that question.  I also may be too excited seeing my portfolio grow without even thinking about it.  It is very, very simple, however, why my portfolio has hopped on the skyrocket.  Remember those tax maximization strategies that I had talked about?  Well, it turns out that it is ultra fuel to pump your portfolio to untouched levels and it also has provided a consistent, stabilization means to increasing my dividend income.

I will paint you two pictures  to illustrate the time period of the strategy results, thus far.  The first time period is my portfolio as of June 30, 2016 and the other being today, September 5th, 2016.  Therefore, the time is approximately 1.5 full months (as it took 0.50 months, which equates to 3 contribution rounds) of doing these three items:

1.) Maximizing my 401(k) – Pre-tax

2.) Maximizing my Health Savings Account (HSA, also pre-tax)

3.) Additional contribution to Traditional IRA (pre-tax)

The portfolio figures as of June 30, 2016: Portfolio value of $197,869 with Projected Dividend Income of $7,153.

The portfolio figures as of September 5, 2016: Portfolio value of $212,534 with Projected dividend Income of $7,421.

What did this even tell me?!

Those metrics above break down to a few items.  My portfolio has increased by $14,700 with an additional $270 in income over that span.  These are not phenomenal numbers, but this has been from full automation.  My paychecks are hilarious.  Since I wasn’t maximizing the 401 (k) through mid-July (that’s 6.5 months!), I have had to catch up, which means I have over $2,900 per month going into there.  This is the same situation in regards to the HSA, which has almost $520 going in there per month.  The odd part is, since this is all pre-tax contributions, I actually am still able to save money and gear up for other investments in my personal IRA and/or the taxable investment account.  Given that not too many investments have become/shown favorable metrics, the consistent contributions from my paycheck in the 401 (k) and the HSA, still have fueled my ownership of shares, which equates to income.  Automation has been so wonderful, and knowing that no matter what the market is doing, the automated machine is working for me in Vanguard’s Institutional Index Fund (VINIX) and Vanguard’s Total Market Index Fund (VTSMX) diversifying the investment for me as well.

This has taken another important element out of the equation with the automation – emotion, which is not to mention me trying to “time” the market – if you remember my article on why I definitely don’t try to time that.  This has been exhilarating and quite exciting to see, and gives me actually something to look forward to every 15 days.  What is that?  Consistent investing into more shares that produce income, which will in turn buy more shares that produces even more income.  The market has increased in the last 60 days, a little over 4%.  Why do I state that here?  Because one cannot time the market!  Therefore, I am still not purchasing investments at it’s peak, but I have taken the emotion out of guessing when/where that is.

How i’m able to skyrocket

Looking back, though, I am very lucky I have the options to maximize these accounts and invest so, so much to build this skyrocket.  I see how I am able to – I am lucky to make the moderate income that I do as a CPA.  I also do other things to an almost extreme level.  What is that?  One word.  Save.  I save like crazy.  I try to make every dollar count, whenever I can – not only on spending & saving, but on maximizing the benefit I am receiving when I am in my frugal state of mind.  Bert has showed us ways to make saving a part of your daily routine, as well as fun ways to make money & save while traveling.  It all counts and matters.  When my contributions are going up to enable the portfolio to skyrocket, it doesn’t hurt my monthly experiences due to the power/ability of saving.  I am thankful that I have these easy habits etched and also live in an area of Ohio that isn’t too costly.

This skyrocket is fueled.  It is fueled from saving, hard work, automation and taking the emotion out.  I am so lucky.  The impact, thus far, has been real and I cannot wait for September dividends to come rolling in.  Excited to see what VINIX and VTSMX provide this quarter, and the shares it will reinvest into.  Stay tuned for that post to come up, I have a feeling that my September dividend income will skyrocket, as well : )   Please share your thoughts, feelings, suggestions and comments below, I truly appreciate the stop by!

-Lanny

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25 thoughts on “How My Stock Portfolio has Skyrocketed

    • Amber,

      Spot on. Love that when I wake up this weekend (10th is our pay date) that I’ll have a little over $1,700 going in the market no doubt. This will increase my forward and upcoming dividend for September also : )

      -Lanny

  1. That’s a lot of money for a guy in his 20’s (or any age, really)! I bet your net worth is higher than 90% of the people in your graduating class.

    Did you pay down your student debt before you started investing or are you still paying it off? I’m just curious since I’m still a student and my debt is already in the 6 digits.

    • Viking,

      Thank you, very much! I wouldn’t mind seeing a few reports in my area geographically to see how I stack up – but hey, what matters is that I’m stacking myself vs. myself – and “we ain’t there yet” haha.

      I did start crushing that student loan debt, I didn’t have much but took a balanced approach but made anything extra that came in and put it towards that. 6 digits is quite a bit, i was in the low 5 digits (in the $12-$15K range), and took care of it fairly quick. Balance, is key. Also – consolidation may be your friend in the future if rates stay low!

      -Lanny

      • That’s a great way to look at it. Always compare yourself with yourself. Improvement is key in all aspects of life.

        I add roughly $12,000 per year to my debt. Luckily, the interest is only ~2% (and it doesn’t accumulate until I graduate). I will go into a high paying industry so I try not to worry too much about it.

        Btw, I started using Swagbucks because I heard about it on your blog. Too bad I didn’t know about the “refer a friend” thing, otherwise one of you could’ve added me.

        – The Viking

        • Viking,

          Thanks – and yep. That interest rate is PHENOMENAL!!! You’ll knock that loan out in no-time.

          It’s okay – I’m pumped you joined in. It’s a great site, I think I’ve easily have earned over $500 in gift cards/pay pal $$ from there, easily.

          -Lanny

    • Time in the Market,

      Thanks for the comment, as always! It has been nice, automation has been so nice in these large quantities. And yes – being tax free has opened up extra cash to invest, so I’m eagerly looking for the best undervalued stock in my portfolio currently… decisions, decisions! Can’t wait to file my return, sad, but true!

      -Lanny

    • Building II,

      I know, I know!! I’d love for the market to be tanking, while I would be adding over $3.4K each and every month on it! Ah.. the dividends would be great!! I’ll take today’s pullback, though!

      -Lanny

    • Divi Cents,

      Thank you very much! I agree – letting it do it’s thing is key, heck – based on today’s close prices my latest contributions have timed just fine : ) Looking forward to the snowball to continue to roll! Thanks Steve.

      -Lanny

  2. HI Lanny,
    Congrats on maxing our your 401k contributions – that’s awesome!!
    I’m curious why you hold both VINIX and VTSMX though. VINIX is maybe 90% of VTSMX, the end result of holding both is that the small-cap portion of VTSMX is reduced as a whole, making your portfolio less diversified than holding VTSMX alone.
    Both funds are good and cheap funds though; I’m just interested in how you decided on both of those particular funds. I was doing the same thing in my HSA account initially before choosing just one of the two.
    Best wishes,
    -DL

    • DivLife,

      Thank you, Thank you!

      The reason why is that my 401(k) offers the VINIX (their best option), whereas my HSA only offers the VTSMX (their best option), which is why I have those two as investments, due to two different servicers of those accounts.

      Like you said – both are very similar and have low expense ratios. Just found out the dividend for this quarter’s VTSMX is a few cents higher than expected, at $0.25/share, so I am PUMPED, especially since I was able to grab almost 5 more shares with my pay yesterday, with the ex-date being on Tuesday the 13th. Very excited to see how the dividends roll in this quarter.

      But yes, to summarize again – two different servicers that my employer uses and they both do not offer the same funds. Luckily, they offer the one’s I have selected, as the HSA has some pretty HIGH expense ratio funds that I wouldn’t dare touch! Thanks again for the comment and let’s have some fun collecting dividends this month!

      -Lanny

      • Hi Lanny,
        That makes perfect sense – thanks for the explanation! 🙂

        Congrats on the 5 extra shares – that’s awesome! I’m looking forward to your September update 🙂 I hold VTSAX in my Emergency Fund and the dividends reinvested purchased another 3.7 shares so it’s great watching the number of shares slowly increase too!

        Best wishes,
        _DL

  3. Awesome job Lanny, it just goes to show that when you fill your portfolio with high quality companies, you’re going to have a great outcome with your capital growth and dividend growth.

    You’re so right about maximising as much of your money as you can – it will all be worth when you plough all that extra cash into amazing dividend payers.

    Tristan

  4. I actually just received my Dividends from VINX also. I haven’t documented it on my website since i’ve been trying to focus more on my individual brokerage Fund. After reading your posts though I think I’ going to start tracking my IRA dividends received also since it is apart of my financial portfolio.

  5. Good job Lanny. I commend the fact that you have put a new plan in place and your maximizing it to your advantage. I am glad your portfolio is making such strides. Nice article. Thanks for sharing!

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