Dividends: I received a total of $237.49 in dividends from the following stocks:
- ADM: $10.50
- BDX: $12.38
- CMI: $7.50
- CVX: $18.00
- GD: $10.20
- INTC: $25.88
- ITW: $15.20
- JNJ: $21.35
- KO: $15.30
- MCD: $38.50
- MDT: $14.30
- NSC: $35.00
- UTX: $13.38
Dividend Increases: After a nice string of dividend increases in November, there were none in December. Dividend increases occurred for 24 of the 25 stocks in my portfolio in 2012, with the lone holdout being ADM.
Savings: This month I saved an estimated $1,174 (39.5%) of my net income, which was lower than in previous months due to a large (but expected) annual expense. Similar to November, the savings are estimated because of the difficulties in accounting for travel expenses associated with my recent work-related trips. I hope to receive all my reimbursements by the end of January. My final savings total for 2012 is $17,124 (48.4%) of my net income, which blows away the goal of $12,000 that I set at the beginning of the year.
Transactions: I bought one stock in December (click on the transaction to see my post about it):
Portfolio: My portfolio currently consists of 25 stocks and has a market value of $65,137.07 (including cash), which is a 2.6% increase over last month's value. The increase primarily reflects new capital, with the remainder split about evenly between dividends and capital gains. My portfolio value at the start of the year was $42,830.02, which means it increased by $22,307.05 (52.1%) during 2012. Of course, most of that increase (82.0%) is attributable to new capital, but there were also good-sized contributions from capital gains and dividends.
Seeking Alpha: Due to travel and being generally busier than usual, I did not publish any new articles on the investing website Seeking Alpha. However, in December I earned $7.14 from page views of my previous articles, increasing my Q4 total (to be paid in January) to $107.21 and my total for 2012 (note that I started writing in April) to $686.81. That is a pretty nice total for occasional investment writing!
Looking Ahead: January will be a below-average month for dividends, partly due to the accelerated dividends noted above. I am expecting at least one dividend increase to be announced in January. My savings rate will likely rebound a bit, although it will not be back to normal until February. As in the past two months, I will have sufficient cash to make just one purchase. The recent market uptick due to a fiscal cliff deal has taken away some buying opportunities that interested me, but I plan to overhaul my watch list this month and see whether something new comes on my radar.
Thankfully, after a tiresome travel schedule to close out 2012, I am essentially done traveling for a while. (Another work-related trip is possible in January, but that is still to be determined.) This means I will have more time for investing-related activities such as research, reading, and writing. I hope that 2012 finished on a positive note for everyone and I wish us all the best with our investing in 2013.