Saturday, February 2, 2013

Monthly Review: January 2013

We are now in 2013, which marks the start of my second full year of dividend growth investing and the second year for this blog. As discussed in a recent post, the only change with regard to my investing is that I started a Roth IRA, which will be a smaller, tax-efficient extension of my current dividend growth machine. The only change with regard to the blog is that the tables on my Portfolio, Dividends, and Savings pages have been changed to Google Docs spreadsheets, which will make them a bit easier to read and update. Aside from that, it will be business as usual for the next few months.

Here is a review of what happened in January:

Dividends: I received a total of $80.54 in dividends from the following stocks:
  • CNI: $6.39
  • GPC: $24.75
  • PM: $42.50
  • UNP: $6.90
This was a light month for dividends because two of my stocks (ITW and MDT) accelerated their Q1 2013 dividend payments into December 2012 over concerns about possible tax increases. As a result, my dividend total was 9.2% lower this month compared with the same month a year ago. However, going forward I expect to have year-over-year increases in dividends each month.

Dividend Increases: I was pleased to see dividend increases announced for two stocks (click on each stock to see my post about the increase):
  • KMI: 2.8% increase, $1.60 more in annual dividend income
  • CNI: 14.7%, $4.40
Thus far this year, there have been dividend increases for 8 of the 27 dividend growth stocks in my portfolio. Some of the increases were announced in late 2012 but did not take effect until 2013.

Savings: This month I saved $1,228 (42.2%) of my net job income. My savings were decreased by higher discretionary spending (I bought some clothes and a new blender) and the payment of annual membership dues for professional societies associated with my work. In addition, my net job income was slightly lower due to higher payroll taxes.

Transactions: I sold one stock and bought two stocks during the month (click on each transaction to see my post about it): These transactions have the net effect of increasing my annual dividend income by $43.40. My 12-month forward dividend total is $2,138.

Portfolio: My portfolio currently consists of 27 stocks and has a market value of $71,148.69 (including cash), which is a 9.2% increase over last month's value. It was my best month ever for capital gains, which represented 73.7% of the increase. The remaining portion came predominantly from new capital.

Seeking Alpha: After not writing anything for a while, I finally published a new article on the investing website Seeking Alpha: As the title suggests, the article is a review of my investing performance last year. I was pleasantly surprised by the popularity of the article, which received over 16,000 page views. For comparison, my previous two articles each had around 4,000 page views. I ended up earning $176.25 from page views in January, which will be paid later as part of my Q1 2013 total. This month I also received my Q4 2012 payment of $107.21.

Looking Ahead: February will be a better month for dividends, with a substantial year-over-year increase. I am expecting dividend increases to be announced by GPC, KO, and NVS. The Board of Directors for NVS has already proposed a dividend increase, but it has to be approved by shareholders at the AGM on February 22. My savings rate should improve in February due to lower expenses than in January. As discussed in the post about my Roth IRA, my next few purchases will be in that account. I have already funded it with $5,000, but I do not plan to invest all the money at once. I will likely continue making one purchase each month (aside from any purchases made to offset sales, as was the case in January). Also, my February and March savings will go toward replacing some money I borrowed from my cash reserve to make the maximum contribution to my Roth IRA for 2012. Thus, my investing will proceed as usual, provided I can find some attractively valued stocks in the current market environment. In particular, I will be looking for stocks with yields above 3% that I can purchase for my Roth IRA.


  1. DGM,

    Great job this month!

    You had a great savings rate, even with factoring in some additional costs. Nice!

    The dividends aren't a surprise. Mine are down too, as are many others due to the accelerated payments. It is what it is. I'm looking forward to a huge year of dividends though, as I'm sure you are. It's very exciting to keep seeing big rises in YOY dividends. The tangible numbers are very self-motivating.

    Congrats on the success over at Seeking Alpha. I haven't published any articles over there yet, but should. It's hard to find time just for my blog, investing, keeping fit and everything else. Although if I were to drop down to part-time work and reclaim a lot of my time, I'd have a lot more available resources (time) with which to write. Hmm...

    Keep up the great work!

    Best wishes!

    1. DM: Thanks! I am indeed looking forward to a good year of dividends. I am most interested in seeing how my quarterly dividend income (which smooths over monthly differences) increases year over year. I think those increases will be very motivational.

      I am pleased with the reception of my articles at Seeking Alpha, but I am in the same boat as you when it comes to finding time for everything. That's the main reason why I've been averaging only about one article per month there. However, the bit of extra income is nice, even if it's highly variable from one article to the next.

  2. Congrats on your start to the year DGM. Unfortunately my January, and probably my February will be fairly modest in terms of dividend income. March will probably be a better month for me (one of the significant issues with international dividend payers I guess).

    I recently joined, and in fact started contributing articles to Seeking Alpha. Its still more experimental at this stage, as I don't have a good enough sense of what the audience is like in terms of appetite for more technical vs more generic articles. I will say though that the articles on income investing strategy seem to meet with a better response than company specific ones (thats been my observation so far). I haven't contributed there long, but I also tend to average around 5000 views per article. I may continue occasional contribution there, time permitting.

    1. Integrator: Thanks for your comment. I noticed several of your articles over at Seeking Alpha. I find that writing can be a good way to clarify my thinking about investing, which is one of the reasons why I occasionally write articles. I also appreciate the feedback I get from readers, which sometimes provides additional clarification. Thus far it's been a good experience for me and I'm sure it will be for you, too!