Saturday, March 2, 2013

Monthly Review: February 2013

Here is a review of what happened in February:

Dividends: I received a total of $172.69 in dividends from the following stocks:
  • ABBV: $18.00
  • ABT: $6.30
  • GIS: $23.10
  • HRL: $17.00
  • KMI: $14.80
  • PG: $28.10
  • T: $24.75
  • VOD: $40.64
This represents a 101.3% increase compared with the same month a year ago -- that's right, my dividends more than doubled! My year-to-date dividend total is now $253.23.

Dividend Increases: I was pleased to see dividend increases announced for three stocks (click on each stock to see my post about the increase):
  • GPC: 8.6% increase, $8.52 more in annual dividend income
  • KO: 9.8%, $6.00
  • NVS: 2.2%, TBD
Thus far this year, there have been dividend increases for 11 of the 27 dividend growth stocks in my portfolio. The mean increase has been 8.0%.

Savings: This month I saved $1,605 (55.2%) of my net job income, which is a nice improvement over last month. My savings increased due to lower discretionary spending and no annual expenses.

Transactions: I bought two stocks during the month (click on each transaction to see my post about it): I was happy to get the opportunity to buy these undervalued stocks, lowering my cost basis for VOD and more than doubling my position in MSFT. These purchases will increase my annual dividend income by $122.66. My forward 12-month dividend total is now $2,278.

Portfolio: My portfolio (taxable account and Roth IRA together) currently consists of 27 stocks and has a market value of $78,200.48 (including cash), which is a 9.9% increase over last month's value. It was a solid month for both dividends and capital gains, although the bulk of the increase reflects a contribution of $5,000 in new capital to my Roth IRA. Note that on my Portfolio page I now distinguish between stocks and cash held in my taxable account and Roth IRA.

Seeking Alpha: This month I did not publish any new articles on the investing website Seeking Alpha. However, I received $14.24 from page views of my previous articles, increasing my Q1 total to $190.49.

Looking Ahead: March will be another great month for dividends, exceeding the $200 mark. It will be a light month for dividend increases, with an announcement expected only from GD. My savings rate should be around the same level as in February. If that turns out to be the case, then my March savings will fully replenish the money I borrowed from my cash reserve to make the maximum contribution to my Roth IRA for 2012. Note that I still have enough cash remaining from that contribution to make two more purchases. I am hoping that the sequester rattles the market and creates some good buying opportunities.


  1. Congrats on a great month! I was really close to pulling the trigger on more VOD even though It's already a large position.

    A 100% increase from a year ago in dividends is fantastic.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. AAI: Thanks! I couldn't resist pulling the trigger on VOD; now I'm satisfied with my position. I'm thrilled with the year-over-year increase in dividends!

  2. Great work! More than doubling your income from a year ago is awesome. I only hit a 71% increase, but it's still an improvement. I'd love a bit of a market shakeup so I can add to my dividends. Maybe this will be the week. Have a great weekend!

    1. PIP: Thank you! A 71% increase in dividends is pretty darn good in my opinion, so congratulations to you, too! It would be great if we see some market volatility this upcoming week -- fingers crossed!

  3. DGM,

    Great month! A 100% increase from last year. You can't argue with numbers like that. Great work!

    I'm also hoping the sequester rattles the markets. I was actually expecting more volatility than we've seen. It's so amazing how the market is herd-driven. It's either everything is wonderful, or everything is horrible. Gotta love bi-polar Mr. Market! It makes it easy for investors with steady emotions to take advantage of that. You're definitely sitting on some cash for opportunities!

    Best wishes!

    1. DM: Thanks! When I see year-over-year increases of that magnitude, it strengthens my convictions about dividend growth investing and motivates me to invest more.

      Mr. Market has indeed been bipolar lately, which is kind of annoying because I would prefer a few down days in a row! I guess we'll just have to see what happens in March.

  4. Wow, that is one heck of an improvement since last year! Good job with your savings!

  5. I like your review, it gives me a good idea where my account will be heading. I also hoped for some shake off in the markets, but it seems is not happening. These levels are too high and I am not willing to invest at all at these prices. So I am waiting for the drop. My last purchase was Lorillard since it dropped significantly recently, but the rest is too high. I was even thinking if not to trim some positions and wait for the drop to buy back, but this is not my strategy anymore.

    1. Martin: Thanks for your comment. I know how you feel when it comes to waiting for a market pullback -- none of the stocks on my watch list are currently at my target prices. I will continue to be patient and stay on the lookout for good opportunities. I do not plan to trim any positions, given that none are extremely overvalued (though a few are moderately overvalued, such as HRL).