Sunday, August 4, 2013

Monthly Review: July 2013

July was a transitional time in my life. At the start of the month I moved into my new apartment and I spent the first week unpacking, running errands, getting things set up, and buying stuff. I'm pretty much settled into my new home now. Even though I have not officially started my new job at the university yet, I have been voluntarily going into work on a regular basis for the past three weeks to make various preparations for when the fall semester starts. The more I do now, the less the burden will be once I am busy teaching and doing research. Due to an administrative mistake, my official start date has been postponed until mid-August, which means I will continue to be unpaid for the time being. I am not happy about the delay, but there is nothing that can be done about it. Aside from that, my transition has gone well.

On the investing front, here is a review of what happened in July:

Dividends: I received a total of $130.61 in dividends from 7 stocks, as indicated on my Dividends page. This represents a 9.3% increase compared with the same month a year ago. My year-to-date dividend total is now $1,200.66.

Dividend Increases: I was pleased to see dividend increases announced for the following stocks (click on each stock to see my post about the increase):
  • CMI: 25.0% increase, $7.52 more in annual dividend income
  • KMI: 5.3%, $7.20
  • NSC: 4.0%, $7.60
Thus far this year, there have been dividend increases for 20 of the 28 stocks in my portfolio. The mean increase has been 10.3%.

Savings: I had no savings in July because I had no job income. Of course, I still had expenses (which were above average due to my move), and they were covered by savings from previous months, as planned. Given that my new job will not start until mid-August (see above) and this is an unusual, one-time situation, I will be excluding July and August from my savings rate calculations for 2013.

Transactions: After a four-month hiatus, I finally bought a stock (click on the transaction to see my post about it): This purchase was made in my taxable account by combining $700 in new capital with $900 in dividends that had accumulated over the last few months. The purchase will increase my annual dividend income by $64.00. My forward 12-month dividend total is now $2,503.

Portfolio: My portfolio (taxable account and Roth IRA together) currently consists of 28 stocks and has a market value of $87,502.36 (including cash), which is a 4.2% increase over last month's value. About 3/4 of the increase reflected capital gains during the month.

Seeking Alpha: This month I published one new article on the investing website Seeking Alpha: It received over 10,000 pageviews. I earned $112.01 from pageviews in July, increasing my year-to-date total to $830.32. In mid-July I also received my Q2 payment of $284.36, which partly compensated for my lack of job income.

Looking Ahead: My dividend total will be much higher in August than in July. Dividend increases from ITW and UNP were announced at the start of August; I am not expecting any other increases during the month. Even though I will not receive any income from my new job until the end of August (at the earliest), I am hoping that I will get my moving expense reimbursement soon. I plan to use a portion of it to make a partial contribution to my Roth IRA. If that happens in a timely manner, then I should be able to make a single purchase in August, provided I find a good investment opportunity.


  1. I'm sorry to hear that they delayed your start date. It sounds like you prepared well for the move though. Your expense check plus dividends should help a lot until you start earning your salary again. I'd like to pick up some CMI eventually, that dividend increase was huge.

    1. AAI: Fortunately, my decision to be extra conservative earlier this year and build up my savings has helped me get through the delay in starting my new job.

      As with many stocks I own, I wish I had bought more CMI when I started my position last year. I was very confident that it was severely undervalued and my judgment turned out to be correct.

  2. DGM,

    Great month. It looks like the Seeking Alpha income is definitely helping out. Good to see it!

    It looks like you've set yourself up well. You're in a new city, a new apartment and you're in a new job. A lot of excitement, and you'll be back to growing your wealth in no time.

    Best of luck going forward!

    Take care.

    1. DM: Thanks! The Seeking Alpha income is always a nice bonus. I'm definitely looking forward to when my financial situation will be routine again and I'll have a better sense of when new capital will be available for investment.

  3. The job start date is a bummer. Do you have anything in writing? It might not be wise to raise a stink before you officially start I guess...

    Besides that, are you feeling settled in yet? I recently finished buying furniture after collecting relocation $$. That and my household goods finally arrived. Feels like home!

    1. CI: An official start date was negotiated and indicated in writing, but it was contingent on getting certain paperwork filed and approved by the government. The administrative mistake I mentioned in my review resulted in that paperwork being delayed. I don't have to worry about raising a stink -- everyone is aware of the situation and they're hoping it gets resolved soon.

      Aside from that, I feel settled in at home, but not yet at work.

  4. DGM, your SA income is pushing me a lot. I think I'll give it my try as well. I want to make some additional income which can be available to invest. Your example is motivating me.

    Great dividend income!

    1. Martin: Thanks! I'm glad my SA experience is motivating others to write about investing. Two things to bear in mind about SA: (a) my average payment per article is more than twice the site average, so it is not representative; (b) my average payment starting out was a lot lower than it is now, most likely because it takes time to build up a following of readers. However, if you write high-quality articles, then you should see a rise in payments (based on pageviews) and readers over time.

  5. DGM,
    I've been a div investor for many years now and wanted to thank you for the great presentation of your information. The data you provide is really beneficial and I wanted to compliment you on it, say thanks for what you do, and congratulate you on your new place.

    1. JJ: Thanks for your kind words -- I appreciate the feedback!