Sunday, October 6, 2013

Monthly Review: September 2013

September was a busy month at work. Teaching took up a lot of my time, but I also finished getting my lab ready for research and the first experiments were started. I do not have much in the way of lab personnel right now (just one undergraduate student working in the lab on a part-time basis), so I am doing nearly everything by myself. It will probably be this way for the rest of this academic year, then hopefully I will get a graduate student and more undergraduate students working with me. However, it is refreshing and motivational to finally have complete independence and control over my research, so I do not mind being an essentially one-man operation at this point.

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

Dividends: I received a total of $248.29 in dividends from 11 stocks, as indicated on my Dividends page. This represents a solid 84.6% increase compared with the same month a year ago. My year-to-date dividend total is now $1,765.21, which surpasses my year-end dividend total for 2012. I'm on track to bring in about $2,400 in dividends in 2013.

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):
  • PM: 10.6% increase, $18.00 more in annual dividend income
  • MSFT: 21.7%, $23.00
  • MCD: 5.2%, $8.00
These dividend increases are what make dividend growth investing so great. I did not have to do anything to get them -- I did not sell cigarettes, software, or burgers. I did not have to work harder at my own job. I just had to be a shareholder of these companies, which results in me being paid a portion of their profits. Thanks to these increases, next year I'll get nearly $50 more in dividends for doing nothing but continuing to hold the stocks. Thus far this year, there have been dividend increases for 26 of the 30 stocks in my portfolio. The mean increase has been 11.0%.

Contributions: As mentioned in a recent post, from now on I will be reporting contributions of new capital instead of savings. A Contributions page has replaced what used to be the Savings page on the blog. In September I contributed $2,165 in new capital for investment, which was divided between my taxable account and Roth IRA. My year-to-date contribution total is $15,215, which is an average of $1,522 per month. The monthly average is essentially identical to last year's monthly average, which is remarkable given that I went a few months earlier this year without any contributions. Fortunately, a few above-average contributions made up the difference.

Transactions: I made two purchases during the month (click on the transactions to see my posts about them): I was happy to take advantage of a dip in KMI to increase my position. I was also pleased to get an opportunity to start a position in XOM. These purchases will increase my annual dividend income by $93.80. My forward 12-month dividend total is $2,814. (My purchases at the start of October have since increased that total.)

Portfolio: My portfolio (taxable account and Roth IRA together) consists of 30 stocks and has a market value of $93,148.24 (including cash), which is a 5.5% increase over last month's value. The unusually large increase reflects strong capital gains and an above-average influx of new capital.

Seeking Alpha: This month I published one new article on the investing website Seeking Alpha: The article managed to get nearly 6,000 page views by the end of the month. I earned $77.76 from page views in September, increasing my Q3 total to $252.70 (to be paid in mid-October) and my year-to-date total to $971.01.

Looking Ahead: October will yield a relatively low dividend total due to fewer companies in my portfolio paying out in that month. I expect dividend increases to be announced by two companies, UTX and VFC. (I had previously anticipated that UTX would make an announcement in September, but I had mixed up my calendar dates.) At the start of October I contributed $2,800 to my brokerage accounts, maxing out the 2013 contribution to my Roth IRA. I also went ahead and invested that new capital right away, doubling my position in XOM and starting a position in WMT. Thus, there will be no more investing activity in October, but I look forward to seeing what the market has to offer in November.


  1. Solid month. Looks good all over.

  2. Hi DGI, Thanks for taking the time to publish the monthly review. Had one quick questions "The mean increase has been 11.0%." is that average (total increase / positions) or is it weight increase. Thanks much

    1. Anonymous: You're welcome! The mean increase is an unweighted average. It's harder to calculate a weighted average because during the year I start or increase multiple positions, so the weights change often.

  3. DGM,

    Great month. Solid purchases, great month of dividends, big dividend increases, the job is humming along nicely and you're getting paid a nice little side income from SA. Seems like everything is coming together very nicely! :)

    Keep it up!

    Best regards.

    1. DM: Thank you! I always like it when everything comes together in a positive way. I noticed you also hauled in a nice batch of dividends in September, which is great. Let them send more and more money our way!

  4. Hello:

    A 84,6% increase of dividend in comparison with the same period of 2012!. It is amazing!.

    I am a Spanish investor who is beginning to purchase in USA (I have NYX, INTC, HCP and, of course, KO)... What about ENB, have you analysed this?

    Thank you and good job!

    1. ClassicCo: Thanks for your comment. Yes, that year-over-year increase in dividends is amazing. It will be difficult to achieve percent gains of that magnitude going forward, although the dollar amounts should increase nicely.

      Best wishes as you start building a portfolio of U.S. stocks. I am aware of ENB but have not analyzed it, so I cannot offer any commentary.