Dividends: I received a total of $137.87 in dividends from 7 stocks, as indicated on my Dividends page. This represents a 10.7% increase compared with the same month a year ago. My year-to-date dividend total is now $1,903.08, which is 15.4% higher than my year-end dividend total for 2012.
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):
- UTX: 10.1% increase, $5.40 more in annual dividend income
- ABT: 57.1%, $14.40
- KMI: 2.5%, $6.60
- VFC: 20.7%, $7.20
Stock Splits: It was rare to see stock splits announced for two stocks during the month (click on each stock to see my post about the split):
- VFC: 4-for-1 stock split, resulting in 40 shares instead of 10
- CNI: 2-for-1 stock split, resulting in 40 shares instead of 20
Contributions: I contributed $2,800 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. I have now maxed out my Roth IRA for 2013 (which has a contribution limit of $5,500), so my November and December contributions will go into my taxable account.
Transactions: I made two purchases during the month (click on the transactions to see my posts about them):
Portfolio: My portfolio (taxable account and Roth IRA together) consists of 31 stocks and has a market value of $99,914.18 (including cash), which is a 7.3% increase over last month's value. The unusually large increase reflects strong capital gains and an above-average influx of new capital. As noted in a milestone post, my portfolio's value closed above $100,000 for the first time in late October.
Starting with this month's review, there is a new addition to my Portfolio page. Below the portfolio table is information about the retirement plans with my new employer, which I discussed in a previous post. The combined value of the 403(b) and 401(a) plans is $3,014.45, all of which is invested in a low-cost index fund that tracks the S&P 500. At some point in the future I will likely modify my fund allocations, but for the time being I have decided to keep things as simple as possible.
Seeking Alpha: This month I published two new articles on the investing website Seeking Alpha:
- Wal-Mart Stores: A Retail Heavyweight For My Dividend Growth Machine
- A Real Dividend Growth Machine: Q3 2013 Review
Looking Ahead: November will yield a nice batch of dividends and result in a substantial year-over-year increase. I expect the last dividend increase effective in 2013 to be announced by BDX, leaving INTC as the lone stock in my portfolio that did not increase its dividend this year. As mentioned previously, I plan to continue holding INTC into early 2014. I also expect dividend increases for 2014 to be announced in November by HRL and T. I should be able to contribute around $2,500 in new capital to my taxable account in November, which will allow for either one large purchase or two smaller ones.
In a recent post I mentioned that I had initiated the rollover of money from my former employer's retirement plans to an IRA. The money from TIAA-CREF has already been deposited and I expect the money from Vanguard to be deposited within the next few days. Once that happens, I will arrange the conversion of the Rollover IRA into my existing Roth IRA, which I assume will not take long to do. Thus, the rollover-and-conversion process is still on track to be completed by mid-November, which will result in a sizable chunk of money becoming available for investment in my Roth IRA. I might put some of that money to work by the end of the month, but it will depend on whether I can find attractively valued stocks. It's slim pickings on my watch list at the moment.