Here is a review of what happened in December:
Dividends: I received a total of $365.16 in dividends from 15 stocks, as indicated on my Dividends page. This represents a 53.8% increase compared with the same month a year ago. My 2013 dividend total ended up at $2,509.20, which is 52.1% higher than my 2012 dividend total.
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):
Contributions: I contributed $1,475 in new capital for investment, which was deposited in my taxable account. My 2013 contribution total was $18,965 (excluding rollover money), which is an average of $1,580 per month. Despite variation in my contributions during the year, I managed to slightly exceed the $18,300 total that I contributed in 2012.
Transactions: I made four 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 35 stocks and has a market value of $133,393.47 (including cash), which is a 3.2% increase over last month's value. The combined value of my 403(b) and 401(a) retirement plans is $5,577.94, all of which is invested in a low-cost S&P 500 index fund.
Seeking Alpha: I did not publish any new articles on the investing website Seeking Alpha. However, I earned $8.62 from page views of previous articles, increasing my Q4 total to $178.29 (to be paid in January) and my 2013 total to $1,149.30. Given that I wrote nine articles in 2013, that works out to average earnings of $127.70 per article.
Looking Ahead: January's dividend total will be more than double what I received in the same month a year ago. Dividend increases might be announced by CNI and HCP before month's end. I will likely contribute some new capital to my taxable account, but I still have over $9,700 in cash sitting in my Roth IRA. None of the stocks on my watch list are currently at my target prices, although a few stocks are getting close (within 3%), so I am not sure when (or what) my next purchase will be. With the start of earnings season, I am hoping that Mr. Market knocks on my door with a few good investment opportunities.