Thursday, March 1, 2012

Monthly Review: February 2012

Here is a review of what happened in February:

Dividends: I received a total of $85.78 in dividends from the following stocks:
  • ABT: $21.60
  • GIS: $13.73
  • PG: $26.25
  • T: $24.20
This monthly total is very close to what I received in January ($88.74) and results in a year-to-date total of $174.52, which puts me 13.4% of the way toward my goal of receiving $1300 in dividends 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):
  • ABT: 6.3% increase, $5.40 more in annual dividend income
  • GPC: 10.0%, $9.00
  • KO: 8.5%, $4.80
  • NVS: 5.8%, $3.09 (estimated)
Collectively, these increases will give me an extra $22.29 in annual dividend income going forward. So far in 2012, 7 of my 19 stocks have had dividend increases. The others are CNI (announced in January on the day I initiated my position), NSC (announced in January right before I added to my position), and T (announced last December but effective with this month's payment). The average increase has been 8.2%, which is great.

Savings: My goal for 2012 is to save a total of $12000 (an average of $1000 per month) for investment, which works out to saving 34.2% of the net income from my job. I think this is a pretty good goal considering the average personal savings rate in the U.S. is currently less than 5%. In January I saved $1360 (46.6%) of my net income and I wrote in my monthly review that I would try to beat that amount in February. And I succeeded! This month I saved $1497 (51.3%) of my net income. I am pleased that I managed to get over the 50% mark. This results in year-to-date savings of $2857, which puts me 23.8% of the way toward my goal for 2012.

Transactions: Due to the lack of great buying opportunities, I made only one transaction this month, buying 25 shares of GIS as an addition to my existing position. This purchase will increase my annual dividend income by $30.48. My portfolio remains at 19 stocks with a market value of $46963.71 (including cash).

Looking Ahead: In March I expect to break the $100 mark for dividends in a single month because I will receive them from 8 stocks. March should be similar to February in terms of expenses, so I hope to save a similar amount (perhaps even a bit more). Based on the cash currently in my brokerage account and the pending addition of new capital, I will likely be able to make 2 purchases in March.


  1. Wow you have an impressive portfolio. I own many of the same stocks and will be looking to own others in the future. I'm interested in GD, GPC, MCD, MDT, and UTX.

    I'm glad to see you are ahead of schedule with your savings plan. The sacrifices we make now will pay off in the future.

    The charts and graphs you made are really cool.

    1. Hi Compounding Income,

      Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. I also noticed that our portfolios overlap quite a bit. Great minds think alike!

      I agree that the sacrifices we make now will pay off in the future. The weird thing about all this is that I don't really feel like I'm making much in the way of sacrifices. For many years I've naturally lived below my means, perhaps in part because I'm not very materialistic (i.e., I don't feel compelled to buy lots of "stuff" that I don't need). So I guess saving is just a regular aspect of my lifestyle.



  2. Pretty successful month. Sounds like you're doing great, and the savings rate is awesome. You're way ahead of the curve, and ahead of your own goal which is awesome.

    I hit a pretty high savings rate for February (which I'll post soon), but March will be terrible as I have to pay taxes this month. Not looking forward to that at all.

    I'm wondering if you see anything attractive on the horizon? I don't know how much I'll have to invest with in March, as my capital will likely be low due to my anticipated tax bill. It might be good timing, as I see a lack of value currently. I should have enough for one purchase, however. We'll see how it goes.

    Congrats on a fantastic month. It's always nice posting numbers like these and looking back on a wildly successful month and smiling as you realize it's all coming together.

    Best wishes!

    1. Hi Dividend Mantra,

      Thanks for your comments. I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I've been able to save thus far this year.

      I will also be doing my taxes this month, but I don't anticipate having to pay anything (taxes are automatically deducted from my paycheck each month). I'm hoping I might actually get a small refund.

      I don't see much in the way of good buying opportunities in the market right now. If we don't get any kind of correction in March (even a 2-3% drop would be nice), then I might just sit on my cash. However, if I were to start a new position, I might go with either RTN or VOD. I would also consider further additions to my GIS or NSC positions if they were to go down much more, although my preference is to expand my portfolio. Like you said, though, we'll see how it goes.

      I look forward to seeing your numbers for February!



    2. Follow-up regarding taxes:

      I forgot to mention that I don't think I'll have to pay any investment-related taxes for 2011. When I finished converting my portfolio to 100% dividend-growth stocks in December, I sold off some losers (legacies of my earlier, unfocused investing approach) such that I realized a tiny net loss. However, I finished the year with an 8% unrealized capital gain, so despite my early foibles I still managed to beat the market. :)