Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monthly Review: September 2012

Here is a review of what happened in September:

Dividends: I received a total of $134.48 in dividends from the following stocks:
  • ADM: $10.50
  • BDX: $11.25
  • CVX: $18.00
  • JNJ: $21.35
  • MCD: $35.00
  • NSC: $25.00
  • UTX: $13.38
This was a pretty good month for dividends. I now have a year-to-date total of $1,149.67, which puts me 88.4% of the way toward my goal of receiving $1,300 in dividends for 2012. I am on track to achieve my dividend goal in November.

Dividend Increases: I was pleased to see dividend increases announced for two of my stocks (click on each stock to see my post about the increase):
  • PM: 10.4% increase, $16.00 more in annual dividend income
  • MCD: 10.0%, $14.00
These are my two largest dividend payers, so I am happy to get double-digit percent increases. Thus far this year, there have been dividend increases for 20 of the 23 dividend growth stocks in my portfolio. I expect increases for the remaining three stocks (ADM, BDX, and UNP) to be announced in November.

Savings: This month I saved $1,668 (56.1%) of my net income, which results in year-to-date savings of $12,648. I achieved my goal of $12,000 in savings for 2012! When I set the goal at the start of the year, I did not have a reliable estimate of how much I could save each month. It feels great to know that I was able to save more than I anticipated. I am curious to see how much my total savings will be at the end of the year.

Transactions: I bought two stocks this month (click on the transactions to see my posts about them): As discussed in my posts, I consider these to be good purchases from a valuation standpoint. The first purchase increases my position in NSC, making the railroad stock the third-largest position in my portfolio. The second purchase is my first new position in several months and I think a high-quality technology stock such as INTC adds some nice diversification to my portfolio. These purchases will increase my annual dividend income by $98.52. I did not sell any stocks for the 9th consecutive month.

Portfolio: My portfolio currently consists of 23 stocks and has a market value of $60,437.16 (including cash), which is a 2.4% increase over last month's value. About 72% of the increase came from new capital and the rest was due to capital gains and dividends.

Seeking Alpha: I published one new article on the investing website Seeking Alpha (click on the title to go to the article): Curiously, this turned out to be my least popular article in terms of page views, even though it seemed to get a good reception in the comment section. Oh well! In September I earned a total of $44.37 from this article and additional page views of my previous articles. My Q3 total is $235.66 (which will be paid in October) and my year-to-date total is $579.60.

Looking Ahead: October will be a decent month for dividends, only slightly less than what I received in September. My savings rate should be good. My two recent purchases used up a modest amount of cash, but once I add the new capital from my September savings, I will have enough cash to make two purchases. A lot of earnings will be reported in the second half of October, so I am tempted to wait and see which stocks dip on "disappointing" earnings. However, if a good opportunity comes up between now and then, I might take advantage of it.


  1. DGM,

    Congrats on a fantastic month!

    You passed the $60k mark. That's awesome. Keep it up!

    Very solid month of dividends there. Just adds to your compounding ability.

    I don't know if I'm just an eternal bull, but I am seeing some value out there. Industrials/railroads, VOD, some financial plays, defense stocks. KMI hasn't moved since I bought it, so I find that still attractive.

    Anything on your radar for next month?

    Best wishes!

    1. Dividend Mantra: Thanks, I appreciate the feedback! I also see some attractively valued stocks at the moment.

      Of the stocks already in my portfolio, I would consider adding to my newly established INTC position on further weakness. I am also watching NSC, but given that it's one of my largest holdings, I would be more interested in adding to a smaller position or starting a new one.

      Of the stocks not in my portfolio, some attractive possibilities are CMI, KMI, and RTN (the last one has dipped noticeably during the past week for some reason).

  2. Looks like you had a great September DGM. Hitting your savings goal three months earlier than planned is an outstanding accomplishment. Well done!!

    1. Stoic: Thanks! I'm definitely pleased with my savings this year. It's always nice to have more new capital for investment.

  3. It looks like September was a busy month for you. Keep up the great work! A 50+% savings rate is fantastic. At this rate you won't have any problem building up passive income. Happy investing, cheers!

  4. Congrats on hitting your savings goal for the year already and being ahead on your dividend goal. I'm also hoping that some early earnings announcements will lead to some dips in prices.

    1. Passive Income Pursuit: Thanks! It feels great to have made such progress on my savings and dividend goals.

  5. Looking good there D. It's nice that the Seeking Alpha articles have paid you almost $600. If I actually had writing talent I would type articles for some side income. Keep them coming. Good job meeting your savings goal, the dividend goal is within reach!

    1. Compounding Income: Thanks for the feedback. I definitely look forward to meeting my dividend goal soon. I hope to continue writing occasional articles for Seeking Alpha; coincidentally, a new article of mine was published today.

  6. Great job, DGM! Congratulations on reaching your savings goal for the year early and for being on track for meeting your dividend income goal a full month early.

    I love the PM and MCD dividend increases, since those are two of my larger holdings, too.

    Keep up the great work and I'll be looking forward to your next update.

    Take care!