Friday, December 7, 2012

Monthly Review: November 2012

Here is a review of what happened in November:

Dividends: I received a total of $137.95 in dividends from the following stocks:
  • ABT: $22.95
  • GD: $10.20
  • GIS: $23.10
  • HRL: $15.00
  • KMI: $14.40
  • PG: $28.10
  • T: $24.20
This was a satisfactory month for dividends and it was nice to get my first dividend payment from KMI. I now have a year-to-date total of $1,412.14. Back on November 1, I achieved my goal of receiving $1,300 in dividends for 2012.

Dividend Increases: I was pleased to see dividend increases announced for five(!) of my stocks (click on each stock to see my post about the increase):
  • BDX: 10% increase, $4.52 more in annual dividend income
  • HRL: 13.3%, $8.00
  • T: 2.3%, $2.20
  • UNP: 15%, $3.60
  • VOD: 7.2%, about $2.74
Most of these increases take effect in 2013. Dividend increases occurred for 24 of the 25 stocks in my portfolio in 2012, which is great -- that's what dividend growth investing is all about! The lone holdout was ADM, but I am hoping for an increase to be announced early in 2013, which would enable them to maintain their long dividend growth streak. (In an earlier post I expressed some concerns about ADM, but I've decided to continue holding it for the time being.)

Savings: This month I saved an estimated $1,640 (55.1%) of my net income, which is similar to the previous two months and results in year-to-date savings of $15,950. It is an estimate because of the difficulties in accounting for travel expenses associated with my recent work-related trips. I pay for my travel expenses upfront and then get reimbursed at a later date; for example, today I received the reimbursement check for a trip in mid-November. I have been using my reserve cash fund to temporarily take care of larger expenses such as airfare (the amount withdrawn from my reserve fund is restored when I get reimbursed), but I have not done that for smaller expenses (a few incidentals are not reimbursable), hence the estimate. It will be the same way with my December savings.

Transactions: I bought one stock in November (click on the transaction to see my post about it): I was happy to take advantage of an opportunity to average down on my NSC position. At this point it is as large as I feel comfortable having it, so I doubt I will add to it in the near future. This purchase increases my annual dividend income by $50.00. I did not sell any stocks for the 11th consecutive month.

Portfolio: My portfolio currently consists of 25 stocks and has a market value of $63,497.85 (including cash), which is a 3.6% increase over last month's value. The increase primarily reflects new capital, with the remainder split about evenly between dividends and capital gains.

Seeking Alpha: Due to travel and being generally busier than usual, I did not publish any new articles on the investing website Seeking Alpha. However, in November I earned $8.00 from page views of my previous articles, increasing my Q4 total to $100.07 and my year-to-date total to $679.67.

Looking Ahead: December will be an above-average month for dividends, in part because two of my companies (GD and ITW) have moved their next dividend payments up into December in case of a potential dividend tax hike in 2013. I am not expecting any dividend increases to be announced in December. My savings rate will take a hit due to some large annual expenses and holiday spending, but it should rebound in the new year. As in November, I only have enough new capital from savings to make one purchase, which I did at the start of December by increasing my position in INTC. It was my last purchase for 2012.

As regular readers of this blog are aware, I've been busy with travel for the past few weeks, which is the reason for the lack of blogging activity. My final work-related trip for 2012 is next week and it will be followed a few days later by a personal trip to see my family for the holidays. I am not a seasoned traveler, so having a total of 5 trips in 6 weeks has been a bit of a strain; also, the work-related trips have been rather intense (but in a positive way). As a result, my blogging and investing activities will remain minimal until the new year.

That said, I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a great time during the holidays! I hope our portfolios finish 2012 in good shape and our investing success continues into 2013. With 2012 being my first full year of dividend growth investing, I am quite pleased with the results (I plan to write an annual review in January). I am definitely looking forward to my second year and beyond!


  1. DGM,

    Congrats for blowing away your goals. I'm with you - I'm really looking forward to what 2013 has in store for us. Also, great job on your first full year of dividend growth investing. 2011 was the first for me and it was really enjoyable.

    I hope you enjoy your holiday season and get to unwind a bit. Sounds like you've been incredibly busy. I really enjoy a slower pace of life, so jet-setting is not for me.

    Sounds like December is going to be a big month for many of us, especially considering how many companies have advanced January payouts to December due to the tax uncertainties. January will hence suffer.

    Happy holidays and look forward to updates when you have more time.

    Best wishes!

    1. Dividend Mantra: Thanks for your comment. December should be a nice month for dividends, but as you point out, the advanced payments will result in some lower totals early in the new year. It will also have a small effect on year-over-year comparisons.

      My life has been rather hectic lately with all my work-related travel, so I will be glad when I visit my family and get a chance to relax for a while.

      I think we've both had a great year of dividend growth investing and I look forward to seeing how things unfold for us in 2013. (I predict more dividends.) Happy holidays!

  2. DGM,

    Congrats on a wonderful first year of dividend growth investing! Like you, this was also my first year, and I'm quite pleased with the overall results.

    Happy holidays, and I look forward to reading your annual review, and posts in 2013.

    Take care!

    1. FI Fighter: Thanks! I'm glad you also had a good first year of dividend growth investing. Starting a new venture is not always easy, but I think we've both done fine jobs of building high-quality portfolios that will be solid foundations for many more years of investing.

      I also look forward to reading your blog in 2013. Happy holidays!

  3. Great month! 5 increases is always welcome. That's HUGE. Your NSC purchase is looking really good right now, the last time I chekced it's back up to $62. Pure genius.

    I'm thinking about counting accelerated dividends towards 2013 numbers. This is not normal. You can add MDT to list as well.

    1. Compounding Income: Thanks! The NSC purchase does seem to have been timely. Of course, one can never predict when Mr. Market will come to his senses. :)

      The accelerated dividends will affect some quarterly comparisons, but I will probably just record them when they come in and put an asterisk beside the affected quarters. If the whole "fiscal cliff" business gets resolved, then the acceleration may end up being pointless.

      Thanks for the note about MDT's dividend -- I hadn't noticed that.