Thursday, May 2, 2013

Monthly Review: April 2013

At the beginning of April I visited the city where I will be moving this summer so that I could find a place to live. I managed to find a great apartment with a reasonable rent and a lot of amenities. The rent is slightly higher than where I currently live, but my new place will provide a higher-quality living experience, which is something I have desired.

Not much happened in terms of investing activity in April because I have temporarily suspended new capital investment, as discussed in a previous post. However, considering the limited selection of attractively valued dividend growth stocks out there right now, I feel a bit relieved that I don't have to make any buying decisions for a while. That said, here is a review of what happened in April:

Dividends: I received a total of $184.97 in dividends from the following stocks:
  • CNI: $7.19
  • GPC: $26.88
  • ITW: $15.20
  • KO: $16.80
  • MDT: $14.30
  • NVS: $55.20
  • PM: $42.50
  • UNP: $6.90
This represents a 9.4% increase compared with the same month a year ago. I expected only a modest increase because most of the stocks I have purchased over the past several months do not pay dividends on a Jan-Apr-Jul-Oct schedule. Thus, most of the year-over-year increase reflects organic growth from dividend increases. My year-to-date dividend total is now $660.91 and my forward 12-month dividend total is $2,412.60.

Dividend Increases: I was pleased to see dividend increases announced for four stocks (click on each stock to see my post about the increase):
  • PG: 7.0% increase, $7.92 more in annual dividend income
  • KMI: 2.7%, $3.60
  • CVX: 11.1%, $8.00
  • JNJ: 8.2%, $7.00
I am satisfied with all these dividend increases. In the case of KMI, it was the second increase in 2013, bringing its overall increase for the year up to 5.6%. Thus far this year, there have been dividend increases for 17 of the 28 stocks in my portfolio. The mean increase has been 9.6%.

Savings: This month I saved $1,510 (51.9%) of my net job income, which is essentially identical to what I saved in the previous month. The number excludes selected expenses associated with my apartment-seeking trip that will be reimbursed by my new employer. It also excludes the tax refund I received at the beginning of the month and my Q1 income from Seeking Alpha. Thus far this year, my mean monthly savings has been $1,464 (50.3%).

Transactions: None

Portfolio: My portfolio (taxable account and Roth IRA together) currently consists of 28 stocks and has a market value of $84,861.32 (including cash), which is a 3.2% increase over last month's value. As in March, I did not add any new capital in April, so the increase is completely due to capital gains and dividends. Interestingly, I noticed that I have an unrealized capital gain on every single stock in my portfolio.

Seeking Alpha: This month I published one new article on the investing website Seeking Alpha: I was stunned to see the article get over 20,000 page views, which is more than any of my previous articles. I earned $253.02 from page views in April, which is my highest monthly total yet. My year-to-date total is $686.97, which already matches my year-end total of $686.81 for 2012! It is great to earn this kind of income from occasional investment writing.

Looking Ahead: In May I will see a larger year-over-year increase in dividends than I did in April. I am anticipating announcements of dividend increases from only INTC and VOD; the latter should be announcing its second semi-annual dividend for 2013. My savings rate will probably be similar to what it has been in recent months. I do not anticipate making any stock transactions, unless the market rally continues and one of my stocks gets extremely overvalued. A few stocks I hold are already moderately overvalued, but not to the extent where I feel I need to take any action. Thus, I will likely remain on the sidelines and just continue monitoring earnings reports and other events.


  1. DGM,

    Fantastic progress!

    Good luck on the move and I'm glad you found an apartment that offers a high quality of life at only a minimal increase in expenses over what you're paying now. It sounds like you're pretty excited for the move and the job. That's awesome!

    Great job on everything else. You couldn't have picked a better time to sit out of investing new capital, as capital deployment is awfully tricky right now with the lack of clear value. It's rather unfortunate, but one can only navigate the waters the best they can.

    Great stuff on the SA income. You're killing it with just occasional writing. That's fantastic!

    Keep up the great work. Best of luck as you near your move.

    Best wishes.

    1. DM: Thanks! Yes, I'm glad I found a nice apartment; it takes care of one big part of my forthcoming move.

      I'm also glad that I don't have to worry about where to invest new capital right now. I've been casually looking at some stocks that I don't own, but their current valuations are not very attractive.

      The SA income is great. I have ideas for two or three new articles, but it will likely be a while before I'll have time to write them up.

      Take care and best wishes with your investing!

  2. Hi DGM,

    You had a solid month and some really nice dividend raises. You can't ask for much more than that! You have several April payers that I'd like to own including ITW at the right prices.

    Good luck with the move, you are setting yourself up to make larger contributions towards the end of the year and into the future. Hopefully we will get that correction that everyone thinks or hopes is coming.

    The SA income is amazing. That's a nice boost to your income from writing on a subject that you enjoy.

    Take care!

    1. AAI: Thank you! I was quite pleased with the batch of dividend increases in April; if only every month was like that!

      I am looking forward to later this year when I will be able to resume investing new capital -- and hopefully much more of it on a regular basis due to the higher salary from my new job. It would be great if a market correction coincides with my personal situation. :)

      Keep up the good work with your own investing -- I am amazed at how quickly you're increasing your forward dividend total.

  3. The new job is going to be great and let you really boost the portfolio. And it doesn't hurt that the move is coming as the markets seem to be overvalued and marching ever higher.

    That SA income is great too! Almost $700 for articles you would have posted here. I need to get off my but and start writing some articles for SA.

    Congrats on a great month!

    1. PIP: Thanks! I am definitely excited about the prospect of increasing my portfolio's growth once I start my new job. I am curious to see how much I'll be able to save each month for investment.

      I am very pleased with my SA income. It's nice to be paid a bit for something I enjoy doing.

  4. Good job! It's interesting to see dividend growth in action. I don't think I really understood that stocks in general were fairly valued last year. My reference point was 2010 and 2011 which kind of scewed my view. Staying on the sidelines is a good problem to have right now!

    Are you moving soon? When do you think you'll put more capital to work?


    1. CI: Thank you! I've had the same experience in judging stock valuations in general, latching onto reference points that influenced my investing decisions in suboptimal ways. However, I like to think that I'm getting better at understanding valuation as I gain more first-hand investing experience.

      I will be moving at the end of June and getting things set up at my new home and workplace in July. I am hoping to roll over the two retirement plans associated with my current employer into an IRA in July; if I can do that in a timely manner, then I might have some rollover money to start investing in late July.

  5. Nice work on the dividend increases. You are assembling a very strong dividend portfolio here. I read the Q1 update on Seeking Alpha. It was very well written and structured with some good insights for new investors. It deserved the 20k view that you received. Well done!

    1. Integrator: Thanks, I appreciate the feedback on my portfolio and the SA article!