Thursday, July 4, 2013

Monthly Review: June 2013

The end of June and the start of July coincided with my big move, hence the delay in posting this review. I spent June 28-30 packing and loading my belongings, as well as cleaning my apartment so I can get my deposit back. I then made the 7+ hour drive to my new city and started moving into my new apartment on July 1. Since then I have been pretty busy with unpacking, running errands, getting things set up, and buying a few pieces of furniture and other household stuff (the frugal side of me cringes at how much money I have spent during the past few days). At this point I do not have too much left to do, aside from more unpacking and organizing, which I should be able to finish this weekend. Overall, the move has proceeded more or less according to plan, with only a few minor hiccups.

Not surprisingly, I paid very little attention to the stock market during the past week. Here is a review of what happened in June:

Dividends: I received a total of $244.51 in dividends from the following stocks:
  • BDX: $12.38
  • CMI: $7.50
  • CVX: $20.00
  • INTC: $42.75
  • JNJ: $23.10
  • MCD: $38.50
  • MSFT: $26.45
  • NSC: $47.50
  • ROST: $4.25
  • UTX: $13.38
  • VFC: $8.70
This represents an 85.8% increase compared with the same month a year ago, which is excellent. In fact, it is my highest monthly dividend total ever. My year-to-date dividend total is now $1,070.05 (this month put me over the $1,000 mark) and my forward 12-month dividend total is $2,417.00.

Dividend Increases: I was pleased to see a dividend increase announced for one of my stocks (click on the stock to see my post about the increase):
  • MDT: 7.7% increase, $4.40 more in annual dividend income
Thus far this year, there have been dividend increases for 18 of the 28 stocks in my portfolio. The mean increase has been 9.5%.

Savings: This month I saved $1,035 (35.6%) of my net job income, which is relatively low but not unexpected. Major expenses included renewals of my six-month car insurance and annual renter's insurance premiums, as well as a few moving-related items. Thus far this year, my mean monthly savings has been $1,334 (45.9%).

Transactions: None

Portfolio: My portfolio (taxable account and Roth IRA together) currently consists of 28 stocks and has a market value of $83,990.11 (including cash), which is a 0.8% decrease over last month's value. The dip was not surprising in light of the turbulence in the stock market during the month.

Seeking Alpha: This month I did not publish any new articles on the investing website Seeking Alpha. However, I received $10.54 from page views of my previous articles, increasing my Q2 total to $284.36 (to be paid in mid-July) and my year-to-date total to $718.31.

Looking Ahead: My dividend total will be lower in July because I have fewer stocks that pay in that month. I expect dividend increases to be announced by CMI and possibly INTC near the end of the month. I will have no savings in July because I will have no job income; my new job officially starts at the end of the month. Thus, my July expenses will be paid from a portion of my savings over the past few months, which is how I planned it. However, as noted above, I will receive my Q2 payment from Seeking Alpha in mid-July, and at some point (more likely in August) I will get reimbursed for a large chunk of my moving expenses. Until all that happens and my income/expenses have returned to "normal" I will continue to sit on the sidelines with respect to investing. I anticipate that I will finally be in a position to resume new capital investment sometime in August, which is just as well because for the next several weeks I will likely be absorbed in activities related to my new job.

Bonus: Earlier this week I got a library card at the public library in my new city. I was delighted to discover they provide free online access to both Morningstar Premium and Value Line.


  1. I hate moving and all the work related to it. Packing moving and unpacking. Sometimes I think it would be better to burn everything and start over in the new place.

    Your dividend income is great. I am jealous. But it is motivating to do more hard work on increasing my dividend income.

    1. Martin: I also dislike moving; besides the packing/unpacking, the general life disruption is a bit stressful. I'll be glad when I'm all done.

      I think the best way of thinking about dividend income is to look at relative changes in your own portfolio, such as year-over-year increases, which can be very motivational.

  2. Glad to heard you have made it through your move and most of that hard work is behind you. That's gotta be stressful along with a lot of work. What isn't stressful is getting those big dividends your getting !

    I am curious what INTC is going to do in terms of their next dividend raise. The last one was $.015 which is less than their previous one.


    1. CD: Thanks! Indeed, seeing my dividends come in as scheduled is not stressful at all. :)

      Regarding INTC, I think we might see either a small dividend increase (perhaps by a penny, or 4.4%) or maybe no increase until later, when they have a better sense of new product sales. In the meantime, I am happy to collect my >4% dividend from them.

  3. DGM,

    I hope you enjoy being settled in now that the move is behind you. This sounds like a pretty positive move for you overall.

    I have a personal question. I moved from Michigan to Florida back in mid-2009 to make a big change and I felt it would be easier to do some of the things I'm doing here (which turned out to be wonderfully true). However, I miss my family tremendously. Does this factor in for you? I'm exceptionally close to my family, so that makes a big difference.

    Either way, great month of dividends and you have built a solid portfolio up. You're contributions will be ramped up I'm sure because you'll be making more money now, but even if you were to never contribute another dollar to the portfolio you'd still retire at a traditional age with much more than most have at that age. It's so wonderful to start off young and aggressive. You're on cruise control now.

    Best wishes!

    1. DM: Thanks for your comment. After this weekend my move should be complete; all I have left is to unpack several boxes and organize the contents.

      Regarding the personal question: About ten years ago I moved 2,000 miles away from my family and friends to go to grad school. It was a difficult decision, especially because it would be my first time living on my own, but I didn't want to pass up a great opportunity to study at a top 25 school with an internationally famous researcher. The decision turned out to be an excellent one because I excelled in grad school and landed a terrific postdoc position (working with someone even more famous than my grad advisor). My postdoc required me to move again, but at that point I had already been living on my own for five years. Now another five years have passed and I have moved yet again, but this time for a faculty position at a good university.

      Given that I've now lived far away from my family and childhood friends for ten years, I don't miss them that much anymore. I go back to visit either once or twice each year; otherwise, I just keep in touch by phone or e-mail. I'll admit that I'm not particularly close to my family. Back when I still lived at home, the environment was not suited to an academic, and I had been wanting to get away for a while. That was probably a contributing factor in my grad-school decision.

      In addition, my family has become increasingly fragmented/dysfunctional in recent years. My parents got divorced earlier this year, my younger sister has not spoken with my father in over a year, and my older brother and his family seem to want nothing to do with the rest of the family. I'm fortunately on good terms with everyone (as far as I know), perhaps in part because I'm at a distance. Thus, family does not play a large role in my life, but I'm okay with that.

  4. You had a nice month of dividends and a nice year-over-year increase as well. I'm looking forward to CMI and INTC's possible announcement this month. I expect a fairly good size increase from CMI although INTC might be a bit more conservative. Just my take on what to expect. Have fun getting settled in and starting the new job.

    1. PIP: Thank you. I'll likely be happy with whatever dividend increases come my way from CMI and INTC. It'd be nice if they exceeded my expectations, though. :)

  5. That's a nice month and great YOY increase. I'm sure those dividends will come in handy while you are still in transition to your new job. I'm glad the move went smoothly and I look forward to when you can start writing more posts/articles and buying more dividend growth stocks.

    1. AAI: Thanks! It's nice to have my investments working for me (paying dividends) while I deal with other things in life. I'm also looking forward to getting back into my regular investing and writing activities.

  6. Looks good. Yep I moved into my new place the same day you did, pretty neat! It appears you almost have enough for a new purchase just from accumulated dividends during your hiatus. Have to love that!

    1. CI: I hope your move has also gone smoothly. I finished unpacking and organizing everything yesterday, so I'm glad I don't have to deal with that anymore.

      The dividends have been building up nicely during the past few months, to the point where I only need a bit of new capital to make a decent-sized purchase. Hmmm...