Dividend Update: March 2015
The highlight of my month is tallying all of the dividend payouts that flow into my brokerage accounts. This is real cash that I can use however I want, and it arrives each month like clockwork. I invest in and own companies that have histories of raising those dividends every single year. Although my dividend totals are tiny at the moment, they’re being reinvested and growing every quarter and year as I make consistent contributions to my portfolio. I’m building an ever growing stream of income that will one day be used to pay for all of my daily expenses.
In March, the total amount of dividends I received from eleven different businesses was $197.73. I used my automatic dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) for all of them except Target (TGT) and Unilever (UL) which I combined with fresh capital to purchase more shares of AT&T (T) & Coca-Cola (KO) during the month. By selectively or automatically reinvesting dividends, I’m making sure that my future dividend payouts will be even bigger. Here’s a snapshot of my dividend reinvestment activity over the month.
I like to see growth every quarter, especially because I’m primarily automatically reinvesting dividends until the amounts I’m collecting each month are a little bit bigger. In March, these dividend reinvestment’s alone added $7.76 to my 12-month forward income. My total payouts of $197.73 grew 29.24% over last quarter in December, when I earned $152.99. Looking back further, my payouts increased 555.39% from last year’s $30.17; that’s pretty phenomenal growth in a relatively short time period. The dividend growth strategy speaks for itself when looking at my updated dividend payouts chart.
I have a goal to receive $2,050 in dividends during 2015. I’ll have to collect an average of $170.83 each month to make it happen, and after these first three months I’ve averaged $115.12 with a total of $345.36 so far this year. This slow start is expected and fresh contributions and dividend raises will ramp up these totals as the year progresses. Here’s how my dividends received goal looks so far this year.
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) continued its multi-century dividend streak of maintaining or growing dividends when they announced a 3% increase this quarter. The company typically increases their dividends twice a year, and this tradition continued as we saw a year over year increase of 6%. Coca-Cola (KO) announced their 8.2% increase in February; even though I only became a shareholder as of March, it’s still worth noting in this update. Realty Income (O) continues to impress with its rich 22 year dividend growth history, and the increases seem to be announced almost monthly; in March, they announced another .26% increase.
Also worth noting is Baxter International (BAX). I recently bought more shares and I mentioned the possibility of a dividend freeze or even a cut with the impending spin-off of Baxalta. It turns out David Fish, who maintains the CCC list that most dividend growth investors use, agrees with me and wrote about it in his article “Overdue Dividend Increases And Other Streaks In Jeopardy.” I am not concerned about this possible lack of dividend growth because I hold this business in my long term ROTH IRA and am looking forward to the company unlocking plenty of shareholder value just like they’ve done in the past.
My lifetime dividends are tracked purely for inspiration. It’s great knowing this passive cash flow routinely gets reinvested and starts making money of its own. This month the number increased to four digits for a new total of $1,179.70.
It was a big month for me, and I can’t believe I’m already approaching $200 in a single month. My consistent contributions are massively paying off, and I could already pay for a few expenses with this income if needed. The best part is that this is just the beginning, and I’m excited to look back several years from now and see how my dividends have grown.
How were your dividends in March?