Growth Update: August 2014

I found myself constantly busy during the last half of August.  It was the good type of busy.  I took my girlfriend to a private cabin I rented in a forest on top of a mountain for a romantic getaway.  That weekend I took part in a huge life milestone when I proposed to her, and she said yes!   She’s an amazing and beautiful individual who shares my vision of frugality and financial independence.  I’m a very lucky guy.  The weekend after our getaway, my parents flew in from the Midwest to spend some quality time with us.  Living in Los Angeles, I don’t get to see them nearly as often as I’d like to.  It was a wonderful few weeks, and time away from the daily grind at work added fuel to my desire to achieve financial independence as soon as possible.  So I will continue to invest money into companies that grow their dividends each year and will one day pay all of my expenses with this income.

I added to positions in Aflac and BP in August.  It turns out I was early on my purchase of BP as it fell over 6% in a single day today and will likely fall steeper in the coming weeks.  This was actually a great lesson for me going forward.  I was well versed in all of the risk of this company and its legal battles, but I didn’t specifically look at the date of the hearing announcement of the Gulf oil spill. While it seemed some of the risk was priced in when I added to my position, I could have easily waited a few weeks on this purchase to see what would happen with the ruling, knowing that the judge is clearly trying to make an example out of BP.  Of course one could argue that trying to predict such events and price movements is speculation, and I shouldn’t linger on such things.  Unfortunately, I still can’t help but feel like I missed a part of my research on this one.  It’s a solid reminder that I’m very new to investing, and if I’m going to make purchases every two weeks, I need to get better at doing my homework.  Ultimately, I’m happy to sit back for a while and collect dividends while BP appeals today’s decision that it was “Grossly Negligent” in the spill.  BP will now have to prepare to pay up to $18 billion in fines from the ruling when the dust settles in a few years.

Since I smashed my 2014 new capital invested goal last month, I’ve revised the goal by doubling it.  I’m way further ahead of where I expected I’d be when we started this year, and it feels absolutely amazing.  With my two purchases, I’ve now invested $22,891.16 this year so far.

2014_August_GOALS_newcapitalinvestedAs the market regained losses from July, my portfolio gained steam right along with it.  It witnessed an increase of 13.78% from July’s $25,365.07 to $28,859.80.  Last year at this time, my total portfolio was only worth $1,175, and I still wouldn’t have been able to make another small purchase until October.

2014_August_portfoliovalueDividend payouts are my favorite part of these updates, and August didn’t disappoint.  It’s hard for me to believe I’ve made it to $81.75 in passive income this fast into my journey.  This is an increase of 18.82% over last quarter in May when I made $68.80.  Year over year I saw an increase of 510.99% when I received only my second month of dividends and made $13.38.

2014_August_dividendpayoutsI’ll also note that I’m still behind on my 2014 dividends received goal, as I expected I would be, with $387.64 of $750.

2014_August_goals_dividendsrecievedThese are the shares I picked up through my dividend reinvestment plan in August:

2014_August_DRIP1

2014_August_DRIP2

Altria gave me my only dividend increase this month.

2014_August_Raises

My work situation continues to go well for my 2014 months worked goal.

2014_August_goals_work

I’m excited for September as I’ve already made a purchase that I’ll be posting about soon.  It’s a new company for me and the first in its sector.  I hope everyone had a great month and cheers to passive income and investing! 

How was your August?  Are you beating your goals?

 

My Dividend Growth

http://www.mydividendgrowth.com

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25 thoughts on “Growth Update: August 2014
  1. DivHut

    A big congrats on getting engaged recently. Summer 2014 will be one to remember for sure because of this milestone and having an nice visit with family. In stock news… don’t kill yourself over BP. Waiting for announcements is basically the same as trying to time the market. This is why I always like to keep cash in my account for exactly these reasons. You never know when a stock you are watching or own may present a new buying opportunity for you. If you still believe in BP and like its future prospects just average down. I started in 2007 and watched every single one of my dividend stocks go deep in the red in 2008/9. I did not panic. Just had my cash on the side and kept investing every single month like always. I still liked KO, PEP, JNJ, CAT, MCD, ABT, GE, KMB, CL, CLX, PG, etc. etc. etc. That didn’t change because those positions were in the red. Thanks for sharing your recent update with us.

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      DivHut,

      Thank you very much, it really was a great summer on all fronts including my finances. I appreciate your great advise, it’s so helpful to hear from someone who has been through so many ups and downs in the market. I’m building up some dry powder for any sales and hope we get to see some interesting and different opportunities soon. With my small portfolio, I still find myself caught in the balancing act of whether to diversify more or double down on current positions. Hopefully the income will keep coming in and I’ll just try to put the money wherever I see the best value. I’ll try not to worry so much and know that there’s not much I could do today to screw up the long term plan.

      Take care,
      Ryan

       
      Reply
  2. writing2reality

    Congratulations on the engagement Ryan! Pretty exciting times indeed! Obviously your continued employment and ability to invest is drastically accelerating your portfolio’s performance. Should be fun to watch those dividends grow over the next few years as you are building a strong platform for future dividends. I don’t think hitting the $750 mark will be any problem given the size of your portfolio now and the asset base you have for the next four months.

    Keep up the good work!

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      W2R,

      I truly appreciate the well wishes, thank you! I was so happy to hear of your recent wedding as well, everyone is becoming such adults lately! I’m so fortunate to have stability on the job front. I feel like everything is finally coming together, but I also know things can change fast in this industry, so I’m trying my best to put the income to work while I have it. I’ll be curious to see what happens with my goal, I’m hoping for at least $650 – $700, and next year will be great. My lending club is chugging along slowly but nicely and I always think of you when I get the payments.

      Best,
      Ryan

       
      Reply
  3. roadmap2retire

    Congrats on the engagement, Ryan. Wishing you and your fiancee the best for the future. Sounds like your proposal was well planned out … I did a similar thing when I proposed to my wife, except that it was an urban setting. We flew to NYC for the wknd and I proposed to her on her 30th birthday 🙂

    Looks like you are doing pretty well with your goals…keep that new capital pouring in. The whole BP thing is quite unfortunate and its really hard to predict the regulatory events….one wouldve thought the gulf oil spill was all behind them and things were starting to look up and they get hit again. I have debated investing in BP in the past, but stayed away from it. Good luck with your investments

    cheers
    R2R

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      R2R,

      Great to hear from you, and thank you so very much for the well wishes. I got a little lucky everything went so well on our trip because I had never been there before, we ended up loving it. I’ve still never been to NYC but want to get there at some point and I’m hoping my line of work will take me there eventually. I think your proposal wins… why didn’t I think of the birthday thing!

      I hope I can keep up the investments and even increase them a little, but my industry is very volatile sometimes so it’ll be a challenge. I don’t blame you for passing on BP, it’s a very risky play and I’m not expecting much in dividend increases for a while. I’m very happy to be a fellow shareholder of CVX and KMI in this space with you 🙂 Your dividend income is growing so impressively, it’s been real fun to watch.

      All my best,
      Ryan

       
      Reply
  4. My Dividend Pipeline

    Ryan,

    Great month bud! Your snowball is really starting to pick up speed. I wouldn’t worry about the BP purchasetoo much, you’ll make biggest mistakes in the future. 🙂 Just kidding, in time you won’t even remember the price you paid. Continue the periodic investments and your journey will no doubt be very successful.

    MDP

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      MDP,

      It’s still crazy to me how fast it’s happening. I’m seeing the snowball start to move a little now, and if I’m lucky enough to keep up the investments it’ll be rolling in no time. Haha, I will be making a ton of mistakes along the way, I’m sure of it. It’s amazing though that in the long term, I can’t really mess too much up if I stick to the basics. I was glad to see you hop on BP yourself on that decline, I always find myself second guessing those situations. I was almost positive the price would decline further, and it did the opposite. The market is always reminding me to not try to predict things. One day I’ll learn my lesson and just happy to be buying a part of a great company at a valuation I’m happy with in the long term. Keep up your inspirational buying spree, I’m truly enjoying every post.

      Wishing you well,
      Ryan

       
      Reply
  5. Dividend Growth Journey

    Ryan,
    Congrats on the engagement and congrats on meeting and increasing your “amount invested” goal. Over 22K invested in 8 months is no small feat. Congratulations. It is nice to see the portfolio value increasing each month.

    Similar to your BP situation, it happened to me in MCD when I initiated the position the day before their latest quarterly results. The stock dropped after the results and has dropped even further. If I had not purchased it on that day, maybe I would have waited to make the purchase. Currently, my position is down by more than 5%. But things happen and we cannot time the market. I might try and add more to my position if the stock continues to stay down for a while.

    Congrats on a great month.

    DGJ

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      DGJ,

      You’re so thoughtful, thanks for the comments. I love watching the portfolio increase each month knowing I was able to save a good chunk of my income. I’m also prepared to see it hit the red at some point since it’s not even up 5% on cost. I’d definitely welcome a market correction though, especially while my income is still stable.

      You got it on timing the market, it’s better to focus on the long term. I never quite know when to add to an existing position or initiate something new, but I find each investment is a fun and great problem to try and solve. I’m glad to have you as a fellow shareholder of BP, I thought that was a great purchase you made. I don’t think you can go wrong with more MCD, challenging times in great companies typically provide the best investment opportunities.

      Wishing you the best,
      Ryan

       
      Reply
  6. Dividend Mantra

    Ryan,

    Congrats on the engagement! That’s fantastic!! Having a supportive partner is only going to propel your success, and you’ll be able to enjoy it together. 🙂

    You’ve had a great year. And a 500%+ YOY improvement in dividend income is astounding. Keep up the fantastic work!

    Don’t worry too much about BP. They’ve already appealed the decision, and this will ultimately drag out for years and years. Even if they’re held responsible for the entire $18 billion they’ll be just fine. However, I do wonder how the dividend raises will look in the meantime. But you can’t predict these types of things. If anything, it just gives you an opportunity to average down on your cost. BP didn’t drop below my cost basis and I’m comfortable with my position here, but if it drops to $40 or so I might add.

    Keep it up!!

    Best regards.

     
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    1. My Dividend Growth

      Jason,

      You’re so kind, thanks for the nice words about our engagement! I’m thinking you might be next my friend 🙂

      I’ve gotten pretty lucky to be so far ahead of last year. I’ll be interested to see those percentages in December compared to when I first started investing aggressively the year before.

      I’m also relieved to hear you confirm my belief that BP will be just fine. I’m not sure if I’ll add much more unless it really bleeds a lot from here. It’s definitely a position I will monitor more closely than others. Hopefully they don’t make any more major blunders for a long while. Meanwhile, I’m happy to put the high yield on DRIP at these prices.

      Thank you for mentioning this post in your Weekly Reading article! I’m very grateful for all of your continued support and mentoring this year.

      All my best,
      Ryan

       
      Reply
  7. JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit.com

    Congrats on the proposal! Any idea for when y’all will actually tie the knot?

    Looks like a really solid month and even though you might be a bit behind on some of your goals you’re still well ahead of several others. The rest of the year should be quite fruitful for you and your new fiancee! Have a great September.

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      JC!

      You’re the best, thanks for the great comment. We haven’t planned much out yet, but we are thinking possibly in August. It’ll likely be a smaller event since our families live so far apart and we’re both frugal 🙂 I’m going definitely going to have questions for you if we ever get pregnant, and can’t wait for you to meet Lucas!

      I’m really hoping I can keep these solid months on track. It’s going to boil down the job situation and keeping pace with the contributions. Here’s to a great finish to the year for both of us, financially and personally!

      Take care,
      Ryan

       
      Reply
  8. Pingback: Weekend Reading – September 6, 2014

    1. My Dividend Growth

      Charles,

      Really nice of you to comment, I appreciate it! I live in neighboring Glendale. We were just in Old Town last weekend when my parents were in town, cool that you’re in the area 🙂 My commute isn’t that bad, I work in Hollywood.

      Take care!
      Ryan

       
      Reply
  9. Dividend Diplomats

    MDG,

    Congrats on the engagement! Cheers to life of many great memories with your fiance. You discuss an interesting lesson with investing. I shuld start by saying I have a pretty decent holding in BP. From the article, it sounds like you did a lot of research on the oil spill and its impact on the company. The hard part is how do you play events such as the hearing about the spill? In short, my answer is you pretend they don’t exist if you are considering investing at the current moment in time. The hearing could have gone three directions. Either BP was grossly negligent (Huge Dip), Nothing Changes in the Status (Awaaste of a government hearing that barely moves the shrea price), or BP has less liability than originally anticipated (Stock price increases). For me, you have just as great of an opportunity to benefit from a positive result of the event as a negative result. Since the ultimate decision was out of BPs hands and they had a chance to benefit either positively or negatively, I throw out the event and focus on the fundamentals of a company. It was a lesson I learned through trying to play the timing game. If the company is solid and is a dividend growth stock over the log term, why try to gamble and mess around with short term events.

    Keep up the great work and continue to building your portfolio. Even though BP dipped, enjoy the period of dividend re-investment at a lower price! Congrats again on the engagement!

    Bert, one of the Dividend Diplomats

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Bert,

      Glad to hear from you. Thank you very much and cheers right back at you 🙂

      That’s great advice, thanks for sharing it. I’m also glad to own BP with you! I do still find myself seeking any possible advantage in determining price, but you’re right, in the long term it won’t matter much. I just need to focus on saving and getting that money to work as quick as I can in solid companies that give me a increasing and higher yield than a bank. Many years from now I’ll be glad to get in anywhere near today’s prices.

      I’ve been enjoying your progress a ton and appreciate you stopping by.

      Best,
      Ryan

       
      Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Bridget,

      I’m glad you stopped by because now I’ve discovered your blog. I see a lot of helpful ideas over there to explore. All of my saving is really adding up. My favorite part is watching the forward income in the portfolio rise with each investment. These results are pushing me even harder. Thanks for stopping by.

      Best wishes,
      Ryan

       
      Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Tawcan,

      Thank you very much! It’s definitely been a great year of progress all around for me 🙂 I like the blog you’ve got going over there, I’m excited to read along. Cheers to more dividends for both of us!

      Best Wishes,
      Ryan

       
      Reply

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