Growth Update: March 2014
Time is really starting to fly by as I grow older. I started this blog at the beginning of March and before I blinked, the month was over. When I step back and reflect on the passage of time, I realize just how important the day to day things in life are, such as family, friends, and hobbies. This motivates me to stick to my dividend plan so that one day I’ll earn my freedom. I will continue to save and invest money into fairly valued, sound companies with a history of dividend growth.
Throughout most of 2013 and even early this year I didn’t quite have strategies or goals completely ironed out, but I’ve learned plenty along the way. Aside from bigger picture ideas, I learned things that now seem like common sense, like how I needed to invest more than $500 at a time to avoid higher commission costs. And also that I don’t want to use monthly automatic purchases, because a stock’s value can dramatically change by the time the investment goes through. I’ve also learned that when my portfolio gets a little bigger, I want to base my dividend reinvestment plan on this same logic and will selectively use DRIP with a better basis on value. I’m not worried about my mistakes because I’m getting better. To quote Kurt Vonnegut: “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
I made two purchases this month. The first was to add to a small position I held in AT&T. Before adding, the position was down a full 11% because it was purchased at $36.83. I was able to dramatically decrease my cost basis by adding at $32.19 and now the position is up almost 6%. However, the price of the stock doesn’t mean much when it’s the dividends I’m after, and we all know this company still has a lot to prove.
I also became a shareholder in Phillip Morris International. This company has a lot to look forward to in its exposure to foreign markets with its new product lines, including hybrid and e-cigs. My first dividend from this company is due in April.
I’m starting to see some serious progress in my dividend payouts and portfolio value. I earned $30.17 in dividends for the month of March. My portfolio increased in value from $11,120.00 on the first of March to $14,302.00 on the first of April for a 29% increase including fresh capital. While I’m not as concerned with value, I still find it interesting to chart. Below you will find charts for my March dividend payouts, divided payout history, and portfolio value history.