Growth Update: October 2014
October was a frightening month as the weather cooled down, and the ghosts and ghouls came out to play during Halloween. I went as the psycho day of the dead character pictured here. The stock market was just as scary to a lot of investors as it swung up and down with a powerful force. However, as a dividend growth investor, this was a fantastic opportunity to put some fresh capital to work in solid companies that pay growing dividends each year. One day I’ll use the income I receive from my consistent investments to pay all of my expenses and earn my freedom from the working class.
My overall portfolio dipped into the red for about two weeks during the month, and I felt some pressure to quickly decide which of my holdings I wanted to average down on. Ultimately, I choose to make larger purchases in Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and United Technologies (UTX). I also added small amounts to Wal-Mart (WMT) in my commision free Loyal3 account, and then I initiated a position in a brand new company for my portfolio whose products I use regularly. That company was Unilever (UL), who owns brands such as Vaseline, Axe, Dove, Lipton, Ben & Jerry’s, Hellmann’s, Suave and many more. I continue to spread out my investments and now own a piece of 20 separate businesses that all pay me rising dividends. Unilever has been very popular for a lot of value investors lately as the share price has come down. Here are some of the many inspiring blogs I follow that also recently purchased Unilever with these articles: Dividend Mantra, Passive-Income-Pursuit, Write Your Own Reality, Captain Dividend, Dividend Growth Investor, Two Investing, DivHut, Dividend Mongrel, and Dividend Growth Journey. (Forgive me if I missed anyone!)
My Loyal3 buys over the month looked like this:
With my purchases during the month, I added $3,683.90 in new capital. I was prepared to add at least one more larger investment when the market declined, but before I could even blink, the market popped right back up with a vengeance, and I decided to exercise patience. I’m very fortunate that I’ve been able to add $31,336.21 in new investments this year to date and am now only $3,663.79 away from my 2014 revised new capital invested goal of $35,000. I should easily pass that this month and am currently thinking about averaging down in IBM or BP next week, but we shall see which companies present themselves.
With the small size of my portfolio, consistent investments keep my graphs looking mighty nice as I finished the month with a new high overall value of $37,669.23. This was a change of 14.43% from September’s $32,920.41 and an even more impressive 3,245.40% increase from October of last year when the value stood at only $1,126.00.
Dividend payouts were light, but it’s amazing that I did no work for these companies during the month and received income that was completely passive. This month I made $54.98 which is an increase of 29.36% over last quarter in July when I received $42.50. The real power of dividends show when I compare this month payments to last year’s total of $6.79 which is an increase of 709.72%.
October didn’t help my 2014 dividends received goal as much as I would have liked, but so far I’ve made $532.69 out of $750 in total payouts. I now need to average $108.66 in each of these last two months to meet this goal. During the summer, I thought this goal was completely unreachable, despite many of my peers telling me it was possible; I’m a believer now, but it’s going to be a close one.
I automatically reinvested all my dividends during the month, but have since turned a few off that are getting into overvalued territory. I’ll talk more about those when they come through in the months ahead. Here are the extra shares I picked up in October:
I also had my second highest month of dividend raises, with 4 companies increasing my annual income. I only saw more raises in April when 5 businesses raised their payouts.
A great thing happened regarding my work situation during the month as I logged a full year at the same television network. It also marks 10 months of employment in 2014 and is my second completed goal this year! Why only 10 months? I’m a rookie video editor and typically only work for weeks to months at a time and then have to scramble to find new gigs. This steady employment has been a huge factor in getting my investment portfolio off the ground. In editing, you want to keep getting different credits for different networks and shows constantly so that you can keep increasing your weekly rate and social network. By staying at the same place this long, I risk losing touch with past contacts, but I’m not in a huge rush to leave just yet. For now, I’m going to focus on keeping that money flowing while my job is nice and steady.
But what do we investors do now that the market is soaring to new record highs? We remember that the market is full of individual companies that are suppose to be growing, and that the overall market is suppose to be rising to new record heights all the time. I plan to keep investing where I find attractive opportunities, and I’ll let the magic of compounding and time do its work for me while I sit back and collect those ever growing dividends.
How was your October? How are you investing at these market highs?