Dividend Income December 2020

The following is my dividend history for my portfolio going back to January of 2008. I promise to eventually go back further, but in the meantime…

December of 2020 saw my dividend income top out at $3298.48 an increase of 4.90% from December 2019. This amounts to an increase of $154.09 YOY.  The goal for the year was to increase dividend income 10% and get to $33,000 in 2020 and reach $40,000  by the end of 2023.  The dividend income should double every roughly 7-9 years, providing ample passive dividend income to live off in a normal retirement age.  Goal achieved!  For 2020, I was able to increase my dividend income to $33377.25 for the year representing a 12.81% increase.  Not bad considering it was a rough year with dividend cuts being handed out by lots of companies.  For the year I help 51 dividend paying companies.  32 holdings announced increase, 3 had cuts or decreases, and 16 held their dividend constant.

Dividends are a beautiful thing. I compare dividend stocks to being a landlord. Every month, I collect dividends (rent) and over time I am seeing the value of the stocks (think the property) rise. The beautiful thing of dividends, I don’t worry if the tenant will pay, or destroy the property. If I want to sell the property (stock), it can be executed in seconds to raise capital (actually I don’t even run into any transaction cost anymore). It’s also super easy to get the current value of the stocks, unlike in housing where comp sales can make a difference in value. When you have enough dividend income to live off, it also helps distract you from market fluctuations. Take current market scenario with the global economic shutdown, for example, it is shit. It doesn’t bother me. I stay put, invest in the market, and continued to collect my dividends, even reinvesting the dividends, and occasionally buying some stocks.  It comes back.  Dividend investing is also easier than landlording.  In the current climate, any overextended landlord who has a note on their property and a tenant without a job, should be freaked out about not receiving rent.  I don’t have that same worry with my stocks.

So without further adieu, my portfolios dividend history dating back to January of 2008. Please notice the tabs at the bottom of the excel spreadsheet (monthly, quarterly, annual).

And for now for some charts.

Monthly:

Quarterly:

Annually:

So, why do I even bother sharing this information every month. I want readers to notice a couple things and encourage anyone who is in the earlier stages of building up there financial assets. When you’re starting out it may feel like you aren’t making any progress towards your goals. You may only have a couple bucks in dividends for the month. Don’t give up and keep at it. Notice how the charts are showing a slow and steady progress with the amount of dividend income increasing, slowly but surely over time. In January of 2008, I had no dividend income. Fast forward a little over a decade later and I am getting passive dividend income off my portfolio of $3298.48 (for December 2020), resulting in crazy awesome growth in my dividend income. That wasn’t much time that passed to build up to this point.

The other thing I want you to notice. Look closely at those figures and charts. You see how it is continually growing over time. My lifetime dividend income since starting in 2008 is only $164,275.72. But look again at those charts. Since 2017, I have received a total of $111,852.72 in dividends. Those 4 years alone account for 68.08% of my dividend income over the last just over a decade. This wasn’t a fluke or luck, it was planned and can be replicated by you. My December 2020 dividends alone were more than I received in all of 2008. So while you may feel like you’re not seeing rapid growth of your passive income, give it time…

It’s like the snowball effect., you just have to start and get it rolling.

How I did it:

There’s no real super secret to growing your passive dividend income. It basically was a few things repeated over time. Really it involves investing on a regular basis. I slowly but surely accumulated positions in stocks, investing at least each month. From here, the companies did the work for me. Most of my positions are dividend growth stocks, meaning these companies slowly but surely increase their dividend each year. Instead of spending these dividends, I reinvested the dividends, this purchases additional fractional shares, and in turn increases my dividend income each quarter. This results in a crazy concept of double compounded growth. Patience is key.

How Has COVID-19 Affected My Dividends

It hasn’t really affected my dividend income.  So far for the year, 32 of my companies have announced dividend increases on the year. 2 dividend suspension since the panic (TAP, CLNY) and BP announce a decrease since the pandemic.  I like to try to mitigate risk as much as possible using screening measure and looking at cash on hand, profits, profit margins, debt loads, payout ratios.  Wall street likes predictability and so do I.  Looking at my holdings, the companies are less tied to discretionary type of spending and are more related to essential spending.  Companies like CLX, KMB, JNJ, HRL, SJM are largely ignored most years because they lack excitement.  But all of these companies are in favor with wall street during times like these as consumers pile up and prepare for some unreasonable end of world scenario, or just want to avoid walking around with a dirty butt hole.  All other times, these companies are ignored, but a smart investor knows they are slow, steady, and predictable and that’s what gets you to the finish line.

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