August portfolio update

Records were meant to be broken and, when you’re a dividend-growth investor, they get broken all the time. That’s the beauty of investing and earning dividend income, right? Each dividend adds to your total and, more importantly, each dividend can be used to buy more dividend-paying stocks. More dividend-paying stocks means more dividends and, well, you get the point.

When I started my march toward a $1,000,000 dividend-growth portfolio, I wanted to build it so I’d be setting new monthly records each and every time I turned a page on the calendar. That hasn’t exactly happened, but, thanks to the $39.59 I received in August, I have a new high to shoot for.

August’s haul was particularly pleasing because my monthly dividend income had been on a bit of a decline. Not a huge deal, I know – some months are better for us dividend-growth investors than others – but I really, really, really like adding those tall lines to the bar charts I draw up to track my progress.

Anyway, After my portfolio spit out a then-record $38.43 in May, it dipped to $32.84 in June and $25.46 in July.

That’s when my Dividend Farm and I sat down with some drinks and had a little heart to heart. It wasn’t a long conversation, but it was a productive one.

I basically said, “Listen, I know you’re trying your best, but you’re kinda going the wrong way on me, bud. Up … just go up.”

My portfolio just looked at me with a blank stare, but, somehow, I knew it got the message.

I also knew August was going to be a good month. I knew because I was going to be getting dividends from the same basket of stocks that paid me in May. What I didn’t know, though, was just how good it would be.

This is where I should probably point out that May was boosted by a special $7 dividend from Costco. Coupled with the normal $0.50 quarterly dividend Costco has been dishing out for the last several quarters, the company paid me $7.50 in May. That $7.50 payment, for those of you who don’t have a calculator handy, accounted for nearly 20% of that month’s dividend income.

Well, this time around Costco paid me exactly nothing. Yup, nada (September pay date this quarter). The fact it paid me nothing in August, though, especially after boosting May’s dividend income by so much, makes August’s record number that much more exciting.

If you take the $7.50 from Costco away from May’s total, I would’ve been looking at $30.93 (which still would’ve been a record at the time). I’ll take it a step further. Instead of the slim increase I saw from May to August, it would have represented a nearly 28% increase.

August’s Dividends

I was paid by 45 different companies in August, including payments on 20 of the month’s 31 days. The 45 payments equate to 1.45 a day at an average rate of $1.28. I wouldn’t want to get paid $1.28 a day for a full day’s work. Who would? But I’ll take that daily wage when you’re talking about something you have to do next to nothing to earn.

I write blog posts about just about every dividend I receive, so here’s a rundown.

My best day came on Aug. 1, a day in which I received $7.94 from a combined six different companies. I also earned dividends on Aug. 3, Aug. 4, Aug. 7, Aug. 9, Aug. 10, Aug. 11, Aug. 14, Aug. 15, Aug. 17, Aug. 18, Aug. 21, Aug. 24, Aug. 25, Aug. 28, Aug. 29, Aug. 30 and Aug. 31.

I earned dividends on the 5th and 23rd, too, but apparently fell asleep at the wheel those two days. I didn’t write posts, unfortunately, but one was a $0.75 payment from PNC and the other was a $0.25 payment from MDC.

August’s Purchases

I also made a few purchases I’m pretty excited about. I scooped up one share of GE on the 1st – my DIY DRIP purchased with July’s dividends (more on that below) – single shares of XRX and HRB on the 2nd, a share of OMC on the 8th, a share of CAH on the 16th, two shares of CSCO on the 17th and a share of SRE on the 22nd.

Add the dividends up and you’ll see I bumped by forward annual dividend income by $12.58 thanks to the purchases. They’re all quarterly payers with payouts in January, April, July and Oct., so I can expect at least a $3.14 increase in dividend income each of those months starting this October.

DIY DRIP

On top of the purchases I just mentioned, I added a share of At&t (T) with August’s dividend income. The brokerage I use, Robinhood, is beyond amazing for a ton of different reasons (zero commissions topping the list), but one thing it doesn’t offer is a DRIP (dividend reinvesting plan). No worries. I just use the month’s dividends to buy a share of a company that’s trading at approximately the same value. Last month I bought a share of GE, this month it turned out to be T.

Throw those two together – the first purchases since I started my DIY DRIP – and they represent $61.88 worth of stock that spits out $2.92 in annual income. Nothing beats free money earning more free money, right?

That’s what I have for you this month. Thanks for reading.

March on!

  • Steve Killingsworth

    I picked up shares of F last month when the stock was yielding over 5.5%! Is F part of your portfolio? If not why?

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