September portfolio update

See ya, September.

It was a month I’m sure a lot of people would like to forget. Hurricanes literally wreaked havoc on Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. I’m not all that old (33), but I can’t remember anything like this happening in my lifetime. I remember a few pretty substantial natural disasters, sure, but nothing quite like the three back-to-back-to-back.

What a mess.

If you want to contribute to the relief efforts, I’d venture to say the American Red Cross, Humane Society of the United States and Direct Relief are good places to start. My wife works for Starbucks, so we chipped in a little as the company committed to doubling any donations it receives.

Living in Ohio, with pretty much all of my family and friends close by, I feel like I personally dodged a huge bullet. If you were impacted, though, or know anyone who was, just know we’re thinking of you here in the Buckeye State.

I felt I needed to get that out there as, like I said, it was a September to remember … and for all the wrong reasons.

That said, this is a blog about dividend-growth investing and, well, my Dividend Farm went through some pretty substantial changes this month.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

For starters, I was paid $34.24 worth of dividends from a combined 42 different companies. It’s not quite as good as the $39.59 a combined 45 companies sent my way in August (turns out that’s going to remain my personal best for at least another month or two), but I’ll certainly take it.

I earned at least one dividend on 17 of the month’s 30 days. Nine of those days were weekends, when the markets are obviously closed. I’ve found that most companies don’t pay dividends on the weekends so, take those days out, and I earned dividends on 17 of the 21. I know that doesn’t really mean anything, but it makes it sound better. Either way, I’m pretty excited about the consistency of the payments.

I also waved goodbye to four companies and added three new ones, which you can read about below. All said, taking into account the amounts gained through the purchases and lost due to the sales, I boosted my forward annual income by $39.29. I’m currently sitting at $462.31 ($149.62 (Jan/April/July/Oct) + $169.24 (Feb/May/Aug/Nov) + $143.45 (March/June/Sept/Dec) = $462.31.

I have 131 companies, all quarterly dividend payers, in my portfolio, down 1 from last month. The market value of my holdings in $14,598.21, up $435 in September.

Here’s a closer look at what went down.

September Dividends

Sept. 1: CMI ($1.08), COST ($0.50), GWW ($1.28), BA ($1.42), INTC ($0.55), PFE ($0.32), GT ($0.10) and F ($0.15) sent payments my way for a combined $5.40.

Sept. 5: WMT ($0.51) passed along my ninth dividend of the month just two days in.

Sept. 7: UL ($0.41), DFS ($0.35) and VLO ($0.70) paid me dividends.

Sept. 8: AMGN ($1.15) sent a dividend my way.

Sept. 9: IBM ($1.50) rewarded me for the one share I own.

Sept. 10: TGT ($3.72), one of my largest positions, passed along a pretty decent dividend payment.

Sept. 11: XOM ($0.77) sent me a $0.77 dividend.

Sept. 12: JNJ ($0.84) and MMM ($1.18) paid me to cap a string of six straight days with at least one dividend payment – the longest such stretch of the month.

Sept. 14: LYB ($0.90), HD ($0.89), PRU ($0.75) and MSFT ($0.39) all sent dividends my way.

Sept. 15: FUN ($0.86), MDP ($0.52), HSY ($0.66), ED ($0.69) and IP ($0.46) paid me to finish off a solid two-day stretch for dividends – a period which featured nine total payments.

Sept. 18: VFC ($1.26), MCD ($0.94) and DUK ($0.89) paid me dividends.

Sept. 19: UNH ($0.75) hooked me up with a nice payment.

Sept. 20: AVY ($.045) and QCOM ($0.57) sent dividends my way.

Sept. 21: DAKT ($0.07) and GME ($0.38) paid me.

Sept. 22: WM ($0.43), GM ($1.52) and LMT ($1.82) sent payments my way to end a streak of five straight days with at least one dividend payment.

Sept. 28: GILD ($0.52) and TROW ($0.57) paid me dividends.

Sept. 29: PEP ($0.81) and UNP ($0.61) paid me my last two dividends of the month.

September Purchases

Sept: 6: bought 16 shares of NRZ for $262.06 (average cost of $16.38).

Sept. 13: picked up 6 shares of T for $219.48 (average price of $36.58).

Sept. 22: added another 2 shares to my NRZ position for $33.78 (average price of $16.89) and opened a position in GPS by scooping up 1 share for $28.29.

Sept. 26: opened a position in CL by buying a share for $73.02.

Sept. 27: bought 3 shares of SKT for $74.22 (average price of $24.74).

Sept. 29: used my dividend payments for the month to pick up a share of Corning (GLW) as my DIY DRIP for $29.92. You can read more about it below.

Pretty much all the purchases, with CL being the lone exception, feature companies with terrific dividend yields. SKT and GPS are also really, really good deals right now, at least in my opinion. The 18 shares of NRZ boosted my forward annual dividend income by $36, the 6 shares of T bumped it up another $11.76, the share of GPS will produce another $0.92 a year, CL will pump out $1.60 and the three shares of SKT will produce another $4.11.

September Sales

Sept. 6: sold a share of STWD and PMT for $22.02 and $17.13, respectively. I also sold 6 shares of DWDP for $390.08.

Sept. 22: sold my one share of HPE for $13.96.

I closed my positions in STWD and PMT because I just figured I didn’t need three mortgage REITs in my portfolio. NRZ made the cut and, well, STWD and PMT didn’t.

I also closed my DWDP position. Dow was great for the year or so I owned it, but I sold it after the merger with DuPont because the board hadn’t announced a dividend. I imagine the new company will be fairly dividend friendly based on the dividend histories of both Dow and DuPont, but figure I can always open a new position once the official dividend announcement is made.

As for HPE, well, the dividend just isn’t exciting enough for me. The small amount I had invested in the company will be way more productive somewhere else. Losing HPE ($0.26), STWD ($1.92), PMT ($1.88) and DWDP ($11.04 based on DOW’s previous quarterly dividend) sliced $15.10 off my forward annual dividend income, but the $54.39 I added more than makes up for that.


Ah, the DIY DRIP … my favorite section of my monthly portfolio updates. I used most of the $34.24 in dividend income earned in September to open a position in Corning (GLW). I snagged a share for $29.92. Coupled with July’s DIY DRIP purchase of GM and August’s purchase of T, I have $93.86 worth of equity producing a combined $3.54 in annual dividend income … all from three month’s worth of dividends!

  • Alice

    Looks good! It’s great to give a job to our money and pocket their salaries 😛

    You hold so many companies though. Do you have a number in mind on how many companies you want? Some kind of soft limit? With that many would it not be simpler to just own an ETF like VIG? The MER is 0.08% so it really isn’t noticeable. It would make your investing very boring though.

    Personally, I currently own about 30 stocks and 5 ETFs and I think it’s too many but I find it really hard to shorten my list as I keep finding quality stocks.