December portfolio update

This post is all about 2017.

I know, I know … it’s 2018! But, bear with me.

I wasn’t all that productive over the last couple weeks (three kids coupled with the craziness that comes with the holidays will do that to a guy) and, despite the fact the calendar has already flipped, I want to make sure I get a post up to document the final numbers from what amounted to my first full year as a dividend-growth investor.

That said, this is that post.

I ended the year with what was, for me, a decent month in terms of dividends. I was paid a combined $38.08 from 49 different companies.

December’s Dividends

The month started with a bang: 10 companies paid me a combined $6.14 on the first day ($0.50 from COST, $1.08 from CMI, $0.30 from SBUX, $0.25 from KR, $1.28 from GWW, $1.42 from BA, $0.32 from PFE, $0.55 from INTC, $0.14 from GT and $0.30 from F).

After a brief break, my portfolio got back to its dividend-earning ways with a stretch of nine straight days with at least one payment. It started on the 7th, when DFS passed along a cool $0.35 for the one share I own. I also earned a little somethin’ on the 8th ($1.15 from AMGN and $0.30 from YUM), 9th ($3 from IBM), 10th ($3.72 from TGT), 11th ($0.77 from XOM), 12th ($0.38 from GME, $0.75 from UNH, $0.84 from JNJ, $1.18 from MMM and $0.70 from VLO), 13th ($0.90 from LYB), 14th ($0.42 from UL, $0.89 from HD, $0.75 from PRU and $0.42 from MSFT) and 15th ($0.89 from FUN, $0.43 from WM, $1.01 from MCD, $0.37 from KO, $0.50 from CINF, $0.52 from MDP, $0.57 from QCOM, $0.66 from HSY, $0.16 from GLW, $0.69 from ED and $0.48 from IP).

What a ride.

It didn’t amount to a ridiculous amount of money, but collecting dividends from 28 companies over a nine-day period was pretty cool. It was by far my best stretch and the closest my portfolio has ever been to resembling an ATM machine, which I’ve always said is my long-term goal.

The dividends slowed down the rest of the way, but didn’t stop there. For those of you who are keeping track at home, I earned dividends from AYR ($0.28), VFC ($1.38) and DUK ($0.89) on the 18th, a dividend from AVY ($0.45) on the 20th, another two from DAKT ($0.07) and GM ($1.52) on the 21st, one from ORIT ($0.45) on the 22nd, dividends from GILD ($0.52), TROW ($0.57), BBY ($0.34) and UNP ($0.67) on the 28th and one final payment from LMT ($2) on the 29th.

The $38 and change was right on par with my dividend income from May and October. I earned more in August ($40) and November ($45) and less the rest of the year. My lowest total came in January ($8) – a month in which I earned my first handful of dividend payments and really got hooked on DGI.

All said, I ended the year with $355.63 in dividend income … a full $355.63 more than I earned in 2016.

December’s Purchases

I didn’t have much extra money to invest (I went a little overboard on the Christmas budget), but still managed to make a handful of smaller purchases.

For starters, I picked up single shares of Bank of America (BAC) and Oritani Financial (ORIT) for $29.05 and $17.05, respectively, on the 5th. The tax plan hadn’t made it through congress, but word was it would by the end of the year. Turns out the talking heads were right.

It’s debatable weather or not the plan is good for everyone, but it’s pretty clear banks and the tons and tons of U.S. companies that borrow from them will benefit quite a bit … that’s why I stuck with the financials. BAC has a market cap of more than 300 billion while ORIT is sitting at just about 750 million. I wanted to cover my bases, so I bought a big bank and a smaller bank just to diversify a bit. My guess is the smaller ORIT will perform better than BAC in 2018, but hopefully they’ll both make some noise for the right reasons.

I liked ORIT, which pays a $0.70 annualized dividend, so much, I added another share for $16.80 on the 19th.

I also bought a share of Cypress Semiconductor (CY) for $14.58 and a share of Sotherly Hotels (SOHO), a lodging REIT, for $6.53. Both pay annualized dividends of $0.44.

The combined $0.88, coupled with the $1.88 the two shares of ORIT and one share of BAC will earn me, I’m happy to say I increased my forward annual dividend income by a whopping $2.76 in December. Baby steps, right?


I used the month’s dividend income to buy three shares of Ford (F) for a combined $37.62. The purchase bumped my position to five shares at an average cost of $12.24. Growth hasn’t been a strength for the company, but the dividend, which yields nearly 5%, is what tempted me to pull the trigger.

I’ve been doing this do-it-yourself DRIP thing for six months now and have really enjoyed watching my dividends create more dividends. I’ve already built a basket of stocks worth $211.94. Better yet, those stocks produce $7.11 worth of forward annual dividend income.

March on!

One Response to “December portfolio update

  • Steve Killingsworth
    1 year ago

    opened a roth last week…need a little diversity from my 401k so i picked up a few REITS, and MNR. Excited to see how these REITs play out. I may open a Robinhood account so I can make smaller purchases. Right now I get free trades but I plan to hold for awhile so I need to make larger purchases (over $500) to compensate for fees when I sell..

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