Dividend Update - December 2015

It's the end of one month and the beginning of another so it's time for my favorite update: my dividend update.  These dividend updates reflect all dividends that I receive through my investing pursuits. I hope they can help inspire you to take control of your own finances and invest to build a passive income stream. What you use that stream for is up to you, whether it's to fund early retirement, just provide some FI/FU money, or even to provide for an annual vacation; the key is that it can provide options and open up all sorts of possibilities. You can check my dividend income or progress pages to see what dedication to an investment plan can give you.

The end of each quarter is always a great time for dividend growth investors since many companies make payments during that time.  As such my December haul was over double what November brought in.  I received a total of $840.93 in dividends in my FI Portfolio during the month.  I also received $5.97 in my Loyal3 Portfolio bringing my total taxable account dividends to $846.90.  My Roth IRA also contributed $39.75 in dividends received during December.  Across my taxable accounts, FI Portfolio and Loyal3, I received $6.024.82 in dividends during 2015 which is well above the $4,557.17 received during 2014.

FI Portfolio

My FI Portfolio showed a slight dip compared to the dividends received in September of this year although that's entirely due to Pepsico (PEP) and Wal-Mart (WMT) making their last payments of the year in September rather than December.  Although the combination of Coca-Cola (KO), select dividend reinvestment, and dividend increases helped to close the gap and make it just a $8 shortfall.  Quarter over quarter it worked out to a 0.9% decrease but on a consistent payout basis it worked out to a 1.6% improvement.  Year over year the dividends received showed a 12.3% rise.  Year to date I received $5,906.24 in dividends within my FI Portfolio.

Loyal3 Portfolio

My Loyal3 Portfolio showed some rather impressive increases with the quarter over quarter increase amounting to 23.9% and the year over year comparison coming to 55.5%.  Although that's coming off extremely small bases of just $4.82 and $3.84, respectively.  Year to date I received $118.58 in dividends within my Loyal3 Portfolio.

Roth IRA Portfolio

After November's dividend no show month for my Roth IRA December brought in a much better $39.75.  Quarter over quarter that's actually a 10.2% decline although that's due to Wal-Mart (WMT) paying in September but not in December.  Excluding the Wal-Mart payment from September's haul there was a slight 0.7% improvement quarter over quarter.  Year over year there was a 6.4% gain.  Year to date I received $263.27 in dividends within my Roth IRA.

Dividend Raises During the Month

A total of 3 of my holdings announced dividend increases in December which is dividend growth investing at work.  You mean a company I own a piece of, albeit tiny, wants to pay out more of their profits to me just because I own part of the company?  Sign me up!  W. P. Carey (WPC) started things off with a 1.5% raise.  Realty Income (O) also provided a 0.3% bump to their dividend as well.  AT&T (T) ended the dividend increase announcements for my holdings with a 2.1% raise.  Combined the dividend increases added $3.37 to my forward dividends without me doing anything extra.  That's nothing spectacular but a raise is a raise.

Unfortunately, December also saw a big cut to my dividends when Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) announced a 75% decrease in their quarterly payout.  I closed my position in Kinder Morgan later in the month in order to harvest some losses for tax purposes.  Prior to the cut Kinder Morgan was the largest dividend payer within my portfolio providing over $440 in annual dividends.  The dividend cut and subsequent sale reduced my forward dividends significantly.

Looking Forward

My forward 12-month dividends for my FI Portfolio are up to $5,493.35.  Forward dividends in my Loyal3 Portfolio ended the month at $61.06 bringing the total taxable account forward dividends to $5,554.41.  My Roth IRA's forward 12-month dividends inched slightly higher to $272.33.

Monthly Average

Below is the chart showing the monthly dividend totals for each year that I've been investing as well as the monthly average.  It's not always an increase as some companies have weird payout schedules and eventually some positions will get dropped, but the long-term trend is what matters.  My monthly average so far in 2015 is $492.19.  That's about a $113 increase from where my year to date average was at the end of 2014.  With more contributions/investments and expected dividend increases the gap should continue to widen.

Dividends Received Breakdown

FI Portfolio - Dividend Income
Company Dividend Amount DRIP Shares
Wells Fargo (WFC) $20.63 --
ConocoPhillips (COP)** $13.53 0.247
Bank of America (BAC) $8.09 --
McDonalds (MCD) $75.57 --
Coca-Cola (KO) (Valuation Analysis) $53.97 --
Phillips 66 (PSX) $4.64 --
Emerson Electric (EMR) (Full Analysis) $29.36 --
Walgreens (WBA) $24.86 --
Harris (HRS) $41.25 --
Cummins (CMI) $22.74 --
Target Corporation (TGT) $71.87 --
Aflac (AFL) $30.10 --
BP (BP) $48.06 1.375
Microsoft (MSFT) $14.81 --
Chevron (CVX) $60.26 0.695
ExxonMobil (XOM) $47.99 0.512
Realty Income $17.47 --
IBM (IBM) $39.29 --
Visa (V) $9.54 --
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) (Valuation Analysis) $56.41 --
Halliburton (HAL) $25.18 --
Unilever (UL) $10.25 --
3M (MMM) (Valuation Analysis) $18.46 --
United Technologies (UTX) $8.96 --
Ventas (VTR) $16.47 0.297
T. Rowe Price Group (TROW) $10.40 0.143
Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) (Valuation Analysis) $5.28 --
Ross Stores (ROST)$6.60--
Union Pacific (UNP)** $13.20--
Hershey Company (HSY) (Valuation Analysis) $6.41 --
Care Capital Properties (CCP) $2.85 --
CenterPoint Energy (CNP) $26.43 1.618
December 2015 Total $840.93
2015 Total $5,906.24
*Position has since been closed.

Loyal3 - Dividend Income
Company Dividend Amount DRIP Shares
V.F. Corporation (VFC) (Valuation Analysis) $1.17 --
Hershey $1.21 --
Coca-Cola $1.93 --
Unilever $1.66 --
December 2015 Total $5.97
2015 Total $118.58

Roth IRA - Dividend Income
Company Dividend Amount DRIP Shares
Bank of America $5.08 0.301
Wells Fargo $10.38 0.188
Norfolk Southern (NSC) $24.29 0.262
December 2015 Total $39.75
2015 Total $263.27
*All dividends in my Roth IRA are reinvested back into the paying company.

I've updated my Dividend Income page to reflect December's changes.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles on FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

How did your dividends do in December?  Did you meet or exceed your dividend goals for the year?


  1. Great progress, JC. Even though 2015 was a holding year for you, the div income has continued to grow thanks to the DGI model. Keep up the great work and that div income should keep snowballing over the years.

    Best wishes for 2016 and beyond

    1. R2R,

      2015 was definitely a holding year for us and we didn't get to make nearly as much progress as I would have liked. But at least we didn't really take any steps backwards. The DGI model is great because even though our cash flow for savings have been low we've still been able to build our portfolio and dividends through dividend growth and reinvested dividends. Years from now 2015 will just be a blip.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Nice work, JC. A little over $6K... that's nothing to sneeze at. Keeping the snowball rolling. I'm sure the hit you took on KMI hurt a bit. It's difficult when income takes a hit for whatever reason, thought years from now it will just be distant memory and you will still be raking in the income. Happy new year to you.

    1. dividendgravy,

      It was nice to actually pass over the $6k mark even if it was just barely there. KMI definitely hurt and really led to some declines for my forward dividends. I had started getting concerned about KMI and my overexposure there a couple years back so I stopped contributing to the position. Unfortunately they hit me with a dividend cut but years from now it'll be forgotten about.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. JC Hi

    Great december dividend income, also the 2015 dividend income.

    Keep the snowball rolling.

    Sharon - Divorcedff

    1. Sharon,

      December and the whole year of 2015 was definitely good to me for dividends. $6k+ is a great start on the journey to financial independence. There's still a lot of work to do before we get there but we're on our way.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Great job! You are making great progress. I also had a big energy dividend cut that I am recovering from (LNCO), but increased my dividends for the year. I can see the snowball starting to pick up steam and it is encouraging.

    Do you calculate yield on cost for the year (dividends paid/amount invested)?

    DGI Novice

    1. DGI Novice,

      The KMI cut put a big dent in the forward dividends but there's valuable lessons to be learned. One of the most important ones is to reinforce the importance of diversification if you plan to live off your dividends. Luckily this happened while we're still in the accumulation phase and not once we were living off the dividends.

      I don't calculate the YOC for the year because honestly I'm too lazy to good through all of the data. Especially for 2015 because there was a lot sales as well as capital being transferred out of the account which just muddies the water. I have current yield and YOC on my portfolio spreadsheet which gives me a close enough proxy for where I stand.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Nice work! Over $5k a year is pretty awesome. Lots solid companies you're holding too, what's not to like?

    1. Tawcan,

      Even better was that I pulled in over $6k throughout the year. Unfortunately the forward dividends took a big hit with the KMI cut but I can only move forward from here. No amount of worrying or fretting over the lost dividend income will reinstate the dividend to the prior level.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Continue on your path. You are really building up a nice passive income stream from a pretty long list of solid companies. Even with the KMI debacle you have built a nice income stream. I guess it's important to see not how many different companies pay us dividends but rather how much each company contributes to our annual dividend income. KMI was a "big boy" as far as payments to your account. This is where diversifying is important. Thank you for sharing. Good luck in 2016!

    1. DivHut,

      Yeah 2015 was a big of a stationary year for us and the KMI debacle definitely set us back a bit. I shared before how I was concerned about KMI's weight within my portfolio and the dividends they provided and that's why I stopped adding to the position 1.5 years ago. The importance of dividend exposure is definitely something that has been reinforced throughout all of this.

      I'm glad we're on to 2016 and can't wait to get back to moving forward throughout the year.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Congrats on over $800+ income and close to $6K, almost $500/month. Nice portfolio and I also own many of the same companies. Keep racing in 2016!


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