Setting Records | Dividend Update - December 2017

dividend growth investing | financial independence | freedom | dividends
Dividend Update - December 2017
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.

December turned out to be my best month yet for dividends received surpassing September's milestone total.  My FI Portfolio produced $907.21 in dividends during the month.  My Roth IRA added another $41.62 in dividends during December.  Combined the two portfolios generated $948.83 during the month.

FI Portfolio

As I mentioned earlier I set a personal best for my FI Portfolio and broke through the $900 level in December for the second time ever.  I just tip toed in at $907.21 dividends received, but I still passed it.  

Compared to September my FI Portfolio saw a very modest 0.4% increase.  However, what's really exciting is that year over year, December's dividends showed a hefty 5.7% increase and that's without Ventas' (VTR) usual December payout that was pushed back into January.  Although, 2017's yearly total only showed a slight 0.8% increase compared to 2016's total.

Considering the position trims made in late 2016/early 2017 and the two dividend cuts I had to absorb, as well as the 4 no raise holdings, I'm pretty happy with how things turned out.  Especially when you add in the fact that there was no new capital added to the portfolio because we're still getting back on solid ground.  Things are moving in the right direction and I expect 2018 to bring about a lot more progress.

Roth IRA Portfolio

My Roth IRA didn't see any dividend increases among the September and December payers so it was a fairly small increase from dividend reinvestment alone.  Compared to September, December's Roth dividends showed a 0.6% increase.  However, compared to December 2016 this month's totals showed a whopping 18.0% increase.  Looking at the YTD dividends for 2017 compared to 2016 shows an equally impressive 11.2% increase year over year.

Dividend Raises During the Month

December was a solid month for dividend increases with 3 of my holdings announcing raises.  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!  

That's 3 different pay raises in just one month compared to a big, fat zero from my day job.  Combined those 3 companies increased my forward 12-month dividends by nearly $4.01.  Through the end of December I've received 47 different dividend increases raising my forward 12-month dividends by over $267.

Looking Forward

My forward 12-month dividends for my FI Portfolio ended 2017 at $5,833.07.  My Roth IRA's forward-12 month dividends ended December at $322.61.  Across both accounts, assuming no dividend cuts or position size changes, I can expect to receive at least $6,155.68 in dividends over the next year.

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, as we saw above, and eventually some positions will get dropped, but the long-term trend is what matters.  

The rolling 12-month monthly average for my FI Portfolio is at $473.37 per month which is just slightly above 2016's monthly average of $469.73.  Considering the stock sales and dividend cuts I had to overcome I'm pretty happy with 2017's small increase.
dividend growth investing, dividends, financial independence, freedom
Monthly Comparison of Dividends Received From FI Portfolio
Dividends Received Breakdown

FI Portfolio - Dividend Income
Company Dividend Amount DRIP Shares
Wells Fargo (WFC) $21.46 --
Bank of America (BAC) $19.42 --
Coca-Cola Company (KO) $60.51 --
McDonald's Corporation (MCD) $85.76 --
Phillips 66 (PSX) $5.80 --
Emerson Electric (EMR) $29.97 --
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) $18.43 --
Harris (HRS) $34.49 --
Cummins (CMI) $25.18 --
Target Corporation (TGT) $79.57 --
Aflac (AFL) $33.03 --
BP (BP) $55.51 1.391
Microsoft (MSFT) $17.28 --
Chevron (CVX) $66.14 0.553
Exxon Mobil (XOM) $53.69 0.539
Realty Income (O) $20.17 0.356
IBM (IBM) $45.33 --
Visa (V) $7.46 --
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $64.20 0.386
Unilever plc (UL) $12.62 --
Starbucks (SBUX) $16.86 --
YUM Brands (YUM) $12.63 --
3M Company (MMM) $21.16 --
United Technologies (UTX) $9.80 --
T. Rowe Price Group (TROW)$12.11 0.115
Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) $6.07 0.028
Ross Stores (ROST) $8.98 --
Hershey Company (HSY)$7.22--
Centerpoint Energy (CNP) $31.191.079
Halliburton (HAL) $25.17 --
December 2017 Total $907.21
2017 YTD Total $5,680.38

Roth IRA - Dividend Income
Company Dividend Amount DRIP Shares
Bank of America $12.58 0.423
Wells Fargo $11.44 0.202
Norfolk Southern $17.62 0.125
December 2017 Total $41.62
2017 YTD Total $288.73

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

How were your dividends in December?  Did you meet your dividend goals for the year?

Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Great recap and progress! Congrats on a nice finish to 2017.

    It's nice to see the recap of DRIP shares as well - thanks for including.

    1. Mike,

      December was a great month for our dividends and I hope to see them get pushed up over $1k by maybe June.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. JC, Thanks for stopping by my site the other day. Wanted to check you out and wow, you have been blogging about dividends for a long time. Great site. Congrats on your progress. We like many of the same stocks! Tom

    1. Tom,

      Yeah I've been writing for a while with a few unplanned breaks in there, but hopefully things wills stabilize and I can get back to writing on a regular basis. I can't wait to get to that first $1k month under my belt although I'm thinking June or September might be when it happens. Unless we can start investing again in earnest earlier than I expect.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. You're getting pretty close to four figures in one month. That's impressive to be sure. I crossed three figures in December, so I was pretty excited about that. How do you decide what shares to DRIP?

    1. Chris,

      Congrats on crossing into triple digits during December. That's a big milestone to cross. I can't wait to see that first $1k month roll in. It's been a long time coming after essentially a 2.5-3 year break from investing.

      Regarding what shares I DRIP it's more a matter of just preference. Some of the companies are small positions and I want to build up my position there but since I can't invest new capital at this time I just reinvest the dividends to pick up a bit more shares. Every bit helps. Others, such as CVX, XOM and BP I felt were pretty undervalued when I turned the DRIPs on, same with TROW, but now I'm contemplating turning those DRIPs off after some pretty substantial moves in those 4. But I'll have to check the valuation first to see if there's still more juice to squeeze.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. It's awesome to see the personal best and you're so close to 1k in a month! I bet you'll hit that milestone in 2018 and keep growing those monthly averages!

    1. TITM,

      It was a small beat, but a beat nonetheless and a personal best so I'll take it. I hope to see $1k by June, but my guess would be September or December will be the likely culprit because starting the in the 2nd half of the year or maybe in 2Q we should be able to start investing regularly again. I hope!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. PiP -

    Nice job, wow! $1k is insanely impressive, you are killing it. Keep consistently doing what you are doing!


    1. Lanny,

      We're getting pretty close the $1k mark and I can't wait to cross it for good.

      All the best.

  6. @PIP - great December numbers. The over $6,000 in forward dividends is equally impressive.

    1. Desi,

      December was a solid month and I'm glad to see those forward dividends up over $6k. Hopefully for good.

      All the best.

  7. Awesome work, JC! Congrats on the new record. You have such a solid list of companies in the portfolio that I'm surprised to hear about the dividend cuts and holds. But you're portfolio rose despite the hurdles, and it speaks to the diversification. The portfolio should really get some juice with your new capital infusion later this year. Best of luck in 2018!

    1. ED,

      In today's post I cover the dividend growth for 2017 much more in detail. Sadly that 1 dividend cut was from a decently large dividend payer so it was a pretty big drag on the results. Overall though it was a solid month and solid year and 2018 should get back to moving higher which is even better news.

      All the best.

  8. Looks like a strong finish to 2017. Always nice to see common names paying us in any given month. December we had about a dozen names in common. You monthly averages are going up, dividends keep rolling in... keep that momentum going into 2018!

    1. Keith,

      December was a great finish to a solid, but kind of blah year. I'm really looking forward to 2018 to see what it has in store because I suspect we should be able to get back to investing on a regular basis which will do a lot of good towards building up our portfolio and our dividends.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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