Dividend Update - March 2020

dividend growth investing | financial independence | freedom | dividends

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.

What. A. Month!  March sure did bring a lot of excitement with the continued spread of COVID-19, localized lockdowns, large sectors of the economy effectively stopping, the markets dropping like a rock and all the other craziness that was March 2020.  However, while all that was going on the companies I own continued to pay out some nice dividends just because I own a small portion of the business.  

My FI Portfolio produced $1,199.66 in dividends with my Folio First portfolio chipping in another $10.02.  My Roth IRA added $101.08 while my Rollover IRA contributed another $324.57.  That puts my taxable account dividends for March at $1,209.68 and the total for all accounts at $1,635.33.

Making Money While I Sleep

The power of joining the ownership class is that those companies can work much harder for you than you can.  Think about it.  By myself I have to devote my own time to my regular job in order to make money.  However by buying a stake in a high quality business I now get to leverage my own time that I exchanged for money into companies that are working around the clock to make products or provide services for their customers.  Those companies are working 24/7/365 which means that I make money even when I sleep.

During March the companies I own paid me $52.75 per day or $6.59 per hour assuming 8 hour work days every day of the month.  For the year those numbers are $31.03 per day and $3.88 per hour.

FI Portfolio

As I mentioned above my FI Portfolio produced $1,199.66 in dividends during March.  This close to breaking $1,200!  Compared to December 2019 that's a 6.8% increase and compared to March 2019 it's a stellar 18.0% rise.

The year over year comparison gives a better idea of the growth with less possibility for fluctuations due to odd payout schedules.  Compared to March 2019 the YTD total came in at an even better 21.3% due largely to purchases made throughout 2019.

Roth IRA

My Roth IRA generated $101.08 in dividends for March.  That's a solid 5.7% increase from December and a huge 83.1% year over year increase.

The YTD total through March 2020 shows a 58.8% increase compared to March 2019.

Rollover IRA

In March of last year I mentioned that I would start reporting on my Rollover IRA.  The bulk of those funds are invested in dividend growth companies, although there's a few that aren't, so to give the cleanest picture I will show just the dividend growth investments during my monthly reports.  That being said I'm not too worried about any particular month/quarter of dividends since my current plan is to be a bit more active with these funds than I would in my taxable accounts.  

Companies fall in and out of favor with market participants throughout the year and I want to attempt to capture some of that change in emotion.  If I feel a company is undervalued I'll purchase shares and won't sell until the story changes or the market price hits what I feel is at least 1.3x "fair value".  This is just a little experiment that I wanted to try and if I feel it's too much hassle or that I'm constantly taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back then I'll revert back to my bread and butter buy and hold strategy.

As such the time period comparisons are less important for this account since I want to take a more active approach.  

That being said, my Rollover IRA produced $324.57 in dividends during March which was a 5.4% increase from December 2019.  The year over year comparison looks significantly better at 32.4% compared to February 2019.

Dividend Raises During the Month

March was a slow month of dividend increases for our FI Portfolio; however, that was to be expected at least based on historical increase announcements.  Just 2 companies I own boosted their dividend payments last month.  Combined those 2 companies in my FI Portfolio boosted my forward 12-month dividends by $7.95.  Through the first quarter of 2020 I've received 18 increases from 17 of the 54 companies held in my FI Portfolio increasing my forward dividends by $140.63.

Dividend Increase Source

I've started breaking down the monthly dividend increase into its components: purchases, re-investment and dividend raises.  This lets me see what is the bigger contributor each month in my pursuit of financial independence.  I'm only tracking this for my main FI Portfolio since that is the portfolio that I want to ultimately provide the bulk of our income.
Purchases | Dividend Re-Investment | Dividend Raises | Financial Independence

The grand total for March was an increase of $44.38 with purchases and re-investment leading the way.  Through the first quarter of 2020 my dividends have increased by $265.37 across all 3 sources with raises being the largest contributor.

Looking Forward

My forward 12-month dividends for my FI Portfolio ended February at $8,117.20 while my FolioFirst forward dividends are at $101.72.  That pushes the total taxable account forward 12-month dividends up to $8,218.92.  My Roth IRA's forward-12 month dividends increased to $671.62.  My Rollover IRA's forward 12-month dividends are at $2,656.65.  Across all 4 accounts, assuming no dividend cuts or position size changes, I can expect to receive at least $11,547.19 in dividends over the next year.

Monthly Average

The following chart shows 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 $616.57 per month which is $29.47 or 5.0% above 2019's monthly average of $587.10.
dividend growth investing | dividends | financial independence | freedom

Dividends Received Breakdown
Dividends | Financial Independence | Dividend Growth Investing
Dividends Received Breakdown March 2020

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

How were your dividends for March?  Did you continue to make purchases throughout the month?  Have you had any significant dividend reductions/suspensions from your holdings?

Let me know in the comments below!


  1. That is a diverse range of companies providing you a nice year over year growth in your dividend income. It's great getting to see a solid investment strategy paying off! Keep up the good work!!!

  2. Another solid update. Any time you can break the four digit milestone it's huge. Nice long list of companies paying you too. As usual, we share quite a few names. Keep up the good work.

  3. Should throw in some preferred shares. I am a big proponent of them and wrote a guide on how to choose them. Don't get much growth, but very stable and larger payouts than typical common stocks.

  4. More great progress, JC. So close to $1,200 in the FI portfolio is right. You had some great YoY growth if 18% is your lowest across all accounts. Keep up the outstanding efforts. Any stocks have your attention (either good or bad) during this downturn?

  5. Great update, isn't it nice to have your money work for you so you don't have to? Keep up the great work.


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