Dividend Income Update – March 2012

Another month has passed by, and it’s time for me to post an article on my favorite subject: dividend income. The reason why I love to post articles on dividend income is because it’s pure numbers. It’s hard to argue the success of long-term dividend growth investing when you can slowly and surely see dividend income rise over time and get closer to covering one’s expenses.

I’m including the dividends I received from the month of March. This past month, I received the largest total of dividends in one month so far in the two years since I started investing. It feels really great to see the progress I’ve made over the last couple years. One of the best things about dividends is that they are tangible. You can see them hit the brokerage account, and it surely makes it easier to separate your emotions from the day-to-day stock price fluctuations. 

I hope these monthly dividend income reports provide inspiration for any investors out there that are just starting out. It’s easy to see these payments rising month after month and it shows that it’s possible to one day pay for monthly expenses with dividends, which would provide an investor opportunities and freedom to pursue other interests than full-time work. Without further ado:

March 2012 Dividends Received

  • ConocoPhillips (COP) – $36.30
  • Intel Corporation (INTC) – $15.12
  • Aflac Incorporated (AFL) – $24.42
  • Emerson Electric Co. (EMR) – $12.00
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) – $15.51
  • Chevron Corporation (CVX) – $20.25
  • Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) – $7.99
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – $39.90
  • McDonald’s Corporation (MCD) – $9.80
  • Harris Corporation (HRS) – $13.20
  • UniSource Energy Corp. (UNS) – $17.20
  • PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP) – $39.66

Total dividends received during the month of March: $251.35

That’s a big month. It certainly helps that a huge chunk of my portfolio pays out in March, so I expect April and May to be lower. It should also be noted that I no longer own XOM. This total compares very nicely with the dividends I received in March of 2011, which came out to $88.76. The great thing about it all is that this income came without me having to do anything at all. I simply invested with quality companies who continue to reward patient shareholders with rising earnings and dividends. Sounds like a great arrangement to me! Although my expenses were higher in March due to taxes, at my usual spending level of ~$1,200 per month I was able to cover 21% of expenditures through dividends.

This is a great step toward completing my goal of receiving $2,000 in dividend income through the year of 2012. With the first three months of 2012 behind me, I’ve received a total of $563.53 in dividends. If I’m able to keep this pace for the rest of the year I’ll easily exceed my goal. I’m already 28.2% of the way there!

I’ll update my dividend income page to reflect March’s dividends.

How did the month of March treat you?

Full Disclosure: Long all but XOM.

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: sscreations

Comments

    • says

      Investment Road to Freedom,

      Thanks! Yes, it was a big increase from March 2011. I’m doing my best to move forward and keep progressing.

      Keep up the great work on your end too!

      Best wishes.

  1. says

    Fantastic! Not only is it a nice monthly amount on its own, but receiving nearly 3 times what you received last March is a major advancement. Good job!

    • says

      Deedubs,

      Thanks for the support.

      It’s great to document the progress because it makes it easy to look back and see how far one has come. It makes it easy to feel blessed and proud.

      Best wishes!

  2. Anonymous says

    Fantastic effort and very inspiring. I’ve been trading on and off over the years ( forex, options, futures etc ) but always looking for the ‘fast track’ and it’s exceedingly tough. A few wakeup calls last year told me to look for better alternatives for a fallback – i don’t think i’ll ever give up trading during intraday but that should be a tiny chunk of my overall portfolio. Thankfully came across your blog and it’s radically changing the way i think about some things, i wish i had seen it 10 yrs ago ;) Alas i am already 40 so i’m going to attempt to do the same thing for when i am 50 :) so fingers crossed. The journey starts now.
    I’ve been following all the divdend blogs recently, collectively an excellent resource. Here is a hypothetical though, if the market did indeed have a second shock and all stocks got hit massively, how would you deal with this emotionally? Just keep hold and keep adding? My biggest problem is knowing when a dividend stock has ‘peaked’ in terms of a long term move….last thing i would want to do for example is ride intel all the way back to 14…but then i guess you could dollar cost average / hedge over time assuming nothing else has changed with the company?

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I’m glad you decided to take control of your financial future. It feels good, right? If you make your goal, and retire at 50, that is still far ahead of most people.

      As far as your questions go, it’s just a matter of knowing how to control your emotions. A buy-and-monitor strategy is not for all, but if stocks tank due to an irrational market I simply add to my positions as capital becomes available. I don’t let a bi-polar market make financial decisions for me.

      Best wishes!

    • Anonymous says

      There are a couple of bloggers that invest, trade and save. Nononsensetrading.com and pullingourselvesup.blogspot.com have information on using a 3 account setup with 3 different risk categories. THe 3 accounts are trading, savings, and investing. They want to help people by showing the nuts and bolts of how its done.

    • says

      Anonymous, here is my take to your hypothetical scenario. If the market took a big hit, dividend investors will grab additional shares when they become more affordable, reducing their average ‘in-price’ per share.

      To cope with the emotions of investing, I found its best to have a plan for purchasing/selling shares, that does not involve price. One example would be to start with the list of “dividend champions” and begin ranking them in order of 1 to 15 based on certain performance criteria and start with those companies. Then re-evaluate this portfolio monthly or quarterly by swapping companies out that no longer rank at the top of your list.
      And remember to smile at the end of the day because you are still a shareholder of a good dividend-growing company, and dividends flow regardless of price.=)

    • says

      Investing Early,

      Great points there.

      It’s definitely a good idea to have a plan in mind to cope with the emotions of the roller coaster that is the stock market. I made it a point right from the start to commit to monthly purchases no matter what the market was doing. Because I lack the ability to forecast the future, I simply try to find the most attractive opportunities in all market cycles and get my money working. Dollars in the bank losing value to inflation do me no good as they earn me no income all while losing purchasing power.

      I love a sale, so I’m smiling while the market lightly corrects.

      Best wishes!

  3. says

    I just started dividend investing in November. March was my highest month as well with $31.18 income. Hopefully next year I’ll match yours, but my immediate goal is to get debt free first.

    • says

      James Meyer,

      It looks like you are well on your way. You’ll be seeing triple-digit monthly dividend totals before you know it. Stay focused and patient.

      It’s definitely a great idea to become debt free first. Besides low-rate tax deductible student loans, I have no debt.

      Stay in touch!

  4. Anonymous says

    Congratulations DM.
    I love reading your monthly updates. Keeps me motivated to focus on dividend investing.

    Regards,
    MrCrore

    • says

      MrCrore,

      I’m glad you enjoy reading the updates. It brings me a lot of pleasure and pride to provide them. Inspiration is why I do it.

      Stay on track and I’m sure you’ll get to where you want to be.

      Best wishes!

  5. says

    That is a nice jump from last year’s March divi total! Nice job DM.

    March was so-so for me. April I have no dividends coming in, but May should be really nice.

    • says

      The Stoic Investor,

      Thanks for stopping by, and the support is very much appreciated. It was definitely a nice jump from last March, and a bigger jump than I had anticipated.

      April may not provide you any dividends, but when that big dividend check comes rolling in from your TEF holdings you’ll be very happy!

      Best wishes!

  6. Anonymous says

    I have just started to read your blog as I have just began my journey at the age of 37. While I dont have a lot of descretionary funds yet, I always make it a point to buy at least two shares of div. stock a month. I hope to get to the level you are at eventually and keep up the good work.

    • says

      Anonymous,

      I’m glad you found my little space on the internet. I hope you continue to find inspiration here.

      That’s great that you are making sure to invest a little money, even if you don’t have a lot of discretionary income. A million-mile journey starts with one step. Just make sure not to let commissions eat up your profits.

      Stay in touch!

    • says

      MOA,

      Great work on your end. You’re killing it, my friend. I hope to be at your level of $5k plus in dividend income within a few years. We’ll see.

      Keep up the tremendous progress.

      Best wishes.

  7. says

    I am just getting started in Dividend investing. I see you have some shares of Intel, would you consider that a good stock to start with and is it a good buy based on what you look for in a dividend stock at this time?

    Thanks

    • says

      auburnfan24,

      Great to see you getting started in investing!

      I like Intel, but I would like to purchase more closer to $25-26 per share. I wouldn’t mind purchasing at these levels, however. I think it’s a strong company positioned well in its field with a healthy yield and a low valuation. It was one of my candidates for a purchase this month.

      Best wishes!

  8. says

    DM, congratulations on a monster month! I see that your dividend income for March increased almost threefold since last year…awesome! Keep up the great work and I have no doubt that you will blow past your goal of $2000 in dividend income this year.

    • says

      Dividend Fool,

      Thanks for the support!

      I hope I can continue the success and good fortune. I’ve been blessed to start as early as I did and also experience this kind of success so far. It’s been really great!

      You’re making some great strides too as your portfolio has just exploded over the last few months. Keep it up!

      Best wishes!

  9. says

    DM,

    Great month, you’ve really got the snowball rolling down hill nicely. Next thing you know, you’ll have a $500 dollar month. I have totally veered off the path as far as dividends go. I took $8k from my $30k portfolio and paid off $8k in debt. I sold a couple volatile positions that had really run up right at the recent market top for nice profit. I’m also headed to the Philippines at the end of April to drop $15k on a quarter acre of land. Plan on building a retirement house on that land that my mother-in-law will live in until my wife and I retire in about 10 more years. That total project with land and house will be about $75k. I’m by no means out of the dividend game. I am diverting some funds now and should see capital gains on my real estate investments down the road. I will have to fight like a banshee to make up ground and get $2k in dividend income for 2012, but I still have some tricks up my sleeve.

    I’m glad to see all the new readers/investors taking up the dividend mantra. You can’t go wrong with this style of investing IMHO. This blog and others definitely provide the proof.

    Cheers,

    DPS

    • says

      DPS,

      Thanks for stopping by and updating me on what’s going on with you. Sounds like you have some really exciting things going on!

      Don’t worry, you’ll have time to catch up. Besides, investing and collecting dividends is not the end-all be-all of anything as it’s just one part of an otherwise rich and dynamic fully-lived life. You should definitely enjoy yourself and make sure that you are doing what’s right. If I ever feel like I’m sacrificing too much then I’ll definitely scale back the frugality and/or investing. I do this only because I enjoy the process as much as I’m looking forward to the end result.

      Keep in touch!

      Best wishes.

  10. Anonymous says

    Dividend Mantra asked: “How did the month of March treat you?”

    I began my attempt to use dividends to supplement my income late last year (2011), so I don’t have a previous year of results for comparison.

    However, in March 2012 I saw income of $674. My dividend specific holdings are: XEL, SNH, AGNC, ERF, FGP, FTE, ITW, JNJ, AT&T, NLY, NYB, PCN, and SBUX. Yesterday I added PTY, and I am also long FCH (which doesn’t currently pay a divy).

    I enjoy your blog, and congratulate you as you progress toward the goal of being in control of your life by 40!

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Wow! Almost $700 in dividends is huge. When I get to that level, I’ll consider myself pretty close to the FI mark. That’s awesome. I see you have some high yielders in there. I know I could earn more dividend income if I stretched my comfort zone into the mREIT’s and some others, but I feel pretty good about where my portfolio is at currently.

      Keep up the fantastic work and I hope your portfolio (dividend payers and others) continue to reward you.

      Take care!

    • Anonymous says

      Hi, and thanks for the reply. While I do recognize that my holdings are not as safe as most would like, I base my earnings against tax-free bonds which are paying near 4% at this time (see VWLUX). when looking at stocks, I try to look for an after-tax return of at least that amount – otherwise I do not see why I would not simply buy the bonds. Some of my picks are fairly risky, and I have tried to make sure that not very much of my portfolio is attributed toward any one stock (which is why I have more than 10 holdings). My original goal was to find 12 stocks that pay $1800 per year, which works out to $1800 per month. Although, at this time, I have not reached that goal (I am about halfway there). I hope to average-down in the next four or five months, and get to the goal of $1800 per month.

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