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.
What you're going to see below is my highest monthly dividend tally ever! Of course, this was helped a bit by the fact that some of my holdings (including The Coca-Cola Company (KO) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) among others) decided to move up their dividend payout dates and pay out in December of 2012 instead of January of 2013. This was a move to help investors avoid potential negative tax consequences affecting dividend payouts. While I appreciate these companies looking out for investors, as it shows what kind of culture they have, I would have preferred they just continue paying out like normal. Of course, I'm receiving peanuts compared to major shareholders who likely applauded, and voted for, the moves. I also received a special dividend from Southside Bancshares, as they paid out two special dividends totaling $0.33 per share over and above the usual $0.20 per share.
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:
December 2012 Dividends Received
- ConocoPhillips (COP) - $36.30
- Aflac Incorporated (AFL) - $25.90
- Intel Corporation (INTC) - $38.25
- Phillips 66 (PSX) - $6.75
- Southside Bancshares, Inc. (SBSI) - $33.39
- Harris Corporation (HRS) - $14.80
- Chevron Corporation (CVX) - $36.00
- Emerson Electric Co. (EMR) - $24.60
- Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) - $25.00
- Lorillard Inc. (LO) - $31.00
- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - $42.70
- Avista Corp. (AVA) - $15.95
- The Coca-Cola Company (KO) - $10.20
- McDonald's Corporation (MCD) - $46.20
- General Dynamics Corporation (GD) - $10.20
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) - $15.11
- Unisource Energy Corp (UNS) - $17.20
- Medtronic, Inc. (MDT) - $9.62
- Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW) - $13.30
Total dividends received during the month of December: $452.47
Wow! That's a hell of a total right there. This is the first time I've ever crossed the $400 mark in one month, and I did it in less than three years of investing. I went from being worth less than I was as a baby to being able to claim a full $450 in passive income in one month. That's progress right there. And the great thing is that I'm no genius. I simply try to identify high quality companies that have common stock trading for a relatively attractive price which grow their dividends annually over the rate of inflation. You can do this too!
This month's total obviously is much higher than what I received last month, at almost triple the amount. Of course, again, this month's total was artificially ramped up a bit due to premature dividend payouts, and so because of that my January 2013 dividend payout total will be much less than it should have been. So, the celebration is on for today, but January will be a bit sobering. This total is also very attractive compared to the dividend total I received in December of 2011, being almost 2.5 times higher.
This month's dividend total covered a full 37.9% of my expenses this month! That's simply fantastic. It's good to know that I only needed to come up with about $740 from my day job to meet my expenses. The journey to financial independence is a wonderful journey indeed when one can see tangible, real results like this.
With December's dividends totaled up, I can now publish exactly what I earned in dividends during the entire year of 2012. I received a total of $2,602.58 in dividends through the entire year of 2012, blowing away my goal of receiving $2,000 in dividends for the year! I'm so extremely fortunate and grateful for this. I can't wait to put together an even more challenging dividend income goal for 2013 very soon, as I will be reviewing the year of 2012 shortly and also looking forward to this year's goals.
I'll update my dividend income page to reflect December's dividends.
Full Disclosure: Long all aforementioned securities
Thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: sscreations