Dividend Income

Here you’ll see all of my dividend income since the very beginning. I have hyperlinked every corresponding monthly dividend income update. I wasn’t blogging in 2010 – my first year of dividend growth investing – so I don’t have any relevant articles for that year. However, I have included what I earned for the entire year for the sake of showing just how powerful this strategy can be.

2010 Dividend Income

2010 Total: $269.33

2011 Dividend Income

January 2011 – $33.35
February 2011 – $34.90
March 2011 – $88.76
April 2011 – $66.40
May 2011 – $95.24
June 2011 – $179.96
July 2011 – $59.10
August 2011 – $60.86
September 2011 – $153.76
October 2011 – $81.56
November 2011 – $166.27
December 2011 – $181.90

2011 Total: $1,202.06

2012 Dividend Income 

January 2012 – $165.69
Febuary 2012 – $146.49
March 2012 – $251.35
April 2012 – $161.26
May 2012 – $97.07
June 2012 – $315.70
July 2012 – $145.69
August 2012 – $208.65
September 2012 – $357.82
October 2012 – $154.92
November 2012 – $145.47
December 2012 – $452.47

2012 Total: $2,602.58

2013 Dividend Income

January 2013 – $157.39
February 2013 – $215.20
March 2013 – $413.72
April 2013 – $233.07 
May 2013 – $150.64 
June 2013 – $553.38
July 2013 – 181.72
August 2013 – $341.33
September 2013 – $640.87
October 2013 – $247.95
November 2013- $186.12
December 2013 – $604.73

2013 Total: $3,926.12

2014 Dividend Income

January 2014 – $347.97
February 2014 – $336.59
March 2014 – $708.83
April 2014 – $311.78
May 2014 – $307.92
June 2014 – $699.43
July 2014 – $315.11
August 2014 – $438.37
September 2014 – $745.76
October 2014 – $382.84
November 2014 – $352.13
December 2014 – $684.87

2014 Total: $5,631.60*

2015 Dividend Income

January 2015 – $433.54
February 2015 – $378.20
March 2015 – $941.85
April 2015 – $448.59

2015 Total: $2,208.18

*I accidentally miscalculated YTD dividend income in June 2014’s update, which threw off the updates for the rest of 2014. The total dividend income for 2014 you see on this page is correct. 




      • says

        I am new to stocks and just started like a few weeks ago. I like your strategy of 50 stocks. I was told that you should only own 5-10 though. I think that your way of owning 50 makes a lot more sense.

        The only question that I have now if you don’t mind telling me is, how many shares would you recommend owning in each stock? Would you recommend 50-100 shares of each? Do you know if Alibaba will have a dividend?

        • says


          Thanks for stopping by!

          This is an exciting time for you, just starting out. I still remember just starting out in early 2010. It was a little scary, but very exciting. Although, I’m just as enthusiastic about all of this today as I was more than four years ago. :)

          If you haven’t checked it out already, this is my take on why I own more than 50 stocks:


          As far as your question on shares go, that’s the wrong way to look at it. You shouldn’t really be looking at the number of shares, because every company’s common stock is priced differently, based on a number of factors. For instance, owning 100 shares of IBM would cost you more than $16,000. Owning 100 shares of AT&T, on the other hand, would run you about $3,500. So you should instead be looking at how much capital you have invested in each company for your dollar weighting and how much dividend income each position pays you in a given year for your income weighting.

          I hope that helps. Best of luck to you. And please stay in touch.


              • tdot says

                Amazing discipline to have come up to this balance on your portfolio in a short time. not sure why you’re still holding onto IBM i think Apple has a better div growth potential even with great run so far since 2013

                take care

                • says


                  Thanks for dropping by!

                  Apple has no doubt been the better performer over any time frame you can probably throw at them. But I’m investing for what is yet to be, not where they’ve already gone. If I could go back in time, I’d skip college, work three jobs, and invest every dime in Apple back in 2000. However, looking at Apple today shows me a behemoth with a market cap approaching $700 billion. How big do they get? How many smartphones and tablets will they sell 10 or 20 years from now? Will they still be able to produce the products people want to buy? Popular tech products are a fickle beast, and I don’t like fickle when it comes to my money. IBM is priced for low expectations, and I think they can exceed them. Apple, however, can fall from a much higher mountain. I guess we’ll see how it goes. :)

                  Best regards.

    • says


      Glad to hear the love of dividends is alive and well down in Brazil! :)

      After all, how could you not love collecting passive income from high quality companies. Who doesn’t like receiving a check for doing nothing? :)


    • says



      I include all the numbers from the start of the blog until current because I think it’s really cool to see the income rise. It’s the “proof in the pudding” as I like to call it. It’s hard to argue with progress when the money’s coming in. :)

      Thanks for the well wishes. I really appreciate it. I’ve still got a long road in front of me, but it’s a lot easier to travel with the support of this great community!

      I wish you the best of luck in your journey as well.

      Best regards.

      • says

        I told some of my friends about dividend compounding and so on and pointed them to your site, i’m amazed how many people don’t do it still, were completely unaware of ‘investing’ or still just stayed with expensive mutual funds because they didn’t know much beyond that. It’s that 10 year minimum horizon that is critical for the compounding to really take hold…people rarely look that far unless it is with a mortgage from what i can tell, i’ve had to make a ton of sacrifice for the last 3 years like yourself but once you get into the habit, every month just gets better and better. It’s just like getting fit again, the first few months are painful then you kinda don’t think about it so much and finally the pressure starts to lift and you start to see the fruits of your labour.

        Keep up the good work!

        • says


          Thanks for trying to open some minds up and point some new readers this way. Hopefully they see the light some day. :)

          And dividends are definitely the gifts that keep on giving. You make just one great decision in your life like forgoing a new television and investing that $1,200 or so into a high quality business and that one decision will pay you for the rest of your life. When you start to compound these decisions over and over again over the course of years…well, that’s when the fun really begins!

          Thanks for the support.

          Best wishes.

  1. says

    Love the blog. I’m a twentysomething lawyer in a public service job, about a year into my career. So — not a high salary, and haven’t been in the workforce for very long. But now that I’ve had a year of settling into my new city (all the while contributing to retirement funds) I’ve just started my brokerage account and am following a strategy somewhat like yours, though I’m certainly not as well-versed in the details of what to look for as you. I’m mostly buying companies that I know, are large, and can see expanding/continuing to do well for the next half-century. Of course, I’m susceptible to “hope” purchases — just got one share of GOOG because I wanted in before the split, partially because I’m a Google fanboy, and also because I can see them being a real disruptive force in new sectors over the next few decades. So, even though it doesn’t produce dividend income, I’m fine with being along for the ride on that.

    • says


      Thanks for writing. And congratulations to you for starting your own journey!

      Not every journey looks the same, as we’re all individuals with independent aspirations. Furthermore, I’d be willing to bet that I’m in a rather small subset of investors who invest in dividend growth stocks exclusively. So don’t worry about your GOOG investment. As long as it fits your goals and it’s performing as you would expect then go for it.

      I wish you the best of luck! And please stay in touch.


  2. Juan says

    Did you build an emergency fund before you started your FF? If so how many months of expenses did you build?

    • says


      I wrote about my ideas on an emergency fund a while back here:


      Although that article is old, the basic principles still hold weight for me. I typically carry around $5k or so in cash at any given time, although it may oscillate a bit. I feel comfortable with this level of cash because I don’t have any children, I’m relatively healthy, I rent, and I have a high savings rate. I could easily add $2-$3k to my cash pot in any given month simply by not investing the cash. Furthermore, I have about $10k in untapped credit I could take advantage of if the need arises. Lastly, I have dividend income coming in that acts as a “break in case of emergency” source of cash. Of course, I could always sell positions if I really needed major cash, but that would have to be a life-threatening type of emergency.

      Best regards!

  3. Ray says

    You are me 30 years ago. My goal was to build a big enough retirement portfolio that I need never touch the principle. For the past 30 years I was able to save 26% of my salary plus reinvest all my dividends. It worked, but I had no desire to retire at 40. My goal was and is to enjoy life and never have to worry about college tuition, car, dentist, roof or what ever.

    We always lived simply, clipped coupons and obstained from the $4 cup of coffee. As a result we were able to raise 2 kids and take vacations and enjoy life. Becoming financially indepenent is a great idea but not if you have to 10 years in prison to get there. Finding balance in life is key to staying on any plan..

    good luck in your journey.

    • says


      Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Congrats to you on being able to save such a high amount of your income for so long. You’re a rare bird! :)

      And I agree with not living in a self-imposed prison to get to financial independence. Everyone’s idea of “sacrifice” is different. For some, it’s cutting back on weekend shoe shopping trips. For others, a home-cooked meal is a big upgrade. It’s all about perspective. I’ve personally found a nice balance right now between living for today while still saving for tomorrow. And this balance can change over time. What I’m comfortable with now may change in the future. Life is dynamic, not linear. :)

      It’s definitely all about balance! Stay in touch.

      Take care.

  4. Gefre says

    Hi Jason.

    Good for you for reaching your $100k in 3 years, worth celebrating indeed.

    Just read your blog and subscribed to it because you sounded sincere and curious about dividend as a passive income. Correct me if I’m wrong in my understanding. Basically, in about 3 something years when you started in 2010, you had a total income of about $8k meaning you put up about $92k of your own money thru frugal living with a middle-class earning. comes out to about 9% ROI correct? When you said dividend as passive income, do you actually meant income as cash in your pocket when that time comes when you decide to retire from the regular job and simply live off the dividend payments while for now you are building that nest for a bigger monthly cash out thru DRIP, correct?

    looking forward to reading your blog.

    • says


      Thanks for the kind words! I’m indeed proud of what I’ve done, but the road ahead is still long. The support I’ve received from the investing community has been truly wonderful, however.

      I’ve contributed about $100k total from the very first day to now. Or at least, that was the number I came up with not long ago for another reader. So that’s in four years from 2010-2014. And my portfolio is around $156k now.

      And I don’t participate in a DRIP, as I wrote about here:


      But the plan is to reinvest dividends for now until I need to live off of the dividend income. Then I’ll simply shift from accumulating assets to living off of my passive income. At least, that’s the plan. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Best regards.

  5. Michael says

    Curious if you have ever looked at selling Covered Calls on your positions to generate additional income from your positions?

    • says


      I don’t use options.

      I don’t want to cap my upside, and I also don’t believe in betting on short-term price movements. I see how they work for some people, but for me it’s just not necessary.

      Best regards!

      • Michael says

        It’s something to look at. Of course you can only do it on your positions that have 100+ shares and depending on your broker, you will want to weigh the cost of commissions versus the return.

        That said, if your goal is strictly dividend income while not cashing out any of the portfolio then the appreciation/value of the portfolio doesn’t matter. If you capped your portfolio value at your cost basis but returned 2x your current dividend income then are you better off?

        • says


          It isn’t just the income to look at; it’s also the capital set aside needed for this strategy, as well as being forced into transactions based on stock price action which typically incurs more transaction costs than the typical buy-and-hold strategy. Again, I see the benefits, but for me and what I’m trying to accomplish it’s unnecessary to utilize this strategy.

          Best regards!

  6. Rohit says

    I wan tto invest in dividend stocks however, find the current pricing daunting as quite a lot of these companies are trading at 5 year high pricing. The thought of earning is attractive however, what is keeping me on the fence is potential devaluation of dividend stocks once the interest rate starts ticking up. What are your thoughts on it? I used to make same kind of money on CDs alone just a few years ago.

    • says


      I don’t worry about interest rates climbing, or Ukraine border tensions, or any other macroeconomic factors that are completely out of my control. It’s just a waste of time.

      I’d rather focus on where the value is in this market. Instead of looking at companies that are indeed expensive, I’d rather spend my time analyzing companies that are trading at attractive valuations and put my capital to work there. For instance, the energy sector has value right now, in my opinion.

      Try not to look at the market. Rather, investigate and value individual companies, because as a dividend growth investor that’s exactly what you’re investing in.

      Best of luck!

      Take care.

  7. Rob says

    What is your opinion of simply buying shares of VIG or DVY? It seems much easier than managing all of your own stocks and the transactions costs are less. I havent run the numbers but I’d assume your way is more profitable.

  8. Burmalainen says


    Just wondering about the taxation in the U.S. Is it similar than in Finland that you must pay 30% tax from dividends? I have had some thoughs that in Finland might be better to invest in Index funds that doesn’t pay out the dividends. So you can save pretty much money in the long term i guess. Any thoughs?

    • says


      It’s tough to say what I would do in Finland as I don’t live there, but I’d try to take advantage of whatever I could.

      Taxation is a complicated subject, and I’m overly simplifying it here:

      Our taxation on dividends here in the U.S. is rather favorable right now. It’s 15% for most people. There’s a 20% tax on earners in the top income bracket (39.6%). However, the great thing is that you’re taxed at 0% on qualified dividends if you’re in the bottom two brackets – 10% and 15%. That’s what I’m aiming for in early retirement – to be in a low income bracket and pay little or no taxes on my dividends. We’ll see how I do, and I’ll make sure to keep everyone updated on that as I go.

      Best regards.

  9. Mathew Walker says

    Way to go DM!,

    Q1 2014 has already surpassed your entire annual Dividends for 2011.

    Q1-4 2011 Total: $1,202.06
    2014 Dividend Income

    Q1 2014 Total: $1,393.39
    Making more in one Quarter, than you had in an entire year previously – has got to be a great feeling!
    Keep up the commitment and pursue the dream ;your doing great.

    • says


      Thanks so much! I appreciate you pointing that out.

      The tangible nature of dividends makes it very easy to track the progress and motivate one to keep going. And that’s just one thing I really love about dividends. Of course, the fact that they’re cash money doesn’t hurt either. :)

      I hope you’re doing just as well or even better than I am on your way to financial independence. To our success!

      Best wishes.

  10. david says

    Wow this is all so truly inspiring… im 23 y/o and trying to find my path to financial freedom. I currently max my match contribution in 401k as well as just started a roth ira growth fun… but my bank (usaa) tells me i shouldn’t put any money into anything other than my roth but I feel growing passive income now would be smart… I currently have a brokerage account with td ameritrade for their learning tools. I own 10 shares of at&t but am scared to invest more into other blue chip divs because of what my investor advisor is telling me about roth importance. Plus the commission fee from trading would eat me up he says… any thoughtsI really need some sort of clarity for someone with new low capital.

    • says


      Thanks for stopping by!

      Congratulations for getting such an early start. You’re only 23, so you definitely have time on your side! Compounding is especially powerful when you have a long ramp from which to start your snowball.

      As far as your question goes, it is indeed possible to invest with very little money. I don’t know your goals, so I’m not sure how much money you’re going to want to invest in a taxable account. But for most people I recommend maxing out a Roth IRA. It’s a fantastic investment vehicle. I avoid it only because I’m trying to attain financial independence so early in life.

      If you can max out your Roth as well as your 401(k) then I would recommend Computershare for direct stock purchases and then you can set up a dividend reinvestment plan with your corresponding stock investments:


      You can start with as little as $50 in most cases with much less costs than you’d see in traditional brokerage accounts. However, if you do eventually decide to go with a discount brokerage I recommend Scottrade. I personally use their services and I’ve been very happy!

      I hope this helps. :)

      Best wishes.

  11. says

    Hi there, thanks for the nice job! i am Brazilian and i have ben investing in Brazilian stock market since 2001! I realy like investiment focused on dividends, and here in Brazil we have good companies, with consistent profit, paying dividend higher than 10% per year! A doubt, in U.S, how much you guys consider a good dividend yeld? thanks, congratulations and good look with your project!

    • says


      Thanks for stopping by from Brazil! Glad to have you.

      We have stocks here in the U.S. that feature yields that high (10% or so), but usually this is because there’s additional risk involved. You pretty much never see blue chip stocks yielding so much unless we’re in a major economic crisis. And even then it’s quite rare. I would never want to form my portfolio around stocks that yield this much – which are mostly mREITs and BDCs – but I’m a bit conservative like that. However, I’m not totally conservative since almost 100% of my worldly wealth is in stocks right now.

      Thanks for the well wishes. I can only extend the same to you!

      Take care.

  12. NewInvestor says

    Newbie question: you are showing income each month…it was my understanding that dividends are paid quarterly…so shouldn’t your income be coming only every few months?

    • says


      That’s a great question!

      Dividends aren’t always paid quarterly, but most U.S. stocks do indeed paid quarterly. However, they don’t all pay in the same quarter. For instance, Coca-Cola pays in April, July, October, and December. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson pays in March, June, September, and December. So you can see that after accumulating a handful of stocks you’ll have different stocks paying in different quarters, thereby allowing you income through all of the months. Furthermore, some stocks (like O and ARCP in my portfolio) pay monthly. And then there are many stocks (usually foreign stocks) pay semi-annually.

      But this is all really ignoring the main point: Don’t focus on the monthly schedules of stocks. Focus foremost on the individual businesses and the quality, valuation, diversification, and financials. I NEVER paid any attention to the payout dates of stocks. I only accumulated when the valuation and quality made sense within my own portfolio. The payouts will eventually smooth themselves out. And even if they don’t, budgeting skills will more than make up for this (which you should already possess if you’re saving and investing).

      Best wishes!

  13. Lisa says

    I just found your blog and love it. I have also been working on building my portfolio. A question I have is what do you plan to do about the monthly fluctuations. Some months very high then some months low income for retirement? I have the same problem now and wonder if I should try to even it out somehow. I think in retirement it would be easier to count on a certain amount of monthly income. Thanks!

    • says


      So glad you found the blog and enjoy it thus far. I hope you continue to stop by! :)

      As far as smoother dividend payouts and less fluctuations, it actually doesn’t make a difference to me. I think anyone who’s able to achieve financial independence at a relatively young age via dividend growth investing is naturally going to be a wonderful saver and good with budgeting. As such, one would be expected to simply save the excess dividends during months with higher payouts to compensate for the months with lower payouts.

      However, I still plan/hope to smooth things out over time if just to make the budgeting easier on myself later down the road. I think this will happen naturally, and it doesn’t need to be forced. I would never recommend investing in a stock based on the month they pay dividends!

      I hope this helps. :)

      Best wishes.

  14. says

    Hi! Great site, love it. Let’s assume tomorrow you met your goal. I’m curious, with 50+ stocks each paying their own dividend, how would you pay yourself? Would you sell a piece of all 50 .. 30 .. 10..? I mean the commissions after multiple sales begins to add up quickly and eat into your investments, right? What’s best way/most efficient way to pay yourself?

    • says


      Thanks for the support and readership!

      I’m not sure I understand your question correctly. If I met my goal tomorrow I’d be living off of my dividend income solely. I wouldn’t be selling any stocks at all. The most efficient way to pay yourself is to just collect the dividends in your brokerage account, withdraw them, and pay for expenses with that cash flow. That’s one of the big reasons I invest this way, so I don’t need to worry about selling a share here and there to pay for my bills. Dividends are commission-free.

      I hope that helps?

      Best wishes!

      • says

        Thanks for taking time to responsd. It’s my understanding if you purchase a stock say WMT at 75.00 and it pays a dividend of 3% annually ($2.25). If you owned just one WMT stock then after 12 months it’s value becomes $77.25 (75.00 + 2.25). You were paid the dividend of $2.25 but, it’s just added into the value of WMT, right? I don’t think they just take the $2.25 and mail you a seperate check? Maybe that might clarify my question. Thanks for being patient.

        • says


          Well, the dividend is paid from a company’s cash flow. The stock price is based on a lot of factors that aren’t totally within a company’s control.

          But a dividend isn’t “added” to a stock price. The stock price is what buyers are willing to pay for equity in a company, based on factors way too complex for me to go over in a comment. The dividend is a portion of profits being sent your way as a part-owner. A stock price and a dividend is technically independent of one another, although stock exchanges will manually adjust a stock price downward to compensate for the dividend. But these manual adjustments are typically lost in the daily noise of the buying and selling within the market. One could argue that a company would be “worth more” had they never sent dividends to owners, but this is really impossible to say. It would depend on whether the company in question was able to reinvest that capital at a more advantageous rate. But this is all coulda, shoulda, wouldas to me. I pay my bills in cash, from cash. And dividends provide me the steady and rising cash to do so.

          I hope that helps!

          Best regards.

    • says

      I know this question isn’t addressed to me but, I thought this was such an interesting question. I think if the markets dropped 70-90% obviously the values of stocks would be doomsday-levels-low. I think we would have much bigger problems closely resembling apoloclyptic times and it’d be better to grab a gun then another stock.

      But, what if the markets dropped 50% and bottomed out here? If you look at WMT between Jan 2008 to Jan 2011 they actually slightly increased their dividend payouts and remained consistent during ths Great Recession. So I guess if you were living off dividends (like DM) these companies still had a incentive to keep investors but had to give them a reason to stay.All in all, companies like WMT aren’t really going anywhere anytime soon and I think DMs model is pretty solid.

      I’m not a financial expert but, this is just my two cents for what it may be worth.

    • says

      Gary Jones,

      I don’t plan on exiting if the market crashes. If we see a 30% or 40% drop in stock prices I’ll probably go out and get the highest paying job I can possibly find to load up on equities. :)


  15. says


    I love your progression in your monthly dividends increases. One day I hope I get to where you are. Just got to focus on slow and steady. I’ve enjoyed your blog and learnt a lot. So thank you for writing.

    – Dividend Eclipse

    • says

      Dividend Eclipse,

      It simply takes consistency and persistence, my friend. Every single month is another step toward eventual freedom. :)

      Glad you find some value in the blog. Hope to keep on writing for many years!

      Take care.

  16. Charles says

    Hi Jason,

    Love the blog.

    A *long* time ago, I had dividend income similar to what you have now. If I had not then tried so hard for so long to get rich quick, I would have been rich a long time ago.

    Now I am officially abandoning all get rich quick strategies and going with dividend growth investing. Perhaps I’ll be rich by 30 years from now, on my 99th birthday.


    • says


      Sorry to hear about that, but sometimes experience is necessary. I’ve certainly made my fair share of costly mistakes. But I’ve learned and grown, and I’m the person I am today because of them. So I don’t regret it.

      The good news is that you’re on the right track now! Keep going. :)

      Best regards.

  17. Sasha says

    Do you do some kind of calculations to see what kind of performance your div. portfolio has experienced?
    I just did a one silly calculation and even though the calculation is not correct logically, but it does perhaps shed a bit of the light in a broad brush, IMO. Your take on the below calculation?

    Over the years, I’ve invested bi-weekly/monthly into a total stock Idx fund. No withdrawals yet. So, over the 8 years I invested a total of $50K. Its value in mid-May’14 was $74k which makes 48% gain (total or if it has any name since as I said it’s not really correct).

    Another mutual fund is actively managed (0.54% exp.ratio) and again I’ve invested weekly/bi-weekly/monthly over the last 10 years in the sum of $30k. Its value mid-May’14 was $51k. That gives me 70% gain.

    Now, DGI… Various stocks, various start dates, various purchase amounts in bi-weekly/monthly investing. $147K invested over 10 years and the portfolio, its value mid-May’14 was 177K, giving only 20% gain.

    No withdrawals, all divvies and cap gains (in the case of funds) have been reinvested. As I said, the calculation is most likely wrong, but the more accurate computation would show even more dismal picture of DGI ‘success’ vs. funds. Shouldn’t I switch to the idx fund and get a life?

    • says


      You’ve got a lot of numbers you’re throwing around over there.

      I don’t look at capital gains as a primary performance measure, and perhaps you don’t quite understand this strategy or what a dividend growth investor is trying to achieve. I say that because not once in your comment did you reference income and/or growth in your income.

      That being said, if you only registered a 20% total return over the last 10 years in your DGI portfolio I’m guessing you just aren’t very good at picking great businesses and sticking with them, or you got really unlucky. You would probably do much better with a low-cost index fund.

      Best of luck!


  18. Morten Petersen says

    Really nice blog. Im from Denmark(Scandinavia, EU) and I really enjoy reading your blog. Trying to replicate your way of living and financial strategy. If you are looking some European companies, you should definitely take a look at Novo Nordisk A/S and Cololplast A/S. I know they are quiet expensive at the moment, but as you know. Good quality have a higher price.


    • says


      Thanks for stopping by all the way from Denmark! I really appreciate it. :)

      I do have a few European companies in my portfolio, but I’ll probably add another one or two before I’m all done. I’ll take a look at your suggestions.

      Best of luck with achieving freedom!


  19. Tom says

    Hi there, just stumbled across your blog googling around for index funds. Quick question, aren’t dividends paid out quarterly? If so, I see that you show your dividends monthly and I was wondering how you are able to do that?

    • says


      Dividends from US companies are generally paid out quarterly. Of course, you have some outliers there, and many foreign companies pay semi-annually or even annually.

      However, I’m invested in 51 companies across multiple sectors. And many of them pay on different schedules. So you can see all of my dividend income reports by the month and notice that different companies are paying on different months. If you invest in a company that pays in March, June, September, and December then you know you’re getting paid on those four months. Investing in another company that pays in January, April, July, and October gives you four different months to look forward to.

      I hope that helps. :)


  20. Jimmy says

    Hi Jason,

    I was thinking about dividend growth investing strategy, and trying to figure out an answer to the next question.

    Why would you choose dividend growth investing above savings plans such as long term deposits which would also pay you a yearly interest of >3%, while facing no (or less) risk of losing the money you invest? Since both dividend growth investing and deposit savings are for long-term purpose, you ideally do not move your money for years anyway and dividend/interest is re-invested in both situations.

    This question is even more interesting to me when you choose a stock which has a yield that is lower than the long-term deposit interest rate.

    I am just trying to understand what is the benefit of dividend growth investing, I am sure you already thought about this and have a good answer :)

    Many thanks and have a great profitable week!



    • says


      It’s all about risk-adjusted returns. A deposit paying you 3% pays you 3% this year, 3% next year, 3% the following year, etc. Plus, the underlying principle isn’t growing.

      Contrast that with Johnson & Johnson. Its year-end yield from 2009 to 2013 was: 3%, 3.41%, 3.43%, 3.42%, and 2.83%. However, looking only at that number means you’re missing out on the fact that the cash payments are rising, in contrast to the deposit. The dividend payouts through those years looked like this: $1.93, $2.11, $2.25, $2.40, and $2.59.

      Do you see the difference? Long-term deposits like CDs pay you a fixed percentage. So you’re not able to keep up with inflation, thus reducing your purchasing power. Dividend growth stocks give you raises year after year.

      Know what other difference is there? The yield in 2013 was lower, even though the cash payouts were rising substantially. How did that happen? Well, JNJ’s stock price increased. Whereas your deposit principle is simply returned to you at the end of the term (or reinvested, if you choose), JNJ’s stock price adjusts up or down over time as its earnings increase or decrease. However, high-quality companies like JNJ typically increase earnings over long periods of time, as its history will show you.

      So it’s all about risk, and whether the risk is worth it to you. Your deposit will return 3%, but your risk to capital is zero. JNJ will likely return in the high single digits to low double digits, but there is risk. I feel the risk is worth it. You may not.

      I hope that helps!


  21. says

    Maybe it was useful to add a new item to that list: the average minthly income of the last 12months. That would the give a closer picture of your income. Just a thought!

  22. Jr. says

    I enjoy reading your blogs,
    I started DG investing about a year ago.
    This year I’m on track to receive about $2,500 via dividends.

    • says


      That’s fantastic! You’re well on your way. I exceeded $2,500 not that long ago myself, so you can see how quickly things increase from there. :)

      Appreciate you stopping by. I hope you stay in touch!!

      Best regards.

    • says


      I’m not quite sure I understand your question. My brokerage keeps track of my dividend income for me, and I separately keep track of it on my Mint account. I simply transfer the information over here in my articles.

      But you could track it a number of ways. A spreadsheet could track your dividend income quite easily, but I’m not much of a spreadsheet guy. I keep track of everything manually for the most part. I’m kind of old school like that. :)


  23. David says

    Hey, I found your blog today which is exactly what I have been looking for. I’ve recently taken over a pub, therefore my accommodation, bills and food all come out of the business leaving me with about 90% of my income available to invest. It has taken me ages to find someone with a logged track record so I can actually see results. I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions! If I was investing at the same rate as yourself with approximately the same amount per month, would you open a brokerage account which charges a higher monthly fee and lower purchase rate or the opposite? It has been challenging me for ages.

    Kind Regards


    • says


      Glad you found the blog! :)

      As far as your question goes, I’ve spent $98.12 this year in commission fees. That averages out to $8.92 per month. So I’d have to find a brokerage that charges less than that per month on a flat fee. I’m not aware of any that are out there.

      Now, I’ve received a few free trades in there. Scottrade sends me surveys every so often, and those typically offer free trades to complete. In addition, I refer new clients to Scottrade, which results in a few free trades as well. Although, even if you factor those out I’d probably be averaging around $14/month. Not too shabby.

      I hope that helps!

      Best wishes.

  24. says

    It is definitely great to see this consistent growth in your dividend income. So many people would be tempted to just blow these dividend checks on crap they don’t need, but I know that you reinvest those gains – like you should be doing.

    Well done.

    • says


      Thanks for the support! :)

      It’s easy for me to reinvest the dividends knowing that ultimate salvation is awaiting me. The pitfalls are all around us, but staying true to the journey will allow you to be free at the end. Nothing in this world worth owning more than my own time.

      Best regards.

  25. JAS says

    What do you think of companies such as SLB and CVS. Dividend yield is low. They both have low payout ratios. But pay higher dividend growth every year. Would you invest in companies like this?

    • says


      SLB is a huge player. But I’m concerned about how the the recent M&A activity in that field will affect them. And they’re not really consistent in their dividend increases – holding their dividend static for three years from 2008 to 2010. Excellent financial results over the last 10 years, however. Although, hard to say what’s going to happen with oil here and how that may impact their results. I’m personally a bit limited in how much more I can really invest in energy, as I’m already heavy there and spread out across a lot of high-quality companies. I also prefer the supermajors over the oilfield services stocks, in large part due to the fact that they control the spending. But I am long NOV in this space.

      Best regards!

  26. Scrooge says

    Hi Jason,

    Would you happen to have any data on your – compounded dividend yield – and how it has developed since you started investing.

    Great to read your articles and see how you have progressed on your goal!

    • says


      It sounds like you’re looking for YOC? I don’t track that metric at all, as I don’t think there’s any value in it. The overall portfolio’s value as it stands now (real current yield) is about 3.5%. :)


  27. Erik says

    Hey Jason,
    I had a question, once you have enough income for expenses will you have enough for future investments, and other stocks?

    • says


      I believe you’re asking if, once I’m living off of my dividend income, I’ll continue to invest/accumulate assets? The answer to that is probably no. I believe the dividend income itself will grow faster than my expenses will over time, however, increasing the gap between passive income and expenses. So if I’m financially independent at 40 with $18,000 in dividend income and, say, $17,500 in expenses, I believe that $18,000 will grow much faster than the $17,500 will grow. So maybe at first I won’t have enough to continue investing, but I suspect at some point I will. Or, perhaps more likely, I’ll have excess income which can be given away at some point via philanthropy.

      This also factors out any active income. If I continue to write, which I plan on, I believe that will generate income by itself. So that may allow the continuation of investing or some type of philanthropy fairly early on.

      I hope that answers your question? :)

      Best wishes.

  28. Mark says

    Looks great! Have you considered going into any major Canadian stocks? As your dollar is worth the equivalent to $1.15 CAD, you would be instantly gaining 15% on your money! I am Canadian (Toronto) and have a similar dividend portfolio, 40 stocks, not as many as yours. However mine are ALL Canadian. The ONLY reason I’m all Canadian stocks is the fact that 1 Canadian dollar is equivalent to 0.86c US money. So for me to buy a stock on the DOW or NASDAQ, unfortunately means buying in American money. I would loose 14% of the value instantly. Any stock would have to jump 14% just to get me to my break even starting point……your site is great, your stock selection is great. Keep up the good work and if you ever visit Toronto, we can discuss stocks over a poutine, my treat :)

    • says


      Thanks for dropping by!

      The exchange rate fluctuates all the time. So the dollar is strong right now, but that could just as easily change a few months down the road. Canadian stocks might be a little cheaper for us right now, but that also affects the dividend income I receive. But I do have holdings in two Canadian banks – BNS and TD. So I have some exposure there. Not too much, however, due to the fact that our market here in the US already offers plenty of great choices.

      But the Canadian market offers a lot to like for Canadians as well. Though, the sectors are somewhat limited to some big plays in energy, banking, and telecom.

      Appreciate the support very much. If I’m ever up in Toronto, I’ll be sure to drop you a line. :)

      Best wishes!

  29. Chris Reeves says

    Here’s a question that I don’t believe has been posed yet. Your ultimate goal is to be able to live off of your dividend income; that much is clear. But what will happen with the rise of inflation. The money you’ve been living off of won’t get you as far. Assuming an interest rate increase of 3% per year, your dividend income, which may change a little per year but not an average of 3%, will slowly be giving you less and less to work with as costs rise. What’s your contingency plan for something like this?

      • says


        I’m not sure if you have a handle on what I’m talking about. I’ve discussed this at length before, and I’ll include a link below that provides a more in-depth explanation.

        Most of the companies I invest in tend to increase their dividends over and above the rate of inflation over the long haul. For instance, Johnson & Johnson increased its dividend from $0.66 to $0.70 quarterly per share earlier in the year. That’s a 6.1% increase. That obviously compares well to inflation, which is likely below 3% right now. So if your dividend income increases in aggregate by that same amount (6%) year after year, your purchasing power increases. Your income would be increasing by ~6%, while your expenses would be increasing by ~3%. Of course, I find the inflation numbers probably exaggerated for those that are frugal. Other than food, my expenses are comparable to where they were five years ago.

        This post explain this a bit more:


        Best wishes!

  30. James Kelley says

    Sure wish you would give Bank of the Ozarks a shout out. I grew up in the Boston Mountains (foothills of the Ozark Mountains) in Northwest Arkansas. This little bank just keeps on keeping on. Have a great year.

    • says


      That’s funny you mention that bank. I’m actually drafting an article for Daily Trade Alert on recent dividend increases, and of course OZRK is on there since it routinely increases its dividend every quarter. Great bank. The yield has routinely been a bit low for my comfort level, and I’ve done well with some other bank holdings. But OZRK has performed at a very, very high level over the last five years. And that’s both for the company and its stock. Shareholders should be very pleased. :)


  31. Noodle says


    New to your site from across the pond, just found your site from a monevator link. I’m a few years behind you having just stared my investing a little over a year ago so great encouragement following your own journey and having it so comprehensively documented here!

    Quick question, do you have figures for this years total return and an annualised rate? Just curious how your whole portfolio value+dividends is doing with your strategy. Any thoughts on how the surge of the S+P ( I assume a large proportion of your stocks are in this? I don’t have a great knowledge of US index’s!) over the last few years has possibly distorted future performance and what the impacts of it stalling/ dropping will have?

    Many thanks!

    • says


      Glad you found the blog! Some of the information here probably won’t be relevant to what you’re doing over there in the UK, but most of it translates pretty well. In the end, it’s all about saving and investing your way toward freedom.

      As far as total returns go, I don’t track them from year to year. I have a spreadsheet that tracks all cash inflows from Day 1 and then I use the XIRR function for my annualized return. That’s sitting at 18.5% right now, annualized since about June 2010.

      The stock market’s run over the last few years really doesn’t bother me either way. The market is a store like any other. Some merchandise is expensive right now, but I tend to shop near the back of the store where the clearance section is. No doubt that bargains are harder to come by today than just a few years ago, but they’re still out there. If the market corrects substantially from here, then more bargains will be available. So that would be most welcome, in my view.

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Best regards.

      • Dave says


        Would you ever be interested in doing an article on the portfolio metrics that you calculate and track? I was googling around trying to figure out if you did in fact use XIRR and came across this comment. I’m in the midst of setting up my portfolio spreadsheet for some index funds I’ll be holding at Vanguard after transferring out of Edward Jones high fee mutual funds (+1 bogleheads :)). I’ve also got an account at Scottrade for my individual stocks. At first I first thinking XIRR is overkill for me, I was just interested in my ending value vs starting value to come up with a real simple YTD return. I might have to do a simple CAGR for my previous years since I never tracked cashflow dates or anything. Going forward maybe I’ll calculate IRR

        • says


          I may write an article on it, but there’s really not much there for content. XIRR is pretty easy. You just list the cash inflow and date and then include your final value (as a negative value) down at the bottom. XIRR does the rest. As far as I’m aware, it’s the best method for determining your own CAGR. It’s not something I find particularly valuable or useful, because total returns in excess of a benchmark isn’t really what I’m after. However, if I’m really way out of line, then perhaps there’s something to be changed.

          It only takes a few minutes to set a spreadsheet up and then determine your rate of return. Again, not of particular value to me, but you may find it quite useful/insightful. :)

          Best regards.

  32. RayinPenn says

    Having been a dividend investor for more then 25 years I have learned what works for me.
    1. I like low cost index and very diverse dividend funds because
    A. I don’t have to follow 50 more stocks – (it can’t be done).
    B. Study after study says you can’t beat the market over time

    So while we own many individual stocks, including some held for 25 years lately it’s all dividend funds …might I suggest

    • says


      I don’t have any interest in index funds personally, but I can see how they work for a lot of other investors. Study after study shows that dividend growth stocks outperform the broader market and stocks that don’t pay dividends over long periods of time, as well as the fact that reinvested dividends account for the vast majority of total returns of the stock market. So that bodes well for me and my goals.

      Thanks for dropping by. Best of luck with your strategy! :)

      Take care.

  33. RayinPenn says

    Just a point of Order —
    Modigliani–Miller theorem (Nobel Prise in Economics) would argue that whether a company pays dividends today has no bearing on future value. While I disagree, many would say invest in growth stocks today and switch to income producing instruments when the time arises. Your dividends held outside of a 401k are taxed today and unfortunatley some of the favorable tax treatments have expired.

    I like dividend stocks because a few years of those dividends and you have tangible evidence that the company has real earnings (Think Enron). A company can cook the books for a year or two but over the long haul dividends are the litmus paper of a healthy enterprise.

    • says


      “…many would say invest in growth stocks today and switch to income producing instruments when the time arises.”

      Many people say a lot of things. Many people also work for most of their lives. I’m not many people. :)

      “…but over the long haul dividends are the litmus paper of a healthy enterprise.”

      That’s generally been my argument. Cash can’t be faked. Dividends are paid in cash from cash, so it’s the “proof in the pudding”. Don’t tell me how profitable you are, show me. Just like if I were to own a business 100% and would want to collect cash flow, it’s the same if I own part of a business.


  34. RayinPenn says

    I like your response… I’ll give you something to shoot for.. My daughter is in her second year of college guess what is covering the cost? You are right Dividends.

  35. says

    It’s great to see the actual dividends year by year and month by month. I think it really helps people to see that they really can get significant income from equities.

    • says


      Thanks! I hope that chart inspires. It shows how a relatively large source of growing passive cash flow can be built from nothing in a fairly short period of time. You just have to stay consistent and work hard. :)


  36. Hunnel says

    Quick question. I just started following your blog due to my current obsession with dividend producing stocks. I have been slowly turning my portfolio into a dividend producing machine and am now working on diversification.

    My question is as follows, are you aiming for an overall dividend yield for your account? For example, I set a goal for myself to reach a 5% dividend yield across my entire account. This yield goal is based on the yearly returns that it would produce once I reach my overall portfolio goal (hopefully pay for a substantial amount of my expenses). Are you looking to achieve a certain dividend yield across the entire account or are you more concerned with the growth of your dividends year over year.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


    • says


      Building an income-generating machine is what it’s all about! :)

      I don’t aim for a specific yield across the portfolio, but it’s generally hovered the 3.25% to 3.5% range over the last couple of years. Keep in mind that when chasing after yield like that you may end up sacrificing growth, diversification, and quality. And you’ll be forgoing a lot of high-quality companies due to their lower yields. Generally speaking, the higher the yield, the lower the growth rate. I’m only 32 years old, so I have to think about current income now and growth later as well. And as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve found the best overall investments to be in what I call the “sweet spot” – ~3% yield and ~8% growth.

      But I’m sure you’ll find what works for you.

      Best regards.

  37. harrison says

    Hello. i am 18 and know nothing about investing yet. my mother told me i should learn about dividend growth investing and dripping – she said it’s too late for her but that i should get started as soon as possible. i know that dripping means to reinvest the dividends automatically but my question is whether that’s what you do? it seems you collect the dividends to purchase new shares of another company, not automatically reinvest in the same company. just wondering why you don’t drip since you are planning to hold the stocks for a long time and not sell anyway. thanks!

  38. Young Investor says


    I recently invested in TICC when it was at 9.6 about a year ago. The dividend has been great they recently reduced the dividend payments it’s still above 10 percent. The stock is valued at 7 ish now. I don’t want to sell it because I feel like it would make me lose too much. Should I just hold on to it and try and sell it if it goes back to 9.6 or even 9? I am currently reinvesting into it on a DRIP for free. I put in about 1500 dollars. It was my first stock pick heh. I recently have bought ADP and it’s great and steady.

    • says


      That’s really a personal call, my friend. I wouldn’t have ever invested in that kind of stock in the first place, but if I had it I would sell it. And I say that not because of the stock price action or anything else, but simply because it’s not the kind of business I’d want to own equity in.

      But only you can make that call. I’d really do some hard thinking as to whether you want to own a chunk of TICC or not. If you feel like you understand the ins and outs of collateralized loan obligation investments and feel good about their future, then maybe you should hold. But be honest about your circle of competence there.

      Good luck! :)

      Best regards.

      • Young Investor says

        Thank you for the response. I’m 19 and kind of just “Jumped in” and bought it because it looked good in terms of yield. I think it might have been a good mistake to learn from i’m holding out for it to get back to 8 before selling. I love your works my goal is to have 100k in my portfolio in 7 years.

  39. Jennifer says

    Hi, your blog is great, I really enjoy reading it. I have one question, unless it is in an IRA, won’t the dividends be taxed? Any thoughts?

  40. Mike says

    Hey there,

    I’m a new follower of your blog. Thanks for sharing your numbers. Do you ever compare yourself with other funds like the S&P 500?

    I would like to see how dividend investors compare to other forms of investing. A great addition to your blog would be to show how you fare against a popular index like the S&P 500. It would be showing the dividends (which you already do) and the capital gains as well in a percentage form. i.e. year 1: 10%, year 2: 12%, year 3: 8%, etc.

    Thanks again!

  41. Bo says

    I believe you made a slight error in your 2014 totals, when I add up all the numbers I get to a total of $5631.60. That’s $90 less than the $5721.60. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Love the blog by the way, you are an inspiration!

    • says


      Thanks so much for pointing that out. I’m not quite sure how I did that. It looks like I added up incorrectly when I did my June 2014 update, but I have no idea where the extra $90 would have come from. Very strange.

      I’m going to edit the total for the year as well as the chart right now. Thanks again! :)

      Best wishes.

  42. Sam says

    Hey DM, do you have a post somewhere about the difference between how dividend stocks in taxable accounts are taxed vs tax-advantaged accounts?

  43. says

    Hi DM,

    Thank you for sharing your strategy and details. Seems you have enough money to get semi-independence or so. Maybe your limit on urban/metropoliten areas make your goal still pending. In rural areas, you are already independent assuming lower living costs.
    I have 24k /19k in IRA and 5k in brokerage. I would like to grow my funds over 30k in next couple of years what is enough for partial independence (to cover some additional expenses). But I can’t add more cash to my accounts since I have big living expenses. In my IRA account, Real estate funds grow consistently ~10%/y. However in brokerage account (~5k) I have significant challenges to grow this money. Do you think some of your strategies would work in my case, given small investment size?

    Thank you

    • says


      Well, there’s definitely a spectrum of financial independence and freedom:


      I’m along the spectrum now, and used that position to quit my full-time job in the auto industry to pursue writing. So I guess I’m partially financially independent right now. It’s a wonderful spot to be in! :)

      This strategy would still work even without significant capital inflow, assuming you already have a significant invested base to grow organically. I’m at the point now to where I could stop adding new capital and still be a millionaire in a few decades. I’d just continue reinvesting the dividend income the portfolio generates until I’m at an income level I’m comfortable with. But what I’m comfortable with and what you might be comfortable with will naturally differ.

      Best of luck!

      Take care.

  44. says

    Your dividend income is very inspiring. It is growing nicely. Do you think it will exceed $20 000 in the next 3 years? I am small scale compared to you. I only have one dividend stock, Royal Mail. I only have a small investment as I am not so sure they have a long future. However the dividends are pretty good so I keep holding for now and of course reinvesting all my dividend income.

    • says


      Thanks so much! :)

      $20k in three years would be a major stretch. I doubt I’ll be anywhere near that. My long-term plan is $18,000 in annual dividend income by 2022, which is when I turn 40. So that’s my ultimate goal: financial independence by 40, and I think I can live off of $18k. We’ll see!

      I don’t know anything about Royal Mail, but there is a whole world of high-quality dividend growth stocks out there. Make sure to poke around the site a bit and ask if you have any questions.


  45. says

    Thanks I am going to read some more of your posts. I wish you all the best in reaching 18k in annual dividends. I shall be watching and hoping you reach this target before 2022 :)

  46. says

    You might pay tax, but dividends are often the smartest way for a retail investor to generate secure income There is a complete set of all UK companies and their dividends and soon I think US dividends.

  47. Mustan A says

    What are your thoughts on MLPs and the Energy sector as a whole…If you’re in it for the long haul, it seems like bargain prices for some of these stocks, many that have taken severe hits

    • says


      I’m quite heavy in energy right now, so I’m not particularly interested in adding much. In addition, many of the energy plays I’m in were acquired at better prices/values.

      But I think the best deals there can be found in oilfield services stocks, though the integrated supermajors seem to offer the most safety. But I also think you’d find the least amount of value there, relatively speaking.

      Best regards!

  48. says

    Hey DividendMantra,

    You are about to reach two important milestones.
    1- 200K portfolio
    2- 1,000$ of dividend in a single month

    Wow, congrats and keep on the good work !

    • says


      Amazing. It’s going to be a great year. 2015 will likely be the year of crossing both of those milestones off the list. I’m very excited. The $200k matters a lot less to me than the dividend income does, but it’ll still be psychologically rewarding to cross that mark. Of course, I’d prefer the market drop by 10% or 20% so as to provide even better opportunities for fresh capital, even if that means my portfolio drops in kind. But we do what we can. :)

      Thanks for the support. Hope you had a great April as well!

      Take care.

  49. Fernando says

    Do the companies that you own stocks with pay you a monthly dividend? Or is it quarterly?

    Thank you

    • says


      Good question!

      Most of the companies I invest in pay quarterly, as that’s just the common schedule for US-domiciled companies. Realty Income Corp. (O) pays monthly. And some of my foreign holdings (like VOD and BBL) pay semi-annually. But the majority play quarterly.

      Hope that helps. :)

      Take care.

Join The Discussion!