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.
So December is in the books, and with it 2014. This year was definitely a watershed year for me in many respects, not the least of which was the dividend income that the Freedom Fund generated. Of course, that’s what’s so wonderful about being a dividend growth investor: it’s highly likely that every year will be a watershed year. Between dividend raises, dividend reinvestment, and investing fresh capital, more dividend income year after year after year is all but assured.
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 interests other than full-time work. Without further ado:
December 2014 Dividends Received
- Aflac Incorporated (AFL) – $39.00
- Phillips 66 (PSX) – $13.50
- Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) – $31.50
- ConocoPhillips (COP) – $40.15
- Visa Inc. (V) – $2.40
- Southside Bancshares, Inc. (SBSI) – $22.40
- Harris Corporation (HRS) – $18.80
- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – $70.00
- Emerson Electric Co. (EMR) – $28.20
- Chevron Corporation (CVX) – $42.80
- Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) – $13.80
- Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) – $39.90
- Target Corporation (TGT) – $36.40
- International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) – $16.50
- Lorillard Inc. (LO) – $30.75
- Unilever PLC (UL) – $10.76
- Realty Income Corp. (O) – $12.82
- The Coca Cola Company (KO) – $42.70
- McDonald’s Corporation (MCD) – $51.00
- American Realty Capital Properties Inc. (ARCP) – $23.33
- Avista Corp. (AVA) – $17.46
- BP PLC (BP) – $48.00
- National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NOV) – $9.20
- Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.B) – $23.50
Total dividends received during the month of December: $684.87
Whew! I love finishing the year up with almost $700 in income that I didn’t have to work for. It might be crazy to think that after just a few short years of consistent saving and investing a relatively modest income that a passive dividend income stream like this could be built, but it’s real. Every single penny has been documented since early 2011, and I can definitely see that the snowball is accelerating its pace downhill. It only gets bigger and better from here due to the power of compounding. The curve of compounding can be difficult at the beginning, but it takes off like a roller coaster if you give it time. I can already feel the thrust even though I really just got on the ride.
This is now the sixth time I’ve exceeded $600 in dividend income during one month. I think it’s not long before this is the minimum. The bar just keeps getting set higher.
This total is 13.3% higher than the dividend income I received last December. I’ll consider that a very solid improvement seeing as how last December was also a huge month. The gains in percentage terms will fall as the absolute numbers increase. But it’s the latter I’m after, not the former.
I was able to cover 23% of my personal expenses this past month via dividend income alone. This is a bit lower than what one might expect, but my expenses were among the highest they’ve ever been due to some gift and travel spending I’ll be discussing over the coming days. Though, covering nearly ¼ of my expenses via passive income is still a solid result.
Looking forward, I’m extremely excited for what 2015 has in store. I’ll be going over my goal for 2015 dividend income within the next week or so, but I’m very optimistic about where things are going. It’s hard not to be optimistic, however, when money is working hard for you. I might find myself sleeping, eating, relaxing, or otherwise enjoying life, but capital that I put to work a long time ago is still working. Money just never runs out of energy. It’s amazing.
One of my big goals for 2014 was to receive $5,200 in dividend income for the year of 2014. Well, the cat’s out of the bag here. With December’s numbers now recorded, I can proudly say that I generated $5,721.60 in dividends this year, which is an average of $476.80 per month! That’s a 45.7% increase over last year’s $3,926.12 take. Even better, I absolutely crushed my goal for the year. I know I won’t be able to repeat that kind of YOY improvement in percentage terms moving forward, but I think 2015 will be another huge step in the right direction toward financial independence. And that’s really what it’s all about!
I’ll update my Dividend Income page to reflect December’s dividends.
Full Disclosure: Long all aforementioned securities except ARCP.
How did the year shape up for you? Did you finish strong in December?
Thanks for reading.
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