May dividend update

Apple’s 10.5% dividend bump was a welcome sight in May. I don’t own a ton of individual shares of Apple but it is represented in a lot of my mutual funds and ETFs so I know that will carry through to those as well.

May is another low month as I get ready for June which is one of the four biggest months for dividends for me as a holder of a lot of mutual funds and dividends.

It’s great to see any stocks you own raise their dividends year over year as it’s a key part of long term returns. I’m not an investor who targets dividends specifically but most of the companies I own and am interested in have excellent and consistent free cash flow which generally leads to regular dividend bumps if the company chooses to return value to shareholders in that manner.

June brings another opportunity for a dividend raises as one of my larger holdings, UnitedHealth Group(UNH) generally announces dividend raises in June. Last year, they bumped the dividend  25% after raising it 33% for two years in a row before that. The company has excellent free cash flow and is growing earnings at a solid pace and even with those big increase, their payout ratio is 33% and that’s off an earnings base in 2016 that’s expected to increase quite a bit in 2017. The yield has fallen recently to 1.39% due to strong performance in the stock so I’m hopeful we see another 25% bump here as the company definitely has the room to keep giving out big increases yearly if it chooses to continue its shareholder return strategy.

I’m excited to see how June looks and am hopeful it’s a bigger month than last September and shows good growth against last June. I saw a 26% bump in March dividends y/y so it’d be awesome to see something close to that in June and would help a lot in getting to my goal of at least 8k in dividends this year.

That’s enough about June. Let’s take a look at how the dividends looked in May and where I sit YTD. Continue reading “May dividend update”

April dividend update

I’m back from my vacation to Nashville which was super fun and ready to take a look at the dividends I got in April. I think my dividend employee Steve is taking a little vacation as well after working hard for dividends in March.

The excitement of the large March update winds down in April as we get back to our regularly scheduled tiny payments.

My bond fund is the only thing that pays monthly and I only have one stock that pays outside the quarterly payout cycle so most of my money is in those quarter ending months.

I did recently add a bit more money into my bond funds as bonds became slightly under represented in my asset allocation which will help these tiny months be slightly less tinier.

I did get some good news today as one of my core holdings Apple raised their dividend to .63 per quarter, another ~10% raise which was nice to see. I don’t own a ton of shares but most large-caps index funds do have a decent chunk of Apple as well so the quarterly payments there will get a tiny bump as well!

Let’s take a look at how I did in April and where I am in 2017 YTD. Continue reading “April dividend update”

March dividend update

Spring is finally here and although the weather isn’t quite beautiful yet, I’m glad to have those freezing cold days out of the way.

March is always an exciting month for me as it’s the first big dividend payment month of the year and I’m eager to see how it compares to last year.

My portfolio has grown quite a bit since the March update last year so I’m expecting to see some significant growth in dividend payments as well.

My dividend employee Steve has taken it easy the first two months but there’s often a lot of work right before spring begins so let’s take a look at how he did in March. Continue reading “March dividend update”

February dividend update

Spring is almost here and the stock market keeps going up much like the temperatures.

The last few weeks of winter(besides this weekend) have been rather temperate and I’m looking forward to a quick switch over to one of my favorite seasons.

This has been another good month for stock market returns and likely a good month for most portfolios as pretty much everything has continued to trend up. The likelihood of a rate hike soon is pretty high which might cause some income payers to take a brief pause and perhaps present some opportunities.

February isn’t a huge dividend month for me but I’m already looking forward into March which is the first big payment I’ll get in 2017. I’m hoping that the first quarter of 2017(Q1 2017) can beat Q3 2016 which would be great to see and would mean huge growth over Q1 2016 in terms of dividend payments.

I’m eager to start seeing those payments toward the end of this month but for now I’ll have to settle at looking at February.

Let’s take a look at how Steve did in February 2017. Continue reading “February dividend update”

January dividend update

I can’t believe that it is February already and that I’m already writing the first dividend update of 2017.

Ferris sure was right when he said that life moves pretty fast because we’re already 1/12th of the way through 2017.

For those among us that are big fans of winter, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which means we’re due for some more cold weather ahead. That’s not too great in my mind but it’s February already and we’re getting closer to Spring, one of my favorite seasons so I’m excited for the quick passage of time. The days are getting longer and it’s no longer pitch black when I leave work so that’s also a great bonus of putting January behind us.

December was an amazing month for dividends but we’re back to reality for January as I no longer own any individual dividend payers this month and the only cash coming in is my monthly payment from my bond mutual fund.

The cold weather means Steve, my trusty dividend employee who earned me a respectable $7000 last year had trouble finding work this month.

February will be similar story but we’re both certainly looking forward to March which has historically been a good month for me as a lot of my ETFs, individual holdings and mutual funds pay quarterly.

The market has continued to do well although pockets of value have begun to emerge as we wade into the depths of earning season.

I’m keeping a close eye on earnings and have seen some big moves in certain industries. Apparel companies were the talk of the last few weeks and have tanked recently after a bevy of mixed results. Companies like UnderArmour or HanesBrands dropped 15-25% after earnings announcements and there were others as well that were hit by the negative sentiment in that industry.

Massive drops like that are quite interesting because they show how quickly this market punishes bad performance. It’s certainly a stressful time to be an individual stock owner as companies can get a massive haircut by announcing poor earnings or guiding down for 2017.

I always feel like huge drops on solid companies are a good time to do some research. I’ve added a few companies to my list in the past few weeks to take a closer look. In the apparel sector specifically which has taken quite a pounding, I am looking forward to see how VFC does in the next few weeks as that’s one that’s getting closer to a really attractive valuation.

I’m eager to get started on the second full year of dividend tracking here and that all starts with January so let’s take a look at how my portfolio employee Steve did for me this month. Continue reading “January dividend update”