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October and November 2021 Dividend Checks
It’s always nice getting those dividend checks.
Sometimes it’s so nice that you forget to do a dividend update and have to combine one into two. That’s what’s happening here.
I’m also ditching the standard expense review in favor of just updating my dividends. I figure the expense update might be more interesting on a quarterly or bi-yearly basis as I can smooth out some of the monthly nonsense that way. Plus it’s just a drag to do those updates on a monthly basis. I will still track them to guide my spending but will write about it less.
Now let’s get back to dividend checks.
Ok, so dividends checks aren’t really a thing anymore. The dividends just kind of show up in your account and are used to buy more shares which is much more convenient.
Otherwise you’d have be like Jerry and sign your 12 cent dividends checks until your hands go numb. No one wants that.
I’ll take automatic dividends over a check any day. This is 2021 after all, we have that type of technology.
Speaking of dividends, October and November are both smaller months but they’ve been growing at a good clip too. I’ve been putting a bit more money into my M1 Finance accounts which hold a variety of stocks that lead to pay outs in these smaller months. That’s a lot different than my index funds which just pay quarterly.
Since my holdings are largely in index funds, that makes for a nice March, June, September and December but these other months have fallen behind. Well that’s starting to end as these smaller months are catching up a little bit.
I’ve also gone ahead and bought some individual stocks outside of M1 that have spurred these months as well. For example, I picked up some shares of BTI recently which pays a hefty dividend and seems like a fair value at today’s prices. Because of that, these months that just started to get past $200 at the beginning of last year are nearing $400 in certain months.
That’s still a far cry from the bigger months but it’ll be nice to see these get closer and closer to $1,000 per month as the years pass. At the end of the day, it’s the yearly numbers that matter, not which month they fall in but as caveman investors would say, big numbers good so I’ll keep trying to make these smaller numbers better too.
We can start with October since if you look at the Calendar it comes before November so I’ll follow that nonsense.
Last year’s October sat at $254.29 and November sat at $288.97. Let’s see where I sit this year.
October’s dividends come in at $319.26. That’s a 25.4% boost over last year. The weird jump in 2018 was simply due to some ETFs paying late than their usual September timeline.
I do love the way these bars look as an upward trajectory is certainly what you’re looking for as an investor. Even in times like these, when the stock market may be correcting a bit, it’s nice to know you can count on these payouts to give you more money to invest at lower prices.
I’m seeing much bigger growth in these off months than I have in the past years mainly due to the growth in my M1 Finance accounts.
You can see that in the graph below that shows the M1 Finance dividend progression. That’s still a small portion of my overall funds but certainly growing faster these days.
These are still small numbers but that purple bar is certainly showing good growth although it has slowed down in recent months as I’ve put a bit less money into them due to market prices. I’ve recently started putting a bit more money into those accounts after some prices corrected in recent weeks. Hopefully that will help these bars return to a good growth trajectory going into 2022.
Overall, this is a real solid month.
Steve, my dividend employee, earned himself $0.77/hr. this month which isn’t quite a lot but it’s the yearly rate that matters for Steve and we’ll see where that ends after December, my big month, comes around.
The nice thing about all this is that this money gets re-invested into my portfolio and pushes my annual forward income by $9.26 per year. That’s a small number but each dollar counts to take advantage of the power of compounding. After all, next year’s dividends will include these new shares and will be a tiny bit higher because of that. Repeat that hundreds of times and you can see why dividends can snowball.
Now, let’s take a look at November.
November’s dividends come in at $396.64, just a few bucks shy of another milestone in these off-months. It seems like I’m pretty close to breaking the $400 barrier after just breaking the $300 barrier in these months this year.
This number represents a 37.3% bump over last year which is also the biggest growth rate I’ve seen this year in any month. That’s a nice spot to be in going into December.
One of the biggest reasons for this growth rate is that I’ve been picking up some BTI shares which pay a hefty dividend and have a payout in November.
Steve’s hourly rate was $0.96/hr. and the money re-invested will generate $11.50 in extra forward income.
These hourly rates are nothing special but let’s see how it all adds up YTD because that’s the number and hourly wage that really matters. After all, I own mainly index funds and ETFs which means that these numbers are heavily weighted towards the quarter ending months when those funds pay out.
Dividends YTD 2021
As you can see December is up ahead and it dwarfs these smaller months so it’s a nice thing that these “smaller” months are now close to $400.
I’m hopeful that next year, I’ll be seeing $400+ regularly as this is the first year I’ve eclipsed the $300 mark and regularly hit it near the end of this year.
Maybe I’ll make that a goal to hit the next $100 mark each year until retirement.
Adding in October and November brings my total dividends for the year to $10,459.80 with December still ahead. At this point last year, I was sitting just north of $9k so I’m seeing a 15.84% growth rate YTD over last year.
That’s not bad and I’m hopeful December shows some growth as well. These bigger months are harder to gauge because the index fund and ETF payments can vary quarterly so we’ll see how that goes. I also expect some capital gains from a few funds which aren’t really dividends but they do get re-invested into more shares so I’ll take it. I’ll track those separately from dividends though.
Steve’s hourly wage for the year sits at $5.70/hr. which against isn’t too high but shows why it’s important to look at the yearly breakdown instead of the monthly numbers which were below $1/hr.
The nice about these dividends is that I reinvested them all and they will produce $303 in forward income for me.
On top of that December is still ahead which means both these numbers will go up quite a bit.
Overall, I can’t complain about this year. If you’ve read my expense reports before, you know this has been an expensive year for me with a new house and a bevy of health problems so I haven’t saved much. However, since these dividends are always rolling in, I’m always investing in new shares even if I can’t buy a ton of new ones with additional dollars.
Now, I’ve caught up on some of those expense and plan to get to buying again which is a pretty good time for that as the market is showing some weakness. It might hurt the portfolio but on the income side, lower prices are certainly not a bad thing if you’re buying for the long term.
That’s it for this update and I’ll try to be back to monthly updates. If you miss the expense review well that will happen every once in a while when I have something more exciting to write about. Thanks for hanging out!