Dividend and Expense Updates

Time in the Market dividend review – January 2018 – the rise of the bond dividends!

January is a month full of bond dividends! The title makes of this post made me think of a bad financial Terminator movie. “The bond dividends are too powerful! WE MUST STOP THEM!”

December, my biggest month of the year is long gone and it’s time to start the new year. These early months are months carried entirely by bond dividends as the title makes it seem.

Generally, January is one of my lowest months for dividends. I don’t own a ton of individual stocks and none that pay in January. That means it’s up to my bonds to carry the day. I have recently been buying more of these guys due to the strong stock market returns. Bonds have fallen behind my target asset allocation so they’ve been on my buy list. That means these off months can start to pick up a bit as we go through the year.

I’ve been on a roll with 5 straight months of $100 dividend months but that’s likely set to end here. I’m an ETF/mutual fund investor which means most of my dividends fall in the quarter ending months. That leaves month like January to lag behind.

December ended my year on a high note with nearly $3k in dividends and we’re going to see a huge drop off this month. My dividend employee Steve worked hard in December and now takes a well deserved break before the next big month in March.

Last January came in at a total of $55.56 so that’s the starting point for this month. I’m expecting it to come in quite a bit higher due to the recent bond purchases I’ve been making. Let’s take a look where we’re sitting in January. Do note the new month specific graph below that makes it easier to compare the monthly results. The old graph that showed the entire year really muffled these off months due to how high March, June, September and December were.

January Dividends

bond dividends

My January total for 2018 comes in at $80.14.

That’s a 44% bump over what I saw in 2017. This is probably the new normal for January until I buy an individual security that pays in this month. That’s due to the fact that it’ll be only bond dividends that I’ll garner in these months. Do note the drop from 2016 as I held Disney stock that paid out in January that year and have since sold it.

$80 is not a huge month but it’s still solid for an off month. The growth is excellent and that money will be reinvested to help my future months grow. It might not be a ton but that money reinvested at my average yield will bring about $1.76 extra in the next 12 months or about $0.15/month. The best part is that those dollars are almost entirely in tax-advantaged accounts so it’s all tax-free growth! The only payments that aren’t are the money market payment on my brokerage cash.

Steve’s hourly wage this month was $0.48/hr. That’s far from a livable salary but it always starts low and grows as the year progresses.

You can see by the graph below that January is far from telling when it comes to my yearly dividends. It’s one of the smallest months and it’s not until March that I’ll start seeing a large dividend month. That means my yearly goal for at least $9250 in dividends is still well on track since most of the big months are ahead.

yearly dividends

It would be nice this year to grow these smaller months and hopefully get above $100 on a monthly basis. If the stock market continues to perform at an OK level then bonds will be my primary target for the next few months and that will drive an increase in monthly bond dividends.

Hopefully, the market action last week isn’t a sign of things but if it is then my bond buying spree may end sooner than that. We’ll see where the market goes from here and I’m eager to see my next portfolio update to see where my asset classes have trended since last month. I think I’ll still be buying bonds next month but one can never be sure.

Thanks for reading and let me know how the first month of the year was for your dividends!

January Total : $80.14
2018 Total : $80.14
Portfolio monthly hourly wage : $0.48/hr
Portfolio annual hourly wage : $0.48/hr


  • Steve

    Hi Time, great job. I am adding to my bond ETF and preferred shares. The older I get the more conservative I am especially with the markets at nose bleed levels.

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