Saturday, February 28, 2015

Monthly Report: February 2015

I plan to post an update every month on the taxable dividend income I receive in my brokerage accounts, the non-taxable distributions I receive in my Roth IRA account, the market value of my taxable brokerage accounts as of the end of the month, the market value of my Roth IRA as of the end of the month, the market value of my 401(k) as of the end of the month, and my savings rate as of the end of the month.

Below is the monthly report as of February 28, 2015:

Taxable Dividend Income (Total: $21.58)
  • Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) - $16.49 (Increased 14.91% from February of last year)
  • Realty Income Corporation (O) - $5.01 (Increased 8.91% from February of last year)
  • Hasbro Inc. (HAS) - $0.08
    • Total taxable dividend income of $21.58 increased by 13.88% from February of last year.
The only recent purchase this year was to HAS on my Loyal3 account.  All the dividend increases are from dividends reinvested and dividend raises from the companies.  Nothing better than getting a 14.91% raise and an 8.91% raise from two companies.  I'm very happy with the dividend increases.

You can see a schedule of all the dividends I have received here.

Non-Taxable Distributions (Total: $86.78)
  • Roth IRA - $86.78 (Increased 1.24% from February of last year)
The increase in distributions for this month compared to last February is nothing to brag about, but I'm happy that there was an increase nonetheless.  I am currently invested in mutual funds for my Roth IRA and I have been contemplating for a couple years now about whether to invest in individual dividend growth stocks instead.  I'm relatively new to dividend growth investing and I'm not sure I'm ready to take the complete leap of faith and put my entire Roth IRA completely in individual stock selection.  I believe in the dividend growth investing strategy, but what if I make bad stock selections?  What if my contributions plus the dividend growth are still not enough for me to live off of and I still need to sell the stocks to survive?  As you can see, I think and worry a lot.  Plus, I'm not sure how easy it will be to calculate the required minimum distributions with individual stocks versus mutual funds.  I've been going back and forth about this for some time now.  Do I leave my Roth IRA invested completely in mutual funds?  Do I sell everything and invest solely in dividend growth stocks for my Roth IRA?  Or do I do a combination of both?  For now, I think I'm just going to keep my Roth IRA in mutual funds until I am fully convicted to switch.

Market Values (Total: $277,986.43)
  • Brokerage Accounts - $70,548.39 (Increased 3.94% from prior month)
  • Roth IRA - $52,651.96 (Decreased 3.60% from prior month)
  • 401(k) - $154,786.08 (Increase 5.54% from prior month)
I'm not too concerned with the market value of my taxable brokerage accounts since the investment strategy with that is solely to generate a growing stream of dividend income.  As long as the dividends keep coming and are increasing, I'm not too worried.  Nevertheless, it's still interesting to see how it is performing.  My taxable brokerage accounts increased by 3.94% from the prior month.

My Roth IRA decreased by 3.60% from the prior month, but I'm also not too concerned since I'm a firm believer in dollar cost averaging and not wandering from the course due to market fluctuations.

I'm pretty happy with my 401(k) increase of 5.54% from the prior month.  What I love about the 401(k) is that more of my hard earned money can compound for years without being impacted by taxes.  That's the beauty of tax deferred investing.  Even though I will eventually be taxed when I make distributions in retirement, I still have many years to let the money compound for me without Uncle Sam taking a cut right off the top first.

You can see a schedule of the market values for my brokerage accounts, Roth IRA account, and 401(k) account as of the end of every month here.

Savings Rate
  • 15.62%
Savings rate was ok for this month, although it could definitely use some improvement.  I had a lot of unexpected expenses come up this month.  Hopefully, after April, I'll be able to bring the savings rate back up.  My savings rate has definitely taken a hit since the new addition to our family and my wife stopped working.  It's definitely been more challenging trying to support a family of three on one salary, but I'm optimistic that savings will improve in the months ahead.  We'll see.

You can see a schedule of my savings rate by month here.

How did you do this month?


  1. Any increase year over year is great, and an overall 14% increase is nothing to sneeze at. Shows the power of compounding and dividend growth.

    Looks like you've got some big third month payouts, so I'm looking forward to seeing how March compares with previous years.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi W2R,

      I totally agree... Any increase year over year is great. As long as it's increasing, it's a step in the right direction.

      Most of the stocks in my portfolio pay dividends in March, June, September, and December so hopefully it will be a good month. I'll also be looking forward to seeing your March update as well.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Great looking month for dividend income. Always nice to see year over year increases as well no matter the size. An increase is an increase and I fully believe in that concept. Look forward to reading more of your updates going forward.

    1. Hi DivHut,

      Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm just happy to see the year over year increase like you said. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. No rush to begin investing in individual stocks. Do your due diligence with researching and reading, and make the leap if/when you are completely comfortable. Doesn't just have to be either/or with the mix of funds and individual companies. Find what works for you and then just stick with it :)

    I echo DivHut's comment above. An increase is an increase, regardless of the size. Keep it up!

    1. Hi Seraph,

      Thanks for the advice and encouraging words. I have been debating for a while as to whether to sell my mutual funds in my Roth IRA and buy individual dividend growth stocks or do a little of both, but like you said, I need to do my due diligence and make the leap if/when I am comfortable. And you're right... It doesn't have to be either/or with the mix of funds and individual companies. It's always nice to get a second opinion. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!