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Dividend Update - March 2017

It's the end of one month and the beginning of another so it's time for my favorite update: my dividend update.  These dividend updates reflect all dividends that I receive through my investing pursuits. I hope they can help inspire you to take control of your own finances and invest to build a passive income stream. What you use that stream for is up to you, whether it's to fund early retirement, just provide some FI/FU money, or even to provide for an annual vacation; the key is that it can provide options and open up all sorts of possibilities. You can check my dividend income or progress pages to see what dedication to an investment plan can give you.

The end of each quarter is always a great time for dividend growth investors.  Many companies make payments during that time and my March haul proved to be no different.  I received a total of $832.41 in dividends in my FI Portfolio and another $8.18 in my Loyal3 Portfolio.  Both of those portfolios are regular taxable brokerage accounts.  My Roth IRA also provided $36.04 with all dividends being reinvested.  Across my taxable accounts my dividends totaled $840.59.  Adding in my Roth IRA dividends brings March's total to $876.63.  

Also, be sure to check out the infographic I made and let me know what you think.

FI Portfolio

Each month I like to look at both the quarter over quarter and year over year comparisons to see how things stack up.  The goal of dividend growth investing is to see a consistent rise over time due to investment of fresh capital as well as dividend increases.  On the surface March's dividends showed a 3.1% decline from December 2016, but a small 1.9% increase year over year.  

Since companies sometimes vary their payout schedules and occasionally positions are trimmed or closed I like to examine what led to the changes for both periods.  

The quarterly comparison was primarily effected by the timing of payments.  Coca-Cola (KO) paid a dividend in December of last year, but not during March; the same can be said for Starbucks (SBUX).  Of course, PepsiCo (PEP) and Care Capital Properties (CCP) did not pay in December, but did make a payment in March.  Adjusting the dividends received to reflect only those companies that paid in both periods moves the quarterly comparison to a 0.9% increase.  Despite receiving over 25 dividend payments during March, only 3 of those companies had announced raises since December which led to the rather meager increase, but an increase none the less.

Most companies stick with a regular dividend payment schedule so the timing issue isn't a prevalent in annual comparisons.  The main culprit for the small year over year increase was myself.  I had trimmed positions in Halliburton (HAL), my employer, as well as Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and Harris (HRS) which accounted for all of the declines.  Adjusting the previous years' dividends for those companies to equal March 2017's dividends boosts the year over year comparison to a solid 6.2% increase.

Loyal3 Portfolio

Just looking at the numbers as they are it looks like a rather confusing month for my Loyal3 Portfolio.  Quarter over quarter March's dividends showed a 5.9% decline, although year over year the comparison jumps to a 54.3% increase. There's more than meets the eye here so a deeper look is needed given the conflicting results.

The quarterly comparison was due to the timing of dividend payments.  Examining the companies that paid in December and March the discrepancy is easily identifiable.  PepsiCo has an odd dividend payout schedule and while they paid in March they didn't make a payment in December which is throwing off the comparison.  Likewise, Coca-Cola Company made a payment in December, but not in March.  Adjusting for those two and only accounting for companies that paid in both periods reduces the quarterly comparison to just 1.7%.

The year over year comparison needs to be adjusted as well.  This time the culprit was Kraft-Heinz Company (KHC).  Since joining forces the dividends have continued to come in and be raise; however, the timing of the payments has been fluctuating leading.  Removing Kraft-Heinz's payment from March 2017's dividends reduces the annual comparison to a 13.6% increase which is still quite strong. 

Roth IRA Portfolio

It sure is great when the last month of each quarter rolls around because that means there's a welcomed return of dividends rolling in within my Roth IRA.  With a small portfolio that has just a handful of holdings dividends only come in the first and last month of each quarter for that portfolio.  On the surface, March 2017 showed a 2.2% increase compared to December 2016, but a 9.9% decrease year over year.

The quarterly comparison was improved primarily by the dividend increase from Norfolk Southern (NSC) earlier this year while dividend reinvestment of all positions accounted for the rest of the difference.

Oddly enough Norfolk Southern was also the primary cause for the year over year decline.  In September of last year I had trimmed my position in order to raise some cash for purchases of other companies for the Roth IRA.  That worked out nicely as I was able to add shares of McCormick & Company (MKC) to my Roth; however, that led to a decline in my Norfolk Southern dividends compared to last March.  Adjusting March's dividends to reflect a constant payout from Norfolk Southern changes the year over year comparison to a 7.8% increase.

Dividend Raises During the Month

March wasn't quite as active as February for dividend increases, but I can't complain about receiving 3 different raises from my FI Portfolio holdings as well as one within my Roth IRA.  You mean a company I own a piece of, albeit tiny, wants to pay out more of their profits to me just because I own part of the company?  Sign me up!

The raises came from across the economy too with raises from a retail landlord, two big banks and a materials provider for the tech industry.  Combined the 3 FI Portfolio companies increased my forward 12-month dividends by $5.78.  Thus far in 2017 I've received 13 dividend increases from 12 companies increasing my forward 12-month dividends by over $67.

Looking Forward

My forward 12-month dividends for my FI Portfolio ended 2016 at $5,622.02.  My Loyal3 Portfolio's forward dividends are at $69.29 bringing the total forward dividends for my taxable accounts up to $5,691.31.  My Roth IRA's forward-12 month dividends ended the month at $285.88.  Across all 3 accounts, assuming no dividend cuts or position size changes, I can expect to receive at least $5,977.20 in dividends over the next year.

Monthly Average

Below is the chart showing the monthly dividend totals for each year that I've been investing as well as the monthly average.  It's not always an increase as some companies have weird payout schedules, as we saw above, and eventually some positions will get dropped, but the long-term trend is what matters.  My monthly average for 2016 was $469.73.  That's about a $22 decrease from where my year to date average was at the end of 2015.  Considering all that has changed over the last year that's a win.

dividend growth investing, dividends, financial independence, freedom
Monthly Comparison of Dividends Received From FI Portfolio
Dividends Received Breakdown

FI Portfolio - Dividend Income
CompanyDividend AmountDRIP Shares
Wells Fargo (WFC)$20.91--
Bank of America (BAC)$12.14--
McDonald's (MCD)$79.81--
Halliburton (HAL)$25.17--
Phillips 66 (PSX)$5.22--
Emerson Electric (EMR)$29.67--
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)$17.28--
Harris (HRS)$32.07--
Cummins (CMI)$23.90--
Target Corporation (TGT)$77.00--
Aflac (AFL)$31.57--
BP (BP)$52.741.573
Microsoft (MSFT)$16.05--
Chevron (CVX)$64.220.571
Exxon Mobil (XOM)$51.090.511
Realty Income (O)$19.370.338
IBM (IBM)$42.31--
PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP)$46.32--
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)$60.170.403
Unilever plc (UL)$10.26--
Care Capital Properties (CCP)$2.85--
3M Company (MMM)$21.16--
United Technologies (UTX)$9.24--
Ventas (VTR)$18.11--
T. Rowe Price Group (TROW)$11.830.175
Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX)$5.840.032
Ross Stores (ROST)$8.98--
Hershey Company (HSY)$6.80--
Centerpoint Energy (CNP)$30.331.148
March 2017 Total$832.41
2017 YTD Total$1,373.55

Loyal3 - Dividend Income
CompanyDividend AmountDRIP Shares
V.F. Corporation (VFC)$1.65--
Hershey Company$1.28--
Kraft-Heinz Company (KHC)$2.16--
PepsiCo $1.43--
March 2017 Total$8.18
2017 YTD Total$18.23

Roth IRA - Dividend Income
CompanyDividend AmountDRIP Shares
Bank of America$7.760.332
Wells Fargo$10.920.190
Norfolk Southern$17.360.142
March 2017 Total$36.04
2017 YTD Total$61.20

I've updated my Dividend Income page to reflect March's changes.

How were your dividends in March?  With the first quarter of 2017 in the books are you on track to meet your goals?

Let me know in the comments below!

This article was written by Passive Income Pursuit. If you enjoyed this article, please consider subscribing to my feed.