Happy New Year! Overall, 2017 was generally a good year for dividend investing. The year saw some dividend cuts (typical for my portfolio), some minor surprises, and some minor disappointments. Fortunately, the year wasn’t as much a roller-coaster ride like 2016.
So how was 2017’s total dividend income? Here it is, along with the previous nine years’ dividend income totals:
2008 $ 251.63
Grand total of 9.5 years’ dividend income: $49000.72.
Awesome! 2017’s dividend income grew 12.2% ($1047.24) over 2016’s total. While not as great as previous years’ growth (2016 was 16% over 2015 and 2015 was a whopping 27.3% over 2014), it’s still a very respectable growth rate considering that I made no cash contributions to my portfolio in the second half of the year.
The most significant milestone I achieved was having my projected annual dividend income reach $10,000 ($833.33/month), breaking into 5-figure territory for the first time. Staying at or above $833.33/month proved difficult, as dividend cuts caused some slippage and it took me a couple months to recover and get growth back on track.
Here’s how 2017’s quarterly dividend totals stack up:
2017 Q1: $2215.26
2017 Q2: $2369.74
2017 Q3: $2476.31
2017 Q4: $2501.99
Quarter-to-quarter there was modest growth, but that growth slowed significantly in Q4. This is mainly due to less frequent stock buys, but also to some minor dividend cuts.
My portfolio saw quite a few dividend cuts in 2017, but despite these cuts I kept pushing forward and grew my dividend income faster than the cuts could diminish the dividend payouts. Here’s a month-by-month recap of the cuts that affected dividend income:
CLM cut its dividend from $0.2837 to $0.2326, which is an 18.01% or $9.76 drop in CLM’s monthly payout. CLM’s dividend yield fell from 9.53% to 7.81%.
• EXG cut its monthly dividend from 8.13 cents to 7.6 cents (a 6.5% cut).
• HQL’s dividend payout was cut from 40 cents per share to 36 cents (a 10% drop). HQL is the one stock I have with fairly erratic dividend payouts, so while Q1’s payout was cut to 36 cents, it later rose to 43 cents in Q4.
• PNNT slashed its quarterly dividend from 28 cents to 18 cents (-35.7%), reducing monthly dividend income by $15.33. Yeah, that hurt.
• EHI trimmed its monthly dividend from 8 cents to 7.5 cents (a 6.25% cut).
• VFL trimmed 9% off its monthly 5.5 cents dividend to 5.0 cents.
DHY cut its dividend slightly from 2.3 cents per share to 2.2 cents (-4.3%).
EHI trimmed its dividend from 7.5 cents to 6.75 cents (-10%).
TIXC suspended its dividend payouts entirely, reducing monthly dividend income by $5.50.
• EAD reduced its monthly dividend from 5.98 cents to 5.641 cents, a 5.7% cut.
• EHI trimmed its monthly dividend from 6.75 cents to 6.65 cents, a 1.5% cut.
2017 saw 11 of my stocks cutting their dividend, which is *slightly* better than 2016’s 12 stocks cutting their dividends. Hopefully, as I buy more stocks with a history of regular dividend increases, the damage from dividend cuts should lessen.
Last January, I stated my goals for 2017. Here is what I aimed for and did or did not achieve:
• A $900 month. DONE. August 2017 baby!
• Projected average annual dividend income of $10,000 (or $833.33 per month). DONE. July 2017 FTW!
• Projected average minute dividend income of $0.0200 (or $876.00 per month). FAIL. But sooo close at $0.0194.
“Two out of three ain’t bad” as they say, so I’m not too bothered about falling to achieve my third goal.
2018 brings new milestones and goals to reach for, and so here’s what I’ll aim for in the coming year:
• Projected average minute dividend income of $0.0200 (or $876.00 per month).
• Projected average annual dividend income of $11,100 (or $925.00 per month).
• Projected average annual dividend income of $11,400 (or $950.00 per month) (my stretch goal).
• A $1000 month (yeah!)
The first and last goals excite me the most, as they’re both major milestones on my quest for ever greater dividend income.
2017 had its ups and downs, but overall it was a year of steady progress as my dividend income continued to grow. The bull market still has some steam in it, but how far it will run as 2018 unfolds is anybody’s guess. Of course, a correction (if we’re lucky and it doesn’t become something worse) is inevitable at some point, and it’s both feared and welcome at the same time.
Image Credit: AnnCarter (pixabay.com)