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Happy New Year! Well, 2018 is now over, and I can now take stock (pun intended) of the past 12 months of my dividend quest. Overall, 2018 was a good year for dividend investing, although the last three months of market volatility has certainly felt like a wild rollercoaster ride and nobody knows when the twists and turns will end.

So how was my 2018 total dividend income? Here it is, along with previous years’ dividend income totals:
2008 $ 251.63
2009 $1349.98 (436.5% over 2008)
2010 $3453.20 (155.8% over 2009)
2011 $4074.18 (18% over 2010)
2012 $4086.27 (0.3% over 2011)
2013 $4513.42 (10.5% over 2012)
2014 $5780.63 (28% over 2013)
2015 $7361.25 (27.3% over 2014)
2016 $8541.46 (16% over 2015)
2017 $9588.70 (12.2% over 2016)
2018 $10317.15 (7.6% over 2017)

Grand total of 10.5 years’ dividend income: $59317.87.

As you can see, my dividend income’s annual growth rate is clearly slowing. 2018’s dividend income only grew 7.6% over 2017’s total dividend income, the smallest annual growth rate since 2012’s 0.3% growth over 2011. This is mainly due to less money being available for new stock buys, as my matching program has been discontinued since summer 2017 and since July I have been tapping my dividend income for needed personal expenses.

Quarterly Performance

Here’s how 2018’s quarterly dividend totals add up:
2018 Q1: $2421.27
2018 Q2: $2648.76
2018 Q3: $2553.11
2018 Q4: $2694.01

Quarterly income varied, but is clearly upward trending and is better than 2017’s quarterly performance.

Dividend Cuts

Dividend cuts have been a regular part of my dividend quest, so here’s how dividend cuts played out in 2018:
• EHI cuts its div 4.5% from 6.65 cents to 6.35 cents
• DMF cuts its div 14.6% from 4.10 cents to 3.50 cents
• DSM cuts its div 16.6% from 4.15 cents to 3.50 cents
These cuts only amounted to a $6.28 or -0.75% trim of my projected monthly average

• DHY cut its monthly dividend 9.09% from to 22 cents to 20 cents (or from $38.50 to %35.00), a $3.50 reduction.
• HQL “cut” its div to 40 cents. I say “cut” because HQL is my only stock holding that has a truly erratic dividend distribution. It goes down one quarter, up the next, and back down the following quarter.

• EAD trimmed its dividend from 5.641 cents per share to 5.2 cents, a 7.82% cut and $0.71 drop in monthly dividend income.
• EHI cut its dividend from 6.35 cents per share to 6.10 cents, a 3.94% cut and $1.00 drop in monthly dividend income.

BGY cut its monthly dividend from $0.038 to $0.0338 (-11.05%) and OIA reduced its monthly dividend from $0.0344 to $0.0328 (-4.65%). A combined $4.40 reduction in projected average monthly dividend income.

DHY reduced its dividend from $0.02 per share to $0.019 (-5.0%). That amounts to a $1.75 reduction of my projected average monthly dividend income.

Overall, I didn’t experience too many dividend cuts and other than February’s group of cuts, most have been just tiny little nicks. So 2018 wasn’t too bad.

Dividend Increases

Dividend raises are rare for my dividend investing portfolio, but they do happen. Here are the few dividend increases I saw in 2018:

CLM raised its dividend from 23.26 cents to 23.65 cents. This +1.68% increase amounts to an additional 78 cents per month.

CIK raised its monthly dividend from 2.2 cents per share to 2.25 cents (a +2.27% increase). This raises CIK’s monthly payout by 50 cents.

EAD raised its monthly dividend from $0.052 to $0.061 (a +17% increase).


Looking through this site’s divided income numbers for the past five years, I’ve developed picture of my slowly growing dividend income by measuring it in increments of hundreds of dollars and their frequency of appearance each year. As you can see in the table below, progress has been slow but stready for the past five years.

I wish I had the monthly dividend income numbers for 2013 and earlier, as it would really be interesting to see how I’ve progressed through every year of my dividend quest. Developing a month-by-month picture for 2013 and earlier could be done, as I do have my old monthly statements, but that’s a project I’m just not quite willing to put the time into right now. Maybe someday I’ll get it done.

2018 saw some notable milestones in my dividend investing quest. My 2018 dividend grand total broke the 5-figure barrier for the first time (yeah!), I finally had a $1000+ month (not just once, but twice!), and my projected average per minute pay broke $0.02 (yeah, that doesn’t sound impressive but it translates to $10,512 in passive annual income). It’s small wins and accomplishments like these that makes investing a pleasant game to be in.

Goals, Past and Future

2018 Goals
How did I do in meeting my 2018 goals? Well, let’s assess my goals and see how well I met or exceeded them:
• Projected average minute dividend income of $0.0200 (or $876.00 per month). DONE 
• Projected average annual dividend income of $11,100 (or $925.00 per month). FAILED
• Projected average annual dividend income of $11,400 (or $950.00 per month). FAILED (this was a strech goal, so the probability for this being achieved was quite small)
• A $1000 month. DONE (see April and October)

Reaching my 2018 goals was a mixed bag, with as many successes as failures.

Here are my goals for 2019:
• Projected average annual dividend income of $11,300 ($933.33 per month)
• Four $1000 months
• An $1100 month (I’m really looking forward to that!)

Overall, 2018 was a good year, but its fourth quarter marked the end of the bull market and investors are ending the year under a cloud of uncertainty. Remember, during the last big decline it took nearly a year for the DJI to fall from its all-time high in April 2008 to rock bottom in March 2009. It’s anybody’s guess as to how long it will take this bear market to run its course and for the bull market to return. The economy is still humming along quite well, so hopefully the market’s volatility will pass soon. However, only time will tell which way the economic winds will blow in 2019.



Image Credit: Dividend Quest