March 2019 – A Growing Dividend Income, Again 👊

This post is already about the last month of the first quarter of 2019. January and February are in the books, both with a dividend income above the $200 and double-digit growth numbers. Each month the numbers are getting bigger and bigger. This is great and it really feels like I’m getting closer and closer to my goal of financial independence. Let’s find out if the last month of this quarter was also a month of a record high number!

Income Numbers

The amount of dividend income for month 2019/03 was $141.68. In this month I got three raises in dividend income from BlackRock (BLK), Norfolk Southern (NSC) and Union Pacific (UNP) as compared to the dividend payment three months ago. This was the second raise in one year for all three companies. What a fantastic businesses!

BlackRock (BLK) continued its streak of rising dividend payouts and rewarded its investors with a 5.4% quarterly dividend hike. The low payout ratio of 35% indicates that the current dividend is well-covered by the company’s earnings. BlackRock’s current dividend payout ratio is also lower than the company’s 40% average ratio over the past five years. Very nice! Norfolk Southern (NSC) announced in January that its board of directors approved an 8% increase in its quarterly dividend, from 80 to 86 cents per share. Their payout ratio sits around a low 34%. Union Pacific increased their dividend from $0.80 to $0.88 a share, a nice 10% increase. This comes down to a very conservative payout ratio of 40%. Union Pacific (UNP) recorded their ninth consecutive year of dividend increases.

This month also included a higher dividend payment by BlackRrock (BLK) and Exxon Mobil (XOM), because of my bigger stake in these companies. I really like to increase my positions in these companies. My dividend income for the month of March was generated by:

Bank of America (BAC) – $5.85

BlackRock (BLK) – $13.20

Cummins (CMI) – $11.40

Emerson Electric (EMR) – $4.90

Norfolk Southern (NSC) – $5.16

Realty Income (O) – $3.83

PepsiCo – $8.35

Southern Company (SO) – $21.00

Stanley Black & Decker (SWK) – $7.92

Union Pacific (UNP) – $5.28

Exxon Mobil (XOM) – $46.74

Breakdown of Dividend Income YoY

My passive income in the month of March last year was $130.14 so that’s an increase of 9% YoY. That’s on the low side for me. Especially after the YoY growth numbers of January and February. The progress QoQ was a bit lower, just 7%. The dividend income for March 2019 leads to the next graph:

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Buys In March

During this month I added 10 stocks to my position in CVS Caremark (CVS) for a price of  $55.39. This additional buy brought down my average buy price. It’s now slightly above $61 and the yield on cost from this position has gone up to 3.27%.

I also initiated a position in JP Morgan Chase (JPM). This one has been on my radar since 2016. It was trading in the $55 – 60 range back then, but I wanted it get down to the low $50’s. Well, now I finally bought 6 stocks for $103.81. ☺️ I stepped in at a dividend yield of 2.80%. When it gets below the $100, I’m on it. I want this to be a meaningful position.

Dividend Income YTD 2019

Including the month of March I collected a nice $629.02 YTD. My total dividend income in 2018 was $1,793.09. It sure looks like I’m going to crush this number. What a feeling 👍

December 2018 – Again a month of growth, 12% YoY

I’m late with writing about my progress in dividend income. It’s already April 2019 and the last month I wrote about was November 2018. That seems like ages ago. My private life has been more turbulent so far than during 2018. But I do love writing about this stuff, so I’m eager to keep blogging. Anyway, today I’m writing about my progress in building up a dividend income during the month of December. It’s always nice to close a year of hard work and investing to see where we stand on our path to financial independence and early retirement. So, let’s hit it!

Income Numbers

The amount of dividend income for month 2018/12 was $131.95. In this month I got one small raise in dividend income from Realty Income (O) as compared to the dividend payment three months ago. “Slowly but surely” seems to sum this up pretty well. This was the only raise I got. So, to be honest, that’s a bit disappointing. But this month included my first dividend income by the companies Blackrock (BLK) and Stanley Black & Decker (SWK). I initiated a small position during the last months of 2018 and would love to build a bigger position. Hopefully, Mr. Market will freak out again because of growing market uncertainties like Brexit, trade wars between the USA, EU and China and signs of a coming recession. So my dividend income for the month of December was generated by:

Bank of America (BAC) – $5.85

Blackrock (BLK) – $9.39

Cummins (CMI) – $11.40

Emerson Electric (EMR) – $4.90

General Motors (GM) – $26.98

Norfolk Southern (NSC) – $4.80

Realty Income (O) – $3.75

Southern Company (SO) – $21.00

Stanley Black & Decker (SWK) – $7.92

Union Pacific (UNP) – $4.80

Exxon Mobil (XOM) – $31.16

Breakdown of Dividend Income YoY

My passive income in the month of December last year was $125.21 so that’s an increase of 5%. That’s on the low side for me, but this month has been lagging behind for a while now. The progress QoQ was a bit higher, just 7%.

The dividend income for the month of December leads to the next graph:

Transactions in December

I decided to sell my full position in General Motors (GM), because the dividend hadn’t been raised for a couple of years. I believe it’s still a good value play. But when stock prices declined so rapidly in December I decided to buy other stocks with this money. Here’s what I bought:

Looking Forward

In order to raise my dividend income for this month going forward I selected the companies Boeing (BA), Home Depot (HD), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Lockheed Martin (LMT), 3M (MMM) and Visa (V). They’re all on my watchlist “2019” and my watchlist “buys during the next recession”. Some of these candidates would also give me exposure to new industries and increase my weighted dividend growth rate. Lovely.

Dividend Income FY2018

With the month of December I collected a nice $1,793.09 during 2018. My total dividend income in 2017 was $827.81. That’s an increase of just less than 119%. Wow! Rock solid! This is very encouraging. And we’re already on our way for 2019. The increase in terms of percentages will decline with time, but the increae in dollar amounts will get larger and larger. Just as Sam Cooke sang in 1964, “Ain’t that good news?” 👍