February 2018 Dividends
What's that? Another month gone already? No way.
We are now in March so I guess it's "Way" then. Yes, February has come to a close, March is upon us, so that means it is time to look back at the month that was and summarize.
First off, aside from the dividends for a moment, I wanted to thank those that came out for the local FIRE meetup in Boston, held in February. Ever since starting down this path, I have been eager to meet others in this location that are going down this financial path, albeit likely in a different matter specifically, but generally pursuing some form of Financial Independence. We tend to be an interesting set of people.
It's always a treat to meet others in the Personal Finance arena in person for this reason. We're all pursuing our own financial goals in our own way, but it's always good to hear the different perspectives and where we are on our journey. We don't all follow the same path to get there, and that what makes sharing our stories so interesting. It was also good to share this with my fiancee who joined the party, as she was the one to help me shift my financial mindset and get me on a path of getting ahead financially, as well as investing to grow wealth. It was cool to meet everyone, and talk for a bit over food and drinks on a Saturday afternoon in downtown Boston.
Though I'm sure they aren't depending on this blog for exposure, feel free to check out the blogs of the others involved:
Chief Mom Officer
They were cool to sit and talk with, and their content is definitely worth checking out. Give them a read!
Now on to the dividend portion of the program. Let's take a look at the February dividend totals:
With the wedding coming up in June, most of my savings is still going to the wedding fund, but I have been able to get a few buys in to keep the dividend income increasing, beyond the normal yearly increases.
I did add to my Hanesbrand (HBI) position, but as the month wore on, I noticed that they did not increase their dividend, at least for Q1 2018, when they did increase it in Q1 2017. At that point I decided to hold and look at other opportunities. This happened around the time of the minor correction that we had for a few days in the market. Fortunately, an opportunity to own Dividend King presented itself.
Procter & Gamble (PG) fell into my price range, where it became a good value, so I decided to open a position and gradually add to it when I can. So I was able to pick up a few PG shares. As of the time of writing this, it looks like I will be adding more as the price has gone down a bit. With 61 consecutive years of dividend increases and a producer of products people buy in any economic condition, I look forward to adding shares when I can and holding. For a while.
Let's now take a look at the dividend payment history:
...and then also in graphical form
It was nice to see my dividend income for the 2nd month of the quarter approach the $200 level, as before it was only the 3rd month of the quarter that had surpassed it. A big reason, however, for getting so close is the special dividend paid by Lazard (LAZ) at the end of February. In addition to the normal quarterly dividend of $0.41 per share, they paid an extra $1.30 per share, resulting in a payout of $1.71 a share. Next quarter's income might not be as high, but I'll take it now, for sure. I'll call February a success, nonetheless.
Let's take a closer look at the recent growth...
A year ago, my February 2017 income was $112.01. This means last month gave me a 70.1% year over year increase. It's something I'll have to live with. #Sarcasm
A few months ago, for November 2017, my dividend income equaled $158.18, which means that my quarter over quarter increase is 20.5%, which is a level I'd gladly take for any 3-month stretch of time. This is a nice bump up, considering that not as much of savings is going into stock purchases. Again, the LAZ generous special dividend probably has something to do with it, but I'll gladly take it.
February was a nice month for dividend income compared to the previous quarter and the past year, as the growth has been quite healthy. The split in saving money for the wedding compared with investing is adequate such that progress is made on both fronts. Clearly the priority rests with the short term savings goal for the June wedding, but enough progress is made with the longer term goal of investing and growing future income. I look to continue this beneficial balance in the near future.
The dividend train keeps chugging along, regardless of how slowly I am adding fuel to it. The key is that I keep adding the fuel.
How was your February 2018? Let me know in the comments below!