2023-04 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for April, 2023.

The monthly dividend income came out to $206.73. The yearly income total for 2023 through the end of the month was $2591.69.

The income for April, 2022 was $265.84, and the yearly income for 2022 through the end of April was $2397.58.

Today the big story is another bank failure: JPMorgan Chase took over the assets of California-based First Republic bank. This is the fourth mid-sized bank that has failed in a month.

Of the four that failed this year, three of them (Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and now First Republic Bank) had assets of between $50 billion and $250 billion. The Dodd-Frank Act passed in 2010, and stipulated that banks with more than $50B in assets had to undergo more frequent stress tests and keep higher levels of cash reserves on hand. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (aka EGRRCPA) passed in 2017 raised that level to $250B. Executives from at least one of these failed banks lobbied for the regulations to be lifted, and they got what they wanted. We do not know what would have happened if Dodd-Frank had not been altered, but I have no problem pointing out that three of these four failed banks might not have failed if the regulations were left unaltered.

A lot of people love to say that regulation can slow businesses down. But when de-regulated firms fail, those same people get quiet. I think slow is better than bankrupt, despite what the self-proclaimed “party of business” says.

There is an article on Daily Kos encouraging people to pull their money out of the big banks. I used to have accounts with Chase. There were advantages to having an account with a bank that had offices everywhere, but Chase seemed to keep making headlines for wrong-doing, sort of like Wells Fargo a few years ago. I moved my accounts to a bank based in Texas. So far it has worked out okay for me.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each April from the beginning of my records through 2023:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2023-04 $2591.69 $206.73 $831.05 $1031.66
2022-04 $2397.58 $265.84 $774.77 $917.50
2021-04 $2339.11 $259.95 $750.24 $884.09
2020-04 $2271.57 $200.13 $753.19 $907.51
2019-04 $1855.76 $483.26 $588.35 $629.22
2018-04 $1276.89 $50.88 $405.77 $583.24
2017-04 $1814.94 $324.66 $532.02 $522.40
2016-04 $1622.67 $270.38 $461.86 $471.14
2015-04 $1441.12 $261.30 $409.21 $395.68
2014-04 $1130.58 $196.43 $323.64 $303.18
2013-04 $898.59 $179.23 $262.82 $289.40
2012-04 $1010.82 $218.56 $274.05 $271.21
2011-04 $848.29 $203.10 $216.30 $179.46

Here are the securities and the income amounts for April, 2023:

  • Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF: $190.24
  • Vanguard Total International Bond ETF: $16.49


Big Jim says it is better to try to get rich slowly than to try to do it quickly.

Painting by Vicente López Portaña (1772 – 1850); image from Wikimedia, image assumed to be under public domain.

2023-03 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for March, 2023.

The monthly dividend income came out to $2089.76. The yearly income total for 2023 through the end of the month was $2384.96.

The income for March, 2022 was $1833.54, and the yearly income for 2022 through the end of March was $2131.74.

A lot happened in March. There were the first big bank failures since the Great Recession. Three banks all beginning with the letter “S” went under in about a week: Silvergate Bank, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), and Signature Bank.

Two of them (Silvegate and Signature) were involved in corrupt-o-currency. SVB was the bank for the tech bros, who pushed corrupt-o-currency. SVB was the biggest and caused the most concern. I do not think we can say that corrupt-o-currency by itself caused the failures, but it did not help. If Silvergate and Signature had not gotten involved in corrupt-o-currency, they might still be around. They might have made other mistakes. But Silvergate seems to have gone all-in: They became the on-off ramp between corrupt-o-currency and real money, they started the process to make a stable coin, and they marketed themselves as a bank for companies involved with corrupt-o-currency nonsense (people need to stop calling corrupt-o-currency an “industry”). The failure of Silvergate caused a lot of people to worry about SVB.

SVB did not market itself to corrupt-o-currency clowns as much as the other two, but it was the go-to bank for tech bros. They lobbied to get Dodd-Frank regulations loosened, which happened in 2018. It raised the level of bank assets that would trigger higher liquidity reserve levels and more frequent stress tests. SVB was just under the new amount. (Silvergate’s assets were under the previous, lower amount; both SVB and Signature were above the old amount and under the new amount, so became exempt from Dodd-Frank.) Also they lost a lot of money in the Treasury market: they bought long-dated government bonds while interest rates were rising. Rising interest rates sounds like the sort of thing that a bank should know how deal deal. Especially if they had a Chief Risk Officer while rates were going up.

Signature Bank also marketed itself to companies in the corrupt-o-currency nonsense.

SVB got the most attention. Partially because a lot of tech bros who usually want the gubb-ment out of their lives were screaming for bailout. And telling the world that they were really, really important to the economy. This caused a lot of backlash, both for the hypocrisy of “BigGov is good only when I need something, and bad when you need something”, and for the fact that this group has an affect on our economy, culture and politics despite not doing anything for anyone else’s benefit.

Accelerator YCombinator wrote a letter asking for bailout and overstating Silicon Valley’s importance to the economy (discussion on Hacker News). Just as this Slate article (archive here, HN discussion here) states: What has Silicon Valley done for the world? What do they have to show for all the money they have gotten? The past decade has been trying to get around labor regulations (Uber, Taskrabbit, Airbnb) and blockchain/web3/corrupt-o-currency. I was listening to an episode of the Risky Business podcast from 2015 or 2016, and there was a story about a US general worried that the US was going to fall behind technologically. This general pointed out that Silicon Valley firms spent about four or five times as much on R&D as the biggest defense contractors. The hosts joked that they could not think of anything that had come out of Google that was interesting for years.

We have had low interest rates for years. Instead of doing something about climate change or water desalinization, it has been garbage. Here is a comment on another article in HN that got flagged, but one that I agree with:

“Because by god it’s fucking funny for literally anyone that isn’t a US tech bro. We’ve all watched a massive bubble form, with shitty-ass Bluetooth connected dog feeders that are meant to change the world get 150 millions in series A, watch as tech bros whose only qualifications are being born in the right place and an online class on React make half a million a year and gloat about how easy it is to make money in tech, trying to teach lessons to the entire world about running their 50 queries/sec on a K8S cluster on AWS and overall, very much enjoying the financial illiteracy of pretty much their entire sector.

So, yes, it’s pretty fucking funny when it blows up in their face. But I’m not too worried about the actually talented people. Sure, they might spend a bit of time in uncertain conditions (actually, no, with those salaries, you’re straight up a danger to yourself if you don’t already have a multiple year long cushion), but overall, they’ll bounce back.

EDIT: Additionally, these overpaid employees will still get their money, and a good bunch of them will go back to praising the startup life. Founders will have to live through the horrors of becoming employees again after they’ve blown their VC’s money. VCs will continue to blow billions on dog collars and online SaaS offerings for renting dogs, and shoot in eachother’s legs as much as they can instead of being useful contributions to society. Don’t ask Peter Thiel why all of his companies pulled out of SVB and why he massively contributed to the run.

There was an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that had a few points I actually agree with (archive here, HN discussion here). The first is about Dodd-Frank: These standards brought greater stability to the sector, but also higher expenses and lower profits. Bank leaders weren’t pleased and soon began lobbying to mitigate the legislation’s impact on their operations. SVB’s CEO Greg Becker was an early objector who argued that subjecting his midsize bank to the full range of Dodd-Frank requirements “would stifle our ability to provide credit to our clients.” It turns out they were right this time about regulations getting in their way. They were able to tank themselves.

Here is a later paragraph: Not all regulations are “burdensome.” Some are essential to prevent bad things from happening, as in this case. Congress and the Fed should rethink their decision to exempt key parts of the financial system from the discipline of oversight. Whenever executives complain that regulations are burdensome and would slow the growth of the economy, I always think of something Ken Lewis said around the time of the Great Recession: in one year (I think it was 2007), the investment banking division of Bank of America lost as much in that year as it made in three prior years combined. Maybe regulation will slow down the growth, but then maybe that slow growth won’t get wiped out in far less time than it took to happen.

Here are a few thought from the Status Kuo newsletter on Substack (article here, archive here):

But this is capitalism. Why can’t we just let rich VCs and their portfolio companies eat their losses?

We could, of course. But the trade-off is that we might create the very kind of uncertainty that is harmful to stable growth and financial sector health. Depositors need assurances so they don’t pull their funds out of other banks in a panic.

First off, I honestly do not understand why the VC firms themselves could not have given their portfolio companies money to tide them over. Handing out money is what VC firms do. WRT uncertainty: What is wrong with uncertainty? If anyone expresses resentment towards rich people or the self-proclaimed captains of industry, they say they deserve their wealth because they took risks. They acted despite uncertainty. But when they want something, or the future starts looking dicey, suddenly “uncertainty” is a reason for not acting. Or giving their portfolio companies more money.

From the same article: Did deregulation contribute to the collapse?

This is something that will be fought over by the parties over the coming weeks. There are indications that the kinds of regulations, including so-called “stress testing” for smaller regional banks, that would have surfaced problems and kept this from happening were eliminated by the Trump administration in 2018. But there were also Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin, who pushed for that deregulation, so the political narrative isn’t so cut-and-dried here.

Actually, it is pretty cut and dried here. There are more Republicans against regulation than Democrats. Look up the votes for the repeal of Glass-Steagall. Yes, some Democrats in the House voted for it, but almost no Republicans voted against it. And the difference in the Senate vote was even starker. Yes, some Democrats voted for de-regulation, but not all. And back in 2008 when the economy went off the rails, the two parties reacted differently. A lot of Democrats who were pro-regulation rethought their stance. We saw people like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders gain prominence. On the Republican side, the reactions were conspiracy theories and saying we need to keep give MORE money to the wealthy.

People need to stop saying the two parties as the same. Maybe Democrats are not perfect, but the Republicans are just insane. A lot of people will not criticize Republicans until Democrats are perfect. Expecting people who want to make things better to always be perfect has just made things worse. People need to get mad at what the Republicans are doing. Stop blaming Democrats for what Republicans do. Stop waiting for Democrats to be perfect while Republicans get worse. Both sides are not the same.

There are two quotes that are appropriate here:

  • Every five to ten years, people forget there is a recession every five to ten years.
  • The point of deregulation is to remind us why we have regulation.


There will probably be more corrupt-o-currency nonsense in next month’s report.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each March from the beginning of my records through 2023:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2023-03 $2384.96 $2089.76 $794.99 $1036.58
2022-03 $2131.74 $1833.54 $710.58 $917.01
2021-03 $2079.16 $1807.93 $693.05 $879.10
2020-03 $2071.44 $1863.26 $690.48 $931.10
2019-03 $1372.50 $1143.33 $457.50 $593.19
2018-03 $1226.01 $1099.99 $408.67 $606.06
2017-03 $1490.28 $805.35 $496.76 $517.88
2016-03 $1352.29 $732.13 $450.76 $470.38
2015-03 $1179.82 $612.48 $393.27 $390.27
2014-03 $934.15 $437.87 $311.38 $301.75
2013-03 $719.36 $360.85 $239.79 $292.68
2012-03 $792.26 $294.68 $264.09 $269.92
2011-03 $645.19 $229.43 $200.06 $163.15

Here are the securities and the income amounts for March, 2023:

  • Global X S&P 500 Covered Call ETF: $51.51
  • Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF: $170.51
  • Vanguard Total International Bond ETF: $13.52
  • SPDR S&P Dividend ETF: $794.47
  • SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF: $94.99
  • SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF: $189.13
  • SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF: $456.61
  • Global X S&P 500 Covered Call ETF: $50.86
  • Vanguard Utilities ETF: $268.16

Big Jim would rather be Captain Obvious that a major asshole or generally clueless.

Painting by Giovanni Antonio Guardi (1699 -1760); image from Wikimedia, image assumed to be under public domain.

Payment Totals

When I make a payment on my credit card, I tend to pay in incrementing amounts that I reset every month.

I think I started this a while back when some accounts were new, and I wanted to make a smaller payment so I did not lose too much money if something was wrong. I still do not like making big payments, and it gives me a quick way to check how much money I have spent in a month. Plus if I make small payments then I am logging into my credit card company’s website every few days which gives me a chance to double check that there no charges I did not authorize.

Payment Total
101 101
102 203
103 306
104 410
105 515
106 621
107 728
108 836
109 945
110 1055
111 1166
112 1278
113 1391
114 1505
115 1620
116 1736
117 1853
118 1971
119 2090
120 2210
121 2331
122 2453
123 2576
124 2700
125 2825
126 2951
127 3078
128 3206
129 3335
130 3465

Big Jim likes process because it makes life easier to manage because it gives him less to keep track of.

Image by 19th-century French painter Cornelius Ary Renan (1857–1900); image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under public domain.

2023-02 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for February, 2023.

The monthly dividend income came out to $196.67. The yearly income total for 2023 through the end of the month was $295.20.

The income for February, 2022 was $224.92, and the yearly income for 2022 through the end of February was $298.20.

I have not talked too much about corrupt-o-currency in the past few dividend income reports. I was going to opine some more, but a lot happened. A few banks that were into corrupt-o-currency went under. One of them (Silicon Valley Bank) lobbied for regulations to be loosened. And when it was looking shaky, all the glibertarian tech bros wanted the government they always regard as incompetent and a nuisance to bail them out.

Per the quote that is misattributed to Lenin, there are decades when weeks happen, and weeks when decades happen. Just like Michel on Gilmore Girls, the glibertarians and corrupt-o-currency bros have been so stupid lately I cannot keep up.

I might have more to say next month.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each February from 2012 through 2023:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2023-02 $295.20 $196.67 $1146.81 $1015.23
2022-02 $298.20 $224.92 $1235.58 $914.87
2021-02 $271.23 $182.83 $1253.94 $883.71
2020-02 $208.18 $196.17 $1259.50 $871.11
2019-02 $229.17 $138.45 $847.72 $589.58
2018-02 $126.02 $66.43 $654.60 $581.51
2017-02 $684.93 $466.05 $570.90 $511.78
2016-02 $620.16 $383.08 $524.89 $460.41
2015-02 $567.34 $353.85 $492.40 $375.72
2014-02 $496.28 $336.61 $363.62 $295.33
2013-02 $358.51 $248.39 $348.20 $287.16
2012-02 $497.58 $308.90 $337.51 $264.48

Here are the securities and the income amounts for February, 2023:

  • Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF: $182.27
  • Vanguard Total International Bond ETF: $14.40


Big Jim says Christian theocracies would not be any more fun than Muslim theocracies.

Painting of the garden of Gethsemane by Sebastiano Conca (1680 – 1764); image from Wikimedia; image assumed to be under public domain.

I Moved To A New Mastodon Server

I got a new account on another Mastodon server here.

I am now on Universeodon. Originally I was on Mashead.social. For some reason they went offline in early March. There are a few posts about it on the Mastodon subreddit. Supposedly it is still in progress, but I have decided to stop waiting.

I saved the email address of the admin of the new server if I ever need to email them. I might donate some money to them. I will add them to the list of organizations I could donate to.

I have decided to save for posterity a few of my thoughts here since they are now lost to the ether. I was able to track down a few actual URLs, some others are from memory.

Robert Reich had a mast [Note 1] about how Norfolk Southern had spent $4.7 billion in dividends and buybacks in 2022, reduced its workforce over 20 years by 33%, and then when there is a derailment they act like there was no way to prevent it. I posted: @rbreich On one hand I agree, but I hate it when people equate divs and buybacks as the same thing. A lot of us are counting on dividend growing stocks to fund our retirement. Buybacks are just corporations going into debt to play games with money (usually to fund options for execs). Let’s go back to making those illegal.

David Gerard masted a link to an article by fellow no-cointer Amy Castor titled “Ethereum moved to proof of stake. Why can’t Bitcoin?” Short answer: Because the bitcon developers and miners do not want to. I posted: @davidgerard One of the definitions of “fiat” is “an arbitrary decree or pronouncement”. There are so many things about BTC that are arbitrary: block size, new block every 10 minutes, 21 million BTC total. And it was all made up by someone whose identity has never been verified. And now POW will not change until the miners allow it to. BTC people think BTC is objective, like calculus, but it is more fiat (in general sense) than “fiat currency” is.

Corrupt-o-currency is fiat, but they talk about it like it is some eternal truth, like calculus.

Another post was a link to a Vanity Fair article titled Inside the Dissident Fringe, Where the New Right Meets the Far Left, and Everyone’s Bracing for Apocalypse. It was about people moving out to the western states (Wyoming, Montana) because they think society is corrupt and about to collapse. Most of them were conservatives, or people who voted GOP or Glibertarian, so there was a lot more “Far Right” than “Far Left”; I guess Vanity Fair has to get on the “both sides” bandwagon. Here is one quote from the article: She is a proud conservative who views the corporate elite as enemies of America, and believes that we’re on the cusp of a populist uprising against the brand of transnational capitalism championed by Republicans for most of the last half-century. Typical. This is how conservatives think: Plan A did not work, so let’s double down on Plan A. Conservatives got us to this point; it wasn’t the hippies that wanted to close the factories and send jobs overseas. Another quote from her: [Her grandfather] was a devout Christian and actually cared about this country and wanted to build this country up. No lady, your “devout Christian” grandfather did not want to build this country up. He just wanted to kick people around. That is what devout Christians do.

Another thing: A lot of the people in that article think the issue is “globalism”, yet they support people like Trump and Bannon. Trump loves Putin, and he’s buds with MBS, Bolsonaro, Orban, Duterte, Bannon name-drops Modi. Isn’t that a form of globalism? Globalism to improve trade and make us more connected: bad according to these people. Globalism to kick around people they do not like: good according to them. And how “America-First” was Trump really? Trump talked tough against China, yet China gave Ivanka trademarks, and then Dolt45 said he would lift sanctions on Chinese telecom firm ZTE for working with Iran and North Korea. The Biden Administration has been tightening export restrictions on semiconductor manfuacturing equipment to China (see articles here, here and here). Yet a lot of people think Trump was tough on China and that the Biden family is buds with the CCP. Globalism to line the pockets of the Trump family: good, according to these people. Globalism to work with allies to isolate Russia or China: bad according to them.

I had a couple of others. One was where I posted that the problem with our current economic environment is not just that everything has to keep growing, but the growth rate itself also has to grow. Second derivative capitalism will be the end of us all.

Another post was that I think a big cause of problems in our society is not just the people who vote GOP because they are nasty racist and/or religious wackjobs. One big problem is the people who vote GOP “for the tax cuts”. They never seem to get in their heads that tax cuts are a part of the package. The grifting, the performance art, the incompetence, the nepotism, the racism, the religious nuttery: it is comes with it as well. On top of that, tax cuts never have the promised results. At the federal level, spending never goes down (perhaps they should try actually cutting spending before cutting taxes), economic growth is the same, and taxes never get simpler. At the state level, all you get are bad roads and four day school weeks.

Just like the last time, and the time before that.

Note 1: Yes, I know they are called “toots”, but that just sounds stupid. So why should you mast? Because it’s a blast.

Image of the flight from Egypt by Giotto di Bondone; image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under public domain.

2023-01 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for January, 2023.

The monthly dividend income came out to $98.53. The yearly income total for 2023 through the end of the month was $98.53. This is the only month the math is this easy.

The income for January, 2022 was $73.28, and the yearly income for 2022 through the end of January was $73.28.

First month and I am already beating the prior year by 20%.

This is the seventh month that my twelve-month moving average was above $1,000.

The only security to pay out in January was the Global X S&P 500 Covered Call ETF. There were two payments, since the payment for December always gets paid in January. That fund usually has four months in a year where the fund has a record date in one month, but pays in the next month.

I have been studying for a certification for work. It is looking more likely I will be leaving my employer soon. Right now I do not have another position lined up, so I will have to live on savings. I could probably get by for three years on my savings. My Roth 401k would go into my Roth IRA, and my dividend income will go up by a lot.

I logged onto the Social Security website, and if I understood the graph correctly, even if I had no income between now and when I turn 62, I could get $1600/month. I do plan on working more, so that is the worst-case scenario. All I have to do is survive until then.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each January from 2012 through 2023:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2023-01 $98.53 $98.53 $1173.95 $1017.58
2022-01 $73.28 $73.28 $1215.96 $911.36
2021-01 $88.40 $88.40 $1258.54 $884.83
2020-01 $12.01 $12.01 $1236.27 $866.30
2019-01 $90.72 $90.72 $818.52 $583.57
2018-01 $59.59 $59.59 $819.32 $614.81
2017-01 $218.88 $218.88 $584.54 $504.86
2016-01 $237.08 $237.08 $550.81 $457.97
2015-01 $213.49 $213.49 $471.54 $374.28
2014-01 $159.67 $159.67 $335.67 $287.98
2013-01 $110.12 $110.12 $348.07 $292.20
2012-01 $188.68 $188.68 $316.66 $256.77

Here are the securities and the income amounts for January, 2023:

  • Global X S&P 500 Covered Call ETF: $47.29
  • Global X S&P 500 Covered Call ETF: $51.24

Big Jim has a principle of never touching the principal.

Painting of Godfrey of Bouillon at Mount Sinai by Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz (1815-1894); image from Wikimedia; image assumed to be under public domain.

2022-12 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for December, 2022.

The monthly dividend income came out to $3,145.22. The yearly income total for 2022 through the end of the month was $12,185.76.

The income for December, 2021 was $3,408.55, and the yearly income for 2021 through the end of December was $10,951.48.

This is the sixth month that my twelve-month moving average was above $1,000.

Honestly, I have been kind of tired over the past few weeks: job, economy, worrying about money, etc. I am tired of reading about bitcon and corrupt-o-currency, tired of thinking about them, tired of hearing about them. I wish it would all just go away. As Emily Gilmore would say, it all just nonsense. Anyone who is into it is either a scammer or stupid. It’s bad enough dealing with people who think capital gains is the answer, or tax cuts are the solution to all the world’s problems, and then turn around and tell you the world is complicated when tax cuts do not make anything better. The Big Lie. QAnon. Monotheism. People who haven’t realized the only intelligent amount of booze is none. Generally the same people who are too stupid or too much of a jerk to grasp the concept that universal statements are not invitations to come up with exceptions. I need a break from it all.

In the past year I got RWR in both IRA accounts. Right now they are both underwater. I know I said we should not rely on capital gains; that does not mean I want my stocks to go to zero. The goal is to live off the dividends and never touch principal. I think some sectors of real estate will have some issues. I also think rising interest rates will help here. The plan is to hold these for the rest of my life.

I am still concerned I might not make it with the funds I have. My 12-month moving average after estimated taxes (which is not part of this report) would not cover my rent today, let alone my rent in 20 years. Granted, if I had my 401(k) from work in dividend ETFs, I would have much higher income. I know I have been saying for a couple of years that the end may be soon. I am still in that in-between state.

Here is a table of the number of Dividend Champions, Contenders, Challengers, and a total of all three for the first week of each January from 2011 to 2023. The methodology changed from 2021 to 2022, but I think it is still a good comparison. I am starting to wonder if the number of Champions will ever crack 140.

Year Total Champions Contenders Challengers
2023 723 130 348 245
2022 708 127 302 280
2021 729 139 308 282
2020 866 138 265 463
2019 864 131 205 528
2018 822 115 220 487
2017 768 108 227 433
2016 753 107 250 396
2015 611 106 246 259
2014 476 105 210 161
2013 458 105 183 170
2012 448 102 146 200
2011 447 99 141 207
2010 98 62 N/A
2009 125
2008 138

I have been looking at some posts on the Dividends subreddit, and I am thinking about going back to individual stocks. It is more likely that my income would go up. I am not clear why a dividend growth ETF would have a variable payout from one quarter to another. Granted, there are always companies cutting dividends and others joining the club, but I still think the payouts should go down less often than they do. This phenomenon is not just in the DGI ETFs that I have been in from Vanguard and State Street, but Black Rock’s as well. Granted, stocks can cut or freeze their dividends, but with individual stocks there is more upward momentum. One reason I stopped with individual stocks is that it is a lot of work entering all that information. I have a customized spreadsheet that cannot be automated, and I think most banks and brokers do not know what GnuCash is. I think most of the gain I got from ETFs was in the international ETFs.

Here are the 2021 and 2022 amounts for the securities that I own, with the differences. Yes, I know this is off for 2022. I might have entered something wrong in one sheet in my spreadsheet; I am willing to live with it.

Security 2021 Income 2022 Income YOY Change
BND 1796.89 1907.55 110.66
BNDX 453.20 163.47 -289.73
LAND 204.55 46.10 -158.45
RLI 315.22 0 -315.22
RWR Reg 0 504.12 504.12
RWR Roth 0 853.13 853.13
SDY 3616.80 3501.55 -115.25
VPU 943.49 1053.15 109.66
WDIV 3080.13 3508.98 428.85
XYLD 473.24 620.80 147.56
Sold 67.96 0 -67.96
Total 10951.48 12158.85 1207.37

I have noticed on the Dividends subreddit they love SCHD. I plan on looking at that fund, and at its underlying index. Some of them really love SCHD over there. It is almost like a religion with some of them: And the lord spoke “thou shalt only buy” and lo, the believers prospered. The sinners sold and their fields lay barren and bereft of hope. Still, buying DGI stocks or ETFs and never selling is an idea I can get behind.

Another goal for this year is to follow a few more of Ron DeLegge’s ideas: Make a written investment policy statement, and try to pick a commodities ETF.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each December from 2011 through 2022:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2022-12 $12185.76 $3145.22 $1296.91 $1015.48
2021-12 $10951.48 $3408.55 $1346.62 $912.62
2020-12 $10541.51 $3490.60 $1294.16 $878.46
2019-12 $10515.13 $3611.13 $1343.15 $876.26
2018-12 $6971.76 $2313.99 $1165.08 $580.98
2017-12 $7536.98 $1837.78 $913.40 $628.08
2016-12 $6076.53 $1027.76 $605.28 $506.38
2015-12 $5472.07 $954.52 $575.86 $456.01
2014-12 $4438.02 $909.86 $481.67 $369.80
2013-12 $3406.20 $594.59 $344.05 $283.85
2012-12 $3585.01 $686.10 $386.41 $298.75
2011-12 $3091.99 $514.94 $323.40 $253.92

Here are the securities and the income amounts for December, 2022:

  • Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF: $169.72
  • Vanguard Total International Bond ETF: $13.66
  • Vanguard Utilities ETF VPU ETF: $278.12
  • SPDR S&P Dividend ETF SDY ETF: $984.34
  • SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF RWR ETF: $164.89
  • SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF RWR ETF: $328.31
  • SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF: $978.89
  • Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF: $178.06
  • Vanguard Total International Bond ETF: $49.23

Big Jim has a principle of never touching the principal.

Painting of the Anunciation at the Church of San Salvadore by Titian (1488-1576); image from Wikimedia; image assumed to be under public domain.

Now On Mastodon

Like many people distrustful of Elon Musk, I have an account on a Mastodon server. You can find it at https://masthead.social/@EFreethought.

I know some Mastodon servers have “themes”, like tech, or a geographic location, some are geared towards journalists, etc. I just picked one that would let me make an account. I read somewhere that it might be a good idea to make accounts on multiple servers in case one goes down. I guess I was thinking about how Mastodon is like Twitter, and not considering how it is different.

So far I am following three accounts: journalist Molly White who writes a lot about corrupt-o-currency, her project web3 is going just great, and blogger David Gerard, who has been mentioned several times on this website.

I also found out today Amy Castor and David sometimes post and comment on the Buttcoin subreddit.

I was never very active on Twitter. I might not be too active on Mastodon.

Daily Kos had an article about possible Twitter replacements in case Mastodon does not work out.

One thing about Mastodon is that I can see the toots of people I follow, but I do not know how to hide their re-toots or forwards. Or whatever they are called.

Honestly, calling them “toots” just sounds stupid. I want to call them “tweets”, even though it is not Twitter. Granted, I thought the term “tankie” was stupid, but I have been seeing it more lately, especially as the Russian invasion of Ukraine keeps going. Per the Wikipedia article, the term “tankie” has been around since the 1950s; I thought it was new.

I may or may not post some thoughts on Elon Musk. I have an outline that I started a while back. I have always wondered how he is able to run three companies. Given how he handled things at Twitter: it looks like he doesn’t. When there is chaos and drama (living in the factory, making cars in tents), he is running things. When things are smooth, he is not involved. I have read a lot of articles stating that he is just a figurehead and there is a layer of management devoted to preventing him from breaking things.

Big Jim was surprised there are not more paintings of Hannibal crossing the Alps; you have to be pretty determined to go through high mountains with elephants.

Image “Hannibal the Conqueror, Viewing Italy for the First Time from the Alps” by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, aka “Goya” (1746 – 1828); image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under public domain.

Instructions For Steel Cut Oats

I am trying to improve my diet. I have heard that steel cut oats are good for you, so I am going to start eating more of them.

My local grocer, HEB, sells them in a cardboard can. They are good. However, the instructions are written in a small gold font on a black background, which makes them hard to read. I have no idea who decided on that color scheme. What makes it more irritating is that some things are printed in a white font, and those are easier to read, and (I would argue) not as important as the instructions.

  1. Bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil.
  2. Stir in 1/4 cup of oats.
  3. Reduce heat to low, simmer uncovered for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. Remove from heat, and allow to stand for 1 minute before serving.


Given the prevalence of low-contrast text on a lot of websites (and now products), I have to wonder how UI/UX people got to be so stupid. And unlike a browser, a can from a grocery store does not have a reader mode.

The Ecstasy of Saint Paul by Nicolas Poussin (1594 – 1665); image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

2022-11 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for November, 2022.

The monthly dividend income came out to $278.11. The yearly income total for 2022 through the end of the month was $9040.54.

The income for November, 2021 was $166.06, and the yearly income for 2021 through the end of November was $7542.93.

This is the fifth month that my twelve-month moving average was above $1,000.

Before I continue writing about why bitcon and corrupt-o-currency are stupid, I should mention another no-coiner. I have written about David Gerard and his blog Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain. He has weekly updates on what is happening in the world of corrupt-o-currency. I should also mention Amy Castor. He and Amy alternate the weekly report. Her blog is low-contrast, but you can read it in Reader View.

Six months ago there were a lot of bankruptcies in corrupt-o-currency: Voyager Digital, Three Arrows Capital, Terraform Labs, Celsius Network. A firm called FTX started buying other corrupt-o-currency firms, and a lot of people thought they were going to help the sector stabilize. Now FTX has gone bankrupt. The first wave of collapse brought bitcon from $30K to $20K. This wave has taken it from $20K to $17K.

Some bitcon maximalists think this will not hurt bitcon in the long run. One of David Gerard’s ongoing gags is to explain how something bad is actually “good for crypto” or “good for bitcoin”, because whenever anything happens that looks terrible, there is always someone who says “This is actually good for crypto because…” or “This is actually good for bitcoin because…”. Well, for those people, the hamster wheels in their brains are working overtime, because a lot is happening.

Blockchain is just a trojan horse for bitcon. When bitcon first came out, a lot of people who were not glibertarian dudebros asked what good is this? And the answer was: the magic is not bitcon itself, but the blockchain! For a long time you could not buy other coins directly. You had to go fiat -> bitcon -> some_other_stupid_coin. Then NFTs came along, and only two types of people thought they were any good: People selling them, and the first wave of buyers. It became a solution in search of a problem. Blockchain, NFT, alt-coins, ICO, web3: It’s all just a way to push bitcon.

Shipping company Maersk and IBM made a platform that used blockchain to manage global trade. They are shutting it down. I wrote a few months ago that Walmart is using blockchain to manage their supply chains in Canada. The vendor is DLT Labs, and their news page has not had any updates since then. Perhaps Walmart stopped using it and DLT Labs hasn’t mentioned it. Or at best DLT Labs is looking for a second customer for The Answer To All The World’s Problems. Back in 2017, blogger Tim Bray pointed out even then that we should have seen more success stories with blockchain. He mentioned other technologies that made life easier for developers and admins: Unix, C, Java, REST, cloud.

And without exception, I observed that they were initially loaded in the back door by geeks, without asking permission, because they got [tasks] done and helped people with their jobs.

That’s not happening with blockchain. Not in the slightest. Which is why I don’t believe in it.

Maybe Walmart is expanding their use of blockchain with another vendor. Given what little I know about Walmart, they would not tell anyone. Maybe there are a few niche cases for blockchain. Maybe it will change the jobs of a few (hundred? thousand? ten-thousand?) people out there. But it’s not the web, it’s not Java, it’s not Rails, it’s not cloud.

I cannot find it, but there was a tweet from someone who said if you look at the chart for bitcon, you can almost see the moment it went from a toy for anarcho-glibertarians to a speculative asset for the masses. Well, the masses speculated, and they lost a lot of money.

Bitcon is the paradox of glibertarianism writ large: Glibertarian dudebros are always complaining about the guv-ment telling them what to do. Yet they have no problem trying to force changes on society that nobody asked for.

I have been gathering notes with links and comments from various sites about bitcon and corrupt-o-currency. Perhaps at some point I will get around to making it into a blog post and clear all that stuff out. Honestly, I wish bitcon and corrupt-o-currencies would all just go away. A few bloggers and lecturers have said they want it all to “die in a fire” (see here and here). Given that climate change is already an issue, there is a chance that bitcon won’t just die in a fire; it might take all of us with it.

As Amy Castor and David Gerard have pointed out, every firm in this sector is as Quadriga as they can get away with, until they cannot.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each November from 2011 through 2022:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2022-11 $9040.54 $278.11 $968.22 $1037.42
2021-11 $7542.93 $166.06 $824.63 $919.46
2020-11 $7050.91 $196.63 $742.84 $885.10
2019-11 $6904.00 $126.48 $843.65 $768.17
2018-11 $4657.77 $50.86 $562.56 $541.30
2017-11 $5699.20 $560.60 $559.31 $560.58
2016-11 $5048.77 $506.98 $502.98 $500.27
2015-11 $4517.55 $460.83 $477.55 $452.28
2014-11 $3528.16 $291.27 $357.30 $343.53
2013-11 $2811.61 $252.75 $277.74 $291.48
2012-11 $2898.91 $247.99 $262.78 $284.49
2011-11 $2577.05 $246.37 $232.84 $240.81

Here are the securities and the income amounts for November, 2022:

  • Global X S&P 500 Covered Call ETF: $48.60
  • Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF BND ETF: $167.53
  • Vanguard Total International Bond ETF: $12.34
  • Global X S&P 500 Covered Call ETF: $49.64


Big Jim is trying to be as Captain Kirk as he wants to be. He is doing better than the corrupt-o-currency sector, but not as well as he wishes.

Painting of the Storm on the Sea of Gallilee by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 – 1669); image from Wikipedia, missing since 1990, assumed allowed under public domain.