Here is the dividend income report for December, 2015.
The monthly dividend income came out to $954.52. The yearly income total for 2015 through the end of the month was $5472.07. Right now I am a few months ahead of where I was in 2014.
The income for December, 2014 was $909.86, and the yearly income for 2014 through the end of December was $4438.02.
December income is always higher that the other months because RLI pays a special dividend every December, in addition to their regular dividend. The regular RLI dividend this year was $0.19/share, while the special dividend was $2.00/share.
I started using GnuCash to track my money in 2003, back when I was working for a TBTF bank. I saved some of my money in the 401K, and put most of it into index funds. My best year for dividend income was 2007, when I got $6575.54. In 2008, I got $5420.86. So I have finally beat what was my second best year. I do have to admit that I thought dividend growth investing would give better results than I have gotten. I guess compound growth just takes a while to take off.
The income was up this year for a few reasons. One is that many of these companies have increased their dividends. Another is that I bought more shares in companies that I already have shares in: JNJ, ADM and ETN. I also bought HON, but after their December payout. I also started a taxable account and bought shares in CTWS and SJW. I had planned on buying individual stocks in that account, but I have changed my mind and instead I will buy ETFs in that account. A few of the companies I did have in that accound were companies that were in my IRA. For KO and VZ, I got dividends from both the IRA and the taxable accounts.
I did sell COP due to what is going on in the oil industry. I sometimes wonder if I should have sold CVX instead. COP has raised its dividend but lost money, while CVX has broken its 28 year streak but still made a profit.
I have not decided if I should keep shares in a company that holds its dividend steady. Just about all dividend growth investors agree that a company should be sold if it cuts its dividend. There is still no real consensus about what to do with a company that holds it steady for a few years. I sold INTC when it stopped raising its dividend. Now that it is rasing the dividend again, I might get back in, even though INTC has not gotten back to a 5-year streak.
There is a saying on Wall Street: Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs and sheep get slaughtered. I guess this means you have to follow the advice of George Foreman: Plan your work, and work your plan. I have to admit I am still working out what my rules are. Is my minimum time for dividend raises 5 years? 10 years? Do I keep a company if its PE gets too high? If so, how high?
The PE one might be kind of tricky. Based on comments from people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gross, I think that higher PEs in a time of low interest rates is not necessarily a bad sign.
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 2015:
Here are the stocks and the income amounts for December, 2015:
- AFLAC Inc: $43.88
- American States Water Co: $25.20
- Black Hills Corp: $14.71
- Bemis Co Inc: $29.00
- SJW Corp.: $31.20
- Vectren Corp: $23.64
- Johnson & Johnson: $75.66
- Archer-Daniels-Midland Co: $32.65
- Chevron: $25.54
- Emerson Electric Co: $26.51
- Sonoco Products Co: $45.50
- Exxon Mobil Corp: $83.24
- Walgreen Co: $20.87
- 3M Co: $13.92
- Questar Corp: $12.01
- Connecticut Water Service Inc.: $37.74
- Dover Corp: $9.76
- Consolidated Edison Inc: $20.29
- Kellogg Company: $52.30
- Coca-Cola Co: $43.26
- Valspar Corp: $19.49
- RLI Corp: $23.26
- RLI Corp: $244.89
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