I am a passionate person. There are two things I am particularly passionate about. Investing and Spreadsheets. A third being my wife. This is the culmination of when those first two passions combine. (Ed. Note: My wife reminded me that I forgot a passion on the first draft!)
The beautiful thing about dividend growth investing is that you can combine these two passions seamlessly, the result of which are some pretty extensive spreadsheets documenting dividend income, future dividend income, dividends received, and more. One such feature of my spreadsheets is a dividend calendar used to track the actual dividends I receive each month and what I can expect for the remaining months of a given year.
My Dividend Calendar
As an excel junkie, using Google Docs at times can feel limiting, as the functionality while similar, just isn’t as robust for an advanced user. For some reason, at times Google didn’t seem to recognize some of the changes I made in the spreadsheet, and would keep rolling back to a previous version. Pretty frustrating to say the least! That being said, I’ve made the leap and have now created a copy of my 2014 dividend calendar and am sharing it for the world to see. I will be rolling this forward to future years to allow others to see how I progress through any given year and compare it to previous years. You can find the calendar in a drop down below my dividend growth portfolio link at the top of the site. Below you will find a screenshot of the completed dividend calendar:
Dividend Calendar Features
There are few main features on my dividend calendar that I’d like to go over.
Color everywhere: The first thing you will likely notice is the wealth of colors on my spreadsheet. Since everyone has their own way of presenting things, I’ve added a legend at the top to decode the many colors on the sheet. The primary ones you will see utilized are for new purchases and acquisitions (light blue) and dividend increases (light red… Salmon perhaps?). The reason I color code events like this is because it allows me to in a snapshot know what activity I’ve had over the past year, and at what point in the year. If you click on the image above, you will see that my Loyal3 account is literally covered with light blue. One benefit of this account is the ability to purchase in small dollar amounts quite frequently. I’ve clearly maximized my potential here!
Multiple Accounts: The second feature you will notice is that I have my assets and dividends broken out by account. I currently hold my dividend growth assets in three separate accounts: a Roth IRA, a standard taxable account, and Loyal3 account. Each portfolio serves a different purpose for me and provides me the opportunity to take advantage of different opportunities. My IRA account allows me to invest in REITs and some foreign companies without concern for additional tax withholding or ordinary income issues. My taxable account will eventually hold the lion’s share of my dividend growth investments as I will put most of my new capital allocated for DG investments into this account. Lastly, my Loyal3 account will become my DRIP account for solid companies like UL, MCD, KO, PEP, and more. Because I can get credit card rewards and leverage no-cost transactions, Loyal3 makes it easy for me to put money to work regularly. Not to mention a place where one can see how just a little bit of capital each and every month can build an impressive snowball in short fashion.
Comparing the comparable: The third feature of the calendar is the period comparison at the bottom. Comparing and keeping track of my increase in passive income year over year is important, so I’ve created this comparison month by month and in total for the entire year. The bigger the growth, the happier and wealthier I am!
While not really a feature, and more of an observation, you will notice that I currently DRIP all of my holdings. This is a result of not having a sustainable level of dividend income in which the accounts will turn over on themselves. What does that mean? It means none of my accounts at this time generate enough dividend income to collect in cash and reinvest in a timely fashion without the addition of new capital. Since new capital isn’t always guaranteed in my dividend growth portfolios, it is important that I don’t lose the power of compounding by sitting on small bits of cash. If you’re interested in more of my thoughts on this, check out my post, To DRIP or not to DRIP, that is the question…
Well that pretty much covers it for my 2014 dividend calendar. I update this calendar very regularly, so you will see the numbers, and colors change as I make purchases, receive dividend increases, and expand my portfolio. So please head over and check out the full 2014 dividend calendar and let me know your thoughts!
How do you keep track of your investments and project future dividend income?
Flickr: Lynn Friedman