Bonus Coverage: My Dividend Growth Portfolio

Bonus Coverage - My Dividend Growth Portfolio - Notepad

Offline I keep close track of all of my investments, probably in more detail than one should, but for whatever reason I love mapping out and visualizing my progress in creating passive income streams. One benefit of this level of tracking is a clear snapshot of where I’m currently projected to be, which gives way to knowing exactly what I need to do to hit my goals for the year. So, much like I did last year, I’ll be maintaining a Dividend Calendar for 2015 that reflects all of my portfolio activity in one place. But before we look at that, let’s take one more look at 2014.

A Final Look at 2014

In case you haven’t gotten chance to check it out, you can see my fully complete 2014 Dividend Calendar. Over the course of the past year, I exited out of four positions: ARCP, LO, OKS, and PSEC. Each position exit has a story, but they boil down to Sleeping Well At Night and simplification of my tax filings each year.

More important than the exits were the many acquisitions of great companies soldiers in my passive income army. I ended 2013 owning shares in 12 different companies, spread between two portfolios, a taxable account and a Roth IRA account. My forward 12-month dividends were a respectable $1,285.19, but covered just three sectors, Financial, Energy and Consumer Staples. With such a concentrated portfolio, a high average yield (~5.6%), and some risky proposition based on a couple of my investments, ARCP and PSEC especially, 2014 was the year of diversification.

I closed 2014 with 32 separate companies in my dividend growth portfolio, spread across three portfolios. Simple math will show that I added 24 new companies to my portfolio after accounting for the four portfolio sold this past year. Just over half of these additions came in my new third portfolio with Loyal3, an unbelievable opportunity to add some great companies at no-cost, and for most of the year with a credit card. At the end of 2014, I ended the year going from three sectors to eight, adding some greater diversification, while extending my forward-12 month dividends to $2,062.57. This not only was an increase of $777.38 over the year before, but more importantly, is a portfolio I’m proud to call mine and one that will set me up for long-term growth and success.

This growth is best viewed through the increases in dividend payments from each company I owned during the year. While always a bit cloudy given the drastic increase in the number of positions, all but one of my positions increased their dividend payout during 2014. In focusing on the eight positions that are still in my portfolio from 2013-2014, my average dividend increase for those companies was 7.17%, which is incredible given the yield-on-cost (YOC) for those positions is 4.85%. Looking forward, I am pretty comfortable concluding the average increase in 2015 should be higher.

Bonus Coverage - My Dividend Growth Portfolio - 2014 Dividend Growth

Note: I realize this is not a weighted average, which would be the most reflective of my actual portfolio’s growth, but for simplicity sake, this shows the overall dividend growth of the positions I held from 2013 to 2014.

Looking Forward: The 2015 Dividend Calendar

Some of my favorite features of the dividend calendar are the ability to track all of the purchases, stock sales, dividend increases, and projected dividends received throughout the course of the year. While it can look crazy busy with all of the positions I’ve invested in, just a quick look can tell you where I stand in relation to hitting my 2015 goal, as it is included on the dividend calendar.

As of this writing, I currently sit $685.42 away from my goal of $2,750 of dividends received. A long way no doubt, but I’ll always be able to see where I stand and how much I need to add by leveraging this dividend calendar.

Bonus Coverage - My Dividend Growth Portfolio - 2015 Dividend Calendar MenuI’ve linked to the new Calendar page a couple of times in the post; however, you can also find it under the Dividend Growth Portfolio menu at the top of the site.

Do you track your investments in this way? Would you find this to be something helps you hit your goals?

Flickr: Philippa Willitts

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  1. roadmap2retire says:

    Really like the dividend calendar, W2R. I maintain something similar personally but I see a few more details in yours that I dont track. That gives me an idea to add more data to track my portfolios :)

    Thanks for sharing and best wishes to what looks like is going to be a successful year for you


    • Glad I could add a data point or two to your dividend calendar. I think it is a great way to really dive in and see the progress a portfolio can make, while seeing in one place all of the activity within a portfolio.

      I appreciate your support and stopping by today!

  2. You’ve got yourself a pretty intense spreadsheet/calendar there W2R. I also enjoy the hands on approach to managing/tracking my investments. Good luck hitting your goal of $2,750

    • One of many my friend. I am an unabashed Excel junkie and will not seek help for my addiction. Being so hands-on at this point is really an extension of my passion for investing and generating passive income. Certainly tracking my goals publicly provides an additional bit of motivation.

      Thanks for stopping by ADD!

      • Such a cool calendar! I might like to do the same thing at some point but my Excel skills are way lacking compared to yours. One account I probably spend too much time keeping track of is Loyal3. I can’t seem to figure out a faster way to extract the transactions/current positions from that account. Are you using or are you aware of a software that can keep track of all of this to help reduce the manual labor?

        • Thanks LA! I absolutely love Excel, and really think it is one of the most powerful tools in business today. I haven’t had too many issues tracking my Loyal3 account, but again, what isn’t an issue for me might be for someone else. I book purchases and any reinvestments as they happen. I do think that Loyal3 has some work to do on upgrading their monthly statements, but otherwise haven’t felt any desire for additional functionality.

          I do believe there are some portfolio tracking tools out there, but I haven’t looked into them since I am happy with my Excel/Google Docs combination.

          Thanks for stopping by LA, glad to have you as a reader.

        • When I make a purchase in loyal3, I enter that into my Personal Capital as a manual holding – it keeps track of the general information on the stocks, so I can see various information about the account. Not as much information as w2r’s spreadsheet, but enough for me.

  3. You have such an awesome clean and crisp calender, I really like it a lot. Those dividend totals last year are very inspiring and I’m so pumped to watch this sheet fill out this year. I just started playing with excel a bit more myself, and am excited to be using it for my monthly updates going forward. I had never really messed with spreadsheets before I started invested, and Google did a good job teaching me the basics, but I’m really liking all the extra details excel allows. Wishing you a great weekend!


    • Excel is incredibly powerful, much more so than Google Docs, however, the Dividend Calendar is in fact a Google spreadsheet. I do that so that it can be updated live on the site as I make changes. Of course I keep a duplicate copy in Excel that serves as my ‘master’ copy and has significantly more functionality.

      Looking forward to seeing how your monthly updates expand to reflect the new tools. Thanks for stopping by Ryan.

  4. Love your attention to detail, w2r. I have a few spreadsheets myself and probably could have more. I find the clearer the picture the easier it is to chart a course forward.

    I’ll have to compare yours to mine and see if I can’t borrow some ideas :)


    • I am so incredibly addicting to Excel it isn’t even funny. I really enjoy mapping things out, projecting income and scenarios and even dreams. It helps focus in on where my capital needs to go and what I need to do to achieve my goals. This journey is a long one, and knowing where you stand on that path is important.

      Steal away my friend, steal away! Thanks for your comments!

  5. I also track my dividends the same way and have a calendar on my blog, mainly to see when I receive a payment. So I watch the date, I do not track an amount in the calendar itself, only dates. I track the payouts elsewhere. Great tables…

    • For me, if I’m going to be tracking the expected payouts, I might as well keep track of the actual dividends I expect to receive. This way I can target my capital and put it to work in a manner in which will help meet my goals. Of course, one great thing about this community is that we each do something a bit differently, and as a result we can learn from one another. I know I’ve taken away several things from other folks.

      Thanks for stopping by Martin!

  6. Love your dividend calendar and how you made huge stride in 2014. I’m sure you’ll have an excellent 2015!

  7. Keep up the good work. Measurement is key in any financial goal you pursue. So keep up the tracking. Looking forward to seeing you hit your target of $2,750 in dividends in 2015.

  8. WYR,

    Nice post – interesting – I see a few of us having the same dividend growth rate — mine stands now at 7.19% currently on my individual portfolio. Looking forward to your 2015 and beyond writeyourown! Thanks again.


    • I was actually shocked how high it was considering it was mostly high yielding companies that carried over the full year. Next year will be really telling as I’ll have 32 or so companies to compare. I have the feeling it will actually be higher as a result, but we shall see what happens.

      Thanks for stopping by Lanny, I appreciate it!

  9. I also love seeing my dividend income come in on a monthly basis. It helps give you a sense of how real practical cash flow coverage could be off just dividends alone as far as meeting monthly expenses.

    • I think you’re absolutely right with the monthly cash flow. We all have different levels of income, but you can see what is possible with your high, low, and middle payout months. Pretty exciting I’d say!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Integrator!

  10. Wow! What a complete calendar! I update an excel sheet myself, but nothing as organized. Might change mine a little.

    I especially liked this sentence: “At the end of 2014, I ended the year going from three sectors to eight, adding some greater diversification, while extending my forward-12 month dividends to $2,062.57″ Diversification you managed to make in one year is truly amazing! Congrats :)

    • Thanks DivGuy! I am an Excel junkie for sure, no bones about it.

      As for the diversification, I was helped by a couple of things in the market, but it was primarily a focus on divesting from some concentrated and risky positions and reinvesting into assets across the spectrum. Loyal3 help with this as well, since it is mostly consumer goods focused, which was two sectors in which I was lacking.

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

  11. I am mad jealous of your excel skills. One day I will buckle down and take down the

    Really great work on your goals and commitment. Looking forward to your 2015

    • No need to be jealous – simply a matter of knowing what is possible and executing it. Most folks are overwhelmed and don’t jump into the fray, however taken piece by piece it isn’t all that complicated.

      Thank you for the support AG, I know I’m looking forward to my 2015 as well.

  12. Excellent calendar. I track all of my investments on Google spreadsheets, but this has given me quite a few ideas for some additions. :)

  13. The concept of a dividend calendar is really great as you can visually see, anticipate and make adjustments with your investments along the way and try and control as best you can your anticipated forward dividend income earned. Like the concept of ‘dividend soldiers’ in you passive income ‘army.’

    • I couldn’t agree more with the visualization a dividend calendar provides, which it turn leads to added motivation to nail one’s goals.

      Like any good soldier, my dividends are here to fight the good fight towards financial independence. March on and thanks for commenting DivHut!

  14. That’s a great calendar you have there! Good luck on reaching your 2750 goal!

    Looks like we exited out of mostly the same positions last year! ( LO, OKS, ARCP) and for the same reason it looks like!

    Take care!

    • Thank you ILG, I like how easy it is to visualize the progress I need to make to achieve my goals. As for the stock sales, I’m happy to be out of all of those positions and to have redeployed the capital elsewhere, as I’m sure you are as well.

      Best of luck to you as well this year.

  15. W2R, Love the look of your dividend calendar as well! I have worked on automating a lot of the functions in mine (including, most recently, a transactions sheet and XIRR calculations), but still love manually inputting the dividends into the calendar. It feels a little more “real” that way.

    I used Excel in the past but now entirely rely on Google Spreadsheets. I like the ability to log on from anywhere and make changes. Does the online Excel version now allow looking up of data online (stock quotes, dividend yields, etc) or does that still require a separate plugin? Thanks and good luck in 2015!

    • I still keep track of everything in Excel since it has a bit more functionality than Google Docs. I haven’t worked with the Excel online, so I’m not sure how that would work out, but likely not too much different than either Google Docs or Excel. No matter what the format, tracking things, in my opinion, is a motivating and rewarding endeavor since you are really in tune with what your portfolio and investments are doing. It does bring a tangibility to the entire process.

      Best of luck to you as well this year!

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