Investment Goals for 2017: Q1

At the beginning of the year I formulated my five investment goals for 2017. Now that the first quarter (Q1) is behind us, it is time to check in on these goals and see how I am progressing.

My five goals for the year are:

  1. Contribute $30,000 to the portfolio
  2. Achieve forward dividend income of $3,500 by the end of 2017
  3. Receive $3,000 dividend income throughout 2017
  4. Keep forward dividend income as a % of my Portfolio at >3.5%
  5. Keep trading cost < $150 

Goal #1  – contributing $30,000 to my portfolio in 2017 – means that every quarter I need to invest at least $7,500. When I formulated this goal back in January I knew this would be a stretch.

However, I am happy to report that I actually beat my numbers. In the first quarter of 2017 I contributed a total of $9,833 to my portfolio. If I can keep this up this would mean an addition of almost $40,000 for the entire year.

How did I deploy this new capital? I started the year by buying 17 additional shares of Starbucks, followed by a new position of 25 shares in Delta Airlines. I closed the month of January off by buying 18 shares of Amgen.

In February I made two buys – both adding to existing positions. I bought 34 shares of Qualcomm (making it a total of 50 shares). Later in that month I decided to double my position in Magna – buying an additional 25 shares.

March – the last month of the quarter – saw just one buy. I added 15 shares of Accenture to the portfolio for a total of $1,815.

Goal #2 is about getting my 12 month projected forward dividend income to $3,500 by the end of the year.

At the last day of 2016 my projected forward dividend income was $2,395 and it increased to $2,740 by the end of this first quarter. This means that in Q1 my 12 month projected forward income increased by $345 (see red line in the chart below).

To get from $2,395 at the end of 2016 to $3,500 at the end of 2017 I need a total increase of $1,105.

 Since $345 * 4 = $1,380 I did well this quarter – and am well underway to hit this goal for the entire year.

Goal #3 is about the dividends I will receive between Jan 1st and December 31st of this year. My goal is $3,000 for 2017. As of March 31st my projection is to receive ~ $2,739 in dividends in calendar year 2017 (seen green line below against my target in blue).

This goal should definitely be attainable but keep in mind that the year is getting shorter (as is the nature of passing time). The ‘receive new dividends in 2017 window’ is closing with each that day that passes.

In other words, each company that I buy next will not pay out a dividend in Q1 2017. However, if I keep up the buying activity – Q2, Q3 and Q4 should see enough dividend payouts to make my goal of $3,000.

Through goal #4 I track my forward dividend income (goal #2) as a percentage of my portfolio – i.e. my yield on cost (YOC).

In buying stocks I try to maintain a balance between high yielders (such as most REITS) and low yielders with above average dividend growth rates (stock like SBUX, DAL). Overall my goal is to obtain a minimum of 3.5% YOC.

My current YOC is 3.97% – meaning that I am not only on track for this goal but also that my portfolio has some more room for low yielders with above average dividend growth rates.

Finally, goal #5 is about keeping my trading cost low. As I do not my consider myself a trader but an investor, my ideal holding period for a stock is forever. By definition this allows me to keep my trading cost modest – buy once, (almost) never sell and simply start collecting the dividend.

I actually got some unexpected help in achieving this goal – my broker Fidelity cut it’s trading fees from $7.95 to $4.95.  Five out of my six Q1 purchases were still under the old fee structure (unfortunately!) so my first quarter trading cost came to $44.70.

This number means I am above the target ($44.70 * 4 comes to $178.80) and I need to lower my trading cost going forward.

With the new fee structure I have about 21 trades left until I reach my $150 dollar ‘threshold’, which comes out to about 2.4 trades for the remaining 9 months. I rarely make more than 2 trades per month so I have no concern there.

All in all I think my investment year 2017 is off to a great start. Perhaps I should have formulated more ambitious goals? I’d say a 4 out of 5 scores ain’t bad – on to the next quarter!

What do you think about these goals? How did you do in this first quarter? Leave a comment/reply to share your thoughts!

Dividend Update: March 2017

March is behind us; it’s time to look back and check on the dividends for the month. Given my strategy of DGI – it is really the dividend payouts that I care about. For each of the companies I invest in, I like to see a steady and growing stream of dividend payouts.

So how did I do in March?

Last month 21 companies sent me a dividend payout, adding up to a total of $282. That is definitely a record for me – and really getting close to $300 a month! Very pleased about this and my progress in building ever growing monthly dividend payouts.

The following table shows the tickers of the companies that made a March 2017 dividend payout to my portfolio. It features the dividend amount I received, the dividend per share and any change in payout as compared to the last payout moment.

TickerDividends ReceivedDividend per ShareDividend per Share Change


Some decent dividend increases here –  big fan of these double digit growth numbers. Delving into these numbers a bit – the UL dividend did not decrease but was lower (as compared to last payout) due to the exchange rate.

And as much as I appreciate a 186% dividend increase by BBL, unfortunately this was due to the fact that the dividend was drastically reduced in 2016.

MGA, GILD and GLW proved to be steady and reliable double digit dividend growers. Having recently bought an additional 25 shares of MGA  I am happy to see the dividend growth story continues.

Comparing the dividend payout of March 2017 to March 2016 (below) shows an increase from $146 to $282 – YoY growth of 93%.

How was your March?  Leave a comment/reply to share your thoughts!