The goal of this blog will be in large part to chronicle and share my dividend portfolio’s progress on a consistent basis as time goes by. As such, I think that now would be a good time to review where I currently stand in order to paint a clear picture of where I started, and where I am heading. To do so, let’s start by taking a quick trip down memory lane.
I first started reading about dividend growth investing during the fall of 2014. At that point in time, I already had some basic investing knowledge and I had been socking away some money in my 401(k) every month, but that was as far as my investments went. The turning point occurred when I stumbled upon Lowell Miller’s fantastic book, The Single Best Investment. The book was my first introduction to the concept of dividend growth investing, and it was only after reading it that I started to take a serious interest in the stock market. I continued consuming pretty much any material I could get my hands on regarding income-driven investing, and I also discovered the wonderful online community of dividend investors, a group of individuals who, just like I am doing now with my own blog, were sharing their progress and insights on their quest to financial freedom.
I spent the next few month researching and devising my dividend-investing strategy. I realized that early financial independence was actually feasible for me if I intelligently and diligently worked for it. So in December 2014, I finally opened a cash account with the new commission-free brokerage Robinhood. I had about $3,500 in savings at that point, which I immediately and entirely transferred to my account. The first stock I ever purchased was Intel, a fine choice for a tech nerd like myself 😛
Fast-forward to the present day, and my portfolio has already come a long way since that first purchase of Intel. As of March 24th, 2015, I hold positions in the following 16 companies:
- BreitBurn Energy Partners
- BHP Billiton
- General Electric
- Johnson & Johnson
- National Oilwell Varco
- Omega Healthcare Investors
- Procter & Gamble
- Spectra Energy
- Textainer Group Holdings
- Wells Fargo
The portfolio’s paper value currently hovers in the mid/high 8000s, and I make a regular monthly contribution of around $500, sometimes a bit more if my budget permits. I also reinvest any dividends I receive of course, as that is the whole point of dividend growth investing after all! If you’d like to get a more detailed breakdown of my investments, feel free to check out my portfolio page, where I go over my equities into more depth.
My long-term goal is to own equally-weighted positions in a minimum of 30 companies, as that would both give me a fantastic amount of diversification and ensure that no stock makes up more than roughly 3% of my portfolio, thereby greatly minimizing the impact on my income even if one or two companies were to somehow go completely bankrupt. And as I (hopefully) earn more money at my job over time, I plan on increasing my monthly contributions accordingly in order to accelerate the snowball effect.
It’s funny how addicting dividend investing can become. Every month, I eagerly look forward to making a new stock purchase like a parched man craves finding an oasis in a searing desert. And when dividend payments come around…I may or may not start jumping up and down like a giddy little boy! Haha, what can I say, I just can’t help but get excited at the sight of my growing little compounding machine!
As the great Rockefeller himself once said, “Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in.”
Good ol’ J.D. definitely knew what’s up 😉