First Quarter Dividend Update

It has been a while since we’ve posted anything about our side income, mostly because not much as happened.  Now that the first quarter is in the books and all of our stocks and index funds have paid their quarterly dividends, I figured it would be a good time for an update.

Last year, we made $3,538.56 in dividends in our taxable accounts.  We also received dividends in tax-advantaged and retirement accounts, but I don’t really ever look at those and don’t view them as a potential source of income in early retirement so they are not included in these numbers.

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of $6,000 in dividends for 2016.  I knew this would be super aggressive and there would be a good chance we’d fall short.  So how are we doing so far?

The chart below shows 2015 and 2016 actual dividends by month as well as a monthly goal of $500 needed to reach our $6,000 target.  These are the bars at the bottom of the graph.  The lines show cumulative dividends accrued over the course of the year.

Q1 2016 Dividends

You may have noticed, at $986.53 in dividends year-to-date we are slightly ahead of 2015 and well shy of the $1,500 we hoped to be at by this point in the year.  In reality though, we’re actually doing a fair amount better than last year.  In January 2015, we received a special dividend of $280 from one of our stocks, which accounted for nearly 30% of our dividends in the first quarter.  We did receive a $100 special dividend this quarter, but that still puts us about $200 over last year’s pace.

As the year progresses, I’m anticipating our 2016 cumulative dividends to start distancing themselves from the 2015 actuals.  However, unless we get a huge influx in cash in the equity markets, which may happen once we sell our current house, it’ll be tough to meet our goal.  We’ll continue to do quarterly updates to show our progress.



8 thoughts on “First Quarter Dividend Update

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks, Kalie. It was definitely nice to see our portfolios bounce back and have our accounts look “normal” again. Eventually, I’d like to get our annual dividends in the $10-15K range. A passive income stream like that would greatly reduce our need to draw down principle in ER. As you guys say, it’s all about gaining flexibility.


    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks for stopping by. It is all being reinvested. We both work full time and pull in above average salaries that provide more than enough income for now. We’ll probably start getting the dividends in cash to supplement our early retirement income in about 10 years.


    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks. One of our stocks that we have a fairly large position in just cut their dividend earlier this week so that’ll make it a bit tougher. It really emphasized the risk of putting too much on one company. I’ve been funneling a good amount into index funds lately and will likely continue to rebalance our portfolio as opportunities present themselves.


      • our next life says:

        We’re big fans of index funds, so definitely support some shifting. Having to pick individual stocks feels a lot like timing the market (plus some of the “best” dividend stocks are companies that make the worst stuff for society!). So, yeah, in our case it’s better just to buy index funds and not get all in our heads about it. But I’m pretty sure that’s just us. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ditching the Grind says:

          Eventually, I’d like to have only a few individual stocks to hold long term and then the rest in index funds. It’s just so much simpler that way and I don’t want to keep track of so many things. I’ll likely keep a small trading account to play with just for fun.

          Liked by 1 person

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