Ah another month in the books and another check in on how I’m progressing this year to funding my freedom from work place politics and being a worker bee in the proverbial company wheel. March was a fantastic month down in Arizona, it’s probably one of my favorite months in the desert as the days are warm usually 70-90, which for this Midwesterner is absolute paradise, and the nights drop to the 40s and 50s which makes for some fantastic fire pit whether. All in all life is grand down in the Valley of the Sun this month.
March marks the first month where my mutual funds pay out and it’s one of the months I look forward to the most and the end of every quarter tends to drive the quarterly results for me. Overall I had $567.66 in dividend income which was actually a surprise 10.83% decrease from my previous total the year before of $636.66. I am actually surprised by this and of course had to do some investigating. First let’s do a breakdown by account.
Roth IRA: I had dividends from the following companies in my Roth and my income was down a bit in the account. The drive is HCP as they spun of a group of tenants into the stock QCP which has yet to pay a dividend. I only have 15 shares of QCP, but it had the impact of eliminating $15 of income in my passive portfolio
HCP – 3/14 – $28.89
O – 3/16 – $35.69
XLF – $6.15
XLRE – $1.81
VWLEX – $116.76
Traditional IRA – This account had almost $90 less of income in it this month which was super surprising to me, but one of my larger holdings did not pay their dividend in March so I suspect that VIG will throw roughly hundred bucks my way early in April so I’m no so concerned about it, just looks like the income is coming a month later.
RDS.A – 3/27- $3.20
RDB.B – 3/27 – $146.61
AIG – 3/29 – $64.72
BP – 3/31 – $95.37
Investment – This is the account that I really try to watch to see if I’m making headway into retiring early as it’s the one I would have to live off of until I get a lot close to retirement age. The income from this account was $69.36 which is an 86.05% increase from March the prior year which was $37.28. That’s a pretty solid increase on my smaller account and the feel good moment of the afternoon.
PFE – 3/2 – $32.00
STAG – 3/16 – $12.62
KHC – 3/17 – $1.25
XLU – 3/28 – $23.49
While I didn’t grow all of my accounts I view this as a really good learning tool for those of us pursuing passive income strategies. The first takeaway is that changes happen. I had a company effectively cut their dividend by spinning off a portion of their assets into another entity that has yet to pay a dividend. HCP is still a great company in my opinion and I am honestly excited for the additional opportunities that it will have in the future and what QCP will do a well, but it highlights that a cut can and will happen at some point and it had a minimal effect on the income in that part of my portfolio.
The second takeaway is funds do not always pay based on their historic trends. Vanguard has a history of paying their dividend on their time and not mine. This means I can’t count on that income being there on a specific day and would need to plan accordingly. Either way it’s a nice life lesson to get because it teaches that things do not always revolve around us and we need to be able to plan in advance. Something that I believe is lost on many individuals these days and what contributes to our retirement woes.
The best takeaway though is that even though I have a couple accounts paying less, I know why and it’s easily explainable and in one case I just have another thing to look forward to next month. The almost 90% growth in my investment account is a fantastic feeling and one that will be hard to replicate probably in the future, but I can’t wait to try.
How was your monthly wrap? Did you grow as much as your goal?