Looking back, July was a pretty monumental month for me.  My daughter turned four months old, went to an in home daycare for the first time, Cleveland hosted the MLB All Star Game, and it was my birthday!   We talk about milestones on this website a lot.  Although it wasn’t an investing milestone, my birthday did represent another milestone that I won’t talk about.  But I am learning quickly that time does fly and things can happen with a blink of an eye.   That’s why today, I am going to reflect on the dividend income received last month.  Here is my July dividend income summary!

July Dividend Income Summary

This July, my wife and I received $304.26 in dividend income.  That is a 68% increase compared to last July’s total of $180.67.   I’ll never complain about an increase like that.  Here is a chart detailing the individual dividends received:

July dividend income

This was a short, sweet, but effective dividend month.  The first month of the quarter is the slowest dividend month for many of us. Hence, we only received 11 individual dividend payments.   What were the major drivers of the YOY dividend increase?

  • Four new positions over the last 12 months: LEG, IRM, ITW, and OXY.  Of the four, OXY is the most recent addition to my dividend portfolio.   The three companies pay very nice dividends and and a wallop of forward dividend income to my portfolio.  Heck, after OXY’s price continues to fall and their recent dividend increase, I may even add to my position if the price is right!
  • I added to my CAH position in the last 12 months as well.  The $8 increase was a result of this smaller purchase and the dividend increase announced last year.
  • The PM dividend decreased slightly due to the fact I transferred my brokerage last year and had to liquidate my fractional shares.  I am still waiting to get back to the same level for PM.
  • Last, but definitely not least, the good old power of dividend reinvesting and dividend increases.   Looks at the YOY increases for companies where I did not make any additional purchases (O for example).  Dividend investing is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?
  • P.S.  I wrote about this earlier in the month.  But I am starting to get worried about my SLB dividend.  This may be the last time I enjoy a large dividend yield before the company cuts their dividend.

Portfolio News and Updates

Last month I hinted that there have been some frustrations mounting on my end.  Those frustrations have continued through July as well.  In this section, I like to summarize the additional dividends received from stock purchases, 401k contributions, and dividend increases.   My frustration starts with the first item on the list, so let me dive right in.

The chart below shows additional dividend income from purchases and 401(k) contributions.  Does something odd look missing once again from this this chart?   

If you guess that it looks like I didn’t purchase stock during the month once again, you would be correct!  We only received additional dividend income from my wife’s 401(k) contributions.  For the second consecutive month, I have sat on the sidelines.  The market has made this a little easier.  It seems like there are a lot of companies trading at insane valuations.  But there is definitely value to be had out there.  And I have not taken advantage of it.  This is a trend I must find a way to reverse in the second half of the year.  My journey towards financial freedom is too important to let this stall.

This next chart shows the additional dividend income received from dividend increases.   I actually summarized both of these dividend increases already in my monthly “Expected Dividend Income” increases article.

The dividend increase from NSC was expected and it was very close to my projection.  The true surprised was the small dividend increase from OXY!  After announcing their acquisition of Andarako, which will add a lot of debt to their balance sheet.  I was not expecting OXY to announce an increase.  I don’t really care that it was small.  To me, it sends a great message to investors that the company is not messing around.   I am very excited to see how this acquisition plays out.

In total, I have received $51.55 in additional dividend income from 401(k) contributions and dividend increases.  Not bad, but I’ve definitely had better months.


So where does this leave me for the month?  That is a great freaking question to ask.  I think it is bittersweet.  I’ll start with the sweet.  I couldn’t be happier that we crossed $300 in dividend income in this “off” month.  It is great to see our dividend income grow compared to the last year.  Especially at a 68% growth rate.  That is great.  But it is bitter because once again, I made no stock purchases.  I’m worried that this is going to trickle down and result in slowing dividend growth rates in the second half of the year.   But that is something I can quickly remedy by taking a more active role in the marketplace as new opportunities present themselves.

Luckily, I should have some extra capital returning to my bank account.  I earned over $1,000 from new bank account sign ups and the holding period is almost up.  Thus, I will be able to return that capital to my savings or investment account and begin the process of growing my dividend income once again!   Let’s look ahead, keep growing, and continue earning income at a great rate.  Lets just make every dollar count!

How was your month of July?  Did you have an insane growth rate?  What stocks did you purchase during the month?  Were you surprised by the OXY dividend increase as well?



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