Sunday, 7 February 2016

December 2015: Dividend Income, Trading Activity and Portfolio Snapshot

Every month I am going to be providing a breakdown of the dividend income received from my shares. The overall monthly total will be included on the main “Dividends Received” page.
  • Barclays--£4.12
    • Bought 1 new share
  • BP--£15.99
    • Bought 4 new shares
  • HSBC--£19.47
    • Bought 3 new shares
  • Imperial Tobacco--£10.31
  • Lancashire--£58.71
    • Bought 9 new shares
  • Royal Dutch Shell "B"--£20.51
    • Bought 1 new share
  • Unilever--£16.49
  • Visa--£0.16
  • XL Group--£0.35
Total for December: £146.11 ($215.88).

December saw me again pull in the mid-£100s in dividend income. In September and October I saw similarly strong performances before a weaker November.

Last year, December represented my biggest month for the whole year (and first £100+ month). This year, at the back end of a strong year for me, December was not even on the podium. April, May and September all managed to pull in stronger performances. I like to see that in light of the dividend distributions I receive in December.

This month a fairly diverse set of companies passing cash back to me. However, unlike in previous months it was a little more focused. Oil majors played a huge role. As did consumer goods stocks.

However, the biggest individual contribution came again from insurer Lancashire who again distributed a generous special dividend. Indeed, this contributed over a third of my December income. Naturally, this hefty windfall does not occur every year. Nonetheless, with Lancashire it has been remarkably consistent.

Again, I managed to bring in a healthy number of new shares as a result of these dividend payments. Of the nine businesses who paid me in December, five saw my holdings grow as a result of the payments. The compounding machine keeps on rolling!

Historic Performance Comparisons

So, how does December 2015 compare to December 2014? Very well indeed! Last year I managed to pull in £111.70. That means that this year saw an income total 130% the size of last year. This is great news. Ok, maybe it is not the 325% growth I saw last month, but impressive all the same.

December also, obviously, marks the end of the fourth quarter of 2015. And what a quarter it was. It did not manage to overhaul the lead of Q2 2015 which sat at £392.56. Nonetheless, at £330.73 it was well ahead of my total at Q4 2014 which has not even breached the £200 mark, sitting, as it did at £171.24.

This is fantastic news and bodes well for a solid performance next year.

You can see more on my progress on my Dividends Received page. 

This Month and My Annual Goals

So how does December look in relation to my annual goals? Let's take a look:

Total Dividend Income: Needless to say, December's strong income has helped me out massively towards my 2015 dividend goal of £1100. But did I manage to pass it? I certainly did, for the year as a whole I managed to pull in a hefty £1171.16 in dividend income. A comfortable £71 over my goal! this is great news!

Monthly Average Income: This means that for the year, my monthly average dividend income sat at a nice looking £97.60. Ideally I'd like to see this cross the £100 mark in 2016. However, pressure on some of my commodity holdings' dividends may scupper that. We will see!

Monthly Expenses: Needless to say, December being December saw my expenses jump pretty significantly. Car hire, socialising and presents all fed into what would be one of the more expensive months of the year.

My expenses for December came out at £966.27. Fortunately, it did not breach the £1000 mark. Nonetheless, it was a high one especially as October and November has seen expense in the £700 area. To be honest, I am pretty chuffed with this as it was about the same as December 2014 which did not include the biggest expense: car hire.

All told, things look good for modest expenses into 2016. By year's end, my monthly average expenses were below 2014's. However, it was hardly a difference worth noting. In 2014 I averaged expenses of £844.20. In 2015, it was at £840.26. Hardly worth writing home about. 

Work Freedom Day: And what about my Work Freedom Day? How many days have I bought myself for this year? Thanks to a combination of nicely higher dividend income and flat expenses I have pulled in an additional 7 days (you read that right)! My dividend income now gets me up to 11 February 2015

Obviously this shoves me just ahead of my targeted 10 February 2015 by the end of the year! This is fantastic. This means that I bought almost a month and a half of my expenses from my dividend income alone. As you can imagine, I am delighted by this.

Portfolio Snapshot: Risers and Fallers

Below is the breakdown my holdings in terms of their weighting. I also include whether they:
  • ▲ = Moved  up places during the month;
  • = Moved down places during the month;
  • = Same place as last month;
  • = New addition this month. 
    •  = Large top-up purchase this month.
    •  = Large sale this month.
3PZ CussonsLON:PZC643£1,831.266.60%2.81%
7Legal & GeneralLON:LGEN518£1,387.205.00%4.20%
10Royal Dutch Shell "B"LON:RDSB67£1,036.783.73%8.22%
13Imperial TobaccoLON:IMT21£753.232.71%3.93%
14Babcock InternationalLON:BAB73£741.682.67%2.32%
17Hansteen HoldingsLON:HSTN607£698.662.52%4.34%
18National GridLON:NG72£675.002.43%4.57%
20BT GroupLON:BT.A128£603.782.17%2.63%
21Old MutualLON:OML329£588.582.12%4.86%
22Rolls-Royce HoldingsLON:RR86£494.501.78%3.96%
24Stock SpiritsLON:STCK331£461.751.66%1.98%
25BHP BillitonLON:BLT60£456.001.64%10.78%
26Seeing MachinesLON:SEE6600£346.501.25%0.00%
27Banco SantanderLON:BNC98£331.731.19%4.43%
28Procter & GambleNYSE:PG5£268.660.97%2.84%
30Johnson & JohnsonNYSE:JNJ2£139.040.50%2.48%
33XL GroupNYSE:XL3£79.550.29%2.41%
TOTAL ($)$40,972.17


A while back I explained my new method for linking my investing activities to my charitable giving.

This month has seen an additional £4.11 added to my charitable microfinance account. This means that 2015's dividend income has resulted in £38.24 dropping into that account so far. This is a hefty £32.57 ahead of last years total.

How did you do?

How did your dividend income look for December? What new holdings did you pick up or old ones topped up? 

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[Creative Commons image from Flickr user 401(k) 2012]


  1. Congrats on the dividend income! The growth from last year is great and it shows you are headed in the right direction.
    Having just started investing recently, my only dividend income for December was from BP. I have bought a couple of stocks since then - the volatility has helped! - which will help propel my dividend income going forward.

    1. Thanks Money Grower! Yes, it was a good month! It certainly does. I was very impressed as December was a good month in 2014. Special dividends bolstered this month again like last time. But they are very welcome!

      Yes, you are starting your investing at a pretty good time. I began investing more conscientiously just at the wrong time (at the end of the bull market). Unfortunate, but investing relies on quite a bit of luck!

      Good luck with your journey. Will try and find the time to potter round your blog sometime soon. Looks interesting!