Friday, 1 May 2015

April 2015: Dividend Income and Trading Activity

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--£14.18.
    • Bought 5 new shares
  • Catlin Group--£12.29
    • Since left my portfolio after being acquired by XL.
  • Diageo--£14.84
  • GlaxoSmithKline--£43.93
    • Bought 2 new shares
  • HSBC--£38.06
    • Bought 5 new shares
  • Lancashire--£35.73
    • Bought 5 new shares.
  • PZ Cussons--£4.44
    • Bought a new share.
  • Sky--£7.75
Total for April: £171.21 ($263.32).

What a superb month. March saw me just fall short of the £100 mark. However, with April I have sailed past it easily and even started to threaten the £200 monthly dividend income mark.

It is quite remarkable that I have received over £170 just for having the belief that a handful of companies have solid business models.

This also makes April 2015 my single strongest month ever. It has easily passed the previous strongest month, December 2014, which pulled in a little over £111.

More remarkable still, with one month gone in Q2 2015 I have already nearly knocked together I am in my highest quarterly dividend income period ever. It is just a few pennies (3, in fact) behind Q4 2014s total of £171.24.

I think I can make at least 3p in additional income over the next couple of months(!). In which case, a new record has been reached!

And even more remarkable (can it get more so!), I have by April already beaten the entire dividend income total for 2014. That is superb progress!

It must be said, though, that this month was helped along a lot by some unusual occurrences. Catlin's payment was a special dividend and the last one I will receive from the company before it is purchased at the start of next month. Similarly, the Lancashire transaction--rather like the similar one in December--includes a hefty special dividend attached as well.

Nonetheless, even with this factored in we would have had by far my strongest single month.

This month is also way ahead of April 2014 in which I earned nothing whatsoever. A pretty good year-on-year increase by anyone's measure!

What is also great is that it is from a nicely diverse body of companies. Certainly financials dominate with two banks and two insurers. But also two consumer companies, a media play and a pharmaceuticals giant. A pretty nice mix.

April and My Goals

April represents another healthy step towards my 2015 dividend goal of £800. So how close am I to my target now? Well, with this month's cash I am now at a total of £336.41 for the year. This leaves me at an excellent 42.05% towards my total:

And what about my Work Freedom Day? How many days have I bought myself for this year? The answer: 12 January 2015. Hopefully this means that I am on track to meet my 3 February 2015 target by the end of the year!

Also, April was a good month for expenses reduction. This month my expenses amount to about £660. That is the smallest I have had ever since I started tracking my expenses. It also means that my average monthly expenses has dropped to £824.50. That is very good going. 

That being said, I expect this to be an outlier. Other months I would not expect the expenses to be quite so low. But we will see!

This stronger month has also seen my monthly average income increase about £30 from the average last month (£55). It now sits at £84.11. 

May should also be a strong month (though not so much as April) which should keep me striding towards my goals for the year. Watch this space. 

Portfolio Additions

Also during the month I made several acquisitions. I added to a holding:
I also introduced two new holding to my portfolio:
All in all, these new additions should add about £77 to my predicted annual dividend income. This is pretty good.

With RDSB I should see three of the four quarterly payments in this calendar year. This will add handsomely to my annual income and towards my £800 target. 

With WPP I should see both an Interim and Final dividend hit my brokerage account in 2015 which again is helpful for my £800 goal.

However, with Britvic I have missed the bigger Final dividend payment in 2015 leaving me with the smaller Interim only in this calendar. This is no great shakes as I should be comfortably on target for now.

How did you do?

How did your dividend income look for April? 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. This is an excellent total for April. I expect your dividends to grow since you reinvested them in more shares.

    1. Thanks, Laura. Yes, currently I am happy reinvesting my dividends as most of my holdings remain fairly valued. When their price increases a bit more I will seriously think about switching off automatic reinvestment and start targeting a bit more.

      I wrote about this about a year ago. But I am in the process of reviewing it and writing up my thoughts. Watch this space!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

      (PS: I tried commenting on your Tesco post. However, as you don't let "anonymous" commenters--which also allows people to post as I am now--I could not do so. It may be worth switching that on so it is easier for people to post! up to you, of course!)

    2. Oh I did not realise this. I must change it. I am thinking of investing in GSK. I checked the dividends for this and they have a decent yield.

    3. No, I didn't at first either. I only learnt this by luck!

      GSK is well worth considering. It has an excellent dividend record and is in a very good defensive industry.

      However, dividend cover is somewhat threadbare at the moment (about 1.1 times covered by earnings). This should improve in time and their cash flow is still very good so it should not be too seriously under threat as long as growth comes sooner rather than later!

      Great company for the long term!

  2. What a great record-breaking month, DD - well done!

    It's great to see that as your dividends grow and you make progress on reducing your expenses, that gap between income and expenses decreases, getting closer to your goal of living off your dividends - brilliant!

    Just had a look at your dividends received page and those graphs are looking impressive. I've not been receiving dividends long enough to justify a graph but hopefully mine will trend in the same direction too!

    Wishing you a great bank holiday weekend!

    1. Thanks, weenie. I know! I was surprised by the likely total when it was becoming clear the ballpark figure it would be at the start of this year. Really very nice indeed.

      You're right. In fact, with my monthly expenses so low this month it means they were almost covered a 1/3 by my dividend income. Pretty amazing! Sadly, for the near term my expenses are unlikely to remain that low nor my dividend income so high. But it a signal to the future!

      I am sure you're trend graph will indeed start looking that way. As your update showed, you're making excellent progress so far! I have another where year-on-year monthly performance is more clearly shown. I can't work out how best to use it at the moment though.

      You too! Had a great bank holiday weekend. Let's hope the weather is better.

  3. Superb month,great to see! I'm not entirely sure of what my investment strategy is going to be long term.. but it will almost certainly be involving dividends. I have always been fascinated with creating a passive income and posts like this show how it may be possible.

    I'll be writing up my financial foals this weekend with the inspiration from this blog and others! Keep it up, i look forward to reading more.

    1. Glad that it inspires you a little. I think dividend investing is pretty sound (or else I would not be trying it!). I have got this far after about 18 months which I am pretty chuffed with!

      I look forward to reading your goals when you have put them together. Do remember to add a link to the post when you have published it if you remember.

  4. Reading your update has inspired me to start thinking about my own plan to switch to "dividend friendly" investing when we retire in order to boost our income. I doubt that I will ever buy single companies but I do need to start thinking about how (and when) to transfer to higher yielding funds.

    Well done on your progress this month!

    1. Thanks, Cerridwen. April has been a particularly (and, I think, unusually) strong one.

      I think when it comes to dividends and retirement the best bet is investment trusts over funds. Funds tend to have highly variable dividend distributions. However, the best ITs--which are often income focused--have much more solid dividend growth records.

      I wrote something of my current (rapidly shifting) plans a while back as "Shifting My Portfolio into "Retirement Gear": Primitive Proposed Plan and Timescales"--see: you may have read it already.

      It does not mention a lot about my specific plans, rather how I may shift to more pooled over individual investments over time. However, I do highlight that ITs from an income perspective seem the soundest prospect!

  5. DD

    Great dividend icome, keep pthe snowball rolling.

    1. Thanks, FF. I am certainly starting to feel the momentum growing. Can't wait to get to the stage when each month consistently gets to around this level in income. Then I would be turning around about £2000 a year in dividends. Hopefully won't be long!

      Keep up the good work!

  6. Hi D2,

    Congrats on a great month!

    It's great to know that the companies you own are working around the clock and around the world to pay you more dividends! One of these days I'll total up the number of employees from the companies I have shares in to make the point.

    Looking forward to watching your Work Freedom Day reach 3-Feb!

    Best wishes,

    1. Thanks, DL. April has been my strongest so far by a country mile. Next month is going to be pretty strong as well. I think it then goes a little quiet for a while afterwards though! We will see. Great to see months like this though!

      I know what you mean. Also, seeing the companies you have a share in around the place. Interserve sign on that building, BP petrol station there, Robinsons squash in Tesco, HSBC bank on the corner, Dove soap in the corner shop. Literally goes on and on!

      That would be a really interesting task to do! DL the "mega-employer"! I have often been tempted to work out revenue according to countries of each of my holdings to work out my international diversification. But that is a herculean task! Maybe one day!

      Thanks. I am looking good for that WFD goal so far. Let's hope I am truly on track!

      Watch this space!

  7. Hey, just a quick question: for several stocks you wrote that you bought 1 (2,3,4...) additional shares, how did you do that?
    I just moved to the UK and now I'm wondering if you guys have some kind of DRIP here... Because back home in Germany, we don't.

    1. Good question. My broker has its own automatic dividend reinvestment system in place. Basically it takes your dividend and buys as many whole shares as it can after taking out a 2% brokerage fee (and stamp duty where appropriate).

      DRIP is really company specific. Some have DRIP programmes, others do not. My brokers particular system is a sort of ersatz version of a companies own DRIP programme. You will probably find most UK brokers have something vaguely similar in place.

      In reality, I am reconsidering my current policy of automatic dividend reinvestment. However, I have not yet made my decision on it yet!