Monday, 1 June 2015

May 2015: Dividend Income, Trading Activity and Portfolio Snapshot

Every month I provide a breakdown of the dividend income received from my investments as well as various updates on my goal progress and other portfolio activity for the month.

  • Amlin--£42.71
    • Bought 8 new shares.
  • Banco Santander--£10.18
    • Bought 2 new shares. The last of the higher dividend payouts.
  • Hansteen Holdings--£34.20
    • Bought 27 new shares.
  • Interserve--£43.40
    • Bought 6 new shares.
  • Old Mutual--£19.88
    • Bought 8 new shares.
Total for May: £150.37 ($229.83).

To see my overall dividend totals and those from previous months see my Dividends Received page.

Not Quite a Record Breaker

Another superb month. April saw me smash my previous highest monthly dividend income total with over £170 coming in. It would have been hard for May to beat that. However, it certainly came close with a massive £150 dropping into my account and places it as the second biggest I have received ever.

This will likely be different for this time next year for two reasons.

First, this was the last month in which we will see Banco Santander's old dividend policy in action. As a result, from this August's payment onwards we will see the dividend drop from almost €0.60 to €0.20 per share.

It is a dramatic cut but a wise one. It helps that Santander did this from a position of strength and we should see the dividend grow pretty rapidly from this point onwards--this time covered by cash.

Second, May also saw two of the five companies paying out this month pay out a special dividend as well (these were Amlin and Hansteen). Without these, the total would have been much closer to the £100 mark rather than £150.

Nonetheless, thanks to this added cash I have managed to increase my holdings in these two high-yielders for future payments which will be useful.

Historic Performance Comparisons

Those who have been following my progress closely this year will remember that last month--just one month into Q2 2015--I was already just 3p short from having an all-time high quarterly income total.

Needless to say, £150.37 is a quite a noticeable amount more than 3p. As a result, my Q2 2015 dividend income is the biggest quarterly dividend total ever and I still have one more month to go! I suspect this quarter will be a hard one to beat in the near future.

And how does May 2015 compare to May 2014? Rather nicely actually. last year I managed to scrape together £11.10. That means this year's total is nearly 14 times larger than last year. That is quite a staggering annual progress.

Clearly such a progress rate cannot continue indefinitely. But I am happy to enjoy it while it lasts!

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

April and My Annual Goals

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

Total Dividend Income: May 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 £486.12 for the year. This leaves me at an excellent 60.77% towards my total:

Monthly Average Income: This stronger month has also seen my monthly average income increase about £13 from the average last month (£84). It now sits at £97.23. This is way ahead of required target of £66.67 per month.

Monthly Expenses: Also, May was another good month for expenses reduction. Last month my expenses were an incredible £660. This month saw then rise noticeably to £725. Nonetheless, it does mean that my average annual expenses has dropped further from £825 to £775. That is very good going indeed. 

Work Freedom Day: And what about my Work Freedom Day? How many days have I bought myself for this year? The answer is--thanks to high income and low expenses--another full week. My dividend income now gets me up to 19 January 2015

All told, this should mean that that I am on track to meet my 3 February 2015 target by the end of the year!

Portfolio Additions

Also during the month I made several acquisitions. I added two new FTSE 100 holdings:
Two new small holdings also joined my portfolio after some corporate actions:
All in all, these new additions should add about £56 to my predicted annual dividend income (not including any prospective income from South32). This is pretty good.

However, with both AstraZeneca and Legal & General I will only see a small proportion of that income coming in this calendar year as I missed both the Final dividend payments for these companies.

XL Group is a different matter. It pays quarterly dividends and I should see three of them come in before the end of 2015. Of course, being such a small holding and small yielder this will--even omitting FOREX charges--bring in less than £1 to my dividend total for the year. Still, it is something.

Portfolio Snapshot: Risers and Fallers

A new thing this month will be a breakdown of 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. NB: If combined with any of the above symbols it means that it has had a significant new contribution during the month (not related to dividend reinvestment).
4Royal Dutch Shell "B"LON:RDSB64£1,263.04£1,382.075.05%6.23%
9Babcock InternationalLON:BAB72£810.00£699.553.24%2.10%
10BHP BillitonLON:BLT58£798.25£1,020.523.19%5.75%
11Hansteen HoldingsLON:HSTN597£739.09£689.252.96%4.04%
13Imperial TobaccoLON:IMT21£709.80£599.642.84%3.79%
14Old MutualLON:OML318£703.10£605.672.81%3.93%
17Legal & GeneralLON:LGEN246£658.05£671.642.63%4.49%
19National GridLON:NG70£653.80£619.582.61%4.52%
22PZ CussonsLON:PZC171£613.89£519.432.45%2.18%
24BT GroupLON:BT.A126£562.84£506.662.25%2.78%
26Banco SantanderLON:BNC98£453.70£515.861.81%3.25%
28Seeing MachinesLON:SEE6600£297.00£499.161.19%0.00%
30XL GroupNYSE:XL3£73.91£55.240.30%1.70%
31South32LON:S3258£62.79£0.000.25%-- %

Charitable Odd and Ends

My recently published scheme for linking my investing activities to my charitable giving ones means I can now write something in here.

This month has seen an additional £2.43 added to my charitable microfinance account. This means that 2015 has seen £14.86 drop into that account so far. This is a hefty £13.16 ahead of last years total by this stage in the year.

For my standard charity giving total May added a modest 43p. My total for 2015 is now £1.85. That is about £1.15 ahead of 2014 up to this point in the year.

How did you do?

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

Like what you have read?
Sign up to receive FREE email updates when new content is published:

Why not also follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook?

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


  1. This is all looking really good DD. That £800 target doesn't look as if it will a problem at all.

    Reading yours (and weenie's) updates this morning inspired me to take a look at the dividends coming into my ISA and I had £57.64 from a couple of my ETF's this month - all invested back in but it does give a bit of a warm glow all the same. :-)

    1. Thanks, Cerridwen! Yes I am making good progress so far this year. Hopefully pace keeps up the rest of the year. We will see! I certainly think that £800 should be easily reachable. The question is what target should replace it when it does!

      Yes, it is nice to watch the money coming in from a motivation point of view. Nearly £60 in the month is excellent. That will be, I think, around about the total for the next couple of months (maybe a bit more, I think). It grows rapidly doesn't it!

      Glad you found mine and Weenie's posts inspiring in some way!

    2. Nice update DD and congrats on another great month of dividends and also keeping your expenses down. Just comparing how you did last year must give you such a great buzz, as you can see how far you have come in just 12 months!

      @Cerridwen - £57.64 - that will cover a few bottles of wine so not to be sniffed at! :-)

    3. Thanks, weenie. I am delighted with this months progress all round. Long may it continue!

      What is also nice is that I sadly expect next year's non-organic growth to be much, much slower due to uncertainty about work. However, I can already see that I have set the portfolio up well for some pretty nice organic growth. We will have to see though!

      It is amazing to see the year-on-year comparison. I expect the whole year to look like this which is really nice!

  2. Hi DD,

    Congrats on a great month - not just for income but also for keeping expenses down as that's the silent battle which isn't often mentioned! And 19th January is awesome - over halfway to February!

    That's a shame about Banco Santander though - even at 20% growth a year it'll take 5 years to get back up to that €0.60 a share level. I'm generally limiting the financial sector in my portfolio and banks especially.

    I gained some South32 shares too from my BBL holdings, though mine showed up as the SOUHY ADR symbol. Which reminds me to write a humorous post on funny stock symbols as I keep thinking of Hong Kong Phooey when I see that on my brokerage report now.

    Best wishes,

    1. Thanks, DL. Yes, I have been amazed at the rate at which we have managed to get our expenses. Fortunately, it has been helped by the fact that Miss DD is now fully on board in that respect as well! There is still, I think, a bit more that can be trimmed. But we will have to see.

      The income level is very good for the last two months. Puts me well ahead of my needed average. The next few months are weaker relatively but hardly "weak" in an absolute sense. Should keep me well on track for the £800 and 3 February target!

      It is a bit of a shame with Santander. That being said, the yield was nearing 8% prior to that and had not been covered since the financial crisis (it was always compulsory SCRIP). Ironically the company could have continued offering that as it would have been covered soon by earnings (even as a SCRIP). However, tax changes made that less viable.

      A switch to the new system is much better. They are also still yielding over 3%. Hardly scraping income together! Once the banks recover I will be limiting exposure to them I suspect. Barclays is the most obvious one to set aside.

      Haha, you should definitely write a post on that. One of my favourites is Scottish American IT. Its ticker is the rather unfortunate "SCAM". You would have thought they would have erred away from that one!

      Maybe we should put together a list! I'm sure there are plenty more!