Tuesday, 11 August 2015

July 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.
  • Britvic--£6.70
  • GlaxoSmithKline--£36.67
    • Bought 2 new shares
  • HSBC--£18.41
    • Bought 3 new shares
  • WPP--£10.90
Total for July: £72.68 ($113.54).

After a spectacularly strong showing in April and May (with over £150 dropping into my account in both months) June went down to a more "ordinary" level of about £71. July has followed a similar pattern with a little over £72 dropping into my account.

However, calling this "ordinary" is maybe a little unfair. It still remains well above my monthly average last year (£27.58). What is more, like June's income all income came from "ordinary" dividends rather than any help from "special" dividends. this should mean I will get at least around the same income in July 2016.

Overall, therefore, I am pretty happy with this figure in total. Another solid month to help push me towards my investing goals for the year.

Historic Performance Comparisons

So, how does July 2015 compare to July 2014? Rather nicely actually. Last year I managed to scrape together £19.90. That means this year's total is edging up towards being 4 times larger than last year. That is quite a nice annual progress.

What is more, after the strongest quarterly performance ever in Q2 2015 (£392.56!) July has given me a modest but welcomed start to Q3. I don't anticipate this quarter to beat last quarter. Indeed, I suspect that quarter to be the top performer for some time yet.

However, Q3 2014 threw together £107.82 in total. As such, the £72.68 July has provided so far has already seen me fast approaching this entire quarterly total for last year in just one month! Excellent news.

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

April and My Annual Goals

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

Total Dividend Income: June represents another pretty solid step towards my new 2015 dividend goal of £1100. So how close am I to my target now? Well, with this month's cash I am now at a total of £629.79 for the year. This leaves me at an excellent 57.25% towards my total:

Monthly Average Income: With June and July being in the low £70's I have now been pulled quite a distance from the nearly £100 per month average I was sitting at in May. Nonetheless, that figure was somewhat staggering. Clearly these more modest totals have pulled us away from that £100 average a little. Where to? £89.97. 

I am still amazed by this figure. If I could retain this throughout the rest of the year I would have an annual income of nearly £1,115. As it turns out, the next few months will be weaker which will obviously lead to a drop in this average. But I am in a fairly strong position to reach my goal at present nonetheless. 

Monthly Expenses: July has not been the best month expenses wise. A family member needed a new laptop and my current laptop fitted the bill perfectly so I thought it would be a good time to recondition it and give it to them. As a result, I bought a new laptop which--although I got heavily discounted--is obviously a large expense. 

In addition, it was Miss DD's birthday this month so we went to the Globe Theatre (as has become traditional) to see "As You Like It". It was, as always, an excellent performance. However, that whole trip was very expensive including food, travel, etc. It was worth every penny though!

I also had to travel to London more than usual this month (for work and pleasure) which made a dent on my wallet a little. 

Clearly, therefore, my expenses were not going to be particularly low. Despite this my expenses for the month came to an incredibly modest £1129.55. Incredible. What is more, if I take out the laptop purchase my expenses would have amounted to just £737.95. Very good indeed. 

This higher figure does, of course, impact on my average monthly expenses figure. However, first things first, I have to revise my previous average a little after I realised a miscalculation. Rather than my monthly average being £745.50 as stated last month. It was, in fact, £777.50. Still impressive, but not quite so!

So, how does it look after July? Without the laptop included, my average monthly expenses this year would be down further to £771.85. However, with the laptop purchase included it jumps up to £827.79. I will take that as my figure as I want my expenses to truly reflect what I spend.

That is clearly quite a hefty jump up after several months of progress downwards. Nonetheless, it was an expense that was timely and as I tend to keep my laptops for about half a decade it is a worthwhile long-term investment.

What is more, at nearly £828 per month my average expenses are still below 2014's average of £845. Pretty solid as far as I am concerned!

Work Freedom Day: And what about my Work Freedom Day? How many days have I bought myself for this year? Well, things conspired against a hefty jump this month. Indeed, I only move 1 more day into the year as a result with my dividend income only getting me up to 23 January 2015

All told, though, I am still making good progress. So this should mean that that I am on track to meet my 3 February 2015 target by the end of the year (hopefully)!

Portfolio Additions

During this month I opened a new position:
I also topped up one of my previous holdings:
All in all, these new additions should add about £52 to my predicted annual dividend income. This is a very healthy addition to my future income I hope!

That being said, for this year my Rolls Royce purchase will add nothing to my dividend income as I have missed both the final and interim payments. In contrast, for AstraZeneca my new top up will see me receive the interim dividend in September (about £19 for the entire holding) which is a nice addition to this year's tally.

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.
7Royal Dutch Shell "B"LON:RDSB65£1,210.23£1,401.754.48%6.46%
11Hansteen HoldingsLON:HSTN597£727.15£689.252.69%4.11%
13Babcock InternationalLON:BAB72£713.88£699.552.64%2.38%
14Imperial TobaccoLON:IMT21£703.13£599.642.60%3.83%
15Old MutualLON:OML326£691.45£623.662.56%4.10%
18BHP BillitonLON:BLT58£679.85£1,020.522.51%6.61%
19Rolls-Royce HoldingsLON:RR86£644.52£682.442.38%3.04%
20Stock SpiritsLON:STCK330£644.33£658.912.38%1.35%
21Legal & GeneralLON:LGEN246£641.32£671.642.37%4.68%
24PZ CussonsLON:PZC171£593.54£519.432.19%2.30%
25National GridLON:NG70£591.97£619.582.19%5.07%
26BT GroupLON:BT.A126£585.21£506.662.16%2.67%
28Banco SantanderLON:BNC98£430.81£515.861.59%3.25%
30Seeing MachinesLON:SEE6600£322.08£499.161.19%0.00%
32XL GroupNYSE:XL3£73.01£55.240.27%1.68%
33South32LON:S3258£47.42£0.000.18%-- %
TOTAL ($)$42,246.64$43,822.54


I have recently started linking my investing activities to my charitable giving.

This month has seen an additional £2.68 added to my charitable microfinance account. This means that 2015's dividend income has resulted in £20.58 drop into that account so far. This is a hefty £17.64 ahead of last years total by this stage in the year.

For my standard charity giving total May added a minuscule 68p. My total for 2015 is now £2.57. That is about £1.63 ahead of 2014 up to this point in the year.

How did you do?

How did your dividend income look for July? 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. Ciao DD,

    Great post and summary as usual, very good work there! I have two questions for you... How comes that Unilever is such a small holding in your PF? And I see that Interserve is the second one, but you never really talk about them, how comes?
    As to me, this month I have added Carillion and Legal&General and this should put a stop to additions in the UK for me (exchange rate is too high now).
    Ciao ciao and keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks, Stalflare. Glad you enjoyed the update!

      Interesting question. Unilever are my 9th largest holding so hardly tiny. I loaded up quite heavily on Unilever when they were selling cheaply. Since then they have been pretty richly valued in my opinion. I suspect that--as a bond proxy stock--they will come down somewhat when/if interest rates rise.

      Over the last 5 years or so they have traded on average around the 20 mark PE wise. I would not really seriously consider topping up until they got around that figure again (they are trading around the 22.5 mark at present). At the moment I have a target price of about 2700p. I am happy to be patient to top up the holding!

      The same applies for Reckitt Benckiser. However, until they come to a lower PE I will be sitting on the sidelines!

      I don't really talk about Interserve because I have not topped up my holding since March. In general, I only really comment on a company when I make a buy/sell decision. They are a great company even after the price advance recently. They are still--in my view--undervalued as both a growth and income stock. They deliver their results tomorrow, I believe.

      As you know, I am a fan of Legal and General at the moment. Carillion impresses me hugely as well at the moment. They recently announced some very encouraging contract wins which look excellent. Long-term both looks very good indeed. I am seriously tempted to top up my holding if I get spare cash.

      Thanks for the questions. Very interesting.

  2. Fantastic year on year progress there, DD and well done on a great (and growing) average monthly income! Good luck with the year end goal - as you continue to invest in quality companies, it looks likely that you will hit this!

    Good to see your charity account increasing too. I've just received my first 'repayment' from my Deki loan - the amount I received was less than what I was expecting so I guess exchange rate needs to be taken into account.

    I'll see how this goes but I hope to donate more.

    1. Thanks, weenie.

      Yes, I am very happy indeed with my progress! I did a quick run of the predicted income at the moment and it is a little tight as to whether I will hit the £1100. With some solid dividend growth I should still be on track!

      Yes, I have not received any repayments yet. Will be interesting to see how that runs. I am considering dropping the second charity method. Maybe a bit complex!

  3. DD,

    Another good month in the books, great job! Even though your monthly averaged dropped a little bit, it's still fantastic to see you're building passive income this quickly. I'm sure you'll see a strong finish this year, which will only help you jumpstart next year.

    Keep it up!


    1. Thanks, NMW. I am pretty happy with the result so far this year.

      After August I will see a couple of very strong months of income which should help drag the average back up above my target. At the moment, predictions based on last year's dividend payments would suggest I will be about £10 short. Dividend growth alone may help me cross that line.

      I don't have much excess cash to spare at the moment as I will be wageless quite soon for an indeterminate time. So I don't expect many (or any) fresh purchases for a little while which means I can't push my income across the target with new money, so to speak!

      We will see! Next year should be very solid indeed, I hope! One day I may sit down and make some predictions. But a bit early at the moment.