Tuesday, 6 October 2015

September 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.
  • AstraZeneca--£18.98
  • Barclays--£4.11
    • Bought 1 new share.
  • BHP Billiton--£23.35
    • Bought 2 new shares
  • BP--£15.52
    • Bought 4 new shares
  • BT Group--£10.71
    • Bought 1 new share
  • Imperial Tobacco--£4.49
  • Lancashire--£3.02
  • Legal & General--£17.66
    • Bought 6 new shares
  • Royal Dutch Shell--£20.10
    • Bought 1 new share
  • SSE--£25.34
    • Bought 1 new share
  • Stock Spirits--£3.01
    • Bought 1 new share
  • Unilever--£8.44
  • XL Group--£0.32
Total for September: £155.04 ($234.73).

After a few months of pretty quiet dividend income I am back to a heftier one with September as the the big payout season hits. Indeed, this month's total of over £155 is three time larger than August and comfortably over twice larger than both June and July.

This month sees another diverse set of companies passing cash back to me. Healthcare, banks, insurers, miners, oil supermajors, telecoms giants, utilities and consumer products and beverages companies all make an appearance. This sort of income diversity is really nice to see.

Rather nicely I have also managed to add quite a nice amount of additional shares with this months income. Of the 13 companies that paid a dividend, 8 of them I was able to (modestly) increase my holdings in them with the proceeds. At some point I will take a look at the compounding effect of this on my portfolio. It would be interesting.

Historic Performance Comparisons

So, how does September 2015 compare to September 2014? Very well indeed! Last year I managed to pull in £63.14. This means that I am sitting on an income about 250% larger than this time last year. Excellent progress.

What is more, last September included the contribution from my previously high-yielding holding Catlin Group which was acquired in May this year. Consequently, this growth is actually even more impressive than it originally seems.

September also marks the end of the third quarter of 2015. Over this last quarter I managed to tally up £279.44 in dividend income. Not bad at all. Of course, this is considerably short of my record-breaking Q2 2015 total of £392.56.

Nonetheless, it is comfortably ahead of both Q1 2015 (£164.55) and--most importantly--Q3 2014 (£107.82). All in all, then the year-on-year quarterly improvement is about 260%. Another excellent performance.

Also--unlike Q2 2015--this quarter included no special dividends whatsoever. I can therefore expect to see the total around about the same next year.

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

This Month and My Annual Goals

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

Total Dividend Income: September's significant dividend income means I have made yet another hefty leap towards my 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 £836.55 for the year. This leaves me at an excellent 76.05% towards my total after 9 months:

Monthly Average Income: With June and July being in the low £70's and August in the low £50's needless to say that my monthly average income (which was at  one point threatening the £100 mark) has been dragged a lot lower of late. Last month the average sat at £85.19. 

However, this months heftier total has pulled me back up to a monthly average of £92.95.

This is a brilliant figure. If I could retain this throughout the rest of the year I would have an annual income of over £1115. As such, I am currently modestly ahead of my target income for the year.

Even better news, October should be an equally strong performing month. Maybe not quite as much as September has been but certainly enough to leave me ahead of my target going into the last two months which--at current predictions--look to be a bit slower. 

Monthly Expenses: July and August were both tough months expenses wise. Sadly, the same applies to September. 

Me and Miss DD are having to go to a wedding in Ireland later in October. Although I am looking forward to the opportunity to visit Ireland for the first time it is--unfortunately--rather expensive. As such, both September and October look likely to be "heavier" months again.

On the plus side, many of the large holiday expenses have fallen in September with some others spread out in October as well. As such, the month is not as bad as it could have been.

Nonetheless, my expenses for this month came out at £970.32 (higher than Augusts at £920.43). To be honest, I am pretty chuffed with this. 

Basically, the Ireland-specific expenses come in at about £300 in September. As such, without these "extraordinary" expenses I would be at about £670. This is pretty much identical as last months "underlying" expenses. Hopefully, once these "extraordinary" expenses start to slow down (which they will) I will be able to get down to monthly expenses rates of c.£700 again which would be a huge relief.

This higher figure does, of course, impact on my average monthly expenses figure. So, how does it look after September? With the "extraordinary" expenses included, my average monthly expenses has jumped from £841 to £856. That is quite a hefty jump up after spending most of the year watching the rate plummet. 

This also means that--annoyingly--I am now running a monthly average above my total for last year of £845. Hopefully, even if October is also an expensive month, November and December will see me able to pull it down a little (hopefully).

Work Freedom Day: And what about my Work Freedom Day? How many days have I bought myself for this year? The answer is despite another high expenses month my higher income for September has helped add an additional earned another 5 days. My dividend income now gets me up to 29 January 2015

Obviously this still leaves me 12 days adrift for reaching my target of 10 February 2015 by the end of the year! However, hopefully the combined effects of higher income and lower expenses in the near future should get me back on track. Nonetheless, the goal is looking increasingly challenging.

Portfolio Additions

September has been a modestly active month with a sale and two top-ups:
This new addition should add about £47 to my predicted annual dividend income. This is very good news indeed.

Luckily, some of that will also come in 2015 with a quarterly dividend payment from Unilever being paid in December. My top up has, in fact, pretty much doubled the original income I was expecting from Unilever in that month. Nice.

NB: I have also opened a position in Procter & Gamble. More on that next month, however.

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.
6Legal & GeneralLON:LGEN518£1,232.84£1,387.144.58%4.73%
8PZ CussonsLON:PZC404£1,192.61£1,224.024.43%2.71%
10Royal Dutch Shell "B"LON:RDSB66£1,059.96£1,418.273.93%7.73%
13Hansteen HoldingsLON:HSTN597£718.19£689.252.67%4.16%
14Imperial TobaccoLON:IMT21£706.02£599.642.62%3.81%
16Babcock InternationalLON:BAB73£671.60£709.882.49%2.57%
17National GridLON:NG72£662.26£637.302.46%4.66%
21Old MutualLON:OML326£624.29£623.662.32%4.54%
22BHP BillitonLON:BLT60£622.50£1,040.842.31%7.70%
23Stock SpiritsLON:STCK331£613.18£660.862.28%1.49%
24Rolls-Royce HoldingsLON:RR86£589.53£682.442.19%3.32%
25BT GroupLON:BT.A128£542.85£515.522.02%2.92%
27Banco SantanderLON:BNC98£347.36£515.861.29%4.24%
28Seeing MachinesLON:SEE6600£317.46£499.161.18%0.00%
30Procter & GambleNYSE:PG3£142.31£135.110.53%3.06%
32XL GroupNYSE:XL3£71.94£55.240.27%2.67%
33South32LON:S3258£37.27£0.000.14%-- %
TOTAL ($)$40,796.02$45,251.13


A few months ago I explained my new method for linking my investing activities to my charitable giving.

This month has seen an additional £5.05 added to my charitable microfinance account. That is my biggest single monthly contribution yet. This means that 2015's dividend income has resulted in £27.86 dropping into that account so far. This is a hefty £22.19 ahead of last years total by this stage in the year. 

How did you do?

How did your dividend income look for September? 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. Nice dividend income Drive. It's great to see your progress.
    I hope you're having a great week

    1. Thanks, Brian. It was a good month. I have been looking forward to September and October for a while as they both are strong. I am amazed at the progress this year considering the bumpy ride!

      Same to you! I am sadly, working away like mad at the moment!

      Keep up the good work over there!

  2. Ciao DD,

    One question: Banco Santander... Do you get to pay the Spanish dividend tax on this stock? I never seem to understand if it's like RDSB (UK company) or not... Either than this very solid PF, I am looking at adding UK stocks and as usual you are a great source of inspiration/info!
    ciao ciao


    1. Hi, Stalflare.

      Usually Santander deliver their dividend in SCRIP form automatically which skirts around the Spanish dividend tax. However, this was the first dividend of the new lower value and was paid cash rather than SCRIP so was taxed. The next payment will return to the tax free SCRIP method (thankfully)!

      Fundamentally, as I understand it, it is very different to Royal Dutch Shell (and, for that matter, Unilever). I know Unilever has two companies of sorts: a PLC and NV one registered and listed in the UK and Netherlands respectively. Santander does not have a similar set-up as I understand it.

      Glad you find my site of use and of interest. I am looking to build up my non-UK holdings for a little while at the moment to provide a bit more geographic diversity. As a result, some of your holdings are of interest too!

      Keep up the good work!

    2. Ciao DD, thanks for the explanation! I'll try to research more into this because of course double taxation is something that changes things a little... I am not sure if I can be of help on NON UK holdings, but I am happy to share the research/ideas on the few that i have. I also keep a "wishlist" at hand on some EU holdings, will be happy to share than if you need it!

      cia ociao


    3. My pleasure, Stal. Yes, definitely do. I am not sure if you still avoid teh withholding tax by buying Santander's UK-listed shares as a non-Uk investor. I assume you do, but I would definitely find out more!

      Thanks, may well take you up on that when I get the time to review some things again!

  3. Way to go D2 - an excellent month. Don't sweat the expense of visiting Ireland though, you're gonna love it! Plus, November and December should be quiet months. The weather helps you stay in and not do anything expensive! The only potentially expensive thing is heating...

    September was a great month for us, our biggest ever in terms of dividends in my NISA (the one I track on There's Value). I topped-up ULVR and bought RDSB in my investment account.


    1. Thanks, M. It was a great month. It has got me back on track with my targets as well which is nice.

      I am really looking forward to the trip. But I would prefer it had happened when my earnings situation was clearer! Yes, hopefully November and December will be quieter. We will see.

      Fortunately, where I live currently we have heating included in the rent so it is already budgeted for!

      Mine was the second largest ever single month after April. However, taking away special dividends it was my largest.

      Good buys. Unilever, of course, I topped up as well. RDSB is very attractive at current prices. I just want to keep my oil exposure fairly modest. At the moment it is close to approaching 8% (including the hefty drops of late!). That is about as large as I am happy with at present! That is especially true when you realise with BHP I have commodities exposure of over 10%! It will come down in time, I hope! I am happy to keep reinvesting the dividends though.

      Keep up the good work!

  4. A healthy month for dividend income for sure. I see UL paid us both for the month. Such a great consumer staple. Between reinvestment fresh buys and dividend increases you are setting yourself up for a nice Q4. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, DH. Yes, it was an excellent month. Looking forward to writing up October's as well!

      Unilever is one of my favourites. It was my top holding for quite sometime. However, it fell out of my Top 10 when I felt the price was a little rich so I was glad to finally build it back up again! Are you looking to build up your position anymore?

      Yes, Q4 should be solid. What is perhaps most exciting is next year!

      Same to you! Keep up the good work.

    2. I like UL long term and given the right price/value (under $40) I'll consider adding more. I'm not done with that name by any means

    3. Yes, some great results today to prove the point! I wonder when/if they go under $40 again. It is possible. Plenty of potential catalysts for a fall!

      The company is back up to my "bit too rich to top up" price now so I am glad I topped up when I had a chance!

  5. Congrats on a great month, DD - it's great to see you continue to reap benefits despite the recent market volatility.

    1. Thanks, weenie! Yes, a great month to a pretty rough looking market backdrop. Perfect indeed! Manage to top up at some very low prices indeed.

      This month has looked pretty good so far as well. Some positive news flow for some of the portfolio holdings as well!

  6. DD

    Great dividend income for the month, and great progress YoY.

    Keep the snowball rolling.

    Divorcedff - Sharon

    1. Thanks, Sharon! I am very happy indeed with my year-on-year progress. Hopefully I will see the same next year as well! Fingers crossed!

      Keep up the good work. You had a nice looking monthly income as well!

  7. Hi DD, very interesting, always a good read!
    Would welcome your thoughts on ASHM.......have you ever considered adding them to your portfolio?

    1. Interesting question. No, I have not seriously looked at Ashmore for some time. I will do when I get a moment and come back to you. Thanks for flagging it up!