I also look back at any changes/improvements I may have made to my investment tracking system which includes tools and investment guidelines.
Therefore, as the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 has just ended, it is time to review how my portfolio has performed and what improvements I've made to my investment tracking system.
Investment Return Metrics
For the rolling 12-mo period, my dividend stock portfolio has returned 19.4%, compared to 14% for the S&P 500.
Year-to-Date Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is 15.5%.
|My Dividend Growth Portfolio's Year-to-Date IRR|
Bought additional shares of Abbvie (ABBV) at $61/share.
Bought Dominion (D) shares around $72/share.
Bought VF Corp (VFC) shares from $52 - $48/share using dollar-cost-average during Retail crash.
Bought Qualcomm (QCOM) shares using dollar-cost-average during recent crash after Apple lawsuit. Price ranging from $64 - $53/share.
Bought Pfizer (PFE) shares around $31/share.
Bought Target (TGT) shares around $58 - $57/share.
Bought additional shares of (PPL) utility around $36/share.
Bought Valero Energy Corp (VLO) around $67/share.
Bought additional shares of Omega Health Care (OHI) around $31/share.
Bought additional shares of W.P. Carey (WPC) around $61/share
During the past three months, I've sold or trimmed the following stocks in my portfolio. I normally don't sell any stocks unless one or more of the sell guidelines are triggered. All sale proceeds are reinvested back into the portfolio.
Total Long-Term Capital Gains of 46%.
Sold all shares of WGL at 85% long-term profit. Reasons: Company is being bought by a Canadian energy company. Selling all shares and taking a nice profit that will be reinvested.
Trimmed DLR position by half at 106% long-term profit. Reasons: Overvaluation. Taking original principal out and reinvesting in a different dividend stock with a higher current yield.
Sold all shares of NSC at 34% long-term profit. Reason: Dividend increase was late and too small. Stock overvalued and in bubble territory. Taking profits and reinvesting in a higher yield and dividend growth stock is a better strategy.
Sold all shares of UNP at 10% long-term profit. Reasons: YOC too low at around 2.6%. Stock was also overvalued and was in a bubble territory. Reinvested principal and capital gains in a higher current dividend (>3%) and dividend growth stock.
Sold all shares of PG at a 5.5% long-term profit. Reasons: YOC too low and most recent dividend increase was merely 1% which is way below the criteria of my Dividend Growth target.
Total Dividend Income Increase: 8.4%
Dividend Increase due to New/Reinvested Capital and Dividends: 6.4%
Current Yield-On-Cost (YOC): 5.0%
The average dividend growth rate (DGR) of these 17 stocks is a respectable 5.22%.
Ford and GM were the only two stocks that did not increase dividend when they were expected to. Ford did however pay a supplemental dividend of 5% this year which is lower than the supplemental dividend from last year. Whereas GM did not increase or gave any additional dividend than the regular dividend.
I don't always sell stocks right away if they fail to raise dividends, mainly because companies or certain industries are cyclical and in a downturn companies may choose to temporarily freeze dividend (meaning give no increase) to preserve cash which is a prudent move as I would rather have them freeze dividend then cut it.
Though, F and GM are currently not in a downturn, they are however cyclical companies and auto industry is notorious for its up and down cycles based on economy. The industry is currently seem to be at the top of its cycle. Therefore, these companies are likely reserving cash in preparation for the downturn. Both companies pay a hefty dividend and my YOC is excellent, therefore, I will likely hold them for now but may decide to exit or trim these positions with a profit.
There were no dividend cuts during Q1 which speaks for the high quality of stocks in my portfolio. A dividend cut would be an immediate sell based on my investment rules/guidelines.
Below is a list of stocks in my portfolio that increased dividends (with the exception of F and GM) during the first quarter:
Current Portfolio Composition
Not much has changed in the overall portfolio composition other than I increased my investments in Utility and Retail sectors while picking up some additional shares during dips in REIT sector. All of these sectors have excellent yields. The Retail sector is a bit scary and quite depressed at the moment, therefore, I'm only investing in top Retail stocks or companies that are dividend aristocrats, have high current yield, with strong balance sheets and free cash flows.
I did sell two of my Industrial stocks (UNP and NSC) as they were quite overvalued as rest of the industrial sector while having measly dividend yield and dividend growth.
Spreadsheet Tracking Improvements
I'm constantly working to improve my investment tracking capability as it is crucial for the success of any investment that you must be able to effectively track and analyze your portfolio at any given time.
My investment tracking system consists of multiple tools such as Quicken, Excel Spreadsheet, valuation tools such as FastGraphs and MorningStar as well as my constantly evolving business plan which keeps me grounded to my investment principles.
A system like this takes years to develop unless you are a client of a big investment firm which has the resources and manpower to collect, track, and analyze huge amounts of financial data. I've spent years and numerous hours developing my own investment system that meets and exceeds my investment needs and expectations. By no means I am trying to compete with big investment firms, though how I track my investments is designed and tailored for my own needs and is more than sufficient for the purpose of long-term dividend investor.
Below are some of the improvements I have made to my tracking spreadsheet in the past three months:
- Added Yahoo Finance API to update stock prices and other stock related data within the spreadsheet. Previously, I had to import this data from Quicken which was somewhat cumbersome. This also makes my tracking spreadsheet work independent of Quicken tool.
- Added a 'Refresh' button to update the spreadsheet data on-demand using Yahoo Finance APIs.
- Added improved dividend growth tracking and dividend increase projections.
- Added Dividend Ex-date and Pay-date columns and added them to Yahoo API update.
- Added 52Week % Change, Dividend Ex-date, and Dividend Pay Date columns and linked them to Yahoo finance updater.
- Added Watchlist section for up-to 10 stocks with yield and valuation data. The watchlist automatically updates and highlights a stock when it is within buy target (based on target yield).
You can see below a sample portfolio view of my updated spreadsheet tracker tool. I hope you see it as an example or inspiration to build your own investment tracking tool/spreadsheet:
|Sample Portfolio using my own Stock/Dividend Tracker Spreadsheet|
In summary, the portfolio performed quite well and increased dividend income by 8.4%. Dividend growth rate for the first quarter was 2%, full year projection is 9.14% as I'm expecting some larger dividend increases in the later quarters. On a rolling 12-mo basis, my portfolio has an annual return rate of 19% when compared to 14% for S&P 500.
There were only two stocks (F and GM) that did not raise their dividends when expected and I will be monitoring them closely and may sell them to take profits and reinvest the proceeds in other dividend growth stocks.
Overall, it has been an awesome first quarter and if I was running a company instead of an investment portfolio, my shareholders would have been quite happy with my performance.
Hope you have enjoyed my update and see it as a motivation to start your own investment portfolio of dividend stocks. It does take time, diligence, and lot of discipline, but at the end you will get the fruit of your labor in the form of better returns than any passive investment can provide, not to mention the satisfaction that you did this all by yourself.
Disclaimer: Author of this article is not a licensed/registered financial or investment advisor and does not provide investment advice. Any mention of stock names/tickers in this article or website is not a recommendation to buy or sell. This article is for informational purpose only. Full disclaimer can be read here: Full Disclaimer