For this blog’s fiftieth post – milestone, baby! – it’s only fitting that I post a net worth update. As most of you know I do this every month, so apart from this being my fiftiesth article there’s nothing special about this update. What I’m trying to do here is, on the one hand, give you guys a clear insight in my journey and how the road to financial independence differs from one month to the next, while on the other hand also trying to keep myself motivated.
October proved to be a bumpy month for most financial bloggers out there. Even though my net worth was up last month, strong market volatility reduced growth to a minimum. At the end of October, however, stocks picked up again and sent most people’s portfolios flying, including mine. I also managed to add another €1,500 to my personal net worth by saving rigorously.
Taking into consideration both these factors, my net worth grew by 5.08% since October, 15th to €47,787. That’s an increase of over €2,426! Even though almost €2,500 doesn’t sound like much, it’s more than my monthly take home pay, awesome. This increase also puts me on track to cross the coveted €50,000 mark by the end of this year.
Because I’m still a Belgian living in Belgium I list all my holdings in the almighty Euro – ahem – even if the underlying stocks trade in another currency, such as the Dollar or British Pound. The last-known exchange-rate is used to convert foreign currencies to my home coin. I should find a way to display my net worth in my new favourite currency though.
Dividend Growth Stocks
November is the fourth month in which I follow the dividend growth investing strategy and it begins to show in my portfolio. After starting with a measly €4,000 in August I’m now almost at €10,000 in invididual stocks. As you can see in my sidebar this portfolio has yielded me €42 already since receiving my first dividend payment at the end of September.
Since my previous net worth update I’ve added some more great positions to my passive income machine, like I wrote about in my last savings rate report. Together with the majority of dividend growth investors in our community I’m now happy to be a shareholder of Aflac (AFL), a US-based insurance company with strong revenue from the Asia region. With the recent slump in mining stocks I also decided to initiate a position in BHP Billiton (BLT). Dropping oil prices also pushed oil stocks lower, which triggered me to purchase 92 cheap shares of British Petroleum (BP).
If these three companies stick to their history of continually increasing dividend payments I’ll be sure to receive at least a hefty €50 after taxes from them every single year. To me that sounds amazing! Aflac, BHP and BP will pay for six months of my Google Play Music subscription next year, awesome!
The cost basis for each position includes the price of the shares, a 0.25% stock market tax and brokerage fees. Even though the value gain of my dividend portfolio doesn’t matter too much, I’ve added it here for the sake of completeness.
|Ticker||Company||Shares||Cost basis||Mkt. value||Gain|
|BLT||BHP Billiton plc||24||495.24||495.89||+0.13%|
|DE||Deere & Company||7||452.61||489.50||+8.15%|
|JNJ||Johnson & Johnson||6||473.79||520.42||+9.84%|
|PG||Proctor & Gamble||9||575.36||635.26||+10.41%|
|RDSB||Royal Dutch Shell||20||585.25||579.40||-1.00%|
|KO||The Coca Cola Company||17||540.05||578.95||+7.20%|
The beauty of exchange-traded funds is that they provide a set-it-and-forget-it approach. As such, they’ve been trucking along just fine without me doing anything. With the strong pullback in stocks last month, almost all my ETFs were in the red for this year, but look at what happened since then: a strong increase in both the developed and emerging markets.
Even though I’m mostly focussing on dividend growth stocks, I’ll probably add some more to the MSCI World fund next month to rebalance my portfolio a bit.
|Ticker||ETF||Cost basis||Mkt. value||Gain|
|IWDA||iShares Core MSCI World||4,982.96||5,379.21||+7.95%|
|IEMA||iShares MSCI Emerging Markets||1,214.59||1,259.01||+3.66%|
|IMAE||iShares MSCI Europe||3,561.94||3,495.36||-1.87%|
My other holdings include a tax-advantaged pension fund with automated investments, a savings account through an insurance firm with a guaranteed yearly return of 3.15%, and an emergency fund.
|Name||Cost basis||Current value||Gain|
|Pension fund||760.00||754.70||-0.69% and 30% tax break|
|Savings account||N/A||17,612.75||+3.15% guaranteed yearly|
Eagle-eyed readers probably have noticed that I’ve not only almost crossed the €50k mark, but am also really close to my goal of having €20k in the stock market by the end of the year. With only €600 more to go and €800 already waiting in my brokerage account to be deployed, I’m certain that I’m going to make it. This makes me extremely happy.
On top of that the dividend growth investing strategy really is proving to be as robust as I thought it would be. As of now I’ve already collected €42 in dividends, but with a lot of stocks going ex-dividend lately, December is going to be massive. Half my holdings will contribute to my passive income stream again by year’s end and help realize the €100 dividend goal.
A big thank you to all of you for supporting me in making this happen!