Two days late, but definitely worth the wait! Right? Right. With yours truly visiting Dublin and drinking a boatload of Guinness – hello stereotype – an update on my net worth had to wait. All in all, I guess that’s not a bad thing considering the volatile swings my portfolio experienced while I was away. The stock market seems to have pushed my holdings up, down, back up, back down, and sometimes even left and right. In other words, all over the place.
It’s quite fascinating to see how much a small portfolio like mine swings up and down, especially because I was trotting about Ireland, completely oblivious to the moods of Mr. Market. Even better! Regularly incoming e-mails from my broker signaling yet another dividend deposit in my account actually made me feel good about my passive income generating holdings, even though most of them slumped to all time lows. Such is the power of dividend growth investing.
On top of that my employer saw fit to bestow upon me an annual bonus, which I immediately invested when it became available. As you can see, not all is doom and gloom in a downward market or in times of dropping oil prices. Because these monthly updates are aimed at providing you guys with a detailed insight in my journey to financial independence, it’s good that I get to share not only bad and good months, but also ones in which the good and bad equals out.
In the end, it’s not about being lucky by purchasing one hot stock after the other, but about how much effort you put in. If you consistently save more than you make and invest the difference, there’s no way you won’t come out on top in the long-run. As such, I’m happy to report that my net worth grew yet again to a massive €49,518. You can see how rigorously saving my income made the No More Waffles’ portfolio jump by €1,732 in spite of falling markets and a little splurge here and there. I’ll take a monthly increase of 3.49% any day of the week!
Before continuing I’d like to point out once again that the value of my holdings below is listed in my currency of preference, namely the Euro. Some underlying stocks trade in Dollars or British Pounds, but have been converted to the last-known exchange rate for your and mostly my own convenience. Check out my dividend tracking spreadsheet if you wish to do the same.
Dividend growth stocks
After standing at the threshold of €10,000 in dividend growth stocks last month, I’m now happy to report that I’ve definitely crossed that milestone, which is incredible because I bought my first share at the end of August. It turns out that receiving your first dividend payment is so addicting that you’ll just keep adding new positions and great companies to your portfolio.
That’s just what I did since my last net worth update in November. Together with other dividend growth investors in our community I’m now a happy shareholder of Qualcomm (NYSE:QCOM) and Vodafone (LON:VOD), like I wrote about in November’s savings report. Since buying into these excellent businesses they have already made available a dividend, great!
Yesterday I also deployed my annual bonus to purchase six shares of International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), a company that I have been eyeing for weeks after its huge drop in October. I’m glad to have added a technology company with such a great history to my portfolio near its lowest price point in over three years. On top of that I bought into Reckitt Benckiser (LON:RB), one of the largest manufacturers of household, health and personal care products worldwide.
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||397.93||-19.65%|
|DE||Deere & Company||7||452.61||496.60||+9.72%|
|JNJ||Johnson & Johnson||6||473.79||498.63||+5.24%|
|PG||Proctor & Gamble||9||575.36||653.08||+13.51%|
|RB||Reckitt Benckiser plc||10||630.34||640.06||+1.54%|
|RDSB||Royal Dutch Shell||20||585.25||548.00||-6.36%|
|KO||The Coca Cola Company||17||540.05||564.02||+4.44%|
Contrary to my dividend growth stocks, exchange-traded funds are rather dull. Sometimes, though, dull is good. With most international markets struggling, the set-it-and-forget approach of index funds is particularly appealing to nervous investors. As you can see below, the three ETFs I own didn’t do particularly well, but they’re also not as much in the red as some of my invididual stocks.
As stated last month, I’ll probably add some more to the iShares Core MSCI World fund quite soon to balance my international exposure and diversification.
|Ticker||ETF||Cost basis||Mkt. value||Gain|
|IWDA||iShares Core MSCI World||4,982.96||5,247.99||+5.32%|
|IEMA||iShares MSCI Emerging Markets||1,214.59||1,178.01||-3.00%|
|IMAE||iShares MSCI Europe||3,561.94||3,428.92||-3.73%|
My other holdings include a tax-advantaged pension fund with automated investments, which to be honest isn’t doing too great. However, with the currently low interest rates I’m pleased to still own my savings account through an insurance firm since it has a guaranteed yearly return of 3.15%. Lastly, I also hold on to my emergency fund, which is probably way too big for me, but helps me sleep at night.
|Name||Cost basis||Current value||Gain|
|Pension fund||855.00||838.25||-1.95% and 30% tax break|
|Savings account||N/A||17,612.75||+3.15% guaranteed yearly|
It’s too bad that most of my positions have endured a severe pullback the past few days, because it would have been a lot of fun to report that my net worth had grown to over €50,000 while I was having fun being a drunk in Dublin. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
This does mean, however, that my paycheck at the end of the month will most likely push me over the €50,000 threshold. By crushing my goal of having more than €20,000 in stocks by the end of the year it won’t be hard start 2015 with a €50,000 net worth, which is more than I’d hoped for when I actively started to pursue financial independence a couple of months ago. Awesome!
With the year coming to a close, it’s time to set new goals and challenges. Before doing so, however, it’s important to see how far you’ve come already and be thankful for your success so far. So once again, thank you very much for your support over the past few months. It has pushed me further than I ever guessed I’d be able to jump on my own.
Thank you for reading.