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.
You are doing great! What a fantastic increase in one month 🙂 looking forward to seeing what your aims are for the new year ahead.
Thank you very much! Be sure to check in soon to see what my goals are for the upcoming year.
Hope you’re doing great too over there,
Your progress should start to really take off once you hit the 100,000 Euro mark. By then you’ll be receiving juicy dividends to reinvest.
Almost 50,000 at 25 is an awesome achievement, glad you can celebrate in Ireland.
Halfway there! Can’t wait to reach 100,000! That should take me another two to three years.
Thanks for the kind words and the support. Means a lot to me!
Welcome aboard fellow Qualcomm and Vodafone shareowner. 😉
Looks like you’re making great progress. An increase in net worth is excellent considering how volatile the markets have been.
Glad to join your ranks! 🙂
I should have waited two more days to post this article, because almost all mypositions are up 3%! If the market keeps steady until mid-January I’ll be able to show off quite a massive increase.
Looking good, NMW. Thats a good increase in net worth update. Thanks for sharing your details.
The market hasnt been kind to a lot of investors lately, but that just means good buying opportunity.
Since posting this the market has been up all across the board. The weird thing is that I’m actually a pretty sad. I would have loved to add some more stocks on sale.
Thanks for your support,
Was wondering where you went, glad it was to have some fun! Dublin and some real Guinness is on my list as well. Congrats on making such great progress! The beauty if dividend investing is that no matter the swings, those payments still come. Good job and thanks for sharing. Cheers!
Don’t worry, I didn’t leave! Just having a short city trip and being really busy at work when I returned.
If you’ve never had Guinness, you’ll be in for a treat. I drink it often in Belgium, but nothing tastes as good as one straight from the brewery.
I’ve had Guinness from the bottle and from the tap, but I know it pales in comparison to the Dublin version. I was told that it tastes nothing like the stuff in the bottle, it’s way better, almost like coffee.
I might be in Belgium next year too and look forward to trying all the ales and chocolate.
If you end up in my part of the world, definitely let me know so I can hook you up with some great beers!
Woohoo! Congrats on a nice increase!
First I am so impressed with all the number crunching going on here. It must feel really good to see that increase. Congrats!
Number crunching is actually good fun! That’s probably why I also do it all day round at the office.
Having a 3% increase when most positions are down is quite incredible indeed. It really shows that it’s more about saving than investing at the early stages of a financial independence journey.
Congratulations on the monthly increase in Net worth. You’ve had an outstanding year, and you’ve blown your 2014 goal away.
My portfolio has taken a real battering this month, but it’s started to recover over the last couple of days.
Bring on 2015!
All the best
Thanks for your support and kind words, they really do help!
Just like yours, my portfolio also recovered when I finally published this article. At the moment I’m up about 3% from wednesday.
Let’s hope we both have an outstanding 2015 as well!
It takes a lot of discipline to put your whole bonus into investments. Well done!
Apparently it does! I just saw massive dividend signs when I received my cheque. 🙂
What an awesome end to the year NMW, great stuff! Amazing what you’ve achieved in a few short months, and look forward to hearing more about your goals for 2015.
Progress has been stellar since starting this blog and I thank my readers for it. Making yourself accountable to a large audience really does help to push the limits.
Thanks for the support, pal!
Great start to your journey. What a fantastic 2014!
Congrats on the success. Looking forward to what 2015 has in store for you. 🙂
Thanks for your kind words and the support over the past few months – it really helped! 🙂
Here’s to an excellent 2015 for the both of us,
Good to see that your net worth is going up. It seems some of the stocks you own took quitte a battering. Are you planning to average down on those?
Still no Belgian stocks? My belgian stocks are doing pretty well.
Energy stocks took quite a heavy hit indeed, but I probably won’t average down on those since I’m already very heavy on energy. If prices remain at current levels, I’ll probably buy some more BP or Shell in february.
I am however thinking of averaging down on BHP Billiton. Great company that seems to be massively undervalued!
Still no Belgian stocks since there still quite overvalued in my book. On top of that, the dividend season for Belgian stocks is only in March, so I’ll probably buy some in the next couple of weeks.
Energy stocks took indeed a massive hit. More shell is always good. I did add shell to my portfolio monday with my annual bonus. My newest stock is Exmar( one of the 3 companies of the family Saverys. I did pick it up near the 52 week low. It dividends fluctuates but since the family is the biggest shareholder I’m sure the company will be a good investments ( and my calculations agree with it).
Good holidays to. Don’t splurge to much.
Great job on adding to your Shell position at these prices! I’m actually quite jealous that I’m not really able to buy more energy.
I’ve heard of Exmar before, will definitely check them out even though the fluctuating dividend doesn’t really fit my strategy.
I hope you enjoy the end of the year as much as I will,
Great job! Which broker do you use? I’m also belgian and am still looking for one.
Thanks for stopping by, glad to host another Belgian! 🙂
For my dividend stocks I use Bolero (KBC) because of the easy to use platform and their administrative services. They handle foreign taxes on dividends really well, even though they charge 2%.
My ETFs are with Binck Bank. Good platform, but the customer service is a bit slower and less informative.
I suggest you try both, can’t go wrong with either one!
Congrats on the bonus and well done in investing it all! I love the Guinness in Dublin, it tastes a lot better! Sounds like you had a great time there!
I’ve tasted a lot of Dublin during my time, but the one straight from the brewery was by far the best I’ve ever had! Have you ever visited the St. James’ brewery?
Definitely had a great time! Can’t wait to go back.
Congratulations on the net worth increase and the recent bonus. Glad to hear that you invested it all! Happy holidays and best of luck in 2015!
Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragements! Haven’t run int your blog yet, so I’ll definitely check it out later.
Hope you enjoy the holidays as well and good luck in 2015!
Really agree with you about putting in effort being important. portfolios don’t build themselves!
By far the most important reason for great portfolio performance is the effort you put in yourself, especially near the beginning. I’m really glad and lucky to really enjoy researching stocks and having a desire to purchase more and more stocks.
Best of luck,
I still think your emergency fund it’s huge. Shrink it to 3 months of living expenses and invest the rest. Worst case you can just move back home.
You’re right that it’s huge! Only keeping three months of living expenses is too low for my taste, though. That would mean I’d only keep €2,500 on hand at most.
I’ve been thinking of taking out €2,000 and apply that money towards some more stocks thus keeping the emergency fund at a healthy €8,000.
Check back next month to see what I’ve decided to do!
Thanks for stopping by again,
Great job! Congrats on your net worth increase!
Thank you very much, Fig!