The High Growth of My Dividend Portfolio in Full Detail

Dividend Portfolio

The large amount of comments and feedback on my first post in five years had one large theme in common: “We want to see an update of the (dividend) portfolio, NMW, pronto!” Who am I, then, to refuse the wisdom and wishes of the crowd?

I have already given a little sneak peek at my total net worth in the past few days, but let us lift the shroud fully and dive into full detail.

The monetary aspect of financial independence might not be the most important, but ultimately it’s what makes the feeling of freedom possible for us. Hence, it is no surprise that most people enjoy going over the numbers. I do enjoy reading up on others’ net worth or portfolio updates too, going as far as cheering them on and getting a boost from it myself.

What’s changed?

So how much has my portfolio changed? Quite significantly!

First, I have exited some stocks that I felt didn’t line up with my moral code or view on the future anymore. Lots of big dividend payers like BP (BP), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB), and TotalEnergies (TTE) have therefore gotten the boot. Even though they are still reliable companies, I don’t necessarily feel like they are part of the future, or at least of my future.

Second, some companies have underperformed, going as far as having cut their dividend payouts. These I have also swapped out. Reluctantly at times, but we’re aiming for dividend growth, not dividend decline, of course. General Electric (GE) is the most notable stock that I have sold. Another American bluechip company that I have let go is International Business Machines (IBM) because of its lackluster growth and, to be frank, complete incapability of moving forward with any new technology.

Third, there are lots of newcomers. Healthcare giants like Abbvie Inc. (ABBV), Amgen (AMGN), Bristol-Meyers Squibb (BMY), and Pfizer (PFE) joined the ranks, together with technology companies like Apple (AAPL), Intel (INTC), and Microsoft (MSFT), among others. Closer to home, I’ve also scooped up BASF (BAS), Group Bruxelles Lambert (GBL), Ahold-Delhaize (AD), and Warehouses de Pauw (WDP).

On top of that I have also bought more into certain positions when I felt those companies were undervalued.

The portfolio

So without further ado, here’s my dividend stock portfolio at the moment. Please keep in mind that all numbers are in Euros. The cost basis for each position includes the price of the shares, a 0.27% stock market tax and brokerage fees. Reinvested dividends count towards the cost basis, thus skewing the relative total gains lower.

TickerCompanySharesCost basisMkt. ValueGain
MMM3M co81,127.741,101.90-2.29%
ABIAB Inbev14211,732.667,720.54-34.20%
ABBVAbbvie Inc.403,000.066,434.42114.48%
AFLAflac Inc.18419.411,084.32158.53%
AGSAgeas NV2006,495.179,190.0041.49%
AMGNAmgen Inc.51,023.591,158.5513.19%
AAPLApple Inc.321,087.985,004.26359.96%
BASBASF SE322,016.471,643.52-18.50%
BHPBHP Billiton plc1101,908.563,941.28106.51%
BMYBristol-Meyers Squibb20994.341,430.0643.82%
CATCaterpillar Inc.251,465.404,988.51240.42%
DEDeere & Company7452.612,692.13494.81%
DGEDiageo plc751,885.553,619.0491.94%
ENGEnagas SA2004,856.794,226.00-12.99%
GSKGlaxoSmithKline plc1502,538.783,193.2625.78%
GBLBGroupe Bruxelles Lambert SA201,965.601,870.40-4.84%
HOMIHome Invest Belgium605,427.967,200.0032.65%
INDVIndivior plc103.8938.58891.66%
INTCIntel Corp251,130.171,080.77-4.37%
JNJJohnson & Johnson201,769.413,348.8789.27%
KINKinepolis Group1203,421.756,456.0088.68%
ADKoninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV1201,972.373,668.4085.99%
MCDMcDonald’s Corp141,003.473,236.74222.55%
MUV2Munich RE213,657.155,054.7038.21%
NGNational Grid plc4005,079.955,841.4014.99%
NOVNNovartis AG302,295.712,557.5011.40%
NOVO-BNovo Nordisk903,647.279,982.94173.71%
PEPPepsico Inc.101,138.111,591.7839.86%
PFEPfizer Inc.351,075.901,775.3465.01%
PGProcter & Gamble402,687.735,887.92119.07%
QCOMQualcomm Inc.361,733.794,524.29160.95%
RKTReckitt plc10630.34711.3912.86%
ROGRoche Holding AG153,418.525,871.8171.76%
SANSanofi SA453,120.654,700.7050.63%
SOLVSolvac NV252,313.462,512.508.60%
S32South 32 Ltd4820.04171.21754.33%
KOThe Coca Cola Company17540.05997.6684.74%
UNAUnilever plc1425,351.506,012.2812.35%
VZVerizon Communications Inc.1004,387.884,921.6212.16%
VODVodafone plc21004,864.273,209.28-34.02%
WDPWarehouses De Pauw1752,341.856,982.50198.16%

That’s quite a significant leap from my last net worth update at the beginning of 2017. My portfolio has grown by nearly 90 thousand Euros, even though I have only added and re-invested 40 thousand Euros. To me that constitutes and feels like high growth with very little effort.

Some individual equities have seen tremendous increases in the past few years: Apple (AAPL) because of its dominance in the mobile and smartphone market, John Deere (DE) because of its large moat, even McDonald’s (MCD) for having perfected its franchising business, and Warehouses De Pauw (WDP) for being the backbone of many (online) businesses. Others have really let me down, despite their supposed strong business model, beer giant InBev (ABI) being the most notable among them.

To conclude then, I’m really happy with where I currently stand.

Going forward

At the moment my portfolio throws off 3,682.73 Euros in forward income. That’s over 300 Euros every single month, without having to lift a single finger! The only thing I have to do each morning is to wake up and enjoy the work-free paycheck from these companies.

As previously mentioned in another article, I’ve been saving up for a new home, so the amount of stock purchases have tapered off the past two years. However, with my old home being sold, and having moved into my new place, I’m looking forward to growing the portfolio further the coming years. I still love the idea of building my own win for life fund.

As we all know, time in the market beats timing the market, so I can’t wait to purchase more great companies as soon as possible. Currently I’d love to add more 3M (MMM) and Unilever (UNA), which are both trading very low or slightly under a fair price, in my opinion.

Which dividend stocks are on your radar or would you still like to add?


  1. Hi NMW!

    So glad that you’re back – I started working in 2015, suddenly had some pocket money, and your blog was one of the main inspirations to start dividend investing!
    Still today, I use the excel template that you shared a couple of years ago.
    So you definitely had some impact over here :).

    Our portfolios certainly have a high overlap (I missed out on DE tho).
    On my current watchlist, there are, among others:
    – SWK
    – CMCSA
    – GS
    as well as the (from my perspective) currently undervalued German companies
    – Henkel
    – Fresenius


    1. Christian,

      That’s great to hear! I’m stoked I inspired you to start dividend investing and build up a nice portfolio the past years.

      I also have Henkel and Fresenius (both of them, ha!) on my watchlist, although I am not too sure about Henkel. I’ll have to take a better look at it.
      SWK wasn’t really on my radar, thank you for bringing that up. Do let me know soon if you’ve managed to scoop up some shares!


  2. Congratulations on your winning portfolio! It’s a large one though. Do you have the time to study company results and do due diligence? Do you measure your performance against a benchmark index?

    1. Koen,

      Thank you, much appreciated!

      I study a company in relative detail when I first decide to pick it up: it’s a combination of reading the yearly results and appreciations of other investors on the future of a company. Deep diving into financials isn’t really my thing. Of course I’ll take a look at earnings, free cashflow, and the likes, but I’m not into full technical analyses.
      I repeat that process yearly or when I see big changes in a stock’s value: I try to figure out where the change comes from and if it materially changes the reason I got into the stock in the first place.

      Benchmarking against an index isn’t really my thing, and it’s not that important either because the dividends are more important to me than the appreciation of the underlying positions.
      However, I’ve done a quick check last year and noticed it’s on par with a world index like MSCI World. Because I’m heavier on healthcare and consumer staples (as opposed to lots of technology stocks in the index), my portfolio tends to do better when the market is bearish and it tends to grow less fast when the market is bullish. Basically, it’s less volatile. Overall though, performance isn’t far off.

      Best wishes,

  3. Hi NMW,
    I shifted from dividend stocks to accumulating ETF’s due to the high tax on dividends (35%). What kept you on the pure dividend investing track?

    1. Mark,

      Taxes are a bit lower than 35%, but I catch your meaning. To me the reason is twofold.
      (Do remember as a Belgian you can deduct up to 800 Euros of dividends from your taxes.)

      First, taxes are ofcourse to be avoided as much as possible, but I try to scoop up stocks at a yield that I find acceptable AFTER taxes. It’s relatively easy to get to a 2.5% yield on average. When you couple that with decent dividend growth (5+% per year), you quickly get to reasonable numbers.

      Second, I really enjoy the dividend payments coming in. They give me an enormous confidence boost. I know this isn’t rational, but it does help me to keep saving and investing. The feedback is much quicker and much more visceral than seeing my net worth grow.

      On top of that I also hold some ETFs. With a bunch of cash freeing up over the next weeks, I’ll probably grow that part of my portfolio significantly too.

      I hope you found this helpful!


  4. I was on the ABBV train for a while, I recently sold 75% of my position in the past few months when it was riding high. I think it was boosted higher than it could sustain so I pulled out. Part of that had to do with the wonderful run up it had, but part of it was that I believe one of their biggest money making drugs Humira (adalimuab) is going to go to the generic market soon (within a year or two I think). I admit I haven’t researched this in a few years, but when I did fist invest with them I knew it was only going to be a handful of years before I pulled out due to this drug going generic as it wasn’t an insignificant portion of their revenue.

    Abbvie is a spin off of Abbot Laboratories which has benefited from at home covid tests and I think that may have influenced the run up on both companies recently. Either way, I found my exit just recently and it might be worth looking back at ABBV if you haven’t done that in a while.

    1. Zach,

      Thanks for chiming in and providing your view on ABBV.
      I also noticed the stock climbing higher and higher, which really surprised me because only a year or so ago it was very lowly valued. It since has pulled back a bit, but is still up a lot from my initial position.

      The Humira fears have been around for quite some time now, I agree. It’ll be a challenge for the company moving forward, but not one that can’t be overcome.
      I have to look in more detail into their pipeline, but last time I checked it I found it to be solid. Furthermore, when a drug turns generic that doesn’t mean that all overnight income from the non-generic variant dries up ofcourse.

      My bottom line approach: last time I checked I didn’t see anything that could impact the sustainability of the dividend, so I keep holding. 🙂


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