Thanks for checking back in with me!
Since my last post in April, I’ve graduated with my undergraduate degree, worked during the summer, and started my graduate degree.
Speaking of summer, it was awesome! My wife and I got to live in a new city, earn a full-time income, and celebrate both of us being done with our undergraduate degrees.
It was a nice break not having to worry so much about where money was coming from. We were able to save just over $10,000 to pay for grad school, invest more, pay bills with less stress, and take an end of summer vacation to visit my brother and his family.
Overall, I count it as a big success.
On to our dividend income for April, May, June, July, and August.
The Robinhood Bandwagon
First things first.
My wife and I each have some money set aside from our budget each month to use on ourselves, and a few months ago I decided to use that money to open an account with Robinhood. I’d heard good things and wanted to give it a shot.
Worst case scenario, I figured extra dividends never hurt anyone.
I plan on using the dividends I earn in my Robinhood account at some point for other business or investing projects. But until then, I’ve decided to include them in our total dividend income.
(P.S. If you don’t have an account with Robinhood and you want to open one, you can sign up with my link and we’ll both get a free share of stock.)
After a few months, I have a couple quick observations.
- I’m a big fan of not paying commissions on trades, since I tend to invest small dollar amounts and trading fees eat into my returns. In my mind, that makes Robinhood a big win.
- I also like being able to buy stocks with money I transfer into the account before the transfer is completed. Robinhood offers this, which makes it much easier to open a position when I’m ready.
- As a dividend investor, I’m not too happy that Robinhood does not offer a DRIP option, nor does it allow you to own fractional shares. That’s probably the biggest thing keeping me from moving our entire portfolio over to them. Though I also find myself caring less about this as time goes on.
- I’m also a bit wary of how easy it is to buy stocks through Robinhood. I’ve noticed I have a hard time waiting for some of my limit orders to be filled and will sometimes cancel them in favor of buying shares now. I don’t want to get into the habit of day trading, and I think the way Robinhood sends me push notifications on my phone takes things a set closer to that than I’m totally comfortable with. But I don’t think that’s a big enough reason not to use the platform.
- I’ve heard from a couple places that Robinhood sells their deal flow to high frequency traders (HFT) far more than other brokerages. This is a potential privacy concern, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.
April Dividend Income – Our Biggest Month Ever
In April, we received dividends from 7 different companies, including GE, MITT, PNNT, NLY, DNP, OXLC, and GLAD.
What’s better than being paid for doing nothing? This month we officially crossed the $100 mark in a single month and had our highest dividend month ever!
We came in at $102.86 in our dividend portfolio and $1.19 in our Robinhood portfolio for a combined total of $104.05.
May, June, July, and August Dividend Income
In the interest of brevity, I’ve included a chart that shows our dividend income from May, June, July, and August. Give it a click for a better view.
During the last few months, we’ve received a total of $210.53 in dividends, with $23.49 in May, $43.98 in June, $116.25 in July, and $26.81 in August. When you include our April dividends, is more than we earned for the entire year of 2016!
I haven’t shared our dividend income in this format before, but I think it a good picture of how things can start to snowball as you keep with it. I wan to emphasize that we’ve never been able to invest that much money, but we’ve kept on putting in money when we could.
I’m excited for where we’ll be in 10 or 15 years.
P.S. Here’s another clickable chart that shows a year over year change by month. I’ve been using charts like this to keep me motivated.
2018 Dividend Income goals
For 2018 our goals are a little less ambitious than I would like them to be, but given that our income has been more variable, I decided to be somewhat more conservative.
- $100 in dividends in a month – Accomplished in April and July!
- $600 in dividends this year – We’re on track, with $446.91 received so far.
- Forward dividend income of $675 – We’re at $789.89! I wasn’t sure we’d make this, but my wife’s grandma gave me $500 as a graduation present and I used it to buy stock. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.