So 2017 was a great year compared to 2016 in many ways. Like I said in my December dividend post , one of the biggest improvements from 2016 to 2017 was the amount of dividend I received in 2017. In 2016 I received only $402.78 in dividends while in 2017 I received $1,121.96. This was an increase of 178.55% or $719.18. The biggest reason for this was because 2017 was the first full year of receiving dividends compared to 2016. Just to show you the difference, for the first five months of 2016 I received $121.06 in dividends while in January 2017 alone I received $116.27. I added about $6,100 to my portfolio which included reinvesting most of the dividends of received in 2017. This means I have invested a total of $14,158.13 not including fees. While this is a positive no matter how you look at it was about $2,000 short of what I wanted to invest into my portfolio this year. I will talk more about this later. I ended the year with a forward dividend of $1512.35 which was 120.39% or $864.78 I do not expect to continue to see such a huge increase in dividends YOY but would like to see 50-75% for 2018 at least.
I made some mistakes this year. One of them was waiting too long to sell stock for a profit or before I lost to much with a stock. While short term stock trading is not something that dividend investors normally do but when it is done it is usually for a few reasons, profits or the risk of a dividend being cut or eliminated. At one point, my portfolio was up about $600 and now I am about $600 in the red. While I am not too worried about this in the short term I could have used this to average down on some of the stocks I have. I will talk more about this in the next section. Another bad was that I did not invest as much money as I wanted too. Like I mentioned earlier, I was about $2,000 short of my goal. Some of this was one time costs like paying back my job for 2 classes I either dropped or failed and paying more than I intended to for the trip I took last summer. While I do not regret taking this trip, some things like buying new luggage, splurging on business class tickets, and eating out a lot did take away money that I can otherwise have invested into my portfolio.
Looking forward to 2018
Every year I am learning more and more about investing, about the companies I have invested in and the companies out there I can invest in, and what I can do better. One of the goals I want to meet is investing in at least $9,000. That includes at least $650 a month and $1200 of the dividends I receive in 2018. This is a bold goal mainly because it will be the highest amount I have invested by at least $900. This will be a hard goal to reach but if I continue to live fugal as much as possible while working extra hours, I should be able to reach the goal with no problem. Another goal is to increase my forward dividend by at least $900. This would be only about $35 more than what my forward dividend increased by in 2017. Another goal is to diverse a little bit more while still having REITs make up about 45-50% of my portfolio. REITS in my portfolio will come and go causing volatility so having stocks that have lower dividend yield thus more stability will add some stability to my dividend yield YOY. My dividend yield right now is 10.68% I would like to be closer to 8.00% While not really a goal, one of the things I want to do more of is keep a closer eye on the charts of the stocks in my portfolio and set stop losses so that I am not caught off guard by a stock taken a 10 or 20% price retraction. I know it is a risk of selling to try to buy in at a lower price, this is why I plan on selling between 25-50% of a stock at a time.
Thanks for everybody who has been following my progress the last 2 years. Keep up the feedbacks because they not only help me write better posts but also help me buy better stocks. I plan on doing a midterm update to see if I am keeping on track with my goals and if I need to update any of them. Until then, happy trading and I will see everybody in retirement!