When talking about dividend increases, this is us talking about dividend investing, at its finest! Given the first quarter-end had recently passed, I wanted to reflect on what occurred over the last 3 months. This is not any old reflection, but specifically about dividend increases and their impact on my portfolio this year. Now that tax reform was 2018 news, how are the dividend increases stacking up this year?
Why dividend increases matter
Why would dividend increases matter to my investment journey? The next section will describe the importance of dividend increases. In short, dividend increases are important, as they define the health of a company. Further, dividend increases offset the increase in cost of goods (food, energy, shelter, etc.), over a span of time. This is what you hear when "inflation" is discussed.
Why do dividends increasing in the future matter from companies that we own? When the price of goods are increasing, don't you want your income to continue to grow, in order to offset or "trump" the inflation? Now, as the community knows, uninterrupted dividend increases are a quality we look prior to investing in a company. We don't just invest for current income, but we are investing for a larger, future income too! For example, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) increased their dividend 7.15% back in April. The 7.15% dividend increase outpaces the rate of inflation, which has been stated at 2.3% over last year.
Does this start to make sense now? Buying a dividend income stock that increases their dividend every year not only pays you a solid rate or income each year, but they also increase their dividend in a way that outpaces the increase in costs/prices or "inflation" (see Our Top 5 Foundation Stocks for great dividend income stocks that have increased their dividend each year for 25+ years!).
Here is the other kicker to mention. Most of us are working for employers and, if we are lucky, receive a raise from our employer/clients. However, sometimes the raise doesn't touch the rate of inflation or sometimes we don't receive a raise, depending on performance, how the company or how our clients are doing. A dividend income stock that increases their dividend, each year, can also take care of that.
I have been lucky and blessed to have the ability to invest into dividend income companies, to say the least, and have seen a rampage of dividend increases this year that far outpaced any raise that I received, that's for sure.
Dividend Increase Impact Through Nine Months
Now, with all of that being said, what have dividend increases done for my portfolio through March of 2019? I'll list out each dividend increase from the monthly dividend income posts, the rate of increase, each dollar impact and the total. My goal is to show the community, the readers and those that are curious about dividend investing, how wonderful of a plan it is!
They say proof is in the pudding and here, my friends, is proof that the dividend increases impact my portfolio in a massive way. Here are my dividend increase results through 3 months of 2019:
Notice anything up there? I do. Only one company has a double-digit increase, Armanino Foods (OTCPK:AMNF). All others are below, with only T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ:TROW) coming close. Pepsi's (NASDAQ:PEP) was the most shocking out of the bunch at 3%. They usually had a, or close to, double-digit growth rate and it was tough to see this one. Further, UPS (NYSE:UPS) is having a tough first quarter/4 months and the 5.5% is okay in my books. In general, dividend increases are down versus prior year, to say the least. Bert wrote about the slow-down in dividend increases and if we should worry or not. I am not worried. In fact, I am very pleased, still!
Based on my forward income, at year-end of 2018 ($12,772.30), this $80.81 was a 0.632% add! Of course, one can annualize the percentage and equate to 2.53%. This is less than half of the pace I was on last year. This is proof that dividend increases, in general, are simply down. Tax Reform has come and gone. Now, it's really time to see how companies can perform in a more "real" economic year.
In order to add the $80.81 to your forward dividend income, based on a 3.50% dividend yield, one would have to invest a whopping $2,309! That is quite the punch and would be at least one, if not two, solid dividend stock purchases. Obviously, I had to commit the up-front capital, in order to make the investments into high-quality dividend income companies, but each dividend increase did not take a decision from me. This should be the point where it all "clicks." This is in line with why we think the power of the dividend growth rate is real!
Dividend Increase Three-Month Summary
First, I am lucky to make enough money and to save as much as I can. The savings are for future investments into dividend growth stocks. However, my goal here is to drive the main point home that dividend investing is extremely powerful. As you noticed above, not every dividend increase is gigantic. In fact, this year all but one increased their dividend by 9% or less, with only one above two digits.
The huge but here is that each dividend increase, when added together, produces incredible results. Each of those dividend increases above, added up to $80.81 and it would take almost a $2,310 investment for that to happen! Does it take saving, investing and patience? Hell, yes, it does and a "whole lot of it," in this game. However, with these results, wouldn't you do it, too?
Thank you everyone for coming by to read another dividend investing lesson with the proof in the pudding example above. I love to be full disclosure, especially if it helps beginners, experienced investors or readers who simply want to learn more. Have you been enjoying each and every dividend increase announcement? Are you experiencing the same benefits above? Does this help show the benefits of being a dividend investor? Please comment below and, as always, good luck and happy investing!
Editor’s Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.