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My Dividend Growth Portfolio February Update: 48 Holdings, 22 Buys, 4.27% Yield, Down 45k

Dividend Derek profile picture
Dividend Derek


  • I collected $1,107 in dividends during February which was higher than the $567 in February 2019.  Rolling dividend growth rate is over 30% from last year.
  • I added a dozen new holdings and added to several others.
  • Coronavirus Edition!


Welcome to my February 2020 review for my dividend growth portfolio. For reference, this article series covers my investing journey as a father of two towards my eventual retirement. Any specific stocks or amounts are particular to my self-directed 401k plan.

The goal of my portfolio is to generate a perpetually growing income stream for my wife and I during our golden years. The aim is to live off dividends without touching the principal. Dividend growth stocks and ETFs are the chosen vehicles to meet that goal. Currently 34, I have approximately 25 years before I can touch any of this money (without taxes and penalties).

Another primary goal of writing is to assist other investors. I hope there are facets of my strategy that you find appealing and can implement yourselves.

For anyone interested, I have a trimmed version of a portfolio tracking spreadsheet you can freely take for yourself, found here.

I've received some questions in the past, so you can save off a copy by selecting "File" -> "Make A Copy."

Change Log

Scoring rubric


Let's be honest, any mention of any topic other than the Coronavirus would be wasted here.

I'll even lead off by saying I recently bought a case of Corona to do my share in helping out Constellation Brands. The beer is in no way related to the virus, there, I've done my part with that. It'll also help digest what has been going on lately in the market.

One of my first few thoughts was what would Warren do? Ask yourself, is he fleeing the market or is he finally rubbing his hands because he's been waiting years for sanity to return.

Image result for family guy good

Here's another thought - there are more cases of investor-fleeing-itis than Coronavirus.

That brings me to temperament, where's your

This article was written by

Dividend Derek profile picture
Derek is an individual investor seeking to navigate the investment world to provide a wealthy and stable retirement for his family. He aims to help fellow investors, notably younger investors, establish a plan to produce a growing income stream. Derek holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science with a minor in Economics from the University of Delaware and lives with his wife and two children.Derek created and operates customstockalerts.com. It's a suite of utilities for investors to stay on top of all their stocks. Pick a company you're interested in, pick an alert type (price, dividend yield, PE, etc.) and a value. You'll get a text or email (your choice) when your value hits. Also, get alerts for upcoming dividends, including increases (works for stocks and ETFs). Use it as a chance to buy and collect the dividend!Come check me out at customstockalerts.com!

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long AAPL, ABBV, ABT, AMZN, APLE, BAM, BLK, BMO, BNS, BRK.B, CLDT, CM, CSCO, DIS, DIV, FOF, GLW, GOOG, HD, HYLB, IDV, JNJ, JPM, MA, MDT, MLPA, MO, MSFT, NKE, O, PEI-D, PFFD, PRU, REM, RY, SBUX, SCHD, SDEM, SDIV, SKT, SPG, SPGI, SPYD, SRET, STAG, SWK, T, TD, TROW, TRV, V. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (47)

do you have stop loss orders for your lots or stocks or do you buy and hold and come back n decide which ones to sell on individual basis or a daily/weekly basis
Hi @Dividend Derek Do you also employ stop loss orders for all your stocks/tax lots? Or do you buy and hold long and come back and decide which stocks you want to sell when.
Dividend Derek profile picture
Hey @SoupNikk not all no but I have been employing them selectively over the past few weeks. I'm not willing to ride some of these down (even more). Tax free account in a 401k. The disconnect between the market and main street could not be wider in my opinion and I am shoring up cash, no intention to buy anything anytime soon.
Didn't APLE suspend it's monthly dividends? I own APLE in my HSA account too.
Dividend Derek profile picture
Yes they did and I opted to sell and not ride it down any further.
Excellent List @Dividend Derek : Looking to add $SWK. I do not get tired of value oriented / Dividend "king" stocks going on sale when looking to diversify my portfolio. With an S-N-P "A" credit rating, tied to the Consumer and Industrial Base participating in all forms of Construction (New/ Refurbishing/ Renovating), this company has a history beyond any price action shown on a chart.
Dividend Derek profile picture
I had a limit buy @ $70 right around March 23rd when it bottomed (for now). Did not trigger but I would have loved to have had some more.
mrmillion1 profile picture
Thanks Derek, very in-depth, helpful and informative.
Dividend Disco profile picture
Great write up (as usual)...you reminded me about PRU (which I had owned in the past and forgot about, but is a screaming deal right now so I bought a half position)

I wish you would report your monthly absolute return performance (net of new cash additions)...would have been ugly for Feb, but it will balance out over time because you've got a great portfolio!
Cuip99 profile picture
Way to broad for me. I own some of the issues shown and will stick with them. I have one Canadian issue and it makes me angry every quarter because I have to pay foreign taxes on the dividend. So I would automatically eliminate any Canadian issues. I am dividend oriented. And I am always looking but I have become very selective. And I am retired and I do collect a lot of dividends which I often reinvest. Good luck to you.
Hi @Dividend Derek, I have a quick question. On the table showing your reinvestment strategy, when the DRIP Basis is higher than the Share Price you don't reinvest in that position correct?

Also, how do you allocate your dividends when reinvesting?
99+% of investors can only drool at the portfolio you have amassed at your age. Many congrats! However, you say your goal is to live off the dividends without touching the principal in your “golden” years. The RMD rules require withdrawals of around 4+% each year. If you have a 4+% dividend yield, you can do that. But I see approximately 23% of invested capital in AMZN and AAPL. Quality companies, for sure, but they pay a combined dividend of 0.135% on yesterday’s closing prices ($3.08/2,278). That is quite a drag from the 4% you’ll need to achieve. 0.135% compounding at 5% for 25 years grows to less 0.5%. The rest of your portfolio will have to really hump to make up the difference. These thoughts may not be worth the proverbial 2 cents, but your thoughts would be priceless to me.
If you strictly want income from dividends, then why even consider anything with less than a 5% yield ? My threshold is much higher as I look for over 8% yielding stocks or CEFs. There are lots out there. To buy a blue chip stock yielding that high, put in a GTC order for any stock you want at a price that would then yield 5% or higher. If the market tanks, those orders could get hit and then you have a higher yielding investment. Otherwise just look for CEFs that pay much higher percentages (just check your NAV values).
Oil Can profile picture
"Otherwise just look for CEFs that pay much higher percentages (just check your NAV values)."

Because almost all CEF's lose value over time. In fact, I wouldn't even count on some CEF's being around in 25 years. Furthermore, even if they are around in 25 years, they not only lose value, but their dividend payouts also decrease.

If you are the author's age and are heavily invested in CEF's, I strongly urge you to look at alternatives.
@Oil Can You are correct but I use tight stops and get stopped out before any major declines in price (I don't let a small loss turn into a big loss). Many CEFs out there have held up over time (don't forget every dividend payment lowers your effective price). Also, selling weekly or monthly calls against covered stock will also yield higher returns (or just buy QYLD, RYLD, XYLD and let them do it for you). I use both strategies and enjoying both weekly, monthly and quarterly income. IEP pays over 14% and every dividend lowers my break even (I still have a tight stop on it but in the meantime love those dividends - as does Carl Ichan as he continues to buy his company's stock).

By the way, in an up market, there is nothing wrong with selling cash secured puts as an income strategy also. You could roll those options or if assigned, sell covered calls.
Peter Hunt profile picture
Great portfolio! A few comments. First, since you have 25 years until you need the money, I’d encourage you to add a bunch more high growth, low dividend stocks to super charge your capital. Examples are MA, ZTS, TMO. Or you could super charge growth just by adding BIAGX a very well run mutual fund. Second, you may want to consider narrowing down the number of positions. Too much diversification is self defeating. You can goose your income and capital by not being so diversified and with 25 years until you need the money, diversification really only hurts....doesn’t help IMHO!! One man’s experience. I try to stick with around 20 stocks in my portfolio. Keep on writing great articles!!
RoseNose profile picture
Congrats on your quality investing and continued dividend growth purchases @Dividend Derek !
Volatility is certainly around now and perhaps you will be able to get some of those growth stocks for a better price soon. Happy Investing :)) Rose
No energy exposure? Maybe a good thing since it’s been a laggard, but don’t you think it time to add XOM?
mbarkow profile picture
My mentality/strategy is similar to yours, so I love your articles. I just dont have the real income to invest this aggressively. Being only 24 though, I'm a fan of the sell offs and lows (maybe?) we are seeing. I added a few shares of companies I really wanted, but couldn't afford last month such as AAPL, DIS, MSFT, added more of OKE, MO, and COP as well. I'm young, so hopefully I dont have to sell them for a long time. Thank you for writing these articles. I get a lot out of them.
lots of quality, good job
2think4profit profile picture
“2020 Goals: #4”. All. Year. Long. !!!!

Nice progress. I average $6500 month in dividends and growth goal is 8% a year. I usually hit that.

Thanks for sharing your progress.
$6500/month?? Wow! That is impressive. Would love for you to share in an excel doc like Derek. One can only aspire.
2think4profit profile picture
On the surface it might seem impressive, but reinvesting over time and a good dose of dumb luck have curried favor with me. A good example would be my investment in JNJ. I started accumulating shares in 1990 thru 1997 at the whopping cost basis of about $10 a share. Stopped in 1997 because at $30 per share, I felt the stock price had gotten too high. I picked up small blocks of shares on dips after that, but again most I bought in the 90’s. I’ve simply reinvested the divs all along, so it makes for a nice paycheck these days. I have similar stories with T, MMM, TROW and a few others. I have a lot of different equites in my portfolio now, but my long term aristocrats provide a firm foundation.
Diamond-Hands profile picture
Great work! Keep it up!
thumperjr profile picture
Enjoyed the article, great content
jgrever621 profile picture
Rather well done portfolio,

While I agree in general, I do think you should pay more attention to the world when investing.

For example, I sold DIS, FUN, Expedia when the virus became a major issue. All these stocks have fallen far below my sales prices. No, I am not ready to add them back.

I don't time the market, but do consider outside facts occasionally. Otherwise, as a DIVer, do very little selling without specific cause, such as dividend cuts, etc.

Other than this comment, am impressed with your portfolio and record.
moejoe1 profile picture
Nibbling at some stocks I wanted the last several years i.e waste management, visa, ropers
Dividend Derek profile picture
@moejoe1 sounds good to me, it's just been pure chaos so nibbling may be the best approach for now.
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