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My Dividend Growth Portfolio Q1 Update: 34 Holdings And $2,000 In Dividends

Dividend Derek profile picture
Dividend Derek


  • I collected a personal-best $2,114 in dividends in March. I'll compare against prior quarter-ends to see what moved the needle this time.
  • Two new holdings were added, VPN and WCLD.
  • Q1 total dividends were flat compared to 2020 though account values continue to push higher.
  • Looking for a portfolio of ideas like this one? Members of Wheel of Fortune get exclusive access to our model portfolio. Learn More »

Rich Man with Wheelbarrow full of Dollar Sacks. Male Character Richness and Prosperity Concept. Successful Businessman
Photo by lemono/iStock via Getty Images

Welcome to my Q1 and March review for my dividend growth portfolio. Markets ran higher to finish out the quarter, and I joined in that prosperity. I finished the month with a record balance of $460k, up 5.5% in the

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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, BLK, BRK.B, DIS, DIV, FOF, GLW, GOOG, HD, HYLB, IDV, JPM, MA, MDT, MLPA, MO, MSFT, NKE, O, PFFD, PRU, REM, SBUX, SCHD, SDEM, SDIV, SPG, SPYD, SRET, TROW, TRV, V, VPN, WCLD. 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 (79)

@Dividend Derek Do you sell covered calls or sell puts to increase your income?
Dividend Derek profile picture
@nipunamr Not usually, I have to be really willing to part with the underlying security.
@Dividend Derek sure...something to think about though...you can sell highly improbable strikes and try to increase your dividend income...as long as the fees are low
Congratulations on starting early and having a good grasp on effect of time on the value of your portfolio. One thing my father told me is that the more important factor is rate of savings, and to be conservative on reaching too high for rate of return (growth of dividends excuded). As interest rates rise, a finance professor said that with utilities being so capital intensive, that utility stocks move in reverse to interest rates--as rates increase, expect to see low income growth and as such drop in utility prices. The portfolio will withstand a correction in the future, so hold tight and keep adding through dollar cost averaging and you will see your monthly dividends 5 times higher when you need them. I mean these as words of encouragement.
Mili21 profile picture
".......I want to suffer no dividend cuts. Currently zero cuts......."
is this applicable only for the current period of any time in recent past?
FOF did cut it's distribution twice (JUL & DEC-2019).
Being a CEF, is this something an exception?
Also, ETFs has relatively lesser yield and comes with an expense (ratio) that needs to be accounted for especially if one is buying in chunks, which is not the case for CEFs.
What is the rational to have ETFs than CEF?
Dividend Derek profile picture
@Mili21 I didn't own FOF before those points. It's a yearly metric, I had some cuts last year but won't reiterate them each year. CEF is usually different.
At 35 you are on your way, congrats on that. That said, at your age, I'd be more focused on growth. Focusing your REIT allocation on two retail names seems a bit risky given the current environment. Good luck to you.
salyer1105 profile picture
When I see Global X funds I sense a noob
@salyer1105 what is your recommendations, i needed some help in this subject.
Dividend Derek profile picture
@salyer1105 Yeah nice slam bro'
A few of the Global X funds are train wrecks. Avoid, no touch, ...
@Joe.Huckleberry can you please let me know, which ones are good in Global X.
DividendVet profile picture
Looks good Derek! Very nice analysis and metrics on the portfolio. Well diversified in stocks, but when they talk about diversification they mean among asset classes.
@DividendVet Yes they do, but they also do mean within asset classes.
@Arimnestos what are your views about NUSI and JEPI.
@DSING1 Not familiar with those ETFs, but a quick look and the JEPI looks better if only b/c of the lower expense ratio. Not sure how they are generating the income necessary to cover those distributions. Option income, some cap gains, but there must also be some ROC in there.
Good article.
bada44 profile picture
Nice.... perfect example of being Diversified if a downturn were to happen.
Tim Mc profile picture
Love the updates! My favorite hobby is updating our tracking spreadsheet with the latest share counts and cash balances when dividends and distributions are deposited or reinvested.
Dividend Power profile picture
Nice summary
Hey Derek,
I just wanted to say thanks for this article, super easy to read and follow, very kind of you to share your methodology and thinking process and allow others to use your spreadsheets and formulas to learn from and emulate you, you have definitely earned my follow. I look forward to reading your articles.
Dividend Derek profile picture
@rixxus272 Thanks for posting! I really appreciate the kind words.
Too many stocks and too complicated. Buy a few good ones that pay decent dividend and grow. It's hard to follow 5 to 10 stocks a day but all the ones Dividend Derek has listed?
500MPH profile picture
@johnny corsaro
What do you need to “follow” about these companies?
Why would a great company that you adequately researched before you purchased it dramatically change? One of my forever companies is McDonalds. I drive by each day, on the way to the golf course, and see the long line at the drive-up window. That’s the only “following” this company needs!
I’ve got 61 dividend payers in my portfolio, and I don’t “follow” any of them.
Portfolio up 46% in 2020. (Lucky buy timing on some great companies last year)
If you still feel like you need to expel energy, follow Derek, FerdiS, and other SA dividend gurus, that’s time well spent.
@fastmph You dont seem to understand. I used to play golf and won city Amateur and was on college golf team. I'm not disputing any of the stocks you own. All I am saying is too many to follow and trade. GET IT>
Alaskan Gold Miner profile picture
@johnny corsaro It may be too many stocks and too complicated for YOU to follow, but many of us here are perfectly capable of researching and managing 30-50+ stocks very effectively. Have a nice day.
mykes2012 profile picture
@Dividend Derek

Great report, I do a lot of the same charting and Google sheeting.

The spectrum of comments on ETFs is interesting. I am nearing retirement and now considering several & CEFs, so you have given me some nice research, so thanks.

I wouldn't have considered an ETF 10 years ago. Now, I can see their value, especially with things like preferreds and other specialized investments themes where I don't want single company risk.

Good for you for starting early. As you mentioned, I bet we all wish we had started earlier than we did. However, for late starters, DGI is the way to go for sure. You don't need a big nest egg to make it work, especially if you can leverage a low cost area and/or want to live abroad like I do. My Q1-2021 average monthly dividends were $2,200/mo and for my desired lifestyle (expenses), that already works.
Pebblz5600 profile picture
@mykes2012 Late starter here, my portfolio is about 50,000 .. advice for who to reach out to for advice on building my portfolio?
mykes2012 profile picture

These are good places to learn:



PM if you need to.
@Pebblz5600 I.Q.Trends.com

for $25.00 you can get 4 issues of their newsletter to "check them out."
I have used them for last 10 years, and have had increases from 1.09% to 29.25%. The year I got only 1% I also pulled $41,880.00 out of account for personal reasons.
This portfolio looks a little too dividend centric for a 35 year old to me. It looks more like a 60 year olds portfolio getting ready for retirement. Good luck.
@RFoscolo over half the portfolio is in Amazon and Google.
@HavingFunToday really? I didn't see either listed in the portfolio section but did see it in that diagonal chart. That would be a big diversification issue.
Dividend Derek profile picture
@RFoscolo Half is not in AMZN and GOOG though I do own them. It might be dividend-centric but at my age, I'm also well ahead of where I need to be, plus it is getting in the mindset of income replacement.
Very well put together. Thank you for sharing.
Mike Wald profile picture
Hi DD,
Your portfolio and progress are impressive. We have similarly sized portfolios, but mine is only individual stocks and sports a lower yield at about 2.4%. You are ~5 years behind me in age, so congrats on starting earlier and keeping the train on the tracks. The one common regret all investors share is we wish we started earlier. To avoid this realization by my children, I have already setup and regularly involve them in investing with an emphasis on DG stocks.

I am amazed by your 3.5% div yield and >11% DGR. My DGR has been below my target of 8% for sometime, largely due to the slow growth and/or cuts in the REIT space.

Does your >11% DGR include the ETFs? Also, are you reporting only on your self-directed 401K? Do you have brokerage and Roth IRAs in addition to this?

Thanks for sharing your progress! -Mike
StevenK1 profile picture
I'm already there; just retired at 54. SCHD and DGRO form the bulk of my dividend growth portfolio. I just let the ETF "formulas" update my portfolio for me. The algorithms used in those index's are pretty smart at keeping the best companies in them year in and year out.
Dividend Derek profile picture
@StevenK1 I agree completely!
Great article as always, not sure i understand the WCLD add, but hey, not my portfolio.... definitely an inspiration to follow though !! Keep it going !
Why not just pick the top holdings from each ETF?
Dividend Derek profile picture
@JackCr They change and there is additional overhead to manage that.
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