Dividend Income

Passive Income Dividend Investing & Net Worth Report – December 2016

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December’s passive income dividend investing was practically a Christmas Miracle.  This is the kind of monthly dividend income I needed to end the year and prime the pump for 2017.

Dividend Income

Santa Pig brought me the best possible present this Christmas – a new monthly record for dividend income!  Before I jump into the meat of it, I do want to say I’m a little disappointed.  While I am very excited about the progress, and the amount of passive income I received from dividend investing this month, I’m also a little sad.  This year, I was unable to reach my goal of receiving $3,000 in dividend income.  It was a goal that I set last year and was very much achievable!  Unfortunately, do to my lack of focus and my inability to identify values (or settle for just “okay” values), I was unable to reach my most important 2016 goal.  I have a very difficult time remembering the famous quote, “time in the market trumps timing the market”.   All I can say is… I’ll work harder to do better in 2017!

Let’s get to it.

This month I received $464.13 in dividend income.  On average, I was paid $11.90 from 39 different companies (more accurately, 38 companies and 1 fund)!!  This is some fantastic growth compared to last December!!  This month’s passive dividend income is a mind blowing 65.1% increase over December 2105.  However, to put it into a much more modest perspective, it’s only a 2.57% increase compared to September 2016, my last big pay month.

Passive Income Dividend Investing - December 2016

The pie chart below also shows the percentage of each payment.

Here is a chart of my passive dividend income progress over the last 2 years.

The dividend portfolio has been updated.

Looking back to 2015, I’ve come along way this year.  I’ve gone from a yearly total of a little over $1,470 in 2015 to slightly over $2,800 this year – an increase of 89.57% for the year.  Some decent growth to be sure!  Maintaining this level of dividend income growth is going to be difficult with markets hitting all time highs unless I can become much more optimistic about the market.  Like I said above, I’ll work on that.

Net Worth

A very Merry Christmas and some unexpected costs from my home improvement projects took a huge chunk out of my cash this month. Fortunately, we actually did receive a Christmas Miracle that kept us in the green.

Let’s do the numbers…


The sounds of Ho, Ho, Ho rang loudly from the dividend pig household this year as Christmas presents were given.  Only the Ho, Ho, Ho sounded more like cash registers being rung as money was siphoned from my bank accounts to pay for said presents.  To be clear, I regret none of the money we spent on Christmas presents.  Frankly, I can’t think of spending money on a more worthwhile group, my family.

So, after we spent an extra $6,000 on furniture, trim, doors and paint to finish off our home improvement project – it was time to buy some Christmas presents for the the little piglet.  The Sow (proper name of a female pig – she hasn’t warmed up to that title yet) and I really went totally overboard.  This year we purchased a new puppy for our piglet.  After some serious research we opted to go with a reputable dog breeder instead of adopting.  We truly feel we found the perfect breed and dog for our family.  But as you might have guessed, our new perfect puppy cost us a perfect pretty penny. We spent a little over $2,000 on this Christmas present.  The combined total of these expenses cost a smudge over $8,000.  Merry Christmas!

We did have some really good news that pulled this month out of the deep red.  You might remember my post about my wife’s car accident from over a year ago.  Well, we finally settled with the insurance company after a long negotiation that spanned over four months.  December we received a check for $12,000!

I think I’m going to write a post later about my experiences with the negotiation process of settling a car insurance claim as I learned a great deal.  But, the most important thing I learned is that insurance companies will work very hard to pay you as little as possible.  As a point of reference, we started with an offer from the insurance company to settle for $1,400.  Insurance companies will hose you if you let them.

Anyway, that brought our cash up 8% over last month!

Real Estate

I normally really enjoy talking about how we didn’t have any problems with our rentals.  That isn’t the case this month.  We received a call from our tenants at rental property #1 that water had been leaking, from somewhere, and had completely soaked and stained the 3 year old (I’d still call that brand new) carpet and carpet pad.  The water leak was eventually determined to be coming from a neighbor’s shower (it’s a condo).  While I still don’t have all the costs, I suspect this problem will cost us roughly $300 – $500 depending on whether the carpet can be saved.

I do want to do a little year-end wrap-up and talk about real estate for a moment.  This year I have paid off almost $18,000 in principal on my mortgages.  That’s about a 5.5% decrease of those balances.  Which isn’t bad!  The lion share of that reduction came from paying down rental property #2.  My goal this year was to pay rental property #2 down to $60,000.  Unfortunately, medical issues took precedence this year and that $8,000 was used elsewhere.

One thing I don’t mention often, as this blog is about dividend growth investing and not rental property investing, is rental property income.  However, since retiring at 45 in the end game and my rental property will play an important part,  I do think it’s worth noting at least yearly.  This year I netted roughly $7,000 in rental property income.  That number should pretty much stay stagnate until I raise rental rates and that mortgage is paid off (hopefully in three years).


The cars moved down a little extra this month.  Perhaps because it’s the end of the year?  Anyway, since I’m doing some end year calculations, I figure car depreciation should be interesting.  This year my two cars lost a total of $4,005.  That’s a percent decease of 18.3%!  Moral of the story, do your best not to waste big bucks on cars… they depreciate so quickly!


What a fantastic month and year!  Even though I was unable to reach many of my 2016 goals I was still able to raise my yearly passive income from dividend investing by almost 90%.  I was also able to pay roughly $18,000 in mortgage principal… a feat in itself.  I have a long way to go in order to reach my 2017 goals – but I’m optimistic!

This month’s new dividend income record does a lot to not only keep me motivated, but also to show me how much further I have to go to be able to retire in 8 years.  It’s a long trek, but one that is worthy of my complete effort.  Happy New Year!


How did you do this month and year?  Did you reach all your 2016 goals?

I'm a dividend growth investor who is aiming to retire early in 6 years at the age of 45. My goal is to live off the income my dividend portfolio and rental property produce exclusively and leave the corporate rat race. I hope you will join me in this journey!


    • Blake

      Thanks IH!

      I hate to miss a number, however, that’s all it is. A milestone isn’t nearly as important as the deadline. Just can’t miss too many of them 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  1. Wow, first time checking out your blog, huge net worth you’ve got. Going to have to check out more post. Guessing the rental properties have helped a lot. I haven’t gone down that road yet, but might soon.

    • Blake

      Hi SS,

      Well, I’m glad you stopped by! The net worth has grown considerably mostly because of real estate. I got lucky with my primary home and bought it about half price during the downturn (and it was quite the fixer upper)… which has added a lot. The rental properties are doing well and providing cash which I am using to pay down rental property #2 faster. Rentals are nice, but I wouldn’t call them passive income.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Hi Blake,
    You posted a terrific growth number for your full year dividends so don’t beat yourself up about not making your target.
    I can also totally relate to not wanting to commit a lot of capital at these levels but you said it yourself, time in the market trumps timing the market.
    A fellow blogger over at dividendlife . com actually wrote a great piece on market highs. Maybe that helps.
    Thanks for writing this article.
    Best wishes,

    • Blake

      Hi DIB,

      I know its not the end of the world by missing the mark to double my dividend income in one year. However, I was so close! I just checked out the article and DL lays it out very well. Thank you for the recommendation! Looks like you are putting up some impressive growth numbers over there as well! Keep up the great work and congratulations!

      Thank you again for commenting and the article recommendation!

  3. Impressive numbers. Out of curiosity, what does collections entail? I normally think of collections as someone trying to collect money from you. 🙂

    • Blake

      Hi DT,

      I can see how that is confusing! I use the word “collections” in it’s simple definition – a group of stuff.

      My collections are assets that are all insured and have markets for resale (if I ever needed to go down that path). The collections number is mostly – musical instruments, firearms and a small coin collection. I don’t include jewelry, like engagement or wedding rings, as my wife would kill me if I tried to sell them.

      And well done on your huge numbers this year!

      Thanks for dropping by and saying hi!

  4. HOLY SMOKES! Amazing month. I hate timing the market and I think it is a fools game in the long run. OF course, it took me getting burned by trying to time the market in the past to learn that. I think this is a very, very valuable thing to learn and apply going forward and it should set you up for a kick ass 2017. Santa Pig was very generous to all of us this December!!


    • Blake

      Thanks Bert. Nothing like a pig dressed in a Santa outfit to really make the month special 🙂

      Being able to time the market perfectly would be awesome… however, I would be a day or swing trader if that were the case. I think (as I know you do as well) being a dividend investor is the next best thing. We aren’t able to make billions a year, but, we are able to build an income stream of dividends we can count on (hopefully for future generations).

      Thank you for stopping in.

    • Blake

      Hi BHL,

      It is exciting! But only a fraction of the importance of reaching the really important goal… having dividend income cover my monthly expenses indefinitely! Now that, that will be an exciting day. Only 8 years to go (ugh, that seems like such a long time)!

      Thank you for commenting!

  5. Awesome month and awesome year. I’m glad to hear about the settlement you got from the insurance company, hopefully the wife is doing well. I just had a similar experience myself yesterday as my girlfriend called me crying saying she got into a car accident. Not her fault and she’s thankfully OK but it certainly was a major stress creator and now we have to figure out a rental car and start shopping for a new car as well so that’s no fun either.

    • Blake

      Oh no, I’m so sorry! I’m glad to hear she is okay. Have her start keeping a spreadsheet of all costs associated with the accident. It will be very helpful later on. Once its time to start looking for a new, used car… check out my how to buy a used car guide. That helped me out a lot when it was time to get serious on the pricing.

      Let me know how the process goes for you!

  6. Good to see another investor that enjoys researching and picking individual stocks. I have many of the same names. You have quite a heavy percentage of your allocation tied up in real estate. How long have you had your rentals?

    • Blake

      Hi Trip,

      Glad to hear we share several holdings! I am VERY heavy in real estate (home & rentals)… Then add in another almost $8,500 for real estate holdings in my dividend portfolio and it gets to be even more. I have a post coming up in the next week where I share my thoughts on real estate and will discuss all those details there.

      Thanks for dropping in and commenting!

  7. Hello, first time that I come by your site. Very interesting and detailed explanations of income and expenses.

    Keep on the good work, you very close to be part of the double digit clan !

    • Blake

      Hi BYI,

      I’m glad you found and like the site! It’s been a little slow going the last month or so, but I’m expecting some big moves soon!

      Thank you for dropping in & saying hello.