Welcome to my December 2017 investment income report. This report helps me track all of my investment income from dividend stocks, index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). My goal is to one day be able to live off this income or at least have a significant portion of my living expenses covered by it.
Over the years, I’ve found that when I track my dividend income, it tends to grow. Maybe its because I’m focused on growing those dividends that I’m constantly scheming up ways to make more money (or save more money), so that it can be put to good use by investing it in great dividend paying companies. This approach has served me well and this year my family is on track to earning $13k in passive dividend income.
Think about it. That’s $13k that we don’t have to get up in the morning to work for. We just go on living our lives and all the while, each and every month, we receive cold hard cash in the form of dividends from our investments. Right now we re-invest these dividends to buy more shares in our favourite companies so that the dividend income continues to grow over time. But one day, we will be using that dividend income to finance an early retirement.
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I was pleased to see that our net worth continued to rise in December, coming in at 1.081 Million! Not only did we finally make it to the coveted million-dollar mark, but we managed to stay above it and keep growing our net worth. November was another great month for the markets. This brought the value of our financial assets to 595k! This is why I think that it really pays to stay invested and not try to time the market.
Net Worth vs Investment Income
There’s no question that hitting the million dollar mark is an important milestone on the road to financial freedom. But like I said before, net worth is great, but unless it’s backed up with some serious cash flow, it doesn’t really mean all that much. After all, my net worth rises and falls primarily due to fluctuations in the stock and real estate markets. For me, what’s really important is that my investments keep paying me cold hard cash each and every month. That’s where my sense of financial security comes from, not whether I can sell something for more than I paid for it last week, or a month ago.
Streams of Passive Income are Key to Financial Independence
The one major thing I learned during the last recession was that, while my net worth may fall, the bulk of my dividend income remains the same. That’s why I think building streams of alternative forms of income, whether it’s from a rental property, dividend stocks or even an online source like starting a blog, is key to achieving financial freedom. Once you start hitting $1k/month, you basically have about half of your monthly expenses paid for by passive investment income. What’s even better is that I’ve found that after a few years, the income really starts to take off.
Benefits of Passive Income
I once read somewhere that millionaires have about 7 different sources of income, which is a big reason why they’re rich. If they lose 1 source it’s not the end of the world for them because the other 6 still provide financial security. On the other hand, the rest of us are almost completely dependent on 1 source: our Jobs!
This is something that I’m working hard to change for my family and is why I invest as much as I can. In these income reports I try to be as transparent as possible to show you where my investment income comes from. These reports simply show my investing approach and what has worked (and sometimes not worked) for me. I’m by no means a financial expert but I am very pleased with my results to date.
I hope these reports inspire all of you to start saving and investing your money for a healthier financial future. Now you may think that you need a lot of money to start investing, but the reality is that you can get started with as little as $25 a month! So what are you waiting for?
How You Can Build Passive Sources of Income
Some of you may be wondering how YOU can start investing and building up streams of passive income. First, just let me say that investing is NOT rocket science, but I DO recommend reading as much as you possibly can. Check out my MUST READ page for some useful articles. You can also see my Top 10 Favorite Personal Finance Books List.
If you’re hell bent and determined to start investing your money in dividend stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) right now, check out my step by step guide on How to Open a Questrade Account. If you’re a bit hesitant to start buying stocks or ETFs through an online discount broker like Questrade, then you may want to try an online bank like Tangerine. They offer a range of accounts (RRSP, TFSA) and a whole menu of Tangerine Investment Funds at reasonable prices.
Now on to my monthly cash flow from investments.
Monthly Investing Activity
I sold my position in TD Bank in December and hope to find better opportunities out there. Beyond that, I continued to buy up other blue-chip dividend stocks and keep making extra cash purchases in my DRiP account to buy more shares of great dividend-paying companies. I like to save and invest automatically because it’s a proven strategy for building long term wealth. In addition to the stock purchases, I’m also investing in low-cost index funds in our retirement accounts. These purchases amounted to about $1k in total.
One of the great things about being a dividend investor is that all of my dividend income is automatically re-invested. Every month this income buys more shares in my favourite companies that will, in turn, produce even more monthly income for me. This is how compounding works and is why it’s such a powerful force…what Einstein called the “Eighth Wonder of the World”!
This month, reinvested dividend income bought more shares in Fortis (FTS), Canadian Utilities (CU), Enbridge (ENB), Manulife (MFC), Suncor (SU), and Sun Life Financial (SLF).
I’ve also sent a lot more money to my DRIP accounts to buy my favourite Canadian dividend stocks: Enbridge (ENB), Fortis (FTS), Telus (T), Sun Life Financial (SLF), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Bell Canada (BCE).
Bank of Montreal (BMO) increased its dividend by 3.33% from $0.90 to $0.93 a quarter.
December 2017 Investment Income Report
Monthly Passive Dividend Income
December was a pretty strong month for dividend income coming in at a solid $2,469.42! This month’s dividend income has grown by 16.1% compared to that of December 2016 ($2,126.45). The reason for the big number has to do with year-end index fund distributions.
Here is the breakdown of the numbers for my December 2017 Investment Income:
Bank of America (BAC) – $3.87
Canadian National Railway (CNR) – $41.25
Canadian Utilities (CU) – $73.08
Enbridge (ENB) – $189.11
Fortis (FTS) – $107.61
Manulife Financial (MFC) – $38.14
RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (REI) – $4.60
Suncor Energy (SU) – $19.35
Sun Life Financial (SLF) – $28.72
Mutual Funds and ETFs:
iShares S&P/TSX Canadian Preferred Share Index ETF (CPD) – $52.20
iShares S&P/TSX Capped REIT Index ETF (XRE) – $37.27
TD Canadian Bond Index – e (TDB909) – $8.34
TD International Index Fund – e (TDB911) – $229.16
TD European Index Fund – e (TDB906) – $38.50
TD US Index Fund -e (TDB902) – $677.02
TD Canadian Index Fund – e (TDB900) – $921.20
Total Dividend Income – $2,469.42
As usual, December is the best month for dividend income. After years of saving and investing, I’m slowly starting to see the fruits of my effort and I’m happy to finally have my money working for me.
My family’s annual passive income goal is $13,000 and we have so far received $12,291.64. So we made it to 94.6% of this goal.
Thanks for reading my December 2017 Investment Income Report!