Thursday, December 27, 2018

December 2018 Review / January 2019 Preview & End of Year Review

Happy End of Year Gremlin here to discuss the difference a year makes.  At the start of 2018 I was looking at 1 income for 7 months plus all of the other issues that come with a new baby.  For those of you who have kids, I am sure you can think back to being a new parent and just how terrifying it really is.  Anyways, like everything else - you get through it and grow stronger from the challenge.  Though at times when getting stronger you will get the stomach flu, and other times you will fall asleep at 8pm because when the kiddo sleeps - so do you...

In the meantime, locally we are dealing with a government shutdown.  It has not affected me yet, but if it continues it has real potential to affect me.  I am not overly concerned, I have savings and vacation saved for this emergency - but if I could avoid using that it would be swell.  Hopefully 2019 starts better than 2018 ended!


This month I added one new position, TD Bank (TD), in my taxable account.

Last month I brought in a total of $408.49 in dividends ($164.48 taxable, $99.01 Roth, and $145 in my IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($349.36 total) by 16.9%.  This total is my new highest ever, and the first time I have collectively broken $400 in a month.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized five this month from McDonald's (MCD), Microsoft (MSFT), VF Corp (VFC), YUM China (YUMC), and Emerson Electric (EMR).  The increases range from 1.5% to about 16% (all but EMR are higher than 9%).  This brings my total raises to 51* on the year, one more than last year's final total.  A few shares held their dividends in place due to acquisitions and or prudent management.

Next month I will realize two dividend increases from Realty Income (O), Disney (DIS), and Eastman Chemical (EMN).  The increases range from 0.2% to around 10%.

* I only count increases when realized, because until that money is delivered any statements or declarations are simply conjecture.


The mortgage continues has started to see more cash flowing towards the principal - not a huge number, but every little bit counts. Our debts currently outstrip our assets (I choose not to count the house as an asset).  Outside of our house, we still have very low interest auto debt (1.9 and 1.5% for our cars).  My car is getting paid at doublish time, and I suspect I can finish it off within 8 months from now - which will be nice because I plan on keeping that car for 20 years.  Debt is being eliminated, and we are still building and assets.  A second income goes a long way.

I should be making another buy in January in my IRA account.

Next month should produce around $100 in dividends, which is a 35% YOY increase.

My portfolio page is currently up to date.


What a year.  So let's look at how I did last year compared to the goals I laid out for myself.

(Results in RED):
  • Invest a total of $8000 next year, $6000 in taxable accounts, at a minimum. Success. $11708.15 total, breakout goals also met.
  • Achieve forward total dividends for all accounts of $3000.  Success. $3150 (ish)
  • Keep getting into shape - lifting 2x and running 2x / week and bike to the train station + other places.  Success, I average 4 days a week, plus biking.  New dad win.
  • Reduce total spending (after debt payments) by at least 10%.  Fail.  We reduced spending by 7.5%, and perhaps some of that is due to the new child.  We must do better here.
Overall that is a 3/4 success rate.  Much better than 2017, the train is back on the right track.  The best part about 2018 was that these goals were met on one income for 7 out of 12 months last year.


So what will become of 2019?  I have organized a few goals to make sure I stay on target.
  • Invest a total of $13000 across all accounts.
  • Receive $1500 in dividends from the taxable account.
  • Maintain or reduce weight while continuing to exercise ~ 4x per week and bike wherever I can.
  • Hold the line / reduce total spending (after debt payments) by around 5%.
I have a feeling, no matter what happens 2019 will be another wild ride.

Hope everyone has a great January and a Happy New Year!
- Dividend Gremlin
- Long all stock tickers mentioned


  1. Gremlin,

    All smiles here while reading this. From an investment front, congrats on the new personal record. I'm excited for you and I can't wait to continue to watch you set record, after record, after record. In terms of personal goal, you passed 3.5/4 in my opinion. If you ask me, you were still successful and managed to cut your spending down. Sure you didn't hit 10%, but 7.5% is still pretty good. I love your goals for the year as well and I'm excited to continue seeing your new progress. Just focus and crush it!


    1. Bert,

      I agree 2018 was a good year and its great to push forward towards financial independence. We are all way ahead of the ball considering how most people don't even skim the surface of what we are doing. Also, all wins - big and small - all go to the same bottom line.

      Thanks for the comment,

  2. nice gremlin.

    congrats on a new record and a tonne of dividend raises last year.

    keep it up