Tuesday, December 31, 2019

December 2019 Review / January 2020 Preview & End of Year Review

Happy End of Year Gremlin here to again discuss the difference a year makes. As 2019 ends I can look around my house and see a second baby who is thankfully home, while thinking forward to a year mostly on one income. Time has flown with lots of great highs, both in my personal and investing life, and plenty of lows. As we weave through the ups and downs, I cannot help but feel stronger coming out the other side in every aspect - except age which is like a golf game (no one wants a higher score).

2020 will feature, hopefully, a new high in terms of investing and earned incomes. It will also feature at least two medical procedures for my daughter, so knock on wood those go as well along with everything else.


This month I added shares to five positions across all accounts.

Last month I brought in a total of $515.51 in dividends ($236.47 taxable, $118.03 Roth, and $161.01 in my IRA).  This is an increase from last year ($408.49 total) by 26%.  This total is my new highest ever, and the first time I have collectively broken $500 in a month.

In terms of dividend increases, I realized 6 raises from My Employer (B**), McDonald's (MCD), Microsoft (MSFT), VF Corp (VFC), WestRock (WRK), and Emerson Electric (EMR). The increases range from just about 1% to more than 17%. This brings my total raises to 63 on the year, five more than last year's final total. I also realized one cut of approximately 33% by KHC.

Next month I will realize two dividend increases from Realty Income (O) and Eastman Chemical (EMN).  The increases range from 0.2% to around 6%.

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


The mortgage continues and I am putting extra cash towards the principal monthly - not a huge number, but every little bit counts. Our debts currently outstrip our assets, since I do not count my home as an asset until I own it outright.

The buys shall continue until financial independence improves - with monthly rolling buys of course.

Next month should produce around $128 in dividends, which is a 16% 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 $13000 across all accounts. Success. $14532.49 total.
  • Receive $1500 in dividends from the taxable account.  Success. $1530+
  • Maintain or reduce weight while continuing to exercise ~ 4x per week and bike wherever I can.  Partial fail. A second child, especially one needing a lot of care and in the hospital means I lost at the end, but its not like I am now twice the person I was, and the road to success is still not far away.
  • Hold the line / reduce total spending (after debt payments) by around 5%.  Fail.  Honestly we got clobbered by medical bills and associated costs with hospital stuff. Had we not had a baby, regardless of medical issues we would have been within range here.
Overall that is a 2/4 success rate.  Well that could have been worse in so many ways.


So what will become of 2019?  I have organized a few goals to make sure I stay on target.
  • Invest a total of $10000 across all accounts.
  • Receive $1900 in dividends from the taxable account.
  • Exercise ~ 4x per week.
  • Reduce total spending (after mortgage payments) by 5%.
I have a feeling, no matter what happens 2020 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 - I freaking love it! Honestly, after reading your goals recap for the last two, I can say that having the baby is the most important thing. I'm sure you wouldn't trade it for the world, let alone achieving those two goals.

    I'm excited that you set a new record this month and your financial successes this year. By the way, I saw the new Star Wars movie. You owe it to yourself to see the saga out, regardless of how you feel about Episodes 7 and 8!


    1. Bert,

      It really is the most important thing! Here is to a new year and some new records.

      I am sure I will see it, when it is out at the home box office of course. 2 kids equals no time, especially since my wife is not a fan.

      - Gremlin