This year my dividend investing went to the next level. I am writing about it, which forces me to structure my thoughts just that much more. In addition, I'm more actively planning how I put money into my portfolio, with automatic deposits, and recently my car fund. My Active Passive screener keeps evolving, but the basics remain the same: pick out companies with a great track record of paying and growing dividends. I take some risks with higher yielding stocks, and I certainly feel the pain when my two highest yielders (ARLP and TAL) tanked in valuation. ARLP has been paying dividends, but TAL cut theirs and is looking at a merger. Uncertainty is not what we want in our dividend portfolio. On the other hand, the majority of my portfolio paid and increased dividends on the expected time line. There's nothing better than getting paid for past decisions and seeing that pay increase.
My goal this year was to build out my portfolio with a mix of higher yielding and faster growing (but lower yielding) stocks. I now hold some well-known dividend aristocrats, some utilities, and some other industry to diversify. My goal was to end the year with a forward dividend income of $ 4850. This was based on a long term schedule of goals that puts me at $25k by 2028. I'm pleased that I was able to beat this and reach $ 5,638.17 of expected income. Of course this was mostly due to putting a ton of money into the portfolio. I kept an eye on growth though, and even if I put no new money in, I expect this to grow by $250 next year, which would put me just shy of my 2016 goal of $ 5900 of expected income.