Live Off Dividends

Passive Income and Personal Finance

Category: Blog Update (page 1 of 25)

Rental Property Update: December 2017

I’m happy to announce that we’ve finally closed on the three rental properties! It took forever and I’m happy that it’s finally over! There is nothing about the three new properties in this post but next month they will all be included. I’m excited to share all the new stuff with you guys. I’m also planning on writing a post soon detailing how we acquired the houses, closing costs, etc. I didn’t write a rental property post last month, but all the data is included with this one. The last two months have been great with the property, no issues whatsoever!

For 2017, it cost me an average of $215.85 to own/live in this rental property. To me, that’s great. Especially considering that’s less than my taxes would cost me if this house were a single family and not a two family. Having my first year (almost) as a landlord under my belt, I can say that it’s been great. I collected a total of $7,050 in rent so that’s essentially how much I saved vs. if I had bought a single family home. I paid $60.78 additional on the principal this month, as usual. Next month rent will be increased to $675 so I’m going to put that extra $25 towards the principal each month. I may increase the amount I pay towards the principal later on this year, but we’re negotiating a new contract at work so I’m waiting on a pay raise.

For those of you who want to invest in real estate but can’t afford a down payment or don’t want to worry about fixing things when they break RealtyShares may be a good option for you. It is an online investing platform that allows you to invest in commercial and residential properties with a much smaller investment than would be required to purchase real estate out right.

I started writing these posts with the intention of having the three other properties included within a month or twos time. Given that it took forever to close that simply didn’t happen. Going forward these posts should be a lot more interesting seeing as there will be three more properties included. Here are all my previous monthly rental property updates to date if you would like to catch up!


Net Worth Update: December 2017 +$4,514

I didn’t post an update to my net worth last month but I of course, tracked it. I’ve been extremely busy with work (snow plowing) so I haven’t had much time for anything. I wanted to make sure I got the years end post out for you guys even though it’s pretty late.

My net worth went up quite a bit this month and last month wasn’t bad either. I can’t wait to share January 2018 with you guys!

For those wondering, I use  Personal Capital to help track my net worth and I highly recommend giving it a shot (it’s completely free). You can link all your accounts and it does all the work for you. It also gives you access to a bunch of really cool tools, like the investment checkup tool.


My home value stayed the same at $100,000.

My truck value decreased from $7,180 to $7,147. -$33

Total: -$33

Investment Accounts

Robinhood account increased from $47,709 to $49,700. +$1,991

Roth IRA increased from $15,282 to $15,434. +$152

457b increased from $8,100 to $8,710. +$610

NYS retirement account increased from $3,750 to $3,900. +$150

Total: +$2,903


My cash increased from $8,333 to $9,829. +$1,496

Total: +$1,496


Total assets increased from $190,354 to $194,720. +$4,366


My mortgage decreased from $58,649 to $58,501.

Total: -$148

My net worth heading into 2018 is $136,219 up from $131,705 last month! This was a 3.43% increase!


The chart above shows my net worth month to month starting from January 2016. You’ll notice there are some missing months, those are all months that I failed to track. It’s interesting that my net worth remained relatively flat in 2016 until the end of the year, but in 2017 I had steady growth from the time which I diligently began tracking.

The chart above shows my net worth’s year over year growth. I’m extremely happy with the growth I’ve seen in 2017.

My year over year net worth increased by 80.10%! That is a $60,584 gain from December 2016 to December 2017. I can only hope to see this kind of growth by this time next year.

I have all my old net worth data dating back to January 2016. As you can see by the chart, I was spotty in recording it. I’ve found that tracking my net worth motivates me even further to increase it. So, I will continue to do so and track the results. Since I’ve began tracking my net worth again I haven’t had a single month where it has went down. Again, I can’t stress enough how valuable it is to track your net worth and Personal Capital is a great tool to help you do so.

Here are the rest of my monthly net worth updates if you want to check them out!


I think it’s important to track my age and where I fall percentage wise in my age group as well. I’m 24 years old and my net worth puts me in the 97th percentile. I finally managed to break into the 97th percentile! That’s a pretty awesome achievement to me. It looks like I’ll be able to break into the 98th percentile before I turn 25! Also, here’s the link that I use to calculate that.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Dividend Portfolio Update: December 2017

This was my best month of all time for dividends and only the second time ever that I’ve broke $200 in one month. I’ve been extremely busy at work the last couple months with the snow so I’ve been pretty inactive with the blog and I apologize for that. I didn’t make any purchases this month so not too much has changed with the portfolio but I still feel it was a good month, as well as a pretty decent year for me.

For those wondering how I make free trades and pay no commissions, I use Robinhood for my dividend portfolio. If you want to sign up, use my link and we’ll both receive a free stock valued up to $150!

These are all the companies that paid me dividends in December amounting to $210.65.

I received $95.39 from dividends in my Roth IRA this month. This brings my yearly total to $321.39 and puts my monthly average for the year at $26.78. This was my best month all time for my Roth, which is pretty cool because I have yet to contribute any money for 2017 yet. That part isn’t cool, but what is cool is that I’ll be able to contribute $11,000 in 2018 (before April 2019). That means my dividends received in this account should be much higher next year.

My dividends year over year in November increased from $196.82 to $210.65. This was a 7.02% increase year over year. For 2017, my average monthly year over year increase was a huge now at 89.00% (excluding January’s 3,558%)! This was by far my worst month this year for year over year growth but it still left my total average growth extremely high, even excluding January’s insane percentage. I would be thrilled if I could maintain anything even close to this percentage for 2018.


I received a total of $920.90 from dividends in 2016. I finished the 2017 with a total dividends received of $1,578.94 which is a 71.46% increase from 2016’s total. If I could achieve a 71% increase from 2017’s total to 2018’s total that would put my dividends received at about $2,700. I’m not sure that will happen, but that would be awesome!

My total annual dividends increased this month from $1,478.25 to $1,485.59, while my average monthly dividends decreased from $123.19 to $123.80. This was a 0.50% decrease month to month. For 2017, my average month to month increase is now at 1.40%, my portfolio overhaul had a large impact on this number, it would be around 2.39% excluding April, so I expect to be closer to that number next year.

I didn’t make any purchases this month so my average monthly dividends basically remained the same. I saw a small increase due to organic dividend increases. I have a little bit of cash in my account due to not making any purchases, but still making contributions to my account. This cash should be worth about $2.50/month in dividends, so I expect to see an increase of about that whenever I decide to deploy this cash.

For those of you reading this post wondering how to get started investing, I have written an ebook that outlines just that. It is called Investing In The Stock Market: The Complete Beginner’s Guide. You can check it out here, or click the picture below.



No purchases this month.



No sells this month.


Total: $880.00

Dividend Increases/Decreases: 4 Increases

AT&T increased their quarterly dividend payout from $0.49 to $0.50 per share. This was a 2.04% increase and will earn me an extra $4.08 annually or $0.34/month.

Realty Income increased their monthly dividend payout from $0.212 to $0.213 per share. This was a 0.47% increase and will earn me an extra $1.22 annually or $0.10/month.

Abbot increased their quarterly dividend payout from $0.265 to $0.28 per share. This was a 5.66% increase and will earn me an extra $2.04 annually or $0.17/month.

Mastercard increased their quarterly dividend payout from $0.22 to $0.25 per share. This was a 13.64% increase and will earn me an extra $0.36 annually or $0.03/month.

Together these increases total to $7.70 annually or $0.64/monthly.


This chart shows my average monthly increases from organic dividend growth (growth from companies increasing their dividend rather than growth from additional capital invested ). My average monthly organic increase for the year finished at $0.21 up from $0.17 last month. The decrease from GE really dropped this number down. A goal of mine is to get my portfolio to the point to where my organic growth matches my growth from additional capital invested and then eventually surpasses it. For 2017, my average monthly growth from additional capital invested is at $1.60. This number is much, much lower than it should regularly be. My portfolio overhaul affected this number as well. Excluding April this number would be about $2.50, so that is my goal for organic growth as of now. I’m pretty far from this number finishing 2017 with a mere $0.17/month. If all goes well next year I believe this number could be above $0.50, which is still pretty far off, but getting closer.

Rental Property: $650

I received $650 for rent in November. I raised the rent starting in February to $675/month so that will be a nice little boost for 2018.

I’m still behind 11 contributions to my dividend portfolio totaling $4,840 from when I was injured at the start of this year. I also haven’t contributed anything to my Roth IRA for the year yet, so that’s another $5,500 that I need to come up with. As I said, I’ve been extremely busy with work the last couple months and working a lot of overtime. Which of course means more money. I now feel pretty confident about coming up with the $5,500 still needed to max my Roth for 2017. The $4,840 for my dividend portfolio is less important for now given there’s no time deadline like there is with a Roth. I feel pretty confident I will be able to start catching up on that number pretty quickly as well though.

I have yet to start catching up with these accounts because I’ve been waiting since July to close on 3 rental properties. I want to have as much cash as possible for closing, which has finally been scheduled for January 10th. After this I will be hyper-focused on maxing my Roth and then working on my dividend portfolio.

I really believe 2018 will be a huge year for my finances all around. I want to catch up on all my accounts and increase all the contributions I’m making currently. I’m hoping that 2018 will be somewhat of a setup year for me. Meaning that I will be able to get myself back in what I feel is a really solid position so that in 2019 I can absolutely crush it. Here’s to 2018 and building for the future!

Here are all my other monthly Dividend Portfolio Updates if you want to catch up!

Leave a comment and let me know how 2017 went for you! I look forward to hearing from all of you every month!





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