Looking at dividends in different ways

Well, this blog entry is pretty much what the title says and not much more. Since I started this blog I am pondering about what the best way is to look at my progress in building that dividend income. Naturally, I plan to publish my monthly dividend income as soon as every month has ended. I see most dividend bloggers do that. However, I would like to add an entry on the bigger picture as well and not only cover the period of 30 days. So, I have been thinking about three charts.

The first one, let’s call it exhibit A, shows my lifetime cumulative income. For simplicity reasons I show dividend income in USD and EUR as I receive some dividends in the one currency and some in the other. Then, I simply add the two instead of converting them to one or the other. I like this chart because it shows how far I have come already in such a short time. On the downside it does not tell me much about how much monthly dividend income I can count on.


Enter exhibit B, the second chart. This one shows the actual monthly amounts I received from my portfolio without adding every month on top of the previous one. Again, I simply add EUR and USD. This chart shows me that there are still a few months in which I have no dividend income. I need to find one or two interesting ETFs that pay dividends in those months and make sure they don’t charge a lot!!! What is not right away clear from this chart is the year over year comparison, so it is slightly more difficult to monitor the progress.


The third and final chart, exhibit C, allows for monitoring progress. Per month it shows what the current and the previous year income has been. However, here I decided to not show the breakdown between USD and EUR as it would make the chart even more complicated, I think. The solid line at the 100 mark is a little target of mine. I plan to write another blog entry on goals for 2017 as we approach the end of 2016 but more on that later.


For now, I was wondering which way you prefer in terms of looking at your own progress in charts. Do you use one or multiple? I am looking forward to read your thoughts.


Disclaimer: None of the content of this site is to be considered investment advice. Every reader has to form their own opinion about which investments are right for them and take full responsibility for their own actions.

8 thoughts on “Looking at dividends in different ways

  1. I’m tracking my dividends in net income per month. Like the last chart in your article.
    Next to the chart I also keep track of the dividends per company and year on year growth. I realize now that I haven’t included similar charts in my monthly updates on the blog, so will do so for the november update. It definitely provides a clear picture of all the progress being made on a monthly basis. So thanks!


    • Hi Divnomics,
      Thank you for your comment. I look forward to those additional charts in your next monthly update. It’s almost time for those 🙂
      I think that all the charts in my post above are interesting but none of them tells the whole story or gives the complete picture.


  2. I think Chart C is the best. I always compare my current period to the same period a year ago. Gives you a sense of the long term picture while showing how much progress you have realized over 12 months. I used to also show QTD changes, but there were too many instances of small things changing quarterly that caused me to spend more time explaining why this quarter wasn’t the same as the last versus focusing on the big picture.

    Best of luck with your reporting! I’m digging the chart.



  3. I use a 6 month rolling average. Since Australian companies pay in half year cycles, this gives me a reasonable way to make sure the portfolio is going in the right direction.

    I can’t and don’t track monthly as there are entire quarters where I wouldn’t receive a single cent!


    • Hi ADI,
      Thank you for your comment. Is there any particular reason why Australian companies pay dividends in six months intervals? Have you ever considered investing outside of Australia?
      I would like to stick to the monthly reporting as I also plan to publish monthly dividend summaries.
      Thank you for stopping by!


      • There’s no requirement for Australian companies to report quarterly, so they don’t, given the costs.

        I’ve previously had some pretty large European based holdings, but don’t currently hold anything outside Australia.


      • Thank you ADI. I am not sure whether there has to be a relationship between the frequency of reporting and dividends. I know a few companies that pay monthly dividends but report less frequently.
        I can however very well imagine that the admin is more costly the more frequent a company pays dividends as well as the more frequent a company reports.


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