March 2017 Independence Fund Update

It's that time of the month again where I'm pumped to write about the previous months happenings. Every month I get the joy of being able to recap all the events of the Independence Fund. This is something I really enjoy doing as it allows me to break down the growth of my Fund into a track able report I can look back upon. This really helps me since I feel that days sometimes meld into each other and I can lose track of things that may have happened in a month without writing it down. By tracking my month to month progress it also helps me by keeping me on track with my investment goals and also inspired along the way.

This has been a particularly interesting month for me and my investments. I was able to add a bunch of fresh new capital and positions to my portfolio this month and let me tell you, I'm excited about every one. This month I have added two new companies to my holdings. The first purchase I made in march was VFC. This company is a strong dividend stalwart that has been paying increased dividends for 44 years! The second purchase I have made this month was ORI. I absolutely love this company and I love their track record of 33 years on increasing dividend payouts. 

If you haven't already noticed the trend, I have been scooping up dividend aristocrats left and right. Aristocrats are the bread and butter to every dividend investor's portfolio and I really fell out of line when I started chasing yield over company quality. I've recently had an epiphany on how important aristocratic stocks are and I did some analysis on my portfolio that left me asking why I don't own more. I especially understand this principle after my most recent lose with GME. I still have the position as I'm waiting on the bounce but after that I will be eliminating the position at a lose of some $400. I will lick my wounds of this one, learn the lesson and write the lose off come next tax season. 

I would like to announce that I have received my biggest monthly dividend payout in the history of the Independence Fund. My last milestone I broke for Dividends received was in September of 2016 and I hit $102.94. I'm ecstatic to announce that as of March my new monthly dividend income record is now at $182.72 This was an increase of $79.78 or 77.5% from September! March has really set the bar high for the future months but I'm confident I'll be breaking this record down the road. I received dividends from seven companies this month and also a special dividend from Ford. The list is as follows, JNJ, F, XOM, DUK, QCOM, PEP, and GME. 

YTD I've currently brought in $290.88 in dividend income which is only $99.66 away from my accumulative total for 2016. It just goes to show how much growth my fund has achieved over the course of the year and I look forward to hitting it out of the park this year. My current projected annual dividend income this year now stands at $1,187.79.

Two of the companies in my portfolio also had some nice announcements. GME increased annual dividend payout by 2.7% and QCOM increased dividend payout by 7.5%! GME was less then anticipated but it makes sense since the company is having a hard time with sales currently. QCOM was a very healthy increases and I couldn't be happier with that number. Thinking back on these increases is what puts a smile on my face about being a dividend growth investor! 

Lets take a look at my expenses for the month. My credit card expenses were much more controlled this month and I really didn't buy anything out of the norm. I've really been watching my spending on grocery trips and I have limiting my spending to the necessitates with the occasional purchase of ice cream and a bag of chips.

March Expenses = $2,524

It really helped that I didn't have any random expenses come up this month so I was able to limit my spending. My goal is to get my monthly expenses closer to the $2,000 which won't be difficult as the rest of the year progresses. I don't have any major purchases lined up like a new window for a bit. After replacing my front window last month I may be doing my two other front windows closer towards the end of summer.

Ally Bank Account Balance is currently at $924.13. I wrote an article about this one back in October. I set this bank account up with automated direct deposits. The money that is deposited into this bank account holds the money I will need for property taxes and insurance. Basically this is a pseudo escrow account that I gain interest off of. I like the fact that the money is in my control and I'm earning the interest instead of my mortgage company.

This up date keeps getting better and better and I'm very impressed with the new account balance my portfolio has achieved. With the addition of my new stock purchases my account has broken a new digit and my portfolio balance is up $3,880 which represents a growth of 14.56% It feels good to see such a great number. With my new balance I now have an average monthly portfolio growth of $2,565. This is a good spot to be at since I have set a personal goal of growing my account by an average of $2,187 monthly in order to hit my personal account value of $50,000 by the end of 2017. I'm currently right on track.

The Independence Fund growth graph is looking better and better every month! It's showing a nice staircase leading me to Financial Freedom or, FIRE. 

I also came to a realization this month that I really haven't thought of till now sadly. I really only started Investing in February of 2016 for my fund and I keep looking at December as the last month I was at for a full year of investing growth. After thinking about it, I really had my first year of investing in February. With that in mind it made me happy knowing that I grew my account from $0 to $24530 in one year. That is some serious saving if you ask me. It was reassuring to me to know that I saved almost half of my salary last year and I plan on doing even better then that this year!

With another spectacular month in the books I'm looking forward to the continuing success of this website and the Independence Fund. I had one of my best month in terms of page views and visitors last month and It's really inspiring to see this take off. I started this website for the specific purpose of account history tracking and education. However, I do hope that I have inspired and educated some on the workings of the stock market and dividend investing scene. With how transparent I'am with all my numbers i really like to show people that what I do is real and nothing is falsified. The other big aspect is trying to remove the fear that some people have about the stock market. With my transparency I hope to show them that the market can be a safe place if done properly.

I have also received a lot of positive feedback from some amazing people that have really challenged me to grow in my investing and my website. I just want to give a special thank you to all who have stopped by and left me some amazing comments. Thanks for being awesome and happy trading!