Before we get too far into 2013, I wanted to take a look back at the year 2012. 2012 was a big year for me. It was the first full year I utilized the dividend growth investing strategy and the first year for my site Dividend Growth Stock Investing. I’ve made progress on both my portfolio and my website and am really proud of how far I’ve come.
Dividend Growth and My Portfolio
Like I said above, 2012 was the first full year I’ve been using the dividend growth strategy for investing. I’ve been investing in stocks (maybe I should say trying to invest) for quite awhile. I tried a few different investing strategies unsuccessfully before finding my way to what I believe is one of the best ways to invest. Throughout 2012 I have learned about dividend growth investing. I’ve taken bits and pieces about the strategy from many different websites and articles to gradually form my own approach. While I have laid out most of my investing approach and set the ground rules, I want to emphasize that it is still evolving as I learn more about dividend investing and also learn from my mistakes.
I’m proud of the progress I’ve made with my investment portfolio this past year. I’ve added some great companies. My buys for 2012 included Aflac (AFL), Harris Corp (HRS), Walgreens (WAG), Microsoft (MSFT), Hasbro (HAS), Deere & Co (DE) and Norfolk Southern (NSC). These are all great dividend growth companies in my opinion and I’m excited to add them to my portfolio along with the core I build from 2011 including Wal-Mart (WMT), McDonalds (MCD), Coca Cola (KO), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Reynolds American (RAI). I feel pretty good about the group of stocks I’ve put together in my portfolio. My portfolio should offer good dividend growth and a safe amount of diversification going forward. I am looking forward to adding to my positions in these companies in 2013 or possibly picking up some shares of new companies.
The idea behind dividend growth investing is buying solid companies with a long history of annually increasing their dividend payments to shareholders. My goal is to accumulate enough dividend growth stocks that will pay me an amount of passive dividend income to be able to offset all of my expenses. I’m a long way from this goal but I made decent progress in 2012. In 2012, I made a total of $377.67. Now I understand that amount isn’t enough to live off of. But understand this is only my first full year of dividend growth investing and I made quite a bit of progress over 2011. In 2011 I made a total of $79.21 in dividend income so you can see I made quite a bit of progress from one year to the next.
Not all was roses in 2012. I definately made some mistakes and was forced to sell off a couple of my stocks. I’ve learned that it is very important to do a complete analysis of a company when deciding if it is a good investment. Also make sure you always follow your rules for dividend growth investing. Don’t let emotion get in the way and affect your decision making process.
Dividend Growth Stock Investing Website
This past year also marked the start of my website. I began writing about dividend growth investing sometime back in May 2012. I had the idea to share what I was learning with others and hopefully help spread the word that dividend growth investing is the way towards financial independence. I also hoped to develop a community where readers could share their thoughts and ideas in the comments so I could also learn from my readers. Much like my investing strategy, this website is also still evolving. Originally I was very impersonal and the site lacked in personal details. As I’ve been writing throughout the year I realized one of the best ways to share that this investing strategy works and for my readers to learn is by reading about my own personal investing successes and mistakes. Towards the end of the year I’ve opened up a bit and have begun sharing my more personal investing decisions for my own portfolio.
I’m very proud of the progress I’ve made on my site. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started. I am proud that my site has been growing with more visitors each and every month. I’ve begun getting some comments from readers and have had other website owners share links to some of my articles as well as allowing me to share guest posts on their sites. I’m not sure how I’m doing compared to other sites about dividend growth investing but I am pleased with my results. For 2012, I had a total of 3,759 visits to my site. The trend has been up each month and I’m looking for even more visitors in 2013. Hopefully more visits will inspire more comments and more people learning.