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2021 Year End Review: Dividend Portfolio Update

Updated: Dec 19, 2022


2021 Overview

Monthly Performance

Portfolio Additions / Income Values

Yearly Growth Comparisons

Upcoming Plans / Closing Remarks


The GOAL of my dividend growth portfolio is to balance increasing share value (Growth) while simultaneously building and producing passive income (Dividends) that can be used during retirement. Currently my portfolio is concentrated more on growth with a dividend yield of 2.30%. As I near retirement I will look to produce more income and less growth. Typically, I deposit $2,000-$4,000 monthly into this portfolio, with $32,000 deposited YTD. This portfolio is in addition to my tax deferred ROTH TSP. Currently, I reinvest all dividends utilizing DRIP. As I gain more dividends, I will hand select targeted reinvestment and withdraw the correct percentage to cover anticipated taxes.

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Check out my Dividend Investing Guide HERE!

2021 Overview

I started my dividend journey in late 2020 so 2021 was my first full year as a dividend growth investor. I spent about six months learning and researching before I switched to this new strategy and prior to this didn't really have a plan, other than trying to make money. My balance on January 1st, 2021, was $14,511.67 and my closing balance on December 31, 2021, was $52,473.71. Throughout the year I've closed a few positions to condense my portfolio down to what it is now. Below are positions I closed out during 2021:

  • AMC - Lost money here trying to join the hype. I abandoned my plan, and it didn't pay off.

  • COIN - At IPO, again I lost here trying to join the hype.

  • ARKG - This was one of my 2020 holdings and I sold for a minor profit.

  • QYLD - I got rid of this play in favor of JEPI since QYLD offers no real returns other than income and I wanted some capital appreciation.

  • T - Sold my stake in ATT due to the ongoing poor performance by management. This hurt my dividend yield, but it was time for them to go.

  • NKE - Sold them due to poor stock price performance. This was before I understood how to conduct detailed research.

  • VZ - Sold Verizon mid-year to condense my portfolio. Really, I'm neutral on them but don't plan to add them back to my portfolio.

  • JNJ - I sold JNJ at $173 at what I considered to be their high. I wanted to realize the gains I had since I figured they were going to go down.

  • ABBV - Overall, this one I somewhat regret selling due to its dividend potential. I may add them back in to my portfolio in 2022.

Currently my portfolio has 17 positions (12 individual positions, 2 REITs, and 3 ETFs). Just over half (52.17%) of my portfolio consists of ETFs. The majority of that percentage is held in SCHD and DGRO for diversity. I've allocated VOO 4% and JEPI 4%. I lowered JEPI in November since it was hurting my portfolio's ability to match the SP500, and the income wasn't worth it in my opinion.

Below is the current portfolio allocation as of December 31st.

Portfolio Allocation

In 2021, my positions DRIP'ed 8.644 shares into my portfolio for a total of $698.42. This chart only shows the shares of positions left in my portfolio at the end of 2021. These dividends contributed to increasing my portfolios value by 1.33% and consisted of 11.64% of my overall 2021 gains.

DRIP'ed Shares

Monthly Performance

My portfolio performed well in December but so did the overall market. My portfolio value increased by 6.25% which was around 2% higher than the SP500's return for December. I attribute this to the performance of Apple and Microsoft.

December Portfolio Performance
December Portfolio Performance

My portfolio has returned +28.97% YTD when compared to the +26.89% return of the SP500. This is the return of my portfolio over the year but does not factor in Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA). This chart shows how my allocation performed had I held it and not added any capital throughout the year. My actual return in 2021 is 10.71% when considered purchases throughout the year. This is the ROI if you don't include my reinvested dividends.

YTD Portfolio Performance
YTD Portfolio Performance

Portfolio Additions / Income Values

2021 Dividend Growth Portfolio

Overall, my portfolio is now producing $1,165.23 in passive income annually or $97.10 per month. Not bad for just over a year and a half of building this dividend growth portfolio. Currently, Disney and ONL are my only positions that do not pay any dividends. I'm just shy of $100 a month in dividends, but if I check my other app, DivTracker, it shows $102 a month, so I might be over!

Annual Dividend Income

This December was my best month yet for Dividends. I received $206.89 in total from 10 positions. December is the last quarter of the year which is why the dividend payments were so high. Closing out the year, my dividend income received grew by 1023.59% compared to 2020.

Monthly Dividends Received
Monthly Dividends Received
Yearly Cumulative Dividends Compared

Below is my monthly income over the last 24-month period. This chart currently only goes back to July 2020 when I received my first dividend payment.

Dividend Income Last 24-Months

Yearly Growth Comparisons

month by month dividends received
Quarterly Dividends

I received $100 more in dividends in Q4 compared to Q3 of 2021. Overall, my Q4 2021 dividends were 5.27x Q4 2020 which is a nice increase. I'm interested to see how my monthly and quarterly payments grow in 2022 since I will have a full year of investing to compare it to. My portfolios passive income has grown significantly when compared to 2020.

Quarterly dividends received

Like the charts used in this post? Get a FREE copy of Dividend Growth Portfolio spreadsheet HERE!

Upcoming 2022 Plans

I plan on moving in 2022. As such, I will be selling my house and contributing a sizeable amount of the proceeds to my dividend growth portfolio. As for my portfolio, I am going to continue to evaluate Visa, Disney, and ONL to see if I want to hold those positions moving forward. I want to stabilize my portfolio so I may continue holding them for the foreseeable future.

Happy Investing!

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