Happy New Year Everyone!
I was going over my portfolio changes for 2016. My portfolio, which consists of a brokerage account and Roth IRA, experienced a combined increase of $47,946.42 for 2016! That is great news especially since I added approximately $20,000.00.
It is nice to see portfolio increases but dividend increases are equally as important and more important in some ways. An interesting detail occurred in that the dividends earned in 2016 surpassed those of 2015 by only $700.00! I began dividend investing in 2015. Starting in April, 2015’s dividend total does not even represent a full year.
With $20,000.00 invested in newly purchased dividend stocks I was hoping to reach $7000.00 in dividends in 2016. I believe there are two reasons why I did not reach $7000.00. Most of my Roth IRA consists of a mutual fund. The mutual fund produces “distributions” every quarter, not dividends, and these “distributions” vary. For instance I made $1435.63 less in distributions from my mutual fund in 2016 than in 2015. Adding $1435.63 to my dividend 2016 income of $5884.16 equals $7319.79…
Would selling off my mutual fund and investing in dividend stocks increase my earnings? That is the question I keep asking myself and need to research throughout the coming year.
The second reason I think my dividends did not reach $7000.00 is because the “snowball” is just getting started. I am new to dividend investing and am thinking there might be a cyclical pattern of increasing dividends? For instance maybe 2017 will yield a noticeable difference after two years of monetary additions? This is just a hunch and I am a newbie but I will definitely look into selling my mutual fund for single stocks.
Sometimes I feel guilty for going over my dollar earnings, feeling like I am being greedy or something as I count all my cash. Well, I have reminded myself that cash value is relative and my savings is paltry to some and grandiose to others and the cost of my monthly bills places my savings amounts into perspective. If I had a $1500.00 per month mortgage this would be a totally different blog. So, it is all relative…
Well, I now feel a little less guilty about “counting my cash” each month because I see how it is a protective measure for me and my life.
I sometimes get a cold but never severe enough to call in to work. I have called into work at total of three times in the past 14.5 years. Unfortunately I was stricken with shingles about two weeks ago. It was a good thing that I happened to schedule some vacation time during this outbreak but I still needed to call in for two days. As I type this I am still in pain and wonder if I will make it in on Tuesday.
Shingles is one of the most physically painful things I have ever experienced. The condition is horrible and I feel sick thinking about its symptoms, it is a very agonizingly sickening condition. I have a new empathy for anyone who has experienced… shingles.
As I rested on the couch again yesterday, feeling as if I was suffering the aftermath of a shark attack, it was a great comfort to see that I earned $69.73 in dividends on that day! Without doing anything! With no fees! This is such a comfort to me because at that moment I was once again contemplating quitting my job, taking money considerations into account.
I am grateful for dividend bloggers such as Jason Fieber for constructing the Dividend Mantra blog, which is now discontinued, because it was available at just the right time for me in 2015 to learn what I needed to know. This topic of early retirement is not greed, it is survival. I believe that people such as myself will not make it to retirement at 65, we are sensitive individuals, easily stressed and weeded out if not careful…
Shingles has left me wondering if my lower back will be okay? I am being melodramatic but it has caused a lower back pain I never had. Shingles arises from dormancy from something called a dermatome and in my case this happened to be located in the area of the L2 and L3 dermatomes of my lower back. The dermatomes extended and spread the rash as the they twisted and turned from my right upper hip into my right outer and inner thigh, and finally to the back of my knee.
I could feel the inflammation begin in my lower back as the rash began. I had to work at my job during the beginning of the shingles pain since it occurred on Christmas and I was scheduled for the entire weekend. There are many areas of pain in the affected areas of a bought of shingles and different types of pain, horrible, electrocution type shocks of pain and others that I do not want to remember…shingles will make you cry.
For now I seem to be on the mend. I become happy when I realize there are areas that feel better but then sad when I realize I still have pain. It has been exactly two weeks since the very initial symptoms of a deeply achy femur bone. I believe stress played a role in my shingles development; I work too hard and need to take a long break and do the things I want to do. I want a garden and I want to raise monarch butterflies, and hike and take trips. I basically do nothing but work and it is catching up with me and it is now obvious through the effects of shingles.
I realize that I have to keep stress at bay because I DO NOT want shingles to come back. I have been longing for a free life for too long. I plan to manage stress with yoga and detoxing, things I have always believed-in but found very hard to do…and look at where it got me!
On a lighter note these are some of the places and things I got involved in before shingles. I was happy to find some “mid century modern” chairs at a local thrift store. Their brand name is Viko and they were manufactured in 1959, if I am correct, in Pennsylvania.