My 2016 Year in Review

2016 year in review

The one thing I absolutely love about writing a finance related blog is the fact that I can keep track of how my net worth fluctuates from year to year. I am able to see how my savings rate increases and how my debts are slowly being erased; it’s truly a liberating feeling! Since keeping track of your progress in achieving a goal is the second most important thing (after setting one first), having a detailed log of how you’ve achieved them to reference is key to helping to keep you motivated.

Throughout this year, here are some of the advances I’ve made:

2016 Goals Reviewed

Financial goals
  • Allocate at least $625 per month to my taxable brokerage account. – PASS; Allocated an average of $825
  • Hold a portfolio balance of at least $10,500 by 12/31/2016. Can include uninvested cash held in account. – PASS; Portfolio balance is $10,749.41
  • Receive $225 in total dividend income. – FAIL; $219.89
  • Allocate an extra $50 per month to my car loan principal. – PASS
  • Pay off my car loan principal IN FULL (Balance is currently $4909). – PASS! Completely paid IN FULL!
  • Allocate 6% of gross income to company 401(k) to get full company match. – PASS; Completed 10/15/16
Health/Spirituality goals
  • Sign up for another 5K run or a 10K run by June 2016. – PASS; Completed April 2016
  • Donate at least $50 per month to church or a reputable charitable organization. – FAIL; monthly average $40
Travel goals
  • Allocate at least $50 per month to my travel fund. – PASS
  • Take at least 2 domestic/international trips and 2 weekender/road trips. PARTIAL; 1 international and 2 weekender/road trips

2016 Net Worth Reviewed

In December 2015, my total savings were $16,713.17. My total debts were $20,586.82.

My net worth as of December 2015 was -$3,873.65.

This year I really did strive to pay off as much debt as possible. I also really wanted to focus on saving a high percentage of my net pay and grow my net worth.

As of December 21, 2016, here is my financial situation:


Student loans:

$3,148.27 at 3.4%

$2,631.43 at 4.5%

$2,001.58 at 5.6%

$5,747.27 at 5.0%

Total student loans: $13,528.55

Car loans:

$0 balance

Credit Cards:

$0 balance

 Total Debt: $13,528.55 (decrease of $7,058.27)
 Retirement accounts:


Personal Savings:

Emergency Fund balance at $5,000

Investment portfolio account balance: $10,749.41

Total Savings: $25,143.45 (increase of 8,430.28)

NET WORTH: $11,614.90

Wahoo! My net worth is finally positive! Up until this year, I was worth more as a baby with a $0 net worth (as the former Dividend Mantra used to say) than I was at 25. But due to diligently paying down debt, increasing my savings rate and making sound investment choices, I have crossed the $0 threshold and now know what it feels like to have a positive net worth; it feels great!

Stay tuned to see what my goals are for next year – I’ll have an updated blog post on that soon. I really can’t wait to see what financial goals I am able to achieve in 2017.

What have you accomplished in 2016? Let me know!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Upsplash with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

Dividend Income Update // November 2016

dividend income

November Dividends

  • Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) – $3.50

Total Dividends received for the month of November: $3.50

This update is a short one, folks. Due to Starbucks moving its dividend pay date to December, Kinder Morgan is the only position that paid out a dividend in November. November has (and likely always will be) a low dividend paying month for me but I’m looking forward to a fruitful December!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.


Dividend Income Update // September 2016


September Dividends

  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – $16.00
  • Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) – $8.00
  • Pepsi Co, Inc. (PEP) – $7.53
  • T. Rowe Price (TROW) – $16.20

Total dividends received for month of September: $47.73

Wow, that’s a 114% increase over September 2015! I spoke last month about my disappointment in not posting a YOY increase due to a dividend cut from KMI. However, I think I more than made up for it this month when I more than doubled my dividend income! This was accomplished through increasing the number of shares I own and through dividend increases from Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo., and T. Rowe Price. While I am happy to have added a new position in Amgen, Inc. I’m really more so excited by the fact that JNJ and PEP decided to return $0.05 more per share and TROW, $0.02 per share to me. All I had to do was continue to hold my shares…it’s like getting a raise for doing absolutely nothing!

At nearly $50, this is my highest paid out month to-date and I’m really excited to see what the future hold for me and my freedom fund. Stay tuned for more updates on my dividend income, as well as, updates on progress on my portfolio value.

Thanks for reading.

Images: Upsplash with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

Dividend Income Update // August 2016



August Dividends

  • Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) – $3.50
  • Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) – $6.60

Total dividends received for the month of August: $10.10

So, July marks one year since I started my investing journey but August actually is the first month where I received dividend income. As part of my journey, I’ve been keeping this blog to record my steps along the way and chart my progress and I’m hoping that it will be easy for me to compare year over year my portfolio balances and dividend increases.

As you can tell, I received less income this August versus last August. This is due to the fact that KMI decided to slash their dividend by 75% back in December 2015. While it was certainly disappointing, the dividend reduction was definitely necessary in order for KMI to keep their credit rating and reevaluate their heavy reliance on debt to finance their capital ventures.

So, why am I sharing all of this? Basically to show that there can be minor setbacks sometimes. Would I have loved to report how much my dividend income has grown since last August? Absolutely! However, even with this minor setback, I still have received more in dividend income this year than I have all of last year and we’re only a little more than half way into the year. I consider that a win in my book!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

Dividend Income Update // July 2016


July Dividends

  • The Walt Disney Company (DIS) – $8.52

Total Dividends received for the month of July: $8.52

This month marks the one year anniversary of my investing journey and I am so happy to see where I am today! I know that $8.52 a month isn’t enough to live on but I hope that one day my total dividends received will cover my monthly expenses. In the meantime, I will continue to chronicle the journey here and continue looking for many more dividend paying stocks to invest in.

Cheers to one year of dividend investing down!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

Dividend Income Update // June 2016

dividend income_june 2016

June Dividends

  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – $16.00
  • T. Rowe Price (TROW) – $16.20
  • Pepsi Co, Inc. (PEP) – $7.53

Total dividends received in the month of June: $39.73

Yay, for a high paying month! Almost $40 in dividends in a single month – Super exciting! My goal for this year was to receive $225 in dividends and we’ve just hit the halfway mark; so far, I’ve collected $101.59. I have a little ground to make up but I’m confident that I’ll be able to achieve my goal especially if I have more $40 months ahead!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

Recent Buy // AMGN

Hi Friends – Long time, no speak!

This summer has been a busy one. Especially for Mr. Market. There have been so many swings caused from anything as small as a small comment made by a US Presidential candidate to something as big as one of Europe’s largest economies deciding to leave the EU (#brexit). So, to say it’s been hard to time the market, is putting things mildly. However, as I mentioned many times before, time in the market is much more important than timing the market; which means when I have the money in hand and I find a compelling buy, I should pull the trigger. Which is exactly how I came to own this next buy.

I purchased 8 shares of Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) on 6/16/2016 for $150.84 per share.

recent buy_amgen


Amgen, Inc. is the worlds largest independent biotechnology company that works in discovering, developing, manufacturing & delivering human therapeutics worldwide. Their principal products include Nuelesta/Neupogen which are used to prevent infections in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy; Enbrel, used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases; and Epogen, used to treat anemia.

AMGN makes money by selling these medicines/treatments to treat diseases/life threatening illnesses. Since they hold patents to prevent other healthcare competitors from creating generic brand options, they not only have 100% market share but they also have a multi-year head start before competitors can come in and start developing their own versions of the medicines. Their customers are typically patients through pharmaceutical wholesale distributors, physicians (in clinics, dialysis centers, hospitals and pharmacies), and direct consumers.


  • Revenue grew by approximately 10% over the last 5 years.
  • EPS is 9.06 and has increased by 24.6% over the last 5 years.
  • Dividend yield at time of purchase was 2.65% and AMGN pays a dividend of $4 per share. AMGN has been increasing dividends for 6 years and the payout ratio is currently 35.6%.
  • Debt/Equity ratio: 1.04


As a biotechnology firm, Amgen is not without its risks. While they do hold multiyear patents that prevent other companies from competing in the same space, there are many other macro risks that affect Amgen; particularly in the US. Drug pricing issues, uncertainty about health care policies with the next US president and an overall lack of investor confidence in the industry present risks that one should be cognizant of when evaluating this company.


  • The P/E at the time of purchase was 16.1 which is lower than AMGN 5 year average of 17.8.
  • Morningstar valuation (at time of purchase): $153, rated a 5 star “BUY”
  • S&P Capital IQ valuation (at time of purchase): $171.20, rated a 4 star “BUY”


Amgen overall is an attractively valued company. Fortunately/Unfortunately, there has been a run up in the stock price (price is $170.68 per share at the time this post was published). However, I do feel that this is a still a great entry price for someone to initiate a new position in this company. In the biotech industry, AMGN is regarded as a leader and is highly respected. With a good balance sheet, low dividend payout ratio and attractive entry price, I am happy with my latest purchase and will look for more opportunities to acquire more.

This purchase adds $32 to my annual dividend income based on the current $1.00 quarterly dividend.

Full disclosure: Long AMGN

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.