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Dividend Income Investing: A Six Month Update

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Back in May of 2021, I opened a brokerage account with M1Finance and began shoving money into the stock market. My plan was to invest in high yield stocks and earn monthly dividends that I could use for passive income to fund an early retirement. It is now six months into my journey and I figured it was time for an update.


From May 10 until the end of June, I was fairly aggressive, shoving $137,425 into the market. I sent those monies into four high yielding stocks in CLM (13.73% dividend yield), ORC (15.66% dividend yield), QYLD (10.31% dividend yield) and OPP (12.54% dividend yield).

From July 1 until October 1, I was more steady with weekly investments until my total money injected into the markets reached $199,350. Why I didn't just make it a nice round $200k will always haunt my OCD.

During that time, I did try and diversify the portfolio a bit more and I branched out with some of the cash into three additional stocks in RIV (11.81% dividend yield), RA (10.73% dividend yield) and CRT (5.73% dividend yield).

My goal was the income from the stock and not the growth as I have no intention to selling anytime soon, but my evaluation will factor both in for an overall return on my nearly $200k investment.

So, how have I done?

Making Me Nervous

One stock that makes me nervous is the Orchid Island stock, ticket symbol ORC. Over the six months, I've invested $41,324.20 into the stock with an average price of $5.42 for 7,618 shares. The stock pays me six and a half cents per share per month for a monthly haul of just under $500.

Unfortunately, the share price has dropped since I originally bought in to $4.98. What that means is that investment value has dropped $3,383.67 if I were to sell the stock. In the six months of ownership, I have made $2,299.09 in dividends though.

The net gain on this stock is -$1,084.58.

Not Profitable Just Yet

The next holding to talk about is RiverNorth Opportunities Fund, stock ticker RIV. I got into RIV in the diversification phase so my holdings are smaller than some of the core four originals. I have just 479 shares at an average price of $18.18 and cost of $8,725.04.

Since buying, RIV has dropped to $17.27 and I'm down $438.65 should I choose to sell it. I've made $244.71 in dividends, so my net is -$193.94.

Just Invested, Highly Volatile

My latest stock has been one that is all over the map with huge daily shifts in Cross Timbers Royalty Trust. My investment was smaller as well with just 347 shares on a $14.41 price and $4,935.10 total cost.

Since buying, the price has dropped a bit to $14.04 for a minus $63.12 net and no dividend payments have been earned yet. On another down note, their dividend does have less stability than my other investments, and they cut their upcoming one back significantly.

Needless to say, this small investment will be the only one I will be making in their stock.

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Some Good, Some Bad

RiverNorth/DoubleLine Strategic Opportunity Find (OPP) has it's good and bad points. The bad is that the price is down since I've invested while the good is that the dividends paid out have been greater than that loss.

This is one of my larger holdings with 2,841 shares at an average price of $15.61 and cost of $44,350.28. The price is down to $15.22 for a value that is down $1,102.54.

In the six months, I have earned monthly dividends of $1,485.08 for a net gain of $382.54.

Strong Out of the Gate

One of my newer investments that has been good out of the gate is Brookfield Real Assets Income Closed Fund, ticker RA.

I got in with a modest $8,336.15 investment for 391 shares at an average price point of $21.31. Since that time, the price has risen to $22.26 and I'm up $372.32 in value. I've also gotten one dividend payment for $61.95 for a net of $434.27.

Steady Eddy

Not Eddy really, but Global X NASDAQ 100 Covered Call ETF, ticker symbol QYLD, has been constantly up in stock price while giving me a nice ten percent or above yield.

One of my core four with a $41,334.54 investment on an average price of $21.95, this is one I continue to buy into. The current price has risen to $22.88 so I'm up around $1,758.58 in value and have received $2,049.38 in dividends during the six months for a net of $3,807.96.


My portfolio most value player has to be Cornerstone Strategic Value Fund, ticker CLM. This is my largest holding with $60,640.22 invested and 5,212 shares at an average price point of $11.63.

Since buying, the price is up to $14 and has paid me $3,364.78 in dividends and even just announced an increased dividend for the first three months of 2022 since I started gradually investing into it. Between value and dividend increases, I am up a total of $15,699.95 in the six months I've been in the market.

Six Month Total Gain and Return Rate

StockNetReturn Rate

























As the table above shows, I've done decently thanks to a strong market with a total 9.5% return from an increase in value and just over $9,500 in dividends earned during the six months I've been in the market.

I'm waiting for the correction that everyone seems to believe is coming and then I plan to send another round of investments into mainly CLM and QYLD. But right now, I'm earning just over $2,300 per month in income (pre-tax) from around a $200k investment into the market.

So that's an overview of how I've used some cash I had sitting around to build a dividend income portfolio and how it's doing. I hope this was informative and gets you thinking about your own investment choices. Thanks for reading!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 JOC

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