For those of you long-standing dividend investors you probably have a method to track the growth in your dividend income. However, for those of you who may be new to dividend investing or perhaps have a number of dividend stocks but have never set up a method to track this income then this post may help you. I have personally been tracking my dividend income for years and find that it is a powerful way to see my investment strategy at work.[ad#tdg-embedded]
The method I use is super simple. An investor can get as complicated as they really want to get, however I have found simply tracking the income my entire portfolio throws off to be enough. One thing to mention, is that I personally track the income I receive from all my portfolio assets, not just the dividend stocks. This gives me a true picture of the income from all assets including bonds which can be substantial.
In the Google Doc below, the sheet has only a few inputs that are required. The first is a listing of the assets you hold. The second is the average cost of that asset. How you get this depends on how you track your portfolio. If you use Microsoft Money then it is provided for you – simply enter that number in this row. If you don’t have an average cost then just use your original buy price, but remember your current yield will not be as accurate. Now enter the number of shares of that asset you hold. The next piece of data is the dividend per year for that asset. I just go to a financial site such as Morningstar.com and get the dividend/year for each asset from there and enter it into the sheet. With that data, the spreadsheet does the rest and calculates the income from that asset as well as the income from your entire account.
To download the spreadsheet, use this LINK. Feel free to play around with this spreadsheet to improve it – just be sure to let us all know what things you have done to improve it so we can all learn.