Thursday, April 6, 2017

Passive Income Report: March 2017

It is time again for my Monthly Progress Review, the third of the year, and what a great one it was.  

In each progress review I will list a summary of all dividends I received, the rental income I received, and any purchases I made from that particular month.

This monthly report covers March 2017.  

I hope you enjoy these posts and that we can learn how to grow our passive income streams and build real long-term wealth together! 

General Thoughts on This Month: March was awesome for passive income, as it usually is since it falls on the 3,6,9,12 months, which offer my largest payouts of the year.  The better news is that even despite having some real estate maintenance costs, I was able to achieve a growth rate of 13.2%.  

Awesome. BUT one thing we have to remember about growth rates is that they do not take into account magnitude. They only focus on 'relative' gains instead of 'absolute' gains. Do not miss this point! Growth rates do not take into account magnitude.  I'll clarify this with a quick made-up example: If last year your passive income was $100 and this year it is $200, your growth was 100%! Incredible.  But we need to remember the absolute gain was $100. Whereas if last year your passive income was $1,000 and this year now it is $1,200, your growth was only 20%.  What happened!? Did you have a rough year? Did you stop investing? NO.  Your absolute gain was in fact double what it was from the first example but your growth rate ended up being much smaller. This is a simple example that we often forget when we only obsess about year-over-year growth.  It is much easier to grow a small pie than a large pie.  Even expert economists forget this fact!

Anyway, I'm happy with how this month turned out.  Read More to see how I earned $960 this month in passive income...

Dividends Received
In total, I received dividends from eight companies, four funds, and one bonus this month. Listed below are the details for each:

Rental Income Received
I currently have two rental properties, my Missouri Rental and my Colorado Rental.  Listed below is the cash flow they provided this month:

Therefore, with dividends and rental income, Total Passive Income Received: $959.95

Purchases were very small this month as I continue to pay down debt. I think we are now 3 months away from from being DONE WITH DEBT! What a cool feeling that will be.  We've been diligently paying down debt for about two years now.  As some of you know, we took on a significant amount of debt to buy our North Carolina property, which I've written about before.  At one point we were around $40,000 in debt. That is a rough feeling! :)

Anyway, during March 2017 I added $458 total to my portfolio, spread across the following funds:

VTIVX - Vanguard Target Retirement 2045
VFIAX - Vanguard 500 Index
VWELX - Vanguard Wellington
VGSTX - Vanguard Star
VEMAX - Vanguard Emerging Markets Index

My advice - Always being investing at least something! At least a little EVERY MONTH.

Thoughts on This Month
The passive income this month was great! I was able to get a small escrow overage check for my Missouri property, which is reflected in the numbers above.  My Colorado property had a small expense of $75, so overall it was about a wash.  

With one quarter behind us, I am drastically off pace from my passive income goal.  As I said last month, I anticipate that the back half of this year will really be the determining factor as to whether or not I make $13,000 in passive income.  Once my debt is gone and my North Carolina property becomes an active rental property, I think I can pick up the pace significantly and hopefully make up some ground. 

In conclusion, last year's total in March was $848, resulting in a YoY growth rate of 13.6%.  

With the addition of this month's income to my Progress Tab I now have earned $1,516 in total this year in passive income.  Wow, I am off pace for my Passive Income Goal But the journey is long and sometimes it takes patience! It's "all about moving forward..." (Rocky Balboa anyone??).

Thanks for reading, and I always appreciate any comments,

Passive Income Dude 


  1. What a great month you had.

    It's true about YoY $ gains VS % gains. I always add in the dollar amount just to clarify the situation. Obviously, in the future, having 20% YoY is impossible. Saying that, I try to have a yearly gain of around $170 for that month, or around $2000 gain over the whole year.

    You must be pretty pumped to be so near the $1000 mark. Great work

    1. Hey thanks DiviCents, March was great. We'll see what happens in April! :)

      I really like how you have a set dollar amount of yearly growth as well. I imagine it helps you interpret your growth, or more aptly, your progress, in an understandable way that you can use to forecast future passive income too. Take care and thanks for commenting,

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  2. A great update for the month of March. A healthy amount of dividend income from a nice mix of funds and stocks not to mention some green this month for both your properties. I think it's great that you are focused on debt elimination. Three months will go by in a blink and you'll be in a much better financial shape not having the debt hanging over you. I love your comment about always being invested no matter the amount. I couldn't agree more. A large sum of cash or small sum... just invest consistently whatever you can every single month. Great report this month. Keep it up!

    1. Hey thanks Keith. It is always great to be green on the rentals, since you rarely know what is going to happen. And thanks for the encouragement on debt elimination. It has been a LONG two years trying to make this North Carolina property purchase work.

      And I agree, consistency with investing makes your probability of success (ie having enough to cover costs) much more likely. Take care!

  3. Great month! Almost hit that 1k mark. Love the comment about the magnitude. That is very true and most people do forget. We see so much potential growth in the beginning then it dwindles down as the "pie" gets bigger. But we would all much rather have a big pie than a fictitious percent. Keep up the good work!

    1. Haha, yep. We'll see how the rest of the year goes. The unfortunate thing about rental properties being a part of the pie is that it is sometimes hard to tell how big that pie (in terms of realized cash flow) actually will be each month!

  4. Nice Dude! Those mutual funds kicking the quarter end month into high gear. Looks like some good cash flow coming in from the properties too. As you said, we have a lot of work to do to finish out the year, but I like the success so far.

    1. Thanks Stacker. Year $13,000 for me is definitely a stretch goal. I think it will be possible though, despite all of my doubters out there! ;)

  5. Dan, Great month! Love the diversification. That rental income is awesome. Have yet to get into that but hope to one day. Also, congratulations on almost being done with your debt. That is a great feeling AND will give you more to invest each month. Nice job!

    1. Thanks Two Investing! Yea I love the real estate (perhaps even more than dividends...shh!) and once the debt is gone I'll be able to turn it up a notch. Looking forward to it! Thanks for commenting! Loving your guys' progress as well,

  6. Congrats on a great March. Keep up the good work. Hope April is great as well.