My portfolio suffered through the storm during early stages of the pandemic, as evidenced by my results from 2020 when my forward dividend income increased by $1,675, and my dollar-weighted average organic dividend growth was only 0.85%. Based on those relatively weak results compared to my historic standards, I set a modest goal to increase my forward dividend income by $3,000 in 2021, while targeting a dollar-weighted average organic dividend growth rate of 5%. As the worse of the storm passed, and the rainbow emerged, I ended up raising my forward dividend income by over $4,300 in 2021, and realizing a dollar-weighted average organic dividend growth rate of 9.23%.
How did I manage to put up such lofty results? First, I'll be honest and say a lot of it was luck. One of my largest holdings, A&W Revenue Royalty Income Fund raised their payout from 10 cents per month to 15.5 cents per month during 2021, which definitely helped both my dividend growth rate and forward dividend income. When OSFI finally allowed the Canadian banks to raise their dividends and buy-back stock after their year end results, all five of my bank holdings boosted their payouts between 10.3% and 25.5%. Lastly, if you have followed my transaction journal, you likely noticed that my strategy of buying stock monthly, and adding to my winners, has helped grow both the forward dividend income and average dividend growth rate of my portfolio.
Based on my results from 2021, and knowing I have more cash in my RRSP than I'd like right now (I received the proceeds from American Tower's purchase of Coresite's shares on December 31st), I'm aiming for a pretty lofty $4,600 increase in forward dividend income in 2022, while keeping my targeted dollar-weighted organic dividend growth rate at 5.0%. It's probably a good time to mention than I continue to count all US-dollar dividends I receive at a 1-to-1 exchange rate as if they were Canadian-dollar dividends. This impacts 15 of my 36 investment holdings.
I made the most of my down time over the holidays and calculated some portfolio metrics for 2021 that I thought I'd share with you below.- My internal rate of return on my portfolio in 2021 was 26.5%. Although this sounds awesome, it's a mere 4.5% higher than the 22.0% benchmark return, I get from calculating 66% of the Canadian dividend aristrocat ETF 'CDZ' and 34% of the US S&P dividend ETF SPY (the actual weights of Canadian and U.S. holdings in my portfolio).
- The value of my portfolio rose by 33.3% in 2021, far better than the 6.7% in 2020. National Storage Affiliates and Microsoft were two of my best performers.
- The dividend yield of my portfolio was 3.4% in 2021, down from 3.9% in 2020, 3.9% in 2019, 4.2% in 2018 and 4.0% in 2017. The increase in the value of my holdings and larger amount of cash than usual at year end both drove the portfolio yield downward.
- Cash represented 4.4%, of my portfolio at year 2021, up from 4.2% at year end 2020, much higher than the 1.6% at year end 2019, and 2.7% at year end 2018. Receiving the value of my Coresite holding in cash on the last day of the year was a big driver of the relatively large amount of cash.
- My holdings raised their dividends 48 times during 2021, with Realty Income doing so 5 times, and A&W Revenue Royalties providing the largest percentage increase (55.5%).
- I ended the year with 36 positions, down from 37 in 2020, and down from an all-time high of 40 positions at year end 2019. I'd like to see this number keep declining each year.