$50 Per Pay Check Dividend Portfolio Update 7/18/19

It's been a month since I began the $50 per pay check starter dividend stock portfolio with $200 for fun and profit.

This Thursday, 7/18/19, as on 7/3/19, I sent another $50 over to M1 Financial to buy additional fractional shares of the 100 mostly dividend growth stocks in the portfolio.

As of market close on 7/18/19, the portfolio value is $295.99 and the cash in the account is $3.11, for a total account value of $299.10. So far the account has earned $0.34 in dividends and lost $0.90 in total due to market fluctuations.

I'm still not sure why there is any cash in the account, but I suspect it hasn't been invested because M1's algorithms were unable to use that money and keep each stock at roughly 1% of the portfolio. I wonder how high this amount will reach before it is invested.

The SPY ETF (tracking the S&P 500) closed at $298.83 on 7/18/19. Investing $50 into it at this price would have bought an additional 0.16732 shares, bringing the total shares to 1.015763 in our SPY benchmark. The benchmark investment value would thus be $303.54 as of 7/18/19.

The pretty much random stock dividend portfolio is now trailing the S&P 500 by 1.463%, showing exactly how easy it is to underperform the market.

Additional Investment
Running Total Investment
Dividend Portfolio Account Value
Additional Benchmark SPY Shares
Running Total Benchmark SPY Shares
SPY Closing Share Price
Benchmark SPY Value
Dividend Portfolio VS Benchmark

The Excuses

Part of the portfolio's underperformance can be attributed to some ex-dividend dates that happened amount the 100 stocks in the dividend portfolio where the dividends haven't been paid out yet, and the accumulation of dividends in the S&P 500 ETF (the next ex-dividend date is in around two months). This difference should even out and swing into the portfolio's favor as its dividend yield is 3.681%, compared to SPY's 1.83%, as time progresses.

Another difference is that the S&P is market cap weighted. The performance of the largest companies among its constituents affects its performance to a larger extent than the dividend portfolio's, which is equal weighted. Also, the dividend portfolio doesn't hold many of the largest S&P stocks either because they don't pay a dividend or their dividend yield was too low at the time the portfolio was constructed. So, for example, the dividend portfolio doesn't have the top five stocks in the S&P: Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway. It also has smaller stocks as well as international stocks, both of which aren't in the S&P 500.

Below is a collage of screenshots of the dividend portfolio holdings as of market close 7/19/19 (screenshots done on Saturday 7/20/19). It appears that M1 doesn't have an export feature yet (or I can't find it).

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