Many of my investment trusts pay dividends quarterly which is very useful. With shares and fixed income, the income is usually paid half yearly.
If you have only two or three holdings, it may be simple to keep track of receipts in a notebook. However with several shares and/or investment trusts, I find it much easier to keep track using a sreadsheet on my computer.
When I make a new purchase, the first thing to record on my income spreadsheet will be the dates for expected payments, the amount expected and some way to indicate that the payment has been received.
I use a simple Microsoft Works S/S package that was installed on my old computer when purchased. The modern day version would be Microsoft Excel. Here’s how it looks using the sipp portfolio from this recent portfolio review -
|click to enlarge|
As information comes in from annual reports and Investegate news, the spreadsheet will be updated. For example, I recently received this announcement regarding the next quarterly dividend from City of London Trust to be paid in November. As each announcement comes in, it will be updated and the entry marked in bold font. Similarly, when a payment is received in my brokers account it is marked in bold.
Formulas are a quick way of automatically adding up lengthy columns of figures or multiplying a constant number (e.g. shares held) by a changing number (e.g. dividend amount). I use a few simple formulas in my spreadsheet -
Column G ‘Amount Received’ is a formula to multiply the number of shares held in column D x the current dividend per share in column F. The formula for the first line - Murray Income - is =D4*F4/100
This formula can then be simply copied and pasted for each line.
The next column is the full year dividend as a percentage of initial cost. The formula is =SUM(E4+F4)*D4/C4
The total dividends received for the year =SUM(G4:G41)
In a future article, I will cover how to keep track of capital.
As ever, slow & steady steps….