Keeping Track of Your Dividend

How did you track your dividend income?

I guess we all have ways to keep track of our stocks transaction in order to calculate our return, be it in the form of CAGR or XIRR

But how about dividend income? as an income investor, do you have ways to keep track on your dividend received?

Concept explained: What is CAGR & IRR by Investopedia

What are the main differences between compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and internal rate of return (IRR)?

compound annual growth rate, or CAGR for short, measures the return on an investment over a certain period of time. The internal rate of return, or IRR, also measures investment performance but is more flexible than CAGR.


The concept of CAGR is relatively straightforward and requires only three primary inputs: an investment’s beginning value, ending value, and the time period. Online tools, including Investopedia’s CAGR calculator, will spit out the CAGR when entering these three values. 

The CAGR is superior to average returns because it considers the assumption that investment is compounded over time. One limitation is that it assumes a smoothed return over the time period measured, only taking into account an initial and a final value when, in reality, an investment usually experiences short-term ups and downs. CAGR is also subject to manipulation as the variable for the time period is input by the person calculating it and is not part of the calculation itself. Consider the following investment:

Initial Value = 1,000
Final Value = 2,200
Time period (n) = 4
[(Final Value) / (Initial Value)] ^ (1/n) - 1

In the above case, the CAGR is 21.7%


IRR is also a rate of return but is more flexible in that it considers multiple cash flows and periods. While CAGR simply uses the beginning and ending value, in reality, cash inflows and outflows occur when it comes to investments. IRR can also be used in corporate finance when a project requires cash outflows upfront but then results in cash inflows as investment pays off. Consider the following investment:

Time period Cash Flow

In the above case, using the Excel function “IRR,” we obtain 36.4%.
Differences Between CAGR and IRR

The most important distinction is that CAGR is straightforward enough that it can be calculated by hand. In contrast, more complicated investments and projects, or those that have many different cash inflows and outflows, are best evaluated using IRR. To back into the IRR rate, a financial calculator, Excel, or portfolio accounting system is ideal. The example above used Excel to calculate the IRR but computation on a financial calculator is similar.

The Bottom Line

The CAGR helps frame an investments return over a certain period of time. It has its benefits, but there are definite limitations that investors need to be aware of. With multiple cash flows, the IRR approach is usually considered to be better than CAGR.

Keeping Track of Your Dividend

Tracking your dividend income is important to establish the return and yield of your investments, both in the short and long term. You can furthermore keep tabs on the growth of your dividends on a stock per stock basis, but also for your entire portfolio.

Most of the investors are so IT savvy now, I think using APPs must be very common nowadays.
I have been tracking my dividend income since day one of my investing and find that it is a powerful way to see my investment strategy at work. 

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.
I am just using “ simple excel spreadsheet “ to keep track on my dividend received, quarterly, yearly and continuously.

< Example of dividend collected in 2002 >

Do you still remember the amount of dividend you received 10-15 years ago?

Remember I blog about  "Buying My First Stock ", yes, is " Magnum ", also, I have BJTOTO in my portfolio in earlier days,,, is also a "Sin stocks ", some may look familiar with Public Bank, Malaysia Cement and Malakoff ( a private power plants in Malaysia ), Orient ( manufacturing and distribution of Honda car in Malaysia ) etc ... most of the counters gave a quite good dividend yield.

< Dividend collected for some counters, e.g Cambridge Reit, accumulative>

You may notice that Cambridge is one of my REIT collected early during GFC and it gave me a YTD dividend of $214,202.33. Dividend received from Cambridge has been in reducing trend in recent years. ( as I am divesting some industrial REITs since I am holding too much of Ind Reits in my portfolio ).

If you refer to my blog on  My Portfolio , you may find that “ First Reit “ has become my biggest counters in term of value in %, follow by Accordia and Fraser Comm.

Below is the dividend update from First REIT :

<Disclaimer: above-mentioned stocks just meant for illustration purpose and not as advice to buy or sell, please do your own due diligence ( DYODD ) prior investing in these counters >

What about you? How do you track your dividend? By using APPs or same as me, by using simple self-created excel spreadsheet?

Do let me know & share with us which apps are you using and if it is really "effective & easy to use ", I'm open to switching!

Keeping track of all the dividend received and looking at the dividend income grow slowly is also a kind of motivation for me to invest.  


Quote of The Day:

"Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It's to see my dividends coming in." John D. Rockefeller

PS : 
May be records of the dividend is much easier to be verified than “ P&L “ from trading …   :)  sorry, didn't mean to ….. hahaha.
I am sure everyone will receive the statement from CDP after the end of the year … for me,, it is about 35 pages of the document , quite a big stack. 


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Yaruzi,
      Thanks for the comments,,, you have a very solid portfolio as well !
      Cheers !

  2. Hi STE

    Nice explanation regarding CAGR and IRR.
    I'd just add that IRR is more appropriate a gauge for us investors, as it takes into account the exact timing that $$$ is put into and taken out of our portfolios.
    CAGR would show a net compounded return over a period of time for a certain sum invested at the start of the period, with any returns/dividends reinvested during the period of time.

    ThumbTack Investor

    1. Hi TTI,
      Thanks for the comments,,, yes ! Indeed , IRR reflects more accurate method to calculate the return as it take into consideration of " funds' in and out flow " ...

  3. XIRR is even better than IRR, IRR is still with even-interval. An Excel worksheet solves everything.
    Just did a quick math, you have a portfolio of 2m$, that's alot.

    1. Hi Bruce,
      Thanks for the highlight ,,, yes ,,, XIRR which taking into consideration of event ( funds flow ) date count is much more precise and better ...yup ,,, one can get this easily from excel's formula..
      Cheers !πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

    2. Yes, I really meant XIRR when I wrote IRR earlier.

      STE, I wished you wrote this earlier.
      I remember years ago, I spent a long time trying to figure out how best to gauge personal returns before eventually realizing that the good, old and easy Excel way is the simplest and most accurate.

    3. Hi TTI,
      Noted yours and thanks for the clarification. ..yah ! Using excel still the best and simplest way to monitor our return. .

  4. Just sharing .... $190M dividend in 1998.

    1. Wow!! Dividend God !!! Lee Shau Kee !! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

    2. $190M in 1998...
      We can actually go look into the AR for Hendersen Land and work out how much div he receives now in 2016...

  5. I did comparison for CAGR and XIRR
    there is big difference for both results.
    I upload the sample excel sheet for those non familiar how to use XIRR

  6. Hi Ali,
    Thanks for sharing the info with data and formula... πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½
    Cheers !

  7. Great collection of blogs for anyone looking to get into investing! Thanks for sharing
    Forex trading signals
    Natural Gas signals
    Indices signals

    1. Hi Comex-Forex Signals,

      Thanks for the comments ..
      Cheers !


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