How To Track Your Dividend Investment Performance

I was a serious Quicken user back in 2008 and had been for years. I started using Quicken back in 1997. You read that right – even before the automatic updates from the web were possible!

As you can probably imagine, I have a good grasp on my accounting but even after all those years, there was one view of my portfolio I could not get with all the software out there.

I wanted to view my investment from a capital invested perspective rather than the adjusted cost base (ACB). Unfortunately, all software I found are setup for accounting and all DRIP shares are considered capital invested.

I could see different fields in Quicken but I have not been able to see the ROI on my capital invested the way I want. The way all software calculate the dividend re-investment is simple since they need to handle all transactions for capital gains tax purposes.

When you look at one investment, the calculation on your ROI is simple but it treats DRIP shares as additional contributions.

ROI % = (Total Market Value / Adjusted Cost Base) -1

Total Market Value = Share Market Price * Number of Shares

ACB = Initial Investment + Additional Contributions + Reinvested Distributions – Previous Redemptions

However, when you start selling and buying and selling and buying and so forth … the ROI calculation starts to get blurry. The initial investment changes when you buy a new investment.

The initial investment is the amount you invested which may well include profits (or loss) from other investments. As you can see, the number of transactions starts to blurry the ROI calculations of an account.

As such, I started to track my own performance in a spreadsheet so I get the view on my performance just the way I want it.

Tracker Metrics

Not convinced yet? The TFSA was introduced in 2009 in Canada and everyone can invest the same. If you maximize your contributions, what you put in up until 2020 is $69,500, anything above that is profits and you use that to calculate your ROI.

However, there is a BIG difference between the profit percentage (ROI) and the annual rate or return (ROR). The annual ROR takes into account time whereas ROI does not.

wdt_ID Year Yearly Limit Cumulative 5% Growth 10% Growth Dividend Earner Spousal
1 2009 5,000 5,000 5,250 5,500 Not Tracked Not Started
2 2010 5,000 10,000 10,762 11,550 Not Tracked Not Started
3 2011 5,000 15,000 16,550 18,205 Not Tracked Not Started
4 2012 5,000 20,000 22,628 25,525 Not Tracked Not Started
5 2013 5,500 25,500 29,534 34,128 $41,742 Not Started
6 2014 5,500 31,000 36,786 43,590 $52,820 Not Started
7 2015 10,000 41,000 49,125 58,949 $56,307 Not Started
8 2016 5,500 46,500 57,356 70,984 $70,200 Not Started
9 2017 5,500 52,000 65,999 84,034 $78,900 $13,308
10 2018 5,500 57,500 75,074 98,487 $96,937 $58,818
11 2019 6,000 63,500 85,128 114,986 $129,467 $82,596
12 2020 6,000 69,500 95,684 133,030 $153,993 $95,906
13 2021 6,000 75,500 106,769 152,933 $187,601 YTD $113,194 YTD
14 2022 6,000 81,500 118,407 174,827
15 2023 6,500 88,000 131,152 199,459
16 2024 6,500 94,500 144,536 226,555
17 2025 6,500 101,000 158,587 256,361
18 2026 6,500 107,500 173,342 289,147
19 2027 7,000 114,500 189,359 325,762
20 2028 7,000 121,500 206,177 366,038
21 2029 7,000 128,500 223,836 410,342
22 2030 7,500 136,000 242,902 459,626
23 2031 7,500 143,500 262,923 513,838
24 2032 7,500 151,000 283,944 573,472
25 2033 7,500 158,500 306,016 639,069
26 2034 7,500 166,000 329,192 711,226
27 2035 7,500 173,500 353,526 790,599
28 2036 7,500 181,000 379,078 877,909
29 2037 7,500 188,500 405,906 973,950
30 2038 7,500 196,000 434,077 1,079,595

The Details To Track

It’s all in the details. I basically track the initial number of shares I purchase and then I track the total number of shares I have which gives me the number of shares from my DRIP using simple math. Over time, I have updated my approach to track all transactions such as BUY, SELL, DIV and DRIP.

I basically don’t include my DRIP shares in my capital ACB. I separate capital ACB from taxable ACB.

My reason is simple, the DRIP shares are part of my profit and I want to track my profit. It’s comparable with capital gains only investment where you don’t earn dividends, I compare my invested capitals with the overall value of the investment.

Surprisingly, you can’t track this in Quicken or Google Finance. I am astonished that a proper profit calculation is not included. I was never sure how dividend was calculated in the performance either so I was always questioning the numbers and doing them myself.

That’s why I track my dividend income (see How To Track Dividend Income) and my dividend performance separately. I just need to look at it in a different view and it’s easy to do with a dividend tracker.

DISCLOSURE: Please note that I may have a position in one or many of the holdings listed. For a complete list of my holdings, please see my Dividend Portfolio.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this blog post represents my opinion and not an advice/recommendation. I am not a financial adviser, I am not qualified to give financial advice. Before you buy any stocks/funds consult with a qualified financial planner. Make your investment decisions at your own risk – see my full disclaimer for more details.