Even a Small Dividend Increase is Good News

BAE Systems announced their year end results on Thursday, which showed an increase in orders received and order backlog, plus an increase in Operating Profit (on a constant currency basis). The important bit from my point of view is that they also increased their dividend, which although this was only by 2%, it is still an increase.

As a result of this dividend increase I have effectively received this pay rise without having to expend any effort, or having to turn up in one place each workday, so as a result I have received £470 in dividends in the last twelve months, and if they match the 2% rise next year I will receive nearly £480 in dividends.

Although this increase is not a huge increase, there are companies who are raising their dividends significantly (see post on BHP Billiton’s increase), so overall I should receive total increases that beat inflation.

In addition to the dividend increase, the share price of BAE Systems has increased by around 25% in the last 12 months, which as I am approaching the time when I will be taking cash out of my FIRE Engine will increase either the amount I can withdraw each year, or the length of time before I will have used up all of the value of my FIRE Engine.

BHP Billiton Dividend Increases by 150%!

BHP Billiton have today announced their 2017 Interim Dividend at 40cents per share, which is a massive 150% increase from last year’s 16cents. The increase is due to the improved profitability as a result of the increase in commodity prices that has been experienced over the last year or so.

Although the increase is obviously welcome it is still less than the dividends paid in 2014 and before, but profits have not yet returned to the levels they were at that time. However, if the 40cents was repeated in the final results, the dividend yield would be around 4.5% in sterling terms (based on a $1.25 to £1 exchange rate), which is well above the FTSE average.

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Strategy for using my FIRE Engine

When Mrs FIUK and I finish work, we will need to provide an income to pay our bills from our investments. As there is not enough in our SIPP and ISA to cover these costs from dividends / investment growth alone until we are receiving our state and final salary pensions, we will need to gradually reduce the value of our investments.

We have therefore calculated the drawdown of our SIPP/ISA to ensure that we should not use up our investments before we receive our pensions.

Based on the current position, our investments when we finish work should be:


            Value of SIPP, ISA and Company Pension                £261,5001


            Cash available                                                              £21,000

            Value of Company Shares                                          £17,500


1 includes payments into my SIPP and ISA up to June 2017 as finishing work in June means we will be able to receive a rebate of the tax on our earnings of approximately £2,500.

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Financial Independence is Just Round the Corner

I haven’t posted anything for such a long time as I didn’t feel I had much to say other than monthly dividend reports, new purchases etc.

Now however, Mrs FIUK and I will be stopping work this year and living off of our SIPP / ISA until our final salary pensions and state pensions kick in, so I thought that I would resume posting in the lead up to this exciting moment and report on how I have calculated that we can live without salaries. Once we are no longer working I will also be able to show what can (or can’t) be achieved with regard to leaving work early without a huge pension pot (I define huge as above £500,000 as this would provide £20,000 per year with a withdrawal rate of 4%). Continue reading

Milestones in 2015

FireworksHappy New Year to everyone, I hope you had a great 2015, and that you have a happy and prosperous 2016.

I passed some important milestones in 2015, which saw my dividend income pass £6,000 for the year, and I also took the value of my FIRE Engine past £200,000. The most important milestone to me though, as my figures show I should reach Financial Independence in 2017, is that I can now say that I will be finishing work next year.

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October Dividend Update


It’s the beginning of a new month again, and it is time to write about one of the most enjoyable experiences of investing, and that is dividends.

I have had my third consecutive month of receiving over £500.00 from my shareholdings, and have received an increase of 132% compared to November. Continue reading

FIRE Engine Passes £200,000

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After a grim September, October has been a much better month, and as a result of this, plus the deposits I have been making into my ISA, the value of my FIRE Engine has passed the £200,000 mark, and is currently worth £200,491.62

Woo Hoo

It has taken quite a while to get there (I started in 2002), but it has only been the last three years that I have been adding serious amounts of cash into the fuel tank to allow me to seriously accelerate the FIRE Engine.

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September Net Worth Update

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My last net worth update was at the end of March, I missed the June update, but can now update my position as at the end of September.

I have made a change to how I calculate my net worth, as I have decided to exclude the value of my final salary company pension. I have done this as I cannot actually take the money from this pension, or even control how it is invested, so other than the fact it will provide me with an income from 65 onwards it has no other value.

The good news is that after adjusting the March value to remove the pension value, and despite the market falls in August & September, my net worth has still increased. The increase is only quite small but my regular payments into my company pension, my mortgage overpayments and payments into my ISA have more than offset the market decreases.

I have detailed my net worth as at 30th September in the table below. Continue reading

September Savings vs Income

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is the end of the month again, and it’s time to find out how I have performed with regard to my savings versus income of performed.

This month was a standard month as regards income, but my spending was higher than normal due to our holiday in France, therefore I have only been able to save the regular monthly amounts into my ISA, Company Pension and Mortgage Overpayment

The details of my savings for this month and the year to date are in the tables below.  Continue reading