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One of my many New Year’s resolutions (I get pretty granular. Poor Richard has nothing on me when it comes to goal setting for self-improvement) was to do a better job of keeping the performance reports of my portfolios up to date.

I’ve fallen two years behind on my JubakPicks Portfolio and a year behind on reporting my long-term 50 Stocks Portfolio.

The only portfolio where I managed to get the 2020 performance numbers up in 2021 was the Dividend Portfolio. And that’s probably because it’s the easiest portfolio to calculate since it has so little turnover.

So, naturally, I’m going to begin by report for 2021-and my attempt to follow my New Year’s resolution by reporting on that portfolio.

For 2021 the total return–that’s price appreciation plus dividends–came to 18.59%. That was a slight improvement on the 15.71% total return for 2020. (One note on these calculations: I assume that all the money that comes in as income is spent during that year. It is not rolled over into new shares. That is, I think, how an income portfolio is used in real life by most people. So the return performance each year reflects only share appreciation over time and the dividends collected in that year.)

The dividend yield for the portfolio in 2021 came to 3.13%. That was a slight drop from the 3.43% yield in 2020.

A reminder: the goal of this portfolio is to produce a yield higher than that on the 10-year Treasury note–which as of today stood at 1.76%, but which fell as low as 1% at the beginning of 2021 and then after rising to 1.74% in March fell again to 1.20% in August–and to come as close as possible to matching the total return on the Standard & Poor’s 500 for the year. (In other words, the portfolio is supposed to be safe and not lag too far behind the riskier indexes, while producing income payments above those of the “safe” Treasury notes.)

In 2020 the Dividend Portfolio exceeded both targets with its 15.71% total return, which was above that for the S&P 500 in a middling year for the index, and its 3.43% yield.

2021, I would argue, hitting those goals was harder since this was a great year for the S&P 500 with a total return of 27.7% and interest rates fell for much of the year as the Federal Reserve kept its benchmark rates lower for longer.

The temptation in 2021 was to reach for yield at the cost of adding risk that the stock price would fall. The most high profile example for the year was AT&T (T) where the shares now show a trailing 12-month yield od 7.94% but where the stock itself lost 7.23% in 2021.

By and large the portfolio avoided price losses in 2021 except for relatively minor drops in shares of Barrick Gold (GOLD), Southern Copper (SCCO), Citigroup (C), Merck (MRK) and Cummins (CMI).

Finding safe yields became progressively harder as the year advanced. I sold two stocks out of the portfolio in 2021, Kinder Morgan (KMI) and iShares 7-10 year Treasuries ETF (IEF) In both cases those positions trade at far lower prices today than when I sold them on May 26 and February 10, respectively.

I kept my eye out for yield opportunities all year but I only came up with one buy for the portfolio–Air Products and Chemicals (APD), which I aded on August 10,2021 at a price of $275.75 a share. The stock closed at $304.26 pm December 31, 2021.

So the portfolio goes into 2022 with one fewer open position than it had at the beginning of 2021.

For 2022, the challenge will be protecting portfolio capital–if as now anticipated the Federal Reserve raises interest rates repeatedly in 2022. Higher interest rates tend to act to depress stock prices in general.

At the same time, interest rates are now so low that the Fed’s increases have a long way to go before they take us into a range that I’d call interesting for long-term income investors.

Finding a decent yield in 2022 will remain a challenge even as the Fed starts to raise interest rates. Which should, actually, help the prices of stocks, like those in this portfolio, that pay higher than average, solid dividends.

At least that will be the belief that will guide me on this portfolio in 2022–until “Fate sticks out her foot to trip you” as Tom Neal put it in “Detour.”

Next up on my resolutions the long-term 50 Stocks Portfolio where I owe two years of performance numbers.