Even just hearing that word conjures up all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings for me.
I remember playing the board game Monopoly as a kid. My favorite Chance card was the one where Mr. Monopoly (or Rich Uncle Pennybags) collected his bank dividend of $50.
I thought that was so neat. Collecting money for nothing. Growing up as poor as I did, it seemed like a pipe dream as a child.
Well, it’s no pipe dream.
But it is a dream; it’s a dream of a lifestyle that almost anyone can live, as I’ve proven out over the years.
Mr. Monopoly sits on my shelf at home, reminding me every day of just how far I’ve come…
And I did so with no particular advantage(s) over anyone else. I grew up in a crack house in Detroit. My parents abandoned me. I have no college degree. I worked at a car dealership making ~$50,000 per year – until I didn’t.
Those six years of my life I set aside to aggressively save and intelligently invest my capital resulted in financial freedom at 33 years old – which is how I became Mr. Free At 33.
That financial freedom is underpinned by the five-figure and growing passive dividend income my FIRE Fund generates on my behalf.
I aptly named my portfolio the FIRE Fund because it allows me FI/RE (financial independence/retired early).
The Fund is a portfolio built on the tenets of dividend growth investing, whereby I allocate my capital almost exclusively toward high-quality stocks that have lengthy track records of paying rising dividends year after year.
These are world-class businesses. Because of that, they tend to rake in more profit year in and year out. And because shareholders are ultimately the collective owners of any publicly-traded company, growing dividends are our rightful share of that growing profit.
Well, the growing dividends that are sent my way by the businesses I own a slice of are enough to cover my basic personal expenses in life, meaning I don’t need to ever have a job again. Haven’t had one since turning 32 years old. And I have no plans to ever have one again.
If you’re interested in using dividend growth investing to achieve FIRE for yourself, check out my two best-selling books on this: The Dividend Mantra Way and 5 Steps To Retire In 5 Years (also available in paperback).
What you’ll soon see is the tangible manifestation of all of these concepts I write about.
The table below lists every dividend I received (as well as each respective company that paid it) from the preceding month.
This is real cash money, folks. Every time a dividend comes in, that’s real-life money I can use to do whatever I want with. Now we all know why Mr. Monopoly loved to kick back with a cigar, like a boss.
When you’re collecting a dividend a day, you are a boss!
Without further ado…
|AT&T Inc. (T)||$100.00|
|General Mills, Inc. (GIS)||$36.75|
|CVS Health Corp. (CVS)||$10.00|
|Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)||$44.25|
|Raytheon Company (RTN)||$21.69|
|American Express Company (AXP)||$7.00|
|General Dynamics Corporation (GD)||$18.60|
|Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (APD)||$22.00|
|British Am Tobacco PLC (BTI)||$21.99|
|ONEOK, Inc. (OKE)||$82.50|
|AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)||$38.40|
|Abbott Laboratories (ABT)||$9.80|
|Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL)||$21.00|
|EPR Properties (EPR)||$14.40|
|Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL)||$3.75|
|Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI)||$15.00|
|Main Street Capital Corporation (MAIN)||$22.80|
|National Grid PLC (NGG)||$61.82|
|National Retail Properties, Inc. (NNN)||$72.50|
|Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. (OHI)||$105.60|
|Praxair, Inc. (PX)||$8.25|
|Procter & Gamble Co. (PG)||$36.58|
|Realty Income Corp. (O)||$20.90|
|Stag Industrial Inc. (STAG)||$13.02|
|Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (SKT)||$14.00|
|Apple Inc. (AAPL)||$14.60|
|The Clorox Co. (CLX)||$28.80|
|HCP, Inc. (HCP)||$29.60|
|Welltower Inc. (WELL)||$39.15|
|Fastenal Company (FAST)||$20.00|
|Papa John's International Inc. (PZZA)||$3.38|
|Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)||$16.20|
|Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM)||$10.75|
|Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO)||$13.87|
|Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT)||$15.95|
Just for reference, a great resource for tracking your portfolio and everything related to it is Personal Capital.
These are some magnificent companies. It’s hard to be anything but pleased when you’re collecting this kind of passive income.
This is, by the way, the first time I’ve collected $1,000 in dividends outside of one of the end-of-quarter months. So that’s another neat milestone completed.
If you would have told me at 26 years old that I would eventually figure out a way to earn $100 per month, in perpetuity, for doing nothing at all, I would have been amazed and very happy to hear that.
If you would have told me at 26 years old that I would eventually figure out a way to earn, on average, more than $1,000 per month, in perpetuity, and that monthly income would be growing faster than inflation, I would have passed out in disbelief.
Yet that’s the position I find myself in today, just 10 years after that hypothetical situation.
The 26-year-old version of myself would be pretty impressed, if not completely shocked by what he eventually would go on to do. What’s transpired between then and now has been a crazy and wonderful adventure. And it continues to get better.
It continuing to get better is partly a function of the growing dividends that I’m collecting, as my five-figure annual dividend income is growing like clockwork. With that, my options, flexibility, and very freedom also grow like clockwork.
This lifestyle gives me all the feels, guys. I couldn’t be happier.
And that’s why I continue to do whatever I can to inspire, motivate, and educate others – this lifestyle is too good to keep to myself. Furthermore, making my dreams come true involves helping others make their dreams come true.
I believe financial freedom is out there waiting for anyone who has the drive and desire to meet it. We just have to follow the path.
This month’s dividend income is 15.2% higher than the $880.83 I collected in August 2017. The total amount of dividend income I’ve collected in 2018 is now up to $8,044.21. That’s 13.6% YOY growth compared to the $7,082.43 in dividend income I earned through August 2017.
That’s fantastic YOY dividend growth here, especially considering that organic dividend growth (the dividend increases that come from the companies I’m invested in) did the heavy lifting here – I’m no longer aggressively buying stocks. The portfolio is basically in “maintenance mode” from here on out.
And since moving abroad has more or less eliminated inflation from my life, dividend growth isn’t even the concern it once was for me.
Still, large annual increases in purchasing power goes a long way toward improving my quality of life through the additional flexibility/options that comes along with that.
It was another fantastic month, and I hope all of you also had a fantastic August!
Full disclosure: I’m long all aforementioned stocks.
How was your month? How much dividend income did you collect? Is your dividend income (and the growth of it) living up to expectations?
Thanks for reading.
Image courtesy of: bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
P.S. If you’d also like to collect five-figure dividend income and reach FIRE, check out some phenomenal resources that personally helped me become financially independent in my early 30s!