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 passive dividend income my FIRE Fund generates on my behalf.
I aptly named my portfolio the FIRE Fund because it allowed me to become financially independent and retire early (FIRE).
I built this portfolio 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.
Well, shareholders are ultimately the collective owners of any publicly-traded company. Growing dividends are our rightful share of that growing profit.
The growing dividends that are sent my way by the businesses I own a slice of are enough to cover my essential expenses in life. Better yet, these dividends are growing faster than inflation.
That means I don’t need a job. Haven’t had one since turning 32 years old. And I have no plans to get one.
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 cash money. 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…
|Aflac Incorporated (AFL)||$48.60|
|Enbridge Inc. (ENB)||$49.91|
|Invesco Ltd. (IVZ)||$3.10|
|JM Smucker Co. (SJM)||$13.20|
|Pfizer Inc. (PFE)||$21.60|
|Phillips 66 (PSX)||$24.30|
|Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC)||$45.90|
|WEC Energy Group Inc. (WEC)||$14.75|
|Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI)||$10.50|
|Visa Inc. (V)||$6.00|
|WestRock Company (WRK)||$13.95|
|Unilever PLC (UL)||$45.16|
|United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS)||$24.00|
|Discover Financial Services (DFS)||$6.60|
|TJX Companies Inc. (TJX)||$2.30|
|Amgen, Inc. (AMGN)||$14.50|
|L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (LHX)||$30.00|
|Southern Co. (SO)||$52.70|
|Chevron Corporation (CVX)||$23.80|
|Emerson Electric Co. (EMR)||$42.50|
|Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM)||$19.14|
|International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)||$32.40|
|Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)||$95.00|
|Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC)||$51.70|
|Target Corporation (TGT)||$3.30|
|United Technologies Corporation (UTX)||$29.41|
|Main Street Capital Corporation (MAIN)||$53.40|
|Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)||$12.75|
|Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)||$15.75|
|CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (CNP)||$25.88|
|Southside Bancshares, Inc. (SBSI)||$27.20|
|3M Co. (MMM)||$17.28|
|Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (CFR)||$14.20|
|Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO)||$51.30|
|The Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC)||$8.00|
|Realty Income Corp. (O)||$21.57|
|The Coca-Cola Co. (KO)||$56.00|
|Duke Energy Corp. (DUK)||$28.36|
|EPR Properties (EPR)||$15.01|
|Hershey Co. (HSY)||$19.33|
|McDonald's Corporation (MCD)||$68.75|
|Polaris Industries Inc. (PII)||$12.20|
|Stag Industrial Inc. (STAG)||$13.11|
|Linde PLC (LIN)||$8.75|
|Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.B)||$47.00|
|The Home Depot Inc. (HD)||$1.36|
|Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM)||$37.20|
|BP PLC (BP)||$67.65|
|Dominion Resources, Inc. (D)||$27.53|
|Kontoor Brands, Inc. (KTB)||$3.92|
|VF Corp. (VFC)||$26.40|
|Brinker International, Inc. (EAT)||$28.50|
|Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT)||$15.95|
|South Jersey Industries Inc. (SJI)||$14.75|
|Public Storage (PSA)||$10.00|
|Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD)||$12.60|
|Union Pacific Corporation (UNP)||$58.20|
|Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV)||$8.20|
|C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW)||$12.75|
|Service Corporation International (SCI)||$3.60|
|Crown Castle International Corp. (CCI)||$18.00|
|NorthWestern Corp. (NWE)||$14.38|
|Broadcom Inc. (AVGO)||$13.00|
Just for reference, a great resource for tracking your portfolio and everything related to it is Personal Capital.
Wow. Holy smokes.
A new milestone!
This is the first time I’ve ever earned more than $1,600 in dividend income in a single month.
That’s a wonderful way to cap off 2019, which was a wonderful year for me from start to finish.
Dozens of world-class enterprises are working hard on my behalf. And they’re sending me reliable and rising cash dividend payments for their efforts. It’s a fantastic arrangement. And one I’m very, very fortunate to be part of.
This kind of success doesn’t happen overnight.
But if you’re consistent, persistent, and patient, amazing things can and will happen for you over time.
I’m proof of that.
I grew up very poor. Have no college degree. Lost my entire family. Never made very much money in my short career.
Yet I’m financially independent and retired in my 30s. It’s all because I lived below my means and intelligently invested my capital.
It sounds simple.
Well, that’s because it is.
Some of the best things in life are simple. And some of the worst things are extremely complicated.
I don’t needlessly complicate my life. Simple is nice.
The compounding dividend income snowball I started rolling years ago is now rolling down the hill all by itself – at an ever-larger size and ever-faster speed.
Let’s see this snowball in action.
This month’s dividend income is 8.0% higher than the $1,500.76 I collected in December 2018. The total amount of dividend income I collected in 2019 finished at $14,096.55. I realized 10.2% YOY growth compared to the $12,788.52 in dividend income I collected in 2018.
I couldn’t be more proud of or pleased with the Fund and the life situation I find myself in.
Indeed, they’re inextricably linked.
I’m only able to live my dream early retirement life abroad because of the Fund and the growing passive dividend income it generates for me. I’m incredibly grateful for this.
The crazy thing is, I stopped aggressively investing more than three years ago. I achieved FIRE in March 2016 at the age of 33, which meant I achieved my primary financial goal in life.
Since then, I’ve decided to allocate the majority of my resources toward other areas of my life. This dividend income growth is mostly the result of the snowball rolling all by itself. If that’s not proof of the power of dividend growth investing, I don’t know what is.
Living off of dividends is the dream. And it’s a dream that can easily be a reality.
But getting started is critical. Life is too short to let these early retirement dreams pass you by.
I can certainly say I feel like I’m living inside of a dream. I wake up every day, overwhelmed with excitement to live exactly as I wish to. For a college dropout who grew up in a crack house in Detroit, it almost seems to good to be true at times.
This year was outstanding for me. I hope all of you had a great year, too!
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: imgflip and WarnerMedia.
P.S. If you’d also like to collect five-figure dividend income and reach FIRE, check out some phenomenal tools and services that personally helped me become financially independent in my early 30s!