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…
|Aflac Incorporated (AFL)||$46.80|
|Enbridge Inc. (ENB)||$43.95|
|JM Smucker Co. (SJM)||$11.70|
|Pfizer Inc. (PFE)||$20.40|
|Phillips 66 (PSX)||$21.60|
|WEC Energy Group Inc. (WEC)||$13.81|
|Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI)||$9.75|
|Visa Inc. (V)||$4.20|
|Southern Co. (SO)||$51.00|
|Unilever PLC (ADR) (UL)||$47.89|
|United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS)||$22.75|
|Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)||$15.08|
|Discover Financial Services (DFS)||$3.50|
|Southside Bancshares, Inc. (SBSI)||$24.00|
|TJX Companies Inc. (TJX)||$1.95|
|Amgen, Inc. (AMGN)||$13.20|
|Chevron Corporation (CVX)||$22.40|
|Emerson Electric Co. (EMR)||$41.23|
|Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM)||$16.40|
|International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)||$31.40|
|Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC)||$39.60|
|United Technologies Corporation (UTX)||$28.00|
|Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)||$90.00|
|3M Co. (MMM)||$13.60|
|CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (CNP)||$24.98|
|Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)||$10.50|
|Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (CFR)||$13.40|
|EPR Properties (EPR)||$14.40|
|Harris Corporation (HRS)||$22.80|
|Hershey Co. (HSY)||$13.12|
|Main Street Capital Corporation (MAIN)||$55.80|
|Polaris Industries Inc. (PII)||$12.00|
|Praxair, Inc. (PX)||$8.25|
|Realty Income Corp. (O)||$20.85|
|Stag Industrial Inc. (STAG)||$13.02|
|Duke Energy Corp. (DUK)||$26.70|
|McDonald's Corporation (MCD)||$55.55|
|Royal Dutch Shell PLC (ADR) (RDS.B)||$47.00|
|VF Corp. (VFC)||$25.30|
|Dominion Resources, Inc. (D)||$20.88|
|Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM)||$37.20|
|Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO)||$48.60|
|BP PLC (ADR) (BP)||$66.00|
|Brinker International, Inc. (EAT)||$28.50|
|Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD)||$11.40|
|Public Storage (PSA)||$10.00|
|Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT)||$15.95|
|C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW)||$11.50|
|Crown Castle International Corp. (CCI)||$15.75|
|Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (DLR)||$45.45|
|NorthWestern Corp. (NWE)||$13.75|
|PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP)||$71.42|
|Service Corporation International (SCI)||$3.40|
|Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV)||$7.70|
|Union Pacific Corporation (UNP)||$43.80|
Just for reference, a great resource for tracking your portfolio and everything related to it is Personal Capital.
Man, another fantastic month!
This exceeds a full-time income for many Americans. Indeed, it exceeds the amount of money a large chunk of the global population earns in any given month for working many hours.
To be able to sit back and relax while having that kind of passive income streaming in is a feeling that is almost indescribable.
And then to be in that position in my 30s…
I’ve worked really hard to get (and stay) here. But I was so lucky, too.
Life is now about pursuing passions rather than chasing cash. And that’s great, because chasing the buck is a futile exercise: you’ll never catch it.
I’ve allowed it to come to me, and now I can allocate my time toward bettering myself as a human being.
The crazy thing is, it’s possible for just about anyone to get to this position in life. Plus, you don’t even have to wait that long.
Sitting here from the top of Mt. Freedom has given me an awesome perspective. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t do what I can to inspire others to catch a glimpse of this view. That’s why I continue to write, coach, share, and motivate.
Mt. Freedom isn’t like Mt. Everest. Mt. Freedom actually gets easier as you near the summit. That’s quite a bit different than a real mountain.
So don’t let anything hold you back from climbing this thing.
This is only the second time I’ve earned $1,400 or more in dividends in a single month. $1,500 is coming up. Very excited about that.
This month’s dividend income is 7.8% higher than the $1,343.74 I collected in June 2017. The total amount of dividend income I’ve collected in 2018 is now up to $6,248.15. That’s 12.9% YOY growth compared to the $5,536.46 in dividend income I earned through June 2017.
Very solid growth here. I’m nothing but pleased. Moving abroad has essentially solved inflation worries for me, so dividend growth isn’t even the priority it once was (when I was still living in the US).
Still, this kind of YOY dividend growth for a FIRE stock portfolio that’s more or less in “maintenance mode” is fantastic.
I say maintenance mode because I’m no longer aggressively investing thousands of dollars per month in fresh capital to achieve FIRE, because I’ve already hit my financial goals in life. Still, I invest a little bit of capital here and there. And the snowball I’ve already started rolling will only continue to gain speed and size over time. Look out below!
Almost 60 different companies sent me a dividend this past month. That’s close to averaging two dividends per day over the course of June. That’s what I’m talking about!
The air might be pretty tough to breathe at the top of Mt. Everest. But I can tell you the air is fresh as a daisy from the top of Mt. Freedom.
Come join me.
I hope you all had a fantastic month of June, 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: 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!