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 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.
That means 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 go back.
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, 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)||$48.60|
|Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC)||$40.50|
|WEC Energy Group Inc. (WEC)||$14.75|
|JM Smucker Co. (SJM)||$12.75|
|Phillips 66 (PSX)||$24.30|
|Enbridge Inc. (ENB)||$46.56|
|Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI)||$10.50|
|L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (LHX)||$27.40|
|Visa Inc. (V)||$5.00|
|Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)||$15.75|
|United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS)||$24.00|
|Unilever PLC (UL)||$46.41|
|Discover Financial Services (DFS)||$6.00|
|TJX Companies Inc. (TJX)||$2.30|
|Southern Co. (SO)||$52.70|
|Southside Bancshares, Inc. (SBSI)||$24.80|
|Amgen, Inc. (AMGN)||$14.50|
|Pfizer Inc. (PFE)||$21.60|
|Emerson Electric Co. (EMR)||$41.65|
|Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC)||$47.30|
|Int'l Business Machines Corp. (IBM)||$32.40|
|Target Corporation (TGT)||$3.20|
|United Technologies Corporation (UTX)||$29.41|
|Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM)||$17.40|
|Chevron Corporation (CVX)||$23.80|
|Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)||$95.00|
|3M Co. (MMM)||$14.40|
|Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)||$11.50|
|CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (CNP)||$25.88|
|Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (CFR)||$14.20|
|Main Street Capital Corporation (MAIN)||$54.00|
|Hershey Co. (HSY)||$18.05|
|The Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC)||$8.00|
|Realty Income Corp. (O)||$21.47|
|Duke Energy Corp. (DUK)||$27.82|
|EPR Properties (EPR)||$15.01|
|McDonald's Corporation (MCD)||$63.80|
|Stag Industrial Inc. (STAG)||$13.11|
|Polaris Industries Inc. (PII)||$12.20|
|Linde PLC (LIN)||$8.75|
|Dominion Resources, Inc. (D)||$27.53|
|The Home Depot Inc. (HD)||$1.36|
|VF Corp. (VFC)||$28.05|
|BP PLC (BP)||$67.65|
|Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO)||$51.30|
|Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.B)||$47.00|
|Public Storage (PSA)||$10.00|
|Brinker International, Inc. (EAT)||$28.50|
|Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD)||$12.60|
|Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM)||$37.20|
|Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT)||$15.95|
|Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV)||$8.20|
|C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW)||$12.50|
|Crown Castle International Corp. (CCI)||$16.88|
|Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (DLR)||$48.60|
|NorthWestern Corp. (NWE)||$14.38|
|Union Pacific Corporation (UNP)||$52.80|
|Service Corporation International (SCI)||$3.60|
Just for reference, a great resource for tracking your portfolio and everything related to it is Personal Capital.
A new monthly record!
Almost hit the $1,600 mark. Fell just a few pennies short. Incredible.
I remember waiting tables part time in college. It was a brutally tough job. One of the worst I ever had.
Well, I had to wait tables for almost two months to earn this kind of money.
Now I sit back and collect it in a single month without lifting a finger?!
I couldn’t be more fortunate. I’m very thankful for every opportunity I’ve been given, including the opportunity to take advantage of capitalism.
This is a good chunk of money by any measure.
It’s even more when you look at its passivity.
An active dollar falls well short of a passive dollar. A passive dollar is worth at least three times as much to me as an active dollar.
I mean, there’s the immense value of your time, tax advantages, and ability to go out and actively make money while you simultaneously make more passive money.
Plus, it’s all compounding!
Speaking of the compounding, my compounding dividend growth snowball continues to roll ever-faster and ever-larger.
Let’s see this snowball in action.
This month’s dividend income is 10.0% higher than the $1,449.18 I earned in June 2018. The total amount of dividend income I’ve collected in 2019 is now up to $6,941.43. I’ve realized 11.1% YOY growth compared to the $6,248.15 in dividend income I earned through June 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 three years ago. I achieved FIRE in March 2016 at the age of 33, which meant I achieved my primary financial goal in life.
Ever since then, I’ve decided to allocate the majority of my resources toward other areas of my life. This income growth is mostly the result of the snowball just rolling at this point. 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 has been phenomenal for me. I hope all of you are having a great year thus far, 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!