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.
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)||$31.85|
|Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)||$44.25|
|CVS Health Corp. (CVS)||$10.00|
|American Express Company (AXP)||$7.00|
|Raytheon Company (RTN)||$21.69|
|The Clorox Co. (CLX)||$28.80|
|General Dynamics Corporation (GD)||$18.60|
|Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (APD)||$22.00|
|British Am Tobacco PLC (ADR) (BTI)||$16.53|
|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)||$13.00|
|Main Street Capital Corporation (MAIN)||$22.80|
|National Retail Properties, Inc. (NNN)||$68.88|
|Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. (OHI)||$105.60|
|ONEOK, Inc. (OKE)||$79.50|
|Procter & Gamble Co. (PG)||$36.58|
|Realty Income Corp. (O)||$20.85|
|Stag Industrial Inc. (STAG)||$13.02|
|Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (SKT)||$12.25|
|Apple Inc. (AAPL)||$14.60|
|HCP, Inc. (HCP)||$29.60|
|Welltower Inc. (WELL)||$39.15|
|Fastenal Company (FAST)||$18.50|
|Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT)||$15.95|
|Nestle SA (NSRGY)||$48.33|
|Papa John's International Inc. (PZZA)||$2.25|
|Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)||$9.00|
|Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM)||$10.75|
Just for reference, a great resource for tracking your portfolio and everything related to it is Personal Capital.
Wow. I still can’t believe it sometimes.
I remember waiting tables part time at a Big Boy restaurant (a type of diner) in Michigan during college. I had to work an entire month to make $1,000 back then.
Folks, it was brutal, hard, grimy, dirty, sweaty work. Running around for a tip of $3.00 really humbles you.
I can think back to exactly how I felt as I was cleaning out the salad bar at midnight, about how I’d one day never have to do anything like this again.
Well, I went from working for Big Boy to becoming a big boy. A big dividend boy, that is. I’m all grown up now.
To be able to collect that same ~$1,000 for doing nothing at all makes me feel incredible.
John D. Rockefeller has a famous quote about how seeing his dividends come in was the only thing that gave him pleasure in life. I actually feel sorry for someone who only feels joy from collecting money, but I can say, for sure, collecting my dividends is a very pleasurable aspect of my life (although far from the only pleasurable aspect). I can also say it’s a hell of a lot more pleasurable than cleaning out a salad bar at midnight, after a long and tiring day of serving food.
This month’s dividend income is 30% higher than the $730.15 I collected in May 2017. The total amount of dividend income I’ve collected in 2018 is now up to $4,798.97.
That greatly exceeds my expectations for YOY dividend growth from the Fund. My portfolio is more or less in “maintenance” mode now, meaning I’m no longer aggressively investing thousands of dollars per month so that I can achieve FIRE (because I’m already FIRE).
But I still invest a little bit of capital here and there. And that’s combined with the organic dividend growth from the companies themselves as they go about increasing their dividends pretty routinely, which ends up creating the snowball effect that allows for a runaway snowball of growing dividend income that will one day be more than one can reasonably spend.
Over 30 different companies sent me a dividend during the month of May. In fact, the number of dividends I collected during the month of May exceeded the number of days in the month of May. Indeed, I’m still collecting a dividend a day, which keeps the unwanted job away!
I can tell you I’m glad to no longer be waiting tables. That’s definitely an unwanted job I’m very grateful to keep away. And it’s all thanks to investing in high-quality dividend growth stocks.
Another fantastic month in the books.
I hope you all had a phenomenal month of May, 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!