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, 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)||$102.00|
|General Mills, Inc. (GIS)||$36.75|
|The GEO Group, Inc. (GEO)||$24.00|
|Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)||$46.13|
|CVS Health Corp. (CVS)||$15.00|
|Raytheon Company (RTN)||$23.56|
|American Express Company (AXP)||$8.60|
|Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (APD)||$23.20|
|Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL)||$4.03|
|Apple Inc. (AAPL)||$15.40|
|ONEOK, Inc. (OKE)||$91.50|
|Abbott Laboratories (ABT)||$11.20|
|AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)||$48.15|
|Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL)||$21.50|
|The Clorox Co. (CLX)||$31.80|
|EPR Properties (EPR)||$15.01|
|General Dynamics Corporation (GD)||$20.40|
|Main Street Capital Corporation (MAIN)||$24.60|
|Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL)||$4.20|
|Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI)||$18.75|
|National Retail Properties, Inc. (NNN)||$74.68|
|Procter & Gamble Co. (PG)||$38.04|
|Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. (OHI)||$107.20|
|Stag Industrial Inc. (STAG)||$13.11|
|Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (SKT)||$17.75|
|Realty Income Corp. (O)||$21.57|
|Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN)||$4.50|
|Healthpeak Properties Inc. (PEAK)||$29.60|
|British Am Tobacco PLC (BTI)||$32.61|
|Welltower Inc. (WELL)||$39.15|
|Fastenal Company (FAST)||$22.00|
|Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT)||$15.95|
|Simon Property Group Inc. (SPG)||$2.10|
|Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)||$20.50|
|Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM)||$12.00|
Just for reference, a great resource for tracking your portfolio and everything related to it is Personal Capital.
Really amazing stuff.
More than 30 of the world’s best businesses paid me money in November. I never clocked in or did a second of work for any of these businesses, yet I collected these cash dividends all the same. Being an investor is definitely the easiest “job” I’ve ever had!
The passive dividend income is the lifeblood of my financial independence. It’s the wellspring from which all of my opportunities flow. I’m free to live exactly as I please because of this growing passive income. It’s an amazing lifestyle. And it’s a lifestyle that I think almost anyone out there can achieve for themselves.
But one can’t live this lifestyle without first taking action.
FIRE isn’t guaranteed to anyone. But consistently and intelligently saving and investing can certainly get you there. It can get you there faster than you might think. However, never starting in the first place is a surefire way to failure.
Financial independence and early retirement is just like anything else wonderful in life.
Anything worth having is worth working hard for.
And I can tell you, for sure, FIRE is worth it. It’s worth every ounce of so-called “sacrifice”. If sacrifice is giving up needless trinkets in order to have a lifetime of freedom, I’ll gladly make that sacrifice every day of the week.
It takes serious upfront patience, persistence, and perseverance. No doubt about it. But after a few years, everything gets much easier. And before you know it, your money is working hard for you. Then you’re free to do whatever you like.
Let me assure you, money does work hard. It works incredibly hard. Harder than you or I could ever work. It requires no sleep or food. Better yet, it works harder and harder, year in and out. That’s because it replicates itself, creating extra little worker bees all by itself. And those new worker bees later create more new worker bees. On and on it goes.
That happens through compounding.
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 10.5% higher than the $938.39 I collected in November 2018. The total amount of dividend income I’ve collected in 2019 is now up to $12,475.00. I’ve realized 10.5% YOY growth compared to the $11,287.76 in dividend income I collected through November 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 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!