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).
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, and 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 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…
|Albemarle Corporation (ALB)||$11.73|
|The Coca-Cola Co. (KO)||$54.60|
|Genuine Parts Company (GPC)||$3.60|
|Nike Inc. (NKE)||$1.00|
|PPL Corp. (PPL)||$16.40|
|Kimberly-Clark Corp. (KMB)||$20.00|
|South Jersey Industries Inc. (SJI)||$14.00|
|Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW)||$35.00|
|Diageo PLC (DEO)||$52.53|
|Altria Group Inc. (MO)||$68.00|
|Omnicom Group Inc. (OMC)||$9.00|
|Chubb Ltd. (CB)||$10.95|
|Philip Morris International Inc. (PM)||$114.00|
|Ventas, Inc. (VTR)||$47.40|
|Cardinal Health Inc. (CAH)||$16.67|
|EPR Properties (EPR)||$14.40|
|Main Street Capital Corporation (MAIN)||$23.40|
|Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (PEB)||$24.70|
|Realty Income Corp. (O)||$20.95|
|Stag Industrial Inc. (STAG)||$13.02|
|STORE Capital Corp. (STOR)||$14.85|
|W.P. Carey Inc. (WPC)||$82.00|
|Bank OZK (OZK)||$2.10|
|Medtronic PLC (MDT)||$18.50|
|Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)||$18.15|
|Armanino Foods of Dinstinction Inc. (AMNF)||$30.38|
|Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT)||$15.95|
|Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)||$51.77|
|Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)||$30.55|
Just for reference, a great resource for tracking your portfolio and everything related to it is Personal Capital.
I still sometimes can’t believe I’m in this position.
Even though I’ve been collecting significant dividend income for a few years now, it continues to feel pretty surreal to me.
This would be quite a bit of passive income in the States, but it’s supercharged over here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. That’s due to the power of geographic arbitrage. My local purchasing power has been at least tripled, perhaps even quintupled.
I’ve done well as an investor, but the choice to become an expat has blown away anything I’ve done on the investing side thus far.
This is truly a dream life for me. Getting paid just to exist is a pretty sweet deal. There’s nothing quite like it.
Knowing that you’ve got your basic bills totally covered in life sets you up for a carefree existence, where you can then go and work on projects you’re passionate about without worrying too much about the financial ramifications. You can do almost whatever you want. That autonomy and freedom is truly priceless.
And that autonomy, along with the options one has in their life, only grows year in and year out. That’s the nature of rolling a dividend growth snowball. It’s more dividend income, more flexibility, more options, more freedom. More of everything you could ever want!
This month’s dividend income is 15.0% higher than the $726.73 I earned in October 2017. The total amount of dividend income I’ve collected in 2018 is now up to $10,349.37. I’ve realized 13.0% YOY growth compared to the $9,158.04 in dividend income I earned through October 2017.
This is the fastest I’ve ever hit $10,000 in dividend income. Hitting that level of passive dividend income in a single year was once a huge, massive goal of mine.
Five-figure annual passive income?! Say whaaaaaat?
Now it doesn’t even take a whole year to hit it. It’s incredible. I’m very fortunate.
That’s fantastic YOY dividend growth here, especially considering that organic dividend growth (the dividend increases that come from the companies I’m invested in) did the heavy lifting here – I’m no longer aggressively buying stocks. The portfolio is basically in “maintenance mode” from here on out.
And since moving abroad has more or less eliminated inflation worries from my life, dividend growth isn’t even the concern it once was for me.
Still, large annual increases in purchasing power goes a long way toward improving my quality of life through the additional flexibility that comes along with that.
It was another fantastic month, and I hope all of you also had a fantastic October!
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 tools and services that personally helped me become financially independent in my early 30s!