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|
|Pfizer Inc. (PFE)||$21.60|
|Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC)||$45.90|
|WEC Energy Group Inc. (WEC)||$14.75|
|JM Smucker Co. (SJM)||$13.20|
|Visa Inc. (V)||$5.00|
|Phillips 66 (PSX)||$24.30|
|Enbridge Inc. (ENB)||$47.04|
|Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI)||$10.50|
|United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS)||$24.00|
|Southside Bancshares, Inc. (SBSI)||$24.80|
|Discover Financial Services (DFS)||$6.60|
|TJX Companies Inc. (TJX)||$2.30|
|Amgen, Inc. (AMGN)||$14.50|
|Southern Co. (SO)||$52.70|
|Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM)||$17.40|
|Emerson Electric Co. (EMR)||$41.65|
|Chevron Corporation (CVX)||$23.80|
|Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC)||$51.70|
|International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)||$32.40|
|Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)||$95.00|
|United Technologies Corporation (UTX)||$29.41|
|Target Corporation (TGT)||$3.30|
|Unilever PLC (UL)||$45.85|
|3M Co. (MMM)||$14.40|
|Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)||$11.50|
|CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (CNP)||$25.88|
|Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)||$15.75|
|Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (CFR)||$14.20|
|Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO)||$51.30|
|The Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC)||$8.00|
|Realty Income Corp. (O)||$21.52|
|Duke Energy Corp. (DUK)||$28.36|
|EPR Properties (EPR)||$15.01|
|Main Street Capital Corporation (MAIN)||$24.60|
|Hershey Co. (HSY)||$19.33|
|Stag Industrial Inc. (STAG)||$13.11|
|Polaris Industries Inc. (PII)||$12.20|
|McDonald's Corporation (MCD)||$63.80|
|Linde PLC (LIN)||$8.75|
|L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (LHX)||$30.00|
|The Home Depot Inc. (HD)||$1.36|
|BP PLC (BP)||$67.65|
|Dominion Resources, Inc. (D)||$27.53|
|Kontoor Brands, Inc. (KTB)||$3.92|
|VF Corp. (VFC)||$23.65|
|Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.B)||$47.00|
|Brinker International, Inc. (EAT)||$28.50|
|Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM)||$37.20|
|Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT)||$15.95|
|Public Storage (PSA)||$10.00|
|Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD)||$12.60|
|C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW)||$12.50|
|Crown Castle International Corp. (CCI)||$16.88|
|Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (DLR)||$48.60|
|Nike Inc. (NKE)||$1.10|
|Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV)||$8.20|
|NorthWestern Corp. (NWE)||$14.38|
|PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP)||$73.54|
|Service Corporation International (SCI)||$3.60|
|Union Pacific Corporation (UNP)||$58.20|
Just for reference, a great resource for tracking your portfolio and everything related to it is Personal Capital.
Really amazing stuff.
Collecting almost $1,600 without lifting a finger.
It sounds like a pipe dream.
Well, it’s not.
But financial independence and early retirement is a dream. A dream come true, that is. One I’m actually living every single day. And one that I believe just about anyone else out there can live, too.
To say I’m blessed would be a massive understatement. I’m beyond overjoyed with the situation I find myself in.
It’s like having a giant flock of golden geese, laying ever-more golden eggs for me to live my life with. The geese get fatter over time (stock prices go up), but all that really matters to me is the size and quantity of the golden eggs. Best of all, I don’t even have to feed the geese. It’s magical stuff.
Even if a goose occasionally becomes ill, loses weight, and stops laying as many eggs, it doesn’t really matter much. The rest of the geese keep pumping out ever-more golden eggs.
It’s the nature of dividend growth investing.
It’s the nature of a compounding dividend income snowball.
Let’s see this snowball in action.
This month’s dividend income is 8.4% higher than the $1,469.56 I collected in September 2018. The total amount of dividend income I’ve collected in 2019 is now up to $10,511.97. I’ve realized 10.5% YOY growth compared to the $9,513.77 in dividend income I collected through September 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.
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!