I’ve been investing for more than nine years, using dividend growth investing to achieve FIRE at a very young age.
I poured my heard-earned savings into high-quality businesses that pay reliable and increasing dividends. I bought these stocks at good values, then I just sat on them and collected/reinvested the growing dividends.
My FIRE Fund is the result of that activity. The bulk of that Fund was built in a six-year period, from 2010-2016.
It’s my real-money early retirement stock portfolio.
The Fund generates enough passive income to cover my essential expenses in life, rendering me financially independent.
Haven’t had a job in five years. Don’t anticipate needing one ever again.
I say that because the portfolio is heavily diversified across more than 100 world-class enterprises, and I’m very confident about their future prospects and the growing dividend income this collective group of businesses pays me.
The Fund is like a small forest, with each holding being a tree in that forest. Every tree produces the bountiful dividend fruit that I live off of. In fact, almost every tree is producing more fruit this year than it was last year.
A lot more.
Now, some trees are taller and healthier than others, and some trees produce more fruit than others, but the overall size and breadth of the forest as a whole is a beautiful thing.
I sleep incredibly well at night because of this diversification. Diversification is pretty much the only “free lunch” available to investors.
However, while the Fund is heavily diversified, the top 10 positions make up approximately 25% of the portfolio’s market value.
So these are companies that I’m essentially betting a large percentage of my early retirement and passive income on.
I’ve noticed that mainstream media and people in forum boards like to endlessly debate the hypothetical and theoretical, but I guess I’ve always been more interested in the application of concepts.
This is why I thought it’d be interesting to take some time today to examine some of the real-life largest long-term financial investments I’ve made. After all, this isn’t theory. It’s real money. I actually retired in my early 30s and live off of dividend income.
These are the biggest and tallest “trees” in my forest.
Let’s quickly take a look at my top 10 holdings.
My top 10 holdings can be accessed via my FIRE Fund.
I have well over 100 businesses in the portfolio. Over 100 trees in my “forest”. Having that level of diversification allows me to sleep soundly.
I don’t ever think for even a second that my growing dividend income might not be there for me at some point in the future. There’s no fear or worry whatsoever that I won’t have more “fruit” to live off of next year and every year thereafter. It’s instead highly likely that the forest will have taller trees producing much more fruit for many more years to come.
And while not every company is firing on all cylinders at all times, even a dividend cut or two wouldn’t phase me. Dividends are, after all, almost always “in the green”. Even if/when one tree is slightly withering for a time, the rest of the trees should remain quite lush.
That said, the portfolio does have a certain level of concentration at the top. These 10 largest positions account for almost 1/4 of the portfolio’s total market value.
Even then, though, I feel fantastic about being a bit more heavily exposed to these particular businesses. They’re all blue-chip companies that keep my cash flowing and growing. I suspect that will continue for many more years to come.
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
These 10 trees are providing me a lot of shade… and bountiful dividend fruit.
Full disclosure: I’m long all aforementioned stocks.
What do you think? Are these 10 solid companies? What are your top 10 holdings?
Thanks for reading.
P.S. If you’re ready to invest in blue-chip companies and become financially independent, check out some awesome resources I personally used on my to becoming financially free at 33!