About Me

irst Written June 25, 2015

Welcome to my first post that will dive into the world of dividends and passive income.  For those of you who come from the world wide web and have found my happy little corner I appreciate you stopping by.  To those who are the inspiration and have who are on your own journey and documented it so well, I thank you for helping propel me in the right direction.  I have always invested, but not nearly with the focus that dividend growth investing has provided.  As a result I made some questionable investing decisions back in the day and learned some valuable investing lessons.  Bought and sold WAAAAY too early (Apple at $38...) check, bought and watched one go to zero (PACT), yep did that too, but overall over time my investing style has gravitated unknowingly towards dividends and the passive income the provide.  I have realized that really the important thing is a constant cash stream and not chasing returns on something that doesn't pay you to own it.

First a little bit about me, I'm 34 years old and have been an avid saver for life.  Born and raised in Chicago, attended the University of Illinois to get my degree in business management, and off into the work world I went.  I spent time immediately after graduation running a McDonald's, which game me perspective on how to run a three million dollar business and a new perspective on the "would you like fries with that" world.  I was lucky enough to actually go toHamburger University to learn about the ins and out for running a fast food business,  Yes I graduated from this prestigious program...with honors!  From there I transitioned into insurance and have worked at a couple different companies which has given me the privilege of meeting some wonderful people and given me stories that defined the ridiculousness of humanity.  Currently I live in Phoenix with my pup Tallie who is five months of awesomeness with an insane amount of energy and character.  The one thing that I have learned is that while saving money is great and having high quality assets that pay you to own them is fantastic, what truly matters is life experiences and the joy we can derive from them.  Never do I want to look in the mirror and say I was so frugal that I didn't enjoy my time here on god's green Earth.  I also am happy to splurge on a high quality to if see fit.

I realized in late 2011 that I needed to start making some changes.  I was contributing 7% of my gross salary to my 401k and watching it slowly increase.  I also was contributing the $5000 a year max to my Roth IRA, but the gains were slow and I realized that at the current rate I would be working forever.  Slowly I started to transfer funds out of my mutual funds and bonds and into individual stocks.  I also started a secondary brokerage account that allows me to invest in high quality companies that pay a steady dividend.  I utilize a two tiered approach.  First I look for high quality companies that pay a steady dividend and have a history of increasing them.  Second I look for stocks that are hated to the point where they become very undervalued and ones that I know are too big to fail or go away.  Ultimately my goal is for dividends to be able to pay for my day to day expenses and be able to work because I want to and not because I have to,

My investing philosophy is probably a bit more blended than other dividend growth investors as I focus on dividend growth as a large portion of my portfolio, but I am not afraid to leverage a bit more risk for some sizable gains as well.  Thing Bank of American when it was trading under $6 a share.  These calculated risks have payed off handsomely for me and have helped to boost total returns of my portfolio while still paying a dividend.  Other wins have come from buying American Airlines when it was $6 a share and watched is transform into a dividend paying, low $40 a share stock.  I find that while the dividends provide the backbone to my plan, a little more risk can have it's rewards.

So what do I want out of this blog?  This is what will keep me honest, commemorate my progress, and show me how I am progressing against my goals.  I want to show everyone that it can be done and that you don't need to have a crazy income to do it.  Heck I worked at McDonald's and am being successful.  Trust me the pay for the manager's is not that great either.  What about you all?  What do you want to see from this blog and what topics interest you?  I look forward to continuing the journey with you all.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Duncan, nice to read your story! I grew up outside of Chicago in Palatine and went to Northern Illinois University. We probably passed each other on the Kennedy or Eisenhower at some point, most likely going 5mph in a mess of traffic.

    Phoenix, eh? When you make it up to Colorado, look me up.