Who is Dividend Earner?

A dividend blog focused on retiring with dividend income through dividend growth. Without a pension plan, I need to create my own income-generating wealth and be the best dividend investor I can be.

Let start by saying that I am just a regular guy from the greater Vancouver area in Canada. I have a passion for personal finance and investing. Back in early 2009, I decided it was time to supercharge my passion and take control of my portfolio. I ‘FIRED’ my financial advisor and moved all my money to a discount broker. At first with Scotia iTrade and then I moved to RBC Direct Investing. Switching is easy and the costs are often covered by the receiving institution. Don’t hesitate if your needs are not met.

My Story

I have always been pretty good at managing my money, saving it and investing it. Unfortunately, for many years, my investments were in mutual funds with high management expense ratios (MER). While I contributed regularly, I never could see my portfolio growing, it was just going sideways … I had a financial advisor at the time which I thought was going to help me but aside from offering me different products and options, my accounts were still going sideways.

I was long aware of dividends but never thought I could invest in stocks without having more money. How can I invest small amounts regularly with a transaction fee of $30 at the time? All I did was request my mutual funds to be invested in dividend paying mutual funds. I knew that regardless of the movement, I was still earning money. In late 2008, the market crashed, as many of you know, and my investments did not do much better than others …

It was time to change my strategy and double down my learnings starting with The Lazy Investor by Derek Foster. This book showed me I could invest in stocks and contribute small amounts regularly at no cost. Can you believe that? NO FEES! None whatsoever. I was on a mission to understand how transfer agents work and how I could benefit from this service.

Within a year, I was set up with 13 Canadian stocks through Computershare and Can Stock Transfer Agent. Over the span of a few years, I invested over $20,000 in small amounts benefiting from fractional shares. Now my kids are benefiting from the same setup.

Another book I read some years prior that cemented my view of money is Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. A really important book to understand money.

How much you get paid from your employer is not as important as creating cash flow machines. Learning to put money at work through revenue generating systems will have a profound impact on how you approach building wealth that can last forever. Investing in value producing assets is how you keep putting your money at work.

The Wealthy Barber is actually the first book I read that played a significant role in planning to save money. It’s not a book about investing but it is a book about financial freedom. Pay yourself first is the name of the game and you do that regardless of your income.

Pay yourself first is the name of the game and you do that regardless of your income. David Chilton is able to reach all readers, even high school students, with how to approach money management and ratios that make sense. The Wealthy Barber instilled in me the 10% rule of saving and paying myself first.

These 3 books are really just about getting you started and motivated. Once you are ready, picking your next investment is where your wealth is built.

Take a moment to read Grace Groner’s story on how she turned 3 shares in Abbott Laboratories purchased in 1935 into a $7M fortune. What you should take away is that time is the biggest factor of building wealth outside of being lucky.

Investment Philosophy

Start Early

The best time to start investing is now. There are no reasons to not get started. Nearly all of the top Canadian blue chip stocks have transfer agents where you can get started. See the Lazy Investor for details and how to start with Computershare.

Time is the biggest factor in investing. The more time you have, the more your money compounds. Compounding is what makes your money grow at an accelerated pace over time.

Start Small

Along with starting early with Computershare, you can start small. My children are investing $30 at a time by using the rules learned in the Wealthy Barber.

Stay Invested

As much as you want to use the money for something, always remind yourself of the cost of time to take the money out. Is your investment performance beating the interest rate on a loan? My return is over 10% annually, and I avoid pulling money away from my portfolio as it’s time I cannot ever use to work on my portfolio.

Invest Regularly

Time is the biggest factor in your investment returns. I want my money to work for me and generate value. If I keep it on the sideline, it won’t do anything. To that end, I invest with as little as $1,000 with a discount broker and the goal is to put my money at work in the best opportunity at the time. With Computershare, I invested monthly and quarterly at times.

No Price Hunting

Rather than focusing on the price of your favorite stock to drop, focus on the opportunities when you have money to invest. Your portfolio is not about loving the stocks you own but seeing the value in the purchases you make. Being confident that the company will perform on your expectations.

I don’t believe the stock market is ever too high as there is always an opportunity. The stock market is today’s weighting average of the investors’ sentiments rather than the value itself. Find the opportunity and keep your money at work.

I have found that even within 30 stocks, there is always one that can be added to based on growth potential.

Why a Dividend Investing Blog?

I decided to start a blog for the following reasons and I continue to make those a priority.

  • Sharing financial information is something I do regularly with family, friends, and co-workers. The more I shared the same information, the more I realized I could write and document the topics at the same time for the benefit of everyone.
  • Set up a regular schedule to review my goals and follow through with it. My monthly dividend income update requires me to catalog everything. In fact, I now have a dividend and portfolio tracker that provides really detailed performance data on my portfolio.
  • Share my experiences on dividend income since it is one of my primary goals for retirement. Retirement is not about depleting a nest egg and stressing about the money to live, it’s about financial freedom and being paid handsomely from my accumulated wealth.

If you are new here, have a look at why I am a dividend investor and subscribe to my newsletter for great topics and content. If you are a new reader, I strongly suggest you sign up to my newsletter as it will help you catch up to many of my topics and you’ll know when I make a purchase (or a sale which is not often).

If you have not done so yet, have a look at my Dividend Income report as you can see the progression of my journey. Slow and steady, my dividend income is growing.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you on the blog again. All the best in your investing journey!