Category Archives: Financial Independence (FI)

Exciting Journey – From $0 to $100K in Little over Three Years

What an exciting journey it has been!

Wow. I finally did it.
At the end of Sep 2015, my total portfolio value crossed $100,000 and to be precise: $107,741.13. 

How I started it?
I’ve written in depth about my journey: Learning, my Eureka Moment, Learning Re-Jigged, Dividend Investing and Learning to Walk in this article and what a journey it has been! My journey to more than 6-figures value started in Dec 2011 and my first dividend check was received in Jan 2012 and since then, it has been such an incredible journey with fellow investors that we shared, inspired and grow together.

I started with virtually nothing to amassing portfolio of more than $100K+ in assets and my journey is well documented every single month up to cents, cents make dollars, Is’nt 🙂 I committed to myself to religiously put some capital every month and cutting down any unnecessary expenses and living a frugal yet decent life. I opened a dividend re-investment plan (DRIP) with ComputerShare and set up automatic investments every month. Once money grew to a decent size, opened another brokerage with TDAmeritrade to better manage the dividends received in other excellent companies and currently, own close to 50 fantastic companies that keep giving blessings every month/quarter.

I’m targeting $3,500 in passive dividend income this year and so far, I’m on track towards this goal. The checks received are re-invested into the quality companies and that in turn generate more dividend income and this cycle repeats over and over again. Initial snowflakes become an avalanche of snow balls that roll down the hill with increasing speed and gathering more snow in the process, i.e., magic of compounding is triggered and before you realize, dividend income starts to grow on its own and you will be able to cover your significant expenses. Once this income is able to cover all your expenses, you have reached the promised land of financial independence: FI 🙂 Your initial hard work has started to pay off and you can begin to enjoy the fruits of your great work.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by Passive Income Mavericks over more than a year. Although, my journey started in right earnest at end of 2011/beginning of 2012, I only started blogging in March 2014. In short little over 3 years, my portfolio was built from scratch: $0 and now, it is filled with great quality companies that are sending dividend checks on my way, every quarter and every year like a clockwork and on the way, growing those checks by 5-9%.

Appreciate following my journey as we inspire each other, cherish and share those beautiful moments when we reach financial independence.

Full Disclosure: Long on stocks in my portfolio.

Thanks for reading.

Dividend Investing – Back to Basics

A lot has been written about Dividend Investing (DI) and Dividend Growth Investing (DGI). However, for an absolute beginner, when he starts reading about DI/DGI, he is like a dear in front of the head lights and does not know what it is all about and what to do. I am starting a series of articles that will explain about the whole process of Dividend Investing: what it is and how to begin your financially independent (FI) journey.

I felt that there is a need to connect DI with your own life that you live and only then, it will start to make a better sense by providing living and breathing examples to a beginner who just started his journey. Only then, a beginner can really make a connection and more importantly make thoughtful decisions as espoused by Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffet, John Bogle, and other investing legends.

This article starts with your daily life style that an absolute beginner can relate to and understand. Before looking into what Dividend Investing is all about, I will present you with an inventory of our various activities that you perform every hour, every day, every week, every month, every quarter, every year in and every year out without fail, which at the most fundamental level are as follows:

  • Air: You need to breathe in air and without it you can’t live even for a second. This air is FREE. No company or government has a monopoly on this. Hence, there are no real private businesses around this FREE supply source. Hence, no one makes any profits out of it (I am not talking about Beijing Air, where some smart entrepreneur could still think of ways to make money 🙂 like auctioning a jar of fresh air from Alps for $86 bucks!).
  • Get to Work:  In order to getting to your school or work, you need to do brush, bath, shower, shampoo, dress and beautify yourself in order to impress someone 😉 All these satisfying elaborate activities require touching many products. What products come to mind and who makes them: Colgate, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor and Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, etc. I call this as the most important observation that can make you a smart investor and giving you a 6th sense. This can serve you much better than reading several Wall Street analysts’ reports, watching top-notch TV honchos and reading hedge funds recommendations. You can extend these sharp observation skills to other businesses around yourself while driving or where ever you visit and see who is attracting droves of customers.
  • Food: In order to pump in some calories into your human body, you need to at-least drink water or drinks and eat some sort of food. Who makes these products: Coca-Cola, Nestle, Hersey, Star Bucks, McDonald, Chipotle, Pepsi, …. you can fill in your favorite. Point of this exercise is to observe the products or services that you and others will need on an on-going daily basis and what companies provide those necessary products. These companies must be dominant players and in some cases almost have virtual monopoly and are said to have a “wide moat” around them as Warren Buffet calls. It will be very difficult for new competitors to come in and knock them down.

You can continue and expand this exercise to your other daily needs like Energy, Shelter, Fun/Entertainment, Health, Defense, Finance, and many other areas, some even beyond my imagination like golden curtains in bathroom 🙂

You toil hard from 9 to 5 in office to make money, $$$$$$$$… and you use that money to purchase necessary products and services. Now, think about it: you literally drain your life, blood and energy on them and it makes perfect sense to get some money back from these companies, but, how. This is where Dividend Investing (DI) comes into play. You need to own these very companies (investing). Once you do, these companies will reward you with a form of cash back (dividend) on a regular basis (monthly or quarterly) and isn’t getting some money back awesome! This is the crux of Dividend Investing (DI), my friends.

When you purchase a share in these profit making enterprises, you are really buying a very-very small slice of the big pie (unless you have an elephant gun like Warren, to eat big slices 🙂 of pies). But, that’s okay; our pie will grow with more money invested in these companies as time goes by. They will shower you with dividends and that buy more shares (ownership) and this keeps growing resulting into a big snow ball effect, where rolling snow from hill gathers more snow, resulting into a bigger and bigger ball, and when the money ball becomes so big that all of your expenses are covered by the dividends, you have achieved Financial Independence (FI) and freedom to live a life that you always wanted. You have free time and do things that you really love to do, travel around world, learn about amazing new cultures and soak in the wonders of nature or simply sit back and relax! Life should be moments of pleasure and filled with activities that you have great passion about. This is what I call enriched life filled with happiness.

All the best on your FI journey! Thanks for reading.

Full Disclosure; I am long on securities for companies mentioned in this article.

How to Start Your Dividend Investing (DI) Journey

All beginner investors have a dilemma and high level of anxiety that many so-called experts fail to comprehend and empathize with. When I started my FI journey in late 2011, I had a steep learning curve and diving into area of personal investing was not easy at-all as it was never taught to me formally. After all, you are putting your hard-earned money to task and never know whether you are getting into some sort of Ponzi scheme and really need something that will grow your money.

I’m of the mold of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and therefore started a journey of learning about investments with full devotion. I read many-2 investment books with big names like Benjamin Graham’s Intelligent Investor, William Berstein’s Four Pillars of Investing, Your Money or Your life, The Millionaire Next Door, etc. and tried to learn: “What to buy” and “How to buy” stocks to get financially independent (FI).  Read more.

Early Retirement (ER) – What it means to you?

I have set a goal of 12 yrs of being financially independent (FI) and Early Retirement (ER), but, what it means to me: Does it mean retiring and sipping tea in the back yard 🙂 Perhaps once in a while 😉 I am going to write some of my thoughts about becoming FI and its importance to me.

Being FI means following to me:

  • Able to spend and enjoy more time with family, relatives, kids and friends who mean so much to me.
  • Bring better balance and equilibrium in personal life. Increase my participation in the kids activities be at school, games, or education.
  • Freedom to be able to pursue other entrepreneurial activities, create new businesses and innovative solutions for the good of mankind.
  • Be able to participate in Charitable causes that mean a lot to me and community services. Even though, we are the richest nation in the world and still kids go hungry breaks my heart. so, hopefully, FI would allow me to devote more time to these noble causes.
  • Able to travel to various beautiful parts of world in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and others, explore their rich culture and take a long road trip in all states of US and world.

Dividend Mantra said succinctly: FI is about Choice. Yes, it is about choice my friends!

You can have choices in the life that can enrich life and touch someone’s life hopefully 🙂

What does Financial Independence (FI) and Early Retirement (ER) mean to you?

Thanks for reading.

My 12 Yrs. Journey towards Financial Independence (FI)

Passive Income Mavericks is created to start a rich life style based on the passive income earned through various means like dividend income from stocks, bonds or other securities, rental income, income from side gigs, as an entrepreneur or even doing some part-time work at your own convenience from home or a beach and to get away from 9 to 5 rat race life-style towards path of freedom.

I do not expect that you start your journey with a silver spoon like investing with $5000 or even $500,000 but rather empathize with the folks who can not afford to start with such a big amount. I started this journey with a small peanut amount of $50 (you can start your journey even with $25 or $5, but, start you must) in 2011 and explains how you can walk with me.

If you want to start a financial independent (FI) life-style, I want to continue the journey with you and sincerely hope that it will be an exciting path that leads us towards freedom from 9 to 5 treadmill (hey! if you love your job, you can keep it with the additional benefits).

Please join with me to start this amazing journey together! Thank you for your kind support.

Disclaimer: I am neither a licensed investment advisor or a tax professional. This site is solely for educational and informational use only. I am not liable for any losses suffered by any parties. Please consult with an investment professional and/or tax professional before investing any of your money. Investments may decline in value and cause you to loose money, unless FDIC insured and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Any securities published here are not recommendations to buy or sell, and you should do your own research before investing any money.