Book Review: The Dividend Mantra Way

May 20

Book Review: The Dividend Mantra Way

One of my relatively cheap hobbies is reading (and listening) to books on topics such as personal finance, productivity, business biographies, and similar subjects. Recently, I dove into and finished The Dividend Mantra Way: Achieving Financial Independence By Living Below Your Means And Investing In Dividend Growth Stocks Honestly, I prefer audiobooks because I listen to them while I walk to work, clean, do laundry, work out, cut grass, and other physical activities that allow for it. However, The Dividend Mantra Way was not available on audiobook, so I purchased it on my Amazon Kindle. To give you an idea of how often I actually “read” books rather than listen to them, the last Kindle purchase I made was over a year ago.   Who Is Dividend Mantra? Jason Fieber, also known as Dividend Mantra, has regularly been blogging on www.DividendMantra.com for years. He was a service advisor at a car dealership while building his “Freedom Fund” in an attempt to have his dividend income cover his living expenses. His story has become even more interesting because he quit his dealership job in order to write full-time. The comfort of his portfolio and his income generating ability has allowed him to pursue his true passion. Even though he isn’t retired or completely financially free, he has been able to leave an unfulfilling job for an enjoyable one. Even better, he is still projected to be completely financially free by the age of 40. It is a truly inspiring journey and he provides regular updates on his blog.   The “Freedom Fund” Dividend Mantra calls his portfolio of high quality dividend paying stocks the Freedom Fund because when the cash flow from the dividends exceeds his expenses, he will be free from working. Jason’s Freedom Fund was the inspiration for calling my portfolio the Opportunity Fund. However, it is important to note there is a difference in our strategies. Jason is using after-tax cash and converting it into a portfolio of high quality dividend paying companies that will eventually support his lifestyle. His current portfolio value is about $200,000, paying out around $7,000 in cash flow per year. He is continuously adding capital to his portfolio with the goal of...

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Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO) and Core Principles

Apr 16

I recently finished listening to The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. It was a very interesting book and I highly recommend it. Although I may not agree with everything Jeff Bezos did, I always enjoy reading and listening about great business leaders and entrepreneurs. My first thoughts after reading the book were: Bezos was great at creating and using leverage, he overworked his employees, he based some important decisions on “instinct” and at the same time valued numbers, and I would have hated to work under him. The book also shows the great results when you focus on the customer and don’t focus on short-term distractions such as quarterly earnings reports. The book portrays Bezos as a ruthless CEO putting exceptional demands on his employees. At the same time, many of these employees were willing to put in the extra effort and believed in his vision. I do admire the fact he left a great paying career to create something he could feel good about when he reflected back on his life. This is the underlying principle of why it is important to be financially free at a young age. He likely could have been in the 1% of earners in his original career path, but he wanted to make an impact on the world. As I listened to the book and accumulated my notes for reflection, I couldn’t help but relate Bezos’ business acumen to personal finance:   Principle 1: Be willing to be misunderstood One principle guiding Bezos relateing to personal finance is the willing to be misunderstood, for long periods of time. When you first take the principles of RedtoRiches and change your mind regarding what financial freedom really is, your friends will not understand. When your friends ask you to go out to the bars and you suggest sharing a case of beer and playing cards, you might be misunderstood. Or you may be misunderstood when you decide to go take a day trip to hiking rather than attending all-day drinking events. When you pioneer a new route to financial independence and are able to retire early, you will not be understood by your peers. Constantly rejecting your co-workers requests to go out to lunch for $10 per day...

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