Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Goal reached: $14,500 Forward Passive Income

 
 


Warning:  Longer post than usual ahead!

Here are my automatic investments for this week.

  • BP:  16.96 shares @ $41.28 --- Yield  5.81%
  • RDS-b:  9.55 shares @ $73.16 --- Yield  5.14%
  • CVX:  6.06 shares @ $115.42 --- Yield  3.71%
  • XOM:  7.36 shares @ $95.03 --- Yield  2.90%

Total capital invested is $2800 ($700 in each company).  The combined yield of this week's purchases is 4.39% and will add $122.92 to my yearly dividends.

$100/week Challenge --- Week 30 (Final Week)   S&P 500:  2048 (Another all time high)

Since this is going to be the last week for my $100/week challenge I decided it might be a good idea to actually hit the mark. Energy stocks have been the focus of my purchases for several weeks and continue to be.

Thank God this gauntlet is over!

Why did I decide to tackle this challenge 30 weeks ago? I really don't know. It's kind of like asking Forrest Gump "Why did you starting running across America?" I woke up one day laced up my shoes and started running. I knew that I had written down a high passive income goal for 2014 and I was way behind. It just seemed like a good idea at the time to test my savings ability and more importantly my resolve. Win, lose, or draw I was going to give it my best effort.


Stretch goals OR just an alligator mouth overloading my hummingbird ass?

Back in April when I started this challenge I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I may as well have said that I plan on running a marathon by then end of the year (but enough about next year's goals). Immediately after I made the post I realized that it was going to a sonofabitch and almost deleted it because of the extreme work commitment it would take to follow through with this goal. I had some cash in the bank so I knew that I could probably make it a month or two without too much difficulty. Not surprisingly, it didn't take long to burn through what little cash I had in reserves and by July I had exhausted all of my savings. Couple that with my wife wanting a new $4000 fence for the backyard and I was pretty much toast.  LET THE REAL CHALLENGE BEGIN!

It sounds a bit crazy but there were a few times that I actually had less than $50 in my checking account. I'll never forget the time I tried to pay the bill at a Mexican restaurant a few months back and my debit card was declined.  My first reaction was "Oh shit, I overcontributed to my Sharebuilder account and now I can't pay for a $7.99 tacos al carbon lunch special. Mr. Waiter will you take an IOU?  After all I will receive a $10 dividend check from Pepsi in the morning. Better yet, how a about one share of ARCP!" Luckily the waiter re-ran the card and to my surprise and relief, it went through. At this point in my journey I knew things were starting to get a bit ridiculous and perhaps unsustainable. Ultimately these types of minor nuisances were not going to deter my efforts.  I did make sure to carry cash with me when I went out to eat from that point forward.

Fortunately, I only experienced a few more inconveniences like this along the way. I guess I never was really in a dire situation as my credit card could have been used if there was too much of a financial pinch.  Also I suppose that I could have stopped the investments, but I really wanted to accelerate my FI goals so failing was not a reasonable option for me. In the end, I am so glad that I didn't use any safety nets during this period.  Investing while simultaneously accumulating consumer debt is not part of my investing or FI plans.

On the other hand, 70 hour work weeks were an unavoidable part of the equation.


Is it a good idea to work 301 days in one calendar year?

Hell no it's not! While many people have worked this many days and more, I sure as hell have not and don't plan on repeating this behavior again any time soon. If my calculations are right, by year end I will have worked the entire year except for 52 Sundays, 10 vacation days, Thanksgiving and Christmas and no sick days (knock on wood).  Strangely enough, even though I am whining about this year's schedule, I have actually always worked long hours and working weekends is nothing new.  In fact, I have always believed that the slight difference that exists between successful people and everyone else is what they do in their spare time. With that said, I am certainly not trying to win The Employee Who Worked the Most Hours and Still Lived Award!  It was simply a means to an end for me....nothing more or less. Once emotion was removed from the equation things become more bearable.....for a while at least.

While I am glad that I was able to make enough money this year to reach this goal, I don't recommend this type of work schedule for many people. I am really lucky that I have a wonderful wife who fully supports our long term goals and makes many sacrifices herself so that we can continue to make progress with our dreams. Support from family and friends is certainly important when trying to achieve a difficult goal.  However, many times while they can be supportive but I'm sure they are also thinking "What an kind of idiot would continue in that type of career situation?" 

Haven't you ever heard about the frog that was placed in a pot of cold water before the burner is slowly turned up?


What did I learn during the last 30 weeks?

Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

While my savings rate has been high over the last 10 years, the past few and this one in particular have been insane. I really cranked things up reaching 87% in September which also happened to be my largest dividend month. While I still haven't had a 100% savings rate in any month and most likely won't for another year or so, it was awesome to be so close. After all if I can hit 100% consistently for twelve straight months, I feel highly confident that I will have reached FI.

I also learned that I will probably stick with more conservative companies going forward.  I have a few holdings in my portfolio that are somewhat questionable.....ARCP anyone? I simply refuse to get emotional or sidetracked because of any one good or bad investment decisions. If I make a mistake I choose to learn from it and change course if necessary.

John Maxwell once said "It is easier to move from failure to success than it is to move from excuses to success." Sitting on the sidelines watching others play the game will not help your build your own dreams. While someone may never get burned with a  bad stock selection they never make, they probably also will never experience the joy of the good ones. Ultimately this will lead to many regrets later on in life.  Regrets suck!


$10-12k per month invested month after month......how is this even possible???

As recently as 2009, I would have said "Get the F$#% out of here with that S!@#."

Until four years ago, at age 39, I had never earned over $100k in a single year. In fact, the first 10 years of my career I averaged about $55k gross salary and the next five I averaged about $85k. So the idea is saving this much seems just as jacked up to me as it should to anyone else.

Having a relatively normal income for most of my career is the reason that I have been able to save as much as I have this year. I simply have avoided lifestyle inflation to the best of my ability. You see I had been trying to devise an exit strategy from the Rat Race much like Andy Dufresne was trying to exit the Shawshank prison. Similar to Andy, I was patiently using my little rock chisle to slowly dig myself out. Four years ago unexpectedly my mini rock chistle was replaced with a huge jack hammer. This past year a Caterpillar bulldozer was my digging machine of choice. If I can expedite my progress due to a substantially higher paying job so be it. In the future I may end up with that mini rock chisel again and so I will start digging with it no different than before.

While I have typically made above average income during my career, in 2009 (peak of the crisis) my income was back below $60k (don't get me wrong, this is still really good especially in Houston). That year provided the wet blanket to my otherwise happy go lucky life. Suddenly I realized that LIFE CAN BE DAMN TOUGH!

In 2009, while many people across this country were losing their jobs, losing their homes, and making less money (me too), I made the crazy decision to pay off my house. Talk about The Road Less Travelled. Again, with all hell breaking loose around the country and my income falling 35% I decided to put every dime I had towards paying off my house.

From March 2009 through September 2010 I literally kept no money in my checking account the entire year and a half while I cleared my mortgage. The economy obviously was very fragile (if not totally collapsing) at the time, but I knew FI can only truly begin when debt is 100% eliminated. Even though the market was climbing during the end of 2009, paying off my house was the best decision that I have ever made regarding financial independence. I was truly expecting to live through tough times for the next decade or so and wanted to lower my expenses and reduce all of debt to zero. After all, who cares what the economy is like if you don't have to worry about bills?

Amazingly enough, just as my mortgage was paid off at the end of 2010, the economy was rebounding here in Houston and I found myself with a great and unexpected job promotion. Over the next three years, my income has more than tripled.  Here is the weird part, while it is nice that I was making more a lot more money, I never anticipated is lasting very long so I continued to spend very little.  Now four years later everything at work is still in humming along and is even getting better except for the hours.  Maybe I can summon my inner-Peter from Office Space and convince the higher ups that I need a 4 hour work week. :-) Very low probability

Moving along, in 2011 with a paid off house and a rapidly rising income, I was still preparing for the worst and focused on building up a cash reserve.   I'm sure many people were doing the same as the coast was not completely clear at the time. Since the worst of the recession seemingly was in the rear view mirror, it was time to go on offense and start building my own dreams.

In 2012 with a pile of cash and no interest on savings from the banks, I decided to invest in mutual funds that focused on income and started making monthly contributions that would help alter my beliefs on total return investing, passive income, and early retirement. If you look at my 2012 dividend/interest totals, you can see the slow but steadily increasing income stream that was forming. Truly awesome stuff in hindsight! I am so glad that I took this path a few years back. By the middle of 2013 after experimenting with mutual funds I decided to buy shares of industry stalwarts like Microsoft, Intel, Atria, and AT&T.  The rest as they say is history.


So now what?

Not surprisingly my first thought is to just suck it up and hit the $15k mark by January. After all it's a nice round number and it wouldn't take too much effort at this point in the journey. But then what? Do I give everyone $2.00 Christmas gifts, so that I can finish the year with a nice round number?  I dunno....maybe! Wouldn't that be fun trying to explain to my nephews and nieces...."Uncle MDP is giving you a nice fruit cake instead of a cool Wii game because he needs to hit $15k in passive income."   While I am frugal by nature, I am not interested in becoming the family Scrooge. There is plenty of time in the future for that. :-)

Ideally, I plan on cutting my current weekly investments by around 60-70%. My cash balance is way below my tolerence level and this became increasingly evident during last month's pullback.  Don't get me wrong, I am very pleased that I was able to add to positions at lower prices. In fact, the reason why I wish to rebuild my cash position is so that future opportunites will not be missed.

Also, it is almost time to start planning for tax season (property and income).  This past year I was not able to fully take advantage of the big Jan/Feb decline in the markets since I was in the process of paying 2013's tax bill. I want to be in a better position for next year.


If you thought the public library was great, try browsing DGI blogs.

I would also like to thank all the many bloggers that I visit regularly. Y'all are great researchers, educators, stock evaluators, and motivators. I do have to admit that I have ridden the coat tails of many of your purchases.  Only the good ones though :-)  In all seriousness, the DGI and FI community contains a wealth of knowledge that hopefully more people will take advantage of in the future. I know that I will! If I had stumbled upon some of the FI blogs 10 years ago...it would game, set, and match.  Anyway, better late than never.

This rant has gone on long enough. Now back to business...

Here are some of the stocks that I will be considering for next week:

PX, ITW, PG, XOM, UL, GE, CVX, and KO. 



.

79 comments:

  1. Pretty impressive.... Many Congratulations... I am in Houston and I am about 7 years behind you. I look up to you, have been following you for quite sometime now, quietly though. Bad part for us structural engineers, we don't have that big of salary scale down the line unless we go for oil n gas companies.

    But, glad for you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jigar,

      Houston is an awesome city I am glad you live here and I really appreciate the kind words. You never know where the future may lead you. Keep focused on your goals and you will find a way to achieve them! Sometimes you may have to alter your career path but that never rule anything out completely!

      MDP

      Delete
    2. Thanks MDP...yes, changing career is on the table as well..I am probably gonna try SAP or computers. ..just curious, which field you are in ?
      Yes, Houston is awesome and HAPPY to be around here. My dividend income is about 2.2k, since we are planning to buy a house I am actually selling stocks instead of buying, its hurting by dividend income but i need to put some down payment since we are tired of renting now. That's the plan hope it works out.

      Again, many Congratulationsss and keep up the good work. :)

      Delete
    3. Jigar,

      I am in sales. It can be a lot more votatile than most professions, but the rewards have been great over the last 20 years. Good luck on your home purchase.

      MDP

      Delete
  2. Wow. Simply wow. Incredible story and journey, filled with persistence and perseverance over the last few years and especially these 30 weeks. Love how aggressively you are pursuing freedom, and the rewards you've generated as a result of wise decisions.

    Worse case scenario... only investing 30-40% of 10-12k per month is still $3-4.8k per month. Still going to grow that dividend income stream at a healthy clip with that kind of cash (plus dividends earned)! You'll be at the $20k mark before you know it!

    And thank you for being an inspiration to others. While just one of the greater community, you've been showing the power of consistency with your 30-week effort, and the rest of us (and your investments) have been the benefactors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. W2R,

      I am grateful to be part of a special community. The support and advice from you guys is awesome and keeps me along with many others motivated to reach the FI finish line.

      I will probably slow things down for the next six months or so. Then again, maybe I'll crank things back up. I really don't know right now.

      MDP

      Delete
  3. Grats man great post. When i was a young buck 15 years ago i made sacrifices. I pretty much worked everyday all day, even on xmas. Those few years defined me. To get ahead u gotta sacrifice, much easier to do when you are young without a family I must add. From my hard work many years ago I am living still off those benefits.

    You put yourself out there grinding towards a goal. Now you can reap the rewards for your hard work for many years to come with the sacrifice u made. U pushed and challenged yourself where most people wouldnt. This is how people get rich. You made it happen yourself and it wasnt handed to you. You worked for it! I am happy u reached your goal as I have been followin for a while. Lookin forward to future goals u got going!

    Good Day and Grind On!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AG,

      Hard work and grit typically pays off when all else fails. I wish FI was as simple as the late night infomercials claim it to be, but it is not. At least it hasn't been for me.

      Hopefully in the next few years I can catch up to you. You are at a totally different level that the rest of us....Mega Beast Level! LOL

      MDP

      Delete
  4. WOW great post. Thanks for sharing that things you went through. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FF dividend,

      No problem and thanks for the support!

      MDP

      Delete
  5. What an outstanding effort. Well done MDP!

    You tell a very inspiring story here. Thank you for sharing it. It just goes to show what can be done when you put your mind to something.

    As impressed as I am, I'm also relieved that you're taking things back to a more sustainable pace for your sanity and because you were making us all look bad!

    The future MDP will benefit greatly from the work you've put in for 2014, Congratulations once more and I look forward to your 2015 plans.

    All the best!
    Huw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HUW,

      You are right about having the right mental attitude. Nothing happens until you get your mind right. As far as keeping my sanity, that ship left a few years back. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      MDP

      Delete
  6. Congrats on hitting the milestone, MDP. That is very commendable.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post....with all the movie references...and chuckled when you were thinking about paying with an ARCP share for your tacos.

    Your journey has been an inspiration and its a pleasure to follow along. I wish you continued success. Its time to enjoy the remainder of the year and let that dividend income roll in.

    cheers
    R2R

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. R2R,

      Thanks for you continued support. The ARCP shares were about $11at the time, so they could have covered the bill and the tip. Right now not so much.

      MDP

      Delete
  7. Congrats MDP! Thats been a hell of a last 30 weeks but like you im willing to put up with some less than ideal situations to really jumpstart my journey to financial independence. Like everyone else my biggest regret is that I hadn't started earlier. The DGI/FI community is so helpful and such a great resource for everyone. Congrats again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PIP,

      Thanks buddy! Ideal situations certainly are the exception and are few and far between. But if you know that up front before going into the game, it makes it easier to play. I too wish I had started earlier, but better late than never!

      MDP

      Delete
  8. MDP,

    That is simply great. Keep it up, and you are right - there is no reason to be someone's whipping boy forever.

    - Gremlin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DG,

      You are correct. Getting whipped sucks. Keeping fighting hard for FI. It was arrive sooner than you think.

      MDP

      Delete
  9. Very well written and captivating post. I know that it already has been said, but I'll say it again - what a inspiring and impressive journey! Also liked the film references as the movie buff I'am.

    14 500 is a respectable figure, you are truly on your way to financial freedom. It's going to be fun to read how your journey will unfold. I'm adding your blog to my blogroll.

    /Best Regards
    long-terminvest.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LI,

      I love movies and was thinking about putting in some Vanishing Point analogies, but I don't know if many people have seen that movie. Kowalski is an awesome character though.

      Anyway, I appreciate you adding me to your blogroll.

      Take care,

      MDP

      Delete
    2. My guess is that not everybody would be able to relate to that those analogies, at least not me, but then again I'm from Sweden. ;)

      Delete
  10. Always nice to read about anyone hitting a goal that was set. Clearly the hard work and persistence paid off. It helps a lot to have a supportive spouse as well as online community cheering you on. I guess that's why we are all here. To share our investment ideas, portfolios and encouragement. Thanks for sharing this great milestone with us. Look forward to continued success in '15.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DivHut,

      Thanks, my friend. Without goals, massive consistent action, strong family support, and the ability to weather adversity not much get accomplished. This DGI community is awesome and I am so glad I stumbled upon it a year ago.

      Best wishes,

      MDP

      Delete
  11. Much congratulations MDP! Great job in meeting your goal and glad that you feel like you can take your foot off the pedal a bit. Next stop $18k! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AA,

      I'll see your $18k and raise you to $18.5k. Just kidding...it's that type of competition that will drive me to restart my $100/week challenge. I need to slow it down for a while and recharge my battery. Keep kicking ass over there in the mean time. I am definitely watching!

      MDP

      Delete
  12. Congrats MDP and very inspiring. How you were able to pull that off is simple amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MrStockFox,

      Thanks. I am not going to lie....it was damn hard to do.

      MDP

      Delete
  13. MDP, Congratulations! $14,500 is an amazing amount of passive income. What's even more amazing is that you don't need that money to live on yet. It must be incredible to have that $1200 per month to purchase respectable portions of companies just from the dividends alone. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scott,

      Thanks for the perspective. $1200 a month is huge. I read somewhere that most people when they retire receive less than that amount each month. I plan on reinvesting all of the dividends each month as well as new capital. The snowball needs to keep growing!

      MDP

      Delete
  14. Congratulations MDP! Epic post. You've had an incredible year. I'm always envious of the amount you put to work every week, perhaps I should just step things up and try to match your efforts.
    -RBD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RBD,

      I encourage everyone to step up their efforts. When I made far less I still did everything possible to eliminate debt and build up my net worth. We each have different means and different goals, but we should always try to maximize our efforts.

      MDP

      Delete
  15. Way to go! I was like you 6 years ago working over 100 hours a week on a merchant ship. This month I hit $14,200 per month in passive income and now only do a four month rotation a year vice 10 or 11 months a year. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      That is so wonderful. If I get my passive income high enough in the next couple of year, I would certainly entertain a job only required a few month a year. They are difficult to find, but there are some out there.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      MDP

      Delete
  16. Thanks for sharing your Amazing experience! Every single week, I have been impressed by the substantial consistency of your investments. It definitely helped me to lift up my spirits and keep investing no matter what. Hat's off to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FabSavings,

      I really appreciate your comments. More importantly I am glad that I provided some inspiration for you. I know that I receive a great deal of inspiration myself reading blogs like yours and other out there.

      MDP

      Delete
  17. Great work! Really good progress. While $15k is a nice round number, I think $18k is pretty magical because it's a nice round MONTHLY number at $1,500.

    And avoiding becoming a Scrooge is very important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Widerhaken,

      $18k would be fantastic. I'm not sure when I will hit it, but I look forward to it. I refuse to be the Scrooge this year.

      MDP

      Delete
  18. Fantastic post MDP! Your numbers are amazing, so I understand not being able to sustain over a longer period but it really kick started your income which will only grow even higher. Amazing job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SAD,

      Thanks for commenting. You are right, I was operating at redline speeds for the past eight months and it is time to let the engine cool down for a bit.

      MDP

      Delete
  19. MDP,

    Great stuff, my friend. Big kudos to you for showing the power of persistence. You've worked far more hours this past year than I ever have or would ever want to over a similar stretch, but the results are permanent. Compare that to those that have to keep working that hard for the rest of their lives because they're spending it all and haven't built up that passive income. You can now let off the throttle if you want and let the snowball do some of the heavy lifting now.

    Excellent work. Thanks for sharing part of your journey. You've set yourself up for an excellent 2015 and beyond!!

    Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DM,

      I think that I started reading your blog in June 2013. I would probably still be buying mutual funds if it weren't for you. There are so many people who have found inspiration in your journey and I certainly am glad to be one of them.

      MDP

      Delete
  20. Congrats on hitting your goal! Now you can sit back and watch your snowball get bigger year after year.

    You're going to have an amazing 2015!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seraph,

      Thanks for the support. You are certainly right. The snowball is getting big enough to roll on its own. I will certain keep pushing it just not quite as hard.

      MDP

      Delete
  21. I gotta add my congrats also. Great story that many of us can relate to and strive for. I'm a little late to the train, but hope to reach the station in the future. Reading stories like yours gives me inspiration to keep plugging away and maybe even try to squeeze a little more into investments each month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FinancialDummy,

      Thank you so much. I'm glad I provided some inspiration. It's all about steady forward progress. Keep at it and in no time your results will be amazing.

      MDP

      Delete
  22. Congrats on reaching your goal...very impressive MDP! I admire your relentless pursuit of your goal. Week in and week out, I see you hit your $100/week challenge and have to admit it is very motivating to that kind of weekly achievement. Whether you decide to reach for $15K or not, you've already had an amazing year in my book. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to seeing you meet your new target in 2015! AFFJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AFFJ,

      Thanks for the support. I like the word relentless. Regardless of your goals whether financial or personal, it is best to give it your full effort. Otherwise you may find yourself falling prey to a variety of different excuses. Keep up your amazing progress as well!

      MDP

      Delete
  23. Very impressive, congrats on reaching your goal. Very cool to read about your journey and knowing that you have been making great progress despite the average salary. It just shows that we can achieve a lot if you live frugally and have high saving rate. Keep up the great work, you're an inspiration. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tawcan,

      You are right about focusing on your savings rate. Without the willpower to spend much less than you earn, regardless of your income level, you won't make much progress!

      Thanks for your encouragement.

      MDP

      Delete
  24. BAM...SUCCESS!!!! I LOVED THIS POST!!!! Huge congrats to you my friend, what an amazing accomplishment! Your blog has been a huge inspiration to me that I've loved watching week to week, and now hearing more about your story makes that feeling way stronger. I want to work my way up in my industry too and reading about your success and promotions is wonderful motivation to me. What you've done with your high income is exactly how I'd want to do it, although I'd need a little cash on hand because I love tacos...mmmm. I hope you'll enjoy a nice vacation and maybe spoil yourself for a month but then keep at it, because even those "smaller" amounts are still going to out invest most of us! You're just a few short years from not needing to work at all ever again :)

    All my best,
    Ryan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ryan,

      I will definitely enjoy a more relaxed investing pace for a few months. It probably won't last too long as I am not wired to take life at too easy of a pace.

      You have made outstanding progress and I am continually amazed at your own investing commitment. Keep it up!

      MDP

      Delete
  25. Thank you very much for the inspiration MDP. To be honest. Every Tuesday around 930 am pacific time, I would log onto your site to see your buys for the week. It was and is awesome. Like you, I'm at 15500 forward 12 months dividend income. It's such a great feeling receiving around 1300 per month in sweet cash to further compound that snowball.
    See all the love you get MDP. ? Keep it up. Cheers to the DG community. Much love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tyler Tran,

      Thanks for the kind words. I actually posted late this week as it took Sharebuilder about an hour longer than usual to process the trades. Congrats on $15500 forward income...that is truly amazing. Keep up the great work!

      MDP

      Delete
  26. Very good post, incredible experience you lived and told us. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trader,

      My pleasure. I am glad you enjoyed it!

      MDP

      Delete
  27. Hi there,

    nice buy on BP I really like the company its the biggest value in my portfolio but I don't want to over weight BP and haven't top up my stack there in the last weeks with week prices.

    Really good story about your credit card experience in that restaurant. Actually that happens to may sometimes it must be appear ridiculous if you sit on so many shares and can't pay your bill... but no money on the bank account is like a road block that helps you to stay on your frugal tack. No bad thing!

    Cant wait for your next article. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    DK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DK,

      You are absolutely right. You can't spend what you don't have. I made it a point to keep limited cash in my bank accounts just for that reason. My savings rates were off the chart this year. I may have actually gone too far during some months.

      I really like BP also, but like you it is a very large positions, in fact it may be my largest position right now.

      MDP

      Delete
  28. Hey,
    First time here and I get this huge and inspirational post. wow! that's amazing! I keep telling myself that everything is possible when you truly want to do it; you are the living proof, congratulation!

    I'm a little younger (33) and aim at FI in two years. I'm taking a different step than yours thought; I'm count on selling everything I have, buy an RV and travel across America for a year with my family (I'm married with three kids). I hope at this point my internet venture will cover for my cost of living and that I would never have to go back to a 9 to 5 job anymore

    Thx for sharing this story, this is truly inspiring!

    Mike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike,

      Thanks for the great comment. FI at 35 with a wife a wife and three kids would be a jaw dropping accomplishment. I truly wish you the best of luck with goal. You are also right about everything being possible when you truly want it. Twelve years a go I read the book Think and Grow Rich and it helped me change my life's course. A burning desire is catalyst for great things.

      MDP

      Delete
  29. Awesome accomplishment. I'm in Houston as well and working big oil and gas. Sounds like a meetup should be planned!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adam,

      I appreciate the kind words. There are a lot of great things happening around Houston right now.

      MDP

      Delete
  30. Hi MDP

    Awesome achievement, which I am also trying to emulate, but don't save anywhere near as much (still like to take nice holidays each year), but I am still working slowly towards FI.

    Please keep posting on your progress to continue to motivate and inspire us.

    Best Wishes
    FI UK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FI UK,


      I certainly will keep posting my adventures in investing....the good, the bad, and even the ugly. It is wonderful that you are choosing to build your passive income. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

      MDP

      Delete
  31. MDP,

    MDP or MVP haha -- I am pumped for you for kicking the crap out of $14.5K and doing whatever it takes, even if it meant little cash reserves. Doing something you have never done before takes new extremes you haven't been put through before, and luckily through your frugal upbringing - having a higher salary definitely assists with no lifestyle inflation. I really wish I Had $14.5K in forward dividend income (Sitting at approximately $4,575) but am having my game plan so that that in 2-3 years I will be there (aiming for $5,750 by next year in hopes of crushing it).

    Congratulations, enjoy the break and you've earned a lifetime of vacation - but knowing you and the we you and how we all are - we are go getters and will not let up for anything. LETS GO!

    -Lanny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lanny,

      Haha! Thanks for the support and encouragement. You are right about not slowing down for too long, it is against my nature. I will hopefully be rolling out my 2015 goals in the next month or so!

      Keep pushing to increase your savings and investments. You are way ahead of where I was at your age thus have the benefit of additional compounding, but don't rest on your lead.

      MDP

      Delete
  32. Wow... thats really inspiring MDP. I loved reading the drive and the passion and commitment in chasing down the goal. I haven't been working as hard on goal setting in a little while. Its something I'd like to try and rectify, but I feel I've become too soft and complacent enjoying the good life too much :). Best

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Integrator,

      There is nothing wrong with enjoying the good life. That is why I am working hard now so I can kick back and relax in a few years. It looks like your goals are progressing nicely.

      Thanks for the comment!

      MDP

      Delete
  33. Amazing accomplishment! I didn't realize you were on a tear of a goal to get $100/week of annual dividends. I thought you were just kicking ass with your purchases. I had to go back to April and read the whole journey. Congratulations.

    As a FYI for the comments about Sharebuilder not offering the advantage plan, they can still get it through Costco, they have an Advantage plan for $10 month that includes 12 auto trades. Check it out here: http://content.sharebuilder.com/mgdcon/jump/partner/costco/WWW/index.htm?xcode=ABC&intcmp=CC_S_ABADV%E2%80%8B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. me myself and I,

      That is some good info on Sharebuilder. I have been really pleased with the services and certain plan on continuing my purchases with them. Thanks for encouragement. It was has been a tough but rewarding year!

      MDP

      Delete
  34. Hi MDP

    Great story there and an inspiration.

    Hitting 85% odds was great and im pretty sure you will.hit FI very very soon out there. The $100 challenge there was awesome and good to see you make it... successful!!!

    Keep it going and awaiting for your FI story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. B,

      I certainly plan on continuing my journey to FI. I will just slow down the pace for a couple of months. Like the saying goes...if you're not moving forward, you are moving backwards.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      MDP

      Delete
  35. Congrats! MDP for completing 30 weeks of challenge. I know ARCP has become a favorite whipping boy but I'm making a bold move to buy more, as I explained on my blog.

    Keep with the good progress. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PIM,

      I'll check it out on your blog. I love contrarian plays, but accounting scandals typically involve more sinister problems. Hopefully that is not the case as I too am keeping my shares for now.

      MDP

      Delete
  36. Comgratulations MDP! Awesome work! All the best, may the success continue, Sameer

    ReplyDelete
  37. MDP,

    That's extremely impressive and thanks for the back story! I enjoyed reading about your condensed version of your journey. I look forward to watching your portfolio grow until you reach FI. You are well on your way. You've been fortunate, as have I, to have a higher than normal income. It's the savings rates that set us apart from our peers. While my friends are buying expensive houses and cars, I'm content with what I currently have and would rather put excess money to work for me in the market or in real estate.

    Again, awesome work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AAI,

      Thanks for the support. You are killing it on your end as well. You are right about containing lifestyle inflation. In my younger years (post college through 30) I was cruising in high dollar cars and dining at expensive restaurants a lot. I can't say that I regret those days, but they certainly slowed down my wealth building progress. Live and learn.

      MDP

      Delete