Thursday, November 12, 2015

How Dividend Mantra Inspired Me

I’ve never been a huge commenter on Dividend Mantra, but I have followed this blog religiously since the very beginning. Just for fun, I searched through my own blog archives and found the first link where I mentioned Jason’s blog; it was an article about why he bought Walmart (WMT) back in 2011 with only 11 comments. It’s quite incredible to see what the blog has become since then!
This is the reason why I was honored when I was asked to write on a regular basis on Dividend Mantra. While Jason keeps the main spot of the blog, I will write from time to time and share my own story. While Jason and I are quite different in many ways, we share the same goal of reaching financial freedom. Let me share with you a brief introduction about myself:

Who’s Mike?

My name is Mike and I come from Canada, Eh? I’m 34 and am happily married for 11 years and have three amazing children: William (10), Amy (8) and Caleb (3). I have my own dividend investing blog (The Dividend Guy Blog) and don’t intend to promote my site here. I just wanted to tell you upfront that I’m blogging elsewhere and you might have read some of my articles already. I work in the financial industry since 2003, the same year I’ve started my investing journey.
My first investments were made from a risky leverage operation that closed three years later with the purchase of my first house. I enjoyed the thrill of buying and selling stocks for a few years before I realized I could easily burn myself with such risky transactions. In 2010, I decided to stop trading and started investing. This is when I gradually shifted my investments towards a 100% dividend growth stock portfolio. Since then, my focus is to build a solid retirement portfolio based on my own investment rules.
I sincerely believe there is more than one way to successfully invest, but all great investors have something in common: they have a strong and strict set of investment rules. Following your investment plan is more important than making the best trade of the year. It is with this approach that I now manage my portfolio.
I’ll be sharing more information in further posts, and this will give you the opportunity to learn a little bit more about the hidden dividend growth gems in Canada too as my portfolio includes 65% US and 35% Canadian companies.

How Dividend Mantra Inspired Me

I’m passionate by nature and never do something without being fully committed to it. Jason inspires me when he takes difficult decisions and makes huge sacrifices in the name of financial freedom. I wish I could save money like he does and am currently working on a plan to achieve this. His monthly updates on his situation prove to everyone that you can become financially independent if you are making the right decisions. This starts with a strong savings plan and living frugally. He is living proof that constant effort in the same direction brings lots of success in the end. It’s now just a matter of keeping savvy habits to reach your goals!
Speaking of which, I have the same goal as Jason but I intend to achieve it in a different manner. Throughout the years I’ve noticed that I was very bad at being frugal, but very good at increasing my income. I’m now about to take a big turn in a minimalist experience that should lead me to financial freedom.

The Different Routes Towards Financial Freedom

Jason found his path towards financial independence through being frugal and saving lots of money in his freedom fund. While I’m impressed by what he does, I realized this path wasn’t for me. However, it doesn’t mean I can’t reach financial independence in another way!
In June 2016, I’ll be leaving for a one year RV trip with my family. We are leaving everything behind to live in a 25ft long Class C RV and we will drive across Canada, the US and down to Central America where we will live in Costa Rica for three months before coming back.
I want to do this trip for a very simple reason: I want to spend as much time as I can with the people I love the most. I want to live an experience that will be carved in my mind forever. I want to show my children that everything is possible.
Besides being an amazing experience where we will visit plenty of amazing places and meet with tons of great people, it is also a way for me to “reset” my spending habits and become more frugal. So far, I’m leaning more towards minimalism meaning that I won’t stop spending, but I will definitely stop acquiring things. I don’t want to buy stuff anymore; I would rather invest in experiences. I want to buy moments of living.
On this blog, I intend to share my investment perspective along with a piece of my journey toward financial freedom. I’ve always been joking with my entourage that I would retire at the age of 35, this is what I’ll try to achieve while I’m RVing across America!
I know many of you are seeking ways to achieve financial freedom just like Jason did. I’m looking forward to exchanging with you – the Dividend Mantra community rocks!

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