Welcome to Forward Dividends. I am a big believer in that our lifelong experiences shape who we are today and who we will be in the future. To that end, I want to give a brief history lesson for my readers.
I grew up in a middle class household with four kids. My parents both worked and demonstrated a work ethic for us that has definitely influenced me in the first half of my working career. We moved around a few times as a kid due to relocation opportunities for my Dad. I went to school and knew I wanted to be in finance or accounting as I developed a love for the stock market during the bull market in the late 1990's. I wound up studying accounting and went to work in the audit practice for one of the big 4 public accounting firms. I realized quickly that while I had a strong work ethic, I did not want to work in public accounting for the long-term. I left to go work in corporate accounting for a large healthcare firm. I followed in my Dad's footsteps and relocated a couple of times for promotional opportunities. I was fortunate to be climbing the corporate ladder quickly and had tripled the salary that I was earning when I entered the workforce in less than 10 years. I was working longer hours every year and felt that I was missing out on my young family. My wife was less than thrilled to be living away from family and in a state that she didn't enjoy so we decided to relocate back home which meant I was leaving my job and the company I grew to love. To be continued...
Wait, "young family". Yes, I left that part of the origin story out up until now. While studying accounting at college, I met my wife and we dated for several years before marrying ~ 6 years later to be exact. I know, I know, That is a long time...Anyways, we did the usual Gen X things, bought new cars, bought our first house in 2005 (wonderful timing) and had our two sons a few years later in the midst of the Great Recession. We were fortunate that my company had healthy relocation benefits so we somehow made money on the house we bought in 2005. We weren't as fortunate with our second house and third house in the two cities we relocated to for work. That said, when we ultimately returned home after my wife's frustration, we purchased our dream home with plenty of space for the boys. We have already been here for 6 years and have zero regrets.
Career Part II
I was able to eventually get back to working in the healthcare industry about 18 months after leaving which is great for many reasons. 1) I really enjoy the idea of working somewhere that helps people. I'm not cut out to be a doctor or nurse so at least I can indirectly help people by working for a company that's main purpose is to help improve their patients' quality of life. 2) The aging population makes healthcare the ideal industry to be working in for the foreseeable future. 3) The benefits are top notch and can definitely support the financial freedom goal through dividend investing that is why we are all here.
Life does have a funny way of coming full circle. I was about 3 years in to my new role when a former boss reached out to see if I wanted to return to the healthcare company I left nearly 5 years prior. I was given a second chance and realize how fortunate I am to have it. I wasn't going to let it slip through my fingers so I made the leap and haven't regretted it one bit.
My wife and I are now in our early 40's and have a bright future ahead of us. We have the home of our dreams (after a few more renovation projects), 2 wonderful boys (most of the time) and 3 dogs. Life is busy but we know that this will not always be the case. We have finally grown up and started investing like we should have been doing all along. We only invest in companies that provide a return on capital on at least an annual basis. We do not want to ever rely on the market prices but rather on a growing stream of dividends and interest. Therefore, you won't see a focus here on portfolio value as we don't believe it's worthwhile posting something that is so fickle as to update every few seconds. We will, however tell you what the portfolio price is (hint it's what most investors call portfolio value) since people tend to like that. However, our focus is solely on the income our portfolio is generating and the safety of the companies we own. Our goal is to have zero debt and $120,000 in passive income by the time we turn 55. I realize many of you are seeking early retirement and for us 55 is early as we have not been the best stewards of our resources (being nice here).
I look forward to sharing our story to financial freedom with you and hopefully you will find something here for you to learn as I look forward to learning from you. Feel free to comment and contact me often.