This article originally appeared on The Div-Net on September 17, 2011.
It's a tough economy right now. The unemployment rate is currently at ~9.1%. I feel lucky to have a full-time job and I put in 50+ hours a week, working as hard as I possibly can to create value for my employer. But, as someone who wants to become financially independent at a young age, diversifying my income has become paramount. However with jobs scarce and my time limited, I don't see a second job in my immediate future. That's why I have a second source of income from my main job that's completely passive. This source of income will hopefully one day outpace the earnings I receive from my main job and exceed my expenses.
This second source of income has no time clock. In fact, I've never even showed up. In the past year, I've averaged over $85 per month, but haven't worked a minute. How can it be?
They're like my invisible helper. Whether I show up to my day job or not, the companies I have invested in will still pay me, and cash will show up in my brokerage account regardless. By investing in quality dividend growth stocks that have economic moats and growing earnings, I can leverage the power of these companies to provide me with income whether or not I have full-time work.
Keep in mind that dividend growth investing isn't completely passive. It takes time and effort to research companies, keep an active eye on your portfolio and consistently buy quality companies. But, the great thing is that once your portfolio is set-up it should take minimal time to keep an eye on your investments and monitor any potential dividend holds or cuts. Once you have a large portfolio set up with quality dividend growth stocks you should be able to earn thousands of dollars a month and spend very little time actually "working" at it.
Imagine your dividend growth portfolio like a farm. You plant the seeds in the spring (your youth) and you harvest the dividends in the fall (middle and older age). I'm planting as many seeds as I can now while I'm young so that my dividend harvest can be as large and diversified as possible later in life. That way, when a storm rolls through (dividend cuts), I can lean on my other crops (companies) to keep my farm healthy!
What about you? Are you planting the seeds now?
Thanks for reading.