A Guaranteed Millionaire

It wasn’t that long ago that I was broke. Scratch that. I was less than broke. I was worth a negative amount of money. How does that even happen? How do you become worth less than an infant? Well, typically by making bad decisions. And I had some doozies. How about wasting an inheritance? How about instead of avoiding student loan debt, taking it on with a smile? Yep, I did these things and more. Yet, I’m guaranteed to be a millionaire.

How so? 

By being persistent and consistent. Over the last three years I stayed determined to climb out of my situation and build an investment portfolio of high quality companies large enough so that the passive income via dividends it generates would be large enough so that I could live off of it. I’m trying to build a dividend tree so large that the fruit grows faster than I can eat it. My dividend tree now has 37 branches of high quality companies spitting out over $4,000 in fruitful annual dividend income.

But here’s the great thing. 

I could stop investing right now. I could stop living below my means and start spending 100% of my available net income on living expenses and all the luxuries a middle class worker has access to. I could buy a nice pad, hit the town every weekend, trade in my time machine for a brand new car and take a couple of exotic vacations per year. And guess what? I’ll still be a millionaire one day.

I’m not bragging here. What I am doing is trying to show you how powerful investing, and compound interest, really is. It doesn’t take much effort on your part to guarantee yourself a millionaire. It doesn’t even take a lifetime of sacrifices and delayed gratification. It actually only takes a few years of saving a good portion of your net income and investing that excess capital wisely.

I’ve been at this for just over three years. I built my portfolio from $5,000 to six-figures during this time. Doing this has given me a lifetime of rewards.

What if I gave up the idea of early reitrement tomorrow?

I was doing some quick math and this is what I came up with. Assuming I never invest another dollar for the rest of my life and give up the dream of early retirement I would then have to assume the average retirement age of 61 years old for myself. A daunting thought, but one I’ll use for this example. I used a compound interest calculator with my current portfolio value of $125,000 and a 7% rate of return compounded over 30 years (I’m currently 31). I ended up with $1,014,562.18. That’s just a shade over $1 million. And that’s assuming I retire at an average age and never invest another dollar.

This is all hypothetical of course, and because of that I didn’t include inflation or taxes. However, I also used a rate of return below the historical stock market’s average. But this isn’t meant to calculate how much money I’ll have at 61 if I never invest another dollar. This exercise is meant to show you how important your decisions of today are to the you of tomorrow. And you don’t even need a lifetime of good decisions. If you could carve out just a few years of your life for intense saving and investing you’ll be much better off for it.

Guarantee yourself wealth.

The you of today has a great chance to guarantee the you of tomorrow great wealth. You can virtually guarantee the you of tomorrow millionaire status just by making conscious decisions with your money. Live below your means, avoid debt and invest the surplus wisely and you can almost guarantee yourself that you’ll be a millionaire one day. Life changes fast. There’s a lot that can happen over one’s lifetime. But who better to deal with the curveballs of fate than someone who has hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of investments in wonderful companies?

If I can guarantee myself millionaire status with just three years of hard work, imagine what you can do for yourself with a lifetime of good decisions. The possibilities are almost limitless. Personally, I don’t plan on stopping this journey tomorrow. My plan is to become financially independent at 40 years old and live life on my terms. I’ll continue to save aggressively and invest that surplus capital as wisely as I can until then, mostly in high quality companies that pay out rising dividends. This means I have 10 years to build upon my millionaire status. Care to join me?

How about you? Are you guaranteeing yourself that you’ll be a millionaire one day?

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: Idea go/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. Scoonie says

    Hell yes! I am married and will probably have 1 or 2 children, but I would still like to be a millionaire by age 60 (25 years from now). All of this saving and goal-setting has also motivated me at work, which will only lead to more overall success.

    I am very nervous about the market right now. I have some surplus capital to use, but I think I’m going to hold off for a few weeks. I was reading two articles the other day about how the stock market capitalization to GDP ratio is very high right now (118%, 112.4%?), and the last two times it was that high we had a crash (late 90s, 2008). Last week was a down week, and this week is looking like a down week as well. Are we going to see a major correction in the next 2-3 months? We are overdue for one. I want to buy KMI, PFE, and more MO, but I’d like to time it correctly so I don’t immediately lose cash right after I invest.

    • Anonymous says

      Trying to time the market outright is a fools game. That said, I also feel US equities are way overbought…… and am holding off myself. Best of luck.

    • Debbie M says

      In 1995, the market was way overbought, too. Nevertheless, it continued going up (dramatically) for four more years.

    • says


      I’m glad the saving and goal-setting has inspired you to bring about great changes to your life and build your wealth in a dramatic way. That’s fantastic to hear!

      Looking at the broader market, we appear to be modestly overvalued right now. I think a 10%-15% correction would be healthy, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether we’ll actually get one. In the meantime, I’ll continue to stick to my plan and invest in high quality companies that appear to be selling for fair or better prices (preferably better). However, my purchases will likely be smaller in terms of frequency and amount until the market presents more compelling opportunities.

      Best wishes!

    • Scoonie says

      And right on cue, the market takes a dive today. The Dow Jones is now about 3.15% below its peak and the S&P 500 is 2.56% below its peak. Market trending downward and we may be able to get some good deals in the coming months.

  2. Spoonman says

    Indeed, it’s a comforting thought to think that the great decisions we make today will lead to a life of great abundance and wealth. The me of tomorrow will be very thankful of the moves i’m making now. Not only will I be a millionaire, I will have a great abundance of time.

    I’ve no doubt that you will become a millionaire not long after reaching FI.

    • says


      I’m with you completely. The us of many years from now will be very thankful that the us of today made wonderful decisions with our capital. And although I didn’t specifically talk about it in this post because I wanted to concentrate on the financial aspect of the journey, time is really what it’s all about. Capital can be used for whatever the heart wants, but my heart yearns for more time to live a simple, free and happy life!

      I’m sure we’ll both be millionaires one day. And it’s also likely that those around us probably won’t even know based on how we live. :)

      Best regards!

  3. says

    Good post buddy.

    In terms of net worth, if I include my pension and my wife’s at work, we’re getting close at age 40. By age 45, we should be millionaires but we will still have a mortgage to pay.

    I figure $1 M in personal investments, a paid off home and some pension money is a great goal for us by age 50.

    Then we would retire :)


    • says


      Thanks for stopping by!

      Sounds like you and your wife are right on track! Great to hear it.

      I’m hoping to hit around $500k in investments by the time I’m 40, which will likely organically grow to the seven-figure mark by the time I hit my early 50’s. We’ll see how it goes. It’s not really about the money in the end for me, but rather the time. However, I was trying to point out how seemingly small steps today can turn into rather large rewards down the road. I’m proof positive of that.

      Keep up the great work. I hope you guys are able to retire at 50!


    • says


      Great stuff there from Jacob. He’s a real trailblazer and one hell of a pioneer. I have a lot of respect for him.

      Thanks for the support. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! :)

      Best regards.

    • says


      Sounds like you’ve already achieved great success in life. I know I’ll quit accumulating assets way before I hit wealth anywhere near those levels, but enjoy it! :)

      Best wishes.

    • says


      I appreciate the support!

      I’m just here to inspire through action. I hope that my ability to build wealth and buy freedom with a middle class income and no formal education in finance will inspire others to attempt the same.

      I hope your journey to pretirement is proving to be very fruitful as well! :)

      Take care.

  4. says

    I find it incredibly encouraging that I could loosen up my excessive savings or even just stop saving money all together and still probably have a modest retirement at 65. Especially if I keep up my 6% 401k contributions. The flip side of that is that if I keep working hard to build wealth, I’ll be a multimillionaire by 65 who can afford to live it up in retirement.

    • says


      That’s just it. You have flexibility. That’s what hard work and creating opportunities for yourself does. You can continue down the path to FI and seek a retirement that befits you and your desires, or you can choose to coast into a modestly comfortable retirement. Or you can aggressively seek a very early retirement. It’s all up to you. That’s the kind of freedom and flexibility that living well below your means and investing the surplus buys. Keep up the great work!

      Best wishes.

  5. says

    It’s all so true DM. A little effort on the front end and we’ll all be ok, through the power of time and compounding. My engineering economics professor hit this home by comparing the return of investing a few thousand dollars a year between age 22 and 30, with investing many times as much much between age 35 and 50. The difference in likely value at age 65 was eye opening for this 19 year old.
    Good work motivating the masses.


    • says

      The Fast Weekly,

      That’s a great illustration there. It really shows the power of time and compounding, and how they can combine to produce amazing results out of seemingly modest inputs.

      It’s all about starting early and being consistent. Putting away a little bit every month if you start young can add up to dramatic wealth.

      Thanks for stopping by.


    • says


      Well, because I have no desire to become a billionaire. I like the simple things in life. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, getting a good sweat on at the gym, reading, writing, watching sunset. My desires require little money, but they require a lot of time. And so I choose to pursue as much time as I can possibly get my hands on as early on in life as possible.

      I only wish the best, however, for those who chase after immense wealth!

      Take care.

  6. Anonymous says

    Not to be a downer but, it’s misleading to assume a 7% return annually for 30 years. A more realistic value is probably closer to 3%, which would take 70 years. Even still, it’s also possible to lose money in the stock market as well.

    • Anonymous says

      I agree, DivMan does need to take into account that he started investing heavily in the absolute best time he could, post market crash, gains on div stocks have been amazing recently. Not something to continue expecting in the near future I don’t believe, but it may present nice buying ops.

    • says


      “A more realistic value is probably closer to 3%…”

      Based on what? I’m using numbers below what the stock market has been able to return, on average, going back more than 100 years. If that’s not enough data to support a reasonable conclusion, I don’t know what is.

      Depending on the source you use, the stock market has historically returned between ~9% annually going as far back as one can.

      Best regards.

    • says

      Anonymous II,

      Again, I’m using very reasonable numbers in my calculation. 7% is a good measure below what the stock market has been historically able to return, but it’s really impossible to forecast what one would receive over 30 years. That’s one reason I was being conservative.

      Besides, the point isn’t to figure out down to the penny how much money I’ll have in 30 years if I stop investing today. The point is to encourage hard work and sticking to a plan.

      You have clearly missed the forest for the trees.


    • Anonymous says

      Nope didn’t miss anything, I agree with you that sticking to a plan and hard work are the keys to success in this world. I just don’t think a historical return dating back 100 years is relevant anymore. Since the turn of the century the S&P 500 with reinvested dividends has returned less than 3% a year. When you adjust for inflation it has returned less than .50% a year during that time. And this includes a 95% return in the last 4 years during the recovery. (which from my reading is when you started, cheer on that!!)

      I still am entirely on board with your strategy, I use it for my stock market investments, I just think times in the stock market have changed. The big bucks control what happens, not us little people. I see it more as a hedge against inflation than a way to riches, that’s all.

      I agree with the sentiment of the post, never said I didn’t.

    • says


      I understand your concerns over big money having a lot of influence over the stock market, and I share your sentiment. However, I think you would be better served by focusing on the operations of the businesses you’re investing in and less on the stock market. If a business is generating higher and higher revenues and earnings over time, the price will go up in turn. If the business is not doing well, then the underlying price of the asset will go down as it should. The stock market, in the short-term, will vary wildly and can be quite volatile. Over the long run, however, the overall profitability of the business and the price you paid for that profitability will determine the rate of your return.

      Best of luck!

      Take care.

    • says

      You could cherry pick at least 3 off the top of my head instances over the last 100 years of 13 years of anemic growth in the stock market like you just alluded to 2000-2013. That’s the beauty of 100 years of history. I’m sorry if you’re scared of the market but these last 13 years have all happened before.

    • Anonymous says

      Respectfully disagree with that summit…I don’t believe you could find any 13 year span that performed as poorly as the last 13 years have. The only one that may be close is around the great depression, but even then those years were followed up by years with 50%+ gains. Please let me know those years if you find them though. Certainly willing to listen to that side of the story, but I don’t think it is necessarily true.

      Nothing stays the same over that period of time. To think that the way the stock market works now is the same in 1913 makes very little sense to me. The biggest traders in the stock market these days are computers (I know you now those weren’t a factor in the market even 30 years ago). Shorting stocks and derivatives had no place in the financial world back then (hell, they didn’t really even 20 years ago). These days people can get rich, and know they can get rich from a stock performing poorly, that didn’t used to exist. There are full hedge funds that making their money and livelihood off of the failure of companies.

      Like I said, I agree with this portfolio management when it comes to my stock investments for individual investors. But I do not agree that it is a very safe way or the best way to find your way to a million dollars and beyond. Of course, as DivMantra said, I agree with his biggest point in this article…hard work and persistence in saving is the most guaranteed way to financial freedom.

  7. says

    That’s pretty awesome! It’s so great to run the calculations of compound interest. I’m amazed everytime at how much of an affect it plays on your final portfolio value. My wife and I are making the appropriate steps to also become millionaires. It’s really not that hard. It just takes a bit of planning and persistence.

    • says


      Compounding interest is a powerful force, indeed! And you want to get this amazing force on your friend as a great ally as early in life as possible. I missed the boat, and I could be much further ahead than I already am had I started 10 years earlier.

      Of course, the best time to start investing was yesterday. The second best time is today. :)

      Best wishes!

  8. says

    It’s always great to pontificate mate. I shared my path to $1 million by 28 on my latest post if you want to check it out. I didn’t even realize it until I was 30 when I first started doing my NW calculations.

    I agree with you that everybody will be a millionaire if they save enough and live long enough!

    • says


      Thanks for stopping by.

      Congratulations on reaching phenomenal wealth at such a young age. Starting early and having a high income can do wonders. I, unfortunately, had neither. I was below broke as I approached 28, at the same time you were a millionaire. You clearly “got it” a lot earlier than I did! :)

      I agree. Becoming a millionaire seems difficult in theory, but in reality it’s actually quite easy. It’s simply about formulating a realistic plan based on your individual circumstances and being consistent. My plan isn’t to become a millionaire, but I’ll very likely become one any way.

      Stay in touch!

      Best wishes.

  9. Anonymous says

    Good job. I wish you well. BUT!

    It looks like you are probably not planning on having children. Or maybe you are. Because if you are, you do realize that you are going to have to spend a hell of a lot of your income on raising them, right? And that you cannot feed them ramen noodles and pbj all the time? And that unless you want them to live in poverty and not experience live to the fullest, you will have to spend money to help them experience the wider world, which will broaden their horizons, yada yada.

    You do realize that this would cut into your income, and that if you want a spouse that is happy, she probably will not be happy living a monk-like existence?

    Based on reading your $62K inheiritance mistake, I hope you realize that you are living your life from a position of fear. Fear of want, of not having enough, of lack, etc. You said so yourself.

    I am not saying this to hurt you; moreover, I am saying it to help you realize that unless you want to live alone, which in my view is the greatest poverty at all, what good is a million bucks? Or ten million? It just seems that based on what I have read in your excellent blog, you are living poorly now to live better, later. The only problem is, habits become ingrained, and they are hard to break. Enjoy now more, not just a $10 date once a month or a $2 toy for a gf’s kid.

    Regards, Monty

    • says


      I don’t plan on having children. I’ve been pretty open about that since I initiated this blog back in early 2011. I actually plan on getting a vasectomy at some point in the next year. This is not a financial decision, but rather something I decided a long time ago. I have zero desire to have kids. However, I do quite look forward to being an uncle (my sisters will likely have children at some point).

      As far as being alone, I don’t really share your fear. I have a wonderful girlfriend who shares a small apartment with me and also takes the bus to/from work. She lives a fairly simplistic life like I do, and enjoys it. Not everyone out there equates happiness with money spent.

      As far as not enjoying more now, I’ve already written about how I’m not delaying gratification at all:


      …and what I look forward to in early retirement:


      Take care!

    • Anonymous says


      It’s great that you know what you value but perhaps you should recognize that other people VALUE DIFFERENT THINGS.

      I LOVE being alone. Always have. So does my spouse. Guess what? Since we got married, we are learning to be a couple, but also we STILL CHERISH our independence and now, I EVEN VALUE IT MORE. I still go on trips alone as does my husband. Also, NEVER WANTED CHILDREN EITHER, IMAGINE THAT & I’M A WOMAN! I knew from the time that I was a babysitter that having children was not for me.

      I NEVER FEAR dying alone. In fact, I think that’s the way to do it. JUST YOU and your chosen “GOD” with whom you have to make peace. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE PEOPLE, and I travel, make friends easily, but my ultimate relationship is with MYSELF. This isn’t stingy. THIS IS ME. I don’t go around telling people that the earth is already overpopulated and that it’s so selfish to have a kid “just so I can have someone to take care of me when I’m old.” I’ve heard TOO MANY SELFISH REASONS why people have children. One of those reasons is too “stay busy” as if LIFE – your own glorious life – isn’t enough.

      Guess what, as well? I’ve earned six figures, driven BMW convertibles, had a very spendy lifestyle, and I have chosen to walk away from my lucrative profession to live a “monk-like existence.” Remember too, I am someone’s wife.

      Please don’t think other people think like you do.

      As for you, DM… you go dude!

    • says


      Thanks for stopping by!

      Interesting story here. Good for you for knowing what you want out of life and going for it. Not everyone fits the mold, and it seems like those of us who do not are cast out for it. It doesn’t really bother me too much as I’ve become much happier living in a way that is sustainable for me. It sounds like you’ve found a nice balance as well.

      As for children, they’re just not for everyone. I think the people that are honest enough with themselves to admit that they don’t want children should be commended. Those that have children that aren’t really cut out for it, or have children for the wrong reasons are really doing everyone, including the children, a disservice. It’s rather unfortunate. I can relate that to my own experience, as my mother should never have had my three sisters or I. She simply was not cut out for motherhood. Of course, I’m glad she had us or I wouldn’t exist, but I’m very lucky that I’m even still alive. If I wasn’t adopted at a young age I’m rather confident that I’d either be dead already or living in extremely poor conditions and miserable.

      Thanks for the support! You go too! :)

      Best regards.

  10. Anonymous says

    Glad you seem to have it all figured out. I notice that you choose not to or are unable or unwilling to examine whether or not what people say on here may have something or worth to you. This has led to the preponderance of “yes men” and syncophant posts that populate this otherwise excellent blog. There really isn’t any room for debate, just mostly pats on the back and attaboys. Which is cool in an old boys’ club kind of way.

    You may want to try to innovate a bit more. Those that do create value and those that don’t stagnate and go away. Just saying. Keep yourself unique from the overpopulated dividend growth blog space.

    But then again, if you have it all figured out and have all the answers, why do you ask for comments? Do you actually want a dialogue, or will you continue to nicely backhand people and turn them off?

    All the very best good fortune and care,

    • says


      I quite enjoy a good debate. I’m not looking only for hearty pats on the back, but lively discussions on investments, opinions on frugality and the mutual inspiration that comes from sharing success. In fact, the dialogue that exists in many of my posts is one of the greatest things about this blog, and something I’m most proud of.

      However, there isn’t much point in a discourse on the merits or expenses involved with having children as I decided long ago that I don’t want any. There have been many before you who point and say “you’ll never be able to live so cheaply and have kids”, to which I neither agree or disagree but rather plainly point out that I don’t plan on having any. I don’t pretend to have great experience in some arena where I have none. I only know what I want out of life and go for it 100%, and share this with others to hopefully inspire.

      As far as living frugally and delayed gratification, this is individualistic. What I get enjoyment out of you may find none, and visa versa. It’s not to avoid a debate, but rather your comment came across as condescending and I see no point to discuss something ad nauseam with someone who has an opposite viewpoint when I’ve already written a number of lengthy posts pointing out what I enjoy and how those who share like passions can too.

      Hopefully this clears things up for you. I’m not looking to avoid debate, but to have lengthy discussions with someone who views life in a totally different way serves no purpose, to be quite frank. You can see discussions go on like that whenever I’ve been published in national media or when Pete from Mr. Money Mustache was published on Yahoo! and the Washington Post. It’s just a lot of people disagreeing and angrily pointing out how someone else is wrong. That does nothing for me.

      You have a different perspective on life. That should be celebrated, but it’s just not one I share.

      Best of luck to you!

      Take care.

    • Chris A. says

      I just don’t understand some people’s comments on here. It’s his blog, he can write about what he wants to write about. He can comment on whatever he chooses to comment on. That’s the choice he has on HIS blog. It’s not his job Monty to have a debate with you if he doesn’t want to. You’re free to start your own blog and you can have any discussion on there that you want.

      As far as all the “yes men”, did it ever occur to you that he has a lot of friends and well-wishers who are very like-minded? And the vast majority of readers/commenters on here enjoy his writing/investing style? Of all the things to nitpick at, you picked some of the worst.

    • Anonymous says

      WOW!! Me again.

      Monty, guess what? You are the one being rude. You aren’t initiating a healthy debate – you are outright attacking someone’s choice in a public forum and pointing a finger. ON HIS OWN BLOG NO LESS! How do you not see that?

    • Anonymous says

      Amen to that! I for one think that the comment section should only be used for expressing words of love and encouragement. Lets face it – otherwise it is just down right depressing. If you don’t agree MONTI I suggest that you go post your comments ELSEWHERE. I came to this blog to read DM’s opinions – if I wanted to hear someone else’s opinions I would read the news or maybe a horror story or something else scary like that.

  11. Anonymous says

    Thank you for talking about what you are comfortable with. You assume that I have a totally different view of life than you, but we probably don’t. I notice however, that you chose to ignore those points which offer suggestions of how you might invigorate and extend the life of your blog, and rather focus on the hurt feelings that my provocativeness may have aroused. Good on you for choosing to not have kids; they are not for everyone. Good on you for having a wonderful gf who shares your frugal ways. Good on you for delaying gratification and living to save money. Good on you for being in the national media, as that is one of the great american dreams! Good on you for all of the happiness that life has brought you.

    But most of all, good on you for sharing so much of your life here on the internet.

    I wish you nothing but ever increasing dividends, and never decreasing capital.

    Hearily bonhommie,

  12. Anonymous says

    Hi DM-I have really enjoyed your blog, you are great at explaining things!
    anyway, I was wondering what bank/brokerage firm you prefer.
    also wondering why you don’t use a retirement account in addition to your taxable account.
    sorry if you have already answered this somewhere else.

    • says


      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad that you enjoy the blog and my writing style. That means a lot to me. Ultimately, I write for you readers.

      I use Scottrade for my brokerage. I am considering opening up a second account for diversification purposes. TD Ameritrade and Fidelity are a couple I’m currently looking at.

      I don’t have a 401(k) because my work doesn’t offer a match and the funds they use are poor with high fees. I don’t have an IRA because I plan on accessing my funds fairly early in life and my taxes will be naturally low due to the built-in tax efficiency dividends have.

      I hope that helps!

      Best regards.

    • says

      Roger H,

      “Dividends are taxed @15%. Dividends in a Roth are taxed at 0%”

      Not quite.

      Qualified dividends are only taxed at 15% once you reach the 25% income tax threshold, which is currently $36,251. Below that level, your qualified dividends are taxed at 0%.

      It’ll be quite some time before I’m seeing over $36k in annual dividends, hence I continue to invest in my taxable account.

      Also, it should be noted that the SEPP is not exactly a walk in the park. I would not be inclined to make an SEPP part of my strategy purposely, but rather would only use that if I had to.

      If I were to invest in a ROTH at some point, which I may, I would likely try to make sure those funds are left alone until I can pull them out traditionally. Otherwise, I would look to take out distributions if I had to.

      Best wishes!

    • Anonymous says


      I am certainly no tax expert and my comments are made with the best intentions. Aren’t you paying taxes on your dividends now?

      Roger H

    • says

      Roger H,

      I’m no tax expert either. The tax code is quite complicated, and beyond me in many ways I’m sure. I just call it like I see it, and I’d rather avoid complications if I can.

      I am paying taxes on dividends now because they pool in with my earnings, which are well above the 15% threshold. However, my dividends right now are also fairly low. Right about the time I’ll be collecting serious dividends and be faced with bigger tax bills I’ll hopefully be living off of them and will be then shielded from most taxes.

      Best regards.

  13. Anonymous says


    Job well done saving so much money.

    You are a millionaire now. Just convert your dollars to pesos and you have well over a million. Silly right?
    A peso is not the same as a dollar. A million pesos does not buy the same things as a million dollars does.

    It is just as silly when you equate today’s dollars to tomorrow’s dollars. They are in fact very different. A million of tomorrow’s dollars (thirty years from now) is really only $400,000 of today dollars. Nothing to sneeze at, but not enough for millionaire status. (Assuming 3% inflation)

    In addition to inflation, taxes will eat into your returns. Your buy and hold approach helps tremendously in this regard, but I am a little perplexed about your non use of tax advantaged investing despite multiple suggestions by many of your readers.

    Good luck and happy investing!

    Roget h

    • says


      I talked in the article about how I didn’t include inflation or taxes and also included a rather conservative number for returns. Obviously, none of us can predict stock market returns or inflation over the next month, let alone the next 30 years. This exercise was for fun, not to predict down to the penny what $125,000 will be 30 years from now. As I pointed out above, to do so would be missing the forest for the trees. The point of the article is to show how even just a few short years of hard work can translate into big rewards over time. The key is to start as early as possible and stay consistent.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Best wishes.

  14. Anonymous says

    It works I never made much at my job but I did and still do buy dividend paying stocks I have well over a million in stocks and a few mutual funds(with in 401ks)Im almost 60 now it was alittle bit at a time once the dividends kick in you are home free you have a great site

    • says


      Congratulations on your success! It sounds like you’ve done quite well for yourself. Time to enjoy it! :)

      Thanks for the support. I’m glad you like the blog. I hope you stick around, as I have a lot more content left in me.


  15. says

    Each purchase of an dividend paying stock or something that will bring in income gets us one step closer to our goals of why we invest our money. It is always good to open up a brokerage account and see dividends or distributions coming in. Even better when we find out they are increased.

    Just wish I started earlier in my life.

    • says

      Investing Pursuits,

      I echo your thoughts in regards to starting earlier in life. I started at 28 years old, and even that seems way too old. Starting off at about 18 would be perfect! :)

      And you’re right: every step counts, no matter how small! Every dollar I save and invest buys me a few pennies of passive income, and those pennies turn into dollars, which turn into hundreds, which then turn into thousands. What starts out as a stream turns into a waterfall over time. It just takes determination and persistence. Stick with it!

      Best wishes!

  16. says

    buncha haters lately for some reason, I have a feeling all the anonymous is 1 person. Not only that but they are hating for the most random things. One guy says a million in the future will only be 400,000 in today’s dollars so you won’t be a millionaire. Well, actually you still will be a millionaire by definition. I just dont get the motivation of these people making these…uneducated comments. Also, talking about how you are a bad person because you aren’t married to your gf or because you chose to not have any kids??? wow. lol.

    Anyways, I’m also stopping by to mention I bought 100 sharess of RDS.B today at 66.12, thanks to a post you made a while back which put this stock on my radar.

    • says


      Thanks for the support! I agree with you. I’ve been a little befuddled by some recent comments as well. I’m not even quite sure how some people end up on a blog like this when they are clearly coming from a completely different perspective on life. And what my desire to not have children has to do with anything is beyond me. If you want children, I’m happy for you. I simply do not.

      Nice purchase on RDS.B! I was strongly considering adding to my position just before it traded ex-dividend but passed at the last minute. I think it’s attractively valued here, trading near book value and with a promising future in gas. I mean how do you not like a company with $400 billion in annual revenue? And that dividend is very nice. Best of luck with your investment, and it’s nice to have you as a fellow shareholder! :)

      Best regards.

    • Anonymous says

      I really do enjoy the blog and I am excited to see you making progress towards your goal. I have no doubt that regular investing in the stock market over time is one of the best ways to prosperity.


      My post regarding inflation is simple math. It was not meant to be negative or positive. I guess that I am not educated enough that math offends me. Maybe I need to get another Master’s degree.

      Roger H

    • says

      Roger H,

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy the blog.

      You had a great point with the inflation. I wasn’t trying to say anything different. I was only pointing out that the loss of purchasing power wasn’t what I was trying to get people to focus on here, but rather the fact that small steps every single day add up to big rewards over time.

      I agree that inflation is something all investors need to think about and plan for, and I talk about that in other articles.

      Best wishes!

  17. Anonymous says

    RDS is a great stock. A little taste of a huge pie that is going to last a long long time is a very smart move. I just hope they don’t get punished as hard as the overall market will when the inevitable correction comes, and probably soon. Keep up the good work DM. Live your life, not someone else’s.

    • says


      I agree that Shell looks pretty solid here. A huge dividend that will likely rise slowly, and very diversified operations. They’re big into gas which is not benefiting them now, but this is a very long-term play.

      Thanks for the support. I live life in a way that’s different than what’s considered normal, so I’m not surprised to see some criticism. It doesn’t really bother me, but I do wish more people would adopt a “live and let live” attitude, rather than a “holier than thou” attitude. I’ve never said this lifestyle is for everyone, and wrote an article a while back explicitly explaining such. But for those interested in financial independence I hope to be a great resource for inspiration. :)

      Thanks for stopping by! Stay in touch.

      Take care.

  18. says

    Inspiring post DM. I’ve learned long ago you’ll be well served just focussing on what your are doing and letting the noise fade to the background. In the meantime, you’ll be achieving your goals and living your life while the knockers and detractors will be moving on to try and bring down someone else.
    We expect to pass the millionaire mark next year, which will also mark the mortgage on our place being paid off also. Perhaps cause to have a small glass of something, but my real celebration will be when we attain our passive income goal!

    Keep your focus, you’ll attain what you set out to. Best.

    • says


      Thanks for the kind words. I hear you 100%! :)

      Congratulations on your success so far. Passing the millionaire mark, paying off your home and having a huge source of passive income are definitely cause for celebration. You’re doing phenomenal! Keep it up, my friend!

      I appreciate you stopping by!

      Best regards.

  19. says

    Definitely joining you on this one! GREAT POST. I am a true believer in living below one’s means. If that can guarantee me early retirement and not having to worry about a dreadful 9-5 job count me in!

    • says

      Teach Me To Invest,

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed this post. It means a lot to me that people find value in what I write. I appreciate it. :)

      I’m with you on the dreadful 9-5. Dreadful is a great word! 9-5 till’ 65 is definitely not for me. There’s simply too much out there in the world I want to explore.

      Cheers to us attaining our goals! Stay in touch.

      Take care!

  20. says

    OK another “yes man” here :) Great post DM.
    “How about you? Are you guaranteeing yourself that you’ll be a millionaire one day?”

    Yeah, normally in my 60s, if I’m alive yet, but anyway I calculated that I only need $350/$400K to retire, and continue to put some additional contribution toward investing. For now, even with some temporary capital loss this year, due to personal aid to a friend, I’m on track to reach my slave-free goal before I’m 55yo.

    Keep up the good work!

    • says

      JF Baconnet,

      That’s awesome! I’ve calculated about the same for myself. I’m thinking about $500k in principle will probably do it, as that would throw off a little under $18,000 per year in dividends at a 3.5% yield.

      I like that – “slave-free”. I’m with you there. I can’t wait for the day when I’m free to spend my time however I want too. If I want to waste a couple days away, then I can. If I want to go out and change the world through philanthropy, then I can do that too. The freedom will be amazing.

      Good luck to you as you continue the fight!

      Best wishes.

  21. says

    DM, nice article…comments were probably just as entertaining to read too.

    I often put myself through the same exercise, thinking about when I could retire if from today on if I stopped investing. I think mid fifties is where I sit now. My goal is to pull that down to late thirties (but knowing myself, I’ll keep working for another decade)

    Keep it up DM

    • says


      That’s pretty great to know that even if something bad were to happen you could still retire much younger than most. That’s awesome!

      I think I’m on track for the late 30’s as well, but only if I keep up my aggressive pace. Whether or not I can keep this pace up, however, remains to be seen. I’m hopeful!

      Keep it up on your side too. :)


  22. says


    Great write up! I am quite a few years away from six figures investment but hoping to hit it by 2016! I am cleaning up debt and investing at the same time and should be debt free by late (OCT) 2015. Having investments just shy of $40K is nothing to sneeze about and a darn good start. Even if I don’t hit a million dollars I am still going to be able to live well above my means and that is the name of the game. I calculated I will need $625,000 to retire. I should hit that by 56-59 years old. Thank you for your inspiring goals and blog.


    • says


      Keep it up. Stay focused and you’ll hit your goals. You’re already off to a very nice start. I really hope you hit that six-figure mark by 2016. That would be fantastic! :)

      The great thing is that you’re already on pace to retire earlier than most, and any progress above and beyond what you’re forecasting is just gravy. That’s great.

      I hope we can both continue to grow our wealth. :)

      Take care.

  23. says

    Hi DM,

    I’ve been ferreting through your blog for the past couple months due to an introduction into the frugal living scene via my older brother. As a debtless, fresh college grad, I believe now is the best possible time for me to really integrate myself into this bandwagon. Anyway, I just wanted to say, keep up the good work, and let you know that this has been, hands down, the most powerful article I’ve read by you.

    Hope your day is as great as mine,


    • says


      I’m glad you’ve been introduced to frugal living! You sound like you’re in a great spot. You’re armed with a degree, you have no debt and you’re young. Those are all huge, huge advantages on your side. Leverage those advantages and I’m sure you’ll be very successful in life, however you measure it.

      I’m glad you enjoy the blog. And I’m really happy you loved this post. I think it’s nice to know that living below your means and investing aggressively doesn’t even have to be a lifelong pursuit in order to reap huge rewards. Just dedicating a little slice of your life to this can change your whole future.

      I wish you nothing but the best!

      Take care.

  24. says

    Thank you for a great blog, Dividend Mantra. Time is on your side since you are buying high quality businesses that keep raising dividends year after year. Let the compounding do the heavy lifting. Congratulations on your great success!

    • says


      Thanks for stopping by! I’m sorry I missed your comment. Sometimes they fell through the cracks on Blogger, but WordPress is much better about alerting me to comments.

      I appreciate the support. Time is not only my side, but it’s on your side too. Leverage your savings, invest in high quality businesses, and let compounding do its work. :)

      Best wishes!

  25. Peter says

    Another great blog post! Very inspiring and true. A good ‘chunk of change’ early and then add some time to it, and it really balloons to a big number.

    • says


      Thanks so much!

      You got it. That’s exactly it. If you get a decent little snowball rolling early in life, over time that thing turns into a monster. Time and compounding are extremely powerful forces, and it doesn’t take much to get them going if you start early enough. And that just goes to show that some early sacrifices go a long way in life. Even if you just sacrifice for three or four years of your life early on only to stop and go back to living like everyone else (i.e. spending all of your money) those few years go a real long way over the course of your life.

      Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Best regards.

  26. tim bowman says

    Dividend Mantra;

    Can you email me. I really want to invest in a dividend tree, but really need to know what stocks to buy.

  27. Ronnie says

    This was a great read! I’m currently 23 and have taking quite an interest in the stock market, specifically in compounding interest and dividends. I used a dividends calculator for KMP with an initial investment of $10,000 to purchase at $90 a share, and contribute $8,400 annually, which is currently only 18% of my net income. I calculated a 1.5% annual growth, with an average of a 6.00% yield annually also. After 31 years, my initial investment would reach an asset of $1.036 million by the ripe age of 54! This doesn’t include factors such as increasing my earning potential with my job, investing more annually, or on the flip side factors such as having a kid(s), buying a house/mortgage, ect. I’m currently looking at KMP, ARLP, MO, CMS and WBK to have a diverse portfolio. I wish more younger people would read things like this article to encourage them to start saving for their future.

    I hope I’m on the right track, any advice and help from anyone who is experienced is welcomed!

    Thanks and best of luck to everyone!

    • says


      Glad you enjoyed the post! :)

      Compound interest is a wonderful, wonderful thing. No doubt about it. Harness its power and you will be wealthy over time.

      I see you’re looking at high-yield stocks to start. Nothing wrong with that to get your snowball rolling, as you can use that sizable income to reinvest in companies with higher growth rates. But make sure to diversify across growth rates, and not just chase yield. That will very likely get you in trouble. I wrote about investing in “stages” as you go after more income to get the snowball rolling:


      I noticed you mentioned KMP a couple of times. Kinder Morgan is actually consolidating all of its entities into a single company – KMI:


      And I might also share an article I wrote about just starting out, if I were starting all over again:


      I wish you the best of luck. And I hope you stick around!


      • Ronnie says

        Great articles! Your explanations and starting recommendation stocks are pretty on point. I also have a better understanding on a saving and investing approach also. The KMI article was a good read also. I haven’t read up on my news with KM, but I do remember my father telling me about the consolidation. The dividend track record for potentially the next 5 years seems very attractive and I think I will start investing there. I appreciate your comments, articles and advice. Looking forward to reading more.

        Best of luck.

    • says


      We’ll probably continue to rent, yes. Over the long haul (past 100+ years) homes return little over the rate of inflation. Last I looked, outside of booms and busts residential real estate has a real return of close to 0%. Factor in upgrades and repairs and I’d hate to see what the true return is.

      For me, renting is not only more cost-effective and easier to budget for (my costs are constant), but it’s just an easier lifestyle. We’re flexible, no lost opportunity cost, and no worries about fixing anything. Now, if the right place came along at the right price I might be interested. But renting is cheaper in my particular area and far less stressful.


Join The Discussion!