The best decision I ever made

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In January 2009, I found myself without a job. But I wasn’t worried.

I had graduated school in 2007 with $2,000 in cash, which I promptly spent on a used car that drained all my money away. I then found a job, and saved up approximately 70% of my paychecks. I put enough money to get the company match on the 401 (k), and put the remainder in Certificates of Deposit. Yields on those CD’s back then were over 5%/year. I had no idea where to invest the money, so I was researching it furiously. Inflation was running high, and the first cracks of the housing bubble had started to appear.

I knew stocks went up 10%/year. The problem was that they didn’t go up every year. Sometimes, stock prices went nowhere for extended periods of time, as they did between 2000 – 2012, or 1966 – 1982. I also knew I didn’t want to spend my whole life working at a job if I didn’t want to.

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So I needed a source of cash that was passive in nature, and is relatively stable in the amount and timing. Interest income seemed fine, except for it was heavily taxed as ordinary income and seemed to be losing purchasing power over time. I knew that if I didn’t want to work at some point in time, it would be helpful to have income producing assets, which will generate income to live off. I was very lucky that I sometimes had downtime at my work, so I could research things. This is when I read a lot of studies on long-term performance of US stocks. I also found a lot of blogs, many of which I still read today.

This is when I discovered the beauty of dividend investing. One of the sites called Dividends4Life I still read today. The rest are gone now. As I kept learning about dividend investing, something clicked – this was the strategy I was looking for. This strategy could provide me with a gro