Hey! I’m glad to see you here! My name is Mike and I’m the author of The Dividend Guy Blog since 2010. I didn’t create this blog, I bought it because I loved it! Yes… I buy blogs amongst other things!
First things first; I am French Canadian. While everything I write on this blog is edited by a Very good friend of mine whose English is very quite excellent, mine is not. Therefore, pardon my funny expressions that you will see from time to time! If you are reading this page, it’s probably because you are an investor and want to learn more about me. So let’s start with a little story about how I started investing…
I will remember this day forever; I applied for a $20,000 line of credit back in 2003. I just started my job at the bank and 10 days later, I’m in front of a banker asking for a $20K line of credit. I didn’t tell him what it was for; leveraging. A month later, I had $19,500 invested in the stock market, all provided by the bank which employs me! Three years later, I generated over $70,000 in profit and purchased my first house using $50,000 in cash down from my trading successes.
Nope, I’m not an investing guru and have since learned the hard way. Strong from my first three years or success on the stock market, I started to take additional risk. Toward the end of 2006, I lost 50% of my account on a single trade. I then realized investing is not gambling and you can lose real money. Then, 2008 happened and I was hit again. I was lucky that time as most of my money was used to purchase my house and funds in my investment account wasn’t that high at that time.
The problem I had after 2006 was that I started to lack the time necessary to trade diligently. At the beginning of my investing career, I was an aggressive trader and spent countless hours studying the market. But a few years down the road and my plate was full. I got married, three kids and a demanding job. I couldn’t spend a few hours a day on the stock market as I used too.
I was reading The Dividend Guy Blog since its creation in 2005 and noticed the previous author slowed down his writing pace. I was already running other websites at that time and enquired about buying his blog. A month later I became The Dividend Guy. Following his investment philosophy, I started to switch my portfolio toward dividend investing. I like dividend stocks because they are more stable companies and therefore, don’t demand that I look at the markets every day.
Where I Am NOW
As I just mentioned, I started my career in the financial industry back in 2003. I earned several promotions along with a good pile of diplomas (Bachelor degree in finance & marketing, CFP title, Broker license, MBA in financial services). I’m still working in the financial industry to this date (2015). I define myself as truly passionate about finance, especially the stock market. My first blog (The Financial Blogger) was created to help people control their personal finances and escape the rat race. I’ve stopped writing on it to concentrate on my dividend website projects.
I’m married to my lovely wife (it’s been 18 years together and 11 years of marriage!) and have three beautiful children; they are the main reasons to do what I do each day. Born in 1981, I quickly understood how to make money. I hit a 100K salary at the age of 28 but started to spend it all at the same time! I can’t say I regret it as driving an RX-8, vacationing in Hawaii and living in a big house is interesting and fun… for a while anyways.
I’m in the middle of a crucial switch in my life; I’m selling everything in 2015 to leave with my family to travel the Americas (North & Central) in 2016. I’m done with the regular life where you wake up in the morning, go to work and arrive home for supper, put the kids to sleep then rinse & repeat until I retire at the age of 65 with a fully funded pension plan. This may sounds like a great deal for many, I think there is something better to get out of life than simply working for 50 years.
In order to achieve this crazy goal, I’m counting on making enough money from my investing websites. I operate a dividend growth investing tool called Dividend Stocks Rock, I author this blog and The Dividend Monk and other stock analyses are published exclusively on Seeking Alpha.
My Investing Philosophy
Throughout the years, I’ve studied, researched and tried many different investing styles. Since 2010, I’ve become a dividend growth investor, but not the classic buy & hold guy. I divide my portfolio into two distinct sections: a core portfolio and a growth portion.
The core portfolio looks like the classic dividend buy & hold with solid (and boring) companies. I expect to hold these companies for a very long time, if not forever. The growth portion is containing stocks with a strong growth potential over a relatively short period of time (18 to 24 months). My investing process is summarized in 7 investing principles:
Principle #1: High Dividend Yield Doesn’t Equal High Returns
Principle #2: If There is One Metric; It’s Called Dividend Growth
Principle #3: A Dividend Payment Today is Good,
A Dividend Guaranteed For the Next 10 Years is Better
Principle #4: The Foundation of Dividend Growth Stocks Lies in its Business Model
Principle #5: Buy When You Have Money in Hand
Principle #6: If You Know Why You Bought, You Will Know Why You Sell
Principle #7: Think Core, Think Growth
I’ve built a complete investing platform helping dividend investors make their decisions called Dividend Stocks Rock. You can read the fruit of my research that has led me to my 7 investing principles.
If you are curious to know what my portfolio looks like, here are my holdings in detail.
RETIRE YOUNG. When I launched my first blog in 2006 with my best friend and partner in my online company, our goal was to become millionaires at the age of 35. This means that in 2016, I want to worth $1M. This is not going to happen, unfortunately. However, something even better will happen. At the age of 35, I will reach financial independence and retire from the corporate world. My main financial goal is to quit my job in 2016 and live off my investment websites. As I value time spent with my family and friends as well as more life experiences than can be had just working for a big corporation, I decided to change my life to reach financial independence at a really young age to see where it will lead me.
LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE. Among my personal goals, I want to learn Spanish. I’m already pretty good in both French and English and will need to learn Spanish for my trip as I plan to visit all the countries in Central America and possibly live a few months in Costa Rica in 2017.
STAY FIT. I want to be an example of health and wealth to my children. Therefore, I must keep working hard to show them that it’s possible to grow older and stay fit. I currently work out 4 times a week, running roughly 20K and lifting weights.
HELP. I believe that those who are blessed by life but return the favor back. This is why I want to help as many people as I can. This blog is a good example. It is true that I earn income from my websites, but I think I help more people investing and educating them than just making money.
Countries I’ve Visited so Far…
When I was younger, I participated in a foreign student exchange where I studied in Europe for 6 months. I actually travelled and didn’t study much! So far, I’ve seen the following countries: Canada, USA, Dominican Republic, France, Spain, Germany, UK, Scotland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Italy.
Here are the countries I plan to visit in 2016-2017: Canada (From East to West), USA (West Coast), Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
Let’s Keep in Touch
I like to discuss everything about the stock market! If you have any questions, don’t be shy to email me at dividendustries at gmail. You can leave comments on this blog and register to my newsletter to get more free stuff .
Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination
Success is a science: if you have the conditions; you get the result.