Minimalism and Dividend Investing – Two Recent RBD Features Around the Web

A blog is a home base on the internet. My website gives me the freedom to share whatever’s on my mind, at any time, to most of the people on this planet. 

But even though the internet enables bloggers to reach billions of people, most of us write to very small audiences. That’s OK. We don’t need a huge following to make an impact on others. And websites can make money with a surprisingly low number of page views. 

From time to time, I’m presented with opportunities to share my message on websites with larger followings than mine. Sharing my writing (and voice) on other platforms brings in new readers and increases stature with the internet Gods.

A few weeks ago I shared a guest post of mine that was five years in the making.

To pay it forward, I occasionally feature guest posts on my site, which also helps me stick to a weekly publishing schedule when my writing time is tight, or I need a break. 

This week I’m excited to share two significant features around the internet. One is a non-money related guest post, and the other is a podcast appearance.

You can find most of my other featured appearance here

Struggles of an Aspiring Minimalist

Building a family is the most rewarding experience of my life. But with it came buying a larger home and filling it with more possessions than we need. Some days when I look around my house, all I see is stuff that used to be money.

Our biggest issue is toys, a problem that’s exacerbated by two sets of loving and generous grandparents. 

I’m frustrated with all the crap that enters our house, and I spend considerable time removing unused toys, clothing, and furniture that we don’t need anymore. But it’s never enough.  

Minimalism has hit the mainstream with the success of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up show on Netflix, and it’s a lifestyle I’m trying to popularize in my household.

Long before the KonMari method, one blogger has been writing about minimalism for more than a decade. Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist writes about owning less to live a better life.

His message resonates with me because of my days living out of a 40-pound backpack. That period was one of the happiest stages of my life. 

Minimalism and early retirement are complementary pursuits. Own less to keep more of your money. 

I met Joshua at a bloggers conference last year and pitched a guest post called 5 Struggles of an Aspiring Minimalist. Last month, it published to his site and his 1 million+ monthly followers.

Though I don’t aspire to be a hardcore minimalist, I am striving to simplify my life in various ways. Reducing clutter with three kids is one of the most difficult challenges I face. 

Joshua also publishes a quarterly magazine called Simple Money.

Read more about Simple Money here

The ChooseFI Podcast – Intro to Dividend Investing

One of the most influential podcasts in the early retirement space reached out to me last month to invite me on to speak about dividend investing. 

I rarely speak about my story and investing strategy, but I said yes anyway, knowing that I was wading into somewhat hostile territory. 

Several financial independence and early retirement bloggers do not like dividend growth investing. They advocate that all stock investors should buy total stock market index funds and ETFs in tax-advantaged accounts and ignore most other investing strategies (other than real estate). 

Brad and Jonathan of the ChooseFI podcast are anti-dividend investing, which may be why it took 121 episodes before addressing the topic!

But they are also eager to learn other perspectives and provide varying opinions to their audience. 

I agree that index investing is best for most people. Dividend investing takes time and research, and not everybody has the time or skills to build a portfolio. My total investment portfolio, including retirement accounts, is close to 75% invested in index funds.*

They were quick to point out that dividend payments don’t make us any wealthier upon distribution because the stock price decreases by the dividend per share. And dividend payments, when distributed into a taxable account, create a taxable event (though dividends are taxed at a lower rate than wage income, and not taxed at all under certain income limits).

This is why I advise people to aim to max out tax-advantaged accounts first, then build an income portfolio with excess cash flow. In taxable accounts, I accept the taxation of dividends so that I can build a passive stream of current income to offset what I’ll need to save in retirement accounts.  

I’ve invested in dividend stocks in taxable accounts since 1995, before broader access to low-cost funds and ETFs. So call me old-fashioned. It’s still a strategy that works for me, and I intend to keep building income streams.

The podcast episode goes into my backstory including the parts about my unpaid internship and travel days before getting into dividends. I also answer the five “hot seat” questions posed to all guests. 

The full interview is about an hour long. Check it out here. That link also has a written synopsis of the interview with quotes and links if you’re not into listening to podcasts.

* I’ve never shared the contents of my retirement accounts on RBD. However, I’m moving toward providing more transparency into my total retirement strategy instead of just focusing on my taxable income accounts. Hopefully, before the first half of the year is over, I’ll begin sharing the contents of my retirement accounts alongside my dividend portfolio going forward. 

Photo via DepositPhotos used under license.


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