Today, the Dividend Ninja is 3 years old!
Back on September 12th, 2010, I wrote my first post, Dividend Investing (In the Beginning). It was by no means a masterpiece, or worthy of many mentions. However, I fully understood the fees I was paying on my mutual funds, and how those fees impacted my returns.
I had already started buying dividend paying stocks in late 2009 to early 2010. I still held my bond funds at the time and had no intention to go with a 100% equity portfolio. I just couldn’t after the carnage and devastation from the 2008 to 2009 financial crisis. I liked the concept of holding the dividend payers for income and growth, but with the added protection and income from bonds. Ironically, a 3.5% 5-year GIC with ING Direct didn’t look so hot back then – but it sure does now. Who would have thought of building a GIC ladder back then?
I remember reading Derek Foster, and I found his books truly inspirational. I followed up with other dividend books, started reading Canadian MoneySaver, and MoneySense Magazine. Of all the strategies I read, dividend investing was the strategy that made the most sense for me.
My first stock purchase was Shoppers Drug Mart (SC) and the Royal Bank (RY). In August 2010, I would buy more SC for $34 after it was pummelled in April. Who would have known it would hit $60 per share three and half years later? The biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way, is that buy-and-hold wins the day and pays the biggest returns. The less you trade, and the longer you hold, the more you will make. It’s really that simple! As the investing adage goes, “it’s not timing the market, its time in the market that counts.”
How the Ninja Started
In May 2010 I retired my web company, and having the extra time I started to play around with WordPress. I had launched the site under my own name, but a few months after the Dividend Ninja was the site that emerged. It grew quickly and I found myself enjoying financial writing as much as I was enjoying hacking WordPress code and design.
Little did I know a year later I’d be writing for Canadian MoneySaver (a magazine I first read when I was 28), be speaking at their Vancouver conference, or get mentions in the Globe and Mail. I attended financial conferences, and have made many friends along the way. In many ways, it has certainly been a lot of fun.
I can’t say blogging has been an easy road. As many of you know I almost gave up and threw in the towel (a good thing I did have my towel, according to Douglas Adams). But shortly after I decided to take a break, Canadian Telecom shares had plummeted on Verizon’s rumoured entrance into Canada. I bought shares in Telus and wanted to write about it! I found 2 months had passed, and I missed connecting with my readers and writing. Although I had other plans, it was time to come back.
Special mention goes out to my fellow dividend investors and blogging buddies My Own Advisor, and The Passive Income Earner. I am most grateful to Dale Ennis and Peter Hodson at Canadian MoneySaver for the opportunity to write for their magazine.
I’d especially like to thank the Dividend Ninja authors who also contribute to this blog:
- Hank Coleman (Money QandA)
- Vicky Vo (Vix Money)
- Brian So (AAFS Insurance)
- Ben Carlson (A Wealth of Common Sense)
There are also many to numerous to mention. However a few stand out who have provided invaluable help and guidance along the way. They are notably, Andrew Hallam, Dan aka The Canadian Couch Potato, Rob Carrick at the Globe and Mail for the many mentions, The Dividend Guy, Zach @ Dividend Ladder, and a true inspiration for all dividend investors – the Dividend Mantra.
With that said, I wanted to send out a big thanks to all of YOU who read this blog: 1400 subscribers (according to FeedBurner and 800 with AWeber), 500 Facebook fans, and 2000+ followers on Twitter. The next goal is only a couple of years down the road – 5th Birthday! We should all be a little richer and wiser with age.