How to make more moola in 2017

Wanna make more money this year?
If the answer is no, good for you … money isn’t everything.

If the answer is yes, though, consider dividend investing. That’s my plan … less stressful than asking the boss for a raise and a ton easier than, well, anything. First step is investing in high-quality companies with lengthy histories of rewarding shareholders with dividends. Next, take said dividends, which are generally paid quarterly, and invest in more dividend stocks. Rinse, repeat and, well, you get the idea.

As I type this, I’m ringing in the new year with a portfolio of just more than $4,000. I have shares of 45 different companies and am slated to earn about $120 just for investing in them. It doesn’t sound like much of a raise, I know – If you make $50,000 a year it’s a measly .25 percent or so – but it’s something. Actually it isn’t just something … it’s something for nothing.

As a financial blogger, I follow a lot of writers on Twitter and Facebook who constantly plug survey sites and the like as ways to make a little extra here and there. Those surveys take time, though. Signing up on the sites takes time, qualifying takes time and it’s the most mundane way to spend 20 minutes I can think of. I know because I tried it once. It sucked.

And the payoff? What payoff? Most pay what, a buck or two … at most. If you factor in the amount of time you spend screwing around on the site and filling out the survey, it’s hardly worth it. You could drive with Uber, but, same thing … it’s a time suck. I’d rather look for a few places I could shave a hundred bucks out of the monthly budget, invest that cash and make more money in the future for doing so.

I don’t know what took me so long to learn about this whole dividend investing thing (I’m currently 32), but I’m certainly glad I finally stumbled upon it. I can’t think of a better way to build a passive income stream. Spend more money on dividend stocks and less time on some side hustle that’s more of a pain in the ass than anything else … that’s my resolution.

I plan on adding to all my positions this year, and each time I do I’ll be adding to my annual income. At&t, for example, has been steadily increasing its dividend payment for the past 32 years. It currently ponies up an annualized payout of $1.96 per share. In other words, every time I buy a share of At&t, I increase my yearly salary by nearly $2.

I won’t bore you with a list of all the companies in my portfolio just yet, but i’ll be blogging about the ride (probably a few times a month) as I have a feeling it will be an interesting one. Like I said, I’m on track to make an extra $120 this year, but my plan is to get that number up into the $300-500 range by the end. I’ll get there by reinvesting the dividends and increasing my positions here and there with any spare change I have laying around. I use Robinhood, which is a commission-free service, so I can afford to buy a share here and there and not worry about fees chipping away at my gains.

Obviously, with just $4,000 spread across 45 different companies, my positions in each are small at the moment. I’ll write a post about my approach to adding to them soon. For now, though, I have no problem getting paid small amounts – currently anywhere from $.24-$1.84 from 45 different companies – four times a year. I’m not all that concerned with what the actual share price does, either. I’ve pretty much decided I’m in this for the long haul. The companies are solid (I think) and shouldn’t shut down shop anytime soon.

If I sound like a naive rookie, that’s because I am … kinda. I know It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, though. I know market fluctuations and volatility can make a grown man cry, but it’s the nature of the beast. I’m not pouring my life savings into this or anything; for now, it’s simply the best side hustle known to man. I haven’t been investing long. I opened my Robinhood account last year and fooled around with investing for a bit before deciding to take it a bit more seriously. I’m self-taught and still have a ton to learn, but I really think the discovery of dividends will be a game-changer for me.

I plan on keeping all my positions going as long as the companies pay a steady dividend. If they cut the dividend or eliminate it all together, I’ll look to open a new position with a new company. Until then, though, I plan on holding.

I’ll update monthly dividend payouts and portfolio holdings in future posts, so be on the lookout for those. Oh, and thanks for reading.



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