Last month we announced that we were going to begin an interview series and help share some of our favorite dividend bloggers with the community. We think our first interview of one of our favorites, Dividend Hustler, went really well and hopefully many of you found out why Hustler’s kindness and humor make for one entertaining blog. Couldn’t be happier to have gotten to know Ty. Now, we wanted to interview another one of our favorite bloggers….Tawcan!
Question 1: What inspired you to begin Dividend Growth Investing?
What got me started on Dividend Growth Investing is reading the book Lazy Investor by Derek Foster where he outlined the general idea of DGI and using dividends to cover your expenses during retirement. Reaching early financial independence so we can have more freedom and options in life is a big dream of ours. Both Mrs. T and I would love to be able to spend more time with our family and also explore the world. I see dividend growth investing as one of the methods to achieve early financial independence. I know both Lanny and Bert are high on dividend growth investing as well. It’s great to see there’s such a strong DGI community and everyone so supportive of each other.
Question 2: What is your favorite dividend stock that you would “Always Buy” and why?
Since I’m from Canadian (eh?), I would have to go with one of the Canadian banks. My favorite dividend stock that I would buy at any time is Royal Bank. Why do I like Royal Bank so much? First of all, it’s one of the biggest banks in Canada that have offered yield and capital appreciation for investors for many generations. Did you know that Royal Bank has paid dividends since 1870? That’s 145 years of dividend history! Wow! Royal Bank has never suspended its dividends, not even during World War I, World War II, or the financial crisis. Unlike its US bank counterparts, Royal Bank simply held the dividend payout the same for a couple of years during the financial crisis. Since then, Royal Bank has been raising dividends year after year. With a 10 year annualized dividend growth rate of 10.9% and the long dividend history, it’s tough not to like Royal Bank. This is why Royal Bank is one of our core holdings in our dividend portfolio.
Question 3: Do you reinvested your dividends or let them accumulate and why?
Whenever we can, we enroll in synthetic DRIP through our discount brokers. The reason for doing this is because we want to take full advantage of power of compounding interest. Right now we’re DRIPing about half of our holdings. For the rest of the holdings that we do not DRIP, we simply collect the dividends until we reach a certain level before we reinvest the money. The idea is to have our money work hard for us, instead of us having to work hard.
In addition to our dividend portfolio that we’re building to reach financial independence, we also set up a dividend portfolio for Baby T when he was born. We invested $12,000 in this portfolio and plan to simply have the portfolio growing by itself. How? All the dividends received is fully DRIPed. In 30 years or more, the portfolio should provide a sizable income for Baby T and hopefully pave a good start toward his financial independence.
Question 4: What is the best piece of financial advice (outside of investing at an earlier age) that you can share with the community?
The best piece of financial advice is living below your means. If you spend less than what you earn, you’ll never get into financial trouble. I’m always shocked this kind of knowledge is not taught in elementary school or high school. No wonder so many adults get into financial troubles nowadays!
Maybe another related advice is to treat your credit card like a debit card. Only spend money when you know you have the money in the bank. This is basically a variation of spend less than what you earn.
Question 5: Outside of researching stocks, writing blog posts, and commenting throughout the community, what’s your favorite hobby?
Oh where do I start? I love photography and cooking which I’ve turned both to side businesses. I shoot portraits and weddings on a part time basis. Mrs. T and I have written and published two cookbooks together. I also love outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, and skiing. I haven’t been able to participate in these outdoor activities as much recently due to taking care of Baby T. Hopefully this winter I’ll be able to head out for some much needed skiing action. Here are some pictures that I’ve taken for my photography and cookbook businesses.
Question 6: What are your plans when your reach financial freedom?
I plan to sit on my butt and drink pina-colada all day!
I’m kidding! Of course!
As mentioned we plan to explore the world. We would love to do something like what Jeremy and Winnie are doing at Go Curry Cracker – living in different locations for extended period of time, become one of the locals, and explore the surrounding area. Mrs. T and I think this is the best way to travel. Checking out 1,000 different tourist attractions in a jammed pack two weeks just doesn’t sound very appealing to us. We were lucky to have chance to meet Jeremy and Winnie on our recent 2 week Japan trip and really picked on their brains on the whole financial independence concept.
When we reach financial freedom, we’d have the freedom to decide on our own schedule. It would be great to be able to spend more time on the different hobbies and interests that I have. I drew up an early retirement schedule a few months back and according to this schedule, I would spend way more hours on physical, fun, and social activities than what I do right now. That sounds pretty awesome to me and I’m inspired whenever I look at this early retirement schedule.
Question 7: Any tips for fellow bloggers about working full time, being a parent and maintaining a website?
My best tip is to never sleep.
Let’s be serious, that can never be achieve, we all need sleep. To work full time, be a parent, maintain a website, and run a couple side businesses definitely require quite a bit of time. The best tip I have is to really be efficient with your time and prioritize. Allocate time to the most important tasks. It’s important to spend time with your kids, so don’t let work over take your life. Work-life balance is very important and without it, you’ll go crazy. I’m sure Lanny and Bert can relate when I talk about crazy work hours and business travels [Editor’s note: WE can definitely relate!].
Question 8: Who is your favorite Dividend Diplomat?
The Dividend Unicorn? Wait you guys don’t own one? J
I like both Lanny and Bert. You guys are both great.
Okay, so Tawcan didn’t take the bait on our final question either. Don’t worry, we will get someone to disclose their favorite eventually! As you can see, Tawcan’s entrepreneurial spirit is unreal and it shows through his website. What we admire most is how working full time and owning a few businesses has shaken Tawcan’s love for family and spending time with those that matter most. The response to Question 7 sums it all up! We are in this game to free up as much time as possible to spend with our loved ones and those who matter most. If you are looking for someone to follow or emulate on your journey towards financial freedom, I would recommend taking some time today, visiting Tawcan’s website, and getting to know Mr. T, Mrs. T, and Baby T! Thanks for the great interview Tawcan, it has been a pleasure getting to know you over the last year and a half!
Lanny and Bert, The Dividend Diplomats