One year ago, today, on May 15, 2014 – the Dividend Diplomats were created. Two young guys in public accounting, after constant discussions of investing, financial freedom, dividend stocks and life without the chains – they came to a meeting of the minds. 365 days have past and WOW what a ride it has truly been. (Lanny) has been reading the dividend investing community blog-o-sphere for more than 5 years and (Bert) has done this now for going on 2 years. Two guys that grew up in two different areas on Northeast Ohio – Lanny from Akron and Bert from Cleveland, one being Catholic and the other, er, uhm, Jewish, one being 6’3 and the other being 5’8, they still shared many things in common, one of those being – deep hearted passion about dividend income investing and to have this income to push them toward crossing the line of financial freedom. Time to take a look back at 365 days…
Back when we started the blog, I know our portfolios were much smaller, what a year truly shows what can happen to your portfolio. Lanny’s portfolio wasn’t even at $100,000 yet, as that occurred in June of 2014 and now it is touching $150,000. Bert’s portfolio has also grown similarly then, from just under $37,000 to now over $56,000, and even more since that date for his dividend income which has nearly doubled, to which Bert recently during April crossed 2 HUGE milestones that I cannot wait for him to write about – congratulations Bert, you are doing very well in 2015, definitely sprinting towards your goals, just make sure those shoes are laced young one.
The community. Wow, this community. We have really embraced everyone here and love everyone’s blogs, posts, point of views, investing styles, tips on investing, the research, different topics and ways to live frugally. It truly has been something that has helped both of us in our own lives and I appreciate every single one of you, please do not stop writing, don’t ever stop. What drives us is having our goals and activities out in the public and helps us stay even more true to our goals and passions – something that we seriously cannot more humbly say thank you. Again, from both Dividend Diplomats – Thank You.
From us writing emotional memoirs, from changing our jobs, to moving to different areas, to getting screwed driving a car and trying to take life one less stressful moment at a time – it gives us great pleasure to share those experiences with each and every one of the individuals in this community. We all can laugh about the stressful events, feel emotion towards them, relate or offer advice – this is incredible. I know we would not be at this point in both of our lives – financially and non-financially if it wasn’t for this community, and us having the ability, luck and means to share these experiences with this community.
Here are some fun stats we want to share and the accomplishments we have had:
- We have had over 110,000 page views to our blog since we started “LIVE” in September of 2014 (when we took it to the next level on a paid platform).
- We have posted over 169 articles in the last 365 days – almost every 2 days – you better believe that one of us is coming up with a new article to write
- Our twitter followers have gone from 0 to 1,340, or 3.67 new followers per day, thanks for the follow!
- Sites linking into our page now stands at 125
- Alexa Ranking for the US is now approximately 85,000 – not too shabby
- Somehow, we have been able to generate over $425 from this site beginning in September of 2014, thank you community!
- We have seen our analysis articles on pages such as Yahoo and Google, something that never dawned on us was even remotely possible
- We are still in our mid 20’s – MAKING MOVES. Though I, Lanny, and in my last year of those, have had a roller coaster ride. I started the year with a roommate but decided to part ways with him and as a result watched the passive income walk our the door with him. I have also been tested with many one-time expenses and have found a way to make it through them as frugally as possible, whether it was a quick and easy laptop repair, to random car issues, or triumphantly marching my way through wedding season. For me, Bert, I have embraced living frugally for the first time and I must say, it has really improved my life , savings account, and has been a catalyst for the nearly 50% growth in my portfolio over the last year. Some highlights: My largest monthly expense, rent, decreased 48% over the last year when I moved apartments, I started packing lunch a heck of a lot more once I started focusing on trimming the fat, and have found ways to sell old technology to generate new income (YTD total = $500)! The one issue…I am still trying to figure out what the heck to do with my car…. But through all of this, we have scraped and clawed every dollar we could and saw some great growth in our dividend income and passive income, which we will highlight below. Making Moves!
- Lanny has received over $4,700 in dividend income since the blog started, with Bert standing at over $2,500, phenomenal and we aren’t stopping there!
- Our most viewed day has been 1,414 views over the post on April 26, 2015 from Lanny’s first purchase in JNJ
- Our most viewed article has been the Top 5 Foundation Stocks for a Dividend Portfolio, amassing just over 2,000 views!
- The most commented article: Lanny’s February Dividend Income Summary with 49 comments! Why? Your guess is as good as mine [Bert].
- Our blog has been viewed in over 125 countries!
- As we mentioned before, we would be nowhere without the communities support. Thank you all so much for taking the time to not only read about are articles but care enough to take the time to comment. For the fun of it, based on the Wordpress site tracker, our Top Three commenters are: Tawcan, Dividend Mantra, and DivGuy!
- Last year we challenged ourselves to save 60% of our monthly income, and boy has it been a challenge for sure! But since we began this challenge, we have managed to save 60% 6 times. Even more shocking, we are tied with 3 times a piece!
Again, we cannot stress this enough throughout the article. But THANK YOU all for making this such a memorable roller coaster ride of a year. Without you, we would have nothing and this would just be an online forum where the two of us just argue all of the time! But that would have gotten boring really fast. What has been the most fun is getting to know each and every one of you, your stories, and hearing about why you are passionate about dividend investing, frugal living, and most importantly, pursuing financial freedom. Each story and journey is unique, and the last year has shown us just how much we enjoy learning about each one. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all again. It has truly been a pleasure. I cannot wait to begin year 2 and build upon the foundation we have built during our first year.
-The Dividend Diplomats