So you’ve made it… Or making it… After all, many of us aim becoming financially independent, the easiest way is the slow and persistant one unless you’ve been lucky. For the latest part, I leave it to you or others to figure it out. I will focus on the former part, how you can reach financial independence for you and your loved ones.
Hi, my name is Christophe Soulet, you can call me Chris. I’m based in Florida. For most of my life, like many others, I worked hard to make my money. Unlike many others, I had mostly my career not in Europe, not in the Americas or Asia but in… best kept secret Africa. If you want to know more about me, just click https://www.linkedin.com/in/csoulet
Then an important word here: my motivation is solely altruistic. Indeed, after learning so much from other great people, it is time for me to give back to the Community. I will mention some names and tools later on. I do not have any interest or ownership in them. I simply learnt to use them for guiding my investments.
So how to make money…
Well, there aren’t many ways:
- You work hard, make money, save and build up your capital
- You inherit a fortune, you’re a lucky one!
- You win at the lottery!
On point 1, you have a lot of blogs and websites dedicated to financial independence, a link to a short article about it: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/10-ways-to-become-financi_b_7941392.
In a nutshell, you want to get good education which gives a well paid job or a lucrative business and then save part of the money you’ve earned to generate some capital for investment. More on this at https://tinyurl.com/yyyhskx6 .
So I have some capital ready for investment…
So why do you want to invest your capital?
- First, inflation will erode the value of your capital over time.
- Then, you might need your capital to spend for your needs and will deplete it over time.
Investment will allow you optimally to get a return from it. However investing means risks, capital gain and… loss also.
Moving on, I share some materials that you get trained and knowledgeable on becoming financially independent. Also note this is based on my American experience and the US market. However, this knowledge is applicable to Europe with a notable difference: the tax impact which can be very different in the Old World.
Most of this material is based on what I have read and my own personal experience to achieve financial independence. Very young, I understood that the best way to freedom was to achieve personal financial independence and not relying on government services, which nowadays due to changing time and demographics are not a sure thing anymore.
So what are those investments all about? Well, ideally you want to invest in businesses that, in aggregate, generate solid cash flow, maintain strong balance sheets, pay safe dividends, and trade at a discount to the broader market. To achieve this, we recommend a proven strategy named Dividend Growth Investing or DGI.
To achieve DGI, it is about investing long term in stocks paying growing dividends year on year consistently. It is also about that if the businesses we own do well over time, our investment performance will turn out fine conditioning we paid reasonable prices for most of our investments.
I recommend you read those articles in this order.
1/ To start with, I will recommend as a first reading “Avoid these 5 things that guarantee a life of misery”, wise words from one of the most successful investor in history: Charles Munger. Charles is basically Warren’s Buffet buddy and is over 90. He has immense knowledge on life and being successful. Wikipedia him to know more. Here is the link: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/19/charlie-munger-avoid-these-5-things-that-guarantee-a-miserable-life.html .
2/ I will introduce you to the Seeking Alpha website, one of the greatest knowledge base on personal finance. This article talks about basic rules to become financially independent and highlights one a most successful investment strategy: Dividend Growth Investing. Here is the link: http://shorturl.at/dEP48
3/ Now an article a little more technical on basic knowledge about money: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/35-things-you-should-know-about-money-by-the-time-youre-35-2018-04-03
4/ Mark Bern is a popular contributor to the Seeking Alpha community. He wrote a series of article named “Basic Guide to Successful Investing”. Here is the link to part 1: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4157375-basic-guide-successful-investing-part .
There are several parts; just look for the following parts by going to the search field.
5/ Another great contributor is Brian from Simply Safe Dividends. Brian runs a website rating dividend stocks, especially on the dividend safety. Here is a link to one of his article: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4108261-buy-dividend-etf-manage-portfolio-individual-dividend-stocks
6/ Chuck Carnevale is one of the most popular contributor to Seeking Alpha. He offers a useful tool named Fast Graph. It’s a subscription service but very efficient to validate if a stock is worth to be invested.
Chuck is often named “Mr Valuation”. It all comes from the famous Warren Buffet quote: “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get”. Chuck elaborates on this in this article: https://www.fastgraphs.com/principles-of-valuation-part-2-price-is-what-you-pay-value-is-what-you-get/
In this video, he explains his logical methodology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV9RvcdAtWc
7/ Regarded Solutions is a long time investor (over 40 years). Retired now, he shared a DGI portfolio with good advices for the long term investor: https://tinyurl.com/y9cg8sad
8/ Then last but not least, the website dripinvesting.org is a diamond on dividend growth investing with great information on how to achieve it. One of the great tool is David Fish’s US Dividend Champions spreadsheet, now updated by Justin Law, presenting US companies that have achieved at least 5 years of dividend growth. More on http://www.dripinvesting.com or https://www.portfolio-insight.com/dividend-radar .
9/ For the Canadian equivalent to the US Dividend Champions list, just click here: https://dividendgrowthinvestingandretirement.com/canadian-dividend-all-star-list/
10/ For the European equivalent to the US Dividend Champions list, just click here: https://eurodividend.home.blog/eurozone-dividend-champions-list/
11/ For the UK equivalent to the US Dividend Champions list, just click: https://eurodividend.home.blog/uk-dividend-champions/
12/ For the Rest of the World equivalent to the US Dividend Champions list, just click: https://eurodividend.home.blog/the-rest-of-the-world-dividend-champions/
I believe with all this material, if you go through all with good focus, this will help you to demystify the idea of becoming financially independent.
What I talk here is mainly about stock investment. There are obviously other ways to reach your goals by investing in real estates or in bonds, or building your own business to become successful. These are other subjects that we can talk another time. Equity investment offers the possibility to start any time with a small capital and hopefully letting it grow over time.
The market overall is always risky to invest, however there are always good stocks to buy at acceptable valuation. So be prudent in your choices.