Books that got me started with investing

Two years ago I knew next to nothing about dividend growth investing. I always thought that the way to make money with stocks was to be a trader. I also knew that as an ‘average Joe’ you would always be behind professional traders, hedge funds and the like.

Behind in terms of material information that influence stock prices, and behind in terms of speed of trade executions. Articles and books like Michael Lewis ‘Flash Boys‘ confirmed this idea.

I changed my point of view when I learned about dividend growth investing (DGI). I learned that while for a regular, non-professional trader time and speed can be a disadvantage, for a dividend growth investor time can be the biggest asset. Some of the world’s most iconic investors stress how time in the market beats timing the market.

In this post I share some of the books that helped me get started with dividend growth investing. They will also be featured in my Resources section and I intend to add more along the way.

The first book I bought - back in early 2015 - was The Ultimate Dividend Playbook. Income, Insight and Independence for Today’s Investor by Josh Peters. The book is a great introduction on the concept of DGI and how to value stocks. The Ultimate Dividend Playbook is a very practical book, filled with many charts and examples to illustrate the concepts and terminology you want to be familiar with as a beginning investor.

The Snowball is the title of Warren Buffett’s biography and is also the perfect summary of his investment philosophy. Slowly but surely Buffett used the power of time and dividend compounding to create the Berkshire Hathaway holding company- which is now the fourth largest public corporation in the world.

The person that had the most influence on my decision to start with DGI is probably Jason Fieber. On his blog Dividend Mantra he provided analysis, insight and encouragement to aspiring investors like myself. Jason bundled some of his best blogs in a Kindle e-Book called The Dividend Mantra Way. I highly recommend his book and also his new blog - Mr Free at 33.

After attending a lecture by author Alec Ross I bought his book The Industries of the Future. While not a dividend investment book as such, Ross does a great job in describing what the dominant economic trends will be in the next several decades. He describes how robotics, genetics, cyber-security and more are shaping new industries and destroying old ones.

MIT researchers Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee show in The Second Machine Age the relentless pace of digital transformation which is disrupting and upending entire industries. Similar to Alec Ross’ book this is not a book that directly helps making investment decisions on specific stocks, but it does help with formulating investment strategies for those with a long term horizon.

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Portfolio Update: January 2017

January 2017 has been a great month - for the first time my monthly dividend income surpassed the $200 dollar threshold. In addition I made two purchases that pushed my yearly forward dividend income over $2500. In this post I go over my two January additions to the portfolio.

On January 12th I bought 25 shares of Delta Airlines Inc. (DAL) for a total of $1,283.75.

Then on January 31st I added 18 shares of Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) for a total of $2,786.02. In my next post I’ll set out my reasoning for purchasing this Biotech company.

Through these two new buys the total number of positions in the portfolio increased to 38 with a corresponding value of $66,454.

Comparing this to last yearat the end of January 2016 my portfolio consisted of 21 positions with a total value of $23,473, a YoY increase of 183%.

This comparison is depicted in the graph below.