Hi, I am starting this blog at the age of 41. I began investing in 1999 because I believed it was important to start at a young age and that the money would grow over time. I had little money and hardly any knowledge about investing but I began by opening a Roth IRA with $2000.00 with Fidelity Investments.
In the years following I consistently added funds to my Roth IRA account. However the great recession put an abrupt stop to my investing endeavors in 2009. Seeing my account drop rapidly, I felt ashamed for placing my hard earned money at risk. It was at that point that I decided that if the stock market returned to normal, I would sell off my Roth IRA investments as soon as its value returned. Little did I know that this was the time I should have been making contributions.
By the beginning of 2014 I noticed most of the account’s value returned which at that time was at or near $38,ooo. I was surprised to see that the value not only returned but also began to increase. As the account value grew I became reluctant to sell! In 2014 I decided to slowly begin investing into my Roth again, whose annual contribution limit rose to $5500.00. Technological advancements enabled me to transfer money directly from my savings account to my Roth account. Up to that point I had to mail a check to Fidelity. This small update is an immense efficiency and has made it easier to keep up with investing weekly.
By that point in time I was still the type of person who stood on the sidelines when it came to investing because I was very suspicious, skeptical that my purchases would make any significant gains. Because of this deep belief I held the account details at arms length, not really ever taking an active role in the analysis of its activity.
So I was not spurred on to investigate further when I periodically noticed additional money appear in my account’s cash reserves. With my limited knowledge I understood the account value would increase when the stock value increased but did not understand the origin of the additions. I recalled seeing cash additions in the past but never really questioned them; I decided they must have occurred through some “mutual fund activity”, and left it at that. I was partially correct in this assumption but did not fully comprehend the importance of the fact that cash was being added to my account, added without any work on my part.
In 2014 I uncharacteristically checked a history report of my account. In the report I noticed the term “dividend received”. At this point I became quite curious about dividends and realized they must be the source of the money deposited into the cash reserves. I was learning little by little and becoming more intrigued by the addition of this money into my account and therefore specifically set out to evaluate the dividend earnings of my IRA for the year 2014. At the year’s end I checked my reports and discovered my account made over $3000.00 in dividends and short and long term capital gains. At this point in time the journey into dividend investing was unavoidable; I decided that I had to learn more about dividend investing. Many changes occurred because of this decision, one of which is starting this blog today.