Behind The Investor #1: The DIVIDEND Dominator

Welcome to the first article-based episode of Behind The Investor. Every so often I'll interview some of Twitter's most prolific investors and investing influencers to understand what makes them tick. If you enjoy an episode, please be sure to share it with others.

In episode #1, I had the pleasure of interviewing The Dividend Dominator, someone who, since joining Twitter two months ago, has greatly impacted my perspectives on money and dividend analysis.

1: Who are you and what's your online brand about?

My name is The Dividend Dominator (real name Alex). I'm a 24-year-old dividend growth investor from Toronto, Canada who built a brand around teaching others how to generate passive income through the stock market.

My goal is to help people learn how to make their money work for them instead of just letting it sit in a savings account. The truth is, everyone should be growing a stream of passive income so they can start earning money without trading their time. Once you learn how to make money with money, your life changes forever.

2: What or who inspired you to start investing in dividend stocks & How long have you been investing for?

Seeing my money earn 0.05% interest every year in my savings account inspired me to find another way to grow my money. That's when I came across dividend growth investing 6 years ago and have been doing it ever since. I opened up an investing account at 17 years old (under my parent's name) and from that day onwards everything I know is self-taught.

I've put in countless hours learning how to read financial statements, interpret metrics and ratios, as well as teaching myself how to identify strong investments. Now I'm here to share that knowledge and give back to those who don't know where to start.

3: What do you do outside of your online brand?

Outside of working on my online brand, I work at a financial institution. My role allows me the ability to get a deeper look into clients' financial statements and holdings which complements my online brand very well.

I graduated from university with an honours degree in finance and a minor in economics. Outside of building my business, I'm very active and play a bunch of different sports year-round including golf, ice hockey, ball hockey, baseball and you can find me in the gym at least 4x a week. I absolutely love to travel and see different parts of the world as well as try food from places all across the globe.

4: What's your process of finding quality stocks to invest in?

My process for finding quality stocks to invest in is quite simple. I like to invest in companies that create products people NEED and not just WANT. That difference is key to the long term performance of an investment, especially dividend stocks.

I then go immediately to the cash flows statement as I believe the strength of a company is strongly dependant on how they manage their money. The ratios will give you the clues, but the financials will give you the answers. I then ensure that the current dividend will be sustainable over a long period of time and have room for growth as we never want dividend cuts in our portfolios.

This is a very base level analysis and if you'd like to learn more about the entire process of analyzing dividend stocks like a pro you can click the link here:

5: If you lost everything tomorrow and had $500 to invest in the stock market, how would you invest it?

If I lost everything and only had $500 to invest, I would most likely be very conservative with my money but also expose myself to some level of growth. Therefore, I would put $250 in a pure growth stock in the SaaS or Cybersecurity industry to try and generate some capital appreciation.

I would throw the other $250 in a high dividend yield ETF to generate some income while lowering the overall risk of the entire portfolio. With only $500, you're slightly limited in what you can do but that would be the direction I would take.

6: What 3 success tips would you give to new investors?

1) Have a plan and be patient:

good things come to those who follow a strategy and wait. Your money will grow, you just have to give it some time.

2) Learn how to read financial statements:

The reason why some investors are able to identify great companies before anyone else is because they're able to find trends in the financials that other people can't see. When you can interpret the numbers and formulate a conviction using financial statements, you'll be miles ahead of the average investor.

3) New investors should start with index funds/ETFs:

As it's the easiest way to get into the market and get some skin in the game. Once you get comfortable with contributing to your portfolio consistently and develop the ability to be "unbothered" when stock prices fluctuate, then you can begin stock picking. But your first investment should be some sort of index fund or ETF that either tracks the S&P 500, global markets or a growing industry.

7: What's a portfolio or financial goal of yours in the next 5-10 years?

A financial goal of mine in the next 5-10 years is to buy and rent out 2 investment properties bringing in a minimum of $5k/month in cash flow.

8: Why do you choose to help people better themselves with your brand?

I wake up and choose to help people every single day because I remember what it felt like to be intimidated by the stock market. I remember having no direction, nobody giving me tips and no clue what I was doing.

Through trial and error, I learned more and gained experience by just being in the stock market. Now I want to give back and help others who might be in the same situation I was in.

9: What are 3 stocks that you plan to hold forever (or for the long-term)?

3 stocks I plan to hold forever are $VFV (S&P 500 ETF), $BNS (Scotiabank) and $MMM (3M).

I hope you enjoyed this interview! Be sure to tune into my blog every week to discover interviews with other great investors who look to give back to the world.

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