Hi there and welcome to Dividend Lord's little blog.
I was born in the 70's, bought my first stocks in the 90's. If I remember correctly, my first stock purchase was Nokia, which I sold rather soon for some capital gains. I definitely didn't have dividend growth or any other strategy back then. I was just buying and selling some stocks and funds. With some I made profit and with some I made loss. Had I started right away with right strategy, perhaps I would be FI already. On the other hand, I was completely stuck in the Finnish stock market. Our market and economy is highly cyclical, which means that stocks took a massive hit in 2000 IT bubble and again in 2008 financial crisis. And the worst part is that alongside with stock prices, the dividends collapse too. That kind of stuff takes the fun and interest away from investing, at least for me.
I have never had a high salary. For my kind of person direct investments in foreign stocks have become a serious option only in the 2010s, when inexpensive brokers have started rolling in Finland. Some time in 2013 I started to get really interested in Dividend Aristocrats. Only then I actually realized that there are dozens of companies, which reduced dividend neither in IT bubble nor financial crisis. I started to feel like this could be my kind of thing, and so I bought my first socks in the US markets in the beginning of 2014. I never planned to buy solely Aristocrats though. I had to check which was my very first purchase there, and oh yes, it was the notorious ARCP:) So the start wasn't very promising, but I guess there are setbacks on every path.
I'm not letting one ARCP to discourage. Currently I'm having positions in 44 companies (June 2015) including my Nordic holdings, and I'm very happy with almost all. Perhaps 1 or 2 companies will have to make room for more solid ones, but we'll see. My Nordic holdings just hang in there. I'm not following them very closely. I'm not going to make additional purchases. I just collect dividends every spring and invest them elsewhere.
Yes, I work full-time. Is it too much to say that I like my job? Let's say that at the moment the work is okay for me. But what it will be in 5 years? Or just in 1 year? Can't really know. There could be changes for the worse. I could just get annoyed with my job. Always there is a chance of unemployment. I'm fortunate to have higher income than my expenses right now. I think I would be pretty stupid not to investing in my financial future right now. And the best way to do that, IMHO, is building passive income by investing in dividend growth stocks.
Thanks for reading! Any comments, ideas, suggestions are always welcome.