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An Interview with Derek Foster

As Derek Foster (DF) is pretty well known in the finance space here in Canada, while reviewing his latest book The Idiot Millionaire, I thought it would be a good opportunity to snag an interview with him. My telephone conversation with Mr. Foster was casual, informative and entertaining.

It turns out that my financial path is fairly similar with DF’s.  He is a millionaire in his early 40’s but indicated that he had a similar net worth at my age with similar frugal tendencies.  What was my impression of Derek Foster?  Although he is smart, knows his stuff, and very willing to speak about any financial topic, he has sincere humbleness about him.  He readily admits when he is wrong, but still doesn’t fear putting himself out there when explaining what he believes in.  We chatted for over an hour and kept things informal, but I managed to come up with some financial questions.

For those of you who don’t know who Derek Foster is, here is the short version:

Derek Foster is known as Canada’s Youngest Retiree when he retired at the young age of 34. How did he do this? Through starting young and sticking with his investment plan of buying strong dividend paying stocks. He feels very strongly about his strategy and rightly so as he has achieved great success. His first book Stop Working: Here’s How You Can is a Canadian Best Seller.

Foster currently lives off and supports his family through dividend distributions, book sales and speaking engagements. Note that he retired before publishing his first book. You can read more about him in my book review of Stop Working: Here’s How You Can.

Best Financial Move

Back in his earlier books, DF mentions about his big bet on Philip Morris, a Tobacco company.   As he does a lot of research on each of his stocks, he was convinced that the stock was oversold.  He was so certain  of this that he went all-in via leveraging.  In hindsight, DF admits that it was an extremely risky move, but the end result was that it doubled his net worth.  Another big bet that has paid off was his investment in Canadian Oil Sands.  In 2002/2003 when oil was low, DF noticed some coverage on the peak oil theory, recognized that oil was cheap and bought into COS when it was a relatively small company.

Worst Financial Move

DF admits that one of his worst financial moves was cashing out in early 2009, about a month before the market bottom in March 2009.  However, fortunately for him, he jumped back into the market at the right time to minimize the damage.  His latest book goes into the positions he bought back into along with the damage (or lack thereof) to his portfolio.  Without disclosing too much of the contents of the book, his portfolio really came out relatively unscathed due to continuing to sell put options (see next question) and pocketing the premiums, being able to buy US stocks with a strong CAD, and only re-buying companies that were cheap.

Selling Puts Now?

In DF’s book “Money for Nothing”, Derek promotes the put option selling strategy. In a nutshell, selling put options is a way to buy stocks at a particular price which is the opposite of selling covered calls.  The investor who sells the put option collects a premium for doing so with no guarantee that the buy/strike price will be hit.  As mentioned above, DF is still selling puts on mostly US companies.

RRSPS/TFSAs?

In DF’s first book, he mentions that RRSP’s may not be the best tool for everyone – and I agree.  So I had to ask his thoughts on RRSP‘s and TFSA‘s now.  While he still believes that low income earners should generally avoid RRSPs, he has high praise for the TFSA.  For DF, he keeps most of his investments in a non-registered account, but is utilizing the TFSA as well.

Favorite credit card?

As I’m a frugal guy who loves to collect reward points, I was interested in comparing my wallet to the credit cards that DF uses.  As I’ve come to discover, DF likes to keep things simple.  He uses the PC Mastercard as his primary card, Petro Canada for gas, and the TD Gold card for business and free roadside assistance.

Favorite Discount Broker?

DF uses TD Waterhouse along with the majority of his banking.  As DF likes to simplify things, he’d prefer to pay the extra few dollars in commissions (compared to Questrade)  if it means that everything is kept in one place.

Current Investment Strategy?

Although DF is known for buying dividend growth stocks mixed in with income trusts for their higher distributions, his investment strategy has recently shifted a little.  When he first retired, his dividend portfolio was his primary source of income, thus extremely tax efficient.  However, with the business income from selling books and paid speaking engagements, the non-registered dividend stream isn’t as efficient.  As such, DF still sticks with strong dividend stocks, but ones with slightly lower yields that have a history of buying back stock.

Plans for the future?

On a personal level, DF and family really enjoy extended road trips and hope to continue with their adventures (he has the time, why not!)  From an investment perspective, DF plans to continue selling put options and buying quality stocks at reasonable prices.

Words of Wisdom?

DF strongly believes in focusing on quality stocks with strong brands and to keep it simple.  For financial success, DF recommends to:

  1. Save
  2. Invest
  3. Avoid the fees
  4. Eliminate garbage stocks, focus on the quality when they are at a fair price.

Derek also offers a free monthly newsletter, if you’re interested, you can sign up on his website stopworking.ca.

Questions for Derek Foster?

Mr. Foster has agreed to answer reader questions, so here’s your chance!   Please place your questions in the comments (here) and DF will be around to answer.

If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free newsletter service below (we will not spam you).

FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 49 comments… add one }
  • Richard January 26, 2011, 10:44 am

    Hi mr Foster,

    I am a student in professional studies beyond a bachelor’s degree and as such i have a relatively large amount of tuition-related student debt, reaching about 100k by the time I graduate at about age 25 (I am nearly 23 right now). Although I will generate adequate income at that time to take care of that obligation I am very interested in your overall investing strategy and particularly your philosophy of starting early. Therefore I was wondering if despite my financial situation I should start purchasing a stake in companies right now or wait until I am employed?

    Thank you!!

    Richard

  • Sustainable PF January 26, 2011, 11:45 am

    Derek,
    If #1 is save isn’t this contrary to how you approach your CC use and your brokerage choice? Would using more cost effective options complicate things so much that the lost reward or additional fees are worthwhile? #3 is avoid the fees but you use TD to invest.

  • Echo January 26, 2011, 11:58 am

    @Sustainable PF
    While Questrade is a nice option for investors getting started, once you have a built up a sizeable portfolio the trading fees at TDW are not unreasonably high (around $7).

    @DerekFoster
    I have a hard time finding fault with any of your advice of frugal living, investing in good quality dividend stocks, and avoiding mutual fund fees. I am still skeptical on the math of how you “retired” at 34.

    You have a great story to tell for people buying your books, but I think it gives them false hope that they can copy your approach and cash out early from the workplace. Dividend income takes decades to build up to a level where you can retire with it, not a few years of saving $200/month.

  • Saver January 26, 2011, 1:11 pm

    Hi Derek,

    Been a Dripper-dividend reinvestements for several years now but I DRIP through the stocks transfer agent-mainly Computershare or CIBC Mellon since I only own Cdn DRIPS.
    Would I be better off holding these in a TFSA or RRSP to take advantage of tax credits? I have looked at doing this but it would mean I have to move stocks into a brokerage and am not sure if they will still reinvest dividends and give me my discount for optional cash purchases through a brokerage? I also don’t like the thought of paying fees, hey I’m a cheapo!!
    Look forward to hearing from you.

  • gail January 26, 2011, 1:16 pm

    I appreciate you posting what you learned from the interview. After reading all of Derek’s books, and religiously following your blog (an inspiration as well!), I can say that the path is an excellent one, now being on quite a decent financial path as well. The thing that is really great about Derek’s books, is that while this information can easily be presented in nearly impossible to understand language, Derek does a fantastic job of making it understandable for everyone. Which, has even helped me to explain everything to my Mother-In-Law, and that’s saying something!

  • Rick January 26, 2011, 1:47 pm

    Hi Derek

    Congratulations to you.
    My question is tax related .
    I am retired and pay $175.00 per month to my employer to cover costs for
    my benefits plan mail medical and dental .
    Can I deduct this annual cost of $2100.00 as a medical expense on my income tax report for both Governments .
    Other than the automatic debit to my bank account I do not get and receipt
    from my former employer . Many Thanks .

  • Marni January 26, 2011, 2:33 pm

    Are there 3 or 5 top tips for how to best choose dividend stocks? Also, what are your thoughts on opening a US$ account with a Cdn self-directed brokerage (I use Scotia iTrade) and then buying US stocks through that? I guess the strategy is to buy the US$ when they are lower and then hold in the account but you may be waiting quite awhile till the US stocks become priced well? Thank you so much.

  • Will January 26, 2011, 2:49 pm

    The post mentioned “While he still believes that low income earners should generally avoid RRSPs” which prompted me to write and ask a couple questions. I’m self-emlpoyed and made approx. $34,000 (after expenses) in 2010. I’ve got about $7000 in a high-interest savings account and will likely have to pay about $6000 in income taxes for 2010. My expenses are really low, so my taxes are really high on such a low income. I’m 37 year old, with less than $10,000 in RRSPs and a TSFA with $15,000 contribution room. What do you think is my best investing/tax strategy this month:

    a) put $7000 into my aggressive growth TD Mutual fund RRSP to reduce taxes owing, and use my 5.75% line of credit to pay off my income taxes owing over the year, or

    b) put $7000 into TSFA and use my line of credit to pay of my income taxes owing over the year, or

    c) something else?

    My TD Mutual Fund RRSPs are up about $1000 on my $8000 contribution over the past few years. Should I keep that RRSP or move that money somewhere else?

    Lastly, I get paid in US dollars into my CDN account. Should I get a US dollar account instead and convert the money only when the exchange is in my favour (provided I can afford to wait)?

  • Steve Zussino January 26, 2011, 3:00 pm

    Derek,

    I like the Unilever company and stock.

    I have purchased this for my RRSP.

    Do you see any problems?

    Their is no clawback on having this in my RRSP.

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 3:08 pm

    Sorry to posters (and Frugaltrader)…

    I am a little late responding because something came up with one of our kids which delayed my work-out (usually pretty early on Wednesdays)…so I will try to answer queries in order…

    Richard,
    In your situation with regards to student debt, I suppose it would depend on your interest rate (some student loans are interest-free, etc), but generally DEBT is a 4-letter word and I hate debt (especially non tax-deductible debt), so debt elimination would be my first priority if I were you (with the caveat that my answer might be different if you have zero-interest debt)…

    Cheers,
    Derek (author)

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 3:16 pm

    Sustainable PF,

    Good points…With credit cards I have used PC Mastercard for years and did not really shop around much since then. Frugaltrader mentioned the card that offers 3% (as opposed to 1%), so I will look into it (haven’t really had time to research this…) With the Petro-Mastercard, I earn 2 cents a litre off on gas purchases (instantly – no point collecting) plus I earn Petro points which I use for free car washes. Since gas only recently passed $1 a litre (last 6 months or so – since Ontario HST hit), over time I was earning over 2% instantly plus petro points, so overall a very good deal, IMO.
    With the Business Visa, I get 1% cash back plus free roadside assistance and a couple of other benefits. I need to keep business and personal expenses on separate cards (for accounting reasons), so if offers a reasonable choice.

    With brokers, I’m not an active trader and the fees are pretty low and with TD I like the fact I can “walk into a branch to do things” which makes life easier – that convenience has been worth it to me. Also, I trust the sovency of TD (which is an important consideration in my book).

    Cheers,
    Derek (author)

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 3:25 pm

    Echo,

    Agreed – the dividend-based investing approach to retiring is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme…it takes time – and retiring in your 30s is VERY difficult. This is why I mentioned my case was exceptional on the very first AND very last page of my original book, “STOP WORKING: Here’s How You Can!”
    In addition, the landscape has changed somewhat (ex. taxation of income trusts, introduction of TSFAs, stock market valuations)…

    BUT, I cannot think of another strategy that offers comparable LONG-TERM low-risk, reasonable returns (but I am really open to challenges on this from anyone)…The “average” investor who goes to an advisor and shovels money into mutual funds and the like will finish MILES AHEAD WITH MY STRATEGY (but again I am open to any disagreements from any posters)…

    Cheers,
    Derek (author)

  • Nova Scotian January 26, 2011, 3:27 pm

    Derek or Frugal Trader,

    What is your opinion of putting your stock investings inside a personal corporation? The liability issue is limited as your stocks are not a “hard asset” like real estate. Would tax advantages be any good?

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Saver,

    I think it would depend on the size of your holdings…thru a broker they won’t do fractional shares…
    I don’t DRIP because my portfolio is large enough that I prefer to collect the dividends and then make additional purchases when I see an opportunity – but my kids do DRIP and the whole stock market implosion of a couple years ago did not affect them one iota – in fact in many ways it helped them…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 3:33 pm

    gail,

    Thanks for the comments…When I wrote my first book, I avoided the advice of getting an “financial expert” to edit my book and instead asked my mother (who is well-educated, but has limited investment knowledge) – because I wanted the book in layman’s terms and I was too cheap to “hire” anyone (my mom works for hugs and a few “thank-yous”). The result was endless frustration as she kept insisting I make it all more simple and define everything…After pulling my hair out for a couple of weeks, the final product was easier to understand, imo…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 3:38 pm

    Rick,

    You’re getting out of my league here…Even though I majored in accounting, I hated it and was easliy “distracted” at university…I have a fairly good understanding of taxes as they relate to investing and a little related to corporate taxes, but I am by no means an expert…so I don’t want to attempt to answer your question without “knowing” the answer…
    But, I always pick up a copy of the FREE copy of the CGA tax-planning guide every year (usually free at major libraries)…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 3:44 pm

    Marni,

    I highlighted my criteria and explained it in my first book, “STOP WORKING: Here’s How You Can!” (pages 37-48), and I also added some additional factors with explanations in “The Idiot Millionaire” (pages 24-38)…

    I have a US and Canadian account at my broker (so that I don’t get dinged on exchange fees every time I buy/sell US stocks. For me (and this might create some contraversy), I like many US mutlinational companies and look at them much more closely when the Canadian dollar is very strong (such as now)…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 3:50 pm

    Will,

    I can’t (and don’t) get into specific advice, but personally, I would not like to have debt outstanding with an interest rate of 5.25%. I know when I say this, the other “investment ideas” you mentioned might return much more than this small rate of interest, but it is a risk-free, tax-free 5.25% (which is okay in my book)….But ultimately you have to decide what to do…
    Also, if you don’t need the income, couldn’t you not leave some of it in your corporation and not pay the personal income tax on it? I don’t know your situation, but you might want to investigate this…

    It would also seem to make sense to have a US dollar account if you receive regular US dollars (to avoid the exchange fee each time)…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 3:52 pm

    Steve Zussino,

    I don’t know the price you paid for the stock, but generally I view Unilever as a sort-of “Proctor and Gamble” (which I like overall)…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Nova Scotian,

    Once again, this question is out of my league, but “active” business income is VERY favourably taxed (at least in Ontario), but passive business income is less favourably taxed, so I don’t know what you’d be gaining with the added comlexity. BUT realize I am NOT an expert in taxation matters and their might be some advantages an accountant could show you that I don’t know of…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • Will January 26, 2011, 4:07 pm

    hi Derek,

    You wrote: “couldn’t you not leave some of it in your corporation and not pay the personal income tax on it?”

    Unfortunately, no — because I have not incorporated. Given the low income the business generates, it didn’t seem worth it to do all the extra work required of a corporation (and pay all the extra accounting fees to file taxes). So, it’s a sole proprietorship right now.

  • Richard January 26, 2011, 4:47 pm

    Mr Foster,

    the loan is at prime (i believe around 3% at this point in time?) until one year into employment (when im 26) when it goes up. Its not zero so i assume retiring the debt is my first priority?

    Thanks!

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 5:02 pm

    Will,

    Okay – sorry, I didn’t know that – but makes sense…

    Then for me personally, I would take the GUARANTEED 5%+ over the POSSIBILITY of higher returns with greater risk – but that’s just my thinking – your situation might be different…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 5:04 pm

    Richard,

    I know interest rates are low right now and I can’t predict the future, but I just have this sneeking feeling that rates will climb and retiring the debt seems the most prudent low-risk move to me…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • The Passive Income Earner January 26, 2011, 7:15 pm

    Hi Derek, than for taking the time to answer questions

    With your portfolio and business, I assume you are in a position where you don’t have to withdraw from your RRSP for your day-to-day expenses?

    Do you foresee having to withdraw from your RRSP as you near 60 – 70 years old?

    Thanks!

  • Richard January 26, 2011, 7:17 pm

    I’ve had the same feeling too as such rates dont seem sustainable with indications that real estate is overleveraged and Canadian debt reaching sky-high levels (I seem to be a golden example right here). Thanks again for answering my question.

    P.S I read your first book and enjoy its more simplified and practical approach to dividend investing as compared to more general and broad-based titles like the intelligent investor (although i really liked this one too)

    Richard

  • Derek Foster January 26, 2011, 8:19 pm

    The Passive Income Earner,

    Actually, the majority of my investments are non-registered…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • Peter January 26, 2011, 9:18 pm

    Hello Derek:

    There seems to be a lot of press these days advising selecting stocks based on dividend yield or dividend growth. Are these stocks vunerable if and when interests rates start to rachet upwards?
    PS: Just finished reading Idiot Millionaire…great book!

  • FT FrugalTrader January 26, 2011, 10:15 pm

    @ Nova Scotian – my understanding is that there are very little tax advantages of putting your investments within a corporation. In fact, having too much passive income in a corp can affect the small business capital gains exemption.

  • FT FrugalTrader January 26, 2011, 10:17 pm

    @ Derek Foster, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer MDJ reader questions.

  • Stu Lach January 26, 2011, 11:13 pm

    Hi Derek, I put hi-yield former trusts in our TFSA’s and withdraw the div’s monthly for our retirement income increasing next years contribution room. So far so good but I’m wondering is there a better strategy? Iread and enjoyed your first 2 books but only made it half way thru options book and stopped. Its too complicated for me I’m sure I’d screw it up somehow. Thanks for all your advice via the e-newsletters. Stu L

  • Jungle January 27, 2011, 5:56 am

    Hi Derek

    If you do not mind, I have three questions:

    1. How do you feel about paying extra mortgage debt vs investing?
    2. Also, how do you feel about people doing the Smith Maneouvre?
    3. At 31.15% tax rate, would you go with a RRSP or TFSA and why?

  • Derek Foster January 27, 2011, 10:38 am

    Peter,

    Yes – there are a lot of articles about dividend stocks these days – which is great! If interest rates climb, this will be a negative for all stocks to a degree (but high yield stocks which are purchased for current yield would be hardest hit, imo).

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • Derek Foster January 27, 2011, 10:44 am

    Jungle,

    I like being mortgage free and like the risk-free, tax-free nature of eliminating your mortgage – but again it depends on the prevailing interest rate. Of course, if one had a non-registered portfolio, one could liquidate (if capital gains were not too much of an issue, then repurchase similar but not the exact same stocks (for tax reasons), then pay off the mortgage and then re-borrow and make their mortage interest tax-deductible…

    The Smith Manouvre has potential benefits and also some risks…whether one uses it or not depends on their risk tolerance and financial situation…

    For #3, I have not crunched the numbers fully, but the RRSP offers reasonable returns (if you re-invest the tax refund). It depends on your tax rate upon withdrawal and also if you might have a chance to do an RRSP meltdown before you reach retirement. I have a slight bias toward the TFSA in general because I just don’t fully trust that RRSP rules won’t change when more tax revenue is needed (just like the taxation of income trusts were changed or many years ago when the capital gains exemption was abolished)…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • Derek Foster January 27, 2011, 2:18 pm

    FREE FOR READERS…

    I am going to be speaking at the investment show in early February along with many other speakers (here):

    http://www.theinvestmentshow.ca/seminars.php

    I have a promo code so those who would like to attend can gain FREE admission to the show. I mail out these types of special offers thru my e-letter (which you can sign up for at http://www.stopworking.ca) from time to time.
    I will be mailing out this offer within the next couple of days…

    I spoke to Frugaltrader about this to get the okay…Hope to see some of you there…

    Cheers,
    Derek Foster (author)

  • Dan Wright January 28, 2011, 4:01 pm

    Quoted: “In DF’s book “Money for Nothing”, Derek promotes the put option selling strategy. In a nutshell, selling put options is a way to buy stocks at a particular price which is the opposite of selling covered calls.”

    Response: It is ridiculous that you sponsor this type of ‘investment advice’ on your site without any qualifications. Selling puts, or any long volatility strategy, is an extremely risky strategy that should not be thought of as “free money”, despite what Wall Street would have you believe. In the future please do not present these tail-risk strategies without heavy qualifying comments that an investor should understand their risks and objectives before trading.

  • Derek Foster January 28, 2011, 6:50 pm

    Dan Wright,

    The risk associated with selling a put option of a particular stock at a certain price is identical to the risk in buying the stock directly at that same price (actually slightly less because of the put option premium). It’s a fallacy that the put option strategy is inherently “extremely risky”…but I would agree it CAN BE – just as buying junior penny stocks can be…it depends on how the strategy is implemented…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • FT FrugalTrader January 28, 2011, 9:03 pm

    Does anyone know if any TFSA’s allow the selling of put options?

  • Derek Foster January 29, 2011, 12:23 am

    FrugalTrader,

    I looked into this a while ago…

    Apparently the CCRA will only allow the buying of puts/calls and the selling of covered calls inside a TFSA. They don’t allow the selling of uncovered options (either calls or puts)…I believe because of contribution limits in registered plans…

    Cheers,
    Derek Foster

  • An Idiot investor fan January 29, 2011, 12:17 pm

    Derek:
    Can you tell us about the withholding tax when one purchases dividend paying stocks in companies listed on the US stock exchange. For example the rate of the withholding tax, the role of the broker – they withhold and transmit it to the US. Is it possible to apply to get the withholding tax back? Are there any ways to avoid it, for example enroll in the DRIP program instead of receiving the dividends in cash? Are there any US taxes when one sells the US shares?
    Thank you,

  • Derek Foster January 29, 2011, 2:28 pm

    Idiot investor fan,

    The witholding tax on US stocks is 15% (witheld when you receive dividends). You can avoid this tax if you are buying the stocks inside your RRSP (but NOT inside your TFSA) – due to a tax treaty with the US. In regular non-registered accounts, you pay the tax but can claim some or all of it back thru a foreign tax credit…You can avoid some of the tax sting by looking for companies that repurchase a portion of their shares (which offers the same effect as DRIPping, but in a much more tax-advantaged way)…

    For example (and this is NOT a recommendation), I grabbed my copy of the 2009 ExxonMobil annual report. From the report, I see that the company spent a little over $8 billion to shareholders for dividends, but then it spent around $19 billion (net) for share repurchases. So it returned almost 2.5X the amount for share repurchases as dividends.

    Realize also that 2009 was a “weak” year for oil prices because of the recession – the company repurchased over $35 billion worth of stock in 2008…

    Cheers,
    Derek

  • My Own Advisor January 29, 2011, 2:53 pm

    Good interview Derek (and Frugal Trader).

    @Derek – have a good weekend in Toronto this weekend.

  • Nurseb911 January 30, 2011, 4:26 pm

    Did he mention his true get rich strategy?…..selling books about nothing new? That is books that discuss commonly understood investing principles but not highlighting the most important risks of those strategies?

  • cannon_fodder February 10, 2011, 12:35 pm

    Thanks Nurseb911 for pointing out articles where Derek was interviewed around the bottom of the market downturn in 2009. That was a very tough time for me personally… but I stayed the course and came out in great shape.

    Could it have been better? Absolutely… but it could have been a lot worse, too.

    I wonder what Derek would do if a similar scenario played itself out 10 years from now…

  • Cam February 10, 2011, 7:50 pm

    Dear Derek,
    I’m a 17 year old high school student, and I was wondering what I can do at my age to start investing to ensure a better future for myself?

  • Ed Danneberg August 15, 2012, 2:49 am

    Hi Derek! I just learned of you and your story and see that you are “speaking” for SPP in Saskatoon this Friday. While I will endeavor to be there in person, I really have one ‘burning’ question” that I’m sure everyone reading would like to have answered:

    Based on what I heard you say in an interview on John Gormley this morning, you ‘retired’ (though it sounds like you stay pretty busy with books and speaking!) at 34 with the ability to live off your dividend income. With most dividend stocks paying a 2-5% return quarterly, my question – and many others I’m sure – is, where did you get your first bundle of cash to buy enough stock which would pay enough dividend to live off of? With any quick calculations, one would need at least $1Million dollars in dividend paying stocks in order to live off the dividends – and not live in a box!. For those that don’t do math, $1Million in dividend paying stocks (Kelloggs, Coke, P&G, etc) would equate to about $30,000 a year in dividend income – certainly not enough to live a comfortable retirement and definitely not enough to live like a millionaire!!
    Thanks for the honest answer! If we get a reply I will buy ALL your books Friday at the talk!

  • Be careful September 27, 2012, 12:04 am

    Be very very careful when implementing any option strategy. It is far to easy to get badly burnt with options, particularly sell/write strategies.

  • Colleen October 14, 2012, 10:02 pm

    Hi Derek

    I want to invest in DRIPS and hope you can help me. How do I find out what Cdn stocks have DRIPS, if I can invest directly with those companies, if not do I use a discount brokerage etc. As well, what US companies offer DRIPS?

  • FT FrugalTrader October 14, 2012, 10:08 pm

    @Colleen, this site will help you with DRIPs in Canada:
    http://www.dripprimer.ca/

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