1/ Earl Crawley was a 69 year old Baltimore parking lot attendant, when I first heard about him in 2008

He had worked there for the previous 44 years

He had never made more than $20,000/year

Yet, he had a dividend portfolio worth $500,000 and a fully paid off home
2/ He had started working at the age of 13, but his mother took most of his income

He had dyslexia, which is why there were not many opportunities for him beyond some manual labor jobs

He realized he had to save as much money as he can to overcome life's challenges
3/ He got married, and had three children he supported on $80/week in the 1960s

Money was tight, but he lived within his means by keeping costs low and working several jobs to make more income

Despite all obstacles, his frugal attitude helped him to save and invest
4/ Earl started with savings stamps, savings bonds and later graduated to investing regularly in a mutual fund. He started investing consistently $25/month in a mutual fund for 15 years.

By the late 1970s, his net worth reached $25,000
5/ By 1981 he started investing directly in blue chip, dividend paying stocks like IBM, Coca-Cola, Caterpillar

He bought a share or two, but kept buying consistently over time

He kept reinvesting his dividends, which increased his shares and dividend income
6/ How did this parking lot attendant manage to learn about bonds, dividend reinvestment plans and investing in the stock market?

His parking lot was close to a lot of financial institutions. Earl kept asking questions, and kept learning, picking the brain of anyone who engaged
7/ One day, a well-meaning co-worker took Crawley aside and put a bug in his ear: You have a limited education. You better get some money because you won't go far here

That co-worker, became a friend and mentor, spurring the youthful handyman to learn more about the stock market
8/ Earl listened to bankers, lawyers, brokers, believed in the power of compounding & stocks for the long run

His goal was to let the money work for him so he didn't have to

He seemed to have a full service broker, which may have been costly

I hope he uses a cheaper broker now
9/ By 2015 he had a portfolio worth $500,000, a fully paid off house and no debt

I would imagine that his portfolio generated between $15,000 and $20,000 in annual dividend income

At his income level that was probably tax-free
10/ Based on the video, his portfolio seemed diversified in companies like:

Bank of America
11/ Earl is also paying it forward, by donating shares to others, teaching them about dividend reinvestment and the power of compounding

This knowledge would hopefully compound, make his community better educated and hopefully wealthier

This knowledge would pay dividends
12/ Here are a few lessons from Mr Earl

1. Live within your means

2. Try to always save some money

3. Invest regularly on a consistent schedule

4. Invest in blue-chip dividend paying stocks

5. Reinvest those dividends

6. Let your money work hard for you

7. Keep learning
13/ I really love this video of Earl:

14/ Check his story from 2001:

15/ Kiplinger's did a profile of him in 2008 titled:

"Investing With Nickels and Dimes"

16/ I find stories like that very inspirational

It shows me that anyone can acquire wealth if they live within their means, save and invest prudently, and take advantage of the power of compounding over long periods of time

If there is a will, there is a way
17/ This story provides a more in-depth view of his struggles. It shows how much he had to overcome.

The unlikely investor

18/ Looks like there is a book about Mr Earl:


How Earl Crawley Built a $500,000 Dividend Portfolio on Minimum Wage


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More from @DividendGrowth

12 Sep
1/ Gilmer Hinson is another secret millionaire next door type

He made headlines last year, when he donated $10 million to several charities

The bulk of the donation was his shares of Lowe's $LOW

The stock paid $200,000 in annual dividend income
2/ Born in 1927 in a farming community, he enlisted to join the navy at the age of 16 in 1943

After his military service was over, he joined Lowe's

His first job was sweeping the floors, but he quickly move up the ranks and ended up helping opening new stores in the South.
3/ Gilmer began acquiring Lowe's stock with his modest paycheck

When he retired, he had 75,000 shares of Lowe's stock

His financial team advised him to put $3 million in a charitable remainder trust in 2007

That amount grew to $10 million by 2019
Read 13 tweets
19 Aug
The Dividend Aristocrats list includes companies in the S&P 500 that have managed to increase dividends for 25 years in a row

A decade ago, I posted the list for 2011, which included 41 companies

You can see the total returns performance for each stock since December 31, 2010 Image
Four of these companies were removed early, due to acquisitions.

The performance was calculated from Dec 31, 2010 through the last available date of trading

There were two companies that cut dividends

Lumen/Century Link $CTL
Pitney Bowes $PBI Image
This is what the list looked at in December 2010, when I posted my article

dividendgrowthinvestor.com/2010/12/divide… Image
Read 5 tweets
7 Aug
Apparently a lot of companies have shareholder perks, to encourage long-term ownership

For example, Investors holding at least 1 share of LVMH stock are eligible to join the prestigious LVMH Shareholders' Club.

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is a maker of luxury goods

Members are treated to discounts on a range of the group's wines and spirits and access to a special selection, VIP passes to the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris and discounted subscriptions for the group's newspapers.

You can sign up online:


Each year Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli presents certain shareholders with a blue briefcase-sized box of its prized chocolates. The downside if you're tempted to invest is that you'll need to buy a share with attached voting rights which cost only $115300/share.

Read 24 tweets
2 Aug
I recently uncovered a stock chart of Blue Chip Stamps, a trading stamp company where Buffett & Munger were large shareholders

It acquired See's Candy in 1973 & Buffalo News in 1977

It was ultimately merged into Berkshire in 1983

h/t @GlobalFinData
It looks like the company's share price didn't really do much in the 1970s, despite growth in revenues, assets and income

They did pay a flat annual dividend of 24 cents/share

When digging further, I learned that See's Candy was a publicly traded stock

I did not know that.

Based on the stories I read, it seemed as if Buffett and Munger negotiated with the private owners.

It's fascinating to learn that

Read 6 tweets
2 Aug
CNBC aired the interview with Buffett and Munger "A Wealth of Wisdom" in June

There was more to the interview, which has been released as podcasts:

Part 1: Wealth of Wisdom
Part 2: Taking the High Road
Part 3: A Swing & A Risk
Part 4: Thinking Like an Oracle

h/t @mymoneyblog
Part 2: Taking the High Road

Read 5 tweets
2 Aug
I've learned more from my investing mistakes, than from my successes

Some of my past mistakes I try to avoid:

- Using leverage
- Concentrating too much
- Tinkering too much
- Chasing yield
- Using options
- Using only taxable accounts
- Timing the market
- Being too rigid
1. Being too rigid

Basically I refused to pay more than a set amount for an earnings stream no matter what the growth prospects were

I also had a minimum dividend yield requirement

I missed out on buying $SBUX at 21 times earnings

I did buy Visa a few times in the past decade
2. Timing the market -Pt 1

I had a lot of money in CD's in 2007 - 2009, which matured right as the stock market was crashing.

This experience taught me the lesson that I should wait before buying a full position

In reality, I am better off investing when I have money to invest
Read 11 tweets

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