About

Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the investment world to learn more about me and my investment philosophy. I’m a mid-40’s Internet entrepreneur that launched several dot coms with varying success in each. At the very least my living has been made online for the past 18 years and at the most I had a fun time in each venture.

 

I began seriously investing for dividend income around 2007 when my business, at the time, was literally falling off a cliff, as most of the world was starting to as well, when my need for another income stream became more apparent. I have always known the benefits of dividends from my very first stock purchase back in 1988 but wasn’t yet sold on the concept of tying up my money indefinitely purely for a dividend income stream. It was around that time that I learned about Dividend Aristocrats and Dividend Champions when it all just made sense. I could literally see the effects of compounding dividends from these select companies and thought a nice diversified portfolio could provide me with a decent to excellent income stream decades down the road. And so it began, in my mid 30’s, my first dividend stock purchases for my long term holding which I feel is about 25 to 35 years. But don’t get me wrong… I’m not just about dividend investing. To me life has a lot more to offer.

 

I find that life is a balance and that you are young only once and while working hard, smart and living in a frugal manner is wise, nothing in life is guaranteed, especially your future, and so you must balance that diligence with some fun. I do not spend money on clothes, cars, fancy zip codes, but do have one true passion… travel. I highly suggest everyone travels and sees as much of the world as they can before it is too late or worse your life comes to an untimely end.

 

To date my country visit list is:

 

USA (Arizona, California, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Maryland, D.C., Hawaii), Canada, Mexico, Belize, Panama, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Grenada, Barbados, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Fiji, Korea, China, Japan, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Iceland, Israel, Finland, Corfu (Greece), Ibiza (Spain).

 

To be sure, this is not a complete list. There is a whole lot more I want to see. Remember, “live smart” but don’t forget the key word, “live.”

 

The goal of this site is to inform and entertain as I wish to educate my readers about stock investing in a simple and easy to read manner. For those that are interested, I make all my purchases through CapitalOne Investing (formerly Sharebuilder) and pay a grandfathered commission rate of $2 per trade under a promotion Sharebuilder had for Costco members. My normal trades are $800 and up so as to minimize my commission percentage. Orders that are less than $800 occur from time to time when I have free trades available to me. Much dividend success!

 

-Keith Park

51 thoughts on “About

    • Hi DK,

      Happy you enjoyed reading a little bit about me. While I’m all about living in a frugal manner and saving and investing for your future, I wanted to give the impression that one must enjoy life as well. You are young once and have one life to live which is why I favor travel and enjoying many life experiences. It’s not only about savings and dividend income. After all, what good is a great stock portfolio if you are too old or in poor health to enjoy.

      It’s great that you have started on your dividend journey and will be interesting to see where you will be in the decades that follow.

    • Hi FRD,

      I do love to travel as you can see from my list. I had a great time in Belgium. I actually rode a bicycle through many parts in the east. I started in Maastricht, Netherlands and crossed in Lanaken then Riemst then Tongeren to Liege. It was a great countryside ride. Of course, I also visited Brussels too. For me, travel is the only thing I am willing to spend money on freely. I don’t own a home, drive a 2009 Honda Civic, wear basic clothes, but I do like to spend on travel. I think many dividend bloggers forget that it’s not just about living frugal and saving, saving, saving and investing, investing, investing. You also need to enjoy. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      • Small world! I did a very similar bicycling trip through the eastern part of Belgium a few years ago, also starting in Maastricht.

        Love the comment here about enjoying the fruits of your labor. Clearly I need to start keeping up with your blog 🙂

        • Hi TDB,

          Happy to welcome you my little corner of the Internet. Travel is certainly amazing and truly is my single biggest passion/expense. As you can see from my country list I like to explore and see different parts of the world and I am not done to say the least, though for the next few years I will most likely be staying closer to home as I welcomed the birth of my first child!

          Southern Netherlands and eastern Belgium is such a great flat part to bicycle and explore. Much quieter than the big cities and clean and picturesque. Please come back and follow along my own real world dividend stock portfolios. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  1. I just reread this post, and I am in awe. You have been to so many places across the globe. The experiences must just be so memorable. My travels are closer to home, but I hope to branch out in the future. Amazing list of destinations you have there.

    Keep cranking,

    Robert the DividendDreamer

    • Hi DD,

      Travel is one of those experiences that I will freely spend. To me, it’s about creating memories and having life experiences. I frequently say that I do not spend on clothes, I don’t own a home, I don’t drive a fancy car either but I do spend on travel. For my money, I’d rather buy a memory and experience rather than a material possession. I know as dividend growth bloggers we frequently talk about frugal living and saving etc., which is great, but I always stress that there is more to life and that you are only your current age once in your life. What’s it all worth if we save, invest and live frugally only to die prematurely? Spend on memories and experiences. You’ll have a richer life.

    • Hi BSR,

      Travel is one expense I’ll gladly spend on. While I rarely spend money on myself for material things such as fancy clothes, shoes, jewelry, cars, etc. I would freely spend on travel as I am buying an experience that will last much longer and give me more satisfaction than any material object. Korea was awesome. I had a great time there in Busan, Seoul and Jeju. I’m also practicing tae kwon do for 23 years and visited the Kukkiwon so I’m pretty familiar with a lot of the Korean culture. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Hi Keith,

    I think it’s awesome (not to mention impressive) that you were able to live off your online ventures. I also share your view about living – “‘live smart’ but don’t forget the key word, ‘live.'”

    It’s great that you’ve visited so many different countries. I did notice that you haven’t been to England, France, or Spain. Those are three countries that I would love to visit.

    Best wishes in your dividend investing!

    • Hi CI,

      Thank you for the kind words. So far my online ventures have been my bread and butter for a little over 16 years. Looking back I can’t believe how much time has past and I am very appreciative that I started my venture when I did. Of course, with that being said and mentioned on my page I do feel that we must ‘live’ our life. It’s not all about hitting that amazing savings rate or ultimate stock. It’s about peace of mind, being with family enjoying the little things and sometimes just taking a breath for yourself. Too often we get caught up in the web of our so called life and forget what it really means. After all, what’s the point of accumulating wealth when it can all be taken away in a split second. I’m just saying live a balanced life. Set goals, achieve, build, create, improve but not at a cost of “life.” “When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer,” Alexander the Great. I still wish to travel more and one day I’ll those countries you mention. They just haven’t been at top of my travel list. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  3. Hi DivHut

    I like your attitude about frugality and travelling. I also live some way frugal, but I never save on travelling and holidays costs. I see the value here not only to have a great time with my family, I also see travelling as something like an education for myself. From my travels to far away countries (I live in Germany), I got a more balanced sight on the living of people there. I notice this especially, when others talk badly about some people in countries they have never been. By the way, if you are in Europe, don´t miss to see some part of our Germany!

    Kind regards

    Marco

    • Hi Marco,

      There’s no question that travel is one of the best education tools out there. You learn about people, culture, language, food and much more. This is why I love to travel and will spend on it freely. As you stated, you educate yourself and expand your perspectives. I actually was in Stuttgart but was just passing through. When I visit more of Germany I will add it to my list. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate your support.

  4. Hello Keith,

    Interesting live journey you are having. Love the entrepreneurial spirit, I still need to learn on that front.

    Love the travels as well, not sure if you have already documented this in some other posts yet (working my way through your blog…), but would love to read about it!

    Cheers, Mr. FSF
    Mr. FSF recently posted…About UsMy Profile

    • Hi MFSF,

      Ever since I was a child I was always interested in doing my own thing. It started in elementary school selling grapefruits and lemons from the front yard of my friend’s house to painting street addresses on curbs while in high school (great hourly money by the way) to starting my own business online with a buddy of mine while still in college. With the Internet today there is no reason to not just throw something up and experiment. No need to invent the wheel just sell a better or modified version.

      Travel is my one true passion and I’ll gladly spend on that without hesitation. I live in an apartment, drive a 2009 Honda Civic, wear no labels or fancy shoes (I like buying $20 sneakers at Big5) but travel is an expense I’ll gladly initiate as I am investing in an experience. I feel very fortunate to have visited more of the world by age 40 than most people do in a lifetime. I haven’t really discussed much of my travels on this blog yet, as it’s primarily an investment blog, but it may make for some interesting lessons and reading. As many other dividend bloggers write, time is the most precious commodity, and though I am not officially living off of my dividend income yet, I am blessed with the fact that I am working for myself and have the flexibility of time. Thank you for stopping by and commenting and I hope that my posts can help inspire your own creation of a passive dividend income stream.

  5. We are very much aligned on the travel passion, traveling abroad is so refreshing and mind opening that it almost feels like an investment.
    I like your last words as “living smart” is first about living, that is something we need to remind ourselves sometimes. Very wise words!

    • Hi TMM,

      I fully agree that travel will always open up a mind. It’s an all-inclusive learning experience. Learn about geography, language, culture, religion, customs, food and so much more. I would freely spend on travel as it’s an experience rather than spend on material items. I live in an apartment, drive an ’09 Honda Civic, wear basic clothes, no fancy labels for me, but when it comes to travel… I’ll spend (within reason) freely. To me travel is an experience and allows me to ‘live.’ Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  6. Hi DivHut,
    I see you are lacking a visit to Germany. If you ever go there gimme a call.
    Best regards from Bavaria (Germany)
    rickrack

    • Hi rickrack,

      That is true. Germany is a country that I have not explored yet though I did spend a short, short time in Stuttgart. Let’s stay in touch via the blog and you never know when I’ll be passing through again though it probably won’t be for a while as I am busy with my new baby 🙂 Travel is always within me and I know I’ll explore more but not for a few years. Thank you for commenting.

  7. Keith:

    Your “about” is awesome. You discuss some very important things — sometimes I find myself getting too sucked into and focused on reaching financial independence that I don’t enjoy my life and time. Your saying, “Remember, “live smart” but don’t forget the key word, “live.”” really speaks to me.

    I look forward to following your journey towards dividend success and financial independence.

    Best,
    Alex

    • Hi Alex,

      Happy that my words have spoken to you. Too often I find, while admirable, people that are too focused on achieving financial independence while forgetting to enjoy the journey and every once in a while take time off and expense for themselves. While I’m not financially independent yet, I have taken time for myself and as you read travelled to more places than most people visit in a lifetime. As I stated I am not afraid to “live” and enjoy in the meantime. After all, what’s the point of achieving FI if God forbid you should pass before achieving it. The future is not guaranteed which is why a balance must be achieved between saving/investing/FI and living your life in the present because that’s all we really have. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  8. Hi DivHut,

    There is more than work work work, so if I have the chance, I want to escape the rat race and spend my time on stuff like traveling too. I am starting up my dividend investment journey and hopefully can speed it up soon. I hope to see the same dividend income amounts that you have reached today in a few years. There is some impatience in me, so we will see.

    Regards,
    Dividend Fish

    • Hi DF,

      Welcome aboard the dividend investing train. The key to being a long term dividend growth investor is to not chase yield no matter how tempting it may be and to be consistent. Make purchases every chance you get in all markets. I like to make sure I buy at least once a month no matter what the economic conditions are. By tuning out all the ‘financial noise’ and focusing on the long term horizon you won’t panic sell nor buy into any media hype. I have been buying stock consistently every month since 2007 and have not looked back. Sure it was difficult seeing my entire portfolio in the red in 2009 but I knew I was diversified and held rock solid companies and was not afraid to continue to invest even during the worst financial crisis in decades. Be patient and in a few short years you’ll see some amazing results. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • Hi Mati,

      Thank you for your kind words. Nice to know I can reach people all over the world. By the way, I had an excellent visit to Israel a few years ago. It was an amazing place to visit. Thank you for commenting.

    • Hi Dividends,

      The ‘About’ page gives a little more insight as to who I am and some of my thought process. I have always been on the quieter/calm side of the spectrum which has worked out well while being invested during the financial crisis in 2008/09. Markets that lack stability don’t phase me as I have seen it before. My main concern is growing my dividend income which is how I built up my portfolio, chasing dividend growth rather than current yield. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • Hi STI,

      I appreciate your kind words. Happy to have you over on DivHut. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy my posts and dividend ideas. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  9. Keith,
    I like your ideas. I came to dividend investing in 1993. I was inspired by an article in the Omaha World-Herald by Robert McMorrris, about a man in his 40s who traveled all over the world, staying in some places up to six months. The author asked how he did it. And the traveler said that when he was young he started buying dividend paying stocks. Now those stocks pay him enough money to travel and live independently. After reading that article, I said, “I want to be that guy,” and immediately started saving money. My wife and I lived on one paycheck and saved the other for the first five years of our marriage, she took break from working to focus on our kids for five years, and then she went back to work, and we started banking one salary again for another five years. I bought stocks starting in 1993 and have continued buying them ever since. I was able to launch my freelance career in early 2013. I’m still frugal, but we will spend money on travel. I toured Italy and Grace with rock band For Against. My wife and I honeymooned in France, Czech Republic and Sweden. We have also traveled to Scotland, England and Puerto Rico and spend summers at our cabin in northern Minnesota. I am passionate cyclist. I do not drive if I can help it, using my bicycle for every transport need, including trips to the store for groceries. Life is good in dividend land. I received $2000 in dividends in October in my brokerage account. I pay taxes on this income, but I’m glad to make the money in America.
    Michael Hooper
    Michael Hooper recently posted…My 3% Dividend PlayMy Profile

    • Hi MH,

      A great story indeed. You sound a lot like me as I also “spend money on travel” with pleasure. It is the one thing that I have no problem expensing as I am creating memories rather than buying material possessions. I have been very fortunate to travel and see a lot of the world in my younger days. Being self-employed allowed me this freedom and still does today as I take care of my new baby boy at home. I am positive your story can inspire many others in the dividend growth arena and highlight what can be possible by living below your means and investing wisely and for the future. It’s more about accumulating income producing assets rather than just accumulating assets. Congrats on your continued dividend income success. I would love to see your portfolio of current holdings as well. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • Hi Tristan,

      I’d say the ‘world’ is on my travel list. I have no preference for where I’d like to travel as long as it’s a new country that I have not visited. Australia is definitely on my list and I know I’ll make it there one day. Travel is one expense I’ll freely spend on as I am buying experiences which give a lot more pleasure than any tangible item might give. Many blogs preach about frugal lifestyles and watching every dollar. While on the surface that is sound advice for many, I feel it is a little unbalanced as life is also about experiences and that it’s OK to spend on those experiences. What good is saving, investing and accumulating assets if you are too old to enjoy or worse, die prematurely. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • Hi EL,

      I’m not done visiting the world, that’s for sure. I’ll gladly spend on travel as I’m buying experiences that can be relived over and over without diminished returns. Material possessions definitely do not give the same satisfaction over time. For me, balance is the keyword for everything in life. What’s the point of saving and being frugal if you cannot enjoy the fruits of your efforts every now and then. You are young once and I feel very fortunate to have taken the opportunities to visit more countries than most people see in a lifetime before age 40. As always, I appreciate your comment.

    • Hi LAFI,

      I am in no way finished with my travels. India is definitely on my list along with other Indian Ocean countries. My international travels will take a back seat these next few years as I welcomed my first child in 2015. Of course, I am plenty satisfied with my baby duties and one day hope to travel with him. There is a lot more I want to see 🙂 My cousin was in southern India last summer and had an amazing time. Goa, Madurai, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai and more. That’s what I remember but she spent about five weeks all in the southern section and had an amazing time and shared some great photos too. Thank you for commenting.

  10. Glad to have found your blog. Also beginning my investing journey in my early 30’s, hope I’ll have as much success as you in my 40’s. Can’t wait to read more and follow along.

    • Hi MG,

      I’d like to welcome you to DivHut. I’m always happy when a new reader stumbles upon my blog. Please feel free to comment or ask questions about any of the dividend stocks discussed here. Thank you for commenting.

  11. I’ve been looking at your site for a long time now but first time posting in the about me page. It is nice to see your portfolio grow over time and it is a testament that dividends do work!

    I totally agree that it is smart investing but you are young once and to enjoy the now! I’ll be looking forward to your updates and your portfolio, keep up the good work!

    • Hi DL,

      I’m happy to see you finally post a comment on my blog. Thank you. I still do not know why more people do not adopt a dividend growth investing strategy for themselves. I think people are too focused on fast near term results without looking towards their long term future when extra income will be needed to sustain their lifestyle. As you can clearly see, dividend growth investing can work. Keep working hard, save and invest in your future but always remember to have fun and live life a little along the way. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  12. Div Hut, I enjoyed your blog and have had the same philosophy on life and travel! I grew up in USA; traveled in 48 continental states before I set out traveling the world. All the while I was doing my DRIP investing. When I traveled outside the US, most of the time I stayed in hostels to keep my expenses low… I was doing this travel and investing in my 40’s & 50’s. Last major trip was 6 weeks in Asia! I designed my own itineraries..That was in my ‘single’ days. Got married to a woman from China. Retired 1.5 years ago but still investing!

    • Hi Joe,

      Thank you for your kind words about my blog. Your life story sounds pretty awesome too. Like you, I stayed in many hostels as well as moderate hotels too from time to time to keep expenses low. Got around by train, bus or whatever public transportation was the norm and just enjoyed seeing, being and experiencing other countries. These days, with a new baby DivHut my international travels are paused for a bit but that doesn’t mean travel and exploration has to stop. Just last summer we took a road trip with baby DivHut through California, Oregon and Washington. It was a great family experience. It’s nice to read about a fellow long time investor too. Life is what you make of it. Sure, curve balls hit us every now and then but it’s all about getting back up to bat. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • Hi TWD,

      Thank you for those kind words. As you can tell, travel is something I truly enjoy and whenever I can explore internationally or locally I take it. These days I’m closer to home with a new baby DivHut but as I commented above it did not spell the end of travel as just last summer we took a family road trip through California, Oregon and Washington. There are still many more countries I’d like to visit and I look forward to sharing those experiences with my son when he is old enough to appreciate where we visit. If travel is truly within you I have no doubt your destination list will grow too. Thank you for commenting.

  13. Keith,

    That “grandfathered commission rate of $2 per trade under a promotion Sharebuilder had for Costco members” is a comment you likely made ages ago. Is that still in place? Does it go on in perpetuity? If so, lucky you.

    • Hi Chuck,

      That’s still in place. The rate has been grandfathered in for a while and as long as they keep me at that $2 commission I’ll have the luxury of making smaller buys. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  14. Your goal was to travel. My goal was to work from home. I was able to do that for 18 months, but 2007 was the end for me too. I’ve enjoyed almost a decade of quiet at home to write and indulge in my hobbies. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    • Hi Pamela,

      As long as you have a goal and you actually follow through to achieve it you are way ahead of most. As you noted, it was all about travel for me, and still is though not much since baby DivHut was born. Still, I know I’ll be venturing out again in time. Keep up the positive attitude. Thank you for commenting.

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