Recently, taking with a childhood friend about my book, he observed that it feels like so many people still don’t know about dividend growth investing. “How could that be?” he asked.
It’s a simple question, without a simple answer.
For starters, look at incentives.
Who is motivated by teaching people about dividend growth investing?
Most of the companies that come to mind don’t think that way. Big companies are “afraid” that if they talk too specifically, they miss the “bigger” opportunity. They’re either trying to build brand, or educate people about features. Look at E*Trade, Fidelity, and even Robinhood. Erase their branding and it’s hard to tell these companies apart. You’d recognize Robinhood because they talk about “free trading” but the other discount brokerages only talk about themselves — their processes, their tools.
Then, you have the business realities that dividend growth investing doesn’t generate commissions the way mutual funds can, or the way that actively trading a portfolio can.
They’re in a difficult spot. They can’t make promises about results. They have to be specific with their language. And they want to sell you products that align to their business model. So they end up talking facts, figures, features, and funds.
What they need to do is tell better stories. Most conservative regulated companies don’t tell good stories.
When I first launched my book, I wrote something for Sure Dividend (a great site with information for dividend investors) about having fun investing. Talking to their readers, I realized something:
The Elephant in the Room has a Paycheck isn’t for people who invest. It’s for the people they love who don’t.The Elephant in the Room has a Paycheck isn’t for people who invest. It’s for the people they love who don’t. Click To Tweet
You want to learn more. You want to get started. But the language used by the places you learn is a barrier. Before too long, you’re either reading some watered down non-promise (remember, financial companies are regulated and can’t promise results) or some industry-language laced marketing brochure that’s not warm or encouraging.
While some, like Stash, are doing a good job of changing the language used to describe investments, I wanted to change the story about
investing building wealth to help reduce the anxiety money brings to most people as they get started.
Which leads to a third challenge — dividend growth investing is boring. Really boring. And it’s human nature to thing boring is bad especially considering how little people talk about money and wealth (it’s not proper to do so, right? 🤪).
- You have companies that are motivated by the incentives in their business plans not by their interest in making the world a wealthier place.
- Financial services is a market where there just aren’t that many good storytellers. There are numbers! And Ledgers! And, oh no, PERCENTAGES!!!
- Finally, if you do this right, it’s boring. Really boring (though, I like to think I make it less so).
I believe I’ve written a good story. It’s short, easy to read, and most importantly, easy to internalize. It’s a unique only in the language used not in the tactics employed to build wealth. That’s why people who know about dividend investing probably don’t find the book useful. There’s nothing new, but a story.
I hope that story helps people who don’t know where to start be willing to do so. To help readers, I’ve been clear in the action you should take to get started. I know how hard it is to do something new, so I’ve presented very simple steps to take you all the way through to making your first investment.
Best of all, I’ve shared most everything I’ve written in the book, right on this site. Read around, feel my voice, and give it a shot. If you like it, maybe you buy the book for a friend. I’ve had readers’ parents and siblings reach out, having been told about my book by their relatives. It’s quite rewarding.