Well it is official, I’m married! For those of you that have planned a wedding before you’ll understand why I haven’t posted very much in the past few months… I’ve been busy. With the honeymoon over I’m hoping to get back into a more regular posting regime.
Creating Wealth with Dividend Growth by Lowell Miller, READ IT!
Our wedding was a great success and I couldn’t be happier, but we were both ready to relax by the time we landed in Hawaii for our honeymoon. We decided on the Big Island because we wanted to go night diving with Manta Rays (Great dive, I highly recommend it). Beyond the dive we had no other concrete plans for our 10 days in paradise. We ended up doing more activities than I initially expected, but a large part of the trip was relaxing on the beach or by the pool. During this time we actually had time to read again, what a novelty! Being the investing nerd that I am, I read Lowell Miller’s, The Single Best Investment: Creating Wealth with Dividend Growth (2nd edition).
For those of you that haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. I read the 2006 version, but it still applies today. This is a book that I think every dividend growth investor should read cover to cover. The reason I mention cover to cover is because in the appendix the author provides some great information on different categories of stocks. For instance he goes over what you should look for in a utility stock versus say a REIT. What I like about this book is that it you don’t have to be a financial wizard to understand it and it provides an abundance of valuable advice on how a regular person can build a strong dividend growth portfolio. I wish I had read this book years ago. The underlying theory of the book is that High Quality + High Current Yield + High Growth of Divided = High Total Returns. This is something I agree and as such I try and tailor my own strategy around. Beyond explaining the benefits of dividend growth stocks, the book details in laymen terms how to identify these high quality, high yield and high dividend growth stocks. In my opinion this is where the true value of this book exists. Rather than turn this post into a full on book review I plan to write some articles that this book inspired. There are a lot of different topics that the book addresses and I’d like to cover them in a variety of different posts. You can expect these in the coming months.
How I got free upgrades on my honeymoon
A few years back I read an article by Angela Self on the Globe and Mail that outlined how to get free hotel upgrades. I don’t stay in hotels very often, so until my honeymoon, I didn’t really have a chance to try it out. I’m happy to report it worked out very well. It wasn’t until we found a Travelzoo deal for a hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii that we made up our mind on where our honeymoon would be. We had a short-list, but were having difficulty narrowing it down. When we found the hotel deal we took it as a sign and booked the room. After booking the room I emailed the manager asking for free upgrade. You can see a template of the letter here. We booked an ocean view regular room, but were upgraded to the top floor, ocean front suite. The place was bigger than our apartment and had a fantastic view. The champagne and strawberries that came later were the icing on the cake. We were very happy, considering we got a discounted price on the regular room, but were upgraded to a much nicer one. This experience just reminds me that asking for what you want can be a rewarding skill.
Related article: Save Money and Earn More by Asking for It