Who Am I
Hi there. My name is Leigh and I’m the person and author behind the blog – Dividend Magic.
If you’re new here, welcome!
If you missed my live session on the 8th of November 2020, below is a recording of it.
Do Your Own Due Diligence
I started the blog back in 2015 as a means to track my investments as well as to hold myself accountable for all my gains and losses.
Today, I want to be the voice of reason and logic for Malaysians looking to invest. I’m sure you’ve all been bombarded with ads from investment gurus, offering you classes that cost you thousands in ringgit teaching you the ”basics of investing” or ”dividend investing” or ”passive income”. The list goes on.
Before you sign up for any of these, read through all my articles on the blog. I give them out for free. I have a transparent track record to show you. And at most, you may find yourself wasting a few hours of your time if you did not find my content interesting.
A caveat though, I am not here to tell you or recommend stocks to invest in. I will never do that, and neither should anyone. If someone tells you to buy a certain stock, please be very wary. I’m here to show you how I invest and to show you my portfolio as it grows from RM10,000 to RM1 million and more over the next few decades.
I’m writing this post as a kind of permanent ”Hello!” for new readers that have just hopped onboard the bandwagon. Most people arrive here with the same question:
I want to invest, where can I start?
If you’re new to stocks and want to jump right in, start with my Stock Investment Guide.
Great question, above you, you’ll find drop-down menus titled ”Start Here” and ”FI/RE & Savings’‘. I have curated and arranged a few articles to start you off with. Take your time and go through everything.
Why Do I Invest?
In short: I invest to be financially independent. And to have more time to spend with the people I love and doing the things that I love.
To do this, I need to generate sufficient passive income that’ll cover all my annual expenses.
I aim to become financially independent by 35 years old. To be able to maintain my current lifestyle, I’d need roughly RM36,000 per annum. I will formally pronounce myself financially independent when that RM36,000 p.a. in passive income is achieved. For now, all of my efforts will be to build towards this goal.
Below are some of my current (2020) investment holdings:
- Freedom Fund – RM545,778.21 (as at 31 December 2020)
Dividends – RM15,415.64 p.a.
- Freedom Fund (US)
- Cryptocurrencies – RM34,424
- Stashaway – RM18,253.27
- Property – RM60,000 (after mortgage deduction)
Rental – RM4,000 p.a.
How I Invest
Growth and Dividend Investing
A misconception readers have about my way of investing is due to my site’s name – Dividend Magic. To set the record straight, I am not a pure dividend investor.
My investing philosophy is to invest in growing, profitable companies. I particularly focus on companies that increase their profits year after year. In return, these companies should provide me with increasing dividends as passive income every year too. All these happen over the very, very long run. Think 20 years or more.
My Malaysian stock portfolio which I dubbed the Freedom Fund will mainly focus on growing and dividend distributing companies. My US stock portfolio will be focused on growing companies, not so much on dividends.
Why? Because we as Malaysians are charged a 30% withholding tax by the US on dividends. So, it doesn’t make sense for me to invest for dividends in the US. Instead, I go for capital gains, which thankfully, Malaysians don’t get taxed on.
A portion of my portfolio will be placed in cryptocurrencies as well. I aim to have maybe 5% in crypto – mainly Bitcoins.
There you have it, I keep my goals and strategy simple and you should too.
How Did I Get Here
Reading books on investing and savings got me interested in Financial Independence. I started investing straight out of university. I didn’t have much then but I slowly built up my Freedom Fund as I started my first job.
Progress was gradual in the beginning but with the help of my newfound salary, success in a new business venture, and compound interest, I managed to grow my portfolio from a mere RM10,000 to RM345,955.92 from 2013 to 2016. And then to RM545,778.21 in 2020. I must stress that a huge amount of that growth is from my own savings and capital injections. The portfolio grew at a CAGR of about 10%.
It wasn’t easy keeping my savings rate above 50% per month. I still live with my parents, for the first few years, I didn’t splurge on food and lived well within my means. With a healthy portfolio and time on my side, I can now afford to ease up and enjoy life a little more. My portfolio was built on frugality.
I am also practicing the Financial Independence and Retire Early movement – FI/RE.
FI/RE is where I aim to have my passive income cover all my expenses. And I see my dividends as passive income. You can read more about FI/RE hERE.
The blog started out as a way for me to keep track of my investments. To keep myself accountable and to make sure I’m always on the right path. As you already know, I keep track of my gains as well as all my losses.
Fast forward to 2020, the blog has grown. At this trajectory, we’re close to growing to a million views a year in 2021. This is huge for me and I’m always thankful and grateful for the readers and friends I’ve made through the blog.
We’ve also blossomed into a tight-knit community where I have meaningful discussions with readers. We also do small meetups to just chat and talk about investments. You can access our FIRE Group on Facebook hERE.
Right now, I see Dividend Magic slowly transitioning into a site where Malaysians can get access to information and resources on investing for free. Investment and stock market gurus have been sprouting up here and there offering dubious classes and doling out questionable advice. Be very wary of people that tell you to buy a certain stock or ”asset”. They always stand to gain one way or the other.
I will continue to update my investments and portfolios as I always have.
I will continue to provide recommendations and conflict-free advice to readers.
I will not, however, tell you what stock to buy or when to sell your stocks. Instead, I aim to provide you information about the tools I use, the best platforms and brokerages, and everything else in between.
I provide you with the information and tools necessary, you do the rest.
I’m here to show you what real investing is really like, and that anyone can invest. There will be losses, there will be gains, I aim to be 100% transparent in my investment journey, documenting all aspects of it.
The more Malaysians we can get on the road to investing and to financial freedom, the better off we all will be. I hope I’m able to start cultivating diligent investing here at Dividend Magic.
Onwards and upwards!
On a side note, I am also a certified financial planner with the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia. I say this because if you ever need help with your finances, you can drop me a quick message and I’d be glad to help. Pro Bono style. To date, I’ve helped many who’ve reached out with their finances, so don’t be shy.