When I Saw My First Big Dividend Check

I couldn’t believe how big the dividend check was that I had just printed.

I actually thought my computer program had made a mistake.  I rushed over to my program listing and looked through the program code for about an hour.  Finally, shaking my head in pure wonderment, I concluded the code looked fine and the check was correct.

That was my first, and rather jolting, experience with the power of dividend checks.

I was a young computer programmer back then – way back in 1970.  I worked for a bank in Springfield Missouri.  And I had designed and written a stockholder accounting system.

One of the things I had programmed the system to do was print dividend checks for the stockholders of the bank.  And I was testing the system before we went live with it.

As I looked through the checks my program had printed, I saw one for $5335.  In other words, the bank was paying this stockholder $5335 every three months in dividends.  Most of the other checks were for much smaller amounts, like $40, or $75.  But this one really stood out.  And here and there in the computer printed pile of checks there were some others for over a thousand dollars or more.

Let me give you another clue on that $5335 check.  That was in 1970 dollars.  Taking inflation into consideration, that check would be $31,957 in today’s dollars.  Did I mention the shareholder was being paid that every three months?  I did, didn’t I.

So just like that got my attention way back then, I think this whole dividends thing ought to get our attention today.

Sure, most of us will not start off getting such grand amounts.  But if you start buying stocks in the right companies, these companies often increase their dividends by 8 0r 10% or more – almost every year.

Hmmm … when’s the last time you got a 10% raise at work, year over year.  By the way, if you’re affirmative on this, do you mind emailing me the company name (chuckle).

Okay, so kidding around aside, you’re starting to see the advantages to building a retirement portfolio of stocks that pay dividends, right.  Because the dividends can grow, year over year.
And if you keep diligently investing in good dividend stocks, maybe you’ll get a check for $5000 or $30,000 in the mail.

And cause some young computer programmer to start scratching his head, thinking he has a bug in his check printing program.

To your health and prosperity – John

P.S. This post is part of a series about building a portfolio of good dividend growing and paying stocks today so they will pay your bills for you in your retirement.  So stay tuned.  More to come.

P.P.S. If you’re just getting into stock investing, or would like to learn at a simple to understand stocks 101 / stocks for dummies level, then you’ll be interested in my recent book Stock Market For Beginners.
Just click here to learn more – Learn About Stock Market For Beginners.

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