BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West



So, one of the dividend income stocks I own increased its quarterly dividend.  Previously it was 89 cents a share, the new dividend increase is 1.03 cents a share.

That's a pretty nice raise.  What stock is that?  Home Depot.

A lot of my holdings are doing that same thing.  Why is this important?

Well, so, basically the bottom line is, I want a creative career.  I want to make music for a living, I want to write books, I want to get into acting, and basically anything and everything Hollywood and NYC and LA...

Why don't I just do that?

Let's face it, it's a HARD industry to break into.  For every 1000 people who go to follow their dreams, 1 makes it.  The other 999 end up waiting tables.  Waiting tables is a suck job.

Plus, if I'm waiting tables, I can't work on creative things.

Get it?

Right now, I work a 9-5 job... It's got benefits, income, and it does allow me enough time in the day to work on my music and books and such.

So, instead of actually following my dreams and trying to get someone to give me a paycheck for that.  I'm building a dividend salary on the side.

Right now, I pay my bills with my 9-5 salary.  Which is fine, it's a short term solution.

As my dividend salary builds and is able to cover all my expenses.... I'll just simply transition over to using that, and then transition over to being creative full time.

I don't ever have to "make it".  I don't ever have to get published, I don't ever have to get signed to a label, or get an acting gig.

I can just join a comedy improv group and do comedy improv 7 days a week if I want.

The thing is... This world is an exclusive place.  By nature, it's full of rejection.

Why build a life around trying to get THROUGH the rejection, when you can just avoid any and all rejection all together.

That's the deal with working, and any business or industry.  You create a resume, you submit it, and you probably don't get the job because the person just doesn't like you, or you just aren't qualified enough, or there's just a MILLION other people who are better than you.

Stock dividends don't work like that.

I can buy any damn stock I please.  I don't need a process or application or resume, I don't need someone to tell me I'm good enough.

I buy, it's mine, I get income.

End of story.

It's so, fucking, amazing.

Everyone does the work, and I get paid.

It's beautiful.

And it's money I don't have to spend time doing work, to get paid.  It's passive.  Which mean I can then spend my time working on books and music and other creative things.

Again... It's the most amazing system ever invented in the history of human kind.

Now, currently as of my last tally, I'm making 292 dollars a month... That was before this Home Depot dividend increase.

Here's another deal, I just got a dividend payout increase from my investment portfolio... If I don't get a raise this year at my regular 9-5 day job, and I didn't receive one last year... This will bring my paycheck from dividends closer to a 1:1 ratio as compared to my day job salary.

The deal is this, my job can do what they want.  If they don't want to increase my salary, I mean, hey, that's their decision.

They know I own shares in dividend companies that increase their dividends on an annual basis.  And they know, that the day my dividend salary surpassed my work salary... I'll be leaving the IT work world forever to pursue my dreams.

So, if they want to keep me there, they just have to stay above my dividends.  Plain and simple.  I'm not going to sugarcoat it.  That goes for any job I might have though.  I mean, I show up to my job, they pay me.... If they don't want me anymore, I'll just go work somewhere else...

But the working time in exchange for money thing is dependent on what my investments do.

I got a more than 10 percent raise this year from my Home Depot shares... And that's just my Home Depot shares.

I don't plan to increase my personal spending by 10 percent, if anything I am identifying ways to decrease my spending.  That's my goal, I don't travel, I don't like to waste money on anything that isn't music or writing related.

I do go out to various festivals and events and things like Science After Hours, but, the reason for that, is that it inspires me.  It's directly related to creating more art.

So, basically, between my investments and my creative projects, I'm creating a feedback loop that just continues to bring in more money.  I am actually making money from my music streaming sales pretty constantly.

Here's the thing though the beauty of my system is that it doesn't rely on earned income from my creative projects, such as streaming music sales... Which means any money I make from creative ventures will go into share purchases instead.... And if I am able to buy even more shares, my dividend income will go up.

I plan to do this as well, with my work salary.  See, here's the deal...

Once I get to the point where I have dividend coverage for all of my expenses... That means any money I make, doesn't get spent, instead, it goes into share purchases.

So, if I do continue working for a little while, my entire paycheck coming in from my salary each month, instead of paying for groceries and bills and what have you, buys more shares, and thus gives me a raise in the way of increasing my already increasing dividends.  Which makes it so I make even more money outside of work, regardless of a raise, even faster.

It's an exponential income feedback loop.  The more I make, the more I make.

Income outside of investments > Buy more shares > Income from shares goes up as more shares are purchased >Shares pay dividends > Dividends pay bills and expenses > Unused income from investments goes back to buy more shares

I'll never live a life of excess.  I drive a small eco car.  I skimp and save money here and there.  I'll live in a small house.

It's just how I do.  What I do.  Income that comes in at an exponential rate can be used as cashflow income to create new projects I want.

Because why would you want to have to try and convince someone else that you're good enough for them to let you in, when you can just create your own organization and be on the other side and decide who YOU want to work for you.

The beauty of it all is there's not a thing anyone can do about it.  That's why I love being a shareholder.  And once I buy shares, I pretty much intend to hold them forever.

The same will work for me once I decide to expand into rental income too.  I plan to buy houses to rent out to people.... Again, I'm not one of those people who if I had a million dollars would buy a million dollar house.

That's just a waste... Buy a 250k house, and buy 3 other 250k houses and rent them all out.

And then use the income coming off those three other houses you rent, to pay for a surfboard and go surfing.

Surf's up!

Or, you can work all day.  I guess... If you like that kind of thing.  I'd rather spend my mornings surfing and then come back and work on music and books.

That's my life plan anyway and Home Depot has helped me inch a little closer towards that dream.

As for my current job, they can do what they want, I'll keep working until my system ramps up to the point where it overtakes my current salary.  If they want to give me  raise, great, if they don't... Oh well... That's their decision.  Meanwhile, it seems, Home Depot is making my work look bad and showing them up on the giving raises game.

If one train leaves the train station traveling at x amount of dollars a month in income and no changes are made to the monthly income, and the other leaves the train depot traveling at x amount of dollars a month income but every month the income goes up... Who's going to arrive at their destination first?

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Yandex Spandex

So, I recently got a few bucks in Yandex streams, along with some additional Deezer dollars.

It just goes right back into my "make more music" fund.  It's kind of fascinating really.  So, I make tunes, then I throw them up online and people stream them, all around the world, and I get maybe a fraction of a cent from each stream.

Now, it's not much, yes, but... Here's a scenario.

Let's say, a musician makes a million dollars from their music career.

Let's stop right here, first, I have no music career.  I make music in my room.  I don't have a studio.  I don't pay a big time producer, I don't hire studio musicians, I don't have a recording assistant, I'm not on a label who takes a cut, and I don't have a manger... I don't have to pay for gas and tolls and airline tickets...

Basically, I make the music, I pay a small fee to copyright it and post it online, and away it goes.

I then make like 10 bucks here, or 5 bucks there.

Okay, so?

So... Let's look at this from a gross revenue and profit perspective.

Career musicians have lots of overhead.  All the stuff I mentioned above.  They have to pay for.

What about health insurance?  What about other benefits?

What about all those meals out on the road.


SO, let's say a musician makes a million in sales.

What's the actual profit?  I would argue that it's actually really small.  Assume a 40 percent tax rate... 600k left, manager cut, label cut, gas, road food, HOTELS, tour bus rental fee, airplane tickets, hiring extra musicians, lighting person for the stage, sound person for every show...

What's left?

20 bucks?

I mean, hey, who knows, it could be 20 bucks!  Okay, so fine, you get to travel the world, which could be added as an intangible cost benefit.

How much is world travel worth?  But, traveling and playing shows is hard work.  I know people who do it, they say it's fun, but it's also exhausting.

SO, if I make that same amount of end profit by just making songs and posting them online... One COULD argue that by SAVING the overhead cost... I'm really making the same amount as a career musician who makes a million dollars in sales.

We both net the same end amount.

Although I'm minus the whole world travel experience thing.

So, there's always that.  Although if the musician travels the world and goes to a lot of after show parties or goes out drinking a lot, that could be an added cost too.  I've heard doing drugs can be very expensive.

So, by staying at home and sipping tea... I could be up on that.

Let's say I just make songs, and sit at home in my PJs... Or, maybe I sit and home in spandex.  I don't.  But, I COULD if I wanted to.

Then I'd be making income from Yandex while wearing spandex.

It's just fun to say.

Anyway, but what I was thinking is, if I get to the point where I can make enough songs, where I just upload them... That I can make even MORE money than someone would traditionally make as a touring musician.  I feel like that would be pretty cool.  Because I don't have all those additional costs.  SO, that means I could instead put the money right back into making more music.

But, anyway, it's a curious thing, this streaming of my music.  I'd love to travel and be able to play shows... Perhaps one day.  I wonder if I have fans around the world who wish that I would come play live in their town.  I wonder.

That would be cool.  And I hope to do all that one day.

There was actually a guy who used to work at my job, who worked full time but he also would tour with his band on the weekends.  He played in a punk band and they would book shows all over.  He actually also used his two weeks vacation to travel to Europe and played a show every night for 10 days straight.  I think that's awesome.  He basically used all the money he made to pay for the trip.

Which I guess is actually completely cool because it really is all about that experience.

Art is about experience when it comes down to it... it shouldn't be about making a profit.  It should be about emotion... and making a connection with someone.  About exciting the brain and getting people to feel.  That's what it's all about, giving people a passionate feeling.

That's how I've always look at music.  It makes you FEEL more than you do usually.  It turns on your emotions and turns them up.

The business part of it is just business so that you can make more of it.  But it's really about the emotional response to the actual art.

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No Kidding

I've decided I don't want kids.  I used to want all that... Kids, significant other, etc. etc.

I guess I'm over it.  After trying for years to find that one... I guess I've kind of just... Had a change of heart or something.

Or maybe I've just realized after watching my brother and sister run around like mad people trying to keep their kids in line... And then I see my own life where I go to live music, comedy improv, running club...

What's not to love?

So, okay, I'm not completely closed to it all... I'm just not going to actively seek any of it.  Even a significant other.  I guess I just don't have that priority anymore.  Dating was just really depressing.  To cool off on the dating thing and just go out and enjoy a beer or two, or three... While watching comedy improv, was just amazing.

Conversations are great at run club too...

I mean... My thing is... I guess if it's meant to all happen... Some day it will.  Shoot, I mean even Uncle Jesse from Full House is JUST now having his first kid, and that's with his second wife.  And he didn't even marry her until not all that long ago.

I'm 35... I know people who are 10 years apart.  That means, I could possibly not even meet someone for another 10 years and then we end up having a kid and whatever at that point in my life.

Right now?  I'm going to just plan to spend the next 5 or 10 years going out, and doing fun things, and working hard, and cleaning out my house, and shifting my resources into new investments so that I can create additional income to start traveling more.

Anyway... Dating/love/kids/a family/etc. just isn't my priority anymore.

I've got work to do.  And fun to be had.  5Ks to run, and music to make, and books to write, and places to travel, and beers to drink.

And for now, I have 3 cats and a turtle to take care of...

Although, some sad news, one of my cats seems to have some failing kidneys.  She's 15 though, and her sister went at 13 of bad kidneys, so I guess it runs in her cat family or something.

The vet said she's not sure right now of how long... Could be a few more years... So, I guess we'll find out.

I don't want new cats or pets... I'm going to give these current cats top care because obviously they were my mom's and she wanted them to be cared for.  But once the cats live out their natural lives, I'm just going to have a plant or something...

Ideally I want to sell my house and just have a condo, or a few condos, just that I can bounce between.  Personally I don't want a lot of living space.  Basically I just want less things that take time out of my day so I can focus on working more and music and books and all that stuff more.

I may purchase real estate though for investment means and either flip, or rent out those properties.  So, like I would own houses, but my personal residence would be this little tiny condo or 2 or 3 little condos.  Condos in different cities.

One here in Philly, but then have like, one in Maine and then have a few others around the world.

I think having several tiny houses would be neat too... Just no tiny humans... At least for the time being I have no plans for that.

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