Welcome to the 15th post of my blogger interview series. Today’s interview is with the Greg Gee of Dividend Ten. Given the name Greg’s blog, I suppose this should’ve been my 10th interview ;-).
I started following the Dividend Ten blog a few months ago. Greg is a self-employed digital strategist. Greg’s blog posts are about dividends, side hustles, and analytics.
If you’re interested in reading more interviews, here’s a link to all of my Blogger Interviews.
Dividend Ten Interview
Where do you live?
What are your hobbies?
Chess, investing, writing, coding, Texas hold em
Which countries or major cities have you lived in or traveled to?
NYC, LA, and Chicago over the course of my career before quitting the corporate world in 2015.
Which sports or teams are your favorites?
I grew up in Chicago so anything Chicago.
What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Quitting work in Oct 2015. Although I still work for myself, the vacation from office politics and working out of my bedroom is glorious.
When you were a child, what profession did you want to be?
I never knew what I wanted to do growing up unfortunately – I look back and wish I had been more motivated.
What is your career today?
I’m a digital strategy & analytics consultant. That just means helping my clients get more customers using digital media.
What is your primary motivation to reach financial independence and retire early?
For me, it’s just about having options… I don’t want to be forced into a situation where I would be forced to have to go back into the corporate world, which to me is a horrible fate.
At what age are you planning on retiring?
I sort of already am retired in a sense, at least in my own mind, since I’m not working for anyone else and I rather enjoy what I do. But I would like to be financially independent in 10 years, meaning I could cease all work if I wanted to, which is sort of the point of my blog. Unfortunately I’ve lost lot of time, since I had to sell all my stock holdings in 2008 before the bull market.
What’s the first thing you’ll do when you retire?
Write a blog post
If money were no object, but you had to have a job what would you do for a living?
I’d probably become a professional sleeper. A game designer. Or start a crazy tech firm with all my money without the fear of failure.
If you could go back in time, what investment advice would you give to your past self?
Don’t get married. That essentially screwed me financially, and I lost everything I had worked so hard to build. I had to drain all my retirement accounts, paying tens of thousands in taxes, ran up debt, which all set me back. Marriage is an archaic institution in my opinion, and no offense of course to the happily married people who might be reading this.
If you could only use one metric to evaluate a stock, which one would you choose?
The firm’s profit spread – as expressed by it’s return on invested capital (ROIC) vs weighted average cost of capital (WACC).
How do you stay the course when markets are down?
I like to consider myself a decent poker player (even though I’m probably not, objectively speaking) and there’s a saying in poker that when you bet money into the pot it’s not your money anymore and you should play accordingly. So you place bets based on expected values and don’t get emotional about the money already in the pot and over time you should win more hands than you lose.
I think of the market in somewhat of the same way. The money I’m investing is in the pot, so to speak. There’s always risk in the market, but I like to think I’m making intelligent bets that have a good chance of paying off over the long run. And since I have a bit of time before retirement, I can handle the inevitable bumps or losses along the way.
It is more challenging for me however, knowing how to allocate capital given the environment we’re in. I’d actually hope for a correction so I can put some more capital to use as I’m currently 50% in cash, which is too high.
What’s your favorite aspect of blogging?
I enjoy the process of writing and tracking my progress. I like the idea that maybe I am providing information that will be of value to someone, and it’s fun to build something that I can do on my own time, and who knows, maybe even make some extra ad revenue along the way.
Why should people read your blog?
– I’ll share strategies to make extra cash and how, for example, in March I earned over $50,000 working out of my bedroom or how I earn consistently $1-$2k per month on Fiverr. Frugality is important, but amping up your cash flow is going to be a lot more powerful than anything you do than say, eating ramen noodles for 6 months or investing in dividend stocks.
– I work with website analytics and digital strategy so I can help DGI bloggers better track and understand their audience and set up their analytics so they have the right intelligence to evolve what they do and appeal to more people. For example, since I’ve started, I’ve begun to change up my content & navigation based on patterns I see in the data. It’s still new and a work in progress, but I’ve seen good success doing this type of work for my clients
– I hope to bring a bit of a different perspective. I’m a bit contrarian to DGI orthodoxy I’ve found. So it’s always good to hear different perspectives. I will say that I feel like there’s a lot of rah-rah in the comments in many DGI blogs, mine included, so I’d like to do a better job fostering an environment of critical thinking where we can disagree, argue ideas, and challenge convention.
What’s the best source of traffic to your blog?
Most if not all of my traffic comes from bloggers in the DGI community. My guess is that they’re reading more and posting, etc. as a way to support other bloggers or to help promote their own, which is a sound strategy. Of all my referrers, the most came from captaindividend.com. In second was dividendgrowthcenter.com
Why do you blog?
I’ve been helping others build traffic for so long, that I was kind of curious how it might turn out if I was doing some of the same types of work for myself. Additionally, it’s more internally focused as a journal to help keep me on track with my goals and record so I can look back and see what kinds of mistakes I made so I can hopefully learn from them.
My Thoughts On Dividend Ten
I enjoy reading the Dividend Ten blog. Greg’s experience with Internet analytics is interesting. He understands how to get the most out of GA and he shares his tactics. Here’s a post with an example of the data you can pull from Google Analytics. I also like how Greg tracks his income and expenses like a business. He posts a monthly balance sheet and income statement.
Dividend Ten is a great blog and Greg’s posts are always good reads. This blog is a must read if you’re looking to learn more about analytics and blog metrics, or side hustles outside of the standard ones you read about on most blogs.