Welcome to the 16th post of my blogger interview series. Today’s interview is with the Ben Reynolds of Sure Dividend. I’m confident that most of you have come across Sure Dividend. Ben is a highly active blogger. He seems to put out great content every other day. In fact, I looked at his post history, Sure Dividend wrote 24 articles in August, and in September he’d already posted 26 articles as of September 27th.
Sure Dividend is one of my go to sites before I make any stock purchases. I go to Ben’s Archive page, do a CTRL+F, and search for the stock I want to buy. I started following Sure Dividend before I even had a blog.
If you’re interested in reading more interviews, here’s a link to all of my Blogger Interviews.
Sure Dividend Interview
Where do you live?
I live in Houston, Texas.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy watching movies with my wife, jogging, reading non-fiction books, basketball, and pretty much any water sport.
Which countries or major cities have you lived in or traveled to?
I’ve lived in Houston for nearly my entire life. I lived briefly in the ‘Hill Country’ region of Texas as well. As far as travel outside the United States, I’ve been to Japan, China, Jamaica, and Ireland. I find it interesting to see both the similarities and differences in how people live throughout the world.
Hopefully, there will be many more countries added to this list in the next several years. Domestically, I’ve been to many states. Some of my favorites (outside of Texas of course!) are Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii.
Which sports or teams are your favorites?
I’m begrudgingly a Rocket’s fan. I also root for the Spurs as well. This year’s NBA looks like it will be non-competitive with Golden State signing Durant, but I digress. NBA Basketball is the only sport I watch regularly.
What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
There are 3 that stand out (in no particular order):
1. Trip to Japan with my girlfriend at the time. This is the trip where we more-or-less knew we were in it for the long haul.
2. Honeymoon in Ireland.
3. Vacation to Hawaii.
The night we landed was the same night of the earthquake/tsunami that caused so much devastation in Japan. The tsunami was supposed to hit Hawaii as well (we were on the Big Island). No one knew how much damage it would cause (or not cause). We ended up driving up the mountain and sleeping in our rental car the first night. The tsunami ended up doing very little damage in Hawaii, and the rest of the trip went well.
When you were a child, what profession did you want to be?
Either a scientist or an NBA player. Sadly, neither panned out.
What is your career today?
I run Sure Dividend.
What is your primary motivation to reach financial independence and retire early?
I enjoy what I do, and don’t want to retire from it anytime soon. My goal is to provide as much value as possible. Right now, that’s running Sure Dividend. I believe by focusing on providing value, financial freedom will take care of itself.
At what age are you planning on retiring?
I don’t have a normal job as it is. My schedule is flexible, but also very demanding. I literally have to work at least an hour or two every single day, rain or shine, sick or well, 365 days a year. The benefit is I get to work from home (or anywhere else), and set my own schedule. My boss can be a bit of a jerk though ;-).
What’s the first thing you’ll do when you retire?
Start another business!
If money were no object, but you had to have a job what would you do for a living?
I would like to spend my time learning and researching a broad range of interests. How that translates into a job, I’m not sure. Possibly similar to James Clear, Tim Ferriss, and other people who research and write on a wide range of topics.
If you could go back in time, what investment advice would you give to your past self?
When you see a Chinese stock with a P/E ratio of 2, that’s because earnings aren’t real.
Beyond that, I wish I would’ve learned about investing when I was much younger.
If you could only use one metric to evaluate a stock, which one would you choose?
If I could only use one metric, I’d use the Enterprise Value to Earnings before Interest and Taxes (EV/EBIT) ratio. This is probably the most ‘accurate’ valuation metric at finding undervalued stocks. This may be surprising seeing how I run a dividend investing site, but if you can only look at 1 metric in isolation, focusing on value is probably your best bet.
How do you stay the course when markets are down?
I remember I’m investing in the business, not the stock price. Stock prices do not perfectly track performance of the underlying business. When investors panic, the stock price can become un-tethered almost completely from the actual underlying value of the business. Why would I want to sell a great business at an irrationally low price?
When markets are down, you get the opportunity to buy great businesses at a discount. The Warren Buffett quote below is good to remember when markets are falling: “So smile when you read a headline that says ‘Investors lose as market falls.’ Edit it in your mind to ‘Dis-investors lose as market falls—but investors gain.’ Though writers often forget this truism, there is a buyer for every seller and what hurts one necessarily helps the other.”
What’s your favorite aspect of blogging?
My favorite aspect of writing is the amount of people I get to reach with ideas about dividend investing and investing in high quality businesses for the long-run.
Why should people read your blog?
People should read my blog to get actionable and up-to-date information and ideas for high quality dividend growth stock investments. To that end, the following lists are helpful:
Which 5 blogs do you visit the most?
That’s a good question. It changes from time to time. First, I’d like to give a ‘shout out’ to this site, Investment Hunting. Five of my favorite sites to read are below (in no particular order).
Growth Hackers for ideas to grow Sure Dividend
Dividend Growth Investor for phenomenal dividend growth analysis
The Dividend Guy for an interesting mix of dividend and travel/RV reads
Quantocracy (formerly ‘The Whole Street’) for interesting quantitative finance ideas
James Clear for productivity ideas and book recommendations
What’s your best source of traffic to your blog?
Google search, by far. Second to that is either The Street or Seeking Alpha depending on how many articles I write for either.
Why do you blog?
I write articles to spread the word about the efficacy of dividend growth investing.
My Thoughts On Sure Dividend
As I mentioned in my introduction, Ben consistently churns out great content. I probably visit his site 5-times a week. His posts are well thought out and offer detailed analysis. Ben has also managed to rank very high on Google. It seems like his site is always listed in the top ten for any financial query. Maybe he’ll write a post to teach us how to get to the second page; that way were not competing with him for position :-).
You can also find Sure Dividend on Facebook and Twitter, links are below.