Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What is a Liebster Award?

Today, Passive Income Pursuit nominated DivGro for a Liebster Award. After feeling honored to have been nominated, I had to Google "Liebster Award" to find out what this was all about. Sopphey Says it is "kind of like a chain letter" in which one blogger nominates 5 other bloggers to answer 5 questions; and then nominates 5 more bloggers for a Liebster Award, with a new set of 5 questions to answer...

Apparently, Liebster is German for dearest, an adjective than means most loved or cherished or a noun that is an affectionate form of address to a much-loved person. Although I'd like to claim those definitions, The Free Dictionary's definitions are probably more appropriate: greatly valued; precious; highly esteemed or regarded...

Either way, I appreciate Passive Income Pursuit's nomination very much. Usually, I promptly delete anything that reeks of a chain letter, but this community of dividend growth investors has really helped me learn so much over the past 17 months, that I feel it important to share the love...

Questions from 
Passive Income Pursuit:

1.  Why did you decide to start blogging and why is your blog so great?

Assuming my blog is great, I'll tackle the second part of this question first. I really believe a picture is worth a thousand words, so I try to present information in the form of graphs, tables, and spreadsheets, whenever possible. I hope the graphics I use make my blog interesting!

I started blogging because I was inspired by other dividend growth investors to do so. I suspected that reporting on one's investment decisions would promote discipline, careful thought, and accountability. It turned out to be much more: it was inspirational and invigorating; it demanded openness and a sense of obligation, even vulnerability. It is an exciting community to be part of. By sharing ideas, others are inspired to share also. And by peeking at what others do, I learn. Hopefully, others learn by what I'm doing, too!

2.  What's the worst financial mistake you've made?

Many years ago, I received a scholarship to pursue graduate studies. On top of that, my employer at the time committed to paying me a significant stipend while I was studying. Instead of saving the excess income, we lived rather lavishly. I recall my father encouraging me to not be a spendthrift, but the advice fell on young, irresponsible, deaf ears...

This is one reason why I admire the young dividend investment growth bloggers who are pursuing financial independence by some target age, like 40. I started a new career at the age of 40...

3.  I love to cook and try out new dishes, what's your favorite food? Specific dish or general cuisine.
I love French cuisine. As I get older, I don't like eating too much (volume), but I love eating exquisite-tasting dishes – in the spirit of less is more. Classic sauces such as Au Jus, BĂ©arnaise and Hollandaise, and meals like Coq au vin and Beef bourguignon...

I don't really cook myself. But, as a South African, I know how to
braai (barbecue) steaks, lamb chops, and boerewors. My wife is the cook in our house, and she does a great job preparing some wonderful dishes for us. My oldest son, who no longer lives with us, is a great cook, too. He prepared some French cuisine for my birthday last year, which was wonderful!

4.  What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

Nine months before my 40th birthday, I told my boss that I would decide, before I turned 40, what I would be doing for the rest of my life. It was a virtual line drawn in the sand. That action triggered a domino-effect that resulted in us leaving South Africa, for a second time, so I could pursue my dream-career. 

Before the final decision, a great friend challenged some doubts I were having. He said to think 5 years into the future: if I decided not to leave, how would I feel? Would it feel like a lost opportunity? Both of us knew his question was rhetorical. And I realized how great a friend he was – he knew very well that he would have had to say goodbye if we decided to leave...

5.  If money is no longer a factor, how would you spend your days or what would you ideally do for work?

I would choose to do exactly what I'm doing today! I'm in my dream-career, working as an effects artist at the best animation studio in the world! The animated films we make are seen and enjoyed by millions of people all over the world – it is an amazing privilege and a blessing that I get to do what I love to do and that I get paid for doing it... 

Of course, if money was no longer a factor, I'd get rid of our mortgage debt and fly first-class to South Africa once a year to visit family and friends. 

There are various, sometimes conflicting rules about the Liebster Award and who you can nominate. One rule says you should nominate blogs with less than 200 followers. I have no idea how to figure out how many followers a particular blog has. So, I'll just ignore that rule and nominate the blogs of 5 of DivGro's most faithful commenters!

Please visit these blogs – they are great dividend growth investing blogs, each for their own and unique reasons! 

Here are the 5 questions for my nominees:
  1. What is your favorite vacation destination?
  2. What is your favorite movie and why?
  3. If you could go back in time, what is the one thing you would tell the 21-year old version of yourself?
  4. What is your favorite quote?
  5. What is the number one resource you use for your investment blog?
And, thanks again to Passive Income Pursuit for nominating DivGro! 

To my readers, how about answering my 5 questions in the comments below? That would be super cool!


  1. Thanks for the nomination! I enjoyed the answers to those questions. That's awesome that you are working in a job you love and it sounds really amazing!

    To be honest, I'm not sure how many followers I have either, lol. Just having a few would have been more than I thought I'd have before starting blogging. I'll try to get something out by the end of the weekend.


    1. You're welcome – I think the Liebster Award is cool way to get to know a little bit more about the bloggers behind the blogs...I'm looking forward to your answers!

  2. Ferdi,

    Congrats on the nomination! It's always great to learn new, unique things about fellow bloggers.

    And I appreciate the nomination from you. My blog is probably a bit too large for the spirit of the Liebster, but I'll answer the questions to the best of my ability:

    1. I used to visit various cities in Florida when I was young, and I guess it's always had a special place in my heart due to that. I moved to Florida back in 2009 to start down my path, and I loved living down there. Now that I'm back in my home state of Michigan, Florida will always be my #1 choice simply because I'll always have fond memories of palm trees, pink sunsets, and warm nights.

    2. The Dark Knight. I used to dress as Batman for EVERY Halloween when I was young. I was obsessed with him. I thought the movie was the perfect realization of what a rich vigilante who fights crime might actually act like. And Heath Leger put in the performance of a lifetime.

    3. I inherited a little north of $60,000 when I turned 21 years old. I. Spent. Every. Dime. If I could go back in time I would give the 21 year-old version of myself a quick glimpse of what the me of today could do with that money. I'd save and invest that money and be much further along than I am right now.

    4. Two quotes actually:

    "Anything in life worth having is worth working for." by Andrew Carnegie.

    "Nobody on his deathbed ever said, "I wish I had spent more time at the office."" by Paul Tsongas.

    5. Hmm, tough question. I most commonly load Google Finance for stock quotes, but I get the most information from individual Annual Reports.

    Thanks again for the nomination!!

    Best regards.

    1. Thanks, so much for answering, Jason!

      Of course your blog is "a bit too large" by now, but I think it nevertheless deserves the nomination. Dividend Mantra has been an inspiration to many newbies! If you're aware of some new bloggers out there that are just starting, "pay it forward" by nominating 5 blogs for the award, and ask you own 5 questions...


  3. Thanks for the nomination. I will get a post out later this week.

    1. I'm looking forward to reading your answers!


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