Thought you had a good day, today? Probably not as good as Bobby Bonilla.
On January 3rd, 2000, the New York Mets bought out the final year of Bobby Bonilla’s $5.9 million salary with the team.
The terms of the agreement? Every July 1st for 25 years (from 2011 through 2036), the New York Mets organization has to pay Bobby Bonilla $1,193,248.20 (and as an aside, this money counts towards the team’s payroll).
For Bobby Bonilla, that was a brilliant execution of delayed gratification principles.
Think about that. In 2036, Bobby Bonilla will be collecting $1.19 million for a decision he made in 2000. That, my friends, is how you structure an intelligent financial life. It is all about making decisions today in such a way that you take good care of your future self that comes along five, ten, fifteen years from now.
Although most of us won’t be in the position to arrange $1.19 million pay days, we can make decisions today that reward our future selves into perpetuity. When you buy 100 shares of Johnson & Johnson stock, you are not just buying a $0.66 quarterly check. You are establishing “dividend rights” to lay claim on all the future dividends that the Board of Directors will declare so long as you retain your ownership. Maybe that gets you $0.71 per share every ninety days in 2014, $0.76 per share in 2015, and $0.82 per share in 2016.
Bobby Bonilla is looking at a sweet two decade stretch of life because of an intelligent decision he made thirteen years ago. Dividend investing, at its heart, is all about structuring your life in such a way that you get regular income deposited into your checking account on a consistent three-month basis. If you plant a $10,000 Coca-Cola tree here, a $10,000 Procter & Gamble tree there, you are making the kind of decisions today in the here and now that will allow you to receive constant benefits every three months for the rest of your life as long as the underlying business remains healthy.