How I’d invest £3 a day to try and earn passive income for life
There are various methods to build a passive income. Yet investing in high-quality dividend shares is one of the best, in my opinion. After all, it doesn’t require much starting capital and, in the long term, can evolve into a sizable income stream. Here’s how.
Drip-feeding little and often
A common misnomer about investing is that a lot of capital is needed to make any form of meaningful return. There’s no denying that investors need money to make money. Yet, thanks to the snowballing effect of compounding, even a small daily contribution can grow into something substantial over time.
In fact, just saving £3 a day for investments would do the trick. This may not seem significant but, over one year, it adds up to roughly £1,095. And that is more than enough to start laying the foundations of a passive income portfolio.
On average, the UK stock market, as measured by the FTSE 100, offers a 4% dividend yield. However, by being more selective of dividend stocks, investors can realistically push their portfolio yield closer to 5% without taking on too much additional risk.
At this rate of return, after one year, my passive income would stand at around £55. Obviously, that’s not life-changing. But that amount is now also generating income for the next year. And since the UK stock market typically offers an 8% total annual return (including share price gains), the snowball can start to grow.
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Building a passive income can be risky
As 2022 has perfectly demonstrated, the stock market can be a volatile place. And while dividend stocks often reside within the defensive sectors, the underlying businesses are not immune to disruption.
Any company whose cash flows become compromised could put shareholder dividends in jeopardy. After all, this passive income is funded through a firm’s cash earnings. And if there is insufficient capital generation to cover dividend expenses, a cut, suspension, or even cancellation may be on the horizon.
Furthermore, just because the stock market has delivered 8% annualised returns in the past doesn’t mean it will continue to do so in the future. It could end up being higher or lower.
And while an investor picking individual stocks could potentially achieve market-beating returns, a series of poorly selected UK shares could end up destroying wealth, diminishing their annual passive income.
Having said that, investing in income stocks is well worth the risk, in my opinion. While there are never any guarantees, identifying a business that can sustainably grow shareholder payouts each year can generate a mountain of money.
Just take a look at billionaire super-investor Warren Buffett as an example. He originally invested in Coca-Cola in 1988. Since then, the business has grown its dividend substantially to the point where Buffett is now reaping a 54% annual yield that continues to grow today!
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Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.