Our Dividend Income Paycheck Part 4: The Research

by: Bob Wells

In my most recent series of articles beginning here, I chronicled the steps taken to develop a retirement income stream from funding coming exclusively from dividends and dividend growth. Along the way I have been joined by a large number of folks who are new to the concept of Dividend Growth investing. Great ideas and suggestions were exchanged. In addition, countless questions were asked and most answered. Perhaps the question most often asked in the comments I received was this one: What resources do you use to assist you in the buying and selling decisions concerning stocks that make up your portfolio?

To answer that question, I'm going back to what I consider the fundamentals for just a moment. For Dividend Growth investors the basics means always starting with your fresh monthly copy of the Dividend Champions, Challengers and Contenders lists compiled by SA contributor David Fish and available as free Excel documents through this link.

I recommend that you personalize your lists to your liking, For example: I delete any stock with less than a 2% yield, I delete banks, I delete high beta. This gives me more manageable lists to consider, to say nothing about saving a few trees and ink cartridges in the process. I can't encourage you enough to fully explore all that these lists have to offer.

Besides David, another SA Contributor that maintains a site with information particularly useful to DG investors making buy or sell information is Robert Allen Schwartz. The link to his information is located here.

The third site I find useful, is right here at Seeking Alpha. When you get a chance I urge each of you to go to the portfolio tab, insert a few of your ticker holdings and begin to explore all the great information they make available. I have set up two simple portfolios, one with my holdings and another for my current watch list.

A fourth site that I find invaluable is Sig Fig. Account information is easy to transfer and after it's set, I have such important information as total portfolio performance, current yield and beta. I recommend everyone check it out.

Next we move on to the primary sites I use for research. The first site provides a good overview of any potential dividend growth stocks record for capital gain and dividend growth. Here's the link.

My second research site is the bread and butter site for my year-by-year back testing of a stock. Any of you who follow my articles regularly know by now that I back test the performance of any stock I'm considering year-by-year for each year between 2002 and 2011. I'm particularly interested in how the stock performed during the bear markets of 2002 and 2008. Next I'm interested how well the stock rebounded the following year or in the above two year examples, how it fared in 2003 and 2009. I strongly suggest that if you decided to mirror this practice as part of your due diligence, you invest a dollar in a good college composition book. Next record the name and ticker for each stock along with a column for each year to record gains or losses. Here's the ticker.

Finally I have just below, a link for a site I am just starting to explore that was recommended to me by a recent commenter. The site is Long Run Data. You can check it out here.

Well that's it for this go round. Next time I plan to concentrate on the sites I use to help determine value on the stocks I'm considering.

After you explore these suggestions please stop back and share with all of us your personal impressions. In addition, I encourage you to share information on the sites you find useful in the research you do.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.