We began our retirement portfolio back on 10/23/2011, and this series of articles on 11/23/2011, with the input of our readers. For 10 months we have tracked the performance of this well-diversified and balanced portfolio of strong dividend paying, top tier and blue chip mega cap stocks.
Not only have we done well, but we have beaten the market averages handily.
Our portfolio now consists of; Exxon Mobil (XOM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), AT&T (T), General Electric (GE), Annaly Capital (NLY), Southern Company (SO), Procter & Gamble (PG), Intel (INTC), Realty Income (O), Coca-Cola (KO), Bank of America (BAC), American Capital Agency (AGNC), Wal-Mart (WMT), Cisco (CSCO), 3M Company (MMM) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY).
"Team Alpha" Portfolio Update
Our portfolio has increased by 23.63% over the course of 10 months. During the same time frame, the S&P 500 has increased by 15.65%. The Team Alpha portfolio has trounced the S&P by nearly 8%.
This is quite an impressive performance. Add to that, a stream of income derived from a dividend yield of roughly 4.22% as of now (included in the results).
For the month of August we had a slight drop in the overall value of our portfolio by roughly .33% (in July, we grew by 4.9%, review the results here). The Dow increased by .55%, the Nasdaq increased by about 6%, and the S&P 500 increased by about 2%. The rather large increases in the Nasdaq and the S&P can be traced back to one stock; Apple (AAPL).
Apple's share price increased by about 10% for the month, and it basically led the Nasdaq and S&P higher by itself. Backing out Apple, the S&P would be down a drop and the Nasdaq would have been flat. Too bad we did not have Apple in our portfolio, but at the time it did not meet our criteria.
That being said, a 23.63% increase is a wonderful return. It has been achieved with stability as well as an eye on dividends; the lifeblood of a retirement portfolio.
Actions Taken In August
We hardly sat on our hands in August as we booked some profits and redeployed some cash. Not only did we increase several of our core positions, but we also expanded our portfolio with some new positions.
|Trades Made In August||Shares||Cost||Date|
|Paid 17 for NLY||190||3230||2-Aug|
|Paid 41 for O||50||2050||2-Aug|
|Paid 34 for AGNC||150||5100||2-Aug|
|Paid 74 for WMT||100||7400||3-Aug|
|Paid 19 for CSCO||200||3800||17-Aug|
|Paid 92 for MMM||100||9200||23-Aug|
|Paid 32 for BMY||100||3200||27-Aug|
We also collected $294 in dividends (stocks that went ex-dividend) for the month (added to our cash) from XOM, JNJ, PG, SO and O.
We did not write any covered calls, nor did we sell any puts. The premiums were not that strong to warrant the risk. In the next few days I will take another look at taking some of these actions to tweak our overall returns as we head into the fall season.
Stability, Safety, And Security Are Our Cornerstones
Investors who are either in retirement or nearing it, have some basic goals in common. We like stability in our stock selections so we can sleep better. We seek safety by investing in some of the finest and most reliable companies on the planet. We look for security from the income stream that dividend growth stocks offer.
Share price stability is vital for retirees, as are the dividends the stocks produce. While dividends are vital, we do need to keep an eye on our total return as well.
When we review the charts above, we can clearly see how stable the share prices of every single stock within our portfolio has been. While there are never any guarantees for the future, I would suggest that this diversified portfolio could offer much of what any retiree seeks.
We have a new look with the added stocks and increased positions in our REIT sectors. Not only that, but even as we redeployed cash into income producing stocks, we still have a liquid cash position of about 30%. That amount gives us even more flexibility to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
For any investor, whether you are seeking a balanced retirement portfolio, or a solid portfolio for the long haul, that mitigates many risks, our portfolio offers something for everyone.