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  • Dividend Growth: Managing Income, Reducing Total Return [View article]
    Very well written article Cranky! I will be curious to see the results of your Chowder analysis. BTW, why does Tim Hortons put so much sugar in their oatmeal?
    Mar 5 08:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reversion To The Mean Phenomenon: Part I [View article]
    "Similarly, if a Treasury bond is yielding 5 percent, and rates rise to 10 percent, if an investor sold that bond the return would be well below 5 percent, but future returns to holders of that bond would be 10 percent. In both cases returns reverted to the mean of 10 percent."

    Uh...Larry...I think the second investor's mean would revert to 5%, right? This really isn't "mean reversion" eiher but I'll let it pass as I understand the point you are trying to make.
    Feb 19 08:03 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sam Zell Thinks Most REITs Aren't Relevant, Except His Of Course [View article]
    Brad, with all due respect, you spent as much space within your article trying to discredit Zell by rehashing the Tribune episode and pointing out blips in the dividend histories of two of his REIT's without noting any of his many successes. To try to say your point was only having a difference of opinion of the number of REIT's there should be is, I am sorry to say, at best disingenuous. Very disappointing....
    Feb 12 07:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sam Zell Thinks Most REITs Aren't Relevant, Except His Of Course [View article]
    Brad, I like and respect your analytical work on REIT's although I often have to look past your filler pandering to the dividend crowd here on SA, but hey, I know that's how you generate hits. Nonetheless, you have gone astray here. There are many points I could make about things you neglected to say or not say about Mr. Zell...for example his foresight and bravery in selling EOP to Blackstone at the top of the market to the great benefit of its shareholders and the fact that Ventas recovery was accomplished under his umbrella (yes with Cafaro's outstanding leadership within it), but this would be an extremely long post and it's not worth the effort.
    I have met Mr. Zell and, in fact had the unique pleasure of spending a few hours with him about 20 years ago when I was interviewing for a job. I consider it one of the highlights of my business career. Like him or not, he is privately what he is publicly....there is no false pretense...a trait I greatly respect. My recollection is that he uses one of two expletives to describe people he likes (a two word phrase that starts with an A) and dislikes (a word that starts with an F). If he bothered to care what you thought about him, little doubt which word he would use...not that you would care either it seems.
    Feb 11 11:07 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Importance Of Consecutive Dividend Increases In Stock Selection [View article]
    For those interested, another view on this topic:
    Feb 8 08:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Have Index Funds Become Too Popular? [View article]
    Larry, great article to promote discussion. IYO is it passive or active investing if someone buys, say, an equal weighted index?
    Dec 27 09:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Municipal Bonds: The Other 99.95% [View article]
    Chritopher, as a contributor here, although a dormant one, I do appreciate how much work it takes to write an article. Of course, I was often lambasted in the comments because I tried to get readers to think out of the box...that's not such a positive experience either. Nonetheless, I thank you for writing about this neglected topic and for responding to my comment.

    The leveraged CEF I bought represents less than 2% of my muni holdings so I am just working around the edges. As I am sure you know, many muni CEF's are trading at statistically significant deep discounts due to people cutting and running. I think the interest rate dynamics as QE winds down will actually be modestly favorable for the leveraged funds...just a hunch so that's why I opened a position and am thinking about increasing it a bit. The TOB uncertainty has me a bit rankled though but what you are saying seems to be the consensus...something will be figured out to replace the liquidity facilities backing the TOB's. Thanks again and happy holidays...
    Dec 20 05:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Municipal Bonds: The Other 99.95% [View article]
    Christopher...nice article. I am a long time investor in muni funds and individual bonds. I recently opened my first position in a leveraged muni CEF (BAF). I fully understand the structure and risks of the investment. I am currently hesitant to add to it due to the uncertainty created by the Volker rule as it applies to tender offer bonds (TOB's). Do you have any thoughts on how this might shake out and how it might impact leveraged muni CEF's that employ this form of leverage?
    Dec 19 10:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Which Popular Dividend Growth Stocks Are 'Always' Overvalued? [View article]
    Dave, the M* rating system is a bit more complicated than that as adjustments to star ratings are made based on the uncertainty they assign to their calculated fair value.;

    Like you, I lean on M* star ratings because they are based on a fair enterprise value that is estimated independent of what is going on in the overall market.

    The thesis of your article though does remind me of one of M*'s analytical methods for CEF's. CEF's typically trade chronically at either a premium or discount to the underlying portfolio value. M* calculates a "z statistic" which, simplified, is a measure of the number of standard deviations the current price is from its longer term premium or discount state. I am sure a number of the valuation services apply a similar methodology to rate stocks based on the difference between their current and historic P/E compared to, say, the current and historic P/E of the S&P 500. I would prefer this approach to the FASTgraphs approach which leans in this direction, but stops short...but that's just me. I don't find this methodology useful in any form when I look to buy or sell....I think it is more for traders than investors.

    Oct 8 08:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • High DGR Dividend Growth Challengers [View article]
    Nice article Dave. I think it is a good strategy to look at the subset of stocks you focused has been where I have been investing over the past few years and it has worked nicely on both a dividend growth and a total return basis.

    The discussion on "streaks" in this thread attracted my attention. For anyone interested, check out the article I wrote last year on this topic:

    I particularly like ScottU emphasizing the distinction between "screening" and "due diligence". The former should not substitute for the latter. I know the better investors here already understand that very well.
    Sep 12 07:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Think Before You Leap Into Muni Closed-End Funds [View article]
    User, I'm guessing a falling knife got that one toe. I hear you on muni downturns. I've been investing in munis for many years...both OEF's and individuals. Nonetheless, I smell a dislocation here and I am prepared to endure a further downturn and give it an extended period of time a period of time to recover if need be. In the meantime, the tax free income is very valuable to me as I am in the highest bracket. All-in-all I guess I would rather try to catch a falling knife than try to hang on to a meteor (most equities) right now.
    Aug 14 05:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Think Before You Leap Into Muni Closed-End Funds [View article]
    Great and timely article Adam! I took the plunge today into one of the Blackrock muni CEF's...but with my eyes wide open.

    Your statement about how difficult it is to differentiate among the various offerings is right on the mark. When you stack them all up comparing all the factors you mention, it really is hard to tell why one fund has a 5.5% distribution rate while another one has a 7% distribution rate when all the metrics look basically identical. I am sure there is some explanation for this deep into the nitty gritty of the portfolio and the leverage.

    In the meantime, I think the market has overly punished muni CEF's to the point where there is a good window to step in. Right now, with a CEF you are buying a portfolio of munis at a discount compared to buying a mutual fund, ETF or individual issues. Is it enough of a discount to absorb whatever happens to interest rates and the like? Only time will tell...but my small bet is that it is though.
    Aug 14 04:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • All Dividend-Growth Investors Are Not Created Equal [View article]
    retail, in Canada that might be OK, but believe me it is no joy to live out your last years here in the US on Medicaid...presuming you qualify as an annuity may disqualify you. You need to shed assets to qualify.
    Jul 22 11:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • All Dividend-Growth Investors Are Not Created Equal [View article]
    Not sure how I changed this discussion/thread since I started it and clearly discussed the concepts in my first post. You are the on that isolated one of my statements about income without considering the entire context of my post.

    And in terms of panicking, some people need to sell because they need cash for a life event/crisis, not because they are panicking. If they had sufficient assets in a safer place, then they would not be forced to sell into a bear market.
    Jul 22 11:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • All Dividend-Growth Investors Are Not Created Equal [View article]
    That being said, if I had $500,000 in investable assets, I would not be averse to putting $200,000 towards a mainstream dividend growth strategy. Might not be what I would do today if I was starting fresh, but I think it would be a responsible strategy for someone else, especially early in retirement.
    Jul 22 10:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment