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  • Now Is The Time To Maintain A Tactical Approach To Buying Blue Chip REITs [View article]
    Hey, Rose. I just listened to NNN's most recent earnings call. What a well-run REIT! NNN has seemed relatively overpriced for a long time. I'm down to my "core" position at 1.2% of the portfolio. My target is 2.0%, and this week NNN has been moving in the right direction (if you want to buy). The yield is up to 4.8%. My target of $33.60 would represent a 5.0% yield.

    I'm a little overweight in O at the moment at 2.9% of the portfolio (the target is 2.5%). My current "add to target" represents a 5.75% yield at $38.21. Given my low cash position, and the relative value of some others right now (ARCP, CSG, etc.), I'd be hard pressed to buy more O at a price higher than that. For someone just getting into it, I could see $40 or less as a good entry point. And, for a long-term investor, the current 5.1% yield may be a good buy if it meets one's objectives.
    Sep 16 11:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hercules Technology: BDC Risk Profiles [View article]
    Stephen, I think this is a common experience. It certainly is for me. I bought some AAPL at $409, hoping to complete my position at $380. It went up and up and I sold, disappointed that I didn't buy more the first time. It has continued to go up.

    Same with GE at $15 awhile back. I was holding out for a bit better price to complete the position, then sold later. Lessons learned.

    I bought half a position in MMM. Not sure when the other half will fill, but I'm content to wait on this one. I'm more patient with stocks on Dave Fish's Dividend Champions list.

    As for BDCs, etc., I've determined the stock selections, the desired sector diversity and the income goals for my retirement income portfolio. As long the average monthly income continues to grow and as I'm within the parameters for the goals I've set, I'm less focused about getting a rock bottom price. The question for me is, "At this price, does this stock help me achieve my goals?" If someone can buy it cheaper later, cheers to him or her.

    When I reach a full position in a stock and the price continues to go lower, sometimes I will add to the position to overweight it in the portfolio if the stock still seems solid and the story hasn't changed.
    Sep 16 10:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Prospect Capital: A High-Yield BDC Play With A Strong Growth Record As An Alternative To MLPs [View article]
    Silence speaks volumes. I have decided to no longer read articles by contributors who do not engage their readers. Best wishes. Adios.
    Sep 16 09:42 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Utility Investing For Dividend Growth Investors: A Prospective Study [View article]
    Thanks, Doc. I really enjoy this kind of historical analysis. I have pulled back my target utility sector allocation to 7.5% of the portfolio. I'm long AWR, NWN, WGL, SO, AVA and WEC. My current quest is to look for utilities that understand what their business will be like when the US has as high a percentage of solar panel installations as Germany, and for companies that can transform themselves and themselves be disrupters rather than being the disrupted. I see hints of awareness. WGL seems to be the most progressive among my holdings. SO is saying the right things. If a utility is digging in their heels and resisting this trend, I'm out. If they are forward thinking and want to be a player rather than a resister, I'm in.

    I believe the disruption provided by alternative energy sources will be the big story in the next decade. That is the one difference I see in the historical study and what the next ten years will look like.

    I always enjoy your articles. Keep applying your stethoscope to good stocks!
    Sep 15 08:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Can You Invest In An Irreplaceable Island That Pays A 4.44% Dividend Yield? [View article]
    Thanks, Brad. This one has been on my radar and I haven't studied it yet. I've been hoping you'd write an article about it. You've given me some food for thought.
    Sep 15 07:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Now Is The Time To Maintain A Tactical Approach To Buying Blue Chip REITs [View article]
    Thanks for another very good article, Brad. The FAST Graphs say it all and I appreciate you providing that for us. I think an investor would be safe buying these stocks where the price enters the dark green area of the graph.

    Of the REITs in my retirement income portfolio that are mentioned in the article, here are my "add to" target prices. Some of the targets would be higher if it was a first time purchase:

    HCP $37.91
    NNN $33.60
    O $38.21
    WPC $60.00
    DLR $57.24
    VTR $52.73.

    Your article has prompted me to take a look at some of these. My targets are too low for VTR and DLR for sure and probably too low for O. In light of your article, I'll take another look at my targets.

    Have a great week, regardless of Mr. Market's mood.
    Sep 15 07:21 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Prospect Capital: A High-Yield BDC Play With A Strong Growth Record As An Alternative To MLPs [View article]
    Thanks for your article, Achilles. From the index in your profile, this appears to be the only BDC about which you've written. You're making it a strong buy, so I'm assuming you think that in all the BDC universe, PSEC is the top pick. Am I reading you correctly?
    Sep 15 07:09 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Is Your Regulated Electric Utility Handling Distributed Generation? [View article]
    Thanks, 44. I'm a former shareholder of GAS. It's a great company. I sold a few years ago when I thought the stock was a little ahead of itself. As I remember they fuel a fleet of either FedEx or UPS trucks in, I think, Tennessee.
    Sep 14 09:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Is Your Regulated Electric Utility Handling Distributed Generation? [View article]
    Thanks, George. Now I have a lot of homework to do! I noticed you are long GABUX and I was curious about the low price. It's an interesting 5-year chart. I realize I would need to overlay the distributions on the chart to get the full picture. Is the low price a result of the return of capital?
    Sep 14 09:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Is Your Regulated Electric Utility Handling Distributed Generation? [View article]
    Thanks, Jerry. You've given me some homework.
    Sep 14 09:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Is Your Regulated Electric Utility Handling Distributed Generation? [View article]
    Jerry, I'll ask you the same question I asked George...where might a dividend-income investor find alternative exposure to the utility sector? I'm already long HASI, which I have placed arbitrarily in the energy sector for diversification purposes. Thanks!
    Sep 14 07:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Is Your Regulated Electric Utility Handling Distributed Generation? [View article]
    George, thanks for a thought-provoking article. I've been alert for signs of progressive thinking when I listen to the quarterly earnings calls of the utility stocks in my portfolio. I'm also seeking to make the energy portion of the portfolio a little "greener." The "yieldco" movement may hold promise, but it doesn't yet offer much for dividend investors.

    So, for someone who is willing to invest in an income-producing alternative to the big-box electric utilities, what companies would you suggest for further study?

    I appreciate your good work.
    Sep 14 07:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 4% Rule Examined [View article]
    I apologize for the duplication. My computer and the SA website have issues! The first one disappeared and the second one is the updated version.
    Sep 13 03:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 4% Rule Examined [View article]
    DM, thanks for your take on the 4% rule. I've added this to my electronic file of articles about the 4% rule, a term popularized in the wake of Bill Bengen's study published in 1994. (See Wall Street Journal, "Testing the 4%-a-Year Retirement Rule," by Shefali Anand, March 5, 2012.)

    For me, the debate about whether to draw dividends or capital gains (or some of each) is purely a matter of personal style and preference. I'm a dividend enthusiast in part because of reading Bengen's work prior to retirement. It seemed simpler to spend dividends and keep the portfolio intact.

    I see the 4% rule as a limit, not a license. I am 63. I retired at age 59.5 and began a second career. As of Friday, my retirement income portfolio yields 5.1%. The amount I withdraw each month from the cash portion of this IRA equals 3.06%, so I am still reinvesting some of the dividends.

    I've known a few retirees who have withdrawn a higher percentage of their assets in the early years of retirement and later suffered because of it. However, most of the retirees in my circle of friendship and acquaintance are still "net savers" throughout their retirement years and for many of them the required minimum distribution is a big shock. I've known quite a few retirees who live on their Social Security income plus their pension income and who make no withdrawals from their IRAs until required by the RMD at age 70.5.

    Another observation is that people who are "net spenders" in their work life tend to continue to be "net spenders" in retirement. For them the 4% rule would be a valuable discipline, imposing a prudent ceiling for withdrawal. Those people who are "net savers" in their work life tend to continue to be "net savers" in retirement, and the 4% rule is irrelevant to them because they aren't planning to spend anything anyway!

    When I turned 59, I conferred with a financial planner. This confirmed my initial opinion that retirement would be possible at 59.5, but that I would need to begin receiving withdrawals from my IRA prior to receiving Social Security benefits.

    This means managing income several buckets:

    1) a fixed pension annuity;
    2) income from my second career work;
    3) a pension account comprised of personal contributions that I can tap at any time--half in "stable value fund" and half in an international stock fund;
    4) an individual retirement arrangement (IRA);
    5) Social Security.

    One of my concerns is that a growing number of persons will never have a pension and this makes decisions about IRAs very important. I'm aware I am privileged, largely an "accident of birth," both by nationality and by the era in which I worked.

    1) The pension is an annuity, with no further action required.

    2) My second career job has brought continued flexibility regarding the other buckets.

    3) I continue to contribute to (rather than draw down) a personal pension account that will not result in an annuity, but functions more like an IRA. I'm still in the "accumulation phase" of this one.

    4) Because of my work income, I'm considering putting IRA withdrawals on hold in 2015 so I can continue to reinvest all dividends for a few years.

    5) Because I continue to work, it would not be prudent to receive Social Security benefits because of the $1,290 monthly income limit for those less than full retirement age (which for me is 66). I would pay a 50% tax on any income above that ceiling.

    So, bucket #1 provides a monthly check. Bucket #2 provides earned income (which is a very common part of "retired" life today). Bucket #3 has not yet been tapped and continues to receive contributions. Bucket #4 is being drawn at a rate of 3.06%. Bucket #5 is being deferred and with each month growing the potential monthly benefit (and the "annuity value" of that benefit).

    In the real world of retirement, many other factors impact these decisions, including physical health, the enjoyment of work, family situations, and one's financial condition going into retirement (debt, savings, housing costs, health insurance, etc.).

    One other observation about life and money: Most rules turn out to be guidelines. Make firm plans and stay flexible.
    Sep 13 02:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The 4% Rule Examined [View article]
    DM, thanks for your take on the 4% rule. I've added this to my electronic file of articles about the 4% rule, a term popularized in the wake of Bill Bengen's study published in 1994. (See Wall Street Journal, "Testing the 4%-a-Year Retirement Rule," by Shefali Anand, March 5, 2012.)

    I see the debate about whether to draw dividends or capital gains (or some of each) as purely a matter of personal style and preference. I'm a dividend enthusiast in part because of reading Bengen's work prior to retirement. It seemed simpler to spend dividends and keep the portfolio intact.

    I see the 4% rule as a limit, not a license. I am 63. I retired at age 59.5 and began a second career. As of Friday, my retirement income portfolio yields 5.1%. The amount I withdraw each month from the cash portion of this IRA equals 3.06%, so I am still reinvesting some of the dividends.

    I've known a few retirees who have withdrawn a higher percentage of their assets in the early years of retirement and later suffered because of it. However, most of the retirees in my circle of friendship and acquaintance are still "net savers" throughout their retirement years and for many of them the required minimum distribution is a big shock. I've known quite a few retirees who live on their Social Security income plus their pension income and who make no withdrawals from their IRAs until required by the RMD at age 70.5.

    Another observation is that people who are "net spenders" in their work life tend to continue to be "net spenders" in retirement. For them the 4% rule would be a valuable discipline, imposing a prudent ceiling for withdrawal. Those people who are "net savers" in their work life tend to continue to be "net savers" in retirement, and the 4% rule is irrelevant to them because they aren't planning to spend anything anyway!

    When I turned 59, I conferred with a financial planner. This confirmed my initial opinion that retirement would be possible at 59.5, but that I would need to begin receiving withdrawals from my IRA prior to receiving Social Security benefits.

    For me, this means managing income several buckets:

    1) a fixed pension annuity;
    2) income from my second career work;
    3) a pension account comprised of personal contributions that I can tap at any time--half in "stable value fund" and half in an international stock fund;
    4) an individual retirement arrangement (IRA);
    5) Social Security.

    One of my concerns is that a growing number of persons will never have a pension and this makes decisions about IRAs very important. I'm aware I am privileged, largely an "accident of birth," both by nationality and by the era in which I worked.

    The pension is an annuity, with no further action required.

    My second career job has brought the ability to continue to contribute to a pension account that will not result in an annuity, but functions more like an IRA. I'm still in the "accumulation phase" of this one.

    My work income allows me to continue to build up the personal pension account and to avoid drawing it down. I'm considering putting IRA withdrawals on hold in 2015 so I can continue to reinvest all dividends for a few years.

    Because I continue to work, it would not be prudent to receive Social Security benefits because of the $1,290 monthly income limit for those less than full retirement age (which for me is 66). I would pay a 50% tax on any income above that ceiling.

    So, bucket #1 provides a monthly check. Bucket #2 provides earned income (which is a very common part of "retired" life today). Bucket #3 has not yet been tapped and continues to receive contributions. Bucket #4 is being drawn at a rate of 3.06%. Bucket #5 is being deferred and with each month growing the potential monthly benefit (and the "annuity value" of that benefit).

    In the real world of retirement, many other factors impact these decisions, including physical health, the enjoyment of work, family situations, one's financial condition going into retirement (debt, savings, housing costs, health insurance, etc.).

    One other observation about life and money: Most rules turn out to be guidelines. Make firm plans and stay flexible.
    Sep 13 02:38 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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