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  • Deep Value Play Of The Year: Helmerich & Payne [View article]
    Brad, David Fish has HP as #45 on his dividend champions list, with annual increases since 1972 (42 years). I realize there are different ways of defining annual increases. Some insist on an increase every four quarters, some every calendar year, etc. For consistency in my spreadsheet I use David's list.
    Jan 29, 2015. 12:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deep Value Play Of The Year: Helmerich & Payne [View article]
    Qwerty, as I write this I'm listening to HP's live quarterly earnings call. I'm confident in management's ability to work through this era of low prices. They've seen many oil price cycles through the years. I'm always impressed with their responses to analysts' questions. If you haven't listened to the most recent earnings calls, I encourage you to do so. The FY Q1 earnings call will be archived on their website after it is over in a few minutes.
    Jan 29, 2015. 12:04 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deep Value Play Of The Year: Helmerich & Payne [View article]
    Yep--bought a few more shares this morning.
    Jan 29, 2015. 11:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Deep Value Play Of The Year: Helmerich & Payne [View article]
    Thanks for a good article, Brad. In January, I added more shares of HP, DOV and EMR.
    Jan 29, 2015. 08:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • American Realty Capital Properties Defaults On Convertible Bond, Technically Speaking [View article]
    On the positive side, none of the Red Lobster properties have operating oil wells.

    :-)
    Jan 28, 2015. 10:27 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Mid-Cap Companies To Consider For Your Dividend Growth Portfolio [View article]
    Some good ideas for stocks to study, Marty. Thanks! I agree with you about those you've identified as overvalued. Bargains are hard to find these days, but you've provided some "watch list" potentials. I would like to buy VVC but their dividend growth has been anemic. I have whittled my utilities down to AWR, NWN and WEC. I like AVA but I sold it in 2014 due to high valuation.
    Jan 28, 2015. 10:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Starwood Property Trust: The New Treasury Bond Of The 21st Century [View article]
    Jim, I'm long WP Carey (WPC). It's been my best investment. I'm not currently long National Retail Properties (NNN) or Realty Income (O) due to high valuation, but at some point I hope to include them again. I'm long Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure (HASI), a specialty REIT that invests in alternative energy resources. I'm long HCP Inc (HCP), a health care REIT that has increased dividends annually since 1985. Others that I have followed and previously owned include health care REITs Ventas (VTR) and LTC Properties (LTC).

    At present, REITs and utility stocks are favored by Mr. Market, so I have less exposure to them now. STWD, WPC, HASI and HCP have remained relatively good values, in my opinion. As you noted, recently STWD has begun to move up, as has HCP. WPC has moved up some, but the yield remains very attractive relative to other triple net REITs.

    I've been known to be wrong, so caveat emptor!
    Jan 28, 2015. 10:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Project $3 Million Dividend Results - Objectives [View article]
    Thanks for your response, Varan. I agree that constructive criticism is very helpful. We all benefit from it, particularly the one whose decisions are being criticized. My intent was not to discourage Michael, or anyone, from critical analysis, but to encourage him to flesh out his approach for us because I believe he has much to offer that is helpful to others. There are many, many ways to use the markets to achieve our life goals. Chowder has an exemplary plan. I agree with you that, if his plan is followed, the $3 million goal is easily achievable and (I believe) likely to be far surpassed. I'm always eager to hear everyone's plan. All the best to you!
    Jan 27, 2015. 02:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Project $3 Million Dividend Results - Objectives [View article]
    Thanks, Michael. That sounds like a good plan. I've learned that it's best for each investor to play into his or her strengths. One of my old friends, and my mentor in the market 30 years ago, has always done better with funds than with individual stocks. I've tried both and I do better with individual stocks. I wouldn't bet against Chowder's plan. But no one approach would fit for everyone. All the best to you!
    Jan 27, 2015. 01:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Project $3 Million Dividend Results - Objectives [View article]
    Michael, Chowder's plan is to move $42,205 to at least $3 million in 40 years using conservative dividend-paying stocks. I believe, if he and his son stick to the plan, they will far exceed the $3 million target. In any case, $3 million from $42,205--even over a 40 year period--represents significant total return. I don't think it's fair to say Chowder is ignoring total return.

    The summary he lays out in yesterday's 8:48pm post is a succinct and powerful plan: Accumulate $3 million in dividend-paying stocks that will deliver a 4% yield in 40 years.

    I think you have much to offer the conversation beyond criticism. I'd enjoy reading your plan to achieve the same income goal in the same time frame.
    Jan 27, 2015. 08:20 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Project $3 Million Dividend Results - Objectives [View article]
    Thanks, Michael. .12% is a nice expense ratio. 2.2% yield is lower than I need overall, but DGRO would be a good way to cover the blue chips.
    Jan 26, 2015. 06:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Project $3 Million Dividend Results - Objectives [View article]
    Thanks for the clarification, Michael. VTI has shown good distribution percentage growth. No argument there. But it is coming from a very low base. The 2014 distribution was $1.87 per share, which is a 1.768% yield on the current price of $105.75. Almost 1.8% is a very respectable yield for such a broad index.

    My fairly low maintenance retirement income portfolio of 20 stocks yields 4.1% at today's prices. 70% of the stocks are dividend champions, and 90% are on David Fish's CCC list.

    I believe VTI is a great long-term, buy-and-hold growth investment. My son has VTI exclusively in his IRA. But I would not be able to generate the income I will need from VTI.

    I've not found an ETF that offers some income growth and what I would consider a safe yield of around 4.0%. If you have discovered one, I would like to study it. There may come a time when I don't enjoy studying stocks, but since 1982 it has been my major hobby and I'm one of those people who just enjoys doing it.

    All the best!
    Jan 25, 2015. 06:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Use Social Security Benefits To Enhance Portfolio Returns [View article]
    Good points, Chad. I agree completely that your strategy works for someone who has the discipline (or the financial affluence) to invest everything drawn from Social Security between age 62-70.

    Perhaps one difference in your perspective and Ellis' is that you may deal mostly with people who have the discipline (and affluence) to save and invest if they receive early benefits from Social Security and Ellis is aiming for a different audience.

    I would argue that the "average person" (who, according to Ellis, has not saved enough prior to age 62) is unlikely to invest the first eight years of Social Security benefits. If a person has been a net saver prior to 62, he or she most likely is in good financial condition and could draw early and continue to be a net saver. I'm sure this would include many Seeking Alpha readers.

    I believe Ellis intends his book to be a "wake up" call to people who have not saved enough, saying it is in their best interest (if possible) to continue to work longer and to save as much as possible. If one is not already a net saver, then I would agree with Ellis that delaying the benefit (and ideally to continuing to contribute to an IRA) would make a person less likely to struggle financially if he or she lives to the mid-80s or beyond.

    Ellis appears to focus on the macro, the large number of Americans who have less than $100,000 in retirement savings.

    The demographic basis for his book is two-fold: as a nation, we do not save enough and we are living longer and longer.

    (Ellis was born in 1937, so his perspective about longevity may reflect his personal experience.)
    Jan 25, 2015. 02:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Starwood Property Trust: The New Treasury Bond Of The 21st Century [View article]
    STWD is a REIT and I hold it in my IRA. The tax status is the same as O, NNN, NLY, etc.
    Jan 25, 2015. 09:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Use Social Security Benefits To Enhance Portfolio Returns [View article]
    If you have 30 minutes to invest, I recommend Consuelo Mack's WealthTrack interview this week with Charles Ellis: http://bit.ly/1L869Sc.

    Ellis has just published Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What To Do About It: http://amzn.to/1L869Se.

    The Social Security Administration's website has a life expectancy calculator (http://1.usa.gov/1L867Ka) that indicates a female now 65 will on average live to be 86.6. A male now 65 will on average live to be 84.3.

    Ellis argues that US persons on average have not saved enough to comfortably live that long. His short answer is to save more and work longer. Obviously, health and family considerations sometimes prevent someone from working to age 70. He provides some compelling evidence for delaying benefits as long as possible.

    He reminds us that 84.3 and 86.6 are just the averages. That means many people will live much longer.

    Live long and prosper!
    Jan 25, 2015. 09:18 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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