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I'm a 64-year-old individual investor focused on dividends in a Retirement Income Portfolio. I'm in a second career. As Director of Community & Property Care, I'm part of a management team that oversees 123 residential retirement units for a non-profit organization. I've been a member of... More
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  • Chambers Street Properties Added To Portfolio

    A real estate investment trust, Chambers Street Properties (NYSE:CSG) has been added to the Retirement Income Portfolio. An initial purchase (representing about 1% of the portfolio) was made on the stock's first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Chambers Street was formed in 2004 as the CB Richard Ellis Trust. The President and CEO is the founder, Jack Cuneo. The company's website ( indicates that it owns 129 properties in 22 states, the UK and Germany.

    The company has more than $3 billion in assets, with over 98% of its 34 million square feet leased by 272 tenants in more than 25 industries.

    The company began trading on the NYSE on Tuesday, May 21 at $10.00. Unlike most initial public offerings, where the company sells new shares or the original investors sell their shares via the IPO, CSG's listing coincided with a tender offer from CSG to purchase up to $125 million of its common shares between $10.10 and $10.60 per share. It's likely that the company's participation in the market on the "buy" side helped provide a floor for the stock, which traded in a close range on the first two days of trading, closing at $10.00 (unchanged) on May 21 and $9.99 on May 22.

    I learned about Chambers Street from Brad Thomas' May 3 2013 Seeking Alpha article, "Chambers Street: More Liquidity Magic On the Way in REIT-Dom" (

    Brad also contributed a May 8 2013 article to TheStreet, "For a Hot New REIT, Go to Chambers Street," (, which includes a video interview of CEO Jack Cuneo. The company's portfolio is 25% office and 25% industrial. Its largest tenant is Amazon (6.6%). About 56% of the rent base is from property leased to investment grade rated tenants. About 82% of the square footage is leased to single tenants on a triple-net basis.

    Total assets at March 31 2013 were $2,866,877,000. Total liabilities were $1,181,915,000. There were 248,400,000 common shares outstanding. Chambers Street will pay a 12.5 cent quarterly dividend, or 50 cents annually, for a 5% yield at the initial pubic price of $10.00.

    This is not a recommendation to buy CSG, but this is presented as a suggestion for a stock to study.

    Since my last report, I have continued to raise cash, which now accounts for 18% of the portfolio.

    Tags: REIT
    May 22 10:47 PM | Link | 2 Comments
  • An Example Of Investment Education Technology

    I'm old enough to remember the days when I would go to the public library to gather information about stocks from Value Line and Standard & Poor's. If a company looked promising I would phone the investor relations department and ask them to mail a packet of material.

    Today, investment education technology has vastly improved the resources available to individual investors. Here's an example from one of my favorite stocks, W.P. Carey (NYSE:WPC).

    I was introduced to WPC in a May 5, 2008 Peter Statin article in Forbes ( Statin recommended WPC, which was then a "non-REIT blend of a property portfolio with a management business." The same article also recommended two REITs, National Retail Properties (NYSE:NNN) and Lexington Realty Trust (NYSE:LXP). At the time, LXP was at $14, with a 9% yield. NNN was at $22, with a 6% yield. Statin's article showed WPC at $29, with a 6.3% yield.

    I began to study WPC and made my first purchase in July 2009 at $23.99. If you were in the market between May 2008 and July 2009, you will remember that scary roller-coaster ride. Even in the dark days of early 2009, I remember thinking, "If I had more money, I would put it in the market." The bear market crushed strong stocks along with weak ones. The strong ones maintained their financial discipline and they bounced back.

    The initial July 2009 purchase of WPC at $23.99 bought an annual dividend of $1.99 a share, for a yield of 8.3%. WPC became a REIT in 2012. The closing price on May 10, 2013 was $74.64. The annual dividend is now $3.28, for a current yield of 4.4%.

    These numbers are just background information. The point I want to make in this article is about the technology of investment education and the vast amount of information that is available today at the individual investor's fingertips.

    I have followed WPC closely for five years. It has been a stellar part of my retirement income portfolio for almost four years. I am always on the lookout for articles about WPC. I read the quarterly earnings transcripts made available by Seeking Alpha. I listen to the quarterly conference calls via the WPC website. I understand this company fairly well. But my knowledge about W.P. Carey was greatly enhanced by a resource that provides a rich "tutorial" about WPC. It is a 3-hour, 42-minute presentation of their annual Investor Day webcast from April 2013.

    One company executive said this was the first Investor Day that attracted more investors than employees--which is the result of their conversion to REIT status and increased interest by the investment community. You need not listen to the entire webcast to get a good glimpse of how this company investigates potential real estate investments and how they manage their global portfolio.

    You can access the Investor Day webcast from their website:

    The audio webcast is accompanied by an effective slide presentation. But technology will keep pushing the envelope. The rapid growth of video as a percentage of Internet data traffic will mean that before long, this sort of webcast will be available in video format.

    This is not intended as a recommendation to buy WPC, but rather as an introduction to an excellent resource for studying this company. (I would be interested to hear about other companies that have provided similar resources on their websites.)


    Disclosure: I am long WPC, NNN. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

    May 13 9:40 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Retirement Portfolio Update For May 1

    No additions have been made to the portfolio since PennantPark (NASDAQ:PNNT) was purchased on February 12 and Prospect Capital (NASDAQ:PSEC) and Realty Income (NYSE:O) were added on February 25.

    The current portfolio consists of sixteen stocks (including two business development companies) and five closed-end funds that write call options.

    The "Price" column indicates the price of the stock or fund at 2:35 PM EDT on Wednesday afternoon, May 1, 2013. The "Port %" column indicates the percentage of the portfolio represented by each security.

    The "Buy" column indicates my target price to buy a few more shares (to stay near the target allocation). The "Sell" column is my target price to sell a few shares (to stay near the target allocation).

    I adjust these target "buy" and "sell" prices each time a purchase or sale is made. Please note that in many cases these buy targets will differ from the target buy prices cited in my article, "Time To Build A Shopping List."

    The target allocation for individual stocks (and BUI) is 3.0% to 4.0% each. The target allocation for the two business development companies and the other four closed-end funds is 4.0% to 5.0% each.

    Company (Ticker)PricePort %BuySell
    Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC)74.903.2%71.6786.00
    Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)84.613.5%74.0790.91
    National Retail Prop (NYSE:NNN)39.733.8%32.9240.51
    Realty Income (O)50.753.9%43.4052.93
    WP Carey (NYSE:WPC)70.073.7%64.3174.55
    PennantPark (PNNT)11.284.7%10.7712.73
    Southern Co (NYSE:SO)48.223.7%42.2950.75
    NuSTAR Energy (NYSE:NS)49.803.4%47.1158.89
    Natural Resource Part (NYSE:NRP)23.813.7%21.2026.50
    Starwood Property (NYSE:STWD)27.153.9%25.1428.85
    Eaton (NYSE:ETN)59.513.3%55.5666.67
    LinnCo (NASDAQ:LNCO)42.573.7%37.8946.96
    Prospect Capital (PSEC)10.944.5%10.4412.57
    LTC Properties (NYSE:LTC)46.233.5%40.8051.00
    PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL)33.433.8%30.0036.92
    Annaly Capital Mgt (NYSE:NLY)15.823.8%14.2917.14
    Blackrock Util & Infra (NYSE:BUI)19.844.0%17.9021.21
    Eaton Vance Tax Manag (NYSE:ETV)13.194.9%11.8814.40
    AllianzGI NFJ Div Int (NYSE:NFJ)16.824.9%15.8818.38
    Nuveen Equity Prem (JLA)12.645.0%11.7514.46
    ING Global Advantage (NYSE:IGA)13.165.0%12.4414.73
    Cash 16.2%  

    The biggest change in the portfolio has been the increase in cash. The cash percentage (reflected in earlier articles) was only 2.4% at 12/31/12, 5.6% at 02/12/13, and 9.3% at 02/25/13. The cash percentage as of 05/01/13 is 16.2%. As the broader market has risen, the number of purchases has decreased and the number of sales has increased. More stocks have hit "sell" targets and fewer stocks have hit "buy" targets.

    The portfolio yield is currently 6.1%.

    Let me reiterate that the above targets are mine, and are not intended to be buy or sell recommendations. Everyone's situation is different and everyone's risk tolerance is different. Please do your own due diligence and make your own evaluation.

    Disclosure: I am long GPC, JNJ, NNN, O, WPC, PNNT, SO, NS, NRP, STWD, ETN, LNCO, PSEC, LTC, PPL, NLY, BUI, ETV, NFJ, JLA, IGA.

    May 01 3:05 PM | Link | Comment!
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