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  • 2016 Expansion Of The Panama Canal Should Energize These Dividend Growth Stocks [View article]
    Is there any withholding or dividend penalty with BLX?
    Sep 1, 2015. 09:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Return To Oil Sector Investing [View article]
    Jul 19, 2015. 06:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Return To Oil Sector Investing [View article]
    I'm glad people are commenting about this ETN. I like it, still own it for the income perspective, but thoughts on two things:

    1) Is anyone perturbed by the fact that the 80-90% individual components are raising distributions quarterly yet the dividend on this thing is creeping down as compared to the year prior? If you go to etracs, you can track it and see the decline. That's one part that bothers me.

    2) Will Alerian expand the scope of the definition and give a broader sense of what "infrastructure" means, so it can include something like KMI since there is no public MLP within the Kinder family anymore? In other words, can it use the C-corp as the proxy when an MLP doesn't exist? Having something like Kinder not in this when it is only the largest pipeline company in the country does hurt its cache.

    Jul 19, 2015. 01:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Maximizing Our Social Security Benefits: A Cautionary Tale For DGI Portfolios [View article]

    I am not a SS expert, but going to back to my parents case. If my Dad passed, my mom would get the higher of the two benefits, which would end up being my dad's SS benefit, for the rest of her life.

    Is there a "penalty" for DH taking SS at age 62 and not her FRA of 67 where she would not be able to get the higher benefit of her spouse? According to her spreadsheets printed in the article, there is no penalty. But again, she may want to delay just for that scenario alone. potentially, a very good catch and one that she can find from kotlikoff's book, "Take what's yours." It's at Costco. And boy, is that material dry but they go through nearly every scenario you can think of.

    Jul 16, 2015. 01:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Maximizing Our Social Security Benefits: A Cautionary Tale For DGI Portfolios [View article]
    I had to help my parents run numerous scenarios about when they should take SS. It's not an easy decision and my parents are only 4 months apart in age. The 8.5 year spread makes things much more confusing on when to take what, but what I found after running spreadsheet after spreadsheet is two points.

    One, from a line in your article: "But, what if we don't live that long? Won't we be remorseful that we didn't take Social Security earlier?"

    As Jim Lange from and Larry Kotlikoff as his guest if you look under the radio show tab, this is longevity insurance. When you are dead, there is no budget to worry about. The larger worry is having more life than money.

    The second point, and I see this as the more important point and you alluded to it DH without explicitly stating it: What do you want for the surviving spouse? If you think in terms of a long term cash flow perspective, then delaying the higher earner's until 70 will maximize that longevity insurance. Since that was important TO YOUR situation, then there is only one variable left: When do you take your SS? With my parents, it was important to my father that his delaying until 70 will be the best for my mother in case he passes first.

    But yes, this gets tricky. And don't expect the SS office to know anything. They may know 5 of the over 400 strategies about taking SS payments.

    Jul 16, 2015. 12:41 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Most Undervalued And Overvalued Dividend Champions - July '15 [View article]
    it's a twist on Geraldine Weiss idea who has been doing this for over 40 years.

    not saying your way, just a new version.

    Jul 8, 2015. 01:35 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Return To Oil Sector Investing [View article]

    Thank you for your perspective. I do hold this ETN in several accounts, and track each company to see what happens with the dividend. Yet I still haven't gotten a good response to one question:

    Why did the dividend drop last quarter?

    I know KMP was kicked out and it was 9 or 10% of the index, but even with the reshuffling, it should have been close to identical as the prior quarter. That's my $64,000 question.

    Jun 26, 2015. 07:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • MLPL Delivers Growth And Solid Yield, But Is It Worth The Risk? [View article]

    Yours is a very detailed answer, and one I can't argue with but I do know that at the time WPZ and ACMP merged into a lesser dividend overall and changed the percentages as well. But I have a more prominent question:

    Will this ETN still exist if the parent C-corp keep buying the MLPs? You just had the largest pipeline gone with KMI. Now the 3rd or 4th largest with WMB is being taken out. Will the index expand the definition to include C-corps if no MLP within the same coporation exists? that's what ticker AMZA has done to give themselves greater flexibility of choices. Thoughts?

    May 18, 2015. 01:34 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Generation X: Time To Plan Our Retirement [View article]

    Your time to plan for retirement was ten years ago when you were 27. Forget about your strategy. You lost part of the greatest asset you had: time. About two years ago, I traded some emails with someone who writes financial planning articles in my specific trade magazine and he said the average 40 year old in my specific part of healthcare has the following:

    Loans from college
    Loans from becoming a doctor
    Loans from their spouse, if married
    Loans for starting/buying a practice
    Two loans for cars
    Mortgage for a house that's too big for their income
    A lifestyle too big for their income
    High probability maxing out credit cards

    Total savings: Close to zero
    Total debt: over one million

    Hopefully you chose a part of medicine where you can actually make an income. If you went into family practice or pediatrics, you might as well try and declare bankruptcy now. You are so limited in your income potential you don't have a chance.

    I don't mean to sound attacking, but just telling you the truth. I would be happy to chat PM as I hope I am wrong for your situation.

    May 12, 2015. 07:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Short Emerge Energy Services: Peak EBITDA, Peak Stock Price, Distribution Going To $0 [View article]

    Since you do have an insider view of the industry and the state of where things are, I am not asking for price points to buy, but rather how would you rank the companies in terms of strength in the market and the best managed to handle this current environment? I guess let's use the five companies of EMES, HCLP, SLCA, CRR, and FMSA.

    May 4, 2015. 07:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Enviva Partners Offers 8.25% Yield With A Unique Set Of Biomass Assets [View article]
    not true. Look at GLOP and DLNG. Even though they are MLPs, the specifically state that they are C-corp for tax purposes.
    Apr 30, 2015. 11:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Social Security And Portfolio Withdrawals: It's Complicated [View article]

    The other thing you can do is the following:

    Start taking SS at 62. See how things go for two years. If you see you don't need SS because you have enough other income at say, 64 yo, you can suspend payments. SS will start giving recrediting at 8% a year. Let's say you waited until 70 to restart getting SS, because of delaying, you would now receive payments as if you were 68 years old.

    In other words, you already used 2 out of the 8 eligible years to build up credits on the payment, so you would receive not the 70 years old payment because you didn't defer the entire time, but two years less than that, or the 68 years old payment. It's like a start, stop, restart program.

    Apr 23, 2015. 01:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Social Security And Portfolio Withdrawals: It's Complicated [View article]

    My condolences on your father's passing. If you want to be technical, her SS income went down by 1/3 but her personal take from SS doubled because she is the surviving spouse. Let's just use fictitious numbers to put this to light.

    You father had a $2000/month benefit
    Your mom had the spousal benefit of $1000/month
    Total SS income with both alive: $3000/month

    WHOEVER is the surviving spouse would receive the higher benefit between the two. If it was your mom that passed, your father as the survivor would collect just his $2000/month. Since it was the other way around, your mom gets the higher of the two benefits, which was based on your father's earning records.

    It's semantics but the explanation needs to be given so people understand how you get the numbers.

    As an aside, some people continue to mention the passing of assets via the IRA. I am presuming people are talking about stretching the IRA, another article entirely. There has been numerous talk that the stretch will go down to five years if the inheritor is anyone but the spouse. Why? So the government gets their much needed money faster. Do you take that into consideration? Again, a personal question.

    Apr 23, 2015. 10:51 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Social Security And Portfolio Withdrawals: It's Complicated [View article]

    You don't say what your age is, but your plan, as I am reading it, has a ton of pitfalls.

    1) Taking a spousal benefit before FRA screws up your FRA benefit.

    2) You can not take spousal benefits upon each other. Only one spousal benefit is allowed per currently married couple. If you want to game the system, get a divorce, wait two years, take divorce spousal benefits upon each other, get remarried at 70.

    These are the two obvious ones. As I said, this thing is a mess and you can screw it up very easily.

    Best of luck.

    Apr 22, 2015. 02:12 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Social Security And Portfolio Withdrawals: It's Complicated [View article]

    Many people believe what you are saying. Why delay anymore than I should? I want the money I paid into it now!!

    I don't know if I will ever see a dime of it being under 40. If I do, the rules will change aplenty, but here are the questions as I was talking to my parents about it (and let me add, I work in healthcare but enjoy personal finance):

    1) What sources of income/assets do you currently have?

    2) Do these current sources currently take care of your current monthly expenses?

    3) Do you have an emergency fund for those one-off expenses?

    4) How long do you think you will live? (For me personally, my grandfather lived until 91; his identical twin lived until 93 and my grandmother who is well into her 90s is still alive and with it. So I have to plan until age 100)

    If you have enough and have longevity in your family AND you don't have a trophy wife and/or a disabled child, it makes sense to delay to make those later years better because of the guaranteed higher income.

    You mention a traditional IRA where you will have to start taking RMDs at 70. And if the market tanks by 20, 30, 40%? Sorry, you will have less income. At some point you will have to be taking more out of your IRA because the government tells you to, where you will have less of a portfolio to generate less income. The ride could be choppier. And don't forget that SS income will be counted against your Medicare number to raise that premium as well.

    Do what you want. Less than 2% of people wait until they are 70 to get the 32% raise over FRA. But hey, what do I know? I'm just a guy under 40 who is trying to help my parents maximize the system for when it matters - when they are older, much older.

    Apr 21, 2015. 10:47 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment