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  • What A Difference A Year Makes [View article]
    Very true, Dave, but I would guess that your total portfolio value is not at all the same number as the amount of nuts you put up for the winter. There is more that just the saving principle at play here. I'm glad I've discovered that early enough.
    Dec 26, 2013. 11:17 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What A Difference A Year Makes [View article]
    Thank you Dave,
    I can't wait for the announcement of your 2014 book out. I look forward to it immensely. Yes, it is a totally different portfolio from the beginning of the year, and a totally different perspective for me. I have a friend who's just been introduced to investing by a trader co-worker. I hope I can save him a year of my journey.
    I appreciate your input here on the forum and never fail to learn something from your articles.
    Thank you,
    Dec 25, 2013. 11:18 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What A Difference A Year Makes [View article]
    Smarty, you are exactly right. The biggest gift is that the pressure of needing to perform well with every single decision is entirely gone. A good part of that is just having a well-diversified, non-trading portfolio. Sure, I may take on a trade every once in a while (only GG and WETF this year) but that's not at all the same thing.

    Having the end goal, shorter term goals, plans and strategies already decided and now in play have made all the difference.

    I also know that if I had continued as a trader, I would have quit by now. So much would have been lost, and not just financial freedom in retirement. This has given and will give me a purpose, job, and hobby for years to come. My extended family has substantially benefited as well and I am confident my children will be financially secure as well. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

    Yup, plain old folks, like this mid-western farm girl, if you're willing to put in the time and effort, can do this.
    Dec 25, 2013. 07:02 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Investing: Misguided And Doing It All Wrong [View article]
    I had to read your article to see if "Misguided and doing it all wrong" was me! (whew!)
    Actually, I wouldn't miss any of your articles, Dave.

    There is certainly variety in the DGI world and I would identify myself a D-G investor even though only 80% of my equities are the 'usual suspects'. Age, stage and goals certainly plays a big part of that.

    One of the big benefits of this corner of the forum is the focus on setting goals, making plans, and defining strategies - which makes all the difference especially in the Sleep Well At Night arena. When the plan is working, you can tolerate some volatility without concern. This makes it much easier to not panic and withstand corrections, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, allow me to take an occasional calculated risk without the concern of jeopardizing the main goal of the portfolio.

    I used to worry so much about my portfolio and retirement, believing it was not likely possible to even be 'ok' when we retire. Our situation has not changed, except that I'm even more disciplined to save, other than I've given up trading and embraced DGI. Now I am not reliant on the next trade doing well and there is no concern at all. The vitamin "D" has made all the difference.
    Dec 19, 2013. 03:04 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Western Union: Steep Discount, Sector Domination, Strong Volume Growth [View article]
    Excellent article. If they are all this readable, informative and passionate, I will enjoy every one. You've earned another follower and I look forward to your analysis of another company. I have been long WU since early March, and have been surprised how quickly WU has recovered. I try to look for dividend growth for the future, and not only want stable longer-term DGI companies, but with 20 years before needing the income, those that could develop into the next generation's dividend champions. (ie Visa). I bought this because it had a nice, growing dividend (a much higher percent at $14!), was the market leader, and trades below earnings. I thought it had the possibilities of being a long term stable company, and that if after more research, I decided it wasn't, I could at least catch a 20% swing anyway!

    I have not been disappointed, but I have wondered many times whether I should take the 30% and run, but I haven't found something that I think is a much better opportunity that I'd replace it with. I don't think I'll sell, and don't wish I did before the earnings report. Your article confirms what I understood.
    Nov 6, 2013. 05:31 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Do Dividend Growth Investors Like Price Pullbacks So Much? [View article]
    Really? Tim McAleenan wrote an excellent article with mathematical examples about how your returns will be much better over time if the market has a few significant corrections over your investing time period. It was a very important lesson for me.
    Oct 18, 2013. 05:18 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Do Not Despise The Days Of Small Beginnings [View article]
    Welcome to SA Karpy, I started out as a trader and after a year came to see the wisdom of Dividend-Growth Investing. It's been a little over a year of learning and transitioning, but hanging out here and reading has been the most beneficial thing I've done. There's great writers here who are willing to help and have lots of experience and wisdom
    Oct 7, 2013. 09:36 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tortoises Win The Retirement Race [View article]
    WAY TO GO! You are absolutely correct that saving can be done by anyone. The sad thing is that people don't realize or understand the value often until they are much older and even empty nest.

    An issue I didn't read in the article that is hampering retirement savings, is that older children are moving home and sponging off parents until much later in life. They think they can live 'free' off their parents, but it's costing their parents their retirement.

    We are fortunate to have been empty nest at 42. Despite having saved well and having lived modestly our whole lives, we had to start again. But now we have time and resources and many lessons well learned. We'll be fine. Not everyone who wakes up 60 and broke did it to themselves, but the vast majority certainly have. I know people older than myself who pulled out their retirement savings to take their still-young children on a cruise. sigh. The thing that disheartens me most is watching people live a lifestyle I couldn't afford, knowing their resources are substantially less than mine. But they simply don't understand and no one's taught them.
    Sep 24, 2013. 09:48 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Flight To Quality [View article]
    Yes, but there's the
    "companies I want to own but are currently overvalued list"
    and the
    "companies I may want to own but need more research list to be sure list"
    and the
    "companies I really do want to own, when I have money in the right account list"
    and the
    "Canadian companies I want to own list"
    and the
    "friend suggested that I should look into list"

    hee hee!
    Jul 22, 2013. 11:22 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Transitioned To A Dividend-Growth Portfolio [View article]
    Hello Penny Lane,
    I only see one problem with not diversifying. I'm not Buffet! I am very happy having 32 stocks, (though I'm not perfectly happy with every one of them) and my eventual goal is 42. It would be nice to have that many one year from now, but I just don't see market conditions changing enough (but who knows...I hope not) to buy all of the ones on my watchlist at reasonable valuations.

    Also, Buffets goals are not my goals. He is primarily interested in dramatic capital gains. I am much more modest in my expectations. I need 4% (ok, 5 would be better) growth and 4% dividends and consistent contributions annually. Anything else is gravy. I imagine some years (maybe this one?) I will blow those targets out of the water, but some won't quite make it. Having diversification really helps to ensure I will meet those targets despite market conditions. I also don't want to work as hard at my portfolio as he has at his, and I didn't start early enough. This baby's only 2.5 yrs old, but thankfully growing quickly thanks to care and feeding (lots of feeding!).
    Jul 16, 2013. 10:50 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Transitioned To A Dividend-Growth Portfolio [View article]
    Hello Jerry, my reason for being overweight in Canada, is that I am Canadian. If I remember my stats correctly, Canada is only 5% or so of world markets but the 5th largest market by market cap, and with one of the world's strongest economies, it isn't the little backwater country many think it is, but yes it is important to choose international exposure (which I can get through some of my Canadian companies, BNS comes to mind).

    If I want at all reasonable trading fees I will stick to what trades in Canada and the US. If I want to avoid withholding tax I will stick to Canadian companies in TFSA's (similar to Roth's) and Open or Non-Registered accounts. That leaves me only the retirement account to purchase US securities, but when there are currency fluctuations (such as now) I get stubborn and refuse to pay the exchange, so I didn't purchase WAG last week, though its on my list and was a little more attractive.

    I really have little interest in US REIT's. There are quality REITs here I can purchase. However, THI does not yet match MCD, especially in dividend and there is no Canadian KO, JNJ, or PM. However, why would I buy CSX when I can own CNR, eh?
    Jul 12, 2013. 07:51 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighting Your Dividend Paying Stocks: A Disciplined Approach [View article]
    Peace wrote:
    "I never want to make any sudden moves around him (the tax man)!"

    No kidding! That had me chuckling for a long time, thank you! You definitely don't want to attract his attention!

    So glad to hear life looks good from your vantage point!
    Jul 4, 2013. 08:38 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Now The Time To Sell? [View article]
    Great thoughts, Chowder.
    I don't think selling F when I did was a wise decision. In hindsight it was a fear-based 'sell in May' sort of decision. Of course, had it retraced I may be less critical of the decision, but this decision was one of the reasons I realized I needed to explore a better sell strategy. I'm not sure I have one yet, but I'm heading down a better path and am working on it. I do think I would still want to reduce exposure to F with the size of my position, but you're absolutely right, I should have been employing my technical experience instead of jumping out at first sign of slight share-price weakness. So much to learn!
    Jun 10, 2013. 06:56 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Patience: The Key To Successful Investing [View article]
    I too like the lava-lamp metaphor and also recently transitioned from trading to DGI with a somewhat similar story. So thankful for all the wonderful advice I've received here. I'm also "starting out" in investing, though for us it's more like restarting. Even so, DGI will still make it possible.

    mysonchino had some really wise advice.
    "Most people and investors focus too heavily on "what you make" but just as important is "what you spend"". and "resist the temptation to rev up your lifestyle." We now live on half our income, saving about 35% and giving the rest. It's a challenge, but so worth it in so many areas of life.

    I also read Buffett's "Intelligent Investor" recently. It was quite intimidating and took a while, but I read it again right away just to highlight. Since then I've also read "Single Best Investment" by Lowell Miller, which I'd recommend (Miz Magic had a link to a free download).

    I look forward to following more of your journey. Good luck!
    May 26, 2013. 06:19 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Worth Holding Cash And Being Patient? [View article]
    "Do you feel any letter clarified your approach to stocks?"
    Yes. Xebec. I do. Chowder's comes to mind immediately for sure. However, I have read, re-read and will further re-read all of these comments and allow them to weigh in on my thinking.

    I still think it's a little foolish to rush into overvalued stocks. This is where FAST Graphs is SO helpful. It's easy to see that stocks like JNJ (and THI) are usually overvalued, so that when it does come down into slightly undervalued territory it should be a 'screaming buy.' I missed out. Oh well, my fault. I didn't understand JNJ then. One doesn't transition to DGI overnight and I'm doing my best. I once put an order in for JNJ for $68 but cancelled it because it had just hit the fairly valued line and bought something else instead. I also have the issue of being Canadian (and having only so much to allocate to US stocks). Live and learn. I allow myself that. That's why I'm here endlessly asking questions. If nothing else, I know I need to understand valuation better.

    One thing I've really learned about through this article is RISK. Bet you didn't see that coming! I didn't. I'll ponder a while more and hopefully I can get more input on my thinking along those lines as well.

    Having 'meaning of life' questions must indicate I'm learning something or at least understanding enough to ask better questions!
    May 10, 2013. 12:31 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment