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J.D. Welch  

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  • My Mad Method: Breaking Ties, What Next To Buy, And Why, Part 1 [View article]
    Hi, Mike, thanks for your comments.

    I see the whole coal sector getting hammered for a number of reasons, but the 2 big ones I think are super-low natural gas prices and current & pending (or threatened) regulatory actions by the EPA here in the USA. I'm bullish on coal because I'm taking a global view of it, and there are plenty of places (India and China, etc) that are increasing their imports of coal significantly, and I don't think that's going to slow down. The problem is getting it out of the USA and onto ships to take it wherever it needs to go, but I think a solution will be found for that when the need to export it gets high enough.

    I think ACI is at the point of being a great buying opportunity right now, which is why I've written 2 cash-secured puts for June on it. Fellow Seeking Alpha Contributor Paulo Santos recently wrote an article where he suggested that ACI was at the right price to buy. Paulo and I don't agree on many things, but when he said he thought it would be a good time to pick up some ACI, that was another "signal" that I picked up on that just added to my other positive thoughts and feelings about Arch Coal. (Disclaimer: This is not a solicitation for you to buy ACI, you must do your own due diligence. Sorry, gotta say that...) Please read Part 2 of this article, which just came out this morning, to see where I put my money...

    Thanks for your comments, and good luck!
    May 18, 2012. 11:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Thanks Apple For Killing My Portfolio [View article]
    Good article, Rocco. I remember what the permabulls were saying a month ago. Where are they now?

    Took some profit at $602, invested it elsewhere, made money. I've said it before & I'm not alone: They're only paper profits until you sell...
    May 18, 2012. 12:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thanks Apple For Killing My Portfolio [View article]
    Lucas, did you read the avalanche of comments from permabulls in Rooco's previous articles? He was running a simulation based on the stuff they were throwing out, & this article just illuminates what could have happened if someone listened to them. That's "the point"...
    May 18, 2012. 12:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Breaking Ties, What Next To Buy, And Why, Part 1 [View article]
    Thanks, I'll give that a shot...
    May 17, 2012. 11:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Breaking Ties, What Next To Buy, And Why, Part 1 [View article]
    Thanks, Rookie. Whether one is mad or sane is a matter of prespective, I think. :-)

    I do try to know as much as I can about all the companies in my portfolio and on my watchlist given the time that I have to allocate to my new "hobby". I'm generally well aware of "macro" topics such as nuclear utilities and populist opinions on coals, etc., and the general regulatory environment. I try to keep a balance of working with companies that I know and/or have grown up with in my life, and learning about new companies and even new sectors, such as mREITs. I'm a work-in-progress, and so is my Method. Only time will tell if it works or not, so I figured I'd chronicle the journey along the way and share it with whomever's interested in reading my stuff.

    I used the term "Delta" meaning "the difference between", not meaning to refer to any options-related Greek, of which I'm just marginally aware. Hope it doesn't confuse anyone else, but it's a term I've used for over 30 years to indicate "the difference between this and that". In the data analysis world, it's generally understood to mean that, so that's where it came from...

    Thanks for the tip about I set up spreadsheets for pretty much everything in my life, both professional and personal, and have done so for years. I've found that there wasn't one site that gives me all the info I need, so it was natural for me to set up a spreadsheet and plug in the numbers from around the web so I had them all in one place to ponder over. But I understand what you're saying. I've had great response to my articles so far, so I'm trying to write to that "audience" and just be myself. This is just my way of doing things, and so far it's working, but it's also organic and evolving over time. I like to write and there's folks that seem to like how I write, so I'm just plugging along, and everyone's welcome to follow along or stop whenever they feel like it.

    Thanks for the comments! :-)
    May 17, 2012. 10:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Breaking Ties, What Next To Buy, And Why, Part 1 [View article]
    Thanks, Steve.

    I update the prices of the stocks in my portfolio and watchlist pretty much every day after the market closes (I know, it's crazy, but I'm a data junky). I have to sit in on a lot of meetings most days (on the phone, everything is virtual these days, which has its upsides) and have various portfolios already set up in Google Finance so I can just plug the numbers. Takes about 15 minutes to do ~29 positions and 30 watchlist stocks. The other stuff, like the metrics and EPS and Annual Dividend values I do about once a quarter. Not really worth doing them any more frequently than that, unless I've just come into a pile of cash from the sale of something or a big accumulation of dividends and I really want to be sure I've got the most recent data for everything that I'm watching. Again, this can easily be done whilst listening in on meetings and "multitasking". Having a nice, big monitor helps, too, and they're relatively inexepensive these days, so if you don't have one treat yourself to at least a 24"er next time you get a dividend.

    I've got some friends that are better than I am at getting Excel spreadsheets to do what they want, and I have on my to-do list to ask them if there's a way I can set up a macro to pull the daily numbers off of something like Yahoo! or Google. If I find out how, and it's not too burdensome, I'll write an article about it. The Seeking Alpha Editors seem to be more accepting of my writing about specific techniques to use in spreadsheets now than they were with my first pair of articles, so I'll see what I can come up with.

    Thanks again!
    May 17, 2012. 10:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Breaking Ties, What Next To Buy, And Why, Part 1 [View article]
    Thanks, MB! Nice article about Graham; thanks for including it and mentioning it and my method in the same sentence. :-)

    Yeah, I really like Conditional Formatting. It takes a little getting used to, and it can be finicky, but once you get the hang of it, it really makes your spreadsheets POP! I put conditionals in otherwise "empty" cells and set their CF in such a way that when the condition is met in the source cell the target cell suddenly has text in it that is appropriately formatted. It's geeky, but it's fun.

    May 17, 2012. 10:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Breaking Ties, What Next To Buy, And Why, Part 1 [View article]
    Thanks, Bob!

    Hopefully the Seeking Alpha Editors will get Part 2 published here soon so you can see the conclusion to this 2-parter. I won't spoil it for you here, you'll have to stay tuned... :-)

    That's interesting that you are long HAS. I'm noodling out an article that uses MMM to compare them with Mattel. Hopefully have that out soon, too.

    I like LMT a lot, but they've been "Too High" and even "Screaming!" for a long time now on MMM. I'm kinda waiting for all the dust to settle on their new fighter (F-25? Sorry, long day, can't pull it out of my head) with our DOD and Japan's order. Countries will always want the latest and greatest fighter jets to threaten each other with, so I think they'll be OK in the long run.

    I've heard a lot of great things about WM, but besides their dividend and the fact that *someone* has to haul away (and find a place to put) all the garbage we generate on a daily basis, they consistently rank at the bottom of MMM. I'm wondering if any of their metrics need to be "weighted" in terms of their business model being significantly different than most others' on my watchlist. If anyone has some insights as to this, please chime in...

    AMTG has a *great* dividend, but they're absolutely at the bottom of the heap, and by a full average point away from #29 WM, which says a lot to me. So that makes me nervous. Anything you can tell me about them will be helpful, 'cuz I'd love to get my hands on their dividend, but I don't know much about them other than their an mREIT that invests in UNsecured mortgages, and that makes me nervous. If I'm going to broaden my exposure to mREITs and diversify from NLY, I'm looking at HTS first, which still has a great yield at 12.77%, and I think is a little "safer", which is a relative term when it comes to mREITs. If anyone has more info on AMTG that they want to share, please pipe up...

    Yup, read your Part 3 article when it came out. Good stuff, nice list you've got going there. Looking forward to seeing the rest of it...

    Thanks again!
    May 17, 2012. 08:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Dividend Monsters From My Portfolio [View article]
    Wow, Blackbrit, I'm sorry to tell you this, cuz you put so much time & effort into that post, but derivatives are way out of my league. I'm just getting my feet wet on writing cash-secured puts, & covered calls of stock that I own in multiples of 100 is my next, cautious step on this journey. I hope someone else with more knowledge of the subject reads your Instablog & gives you good feedback. Good luck, & thanks again for reading my article...
    May 16, 2012. 03:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Great Values In US Coal Mining Stocks [View article]
    Has it been definitively proven that the use of fossil fuel has led to so called "global warming". Last I knew, this was still a theory; a populist theory in certain circles, but not a certainty. In the end, unless & until "alternative energy" can effectively & efficiently exceed the thermal & electrical output of fossil fuels, we as a species will continue to burn fossil fuels. Remember Prohibition? Mandating that people not do something that a currently-political elite feel should not be done doesn't always work out the way they want it to...

    Just sayin'...
    May 14, 2012. 12:31 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Recent Additions To My Portfolio And How They're Doing [View article]
    Thanks, Sonia. Yes, I understand. 24 positions moved over from my old broker to my new broker, no problem, no commissions, I just had to sit on my hands while the transfer took its sweet time to complete. However, the new broker just wasn't able to transfer 5 of the positions, all of which are on foreign exchanges such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Oslo and Sydney, so they're stuck over there, but that's OK, they're doing fine. On one of them I incurred higher-than-usual commissions when it was purchased, not sure why, so that was what I was refering to, I think. That stock is doing swimmingly, and it supports oil exploration and development, so I'm in no hurry to sell it and get chopped by that big commission again. If my new broker couldn't transfer it over, I don't think TDAmeritrade would be able to, either. But thanks for the feedback, and for taking the time to read the article!
    May 12, 2012. 06:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Recent Additions To My Portfolio And How They're Doing [View article]
    Thanks again, NK, I definitely appreciate it. I've got a couple of more ideas brewing, but I've spent a little too much time on this "hobby" and my "real" work needs some attention now. But I'll probably get another article or two written (hopefully published) next week, so stay tuned!
    May 11, 2012. 08:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Recent Additions To My Portfolio And How They're Doing [View article]
    Thanks, MB. I agree with you about JNJ, and I will get around to adding them to my holdings eventually. I'm in the process of updating my Watchlist in terms of the MMM metrics, and JNJ has moved up in the rankings. I noticed that they've increased their divided (again), and some other numbers have improved vis-a-vis the other guys who are on the list, So that moves them up my priority ladder.

    I hear what you're saying about GLW. I have to update the MMM metrics for my portfolio, too, and we'll see where they end up, but right now they're still holding the #1 spot in that ranking, so I'm inclined to hold onto them a bit longer, see whta happens. They're 0.67 rank points away from #2 MSFT on a scale that goes from 7.67 to 21.5, so that's a pretty significant lead out of a field of 28 stocks. I may start writing just-OTM covered calls against them to generate a little extra cash and see what happens, for the practice, and if they get called away, they get called away.

    Thanks for the feedback and input. Always welcome!
    May 11, 2012. 08:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Recent Additions To My Portfolio And How They're Doing [View article]
    HI, Milton, thanks for your comment, I appreciate them.

    As far as my allocation % goes, from what I've read and heard, it's generally a good idea to keep any one stock (this is just in terms of securities) to 5% or below. Sometimes that's not possible, like for me in order to invest in Keppel Corp you have to buy in blocks of 1,000 shares, and they were doing very well until this past week or two, but are still up a goodly %, and are over the 5% threshold I put for myself, but there's nothing I can do about that. I guess it depends on how many stocks you're holding. But it's one of those things that's a "guideline" more than a rule, and has to fit with what you're comfortable with in terms of how many securities you want to hold and try to manage. I'm a data hound, so I don't mind looking up the numbers for about 30 stocks on both my portfolio and watchlist. If all goes well, the number of stocks in my portfolio is going to grow, which reduces any one of their ability to be 5% or more. I had one reader say he manages 75 stocks in his portfolio (he's retired, too) which gives you a lot of diversity, but also makes some people say you should just invest in a fund or ETF that gives you the same allocation. I don't see it that way, as I like managing my money myself. I've had some bad experiences with "professionals" in my storied life, and now that there's so much information and so many tools available on the internet, there's no excuse for me not to be more actively involved in managing my portfolio. If anything I'm probably over-managing it, and need to throttle back a bit and let things just ride, but I've been busy balancing the blood-stained statement my last broker left me with. There's a kind of natural throttle in that I'm not really injecting any more cash into my IRA, just letting dividends accumulate and then purchasing something with them, either more of a position I already have or something that I've had my eye on. That's how I'll get companies like JNJ into my portfolio eventually.

    Hope that helps! Please feel free to ask any other questions you might have...
    May 11, 2012. 08:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Recent Additions To My Portfolio And How They're Doing [View article]
    Wow, thank you very much, NK! (I hope the SA Editors are taking note of comments like yours!) :-)

    Excel is very different from what it was in the early '80s! What would you like to see with regard to my spreadsheet? The feedback I got from the SA Editors when I submitted my first 2 articles was to take out a lot of the specifics that I had in terms of "this is how J.D. sets up his spreadsheet". But if there's enough interest, I can probably persuade them to publish an article where I go into what I do a little more in depth. Please let me know what you'd like to read about, and I'll do my best...
    May 11, 2012. 01:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment