I'm retired. Bought the farm -- literally (in NE Texas).I'm a boomer, not a depression era kid (it was my parents who lived through that mess). So I'm exaggerating a bit when I state that the "Great Depression" ran into the late 50's where I grew up (the Appalachia of the West). But I did go to bed hungry, dreaming of food, because there was literally nothing to eat. The family's grocery problem was eventually solved through the good graces of a religious charity, the assistance of friends and neighbors, the perseverance of my parents, and more than a little luck.I believe those early lean times provided a wee-bit of incentive to not let those circumstances repeat themselves... I really dislike going hungry.But I was lucky. I had clothes; usually ate on a regular basis; got a bath once a week in a tin wash tub, whether it was needed or wanted; got medical treatment for the slices, dices and broken bones that would have crippled me, treatment for the diseases that, left untreated, would have killed me; and had the opportunity to go to school. That was an opportunity I seized with both hands and did not let go.I am by nature inherently lazy... given the choice between digging ditch with pick and shovel at $0.10/hour or sitting behind a desk writing software at hundreds of times that hourly rate... I decided not to dig ditches.Now that I'm retired and own the farm, I dig ditches for free.As a kid I read constantly... pretty much everything on just about anything. Cleaned out the local libraries (it was a very small town). "The Richest Man in Babylon", biographies of Hughes, Carnegie, Rockefeller, and others, histories, westerns, mysteries, SF. Remembered various parables about being unable to grasp opportunities because one had wasted his resources.Can't say I always succeeded, but I tried. Towards the end of my career, managed to live on about 1/3 of my gross, saving and investing what was left after taxes and insurance, and still had opportunities for fun, recreation, travel and friends.As a NASA Engineer, I wrote a large variety of software. Some of the more notable items were:* an email management system for the Agency and its contractors (the project included writing the procedures; reporting and correcting third party data errors;* designing, writing and testing the software; designing and implementing the database schema and queries; navigating inter-center politics; etc);* a moving map software that flew twice aboard the Shuttle and displayed alternate landing sites in the event of a launch emergency;* post landing wheel-tire-brake analysis software for the Shuttle (STS-1 to final-flight);* a graphical, real-time dynamic software simulator for a 7-joint robot;* a FMEA/CIL data processing system (software and procedures) for Return-to-Flight after the Challenger disaster; data structures &* translation software for the Shuttle's Wake Shield Experiment; and* a Shuttle-Station docking simulator.Also designed, developed, tested and used a simulation language, a graphics processing language, and various computer language processing and analysis tools.And then there was the "fun" NASA stuff... logging 40 minutes of zero-G time (and 40 minutes of 2G time), riding a 6-DOF shuttle simulator, working (and biking) with a handful of astronauts, SCUBA-ing in the WETF whilst observing astronauts using the tools my group designed, witnessing a Shuttle launch, doing Shuttle post-landing ground penetrometer studies at Edwards AFB, simulating shuttle tile repair whilst mounted horizontally on an air-bearing floor, mentoring younger engineers, and working with some of the best and brightest people I've met in my life.In my free time:* I developed commercial library management, scheduling and reporting software packages, wrote the user manuals, made onsite visits and learned a lot of humility;* guest lectured and taught software development at universities.I traveled:* lived for years in various locales in northern Japan, participated in a traditional Japanese marriage ceremony (my own), helped my father-in-law with a bit of traditional Japanese construction near Sendai, and played Shogi whenever possible (Shogi is the Japanese version of chess. The local shogi master's shocked expression of total surprise when I beat him at the game was priceless ... To the master I was just an idiot "gaijin" [foreigner] and not worth his full attention. He won the next game.);* lived for three months in Hawaii;* made brief excursions to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.While at one time I could read, write, think, dream, and speak (without accent) in standard Japanese and could understand a bit of the Tsugaru and Zuzu-ben dialects, I don't practice much anymore.My time in the US Army made me appreciate my MOS (a retired crypto sub-specialty) was not 11B.
I'm a very happy, healthy almost retired person, living and developing property in Cabo San Lucas, MX and trying to learn more about protecting my small nest egg that allows me to dabble rather than punch a 9 to 5 (which I never did very well). Anything you can teach me, is greatly appreciated.
Meanwhile I have a beautiful beach home for sale so check out my blog.
Wall Street Breakfast, Seeking Alpha's flagship daily business news summary, is a one-page summary that gives you a rapid overview of the day's key financial news. It's designed for easy readability on the site or by email (including on mobile devices), and is published before 7:00 AM ET every market day.
Wall Street Breakfast readership of over 900,000 includes many from the investment-banking and fund-management industries.
Sign up here to receive the Wall Street Breakfast in your inbox every business day: http://seekingalpha.com/account/email_preferences
Retired, late 50's
Hold CFP designation. Passed CFP exam Nov 2000
Author of "IRA: A Quck Reference Guide". Available on Amazon as an e-book.
Author of "Retirement Investing for INCOME ONLY: How to invest for relaible income in Retirement ONLY from Dividends"
Danielle DiMartino Booth makes bold forecasts based on meticulous research and her years of experience in central banking and on Wall Street. Known for sounding an early warning about the housing bubble in the 2000s, Danielle offers a unique perspective to audiences seeking expertise in the financial markets, the economy, and the intersection of central banking and politics.
Shudeep Chandrasekhar is a business consultant by profession and a musician by passion. With extensive experience in senior management, he has a thorough understanding of the internal workings of various types of businesses and what makes them tick. A keen student of the human mind and its potential, Shudeep constantly strives to understand the decision-making processes that underline every major business move. An enthusiastic traveller, Shudeep has lived and worked in more than a dozen countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Japan, Oman and many more. He is a truly global personality and currently lives in the bustling coastal city of Chennai, India - his birthplace.
I'm a Managing Director at A North Investments (ANI), a quantitative hedge fund based in New York. Those who'd like to contact me, private message me here or email me at email@example.com.
sleek is a value investor who manages his own money and has been a full-time investor for about 25 years. He is self taught and has about two doctorate degrees worth of education in the study of Accounting, Finance, and Economics. He follows the investment style of Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, etc.
I am a semi-retired Systems Engineer and Project Manager of Spaceborne Remote Sensing and Weather Instruments which I have been designing building and testing for 37 years. I have worked as a technician, staff engineer, department manager and project technical director for large aerospace companies and well as as an independent contractor and most recently as an employee of a small contracting/consulting company directly supporting NASA, NOAA and NIST projects.
I have a degree in Physics and completed undergraduate coursework in business administration before switching to physics.
I have been self managing my portfolios since late 2008. I have multiple 401Ks, IRAs, a SEP and an after tax brokerage account. These accounts are with Vanguard, Fidelity and Charles Schwab.
I rolled a pension with a 5 year payout period (60 equal installments) into an IRA from Dec 2008 - Nov 2013. The present early 2015 total portfolio value is just over 2 times my total pension rollover amount. My 401K and IRA investments are a mixture of Foreign, Domestic and Bond mutual funds as well as Foreign and Domestic pure growth and dividend growth stocks in accordance with my portfolio "business" plan. My annual dividend income is nearly enough to cover all of our living expenses now. While my dividend income is running about 2 years behind my plan of achieving 80% of my 2008 income by the end of 2014 my average total return is within 1% of the S&P 500 over the past 5 years as of April 2015.
Darren owns ProActive Financial LLC where he provides Financial Planning and Analysis consulting services. Darren's education includes a Bachelors in Economics, an MBA, and a Certificate in Personal Financial Planning.
I am a retired Electrical Engineer since 2012 and a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) since 2010. I have been investing in equities, in the form of stocks & options, since the early 80’s and more recently in mutual funds, and ETF’s.
My current investments consist of a DGI, 10 stock portfolio +7 ETF portfolio for my supplemental retirement income and a second portfolio of mutual funds, ETF’s, & stocks primarily focused on growth. This is how I keep my income strategy separate from my growth strategy.
My passion is to reach young and old investors alike who are apprehensive about investing their money in the market and show them that investing does not have to be complicated, but you do need to spend a little time at it, but with the proper tools this can be made relatively easy.
Everyone needs to come up with a strategy that works for them, and I do not claim my strategies will work for everyone (or anyone other than myself,) but offer them merely as something to consider.
All money from any of these articles is donated to one of my favorite charities by Seeking Alpha.
PetroEngInvestor (David Harter)
Hedge Fund Co-Founder and Managing Director
"Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It's to see my dividends coming in."
-John D. Rockefeller
I'm retired. Bought the farm -- literally (in NE Texas).
I'm a boomer, not a depression era kid (it was my parents who lived through that mess). So I'm exaggerating a bit when I state that the "Great Depression" ran into the late 50's where I grew up (the Appalachia of the West). But I did go to bed hungry, dreaming of food, because there was literally nothing to eat. The family's grocery problem was eventually solved through the good graces of a religious charity, the assistance of friends and neighbors, the perseverance of my parents, and more than a little luck.
I believe those early lean times provided a wee-bit of incentive to not let those circumstances repeat themselves... I really dislike going hungry.
But I was lucky. I had clothes; usually ate on a regular basis; got a bath once a week in a tin wash tub, whether it was needed or wanted; got medical treatment for the slices, dices and broken bones that would have crippled me, treatment for the diseases that, left untreated, would have killed me; and had the opportunity to go to school. That was an opportunity I seized with both hands and did not let go.
I am by nature inherently lazy... given the choice between digging ditch with pick and shovel at $0.10/hour or sitting behind a desk writing software at hundreds of times that hourly rate... I decided not to dig ditches.
Now that I'm retired and own the farm, I dig ditches for free.
As a kid I read constantly... pretty much everything on just about anything. Cleaned out the local libraries (it was a very small town). "The Richest Man in Babylon", biographies of Hughes, Carnegie, Rockefeller, and others, histories, westerns, mysteries, SF. Remembered various parables about being unable to grasp opportunities because one had wasted his resources.
Can't say I always succeeded, but I tried. Towards the end of my career, managed to live on about 1/3 of my gross, saving and investing what was left after taxes and insurance, and still had opportunities for fun, recreation, travel and friends.
As a NASA Engineer, I wrote a large variety of software. Some of the more notable items were:
* an email management system for the Agency and its contractors (the project included writing the procedures; reporting and correcting third party data errors;
* designing, writing and testing the software; designing and implementing the database schema and queries; navigating inter-center politics; etc);
* a moving map software that flew twice aboard the Shuttle and displayed alternate landing sites in the event of a launch emergency;
* post landing wheel-tire-brake analysis software for the Shuttle (STS-1 to final-flight);
* a graphical, real-time dynamic software simulator for a 7-joint robot;
* a FMEA/CIL data processing system (software and procedures) for Return-to-Flight after the Challenger disaster; data structures &
* translation software for the Shuttle's Wake Shield Experiment; and
* a Shuttle-Station docking simulator.
Also designed, developed, tested and used a simulation language, a graphics processing language, and various computer language processing and analysis tools.
And then there was the "fun" NASA stuff... logging 40 minutes of zero-G time (and 40 minutes of 2G time), riding a 6-DOF shuttle simulator, working (and biking) with a handful of astronauts, SCUBA-ing in the WETF whilst observing astronauts using the tools my group designed, witnessing a Shuttle launch, doing Shuttle post-landing ground penetrometer studies at Edwards AFB, simulating shuttle tile repair whilst mounted horizontally on an air-bearing floor, mentoring younger engineers, and working with some of the best and brightest people I've met in my life.
In my free time:
* I developed commercial library management, scheduling and reporting software packages, wrote the user manuals, made onsite visits and learned a lot of humility;
* guest lectured and taught software development at universities.
* lived for years in various locales in northern Japan, participated in a traditional Japanese marriage ceremony (my own), helped my father-in-law with a bit of traditional Japanese construction near Sendai, and played Shogi whenever possible (Shogi is the Japanese version of chess. The local shogi master's shocked expression of total surprise when I beat him at the game was priceless ... To the master I was just an idiot "gaijin" [foreigner] and not worth his full attention. He won the next game.);
* lived for three months in Hawaii;
* made brief excursions to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
While at one time I could read, write, think, dream, and speak (without accent) in standard Japanese and could understand a bit of the Tsugaru and Zuzu-ben dialects, I don't practice much anymore.
My time in the US Army made me appreciate my MOS (a retired crypto sub-specialty) was not 11B.
I am a quantitative model designer. I build customized portfolio solutions for brokerages, family offices and individual clients around the world. Some of the models required the capacity to trade hundreds of millions of dollars.
I would best describe myself as a value investor looking for entries based on events such as upgraded earnings forecasts. I minimize risk by analyzing short interest, diversifying across industries, blending multiple models of low correlation or using market neutral strategies.
Acting Man has been named after the title of the first chapter of Ludwig von Mises' book "Human Action" - the best treatise on economics ever written. The blog's main author is Pater Tenebrarum, an independent analyst who has been involved with financial markets for 34 years and is writing economic and market analyses for independent research organizations and a European hedge fund consultancy. Acting Man presents articles on the markets and the economy, a mixture of commentary on current events as well as economic theory and history, mainly from an Austrian School of Economics viewpoint. As more authors have joined the site, we have begun to broaden our palette a bit, but our orientation remains the same: pro-free market, anti-state, pro peace.
I am a retired airline executive with legal and financial experience. I have a background in economics and finance with a focus on securities and securities analysis. I was in private practice for 10 years doing trial and appellate work prior to joining United Airlines where I did both transactions and litigation. I was with United for over 29 years, the last 17 as Assistant General Counsel. I now am a self directed investor, seeking to create cash flow to supplement our pensions and social security. I take a long term view focusing on securities that create a steady cash flow.
First, the good stuff. Here's my portfolio ...
Consumer Discretionary: MCD, NKE, SBUX, TGT
Consumer Staples: COST, GIS, KHC, KO, MO, PEP, PG, PM, RAI, WBA
Energy: CVX, KMI, XOM
Health: ABBV, AMGN, GILD, JNJ, MCK
Industrial: BA, DE, EMR, LMT, MMM
REITs: HCN, NNN, O, OHI, VTR
Technology: AAPL, MSFT, QCOM
Telecom: BCE, T, TU, VZ
Utilities: AVA, D, SCG, SO, WEC
ALSO: small stakes in 23 additional companies held in the Dividend Growth 50 portfolio (http://seekingalpha.com/article/2764265-its-new-its-nifty-its-the-dividend-growth-50): ADP, AFL, BAX, BDX, CAT, CL, CLX, COP, GE, GPC, HCP, HSY, IBM, KMB, MKC, NEE, SHPG, SJM, UTX, V, WFC, WMT.
Now, a little about me:
I am a 50-something former sportswriter who was sent on a permanent vacation during the Great Recession. That sucked, but my story is not a sad one. Unlike many folks who lost their jobs, I am not in financial distress, I am not depressed and I am not bored.
My wife is a pediatric nurse with a bullet-proof job and decent benefits. So after supporting her and our two kids (now grown) for most of three decades, the least she can do is support my semi-retired keister!
Because of Roberta's job situation, because we have zero debt (not even mortgage debt), because we no longer have any dependents and because we have been pretty diligent savers over the years, we are comfortable (though nowhere near rich).
Although we hold some funds, bonds and cash, my investing philosophy leans heavily toward Dividend Growth Investing. By early next decade, we want to live entirely off of our income stream, Social Security and pension payments - and therefore will not have to spend down the principal one iota. To accomplish this, we invest mostly in blue-chip companies with long track records of growing dividends. As of mid-2016, we are well ahead of pace to reach our goal.
When not researching investments and writing for Seeking Alpha and other Web sites, I coach middle-school girls basketball at Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy, the top charter school in the Charlotte metro area; in March 2016, we won the first conference championship in school history! I also umpire youth baseball and referee youth basketball.
My wife and I dote on our 5-year-old pup, Simmie, and keep up on the doings of our now-grown kids, Katie and Ben. And we love to cheer on the basketball team of our alma mater, Marquette University, where we both majored in Journalism. Go Warriors! Also big fans of the Carolina Panthers.
I still occasionally post to the blog I initiated in 2007 -- lots of sports stuff, some politics, some personal junk -- at www.TheBaldestTruth.com.
I am a senior business person that works in the real estate space largely dealing with stressed situations (not foreclosures) under court supervision. I am a licensed attorney with 45 years of business and investing experience. I manage a substantial portfolio of securities and properties and have been doing so for many years. I am not a technology whiz but use computers and smartphones and a tablet extensively. My interest in technology is based upon what can it do to make my life easier. That means that I seek out applications that do real world tasks as for example real estate management software. My activities are very document laden and hence, I have to do a great deal of writing, form completion, contract generation and review, etc. I have generally operated in the PC space and use a Samsung Galaxy II at present. My website is www.partitionlaw.com. I am fulfilling a long term dream and developing a winery which will have its first release in the fall of 2014.
Sorry I hide my true identity but I'm a physicist/engineer, native contrarian and idea generator. I am an eclectic dividend investor with motto "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" applied to companies I invest in.
I like to read /and read a lot - did you look on my SA photo 8-)? / including popular and academic investment books and papers. After 200+ books I concluded that many (but not all) finance academics failed to delivery a good science because they usually are more concerned about match between their models and limited (in time and place) data-sets than about underlying assumptions of their models. On another hand, finance practitioners such as fund managers have different goals than I (for example, they want to outperform or replicate market each single year while my goal is to have smooth income from my investment and I don't worry to underperform in a bull market) and to some extend more limited in their choices than I (for example, with micro- and nano-cap stocks). It gives a chance for me as amateur investor to compete successfully with professionals in niche strategies such as dividend investment (see http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/725729-sds-seductive-dividend-stocks/266502-why-i-m-a-dividend-zealot-jan-31-2012).
My real portfolio consists of more than 100 dividend growth (DG) and high yield (HY) high quality stocks of USA and foreign companies with good history of dividend payments. I cherry-picked these stocks from the end of XX century in accordance with my ideas on diversification for income-equity investors ( http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/725729-sds-seductive-dividend-stocks/4183595-an-estimation-of-dividend-growth-portfolio-size). I also maintain artificial so-called "poor"folio of dividend stocks I use for self-education about market.
I understand that DGI is mostly trust in company's Board of Directors consistency and that HYI is mostly disagreement with market sentiment but both styles fit my goals and mentality,
My investor edges are
i) critical scientific approach (used in natural science rather than in liberal sciences) to finance academics ideas and strong selection between useful and worthless findings;
ii) quite predictable proprietary model of dividend reductions forecast in near future (couple years) that I have delivered from mix of hardware engineering ideas and physics concepts with finance data and behavior signals that allows me to sell stocks before such unpleasant event, and that I continue to polish;
iii) independence in time frames and market exposures forbidden for many finance practitioners;
iv) analyses of companies that are too small for institutional investors.
I have couple excellent ideas in dividend investing I'd like to capitalize, so serious requests are welcome.
I rather put my thoughts and ideas in SA Instablog and comments than in articles (I'm pretty busy/lazy/English-incompetent to perfect an article) but in all cases all standard disclaimers are applied. One of good things I have learned in Intel, that decision should be data driven. So I try to supply my ideas and thoughts with most relevant data. I love old Russian writer and dramatist Anton Chekhov principle "Brevity is the sister of talent" and think it is even more important nowadays with ocean of information in front of any investor. So, I try to follow this principle in my SA instablog and comments but please remember that "If I have more time, I would have written shorter".
Being a scientific journals referee I have a bad habit to find few weak points in almost any manuscript, so I probably too critical in some comments but I hope the article authors excuse me. I prefer communicate via SA email rather than inside comments (I usually turn off "Track new comments on this article" feature SA has). So send me a SA email if you have a question or would like to discuss my point of view.
I am at the beautiful age of 70 and still love to study tax law......even after 40 years in the field of taxation. Previously, I spent many years as the tax officer for the Estate and Trust Division of Fleet Nation Bank. (now know as Bank of America) Later my brother and I formed an accounting firm of which my area of practice was taxation.
I have worked in the financial service industry for 40 years. My area of expertise is risk management and complex financial products. I have been a frequent speaker, on behalf of many financial firms, to financial professionals across the country.
I have extensive experience in statistics and actuarial science.
Self directed individual investor. I surpassed my own goals and expectations. I have been investing in the stock market since 1992. I used to day trade. Then I swing traded. Now I invest in dividend stocks with the focus on having the income exceed our needed expenses. I started investing in dividend stocks exclusively in 5/2011. I am ready to share my 22 years of experience in the stock market with young investors and retirees alike. I will share my mistakes and successes. Hopefully, I can help others avoid common mistakes.
RETIREMENT PORTFOLIO UPDATED As Of 6/3/2016
Current Allocations for my Retirement Portfolio:
1) MO = 100%
I have taken ROTH distributions in 2016 of about $113,000. This is the first year that I have taken distributions, they are non taxable and penalty free.
I currently have approximately 96.5% of my stock market assets in ROTH IRA's. I will convert the rest of my MO (from my SEP IRA) in 2017 into my ROTH IRA. My plan is to have 100% of my Retirement Portfolio in ROTH IRA's after the first trading day of 2017.
My Retirement Portfolio's return since 1/1/2009 according to Schwab.com's Portfolio performance: Full Disclosure - All of my funds were at Schwab in 2009 and 2010, In 2011 I started a Roth IRA at Fidelity, in 2014 I transferred funds from Schwab to Fidelity and in 2015 I transferred some funds to E-TRADE. Most of my funds are still at Schwab.
2009- + 165.95%
2010- + 28.02%
2011- (-) 1.99%
2012- + 11.59%
2013- (-) 5.31%
2014- + 38.84%
2015- + 6.11%
2016- YTD as of 6/10/2016 close + 19.25%
My Portfolio performance from 1992 - 1/1/2009 was not good. I was starting from a negative return since I had contributed more than my accounts were worth. 2008 had dropped my account about 75%!!!
My performance has been outstanding from 1/1/2009 till the present, my overall Retirement Portfolio performance has been exceptional, beating the S&P 500 substantially. My total value has increased more than 12 fold since my bottom in 2008!!!
Schwab.com's software does not have any data prior to 1/1/2009! They started the Portfolio performance function as of 1/1/2009.
Eli Inkrot is a writer. Check out his website: thecurrencyoftime.com, his articles here on Seeking Alpha or his book - "You Don't Have A Money Problem" - on Amazon.com.
Additionally, here is a quick bio:
Eli has held the title of Vice President and Portfolio Manager at EDMP Inc. - a money management firm - along with Vice President for F.A.S.T. Graphs - a financial software company.
Prior to that, he began his investment career as an analyst in private real estate for a public pension fund. During his time in real estate he was the lead for a variety of accounts with net asset values totaling nearly two billion dollars. Eli received a Master’s in Finance from the University of Tampa where he earned “highest honors” whilst receiving the distinction of being named the “most outstanding graduate student.” He also holds undergraduate degrees in both Economics and Business Administration from Otterbein University, graduating “magna cum laude” with distinct honors in each major. During his tenure at Otterbein, Eli was a member of the varsity golf team, held the departmental Senator position for Business, Economics and Accounting and studied abroad in the Netherlands.
F.A.S.T. Graphs™ is a powerful research tool providing “essential fundamentals at a glance” on over 17,000 symbols. F.A.S.T. Graphs™ empowers the user to research stocks deeper and faster by allowing them to exploit the undeniable relationship and functional correlation between long-term earnings growth and market price. Warren Buffett, the greatest capital allocator of all time, said; “there are only two things that investor needs to know; how to value a company and how to think about stock prices.” With the F.A.S.T. Graphs™ at their disposal, users are able to perform both of these critical tasks… FAST. F.A.S.T. is an acronym for Fundamentals Analyzer Software Tool that takes all the hours of manual graphing of business fundamentals and reduces it to seconds, giving you critical information in an instant. With one glance you know a lot about the business you are graphing and its past, present and future value. F.A.S.T. Graphs™ should be the first step in every research project. Each graph is worth 1,000 words in describing a company’s growth, consistency and valuation.
Time management is essential to monitoring a 47 position portfolio. My 1st comment concludes with "Rich-unck:xx hrs"; I uncheck from the article to avoid repetitive comments, nonsense, and (most) arguments. I extend another XX hrs when I respond to a question or comment...I also respond to all PMs.
BACKGROUND My journey as a self-directed investor (SDI) began in 1973, and resulted in financial independence at age 52, which also allowed me to retire from corporate life the following year (Feb 1995).
I have no special knowledge not attainable by others who also dedicate themselves to the study of the economy, market, and stocks...I could cease all portfolio management today, and place it with a professional manager; however, I enjoy the psychic and financial rewards. Alternatively, I could become a passive investor via mutual funds and/or index ETFs (those works too! ). With few exceptions, As a rule, Rich only discusses his IRA here--it is only a portion of his and Joyce’s investment assets.
INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY If you ‘lived for today’ over the past 5 or 6 decades, you better invest in lottery tickets. The most probable path to a financially secure retirement is the product of an investment program (either active or passive) started when relatively young; living on less than all your after-tax income (saving means delayed gratification); and either self-directed or via professional management, adopting a sensible strategy suitable to age and comfort zone. There is wisdom in flexibility, diversification, and not being life-long wed to any strategy. It is appropriate to take greater risk for greater rewards (sensible growth stocks) when younger, as those are our lowest earnings years combined with our highest expense years--in the years between early investment and retirement, investments in solid growth companies can double 8 times or more.
There is time to adjust allocations to a more conservative strategy when closer to retirement. Never assume you have an information edge over the professionals. Time-in-the-market is your principle advantage. When/if you become interested in dividend stocks, never forget both price return and dividends compound, and price more so.
Financial independence is achieved when one has sufficient confidence his/her lifestyle will not change significantly, regardless of the potential depth or breadth of decline suffered by their portfolio--including a prolonged series of bear markets such as 1929-37. True, the recent 18-month bear market ending mid-2009, was deep--but also too brief to consider its lack of widespread dividend cuts to be as proof a portfolio of dividend-payers won't suffer income losses in a more prolonged decline (i.e., no portfolio is "dividend bulletproof").
The balance of this profile is lengthy, and likely not helpful to passive investors who simply go along for the ride, their portfolios bobbing up and down like flotsam in the ocean; their course always subject to the whims of winds, waves, and trends...THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING!
PORTFOLIO GOALS Now in my 70s, it’s no longer appropriate to engage in the growth strategies applied in wealth accumulation. As a more conservative investor, 100% of his portfolio consists of dividend-payers. 95% of positions have investment grade credit ratings (the lone exception is a REIT).This combination, along with having companies in 10 of the 11 S&P GICS sectors (none in Materials at this time) provide a measure of diversification. This IRA portfolio holds no bonds, though bonds and other investments are held elsewhere.
Maximizing total return and wealth preservation are mutually exclusive. A key observation: Having the capacity for risk is not the same as having the tolerance for it!
Rich’s objective is now a ‘smoother-ride’ that levels out the market’s peaks and valleys (limit losses, trim notable excess valuation). That smoother ride in an all-equity portfolio cannot be achieved without active management and continuous monitoring of positions--therefore TIME is an essential input to his portfolio management. Active management does not’ means frequent changes, as it is not unusual for a quarter or more to pass between a trimming or sale (nonetheless, when a company fundamentals change, or a mistake is made, corrective action is taken.)
STRATEGY SINCE 2008 Rich targets both legs of TOTAL RETURN (distributions + price change). His Growth & Income strategy often focuses on VALUE investing tactics applied to dividend-payers. Value investors seek out unpopular, companies most investors are avoiding (i.e., fundamentals have declined but credit rating is strong, BoD has implemented a rational recovery plan, and the dividend not in danger). Value investors seek to be paid to wait for other investors to recognize the stock’s value and assign it a greater share price. In any event, value stock or growth stock, Rich always seeks a ‘margin of safety’--no shares are bought at prices >FV, and his margin of safety is derived from dividends paid, price appreciation, and rising FV over time.
In all cases, value or growth, Rich selects well-established dividend-paying companies having a high-probability of growing earnings (growth of earnings is ESSENTIAL to growth of price and dividends). He tends to be flexible, forward looking, reactive to changing fundamentals, and willing to admit a mistake so action follows.
SDI is not easy, success is not assured, and in recent decades, advice from academics, and investment coaches, almost universally recommend index funds. Those NOT having the prerequisite time and interest are unlikely to develop the requisite skills for stock investing--thus the probability strongly suggests most newbies would be better served by indexing (Ben Graham wrote favorably of indexing). However, when done successfully, self-directed stock investing can offer rich psychic and financial rewards.
CORE PORTFOLIO Presently, +/-30 equities. Core holdings dominate at about 65% of total portfolio positions. Favored are traditional, large- and mid-cap, low-beta, best/near-best in class, institutional-owned, moaty, dividend-paying, value and growth stocks, having investment-grade debt ratings, and representing the consumer staples, healthcare, utilities, and telecom sectors.
OPPORTUNISTIC PORTFOLIO The remaining 15+ positions consist of equally well-known dividend-payers found among widely-owned cyclicals, such as financial, industrials, consumer discretionary, technology, real estate, and energy sectors are sensitive to the economy. In an expanding economy, cyclicals typically grow their earnings (and dividends) faster than do the typically slower-growing core companies. But because the reverse is also true, in a contracting economy, these positions are intended to be heavily trimmed to preserve gains as the economy peaks and shows evidence of decline. Some are susceptible to quite significant price declines when Mr. Market assumes their will suffer reduced earnings, and sometimes dividend-freezes/cuts, in anticipation of those events.
Rich is sometimes fully-invested, but unlike some, observes no such rule. Building a large cash cushion at the front-end of a correction/bear market (-20%) provides the dry powder required to both cushion the market's decline, and also creates the cash required to purchase excellent companies at below FV prices (without having to sell a position he wants to keep!).
TRIMMING POSITIONS When positions in either portfolio become significantly overvalued, they are trimmed by 5-10%, and the proceeds applied to fairly valued companies before the (almost always) temporary gift of over-valuation reverts to the price mean. If the position continues to advance, and absent other information, the position will be trimmed again. Added benefits to selective trimming include (1) serves as a more sensible method of rebalancing (as opposed to automatic--professionals do not use such a meat cleaver); (2) reduces the position's remaining Capital at Risk (which may suggest room for additional shares within an otherwise full position), and (3) provides the necessary dry powder to buy other shares at FV or below.
OTHER INTERESTS As we age, the importance of family grows. Rich has long volunteered in his community; over the years has served with distinction as member/chair of a number of advisory committees. Assisting others on SA is also a source of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Finally, having been blessed by years of excellent investment performance, Joyce and Rich have long been avid world travelers, and have visited over 60 countries over a span of 30 years (his SA avatar reflects the Taj Mahal in his sun glasses). They reside in Michigan--for 9 months of beauty, bliss, and family, and thoroughly enjoy wintering in equally beautiful Naples FL--for 3 months of sunny warmth and relaxation.
Life is good--it's been an unbelievably awesome ride!
Brad Thomas is a research analyst and he currently writes weekly for Forbes and Seeking Alpha where he maintains research on many publicly-listed REITs. In addition, Thomas is the Senior Analyst at iREIT Forbes and Editor of the Forbes Real Estate Investor, a monthly subscription-based newsletter.
Thomas has also been featured in Forbes Magazine, Kiplinger’s, US News & World Report, Money, NPR, Institutional Investor, GlobeStreet, and Fox Business. He was the #1 contributing analyst on Seeking Alpha in 2014 (as ranked by TipRanks) and he is currently writing a book on the legendary investor Donald Trump.
Thomas has co-authored a book (The Intelligent REIT Investor) that is available on Amazon.
Thomas received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Economics from Presbyterian College where he played basketball. He resides in South Carolina with his wife and kids.
I am a Civil Engineer, who is married with two young kids and a third on the way. In early 2013 I took a more active role in managing my IRA for retirement and decided to publicly share my experiences in building the portfolio as an example for the dividend growth investing strategy.
My interest in investing mostly began in 2005 when I started up an investment club with a few friends from college and has accelerated as I've been reading and learning along the way. Since then, investing and the stock market has become a passion and favorite hobby and I've enjoyed writing about stocks and sharing ideas I have here on Seeking Alpha.
My investing goals are to build a nest egg for retirement and fund college education accounts for my kids. I invest mainly in dividend paying stocks that have shown a history of consistent growth in earnings and dividend payouts.
Hello Folks at Seeking Alpha. For the last five years or so I have been reading and enjoying many of the articles offered here at SA At the age of 77, I'm a bit old to be playing around in the market but here I am anyway. I made my first stock purchase at age 21 or 22. My father died in 1959 and left me his life insurance policy valued at $5,000.00. Year 1961. Knowing that I might just put the money in the bank and spend it I asked my parents' lawyer to give me advice. These were his recommendations: 1000.00 in GM 1000.00 in IBM 1000.00 in Stand Oil of NJ, which is now Exxon 2000.00 in second trusts When my children reached the age of 12 or 13, I returned to work at EPA (1974). But didn't start doing much investing until IRA's were offered in 1981. By 1986 I was also able to contribute to the government's TSP plan. Since I was rather young, I tired to follow my mother's sage advice: Set up a budget plan with different categories, dividing total income among each categories each payday. She and my dad's philosophy was this: Pay God (or charity) first at 10% and yourself (meaning savings or investments) second also at 10% . The remainder to be divided among such categories as: housing, transportation, children, dogs/cats, gifts other than charities, food, personal, entertainment, and emergencies. This method has helped me sleep at night. I graduated from Penn Hall Prep School in 1958, attended GW University. During my teen years I worked most summers in the Alexandria/Arlington VA area. I went to work for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in late 1958, then at DIA in 1961. Our first child was born in late 1963 and I resigned from DIA in early 1964.Our second son was born in 1965. My husband is retired from the Air Force and the Postal Service. We have been married 52 years. I retired from the Environmental Protection Agency in 1995 (early out).
All Accounts Percentage of Holdings as of 2016-063-301 by Sector
Sectors..............................................% of Portfolios
Sector: Consumer Discretionary
CRACKER BARREL (CBRL)........0.68
GENUINE PARTS (GPC)...............1.78
HOME DEPOT (HD)......................0.34
MC DONALDS .(MCD).................1.77
ROSS STORES INC (ROST)..........0.60
Sector: Consumer Staples
COCA COLA CO (KO)..................2.47
COLGATE PALMOLIVE (CL)......0.38
CVS HEALTH CORP (CVS)..........0.50
GENERAL MILLS INC (GIS) 1.74
KIMBERLY CLARK (KMB)..........1.20
KRAFT HEINZ CO (KHC).............1.48
PEPSICO INC NC (PEP).................0.97
PHILIP MORRIS INTL (PM).........3.66
PROCTER & GAMBLE (PG).........2.93
UNILEVER PLC ADS (UL)...........0.61
CHEVRON CORP (CVX)..............2.42
ENERGY TRANSFER PAR(ETP).0.49
ENTERPRISE PROD PAR (EPD)..1.03
EXXON MOBIL CORP (XOM).....0.30
MAGELLAN MIDSTR (MMP)......0.41
AFLAC INC (AFL)........................1.37
JPMORGAN CHASE (JPM)..........1.77
WELLS FARGO & CO (WFC)......0.96
ABBVIE INC (ABBV)...................1.88
AMGEN INC (AMGN).................0.49
CARDINAL HEALTH (CAH)......0.86
GILEAD SCIENCE (GILD)..........0.71
JOHNSON & JOHNSON (JNJ).....3.27
PFIZER INC (PFE)........................1.94
SHIRE PLC ADR (SHPG)..............0.33
CATERPILLAR INC (CAT)...........1.25
CSX CORP (CSX)..........................0.82
EMERSON ELECTRIC (EMR)......0.86
GENERAL ELECTRIC (GE)..........1.92
GENL DYNAMICS (GD)..............0.55
LOCKHEED MARTIN (LMT)......0.66
RAYTHEON CO (RTN)................2.47
STANLEY BLK & DECK (SWK)..0.29
UNION PACIFIC (UNP).................0.47
Sector Information Tech
APPLE INC (AAPL).......................2.34
INTEL CORP (INTC)....................2.28
INTL BUSINESS MACH (IBM)....2.43
MASTERCARD INC (MA)............0.46
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT).........0.27
QUALCOMM INC (QCOM)..........0.78
VISA INC (V).................................0.29
AIR PROD & CHEM (APD)..........0.80
SPDR GOLD TR GOLD (GLD).....0.26
Sector: Multi Sectors
GABELLI DIV&INCM TR (GDV).1.00
VENTAS INC (VTR).....................0.98
VERIZON COMM (VZ).................2.08
AMER ELECTRIC POW (AEP).....0.92
DOMINION RES INC (D)..............2.75
DUKE ENERGY CORP (DUK)......0.56
SCANA CORP (SCG).....................0.93
SEMPRA ENERGY (SRE).............0.30
SOUTHERN CO (SO) ....................1.84
WEC ENERGY GROUP (WEC)....0.34
Mutual Funds & Bond Funds......11.34 %
I am a retired wall street attorney. I started out specializing exclusively in securities law. As I developed my practice, it morphed into a corporate finance practice specializing in mergers and acquisitions, with the securities law aspects being secondary.
I'm not much for diversification. I tend to put a substantial amount in a few baskets and then watch those baskets very, very carefully.