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Nicholas Ward

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  • The Seeking Alpha Experiment: Portfolio Introduction And 2013 Quarter 1 Review [View article]
    I am sorry that you feel this way. I do follow your portfolio concepts, I have learned quite a bit from them - I even mentioned within this article the benefits that I feel these sort of projects offer to readers. I am not sure why you are so demeaning towards my concept however, I can assure you that this does come from my actual experience (the phrase "woulda, coulda, shoulda" is commonly used, especially in the part of the country where I reside). For that matter, I believe the term anchor is also commonly used when referring to core positions. I can assure you that I did not plagiarize from your articles (I actually tried to back track to the original pieces you wrote to see which form you used but I couldn't find them, there were so many).

    I appreciate your comment and your concern but I don't believe that anyone has the right to monopolize a concept; I think investors can and will benefit from as many theoretical portfolio projects that contributors are willing maintain.
    Apr 12, 2013. 09:05 PM | 28 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Seeking Alpha Experiment: Portfolio Introduction And 2013 Quarter 1 Review [View article]
    I just read your article linked. It is very well done. I think it's fair to say that my use of "coulda, woulda, shoulda" and yours are rather unrelated; you were writing of two highly speculative tech stocks and I was speaking generally about my current lack of $100,000 dollars and therefore my inability to initiate these theoretical positions.

    I also agree with you that we have not chosen similar positions. Your "Young and Restless" portfolio is written for someone in a similar situation to my own, being a young man just starting an investment portfolio; however, you and I possess drastically different investing philosophies. I am focused on value and you seem to be focused on speculative growth. I am in no position to say which strategy is right or wrong, I imagine each have their merits. I think it will be interesting to compare these two ideas over the long term; this might give investors answers to their own questions.

    Once again, I am sorry that you feel so strongly that my article is inappropriate.

    I await any response that might come from SA as well; this hostility and controversy is bothersome. I write articles here to attempt to help others, not to stir things up.

    Best wishes to you, Regarded Solutions.
    Apr 12, 2013. 09:30 PM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yield On Cost: A Vitally Important Consideration For Retired Investors [View article]
    Chuck, thank you for this piece, probably one of my favorites of yours thus far. Whether one believes in YOC or actual yield, the portfolio narrative that you illustrated towards the back end of the article should put any dividend investors heart and mind at peace. I'm sorry to see that you've had to deal with people becoming upset at your "narcissistic purist" phrase. I think you were justified in using it, you explained yourself well in both the article and in the ensuing comments. Seems like political correctness rearing its ugly head again. You made a strong point with the phrase which sparked a lively conversation. Your goal was achieved - individuals on either side of this equation were forced to consider their positions. Thank you for a thought provoking piece - don't let anyone who was "insulted" by your diction get you down, your statement was general and not specifically targeted; personally, I cannot understand any ill feelings.
    Sep 4, 2014. 02:24 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Strategy: One Basic Flaw Of Dividend Growth Investing [View article]
    "I have still not shown total return as I have about $25k left to deploy when the market next corrects."

    "The $25k in reserve will be deployed when some of these boring stocks have another dip. I buy the dips, and grow my income like a good farmer."

    ^^these statements would imply that you do concern yourself with volatility (at least until your cash is spent). Buying the dip is playing market volatility. Even the most conservative value investor concerns himself with volatility - this is how we find margin of safety.
    Nov 7, 2014. 05:05 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • DGI For Dummies: Managing Your Dividend Growth Portfolio [View article]
    WallStreet - thank you for the informative comment. I especially agree with you in terms of the importance of a low payout ratio. I don't like owning stocks with payouts above 70% (most of my holdings are significantly below 50% due to the importance that I place on future dividend growth).

    Tax drag is a concern of mine. Over time I've just accepted the fact that as an American happily living in a modern civilized society, it is my duty to pay back into the system for so many of the big and little things that we all take for granted on a day to day basis. I haven't found a more reliable way to create a passive income stream than DGI; I've thought about income properties but I worry about the potential costs associated. One day I hope to add further income generating diversification into my portfolio, but for now, I'm happy holding DGI stocks.
    Sep 5, 2014. 06:06 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Seeking Alpha Experiment: Portfolio Introduction And 2013 Quarter 1 Review [View article]
    I am glad to hear that; I hope that a decision brings resolution to this anxious situation.

    Congratulations on your brand, those numbers are quite astounding. I have just started my career writing financial articles and can only hope that one day I manage to engage and inspire so many readers.

    I will say that by writing this I had no intention of compromising your brand in any way. I am very happy to be a part of the community that exists on Seeking Alpha and hope that each piece I contribute is beneficial in some way. I can't say that I see a connection between me creating a theoretical portfolio and making it public and any potential disturbance to the brand you've obviously worked very hard to build. I did not mention any of your articles specifically (I had no plans to). I've read pieces similar to my own written by authors other than yourself outlining potential portfolios and explaining their thinking behind the picks. As I said before, I truly enjoy reading these sort of pieces and had a great time putting together one of my own.

    I plan on writing future pieces in regards to this experiment to the best of my ability. I hope that my writing does not insult you.

    I will apologize once again for your perturbation. I want to reiterate that I don't have plans to sabotage your brand in any way and I am sorry to hear that you believe it has already been compromised. I am not sure that I understand this, but to each is his own.

    Best of luck with Regarding Solutions, it sounds like you are well on your way to greatness.
    Apr 12, 2013. 10:04 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • DGI: Should You Focus More On Share Count Growth Rather Than Share Price Volatility? [View article]
    Buyandhold, always good to hear from you. Your mother is channeling her inner Rockefeller, who said, "Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It's to see my dividends coming in."

    Although I think he's taking it to an unnecessary extreme - as mortal individuals we should find joy in all aspects in our lives; money, to a certain extent, should be an afterthought. But, that being said, we all need money to live and dividends are one of my favorite forms of it.
    Sep 19, 2014. 03:33 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My High Dividend Yield Retirement Portfolio Delivers 8.8% Of Income For This Retiree [View article]
    I too worry that you may be over concentrated, although I admit that my opinion should hold zero weight if you are comfortable with your DD/decisions. I hold over 50 positions, which can be some work to monitor, but like billinsd said, allows for me to sleep well at night. Good luck and thanks for sharing your story. As someone whose basically learned to invest reading articles here on SA as well as on other sites, I think these personal narratives can serve other investors very well if we are willing to learn from others' mistakes.
    Jul 24, 2014. 03:23 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Like General Motors At Today's Undervalued Price [View article]
    Scooter-pop, thanks for the comment. favorite game to play when I go gambling (probably because its the only one that I'm currently up in). Good luck with your position - I hope you're right about the double. Seems reasonable if the company can put this mess behind them and allow investors to focus on their performance, rather than their past.
    Nov 13, 2014. 02:51 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • DGI: Should You Focus More On Share Count Growth Rather Than Share Price Volatility? [View article]
    awayk, thank you for your comment. You've amassed quite the collection of stocks there. I am long many of them: AAPL, GILD, INTL, KMI, MO, O, PM, T, WMT, and XOM. I was seriously considering purchasing shares of UTX recently when it was trading around 104, I can't remember what exactly my target price was, but I know it never quite got there and I didn't get shares - I do really like that company though.

    As far as your first question goes, I'm not sure if there is an exact right answer. There are people here on SA that invest on a regular schedule (doing their best to look for value), ensuring that they average into positions over time - and there are people who will not even think about initiating new positions when the market is at/near all time highs and stocks are demanding a premium. I think like everything else in life, there is a happy middle ground in there somewhere that will work best for you. I don't know what your costs basis is on the shares of the companies you own but it seems to me that you've been doing a good job of identifying solid companies. More than anything, I think that is key - you may not crush the major indexes if you were to go all in on a stock like JNJ right now (I'm not advising you do so, I don't really advise anyone to do anything here being that I'm just a farm manager who studied English, likes to coach football, and manage his own portfolio) but I'd think it is a safe bet that you wouldn't lose money over the long haul buying shares of such a wonderful company.

    Patience is key. I have a hard time dealing with this as well. When money is sitting on the sidelines and the market rises I sometimes feel like I've missed out. Capital preservation is one of my primary goals, so I always have that to fall back on mentally (you can't lose money you haven't invested). I think sitting back and waiting for dips in wonderful companies is a sound strategy and that's what I plan on doing with the remainder of the cash hoard that I currently have waiting to invest.

    Good luck to you with your accounts and Best wishes.
    Sep 20, 2014. 03:51 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Bought Walgreen On This 15% Alliance Boots Pullback [View article]
    BuyandHold, you're probably right - in a market wide sell off WAG will drop like the rest of the S&P. The problem is, I don't know when the big one is coming and its very possible that the stocks potential gains before the next major correction could off-set any loss in share price. I've worried about a major correction for several years now; however the market is up over 30%. I don't foresee a 30% drop in the stock market barring some sort of geopolitical catastrophe (I don't think the Russia/Ukraine situation will lead to this). Because of my inability to time the market and a potential major drop, I've decided to slowly accumulate high quality (mostly DGI type) stocks over time. I see a lot of merit if your strategy, but I think an investor risks losing out on a lot of potential gains by waiting and waiting for something that is never guaranteed. From reading your past comments I know that you've already accumulated a respectable portfolio and therefore, you're probably more willing to wait. I think for someone in the beginning of an accumulation phase, its more important to gain exposure to high quality companies with a history of increasing earnings and dividend payouts which are also predictably increasing moving forward. For me as a young investor, getting the compounding ball rolling is #1 priority - I look for value within the market, regardless of what the indexes say, sales exist, you just have to find them. Best wishes - always happy to see you commenting.
    Aug 7, 2014. 10:35 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What I Bought Over The Last 4 Months, And Why I Bought It [View article]
    Congrats on your QCOM entry. As gatsby stated, I write from a first person perspective here on SA because I want readers to know and understand that the opinions being expressed are my own - they may take them or leave them for whatever they feel they're worth. I appreciate you both taking the time to comment.
    Jul 30, 2014. 10:28 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Patience: The Key To Successful Investing [View article]
    disillusioned, I will attempt to respond to your lengthy comment bullet by bullet so that I don't miss anything.

    1 - You are right - when I initially began investing I did not have a well developed or thoughtful strategy. I was picking stocks emotionally and entirely too quickly, with hopes of quick/out sized profits. I was searching the market for apparent value by listening to what others had to say, instead of paying attention to fundamentals and a company's actual growth prospects. I would argue that this is a strategy, albeit a failed one.

    2 - I will have to agree that at some basic level, all investing is about greed. However, there is undoubtedly a spectrum in terms of the levels of greed that one may pursue. And, I believe that in moving from a short sighted and irrationally driven method of investing to a more grounded and seemingly reliable method has changed the level of greed that I was pursuing, and in turn, the level of volatility that I was exposing myself to.

    If I was being derogatory by using the term greed, I was doing so in regards to my self and the ignorance that I was employing. Pursuing a different level of greed, one that pursues larger financial gains in the short term rather than accepting smaller, though seemingly reliable growth (as I have done), could easily work well for another investor. I follow several contributors here who often speak of their astounding gains using options and shorts. These individuals are obviously very successful investors; however, I would argue that in collecting these significant gains they are putting their capital at a higher inherent risk that I am my own. To each is his own - I said in the beginning of the article that there are many ways to make profits in the market - it's all about figuring out which ways work best for you.

    3 - I should have made it more clear that by spending this "free cash flow" I meant that I would be re-investing the funds to help create a compounding situation. I don't necessarily hold onto the belief that direct re-investment is the way to go - but I do, at this stage in my life anyway, plan on putting all dividends collected back into my portfolio by adding shares that I deem to be undervalued of high-quality companies that fit into my strategy (which most likely means one who produces predictable earnings and pays a reliably increasing dividend).

    I agree that higher yield is not always better than lower yield. I invest in companies who increase their dividends consistently because this shows a steady earnings growth. I also pay attention to payout ratios and avoid those companies whose ratio is above my predetermined threshold. Here is a recent article that I wrote talking about the importance, or lack there of rather, of yield:

    4 - I am going to have to respectfully disagree with this point overall. I admit, that I have "drunk the cool-aid" in regards to DGI investing. I am not shameful about this.

    "Long- term compounding is created whenever you continue to hold a position, or reinvest its profits. It is not dependent on any strategy." - I would say that the selection of high quality stocks, buying them, and holding onto them is a strategy in itself.

    And, I sometimes hope to see the market drop (and yes, my portfolio's wealth in tandem) due to the fact that I am in an accumulation phase and I believe strongly that the companies that I am buying will in the long term appreciate greatly. Being that I hold onto this belief, it would obviously serve me better in the long-term to see and capitalize on opportunities to buy shares of these companies at discounted prices. The more shares (and therefore, dividends collected and reinvested) the merrier and with a budget, lower prices means more shares.

    "See item (XIV) in the list at that shows that there is no benefit from reinvesting dividends during interim downturns."

    First off, I will say that I am not interested in an investment in XIV, or any of the other volatility trackers. I can see the benefit of these investments but they simply don't mesh well with my own philosophy.

    Secondly, I am not sure how reinvesting, or for that matter, buying stocks into a downturn will be a bad thing for an investor who focuses on high quality companies. History has shown that these companies tend to bounce back and buying shares during a dip, even if you can't predict the bottom, essentially give the investor a margin of safety so long as the suspect that the stock will eventually regain its losses and continue its march higher.

    In conclusion I will say that this article is merely a snapshot of a much larger picture in regards to my investment strategy's growth and development. In other articles I have expanded on this idea - I would refrain from making large-scale judgments with only having seen one piece of the puzzle. I do appreciate your comment though - devil's advocates always inspire thought and thought inspires education. Education is why I read/write here; there is no use to having a closed mind when doing so could cost me money. I hope that I have responded to your concerns in an adequate fashion. Happy Memorial Day.
    May 27, 2013. 01:08 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Not Hedge Whole Foods By Investing In A Whole Foods' Landlord? [View article]
    Brad, first off, let me say that I am honored to be quoted in your article and to be associated in some way to the great work you do. I follow your REIT pieces and once again, it seems as if you have a winner with this idea. I wouldn't have thought of the grocery store anchored shopping center as a possible hedge for a WFM investment but I like the stability and dividend that REG offers. This business model seems sound, creating an economic ecosystem of sorts for all parties involved in the symbiotic shopping center layout. It seems like REG is headed in the right direction with its recent disposition trend. I like your $46 price range with the 4% yield. I will be closely watching this stock and its current dip.

    One question though - and it may be an obvious one, I don't know as I haven't taken the time to completely understand REIT's fundamentally - but, I noticed that REG is a terribly negative 1 year EPS growth figure. My Scottrade account is showing it as -231.44%. Should I be concerned by this? Are REIT dividends (dividend growth) primarily driven by EPS? I know that with REIT's the importance hierarchy of financial metrics changes, is EPS not so important for a company like this? Am I missing something obvious (sorry if that's the case). Once again, great piece - it is an interesting read. Being a fan of dividends I know I need to develop a better understanding of this type of investment.

    "By investing in Whole Foods and Regency Centers, I like my odds and better yet, I think I can accomplish the goal that makes every investor happy - sleeping well at night!" - couldn't have said it better myself.
    May 27, 2013. 01:31 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could An iOS Exclusive iRadio Win The Summer Smartphone War For Apple? [View article]
    Wigit, thank you for your comment. I don't think anyone chooses a phone because of its radio capabilities but I do think consumers compare and buy products because of unique features. Free internet radio already has a lot of fanfare and if Apple could integrate this into their already well established stable of products I can imagine this swaying undecided patrons.
    Apr 4, 2013. 04:23 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment