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Regarded Solutions
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DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW US IN REAL TIME ________________________________________________________________________ Retired, living in South Florida. We have been investing for 40 years and lean towards a conservative approach with dividend paying blue chips, as well as a small amount of short term... More
  • ETFs Vs. Individual Stocks: An Historical Record From The Birth Of This Experiment

    The latest article is with SA editors for publication as soon as they can get to it.

    Please take the time to review these articles:

    1)Retirement Strategy: Can A Portfolio Of ETFs Outper... 3/12/2014

    2)Retirement Strategy: The ETF-Only Portfolio Versus ... 3/21/2014

    3)Retirement Strategy: ETF Portfolio Versus The Stock... 4/1/2014

    4)Retirement Strategy: The Active Manager Takes Actio... 4/6/2014

    5)Retirement Strategy: ETF Portfolio Versus The Stock... 5/1/2014

    6)Retirement Strategy: ETF Portfolio Vs. The Stock On... 5/31/2014

    7)Retirement Strategy: The ETF-Only Portfolio Vs. Buy... 7/1/2014

    8)Retirement Strategy: The ETF Only Portfolio Vs. Buy... 8/3/2014

    9)Retirement Strategy: ETF Only Portfolio Vs. Buy The... 8/29/2014

    10)Retirement Strategy: ETF Only Portfolio Vs. Buy The... 9/28/2014

    Perhaps you might not be convinced, but I certainly am.

    Nov 01 1:05 PM | Link | 2 Comments
  • How Will You Fund Your Retirement Portfolio?

    With my ongoing series on dividend growth investing, as well as being on the heels of this article the other day (The Absurdity of Believing That Dividends Don't Matter In Retirement), I believe it is prudent to discuss how we can actually fund a portfolio like our Buy The Dips Portfolio or BTDP. Clear out the cobwebs and think very basically for a moment. There are two ways for a regular investor to fund a portfolio:

    • Save as much as you can, for as long as you can, as soon as you can.
    • Eliminate as many expenses as you possibly can, prior to retirement.

    There are sub-sectors to these two rules, but that really is it in a nutshell.

    The BTDP WILL Produce Regular Income, But You Need To Fund It

    I can write about every stock on the planet, if an investor does nothing but think, dream or wish, nothing will ever happen. Currently, the BTDP is producing nearly $5k in annual income, and the portfolio is not even 6 months old. The initial investment was $110k, and in future articles I will discuss total returns.

    For the purpose of this piece, it is all about income being generated.

    The BTDP portfolio consists of AT&T (NYSE:T), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Altria (NYSE:MO), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), General Electric (NYSE:GE), Ford (NYSE:F), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Annaly Capital (NYSE:NLY), American Capital (NASDAQ:AGNC), and BGC Partners (NASDAQ:BGCP).

    SymbolSharesOrigYieldDividendAnnual Income
    T2005.60%$ 1.84$ 368.00
    XOM502.80%$ 2.76$ 138.00
    JNJ1003.10%$ 2.80$ 280.00
    KO2003.00%$ 1.22$ 244.00
    PG1003.10%$ 2.57$ 257.00
    GE3003.60%$ 0.88$ 264.00
    MCD1003.50%$ 3.24$ 324.00
    CVX503.60%$ 4.28$ 214.00
    AAPL752.25%$ 1.88$ 141.00
    MO1005.20%$ 1.92$ 192.00
    F4003.20%$ 0.50$ 200.00
    MSFT2002.80%$ 1.12$ 224.00
    WMT1002.50%$ 1.92$ 192.00
    PFE2003.20%$ 1.04$ 208.00
    NLY50010.70%$ 1.20$ 600.00
    AGNC30011.30%$ 2.60$ 780.00
    BGCP5006.30%$ 0.48$ 240.00
    xx4.46%x$ 4,866.00

    Notice that once again I have not shown the share price, because it does not matter in this discussion. However, this previous article did point out a few stocks that are at very reasonable pricing.

    Especially enticing right now are T, KO, PG, F, WMT, and PFE. Each have reasonable PE ratios, pay an average over 3.4% (just these) and have come significantly off of their 52 week highs, as noted in the article I highlighted above.

    The amount of funds allocated to this sort of portfolio will determine how much income you will begin with. By reinvesting all dividends right back into these stocks, you will own more shares and create more income, and that will continue to grow exponentially. Not too tough to figure out, but far too many people never ever get to this point.

    Saving money and reducing expenses will act as accelerators to this strategy.

    Start Saving Right This Second

    Take a look at this chart. I know it is simple, but if it opens ONE eyeball to the power of saving money, then I will have achieved at least something:

    (click to enlarge)

    I do know that 7% is a stretch right now, but as you can see from my BTDP chart, the current yield is 4.46% and we are just getting started.

    From the U.S Department of Labor:

    • Fewer than half of Americans have calculated how much they need to save for retirement.
    • In 2012, 30 percent of private industry workers with access to a defined contribution plan (such as a 401(k) plan) did not participate.
    • The average American spends 20 years in retirement.

    If you see yourself in one of these statistics, then the BTDP might never materialize, and that is what we hope to avoid.

    Since we all have time horizons, I offer this chart to note different actions, at various ages:

    (click to enlarge)

    Believe it or not, the 2 basic actions (savings and cutting expenses) can be done at the same time every now and then. Here are just a few examples:

    You can make your own list up, but these are just a few that are obvious. Add all of these up, and you would have saved about $57k in 10 years, or more than half of the amount I invested in the BTDP.

    Plus, you would have reduced expenses so you could potentially save even more. Let's look at a realistic example. If you have currently saved about $40k in the BTDP, just by saving $200/ monthly by eliminating a weekly dinner for 2, in ten years, based on just about my current yield of 4.46% (rounded to 5%) here is what that $40k will look like:

    For many folks, this approach could be as simple as breathing. Especially if you have set your sites on a more secure financial future. If you are a late starter, here are some suggestions from the Department of Labor:

    (click to enlarge)

    Since pictures are worth 1,000 words, I found this chart especially compelling from Fidelity Investments:

    (click to enlarge)

    Bob is 25 years old and earns $40,000 a year as a software designer. Eager to save more, Bob increases his salary deferral by 1%, boosting his initial monthly saving by $33 a month, to $133. That amount will grow over time along with his salary at 1.5% per year. He also invests in a growth-oriented portfolio. Assuming a 7.0% annual nominal return over his lifetime, that initial $33 a month in extra savings generates a potential $330 a month in retirement income. That's almost $4,000 a year, and more than $99,000 over 25 years in retirement. (Results are in today's pretax dollars.)

    Now consider Sally. She's 35 years old and earning $60,000 as a financial analyst. Like Bob, she too is concerned about her future, so she increases her deferral, from 6% of her salary to 7%. That initially increases her contributions by $50 a month, to $350, and that amount will grow along with her income-which is assumed to grow 1.5% each year. With a balanced asset mix, Sally's portfolio generates 5.5% annual nominal returns. By the time she retires at 67, her extra monthly savings generates a potential $180 a month more in retirement income, which is $2,160 a year, and $54,000 over 25 years.2

    Notice the striking difference between Bob's and Sally's retirement paychecks, illustrated in the table below. Even though initially Bob put away $17 less a month than Sally, his extra 1% in savings earned him $150 more per month than Sally's. Over 25 years of retirement, that difference could add up to $45,000. The reason: Bob started saving 10 years earlier than Sally, and earned higher returns (7.0% versus 5.5% nominal returns).

    Ok, now we have a 1% plan to add to our bag of tricks!

    Now You Are Ready

    By following a few basic steps, you are now ready to reap the benefits of a dividend growth portfolio like the BTDP. As I expand the portfolio to include more dividend champions, and add more of my savings to each, the current value of the portfolio will be doing only one thing, growing.

    Perhaps not always by the share price in each stock, but always by the amount of income being generated.

    • Savings matter.
    • Lower expenses matter.
    • DIVIDENDS ABSOLUTELY MATTER. Especially when compounded:

    The choice is always yours, and it truly is a choice, especially if you are seeking alpha, and reading this right now.

    What are you waiting for?

    Aug 17 9:46 AM | Link | 11 Comments
  • The Absolute Best Way To Use Seeking Alpha

    There are so many benefits to subscribers of Seeking Alpha that they are simply too many to count. In an attempt to help our first time readers, as well as our "regulars" I would like to suggest a few ways to enhance your experience on SA.

    The very first thing each subscriber needs to do is to define what his/her goals are. There are so many authors on SA, and each writes about what they know best.

    I cannot list all the names of the best authors to follow because I know I would leave out far too many. In that case, I would suggest that you narrow your own personal preferences.

    • Sector Stocks
    • Dividends and Income Stocks
    • Retirement Strategies and Portfolios
    • Small Cap Stocks
    • Large Cap Stocks
    • Quick Pick Lists Of Various Stocks
    • ETF Information
    • Macro Economic Views
    • News Updates Via "Market Currents"
    • Portfolio Management Articles
    • Investing Ideas In All Equity Categories
    • Company Transcripts, Earnings And Conference Calls

    I can go on, but I believe these areas would make a good start. Once you hone in on what you are subscribed for, scan the site for authors who write about particular areas. Since there are so many very strong authors, I am certain that everyone can find a plethora of contributors that suits just about everyone's needs and style.

    "Follow" the authors by clicking on the "follow" tab underneath the authors name/avatar, and set your own profile to receive an alert, daily, that the authors YOU personally follow has written a newly published article.

    At the same time, sign up for every alert you desire. Whether it is on individual stocks (I think this is the best), sectors, retirement, dividends and income, etc etc, you will get a real time alert from Seeking Alpha that an article has been written (not just by the authors you follow by the way).

    By just taking the simple steps I have noted, your personal Seeking Alpha experience will be greatly enhanced.

    If you would like to know who MY personal favorite authors are, just drop me a message to my inbox!

    Regarded Solutions

    Oct 27 7:27 PM | Link | 7 Comments
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