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Since December 24, 2014, I have demonstrated on Seeking Alpha the ongoing construction and portfolio management of the Fill-The-Gap Portfolio aimed at highlighting strategies investors may utilize to close the gap between an average Social Security benefit and the much greater costs faced in retirement.
This portfolio has outperformed all of the broad market indexes by a very wide margin, growing dividend income and total portfolio value consistently while the broader indexes struggle in negative territory all year.
Aside from free articles available to the general public, additional early-access, value-added ideas and deep-dive articles are offered to paid subscribers on my premium SA platform, "Retirement: One Dividend At A Time"
Let me show you how to build and grow your portfolio and dividend income, step by step, towards a comfortable and secure retirement.
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.
I have also been successfully trading cash secured puts for extra income. I share my experience on my websites, Tradingcsps.com and my blog Tradingputs.com.
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.
I am a buy and hold common stock investor. Warren Buffett is definitely my guru. He makes the most sense to me. I began investing in the stock market at age 14 in 1970 with money earned on my paper route. What I have done since 1970 is invest primarily in the Dividend Aristocrats whenever the stock market is relatively low. I have never sold a single share of stock except on the rare occasion when one of my stocks was bought out for cash and I was forced to sell..
I keep all of my stock certificates or direct registration statements in a safe deposit box at the bank. I do not automatically reinvest dividends. I only purchase stocks when I feel that the stock market is relatively low. Brown University, B. A., 1978.
Below are the 36 stocks in my portfolio.
I hope you find my articles interesting and informative.
A man-with-a-plan, I am utilizing knowledge gained from my business degree 25+ years in the business world and a similar number of years of investing experience, to manage my investments.
I have created and maintain a stable and growing portfolio of individual US listed dividend growth stocks, over 30% of which are non-US based but headquartered in Canada, Great Briton, the Netherlands and Australia.
I believe that asset allocation is the primary decision an investor must make considering his objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. I am fully invested and 90% of that is in stock.
I believe that the small individual investor is often best served by low cost index funds. Stock picking, attempted market timing and frequent trading usually work to the disadvantage of the average small investor. However, you may define small as you like and nothing prevents any investor from emulating the market greats of our time such as Warren Buffett or Peter Lynch. Greater rewards can be obtained by buying and holding individual securities if one has background, the interest, the time and the disciplne to do so in an effective way.
There are many ways to make money in the stock and bond markets. My approach to is to take ownership positions in successful large cap companies and hold them a number of years. Dividend Growth Investing is a conservative approach which involves lower than average risks and higher than average rewards.
My writing experience began when I was a senior in high school. I was a local stringer for Maine's largest newspaper and covered school and amatuer sports. Concurrent with a successful career in the business world I wrote magazine articles, journal articles, short fiction, poetry and a devotional book.
A long time student of security markets I immensely enjoy the opportunity to write for Seeking Alpha, which is a very high quality well run organization with excellent editorial support. It is also possibly the best business forum on the internet and I am proud to be a part of it.
Most of my articles focus on several topics:
Income Portfolio Strategy
Canadian Banks and Telecoms
Best regards and good luck!
-- Bob J
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. In addition, Thomas is co-authoring a book on REIT Investing to be published in 2016.
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 have extensive experience in statistics and actuarial science.
My name is Todd Johnson. I’m a family man, sports fiend, health nut, technology buff, long-time stock investor, and a very lucky mountain climber, all of which has shaped my philosophy as a professional investor for the last 30 years. As my interests might suggest, I am always looking for the upside while striving to minimize risks.
My new passion, which I have realized through DividendLab.com project, is helping other investors learn more about investing; investing in stocks and other assets that are subject to wide price swings can actually enhance their returns when the right investment strategy is applied. To that end, I read company 10k and 10q statements so they can skip them. I compile and analyze the market research that isn’t always at their fingertips. And I don’t make any investment recommendation without committing my own funds first, which is the purest form of accountability.
Income investing has become his focal interest due to the challenges that the ZIRP environment presents. Not an advocate of any single portfolio strategy, he promotes a "go anywhere" philosophy predicated on value, forward thinking, and perceived sustainability. While the past may be instructive, Aloisi doesn't see it as necessarily predictive. Times change and investors of all kinds must adapt.
In his free time he likes to talk politics, play the piano, garden, and go antiquing. Mr. Aloisi was recently elected to a 4-year term on his local school board, garnering the most votes out of 6 candidates.
Consumer Discretionary: MCD, NKE, TGT
Consumer Staples: COST, GIS, KHC, KO, MO, PEP, PG, PM, WBA
Energy: CVX, KMI, XOM
Health: ABBV, AMGN, GILD, JNJ
Industrial: 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 21 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, SBUX, 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 the end of 2015, 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. 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!
I still occasionally post to the blog I initiated in 2007 -- lots of sports stuff, some politics, some personal junk -- at www.TheBaldestTruth.com.
My SDI journey began in 1973, and resulted in financial independence allowing me to retire from corporate life in 1995 at age 53.
Rich no longer engages in the growth strategies he used for wealth accumulation, and having moved on to wealth preservation, is now much more conservative. His portfolio consists of only dividend-payers, and is designed in ‘barbell’ fashion having high-yield low growth income stocks on one end, and dividend ‘sweet-spot’ plus a few growth stocks having high DGRs occupy the other end. This combination, along with having stocks in 10 of the 11 S&P GICS sectors provides broad diversification.
His intention is to limit the portfolio’s downside to about 50% of the market’s during deep bear markets, while also about achieving 65% or more of the market’s upside during roaring bull markets. The resulting ‘smoother-ride’ levels out the peaks and valleys. However, that smoother ride cannot be achieved without some level of active management and continuous monitoring of positions--therefore TIME is an essential input to his portfolio management.
ANALOGY to convey Rich's investment philosophy
Consider having about 50 horses rotating in teams of 8 pulling his wagon as the missus and himself complete a lifelong journey from coast to coast. If he had only a 8 horses, all pulling the wagon at the same time, the wagon would move well for only a short time, and as a couple horses tired, the others would have difficulty pulling the added share of the load, and soon they would all be tired.
Fortunately, they have horses in 10 major breeds and many sub-breeds [S&P sectors/industries]. Some breeds pull best when the [market] path is uphill (such as toward the peak of a beautiful mountain chart); others are well-suited to a controlled descent as the wagon travels treacherous down-slopes; still others are most suitable to the minor ups/downs of the broad plains. Some horses are much like common large, slow, dependable draft horses; others similar to thoroughbreds capable of busts of thrilling speed. As horses tire and require rest, other horses that have rested, grazed, and replenished their energy, move into harness and pull the wagon. The result is a smoother-ride, while making relatively steady progress for he and the missus.
Active herd management is required. They occasionally find themselves delayed when a horse becomes ill--hopefully, only requiring extended rest and closer monitoring while the vet [BoD] treats it. However, it's one thing for a horse to require extra rest and medication, and another to be fundamentally injured and have a dark prognosis. Thus being able to identify the difference (and without emotion 'pull the trigger'--sell when appropriate), is an essential skill.
Above all, horses are not pets, horses must be considered tools used to meet goals.
All Rich's horses have a common distinction--they regularly poop a very special green manure--heaps of it just keeps coming! Most poop quarterly (a horse named "O" poops monthly). Some produce more poop than the average horse, and some less. Often the younger/smaller horses poop less because they're still converting most grasses and grains to energy so the can grow faster.
Horse poop is fungible, it is exchanged for food, clothing, shelter, cars, entertainment, travel, and even wintering-over in Naples. (They also gift horse poop to their children and grand-kids while they are still able to apply gentle steering to how ‘found-poop’ is best exchanged.)
STRATEGY SINCE 2008
Rich targets both legs of TOTAL RETURN (distributions + price change). His Growth & Income strategy focuses on value investing using only dividend-payers. He seeks a ‘margin of safety’ in selecting sound companies many other investors are avoiding. (i.e., fundamentals and lower p/e ratios suggest limited downside), and is paid to wait for other investors to recognize their value and assign them a greater share price.
As for portfolio selections, Rich selects well-established dividend-paying companies selected first for a high-probability of growing earnings (growth of earnings is ESSENTIAL to producing ever larger heaps of poop). He tends to be flexible, reactive to changing fundamentals, and forward-looking, rather than driving his portfolio by stats seen in the rear-view mirror.
Self directed investing (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--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.
Presently, +/-30 equities. Core holdings dominate at about 80% of total portfolio value, and favor 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.
The remaining 15-20 positions consists of equally well-known dividend-payers found in the widely-owned financial, industrial cyclical, consumer discretionary, technology, real estate, and energy sectors (nothing in materials). Companies in these sectors are more sensitive to the economy. In an expanding economy, they 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 opportunistic positions are intended to be heavily trimmed as the economy peaks and shows evidence of decline, and before they become susceptible to significant price declines as Mr. Market assumes their will suffer reduced earnings, and sometimes dividend-freezes/cuts (it is far more productive to get in front of significant price declines).
Building a large cash cushion at the front-end of a bear market provides the required dry powder to both cushion the bear market's resulting price declines, and also creates the ability to purchase excellent companies at below FV prices (without having to sell a position Rich wants to keep!).
When positions in either portfolio become 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. Monitoring sometimes provides information justifying unusual price action. Added benefits to trimming include (a) it serves as a sensible rather than automatic re-balancing; (b) it reduces the position's remaining Capital at Risk (which when the share price reverts to its mean, may suggest room for additional shares within an otherwise full position).
Rich has long volunteered in his community, and 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 50 countries over a span of 30 years (his SA avatar reflects the Taj Mahal in his sun glasses). They reside in Michigan--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 a fantastic ride!
My curent portfolio is available here:
My portfolio business plan is here:
A list of Dividend Growth Safety Superstars for the past decade is available here:
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to manage three different types of portfolios -- for my centenarian mother, my young nephews, and my wife and me. This has given me the invaluable experience of thinking concretely about different profiles of current yield, growth, and total return. Generally speaking, I believe that investors of all ages should partake of all parts of this spectrum, just in different proportions. The articles I have written for SA, and the ones I plan for the future, are focused on developing this concept.
Escape velocity is the speed that an object needs to be traveling to break free of the planet's gravitational pull and leave it without further propulsion.
This portfolio is looking for the point where the income being generated can allow the holder of this portfolio to escape the gravitational pull of the market and economic forces of worrying about share prices.
The objective is to generate enough income from assets that the only selling of shares will become an option, not a necessity to survive. Therefore, with enough income being generated, it minimizes the fear of meaningful market corrections as dividends are based on the number of shares owned, not the share price.
I'm particularly proud of bullish macro articles posted in 2009 and later, in which I presented ideas that encouraged me to invest very profitably in a rising market. I also did articles on individual stocks, many of which contained insights not available elsewhere. Finally, I wrote a number of thoughtful articles critical of financialism and the lack of ethics on Wall Street.
I do not post for compensation, as I am concerned that editorial policy encourages and pays a premium for articles that invite the reader to speculate on the short term movements of microcaps, penny stocks, and controversial issues. The best way for me to monetize my insights is to invest accordingly.
As a retail investor, I don't give investment advice. I write about what I'm investing in, and the thought process involved in decision making and stock selection. Hopefully some of what I write is of benefit to others, by sharing my experience as I interpret it and helping them improve their investment thinking and process.
I am self-employed, and manage my own SEP/IRA and investments for retirement.
My personal investing goal is to own a portfolio of dividend growth companies such that:
1) The overall portfolio dividend income is sufficient to pay for all of my routine retirement
expenses. I do not ever want to be forced to sell something to produce cash, especially
when my asset prices are down. [I have no objection to occasionally choosing to sell
something to pay for a one-time expense such as a vacation or a gift.]
2) The overall portfolio dividend income rises each year by more than the rate of inflation,
so that my purchasing power does not erode over time.
I invest primarily in David Fish's lists of Dividend Champions, Dividend Contenders, and
See http://www.dripinvesting.org/tools for those lists.
I do not invest in MLP's or BDC's.
My portfolio (as of 7/21/2015) is:
I maintain a free web site that contains dividend histories for all of David Fish's Dividend Champions, Contenders and Challengers:
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.
I started my online venture to educate people about investing and to be able to spend more time with my family.
I used to struggle with the same issues millions of small investors deal with on a daily basis. Which stocks to buy? When to sell them? How to find the time to manage my portfolio? How to diversify? I wasn’t into dividend investing until I looked in depth at my portfolio returns and realized I was having difficulty keeping up with the market.
The root of the problem was a very poorly built portfolio that lacked structure and the components required to build a sturdy base. I made good money from the stock market but I was taking unnecessary risk to achieve my investing goals.
From that point on, I was determined to create a portfolio strategy that would allow me to benefit from dividend growth stocks as a solid foundation. Since then, I manage my portfolio with a stress free method that enables me to cash out dividend payments even when the market goes sour.
I have followed and studied the stock market for over 30 years, developing a trading style which suits my personality. My style changes with my perception of the market. During the 'crisis' of 2008 I utilized trades that last about a month on average. Starting in late 2008 and early 2009 I have been more of an intermediate term holder of precious metals miners and explorers, which have done very well for me thus far. Since 2010 I have been transitioning into a Dividend Growth style with a great deal of assistance from the Seeking Alpha DGI community.
I keep tabs on the economy and the market by perusing the headlines and some articles of interest on a routine basis. The more I study, the more I begin to see how much more I need to learn. I like to think that I've picked up a thing or two, but there's always more.
Several years ago I 'discovered' Austrian economic thought. It forms the framework for my economic and market analysis. It seems to work for me.
I spend most of my time reading through annual reports looking for a small-cap stock to feature in my monthly edition of "The Conservative Investor Digest." That is where you can find my best work, and that is where I focus my research.
You can become a subscriber here: https://gumroad.com/l/HmqJx
The Part-time Investor