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Bye-Bye Annaly, Hello Vodafone

|Includes:AGNC, ARR, CIM, CUR, CreXus Investment Corporation (CXS), DCIX, MFA, NLY, PFE, RNO, RTK, TCAP, TWO, VOD

Not too long ago I was hot on mREITs. Nice dividends, reasonable growth, the appearance of stability. The first three articles I wrote for Seeking Alpha were about mREITs. A substantial part of my portfolio was invested in mREITs.

My last two articles were about alternatives to mREITs - companies that offered double-digit dividends but were stable companies whose fundamentals all indicated they were well run companies one could count on.

Not long ago, I had shares in AGNC, NLY, CIM, TWO, MFA, ARR and CXS.

Now CreXus (NYSE:CXS) is the only mREIT gracing my portfolio.

I ended up selling off the other six companies with stop losses. Except CIM, on which I got burned - and the point at which I decided that dividends are nice, but it would also be nice to keep some of my capital around, too.

AGNC, NLY, TWO, MFA and ARR are all now lower than they were when I sold them - AGNC and NLY by significant amounts. I got a couple of nice dividend payments from them all, but . . . (the only company doing better now since I've let it go is - ironically, perhaps - CIM).

I now have some nice companies, some of which pay double-digit dividends, some of which are just large companies that pay "nice" dividends, and two (for all intents and purposes) "penny stocks" which pay no dividends, but which have strong growth potential [NeuralStem (NYSEMKT:CUR) and Rentech Inc. (NYSEMKT:RTK)].

My double-digit dividend companies are Diana Containerships (NASDAQ:DCIX), Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE:RNO) and Triangle Capital (NYSE:TCAP). My big companies are Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), both of which pay nice dividends.

It turns out that CXS, DCIX and RNO appeared in my last two articles, and were chosen because I like their business models (actually, the business model was more fully articulated after my purchase of CXS).

A nice spread of companies, I think; although I am light in a few areas. I need more money to get into those areas.

WHY AM I BORING YOU WITH THIS? Because, at one point or another I said (in my articles) that I was long on the mREITs. Now, I am long on CXS, but not the others. Now, I am long PFE, VOD, RNO, TCAP, DCIX, CUR & RTK.

And I will be long on those until something happens that undermines my confidence in them. (As it turns out, PFE is the only company I've held for this entire year. I really am long PFE, and will likely stay long.)

The concept of "being long" supposedly meant that one was planning to hold the company for a year or more. When I bought the mREITs, I actually planned to hold them until 2015. But QEternity happened, a resurgence in the number of refinances happened, and dividend cuts happened. Stock value dropped precipitously.

2015 came early.

"Being long" anymore means that I'm willing to hold onto a stock as long as that stock performs at my expectations (which aren't that high). I want companies that are well run, responsibly run, efficiently run.

The dividends are the icing on the cake, and, as luck would have it, the icing is my favorite part of the cake. When I eat cake, I eat the cake part first, though, saving the icing for last (the post-dessert dessert, as it were). With my stocks, I want the dividends, but I insist on having my cake first - I want to feel sure that my capital is in good hands; when that's done, then I'll make myself sick with the dividends.

Disclosure: I am long CXS, TCAP, VOD, PFE, RNO, RTK, CUR.

Stocks: CXS, ARR, AGNC, NLY, TWO, CIM, MFA, DCIX, RNO, RTK, PFE, VOD, CUR, TCAP