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Five Plus Investor is a business owner, stock market junkie and manager of a (9) different investment accounts of various flavors (brokerage, HSA, Coverdell ESA, 529 College Savings, Traditional and Roth IRAs). As a contributor, Five Plus Investor has three main goals: 1) Assist new investors... More
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  • Life Well As Other Stuff... 21 comments
    Dec 26, 2012 10:37 AM

    Hello friends and detractors:

    For those of you who have PM'd me with your support in putting out future articles, THANK YOU. For those of you who have PM'd me with a message of falacious good cheer because you view my lack of SA activity as some sort of concession speech on the defeat of my personal strategy...this Instablog is a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking.

    Any of you who have followed me know that I am not a professional money manager. I am, first and foremost, a mother and wife. Then, business owner. Finally, I am an investor and SA contributor. The rest of my life comes before SA.

    The last few months have been extremely trying, and my husband and I have grappled with what to do with our oldest son. I do not feel the liberty to share all, only to say that it is a special kind of heartbreak to have a young adult child with internal struggles. We are trying help him deal with a special kind of failure, and are assisting him in finding the right path for his young adult life.

    For those of you who shared in the heartbreak of the rebellion of my youngest, I have good news. She is now on the right path, and am finally seeing the payoff of all the "tough love" we had to deal with over the summer.

    I have also dealt with the death of a beloved aunt to leukemia, and helping my disabled mother deal with this heartbreak has weighed heavily on my spirit, and on my time.

    All this to say...I promise there will be more articles to come...when life settles down (which I sincerely hope it will).

    As for my detractors, who believe my absence is my declaration that I have succumbed to the defeat of my own strategy, let's see if my strategy has failed me.

    The market is down from the highs in October about 7%. I am down in my largest portfolio - the one I consider my nest egg - about 4%. As I am concerned about total return, I do care about YOY growth. I average between 5 and 10% growth per year, and from Dec. 2011 - Dec 2012, I am inline at 6.9% total return. If the market ends on an upturn, this figure will improve.

    I am also on track to have modest income growth, in line with the current rate of inflation (about 2%). I will admit - this figure could be better. However, having been severely burned in 2008, I vowed never to be caught holding too much during a downturn. As such, right after the election I was in 25% cash, which has recently been fully deployed back into undervalued dividend stocks. Several of these underperformers have taken off, and just in a few months I have seen better than 10% growth on these selections. My goal is to have my portfolio yield between 6 - 7% every year. Even with a partial selloff in November, I have already reached this goal (6.7% yield), and not all of my December dividends have hit my account.

    The strategy of tracking the market may be at odds with some of my co-horts. However, as I've long tried to explain to the detractors of dividend investing, we are not a homogenous group. We all have our own definition of success, and our own unique ways of getting there. The minute you criticize a certain strategy, there are a host of others that can, I don't do it that way. Therefore there is no way to justify any sort of delight in your perceived failure of a strategy, when there is, in fact, no de facto implementation of a strategy to begin with.

    So, my friends and detractors...thank you for your patience. On top of the challenged of my life, I have started a Masters degree program, so my time is limited. But I will be back. Be on the lookout in January for a continuation of the "Off the Grid" series, of which I have been continuing to research, although I have not yet had time to write.

    Happy Investing to you all,


    Five Plus Investor

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Comments (21)
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  • Bob Wells
    , contributor
    Comments (6803) | Send Message


    As always thanks for sharing. Best of luck handling all the things that are currently on your plate. Best on the balanced approach you have on life I feel strongly you will find success moving forward.


    Take care and Happy New Year
    26 Dec 2012, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • Five Plus Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2560) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Thanks, Bob! You have a great new year as well.
    26 Dec 2012, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • markg6078
    , contributor
    Comments (58) | Send Message
    You do not have to explain anything to anyone. Here is hoping your 2013 is a rewarding one in every way possible.
    26 Dec 2012, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • declanfromtrinidad
    , contributor
    Comments (89) | Send Message
    "Wait on the Lord;
    Be of good courage,
    And He shall strengthen your heart;
    Wait, I say, on the Lord!"....psalm 27:14


    "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
    Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
    I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
    My God, in Him I will trust.”
    Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    And from the perilous pestilence.
    He shall cover you with His feathers,
    And under His wings you shall take refuge;
    His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
    You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
    Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
    Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
    Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
    A thousand may fall at your side,
    And ten thousand at your right hand;
    But it shall not come near you.
    Only with your eyes shall you look,
    And see the reward of the wicked.
    Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
    Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
    No evil shall befall you,
    Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
    For He shall give His angels charge over you,
    To keep you in all your ways.
    In their hands they shall bear you up,
    Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
    You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
    The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
    “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
    I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
    He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will deliver him and honor him.
    With long life I will satisfy him,
    And show him My salvation.”.....psalm 91.


    'Be still, and know that I am God;"....psalm 46:10
    26 Dec 2012, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • Five Plus Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2560) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » @declan - thank you. You know I believe this is true. In fact, the Masters I am enrolled in is, basically, a seminary degree. I love investing...but I love other things more ;-).


    Take Care, and God Bless you in 2013,


    26 Dec 2012, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • Smarty_Pants
    , contributor
    Comments (3017) | Send Message
    As markg noted above, there's no need to justify anything to anyone. Those of us here to share and learn are glad to see you are participating when your time allows. There ARE other things more important than SA in everyone's life.


    As for the Equus asinus who so rudely contacted you, all I can say is:


    When it comes to finding the fool, pin the tail on the donkey.


    Happy Holidays to you and yours and may the new year bring a multitude of blessings.
    26 Dec 2012, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • Five Plus Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2560) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » @Smarty - "Equus asinus" HA!!! I'm going to remember than one!


    I deleted my previous comment which said: only in the Bible can an a** talk. I thought better of it, since I just posted I am now a seminary student...oops, I did it again...shame on me... ;-).


    What keeps me on SA, amidst a bevy of vocal detractors, are the encouragements of others. Thanks for your kind words.


    Blessings to you for the new year,
    26 Dec 2012, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • OntheRock
    , contributor
    Comments (236) | Send Message
    I always look forward to your articles, as few or as many as there may be. Wishing you the very best in the coming year!
    26 Dec 2012, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • Be Here Now
    , contributor
    Comments (5394) | Send Message
    Best wishes to you, YoYoMama. Anyone who would be rude to you is a fool as well as an Equus asinus.
    26 Dec 2012, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • turkishharem
    , contributor
    Comments (22) | Send Message
    I enjoy your articles and look forward to reading them, whenever you get a chance to write them.


    I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties and hope that life settles down for you moving forward. Happy holidays!
    27 Dec 2012, 12:21 AM Reply Like
  • Dennis Anderson
    , contributor
    Comments (368) | Send Message
    You have your priorities straight, and of course you don't owe anything to anyone else on this forum. Those who derive pleasure from the problems of others are the lowest of the low; fortunately those who choose to make personal attacks can be ignored in the forum or deleted from the messages.


    What declanfromtrinidad said...
    27 Dec 2012, 10:49 AM Reply Like
  • Robert Allan Schwartz
    , contributor
    Comments (17231) | Send Message
    Denise, I am happy to hear that one of your children is doing better, and I hope the same will happen for all of your children.


    Adding a master's degree on top of everything else you do, is a tribute to your ambition, your time management skills, and your desire to grow as a human being.


    Ignore all the folks who say negative things, and bask in the glow of the positive comments from your friends.


    Best wishes for 2013,


    27 Dec 2012, 11:16 AM Reply Like
  • Eddie Herring
    , contributor
    Comments (2004) | Send Message


    I used to say (prior to retirement) that there was life outside of work. I can state most assuredly that there is life outside of SA. You have your priorities in order because family most definitely comes before SA and especially before answering any vocal pinheads trying to trash your investing strategy. May God bless you, your family, and loved ones in 2013 and the days/years ahead.


    27 Dec 2012, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • reader
    , contributor
    Comments (327) | Send Message
    Five Plus,
    Good to hear that you are still around. I have always enjoyed your articles, and I look forward to your Jan. 2013 contribution. Successful investing to us all in 2013 inspite of the idiots in DC.
    27 Dec 2012, 09:28 PM Reply Like
  • HackFab
    , contributor
    Comments (1246) | Send Message
    Thanks for the updates! And here's to a successful New Year!!!
    28 Dec 2012, 07:39 AM Reply Like
  • Scooter-Pop
    , contributor
    Comments (3296) | Send Message


    I'm an Agrarian and look forward to making Profit ever so often, but always exhausting energy no matter. Timber and Beef improving for us. Selling Non Core Oil/Gas Minerals Royalties via IRS 1031 Exchange, buying Raw Land adjoining/near the existing Ranch. Domestic Oil & GAS Industry sinking from overdrilling and abundant production. Big Ben destabilizing my dollar, so running into the Hard Land Asset. Our Family CPA recommends staying with the Tax Free Income, so I look forward to WHAT YOU ARE DOING THERE.
    28 Dec 2012, 09:46 AM Reply Like
  • Five Plus Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2560) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Oh, Scooter!! You just gotta know what I'm doing in munis, don't you...


    I really have not done anything with my tax-free muni CEFs except...hold on to them. I sold one that was not doing as well, but that's it.


    I prefer CEFs rather than straight munis only because CEFs can raise distributions. In other bond exposures, I own preferred shares. That's just a preference...pick your poison.


    I have beefed up my muni exposure and have added (HYD).


    As for oil and gas; I live in oil and gas country (Houston). It is a strong, vibrant and worldwide industry, and pipeline MLPs will serve one well in the long-term. I'm not selling any of my oil / gas stocks - long (COP), (EPD), (BPL), (MCEP), (LGCY) and (SDRL).


    I would LOVE to invest in real estate right now, but with two kids in college next year, there's no way my husband and I could consider it.


    Thanks for letting me know your outlook for 2013. Happy Investing!


    28 Dec 2012, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • Rudester
    , contributor
    Comments (2921) | Send Message
    Hi Denise,


    I can say with certainty that I've missed your articles but your priorities are the correct ones. Family comes first. Glad to hear that your daughter is back on a good path and I am amazed that, on top of everything, you are going for a master. More power to you!


    Looking forward to reading your next Grid installment. Take care.
    31 Dec 2012, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • Richard S. Daskin CFA, CFP(R)
    , contributor
    Comments (268) | Send Message
    Good day. HYD is a good pick for a muni portfolio. 30 years in the business, the senior PM is smart- I have known him for years and the strategy produces excess alpha. A little known fact to most is that bond ratings are not consistent for risk. Typically an A rated muni has about as much credit risk as a AAA corporate. The fees in HYD are very low for the value delivered. Good luck with your life's endeavors.
    7 Jan 2013, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • Scooter-Pop
    , contributor
    Comments (3296) | Send Message
    Agreed rsd57!!
    12 Jan 2013, 05:34 AM Reply Like
  • panda317
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
    Well, as always, I am 'late to the party'. I will read all of your old articles and try to learn. I do wish you success and happiness. If you would like to read my story, you can start with this page on my blog;
    10 Aug, 09:41 AM Reply Like
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