Maybe it's just me, but lately I'm beginning to feel like the world has been turned upside down.
I've noticed that there are many newer visitors to Seeking Alpha and on the other hand, many of the old timers (and I realize that SA has not been around a long time) seem to have moved on to other things.
I miss many of those older commentators and writers. Occasionally they will show up with a comment or two, but for all intents and purposes, many seem to have gone away.
In their place is a new crowd. I like new crowds. They have so many ideas and thoughts about investing that are just so wrong. They remind me of me thirty years ago! They seem to think that the stock market is nothing more or less than some casino game and that it is one that they can consistently beat--because they are smarter than the game operators.
I used to think that way. I remember when I was stationed in the beautiful A Shau Valley in Vietnam, how I was going to change my life for the good. I was going to become rich and by the time I was 50 (if I got home alive), I was going to go out and take on the challenge.
Forty years later, it's been a good run. I'm still working. Still trying to make more money. I can't stop. I love the challenge. I love learning the game.
Last night, as I do on most Friday nights, I recorded the closing values of my different portfolios. Now I'm a DG investor. Boring stocks, no growth, something that only a moron would consider a good investment strategy.
Now, my spreadsheet tracks the value of each portfolio every month end. The last column on the right is the percentage gain vs. the portfolio values 12 months ago. In effect, it's a rolling 12 month number.
While the month is not over yet and things change daily, since Aprils month end, the portfolios are up more than 10% in two weeks.
I think this market has further to run. I'm not chasing anything in particular right now, but I am sitting on my holdings. A correction of 10% would reduce my unrealized gain by exactly the amount that it has increased by over the last 10 trading days.
But you know what? My dividend checks keep coming in, just like waves at the beach. Over and over and over again. They keep growing with no "corrections." They keep growing at a rate that is greater than inflation. They have finally reached a place where the dividend income I receive is greater than my current salary. That is a fantastic place to be.
When I retire, I will not be drawing Social Security. I will be taking withdrawals of dividend income from my IRA in an amount that will be less than my current salary. You see, my wife, who is younger than I am, is getting promoted to an Assistant Principal's job in our county school district. She is getting a nice raise, to boot over her current administrator's salary. That raise allows me to withdraw less dividend income from my IRA, so that we will continue to have the same amount of income as we did last year.
The Social Security, meanwhile will be growing in "value" by 8% a year until I turn 70. That's as big as my benefit is going to get. My wife will be able to use my benefit as a strategy in that she can take half of my benefit or 100% of her own, whichever is greater.
In the meantime, my dividend income in the IRA will continue to grow--as I am taking out less than the total dividends received--my account will be subject to RMD at my turning 70 1/2, but that's cool because I still have a Roth working and being added to and I will never have to take money out of it at all.
Money drawn from the IRA over and above our needs will be channeled back into my Roth and my wife's Roth. Kind of a self directed conversion plan. It's almost like a perpetual motion machine!
But then again, that's the reason I started DG investing and the reason I stay at it. How about you?