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  • Omega Healthcare: Another REIT That Should Be Part Of Any Dividend Investors' Portfolio [View article]

    No mention of credit rating?

    I like OHI, but with an S&P rating of BBB- it's below investment grade. For me, at least, that's a speculative play. So I hold only a 50% position in OHI, vs. HCP (BBB+), for example, where I hold a full position.

    I do like this sector and believe the quality health care REITs will do well in the years ahead, despite their sensitivity to interest rate fluctuations.


    Long: OHI, HCP, HCN
    Sep 16 02:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Growth Portfolio Business Plan [View article]

    No big deal. We know what you meant. :)

    It only jumped out at me because VL financial safety rating is in my Plan as the most important (and first) screen I use for our own DG portfolio.

    Sep 15 07:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 4% Rule Examined [View article]

    LOL. And don't forget "Chowderheads." Proudly consider myself to be one.

    Sep 15 07:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Utility Investing For Dividend Growth Investors: A Prospective Study [View article]

    I also consider telecoms as utilities - with a tech component. Both utes and telecoms are "necessary" industries. In fact, I'm pretty sure some people would give up heating their homes before they'd give up their cell phones or internet connectivity. :)

    For me, they constitute a single allocation pool. Together, utilities and telecoms comprise about 20% of our post-accumulation equity portfolio, and a significant percentage of the portfolio's income. I use a portion of their reliable, generous dividends to diversify into other, more growth-oriented dividend stocks.

    In the absence of decent yields on bonds, I would consider them good bond-alternatives even during accumulation.

    Sep 15 06:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Growth Portfolio Business Plan [View article]

    Excellent plan. Not all might agree with your specific guidelines, but the important thing is that they work for YOU. And that you HAVE a plan. I saw the light after reading Bob Wells' articles, and my portfolio business plan became the backbone of my investing process: research, decisions, and actions.

    If I might point out one minor error, it's that Value Line ratings go in the other direction. Hence, a VL rating of 1 or 2 would suggest a financially strong company, vs. the "4 or 5" you note in your article.

    Sep 15 05:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 6 Rainy Day Dividend Stocks [View article]

    Nice article! I am long all 6 of the "rainy day" stocks you mention here. PG is one of my single largest holdings - and my favorite hold forever stock.

    I'm a firm believer, too, in the alternative income sources approach. Dividend and dividend growth stocks cover 2/3 of our expenses in retirement. Social Security covers the other 1/3. I expect that ratio to shift over time towards an even higher percentage from the DG stocks, as on average they are currently growing their payments to us 8.5% per year, vs. 1.5% this year for SS.

    Overall, a great approach.


    Sep 9 06:23 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T And Consolidated Edison A 'Tell' Of 2 Champions: Part 3 [View article]
    ... And here I thought Chuck's title was a play on Dickens' classic "A Tale of Two Cities." Silly me!
    Aug 30 09:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T And Consolidated Edison A 'Tell' Of 2 Champions: Part 3 [View article]
    Another great article, Chuck, with plenty of food for thought.

    I own T and like it especially for its blend of business characteristics - part utility, part tech - which provides solid, dependable yield but also an element of growth that's lacking in the pure play utilities - of which I own many, though not ED.

    ED is a head-scratcher for me. Have looked at it many times, but always passed in favor of utilities with more growth or dividend growth (NEE, WEC) or friendlier regulatory environments (SO, D). Perhaps it makes a difference that I haven't been investing in ED for 20 years. Anyway, Tim McAleenan provides another useful perspective on ED in a recent article:

    Aug 29 01:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Can A Successful Dividend Portfolio Be Assembled In 2014? Part 1 [View article]

    Excellent points, and those are exactly the reasons I purchased the MLPs, utilities and REITs that I own, as well. Those 3 segments account for around 33% of our portfolio.

    Was just curious to understand better why they all fell into the Contenders bucket vs. Champions.

    I am expecting them to become future Champions, though!

    Aug 29 10:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can A Successful Dividend Portfolio Be Assembled In 2014? Part 1 [View article]

    Thanks for that context. I think your observations are correct, based on my digging on a few other utilities (LNT, AVA, SO, and D). While the specifics vary, timing does align with deregulation.

    And not just the borrowing, fuel type conversions, and consolidations but also financial engineering and energy futures trading - although Enron and the situation in California seems to have put an end to the worst of it. I saw, for example, that Avista suffered some losses around 2000 and shut down its wholesale sales and trading desk as a result

    The fact they are now Contenders supports your point, too, about the better Utils getting their acts together since.

    Aug 29 10:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can A Successful Dividend Portfolio Be Assembled In 2014? Part 1 [View article]
    I suspect you're right about the MLPs and REITs.

    Thanks for those facts and the article links. Hmmm. Not sure what to conclude. The reasons are varied, so it seems (from this small sample at least) to be more coincidence than industry trends in that particular time window.

    I own WEC and XEL but not TE or SCG. Will dig a little further into the other utility Contenders I hold.

    Aug 28 08:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can A Successful Dividend Portfolio Be Assembled In 2014? Part 1 [View article]
    "I look at my low conviction position the same way as a kind of back door cash account to use when stocks I really want come available."

    I do exactly the same, except I've started trimming or selling low conviction positions NOW and holding as actual cash.

    I'm worried when the overvalued stocks I really want decline in price to my buy zone, those nice gains on the "back door cash account" will have evaporated, too.

    Aug 28 08:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Safe Large-Cap Blue-Chip Dividend Champions For Your Retirement Portfolios: Part 2 [View article]

    I'm a Californian too and you're right about the state emerging (finally) from the brink of financial disaster. New budget shows sizable surplus and even restores some previous cuts in education and sets aside a "rainy day fund" for future emergencies. Whatever one thinks about our governor and legislature, they actually managed to turn the ship around (though not without some painful choices).

    From Washington Post July 15, 2014:
    "California ended the fiscal year with $1.9 billion left over in its state general fund, Controller John Chiang (NYSE:D) said last week, the first time the general fund ended with a positive cash balance since 2007, the year before the recession began. The state Department of Finance has projected a $4.2 billion surplus for Fiscal Year 2014-2015, which began July 1."

    Aug 28 07:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can A Successful Dividend Portfolio Be Assembled In 2014? Part 1 [View article]

    You make an interesting point about the number of Champions vs. Contenders ("the Champions of tomorrow") in your own portfolio. As I usually just look at the All CCC tab, I ran that same comparison. Was surprised to see I also own more Contenders than Champions (although the numbers are pretty close).

    Of course the Champion population of 106 is half the size of the Contender population of 236. So as a % of the eligible population my ownership of Champions is quite a bit higher still.

    The other observation that struck me is that, overwhelmingly, my holdings of Contenders fall almost entirely into 3 higher yield areas: utilities, MLP's, and REITs. I need to study this further to see if that's because of my DG selection criteria, or the trends within the Contender population itself.

    Food for thought....

    Aug 28 02:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can You Live Off Of Dividend Growth Income In Retirement? [View article]

    Fantastic article. Your graphical displays tell the "story" of the different dividend growth % scenarios much better than words.

    Our smart, experienced, respected financial adviser ran similar scenarios for us a few years ago but never ONCE mentioned dividend growth or living off dividend income vs. drawing down our investments. Needless to say, we have since parted ways and we are happily drawing only the income from our dividend growth portfolio plus distributions from one IRA where RMDs are now required.

    Our adviser did include Social Security, though. I agree with Mike N. it's an important piece of the equation (with its own variables in terms of when each spouse begins to draw SS). And for us, right now, Social Security is currently providing about 1/3 of our income - and nearly all of our "fixed income."

    Aug 28 12:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment