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  • 9 Dividend Stocks Building Shareholder Returns With Higher Dividends [View article]
    I've owned BX since 2011 and it's been one of the best performers in our retirement portfolio.

    BX was always an income play for me; capital appreciation has been gravy as I never plan to sell (due to recapture of deferred taxes - BX is an MLP). I have added to our position on all meaningful dips though not recently.

    BX generates a K-1 and is best held in a taxable account. Their generous distributions include both gains and return of capital (hence the tax advantage).

    Long BX.

    Apr 18, 2015. 01:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble declares $0.6629 dividend [View news story]
    +3%? I'll take it.

    Prudent move by PG to keep its 2015 dividend increase modest (while keeping pace with inflation), given continued foreign currency headwinds and their rising payout ratio. PG's plan to consolidate and focus on the best and most profitable brands is being executed well.

    One of the most adaptable companies on the planet and still a good long term bet.

    Long PG.
    Apr 18, 2015. 12:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mr. Valuation Disagrees With Henry Blodget: 'It's A Market Of Stocks' Is Not A Meaningless Phrase [View article]

    Thank you for this insightful article and the comments it's generated.

    From this and your previous articles I have concluded the most powerful tools I have going for me as an individual investor are (1) the ability to buy selectively based on MY criteria and hold very long (years not months), and (2) ignoring the lemmings and talking (screaming) heads who do not know or share my investing goals.

    A market of stocks, indeed.

    Apr 17, 2015. 02:33 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Champions, Contenders And Challengers With 10-Year Declining Dividend Growth Rates [View article]

    Thanks for this view of CCC's with declining DGR's. I agree it's a trend worth watching, but I don't obsess over it.

    Context is important. As you note, the reasons are varied. There are macro factors (sluggish global economy, ZIRP, strong dollar, etc.), life cycle (funding growth; new vs established dividend policies), or company-specific factors (acquisition or restructuring, debt, stock buybacks, etc.). Business cycles and competition are such that even Champion stalwarts like MCD and WMT are not immune to the need to "adapt or die."

    Of course there are also CCC's in all categories that have successfully navigated these challenges for decades (PG, JNJ, KMB, CL, GIS, etc.). They are not likely to concern me no matter what their DGR trends.

    Most important to me is owning strong and resilient businesses that DO continue to pay dividends. And raise them. Hopefully greater than inflation.

    I attribute at least part of the "slowing" trend to the global economy and the fact inflation is still rather tame at present, which limits price increases companies can charge both at home and abroad.

    Of course if any of my holdings freezes, ceases, or falls too far outside their normal dividend growth range, I would take a closer look why. But I'd need to see at least a few years of that pattern before I'd get overly worried.

    Thanks again for highlighting this valuable data point.
    Apr 17, 2015. 12:09 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 7% Raise For The Dividend Growth 50 [View article]

    I know you're resisting the lure (ha!) of Excel, but I thought I'd mention that an Excel sheet can effortlessly calculate and total run-rate (projected) income - month, quarter, year, cumulative, etc. Along with tons of other useful data points, numerically or graphically.

    For me, a real time view of pro-forma dividend income requires only that I maintain in an Excel sheet current dividend rates, frequency, and number of shares of each stock. Sometimes I play with "what if" projections on dividend growth, but mostly I just track it - and celebrate. :)

    Can't imagine what I'd do as an SDI and DGI without Excel. Fifteen or twenty minutes of input a week saves hours and hours of manual calculations. Freeing up time for, among other things, reading and making marginally useful comments on SA!

    Apr 9, 2015. 08:30 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 7% Raise For The Dividend Growth 50 [View article]

    Regarding ADP: agree it's overpriced, but unless I'm wrong, the last dividend increase (declared November 2014) was 16.4%, raised from .4211 to .49/share per quarter.

    I have a partial position in ADP and would love to add more. They will do well as interest rates rise.

    ADP is still high on my watch list.

    Apr 9, 2015. 07:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Create A Portfolio Today With Dividend Yield Of 4.5% And Dividend Growth Of 4.75% [View article]
    Craig Lehman,

    Couple of caveats about DNP, which I have owned for many years, long before I became a self-directed DGI investor.

    DNP carries a rather steep expense ratio (currently 1.6%, have seen it as high as 1.95%), so the 7.3% yield you note is actually 5.7%. Still very respectable, but worth mentioning in light of the flat payout. It's a good fixed income proxy, but definitely not inflation proof vs. holding the underlying stocks which raise their dividends regularly.

    Which brings me to my second point: the majority of DNP's holdings are utilities (currently around 60%), with the balance at present in energy (30%) and telecom (10%). I classify DNP for my portfolio purposes under "utilities" so I don't overweight that category, since I also own 8 utilities directly.

    Anyway, I like DNP a lot, just thought a little clarification might be useful for those unfamiliar with it.

    And by the way, like you, I invest in MLP's and hold 5 in our taxable account. The high quality ones provide a tremendous boost to our retirement income in addition to the obvious benefit of deferring (federal) taxes.

    Apr 9, 2015. 07:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Create A Portfolio Today With Dividend Yield Of 4.5% And Dividend Growth Of 4.75% [View article]
    And by the way ... I own 19 of the 30 stocks listed here - formerly held a few more of them but sold a few in an effort to concentrate our overly diverse portfolio.

    Apr 9, 2015. 07:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Create A Portfolio Today With Dividend Yield Of 4.5% And Dividend Growth Of 4.75% [View article]
    Matthew Davis,

    I totally agree with you on MSFT. My only beef with MSFT in a conservative retirement dividend growth portfolio is that it's in tech, an industry where products and services regularly become commoditized, cannibalized or obsoleted. Purchases can be delayed and competition is fierce, despite Wintel's dominance in enterprise. So while I like MSFT and own it, I hold less than a full position and consider it core for a tech holding but but "not quite core" in terms of the overall portfolio.

    Apr 9, 2015. 07:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Create A Portfolio Today With Dividend Yield Of 4.5% And Dividend Growth Of 4.75% [View article]
    Yeah... what DVK said. :)

    Great list, however I also would never equally weight without regard to credit rating.

    A "core" position for me (full weight) requires a BBB+ rating, and preferably A. Below BBB+, it's a "satellite" and would never be more than a half-position.

    Also agree with some comments (including yours, RAS) about a few of these being more appropriate for a "watch list" than a "buy now" list. I, for one, am waiting for better valuations to add to PG and PEP, for example.

    Solid article, though. Thanks!!

    Apr 9, 2015. 06:54 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Portfolio - Spring Checkup And Semi-Annual Review [View article]
    Loved this update - and not just because your notes on each stock (all of which I also own, except DLR) are remarkably similar to mine. Like you, I continue to hold BBL and MCD, despite their challenges. I did unload HAS recently at a substantial profit (tax free in IRA), but only because for me it's not core, and I'm trying to concentrate rather than diversify. I unloaded SJR as well this year, because of the unfavorable impact of the Canadian exchange vs USD. Used the SJR proceeds to add to existing positions in T and VZ.

    Anyway, I really enjoy these regular updates. They reaffirm, to me, the DG path I have chosen (and JNJ is indeed a great example to illustrate the difference between price performance vs income and income growth).

    I'm in year 4 now with our own DG retirement portfolio, meeting all our income and dividend growth metrics, plus extra to reinvest, with no outside monies added. This stuff works!

    Apr 8, 2015. 08:06 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 7% Raise For The Dividend Growth 50 [View article]

    Love the update and agree about the "little joys" of dividend increases. We own 18 of the 23 on your list here, so, needless to say, the happy dance has been a frequent occurrence in our home this year so far. Who knew a quality dividend growth portfolio would have great aerobic benefits, too? :)

    Keep 'em coming...both your articles on the DG50 and those welcome dividend increases!

    Apr 6, 2015. 09:13 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Day In The Life [View article]
    Great article as always but my favorite part is how articles like this bring out the DGI community and great examples of SDI-ers who have made dividend growth investing work for them. It really IS all about the income, and having "enough to pay the bills," vs some arbitrary and unmeasurable metric like "as much as possible" or "beating an index."

    Could not be happier with the tangible results, lack of ongoing fees, and sleep well at night peace of mind from our DG retirement portfolio. It covers 2/3 of our expenses (with extra to reinvest) and stays handily ahead of inflation (as it is designed to do). We have no pensions and just one Social Security check between us (our fixed income equivalent), so my "job" as DG portfolio manager is an important and fulfilling one.

    Grateful every day for SA and contributors like you, RS, and all who reply with comments and real world experience. Like most DGI types in this section, I am much happier learning and sharing what has worked and what hasn't, than bragging about "whose is bigger" or which index it trailed.

    Happy investing to all.

    Mar 29, 2015. 06:57 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Dividend Contenders The Real Champions? [View article]
    Hi, Bob,

    Great article. I like your premise and also view the CCC Contenders as fertile ground for future Champions. They seem to occupy a sweet spot for DGI-ers between "already proven" and "still plenty of potential." And, unlike the Challengers, the Contenders' track record of dividend increases still includes the great recession of 2008-2009. So somewhat battle-tested, though not to the degree of the Champions.

    I did a quick Contenders scan within our own DG portfolio and was a bit surprised to realize they account for more than 40% of our holdings, including quite a few core - for me - stocks (like D, GIS, EPD, SO, VZ, and O) and high conviction satellites (like NEE, WEC, MSFT, HCN, ACN, RTN, LMT and LNT).

    Looking forward to the next article, and your list.

    Happy investing.
    Mar 24, 2015. 12:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Case Of Investing In Master Limited Partnerships [View article]
    Fifteen percent of our retirement portfolio is in quality midstream MLP's and they provide a tremendous boost in annual income. Any decent CPA can handle the K-1 partnership tax complexities. I calculated the difference between my mother in law's (very simple, vanilla) tax return and ours with 7 MLP's. The fee difference from our CPA was a tiny fraction of our MLP income. I consider K-1 tax accounting a cost of managing a (profitable) business, particularly in a year like 2014: I was a long time KMP holder, plus I fully liquidated another MLP due to its risk profile and performance.

    Regarding TurboTax, my time is better spent researching and managing which investments I want in our portfolio than calculating the taxes owed. I adopt the same approach with MLP's as with foreign taxes on international holdings, AMT, self-employment taxes, qualifying deductions, stock option exercises, estimated taxes, etc.: I'd rather leave it to an expert to stay on top of all the complex and changing tax laws. I ping our CPA occasionally during the year for tax advice before making investment moves, too. Worth every penny.

    Mar 22, 2015. 07:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment