Director at a Fortune 25 company until a major downsizing. With decent financial skills and the gift of time, I retired early (early 50's), took a break from corporate life, stopped paying for "expert" investment advice (and fees unrelated to performance), and educated myself to self-direct our retirement portfolio. The goal: to live off (reliable and growing) portfolio income and spouse's Social Security. I'm not yet eligible for SS, and we have no pensions. But we contributed faithfully to 401(k) plans, now in rollover IRA's, and contributed after-tax funds to a brokerage account. As of June 2016: 87% equities (>90% investment grade), 3% bonds, 10% cash. Style is primarily Dividend Growth Investing (with a balanced mix of yields and dividend growth rates), but open to complementary approaches that meet goals and provide sleep-well-at-night peace of mind. The intent is to live off the portfolio income (and one social security) and not be forced to sell our underlying investments.Have exceeded that goal each of the past 4 years, and am reinvesting the excess to accelerate compounding. Portfolio-level equity metrics: investment income that exceeds 2/3 of inflation-adjusted annual expenses; blended yield >= 4.0%, 3 year dividend growth rate > 6.5% and portfolio-level beta < .75.
Simply Safe Dividends helps dividend investors increase current income, make better investment decisions, avoid risk, and grow their wealth faster.
At Valuentum, we think the best opportunities arise from a complete understanding of all investing disciplines in order to identify the most attractive stocks at any given time. Valuentum therefore analyzes each stock across a wide spectrum of philosophies, from deep value through momentum investing. We think companies that are attractive from a number of investment perspectives--whether it be growth, value, momentum, etc.--have the greatest probability of capital appreciation and relative outperformance. The more investors that are interested in the stock for reasons based on their respective investment mandates, the more likely it will move higher.
Brian Nelson is the President of Equity Research at Valuentum Securities, an investment research firm serving individual and institutional investors, as well as financial advisors. Before founding Valuentum, Mr. Nelson worked as a director at Morningstar, where he was responsible for training and methodology development within the firm's equity and credit research department. Prior to that position, he served as a senior industrials securities analyst, covering aerospace, airlines, construction and environmental services companies. Before joining Morningstar in February 2006, Mr. Nelson worked for a small capitalization fund covering a variety of sectors for an aggressive growth investment management firm in Chicago. He holds a Bachelor's degree in finance and a minor in mathematics, magna cum laude, from Benedictine University. Mr. Nelson has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Get to Know Brian:
Brian led the charge in developing Morningstar's issuer credit ratings, developing and rolling-out one of the firm's proprietary credit metrics, the Cash Flow Cushion. http://select.morningstar.com/welcome/credit/pdfs/Morningstar_CashFlowCushion.pdf
Brian is frequently quoted in the media and has been a frequent guest on Nightly Business Report, Bloomberg TV, and the Money Show.
Mr. Nelson is very experienced in valuing equities, developing Morningstar's discounted cash-flow model used to derive the fair value estimates for the company's entire equity coverage universe.
Brian worked on a small cap fund and a micro cap fund that were ranked within the top 10th percentile and top 1st percentile within the Small Cap Lipper Growth Universe, respectively, in 2005.
Mr. Nelson is also a contributor to Seeking Alpha and an opinion leader in the Industrial Goods space.
You can reach Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please read our Disclaimer that applies to all articles published on Seeking Alpha: http://www.valuentum.com/categories/20110613
Follow us on Twitter: @Valuentum
Contributing columnist for Real Money and TheStreet.com. BA in History from Bemidji State in Minnesota. I went on to learn Chinese at National Taiwan University in Taipei.
I worked in mortgage sales at Countrywide and Bank of America until 2010 when I decided to relocate to Taiwan.
Dividend Growth Investor since 2011.
In July 2013 we moved from a managed account with a mutual fund, stock and bond portfolio to our own Dividend Growth portfolio. I am still evaluating the current portfolio holdings as they fit in our DGI "Plan".
Update: June 2015 I am now fully retired and am following our plan for life long financial independence. Retirement and financial independence are two different life goals and as such should be treated differently. Now when I check our discount brokerage account I now look at the cash being generated rather than the total value. This income generating plan seems to be working just fine as dividends are being used to support our day to day life. We currently have a 4.1% yield, 4.4% YOC and 6% dividend CAGR.
My Father was a DGI for over 70 years and my parents lived off the dividends for over 30+ years showing me the way forward.
I continue to read S/A articles daily and am still learning from the many dedicated authors.
I volunteer my time to our High School First Robotics Team. It is amazing what these students can do over the 6 week build season.
There are certain stocks I will not buy and I like to have stocks of products we use. For example when we pay for gas the dividends from XOM, CVX and COP pays the bill and BCE, RCI and VZ pay for phone and internet. You get the idea. If there was only a good dividend vacation stock... Maybe CNK.
I am long on the following: Comments welcome on my holdings.
Info Technology; AAPL, CSCO, GOOG, GOOGL, MSFT, WU
Telecommunications; BCE, RCI, T, VZ
Financials; AFL, BRK-B, CB, PRU, TMP, USB, ORI
Industrials; CHRW, CSX, DE, EMR, GE, IBM, MMM,
Consumer Discretionary; CNK, DRI, LEG, MCD, SJR
Consumer Staples; CPB, KMB, KRFT, PEP, SYY, PG
Energy; COP, CVX, XOM, RDS.B, KMI, HP
Healthcare; JNJ, MDT, MRK, PFE, SNY
Utilities; D, DUK, PPL, SO, WEC, XEL, SCG
REITs; DLR, HCP, KIM, O, OHI, VTR, WPC, NNN
MLPs; SXL, ARLP, PAA
BDCs; MAIN, PSEC**
CEFs; GOF**' NIO** DMO**
* Being evaluated for sale and reinvestment.
** Speculative 1/3 positions
Oct2013 - Bought DLR on the dip hoping for a bounce.
Oct2013 - Sold EXC at a loss and bought XEL. EXC (left over from my adviser)
Jan2014 - Added ARLP to my wife's IRA, TGH and KRFT to taxable account on Jan dip
Jan2014 - Added VTR by taking the profits from WLP and STJ (left over from my adviser)
Feb 2014 - Added T on a dip at 32 ( I wanted this stock for many years and finally pulled the trigger.)
July 2014 - Sold LOW and AMAT, took profits and added to my SO holding in taxable account.
Sept 2014 - Sold TSCDY and VDC in our taxable account.
Sept 2014 - Sold VDC in my trad IRA and added HCP.
Oct 2014 - bought more XOM on the recent dip.
Dec2014 - bought more CVX and T on the recent dip.
Sold TGH, IBM at slight loss
Dec2014 - will transfer 50% of my 401k to trad. IRA. Let the buying commence.
March 2015 - All 401k money has been transferred to TIRA
Since Jan 1 2015 I have added to the following positions on limit orders to maximize value.
DUK, VZ, O, RDS.B, CVX, EMR, JNJ, VTR, WPC, OHI, HCP, DLR, PEP, T, KMB, RCI, PPL, GE
SCG, MAIN, NNN, PG, PAA, HP, NNN, ORI, (PSEC, NIO)**
Purchased KMI, KO, UTG, JNJ, MAIN and GILD on the Aug 24th "Flash Crash". Great bargains!
Dec 2015 sold BRK-B and WU at a gain to offset the KMI loss.
Jan 2016, Added my TGT, MMM, EMR and SCHD for my wifes IRA.
I joined Seeking Alpha as a Senior Editor in June 2012. Currently, I manage the Dividends, Income & Retirement and Expert Insight platforms. D&I focuses on income investment strategies and dividend investment-focused content for investors from the accumulation stage to retirement. The purpose of Expert Insight is to expand and elevate the quality of Seeking Alpha's content by including articles from an industry insider's point of view, designed to help investors make more informed decisions as they consider specific sectors and trends within those sectors for their investing strategies, e.g., utilities or technology. Expert Insight articles offer more of a macro, 30,000-foot-view that goes beyond investment analysis or stock recommendations.
I also curate the Dividends & Income Digest, a bi-weekly publication that takes a look at a question that is compelling and relevant to the community, showcases the responses of DI thought leaders, and serves as a round-up of top DI articles.
I hope to continue to discover new voices and thought leaders through insightful articles and conversations in the comments threads. My goal is to draw a large, diverse audience to Seeking Alpha, and make our community THE go-to place to participate in investing research and exchange lucrative, unique, exciting investing knowledge and ideas. I'm always looking for new ideas and contributors, so please feel free to reach out to me. I'm eager to hear your thoughts and discover how we can work together to make Seeking Alpha the best site for investors on the web.
My husband plans to retire in 4 years (at age 67) and I plan to retire in 7 years (at age 62). We began focusing on dividend growth investing in 2013 but have been invested in mutual funds for decades. Our current DGI retirement portfolio is comprised of the following 64 DGI stocks: ABBV, ABT, AMGN, AVA, BBL, BMY, CAT, CBRL, CCP, CLX, CMCSA, COP, CVX, D, DEO, DLR, DUK, ED, EMR, EPD, GAS, GE, GILD, GIS, HCP, IBM, JNJ, KHC, KMB, KMI, KO, LMT, LNT, MCD, MMM, MMP, MO, MRK, MSFT, NEE, NOK, O, OHI, OMI, PEP, PFE, PG, PM, SCG, SEP, SO, SYY, T, TUP, UL, UPS, VTR, VZ, WEC, WMT, WPC, XEL, XOM, and ZBH.
Wall Street Breakfast, Seeking Alpha's flagship daily business news summary, is a one-page summary that gives you a rapid overview of the day's key financial news. It's designed for easy readability on the site or by email (including on mobile devices), and is published before 7:00 AM ET every market day.
Wall Street Breakfast readership of over 900,000 includes many from the investment-banking and fund-management industries.
Sign up here to receive the Wall Street Breakfast in your inbox every business day: http://seekingalpha.com/account/email_preferences
Ranked #18 overall blogger by TipRanks for 2014.
University of Virginia, class of 2011 B.A. English
I am a young investor focused primarily on dividend growth stocks. Seeking Alpha, and more specifically, the dividend and income community that exists here, has played a significant role in my development as a portfolio manager. I am not a professional, though I do manage my family's finances. I enjoy the process; the research, the decision making, the strategic planning...and not paying a financial adviser to do the work for me. I've built what I believe to be a conservative, diverse, and balanced dividend growth portfolio currently consisting of 48 positions. Thus far, I've been able to meet by goals from income, income growth, and capital appreciation standpoints. I use a wide variety of metrics, both fundamental and technical, when establishing fair value when doing my due diligence on an individual company. All of my methods are discussed in my work here. I hope this work inspires debate, conversation, and education - this is why I write for Seeking Alpha, to give back to the community that has helped me so much and to hopefully contribute, in some way...even if its by posing a question, to the growth of others.
Lastly, I began doing this in early 2015 and I plan on continuing to do so: I donate as much of the earnings that I get from SA on a monthly basis to various charities. Depending on how active I am writing each month, and what sort of side projects I have going on at the farm my wife and I recently purchased, the amount donated each month differs. However, I am pleased to be able to give back - I think its important to stay grounded and gracious when focusing so much on finances and these monthly donations help me not to lose sight of generosity.
*I should note that all articles that I write here are done so for my personal informational/educational purposes only. Any purchases that I make or opinions that I express are not meant as recommendations for anyone else. Please perform your own due diligence before following my lead into or out of a position. I am not a professional. I enjoy investing and the open discussion that articles on this site inspire - this is why I write, not to influence anyone else's decisions, but to enhance my own ability to make sound financial choices. That being said, I wish the best of luck to everyone. May we all meet our own financial goals.
Retired, late 50's
Hold CFP designation. Passed CFP exam Nov 2000
Author of "IRA: A Quck Reference Guide". Available on Amazon as an e-book.
Author of "Retirement Investing for INCOME ONLY: How to invest for relaible income in Retirement ONLY from Dividends"
My investment strategy is built around the creation of an income stream that will provide me with long term flexibility. I believe there are many ways to accomplish this goal from buying stocks that have an income component at value, to cash flow generating real estate investments to bond and bond equivalents. Each investor must know where they're trying to get to, then create a formula that works best for them. I choose to focus on income because it allows me to sleep more comfortably.
Eli Inkrot is a writer. Check out his website: thecurrencyoftime.com, his articles here on Seeking Alpha or his book - "You Don't Have A Money Problem" - on Amazon.com.
Additionally, here is a quick bio:
Eli has held the title of Vice President and Portfolio Manager at EDMP Inc. - a money management firm - along with Vice President for F.A.S.T. Graphs - a financial software company.
Prior to that, he began his investment career as an analyst in private real estate for a public pension fund. During his time in real estate he was the lead for a variety of accounts with net asset values totaling nearly two billion dollars. Eli received a Master’s in Finance from the University of Tampa where he earned “highest honors” whilst receiving the distinction of being named the “most outstanding graduate student.” He also holds undergraduate degrees in both Economics and Business Administration from Otterbein University, graduating “magna cum laude” with distinct honors in each major. During his tenure at Otterbein, Eli was a member of the varsity golf team, held the departmental Senator position for Business, Economics and Accounting and studied abroad in the Netherlands.
Roger Conrad needs no introduction to individual and professional investors, many of whom have profited from his decades of experience uncovering the best dividend-paying stocks for accumulating sustainable wealth.
Roger Conrad founded and ran the Utility Forecaster and Canadian Edge newsletters before leaving to form his own publishing company, Capitalist Times (www.CapitalistTimes.com). During his almost 30-year tenure at Utility Forecaster, Hulbert Financial Digest routinely ranked the publication as one of the best investment newsletters.
His new publication, Conrad’s Utility Investor (www.ConradsUtilityInvestor.com), continues his in-depth coverage and analysis of more than 200 essential-services stocks, primarily utilities and telecoms. Roger Conrad is also an expert on master limited partnerships (MLP) and the Canadian energy sector, which he covers for Energy & Income Advisor (www.EnergyAndIncomeAdvisor.com).
He’s also an independent trustee of Miller/Howard High Income Equity Fund and the author of Power Hungry: Strategic Investing in Telecommunications, Utilities and Other Essential Services. Although he spends a good deal of time in front of a Bloomberg terminal or reading 10-K and 10-Q reports, he’s also an avid outdoorsman and baseball fan.
The masthead may have changed, but readers can count on Roger to deliver the same high-quality analysis and rational assessment of the best dividend-paying utilities, MLPs and dividend-paying Canadian energy names.
A full time investor in stocks, bonds, options, and real estate who previously worked as a financial/investment journalist/analyst. Previous industry stints include privately held SageOnline Inc. - where he held multiple positions - as well as Multex.com, acquired by Reuters, where he was an equity research editor. Aloisi is a cum laude graduate of Penn State University, currently residing in native South Central Pennsylvania with his wife and 2 children.
Income investing has become his focal interest due to the challenges that the ZIRP environment presents. Not an advocate of any single portfolio strategy, he promotes a "go anywhere" philosophy predicated on value, forward thinking, sustainability, and personal objectives. While the past may be instructive, Aloisi cautions on over reliance.
In his free time he likes to talk politics, play the piano, garden, and go antiquing. Mr. Aloisi was recently elected to a 4-year term on his local school board, garnering the most votes out of 6 candidates.
I'm a dividend growth investor in my mid 30s. I invested in poorly performing mutual funds in my 20s, but in the last couple of years have transitioned towards equities. Although the bulk of my stocks produce income, I also invest in stocks which are more oriented towards capital appreciation. Since I switched to a more entrepreneurial career, I'm hoping to live off my current dividends until I can get a reliable income stream going again. Think of me as a young retiree!
Jeff is the President of NewArc Investments Inc., manager of both individual and institutional investments. Jeff is a registered investment advisor, and portfolio manager for NewArc's investment programs.
Jeff is a former college professor with a hands-on, real world attitude. His quantitative modeling helped inform state and local officials in Wisconsin for more than a decade. A Public Policy analyst, he taught advanced research methods at the University of Wisconsin, and analyzed many issues related to state tax policy.
Jeff began in the financial business as Research Director for trading firm at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He investigated anomalies in the standard option pricing models, taught classes for beginning options traders, and developed new forecasting techniques. In 1991 he established a general research consultancy, working with professional traders at all of the Chicago financial exchanges. In 1998 he started NewArc Investments, Inc.
Jeff has a commitment to the specific needs of individual investors. It is not a one-size-fits all approach, but one that emphasizes the unique circumstances of each client.
Jeff also serves on the board of two small technology companies (currently Chairman at one). He is occasionally as an expert witness in legal cases involving financial markets and hedging.
Doug Meeks is a Registered Investment Advisor in Plano, Texas. He is the Principal Advisor for Pier LLC, an investment management company. The focus at Pier is to build and manage income-producing portfolios for our clients. We provide individual service to those who are inclined to see their money working for them. Growth and income do not have to be different parts of your portfolio.
Eric Parnell, CFA, is the Founder and Director of Gerring Capital Partners. Gerring Capital is a registered investment advisory firm seeking attractive returns opportunities emphasizing value, quality and risk control. Eric also publishes The Universal premium service on Seeking Alpha targeting winning strategies in bear and bull markets across the asset class universe. Gerring Capital implements these strategies for its investors and then Eric discusses them on The Universal. Eric is also a Visiting Instructor at Ursinus College in the Department of Business and Economics. Prior to founding Gerring in 2005, Eric was the Director of Investment Communications at SEI Investments and an Economist at Moody’s Analytics.
Individual investor focused upon a limited number of diversified stocks. Seeks stocks selling below fair value; favors dividend growth. Advocates fundamental investment analysis, supplemented by the technical charts. Options strategies primarily employed to generate additional income or hedge risk.
I am a retired investor with market experience going back to the 1960s. I was a software engineer for 42 years, and currently do some part-time consulting, which lets me contribute to a Roth IRA. I am not an accountant and not a financial professional.
My wife and I have established a set of guiding principles for our investment life:
• Change is the only constant in life. Everything in this plan is subject to change.
• Never touch your principal. Wealth is built and maintained by not spending it. Wealth is the primary buffer between ourselves and blind chance.
• Exploit folly, do not participate in it (thank you, Chuck Carnevale). Do not follow the crowd, which is more often than not wrong.
• A portfolio is like a bar of soap – the more you touch it, the smaller it becomes. Do not be a trader.
• Own assets, avoid liabilities. Assets generate income. Liabilities generate expenses.
Based on these principles, we have established two investing goals: 1) sufficient current income with a comfortable buffer, and 2) increasing future income to maintain our buffer.
Our primary investing goal is to generate sufficient current income to cover that part of our living expenses not covered by pensions, with a comfortable buffer. We are retired and depend on investment income to meet a significant minority of our living expenses.
As we age and get closer to the end, current income becomes ever more valuable, and future income becomes ever less valuable. This reality informs all of our investing decisions. However, we know that inflation will cause our income needs to rise, so we also plan for increased future income, which is our second investing goal.
To meet our current and future income needs, we rely on 2 Social Security pensions, 1 private pension, income generated by investments, and fully paid up long term care insurance.
It is common to allocate a retirement investment portfolio with some percentage in stocks and the balance in fixed income, such as 60/40. We look upon our pension income as the equivalent of fixed income, with the added benefit that Social Security is indexed to the CPI. In the past we owned no fixed income and had no plans to do so in the future. The future has arrived and we have discovered baby bonds and preferred stocks, and we like the higher current income we can get from these investments. We have therefore started to redirect some of our investment capital into these investments, and as a result our investment income is now greater than it would have been otherwise.
We categorize dividends and interest as income, and capital gains as return of capital, not income. Therefore, our goals are to be met from dividends and interest only.
Investment income currently meets our primary investing goal. We invest in a blend of mostly medium yield (3%-6%) stocks with medium dividend growth, a few high yield (>6%) instruments with no dividend growth, low yield (<3%) stocks and funds with high dividend growth. and fixed income securities with yields in the range of 5%-8% with no growth.
We expect our medium yield and low yield stocks and funds to provide the income growth needed for the future, our second investing goal.
We currently own common stocks, preferred stocks, and bonds. Our portfolio requires regular attention to avoid possible dividend cuts and deletions. As we age, our mental faculties are in decline, and we will become increasingly less able to perform portfolio monitoring intelligently. There will come a time when we will need to use some form of income oriented index ETFs to carry the income generating burden.
We want to behave like landlords and collect rents, but without the risks and demands of owning real estate directly. Dividends and interest are our rental income, and as once-removed landlords we expect to own real estate investment trusts (REITs).
We want our non REIT income to be generated by long-lived, steady companies that provide products and services that we all need regardless of the economy, and thus can be relied upon to provide steady, and steadily growing, income. This requirement points primarily at consumer staples stocks. We own some of the best consumer staples stocks, such as mighty MO, and plan to own one or more ETFs that concentrate on the consumer staples sector of the S&P 500. Our preferred shares are almost all in the REIT sector.
• Some of my investing history
During much of my working years I used technical analysis (TA) to invest in individual stocks (I was an early fan of Joseph Granville and I bought an Apple II in 1980 because Granville brought out OBV software for the Apple at that time), and I speculated with short selling and commodity trading. Later I invested in stock mutual funds and ETFs for total return, with inconsistent results, and no comprehensive plan. Being a software engineer in a lead position left little time or energy for serious investing skills development. In 2005 I had pretty much given up on getting market beating results, and felt that I was getting too old and too close to retirement to continue swinging for the fences, so I decided to buy a variable annuity that guaranteed a minimum return of 6% per year, compounded, with the upside limited only by the performance of the mutual funds offered for investment. I decided to let the insurance company bear the market risk for me. I also had a 401k plan at work to which I contributed the maximum and got the company match. A year or so before 2008 I used a retirement investing projection tool provided by Fidelity, which said the worst returns I could expect in retirement were positive but not spectacular, and the best were hard to believe. At that time I was invested in mutual funds and ETFs through my 401k and the variable annuity and had not directly owned stocks since shortly before the start of the great bull market in 1982 (Granville famously missed the whole thing). I thought, with a bit of skepticism but not much, that I was set. We all know what happened in 2008-09. That experience put me off Monte Carlo simulations and Modern Portfolio Theory for life.
When I retired I converted my 401k to a rollover IRA brokerage account and invested in ETFs. I thought I was being appropriately conservative but also ready to capture capital gains by investing in VIG and VCSH.
Then I found Seeking Alpha, and then - thank my lucky stars - David Van Knapp, and the DGI light went on. I had spent most of my adult life thinking I was smarter than most people by relying on TA, and then later letting the insurance company assume market risk. I remember learning about the 200 DMA when I was in my 20s, which is a long time ago, and thinking how revolutionary this idea was and how I should be able to use it to my advantage. Fortunately for me and my family, I also was pretty good at software engineering, so I had a reasonable retirement nest egg accumulated when the time came. With the concepts and methodology of dividend growth investing, I now have sleep well at night investments that just keep on churning out increasing income, something that could never be said about using TA.
I started with DGI too late in life to commit totally to low yield, high growth stocks. I hope to capture the double compounding of DRiP investing with that part of my portfolio that is low yield, high growth.
We have recently (Nov 2014) rolled over all of the variable annuities into brokerage accounts. We now believe that we can get sufficient income from our dividend investing strategy, and we want to retain ownership of the annuity capital.
• Tools and Teachers
Tools I use include the CCC list, F.A.S.T. Graphs, Morningstar Premium, BigCharts, the EDGAR web site, longrundata.com, and Excel. I get ideas from the many informative articles by (among others) the following (in no particular order): Chuck Carnevale, Brad Thomas, Ron Hiram, David Van Knapp, David Fish, Robert Allan Schwartz, Dividend Growth Investor, Dividends4Life, David Crosetti, Tim McAleenan Jr., Reel Ken, Bret Jensen, Alan Brochstein, Chowder, Dane Bowler, Bob Wells, BDC Buzz, Scott Kennedy, Bill Maurer, Darren McCammon, Richard Shaw, Bruce Miller. Favorite commentators who are not yet authors include Elliot Miller, Paul Leibowitz, mbkelly75, surfgeezer.
Useful shortcuts to dividend stock valuation are the Tweed Factor and the chowder rule. Like F.A.S.T. Graphs, 'a tool to think with', these are 'rules to think with'.
Tweed Factor: fair P/E = yield + 5 year dividend growth rate
chowder rule: current yield + 5 year DGR >= 12%; 8% for utilities, MLPs, REITs
The best investment advice outside of Seeking Alpha has been 'The Intelligent Investor', ‘Securities Analysis’, and 'The Single Best Investment'.
• Some historical portfolio stuff
My DGI portfolio was started on 2011/4/20 with CTL, which I have since sold. It was a beginner's mistake. Subsequent mistakes were MLPs, and to a lesser extent, mortgage REITs. I did not allow for any circumstance that could cause WTI to fall as far and as fast as it has, so I lost money on MLPs. The prolonged flattening of the yield curve, plus the persistent markdown from NAV for the mortgage REITs, has made these unappealing as long term investments. Now I keep my distance from anything that is dependent on commodity pricing, and I invest very little in the carry trade. A glaring mistake was selling JNJ when it languished for several years.
• Some ongoing portfolio stuff
The target dividend growth rate for our entire portfolio is 5%.
I use yield on cost to allocate our investments so that each position in aggregate generates approximately the same amount of income. I learned the basic method for doing this from a comment on a SA article. SA is a wonderful resource! I have published an SA Instablog that describes the method: http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/902946-be-here-now/4581516-portfolio-allocation-for-equal-income-from-each-position-using-excel
• Current portfolio:
equity REIT: CCP, DLR, EPR, HTA, LTC, O, OHI, STAG, VTR, WPC
consumer staples: GIS, MO, PEP, PM
financial: GBDC, GSBD, HTGC, MAIN, TCPC
baby bonds: HTGX, NEWTL, TCCA, TPVZ
preferred: AGNCB, DFT-C, GAB-G, GGZ-A, HT-D, PSA-C
consumer staples: RHS, XLP
equity REIT: ESS, SKT
Technology: ADP, MSFT
Industrial: APD, MMM, RTN
baby bond: ARU, MSCA, TCCB, VTRB
preferred: DLR-G, STAG-B, VER-F
F.A.S.T. Graphs™ is a powerful research tool providing “essential fundamentals at a glance” on over 17,000 symbols. F.A.S.T. Graphs™ empowers the user to research stocks deeper and faster by allowing them to exploit the undeniable relationship and functional correlation between long-term earnings growth and market price. Warren Buffett, the greatest capital allocator of all time, said; “there are only two things that investor needs to know; how to value a company and how to think about stock prices.” With the F.A.S.T. Graphs™ at their disposal, users are able to perform both of these critical tasks… FAST.
F.A.S.T. is an acronym for Fundamentals Analyzer Software Tool that takes all the hours of manual graphing of business fundamentals and reduces it to seconds, giving you critical information in an instant. With one glance you know a lot about the business you are graphing and its past, present and future value. F.A.S.T. Graphs™ should be the first step in every research project. Each graph is worth 1,000 words in describing a company’s growth, consistency and valuation.
I am a medical professional, but I have been studying investing for many years so that I can control my own portfolio. DGI seems to be the best way for me to invest for my retirement while being able to sleep at night.
I have also been successfully trading cash secured puts for extra income. I share my experience on my websites, Tradingcsps.com and my blog Tradingputs.com.
First, the good stuff. Here's my portfolio ...
Consumer Discretionary: MCD, NKE, SBUX, TGT
Consumer Staples: COST, GIS, KHC, KO, MO, PEP, PG, PM, WBA
Energy: CVX, KMI, XOM
Health: ABBV, AMGN, GILD, JNJ, MCK
Industrial: BA, DE, EMR, LMT, MMM
REITs: HCN, NNN, O, OHI, VTR
Technology: AAPL, MSFT, QCOM
Telecom: BCE, T, TU, VZ
Utilities: AVA, D, SCG, SO, WEC
ALSO: small stakes in 23 additional companies held in the Dividend Growth 50 portfolio (http://seekingalpha.com/article/2764265-its-new-its-nifty-its-the-dividend-growth-50): ADP, AFL, BAX, BDX, BXLT, CAT, CL, CLX, COP, GE, GPC, HCP, HSY, IBM, KMB, MKC, NEE, SJM, UTX, V, WFC, WMT.
Now, a little about me:
I am a 50-something former sportswriter who was sent on a permanent vacation during the Great Recession. That sucked, but my story is not a sad one. Unlike many folks who lost their jobs, I am not in financial distress, I am not depressed and I am not bored.
My wife is a pediatric nurse with a bullet-proof job and decent benefits. So after supporting her and our two kids (now grown) for most of three decades, the least she can do is support my semi-retired keister!
Because of Roberta's job situation, because we have zero debt (not even mortgage debt), because we no longer have any dependents and because we have been pretty diligent savers over the years, we are comfortable (though nowhere near rich).
Although we hold some funds, bonds and cash, my investing philosophy leans heavily toward Dividend Growth Investing. By early next decade, we want to live entirely off of our income stream, Social Security and pension payments - and therefore will not have to spend down the principal one iota. To accomplish this, we invest mostly in blue-chip companies with long track records of growing dividends. As of mid-2016, we are well ahead of pace to reach our goal.
When not researching investments and writing for Seeking Alpha and other Web sites, I coach middle-school girls basketball at Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy, the top charter school in the Charlotte metro area; in March 2016, we won the first conference championship in school history! I also umpire youth baseball and referee youth basketball.
My wife and I dote on our 5-year-old pup, Simmie, and keep up on the doings of our now-grown kids, Katie and Ben. And we love to cheer on the basketball team of our alma mater, Marquette University, where we both majored in Journalism. Go Warriors! Also big fans of the Carolina Panthers.
I still occasionally post to the blog I initiated in 2007 -- lots of sports stuff, some politics, some personal junk -- at www.TheBaldestTruth.com.
I run the long-term dividend investing website: www.theconservativeincomeinvestor.com
I spend most of my time reading through annual reports looking for a small-cap stock to feature in my monthly edition of "The Conservative Investor Digest." That is where you can find my best work, and that is where I focus my research.
You can become a subscriber here: https://gumroad.com/l/HmqJx
Time management is essential to monitoring a 47 position portfolio. My 1st comment concludes with "Rich-unck:xx hrs"; I uncheck from the article to avoid repetitive comments, nonsense, and (most) arguments. I extend another XX hrs when I respond to a question or comment...I also respond to all PMs.
BACKGROUND My journey as a self-directed investor (SDI) began in 1973, and resulted in financial independence at age 52, which also allowed me to retire from corporate life the following year (Feb 1995).
I have no special knowledge not attainable by others who also dedicate themselves to the study of the economy, market, and stocks...I could cease all portfolio management today, and place it with a professional manager; however, I enjoy the psychic and financial rewards. Alternatively, I could become a passive investor via mutual funds and/or index ETFs (those works too! ). With few exceptions, As a rule, Rich only discusses his IRA here--it is only a portion of his and Joyce’s investment assets.
INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY If you ‘lived for today’ over the past 5 or 6 decades, you better invest in lottery tickets. The most probable path to a financially secure retirement is the product of an investment program (either active or passive) started when relatively young; living on less than all your after-tax income (saving means delayed gratification); and either self-directed or via professional management, adopting a sensible strategy suitable to age and comfort zone. There is wisdom in flexibility, diversification, and not being life-long wed to any strategy. It is appropriate to take greater risk for greater rewards (sensible growth stocks) when younger, as those are our lowest earnings years combined with our highest expense years--in the years between early investment and retirement, investments in solid growth companies can double 8 times or more.
There is time to adjust allocations to a more conservative strategy when closer to retirement. Never assume you have an information edge over the professionals. Time-in-the-market is your principle advantage. When/if you become interested in dividend stocks, never forget both price return and dividends compound, and price more so.
Financial independence is achieved when one has sufficient confidence his/her lifestyle will not change significantly, regardless of the potential depth or breadth of decline suffered by their portfolio--including a prolonged series of bear markets such as 1929-37. True, the recent 18-month bear market ending mid-2009, was deep--but also too brief to consider its lack of widespread dividend cuts to be as proof a portfolio of dividend-payers won't suffer income losses in a more prolonged decline (i.e., no portfolio is "dividend bulletproof").
The balance of this profile is lengthy, and likely not helpful to passive investors who simply go along for the ride, their portfolios bobbing up and down like flotsam in the ocean; their course always subject to the whims of winds, waves, and trends...THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING!
PORTFOLIO GOALS Now in my 70s, it’s no longer appropriate to engage in the growth strategies applied in wealth accumulation. As a more conservative investor, 100% of his portfolio consists of dividend-payers. 95% of positions have investment grade credit ratings (the lone exception is a REIT).This combination, along with having companies in 10 of the 11 S&P GICS sectors (none in Materials at this time) provide a measure of diversification. This IRA portfolio holds no bonds, though bonds and other investments are held elsewhere.
Maximizing total return and wealth preservation are mutually exclusive. A key observation: Having the capacity for risk is not the same as having the tolerance for it!
Rich’s objective is now a ‘smoother-ride’ that levels out the market’s peaks and valleys (limit losses, trim notable excess valuation). That smoother ride in an all-equity portfolio cannot be achieved without active management and continuous monitoring of positions--therefore TIME is an essential input to his portfolio management. Active management does not’ means frequent changes, as it is not unusual for a quarter or more to pass between a trimming or sale (nonetheless, when a company fundamentals change, or a mistake is made, corrective action is taken.)
STRATEGY SINCE 2008 Rich targets both legs of TOTAL RETURN (distributions + price change). His Growth & Income strategy often focuses on VALUE investing tactics applied to dividend-payers. Value investors seek out unpopular, companies most investors are avoiding (i.e., fundamentals have declined but credit rating is strong, BoD has implemented a rational recovery plan, and the dividend not in danger). Value investors seek to be paid to wait for other investors to recognize the stock’s value and assign it a greater share price. In any event, value stock or growth stock, Rich always seeks a ‘margin of safety’--no shares are bought at prices >FV, and his margin of safety is derived from dividends paid, price appreciation, and rising FV over time.
In all cases, value or growth, Rich selects well-established dividend-paying companies having a high-probability of growing earnings (growth of earnings is ESSENTIAL to growth of price and dividends). He tends to be flexible, forward looking, reactive to changing fundamentals, and willing to admit a mistake so action follows.
SDI is not easy, success is not assured, and in recent decades, advice from academics, and investment coaches, almost universally recommend index funds. Those NOT having the prerequisite time and interest are unlikely to develop the requisite skills for stock investing--thus the probability strongly suggests most newbies would be better served by indexing (Ben Graham wrote favorably of indexing). However, when done successfully, self-directed stock investing can offer rich psychic and financial rewards.
CORE PORTFOLIO Presently, +/-30 equities. Core holdings dominate at about 65% of total portfolio positions. Favored are traditional, large- and mid-cap, low-beta, best/near-best in class, institutional-owned, moaty, dividend-paying, value and growth stocks, having investment-grade debt ratings, and representing the consumer staples, healthcare, utilities, and telecom sectors.
OPPORTUNISTIC PORTFOLIO The remaining 15+ positions consist of equally well-known dividend-payers found among widely-owned cyclicals, such as financial, industrials, consumer discretionary, technology, real estate, and energy sectors are sensitive to the economy. In an expanding economy, cyclicals typically grow their earnings (and dividends) faster than do the typically slower-growing core companies. But because the reverse is also true, in a contracting economy, these positions are intended to be heavily trimmed to preserve gains as the economy peaks and shows evidence of decline. Some are susceptible to quite significant price declines when Mr. Market assumes their will suffer reduced earnings, and sometimes dividend-freezes/cuts, in anticipation of those events.
Rich is sometimes fully-invested, but unlike some, observes no such rule. Building a large cash cushion at the front-end of a correction/bear market (-20%) provides the dry powder required to both cushion the market's decline, and also creates the cash required to purchase excellent companies at below FV prices (without having to sell a position he wants to keep!).
TRIMMING POSITIONS When positions in either portfolio become significantly overvalued, they are trimmed by 5-10%, and the proceeds applied to fairly valued companies before the (almost always) temporary gift of over-valuation reverts to the price mean. If the position continues to advance, and absent other information, the position will be trimmed again. Added benefits to selective trimming include (1) serves as a more sensible method of rebalancing (as opposed to automatic--professionals do not use such a meat cleaver); (2) reduces the position's remaining Capital at Risk (which may suggest room for additional shares within an otherwise full position), and (3) provides the necessary dry powder to buy other shares at FV or below.
OTHER INTERESTS As we age, the importance of family grows. Rich has long volunteered in his community; over the years has served with distinction as member/chair of a number of advisory committees. Assisting others on SA is also a source of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Finally, having been blessed by years of excellent investment performance, Joyce and Rich have long been avid world travelers, and have visited over 60 countries over a span of 30 years (his SA avatar reflects the Taj Mahal in his sun glasses). They reside in Michigan--for 9 months of beauty, bliss, and family, and thoroughly enjoy wintering in equally beautiful Naples FL--for 3 months of sunny warmth and relaxation.
Life is good--it's been an unbelievably awesome ride!
I'm a computer programmer and teacher of computer programming. I am self-employed, and manage my own SEP/IRA and investments for retirement.
My personal investing goal is to own a portfolio of dividend growth companies such that:
1) The overall portfolio dividend income is sufficient to pay for all of my routine retirement expenses. I do not ever want to be forced to sell something to produce cash, especially when my asset prices are down. [I have no objection to occasionally choosing to sell something to pay for a one-time expense such as a vacation or a gift.]
2) The overall portfolio dividend income rises each year by more than the rate of inflation, so that my purchasing power does not erode over time.
I invest primarily in David Fish's lists of Dividend Champions, Dividend Contenders, and Dividend Challengers. See http://www.dripinvesting.org/tools for those lists.
I do not invest in MLP's or BDC's or CEF's or preferreds.
I maintain a free web site that contains dividend histories for all of David Fish's Dividend Champions, Contenders and Challengers: http://www.tessellation.com/dividends
On October 31st, 2014, I retired. Turned in the keys to the company car, gave them my computer and my account lists and joined the ranks of those who "slipped off into the sunset." I never thought in retirement that I would be this busy. It's fun. Time with the grandkids, time to perfect my cooking skills, and time to travel and check off the things on my bucket list. I should have done this a long time ago.
Dave Fish is Executive Editor for The Moneypaper and co-manager (since 1999) of the MP 63 Fund (Symbol: DRIPX), a fund that invests exclusively in companies that offer Direct Investment (or Dividend Reinvestment) Plans. He is also the author of the U.S. Dividend Champions spreadsheet (and PDF), which is updated at the end of each month...and lists companies that have increased their dividend payout for at least 25 consecutive years. (Separate tabs list "Contenders" that have increased their payouts for 10-24 years and "Challengers" that have increased their payouts for 5-9 years.) http://dripinvesting.org/Tools/Tools.asp
Charles (Chuck) C. Carnevale is the creator of F.A.S.T. Graphs™. Chuck is also co-founder of an investment management firm. He has been working in the securities industry since 1970: he has been a partner with a private NYSE member firm, the President of a NASD firm, Vice President and Regional Marketing Director for a major AMEX listed company, and an Associate Vice President and Investment Consulting Services Coordinator for a major NYSE member firm. Prior to forming his own investment firm, he was a partner in a 30-year-old established registered investment advisory in Tampa, Florida. Chuck holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance from the University of Tampa. Chuck is a sought-after public speaker who is very passionate about spreading the critical message of prudence in money management. Chuck is a Veteran of the Vietnam War and was awarded both the Bronze Star and the Vietnam Honor Medal.