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Big Thunder

Big Thunder
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  • Dividend Growth Investing 'Is' Total Return Investing [View article]
    "But to some people YOUR goal is not the goal you should be working toward. You should be working toward THEIR goal for your investments.
    So with that logic, if you are not using TR as a goal, then you are failing as an investor."

    Ha! I know it. I'll be a failure in some stranger's eyes, but I can live with that. ;-)

    "This is the intellectual state of America today."

    Well, we live in anti-intellectual times.
    Dec 31 09:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Investing 'Is' Total Return Investing [View article]
    "...frequently emphasized indifference to total return by the DGI authors…"

    There's a difference between caring about total return and positioning it as the focal point of your investing efforts. I care about total return in a broad sense; I track our net worth and update the figure every couple of weeks.

    But the investing decisions I make aren't guided by a goal of maximizing total return; they're guided by a goal of building an increasing income stream that will sustain me in retirement. I don't have influence over market pricing, but I do have control over the process of selecting high-quality companies that pay an annually-increased dividend. That allows me to determine a well-defined goal for retirement with quarterly targets -- something I can build toward that does not rely on market pricing. My goal is to generate a dividend stream equal to twice our current monthly expenses (with inflation adjustment factored in) by the time my husband and I are 65. We are presently one year ahead of schedule.

    I do have some investments for which "total return" is the goal, and they actually comprise a fairly hefty proportion of our net worth. But if the dividend stream my DG investments are generating ever starts to fall short of my quarterly goals, I will begin selling off TR investments in order to bolster the dividend stream.
    Dec 31 08:35 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market Strategies - Benchmarks [View instapost]
    "Comparing your results to an Index, 12 months after the fact, since you couldn't plan ahead because you didn't know what the end result was going to be, is akin to throwing stuff up against the wall and hoping most of it sticks."

    This smart observation had a big impact on me this year!

    As a result of it, my husband and I got cracking on an Excel spreadsheet and figured out, quarter by quarter and with inflation factored in, how much we needed in dividends to reach our goal for retirement. Our series of goals started with the third quarter of 2013, and we exceeded both it and Q4's. I then calculated the dividends I anticipate we'll be paid on stock purchases we've made in the last several weeks which have not yet paid us a dividend, and realized that with these purchases and modest dividend growth, we're already in line to meet all of 2014's dividend goals! That's without any purchases yet having been made in 2014! We are psyched, to say the least. Plan your work and work your plan -- we're doing it!

    This phase shift in thinking about our investments -- away from benchmarking against the S&P500 and toward benchmarking against the income goals we calculated would get us where we want to be -- has made a big difference for us. As the year is drawing to a close, I wanted to give credit where it's due. Your thoughts on benchmarking and strong emphasis on quality have become part of the foundation of our approach to building our retirement. Thanks, chowder!
    Dec 28 07:51 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why It's A Mistake To Raise Cash For Fear Of A Market Crash [View article]
    Chuck, thanks for this follow-up article. While I appreciate Aloisi's and Wrotenbery's response articles -- and I really very much do appreciate that they offered their counterpoints -- I tend to prefer putting my investable dollars to work. I say "tend to", because I do still like to have a small amount of cash available to take advantage of unexpected opportunities.

    I also wanted to say thanks for continuing to present your optimism about the future, something that I fully agree with. I recall your article that discussed the book "Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think", which I subsequently read and thoroughly enjoyed. There was a time when people embraced the possibilities of the future; personally, I look forward to a time when people return to that way of seeing.
    Dec 26 05:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • I'm Not Buying Disney At This Price [View article]
    "It's reality tv and let's be honest drama sells."

    Yep, and there's already the thought that this entire "scandal" is actually manufactured -- IOW, a marketing ploy.
    Dec 24 07:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Target kicks into damage control mode [View news story]
    Nothing of theirs was stolen? How about consumer trust?
    Dec 20 10:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Get Skeptical About One BDC Claim [View article]
    Factoids, thank you for this interesting analysis. Certainly gives one plenty to consider.
    Dec 20 07:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 6 Good-Yielding Stocks With Strong Growth Records [View article]
    Mike, that approach makes sense to me. PSEC for me was sort of experimental; for better or worse, it's easier for me to learn if I'm actually in it. Like you, the holding was a very small part of the portfolio! And I had about 9% of gain, so I'm happy to say there were no expensive lessons involved. :-)
    Dec 19 10:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One ETF Replaces Your Dividend Growth Portfolio [View article]
    That's what makes a market. Enjoy your VIG.
    Dec 19 09:00 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 6 Good-Yielding Stocks With Strong Growth Records [View article]
    I respect the work that BDC Buzz does, but I had a growing sense that he was essentially my only source of analysis. When I started trying to do my own analysis, I realized there is only so much I can piece together on my own. Whether that's my own limitation or a limitation of investing in BDCs, I don't know; but in either case, at this time I'm thinking BDCs aren't the right investment for me.
    Dec 19 07:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 6 Good-Yielding Stocks With Strong Growth Records [View article]
    Thanks Mike, I appreciate it. I do follow BDC Buzz, although at this point I think I'll sit on the sidelines with BDCs and just continue to learn about them.
    Dec 18 10:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 6 Good-Yielding Stocks With Strong Growth Records [View article]
    Mike, in the past I've seen you mention that you're in MAIN and I was wondering if I could ask you a question about that. I was in a very small position in PSEC until just this week when I sold everything, reason being that I never really felt sure my efforts at analyzing the business were or could be complete. I respect your investing style, so I wonder if you could share your approach to assessing MAIN.
    Dec 18 09:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Holding Cash May Not Be A Bad Idea In Today's Market [View article]
    Okay, thanks for the clarification Adam.
    Dec 15 10:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Holding Cash May Not Be A Bad Idea In Today's Market [View article]
    "If you compare ADP to SPY, which I think is the more appropriate benchmark, you'll find virtually identical charts over the past decade or so. So my point is that there was no portfolio value or alpha gained by buying ADP and holding versus buying and holding SPY."

    Adam, I just ran this on Google Finance and FAST Graphs, and both show a solid advantage in having invested in ADP 10 years ago vs. S&P500. Could you post your information?
    Dec 15 08:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Challengers: 10 Increases Expected By February 28 [View article]
    Thanks David once again for this phenomenal and trusted resource! Your work and diligence are deeply appreciated.
    Dec 15 07:21 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment