I was a software engineer for a little over 21 years before I decided to call it quits to the corporate world when I was 45 years old (in 2014). I have always dreamed of retiring early, but I didn't plan to retire until I was 50 years old. When I realized my investment portfolio could generate the income I needed to free my life from the shackles of the corporate world, I quit my job and never looked back.
I did not win the lottery, inherited large sums of money, nor got lots of stock options from a company that I worked at that IPO'ed. It was all very hard-earned. I lived below my means and saved a substantial percentage of my take-home pay ever since the third year of my professional life.
I've been a lurker on SeekingAlpha for years, and finally decided to become a contributor to document my journey as an early retiree.
It's hard to categorize me as an investor. Although I'm mostly "dividend growth" minded, I also dabble in growth, deep value, speculation, as well as a little hedging now and then with options.
IncomeSurfer.com is a website that discusses where I am finding opportunity in the markets and how I am capitalizing on those opportunities through posts. I also include stories about me and my family, books I found useful, travel and important investment decisions. Follow me @IncomeSurf on Twitter. IncomeSurfer.com and all content, are wholly owned by Fast Group, LLC
Professionally, I have done a bit of everything in my long life, from playing rock and roll, to developing software, and running a successful entrepreneurial business. But I am best known as a writer of bestselling books about business and health. I write under a pseudonym here on Seeking Alpha because that way I know readers will evaluate my work strictly on the basis of what I actually said rather than who I am.
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 just recently caught the investing bug and started taking an active interest in my (presently meager) portfolio in October, 2011. Turns out I'm not too bad at making my own picks, and I really enjoy doing my own research. So far my picks have significantly outperformed those of my high-priced broker (by about 10X). I've only got about 17 years left before I'll have to retire, and I've gotta get a move on if I want to enjoy my Golden Years and not end up having to work as a WalMart greeter on the graveyard shift. Seeking Alpha and The Motley Fool have helped me learn a great deal in a short period of time, but I've got a long way to go. I'm currently focused on building a portfolio of solid, stable dividend growth ... More stocks, with some pure growth (speculative) positions thrown in. At present I have 30 positions that yield an average of 5.3% in dividends. I'm hoping to learn more about options and save enough on the side so I can start playing with trading options; I'm looking forward to actively managing my portfolio in my retirement, and want to get really good at it before then.
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
Mr. Berger is the creator and developer of the YDP screening tool, a chart system and its analysis for screening and monitoring dividend income equity investments. The recipient of Seeking Alpha's Outstanding Performance Award, he also has been Seeking Alpha's #3 ranked Author for Income Investing Strategy & #4 for Utilities.
20 years of sitting in the board room gives me unique insights into Oil & Gas investments and corporate deal making in general. Additionally, he offers a Premium Research subscription service for boosting income while reducing market risk using covered option writing on a dividend income equity portfolio.
Residing in Brazil gives me a local's inside view on the pulse of its economy, politics, investment climate and breaking news. A view of my front yard is available here.
A former Chief Operating Officer, Director, Vice President and General Manger of Oil and Gas for Southern Pacific's Oil and Gas Operations, Business owner, geologist, and cribbage player, I've been an investor for over 48 years (started young at 13) and learned my lessons the way that makes them stick, by hard knocks and both big and little mistakes. Hopefully I can share some of those lessons with others.
I am an American expatriate that decided to retire at age 57 in 2009 and now live in Brazil. As an early retiree I invest for income and manage portfolio risk by screening for strong and reliable historic data along with favorable fundamental and technical current trends.
I spend 6 months/year living at home in Brazil and 6 months/year traveling the world. I have structured my financial positions so that I live virtually tax free with much of my income exempt from US tax since I live ex patriot and a lot of my US derived income over the annual ex-patriate exemptions is held in my tax free ROTH and tax deferred IRA/SIMPLE plans. This enables my tax savings to pay for my 6 months of annual traveling :) .
My investing is for income and appreciation with a balance of low to moderate short term risk and low long term risk. To accomplish this I use quality dividend payors with a long track record of steady or increasing dividends along with slowly appreciating equity prices. I target a 6 to 9 % yield and almost exclusively require a minimum history of 5 years of steady/increasing dividends and no decreases in dividend ever or at least past 10 years. I diversify through sector, country and currency unit the stocks are traded in, and security type (equity, royalty trust, REIT, mlp, etf, and ADRs).
I use covered call writing to enhance my portfolio yield with no added risk. In fact, it lowers the risk substantially. Once I identify a stock I want to own and an entry price for it, I write cash covered puts at or below that entry price (with a minimum of 1%/month time premium. Thus i obtain at least a 12% annualized yield before compounding just from the option premium.
Likewise, I use the sale of cash covered puts to generate income and and generally get an entry point at 5 to 10% below my acceptable entry level price if/when the put stock does get presented. Thus my strategy provides a 12% pre compound yield on cash and entry into stock purchases at a 5 to 10% discount from "retail".
Because I only select stocks that I am willing to hold long term for their reliable dividend yields of > 6%, I am not concerned much with market volatility or short/midterm risk. Indeed, market volatility is my friend since it increases the premiums paid on the options I sell. I also selectively sell covered calls on positions I hold long so as to add to my yield that way while not taking on any additional risk.
This strategy has kept me happily living off my portfolio income and traveling 1/2 the year while my portfolio has been slowly increasing in value even after my harvesting income for living expenses. Of course my income will incrementally increase when social security kicks in for me in a few more years and I may then slightly mofidy my goals and strategies.
Readers can get an e-mail once a day from Seeking Alpha that lists all newly published articles of ALL the authors they follow in a single e-mail. To get these updates:
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My name is Ted Leach. I'm a 65-year-old investor focused on dividends in a Retirement Income Portfolio. I'm not yet in the distribution phase of retirement. After serving as a pastor for 40 years, I'm in a second career and I have two part-time jobs. As Director of Community & Property Care, I'm part of a management team that oversees 123 residential retirement units in multiple locations for a non-profit organization. I also serve a large congregation as a part-time associate pastor.
I've been a member of the National Association of Investment Clubs (NAIC) since 1982, which now operates as BetterInvesting.org. For many years as a volunteer I helped lead workshops to teach tools developed by NAIC to educate investors about how to do basic fundamental stock analysis. I continue to have a strong interest in investor education.
NAIC's historic "four principles" have been very helpful to me:
1) invest regularly throughout your lifetime;
2) invest in growth companies;
3) reinvest earnings and profits;
4) diversify by industry and size.
Bill Bengen's "4% Rule" concept inspired me to set a goal to create a retirement income portfolio of individual dividend growth stocks as a way to tap only dividend income from the portfolio as long as possible rather than selling assets.
Here is my current 25-stock portfolio:
- 5 stocks each with a 5.2% target allocation: JNJ, XOM, MSFT, PG, MMM
- 5 stocks each with a 4.4% target allocation: WMT, MRK, IBM, CMI, GPC
- 5 stocks each with a 3.6% target allocation: EMR, SO, WEC, CNP, HCP
- 5 stocks each with a 3.0% target allocation: PEP, T, O, EPD, WPC
- 5 stocks each with a 2.4% target allocation: UNP, NNN, STAG, MAIN, EVA.
Helpful mentors and colleagues include:
- Charles Allmon, former columnist for Better Investing, taught me to look for growth stocks
- Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor taught me the importance of intrinsic value
- Peter Lynch instilled confidence that the average citizen can win in the stock market
- Louis Rukeyser demonstrated how to ask probing questions about market conditions
- Brad Thomas introduced me to a host of real estate investment trusts
- Bob Wells' analytical discipline keeps me focused on dividend growth
- Lowell Miller's The Single Best Investment helped me focus on quality and safety
- David Van Knapp's holistic style of portfolio building helps me see the big picture
- David Fish and Factoids inspire me to keep digging for data
- Chowder reminds me that each buy is the purchase of a business
- BDC Buzz has helped me sift through business development companies
- Tom Konrad opened my mind to alternative energy investments
- George Fisher is a helpful "lookout" scanning the horizon for utility opportunities
- The Seeking Alpha community--both veterans and young contributors.
Retired Pharmacist. Call me Rose. Nose= Knows enough to know I need to keep learning and keeping a great dividend paying nest egg growing upwards.
My 83 stock portfolio is listed here by sector, largest holding by value is listed first.
Consumer Defensive: KO, PM, GIS, MO, TGT, KMB, DEO, PG, PEP, MDLZ, CLX, CL, KHC, HSY, UL.
Consumer Cyclical: MCD, SBUX, GPC, NKE, HAS, MAT, VFC, HOG, HD
Healthcare: JNJ, ABBV, CVS, AMGN, CAH, BDX
Healthcare eREITs : OHI, VTR, HCP, HCN, NHI, CCP.
Energy: XOM, CVX, OXY, VLO,
Tech: AAPL, ADP, CSCO
Tech eREIT: DLR
Industrial: BA, UNP, MMM, CMI, CAT, GWW, NSC, LMT.
Industrial eREIT: STAG
Financial: TROW, MA, V, WFC, MET
Other eReits: WPC, O, XLP, UBA, STWD ,WPG
REIT Hotel: CLDT
mREIT: ARI (very very small position) and NRZ (also small)
BDCs: MAIN, PNNT, HTGC, ARCC, NEWT (small)
Telecom: VZ and T
Utility: SO, XEL, WEC, D, MGEE, DNP, CNP, LNT, FE
DNP is a CEF which predominately holds Utilities.
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
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.
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.
James A. Kostohryz has accumulated over twenty years of experience investing and trading virtually every asset class across the globe.
Kostohryz started his investment career as an analyst at one of the US's largest asset management firms covering sectors as diverse as emerging markets, banking, energy, construction, real estate, metals and mining. Later, Kostohryz became Chief Global Strategist and Head of International Investments for a major investment bank. Kostohryz currently manages his own investment firm, specializing in proprietary trading and institutional portfolio management advisory.
Born in Mexico, Kostohryz grew up between south Texas and Colombia, has lived and worked in nine different countries, and has traveled extensively in more than 50 others. Kostohryz actively pursues various intellectual interests and is currently writing a book about the impact of culture on economic development. He is a former NCAA and world-class decathlete and has stayed active in a variety of sports.
Kostohryz graduated with honors from both Stanford University and Harvard Law School.
You can receive custom delivery of all of Mr. Kostohryz's published work on Seeking Alpha, The Street, and other media, as well as exclusive material, by following the link below. It is absolutely free:
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Mr. Roche is the founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC, a low fee financial services firm based in San Diego, CA as well as the founder of the popular financial website Pragmatic Capitalism (some articles from Pragmatic Capitalism get syndicated on Seeking Alpha so please see the full site if you don't want to miss articles by Mr. Roche).
Orcam Financial Group, LLC (www.orcamgroup.com) is a low fee financial services firm offering asset management, personal advisory, consulting and educational services. Pragmatic Capitalism (http://pragcap.com) was founded by Cullen Roche in the midst of the financial crisis of 2008. Mr. Roche foresaw many of the events that led up to the crisis and felt that the government was slow to react and when it did finally react, responded with the wrong medicine.
Mr. Roche's primary areas of expertise include global macro portfolio construction, quantitative risk management, monetary economics and behavioral finance. Prior to establishing his own business, Mr. Roche worked at Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management where he worked on a team overseeing $500MM+ in assets under management. Upon leaving Merrill Lynch, Mr. Roche managed a private investment partnership for 7 years generating substantial positive alpha (high risk adjusted returns) without a single negative year of returns. He has since transitioned back to retail asset management to better serve the much needed low fee retail space with sophisticated but simple asset management and financial planning services.
Mr. Roche is also a prolific writer. In addition to the daily musings on his website, he is the author of the popular book “Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Know About Money and Finance” as well as “Understanding the Modern Monetary System”, one of the top 10 all-time most downloaded research papers on the SSRN academic research network. He was named one of the “Top Wall Street Economists, Experts and Opinion Leaders” of 2011 by Wall Street Economists and was named one of the “101 Best Finance People” by Business Insider where he was described as “one of the most influential economic thinkers today.” In 2015 Mr. Roche was named one of the “40 Under 40” most influential people in finance by InvestmentNews. He is regularly cited in the Wall Street Journal, on CNBC and in the Financial Times.
Mr. Roche is a Georgetown University alumnus, growing up in the DC area and now living in Southern California with his wife Erica, troublesome collie Cal and 4 irritable laying hens. In addition to being a financial dork Cullen is an avid outdoorsman, mediocre gardener, proficient complex carbohydrate consumer (i.e., loves brownies and cake) and finisher of one of the most difficult IRONMAN races at Cabo in 2015.
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.
Institutional investment manager authoring on a variety of topics that pique my interest, and could further discourse in this online community. I hold an MBA from the University of Chicago, and have earned the CFA designation.
My articles may contain statements and projections that are forward-looking in nature, and therefore inherently subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and assumptions. While my articles focus on generating long-term risk-adjusted returns, investment decisions necessarily involve the risk of loss of principal. Individual investor circumstances vary significantly, and information gleaned from my articles should be applied to your own unique investment situation, objectives, risk tolerance, and investment horizon.
I am a Civil Engineer, who is married with two young kids. In 2013 I took a more active role in managing my IRA for retirement and decided to publicly share my experiences in building the portfolio as an example for the dividend growth investing strategy.
My interest in investing mostly began in 2005 when I started up an investment club with a few friends from college and has accelerated as I've been reading and learning along the way. Since then, investing and the stock market has become a passion and favorite hobby and I've enjoyed writing about stocks and sharing ideas I have here on Seeking Alpha.
My investing goals are to build a nest egg for retirement and fund college education accounts for my kids. I invest mainly in dividend paying stocks that have shown a history of consistent growth in earnings and dividend payouts.
Motto: I invest in undervalued (i.e. cheap) well-established companies trading at a below market multiple.
The companies that I invest in are large stable companies with proven track records. My goal is the highest total return possible with the least amount of risk.
Professional Background: I am a healthcare practitioner with extensive experience in the pharmaceutical sector. I have a passion for investing honed over the past twenty years through various market cycles.
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.
Retired, self-directed individual investor. Retired at 56 in March 2007 after 30 years with CA Superior Court with a modest lifetime pension and a small IRA now converted to a Roth. Native Californian, raised in the USAF and lived in various countries around the world, now reside in Sacramento, CA.
Discovered Seeking Alpha in late 2011 when I was ready to invest my IRA. I started using a method I dubbed DGI Lite using the Dogs of the CCCs lists for Dividend Growth. I changed over to high-yielders such as REITs and BDCs when I needed more income to move closer to family and buy a new home in 2013. Best move I could have made.
Retirement *is* all it's cracked up to be -- it's the best gig I've ever had!
My goal is to bring exposure to business development companies (BDCs) that finance small to medium sized businesses, typically overlooked by banks. BDCs are an instrument for investors to earn healthy dividends by avoiding double taxation at the corporate level and allowing income to flow directly to each shareholder. Please see website link below for more information.
Chief Investment Officer for Stanford Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor. Retired senior executive of Charles Schwab. Retired (36 years) active and reserve military service -- six in special operations, 30 in the intelligence community. Geopolitical analyst. Author -- investment book Bringing Home the Gold.
Editor -- The Investor’s Edge®. In the 16 years from inception through year-end 2015, the Investor’s Edge® Growth & Value Portfolio increased in value from $250,000 to $1,038,453. That same $250,000 invested in the S&P 500 rose to just $422,905. (Past results are no guarantee of future performance; maybe those 16 years were pure luck.) SEE SPECIAL OFFER BELOW! Featured in Forbes, Barrons, The Wall Street Journal, Financial World, Wall Street Transcript, Global Investing, Welling on Wall Street, etc.
SUMMER SPECIAL: June and July ONLY, receive 1 year of Investor's Edge®, normally $189, for just $99. If you are ever not 100% satisfied, we provide a pro rata refund for any issues not yet received. Phone orders only! 775 832-5440.
Jeff Paul has been investing since his teen years, though his professional career has been in software engineering and education. His math classes participated in online stock market challenges, providing an opportunity to share his enthusiasm for investing with his students and the chance for them to learn the fundamentals and try to identify the next big stock (they found Google). He recently completed an MBA at Portland State University with a focus on finance, and is currently a Senior Investment Analyst at a wealth management firm.
If you are interested in any of my digital utility solutions to add to your investing tool box to improve your investment outcomes, please visit my site
You'll find elegant applications that make it simple for you to track your portfolio in real time, make a watch list to follow in real time, track your dividend income and growth, and other applications. These applications will allow you to set alerts at prices you choose in order to obtain the yield and income that you want. They function as real time trade assistants and will improve your investment performance. You can even mirror the successful FTG Portfolio with "My FTG Mirror Calculator", and subscribers can mirror the premium subscriber portfolio with "MY RODAT Mirror Calculator" if they wish to emulate the out performance we've achieved in capital and income growth.
I am a retired clinical psychologist, and administrator and owner of a rehabilitation clinic we founded 40 years ago. For over 55 years I have managed several portfolios composed of investments accumulated over our professional careers. Since the financial crisis of 2008, I have employed specialized, customized dividend growth strategies aimed at enhancing and growing a dividend income stream.
Since December 24, 2014, I have demonstrated on Seeking Alpha the ongoing construction and portfolio management of the Fill-The-Gap Portfolio aimed at highlighting strategies investors may utilize to close the gap between an average Social Security benefit and the much greater costs faced in retirement.
This portfolio has outperformed all of the broad market indexes by a very wide margin, growing dividend income and total portfolio value consistently while the broader indexes struggle in negative territory all year.
Aside from free articles available to the general public, additional early-access, value-added ideas and deep-dive articles are offered to paid subscribers on my premium SA platform, "Retirement: One Dividend At A Time"
Let me show you how to build and grow your portfolio and dividend income, step by step, towards a comfortable and secure retirement.
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.
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.
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.
Peter Way Associates is the only known provider of the price range forecasts of widely-held, actively traded stocks derived from the hedging activities of market-making [MM] firms as they balance big-$-fund sellers and buyers in large block trades. The price ranges offer explicit downside exposure forecasts not commonly found in publicly published investment analyses.
This is all forward-looking data, based on what the MMs will pay for protection against coming unwanted price change while temporarily committed firm capital is exposed to market risks. It is available by modest subscription cost at blockdesk.com.
The behavioral analysis involved has been performed daily since Y2K, now on over 3,000 stocks, ETFs, and market indexes. That has built an actuarial history of how market prices have subsequently behaved following several million price range forecasts, issue by issue.
That data provides a qualitative backdrop to current forecasts in terms of odds of profitable positions, size of prospective gains, credibility of forecasts, and worst-case price drawdown exposure experiences.
Peter F. Way is a veteran Chartered Financial Analyst, having taken and passed the CFA Institute’s required 3 examinations in the first years they were given, 40+ years ago.
Armed with BS in Economics from the Wharton School and an MBA degree from Harvard Business School, he has managed staffs of dozens of Investment Researchers and Quantitative Analysts for the nation’s largest bank, arbitraged index options for NYSE Specialists, and managed portfolios of hundred-million-dollar equity investments for Fortune 100 corporate pension funds and non-profit endowments.
He has been elected President of professional Investment Analyst Societies in San Diego and New York City and has served on the editorial boards of the Financial Analysts Journal and the CFA Digest. He has spoken at numerous schools and professional meetings.