John Thomas graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with honors and a minor in mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1974. He moved to Tokyo, Japan where he was employed by a medium-sized Japanese securities house. Thomas became fluent in Japanese and was trained as a domestic Japanese research analyst and money manager. In 1977 Thomas became the Tokyo correspondent for The Economist magazine and the Financial Times of London. Thomas traveled extensively throughout Asia, interviewing premiers, presidents and prime ministers, writing on macroeconomic trends, and producing countless features about individual companies. Thomas witnessed China’s cultural revolution and was one of the first American correspondents to enter China prior to the U.S. normalization of relations. Thomas authored several books about the Japanese financial system still in use by business schools today. In 1983 Thomas joined a top US investment bank in New York with the mandate to develop an international equity business for the firm. In 1985 he moved to London, England to establish a presence in Japanese equity derivatives for the firm. In 1989 Thomas was appointed a director of one of the big three Swiss Banks with a mandate to design sophisticated hedging strategies for the bank’s considerable holdings of Japanese equity warrants and convertible bonds. With the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, Thomas was drafted by the US Marine Corp to serve as a pilot. In 1990 Thomas became a pioneer in the nascent hedge fund industry by founding the first dedicated Japanese hedge fund. The firm managed segregated accounts for a variety of government agencies, banks, and high net worth individuals in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. After a decade of spectacular absolute and relative performance he sold his firm in 1999 and retired to manage his personal investments in the oil and gas industry. Seeing incredible opportunities in the marketplace and yearning for the adrenaline and satisfaction offered by active management, Thomas launched a new hedge fund in 2007. In his free time Thomas is a commercial aircraft pilot, long distance hiker and mountain climber, wine collector and avid photographer.
My trading experience includes over twenty five years of intense investment analysis, trend analysis and deep level due diligence studies. My interest is to find small company opportunities that have established funding sources, have a plan of action and are in the preliminary to first stages of pipeline development and execution. My coverage and investment interest includes biotech, small cap and emerging growth companies, regardless of sector. I am a contributing writer at CNA Finance and cover emerging opportunities as well as breaking news events.
I'm a 66-year-old investor focused on dividends in a Retirement Income Portfolio.
I've been a member of BetterInvesting.org since 1982 (formerly the National Association of Investment Clubs). 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.
Better Investing's "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" inspired my goal to design a retirement 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.
Some things I've gleaned from mentors and colleagues:
- Peter Lynch's conviction that the average person, with some study and discipline, can make good decisions about stocks;
- Louis Rukeyser's ability to ask probing questions about the market;
- From The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham's focus on value;
- From Better Investing columns, Charles Allmon's skill in finding growth stocks that also had the virtues of value and income;
- Brad Thomas' analysis real estate investment trusts;
- Bob Wells' disciplined search for dividend growth;
- From The Single Best Investment, Lowell Miller's focus on quality and safety;
- David Van Knapp's ability to keep the big picture in mind when designing a portfolio;
- David Fish's dedication to monitor consistent dividend growth;
- Factoids' distillation and dissemination of mounds of data;
- Chowder's determination to buy and hold quality businesses;
- BDC Buzz's clarity about the risks business development companies;
- Tom Konrad's commitment to alternative energy investments;
- George Fisher's insights about utility opportunities;
- The Seeking Alpha community--both veterans and young contributors.
After having been in the investing world for more than 25 years from private banking and investment management to private and venture capital; I have pretty much "been there and done that" at one point or another. I am currently a silent partner for an RIA in Houston, Texas.
The majority of my time is spent analyzing, researching and writing commentary about investing, investor psychology and macro-views of the markets and the economy. My thoughts are not generally mainstream and are often contrarian in nature but I try an use a common sense approach, clear explanations and my “real world” experience in the process.
I am the Chief Editor of the REAL INVESTMENT REPORT, a weekly subscriber based-newsletter that is distributed nationwide. The newsletter covers economic, political and market topics as they relate to your money and life.
I also write a daily blog which is read by thousands nationwide from individuals to professionals at www.realinvestmentadvice.com.
In addition to his ownership of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, Cuban is an active investor in leading and cutting-edge technologies and continues to be a sought-after speaker.
Prior to his purchase of the Mavericks, Cuban co-founded Broadcast.com, the leading provider of multimedia and streaming on the Internet, in 1995, selling it to Yahoo! in July of 1999. Before Broadcast.com, Cuban co-founded MicroSolutions, a leading National Systems Integrator, in 1983, and later sold it to CompuServe.
Note: Mr. Cuban is not an active contributor to Seeking Alpha; rather, SA editors excerpt regularly from Mr. Cuban's public commentary.
Navellier & Associates was founded by Louis Navellier in 1987 and since then has guided thousands of investors by applying our disciplined, quantitative investment process to a broad range of equity products. Every day, investors hire Navellier to manage their assets in a private account, mutual fund, or defensive portfolio.
For over 25 years, we’ve been zeroing in on opportunities for long-term growth. We employ a veteran team of investment and client service professionals who deliver exceptional, personal service and industry-leading information to our clients.
Important Disclosures that Accompany Navellier & Associates Articles:
*Navellier may hold this security in one or more investment strategies offered to its clients.
None of the stock information, data, and company information presented herein constitutes a recommendation by Navellier or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any securities. Any specific securities identified and described do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients. The reader should not assume that investments in the securities identified and discussed were or will be profitable.
Information presented is general information that does not take into account your individual circumstances, financial situation, or needs, nor does it present a personalized recommendation to you. Individual stocks presented may not be suitable for you. Investment in securities involves significant risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested.
One cannot invest directly in an index. Results presented include the reinvestment of all dividends and other earnings. Graphs are for illustrative and discussion purposes only.
Although information has been obtained from and is based upon sources Navellier believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and the information may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute Navellier's judgment as of the date of the report and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes and is not to be construed as an offer to buy or sell any financial instruments and should not be relied upon as the sole factor in an investment making decision. Any decision to purchase securities mentioned in this research must take into account existing public information on such security or any registered prospectus.
Past performance is no indication of future results.
FEDERAL TAX ADVICE DISCLAIMER: As required by U.S. Treasury Regulations, you are informed that, to the extent this presentation includes any federal tax advice, the presentation is not intended or written by Navellier to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties. Navellier does not advise on any income tax requirements or issues. Use of any information presented by Navellier is for general information only and does not represent tax advice either express or implied. You are encouraged to seek professional tax advice for income tax questions and assistance.
I am a PhD candidate in deep learning. I mostly write on technology and have recently started a "under the hood" series on artificial intelligence and technology. If you want me to cover any specific piece of software, technology or company as part of the series, shoot me a message or comment.
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:
- a - Click "Alerts" along the top menu tab (just left of the green PRO tab)
- b - Scroll all the way down, and check the box for "author alerts" (2nd box from the bottom)
- c - Then you'll be notified by Seeking Alpha once per day of new articles by all authors you follow (in a single e-mail)
Paul Wagner is the author of "The Duly Diligent Stock Investor", a well-reviewed book (available here) written for new investors seeking a fundamental understanding of business analysis and investing strategy.
Paul is a seasoned stock investor with a long background in financial analysis and portfolio management. He enjoyed a 25 year career with Heller Financial, a Chicago-based international secured lender to middle market companies. He left his position there as Senior Credit Officer of Heller's Current Asset Management Group in 1997 to create and manage his own portfolios of publicly-traded securities.
Drawing on his nearly 20 years of experience in this "second career" he has contributed several articles to Seeking Alpha members and frequently offers his comments on the articles of other contributors.
My husband plans to retire in 3 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, CAH, CBRL, CCP, CLX, CMCSA, COP, CSCO, CVX, D, DEO, DLR, DUK, ED, EMR, EPD, 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, UTX, VTR, VZ, WEC, WMT, WPC, XEL, and XOM,
In addition, I manage our millennial daughter's dividend growth retirement portfolio of the following 34 stocks: AAPL, ABBV, ABT, AMGN, BMY, CAH, CBRL, CCP, CSCO, D, DIS, DLR, EMR, GILD, JNJ, KMB, KO, MCD, MMM, MMP, MSFT, OMI, PEP, PFE, PG, PM, SCG, SO, T, V, VTR, VZ, WEC, and XOM.
John M. Mason writes on current monetary and financial events. He is an entrepreneur and a writer. Current projects include a new banking institution, an Internet company, a private equity fund, two depository institutions and a community redevelopment fund. He formerly was on the faculty of the Finance Department, Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Mason has been President and CEO of two publicly traded financial institutions and the executive vice president and CFO of a third. He has also served as a special assistant to the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D. C. and as a senior economist within the Federal Reserve System. Dr. Mason has served on the boards of venture capital funds and other private equity funds. He has worked with young entrepreneurs, especially within the urban environment, starting or running companies primarily connected with Information Technology. Some of his new ventures are in the sustainable business and impact business space. .
Founder, CEO and managing director of Vailshire Capital Management, LLC, in Colorado Springs. Managing director of Vailshire Partners, LP: a healthcare and technology-focused low fee hedge fund. Transitioned in 2015 from full- to part-time medicine as a Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist in Colorado Springs, CO. Currently a full-time investment professional, managing the flagship hedge fund and separately-managed accounts via Vailshire Capital Management. For inquiries, please use my personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Over 30 years of investing in individual stocks. Extensive business experience with small to mid-size companies, including as CEO. Many hundreds of blog posts on financial and economic matters since 2008. Focus on value with catalysts for upside price action. Background as a physician and pharmaceutical inventor and entrepreneur, however focus now is global and involves almost all economic categories.
First, the good stuff. Here's my portfolio ...
Consumer Discretionary: MCD, NKE, SBUX, TGT
Consumer Staples: COST, CVS, GIS, KHC, KO, MO, PEP, PG, PM, RAI, WBA
Energy: CVX, KMI, XOM
Health: ABBV, AMGN, GILD, JNJ, MCK
Industrial: BA, 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 25 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, CAT, CL, CLX, COP, DE, EMR, GE, GPC, HCP, HSY, IBM, KMB, MKC, NEE, QCP, SHPG, 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 am a mathematics professor and try not to let that get in the way of making intelligent investment decisions. I am currently constructing a dividend growth portfolio with the goal of creating an income stream that grows at or better than inflation.
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.
I am a retired professor, a retired investment adviser, and currently a private investor and full-time tennis pro. I bought my first stock in a custodial account in 1958. I am a student of history, particularly military and economic/market history. The intellectual passions of my retirement years are markets, mathematics, and quantum theory. I like to travel. I served in Vietnam.
Brian Gilmartin, is a portfolio manager at Trinity Asset Management, a firm he founded in May, 1995, catering to individual investors and institutions that werent getting the attention and service deserved, from larger firms. Brian started in the business as a fixed-income / credit analyst, with a Chicago broker-dealer, and then worked at Stein Roe & Farnham in Chicago, from 1992 - 1995, before striking out on his own and managing equity and balanced accounts for clients. Brian has a BSBA (Finance) from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, (1982) and an MBA (Finance) from Loyola University, Chicago, January, 1985. The CFA was awarded in 1994. Brian has been fortunate enough to write for the TheStreet.com from 2000 to 2012, and then the WallStreet AllStars from August 2011, to Spring, 2012. Brian also wrote for Minyanville.com, and has been quoted in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal.
Nothing I write should be considered investment advice. Only you can decide if any specific financial asset, security, allocation, opinion, idea, etc. is best for your financial portfolio.
Author of two books, available here, Options Strategies Every Investor Should Know and The 5 Fundamentals of Building a Retirement Portfolio (both available in paperback and eBook).
I am an individual investor and the author of seven eBooks on dividend growth investing. I try to help self-directed individual investors profit from stock investing. I contribute articles and studies to both Seeking Alpha and Daily Trade Alert. I hold an undergraduate degree in physics from Holy Cross College and a JD from Georgetown University. My wife Sue and I live in beautiful Canandaigua, NY.
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
I have been investing for 40 years. My wife and I retired 24 years ago and currently manage our portfolios. Our sole income is derived from these portfolios and Social Security. I have a BEE from Clarkson University (1958) and a MSEE from University of Arizona (1966).
Founder of Disruptive Tech Research – a technology research and advisory firm serving the investment management community.
We provide registered investment professionals and qualified firms with independent, targeted research to support the generation of investment ideas.
We focus on patent-filing activity to identify the most promising disruptive technology trends early. Then, we employ an original, bottom-up fundamental research approach to uncover micro- and small-cap ideas that are underfollowed, underappreciated and undervalued.
Our mission is to provide clients with differentiated, actionable and thorough fundamental research at a cost effective price.
We’re 100% independent. That means absolutely no pay-to-play arrangements, no hidden agendas and no hype. Just solid research. And yes, we eat our own cooking.
I started my investment career at Morgan Stanley, where I helped direct over $1 billion in in institutional capital. After growing bored with the monotony of asset allocation studies, investment policy statements, manager searches and evaluations, and Retirement Plan Service Provider RFPs (among other things), I left and co-founded Wall Street Daily, which quickly became one of the web’s largest financial publishers with a daily circulation of more than 700,000 readers.
In 2014, I founded Disruptive Tech Research to pursue my investing passion, and fill the void in the market for high-quality, 100% independent research on disruptive technologies.
I have been fortunate to appear regularly on CNBC’s Closing Bell, as well as be mentioned in other media outlets, including in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Morningstar and MarketWatch. I earned my MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, which is also where I met my beautiful wife.
Pro Deo, Pro Familia, Pro Patria
Richard is the managing principal of QVM Group LLC, a fee-based investment advisor based in Connecticut, with clients across the country. . QVM manages portfolios uniquely designed for each client on a flat fee basis through the client’s own accounts at Schwab; and provides investment coaching to "do-it-yourself" investors on an hourly fee basis. The investment approach is based on value, asset allocation, expense control, risk management, customizing portfolios to each client's specific circumstances, and regular communication about strategy and absolute and benchmark performance. Richard's extensive experience includes serving having served as a Board Director of Phoenix Investment Counsel, a U.S. pension and mutual funds manager, now Virtus Investment Partners (New York Stock Exchange: VRTS http://www.virtus.com); as Managing Director of Phoenix American Investment in London; and as a Board Director Aberdeen Asset Management PLC in Aberdeen Scotland (London Stock Exchange: ADN http://www.aberdeen-asset.com). He has been a Trustee of a $500 million pension fund, and was a charter investor and member of the Board of Directors of several internet companies, including Lending Tree (NASDAQ: TREE http://www.lendingtree.com) prior to its IPO. He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College. QVM Group LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor. Visit the QVM Group website. (http://www.qvmgroup.com). Follow him on Twitter: @QVMinvest
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.
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.