I am 60 years old and retired two years ago from Stanford U where I was a Financial Analyst.
I looking to preserve my wealth and also generate income from my portfolio for living expenses. I am looking into dividend growth investing which shows promise to provide some insulation from the schizo fluctuations of the stock market.
Amateur investor, fell into managing my own retirement portfolio after dissatisfaction with the repeated rebranding of my investment brokerage in the consolidation of the investment banking industry and stagnant investment performance. I ran the list on sources of advice, have taken to listening to selected voices in SA and a few proprietary sources of investment data.
Out of necessity and desperation, a new hobby has grown, but with the underlying compulsion to secure a safe retirement.
I have settled on a dividend growth strategy in a broad sense, as a means to focus my attention on companies who have a track record of growth in both revenue and payment to owners, as well as to assist me in assessing value at purchase.
In the US, I am currently fully long: JNJ, UNP, CSCO, MSFT, ORCL, TROW, ADM and MGNA
In Germany, I am currently fully long: BASF, Munich Re and Henkel
In France, I am long ENGI
In the UK, I have full positions in BHP, RDSB, Unilever.
I am an electrical engineer finishing up my career and trying to prepare for retirement. I have concentrated on ETF investing and rotation strategies for the last several years. I have recently discovered and starting learning about Dividend Growth Investing. I expect my Seeking Alpha participation and a few articles to focus on DGI approaches, and retirement issues.
Baby Boomers with modest nest egg who got tired of watching our low yielding mutual funds lose money and decided to take over managing our portfolio in 2009. In 2013, after reading a number of investing books and countless articles on SA, we decided DGI gave us to best chance at meeting our goals with reasonable risk. Goals: retire by 2022 (2023 at latest) with a minimum of 12k/yr (1k/mo) in dividends to supplement pension and SS. Challenges: Modest initial capital and income (under 45k) limits Roth contributions, relatively new to investing on my own (late 2009), new to DGI (2013). Limited time and money may prevent me from reaching much past my minimum goals. 12k/yr may not be enough to make a significant enough difference depending on medical insurance costs. Strategy: DGI, take divs in cash and invest in best possible opportunity, contribute as much as possible to our Roths until retirement. Minimum IY of 3%. Try to apply Chowder rule to all new investments. I occasionally employ cash secured puts or covered calls when entering or exiting a position. Progress: Began transitioning to DGI mid-2013. Portfolio yields about 7.5k/yr as of early 2015. I have a much better grasp of what and how I can reach my goals. I had reached the 12k/yr goal in 2014, but only by using a high yielding CEF with a large portion of the portfolio. That CEF announced a 50% cut to distribution and the position was closed with a nice gain. I have since redeployed those funds into DG stocks albeit at a lower yield. Progress to 1k/mo goal: 72%
I had been strictly a DRIP investor. I hadn't had a brokerage account in years. Instead I looked for direct stock purchase plans and made small investments in dividend paying stocks. By dollar cost averaging small amounts over years I forced myself not to be an active trader. I'd hold for years with the plan to have a portfolio of dividend payers when I retire. Then I'd stop reinvesting my dividends and take them in cash.
I retired the end of June 2013. I also opened a brokerage account and have stopped reinvesting dividends and begun moving some of my stocks out of the DRIP plans and into my brokerage account. As I transition into the distribution phase I am being more deliberate in selecting dividend growth companies with higher yields. Though, I am not absolute on a certain yield percentage. I've recently bought some higher yielding stocks and REITs, but have kept many of my lower yielding stocks as long as they continue to increase the dividend. I'm still in a few DRIPs though winding them down.
I am a simple individual investor who believes that the playing field is level, but may require active management of one's holdings.
I've devised a series of steps that constitute a highly defined covered option strategy that most anyone can follow and that I've described in Option to Profit (2011).
Having retired from a career in Pediatric Dentistry, approximately 10 years ahead of schedule, after spending the previous 10 years working just 2 days each week, I now spend my time trading and alerting others of trading opportunities in large cap positions through the Option to Profit subscription service, a premium subscription service that provides actionable Trading Alerts via text messaging or e-mail at www.optiontoprofit.com. as well as a Web site access only subscription plan.
The Option to Profit subscription service is now in its 4th year.
Now, the Web Access subscription plan is available through Seeking Alpha's "Marketplace." A listing of those articles can be found at https://seekingalpha.com/account/research/subscribe?slug=george-acs
The subscription through Seeking Alpha also includes access to the full Option to Profit web mirror site at http://sa.optiontoprofit.com.
I want you to join me in making your stock portfolio improve the quality of your life. Whatever stage of life you are in, you can make your stocks improve that quality by putting them to work for you.
My investment strategy is built around the creation of an income stream that will provide me with long term flexibility. I believe there are many ways to accomplish this goal from buying stocks that have an income component at value, to cash flow generating real estate investments to bond and bond equivalents. Each investor must know where they're trying to get to, then create a formula that works best for them. I choose to focus on income because it allows me to sleep more comfortably.
Dividend Diva is a recent single mom looking to build a portfolio of dividend paying stocks to meet her and her daughter's income needs.
This is a long term work in progress that hopefully will also provide for the Diva's retirement income needs.
I am a self-educated investor with a great desire to achieve financial independence and secure a comfortable retirement savings. My education in criminal justice is where I learned to conduct research and analysis. I apply the techniques that I have learned in all aspects of my life and continue to learn and improve. In order to improve the life of my family financially, I began to learn about finances and I have developed a strong interest in investing in the stock market. I love and advocate the dividend growth investment technique.
I have spent most of the free time I had learning about investing and the dividend growth technique from great authors found on Seeking Alpha. Although there is always more to learn, I continue to enjoy the challenge of acquiring more knowledge and experience. I enjoy applying what I have learned particularly in my writing here on Seeking Alpha. I also apply many of my analytic skills and thinking to my articles in order to stimulate discussion, challenge traditional thinking and obtain varying points of view. I seek broad knowledge in order to enhance my own opinion, perspective, and thought process.
Accelerating Dividends Portfolio is the name I have given to my personal investment portfolio and business plan. This plan focuses primarily on US and Canadian Dividends to achieve financial independence. I also include some speculative investments such as small-cap, value and growth stocks to fuel the portfolio to purchase additional dividend stocks quicker.
My intention is to share what I find, what I experience and what I see with readers here on Seeking Alpha and to contribute in a positive and meaningful way.
I'm an individual investor who has been investing for over 40 years. I work in healthcare and am focused on maintaining a portfolio that will provide me with an income stream in retirement. Currently I own: ADP, APPL, ABBV, AFL, APU, BDX, CVS, CVX, DE, DIS, EMR, GIS, HEP, IBM, JNJ, KO, LMT, LXP, MCD, MAIN, MMM, MMP, PG, SO, GIS T, VZ, WPC, WPZ, XOM. GPC, O, OHI, WMT, ITW, HCP, LMT, MO, MSFT
Doug Meeks is a Registered Investment Advisor in Plano, Texas. He is the Principal Advisor for Pier LLC, an investment management company. The focus at Pier is to build and manage income-producing portfolios for our clients. We provide individual service to those who are inclined to see their money working for them. Growth and income do not have to be different parts of your portfolio.
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.
I started a dividend growth investment strategy a few years ago and am aggressively growing my portfolio to churn out enough dividends to reach financial independence.
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.
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.
Retired Financial Consultant / Businessman. Began career by developing a chain of 5 retail clothing shops from 1972 - 1984. From 1984 - 2003 I worked with Merrill Lynch and UBS PaineWebber as a full service Financial Consultant to retail investors and small business owners. Held Series 7, Series 8, and Series 63 security licenses. After retirement from Investment business in 2003 I worked as an Arbitrator through FINRA as an Industry Arbitrator for four years.
Now fully retired, I invest only for my own accounts using common stock and at times ETF's as the vehicles of choice. I continue to act as a Consultant to friends, family, and a few clients that I served during my Professional career. I do this at no charge for them so they can feel confident that the advice and counsel I provide isn't tainted by the possibility of financial gain for myself.
My primary interest is in momentum stocks in any sector or industry such as Taser International (TASR), and those that have or are developing disruptive technologies or products such as Shopify (SHOP) and Arch Therapeutics (ARTH).. In addition to those, I also maintain a few core positions meant for long-term holds.These companies run across a broad spectrum of size and risk, companies like Raytheon (RTN) and General Mills (GIS) . I will at times take on a very highly dollar weighted position relative to other holdings and am willing to assume the extreme risk that comes with that approach. That is a personal decision and NOT recommended for others. My primary portfolio normally consists of ten to fifteen positions. I do not normally employ any sort of technical analysis in my due diligence process, nor do I often hold short positions. I don't care for the possibility of unlimited loss that going short presents. I prefer unlimited gain potential by being long.
I employ a strict discipline of using a mental trailing stop-loss system to prevent any one investment from spinning out of control and leading to excessive loss. Note I said a mental stop-loss, not one entered as an order on my broker-dealers books. I set this level at - (20%) based on Fridays closing price. If the price has breached that (20%) level of decline, I sell first thing Monday without question and move on.
Frankly, I don't submit a lot of articles for publication. So should you choose to follow me don't expect a lot of things to show up your inbox. I welcome all comments and questions about any topic regarding investing you might wish to ask. If I don't know, I'll say so. If I do have an opinion I'll offer it for your consideration.
Disclosure: As of July 7, 2016 I was long SHOP, ARTH, GIS and RTN. I may or may not still hold these positions as of the date you are reading this. I am not recommending them for purchase since much may have changed between the time I wrote this introduction and the time you are reading it.
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.
Having always been a learning machine, I speak five languages, have worked as a sales agent, project manager, translator, computer consultant, software engineer, built a house with my own hands, published books and essays on literature, philosophy and art, have written for magazines of various kinds in different countries.
After retiring early in 2004, little by little, I have become a fund manager for some friends and myself, following the principles of value investing laid out by Benjamin Graham, Phil Fisher, Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett. You can read about my thoughts on a suitable portfolio structure for early retirees here.
My articles should not be considered to be any kind of investment advice. What suits me well is not necessarily good for others, as successful investing is somewhat like a marriage: If only one is perfect, the marriage won’t work. So please do your own research and remember Benjamin Graham's advice: “The investor’s chief problem — and even his worst enemy — is likely to be himself.”
I sincerely hope that my readers will ignore the Performance calculations provided by Seeking Alpha (although only to Pro subscribers, I believe). For reasons unknown to me, some of my European stock picks seem to be tracked inaccurately by Seeking Alpha's system. Spin-offs are not included in total return calculations and many of my correction requests didn't receive any answer at all. Moreover, my time frame almost never is as short as only 1 year (the maximum included in Seeking Alpha's table) and personally I consider the 1 year performance of my stock picks to be close to meaningless.
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.
Chris DeMuth Jr. is the founder of Rangeley Capital LLC. Rangeley is an investment firm that focuses on event driven, value-oriented investment opportunities. Rangeley Capital and his value investing forum, Sifting the World (StW), search the world for misplaced bets. Rangeley exploits them for its investors and then Mr. DeMuth writes about them on StW.
Jake Huneycutt is a former Portfolio Manager. Jake holds an MBA degree with a concentration in finance from Emory University. He earned a Master of Accounting degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his B.A. in History from East Tennessee State University. Jake is originally from Johnson City, TN and currently splits time between Boston, MA and Atlanta, GA.
Retiree interested in stocks and financial instruments, especially dividend producing stocks. In the 20th century, I was an electrical engineer with Dominion Resources. I use a dividend growth investment style. Quick rules of thumb for complex questions, like fair value p/e using the Gordon model, price = growth and total liabilities/total assets ratio for leverage calculations provide a starting point for my investment decisions. As a retiree, preservation of capital is paramount.
Ashraf Eassa is a technology specialist with The Motley Fool. He writes mostly about technology stocks, but is especially interested in anything related to chips -- the semiconductor kind, that is.
I am an individual investor in my early 50's and focus on investing in dividend-paying and dividend-growing stocks with a long-term horizon. My goal is to generate at least 50% of my retirement income from dividends and rest from other investments like real-estate (rental) etc. I have been investing for the last 20 years and consider myself a reasonably experienced investor. I plan to share my experiences by way of writing one or two articles a month.
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.
I have 10 kids and 28 grand kids with 3 great grand kids now.
I bought my first stock a good 70 years ago and have been trading dividend paying stocks and profiting from them for well over 50 years now. I sell when I think it is needed but I buy for the long term. I am somewhat of a bottom-fisher - I like to look for the deal on a company I want to own anyway.
I have traded commodities in the past, but I prefer to use ETFs for them instead of buying them now as they trade easier and make it easier to keep my two personal portfolios balanced overall.
In my Core Portfolio - I keep at 85% dividend paying stocks with a 7+ year record of RAISING them along with 15% Gold and Silver. I rarely sell these but spend time weekly on each one keeping up with the news and reports on them.
In my Speculation (or Exploration) Portfolio - I keep stocks that cut their dividend and were sold, but re-purchased them when they dropped to a point where they are attractive again. A trade sequence on these usually ends up with me having a zero-cost basis for the shares I kept and cash ahead also. I also keep stocks in this one that I know are trading in a channel so I buy low and collect dividends until they go back up to my target price and I - again - have a zero cost-basis and free stock when I sell. This is also where stocks that I have found attractive because of low value metrics and are trending up are kept for as long as I am in the trade. As Jesse Livermoore said "No stock is too low to sell or too high to buy." He made millions by following the trends and never lost money unless he went against his own disciplines. I try to keep that in mind with my trades.
I have had a wide range of jobs in my lifetime - Law Enforcement, Professional Gambler and Gold Prospector among them. I use my experience to help me figure out what comes next.
Executive at a privately held materials science company engaged in the development of new materials for promising energy related applications.
From the midwest (Go Blue!), but lucky enough to live in a nice climate today. Great family with three kids - when I'm not coaching or watching their numerous activities, enjoy surfing, mountain biking, and shooting.
I've read much about investing over the years; I've always been a value investor, now getting into dividend growth strategy.
I am publishing Instablogs focusing only on six general topics.
1. Regional Banks Basket Strategy
2. Equity REIT Basket Strategy
3. Healthcare Basket Strategy
4. CEF Portfolio Basket Strategy
5. Bonds and Equity Preferred Stock Basket Strategy
6. Portfolio positioning and management
I am not receiving compensation from SA or anyone else for my Instablogs and articles published at SeekingAlpha. I have never received any compensation for the posts published at my blog website. I am simply passing on what I have learned as an investor over 4+ decades free of charge.
In all of my 2000+ posts since early October 2008, the primary purpose was to provide a framework for rational and fact based investment decision making that will hopefully reduce the number of errors made.
My most basic investment strategy is to focus on income generating securities and then to invest the cash flow into more of the same, creating a compounding impact over a long period of time. I will invest in securities throughout the capital structure on a worldwide basis.
I am now and have always been a cautious total return investor (income + capital appreciation).
A focus on income generation simply means that income generation through interest or dividend payments is an important part of my total return objective.
I am no longer in an asset accumulation mode. Capital preservation is more important than capital appreciation.
Income generation is only one aspect of an objective evaluation of potential rewards balanced against potential risks.
After several decades of "turtle" investing, which sometimes requires me to pull my head back into the shell and to cease foraging in stock land (e.g. 1999), I am now admittedly absurdly diversified due largely to one of my risk management techniques that limits my monetary exposure to the securities of a single company.
My monetary exposure is largely dictated by a balancing of potential risks and rewards taking into consideration income generation and potential for capital appreciation.
As a risk control trading technique and in furtherance of my capital preservation emphasis, I will frequently use the natural volatility of a security to gradually build up a position, selling the highest cost shares on price spikes and buying back those shares when the purchase is lower than my average cost per share usually by more than 5%. The general idea is to lower my average cost per share over time with tax efficient share dispositions, thereby increasing my dividend yield for the remaining shares.
I have also been a practitioner of dynamic or tactical asset allocation that will be driven by my big picture views, including my Vix Asset Allocation Model, as well as my opinions about the relative risks and opportunities of various asset classes.
I was born in 1951, and started to invest in stocks when I was 16. I am not a financial advisor, but simply an individual investor who has been managing my own money for my adult life starting when I was a teenager. All of my brokerage accounts are cash accounts. I have never bought stock on margin. I have not added money to any of these accounts since 1984 and have used those accounts to fund my annual IRA contributions.
I started my web site, Stocks & Politics, in October 2008 to do whatever I can to help individuals become better investors, which requires a lot of hard work and effort. After over 2000+ blogs, mostly long ones, I came to a realization that my time consuming and laborious efforts have been mostly futile and have been rewarded at best with faint praise. I will no longer be posting there.
I would still emphasize that it is important for individuals to become as knowledgeable as possible before making any decision, with every individual taking full responsibility for their investment decisions and to prepare accordingly, which is what I try to do.
The Twitter Generation will need IMO far greater investment skills than previous generations given what I now perceived about future U.S. economic conditions.