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  • April Showers Bring... Dividend Growth, Joy And Fun! [View article]
    til recently, i was foolish with JNJ and AMGN for a very long time. but on the flip side, what made me feel better was finding other bargains in the meantime.

    btw, i don't follow AVA closely, but i wouldn't be surprised if utes came down a notch from their highs. same thing happened last year--many of them peaked early in the year and came down quite a bit for the rest of the year.

    p.s. lol, whatever happens between Scott and "your body" is your business, not ours.
    Apr 18 04:09 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unplanned Early Retirement, Part 1 - Strategy, Stability, And Moving Forward [View article]
    question for anyone--if you do in-kind transfers of stocks from a Traditional to a Roth IRA, is there a minimum amount you have to convert in a given year? my theory is that instead of waiting for a big correction or until retirement and convert all at once, if I only convert about 3% of my traditional IRA every year for the next 33 years, it'll be the most tax efficient way of handling the conversion.
    Apr 18 02:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My KISS Dividend Portfolio: 1st Quarter 2014 Update [View article]
    thanks for the response, chowder! I think our way of thinking is more similar than it is different.

    there are multiple ways which one can use the SPY to gauge performance in one's portfolio, and I tend to take a holistic, long term, more hands off approach. that is to say, I'm not changing our portfolio from month to month based on performance relative to the benchmark.

    one of the best lessons I've learned from you is not to cut my winners off at the knees. LMT, RTN, NKE, and WAG aren't going anywhere! conversely, I'm also not selling any one position based on underperformance relative to a benchmark. I just opened an MA in the recent downdraft. if it's price stagnates for a year, that's ok, i'm still planning to hold onto it. that's where having a fairly diversified portfolio comes into play, I'm hoping my AEP or COP will pick up the slack on total return.

    switching strategies mid-stream to hew to the S&P's performance is definitely not something I wanna do. what i'm attempting to do is more along the lines of what you're doing with Project $3 million--tweaking a bit here and there to build a well-rounded porfolio. adding a little growth here, adding a higher yielder there, another healthcare stock there, etc. it's taking the 10,000 ft. view of my portfolio and seeing where i'm underrepresented, where i could do a bit better year over year. while a lot of DG investors tweak their portfolios to increase the income stream, my tweaking process doesn't involve selling my overvalued low yielding winners; instead it involves finding new growthier opportunities like MA/SLB to pair with my KO/PG.

    since my approach is based in DG with a bent towards capital appreciation, it makes sense for me to pay a bit closer attention to the S&P. however, it's simply a guideline rather than anything more influential.
    Apr 18 01:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My KISS Dividend Portfolio: 1st Quarter 2014 Update [View article]
    Scott--since I still have cash I want to put to work, I don't trim and rebalance either. I got a little cute with COST awhile back and sold because it was overvalued and low yielding. it's actually not up all that much from where I sold it a couple years ago at $102, but I probably wouldn't make the same decision today.

    though there may come a time in the next couple of years as the bull market winds down where I'll want to raise more cash, for now I'm happy to hold onto all my other overvalued stocks.
    Apr 17 07:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My KISS Dividend Portfolio: 1st Quarter 2014 Update [View article]
    DJ and Chuck,

    the Quality Rating is on the first page of the S&P Capital IQ Report on the upper right hand corner. Be aware that there are a couple of S&P reports; the one you want is called the Combined Stock Report, not the Company Report. I access the report for free through Fidelity, but other brokers offer this report as well.
    Apr 17 12:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My KISS Dividend Portfolio: 1st Quarter 2014 Update [View article]
    chowder--it makes complete sense to me that you have no desire to compare your portfolio to the S&P since you're income focused, but I'm not sure I see how it's crazy for others (who also have an eye towards capital appreciation) to use it as a benchmark.

    and let me just clarify, there's a difference between comparing a portfolio's performance against the S&P vs. trying to beat it. I think that there are many investors out there such as myself who are not trying to beat the S&P as much as gauge that we're coming reasonably close to its performance. I won't slit my wrists if my annual return is 27% vs the S&P's 29% return, but if my total return is 20%, I might take a step back and examine my portfolio to see if I'm well-diversified in various sectors/industries, or if I'm too heavily weighted in one badly performing stock, etc.

    while the S&P may be an imperfect moving target, for those of us who also value capital appreciation in addition to income, it's simply another tool in our toolbox. a kind of portfolio analysis tool that helps me analyze my portfolio a bit more objectively. I certainly don't live or die by whether I beat it or not. cause hell, then I'd be dead.
    Apr 16 10:48 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 401(k) Reconstructed: Q1 2014 Review [View article]
    eric--great portfolio review! I respectfully disagree with some of the comments above regarding your portfolio size. I think that it's a totally personal choice--some may not have the time/energy/skills to a larger portfolio, but you obviously do.

    and now that you've established your 50 stock portfolio, you have the benefit of really observing and analyzing which stocks you want to add more money to, as in make core vs. satellite as JGWright mentioned above. I have always liked how chowder describes buying the best two stocks in an industry and letting them duke it out. you'll be a winner either way!

    also, if someone had asked me what my "best stock picks" two years ago when I first started investing, I might have said KO, MCD, PG, SO, and O. and while I still like and own all of them, I sure am happy that I expanded to satellite stocks like GILD, BAC, and LMT, cause I never would've predicted that they would have done so well.
    Apr 16 09:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Is Total Return? [View article]
    thanks for the article, cranky! while 90% of my stocks are dividend growth stocks, I also buy non-dividend payers as well in order to maximize my total return. And I have also observed and been frustrated by many of those misconceptions you pointed out above.

    what makes some investors think that because I own non-dividend paying stocks like GILD, BRK-B, and BAC, that I will be forced to sell those stocks at market lows? if you make a plan with your portfolio and understand the role each stock is playing within your portfolio, then nothing of the sort will happen. like any other investor, I will continue trimming or selling my non-dividend paying stocks when they're overvalued and buy more when they're undervalued.

    other misconception I see sometimes is "total return investors must be cringing that the market dropped 1% today." total return doesn't mean being short-sighted and price sensitive towards daily market swings. total return to me means long term investing, just like dividend growth investing does.

    another misconception I see a lot is "I buy DG stocks because I have absolutely no idea if the market will go up or down in the next 10 or 20 years." their point is to emphasize the predictability of income over capital appreciation. while I certainly have no idea if the market or any individual stock will go up or down in the next day, week, month, or year, I think it's pretty safe to say that the long term trend of the stock market is up. If I thought that the S&P had a 50/50 chance in 2034 of being at 1864, I probably would invest my money elsewhere.
    Apr 16 08:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • First-Quarter Portfolio Review: There's Change On The Way [View article]
    or are my "best" stocks the ones that have paid the dividends the longest or have the highest dividend growth or have appreciated the most over the last 1, 3, 5, and 10 years? no matter how you slice and dice it, one's top ten stocks are entirely subjective depending on who and especially when you ask.

    I don't understand why some investors are against other investors holding 50+ stocks in a portfolio. it's one thing if they don't have the time/energy/desire to manage such a portfolio, but who's to say others can't successfully? I understand the need to avoid extremes in either direction (a portfolio of under 5 stocks or over 200, for example), but I haven't yet seen any evidence that a portfolio of 50+ positions underperforms smaller portfolios consistently.

    IMHO, it all comes down to one's personal investing style...
    Apr 13 09:53 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Starbucks Is A Sell [View article]
    aha, there it is! my brain got so caught up with the pretty charts on the first two pages that I never noticed it before. or maybe my eyesight is gonna be the first thing to go...

    this will be a great addition, since my calculations don't always mesh with morningstar's fair value.
    Apr 12 03:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Starbucks Is A Sell [View article]
    Maybe--where does S&P Capital IQ list their fair values? I get their individual company reports off Fidelity, but don't see the fair value listed anywhere on it.
    Apr 12 02:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Investing: Is Total Return A Useful Metric? [View article]
    chowder--haha, i knew Project $3 Million would eventually join us on the dark growth side! some low yielders with high growth prospects can definitely be alluring. i just bought a 50% position in MA, but may go long V as well if it drops closer to 190.

    It's also in Morningstar's StockInvestor portfolio and one of their favorite investments for putting new capital to work.
    Apr 12 12:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amgen: The Best Value In Biotech [View article]
    am pleased to say I'm finally long AMGN for the first time! nibbled on a 25% position today. it's held up surprisingly well in the biotech sell-off, but finally capitulated to my buy price today.
    Apr 10 05:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Halliburton Hits All-Time Highs, But Still Has Upside [View article]
    i was torn between purchasing HAL and SLB last year, and unfortunately (but not all that unfortunately) went with SLB. do you think SLB has the same 15-20% potential upside as HAL, or will the international risks put a damper on it?
    Apr 4 11:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Identify Good Stocks, Part 1 [View article]
    glad to see you long UNH! The healthcare kerfuffle kind of reminded me of sequestration back in early 2013, which turned out quite well for any buyers of defense stocks at the time. And so far so good with UNH--which in my mind is stellar on most every metric expect current yield. I think in a few years when UNH has a longer history of paying a dividend, many DG investors will notice it. however, by then, it may be too expensive!

    next divy raise should be announced in June. fingers crossed!
    Apr 4 11:31 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment