One of the many things that makes human beings so interesting is the variety of hobbies we engage in, from Pooktre art to taphophilia, to carving eggshells. One of the potentially more profitable hobbies -- if done the right way -- is stock market investing, which is my primary hobby. Investing in stocks can be highly rewarding -- or excruciatingly costly and painful. As Warren Buffett, the world’s most successful value investor, once said, “Investing is simple, but not easy.”
It is not easy because we humans seem to have an innate desire to complicate it. Being capable of opening a discount brokerage account and executing our own trades is not the same as being able to effectively manage an investment portfolio. But it’s not that difficult. I manage my family’s investment portfolio. To help me do so, I spend a lot of time researching a plethora of investment topics, from behavioral finance to the MD&A's of potential investment candidates. I decided to record some of this research by writing articles for Seeking Alpha. I have been a daily reader of Seeking Alpha for as long as I can remember. The breadth and depth of authors represents an effective way to benefit from the “wisdom of the crowd.”
I also find that the comments from experienced, savvy readers can be as enlightening as the articles themselves. I have bachelor and master of engineering degrees and an MBA degree. I worked for more than 25 years in daily contact with global equities analysts as Vice President Investor Relations for five different leading companies. If interested, further information can be found on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnrlawlor?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile
Seeking Alpha's transcripts team is responsible for the development of all of our transcript-related projects. We currently publish thousands of quarterly earnings calls per quarter on our site and are continuing to grow and expand our coverage.
The purpose of this profile is to allow us to share with our readers new transcript-related developments.
SA Transcripts Team
I’m Masters In Commerce. I’m related with an audit firm, which is doing a business of making business plans, forecasts and financial statements. So, I have a strong hold on the financial sides of businesses. In addition, I’m also attached with Asset Management Company over the past two years. I love to play with defensive nature of stocks that are offering high growth at low risk. I have been following commodities and their nature of businesses along with industrial, auto and other industries.
Focus on blue chip (dividend Aristocrats and constituents of David Fish's CCC list), REIT, and energy holdings. Diversified portfolio with 80+ positions, primarily focused on US, CA, and UK/AU/CH/IL (ADRs).
Created my own mini mutual fund without all the BS and MER and various stacked-on other fees imposed by funds and full-service brokers. I am my own personal mutual fund manager. How great is that!
Change for 2014/2015: Strategy continued the shift to more sustainable stocks with lower beta, high credit ratings (A- or better), and companies that have paid increasing dividends for a minimum of 10 years. And slowly away from lower quality energy/gas/oil names to the largest ones with the highest quality (retreat to safety).
Companies in portfolio must be profitable (i.e. positive net profit and EPS), dominant (i.e. market cap minimum $5 Billion), easy-to-understand, relatively recession-proof, with a current high yield or lower yield and high dividend growth rate (I follow the Chowder Rule explained here on SA).
Change for 2016: Stopped DRIPing after many years and now re-deploy dividends into new companies for further international diversification. Do not want to DRIP into full positions, because that inflates them to over-full positions. Dividends are re-deployed into new positions or to fill existing positions to Full status.
Moderate yield plays. Buy, hold + monitor strategy. Goal is to live solely off dividends in retirement.
Early retirement thanks to dividends, 2016. To those who said dividends don't work, you are so so wrong.
Short nothing. No options trading. Less work and stress.
No fear, no ETFs, no mutual funds, no financial planners (all fired many years ago), no nonsense.
Keep it simple.
My name is Mike McNeil and I’m the author of The Dividend Guy Blog along with the owner and portfolio manager over at Dividend Stocks Rock. I earned my bachelor degree in finance-marketing, own a CFP title along with an MBA in financial services. Besides being a passionate investor, I’m also happily married with three beautiful children.
I started my online venture to educate people about investing and to be able to spend more time with my family.
I used to struggle with the same issues millions of small investors deal with on a daily basis. Which stocks to buy? When to sell them? How to find the time to manage my portfolio? How to diversify? I wasn’t into dividend investing until I looked in depth at my portfolio returns and realized I was having difficulty keeping up with the market.
The root of the problem was a very poorly built portfolio that lacked structure and the components required to build a sturdy base. I made good money from the stock market but I was taking unnecessary risk to achieve my investing goals.
From that point on, I was determined to create a portfolio strategy that would allow me to benefit from dividend growth stocks as a solid foundation. Since then, I manage my portfolio with a stress free method that enables me to cash out dividend payments even when the market goes sour.
Investing is never ‘no sweat’ but how about some 'low sweat' investing? That’s what I call my personal investing approach, which I think can work well for people living on their portfolios (or planning to).
My approach is simple: a diversified portfolio of stocks with dividends that rise to offset inflation, high quality fixed income investments, as well as a few higher yielding diversifiers like REITs and other alternative asset classes. I've been investing this way since the bear market of 2000-2002 and it has served me well in good markets and bad.
I’m an everyday investor living in a California beach town. Before deciding to support myself solely through investing (which is making money) and writing (which is making no money) I worked for a large advertising agency.
I’ve researched and written a number of articles and other posts on Seeking Alpha, mostly about dividend-growth stocks, but also on ETFs, the stock market and the economy. I also reviewed three books, including a couple of offbeat ones for financial adventure lovers.
The articles (and many of the Instablog posts) include references and links to the important numbers, news, studies, analysts' views, and strategists' outlooks I uncovered in researching the stories. That way, readers who want to know more can check it all out, or just dig deeper into an item or two that interests them most.
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, a consulting retainer, 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%) stocks with no dividend growth, low yield (<3%) stocks 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 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 mostly in the REIT sector, with the major exception of the CHS preferreds (CHSCL etc).
• 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. Those were not the best investing decisions I ever made. 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 indeed spectacular. 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, and more recently REITs, 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, the EDGAR web site, and Excel. I get ideas from the many informative articles by (among others) the following (in no particular order): Bill Stoller, 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, Preferred Stock Trader, Norman Roberts. Favorite commentators who are not yet authors include Elliot Miller, Paul Leibowitz, mbkelly75, surfgeezer.
I use FAST Graphs heavily for valuation research. Since my pivot toward REITs, FAST Graphs has done a similar pivot. I never consider an investment before first consulting FAST Graphs. Thank you Chuck.
The best investment advice outside of Seeking Alpha have 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 REIT common. 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 REIT commons, 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 carefully in the carry trade. A glaring mistake was selling JNJ when it languished for several years.
Subsequent to my disenchantment with mortgage REIT common, I discovered mortgage REIT preferreds, along with preferreds and baby bonds in general. I have decided that mREIT preferreds are a reliable source of steady income and I own some.
• Some ongoing portfolio stuff
The target dividend growth rate for our entire portfolio was formerly 5%. With our pivot to higher current income at the expense of higher future income, this target is not realistic, and I now hope for 3-4% growth.
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 methodology 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: we recently sold some of our health care REITs in favor of data center REITs, which leaves us with: CONE, DFT, DLR, EPR, LTC, NSA, O, OHI, STAG, WPC
consumer staples: we recently sold our positions in most consumer staples to invest in preferreds with much higher current yields, leaving the one stock that should never be sold: MO
financial: GBDC, GSBD, HTGC, MAIN, TCPC
baby bonds: HTGX, NEWTL, TCCA, TPVZ
preferred: AGNCB, AGNCP, AHT-F, AHT-G, CHSCL, CYS-B, DFT-C, DLR-F, GAB-G, GGZ-A, HT-D, LXP-C, MNR-C, NLY-C, STAG-B, VER-F
Prospective additions: none currently; I plan to buy more CHSCL at the right price
Welcome to my author's site.
I hope you find my articles interesting and informative.
A man-with-a-plan, I am utilizing knowledge gained from my business degree 25+ years in the business world and a similar number of years of investing experience, to manage my investments.
I have created and maintain a stable and growing portfolio of individual US listed dividend growth stocks, over 30% of which are non-US based but headquartered in Canada, Great Briton, the Netherlands and Australia.
I believe that asset allocation is the primary decision an investor must make considering his objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. I am fully invested and 90% of that is in stock.
I believe that the small individual investor is often best served by low cost index funds. Stock picking, attempted market timing and frequent trading usually work to the disadvantage of the average small investor. However, you may define small as you like and nothing prevents any investor from emulating the market greats of our time such as Warren Buffett or Peter Lynch. Greater rewards can be obtained by buying and holding individual securities if one has background, the interest, the time and the disciplne to do so in an effective way.
There are many ways to make money in the stock and bond markets. My approach to is to take ownership positions in successful large cap companies and hold them a number of years. Dividend Growth Investing is a conservative approach which involves lower than average risks and higher than average rewards.
My writing experience began when I was a senior in high school. I was a local stringer for Maine's largest newspaper and covered school and amatuer sports. Concurrent with a successful career in the business world I wrote magazine articles, journal articles, short fiction, poetry and a devotional book.
A long time student of security markets I immensely enjoy the opportunity to write for Seeking Alpha, which is a very high quality well run organization with excellent editorial support. It is also possibly the best business forum on the internet and I am proud to be a part of it.
Most of my articles focus on several topics:
Income Portfolio Strategy
Canadian Banks and Telecoms
Best regards and good luck!
-- Bob J
I obtained my CPA in 1990 and became a CFA charter holder in 2000. I consider myself an expert in Quantitative and Qualitative analysis and have extensive experience in Technical Analysis. I also have a deep interest in stock market history and hold degrees in Economics (BSBA) and Management Information Systems (MBA). I have been actively involved with investment analysis and investment management since 1985 but have been a student of investing since the 1960s. I owned my first individual stock position while still in high school. I am a student of Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett. I have achieved a uniquely diverse experience from multiple careers that has allowed me to develop a broad perspective enabling me to look at the big picture of macroeconomics all the way down to the retail unit or factory floor. In my youth I was in retail, then served in reconnaissance during my tours in Vietnam. I have been a blue collar, union worker in a factory and a manager in services, hospitality and transportation as well as a manager of professional staffs. I have more than 20 years of experience each in both public and private sectors. I have personal points of reference that many analysts will never have. I bring more to the table than just the theories and models I have studied or built. To understand more about my investing philosophy please visit my blog on my website.
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
David Baskin & Barry Schwartz are the lead Portfolio Managers at Baskin Financial Services in Toronto, Canada. David and Barry appear frequently on national television and radio and are quoted widely in the press.
I retired as CEO of an Automotive Parts supplier, and manage an investment portfolio for myself and family. I have a BA in History from Royal Military College of Canada and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. My first career was as a fighter pilot in the RCAF, and, following my MBA I joined McKinsey & Company, Inc. leaving them for Canadian GE. I left CGE as a Vice President in 1984 and founded The Enfield Corporation Limited ("Enfield") which grew from 243 employees in 1984 to over 10,000 in 1989 when Enfield was taken over and I was replaced as CEO. In 1989, I acquired control of Algonquin Mercantile Corporation, renamed Automodular Corporation in the late 1990's when I turned it to focus exclusively on automotive parts sub-assembly. Along the way, Algonquin turned a few ageing drug stores into Pharmx Rexall Drug Stores Ltd., sold to Katz group in 1997 and today a major Canadian drug store chain. I have been a private investor since 1971 both directly and through a private company controlled by myself and members of my family.
Dale Roberts is an Investment Funds Associate with Tangerine Investment Funds Limited, a subsidiary of Tangerine Bank wholly owned by Scotiabank. My articles are for information purposes only and do not constitute investment advice or an offer or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities. These articles are my personal opinion and are not those of Tangerine Bank or its subsidiaries. Remember past performance is not guaranteed and may not be repeated. Investment strategies are not suitable for everyone and you should always conduct your own research or speak to a financial advisor.