I have engineering background and have worked for 35+ years as a software engineer and a systems analyst in the computer field. I am over 60 and have retired recently. Over the years, I have invested in mutual funds and ETFs but was caught off-guard by the 2008 market crash. So, I decided to learn more about investments. Last year, I came across Seeking Alpha and found it of tremendous value. I realize that there are many people on the forum who are ready and willing to share their expertise and experiences with others. My investment approach seems to be be evolving, and my current approach is:
(1) Use ETFs or CEFs for the fixed-income part of the portfolio. The % for this may vary based on many factors.
(2) Invest in utility and energy preferred stocks.
(2) Invest in quality growth companies that provide dividends between 3% to 5% that have a history of increasing dividends by about 8% or more.
(3) Invest in REITs, MLPs, and gas/oil royalty trusts with dividends ranging from 5% to 8%.
(4) Invest a small portion of portfolio in oil, energy and high growth stocks, especially in the energy exploration area.
I like to position the portfolio with low volatility, stay abreast with the news and inputs from many SA authors, and thus make informed buy/sell decisions. Use both technical and fundamental analysis. The cash position is at least 10% or more to take advantage of various bargains for the quality stocks.
Though I see myself as a long-term investor, but I also like to take advantage of short-term opportunities in energy, metals, and agriculture areas. I have used Dollar Cost Averaging for purchasing quality stocks and have closed positions if the intended expectations were not met based on certain criteria.
I am currently learning about the 20/50/200 moving averages to put trailing stop losses for my various positions. I have been whip-sawed a few times and noticed that the stock price came back soon. For now, the intention is to leave the core portfolio alone and add to it during major market dips. Mostly I use 'limit order' approach for buying and trailing stop loss for selling.
I have many favorite SA authors whose writings I admire and am always learning from them. It is indeed a joy to be able to find this forum and to share investment ideas, tips, research, market news and sentiments, and utlize all this to make prudent investment decisions.
Ken Kapur holds MS and PhD degrees in Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of " Make Money in Up or Down Markets with Eagle Strategies" , "Before and After The Fiscal Crisis" and "Dodging The Depression"