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  • Is The 4% Rule Becoming The 2% Rule? [View article]
    @DGI: All things remaining general consistent, there should be enough 4% YOC companies growing earnings enough to keep the funding going for DG investors like us. The assumptions in the papers appear to say that it may NOT remain generally consistent with today. Again, assumptions, not future facts. IF there comes a day when, for perhaps corporate tax or corporate earnings reasons, the new standard for Dividend Yields drops to somewhere between 2 and 3%--even for the current crop of Aristocrats--there wouldn't be a repricing of these stocks to compensate unless another financial tool comes along that can reliably deliver 4%. In this alternative, then some adjustment to the "zero percent rule" would be necessary--still, though better than the more glum scenarios envisioned by Pflug, et al.
    Oct 7, 2015. 04:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The 4% Rule Becoming The 2% Rule? [View article]
    @bg, the quoted individual was speaking of the nominal value just to point out that dollars exist. He mentions inflation in the next line that one could expect a reduction of 50% of value over the next 25 years. Both points are correct. What matters most is personal inflation--the cost of goods tailored for the person actually making personal purchases. Some need less medical and more travel. Some are downright frugal and enjoy it. Some want to spend ONLY dividends to leave stock to the next generation of heirs, perhaps even a little generation-skipping. I personally could knock off 75% of my food budget and STILL keep a gut.

    Without question, personal medical care is the "uncontrollable" biggie, and it's the one that will force another major change in what and how care is delivered. Whether one can keep total spending down for a 3% rule in the context of medical care is the one I bet engenders more anxiety than any other issue.
    Oct 7, 2015. 04:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dividend Growth Investor's Perspectives On Advisor Perspectives' 'Use And Abuse Of Dividend Strategies' [View article]
    The thing about an asteroid hit is that if you were at Ground Zero--my time in Colo Spgs during the Cold War was like that, with Cheyenne Mtn the target of several large warheads--then you would never know about the asteroid, as its rate of approach is fast enough to beat your reflexes, and you'd be baked/ crushed/ vaporized before you could complete a blink.

    What you didn't want to do is SURVIVE such an event. I think that's what plays into the fear of a Fat Tail stock event.
    Sep 24, 2015. 02:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dividend Growth Investor's Perspectives On Advisor Perspectives' 'Use And Abuse Of Dividend Strategies' [View article]
    I think RAS is not expressing arrogance, but rather a plan of action. My mom told me of hers 40 years ago, but she didn't have to put it into action, as late onset Type I Diabetes took her out with a heart attack. Some folks just feel it important to control how the last couple of years will look to them....who knows what each of us will do, despite our earnest intentions to persevere through "Adam's curse"?
    Sep 24, 2015. 02:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Analyzing Earnings As Of Q2 2015 [View article]
    Ah, it appears I'm first.....@Lance, it would be good if you and other SA writers would include the actual cash dividends distributed without regard to # of shares outstanding, as well as earnings. That, plus the "unitless", or normalized, payout ratio would mute the effects of "Shrewd" financial engineering. Nothing annoys me more than seeing per share data, as if it's meaningful to evaluate a business.

    Very nicely put together. It took a bit for me to follow why you were providing the Q3 2014 info until I saw how unlikely that Q3 2015 would measure up, given the H1 data.
    Sep 24, 2015. 12:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SSDs Are Also A Problem For Intel And Microsoft [View article]
    @ThurberReborn: To your 3rd point: Respectfully disagree. Brand comprises a significant part of the most famous companies' Enterprise Value; it's not simply historical sentiment.

    Phones are broken out many times by Apple vs Android instead of iOS vs Android, for the same reason the PC market, which includes a host of platform types and a nontrivial number of hardware manufacturers, is compared against Apple. MacOS vs WinOS machines? Perhaps, but the hardware manufacturers are LARGE companies--I can't picture Apple surrendering the Mac sub-brand. Dell went private to control its brand. I'm old enough so that "PC" most simply describes the entire non-Apple industry. And to youngsters, The Mac PC is always gonna be Mac and the Mac tablet will always be the iPad, and the Surface will continue to be called an iPad, too (:-).

    Anyone still out there with "Compaq Pride?" They WERE the first PC-compatible machine to the IBM PC--it was the first and only legally reverse-engineered microcomputer. The residue of their brand is the Q in HPQ, which will soon disappear. In that sense, your last point is correct, TR.
    Sep 23, 2015. 04:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retiring On Zero Capital Appreciation [View article]
    Z15: Indeed, which is why DGI is NOT a "set it and forget it" --Ron Popeil-- investment. Payout ratios have to be watched for signs of twitching and then explored if something is amiss. A Morningstar or ValueLine check of Financial Safety ratings quarterly, if not monthly, is responsible. Tracking news and PR releases don't hurt, and trends might be revealed, either promising or worrisome. And don't forget writing covered calls to augment the returns using 20 - 60 day option windows. Maybe 40 - 60 days, looking for the best out-of-the-money call / days to expiry ratio.

    There are members whose rules make for more up-front work and less looking, and sometimes I wish I had more of that temperament. To those who "go for the mo" , like @doolittle and are good at it, bless you.
    Sep 22, 2015. 07:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Buy Chipotle, Buy This Competitor's Stock For Higher Growth And A Dividend [View article]
    GSUN: It's Jack-In-the-Box's franchise, Qdoba, that is being compared to Chipotle's. Q's a nice place, straightforward, and a nice alternative to CMG if you get tired of it.
    Sep 22, 2015. 01:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Volkswagen orders probe into EPA emissions violations [View news story]
    Hmmmm, Kingston: that multiplier in the report sure is a big one. It think it shows how inane the regulation is if a new model car can emit 40 times an allowable standard. And it passes in Europe? NO one would accuse the German Republic of being slackers on the environment.

    I wonder how complicit the sale and service folks are, and how many owners already knew "the secret". I'll go look up some numbers to see what a 1/2 mil diesels emit vs 1/2 mil Octane users.

    "personally sorry" indeed. What a GREAT story! VW must have been fighting about this behind closed doors for a few years for such a large number to be included--the defense must have a heck of a story.
    Sep 21, 2015. 10:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Alpha On Day 2 [View article]
    @michael, you say "shouldn't" when viewing the proportional changes you mention, and about which you are absolutely correct. What percent of the populace can grasp that, do you think? What percent of the "saving" populace can grasp that? How many can correctly characterize the difference in the effects between annual growth factors 1.04 and 1.06 over 30 years? Heck, let's try 1.02 and 1.04. Anyway, the naive math mind can't fathom what an exponential chart should look like, other than @earl's "parabolic" idea. And why is that? The mind can make linear extrapolations--but the curvature of the exponential isn't built into the wiring of our brains.

    An insurance salesman did me a favor by laying out a table of values describing my future costs of living under different inflation scenarios (back in 1974) and looking out about 30 years--the 40-year projection would have tempted me to call him a liar. I had a Masters in math, but had NEVER looked at finance to that point; I recognized the accuracy of his tables immediately, of course, but it was exceedingly striking, and pity my wife who just saw the 30-year annual costs of living. I bought an annuity that day as part of a Universal Life policy. Not long after, I traded it in (minus fees, for which I was glad to pay) for term life and a savings account. In retrospect, keeping the universal life would have done me better after 40 years, given my lack of commitment to saving. They were advertising 6%, guaranteeing 3%, as I recall. It could have been a 2% guarantee.

    Back to the point: Bless those exceptional math teachers who make sure his or her charges learned enough financial math to ground them in their 20's and 30's, when the important allocations should be made and the discipline of saving can take root.
    Sep 17, 2015. 12:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A V Or W-Shaped Bottom [View article]
    Well-gamed, @Cam, and very well-written. The late August pennant helped me place a hedge in my smallish account and come out ahead. At the new equilibrium, I see an asymptotic narrowing, but not as aggressive as the first one--I'll have to back and see why my chart's flag setup isn't as clearly displayed as yours. I have enough courage for the 2X ETF's SSO and SDS, but not for the SPXL and SPXS plays.
    Sep 15, 2015. 01:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nowhere To Hide... [View article]
    After the shakeup in late Aug--I happened to have a hedge in SDS, which did nicely once it broke to the upside--after things settled down to a lower equibrium, I decided to temporarily sell the dividend growers so that
    1. I could regain my bearings about which way the next move would go, and how big--are we talking leg three of a downward Elliott Wave impulsive thrust?
    2. Most of the positions were down 5%, and in that touchy environment, I get skittish. It's a weakness....

    Since that time three or four of the holdings have moved lower still so that I can rejoin them at a still lower price as they approach ex-div dates. It makes you wonder if hugging the ex-div dates with a select group of stocks isn't safer and more profitable. As part of my personal study, I've been calculating the costs of buying and writing calls on the day prior to ex-div and comparing it to doing the same thing option-free, selling the position within a day or two after the purchase, seeking a capital gain greater than or equal to the posted dividend. I've not seen the strategy talked about much (the great George Acs, and the Double site, excepted), so I wonder if it's too tricky to practice such a trading strategy. The Axman mentioned GE in his most recent article as something I could try the option approach with using longer-dated calls. The ex-div, according to TD Ameritrade, is Thursday the 17th, so I have until Wednesday to think it through--besides, it's a nice stock to hold going forward just the same. At least until SPY decides to lock into a pennant again...

    Regardless, I expect to repurchase the portfolio before most of the stocks regain their price levels when I cleared the room.
    Sep 15, 2015. 01:22 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Most Important Component Of Apple's Long-Term Return [View article]
    @Vincent: As the proud owner of a LG flip phone, I can absolutely say that no smartphone in the current crop has been "commoditized". Their features are worth most every penny charged. I have an iPhone 4 (wife's) not in use and a Palm Treo (mine) not in use. Even the Palm has features that would add to my life if I decided to make G4 LTE my primary data channel in lieu of cable.

    I'm definitely not an iPhone-ophile, but I have nothing against the 6, either. Having played with the HTC smart phone from two years ago, too, I saw it had its highlights, too. I want to see the Windows 10 phone for a bit before deciding which I would rather use long-term. Having another Apple phone might be more convenient when the missus asks a question about her phone, but cost wouldn't be a consideration with my decision.

    The new Tablet, with Skype and FaceTime aboard, might be the ultimate play, but the Surface 3 Pro with Skype might be just as useful. Which is why I still like my flip phone...ha!

    The price of Apple is in no more risk than the market as a whole, and it has more upside than the economy, and hence SPY. It's a grown-up company, Vince. That's where AAPL-lovers have to begin their mourning, that their star athlete is moving on to the Masters competitions.
    Sep 14, 2015. 12:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dividend Growth Investor's Perspectives On Advisor Perspectives' 'Use And Abuse Of Dividend Strategies' [View article]
    Indeed, @Stephen,, you can call stocks that must be traded using capital letters, Greater Fool Stocks. It looks more formal, carries a little more weight, and you can even use the acronym GF stocks, as opposed to DG stocks, which I try very hard to stick to, sometimes with success, and other times not.
    Sep 11, 2015. 12:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Centene Has Caught My Attention - And Could Be Bought At A Discount Through Health Net [View article]
    Barring another decent-size move down by the market between now and merger day, If HNT is bought at its now current $64.45, (the discount changed to about 3.6% today), that moving part is locked in; then, any increase in CNC (which has begun a recovery from Decent Move #1) increases the capital gain instantly on merger day. I noticed that neither pays a dividend at this time, so we're counting on a sequence of greater fools to make this work for us. The performance numbers, though, just might catch one who wants to ride the CNC steed for a while!

    These are fun math games--a perfect applied college algebra problem. Ha!
    Sep 10, 2015. 11:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment