An individual investor focused on preservation of capital and generating dividend income. My strategy is to invest in quality, dividend paying companies, with simple business models, and, a long track record of increasing dividends. Like Nick Murray, I'm a believer in diversification, but not in asset allocation. I'm long 100% equities, all the time. I can live with any amount of volatility if I'm in quality companies. Since I live off dividends, the prices at any particular moment don't rattle me.
David Fish's CCC list is my primary watch list. The quality of the business model (simplicity, tenure), earnings track record and valuation are key principles in my book. Free cash flows and payout ratios are very important metrics.
When I first started investing in 1990, I gravitated to DGI - a book called "dividends don't lie" influenced me. I did not have a single losing position in 10 years. Then, I learned an expensive lesson in 2002 (60% loss of net worth at that time) when I lost my way and got into momentum/technology stocks. I lost track of understanding WHAT I was buying and HOW the company made it's money. I will never deviate from buying quality companies that have a long track record of paying dividends, at value, since I paid a high price to gain that knowledge.
A critical insight -- it is better to pay a fair price for an excellent company than an excellent price for a fair company (Buffett). I buy companies that I'd buy more of if prices were to drop. A second one, is to have a long term orientation (Klarman). In other words, buy and hold, allow compounding to work, and try not to "market time". SA DGI leaders such as Chuck Carnevale, Chowder, David Fish, David Van Knapp, Tim McAleenan, Part Time investor, Sure Dividend and several others have influenced my thinking.
It is not an exaggeration to say that SA has impacted my life. I'm a first generation American, and am very grateful for the opportunities provided by my adopted country.
35 companies make up 72% of my portfolio. In descending order of size - Proctor & Gamble,Johnson & Johnson,Verizon,Cocal-Cola, AT&T,United Technologies,Exxon Mobil,Diageo.Kimberly-Clark,Hershey, Kraft Heinz
McDonalds Pepsico Unilever Chevron Wal-Mart Emerson Electric International Business Machines Phillip Morris Cummins General Electric
Nestle Disney Microsoft Cisco 3M Helmerich Payne GENERAL MILLS United Parcel Service QUALCOMM W P CAREY Wells Fargo Archer Daniels Midland Oracle Apple. All but three are rated as narrow or wide moats.
The other holdings are mini-ETFs (for example, 11 REITS that I treat as 1 diversified company).
The remainder, ~14 companies, (examples include: Ambev, CAT, DE, DVN, MUR, MRO) are ones I will slowly sell of and re-invest into my core holdings.
As of May 1, 2016 (aged 57 years) I have retired and live off my dividends.
I am a 29 year old father of three, active duty US Marine. I began investing with my retirement in mind and mostly focus on reliable dividend paying companies. I enjoy writing for Seeking Alpha to share my ideas and create discussions with fellow investors. I firmly believe that investing should be made more approachable to the masses and strive to keep my articles simple yet informative. Being on a "fixed" but stable income and lone "breadwinner" in the house creates interesting dynamics and greatly impacts my investing approach. I currently hold in no particular order:
PFE, AAPL, RTN, BAESY, RGR, NKE, UA, DIS, CSX, F, O, MO, UL, SBUX, BUD, EML, CGNX, DOW, XOM, T, VOD, CSCO, SYF, ORI, GLW, TATT, KTOS, JOUT, GLBL. TWNK Warrants.
Any spreadsheets that I use will be uploaded to my Amazon Drive. Feel free to use them. The link is:
I like writing about all sorts of companies in all sorts of sectors. Recently I've been focusing my writing and even investing dollars on micro/small cap defense facing companies. I will always try to keep it simple and understandable, please hit "Follow" if you would like to read my articles in the future.
DISCLAIMER: I am not an investing professional. As a result anything that I write should not be taken as investment advice as it is my personal opinion at the time. In addition, I am not your fiduciary nor do I understand your personal financial situation. Please perform your own due diligence on any potential investment decisions.
I am the author of Guiding Mast Investments monthly newsletter, focused on timely dividend paying stocks. In addition, my services include a review of individual portfolios along with education of portfolio management techniques.
I have been a Registered Investment Advisor, financial author, and entrepreneur. I bring a variety of expertise to my clients, from personal investment planning and management to stock market analysis skills. I am the creator of the investment newsletter Power Investing with DRIPs focused on timely selections of dividend paying stocks. I have also published two books through McGraw Hill, All About DRIPs and DSPs, and The StreetSmart Guide to Overlooked Stocks.
My work experience covers a variety of fields.Prior to being a RIA, I spent 15 years as a corporate manager at Georgia-Pacific Corp before venturing out on my own, operating several businesses from manufacturing to export marketing management. President Ronald Reagan appointed me to the National Advisory Council overseeing the Small Business Administration from 1988 to 1991.
Now comes the obligatory disclaimers: The opinions and any recommendations expressed in this commentary are those of the author . None of the information or opinions expressed in this article constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other instrument. Nothing in this commentary constitutes investment advice and any recommendations that may be contained herein have not been based upon a consideration of the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any specific recipient. Any purchase or sale activity in any securities or other instrument should be based upon your own analysis and conclusions. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities market, or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and subject to change without notice. Either Mr. Fisher or his employer, if any, may hold or control long or short positions in the securities or instruments mentioned.
Mr. Leach spent his early years on a subsistence farm in western Michigan. He graduated at the top of his high school class which helped him land a scholarship to the University Michigan. Graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering and a minor in mathematics in 1981, Mr. Leach took his first professional job with Westinghouse Electric in Monroeville, PA.
Mr. Leach held several positions of increasing responsibility at Westinghouse, and Fluor Federal Services in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington State. While in Washington State, Mr. Leach completed his master’s of science degree in Environmental Engineering graduating summa cum laude in 1997 from Washington State University.
In 2003 and 2004 with Fluor Federal Services, Mr. Leach worked as a civilian contractor for the US Department of Defense in various middle east locations and the Philippines. In 2005, Mr. Leach joined the AREVA Group and spent two years in France. After returning stateside in 2006, Mr. Leach held various positions of increasing responsibility with AREVA Federal Services in South Carolina and North Carolina. Mr. Leach left the AREVA group in 2014 at the age of 56 and is now quasi-retired and focuses on his wife, his 15 year old son, and his investment portfolio.
Mr. Leach has been a consistent, avid, and successful investor for more than 30 years. His investment style is conservative and he primarily invests in income oriented equities, bonds, preferred stocks and mutual funds. Mr. Leach has written more than 50 articles on Seeking Alpha and other websites.
Investing for 20 years, emphasizing stock picking for the last ten. Long-only, driven by valuation relative to risk and growth prospects. My contrarian approach works well during periods of volatility, typically trailing market returns during bull runs.
Brian Nelson is the president of equity research and ETF analysis at Valuentum Securities.
He is the architect behind the company’s research methodology and processes, developing the Valuentum Buying Index rating system, the Economic Castle rating, and the Dividend Cushion ratio. Mr. Nelson has acted as editor-in-chief of the firm’s Best Ideas Newsletter and Dividend Growth Newsletter since their inception.
Before founding Valuentum in early 2011, Brian worked as a director at Morningstar, where he was responsible for training and methodology development within the firm's equity and credit research department. Prior to that position, he served as a senior industrials securities analyst covering aerospace, airlines, construction, and environmental services companies.
Before joining Morningstar in February 2006, Mr. Nelson worked for a small capitalization fund covering a variety of sectors for an aggressive growth investment management firm in Chicago. He holds a Bachelor's degree in finance and a minor in mathematics, magna cum laude, from Benedictine University. Mr. Nelson has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Brian is frequently quoted in the media and has been a frequent guest on Nightly Business Report, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, and the MoneyShow.
Mr. Nelson is very experienced valuing equities, developing discounted cash-flow models used to derive the fair value estimates for companies in the equity coverage universes of two of the largest independent investment research firms.
Brian worked on a small cap fund and a micro cap fund that were ranked within the top 10th percentile and top 1st percentile within the Small Cap Lipper Growth Universe, respectively, in 2005.
Brian led the charge in developing Morningstar's issuer credit ratings, creating and rolling-out one of the firm's proprietary credit metrics, the Cash Flow Cushion.
Please read our Disclaimer that applies to all articles published on Seeking Alpha: http://www.valuentum.com/categories/20110613
Follow us on Twitter: @Valuentum
Paul Wagner is the author of "The Duly Diligent Stock Investor", a well-reviewed book (available here) written for new investors seeking a fundamental understanding of business analysis and investing strategy.
Paul is a seasoned stock investor with a long background in financial analysis and portfolio management. He enjoyed a 25 year career with Heller Financial, a Chicago-based international secured lender to middle market companies. He left his position there as Senior Credit Officer of Heller's Current Asset Management Group in 1997 to create and manage his own portfolios of publicly-traded securities.
Drawing on his nearly 20 years of experience in this "second career" he has contributed several articles to Seeking Alpha members and frequently offers his comments on the articles of other contributors.
Ian’s Insider Corner research focuses primarily on long-term dividend-paying companies with stable and reliable growth, stocks suitable for individual retirement accounts. Ian also looks for “niche” shorter-term trading opportunities, and coverage. During the 3-years Ian worked at Kerrisdale Capital, the New York-based activist hedge fund had great success exposing fraudulent companies. Kerrisdale Capital returned almost 200% in 2011, and more than 300% in total. Ian Bezek offers in-depth coverage of all the stocks in his “IMF” portfolio.
Dividend Growth Investor since 2011.
In July 2013 we moved from a managed account with a mutual fund, stock and bond portfolio to our own Dividend Growth portfolio. I am still evaluating the current portfolio holdings as they fit in our DGI "Plan".
Update: June 2015 I am now fully retired and am following our plan for life long financial independence. Retirement and financial independence are two different life goals and as such should be treated differently. Now when I check our discount brokerage account I now look at the cash being generated rather than the total value. This income generating plan seems to be working just fine as dividends are being used to support our day to day life. We currently have a 4.1% yield, 4.4% YOC and 6% dividend CAGR.
My Father was a DGI for over 70 years and my parents lived off the dividends for over 30+ years showing me the way forward.
I continue to read S/A articles daily and am still learning from the many dedicated authors.
I volunteer my time to our High School First Robotics Team. It is amazing what these students can do over the 6 week build season.
There are certain stocks I will not buy and I like to have stocks of products we use. For example when we pay for gas the dividends from XOM, CVX and COP pays the bill and BCE, RCI and VZ pay for phone and internet. You get the idea. If there was only a good dividend vacation stock... Maybe CNK.
I am long on the following: Comments welcome on my holdings.
Info Technology; AAPL, CSCO, GOOG, GOOGL, MSFT, WU
Telecommunications; BCE, RCI, T, VZ
Financials; AFL, BRK-B, CB, PRU, TMP, USB, ORI
Industrials; CHRW, CSX, DE, EMR, GE, IBM, MMM,
Consumer Discretionary; CNK, DRI, LEG, MCD, SJR
Consumer Staples; CPB, KMB, KRFT, PEP, SYY, PG
Energy; COP, CVX, XOM, RDS.B, KMI, HP
Healthcare; JNJ, MDT, MRK, PFE, SNY
Utilities; D, DUK, PPL, SO, WEC, XEL, SCG
REITs; DLR, HCP, KIM, O, OHI, VTR, WPC, NNN
MLPs; SXL, ARLP, PAA
BDCs; MAIN, PSEC**
CEFs; GOF**' NIO** DMO**
* Being evaluated for sale and reinvestment.
** Speculative 1/3 positions
Oct2013 - Bought DLR on the dip hoping for a bounce.
Oct2013 - Sold EXC at a loss and bought XEL. EXC (left over from my adviser)
Jan2014 - Added ARLP to my wife's IRA, TGH and KRFT to taxable account on Jan dip
Jan2014 - Added VTR by taking the profits from WLP and STJ (left over from my adviser)
Feb 2014 - Added T on a dip at 32 ( I wanted this stock for many years and finally pulled the trigger.)
July 2014 - Sold LOW and AMAT, took profits and added to my SO holding in taxable account.
Sept 2014 - Sold TSCDY and VDC in our taxable account.
Sept 2014 - Sold VDC in my trad IRA and added HCP.
Oct 2014 - bought more XOM on the recent dip.
Dec2014 - bought more CVX and T on the recent dip.
Sold TGH, IBM at slight loss
Dec2014 - will transfer 50% of my 401k to trad. IRA. Let the buying commence.
March 2015 - All 401k money has been transferred to TIRA
Since Jan 1 2015 I have added to the following positions on limit orders to maximize value.
DUK, VZ, O, RDS.B, CVX, EMR, JNJ, VTR, WPC, OHI, HCP, DLR, PEP, T, KMB, RCI, PPL, GE
SCG, MAIN, NNN, PG, PAA, HP, NNN, ORI, (PSEC, NIO)**
Purchased KMI, KO, UTG, JNJ, MAIN and GILD on the Aug 24th "Flash Crash". Great bargains!
Dec 2015 sold BRK-B and WU at a gain to offset the KMI loss.
Jan 2016, Added my TGT, MMM, EMR and SCHD for my wifes IRA.
I was a software engineer for a little over 21 years before I decided to call it quits to the corporate world when I was 45 years old (in 2014). I have always dreamed of retiring early, but I didn't plan to retire until I was 50 years old. When I realized my investment portfolio could generate the income I needed to free my life from the shackles of the corporate world, I quit my job and never looked back.
I did not win the lottery, inherited large sums of money, nor got lots of stock options from a company that I worked at that IPO'ed. It was all very hard-earned. I lived below my means and saved a substantial percentage of my take-home pay ever since the third year of my professional life.
I've been a lurker on SeekingAlpha for years, and finally decided to become a contributor to document my journey as an early retiree.
It's hard to categorize me as an investor. Although I'm mostly "dividend growth" minded, I also dabble in growth, deep value, speculation, as well as a little hedging now and then with options.
LL.M Oil & Gas Law
LL.B Law (Hons)
Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (All at the University of Aberdeen)
Self-taught in investing from the age of 17. Subsequently, I have been managing anglo-american share portfolios for myself and my family.
Send me a message for any queries.
I am a retired investment adviser. I write a blog that concentrates on dividends and income. In my web/blog I profile dividend stocks that I call Dividend Machines because they are safe and deliver ever increasing income. High Yield Bonds bought at par or below and covered calls on dividend companies are additional sources of income that individual investors should learn to use and that I discuss on my site. My ideas and historical data are free to readers. The Money Madam
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I joined Seeking Alpha as a Senior Editor in June 2012, and left to pursue other opportunities in late 2016. I managed the Dividends, Income & Retirement and Expert Insight platforms. D&I focuses on income investment strategies and dividend investment-focused content for investors from the accumulation stage to retirement. The purpose of Expert Insight is to expand and elevate the quality of Seeking Alpha's content by including articles from an industry insider's point of view, designed to help investors make more informed decisions as they consider specific sectors and trends within those sectors for their investing strategies, e.g., utilities or technology. Expert Insight articles offer more of a macro, 30,000-foot-view that goes beyond investment analysis or stock recommendations. I also curated the Dividends & Income Digest, a bi-weekly publication that takes a look at a question that is compelling and relevant to the community, showcases the responses of DI thought leaders, and serves as a round-up of top DI articles. I have a particular interest in retirement-related content, particularly with regard to using a dividend strategy to create a steady income stream for those golden years.
Retired Pharmacist. Call me Rose. Nose= Knows enough to know I need to keep learning and keeping a great dividend paying nest egg growing upwards. I also enjoy total return, but it is not my primary goal, it just happens to follow when buying great quality companies.
My 86 stock portfolio is listed here by sector, largest holding by value is listed first. Updated 1/6/2017.
Consumer Defensive (14): KO, PM, GIS, MO, TGT, KMB, CVS, DEO, PG, PEP, MDLZ, CL, KHC, UL.
Consumer Cyclical (8): MCD, SBUX, GPC, NKE, HAS, MAT, VFC, HD -
Healthcare (8): JNJ, ABBV, AMGN, CAH, BDX , MDT, PFE, TEVA (new and small)-
Energy (6): XOM, CVX, OXY, VLO, RDS/B & A, BP -
Tech (2): ADP, CSCO -
Industrial(6): BA, UNP, MMM, CMI, GWW, LMT. -
Financial (8): NRZ, ARI,, LADR, BXMT (mREITs) TROW, MA, V,
BDCs (6): ARCC, HTGC, NEWT, PSEC, GAIN , MRCC (new & small)-
REAL ESTATE or Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
Healthcare eREITs (6) : OHI, VTR, HCN, NHI, CCP, SNR -
Equity Reits (11): WPC, DLR, O, CLDT, STAG, LXP, UBA, APLE, SPG, -STWD (hybrid mREIT)
Telecom (2): VZ and T -
Utility (9): SO, D, XEL, MGEE, WEC, DNP, LNT, CNP, FE -
DNP is a CEF which predominately holds Utilities.
Free Download of the Book by Lowell Miller here:
Husband, father of three, grandfather of three and long time investor. Bought my first stock at 16 years old, it was called Unishops and it went bankrupt. I kept on investing and now have a decent size portfolio. Best investing book I ever read was "The Future for Investors" by Jeremy Siegel. I believe in companies that pay dividends, have strong cash flow and have some type of moat.
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.
Retired, late 50's
Hold CFP designation. Passed CFP exam Nov 2000
Author of "IRA: A Quck Reference Guide". Available on Amazon as an e-book.
Author of "Retirement Investing for INCOME ONLY: How to invest for relaible income in Retirement ONLY from Dividends"
I'm an individual investor who has been investing for over 20 years. I am semi-retired and focused on creating a portfolio that will return enough to meet my needs with as little risk as possible.
I am an individual investor. Before I retired I was an active trader, but I use a more conservative approach now. Like many in my situation, I am looking for dependable yield.
I am not an economist, but have almost enough post-graduate economics credit to earn an MS. I had a hard time with integration, and one can't be an economist without integral calculus. I also have done graduate work in online curriculum design.
During my years in Houston I worked as a systems integrator (software and hardware consultant) focusing on Land Use. For a while I was an executive with a geophysical services firm there. I have also been a landlord and owned oil wells. There's nothing like having skin in the game for learning how things really work. Having been away from petroleum exploration and production for so many years, I consider myself to have a layman's knowledge of the economics and technology of the industry. It's a pretty good understanding, but I communicate in words most people understand. Shortly before my retirement I did some consulting for a few large chemical and refining operations. I say operations because some of them were plants owned by major integrated oil companies and some were independent chemical manufacturers. This experience gave me a more complete understanding of the manufacturing end of the energy industry.
I'm committed to helping others identify public companies where long-term stakes of ownership could enable early retirement and financial independence. I'm the author of www.Retire29.com, a blog dedicated to those same goals.
University of Maryland
Masters of Business Administration
Masters of Science: Finance
Bachelors of Arts: Economics
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 voluntarily serves as VP of his local school board.
My wife and I are now retired. We live off SS and the income from our portfolio. My investments are all income producers and include dividend growth stocks like T and MO, some higher yielding low growth issues like PNNT. and others in between. About 25% of my income comes from fixed income preferred issues. When I was younger I was more into growth, but my goal was to switch to income and live off that. So that is what I have achieved today. I also work as a tax preparer for the 4 months of tax season.
Mr. Berger is the creator and developer of the YDP screening tool, a chart system and its analysis for screening and monitoring dividend income equity investments. The recipient of Seeking Alpha's Outstanding Performance Award, he also has been Seeking Alpha's #3 ranked Author for Income Investing Strategy & #4 for Utilities.
20 years of sitting in the board room gives me unique insights into Oil & Gas investments and corporate deal making in general. Additionally, he offers a Premium Research subscription service for boosting income while reducing market risk using covered option writing on a dividend income equity portfolio.
Residing in Brazil gives me a local's inside view on the pulse of its economy, politics, investment climate and breaking news. A view of my front yard is available here.
A former Chief Operating Officer, Director, Vice President and General Manger of Oil and Gas for Southern Pacific's Oil and Gas Operations, Business owner, geologist, and cribbage player, I've been an investor for over 48 years (started young at 13) and learned my lessons the way that makes them stick, by hard knocks and both big and little mistakes. Hopefully I can share some of those lessons with others.
I am an American expatriate that decided to retire at age 57 in 2009 and now live in Brazil. As an early retiree I invest for income and manage portfolio risk by screening for strong and reliable historic data along with favorable fundamental and technical current trends.
I spend 6 months/year living at home in Brazil and 6 months/year traveling the world. I have structured my financial positions so that I live virtually tax free with much of my income exempt from US tax since I live ex patriot and a lot of my US derived income over the annual ex-patriate exemptions is held in my tax free ROTH and tax deferred IRA/SIMPLE plans. This enables my tax savings to pay for my 6 months of annual traveling :) .
My investing is for income and appreciation with a balance of low to moderate short term risk and low long term risk. To accomplish this I use quality dividend payors with a long track record of steady or increasing dividends along with slowly appreciating equity prices. I target a 6 to 9 % yield and almost exclusively require a minimum history of 5 years of steady/increasing dividends and no decreases in dividend ever or at least past 10 years. I diversify through sector, country and currency unit the stocks are traded in, and security type (equity, royalty trust, REIT, mlp, etf, and ADRs).
I use covered call writing to enhance my portfolio yield with no added risk. In fact, it lowers the risk substantially. Once I identify a stock I want to own and an entry price for it, I write cash covered puts at or below that entry price (with a minimum of 1%/month time premium. Thus i obtain at least a 12% annualized yield before compounding just from the option premium.
Likewise, I use the sale of cash covered puts to generate income and and generally get an entry point at 5 to 10% below my acceptable entry level price if/when the put stock does get presented. Thus my strategy provides a 12% pre compound yield on cash and entry into stock purchases at a 5 to 10% discount from "retail".
Because I only select stocks that I am willing to hold long term for their reliable dividend yields of > 6%, I am not concerned much with market volatility or short/midterm risk. Indeed, market volatility is my friend since it increases the premiums paid on the options I sell. I also selectively sell covered calls on positions I hold long so as to add to my yield that way while not taking on any additional risk.
This strategy has kept me happily living off my portfolio income and traveling 1/2 the year while my portfolio has been slowly increasing in value even after my harvesting income for living expenses. Of course my income will incrementally increase when social security kicks in for me in a few more years and I may then slightly mofidy my goals and strategies.
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Time management is essential to monitoring a 47 position portfolio. My 1st comment concludes with "Rich-unck:xx hrs"; I uncheck from the article to avoid repetitive comments, nonsense, and (most) arguments. I extend another XX hrs when I respond to a question or comment...I also respond to all PMs.
BACKGROUND My journey as a self-directed investor (SDI) began in 1973, and resulted in financial independence at age 52, which also allowed me to retire from corporate life the following year (Feb 1995).
I have no special knowledge not attainable by others who also dedicate themselves to the study of the economy, market, and stocks...I could cease all portfolio management today, and place it with a professional manager; however, I enjoy the psychic and financial rewards. Alternatively, I could become a passive investor via mutual funds and/or index ETFs (those works too! ). With few exceptions, As a rule, Rich only discusses his IRA here--it is only a portion of his and Joyce’s investment assets.
INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY If you ‘lived for today’ over the past 5 or 6 decades, you better invest in lottery tickets. The most probable path to a financially secure retirement is the product of an investment program (either active or passive) started when relatively young; living on less than all your after-tax income (saving means delayed gratification); and either self-directed or via professional management, adopting a sensible strategy suitable to age and comfort zone. There is wisdom in flexibility, diversification, and not being life-long wed to any strategy. It is appropriate to take greater risk for greater rewards (sensible growth stocks) when younger, as those are our lowest earnings years combined with our highest expense years--in the years between early investment and retirement, investments in solid growth companies can double 8 times or more.
There is time to adjust allocations to a more conservative strategy when closer to retirement. Never assume you have an information edge over the professionals. Time-in-the-market is your principle advantage. When/if you become interested in dividend stocks, never forget both price return and dividends compound, and price more so.
Financial independence is achieved when one has sufficient confidence his/her lifestyle will not change significantly, regardless of the potential depth or breadth of decline suffered by their portfolio--including a prolonged series of bear markets such as 1929-37. True, the recent 18-month bear market ending mid-2009, was deep--but also too brief to consider its lack of widespread dividend cuts to be as proof a portfolio of dividend-payers won't suffer income losses in a more prolonged decline (i.e., no portfolio is "dividend bulletproof").
The balance of this profile is lengthy, and likely not helpful to passive investors who simply go along for the ride, their portfolios bobbing up and down like flotsam in the ocean; their course always subject to the whims of winds, waves, and trends...THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING!
PORTFOLIO GOALS Now in my 70s, it’s no longer appropriate to engage in the growth strategies applied in wealth accumulation. As a more conservative investor, 100% of his portfolio consists of dividend-payers. 95% of positions have investment grade credit ratings (the lone exception is a REIT).This combination, along with having companies in 10 of the 11 S&P GICS sectors (none in Materials at this time) provide a measure of diversification. This IRA portfolio holds no bonds, though bonds and other investments are held elsewhere.
Maximizing total return and wealth preservation are mutually exclusive. A key observation: Having the capacity for risk is not the same as having the tolerance for it!
Rich’s objective is now a ‘smoother-ride’ that levels out the market’s peaks and valleys (limit losses, trim notable excess valuation). That smoother ride in an all-equity portfolio cannot be achieved without active management and continuous monitoring of positions--therefore TIME is an essential input to his portfolio management. Active management does not’ means frequent changes, as it is not unusual for a quarter or more to pass between a trimming or sale (nonetheless, when a company fundamentals change, or a mistake is made, corrective action is taken.)
STRATEGY SINCE 2008 Rich targets both legs of TOTAL RETURN (distributions + price change). His Growth & Income strategy often focuses on VALUE investing tactics applied to dividend-payers. Value investors seek out unpopular, companies most investors are avoiding (i.e., fundamentals have declined but credit rating is strong, BoD has implemented a rational recovery plan, and the dividend not in danger). Value investors seek to be paid to wait for other investors to recognize the stock’s value and assign it a greater share price. In any event, value stock or growth stock, Rich always seeks a ‘margin of safety’--no shares are bought at prices >FV, and his margin of safety is derived from dividends paid, price appreciation, and rising FV over time.
In all cases, value or growth, Rich selects well-established dividend-paying companies having a high-probability of growing earnings (growth of earnings is ESSENTIAL to growth of price and dividends). He tends to be flexible, forward looking, reactive to changing fundamentals, and willing to admit a mistake so action follows.
SDI is not easy, success is not assured, and in recent decades, advice from academics, and investment coaches, almost universally recommend index funds. Those NOT having the prerequisite time and interest are unlikely to develop the requisite skills for stock investing--thus the probability strongly suggests most newbies would be better served by indexing (Ben Graham wrote favorably of indexing). However, when done successfully, self-directed stock investing can offer rich psychic and financial rewards.
CORE PORTFOLIO Presently, +/-30 equities. Core holdings dominate at about 65% of total portfolio positions. Favored are traditional, large- and mid-cap, low-beta, best/near-best in class, institutional-owned, moaty, dividend-paying, value and growth stocks, having investment-grade debt ratings, and representing the consumer staples, healthcare, utilities, and telecom sectors.
OPPORTUNISTIC PORTFOLIO The remaining 15+ positions consist of equally well-known dividend-payers found among widely-owned cyclicals, such as financial, industrials, consumer discretionary, technology, real estate, and energy sectors are sensitive to the economy. In an expanding economy, cyclicals typically grow their earnings (and dividends) faster than do the typically slower-growing core companies. But because the reverse is also true, in a contracting economy, these positions are intended to be heavily trimmed to preserve gains as the economy peaks and shows evidence of decline. Some are susceptible to quite significant price declines when Mr. Market assumes their will suffer reduced earnings, and sometimes dividend-freezes/cuts, in anticipation of those events.
Rich is sometimes fully-invested, but unlike some, observes no such rule. Building a large cash cushion at the front-end of a correction/bear market (-20%) provides the dry powder required to both cushion the market's decline, and also creates the cash required to purchase excellent companies at below FV prices (without having to sell a position he wants to keep!).
TRIMMING POSITIONS When positions in either portfolio become significantly overvalued, they are trimmed by 5-10%, and the proceeds applied to fairly valued companies before the (almost always) temporary gift of over-valuation reverts to the price mean. If the position continues to advance, and absent other information, the position will be trimmed again. Added benefits to selective trimming include (1) serves as a more sensible method of rebalancing (as opposed to automatic--professionals do not use such a meat cleaver); (2) reduces the position's remaining Capital at Risk (which may suggest room for additional shares within an otherwise full position), and (3) provides the necessary dry powder to buy other shares at FV or below.
OTHER INTERESTS As we age, the importance of family grows. Rich has long volunteered in his community; over the years has served with distinction as member/chair of a number of advisory committees. Assisting others on SA is also a source of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Finally, having been blessed by years of excellent investment performance, Joyce and Rich have long been avid world travelers, and have visited over 60 countries over a span of 30 years (his SA avatar reflects the Taj Mahal in his sun glasses). They reside in Michigan--for 9 months of beauty, bliss, and family, and thoroughly enjoy wintering in equally beautiful Naples FL--for 3 months of sunny warmth and relaxation.
Life is good--it's been an unbelievably awesome ride!
I've been an investment analyst and financial writer since 2012. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Finance from DePaul University, and an MBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame. I also have experience working as a research analyst for a mutual fund.
My husband plans to retire in 3 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, CAH, CBRL, CCP, CLX, CMCSA, COP, CSCO, CVX, D, DEO, DLR, DUK, ED, EMR, EPD, 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, UTX, VTR, VZ, WEC, WMT, WPC, XEL, and XOM,
In addition, I manage our millennial daughter's dividend growth retirement portfolio of the following 34 stocks: AAPL, ABBV, ABT, AMGN, BMY, CAH, CBRL, CCP, CSCO, D, DIS, DLR, EMR, GILD, JNJ, KMB, KO, MCD, MMM, MMP, MSFT, OMI, PEP, PFE, PG, PM, SCG, SO, T, V, VTR, VZ, WEC, and XOM.
Founder and publisher of Mr. Free at 33. Founder of Dividend Mantra. Writer, investor, entrepreneur, introvert, pragmatist, fitness enthusiast, minimalist, humanist, philosopher, urbanist, frugalist, philanthropist.