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  • 3 Telecom Stocks For Stable Dividends [View article]
    WIN is in a difficult business and barely covers its dividend, if all. If you believe they will make it, this is the time to buy. This is definitely a risky bet. I am long and on the fence concerning a dividend cut. Long: WIN, VZ, T, CHT, CHL, FTE, BCE
    Mar 30, 2013. 02:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Spring Cleaning My Income Portfolio, Part II [View article]
    wdjax0n, sorry sir but you are incorrect. There were very few REIT's in the 1970's. Many of today's publicly traded REIT's came into being in the 1990's after a highly leveraged and disastrous late 1980's. They went from private to public in IPO's and maintained leverage at 50% versus the 80-85% leverage before. (I exclude mortgage REIT's from my comments as they are more sensitive to changes in interest rates). Most REIT's are professionally managed and can make excellent investments. Obviously, you need to analyze each company on its own. Most of the industry is now selling at or slightly above fair value due to the rush of investors seeking out dividend yields. Long: EQR
    Mar 30, 2013. 02:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Muni Bonds And Muni CEFs Have Been Falling [View article]
    Statistically, much ado about nothing. Secondly, this time of year we sell "tax selling" as individuals sell investments to pay taxes. Long two muni mutual funds and various CEF's.
    Mar 28, 2013. 12:44 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Investing: Myths 11-15 [View article]
    DVK & Chowder: Thank you for your writing and comments. As an avowed DG investor, I have given careful thought to how my 27 year old daughter invests her money. She has the usual 401K mutual fund choices, although some are broad based, low cost Vanguard funds. Outside of the 401K, I have convinced her that growing a steady stream of blue chip dividend growers will serve her well many years down the road and taking excessive risks will not serve her well. I found this a much easier sell today when she tells me of many friends who have gone to graduate school and can't find jobs or those who have failed to launch.

    I firmly believe that if we can get more young people thinking along these investment lines, we will hopefully have a more stable group of retirees forty years from now. Please keep up the good work. Regards
    Mar 28, 2013. 11:57 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Transfer Fulfilling Its Promise To Simplify: What You Need To Know [View article]
    Ray, great detailed explanation of a complex situation. I believe ETP is finally getting their act together and should increase distributions by 2014. Their current yield is adequate to hold until then. I also hold a few shares of ETE, the General Partner, to capture the incentive distribution rights ETE is receiving. Regards
    Mar 25, 2013. 02:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Makes International Dividend Investing Attractive Right Now [View article]
    Tim, I would also look at BHP Billiton, the diversified Aussie-Anglo mining company. Shares trade in the U.S. as ADR's with no foreign tax withheld (BBL). Yield around 3.8% today and they are on sale.
    Long: RDS-B, BBL, TOT, E, SDRL, VOD, DEO and ABB in foreign stocks. Regards
    Mar 25, 2013. 02:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Your Bond Allocation For 2013: It's Time To Lower Your Risk [View article]
    RAS, good points, but I must add, except for "too big to fail" banks and converted Investment Banks (Goldman Sachs) or any other insider company the government deems "essential" to the economy. The "insider" club is very exclusive and pernicious. Regards
    Mar 24, 2013. 03:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Team Alpha And The Foundations For Financial Freedom [View article]
    RS, I understand your comment and others about paying off debt. However, keeping a low interest rate mortgage may prove beneficial for some investors who itemize on their federal taxes. You get the benefit of deducting interest and using the funds you would otherwise use to pay off the mortgage into dividend growing stocks. Over time, you keep the difference between the fixed rate interest expense and the growing dividend yield. This also helps if we enter a higher inflationary period. Regards
    Mar 24, 2013. 01:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Team Alpha And The Foundations For Financial Freedom [View article]
    Social Security was set up to help the truly needy and poor in society. Think of it as charity, in a positive sense. We have turned it into an "entitlement" for the middle and upper classes. Others call it an "earned benefit". Yes, we all contribute through our working years to a socially and morally responsible act to those less fortunate. Technically, it's a tax on individual pay stubs (commonly called the payroll tax), not your deferred annuity. It is a government program to aid the poor so they don't starve or become homeless in their old age. I believe this program should be means tested and paid to the truly poor.
    Mar 24, 2013. 01:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Warren Buffett Is Right About Wells Fargo's Dividend [View article]
    Tim, despite Buffet's position in Wells Fargo, are you not concerned about the never ending opaqueness of all the major banks financials? WFC may not be as complicated as JPM, Citi and BAC, but they are still fairly complicated and hard to analyze. I prefer to understand the companies I own rather than buy or own because Warren does.

    These banks have fought the Frank-Dodd regulations at every turn and want to keep their derivative trades off any exchanges. (Buffet called derivatives "ticking time bombs", but engages in them anyway!). JPM's London trade is the most recent example after the AIG massive write down a few years ago. I am long a number of banks, but view these investments as speculative as no one really knows the risk of their derivative positions. Long: C, JPM, WFC, BAC, LYG
    Mar 24, 2013. 01:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Unilever Attractively Priced Today? [View article]
    Bikerguy, don't automatically assume all foreign taxes are creditable in a taxable account. Some or all foreign taxes can be recovered depending on total taxable income, amount of foreign taxable income, etc. Regards
    Mar 22, 2013. 01:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Your Bond Allocation For 2013: It's Time To Lower Your Risk [View article]
    Contra, thanks for your response. I do think I understand your points. I agree Bernanke is trying to avoid a deleveraging crash (as he has so stated) and this is far worse than growing inflation. What I don't follow is your claim of massive overleverage in the economy. On average, corporate America is not overleveraged, having refinanced debt at lower rates and lowered debt levels overall. Consumers are overleveraged, but have pulled back their spending and have been paying down mortgage debt and credit cards over the last few years. Many young adults have way too much education debt, but this will not cause a crash. I agree that China's banks are out of control again, but this is a recurring theme and hasn't taken down the world economy. Are you suggesting their is some sudden "black swan" rush of economic fear that will grip the people of many countries that will cause them to severely retrench their spending and this will initiate the bust? I believe Europe and the U.S. can muddle on will lower economic growth and higher than average unemployment for years to come as they very slowly work off the excessive debt. This is hardly an ideal economic scenario, but also not the harbinger of financial catastrophe to come. You could be right. I just don't see it. Regards
    Mar 21, 2013. 12:57 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Your Bond Allocation For 2013: It's Time To Lower Your Risk [View article]
    Robert, we would all think that the money needs to go somewhere. At the moment, the banks have the "new" cash which they then park with the Fed and earn interest. What a racket! The "new" cash is not being redeployed via loans to businesses which might spur inflation as is typical of past history. I agree this will happen at a later date, but too-big-to-fail banks are simply building up their capital reserves with a major assist from the Fed. Labor has no real leverage to push up wages due to improvements in technology and high unemployment. Businesses are not hiring until they see an increasing demand for their goods and services. Right now, the money is not going anywhere but back to the Fed. Crazy situation, but true for at least another year. Regards
    Mar 21, 2013. 12:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Your Bond Allocation For 2013: It's Time To Lower Your Risk [View article]
    Pendragon, rates could go lower by 20 basis points on the ten and thirty year Treasury if we see a flight to safety form overseas due to renewed tensions in the Middle East or continuing problems with the Euro. However, the U.S. economy is slowly growing and this bodes well for stocks over the next five years or so. I am not adding to my bond holdings (35%), but am not quickly liquidating either. Best of luck.
    Mar 21, 2013. 12:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Free Cash Flow Payout Vs. Dividend Payout [View article]
    DVK, you make an excellent point. Looking at AT&T's 2012 cash flow statements, it appears that T is borrowing to cover the dividend after capital expenditures. The CEO also said they could sell assets to cover the dividend. Is the dividend at risk or is it covered at a 53% ratio as noted in the article? There is no simple answer. If T cuts back on capex, then the coverage is better. The answer lies more in the nature of the telecom industry and T's need for recurring capex versus the need to build out more lines to expand the customer reach. I believe wee will see a dividend that grows much more slowly in the future. I own the stock at a 4.86% yield and can live with this for now. Regards
    Mar 20, 2013. 01:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment