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!
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Mr. Billings manages three large personal stock portfolios utilizing a unique investment strategy. The strategy is called Invest.Trade Praxis and combines the elements of investing in blue chip dividend stocks, disciplined investing and periodic trading. He has published a book titled "Main Street Stock Investor", which is available at Amazon books.
Brad Thomas is a research analyst and he currently writes weekly for Forbes and Seeking Alpha where he maintains research on many publicly-listed REITs. In addition, Thomas is the Senior Analyst at iREIT Forbes and Editor of the Forbes Real Estate Investor, a monthly subscription-based newsletter.
Thomas has also been featured in Forbes Magazine, Kiplinger’s, US News & World Report, Money, NPR, Institutional Investor, GlobeStreet, and Fox Business. He was the #1 contributing analyst on Seeking Alpha in 2014 (as ranked by TipRanks) and he is currently writing a book on the legendary investor Donald Trump.
Thomas has co-authored a book (The Intelligent REIT Investor) that is available on Amazon.
Thomas received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Economics from Presbyterian College where he played basketball. He resides in South Carolina with his wife and kids.
Eli Inkrot is a writer. Check out his website: thecurrencyoftime.com, his articles here on Seeking Alpha or his book - "You Don't Have A Money Problem" - on Amazon.com.
Additionally, here is a quick bio:
Eli has held the title of Vice President and Portfolio Manager at EDMP Inc. - a money management firm - along with Vice President for F.A.S.T. Graphs - a financial software company.
Prior to that, he began his investment career as an analyst in private real estate for a public pension fund. During his time in real estate he was the lead for a variety of accounts with net asset values totaling nearly two billion dollars. Eli received a Master’s in Finance from the University of Tampa where he earned “highest honors” whilst receiving the distinction of being named the “most outstanding graduate student.” He also holds undergraduate degrees in both Economics and Business Administration from Otterbein University, graduating “magna cum laude” with distinct honors in each major. During his tenure at Otterbein, Eli was a member of the varsity golf team, held the departmental Senator position for Business, Economics and Accounting and studied abroad in the Netherlands.
Full-time investor searching for talented operators, clean capital structures & scalable growth. No cigar butts or conventional wisdom. My investment philosophy is similar to how I live my life: acquire a few prized possessions at the right price, minimize clutter and maintain flexibility. Twitter: @indievestments
On October 31st, 2014, I retired. Turned in the keys to the company car, gave them my computer and my account lists and joined the ranks of those who "slipped off into the sunset." I never thought in retirement that I would be this busy. It's fun. Time with the grandkids, time to perfect my cooking skills, and time to travel and check off the things on my bucket list. I should have done this a long time ago.
Asif Suria is an entrepreneur and investor with a focus on event driven strategies including merger arbitrage and insider trading. He publishes a weekly post that includes the latest mergers and highlights the largest spreads. He also publishes a weekly post that highlights the top 5 insider purchases and sales of the week. Asif is also one of the earliest contributors at Seeking Alpha and has been regularly contributing content since 2005.
I focus on writing about individual stocks, frequently in the financial industry. I work as a mid-level executive in the insurance industry on the portfolio management side. I'm an experienced stock investor, and I'm eager to share my industry expertise and what I've learned about investing with other Seeking Alpha users.
Invest. Manage risk. Communicate. Educate yourself. Make profits. .
My name is Todd Johnson. I’m a family man, sports fiend, health nut, technology buff, long-time stock investor, and a very lucky mountain climber, all of which has shaped my philosophy as a professional investor for the last 30 years. As my interests might suggest, I am always looking for the upside while striving to minimize risks.
My new passion, which I have realized through DividendLab.com project, is helping other investors learn more about investing; investing in stocks and other assets that are subject to wide price swings can actually enhance their returns when the right investment strategy is applied. To that end, I read company 10k and 10q statements so they can skip them. I compile and analyze the market research that isn’t always at their fingertips. And I don’t make any investment recommendation without committing my own funds first, which is the purest form of accountability.
I am an individual investor and the author of seven eBooks on dividend growth investing. I try to help self-directed individual investors profit from stock investing. I contribute articles and studies to both Seeking Alpha and Daily Trade Alert. I hold an undergraduate degree in physics from Holy Cross College and a JD from Georgetown University. My wife Sue and I live in beautiful Canandaigua, NY.
I began to follow the market and invested in 1963 after receiving a small inheritence. In 1966, I went to work as a broker for a small NYSE firm. In 1978 I realized that more capital was needed by Wall Street firms and spent the next 20 years at Merrill Lynch and was very successful but was burned out at age 55 and was fully vested so I retired believing that the business model that the large investment firms were pursuing no longer made sense. After 3 years in retirement I was recruited by a trust company to be the chief investment officer responsible for $220 million in individual portfolios. I lasted there for four years realizing that the same thing that made me quit Merrill was once again working against me at the trust company, lack of imaginative and appreciative management. When I resigned the assets under manadement were $410 million. My second retirement lasted 6 weeks and I put together my own investment management firm with my wife who is also an investment professional with over 20 years experience. She also has an MBA and had also worked on the sell side and the buy side of the street. We do not accept fixed income accounts and most of our accounts invest for total return. Our asset allocation allows us to invest in bonds when appropriate as a total return vehicle, but we have not seen an opportunity to use bonds with that objective for several years. On the equity side we buy both growth and value in a blended mix. We also dip into small, midcap and international. Our style is a mix of fundamental and technical analysis which I call "rational analysis".
I am not in the market for new accounts, do not advertise my services nor will I supply my name. I have 66 active accounts and require a minimum $500,000 per relationship with70bps fee. I let my clients give us referrals and then I decide if a referral is a match. 80% of clients have been with us over 15 years. I am too old to be taking on new troublesome relationships and I just don't want to hire any new portfolio managers. I guess I am on this website because there is good information to be found here and I can impart some of my own wisdom to other investors. My motto is "Greed Cometh before the Fall" and the old expression is that "there are old traders and bold traders but there are no old, bold traders" is always operative. I will on occasion post a message of an opportunity or something that one needs to watch for. Just keep in mind that I might be "talking my book".
As a contributor to the New Low Observer (http://www.newlowobserver.com/about-this-site), we intend to give new insights on a low risk approach to trading in dividend paying stocks for tax deferred accounts. The New Low Observer (http://www.newlowobserver.com/about-this-site) is not intended for regular or non-qualifying accounts however, the strategies and stocks mentioned can be used for non-qualifying accounts with the understanding of the consequences of potential short-term capital gains as well as the need for exceptional documentation for IRS purposes.
I have a professional background of working with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Although I am an economist (and probably because of that fact), I am adept at being resourceful and thinking in a multidisciplinary fashion. For this reason, my professional experience only reflects a wide perspective that I have gained through the years and should not connote an air of authority.
My goal on Seeking Alpha is to share my decade of individual investor experience with the community and hopefully learn something new from the community hear. I'd really like to learn about options and technical analysis.
I primarily take a Buffet approach to stocks. I look for companies with strong balance sheets, good management, and a wide moat to park my money in. I've also been known to dabble in some Graham cigar butt style stocks that are extremely undervalued by the market.
Look forward to hearing hearing your comments on my articles.
Please feel to message me with any questions.
I am a market enthusiast and part-time trader. I started writing for Seeking Alpha in 2011, and it has been a tremendous opportunity and learning experience. I have been interested in the markets since elementary school, and hope to pursue a career in the investment management industry. I have been active in the markets for several years, and am primarily focused on long/short equities.
I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree from Lehigh University, where I double majored in Finance and Accounting, with a minor in History. My major track focused on Investments and Financial Analysis. While at Lehigh, I was the Head Portfolio Manager of the Investment Management Group, a student group that manages three portfolios, one long/short and two long only. I have had two internships, one a summer internship at a large bank, and another helping to manage the Lehigh University Endowment for nearly a year.
Disclaimer: Bill reminds investors to always due their own due diligence on any investment, and to consult their own financial adviser or representative when necessary. Any material provided is intended as general information only, and should not be considered or relied upon as a formal investment recommendation.
Stephen Simpson, CFA, is a freelance financial writer and investor.
I have worked for both sell-side and buy-side firms (equities and fixed income), with the largest percentage of my working time spent in med-tech. At this point I am now effectively in a "working retirement".
I write because I find that the process helps me take better notes, be more disciplined about modeling, and come up with a more coherent investment view for my portfolio management needs. If I'm writing about a stock, it's generally because I'm interested in it as an investment prospect or I think there's an interesting story to tell.
I don't share my models, so please don't ask.
More of my writings can be found at my blog Kratisto Investing (kratistoinvesting.blogspot.com), or Twitter (@Kratisto_Invest).
Semi-retired consultant residing in beautiful northeast Georgia. Over 40 years of responsible experience in planning, finances and investment management. Primary focus is on portfolio development for retired (or nearly retired) individuals who do not possess great wealth. The Protected Principal Retirement portfolio seeks medium-high yield vehicles, including dividend stocks, REITs, energy MLP's, and Closed-End funds.
I am a former hedge fund portfolio manager that trades for my own personal account. I espouse Graham and Dodd/Buffett style investing, always on the lookout for value equities or bonds. A graduate of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, I lived in NYC for a decade before relocating with my family to the Charlotte, NC area in 2007.
Retiree interested in stocks and financial instruments, especially dividend producing stocks. In the 20th century, I was an electrical engineer with Dominion Resources. I use a dividend growth investment style. Quick rules of thumb for complex questions, like fair value p/e using the Gordon model, price = growth and total liabilities/total assets ratio for leverage calculations provide a starting point for my investment decisions. As a retiree, preservation of capital is paramount.
Founder of Disruptive Tech Research – a technology research and advisory firm serving the investment management community.
We provide registered investment professionals and qualified firms with independent, targeted research to support the generation of investment ideas.
We focus on patent-filing activity to identify the most promising disruptive technology trends early. Then, we employ an original, bottom-up fundamental research approach to uncover micro- and small-cap ideas that are underfollowed, underappreciated and undervalued.
Our mission is to provide clients with differentiated, actionable and thorough fundamental research at a cost effective price.
We’re 100% independent. That means absolutely no pay-to-play arrangements, no hidden agendas and no hype. Just solid research. And yes, we eat our own cooking.
I started my investment career at Morgan Stanley, where I helped direct over $1 billion in in institutional capital. After growing bored with the monotony of asset allocation studies, investment policy statements, manager searches and evaluations, and Retirement Plan Service Provider RFPs (among other things), I left and co-founded Wall Street Daily, which quickly became one of the web’s largest financial publishers with a daily circulation of more than 700,000 readers.
In 2014, I founded Disruptive Tech Research to pursue my investing passion, and fill the void in the market for high-quality, 100% independent research on disruptive technologies.
I have been fortunate to appear regularly on CNBC’s Closing Bell, as well as be mentioned in other media outlets, including in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Morningstar and MarketWatch. I earned my MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, which is also where I met my beautiful wife.
Pro Deo, Pro Familia, Pro Patria
Editor for The Biotech Forum (www.biotechforumsa.com), the #2 subscribed to Marketplace investment service offered through SeekingAlpha. Top 5% ranked analyst (TipRanks) 2013 through first half of 2015. Daily contributor for Real Money Pro. Hedge fund manager from 2008 to 2011. Previously technology executive at Fortune 100 firm for a decade. For Free weekly investment reports on small, attractive biotech stocks just register at www.bretjenseninvests.com
I spend most of my time reading through annual reports looking for a small-cap stock to feature in my monthly edition of "The Conservative Investor Digest." That is where you can find my best work, and that is where I focus my research. You can become a subscriber here: https://gumroad.com/l/HmqJx
I run the long-term investing website "The Conservative Income Investor" which can be found at: www.theconservativeincomeinvestor.com
Alan Brochstein, CFA, was the first investment professional to devote himself to sharing his observations about the cannabis industry from an investor's perspective publicly. He runs 420 Investor, a subscription-based due diligence platform for investors interested in the publicly-traded cannabis stocks and is also the founder of New Cannabis Ventures, a content aggregation site focused on investors and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.
Alan has worked in the securities industry since 1986, primarily with the responsibility for managing investments in institutional environments until he founded AB Analytical Services in 2007 in order to provide independent research and consulting to registered investment advisors. In addition to advising several different hedge funds and investment managers, including Friedberg Investment Management, where he participated as a member of its investment management committee, Alan was also a senior analyst for the independent research firm Management CV. In 2008, he began providing a first-of-its-kind subscription-based service for individual investors, Invest By Model, which offered two different portfolios that investors could replicate in their own accounts for $20 per month. Alan also offered The Analytical Trader at Marketfy, where he used fundamental and technical analysis in a disciplined process to offer specific trade ideas geared towards swing traders.
Alan launched www.420Investor.com in late 2013 as the premier source of information for "Green Rush" investors seeking to capitalize on the proliferation of legalized medical and recreational cannabis. In March 2014, Alan, who is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, began to focus solely on the cannabis sector. He launched www.NewCannabisVentures.com in late 2015.
You can follow Alan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/420investor) or on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Invest420). Alan also moderates a large LinkedIn group focused on the cannabis industry, Cannabis Investors & Entrepreneurs (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/6523904)
I am a retired (as of September 2001) IT manager. While I have always followed the markets, during my IT career my market research time was limited. Upon retiring, I have focused full-time on the markets and my own market education and growth. I have evolved my investment/trading strategy over the years to the point that I am comfortable with my approach, both from a suitability standpoint and from a results standpoint. In addition to reading and re-reading numerous investment classics, my education has been augmented by my experience, particularly the market declines of 2000-2002 and 2008-2010. I make money from dividends, occasional stock sales, and option sales, either covered calls or cash-covered puts. I only own dividend-paying stocks, and I usually am about 75% invested. I base my investment decisions on both fundamental and technical analysis. While I refer to numerous financial web sites, I spend more than 50% of my research time at Seeking Alpha. In recent years, I have expanded my knowledge to encompass U.S. Income Taxation of investment income, and from there to US Income Taxation overall. As of October 2015, I am an Enrolled Agent, which is recognition granted by the IRS to a tax practioner who has passed three Special Enrollment Examinations (SEE).
The articles I submit will illustrate "hands-on, real world" investment experiences based on my own activities as an independent, small investor, my purpose being to share what I've learned that hopefully will be helpful to others. I will strive to present my thoughts in relatively easy-to-understand terms, and will usually focus on the practical rather than the theoretical.
Entrepreneur and investor in London, UK. Focused on internet technologies and e-commerce. Founded Fletcher Research and LOVEFiLM.com. Now running Oxalyst Systems and non-exec for Paddy Power PLC, Graze, Secret Escapes and Zoopla.
John is a lawyer and accountant with over three decades of corporate finance, due diligence, M&A advisory and related legal services for manufacturers, innovators and investors in the energy storage and renewable energy sectors.
Over the last eight years John has earned a global following for his articles on the energy storage and alternative energy sectors. He has contributed to AltEnergyStocks, Seeking Alpha, The Street, NASDAQ.com and Batteries International Magazine and InvestorIntel.
John is a 1979 graduate of the Notre Dame Law School and a 1976 graduate of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He was admitted to the bar in 1980 and licensed to practice as a CPA in 1981. John’s diverse experience in corporate finance, natural resource development and energy storage give him a unique and sometimes unsettling perspective on the technical, economic and supply chain challenges of the battery industry.
Bill Gunderson @billgunderson is the CEO and Chief Market Strategist of Gunderson Capital Managment in San Diego, CA.
He is also a professional money manager, former research analyst, author of Best Stocks Now, and developer of the Best Stocks Now smartphone app.
He offers four free weeks to his weekly Best Stocks Now to Seeking Alpha readers at gundersoncapital.com
He also hosts a daily stock market radio show that is syndicated nationwide on the Salem Broadcast Network.
Bill has appeared on the Fox Business Channel and on Bloomberg Radio numerous times .His articles have been published in Barron's, Forbes, TheStreet.com and numerous other publications.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (855)611-BEST.