Blue Harbinger is an independent investment research and consulting company. To view all of our research reports and investment strategies, please visit BlueHarbinger.com. Our focus in on value investing, income securities, capital appreciation, blue chips, and smart beta strategies.
We are headquartered in Naperville, Illinois, and our mission is to help you identify exceptional opportunities while avoiding the high costs and conflicts of interest that are prevalent throughout the industry.
Blue Harbinger was founded by Mark D. Hines after a 15-year career in the financial services industry. Hines previously managed an $11 billion equity investment program at Wespath Investment Management, and also was a portfolio manager on the active equities team at Northern Trust Global Investments. Mr. Hines holds a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
On the personal side, Mark lives in Naperville, Illinois, USA. If you're ever in the area, he is happy to meet you at a local coffeehouse to talk about investments and/or trading. Please feel free to get in touch.
My husband plans to retire in 4 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, CAT, CBRL, CCP, CLX, CMCSA, COP, CVX, D, DEO, DLR, DUK, ED, EMR, EPD, GAS, 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, VTR, VZ, WEC, WMT, WPC, XEL, XOM, and ZBH.
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.
Self-directed private investor. Formerly a executive in a public company with a background in finance. My focus is dividend growth investing and the purpose is to create and maintain a growing cash flow to pay my living expenses.
Robert Hauver publishes The Double Dividend Stock Alert, a monthly investment newsletter that features the best dividend stocks and option selling strategies for income investors.
TipRanks rates DoubleDividendStocks in the Top 25 of all financial bloggers.
The https://www.DoubleDividendStocks.com website also features High Dividend Stocks By Sector Tables, and Covered Calls & Cash Secured Puts Tables, a Dividend Stocks blog, and a a Stock Market News & Data page. 845-225-4094
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.
I have been investing for 40 years. My wife and I retired 24 years ago and currently manage our portfolios. Our sole income is derived from these portfolios and Social Security. I have a BEE from Clarkson University (1958) and a MSEE from University of Arizona (1966).
The author is a former hedge fund trader now working as an Independent Trader, Consultant and author of the Panick Value Research Report. The Panick Report is a newsletter and alert service focused on undervalued high yield preferred stock issues and some undervalued micro cap equities. Sign up in the Dividends section of the Seeking Alpha Marketplace to receive exclusive subscriber articles, daily sector updates, advance drafts of public articles and more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. See also my Panick Value Research Report Facebook site for tips on upcoming articles.
If you are interested in any of my digital utility solutions to add to your investing tool box to improve your investment outcomes, please visit my site
You'll find elegant applications that make it simple for you to track your portfolio in real time, make a watch list to follow in real time, track your dividend income and growth, and other applications. These applications will allow you to set alerts at prices you choose in order to obtain the yield and income that you want. They function as real time trade assistants and will improve your investment performance. You can even mirror the successful FTG Portfolio with "My FTG Mirror Calculator", and subscribers can mirror the premium subscriber portfolio with "MY RODAT Mirror Calculator" if they wish to emulate the out performance we've achieved in capital and income growth.
I am a retired clinical psychologist, and administrator and owner of a rehabilitation clinic we founded 40 years ago. For over 55 years I have managed several portfolios composed of investments accumulated over our professional careers. Since the financial crisis of 2008, I have employed specialized, customized dividend growth strategies aimed at enhancing and growing a dividend income stream.
Since December 24, 2014, I have demonstrated on Seeking Alpha the ongoing construction and portfolio management of the Fill-The-Gap Portfolio aimed at highlighting strategies investors may utilize to close the gap between an average Social Security benefit and the much greater costs faced in retirement.
This portfolio has outperformed all of the broad market indexes by a very wide margin, growing dividend income and total portfolio value consistently while the broader indexes struggle in negative territory all year.
Aside from free articles available to the general public, additional early-access, value-added ideas and deep-dive articles are offered to paid subscribers on my premium SA platform, "Retirement: One Dividend At A Time"
Let me show you how to build and grow your portfolio and dividend income, step by step, towards a comfortable and secure retirement.
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.
Charles (Chuck) C. Carnevale is the creator of F.A.S.T. Graphs™. Chuck is also co-founder of an investment management firm. He has been working in the securities industry since 1970: he has been a partner with a private NYSE member firm, the President of a NASD firm, Vice President and Regional Marketing Director for a major AMEX listed company, and an Associate Vice President and Investment Consulting Services Coordinator for a major NYSE member firm. Prior to forming his own investment firm, he was a partner in a 30-year-old established registered investment advisory in Tampa, Florida. Chuck holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance from the University of Tampa. Chuck is a sought-after public speaker who is very passionate about spreading the critical message of prudence in money management. Chuck is a Veteran of the Vietnam War and was awarded both the Bronze Star and the Vietnam Honor Medal.
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.
My name is Ted Leach. I'm a 65-year-old investor focused on dividends in a Retirement Income Portfolio. I'm not yet in the distribution phase of retirement. After serving as a pastor for 40 years, I'm in a second career and I have two part-time jobs. As Director of Community & Property Care, I'm part of a management team that oversees 123 residential retirement units in multiple locations for a non-profit organization. I also serve a large congregation as a part-time associate pastor.
I've been a member of the National Association of Investment Clubs (NAIC) since 1982, which now operates as BetterInvesting.org. For many years as a volunteer I helped lead workshops to teach tools developed by NAIC to educate investors about how to do basic fundamental stock analysis. I continue to have a strong interest in investor education.
NAIC's historic "four principles" have been very helpful to me:
1) invest regularly throughout your lifetime;
2) invest in growth companies;
3) reinvest earnings and profits;
4) diversify by industry and size.
Bill Bengen's "4% Rule" concept inspired me to set a goal to create a retirement income portfolio of individual dividend growth stocks as a way to tap only dividend income from the portfolio as long as possible rather than selling assets.
Here is my current 25-stock portfolio:
- 5 stocks each with a 5.2% target allocation: JNJ, XOM, MSFT, PG, MMM
- 5 stocks each with a 4.4% target allocation: WMT, MRK, IBM, CMI, GPC
- 5 stocks each with a 3.6% target allocation: EMR, SO, WEC, CNP, HCP
- 5 stocks each with a 3.0% target allocation: PEP, T, O, EPD, WPC
- 5 stocks each with a 2.4% target allocation: UNP, NNN, STAG, MAIN, EVA.
Helpful mentors and colleagues include:
- Charles Allmon, former columnist for Better Investing, taught me to look for growth stocks
- Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor taught me the importance of intrinsic value
- Peter Lynch instilled confidence that the average citizen can win in the stock market
- Louis Rukeyser demonstrated how to ask probing questions about market conditions
- Brad Thomas introduced me to a host of real estate investment trusts
- Bob Wells' analytical discipline keeps me focused on dividend growth
- Lowell Miller's The Single Best Investment helped me focus on quality and safety
- David Van Knapp's holistic style of portfolio building helps me see the big picture
- David Fish and Factoids inspire me to keep digging for data
- Chowder reminds me that each buy is the purchase of a business
- BDC Buzz has helped me sift through business development companies
- Tom Konrad opened my mind to alternative energy investments
- George Fisher is a helpful "lookout" scanning the horizon for utility opportunities
- The Seeking Alpha community--both veterans and young contributors.
Semi-retired CPA. 55 years old. I am steadily relying on my investment income for retirement. My practice is slowly fading away and is a means to pay my health insurance and medical expenses.
Started investing thru my mother's account at age 14. I owe so much to my mother who taught me so much about investing. She had me keep her charting up for her. She had me watching the ticker on TV when it became available to the masses. I learned company ticker symbols using California 3 letter license plates in a game we would play whenever we drove anywhere. I learned her investment philosophy which was based on long term charting of stocks that had remained dormant for years hoping they were on the verge of breaking out to the upside. She was very successful using this methodology.
My mom had me sitting with her watching the old Wall Street Week, Agronsky & Co., Washington Week, Nightly Business Report, etc. I started out understanding next to nothing in the beginning but gradually began to understand everything. She emphasized importance of understanding the interrelationship of the economy and government because government could make or break your investments.
Our investment philosophies ended up being so different but I rely on that solid core I learned in those early years for so many things even to this day.
My focus is constructing a portfolio of solid total return investments. Too many investors focus on high income at any price or high risky income because they did not accumulate enough assets to lower their risk profile and desperately need or want a desired level of income and are taking way too much risk to get it. We all need income to live in a retirement time frame much longer than anyone could have expected when we were all young. We also need a greater measure of capital growth because life's highest expenses may be in our future and our assets must keep up with the higher cost of living in the future.
I was smashed to pieces like so many in late 2008. Had to lick my wounds and figure out how to move forward. I read an article by Prof. Timothy Considine (then at Univ of PA) in late 2008/early 2009 about the future of energy and I completely bought into it choosing the MLP space as the primary focus believing in an eventual recovery of MLPs but more importantly the story that 25 years of incredible infrastructure growth lay ahead and the MLPs were best suited to perform that service so the E&Ps maintain their capital for exploration and production.
Still licking my wounds I focused on the MLP sector in general believing in a general recovery meaning all boats would rise which they did. BUT, there comes a moment and I learned this from my mother, there comes a moment where the general part of a recovery must give way to an intense focus on the very best companies within the industry you believe in. So I moved from a general focus to specific best of breed MLPs. I chose based on an understanding of each MLP's asset map and future potential to build out. I focused on organic growth over acquisition growth because Wall Street has destroyed so many companies over the years playing the acquisition game. Prof. Considine's thesis of a long term infrastructure build out meant you had to choose companies with the financial firepower (balance sheet) and asset map that allowed for much more organic growth than competing MLPs whose history was more reliant on higher cost acquisition growth.
In this zero interest rate environment many sub-par MLPs could prosper but the trick was to find the best of breed that could prosper in a normalized interest rate world which is the next chapter in our economy. I also focused on MLPs that were starting to jettison their GPs. MMP was the first and they paid 11x ebitda to buy out their GP. BPL and NRY were among the last to buy out their GPs and paid 23-26x ebitda which was crazy and an indication of how late they were to the game. MMP has prospered big time while the latter two MLPs have faltered in large part because they paid too much and waited too long to buy out their GPs. I bought MMP when they made the announcement. Wall Street analysts were skeptical about MMP's move and thought 11x ebitda was too much to pay. These same analysts thought paying 10x ebitda for a pipeline acquisition was reasonable but understand they get a lot more fees from the latter than the former. I knew I was on to something very good and have a large portion of my assets in the MLPs that bought out their GPs.
So to boil it down I have MLPs as core and absent tax law changes will be a major factor in my retirement plan. I also own a few best of breed BDCs and some common stock with good dividend payout histories and histories of good growth in dividends.
I used the 2008/9 crash to convert my IRA to a ROTH. My first transfer out of my traditional IRA was AAPL at $167; sold in my ROTH for $596. My mom always said use tragedy and adversity to your advantage an converting to a ROTH was my greatest leap of faith.
When I was younger I did very well in growth stocks without dividends but I have reached an age where I do not want to work as hard as I have worked so I do not have that same salary backup behind me that allows for taking that level of risk. However my risk portion of the portfolio is more measured with stocks like AIG, LCC, and WMB.
I am an HNWI. Not meant to brag, simply to state that I have accomplished my dream and enjoy responding to SA writings to give some wisdom from lessons learned, ideas for what to look for in (specifically) MLP investments, and in the case of Mreits hopefully get a few people to understand they must start learning about interest rate cycles in order to successfully play the cycle. I dumped all Mreits in NOV 2012 because I could see the winds of change that very much paralleled the GNMA and GNMA fund breakdowns in the 1980s. When the time comes I will begin looking at bonds and preferred again because the cycle will eventually reach that point where it will make sense to own bonds and preferred but not yet.
I seek to liberate investors from the chains of borrowed opinions by teaching metric awareness that leads to the formation of your own opinions. I am a retail investor that gathers, processes and analyzes significantly more data than average. I share that data in my articles. I let the data do the talking. I am only taking dictation as the data tells its message.
I am publishing Instablogs focusing only on six general topics.
1. Regional Banks Basket Strategy
2. Equity REIT Basket Strategy
3. Healthcare Basket Strategy
4. CEF Portfolio Basket Strategy
5. Bonds and Equity Preferred Stock Basket Strategy
6. Portfolio positioning and management
I am not receiving compensation from SA or anyone else for my Instablogs and articles published at SeekingAlpha. I have never received any compensation for the posts published at my blog website. I am simply passing on what I have learned as an investor over 4+ decades free of charge.
In all of my 2000+ posts since early October 2008, the primary purpose was to provide a framework for rational and fact based investment decision making that will hopefully reduce the number of errors made.
My most basic investment strategy is to focus on income generating securities and then to invest the cash flow into more of the same, creating a compounding impact over a long period of time. I will invest in securities throughout the capital structure on a worldwide basis.
I am now and have always been a cautious total return investor (income + capital appreciation).
A focus on income generation simply means that income generation through interest or dividend payments is an important part of my total return objective.
I am no longer in an asset accumulation mode. Capital preservation is more important than capital appreciation.
Income generation is only one aspect of an objective evaluation of potential rewards balanced against potential risks.
After several decades of "turtle" investing, which sometimes requires me to pull my head back into the shell and to cease foraging in stock land (e.g. 1999), I am now admittedly absurdly diversified due largely to one of my risk management techniques that limits my monetary exposure to the securities of a single company.
My monetary exposure is largely dictated by a balancing of potential risks and rewards taking into consideration income generation and potential for capital appreciation.
As a risk control trading technique and in furtherance of my capital preservation emphasis, I will frequently use the natural volatility of a security to gradually build up a position, selling the highest cost shares on price spikes and buying back those shares when the purchase is lower than my average cost per share usually by more than 5%. The general idea is to lower my average cost per share over time with tax efficient share dispositions, thereby increasing my dividend yield for the remaining shares.
I have also been a practitioner of dynamic or tactical asset allocation that will be driven by my big picture views, including my Vix Asset Allocation Model, as well as my opinions about the relative risks and opportunities of various asset classes.
I was born in 1951, and started to invest in stocks when I was 16. I am not a financial advisor, but simply an individual investor who has been managing my own money for my adult life starting when I was a teenager. All of my brokerage accounts are cash accounts. I have never bought stock on margin. I have not added money to any of these accounts since 1984 and have used those accounts to fund my annual IRA contributions.
I started my web site, Stocks & Politics, in October 2008 to do whatever I can to help individuals become better investors, which requires a lot of hard work and effort. After over 2000+ blogs, mostly long ones, I came to a realization that my time consuming and laborious efforts have been mostly futile and have been rewarded at best with faint praise. I will no longer be posting there.
I would still emphasize that it is important for individuals to become as knowledgeable as possible before making any decision, with every individual taking full responsibility for their investment decisions and to prepare accordingly, which is what I try to do.
The Twitter Generation will need IMO far greater investment skills than previous generations given what I now perceived about future U.S. economic conditions.
George Spritzer, CFA is a registered investment advisor at Southland Investments and specializes in managing closed-end funds for individuals.
George uses the following investment strategies:1) Opportunistic Closed-end fund investing: Buy CEFs at larger than normal discounts to NAV and sell them when the discounts narrow. 2) Exploit special situations: tender offers, fund terminations, fund activism, rights offerings etc.
I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) (currently do not have a private practice). I have also been a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for 17 years (CFF as well). I am currently employed with a global accounting firm in the Northeast area (partner). I have a masters degree in accounting + legal studies. I have audit, tax, and consulting experience with entities in the following sectors: closed-end funds, energy, financials, healthcare, homebuilders, pharmaceuticals, private equity, REITs, and telecoms. I've also have experience with C-corps., estates, high net worth individuals, LLCs, LLPs, S-corps., and trusts. I am a casual individual investor. My investing fundamentals are based on both qualitative and quantitative information. By using my analytical skills, I create specific investing ideas/strategies. I am more of a longer-term investor as opposed to day-trading.
Previous Quarterly Projection Article’s Performance vs. Actual Results:
# of Projections Stated Within All Articles: 162
# of Projections PENDING: 1
# of Projections 100% Accurate or Within Range: 151
# of Projections Inaccurate or Outside of Range: 11
Projection “Within Range” Success Rate: 151 / 162 = 93.2%
Please see the list at the bottom of this profile for the details of my past projections.
Disclaimer: I cannot own and will not give an opinion on any investments my current employer has any direct or indirect professional services with (accounting, audit, tax, consulting, etc.). This mainly consists of various mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETF's). This includes all stocks held within these particular investment vehicles. This specified list is updated monthly. As such, most large-cap stocks are "off the table" regarding my articles. All accounting insight, analysis, and opinions stated within any articles I write (in regards to a specified stock) are entirely from my own personal research and analysis. I believe my articles are both informative and in some cases educational.
NOTE: A growing number of readers/investors, analysts, and representatives of firms have requested to be provided with my "spreadsheets/models" to help better understand certain companies/sectors. My researched data is several files of 100+ spreadsheets/models containing both stocks I write about on S.A. and stocks I choose to not write about on S.A. To reduce the repeated requests to provide such data, these spreadsheets/models are ALL linked together. As such, all current and future requests to "share" my data/models will be politely declined. Thanks for your understanding regarding this subject.
I appreciate my loyal readers and I’ll continue to try to provide high quality, in-depth articles.
Commonly Asked Questions:
Question 1): If you are only paid per article, why make your articles so long / detailed?
- I like to provide the “nuts and bolts” of a company. As such, I strive for my articles to have some sort of “hard to obtain” facts / figures. From this data, I like to fully discuss / analyze specific topics within a particular stock. This mainly consists of a quarterly projection article and a series of articles on a company’s dividend sustainability. In certain instances, I also write articles in regards to specific, material events that occur during a quarter.
- I believe a company’s quarterly results and upcoming dividend declarations are two of the most important topics readers are requesting information on. My analysis takes the “average” article several steps further to allow readers to have access to information that is rare to public viewership. In doing so, I believe my articles are both beneficial and educational for most readers.
Question 2): How come you only write 1-2 articles a week (would like to see more)?
- As stated in my profile above, I have a full-time professional career. I write / analyze stocks in my “free time”. To provide these types of high quality / in-depth articles, I can’t see writing more than 2 articles a week. I believe “quality” should always be a higher priority versus “quantity”.
- As many readers should know by now (if you’ve followed me for a while), I not here for the monetary rewards. If that was the case, I’d write 5+ weekly articles and provide little to no engagement in each article’s comment section. I believe the comments section is as important as the article themselves b/c readers have a wide range of questions in relation to each article or the sector in general.
Question 3): What do you personally gain from writing these articles?
- I am not here trying to promote a company, book, or website. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, that’s just not what I’m about. I’m here for the “average Joe”.
- When I decided to write these articles, I based it on the notion I am filling a “special niche” per se. Using skills that have been built up over my professional career, my articles usually provide unique information that most writers either a) don’t have the technical expertise to provide or b) don’t bother providing due to the time it takes to compile such data. As such, I believe the S.A. community benefits from my articles. I solely do this b/c it’s a passion of mine and I like helping readers have accurate, reliable data that is not readily available. Yes, I understand this may seem “hard to believe” in this day and age. However, I believe some of my more “seasoned” followers know this aspect of my generosity / personality. Also, in the past there were numerous misstated “facts / notions” in various articles I saw being written by the stocks I currently cover. Since I began to write my articles here, these misstatements / misnomers have decreased which is good for this forum.
Question 4): How come you do not write about more stocks?
- To give readers the level of detail that I provide in my articles, I amass large amounts of data every quarter (or even weekly). As a direct result, a large amount of time is consumed by obtaining / analyzing this data. This would only increase if I expanded my researched portfolio of stocks.
- If I expanded the stocks I research, it would most likely take away the quality of other articles I currently am writing about. Again, this gets back to the “quality vs. quantity” metric.
- There is a fairly large range of stocks / investment vehicles I cannot write about / provide an opinion on due to various conflicts of interests (regarding my professional career). This is a topic I take VERY seriously. As such, I take all necessary precautions to avoid any remote possibility of a conflict of interest occurring.
NOTE: Below are the stocks I currently cover as of June 2016:
Stocks Covered In Great Detail (11 mREITs; 11 BDCs; 11 Other Sectors): ACAP (Proposed Spin-Off), ACAS, ACSF, AGNC, AINV, ANH, ARCC, ARR, CMO, CYS, FSAM, FSC, FSFR, GBDC, GOOG, GPRO, HTS, MAIN, MCC, MO, MTGE, NEWT (New) NLY, NVS, NYMT, ORC, PFAM (Proposed Spin-Off) PSEC, PM, PRIT (Proposed Spin-Off) PYLD (Proposed Spin-Off), SLRC TRP, and WMC.
Stocks Covered In Modest Detail (10 mREITs; 3 Other Sectors): AI, AMTG, BABA, EFC, IVR, JMI, MFA, MITT, NRZ (New), PHM, PMT, SLRC, TOL, TWO
Detailed Past Projection List:
NAV as of 3/31/2014: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($10.67 projected vs. $10.68 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2014: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($10.56 projected vs. $10.56 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2014: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($10.48 projected vs. $10.47 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2014: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($10.34 projected vs. $10.35 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2015: $0.03 per share variance; within range ($10.27 projected vs. $10.30 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2015: $0.06 per share variance; within range ($10.25 projected vs. $10.31 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2015: $0.17 per share variance; within range but at the higher end ($10.00 projected vs. $10.17 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2015: $0.25 per share variance; slightly outside range; lower end ($9.90 projected vs. $9.65 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2016: $0.11 per share variance; within range ($9.50 projected vs. $9.61 actual)
Fiscal Q3 2016 NII: $0.00 per share variance; within range ($0.25 projected vs. $0.25 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q4 2014: Stated dividend was currently safe (no specific dividend declarations) which turned out to be correct for April 2014 – June 2014 dividends declared
Dividends for Fiscal Q1 2015: 100% accuracy (July. 2014 $0.110475 projected vs. $0.110475 actual) (Aug. 2014 $0.110500 projected vs. $0.110500 actual) (Sept. 2014 $0.110525 projected vs. $0.110525 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q2 2015: 100% accuracy (Oct. 2014 $0.110550 projected vs. $0.110550 actual) (Nov. 2014 $0.110575 projected vs. $0.110575 actual) (Dec. 2014 $0.110600 projected vs. $0.110600 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q3 2015^: (Jan. 2015 $0.110625 projected vs. $0.110625 actual) (Feb. 2015 $0.110650 projected vs. $0.0833 actual OUTSIDE RANGE) (Mar. 2015 $0.110675 projected vs. $0.0833 actual OUTSIDE RANGE)
^ = Correctly stated dividend would be cut. However, PSEC reduced dividends beginning in February 2015 and I projected the dividend decrease would occur in April 2015 (2 months earlier than projected)
Dividends for Fiscal Q4 2015: (April. 2015 was declared in December 2014 prior to my analysis for this quarter) 100% accuracy (May 2015 - June 2015 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q1 2016: 100% accuracy (July 2015 - September 2015 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q2 2016: 100% accuracy (October 2015 - December 2015 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q3 2016: 100% accuracy (January 2016 - March 2016 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q4 2016: 100% accuracy (April 2016 - June 2016 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q1 2017: 100% accuracy (July 2016 - August 2016 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual) (September 2016 = PENDING)
BV as of 6/30/2013: $0.11 per share variance; within range ($25.40 projected vs. $25.51 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2013: $1.36 per share variance; MATERIALLY OUTSIDE RANGE ($26.63 projected vs. $25.27 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2013: $0.58 per share variance; within range lower end ($24.51 projected vs. $23.93 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2014: $0.04 per share variance; within range ($24.45 projected vs. $24.49 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2014: $0.66 per share variance; within range higher end ($25.60 projected vs. $26.26 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2014: $0.35 per share variance; within range ($25.19 projected vs. $25.54 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2014: $0.29 per share variance; within range ($25.45 projected vs. $25.74 actual)
Comprehensive Income for Q1 2015: $0.02 per share variance; within range ($0.48 per share projected vs. $0.46 per share actual)
BV as of 3/31/2015: $0.11 per share variance; within range ($25.64 projected vs. $25.53 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2015: $0.24 per share variance; within range ($24.24 projected vs. $24.00 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2015: $0.44 per share variance; within range lower end ($23.44 projected vs. $23.00 actual)
BV as of 10/31/2015: $0.06 per share variance; within my monthly $0.30 per share range ($22.98 projected vs. $23.04 actual)
BV as of 11/30/2015: $0.27 per share variance; within my monthly $0.30 per share range ($22.25 projected vs. $22.52 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2015: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($22.60 projected vs. $22.59 actual)
BV as of 1/31/2016: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($22.39 projected vs. $22.40 actual)
BV as of 2/29/2016: $0.09 per share variance; within range ($22.82 projected vs. $22.73 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2016: $0.16 per share variance; within range ($22.25 projected vs. $22.09 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2013: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($1.25 projected vs. $1.25 actual)
Dividend for Q2 2013: Correctly stated dividend cut would occur; $0.15 per share variance; within range higher end ($0.90 projected vs. $1.05 actual)
Dividend for Q3 2013: Correctly stated another dividend cut would occur; $0.10 per share variance; within range ($0.90 projected vs. $0.80 actual)
Dividend for Q4 2013: Correctly stated another dividend cut would occur; $0.05 per share variance; within range ($0.60 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2014: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q2 2014: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q3 2014: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for November 2014 - April 2015: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; 100% accuracy ($0.22 projected vs. $0.22 actual)
Dividend for May 2015: Company declared dividend several weeks ahead of schedule; prior to my quarterly dividend sustainability analysis. As such, no dividend projection was provided for May 2015:
Dividend for June 2015 - August 2015: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; 100% accuracy ($0.20 projected vs. $0.20 actual)
Dividend for September 2015*: INCORRECTLY stated dividend would modestly reduced; ($0.18 projected vs. $0.20 actual)
Dividend for October and November 2015: Not provided but stated increased risk to reduction by end of 2015 / early 2016.
Dividend for December 2015**: Stated dividend would be stable; highest probability ($0.20 projected vs. $0.20 actual)
Dividend Declaration for January 2016: Not provided due to time constraints.
Dividend for February 2016 - June 2016: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; 100% accuracy ($0.20 projected vs. $0.20 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2013***: $0.40 per share variance; within range lower end ($21.87 projected vs. $21.47 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2014***: $0.16 per share variance; within range ($21.94 projected vs. $21.78 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2014***: $0.13 per share variance; within range ($22.60 projected vs. $22.73 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2014***: $0.29 per share variance; within range ($21.95 projected vs. $22.24 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2014***: $0.19 per share variance; within range ($22.10 projected vs. $21.91 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2015***: $0.20 per share variance; within range ($21.80 projected vs. $22.00 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2015***: $0.30 per share variance; within range ($22.00 projected vs. $21.70 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2015***: $0.17 per share variance; within range ($20.10 projected vs. $19.93 actual); excluding "one-time" ($0.20) per share impairment charge related to RCS; $0.03 per share variance ($20.10 projected vs. $20.13 actual; excluding impairment charge).
BV as of 12/31/2015***: $0.16 per share variance; within range ($19.50 projected vs. $19.66 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2016***: $0.22 per share variance; within range ($19.25 projected vs. $19.03 actual)
Dividend for Q3 2013***: Correctly stated dividend would be modestly cut; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.70 projected vs. $0.70 actual)
Dividend for Q4 2013***: Correctly stated dividend would be slightly cut; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2014***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q2 2014 - Q4 2014***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2015***: INCORRECTLY stated dividend would be stable; ($0.15) per share variance; ($0.65 projected vs. $0.50 actual) In my opinion, the severity of this cut was very disappointing.
Dividend for Q2 2015***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.50 projected vs. $0.50 actual)
Dividend for Q3 2015***: INCORRECTLY stated dividend would be stable; ($0.10) per share variance; ($0.50 projected vs. $0.40 actual) In my opinion, the severity of this cut was very disappointing once again.
Dividend for Q4 2015 - Q2 2015***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.40 projected vs. $0.40 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2014***: $0.10 per share variance; within range ($12.40 projected vs. $12.30 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2014***: $0.43 per share variance; SLIGHTLY OUTSIDE RANGE higher end ($12.80 projected vs. $13.23 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2014***: $0.07 per share variance; within range ($12.95 projected vs. $12.88 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2014***: $0.15 per share variance; within range ($12.95 projected vs. $13.10 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2015***: $0.32 per share variance; SLIGHTLY OUTSIDE RANGE; lower end ($13.20 projected vs. $12.88 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2015***: $0.17 per share variance; within range ($12.15 projected vs. $12.32 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2015***: $0.16 per share variance; within range ($12.15 projected vs. $11.99 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2015***: $0.13 per share variance; within range ($12.60 projected vs. $12.73 actual) (most of the variance was in relation to the accretive effect of Q4 2015 share repurchases)
BV as of 3/31/2016***: $0.04 per share variance; within range ($11.65 projected vs. $11.61 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2014 - Q1 2015***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.30 projected vs. $0.30 actual)
Dividend for Q2 2015***: INCORRECTLY stated dividend would be reduced; $0.05 per share variance; ($0.25 projected vs. $0.30 actual)
Dividend for Q3 2015 - Q2 2016***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.30 projected vs. $0.30 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2013: $0.03 per share variance; within range ($9.87 projected vs. $9.90 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2013: $0.04 per share variance; within range ($9.94 projected vs. $9.90 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2013: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($9.86 projected vs. $9.85 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2013: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($9.85 projected vs. $9.85 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2014: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($9.81 projected vs. $9.81 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2014: $0.06 per share variance; within range lower end ($9.77 projected vs. $9.71 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2014: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($9.65 projected vs. $9.64 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2014: $0.37 per share variance; MATERIALLY OUTSIDE RANGE ($9.54 projected vs. $9.17 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2015: $0.21 per share variance; OUTSIDE RANGE ($8.97 projected vs. $9.18 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2015: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($9.13 projected vs. $9.13 actual) (projections + article were provided to certain interested parties outside S.A.)
NAV as of 9/30/2015: $0.05 per share variance; within range ($8.95 projected vs. $9.00 actual) (projections + analysis were provided to certain interested parties; did not have enough time to provide an article)
FSC’s Dividend Sustainability Analysis Through Fiscal Q3 2013: Stated moderate to material dividend cut is needed; 100% accurate because company cut dividend beginning in December 2013
Dividend for Fiscal Q3 2015****: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (April 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (May 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (June 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual)
Dividend for September - February 2016****: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (September 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (October 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (November 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (December 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (January 2016 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (February 2016 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2013: $0.12 per share variance; within range lower end (wider range b/c first full quarter of operations) ($15.22 projected vs. $15.10 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2014: $0.03 per share variance; within range ($15.13 projected vs. $15.10 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2014: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($15.14 projected vs. $15.13 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2014: $0.02 per share variance; within range ($12.63 projected vs. $12.65 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2014: $0.10 per share variance; within range (at lowest end) ($12.635 projected vs. $12.534 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2015: $0.08 per share variance; within range ($12.38 projected vs. $12.46 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2015: $0.15 per share variance; within range (at lowest end) ($12.38 projected vs. $12.23 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2015: $0.18 per share variance; within range (at higher end) ($11.93 projected vs. $12.11 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2015: Not provided to readers due to the fact the company "pre-announced" NAV prior to my quarterly projection analysis (due to a material reduction)
NAV as of 3/31/2016: $0.17 per share variance; within range (at higher end) ($11.01 projected vs. $11.18 actual)
Dividend Declaration for December 2015 - February 2016: Correctly stated very low probability (10%) for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (December 2015 $0.075 projected vs. $0.075 actual) (January 2016 $0.075 projected vs. $0.075 actual) (February 2016 $0.075 projected vs. $0.075 actual)
Dividend Sustainability Analysis Through Q4 2013: Stated material dividend cut was needed as soon as the next quarter; 100% accurate because company cut dividend in Q1 2014 from $0.80 per share (regular dividend portion) to $0.67 per share.
Dividend for Q4 2014*****: Stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.70 projected vs. $0.70 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2015***: Stated dividend would be "relatively" stable; accurate because company only cut its dividend by ($0.03) per share which, when calculated, was only a "minor" (< 5%) reduction
Dividend for Q2 2015***: Stated heightened risk for another minor - modest dividend reduction; accurate because company cut its dividend by ($0.03) per share which, when calculated, was another "minor" (< 5%) reduction
Dividend for Q3 2015: Correctly stated dividend would be modestly cut; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.60 projected vs. $0.60 actual
Dividend for Q3 2015*****: Stated dividend had a modest to high probability (50% - 75%) of being reduced; 100% accurate because company reduced monthly dividends from $0.18 per share to $0.14 per share beginning in July 2015.
Dividend for August 2015 - June 2016: Correctly stated each month dividend would be stable; 100% accuracy ($0.14 projected vs. $0.14 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2015: $0.05 per share variance; within range ($11.63 projected vs. $11.69 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2015: $0.09 per share variance; within range ($11.74 projected vs. $11.65 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2016: $0.09 per share variance; within range ($11.10 projected vs. $11.01 actual)
Dividend Declaration for Calendar Q2 2015****: Correctly stated low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (April 2015 $0.175 projected vs. $0.175 actual) (May 2015 $0.175 projected vs. $0.175 actual) (June 2015 $0.175 projected vs. $0.175 actual).
Dividend Declaration for September - November 2015: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (September 2015 $0.175 - $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (October 2015 $0.175 - $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (November 2015 $0.175 - $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual).
Special Periodic Dividend Declaration for 2015: Correctly stated high probability of a special periodic dividend paid in December 2015; exactly at my projected mean: ($0.25 - $0.30 projected vs. $0.275 actual).
Dividend Declaration for December 2015 - February 2016: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (December 2015 $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (January 2016 $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (February 2016 $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual).
Dividend Declaration for March 2016 - May 2016: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (March 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (April 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (May 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual).
Dividend Declaration for June 2016 - August 2016: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (June 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (July 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (August 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual).
Special Periodic Dividend Declaration for First-Half 2016: Correctly stated high probability of a special periodic dividend paid in June 2016; exactly at my projected mean: ($0.25 - $0.30 projected vs. $0.275 actual).
Q4 2015 Adjusted Diluted EPS: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.67 projected vs. $0.67 per share actual)
* = Stated there was a 60% probability dividend would be reduced to $0.18 per share; a 30% probability dividend would remain stable at $0.20 per share
** = Stated there was a 45% probability dividend would be reduced to $0.16 - $0.19 per share
*** = Provided within an AGNC article
**** = Provided within a PSEC article
***** = Provided within a NLY article
My goal is to bring exposure to business development companies (BDCs) that finance small to medium sized businesses, typically overlooked by banks. BDCs are an instrument for investors to earn healthy dividends by avoiding double taxation at the corporate level and allowing income to flow directly to each shareholder. Please see website link below for more information.
The Oil & Gas Investments Bulletin (http://www.oilandgas-investments.com) is an online subscription-based service that finds, researches, and profiles growing oil and gas companies that have high growth rates (or high growth potential.)
Its team of writers work under Keith Schaefer, Editor/Publisher, who shares his knowledge of the oil and natural gas markets in a simple, easy to read manner. The bulletin outlines which TSX, NYSE and NASD-listed energy companies have the ability to grow, and bring shareholders prosperity even in tough times.
There is tremendous potential to profit in oil and gas companies for informed investors. Mr. Schaefer has a degree in journalism but has spent the last 15 years assisting public resource companies in raising exploration and expansion capital.
I'm the lead investment research analyst for income and dividend investing at Investors Alley, an independent investment research service. My primary role is editor of several investment advisories bringing deep dive research and actionable income and dividend investment recommendations to investors. These advisories include The Dividend Hunter, 30 Day Dividends, and Tax-Smart Income Hunter.
Prior to joining Investors Alley, I was a stock broker, a Certified Financial Planner, and an F-16 fighter pilot and flight instructor with the United States Air Force. In addition to my primary duty of flying the F-16 to defend our nation's skies I was an instructor in the F-16 Flying Falcon as well as the OV-10 Bronco. During my time in the service I was stationed at various military locations in including Osan AB, Korea, Patrick AFB, Florida, and Nellis AFB in Las Vegas. I graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in mathematics.
It was during those years when I was a Certified Financial Planner and helping families and individuals plan their finances and make wise investment decisions that found my second passion in life: investment research. (Flying was and still is my first.)
My area of specialty is evaluating income generating investments to find the combination of sustainable and growing dividends, special dividend opportunities, and share price appreciation driven by management's commitment to dividend growth. I have a particular emphasis on master limited partnerships, business development corporations, and real estate investment trusts.
I've previously written for USA Today, The Motley Fool, eHow, SFGate, Chron.com, Wikinvest.com, Moneynews.com, iStockAnalyst, among others, and have contributed vast firsthand research to a major provider of data on master limited partnerships, another area of extreme interest to me. Along with my duties with Investors Alley I'm a regular contributor to Seeking Alpha.
In addition to the articles posted here on Seeking Alpha you can find my investment analysis on the Investors Alley website and the weekly newsletter, The Market Cap.
Senior Options Trading Strategist at Optionity, MBA.
Our trading approach starts with the fundamentals, then through short-term technical analysis, to finally leverage options trading (with the combination of long and short positions) to achieve favorable risk and reward ratio trading plays.
Our main strategy is "Solid Stock + Cash Flow + Options"
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Ron Hiram currently manages investment portfolios and assists earlier stage companies in their capital raising efforts. He served as Chief Executive Officer of Cellnet Solutions, Ltd., a supplier of remotely managed networks of public wireless terminals providing voice as well as value-added data services in developing countries, from April 2008 until March 2010. From 2003 to May 2008, Mr. Hiram was a Managing Partner of Eurofund 2000 L.P., a venture capital fund focused on Israeli-related companies in the telecommunications, information technology and microelectronic spheres. Previously, from 2001-2002, Mr. Hiram co-headed TeleSoft Partners' investment activities in Israel. TeleSoft Partners is a Silicon Valley venture capital fund focusing on companies developing telecommunication-related technologies. Between1994-2000, Mr. Hiram served as Managing Director and Partner at Soros Fund Management LLC ("Soros"), an international hedge fund in New York, devoting the bulk of his time to private equity investments. Prior to joining Soros, Mr. Hiram worked at Lehman Brothers for thirteen years (also in New York), most recently serving as Managing Director of a workout and restructuring group. Mr. Hiram has served on the boards of directors of companies publicly listed in the U.S., including Ulticom, Inc. since January 2000 and Comverse Technology, Inc. from 1985-1986 and from 2001-2006 (including as chairman of the board from May 2006 to December 2006). Mr. Hiram also served on the board of TASE listed E. Wardinon Ltd. (2005-2007) and on the boards of numerous privately held companies. Mr. Hiram received an M.B.A. from Columbia University in 1981 and a B.Comm. from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, in 1979.