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  • Total compensation for UPS CEO doubles in 2014 [View news story]
    Absolutely ridiculous! Talk about pay for "non- performance", we're now paying CEO's millions to under perform the market.
    Mar 24, 2015. 10:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Construction Delayed, Bringing Down Southern Company's Rating From Buy To Hold [View article]
    I suspect it was 4.4 billion.
    Mar 6, 2015. 05:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Past Google's High P/E Ratio [View article]
    Too expensive for my tastes! Assuming the growth rate continues, it still is "richly valued". No dividend, and no real plans to pay one? I'll pass. but if it corrects to P/E <20, then I'm interested.
    Mar 6, 2015. 05:24 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AbbVie says three firms were bidding for PCYC in a very competitive process [View news story]
    Go ahead and short it, at your own risk!
    Mar 5, 2015. 10:44 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Flying High With RLJ Lodging's Immutable Dividend Record [View article]
    Another great write up about a REIT that definitiely looks "interesting". My one question is more about REITS in general. If the Federal Reserve starts raising interest rates this year, won't REITS (as a group) be "taking it on the chin"? Is it better to wait for a better entry point after they come down?
    Mar 3, 2015. 10:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One More Risk For Vodafone Longs: An M-Score Of -.28 [View article]
    So if AT&T has an M score of -2.83, why not call it a "manipulator" too. Vodaphone's M score is -.284, sounds like T is in the same category as VOD. Run the numbers on Verizon too. Is it something "unique" to the Telecom area. This doesn't make any sense to me, you call VOD out as a "possible earnings manipulator", yet T has a nearly identical M score.
    Feb 26, 2015. 09:00 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackRock: Another Future Dividend Aristocrat [View article]
    Well written article about a good dividend growth company! Bought BLK in 2010 and added to position 2011, and since then has continued to grow/ raise their dividend. I agree, it could become a future dividend aristocrat. Long BLK.
    Feb 21, 2015. 10:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Strategy: Is It Time To Panic Based Upon The Most Widely Used Valuation Metric? [View article]
    Just the truth,
    I agree with what the others are saying, you need to really think through your reasons for the initial purchase. Even better is to develop an investment "statement" or plan, that lays the groundwork for your buys/ sells, as well as your overall portfolio.
    I have evolved into a "buy and hold" classic dividend growth investor over time, and have found that many times when I have sold a company because it (usually temporarilly) "spiked up" in price, I have come to regret it. Often, I have sat there for several years and watched it continue to slowly grow ever higher,"kicking" myself for ever selling it in the first place. I will VERY RARELY sell a company now, and if I do it is usually for one of several reasons:
    1.) Cuts the dividend
    2.) Failed to raise the dividend for "several" years, and it's longer term growth makes me worry it cannot support the dividend or raise it in the future. If the payout ratio continues to rise, earnings are flat (or falling), etc., then I will pull the trigger and sell.
    3.) Fundamental "change" in it's competitive postion, it's "moat". I typically buy companies that have long term competitive advantages, ie a "moat". If the moat falls apart, I will consider selling.
    Otherwise, when I buy a company, I plan on holding it "forever" (as Warren Buffett says) and passing it on to my children/ grandchildren. Some of the original purchases I made in the late 1970's are still in my accounts, and several positions are now worth WELL OVER 100,000 each (XOM, BRK.B, JNJ, MRK, WMT, etc.).My total account is now over $3,900,000, and it grew to that size VERY SLOWLY. Mainly by buying/ holding classic dividend growth stocks, especially when they go "on sale" every 5-10 years (like 2008-2009!) and then reinvesting dividends and every penny I could save. Becoming wealthy is a slow process, and I am slow/cautious about buying, and even MORE cautious about selling a "winner".
    Feb 16, 2015. 05:45 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Barron's: Whether crude moves up or down, best to avoid big oils [View news story]
    IMHO, this is about as solid a prediction that oil is closer to a bottom as one can get! When Barron's say it will fall further, I would suggest backing the truck up and buying.
    Oil prices have come down hard because of all the "new oil/ gas" from the fracking boom in the US. One thing rarely mentioned is that fracking results in a fairly short term "boost" in production, compared to traditional well drilling. Some of these wells are going to have their production fall off tremendously after 3-5 years. The peak of U.S. fracking production is probably 2016-2018, so the "extra" oil/ gas from fracking will start declining after that. My suspicion is that we will see oil well above $100 barrel well before 2020. Also, people fail to realize that the majors (XOM, COP, RDS.A, CVX, etc.) make more money from their refining when oil prices DROP, as their spread between purchased crude oil vs. selling refined oil is higher.
    Hence, I am hanging on to all my XOM (10% portfolio) and may add a little more RDS.A, COP, to my portfolio. Their dividends are still covered, and they are going to be much higher over the next 5 years than they are now. So if you are a long term "investor" (as opposed to a speculator) now is probably a good time to buy.
    Feb 14, 2015. 11:59 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevron suspends share buybacks for a year, shares -3% [View news story]
    Interesting!!! Some studies have shown that companies tend to "suspend" buybacks when the markets do poorly, especially in their specific industries, and start them back up when their industry takes off, and stocks are again "pricey". Makes me wonder if that is what CVX is doing right now?
    I would prefer them to cut their CapEx., keep the money to cover their dividends, and any "extra" funds be used for EITHER buybacks or to purchase smaller players at relatively bargain basement prices. Right now there is "blood in the streets" in the energy sector, and so they are "afraid" and going to stop buybacks? NOT a good move from a capital allocation standpoint!!!! Hope Exxon Mobil does NOT do this!
    Jan 30, 2015. 12:18 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Southern Company: Taking A Pass On This Quality Utility Name [View article]
    Very well written article, and your case that SO is a good long term "hold" at this point in time, BUT NOT a good place for "new money" at the current valuations is very compelling. I (actually my wifes account) have been a long term holder of SO for many years. It's a great long term utility and will presuambly be able to continue to "slowly" raise dividends in the future. However, at it's relatively "rich" valuation, it does make sense to hold off on investing new money, and also to take dividends "in cash" instead of reinvesting. At least until we get a pull back to more of "fair value", which Morningstar places at $46/ share. I think it becomes more interesting, especially below that.
    Jan 30, 2015. 12:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • At What Point Do You Step Into The Potential McDonald's Value Trap In Search Of Yield? [View article]
    Good article, and well written review of the headwinds that MCD faces. Long term, it has been a GREAT holding for me, and I'm "tempeted" to add some more to my position. But like you, I think I'll set a relatively "low" entry point of $85/ share, as I'm still not sure than can pull off another turnaround. But will still give them time to turn around, but if they CUT their dividend, I'm gone!
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Roth Conversion Odyssey (Part 2) [View article]
    I really enjoy reading ALL your articles, and this "series" has given me some thoughts as to how to get more of our money into truly "tax free" ROTH accounts, as opposed to "tax deferred", such as regular IRA's, 401-K's, etc. Fortunately I am able to make a good income, however this kicks me up into the 35 and even 39% tax brackets. Therefore, I pay a tremendous amount of taxes each year! I had retired from full time work at age 55 in 2012 (Professor/ Physician at a Medical School) and was just working part time at the Medical School, part time private practice. I opened a "Simple IRA" in my private practice, and therefore could no longer make "back door" ROTH contributions, without taking the Simple IRA account into consideration when doing the conversion. However, after reading your articles, I realized "why not change to a simple 1 person 401K, continue to save tax deferred as much as I can, then convert it over to a ROTH when I fully retire"? So that is what I'm planning on doing now.
    Have talked with Vanguard and will be opening a 401K, funding it to the MAX for the next several years, and gradually roll over the SIMPLE IRA to my ROTH and pay the tax "outside" of the ROTH to maximize the ROTH amount. With vanguard, you can have a brokerage account and buy dividend growth stocks as well as reinvest the dividends w/o any cost (I should mention I am at a "Flagship" level, so it costs just $2/trade after the first 20 are free each year!)
    Thanks for all the articles you write and for your continued SA contributions.
    Win Green
    Jan 25, 2015. 11:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Procter & Gamble's Tightened Focus Hitting The Bottom Line? [View article]
    I think one of the reasons Buffett exchanged the PG shares for Duracell was that he did it "tax-free". His PG shares had appreciated greatly over the years, it was a way to "sell" his PG shares and purchase a "quality" company (Duracell) without having to pay capital gains taxes on the PG shares. With the cash infusion, hopefully Duracell can invest in new battery technology which will pay off in long term growth (I also own BRK.B) As far as PG goes, they divested a "non-core" business, and at the same time get to retire a chunk of their own shares and thus raise earnings per share. I imagine it was much cheaper than purchasing the shares back on the open market. Probably a "win-win" both sides of the transaction!
    Dec 24, 2014. 11:10 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AbbVie Competes On Price [View article]
    Everyone is saying that the new AbbieVie combination therapy (Viekira Pak) is "not as effective" as Giliad's Harvoni. As a physician who has read the studies, that appears to be FALSE. They both had similar response rates across different patient groups/ Viral genotypes in the larges scale studies out so far. Viekira Pak may be a little more difficult to take (several pills/ day as opposed to one), but overall they look comparable in efficacy. Depending on the genotype and presence/ absence of cirrhosis, individuals might also have to take ribivirin with either combination. So it looks to me as if Abbievie is coming in modestly below Gilead as far as price, and will "steal" at least some market share from Gilead.
    Dec 23, 2014. 09:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment