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  • Why U.S. Bancorp Is In Warren Buffett's Portfolio [View article]
    Tim, another great article. After getting "burned" during the 2007-2009 period with poor quality banks (BAC, C, Wachovia), I decided in the future I would buy ONLY the best of breed financials. Bought WFC, USB, and HSBC, all three dif NOT need government "bailouts", although WFC and USB were required to take government help as part of TARP. These 3 banks are probably "lifetime" holds.
    May 23, 2015. 08:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bold Prediction: JPMorgan's Dividend Will Double Within 6 Years [View article]
    As usual, a very good article! One thing that "worries" me about JPM is their large "black box" of trading revenues. These can quickly go "bad" in a hurry, as evidenced by the "London Whale" incident. That, or an even larger trade that goes bad, could completely destroy the possibility of dividend raises that you think are coming. One thing I learned in the 2007-2009 period was to "own the best" dividend growth stocks. That was after owning several "decent" financials- BAC, Citigroup, Wachovia, etc., that wound up self destructing and "blowing up" in my face.
    Hence, I have tended to invest with the more conservative banks, such as Wells Fargo (WFC) & US Bank (USB). They derive very little income from trading and other more risky endeavors. Only down side is that WFC and USB are pretty fully valued now. If one wants to own JPM, and it is probably a "reasonably good" dividend growth candidate, just be aware of the risks of their trading operations. Those risks are nearly impossible to uncover, as many of their strategies are very complex and difficult to fully quantify.
    May 23, 2015. 09:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Hold Your Breath With J.C. Penney [View article]
    Sort of like catching a falling chainsaw, if you pull it off, you think you're really smart, but if your calculation is wrong, it can be very UGLY!
    I think I'll just stick with strong wide moat companies that pay rising dividends, and buy them when their temporarily selling off.
    May 20, 2015. 07:43 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • FDA clears Janssen's long-acting anti-psychotic drug [View news story]
    As a psychiatrist, this will be a great addition to our treatment otions, as medication compliance is a real problem for many with shizophrenia.
    May 19, 2015. 11:19 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Verizon scoops up AOL for $4.4B [View news story]
    I too question why VZ is "wasting" money on AOL. Makes me wonder if i should re-evaluate VZ as one of my holdings. Reminds of what Peter Lynch used to say- is Verizon engaging in "deworsification"???
    May 12, 2015. 09:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Low Dividend Yield, High Dividend Growth Stocks [View article]
    Curious why you want payout ratio "above" 20%? I would be interested in ANY stock with a payout ratio less than 20%, dividend of say 1-2%, and a history of raising dividends every year for 25+ years. That's real dividend growth!
    May 8, 2015. 06:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's Time To Learn More About FelCor [View article]
    Just a side note to make you aware of our "bad" experiences with Felcor. Our experience with Felcor management when we owned a beachfront condo in the Margate, the newest "luxury" condo in Kingston plantation/ Myrtle Beach was awful!!! They were unwilling to market things correctly, and unreasonable to work with. We had a "modified" unit that was fully handicapped accessible (roll in shower, etc.) which turned out to be in constant demand on the rental market. However, Felcor was unwilling to market it as "handicapped", so we wound up doing this on our own, outside of their marketing department. It was constantly leased due to the shortage of "nice" handicapped units at the beach, and yet management was nearly impossible to work with. We finally wound up selling the unit (after it doubled in price!) in frustration due to their lack of responsiveness. I made the decision then to NEVER invest with Felcor, too unresponsive to customers and owners needs.
    They may have "turned things around", but if it's still the same underlying management, which it appears to be, I would be VERY LEERY of investing with them.
    Apr 20, 2015. 08:44 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Philip Morris International's Path Out Of Dividend Trouble [View article]
    Remember that currency "headwinds" will eventually become "tailwinds", when the dollar peaks and then starts to decline. Currencies tend to go through a "boom or bust" cycle, and over the longer term (10 years plus) this may be "a wash". The dollar is currently strong, due to our central bank being close to tightening monetary policy, versus the Euro/ asian currencies being very weak as their central banks "loosen" monetary policy. In 1-4 years, the other currencies will be turning the corner and probably rising, and the dollar falling against them, and PM's earnings will get a "boost" when translated back to dollars (from Euros, rubles, yen, or whatever). I agree, PM is probably "cheap" right now for a good "short term" reason, but if you're a long term investor, now is a good time to build up a position.
    Apr 14, 2015. 10:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Strategy For Objective, Emotionless Dividend Growth Investing, Part 3 [View article]
    As a long term dividend growth investor, who started in 1972 with my first dividend growth stocks (Burlington Northern Railroad- now Berkshire Hathaway), it does make A LOT of sense to try to pick out the relatively "low yield" DG stocks. Then you hang on to them as they continue having that fast dividend growth and evolve into more "mature" companies. Some of my original holdings (JNJ, WMT, CL, ABBV, ABT, PG, MO/ PM, UPS, etc.) started out only yielding around 1-2.5%. But because they all have "wide" economic moats/ sustainable long term business models, they have all grown to be quite large DG stocks. My yield on cost for my Colgate is 56%, JNJ it is 27%, and my XOM yield on cost is over 100%! These were all bought decades ago, and have a cost basis of only a few dollars a share. Hence, I will most likely never sell them, and pass them on to my children/ charities, etc. That is the essence of dividend growth investing. Along the way, there have been more than a few "bombs" that I bought, that I later sold at losses, sometimes painful losses. The key is patience, as well as NOT over-paying for the growth. When the P/E is much higher than 20, beware!

    Right now, many DG stocks are priced pretty high, and therefore I would be very careful about over paying for "growth". I have been able to slowly accumulate a large portfolio (>4 million now) mainly by buying "quality" companies, and then hanging on to them and letting time (and compound interest!) work their "magic". Like Warren Buffett said, the best holding period is "forever", as long as it is a great company.
    Apr 13, 2015. 08:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Single Mother's Income - Dividend Growth Investing [View article]
    Dividend Diva,
    Loved your article, and also liked your overall approach to investing. I have a few thoughts/ suggestions to at least consider. First, although I think GE is turning around as a company (I also have GE in my portfolio), I would be very careful about allowing ANY single stock position to become more than 10% of your entire portfolio. You are just taking too much "single company" risk when you do that. At least STOP reinvesting the GE dividends, and consider "steering" them into other DG or high yield stocks. Secondly, consider looking to Dividend "contenders", those that have raised their dividends a minimum of 10 years, in addition to the dividend champions. I require ALL my potential holdings to have AT LEAST a "narrow" economic moat (prefer a wide moat) and 10 years minimum of dividend growth. Lastly, good luck, I also appreciate your personal story as my mom was a single mom, high school librarian, and growing up "struggling" financially was part of what "lit the fire" in my belly to become financially independent. Fortunately, I can say I am now "there", with a DG portfolio of 4 million at age 56. Keep it up!
    Apr 9, 2015. 02:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Portfolio - Spring Checkup And Semi-Annual Review [View article]
    I follow your thoughts, and traditionally I have been reluctant to sell a long term "winner", especially when it continues to raise it's dividend each year, and perfoms well. However, our portfolio eventually got to the point that XOM was about 16-17% of the total portfolio several years ago, and part of that was because my wife inherited some XOM from her grandfather, on top of an already large XOM position. I became a little "nervous" about the additional "single stock" risk we had, and did a lot of research into various outcomes. Basically if you have one stock position that is larger than 10%, studies show you are taking an inordinate amount of "single stock risk" that you generally are NOT adequately compensated for (B. Bernstein has written quite a lot on this). So we have gradually sold & donated it down to < 10%, and I would suggest you think carefully about doing the same. Even the best companies in the world can have something "unique" happen to them, that could jeopardize your portfolio. Think about someone who had a huge chunk in Enron, Worldcom, etc.
    Apr 7, 2015. 10:04 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Companies Showing Confidence With Increased Dividends [View article]
    I enjoy reading your articles, but I wonder why you do NOT have a position in any of these 4 stocks. In other words, why don't you "eat your own cooking"??? Thanks!
    Apr 3, 2015. 08:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Philip Morris: A Dividend Cut Is Possible [View article]
    Good article, and if the dollar continues to rise, PM's payout ratio will get very high and "on paper" it's dividend could be "at risk". However, the company seems to want to protect the dividend, even at the expense of buybacks, and possible increased borrowing.
    One thing NOBODY has really mentioned is that the dollars' rise acts like a "coiled spring" longer term, once the European and Asian economies start turning around, the dollar will peak and start falling, and that will boost EPS, as well as drop the payout ratio. Long term, the currency effects should "balance out". My interest in PM is whether they will pay a higher dividend in 5-10 years or more. I'm betting they will. This is a short to intermediate effect. By the way, same issues affect multiple other "blue chip" dividend growth stocks- KO, JNJ, etc. Anybody who has a big portion of their sales overseas.
    Apr 1, 2015. 09:09 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 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 | 2 Likes 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