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  • 6 Best Dividend Stocks to DRIP [View article]
    I agree with the comments of David Fish and AgAuMoney. I too have used the Monepaper back in the 1990's to get started in some DRIP plans. Though, with the advent of super low cost discount brokers you could acquire a first share for less.
    I look for DSPP's, direct stock purchase plans offered either by the company itself or it's transfer agent. With these you have to look to the few that charge no fees or as David notes make larger investments to softent he blow of the fees. I also prefer plans that don't charge anything to reinvest your dividend. For a small investor like myself, the fees some of these plans charge are prohibitive.
    Aug 15 10:20 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Dividend Stocks Worth Substituting for Their Corporate Bonds [View article]
    Norman Tweed, thank you for your second article. I always look for your comments, now I can look forward to your articles too. I think LMT is a good pick. I was dripping LMT (they have a direct purchase plan) a few years ago but sold as I only had accumulated 32 shares and figured it would take me forever to get to 100 shares. I drip some of the other stocks you've mentioned, ABT and JNJ. I hope to retire in a year or two and stop dripping and take those dividends in cash to supplement my income.
    Aug 10 05:56 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • April Showers Bring... Dividend Growth, Joy And Fun! [View article]
    I appreciate the comments Mike and maybenot. Mike, I understand your point with continuing to drip some stocks even when overvalued. I did that with KO and am glad now that I did. However, sometimes I turned off the drip when a particular stock got to be too much of my portfolio. I also used cash divvy's for expenses. For example, if I got a $50 divvy I added the $50 to my mortgage payment. Every little bit helped and I paid off my mortgage.

    Maybenot, now that I'm retired and in my "so called" distribution phase, I still find myself hunting for new stocks or adding to existing positions with my aggregated dividends. Lot's of decisions to make, and I know I'll make some dumb ones, but it keeps me busy.
    Apr 11 02:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are You Really Ready To Retire? [View article]
    Regarded, I have to disagree with your statement that it is sad the private sector has to fund the retirements of government workers. You sound as if government workers don't pay taxes. We contribute to our communities as much as anyone else. As for your vaunted private sector, how about all the private businesses who's bread and butter is government contracts? I know many private businesses whose very existence is based on government contracts. They were created by people who saw a way to profit from government programs. Government funding is responsible for many jobs in the private sector. So, eliminate government programs, eliminate the government jobs that go with the programs and eliminate the private sector jobs that were also created around these programs.

    I know many would argue government funded programs are redistribution of wealth, but if you take it out of the economy we would be in sorry shape. I'm not an advocate of the government being the be all and end all for every type of service Americans want, but until the American people stop expecting government to provide an increasing array of services and a willing Congress seeking to curry favor with their constituents we will always have big government.

    On the plus side I compliment you on your article and agree we are all responsible for ourselves. Whether we have a pension, or Social Security we are all responsible for planning and saving for retirement and any other needs and wants we have in live.
    Jan 28 12:18 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A No-Brainer Dividend Growth Investment [View article]
    Not only am I a McDonalds's shareholder, I like their food as well. I'm particularly fond of their breakfast sandwiches. Over the years I've also attended a number of their annual shareholder meetings. The PETA people and others are always there with complaints. For those who don't like McDonald's food or employment practices you are free to take your business elsewhere. Do you really think Burger King, Wendy's and other fast food purveyors pay their employees better or have healthier menu items? Not really. As investor I like that the stock has appreciated and their dividend has increased. As a regular guy as noted earlier, I like their food. I would never do a Morgan Spurlock and eat their exclusively, but McDonald's and other fast food enterprises have their place.

    By the way I also own KO. So, drop in at your local McDonald's and enjoy a burger and Coke. I like Chowder's suggestion, eat there so often that they have to hire more staff and at higher wages.
    Jan 22 11:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A No-Brainer Dividend Growth Investment [View article]
    Thank you Larry Smith for an excellent article. I have been a long time holder of McDonalds, starting with one share and participating in their DRIP for many years. Only wish I had been smarter when their stock was $15 and added more cash instead of only reinvesting my dividends. I dropped out of their DRIP with 150 shares thinking I would never get to 200. Now that I've moved it to my brokerage account I need to consider whether it is a good time to add shares. Since opening a brokerage account I tend to look for new stocks to buy rather than revisiting those I already own for increasing my position. Your article reminds me that I already own some great stocks and maybe adding to them is better than looking for new ones to purchase.
    Jan 21 09:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With The Berry Petroleum/Linn Energy Merger Approved, LINE/LNCO Is A Buy [View article]
    Thanks Norman Tweed for this update. I held on to LNCO throughout the debacle. I only wish I had the fortitude to have bought more when it was beat up. It's still well below my purchase price ($37) but I bought it for the dividend and think it will return to a more reasonable valuation once this is all settled.
    Dec 17 09:59 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Do Retirees Need A Dividend ETF Or A Portfolio Of Individual Stocks? [View article]
    Mike, gf, Palma and others:
    I too have been a collector of DRIP's. I've got stocks at Computershare, AST, and Wells Fargo. I have recently been moving out of the DRIP's to a brokerage account at Fidelity. You are all correct in that each stock is a separate account at the transfer agent. Initially I went to my local Fidelity office and had them walk me through the process of transferring, but they showed me how to do it myself. Essentially, I completed the paperwork at their website, printed it out, signed and sent to Fidelity. They handled the rest. No medallion signature guarantee was required. Computershare and others transferred whole shares, fractional shares were sold. Usually the sales fees ate up the proceeds, so I rarely got a check in the mail for the fractional sale. I'll have a few short term gains or losses to add to my tax return as a result. One other thing Computershare didn't do in all cases was transfer the cost basis information to Fidelity. On some stocks it did show up on my Fidelity statement on others it didn't.
    I found DRIP's to be a good way for small investors to initiate and accumulate positions in some good companies. Though you do have to watch out for fees. Many of the plans have what I consider high fees, eg. $1 to $5 fees to reinvest dividends and make additional investments. The good ones don't charge fees or the company pays the fee.
    Sep 2 10:21 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cinemark: Taking Center Stage For Entertainment Stocks In Small Cap Growth Fashion [View article]
    RS, thanks for a great article. When the wife and I go to the movies we prefer Cinemark. Stadium style seating makes it easier to see over the head of the person in front of you. Also, they discount the matinee show and have senior and other discounts. I noted they recently increased their dividend, but have they consistently grown the dividend on an annual basis?
    Aug 22 06:21 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 106 Dividend Champions For December [View article]
    Thank you David Fish, your work is appreciated by many. Now if only I can get it through my thick skull to make better use of your CCC lists in considering investments. :-)
    Dec 1 12:46 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Selling Legacy Mutual Funds For A Retiree's Yield Improvement [View article]
    Thank you, Norman Tweed, for another great article. I like your writing style and like that you are willing to share your investment successes and failures. I inherited FTR last year when my mother died, and like you am willing to ride it down to the bottom. It's only a small postion, so it won't be a big loss. Thanks to you and Chowder for sharing your allocations. That is an exercise I should perform on my own portfolio. I know I am overweight in health care with ABT, JNJ, PFE, and BDX. Right now I am waiting to see what happens with ABT's plan to split the stock. I tend to take a wait and see approach as to whether the two companies will justify keeping either, both or none.
    Please keep writing. Your articles are informative and educating.
    Mar 29 12:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Recreation Stocks For Sector Rotation [View article]
    Thanks Norman for another great article. I don't know how good an investment Polaris is, I think they've gone through a lot of permutations over the years. I believe they were part of a conglomerate (the name of which I forget) at one time and are now independent. About six years ago I was in Roseau, MN, a town about 10 miles from the Canadian border, where Polaris operates a plant. I had a little free time and took a tour of their plant. They had stopped production on snowmobiles and were now cranking out ATV's. I observed the assembly process from start to finish. The engines are made in Japan, but assembly was there in Roseau. After assemby I watched them pour in a little gasoline, start the engine and drive onto a loading pallet, where shrink wrap was applied and the pallet loaded onto a truck for delivery. It was a fun experience. They also had a little museum on site showing the history of snowmobiles. By the way, Actic Cat is in Thief River Falls, MN, not too far away from Roseau.
    Jan 20 02:00 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Successful Retirement Investing: 4 Keys To Your Success In 2012 And Beyond [View article]
    Thanks David Crosetti for another great article. I look forward to your advise as you present it in such a down home easy to understand manner. I agree that one needs to pick a strategy and stick with it. Though, you do have to refine it from time to time. You may find it is not effective. It's important to read a lot and learn from others. I've evolved over the years into a dividend growth investor, though didn't know that was what I was doing at first. After finding Seeking Alpha and reading great articles by folks such as yourself and Norman Tweed I am learning to better refine my strategy. For instance, I like Norman's 4% yield principle. Though, I don't follow it myself. I'll accept a lower yield if the company consistently increases it's dividend. Some listed in your article that I own such as BDX, ABT and XOM don't yield 4% but have great records of increases. Again, thanks for the great read and keep those articles coming.
    Jan 19 12:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Low, Sell High: A Dividend Investment Strategy Contradiction? [View article]
    Thanks David Crosetti for a well thought article. I often have trouble deciding if I should sell after a stock has gone up quite a bit. I usually continue to hang on but stop reinvesting my dividends. That's what I'm doing with MCD. I'm still getting the dividend growth, just not the compounding by reinvesting. The capital gain is tempting to realize, but rationalize not selling by telling myself that I don't need the gain right now.
    Jan 4 08:18 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Dividend Paying Utility Stocks For 2012 [View article]
    Thanks Norman for another fine article. You are right about consolidation in the utility sector. I recently lost my oldest stock, DPL (bought it in 1984, the year my daughter was born), to acquisition by AES. So, now am looking for something to replace it. I always appreciate your thoughtful analysis. Your three and some of the others commenters have mentioned give me some potential replacements. I like your suggestion to wait for a drop in price for utilities.
    Dec 30 06:50 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment