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woodworker

woodworker
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CSX, CTL, FTR, GE, GIS, JNJ, KMI, KO, MCD, MO, PBI, PEP, PG, T, WMT, XOM
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  • Measuring Stock Portfolio Safety [View article]
    Jim

    A good article. I has motivated me to analyze the safety margin of my portfolio. Your approach meets one critical criteria for somebody like me. It is simple.
    The timing of the article is also very good. I retire in 3 months and we have 100% of our holdings in dividend stocks. All are large cap and a beta that is less than 1.
    Apr 22, 2015. 04:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Will It Take To End Wal-Mart's Slide? [View article]


    ...I have 400 shares of Walmart in my IRA. I paid an average price of $54.23 a share. I started the position in May 2010 and finished it in April 2011.

    I have been developing concerns about Walmart management not minding the store. My wife and I buy a lot of our groceries at Walmart. We have been noticing that the shelves are very poorly stocked, the stores have a dirty and cluttered look, and it has become common to walk into a major department and there isn't anybody behind the counter to help you or take your money. I remember going into the outdoor section and I wanted to buy a pair of binoculars that the associate would have to get for you, they were under glass at the counter. There was not a single employee in the outdoor section. I ended up ordering them from Amazon.

    I realize that a few occurrences is not a good enough reason to sell the stock. However, I have been seeing it as a pattern that has been getting progressively worse the last couple of years.

    At the same time same store earnings and I think traffic are down.

    I am seeing all these things as being kind of like the early warning canary in the mine. If the canary dies you need to get out now because you are next.

    The above reasons are why I am considering getting rid of half of my position. Unlike McDonald's or Proctor and Gamble (who I stayed with while they were having problems), I do not see the Walmart management getting back to basics or making concrete efforts to effect real change. I know they are building the small neighborhood stores and that is a good idea. However, I read some comments that that tell me they are having the same issues (the ones I stated above) as the Super Centers.

    Complaining has been a waste of time. No meaningful improvement has occurred. I have read that they are making significant improvements. As of a week ago those improvements haven't filtered down to the Walmart we shop at.

    Walmart's senior management can make all of the changes in the world. The bottom line is, if the customer isn't served well they will go elsewhere.

    The person who said it best was Sam Walton.

    *** "There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else." ***
    Apr 22, 2015. 03:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Portfolio: Adding Exxon Mobil [View article]
    To all
    Thanks for the comments. I should have given you more information.
    I have 400 shares of Walmart in my IRA. I paid an average price of $54.23 a share. I started the position in May 2010 and finished it in April 2011.
    Everything my wife and I have is through a online discount broker.

    I have been developing concerns about Walmart management not minding the store. My wife and I buy a lot of our groceries at Walmart. We have been noticing that the shelves are very poorly stocked, the stores have a dirty and cluttered look, and it has become common to walk into a major department and there isn't anybody behind the counter to help you or take your money. I remember going into the outdoor section and I wanted to buy a pair of binoculars that the associate would have to get for you, they were under glass at the counter. There was not a single employee in the outdoor section. I ended up ordering them from Amazon.

    I realize that a few occurrences is not a good enough reason to sell the stock. However, I have been seeing it as a pattern that has been getting progressively worse the last couple of years.

    At the same time same store earnings and I think traffic are down.

    I am seeing all these things as being kind of like the early warning canary in the mine. If the canary dies you need to get out now because you are next.

    The above reasons are why I am considering getting rid of half of my position. Unlike McDonald's or Proctor and Gamble (who I stayed with while they were having problems), I do not see the Walmart management getting back to basics or making concrete efforts to effect real change. I know they are building the small neighborhood stores and that is a good idea. However, I am reading reports that tell me they are having the same issues (the ones I stated above) as the Super Centers.

    I realize that this article is about XOM not WMT. But XOM is the one I would buy if I sell some of my WMT.

    The XOM has jumped out at me as being a very good deal right now. I believe they have good management and they still have a very wide moat.

    Additional comments would be appreciated
    Apr 22, 2015. 03:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Portfolio: Adding Exxon Mobil [View article]
    I am seriously considering getting rid of 50% of my WMT shares and replacing them with XOM. I have been considering this for quite some time. Are there any opinions out there?
    Apr 22, 2015. 10:00 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Dividend Investors Could Withdraw More Than 4% Of Their Portfolio [View article]
    I appreciate this article because it makes you think outside of the box and consider other options. However, I prefer the approach I have come up with. Assuming I have emergency funds and those sorts of things, my approach is:
    Spend 50% of the dividends
    Buy more stock with the remaining 50%
    Mar 24, 2015. 01:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Utilities And Interest Rates [View article]
    A good example of the unregulated sell off is PPL.
    Mar 24, 2015. 08:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No Dividend Conspiracy At Wal-Mart; Its Growth Has Simply Stalled [View article]
    I make very few stock trades. Probably not more than 2-4 trades a year. However, I am considering selling half of my WMT position. I paid an average of $54.23 per share. I started buying in 2010 and finished filling the position 12 months later.

    The low dividend increases irritate me but the do not keep me awake at night. It is the low dividend increases combined with: Poor service, poorly stocked shelves, dirty and messy stores, quality of products going down, frequently they are no longer the lowest price, and management's unwillingness to take care of the basics.

    Not proactively addressing fundamental issues combined with decreasing earnings sounds like a good combination to increase the chances of failure.
    I am a big believer of walking into a business and looking arround before I buy any of it. What you see during those walk arrounds is my version of the canary in the mine.
    Comments would be appreciated
    Feb 24, 2015. 09:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T And 'Losing' To Inflation [View article]
    A couple of years ago I cut my T exposure by 50%.
    I work on the theory that dividend growth has to be funded by growth in sales and revenue.
    Cost cutting is a one time event only and does not contribute to growth.
    If a company can not grow their dividend at a reasonable rate then it implies that sales and revenue are not growing.
    Another word for it would be stagnation.
    Without growth you investment looses value.
    Look at the statistics below (taken from Fastgraphs):

    End Fyr
    or Fqtr** Dividend Growth% Div. Payout Ratio
    12/01/95 4%  53.00%
    12/01/96 4%  49.00%
    12/01/97 4%   75.00%
    12/01/98 4% 42.00%
    12/01/99 4% 45.00%
    12/01/00 4% 45.00%
    12/01/01 1%  44.00%
    12/01/02 5% 48.00%
    12/01/03 7% 79.00%
    12/01/04 9% 86.00%
    12/01/05 3% 76.00%
    12/01/06 4% 58.00%
    12/01/07 9% 53.00%
    12/01/08 10% 57.00%
    12/01/09 2% 78.00%
    12/01/10 2% 74.00%
    12/01/11 2% 79.00%
    12/01/12 2% 77.00%
    12/01/13 2% 72.00%

    Look at the entries starting in 2009. A significant reduction in dividend increases with a significant increase in payout ratio. If it was only 2 or three years I wouldn't worry about it However, the 2014 increase has been no better. According to the Scottrade website the payout ratio has improved to 55%. However, I would like to see if the FastGraphs number comes in close to that.
    It is the recent 5 year trend of sharply reduced increases in the dividend and a very sharp increase in the payout ratio that makes me reluctant to have anymore AT&T stock.
    Dec 28, 2014. 08:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Recent Buy: General Electric [View article]
    3 years ago (Dec 2011). I bought some shares of GE at $16.64 a share.
    If you include the dividends, I have made a 68.69% return on the stock. GE comprises .74% of the portfolio.

    They were my one speculative buy. The reason I say speculative is because they did decimate their dividend during the recession. That tells me if they did once, the second time it will be easier for them to reduce the dividend.
    Every other stock in the portfolio continued to raise their dividends during the recession.

    I take the "Growth" part in DGI very seriously.
    Dec 24, 2014. 10:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coca-Cola Has Got Milk, And Investors Should Care [View article]
    It is too early to tell how it will do. Years ago could you imagine walking down the street and Paying $3.00 - $4.00 for a cup of coffee at a place like Starbucks instead of $.50 at McDonalds?
    Dec 23, 2014. 11:43 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Decline Of McDonald's [View article]
    First of all, this article is full of a lot of generalities and extremely lite on specifics. McDonalds has more healthy food available than any other fast food outlet. Right now it is a fad to slam McDonalds, This will pass with time. Also, a lot of this could be fixed by:
    - Change the marketing message to emphasize the healthy options
    - Clean up the restaurants and the employees.
    Simplifying the menu is a good start in opinion,
    I used to get my breakfast at McDonalds a couple of times a week, However, the lines in our area are too damned long. I just have some yogurt at home.

    I have one advantage over a lot of the readers. I have eaten at McDonalds restaurants in 5 different countries other than the United States.
    Try getting a Big Mac at the Marble Arch McDonalds in London. The lines are massive. The one in Rome wasn't doing too bad for lines. However, we were usually very early and just doing a drive through for some breakfast that we would eat on the drive to Naples.

    BTW I am long on MCD and I plan on keeping it.
    Dec 19, 2014. 08:56 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Buy Exxon Mobil [View article]
    After reading this article 3 thoughts come to mind. They are:
    - This article has a lack of historical perspective. The downturn is just a minor blip on the calendar for a company like XOM

    - Something that Buffet is credited with saying.
    “Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”

    - I wish I had cash to buy some XOM right now. However, I am fully invested and I don't have any positions I am willing to sell.

    Fossil fuels are going to be around for a long time. Renewable energy technology that has any practical use is at the same stage as a newborn. I believe it will become more prevalent, but it is going to take at least 20 years or longer.
    Dec 12, 2014. 09:20 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ExxonMobil: The Safest Way To Play The Oil Rebound? [View article]
    How does KMI fit in with the others. They are a pipeline company not a producer.
    Dec 12, 2014. 08:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Independent Thinking For Successful Dividend Investing [View article]
    I have been doing my own investments for 4-1/2 years. Your article ties in directly to what has been working for me.

    My biggest investment mistake was not firing the stock brokers years earlier.

    When people ask me about how I do it, I tell them the following based upon my limited experience:
    - Develop your own investment style and philosophy and stick to it.
    - Manage risk and profits will follow. This ties in directly to quality and research
    - Always do your own research, this means ignoring old and over-used truisms
    (I call them old wives tales) and go beyond the yield, price and P/E ratio
    - Never stop learning
    - Do not let emotions enter the mix
    - Patience, Patience, Patience
    - Learn from mistakes
    - Develop your own criteria as to when you should buy and sell.

    The above response is usually not well received. I find most people are looking for a quick and simplistic answer that requires very little mental effort on their part.
    I am lucky, I have no interest in football. This means I end up directing my analytical side toward stocks instead of a fantasy football team.
    Nov 20, 2014. 08:55 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Should I Do About Those Non-Dividend Paying Stocks I Received In A Spin-Off? [View article]
    From a value standpoint HYH comprises .107% or out portfolio. Not enough to make any difference. i will probably end up selling them to help pay the taxes on the KMP/KMI merger
    Nov 19, 2014. 10:30 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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