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  • Kinder Morgan Is Still Growing  [View article]
    If they are calling you stupid then they need to add me to the list. Unless I am missing something, It looks to me like KMI jumped on a problem (with a long term view) while it was still fixable. Granted, nobody is happy about dividend cuts. However, that is a small price to pay to get the share price and the dividend restored at some time in the future.
    A lot of people are upset with RK because he was wrong about the dividend projections. I don't see how he has any control over commodity prices.
    Jan 21, 2016. 07:42 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan: Time To Throw In The Towel?  [View article]
    From everything I have read KMI is the largest pipeline company in the country. It is my understanding that nobody else comes close. It is for that reason I have no intention of selling my KMI stock. I can not believe that that the true value of the company has gone down that much in such a short period of time. I saw the value of my stock holdings (90% of my net worth) go down by 50% during the last recession and I still slept well at night. This current market correction and KMI's issues are nothing more than a relatively short term blip on the radar.

    Right now the United States is playing an oil production game of chicken with Saudi Arabia. Eventually somebody will have to blink and prices will start climbing again.

    It was Baron Rothschild an 18th century banker that said
    "Buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own."

    I am not a contrarian, but I prefer to not panic and lock in losses.
    Jan 14, 2016. 05:30 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan: I Told Me So!  [View article]
    Prior to the price going down, KMI made up about 6% of our portfolio. I will admit that what caught my attention was KMPs dividend about 5 years ago. I was just starting out then. However, I wised up and I got rid of all of the high yield stocks (before any damage was done) and focused on quality.

    Normally I dump a stock fast when I think the dividend is threatened.

    However, I have stayed with Kinder Morgan because I feel like they are a quality wide moat company that has has taken a long view approach to the the debt problem.
    Once the debt problem is resolved I am going to assume that the dividend will be restored. If not, the stock price will be back up and I will dump it then.

    Fortunately KMI makes up only 7% of our dividend income (prior to the cut). Before retiring several months ago I ensured that we would need less than half of our dividend income. That precaution has paid off.
    Dec 9, 2015. 02:32 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's Time To Fix What's Actually Broken: My Open Letter To Wal-Mart  [View article]
    Joe

    Your letter is a good description of why I sold 50% of my WMT stock several months ago. I describe it as the "Canary in the Mine". I think I will sell the balance of it sometime over the next few days. I won't take a loss but there won't be much profit. I have lost confidence because of what I have see in the stores and I have heard the same complaints from a lot of other people about other Walmart locations.
    Oct 16, 2015. 07:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kimberly-Clark For Your Income-Generating Portfolio  [View article]
    I have a very low opinion of mutual funds because of the fees. Here is a exercise I take people through to make my point. I save this for the people that say "it's only 1%".

    I ask them, pretend you have deposited a $1,000.00 in a mutual fund.
    A year later the fund now has $1,100.00 and it is time for the fund manager to take his 1% fee.
    I ask them how much does he take out of your account and of course they tell me $11.00.

    That is when I point out to them that the fee is 11% of what they made you. What did they do to earn the initial investment?

    Sometimes I can see the light turn on in their eyes which tells me they understand the point. Unfortunately, a lot of times I see either a blank look or a look of you don't know what you are talking about.
    Sometimes they will argue with me that "my financial planner says..."
    Of course the financial planner 99% of the time is a salesman and not a true, Fee Only Certified Financial Planner.
    Aug 25, 2015. 04:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 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
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