First of all, let me state that I am NOT a CPA, attorney, nor financial planner. I am just a relatively savvy stock investor who wants to help the general public find their way through some of the maze of stock investing. I am 85 years young, although you might not think so from my accompanying newest picture. Yes, that is reallly me, age 84 and 11 months. I have been investing in stocks and bonds for about 60 of those years. It is now my main hobby. I invest mainly in high-yield stocks rated A- or lower down to B. I got stung a few years ago when Lehman Brothers, rated AAA, went down the tubes, costing me over $25,000, so decided to never again get involved with highly rated (over-rated) stocks that paid only small dividends. I prefer the high-yield stocks like BDCs, REITs, and MLPs from which I can get paid NOW, even though I actually expect to last another 20 years or so. I have developed my own stock investing system that I call MRHY (medium risk, high yield). I took early retirement in 1987 from a job as manager of a Computer Systems and Programming department at a large life insurance company. I am the holder of a CDP (Certificate in Data Processing) from the Data Processing Management Association (DPMA). During my working years, I frequentlly worked closely with the company actuaries and accountants. I even took some actuarial classes to be able to work with the actuaries in their own language and skills. Those experiences, plus my computer skills and high IQ, have alllowed me to build my stock portfolio from less than $300,000 in 1987 to over $600,000 in 2007. I also have the benefits of ~95% long term retention of whatever I read or hear, which is very useful in stock market investing. I inherited $everal hundred thou$and in 2011, which I have invested in medium-risk, high-yield stocks (MRHY), so that my total stock portfolio is now well over $1.25 million. The above Bio was posted a couple of years ago and has now (October, 2015) been updated. My stock holdings are now over $1.5 Million and my annual dividend income is now just over $175,000. I also collect income from SSA, 3 annuities that my deceased wife and I started receiving when we retired, and a restaurant seating about 120 that I bought in November, 2014, for a total annual income of about $240,000. Folks, if I can do it, you can too. All that it requires is a good brain with an understanding of the financial world, mathematics, and a little actuarial science, plus a high risk tolerance!
I am 40 and would like to retire before 60. I am fortunate to work for a state government and I am vested in their pension. So, I am set when I turn 60+. Because I don't have to worry about saving for a normal retirement age, I have been able to put almost all of my savings towards the goal of early retirement, by investing in a taxable brokerage account.
Retiring to Maine seemed like the American Dream back then:
Today I would picture myself sipping cold brewed Starbucks in LL Bean slippers in front of the Vermont Casting gas fireplace in the sunroom. Later a little snowshoeing in the woods before a lobster Mac and cheese lunch followed by a nap in the Lazy boy recliner.
“If you just sign the payroll deduction form we can get your retirement started all with the help of American Funds”, the broker/adviser said. He made it sound so easy.
Thirty years later reality sets in. The broker is on his sail boat and I'm wondering where my yacht is. Must be docked with the other customer's yachts.
Today, I’m trying to convert a very modest assortment of American Funds into a dividend paying portfolio that will beat my RMD and supplement SS.
Enter SA and the “new achievable” American Dream. With the help of some very knowledgeable SA authors and a bit of luck we will make it and SWAN too.
In the spirit of full disclosure, we have all the goodies described in the first paragraph plus our yacht is a 12 foot Carolina skiff. It still is nice to grab a quick NCL cruise to Bermuda or a longer one to the Caribbean using some of those delicious dividends.
I'm trying to achieve financial independence, primarily via a dividend income and reinvestment strategy, but leaving some space for high-conviction value plays that can feed new dividend positions, and even allowing for the occasional short-term trade to spice things up.
I have worked extensively in trade and investment promotion, and as a public policy analyst, and this has provided a lot of contextual knowledge that is useful for personal portfolio management.
25+ years experience as an investor. Fundamental, bottom-up approach, research-driven focus; buy / sell; value-oriented; special situations; catalyst investor; expertise in distressed company / bankruptcy analysis.