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smlaker

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  • The Keynesian Depression [View article]
    How do we grow out of it? By deflating our fiat currency. Growth since the end of the gold standard has been little more than a race between increasing government debt and rising prices. I like to use the simple postage stamp as the perfect example. A postage stamp cost 3 cents in 1853. 100 years later it cost 6 cents. But over the next half century, it would double three times, and the Post Office is bankrupt. If you call that growth, then you're an idiot. I call it robbery by the Keynesian economic underground. The only thing keeping thee world afloat over the last 40 years has been cheap labor overseas, specifically in Asia. With no place left on this planet to exploit, it is soon going to be time to pay the piper.

    Personally, I believe the author was spot on, because he has taken a very complicated subject and has made it easily understood by the average SA user.

    Grow out of it. You have to be kidding, right?

    SM
    Dec 4, 2012. 09:51 PM | 29 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Social Security At 70: Always A Bad Idea [View article]
    Good food for thought.

    I'm sorry folks, but I think you're being a bit harsh on the author. I am 62, but I don't see this as any sort of recommendation for me to start SS, because I'm still working. I believe that and other things are implied in an article like this, but not always added for the sake of brevity.

    I see this as strictly a piece of mathematical evidence laced with limited statistical data so as to give one a place to start looking at how the numbers are affected by projected rates of growth vs. types of investments, etc.

    If anyone thought this was a doctoral dissertation-quality breakdown of all situations/circumstances, then I would have to "thumbs-down" every article ever written on SS, not just on Seeking Alpha.

    They all lack a full complement of possible scenarios. I think this is at least one more piece of the puzzle to file away and review, once I pull the plug, not too far down the road. Thanks for your efforts, and keep on truckin'.

    SM
    Aug 28, 2014. 03:11 PM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Vision Of What The 'Perfect Retirement Portfolios For Dummies' Might Look Like [View article]
    Amen doctor. My experience exactly. I am holding a few "corporate shells"; companies that went bankrupt, the stock went to zero, and Fidelity still carries them on my books, because the "shell" is still a corporate entity.

    My point is that they sit there, a stark reminder of the days when I tried chasing growth in small cap and microcap stocks, which were supposed to be the "next hot thing".

    Not to mention my days of sub-par mutual funds, silver bars, etc.

    Now I follow DGI and SWAN (sleep well at night).

    I may not hit that ten-bagger, but I still wish I had started this earlier.

    SM
    Oct 12, 2014. 03:10 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Stocks: Lose-Lose-Lose Proposition In Intermediate Term [View article]
    What's not to like??? You earn 6-9% in income over the next two years and take a 20-30% shave in stock price. You just lost 20+%. You'd have to have an astronomical DGR or a very, very long holding period to come out ahead.

    We're right back to the same argument that dogs this website continually. Does one hold through a downturn and take a bloodbath, along with the rest of the market, or does one fold up shop and hold cash, waiting for a better buying opportunity?

    This article makes some good points and should not be taken lightly.

    As best I can tell, not everyone wears the same size shoe.

    SM
    Jun 7, 2013. 01:47 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware Phantom Dividend Cuts [View article]
    Thumbs down. Since they don't give me the option to "Dislike" the comment.

    I'm old enough to remember when Dairy Queen was a startup! No one working in those places was more than college age, working his/her way through high school or college.

    The business model does not support, nor was it ever intended to support someone trying earn a living wage.

    Back in ancient Greeks times, they invented something called "College", followed by "Universities" and "Trade Schools".

    You want to earn more many, then improve your skills. You want to earn next to nothing, stay illiterate (i.e. high school or lower education).

    Your monkeying around with the free market system, and others like you, are exactly how we got in this mess in the first place.

    My apologies Dave, but I couldn't resist.

    SM
    Dec 10, 2013. 02:30 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 19 Things I Like About Dividends [View article]
    Denise, I do understand that your comment is directed at individual stocks and not the market in general. In that sense, technical analysis is just one of many tools, and like all of the other tools I have used over the years, it works sometimes and not very well at other times. But really, technical analysis is "tuned" for growth stocks and not for DGI stocks anyway, and that is what this forum is all about.

    In fact, my experience tells me it may not be very well tuned for anything. As Warren Buffett once said, "I realized technical analysis didn't work when I turned the charts upside down and didn't get a different answer." Said tongue-and-cheek, to be sure. Word is he tried to work with it for better part of a decade, finally discarding it for the most part.

    I remember when I became a disciple of William O'Neal of IBD fame in the mid-90's, after spending the previous 20 years buying mutual funds and accumulating a nice sum. I was ready to join the ranks of the individual stock pickers! Mr. O'Neal bristles at the very comment that his technique is "market timing", but most investment professionals lump his CANSLIM technique in with all other technical-type market techniques.

    I'm not sure if you're familiar with CANSLIM, but typically I would buy go-go growth stocks on a cup-and-handle breakout. A certain percentage of breakouts would always fail, causing me to sell at his recommended 7-8% stop loss. Others would run, but one curious thing is that O'Neal never had a good "sell technique", other than a "stop loss". This technique has even been applied to an index, any index, and a "market breakout" is treated exactly the same way as an individual stock breakout e.g. follow-on day 3-7 days out on higher volume, etc. Anyway, it worked marvelously during the 90's, when the market was on a general tear.

    Unfortunately, it didn't work at all well after the dotcom bust, because almost every breakout failed for the next several years, including the index "breakouts" (aka market timing). All of his publications skirted the issue of how to sell. I found myself riding too many of the fast-growing breakout stocks back down, because the downward slope was gradual and there were rules for adjusting stop losses. I would sometimes sell with little or no gain left. Yeah, I tried trailing stop loses on the open, on the close and on the 2nd cycle of the full moon, all with mixed, but generally poor results. I tried 13-day, 20-day, 50-day and 200-day moving average crosses and MACD/stoichastics using various combinations of the above.

    However, if I had only stopped with all of the tomfollery and bought DGI stocks and held through it all (circa 2001 to date), come thick or thin, I would be a very wealthy person today. As it is, I survived better than most, because I babysat my portfolio. But that's not saying much, given the concept of the "lost decade". I had my lost decade too.

    So, the point is I am trying to retrain my mind to ignore technicals, except perhaps for a good buy point, and use mostly fundamentals for determining whether or not to sell. I like Bob Wells' and a number of other peoples' approaches. Just hold on for the ride, unless the company cuts the dividend, or something fundamental happens, which changes the companies outlook. For me, I am too close to retirement to go back to being a trader. You can imagine just how different this is from my "old self". DGI is the very antithesis of CANSLIM or any other trading method and old habits are hard to break.

    If I could teach anyone anything about investing, it would be to be a more patient investor and quit looking for the "quick buck". Long-term growth beats the quick buck, hands down. That's my personal experience. I need income and stability, in that order. That's why I have settled on DGI going forward. Had I only done that in my youth, sigh!!

    But one thing certain, I am not going back to stop losses, 50 day EMA vs. 200 day EMA crosses, stoichastics, Bollinger bands or any other technical trickery to make a sell decision. That's "market timing", even if for one, individual stock.

    But then, I don't anticipate buying go-go growth stocks anymore, either. Been there, done that, and I'm just not that good on the sell side (but I was darn good on the buy side), nor do I have the time to babysit my portfolio.

    Hope this better explains where I am coming from.

    Good luck, whatever approach you take!

    SM
    Feb 1, 2013. 01:01 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Heads roll at American Realty Capital; shares -10% [View news story]
    It is possible that he has been "fired" by the Board of Directors, which is certainly not the same as "stepping down" voluntarily, which I interpret as to what he said he wouldn't do.

    We simply need more information than what is currently known.

    SM
    Dec 15, 2014. 10:01 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dave Van Knapp Positions For 2013: Tuning Out Market 'Noise' With Dividend Growth Investing [View article]
    I envy you. Like many on these boards, I have lost more money trying different things, like penny stocks in the go-go days of the 70's or tangibles (diamonds, in my case) just at the wrong time in the early 80's. I always seemed to catch the trend (fad???) just as it peaked. Then I sloshed through mutual funds for 20 years. Of course, my 401K wouldn't have allowed for DGI, but I had other money as well.

    What you have started is full of sensibility. It's not a fad. Stay with it and don't let the "fiscal cliffs" over the next 40 years turn you away.

    If I had done what you are now doing, I would have reached my goal of retirement at 55. Instead, as someone else on these boards has already pointed out, I'm "enjoying" a $3,000/year tax deduction on capital-loss carryovers and will be for 25+ years. Problem is, the actuarial tables say I won't see the full benefit. And I'm still working for someone else . . . . . . . . . .
    Dec 27, 2012. 08:51 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 428 Large Companies Have Risky Dividends [View article]
    So, what are the other 427 you don't recommend?

    SM
    Jun 14, 2013. 06:13 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Example Of Achieving 'Critical Mass' [View article]
    Dave, I go back a little longer than you, as I would gather from your starting date of 1984. By 1984 I had already been sued by the IRS (outcome still pending in1984) for my involvement in a solar limited partnership gone awry, owned a myriad of penny stocks in the 70's, bought silver (fortunately after the Bunker brothers tried to corner the market, and not during the $50/ounce mania), had a portfolio of rare coins and sold, and had already started accumulating a nice portfolio of mutual funds.

    In many ways those were lost years, because I was trying to overdiversify, and even overreach my level of experience.

    However, through all of that, I was able to grow my 401K and a rollover IRA a bit at a time.

    Unfortunately I did not really begin to embrace DGI until a few years ago (circa 2008), and have only as of lately gotten more involved, as I can now access my current 401K and am slowly rolling it over into a rollover IRA.

    I plan on retiring before 65 (I've had it with the rat race), but health insurance is the real issue for me (my wife's health makes her hard to insure).

    I wish I had gotten more of my core positions earlier. I'm still building my portfolio and learning new stuff every day.

    To all of the young people out there. Listen to Dave and other so-called "experts" on this website and start now and stick to a DGI plan for at least a part of your overall retirement plan.

    There's a reason they call it the "miracle" of compound interest.

    Thanks for the great article,

    SM
    Jul 3, 2013. 02:16 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Stocks: Lose-Lose-Lose Proposition In Intermediate Term [View article]
    I like your analogy Gratian.

    There are many, many things I like about this website. The well-thought out articles and diversity of approaches are but two of them.

    The one thing I do not like, and it happens all too often, is the inability of some people to admit that there is value in an approach different than his/hers.

    While that is how I learn, and improve my own skills, others apparently feel threatened; enough so that they often turn radically defensive. If one is comfortable in his/her investing approach, then there is no need to make it appear better simply by belittling another's approach. As long as one sticks to the facts, and points out other data, or errors in the data of an author, that is fine. Again, that's what makes this so valuable a site. But just to disagree because it points out facts one would rather not face up to (hiding one's head in the sand is not going to make the next market correction go away) does not improve this website. I believe that we are headed for an overdue market correction. The business cycle is not dead. The author's article merely points out facts about market cycles that those of us, who have lived through many of them have witnessed first hand. They are not anecdotal stories in an Economics 101 text; they are a part of our personal psyche.

    Shakespeare taught us that there are times when "discretion is the better part of valor". It is my opinion, and only an opinion that we are in for a soon-to-be correction. Now may be the time to be more discrete with our investing cash.

    SM
    Jun 7, 2013. 04:02 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Stocks: Lose-Lose-Lose Proposition In Intermediate Term [View article]
    Maybe Dave and maybe not. Not if interest rates rise, as the author suggests. Buying TIPS will keep one roughly even with inflation. Then when Fast Graphs or some other valuation tool shows KO, JNJ or ADP has come down out of the stratosphere, then buy. Have a planned entry point. You may buy too soon, but you probably won't buy too late, which is now. I trimmed back almost all of my DGI positions just before this "correction" started. AFL and CVX being the exceptions, because they do not show "overvalued". I was going on an extended vacation, out of contact with humanity (wilderness) and didn't feel comfortable in this market climate just walking away. More dumb luck than anything else, but it was something I had felt strongly about doing for some months now. The market has simply gotten ahead of itself. My MLPs and REITs and core holdings were nearly all trimmed back to my "nominal" position size. Now I have locked in my gains and will look for "opportunities" as the author suggests. It may take years or maybe only months. It may even never happen for some of the creme dela creme. I doubt that I will ever own ADP, for example.

    Trying to find something in which to invest a lump sum now is almost like dumpster diving, well not quite that bad. But the cream of the crop all still look pricey, leaving little to choose from.

    Now, for those of you who are young, and are reinvesting dividends, and will live through a market cycle or two, before needing the income or principal, then ignore this post and the article to which it is attached. Ride the coming/continuing correction out and DCA down and back up the other side. Just resist the natural impulse to sell near the bottom.

    But now is just not a real good time for investing lump sums of money in most DGI stocks, and that is one thing, which I think the author is suggesting

    IMHO folks.

    SM
    Jun 7, 2013. 02:52 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 10 BDC Issues For 2015: Part 2 [View article]
    I'm beginning to think that making money in this sector is more of a crap shoot than anything else. Despite the relatively high yields, I have not been able to gain any traction on TCPC, TCAP (this one has been particularly painful), HTGC and even MAIN. All of my positions are in the red, with TCAP leading the pack.

    I'll be patient for a while longer, I suppose.

    SM
    Dec 23, 2014. 09:13 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Get Paid To Wait: Value Investing And High Yields [View article]
    An interesting list, but I think I'll pass. Getting paid to wait may be OK for some, but in many cases, it will be our heirs who are still waiting. Mostly financials and raw materials and you are right, these are down for a reason. Is it any wonder they are "on sale"? Likely not. I may not live long enough to see some of these recover (or just "cover" for the first time). I'm more of the SWAN sort of investor at this point in life.

    Now, if I could just find some "mad money". Where did I leave that cookie jar????

    SM
    Aug 23, 2014. 11:42 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REIT Valuations Part 1: Healthcare [View article]
    Here's my take galicianova. I appreciate the article and Dane's experience. That's not in dispute. However, I own OHI and VTR, both of which are on Dave Fish's CCC list for a reason; consistency. To be sure, I bought OHI when it was 60% cheaper, a number of years ago. However, I am not selling even at current prices for the following reasons.

    MPW has a "poor" history of dividend consistency. Cuts in 2008 from $.27 to $.20, followed by 20 quarters at $.20. It finally raised just over a year ago to $.21, still well below where it was in 2008. Contrast that with the slow but steady dividend increases of OHI, which have landed it on the CCC list.

    I am not disputing the fact that from the standpoint of valuation this article is likely very accurate. However, if your goal is growth of dividends, then MPW does not hold a candle to OHI, and, if past history is any indicator of future performance, and the attitude of the company towards its shareholders, then I suggest that you don't trade OHI for MPW.

    The data I have presented can be found here:

    http://bit.ly/1tvCDwn

    SM
    Aug 23, 2014. 10:56 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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