Founder of "The Contrarian", a premium research service, featuring the "Bet The Farm" Portfolio. Actively investing since 1995, I have soared like an eagle, and been unmercifully humbled by the markets. Achieved positive returns in 2008, and turned an account with $60,310 on 1/1/2009 into an account with $3,177,937 on 11/30/2009. My best years have been 1995-2003, 2008-2012, and 2016-????. My worst years were 2013-2015. I believe inflation is coming, and we are at an inflection point in the markets.
Twenty year career as an investment analyst, investor, portfolio manager, consultant, and writer. Founder of Koldus Contrarian Investments, Ltd, which was incorporated in the spring of 2009. Dyed in the wool contrarian investor, who has learned, the hard way, that a good contrarian is only contrarian 20% of the time, but being right at key inflection points is the key to meaningful wealth creation in the markets. I believe we are near a meaningful inflection point, perhaps the biggest one yet, for the third time in the past 15 years.
Historically, I have had huge wins and impressive losses based on a concentrated, contrarian strategy. Trying to keep the good while filtering out the bad.
Seeking to run an all weather portfolio with minimal volatility and index overlays to capture my strategic and tactical recommendations along with a concentrated best ideas portfolio, which is my bread and butter, but the volatility only makes it suitable for a small piece of an investor's overall portfolio. The following are a couple of my favorite investment quotes.
"Life and investing are long ballgames." Julian Robertson
"A diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure."
"Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." Albert Einstein
I’ve been on top of the world, and the world has been on top of me. I have learned to enjoy the perspective from each view, and use opportunities to persistently acquire knowledge, and enjoy the company of those around me, especially loved ones, family, and friends.
At heart, I am a market historian with an unrivaled passion for the capital markets. I have had a long history and specialization with concentrated positions and options trading. Made money in 2008 with a net long portfolio, deploying capital in some of the market's darkest hours into long positions including purchases of American Express, Atlas Energy, Crosstex, First Industrial Real Estate, General Growth Properties, Genworth, Macquarie Infrastructure, Ruth Chris Steakhouse, and Vornado near their lows. Shorting, hedging, and option strategies also helped me in 2007 and 2009, and these are skills that I have developed ever since I started trading heavily in 1996.I enjoy reading, accumulating knowledge, and putting this knowledge to work in the active capital markets, learning lessons along the way.To this day, I continue to learn, and some of these learning lessons have been excruciatingly difficult ones, especially over the past several years, as I made mistakes allocating capital, including a sizable portion of my own capital (I always invest alongside my clients), to commodity related stocks. While all commodity related stocks have struggled since April of 2011, coal companies, which attracted me due to their extremely cheap valuations, and out-of-favor status (I am a strong believer in behavioral finance alongside fundamentals and technicals) have been the worst investing mistake of my career. The focus on the commodity arena has been the biggest mistake of my investment career thus far, yet in its aftermath, I see tremendous opportunity, even larger in scope than the fortuitous 2008/2009 environment.The capital that I accumulated and the confidence gained in navigating the treacherous investment waters of 2008 gave me the confidence to launch my own investment firm in the spring of 2009, right before the ultimate lows in the stock market. At the time I was working as a senior analyst at one of the largest RIA's in the country, and I felt strongly that the market environment was the best time since 1974/1975 to start an investment firm.
Prior to starting my firm, I was a senior analyst for three different firms over approximately 10 years (Charles Schwab, Redwood, Oxford), moving up in responsibility and scope at each stop along my journey. Since I was a paperboy, I have always had an interest in the investment markets. I love researching and finding opportunities. I am a Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA, as well as a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, CAIA. After starting in the teaching program at Ball State University, I switched to a career in finance when I turned a small student loan into a substantial amount of capital. I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in finance from Ball State.
Full disclosure, I am not currently a registered investment advisor, though I did serve in this capacity from 2009-2014, while owning Koldus Contrarian Investments, Ltd. Additionally, I held various securities licenses from 2000-2014, without a single complaint filed, and I continue to hold industry designations. At the end of 2014, I voluntarily let my state registration expire, as I transitioned the business to a different structure. At the time, I was in the midst of a difficult two-year plus divorce (my ex-wife left for another relationship) and custody battle, which occupied a lot of my time. Prior to this, I had passed, and held, various securities exams and licenses, including the Series 7, Series 63, and Series 65 exams, in addition to others, alongside my CFA and CAIA designations. Unfortunately, I did not file the proper paperwork to withdraw my state registration, and I did not disclose a personal arrangement, and subsequent civil case, between myself and a former close personal friend and client, that was initiated in 2011. I was unaware that I was required to disclose these items, and my securities attorney, at the time, did not advise me to do so. Previously, I had managed a portfolio for this gentleman, and we had taken an investment of approximately $7 million in 2009, and grown it to over $25 million at the beginning of 2012. After a difficult year of performance, an employee of the firm I owned, and friend, resigned in early 2013, and took the aforementioned client to a competing firm. As a result of not filing the proper paperwork, I agreed to a settlement, with a potential $2500 fine in the future, depending on if I choose to reapply to be a non-exempt advisor.
Dana Blankenhorn http://www.danablankenhorn.com has been a business journalist since 1978, and a futurist all his life.He warned about the coming Houston oil collapse in 1979. He began making a living on the Internet in 1985. He launched the first e-commerce daily for CMP in 1994, warned of the coming dot-bomb at a-clue.com in 1997 and began covering the Internet of Things in 2003.Along the way he's written for a host of newspapers, magazines, news services and Web sites. Most recently he was at TheStreet.com, covering technology and investments. He still has time for freelance assignments. He lives in Atlanta.
Moon Kil Woong is currently a VP at a SME. Previously he was a tech stock consultant, VP of Research at ING, and sell side Director at Crédit Agricole Indosuez. Moon Kil Woong has a Masters in Public Administration from SJSU.
Ranked #18 overall blogger by TipRanks for 2014.
University of Virginia, class of 2011 B.A. English
I am a young investor focused primarily on dividend growth stocks. Seeking Alpha, and more specifically, the dividend and income community that exists here, has played a significant role in my development as a portfolio manager. I am not a professional, though I do manage my family's finances. I enjoy the process; the research, the decision making, the strategic planning...and not paying a financial adviser to do the work for me. I've built what I believe to be a conservative, diverse, and balanced dividend growth portfolio currently consisting of 48 positions. Thus far, I've been able to meet by goals from income, income growth, and capital appreciation standpoints. I use a wide variety of metrics, both fundamental and technical, when establishing fair value when doing my due diligence on an individual company. All of my methods are discussed in my work here. I hope this work inspires debate, conversation, and education - this is why I write for Seeking Alpha, to give back to the community that has helped me so much and to hopefully contribute, in some way...even if its by posing a question, to the growth of others.
Lastly, I began doing this in early 2015 and I plan on continuing to do so: I donate as much of the earnings that I get from SA on a monthly basis to various charities. Depending on how active I am writing each month, and what sort of side projects I have going on at the farm my wife and I recently purchased, the amount donated each month differs. However, I am pleased to be able to give back - I think its important to stay grounded and gracious when focusing so much on finances and these monthly donations help me not to lose sight of generosity.
*I should note that all articles that I write here are done so for my personal informational/educational purposes only. Any purchases that I make or opinions that I express are not meant as recommendations for anyone else. Please perform your own due diligence before following my lead into or out of a position. I am not a professional. I enjoy investing and the open discussion that articles on this site inspire - this is why I write, not to influence anyone else's decisions, but to enhance my own ability to make sound financial choices. That being said, I wish the best of luck to everyone. May we all meet our own financial goals.
I am formally a data analyst for a non-financial services organization. I have an undergraduate degree in business and a masters degree in predictive analytics. My background as an investor has been in setting and forgetting my 401k. In my recent job change I was enlightened to not having a plan for retirement. In my waking up, I have decided to start posting on Seeking Alpha to help encourage others to have a similar awakening as well as receive feedback from all the great contributors to the site.
Also, Doctor Dividend and I have started a podcast. You can check out our episodes here:ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/dividend-health-checkup/id1086182519?mt=2Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/dividend-health-check-up
Mark Watney, Space Pirate
Alpha - The abnormal rate of return on a security or portfolio in excess of what would be predicted by an equilibrium model like the capital asset pricing model (CAPM).
Read more: Alpha Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/alpha.asp#ixzz40dHfAFhE
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We believe Seeking Alpha has become a magnet for those seeking recognition for their attempt to sell the public nothing much -- repetitive financial tripe and no actual new news on what is happening in the deep economy. Most of the contributors (authors, if one can call them such) are mostly self serving. Most just love your "click" and can and will direct price action on stocks they tout. Do certain brokerages pay these individuals for their two cents worth? We, along with many others, believe so. Much of the content delivered by the "seasoned" people on here is repetitive except for a musical chair play on word choice. The value stocks along with their dividends are handled like so much New Year's Eve caps and noise makers. There is just so much to be had. The word to anyone coming to this site is to expect biases, if not totally irrelevant or inaccurate information.
There is sometimes a ray of hope regarding substantive theory of investment savvy by less than a handful. Perpetrators can be most any monk on here -- even overseas in Europe. If you don't believe me, keep coming back and speed read the tripe on here and you'll no doubt discover a repetitive blur. Informative for newbie investors searching for a purpose, this site is great for sifting what the hurd may be thinking, let alone doing. Most of those making money do not leave digital bits of their presence among Seeking pages.
Indeed, the Moat in Moatfrog is an assemblige of a vastly modern organization of seasoned investors who have assigned themselves to various special situations in their very own economic sectors of expertise. We meet once a month to express our assignments as previously submitted during the last meeting. We are NOT a hedge fund! Most hedge funds and their ilk fell into the abyss in 2009 and have struggled ever since. Do you have an idea on here? Whose idea was this originally? We do all that and then go surfing in the options market. We remain short Seeking Alpha here.
I am a Civil Engineer, who is married with two young kids. In 2013 I took a more active role in managing my IRA for retirement and decided to publicly share my experiences in building the portfolio as an example for the dividend growth investing strategy.
My interest in investing mostly began in 2005 when I started up an investment club with a few friends from college and has accelerated as I've been reading and learning along the way. Since then, investing and the stock market has become a passion and favorite hobby and I've enjoyed writing about stocks and sharing ideas I have here on Seeking Alpha.
My investing goals are to build a nest egg for retirement and fund college education accounts for my kids. I invest mainly in dividend paying stocks that have shown a history of consistent growth in earnings and dividend payouts.
Investing for 20 years, emphasizing stock picking for the last ten. Long-only, driven by valuation relative to risk and growth prospects. My contrarian approach works well during periods of volatility, typically trailing market returns during bull runs.
Ale is the founder of UK-based, SEO firm Hedging Beta Ltd (London). Based in London, he previously worked for almost five years at Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 2009 - Sept. 2013), producing M&A research, commentary and analysis for the IB community. Prior to that, he contributed to the launch of Loan Radar (Dec. 2005 - Jan. 2009), where he worked for three years in London. He had stints in equity research at Bear Stearns in London (Jan. - Apr. 2005) and HVB in Munich (May - July 2005). He did its intermarket analysis research thesis with Unicredit Bank in Milan (Dec. 2003 - Sept. 2004). Ale got married on 19 September 2014, and has a child, Matteo, who was born on 10 August 2011.
Dividend Growth Investor since 2011.
In July 2013 we moved from a managed account with a mutual fund, stock and bond portfolio to our own Dividend Growth portfolio. I am still evaluating the current portfolio holdings as they fit in our DGI "Plan".
Update: June 2015 I am now fully retired and am following our plan for life long financial independence. Retirement and financial independence are two different life goals and as such should be treated differently. Now when I check our discount brokerage account I now look at the cash being generated rather than the total value. This income generating plan seems to be working just fine as dividends are being used to support our day to day life. We currently have a 4.1% yield, 4.4% YOC and 6% dividend CAGR.
My Father was a DGI for over 70 years and my parents lived off the dividends for over 30+ years showing me the way forward.
I continue to read S/A articles daily and am still learning from the many dedicated authors.
I volunteer my time to our High School First Robotics Team. It is amazing what these students can do over the 6 week build season.
There are certain stocks I will not buy and I like to have stocks of products we use. For example when we pay for gas the dividends from XOM, CVX and COP pays the bill and BCE, RCI and VZ pay for phone and internet. You get the idea. If there was only a good dividend vacation stock... Maybe CNK.
I am long on the following: Comments welcome on my holdings.
Info Technology; AAPL, CSCO, GOOG, GOOGL, MSFT, WU
Telecommunications; BCE, RCI, T, VZ
Financials; AFL, BRK-B, CB, PRU, TMP, USB, ORI
Industrials; CHRW, CSX, DE, EMR, GE, IBM, MMM,
Consumer Discretionary; CNK, DRI, LEG, MCD, SJR
Consumer Staples; CPB, KMB, KRFT, PEP, SYY, PG
Energy; COP, CVX, XOM, RDS.B, KMI, HP
Healthcare; JNJ, MDT, MRK, PFE, SNY
Utilities; D, DUK, PPL, SO, WEC, XEL, SCG
REITs; DLR, HCP, KIM, O, OHI, VTR, WPC, NNN
MLPs; SXL, ARLP, PAA
BDCs; MAIN, PSEC**
CEFs; GOF**' NIO** DMO**
* Being evaluated for sale and reinvestment.
** Speculative 1/3 positions
Oct2013 - Bought DLR on the dip hoping for a bounce.
Oct2013 - Sold EXC at a loss and bought XEL. EXC (left over from my adviser)
Jan2014 - Added ARLP to my wife's IRA, TGH and KRFT to taxable account on Jan dip
Jan2014 - Added VTR by taking the profits from WLP and STJ (left over from my adviser)
Feb 2014 - Added T on a dip at 32 ( I wanted this stock for many years and finally pulled the trigger.)
July 2014 - Sold LOW and AMAT, took profits and added to my SO holding in taxable account.
Sept 2014 - Sold TSCDY and VDC in our taxable account.
Sept 2014 - Sold VDC in my trad IRA and added HCP.
Oct 2014 - bought more XOM on the recent dip.
Dec2014 - bought more CVX and T on the recent dip.
Sold TGH, IBM at slight loss
Dec2014 - will transfer 50% of my 401k to trad. IRA. Let the buying commence.
March 2015 - All 401k money has been transferred to TIRA
Since Jan 1 2015 I have added to the following positions on limit orders to maximize value.
DUK, VZ, O, RDS.B, CVX, EMR, JNJ, VTR, WPC, OHI, HCP, DLR, PEP, T, KMB, RCI, PPL, GE
SCG, MAIN, NNN, PG, PAA, HP, NNN, ORI, (PSEC, NIO)**
Purchased KMI, KO, UTG, JNJ, MAIN and GILD on the Aug 24th "Flash Crash". Great bargains!
Dec 2015 sold BRK-B and WU at a gain to offset the KMI loss.
Jan 2016, Added my TGT, MMM, EMR and SCHD for my wifes IRA.
Mr. Berger is the creator and developer of the YDP screening tool, a chart system and its analysis for screening and monitoring dividend income equity investments. The recipient of Seeking Alpha's Outstanding Performance Award, he also has been Seeking Alpha's #3 ranked Author for Income Investing Strategy & #4 for Utilities.
20 years of sitting in the board room gives me unique insights into Oil & Gas investments and corporate deal making in general. Additionally, he offers a Premium Research subscription service for boosting income while reducing market risk using covered option writing on a dividend income equity portfolio.
Residing in Brazil gives me a local's inside view on the pulse of its economy, politics, investment climate and breaking news. A view of my front yard is available here.
A former Chief Operating Officer, Director, Vice President and General Manger of Oil and Gas for Southern Pacific's Oil and Gas Operations, Business owner, geologist, and cribbage player, I've been an investor for over 48 years (started young at 13) and learned my lessons the way that makes them stick, by hard knocks and both big and little mistakes. Hopefully I can share some of those lessons with others.
I am an American expatriate that decided to retire at age 57 in 2009 and now live in Brazil. As an early retiree I invest for income and manage portfolio risk by screening for strong and reliable historic data along with favorable fundamental and technical current trends.
I spend 6 months/year living at home in Brazil and 6 months/year traveling the world. I have structured my financial positions so that I live virtually tax free with much of my income exempt from US tax since I live ex patriot and a lot of my US derived income over the annual ex-patriate exemptions is held in my tax free ROTH and tax deferred IRA/SIMPLE plans. This enables my tax savings to pay for my 6 months of annual traveling :) .
My investing is for income and appreciation with a balance of low to moderate short term risk and low long term risk. To accomplish this I use quality dividend payors with a long track record of steady or increasing dividends along with slowly appreciating equity prices. I target a 6 to 9 % yield and almost exclusively require a minimum history of 5 years of steady/increasing dividends and no decreases in dividend ever or at least past 10 years. I diversify through sector, country and currency unit the stocks are traded in, and security type (equity, royalty trust, REIT, mlp, etf, and ADRs).
I use covered call writing to enhance my portfolio yield with no added risk. In fact, it lowers the risk substantially. Once I identify a stock I want to own and an entry price for it, I write cash covered puts at or below that entry price (with a minimum of 1%/month time premium. Thus i obtain at least a 12% annualized yield before compounding just from the option premium.
Likewise, I use the sale of cash covered puts to generate income and and generally get an entry point at 5 to 10% below my acceptable entry level price if/when the put stock does get presented. Thus my strategy provides a 12% pre compound yield on cash and entry into stock purchases at a 5 to 10% discount from "retail".
Because I only select stocks that I am willing to hold long term for their reliable dividend yields of > 6%, I am not concerned much with market volatility or short/midterm risk. Indeed, market volatility is my friend since it increases the premiums paid on the options I sell. I also selectively sell covered calls on positions I hold long so as to add to my yield that way while not taking on any additional risk.
This strategy has kept me happily living off my portfolio income and traveling 1/2 the year while my portfolio has been slowly increasing in value even after my harvesting income for living expenses. Of course my income will incrementally increase when social security kicks in for me in a few more years and I may then slightly mofidy my goals and strategies.
Readers can get an e-mail once a day from Seeking Alpha that lists all newly published articles of ALL the authors they follow in a single e-mail. To get these updates:
- a - Click "Alerts" along the top menu tab (just left of the green PRO tab)
- b - Scroll all the way down, and check the box for "author alerts" (2nd box from the bottom)
- c - Then you'll be notified by Seeking Alpha once per day of new articles by all authors you follow (in a single e-mail)
Anthony is a private investor and Owner/Author of the blog The Struggling Millennial, which is geared toward today's generation of young adults and their struggle to achieve financial independence. Anthony prides himself on being self-taught and self-made, and regularly encourages individuals to take control of their own lives through the use of simple, straight-forward investment principles that the average person can understand and actively use to evaluate the financial health and performance of their investments.
Anthony is an electrical engineer who works full-time managing multi-million dollar projects for one of the larger construction firms in the Philadelphia area. Anthony believes the most difficult part of our individual journeys toward success and freedom is simply building the courage to get started, but once started, if we maintain our persistence, the sky is the limit.
I am focussed on building passive income through dividend investing. My path to progress is smart saving, sound investing and income through dividends.
My blog can be found at financiallyintegrated.com.
I am a medical professional, but I have been studying investing for many years so that I can control my own portfolio. DGI seems to be the best way for me to invest for my retirement while being able to sleep at night.
I have also been successfully trading cash secured puts for extra income. I share my experience on my websites, Tradingcsps.com and my blog Tradingputs.com.
BS in Economics, MA in Public Policy (International Economic Policy). J is a well-known voice in the global shipping community, with unparalleled investment results and a penchant for activist investing.
Mintzmyer founded Value Investor's Edge, a top-ranked deep value research service in May 2015, with the goal of establishing a top-tier community of deep value investors and activists. Value Investor's Edge subscribers leverage exclusive in-depth analytic reports and community investment experience to discover disconnects in global shipping and a variety of other beaten down sectors.
TipRanks.com ranked Mintzmyer’s performance in the top 3% of all global analysts at the end of 2015 for his 2-year investment performance. While compiling his research, Mintzmyer has interviewed numerous management teams at public maritime firms, and has worked with a multitude of investors. His exclusive analysis has received numerous 'Top Idea,' 'Must Read,' and 'Small Cap Insight' awards.
J is a CFA candidate and investment enthusiast who utilizes Seeking Alpha to provide an open exchange of both trading and investment ideas. Masters in Public Policy, with focus on International Security & Economic Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a B.S. in Economics. President of Mintzmyer Investments LLC, a financial services company specializing in equity research and hedge fund advisory.
Extensive background in financial analysis, equity research, accounting, portfolio management, and customized asset allocation through nearly a decade of formalized education, personal studies, and practical experience. Avid reader of business/investments and biographies.
Legal Disclaimer: Any related contributions to Seeking Alpha, or elsewhere on the web, are to be construed as personal opinion only and do NOT constitute investment advice. An investor should always conduct personal due diligence before initiating a position. Provided articles and comments should NEVER be construed as official business recommendations. In efforts to keep full transparency, related positions will be disclosed at the end of each article to the maximum extent practicable. The majority of trades are reported live on Twitter, but this cannot be guaranteed due to technical constraints.
My premium service is a research and opinion subscription. No personalized investment advice will ever be given. I am not registered as an investment adviser, nor do I have any plans to pursue this path. No statements should be construed as anything but opinion, and the liability of all investment decisions reside with the individual. Although I do my utmost to procure high quality information, investors should always do their own due diligence and fact check all research prior to making any investment decisions. Any direct engagements with readers should always be viewed as hypothetical examples or simple exchanges of opinion as nothing is ever classified as “advice” in any sense of the word.
I'm a computer programmer and teacher of computer programming. I am self-employed, and manage my own SEP/IRA and investments for retirement.
My personal investing goal is to own a portfolio of dividend growth companies such that:
1) The overall portfolio dividend income is sufficient to pay for all of my routine retirement expenses. I do not ever want to be forced to sell something to produce cash, especially when my asset prices are down. [I have no objection to occasionally choosing to sell something to pay for a one-time expense such as a vacation or a gift.]
2) The overall portfolio dividend income rises each year by more than the rate of inflation, so that my purchasing power does not erode over time.
I invest primarily in David Fish's lists of Dividend Champions, Dividend Contenders, and Dividend Challengers. See http://www.dripinvesting.org/tools for those lists.
I do not invest in MLP's or BDC's or CEF's or preferreds.
I maintain a free web site that contains dividend histories for all of David Fish's Dividend Champions, Contenders and Challengers: http://www.tessellation.com/dividends
Chris DeMuth Jr. is the founder of Rangeley Capital LLC. Rangeley is an investment firm that focuses on event driven, value-oriented investment opportunities. Rangeley Capital and his value investing forum, Sifting the World (StW), search the world for misplaced bets. Rangeley exploits them for its investors and then Mr. DeMuth writes about them on StW.
I had my first passbook account in the 1960s, and lost money in the 1987 crash. Subsequently, I have run investor chat rooms and an investing blog. I also am a published author and write a film animation blog at animatedfilmreviews.filminspector.com.
I bought my first Manhattan property in 1993 and also own property in Colorado. I enjoy investing in real estate and writing about it. I invest in income stocks such as REITs and consider that my area of expertise.
Oh, and I was mentioned in "Scam Dogs And Mo-Mo Mamas: Inside the Wild and Woolly World of Internet Stock Trading" (2000), by Wall Street Journal reporter John R. Emshwiller, a good guy. It's about the bad old dot.com days.
Contributing columnist for Real Money and TheStreet.com. BA in History from Bemidji State in Minnesota. I went on to learn Chinese at National Taiwan University in Taipei.
I worked in mortgage sales at Countrywide and Bank of America until 2010 when I decided to relocate to Taiwan.
I'm the author of five published books, an investor and a cancer survivor. I got my start thirty-two years ago doing research for a UCLA economics professor who wrote a stock-picking newsletter. I have been involved in information technology, dental and medical research (former clinical editor with Dentistry Today magazine) and software design. Right now, I'm finishing my sixth book, and writing articles on Seeking Alpha for others who (like me) enjoy doing extensive investment research and profiting from it.
Accounting degree from SUNY , Vietnam Vet and retired Army (Infantry) Major (Active Duty and USAR) . Retired Dept of Defense Supervisory Auditor and now full time (pending spouse approval on a recurring basis) Trader.
However I am mainly a DGI investor, but into total return w/ minimal dividends in my taxable portfolio and trading account.
I am no market wizard, as the Market has been a humbling mistress. However despite missteps I have been able, over 4 decades, to build a 7 digit portfolio.
Stocks, Real Estate, and gas leases (these 2 were stumbled upon just as I am a bumbling handy man and an avid outdoorsman) have blessed me beyond my humble expectations. Over the past few years I have enjoyed the wisdom of Chowder, Dave C., Rose, George A., DVK, Chuck C. and countless others who I look on as inspirational ,filled with common sense.
Reuben Gregg Brewer spent about 15 years at world renowned Value Line, the Publisher of The Value Line Investment Survey. During this time he worked in various facets of the company's research efforts, including equities, mutual funds, convertibles, and options. For six years, he directed all of the company's research efforts as Value Line's Executive Director of Research. Today he writes about the things that interest him.
Time management is essential to monitoring a 47 position portfolio. My 1st comment concludes with "Rich-unck:xx hrs"; I uncheck from the article to avoid repetitive comments, nonsense, and (most) arguments. I extend another XX hrs when I respond to a question or comment...I also respond to all PMs.
BACKGROUND My journey as a self-directed investor (SDI) began in 1973, and resulted in financial independence at age 52, which also allowed me to retire from corporate life the following year (Feb 1995).
I have no special knowledge not attainable by others who also dedicate themselves to the study of the economy, market, and stocks...I could cease all portfolio management today, and place it with a professional manager; however, I enjoy the psychic and financial rewards. Alternatively, I could become a passive investor via mutual funds and/or index ETFs (those works too! ). With few exceptions, As a rule, Rich only discusses his IRA here--it is only a portion of his and Joyce’s investment assets.
INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY If you ‘lived for today’ over the past 5 or 6 decades, you better invest in lottery tickets. The most probable path to a financially secure retirement is the product of an investment program (either active or passive) started when relatively young; living on less than all your after-tax income (saving means delayed gratification); and either self-directed or via professional management, adopting a sensible strategy suitable to age and comfort zone. There is wisdom in flexibility, diversification, and not being life-long wed to any strategy. It is appropriate to take greater risk for greater rewards (sensible growth stocks) when younger, as those are our lowest earnings years combined with our highest expense years--in the years between early investment and retirement, investments in solid growth companies can double 8 times or more.
There is time to adjust allocations to a more conservative strategy when closer to retirement. Never assume you have an information edge over the professionals. Time-in-the-market is your principle advantage. When/if you become interested in dividend stocks, never forget both price return and dividends compound, and price more so.
Financial independence is achieved when one has sufficient confidence his/her lifestyle will not change significantly, regardless of the potential depth or breadth of decline suffered by their portfolio--including a prolonged series of bear markets such as 1929-37. True, the recent 18-month bear market ending mid-2009, was deep--but also too brief to consider its lack of widespread dividend cuts to be as proof a portfolio of dividend-payers won't suffer income losses in a more prolonged decline (i.e., no portfolio is "dividend bulletproof").
The balance of this profile is lengthy, and likely not helpful to passive investors who simply go along for the ride, their portfolios bobbing up and down like flotsam in the ocean; their course always subject to the whims of winds, waves, and trends...THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING!
PORTFOLIO GOALS Now in my 70s, it’s no longer appropriate to engage in the growth strategies applied in wealth accumulation. As a more conservative investor, 100% of his portfolio consists of dividend-payers. 95% of positions have investment grade credit ratings (the lone exception is a REIT).This combination, along with having companies in 10 of the 11 S&P GICS sectors (none in Materials at this time) provide a measure of diversification. This IRA portfolio holds no bonds, though bonds and other investments are held elsewhere.
Maximizing total return and wealth preservation are mutually exclusive. A key observation: Having the capacity for risk is not the same as having the tolerance for it!
Rich’s objective is now a ‘smoother-ride’ that levels out the market’s peaks and valleys (limit losses, trim notable excess valuation). That smoother ride in an all-equity portfolio cannot be achieved without active management and continuous monitoring of positions--therefore TIME is an essential input to his portfolio management. Active management does not’ means frequent changes, as it is not unusual for a quarter or more to pass between a trimming or sale (nonetheless, when a company fundamentals change, or a mistake is made, corrective action is taken.)
STRATEGY SINCE 2008 Rich targets both legs of TOTAL RETURN (distributions + price change). His Growth & Income strategy often focuses on VALUE investing tactics applied to dividend-payers. Value investors seek out unpopular, companies most investors are avoiding (i.e., fundamentals have declined but credit rating is strong, BoD has implemented a rational recovery plan, and the dividend not in danger). Value investors seek to be paid to wait for other investors to recognize the stock’s value and assign it a greater share price. In any event, value stock or growth stock, Rich always seeks a ‘margin of safety’--no shares are bought at prices >FV, and his margin of safety is derived from dividends paid, price appreciation, and rising FV over time.
In all cases, value or growth, Rich selects well-established dividend-paying companies having a high-probability of growing earnings (growth of earnings is ESSENTIAL to growth of price and dividends). He tends to be flexible, forward looking, reactive to changing fundamentals, and willing to admit a mistake so action follows.
SDI is not easy, success is not assured, and in recent decades, advice from academics, and investment coaches, almost universally recommend index funds. Those NOT having the prerequisite time and interest are unlikely to develop the requisite skills for stock investing--thus the probability strongly suggests most newbies would be better served by indexing (Ben Graham wrote favorably of indexing). However, when done successfully, self-directed stock investing can offer rich psychic and financial rewards.
CORE PORTFOLIO Presently, +/-30 equities. Core holdings dominate at about 65% of total portfolio positions. Favored are traditional, large- and mid-cap, low-beta, best/near-best in class, institutional-owned, moaty, dividend-paying, value and growth stocks, having investment-grade debt ratings, and representing the consumer staples, healthcare, utilities, and telecom sectors.
OPPORTUNISTIC PORTFOLIO The remaining 15+ positions consist of equally well-known dividend-payers found among widely-owned cyclicals, such as financial, industrials, consumer discretionary, technology, real estate, and energy sectors are sensitive to the economy. In an expanding economy, cyclicals typically grow their earnings (and dividends) faster than do the typically slower-growing core companies. But because the reverse is also true, in a contracting economy, these positions are intended to be heavily trimmed to preserve gains as the economy peaks and shows evidence of decline. Some are susceptible to quite significant price declines when Mr. Market assumes their will suffer reduced earnings, and sometimes dividend-freezes/cuts, in anticipation of those events.
Rich is sometimes fully-invested, but unlike some, observes no such rule. Building a large cash cushion at the front-end of a correction/bear market (-20%) provides the dry powder required to both cushion the market's decline, and also creates the cash required to purchase excellent companies at below FV prices (without having to sell a position he wants to keep!).
TRIMMING POSITIONS When positions in either portfolio become significantly overvalued, they are trimmed by 5-10%, and the proceeds applied to fairly valued companies before the (almost always) temporary gift of over-valuation reverts to the price mean. If the position continues to advance, and absent other information, the position will be trimmed again. Added benefits to selective trimming include (1) serves as a more sensible method of rebalancing (as opposed to automatic--professionals do not use such a meat cleaver); (2) reduces the position's remaining Capital at Risk (which may suggest room for additional shares within an otherwise full position), and (3) provides the necessary dry powder to buy other shares at FV or below.
OTHER INTERESTS As we age, the importance of family grows. Rich has long volunteered in his community; over the years has served with distinction as member/chair of a number of advisory committees. Assisting others on SA is also a source of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Finally, having been blessed by years of excellent investment performance, Joyce and Rich have long been avid world travelers, and have visited over 60 countries over a span of 30 years (his SA avatar reflects the Taj Mahal in his sun glasses). They reside in Michigan--for 9 months of beauty, bliss, and family, and thoroughly enjoy wintering in equally beautiful Naples FL--for 3 months of sunny warmth and relaxation.
Life is good--it's been an unbelievably awesome ride!
I started trading on a permanent scale five years ago. My goal is to create a stable portfolio over a period of time, whichs generates good stock- and dividend returns. I have a fundamentel approach towards investments decisions. Further, I have a broad experience in tax- and legal advisory (e.g. music rights, corporate income tax, value added tax and salary tax), auditing of financial statements, business consultancy, administrative services and assembling financial statements. My experience covers a wide variety of clients and companies with specific knowledge of the music and related busines.
Williams Equity Research analyzes trading strategy, individual stocks, asset classes, market sectors, and risk to reward parameters in order to provide valuable insight to the Seeking Alpha community.
The author has over 10 years of experience in the financial markets working in areas of equities trading, complex product analysis, and risk management, as well as a graduate level education in the areas of petroleum engineering (full), law (partial), and finance (MBA, partial).
I am an individual investor. My professional background is in the finance area. I have managed my own investments for over 30 years. For most of that time, my focus was on portfolio building using individual stocks. About 5 years ago, I shifted my focus to investing via ETFs. I have found that this has greatly simplified my investment style yet simultaneously increased the scope and diversification of my portfolio.
I firmly believe that the benefits of investing, and the market, should be understandable and available to everyone, including individuals who may have little or no financial background. My hope is to explain concepts simply, taking much of the mystery and accompanying fear out of the process. I look forward to enjoying the journey with everyone who decides to follow me, and hope I can make a difference in someone's life.
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