I am 60 years old,retired, have a retirement pension and income from dividends stocks, some mutual funds. It's a little late in the day for me (60 years old) ....but trying to grow my dividend stock positions. Investing about 30 years, mostly with mutual fundsbut lowering my exposure. The last 4 years I have change my interest to dividend paying stocks. Very conservitive investor.....preservation of capital About 50% assets in traditional ira, 20% in roth ira, 30 individual money.
At Valuentum, we think the best opportunities arise from a complete understanding of all investing disciplines in order to identify the most attractive stocks at any given time. Valuentum therefore analyzes each stock across a wide spectrum of philosophies, from deep value through momentum investing. We think companies that are attractive from a number of investment perspectives--whether it be growth, value, momentum, etc.--have the greatest probability of capital appreciation and relative outperformance. The more investors that are interested in the stock for reasons based on their respective investment mandates, the more likely it will move higher.
Brian Nelson is the President of Equity Research at Valuentum Securities, an investment research firm serving individual and institutional investors, as well as financial advisors. Before founding Valuentum, Mr. Nelson worked as a director at Morningstar, where he was responsible for training and methodology development within the firm's equity and credit research department. Prior to that position, he served as a senior industrials securities analyst, covering aerospace, airlines, construction and environmental services companies. Before joining Morningstar in February 2006, Mr. Nelson worked for a small capitalization fund covering a variety of sectors for an aggressive growth investment management firm in Chicago. He holds a Bachelor's degree in finance and a minor in mathematics, magna cum laude, from Benedictine University. Mr. Nelson has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Get to Know Brian:
Brian led the charge in developing Morningstar's issuer credit ratings, developing and rolling-out one of the firm's proprietary credit metrics, the Cash Flow Cushion. http://select.morningstar.com/welcome/credit/pdfs/Morningstar_CashFlowCushion.pdf
Brian is frequently quoted in the media and has been a frequent guest on Nightly Business Report, Bloomberg TV, and the Money Show.
Mr. Nelson is very experienced in valuing equities, developing Morningstar's discounted cash-flow model used to derive the fair value estimates for the company's entire equity coverage universe.
Brian worked on a small cap fund and a micro cap fund that were ranked within the top 10th percentile and top 1st percentile within the Small Cap Lipper Growth Universe, respectively, in 2005.
Mr. Nelson is also a contributor to Seeking Alpha and an opinion leader in the Industrial Goods space.
You can reach Brian at email@example.com.
Please read our Disclaimer that applies to all articles published on Seeking Alpha: http://www.valuentum.com/categories/20110613
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An investor with circa 30 years of professional, managerial and financial experience, gathered through both private-individual activities as well as asset management type of roles.
I'm involved in running a leveraged fixed-income, absolute return, hedge fund that aims at providing its investors with double-digit returns, per annum. The fund runs a fast, frequent and furious trading strategy and it focuses on the very short term. Definitely not a Buy & Hold!
I'm also advising and consulting to private individuals, mostly HNWI that I had been serving through many years of working within the private banking, wealth management and asset management arenas. This activity focuses on the long run and it's mostly based on a Buy & Hold strategy.
Risk management is at the very core of our essence and while we normally take LONG-naked positions, we constantly hedge our positions, in order to protect the downside, that usually occurs at times when you least expect that to take place...
I cover all asset-classes though mostly focusing on cash cows and high dividend paying "machines" that may generate high (total) returns: Interest-sensitive, income-generating, instruments, e.g. Bonds, REITs, BDCs, Preferred Shares, MLPs, etc. combined with a variety of high-risk, growth and value stocks.
I believe and invest for the long run but I'm very minded of the short run too. While it's possible to make a massive-quick "kill", here and there, good things usually come in small packages; so do returns. Therefore, I (hope but) don't expect my investments to double in value over a short period of time. I do, however, aim at an annual double-digit returns on average, preferably on an absolute basis, i.e. regardless of markets' returns and directions.
Timing is Everything! While investors can't time the market, I believe that this applies only to the long term. In the short-term (a couple of months) one can and should pick the right moment and the right entry point, based on his subjective-personal preferences, risk aversion and goals. Long-term, strategy/macro, investment decisions can't be timed while short-term, implementation/micro, investment decision, can!
When it comes to investments and trading I believe that the most important virtues are healthy common sense, general wisdom, sufficient research, vast experience, strive for excellence, ongoing willingness to learn, minimum ego, maximum patience, ability to withstand (enormous) pressure/s, strict discipline and a lot of luck!...
*** Hi readers, there will likely be a delay in responding to all public and private comments over the next week as I am in the process of updating all spreadsheets / models in regards to various company quarterly results. I appreciate your understanding beforehand on any delayed responses. ***
I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) (currently do not have a private practice). I have also been a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for 17 years (CFF as well). I am currently employed with a global accounting firm in the Northeast area (partner). I have a masters degree in accounting + legal studies. I have audit, tax, and consulting experience with entities in the following sectors: closed-end funds, energy, financials, healthcare, homebuilders, pharmaceuticals, private equity, REITs, and telecoms. I've also have experience with C-corps., estates, high net worth individuals, LLCs, LLPs, S-corps., and trusts. I am a casual individual investor. My investing fundamentals are based on both qualitative and quantitative information. By using my analytical skills, I create specific investing ideas/strategies. I am more of a longer-term investor as opposed to day-trading.
Previous Quarterly Projection Article’s Performance vs. Actual Results:
# of Projections Stated Within All Articles: 169
# of Projections PENDING: 5
# of Projections 100% Accurate or Within Range: 157
# of Projections Inaccurate or Outside of Range: 12
Projection “Within Range” Success Rate: 157 / 169 = 92.9%
Please see the list at the bottom of this profile for the details of my past projections.
Disclaimer: I cannot own and will not give an opinion on any investments my current employer has any direct or indirect professional services with (accounting, audit, tax, consulting, etc.). This mainly consists of various mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETF's). This includes all stocks held within these particular investment vehicles. This specified list is updated monthly. As such, most large-cap stocks are "off the table" regarding my articles. All accounting insight, analysis, and opinions stated within any articles I write (in regards to a specified stock) are entirely from my own personal research and analysis. I believe my articles are both informative and in some cases educational.
NOTE: A growing number of readers/investors, analysts, and representatives of firms have requested to be provided with my "spreadsheets/models" to help better understand certain companies/sectors. My researched data is several files of 100+ spreadsheets/models containing both stocks I write about on S.A. and stocks I choose to not write about on S.A. To reduce the repeated requests to provide such data, these spreadsheets/models are ALL linked together. As such, all current and future requests to "share" my data/models will be politely declined. Thanks for your understanding regarding this subject.
I appreciate my loyal readers and I’ll continue to try to provide high quality, in-depth articles.
NOTE: Below are the stocks I currently cover as of July 2016:
Stocks Covered In Great Detail (11 mREITs; 11 BDCs; 11 Other Sectors): ACAP (Proposed Spin-Off), ACAS, ACSF, AGNC, AINV, ANH, ARCC, ARR, CMO, CYS, FSAM, FSC, FSFR, GBDC, GOOG, GPRO, HTS, MAIN, MCC, MO, MTGE, NEWT, NLY, NVS, NYMT, ORC, PFAM (Proposed Spin-Off) PSEC, PM, PRIT (Proposed Spin-Off) PYLD (Proposed Spin-Off), SLRC TRP, and WMC.
Stocks Covered In Modest Detail (10 mREITs; 3 Other Sectors): AI, AMTG, BABA, EFC, IVR, JMI, MFA, MITT, NRZ (New), PHM, PMT, SLRC, TOL, TWO
Commonly Asked Questions:
Question 1): If you are only paid per article, why make your articles so long / detailed?
- I like to provide the “nuts and bolts” of a company. As such, I strive for my articles to have some sort of “hard to obtain” facts / figures. From this data, I like to fully discuss / analyze specific topics within a particular stock. This mainly consists of a quarterly projection article and a series of articles on a company’s dividend sustainability. In certain instances, I also write articles in regards to specific, material events that occur during a quarter.
- I believe a company’s quarterly results and upcoming dividend declarations are two of the most important topics readers are requesting information on. My analysis takes the “average” article several steps further to allow readers to have access to information that is rare to public viewership. In doing so, I believe my articles are both beneficial and educational for most readers.
Question 2): How come you only write 1-2 articles a week (would like to see more)?
- As stated in my profile above, I have a full-time professional career. I write / analyze stocks in my “free time”. To provide these types of high quality / in-depth articles, I can’t see writing more than 2 articles a week. I believe “quality” should always be a higher priority versus “quantity”.
- As many readers should know by now (if you’ve followed me for a while), I not here for the monetary rewards. If that was the case, I’d write 5+ weekly articles and provide little to no engagement in each article’s comment section. I believe the comments section is as important as the article themselves b/c readers have a wide range of questions in relation to each article or the sector in general.
Question 3): What do you personally gain from writing these articles?
- I am not here trying to promote a company, book, or website. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, that’s just not what I’m about. I’m here for the “average Joe”.
- When I decided to write these articles, I based it on the notion I am filling a “special niche” per se. Using skills that have been built up over my professional career, my articles usually provide unique information that most writers either a) don’t have the technical expertise to provide or b) don’t bother providing due to the time it takes to compile such data. As such, I believe the S.A. community benefits from my articles. I solely do this b/c it’s a passion of mine and I like helping readers have accurate, reliable data that is not readily available. Yes, I understand this may seem “hard to believe” in this day and age. However, I believe some of my more “seasoned” followers know this aspect of my generosity / personality. Also, in the past there were numerous misstated “facts / notions” in various articles I saw being written by the stocks I currently cover. Since I began to write my articles here, these misstatements / misnomers have decreased which is good for this forum.
Question 4): How come you do not write about more stocks?
- To give readers the level of detail that I provide in my articles, I amass large amounts of data every quarter (or even weekly). As a direct result, a large amount of time is consumed by obtaining / analyzing this data. This would only increase if I expanded my researched portfolio of stocks.
- If I expanded the stocks I research, it would most likely take away the quality of other articles I currently am writing about. Again, this gets back to the “quality vs. quantity” metric.
- There is a fairly large range of stocks / investment vehicles I cannot write about / provide an opinion on due to various conflicts of interests (regarding my professional career). This is a topic I take VERY seriously. As such, I take all necessary precautions to avoid any remote possibility of a conflict of interest occurring.
Detailed Past Projection List:
NAV as of 3/31/2014: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($10.67 projected vs. $10.68 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2014: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($10.56 projected vs. $10.56 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2014: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($10.48 projected vs. $10.47 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2014: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($10.34 projected vs. $10.35 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2015: $0.03 per share variance; within range ($10.27 projected vs. $10.30 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2015: $0.06 per share variance; within range ($10.25 projected vs. $10.31 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2015: $0.17 per share variance; within range but at the higher end ($10.00 projected vs. $10.17 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2015: $0.25 per share variance; slightly outside range; lower end ($9.90 projected vs. $9.65 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2016: $0.11 per share variance; within range ($9.50 projected vs. $9.61 actual)
Fiscal Q3 2016 NII: $0.00 per share variance; within range ($0.25 projected vs. $0.25 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q4 2014: Stated dividend was currently safe (no specific dividend declarations) which turned out to be correct for April 2014 – June 2014 dividends declared
Dividends for Fiscal Q1 2015: 100% accuracy (July. 2014 $0.110475 projected vs. $0.110475 actual) (Aug. 2014 $0.110500 projected vs. $0.110500 actual) (Sept. 2014 $0.110525 projected vs. $0.110525 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q2 2015: 100% accuracy (Oct. 2014 $0.110550 projected vs. $0.110550 actual) (Nov. 2014 $0.110575 projected vs. $0.110575 actual) (Dec. 2014 $0.110600 projected vs. $0.110600 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q3 2015^: (Jan. 2015 $0.110625 projected vs. $0.110625 actual) (Feb. 2015 $0.110650 projected vs. $0.0833 actual OUTSIDE RANGE) (Mar. 2015 $0.110675 projected vs. $0.0833 actual OUTSIDE RANGE)
^ = Correctly stated dividend would be cut. However, PSEC reduced dividends beginning in February 2015 and I projected the dividend decrease would occur in April 2015 (2 months earlier than projected)
Dividends for Fiscal Q4 2015: (April. 2015 was declared in December 2014 prior to my analysis for this quarter) 100% accuracy (May 2015 - June 2015 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q1 2016: 100% accuracy (July 2015 - September 2015 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q2 2016: 100% accuracy (October 2015 - December 2015 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q3 2016: 100% accuracy (January 2016 - March 2016 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q4 2016: 100% accuracy (April 2016 - June 2016 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual)
Dividends for Fiscal Q1 2017: 100% accuracy (July 2016 - August 2016 $0.0833 projected vs. $0.0833 actual) (September 2016 = PENDING)
BV as of 6/30/2013: $0.11 per share variance; within range ($25.40 projected vs. $25.51 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2013: $1.36 per share variance; MATERIALLY OUTSIDE RANGE ($26.63 projected vs. $25.27 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2013: $0.58 per share variance; within range lower end ($24.51 projected vs. $23.93 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2014: $0.04 per share variance; within range ($24.45 projected vs. $24.49 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2014: $0.66 per share variance; within range higher end ($25.60 projected vs. $26.26 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2014: $0.35 per share variance; within range ($25.19 projected vs. $25.54 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2014: $0.29 per share variance; within range ($25.45 projected vs. $25.74 actual)
Comprehensive Income for Q1 2015: $0.02 per share variance; within range ($0.48 per share projected vs. $0.46 per share actual)
BV as of 3/31/2015: $0.11 per share variance; within range ($25.64 projected vs. $25.53 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2015: $0.24 per share variance; within range ($24.24 projected vs. $24.00 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2015: $0.44 per share variance; within range lower end ($23.44 projected vs. $23.00 actual)
BV as of 10/31/2015: $0.06 per share variance; within my monthly $0.30 per share range ($22.98 projected vs. $23.04 actual)
BV as of 11/30/2015: $0.27 per share variance; within my monthly $0.30 per share range ($22.25 projected vs. $22.52 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2015: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($22.60 projected vs. $22.59 actual)
BV as of 1/31/2016: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($22.39 projected vs. $22.40 actual)
BV as of 2/29/2016: $0.09 per share variance; within range ($22.82 projected vs. $22.73 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2016: $0.16 per share variance; within range ($22.25 projected vs. $22.09 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2016: $0.12 per share variance; within range ($22.10 projected vs. $22.22 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2013: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($1.25 projected vs. $1.25 actual)
Dividend for Q2 2013: Correctly stated dividend cut would occur; $0.15 per share variance; within range higher end ($0.90 projected vs. $1.05 actual)
Dividend for Q3 2013: Correctly stated another dividend cut would occur; $0.10 per share variance; within range ($0.90 projected vs. $0.80 actual)
Dividend for Q4 2013: Correctly stated another dividend cut would occur; $0.05 per share variance; within range ($0.60 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2014: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q2 2014: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q3 2014: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for November 2014 - April 2015: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; 100% accuracy ($0.22 projected vs. $0.22 actual)
Dividend for May 2015: Company declared dividend several weeks ahead of schedule; prior to my quarterly dividend sustainability analysis. As such, no dividend projection was provided for May 2015:
Dividend for June 2015 - August 2015: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; 100% accuracy ($0.20 projected vs. $0.20 actual)
Dividend for September 2015*: INCORRECTLY stated dividend would modestly reduced; ($0.18 projected vs. $0.20 actual)
Dividend for October and November 2015: Not provided but stated increased risk to reduction by end of 2015 / early 2016.
Dividend for December 2015**: Stated dividend would be stable; highest probability ($0.20 projected vs. $0.20 actual)
Dividend Declaration for January 2016: Not provided due to time constraints.
Dividend for February 2016 - July 2016: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; 100% accuracy ($0.20 projected vs. $0.20 actual)
Dividend for August 2016 - AGNC declared a ($0.02) per share decrease prior to my quarterly dividend sustainability analysis. However, in my prior quarter's analysis, I stated I thought AGNC's monthly dividend should be stable over the near-term (3-6 months). As such, I conclude this in an INCORRECT forward projection.
BV as of 12/31/2013***: $0.40 per share variance; within range lower end ($21.87 projected vs. $21.47 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2014***: $0.16 per share variance; within range ($21.94 projected vs. $21.78 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2014***: $0.13 per share variance; within range ($22.60 projected vs. $22.73 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2014***: $0.29 per share variance; within range ($21.95 projected vs. $22.24 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2014***: $0.19 per share variance; within range ($22.10 projected vs. $21.91 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2015***: $0.20 per share variance; within range ($21.80 projected vs. $22.00 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2015***: $0.30 per share variance; within range ($22.00 projected vs. $21.70 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2015***: $0.17 per share variance; within range ($20.10 projected vs. $19.93 actual); excluding "one-time" ($0.20) per share impairment charge related to RCS; $0.03 per share variance ($20.10 projected vs. $20.13 actual; excluding impairment charge).
BV as of 12/31/2015***: $0.16 per share variance; within range ($19.50 projected vs. $19.66 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2016***: $0.22 per share variance; within range ($19.25 projected vs. $19.03 actual)
Dividend for Q3 2013***: Correctly stated dividend would be modestly cut; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.70 projected vs. $0.70 actual)
Dividend for Q4 2013***: Correctly stated dividend would be slightly cut; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2014***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q2 2014 - Q4 2014***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.65 projected vs. $0.65 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2015***: INCORRECTLY stated dividend would be stable; ($0.15) per share variance; ($0.65 projected vs. $0.50 actual) In my opinion, the severity of this cut was very disappointing.
Dividend for Q2 2015***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.50 projected vs. $0.50 actual)
Dividend for Q3 2015***: INCORRECTLY stated dividend would be stable; ($0.10) per share variance; ($0.50 projected vs. $0.40 actual) In my opinion, the severity of this cut was very disappointing once again.
Dividend for Q4 2015 - Q2 2016***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.40 projected vs. $0.40 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2014***: $0.10 per share variance; within range ($12.40 projected vs. $12.30 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2014***: $0.43 per share variance; SLIGHTLY OUTSIDE RANGE higher end ($12.80 projected vs. $13.23 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2014***: $0.07 per share variance; within range ($12.95 projected vs. $12.88 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2014***: $0.15 per share variance; within range ($12.95 projected vs. $13.10 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2015***: $0.32 per share variance; SLIGHTLY OUTSIDE RANGE; lower end ($13.20 projected vs. $12.88 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2015***: $0.17 per share variance; within range ($12.15 projected vs. $12.32 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2015***: $0.16 per share variance; within range ($12.15 projected vs. $11.99 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2015***: $0.13 per share variance; within range ($12.60 projected vs. $12.73 actual) (most of the variance was in relation to the accretive effect of Q4 2015 share repurchases)
BV as of 3/31/2016***: $0.04 per share variance; within range ($11.65 projected vs. $11.61 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2014 - Q1 2015***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.30 projected vs. $0.30 actual)
Dividend for Q2 2015***: INCORRECTLY stated dividend would be reduced; $0.05 per share variance; ($0.25 projected vs. $0.30 actual)
Dividend for Q3 2015 - Q2 2016***: Correctly stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.30 projected vs. $0.30 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2013: $0.03 per share variance; within range ($9.87 projected vs. $9.90 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2013: $0.04 per share variance; within range ($9.94 projected vs. $9.90 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2013: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($9.86 projected vs. $9.85 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2013: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($9.85 projected vs. $9.85 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2014: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($9.81 projected vs. $9.81 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2014: $0.06 per share variance; within range lower end ($9.77 projected vs. $9.71 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2014: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($9.65 projected vs. $9.64 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2014: $0.37 per share variance; MATERIALLY OUTSIDE RANGE ($9.54 projected vs. $9.17 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2015: $0.21 per share variance; OUTSIDE RANGE ($8.97 projected vs. $9.18 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2015: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($9.13 projected vs. $9.13 actual) (projections + article were provided to certain interested parties outside S.A.)
NAV as of 9/30/2015: $0.05 per share variance; within range ($8.95 projected vs. $9.00 actual) (projections + analysis were provided to certain interested parties; did not have enough time to provide an article)
FSC’s Dividend Sustainability Analysis Through Fiscal Q3 2013: Stated moderate to material dividend cut is needed; 100% accurate because company cut dividend beginning in December 2013
Dividend for Fiscal Q3 2015****: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (April 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (May 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (June 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual)
Dividend for September - February 2016****: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (September 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (October 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (November 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (December 2015 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (January 2016 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual) (February 2016 $0.06 projected vs. $0.06 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2013: $0.12 per share variance; within range lower end (wider range b/c first full quarter of operations) ($15.22 projected vs. $15.10 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2014: $0.03 per share variance; within range ($15.13 projected vs. $15.10 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2014: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($15.14 projected vs. $15.13 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2014: $0.02 per share variance; within range ($12.63 projected vs. $12.65 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2014: $0.10 per share variance; within range (at lowest end) ($12.635 projected vs. $12.534 actual)
NAV as of 3/31/2015: $0.08 per share variance; within range ($12.38 projected vs. $12.46 actual)
NAV as of 6/30/2015: $0.15 per share variance; within range (at lowest end) ($12.38 projected vs. $12.23 actual)
NAV as of 9/30/2015: $0.18 per share variance; within range (at higher end) ($11.93 projected vs. $12.11 actual)
NAV as of 12/31/2015: Not provided to readers due to the fact the company "pre-announced" NAV prior to my quarterly projection analysis (due to a material reduction)
NAV as of 3/31/2016: $0.17 per share variance; within range (at higher end) ($11.01 projected vs. $11.18 actual)
Dividend Declaration for December 2015 - February 2016: Correctly stated very low probability (10%) for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (December 2015 $0.075 projected vs. $0.075 actual) (January 2016 $0.075 projected vs. $0.075 actual) (February 2016 $0.075 projected vs. $0.075 actual)
Dividend Sustainability Analysis Through Q4 2013: Stated material dividend cut was needed as soon as the next quarter; 100% accurate because company cut dividend in Q1 2014 from $0.80 per share (regular dividend portion) to $0.67 per share.
Dividend for Q4 2014*****: Stated dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.70 projected vs. $0.70 actual)
Dividend for Q1 2015***: Stated dividend would be "relatively" stable; accurate because company only cut its dividend by ($0.03) per share which, when calculated, was only a "minor" (< 5%) reduction
Dividend for Q2 2015***: Stated heightened risk for another minor - modest dividend reduction; accurate because company cut its dividend by ($0.03) per share which, when calculated, was another "minor" (< 5%) reduction
Dividend for Q3 2015: Correctly stated dividend would be modestly cut; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.60 projected vs. $0.60 actual
Dividend for Q3 2015*****: Stated dividend had a modest to high probability (50% - 75%) of being reduced; 100% accurate because company reduced monthly dividends from $0.18 per share to $0.14 per share beginning in July 2015.
Dividend for August 2015 - July 2016: Correctly stated each month dividend would be stable; 100% accuracy ($0.14 projected vs. $0.14 actual)
BV as of 9/30/2015: $0.06 per share variance; within range ($11.63 projected vs. $11.69 actual)
BV as of 12/31/2015: $0.09 per share variance; within range ($11.74 projected vs. $11.65 actual)
BV as of 3/31/2016: $0.09 per share variance; within range ($11.10 projected vs. $11.01 actual)
BV as of 6/30/2016: $0.01 per share variance; within range ($10.86 projected vs. $10.85 actual)
Dividend Declaration for Calendar Q2 2015****: Correctly stated low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (April 2015 $0.175 projected vs. $0.175 actual) (May 2015 $0.175 projected vs. $0.175 actual) (June 2015 $0.175 projected vs. $0.175 actual).
Dividend Declaration for September - November 2015: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (September 2015 $0.175 - $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (October 2015 $0.175 - $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (November 2015 $0.175 - $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual).
Special Periodic Dividend Declaration for 2015: Correctly stated high probability of a special periodic dividend paid in December 2015; exactly at my projected mean: ($0.25 - $0.30 projected vs. $0.275 actual).
Dividend Declaration for December 2015 - February 2016: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (December 2015 $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (January 2016 $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (February 2016 $0.18 projected vs. $0.180 actual).
Dividend Declaration for March 2016 - May 2016: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (March 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (April 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (May 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual).
Dividend Declaration for June 2016 - August 2016: Correctly stated very low risk for a dividend reduction; dividend would be stable; $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy (June 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (July 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual) (August 2016 $0.18 - $0.185 projected vs. $0.180 actual).
Special Periodic Dividend Declaration for First-Half 2016: Correctly stated high probability of a special periodic dividend paid in June 2016; exactly at my projected mean: ($0.25 - $0.30 projected vs. $0.275 actual).
Q4 2015 Adjusted Diluted EPS: $0.00 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.67 projected vs. $0.67 per share actual)
Q1 2016 Adjusted Diluted EPS: $0.02 per share variance; within range lower end of $0.04 per share range ($0.70 projected vs. $0.72 per share actual)
Q2 2016 Adjusted Diluted EPS: $0.01 per share variance; 100% accuracy ($0.80 projected vs. $0.81 per share actual)
* = Stated there was a 60% probability dividend would be reduced to $0.18 per share; a 30% probability dividend would remain stable at $0.20 per share
** = Stated there was a 45% probability dividend would be reduced to $0.16 - $0.19 per share
*** = Provided within an AGNC article
**** = Provided within a PSEC article
***** = Provided within a NLY article
Dr. Charles Lieberman serves as chief investment officer for Advisors Capital Management L.L.C., a money management and investment advisory firm, servicing financial advisors and private clients throughout the country. Dr. Lieberman has overall responsibility for managing its three primary types of separate account portfolios, growth, growth with income, and income with growth.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelors degree in economics, he earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania before beginning his professional career as an academic at the University of Maryland and, subsequently, at Northwestern University. After five years in academia, Dr. Lieberman joined the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as head of its Monetary Analysis Staff before coming to Wall Street. At Morgan Stanley and Shearson Lehman Brothers, he focused on the debt and equity markets, respectively. In 1986, he joined Manufacturers Hanover Securities Corp. as chief economist and head of research and retained that position through the subsequent mergers with Chemical Bank and Chase Manhattan. During his 11-1/2 years with these banks, he worked intensively with the Bank’s clients, as well as the Bank’s trading desks and portfolio and sat on the Bank’s Markets Committee, which was responsible for funding, interest rate and currency risk management. He also traveled extensively on behalf of the Bank, both domestically and internationally, consulting with senior government officials and portfolio managers of some of the largest financial institutions in the world.
In 1997, he left Chase to found, along with co-founder Henry Kaufman, the global macro hedge fund Strategic Investors Management L.L.C. and to serve as its managing partner and principal strategist. In this role, Dr. Lieberman constructed leveraged investments (some hedged, some unhedged) on a global basis.
Dr. Lieberman is frequently quoted in the media. He has appeared often on CNBC, Bloomberg radio and television, CNN, CNNfn, The Nightly Business Report on PBS, Reuters Financial Television, Fox Business News, and the major television networks. He is often quoted by Bloomberg, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Barron’s, and numerous other domestic and international business publications.
Retired, late 50's
Hold CFP designation. Passed CFP exam Nov 2000
Author of "IRA: A Quck Reference Guide". Available on Amazon as an e-book.
Author of "Retirement Investing for INCOME ONLY: How to invest for relaible income in Retirement ONLY from Dividends"
My name is Ted Leach. I'm a 65-year-old investor focused on dividends in a Retirement Income Portfolio. I'm not yet in the distribution phase of retirement. After serving as a pastor for 40 years, I'm in a second career and I have two part-time jobs. As Director of Community & Property Care, I'm part of a management team that oversees 123 residential retirement units in multiple locations for a non-profit organization. I also serve a large congregation as a part-time associate pastor.
I've been a member of the National Association of Investment Clubs (NAIC) since 1982, which now operates as BetterInvesting.org. For many years as a volunteer I helped lead workshops to teach tools developed by NAIC to educate investors about how to do basic fundamental stock analysis. I continue to have a strong interest in investor education.
NAIC's historic "four principles" have been very helpful to me:
1) invest regularly throughout your lifetime;
2) invest in growth companies;
3) reinvest earnings and profits;
4) diversify by industry and size.
Bill Bengen's "4% Rule" concept inspired me to set a goal to create a retirement income portfolio of individual dividend growth stocks as a way to tap only dividend income from the portfolio as long as possible rather than selling assets.
Here is my current 25-stock portfolio:
- 5 stocks each with a 5.2% target allocation: JNJ, XOM, MSFT, PG, MMM
- 5 stocks each with a 4.4% target allocation: WMT, MRK, IBM, CMI, GPC
- 5 stocks each with a 3.6% target allocation: EMR, SO, WEC, CNP, HCP
- 5 stocks each with a 3.0% target allocation: PEP, T, O, EPD, WPC
- 5 stocks each with a 2.4% target allocation: UNP, NNN, STAG, MAIN, EVA.
Helpful mentors and colleagues include:
- Charles Allmon, former columnist for Better Investing, taught me to look for growth stocks
- Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor taught me the importance of intrinsic value
- Peter Lynch instilled confidence that the average citizen can win in the stock market
- Louis Rukeyser demonstrated how to ask probing questions about market conditions
- Brad Thomas introduced me to a host of real estate investment trusts
- Bob Wells' analytical discipline keeps me focused on dividend growth
- Lowell Miller's The Single Best Investment helped me focus on quality and safety
- David Van Knapp's holistic style of portfolio building helps me see the big picture
- David Fish and Factoids inspire me to keep digging for data
- Chowder reminds me that each buy is the purchase of a business
- BDC Buzz has helped me sift through business development companies
- Tom Konrad opened my mind to alternative energy investments
- George Fisher is a helpful "lookout" scanning the horizon for utility opportunities
- The Seeking Alpha community--both veterans and young contributors.
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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.
Light trader interested in dividend growth stocks. I own every S&P dividend aristocrat, and then some. The aristocrats form the foundation. I have ownership of more companies that I have placed on that foundation. I have several general rules about stocks. Rule #1: Do not buy a stock to sell it. Rule 2: Do not sell a stock you bought. Rule 3: If I am unsure if I should sell a stock, see Rules 1 & 2. Rule 4: If I really am going to sell a stock (fundamentals change, dividend frozen or cut, etc.,), then just sell it and do not look back. Rule 5: no foreign tax withholding (I do not want the money back later, I want it re-investing now, There are plenty of US and British dividend companies) and Rule 6: drip. drip. drip.
Mr. Leach spent his early years on a subsistence farm in western Michigan. He graduated at the top of his high school class which helped him land a scholarship to the University Michigan. Graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering and a minor in mathematics in 1981, Mr. Leach took his first professional job with Westinghouse Electric in Monroeville, PA.
Mr. Leach held several positions of increasing responsibility at Westinghouse, and Fluor Federal Services in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington State. While in Washington State, Mr. Leach completed his master’s of science degree in Environmental Engineering graduating summa cum laude in 1997 from Washington State University.
In 2003 and 2004 with Fluor Federal Services, Mr. Leach worked as a civilian contractor for the US Department of Defense in various middle east locations and the Philippines. In 2005, Mr. Leach joined the AREVA Group and spent two years in France. After returning stateside in 2006, Mr. Leach held various positions of increasing responsibility with AREVA Federal Services in South Carolina and North Carolina. Mr. Leach left the AREVA group in 2014 at the age of 56 and is now quasi-retired and focuses on his wife, his 15 year old son, and his investment portfolio.
Mr. Leach has been a consistent, avid, and successful investor for more than 30 years. His investment style is conservative and he primarily invests in income oriented equities, bonds, preferred stocks and mutual funds. Mr. Leach has written more than 50 articles on Seeking Alpha and other websites.
My wife and I are now retired. We live off SS and the income from our portfolio. My investments are all income producers and include dividend growth stocks like T and MO, some higher yielding low growth issues like PNNT. and others in between. About 25% of my income comes from fixed income preferred issues. When I was younger I was more into growth, but my goal was to switch to income and live off that. So that is what I have achieved today. I also work as a tax preparer for the 4 months of tax season.
My investment strategy is built around the creation of an income stream that will provide me with long term flexibility. I believe there are many ways to accomplish this goal from buying stocks that have an income component at value, to cash flow generating real estate investments to bond and bond equivalents. Each investor must know where they're trying to get to, then create a formula that works best for them. I choose to focus on income because it allows me to sleep more comfortably.
Retired, self-directed individual investor. Retired at 56 in March 2007 after 30 years with CA Superior Court with a modest lifetime pension and a small IRA now converted to a Roth. Native Californian, raised in the USAF and lived in various countries around the world, now reside in Sacramento, CA.
Discovered Seeking Alpha in late 2011 when I was ready to invest my IRA. I started using a method I dubbed DGI Lite using the Dogs of the CCCs lists for Dividend Growth. I changed over to high-yielders such as REITs and BDCs when I needed more income to move closer to family and buy a new home in 2013. Best move I could have made.
Retirement *is* all it's cracked up to be -- it's the best gig I've ever had!
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.
Eli Inkrot is a writer. Check out his website: thecurrencyoftime.com, his articles here on Seeking Alpha or his book - "You Don't Have A Money Problem" - on Amazon.com.
Additionally, here is a quick bio:
Eli has held the title of Vice President and Portfolio Manager at EDMP Inc. - a money management firm - along with Vice President for F.A.S.T. Graphs - a financial software company.
Prior to that, he began his investment career as an analyst in private real estate for a public pension fund. During his time in real estate he was the lead for a variety of accounts with net asset values totaling nearly two billion dollars. Eli received a Master’s in Finance from the University of Tampa where he earned “highest honors” whilst receiving the distinction of being named the “most outstanding graduate student.” He also holds undergraduate degrees in both Economics and Business Administration from Otterbein University, graduating “magna cum laude” with distinct honors in each major. During his tenure at Otterbein, Eli was a member of the varsity golf team, held the departmental Senator position for Business, Economics and Accounting and studied abroad in the Netherlands.
I am a buy and hold common stock investor. Warren Buffett is definitely my guru. He makes the most sense to me. I began investing in the stock market at age 14 in 1970 with money earned on my paper route. What I have done since 1970 is invest primarily in the Dividend Aristocrats whenever the stock market is relatively low. I have never sold a single share of stock except on the rare occasion when one of my stocks was bought out for cash and I was forced to sell.. I keep all of my stock certificates or direct registration statements in a safe deposit box at the bank. I do not automatically reinvest dividends. I only purchase stocks when I feel that the stock market is relatively low. Brown University, B. A., 1978. Below are the 35 stocks in my portfolio.
I am a market enthusiast and part-time trader. I started writing for Seeking Alpha in 2011, and it has been a tremendous opportunity and learning experience. I have been interested in the markets since elementary school, and hope to pursue a career in the investment management industry. I have been active in the markets for several years, and am primarily focused on long/short equities.
I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree from Lehigh University, where I double majored in Finance and Accounting, with a minor in History. My major track focused on Investments and Financial Analysis. While at Lehigh, I was the Head Portfolio Manager of the Investment Management Group, a student group that manages three portfolios, one long/short and two long only. I have had two internships, one a summer internship at a large bank, and another helping to manage the Lehigh University Endowment for nearly a year.
Disclaimer: Bill reminds investors to always due their own due diligence on any investment, and to consult their own financial adviser or representative when necessary. Any material provided is intended as general information only, and should not be considered or relied upon as a formal investment recommendation.
Semi-retired CPA. 55 years old. I am steadily relying on my investment income for retirement. My practice is slowly fading away and is a means to pay my health insurance and medical expenses.
Started investing thru my mother's account at age 14. I owe so much to my mother who taught me so much about investing. She had me keep her charting up for her. She had me watching the ticker on TV when it became available to the masses. I learned company ticker symbols using California 3 letter license plates in a game we would play whenever we drove anywhere. I learned her investment philosophy which was based on long term charting of stocks that had remained dormant for years hoping they were on the verge of breaking out to the upside. She was very successful using this methodology.
My mom had me sitting with her watching the old Wall Street Week, Agronsky & Co., Washington Week, Nightly Business Report, etc. I started out understanding next to nothing in the beginning but gradually began to understand everything. She emphasized importance of understanding the interrelationship of the economy and government because government could make or break your investments.
Our investment philosophies ended up being so different but I rely on that solid core I learned in those early years for so many things even to this day.
My focus is constructing a portfolio of solid total return investments. Too many investors focus on high income at any price or high risky income because they did not accumulate enough assets to lower their risk profile and desperately need or want a desired level of income and are taking way too much risk to get it. We all need income to live in a retirement time frame much longer than anyone could have expected when we were all young. We also need a greater measure of capital growth because life's highest expenses may be in our future and our assets must keep up with the higher cost of living in the future.
I was smashed to pieces like so many in late 2008. Had to lick my wounds and figure out how to move forward. I read an article by Prof. Timothy Considine (then at Univ of PA) in late 2008/early 2009 about the future of energy and I completely bought into it choosing the MLP space as the primary focus believing in an eventual recovery of MLPs but more importantly the story that 25 years of incredible infrastructure growth lay ahead and the MLPs were best suited to perform that service so the E&Ps maintain their capital for exploration and production.
Still licking my wounds I focused on the MLP sector in general believing in a general recovery meaning all boats would rise which they did. BUT, there comes a moment and I learned this from my mother, there comes a moment where the general part of a recovery must give way to an intense focus on the very best companies within the industry you believe in. So I moved from a general focus to specific best of breed MLPs. I chose based on an understanding of each MLP's asset map and future potential to build out. I focused on organic growth over acquisition growth because Wall Street has destroyed so many companies over the years playing the acquisition game. Prof. Considine's thesis of a long term infrastructure build out meant you had to choose companies with the financial firepower (balance sheet) and asset map that allowed for much more organic growth than competing MLPs whose history was more reliant on higher cost acquisition growth.
In this zero interest rate environment many sub-par MLPs could prosper but the trick was to find the best of breed that could prosper in a normalized interest rate world which is the next chapter in our economy. I also focused on MLPs that were starting to jettison their GPs. MMP was the first and they paid 11x ebitda to buy out their GP. BPL and NRY were among the last to buy out their GPs and paid 23-26x ebitda which was crazy and an indication of how late they were to the game. MMP has prospered big time while the latter two MLPs have faltered in large part because they paid too much and waited too long to buy out their GPs. I bought MMP when they made the announcement. Wall Street analysts were skeptical about MMP's move and thought 11x ebitda was too much to pay. These same analysts thought paying 10x ebitda for a pipeline acquisition was reasonable but understand they get a lot more fees from the latter than the former. I knew I was on to something very good and have a large portion of my assets in the MLPs that bought out their GPs.
So to boil it down I have MLPs as core and absent tax law changes will be a major factor in my retirement plan. I also own a few best of breed BDCs and some common stock with good dividend payout histories and histories of good growth in dividends.
I used the 2008/9 crash to convert my IRA to a ROTH. My first transfer out of my traditional IRA was AAPL at $167; sold in my ROTH for $596. My mom always said use tragedy and adversity to your advantage an converting to a ROTH was my greatest leap of faith.
When I was younger I did very well in growth stocks without dividends but I have reached an age where I do not want to work as hard as I have worked so I do not have that same salary backup behind me that allows for taking that level of risk. However my risk portion of the portfolio is more measured with stocks like AIG, LCC, and WMB.
I am an HNWI. Not meant to brag, simply to state that I have accomplished my dream and enjoy responding to SA writings to give some wisdom from lessons learned, ideas for what to look for in (specifically) MLP investments, and in the case of Mreits hopefully get a few people to understand they must start learning about interest rate cycles in order to successfully play the cycle. I dumped all Mreits in NOV 2012 because I could see the winds of change that very much paralleled the GNMA and GNMA fund breakdowns in the 1980s. When the time comes I will begin looking at bonds and preferred again because the cycle will eventually reach that point where it will make sense to own bonds and preferred but not yet.
Jason Merriam is publisher and editor of the Merriam Report providing innovative financial analysis based on dual cash-flow, accruals and capital productivity methodologies. An active investor for 35 years, he is also founder and president of Merriam Investor Services since 1990. MIS offers portfolio analysis and investment research services to institutional and retail investor clients. Prior to MIS, Jason was managing partner for Beach and Sea Group, a San Diego based investment LP. Merriam studied corporate finance and accounting with Robert J. Westervelt, retired senior VP of Finance at Warner Lambert and Pfizer. As Mr. Westervelt's intern, Jason assisted and was responsible for financial statement analysis, evaluation of earnings-quality, credit/liquidity/dividend assessment, etc. This opportunity allowed Jason to advance his research of the novel dual cash-flow methodology (based on the pioneering work of Harry Ernst and Jeffrey Fotta in the 1990's). Jason has 22 years experience in active portfolio management and asset allocation. Media appearances include: CNBC, MarketWatch, New York Times and San Diego Union Tribune. Visit his blog: www.merriamreport.blogspot.com
A full time investor in stocks, bonds, options, and real estate who previously worked as a financial/investment journalist/analyst. Previous industry stints include privately held SageOnline Inc. - where he held multiple positions - as well as Multex.com, acquired by Reuters, where he was an equity research editor. Aloisi is a cum laude graduate of Penn State University, currently residing in native South Central Pennsylvania with his wife and 2 children.
Income investing has become his focal interest due to the challenges that the ZIRP environment presents. Not an advocate of any single portfolio strategy, he promotes a "go anywhere" philosophy predicated on value, forward thinking, sustainability, and personal objectives. While the past may be instructive, Aloisi cautions on over reliance.
In his free time he likes to talk politics, play the piano, garden, and go antiquing. Mr. Aloisi was recently elected to a 4-year term on his local school board, garnering the most votes out of 6 candidates.
Jeff is the President of NewArc Investments Inc., manager of both individual and institutional investments. Jeff is a registered investment advisor, and portfolio manager for NewArc's investment programs.
Jeff is a former college professor with a hands-on, real world attitude. His quantitative modeling helped inform state and local officials in Wisconsin for more than a decade. A Public Policy analyst, he taught advanced research methods at the University of Wisconsin, and analyzed many issues related to state tax policy.
Jeff began in the financial business as Research Director for trading firm at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He investigated anomalies in the standard option pricing models, taught classes for beginning options traders, and developed new forecasting techniques. In 1991 he established a general research consultancy, working with professional traders at all of the Chicago financial exchanges. In 1998 he started NewArc Investments, Inc.
Jeff has a commitment to the specific needs of individual investors. It is not a one-size-fits all approach, but one that emphasizes the unique circumstances of each client.
Jeff also serves on the board of two small technology companies (currently Chairman at one). He is occasionally as an expert witness in legal cases involving financial markets and hedging.
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 am a retired investor with market experience going back to the 1960s. I was a software engineer for 42 years, and currently do some part-time consulting, which lets me contribute to a Roth IRA. I am not an accountant and not a financial professional.
My wife and I have established a set of guiding principles for our investment life:
• Change is the only constant in life. Everything in this plan is subject to change.
• Never touch your principal. Wealth is built and maintained by not spending it. Wealth is the primary buffer between ourselves and blind chance.
• Exploit folly, do not participate in it (thank you, Chuck Carnevale). Do not follow the crowd, which is more often than not wrong.
• A portfolio is like a bar of soap – the more you touch it, the smaller it becomes. Do not be a trader.
• Own assets, avoid liabilities. Assets generate income. Liabilities generate expenses.
Based on these principles, we have established two investing goals: 1) sufficient current income with a comfortable buffer, and 2) increasing future income to maintain our buffer.
Our primary investing goal is to generate sufficient current income to cover that part of our living expenses not covered by pensions, with a comfortable buffer. We are retired and depend on investment income to meet a significant minority of our living expenses.
As we age and get closer to the end, current income becomes ever more valuable, and future income becomes ever less valuable. This reality informs all of our investing decisions. However, we know that inflation will cause our income needs to rise, so we also plan for increased future income, which is our second investing goal.
To meet our current and future income needs, we rely on 2 Social Security pensions, 1 private pension, income generated by investments, and fully paid up long term care insurance.
It is common to allocate a retirement investment portfolio with some percentage in stocks and the balance in fixed income, such as 60/40. We look upon our pension income as the equivalent of fixed income, with the added benefit that Social Security is indexed to the CPI. In the past we owned no fixed income and had no plans to do so in the future. The future has arrived and we have discovered baby bonds and preferred stocks, and we like the higher current income we can get from these investments. We have therefore started to redirect some of our investment capital into these investments, and as a result our investment income is now greater than it would have been otherwise.
We categorize dividends and interest as income, and capital gains as return of capital, not income. Therefore, our goals are to be met from dividends and interest only.
Investment income currently meets our primary investing goal. We invest in a blend of mostly medium yield (3%-6%) stocks with medium dividend growth, a few high yield (>6%) instruments with no dividend growth, low yield (<3%) stocks and funds with high dividend growth. and fixed income securities with yields in the range of 5%-8% with no growth.
We expect our medium yield and low yield stocks and funds to provide the income growth needed for the future, our second investing goal.
We currently own common stocks, preferred stocks, and bonds. Our portfolio requires regular attention to avoid possible dividend cuts and deletions. As we age, our mental faculties are in decline, and we will become increasingly less able to perform portfolio monitoring intelligently. There will come a time when we will need to use some form of income oriented index ETFs to carry the income generating burden.
We want to behave like landlords and collect rents, but without the risks and demands of owning real estate directly. Dividends and interest are our rental income, and as once-removed landlords we expect to own real estate investment trusts (REITs).
We want our non REIT income to be generated by long-lived, steady companies that provide products and services that we all need regardless of the economy, and thus can be relied upon to provide steady, and steadily growing, income. This requirement points primarily at consumer staples stocks. We own some of the best consumer staples stocks, such as mighty MO, and plan to own one or more ETFs that concentrate on the consumer staples sector of the S&P 500. Our preferred shares are almost all in the REIT sector.
• Some of my investing history
During much of my working years I used technical analysis (TA) to invest in individual stocks (I was an early fan of Joseph Granville and I bought an Apple II in 1980 because Granville brought out OBV software for the Apple at that time), and I speculated with short selling and commodity trading. Later I invested in stock mutual funds and ETFs for total return, with inconsistent results, and no comprehensive plan. Being a software engineer in a lead position left little time or energy for serious investing skills development. In 2005 I had pretty much given up on getting market beating results, and felt that I was getting too old and too close to retirement to continue swinging for the fences, so I decided to buy a variable annuity that guaranteed a minimum return of 6% per year, compounded, with the upside limited only by the performance of the mutual funds offered for investment. I decided to let the insurance company bear the market risk for me. I also had a 401k plan at work to which I contributed the maximum and got the company match. A year or so before 2008 I used a retirement investing projection tool provided by Fidelity, which said the worst returns I could expect in retirement were positive but not spectacular, and the best were hard to believe. At that time I was invested in mutual funds and ETFs through my 401k and the variable annuity and had not directly owned stocks since shortly before the start of the great bull market in 1982 (Granville famously missed the whole thing). I thought, with a bit of skepticism but not much, that I was set. We all know what happened in 2008-09. That experience put me off Monte Carlo simulations and Modern Portfolio Theory for life.
When I retired I converted my 401k to a rollover IRA brokerage account and invested in ETFs. I thought I was being appropriately conservative but also ready to capture capital gains by investing in VIG and VCSH.
Then I found Seeking Alpha, and then - thank my lucky stars - David Van Knapp, and the DGI light went on. I had spent most of my adult life thinking I was smarter than most people by relying on TA, and then later letting the insurance company assume market risk. I remember learning about the 200 DMA when I was in my 20s, which is a long time ago, and thinking how revolutionary this idea was and how I should be able to use it to my advantage. Fortunately for me and my family, I also was pretty good at software engineering, so I had a reasonable retirement nest egg accumulated when the time came. With the concepts and methodology of dividend growth investing, I now have sleep well at night investments that just keep on churning out increasing income, something that could never be said about using TA.
I started with DGI too late in life to commit totally to low yield, high growth stocks. I hope to capture the double compounding of DRiP investing with that part of my portfolio that is low yield, high growth.
We have recently (Nov 2014) rolled over all of the variable annuities into brokerage accounts. We now believe that we can get sufficient income from our dividend investing strategy, and we want to retain ownership of the annuity capital.
• Tools and Teachers
Tools I use include the CCC list, F.A.S.T. Graphs, Morningstar Premium, BigCharts, the EDGAR web site, longrundata.com, and Excel. I get ideas from the many informative articles by (among others) the following (in no particular order): Chuck Carnevale, Brad Thomas, Ron Hiram, David Van Knapp, David Fish, Robert Allan Schwartz, Dividend Growth Investor, Dividends4Life, David Crosetti, Tim McAleenan Jr., Reel Ken, Bret Jensen, Alan Brochstein, Chowder, Dane Bowler, Bob Wells, BDC Buzz, Scott Kennedy, Bill Maurer, Darren McCammon, Richard Shaw, Bruce Miller. Favorite commentators who are not yet authors include Elliot Miller, Paul Leibowitz, mbkelly75, surfgeezer.
Useful shortcuts to dividend stock valuation are the Tweed Factor and the chowder rule. Like F.A.S.T. Graphs, 'a tool to think with', these are 'rules to think with'.
Tweed Factor: fair P/E = yield + 5 year dividend growth rate
chowder rule: current yield + 5 year DGR >= 12%; 8% for utilities, MLPs, REITs
The best investment advice outside of Seeking Alpha has been 'The Intelligent Investor', ‘Securities Analysis’, and 'The Single Best Investment'.
• Some historical portfolio stuff
My DGI portfolio was started on 2011/4/20 with CTL, which I have since sold. It was a beginner's mistake. Subsequent mistakes were MLPs, and to a lesser extent, mortgage REITs. I did not allow for any circumstance that could cause WTI to fall as far and as fast as it has, so I lost money on MLPs. The prolonged flattening of the yield curve, plus the persistent markdown from NAV for the mortgage REITs, has made these unappealing as long term investments. Now I keep my distance from anything that is dependent on commodity pricing, and I invest very little in the carry trade. A glaring mistake was selling JNJ when it languished for several years.
• Some ongoing portfolio stuff
The target dividend growth rate for our entire portfolio is 5%.
I use yield on cost to allocate our investments so that each position in aggregate generates approximately the same amount of income. I learned the basic method for doing this from a comment on a SA article. SA is a wonderful resource! I have published an SA Instablog that describes the method: http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/902946-be-here-now/4581516-portfolio-allocation-for-equal-income-from-each-position-using-excel
• Current portfolio:
equity REIT: CCP, DLR, EPR, HTA, LTC, O, OHI, STAG, VTR, WPC
consumer staples: GIS, MO, PEP, PM
financial: GBDC, GSBD, HTGC, MAIN, TCPC
baby bonds: HTGX, NEWTL, TCCA, TPVZ
preferred: AGNCB, DFT-C, GAB-G, GGZ-A, HT-D, PSA-C
consumer staples: RHS, XLP
equity REIT: ESS, SKT
Technology: ADP, MSFT
Industrial: APD, MMM, RTN
baby bond: ARU, MSCA, TCCB, VTRB
preferred: DLR-G, STAG-B, VER-F
Semi-retired marketing and sales executive with a second career in the travel business. Actively invest an upper six digit portfolio in half a dozen mutual funds as well as a couple of stock brokerages accounts, most of it IRA. Primary goal is income with some appreciation potential.
I'm a self-directed investor who shares my experience in investing. I read, learn, and apply every day.
I write about value & dividend investing from the perspective of a Canadian. I invest in individual stocks on the US stock exchanges and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
As I write, I reflect on my own actions and results, which is an amazing exercise. I encourage individual investors who enjoy writing to try it.
I appreciate the work done by SA staff & authors and love the community that engages in meaningful discussions.