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Trouble On The Horizon? The Brown Bag Portfolio March Update

Mar. 05, 2018 9:51 AM ETEPD, FUN, GSK, KEY, PAY-OLD, PEGI, PFE, T, VLY, APLE, EPR, MAIN12 Comments
Michael Hesse profile picture
Michael Hesse


  • Historical perspective on a difficult February.
  • Changes to the Brown Bag Portfolio.
  • What lies ahead.

Wow, February was uncomfortable, and as I write this update March looks like it may be turbulent to say the least. Rising rates, threatened tariffs, and investor skittishness have all combined to make owning high-yielding equities difficult. Timing, they say, is everything and if that’s the case then my timing sucks! But - and let’s be honest, you were expecting a "but" - I remain undeterred.

I’m not a member of the "sky is falling" crowd. Although I am a newbie investor (the Brown Bag Portfolio is less than two years old), I am old enough to have some historical perspective. I remember when interest rates were many times higher than they are currently. I remember my parents having a 14% interest rate on their mortgage. I remember inflation rates in the double digits and unemployment above eight percent and I remember that business was still conducted. The economy didn’t collapse. There was a lot of pain on Main Street and well as Wall Street, but we didn’t have breadlines in the streets. Although it wasn’t uncommon to wait more than an hour to fill up your car, martial law wasn’t declared. We got through all of that then, and I expect that we’ll get through it now.

I’m not a professional money manager. I don’t have degrees in finance or international relations. I repair computers and printers, routers and servers for major corporations. I drive throughout a territory larger than Rhode Island putting out "fires" and making sure that those corporations can get back to business. I’m a self-taught tinkerer and the certificates on my wall all come from places like Microsoft (MSFT), HP (HPQ), and a dozen other companies where results are the only criteria of success. I’m proud of the work I do and the

This article was written by

Michael Hesse profile picture
I'm a field support analyst for a large information technology company and author. I am primarily interested in building a strong dividend-oriented portfolio to supplement my income when I retire.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long KEY, PEGI, APLE, EPD, T, EPR, MAIN, OXLC. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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