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If I Had To Build An Income Portfolio Today - Update 28

Apr. 09, 2018 2:59 AM ET26 Comments


  • This article is Update 28 to my original article entitled "If I Had to Build An Income Portfolio Today."
  • My original article laid out the basis and goals for a portfolio of a retired relative.
  • Since the September 2015 initiation, I've steadily added to the portfolio and sold out 11 positions.
  • March wasn't much better than February with respect to administration induced-volatility.
  • As in February, I used the volatility opportunity to add a little to the portfolio at valuations much lower than just a couple of months ago.


In October 2015, I wrote an article entitled "If I Had to Build an Income Portfolio Today" which was published by Seeking Alpha, October 23, 2015. The article described the development of a portfolio for a relative that recently came into a significant sum of money and wanted to conservatively invest the funds to supplement their retirement income and help the grandkids with college costs. This series of articles through update twenty-seven has been very well received by Seeking Alpha readers, generating over 296,400 page views.

As stated in the original article, after establishing the initial portfolio, there remained a significant cash account yet to be invested. In the sixth update, I discussed the decision to invest the balance of the cash in the iShares US Preferred Stock ETF (PFF) which I have since exited as interest rates started to climb. With most of the funds invested except for a money market account (brokerage settlement fund) for emergencies, the portfolio updates have, for the most part, focused on the capital appreciation and income produced by the portfolio and the modest changes to the portfolio holdings between updates. This article is the twenty-eighth update in the series, though previous readers will note that I changed the title of Update 8 to reflect the portfolio's performance for that month. To be clear, it has been a little over 30 months since the portfolio was initiated.

March 2018

The month of March brought continued volatility as the US and China went tit-for-tat over tariffs. The tariff poker talk that started at the end of February continued through March with the stakes being raised by both sides. President Trump came out hard in favor of tariffs on imported steel (25%) and aluminum (10%). China retaliated with tariffs on pork and wine. Trump found another $50B of imports on which to apply

This article was written by

Dirk Leach  Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering from University of Michigan (Summa Cum Laude)  Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Washington State University  Executive MBA Program at Stanford University  41 year career in nuclear engineering, nuclear facility construction, US government contracting, DOE weapons complex, DOD contingency response and forward operating base design and construction.  Avid investor for more than 40 years, most of that time with the Vanguard Group. ***************************************************************************************************Carole Leach  Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University  Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Washington State University  35 year career spanning the areas of commercial nuclear power engineering services, nuclear waste clean-up engineering, management, and technical consulting with a focus on safety.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long CLDT, DOC, EPD, GEO, HASI, IRM, OHI, ORI, PEGI, RY, SBRA, STAG, STWD, T, TD, UNIT, VDE, VDIGX, VGHCX, VMGRX, VTR, VZ, WES. 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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