Contributor Since 2013
I've come to believe that the savings rate matters more than getting a percent or so above what's going on in the stock and bond markets (when that can even be done). Second is tax-efficiency.
So a lot of that stuff below no longer applies to the way I do things and it's a reminder to me to set a goal and stick with it like a pit bull. Next goal is enough money for a REAL down payment on a house. Or enough to buy a bunch of VTI or whatever if there's a big ol' dip before I'm ready to buy.
Whenever I updated this in summer of 2015:
I used to frequently write an instablog on my investments, but have realized I was doing things backwards and am currently focusing on paying down as much debt as humanly possible over the next couple of years (it can be done in a year and a half) and that's kind of boring to write or read about. "Oh yes! I scrounged another $10 over the last month by swapping out light bulbs to energy efficient ones and now am one week closer to paying off my student loans!" Bleah. I (still) work as a mental health nurse. I did not get my dream job of helping people to die - but I now have a job that's less violent, pays better, and that allows some autonomy for actually doing some people some good. My goal is to eventually replicate my income via dividends and then retire (so I can quit interacting with people that test my own sanity). I'm in my late 30's. I believe in value investing with high dividends/distributions. That said, my favorite investments are CEFs (not because these are particularly good investments, but because I can find out if they are trading at a good value) and preferred shares (as long as I can buy them below par and the company is making money or is demonstratively turning things around). I'm also implementing a long-term moving average strategy in my 401k and Roth accounts (and as an update, seems to work much better for my mentality for total returns - wax on/wax off). And I've been experimenting with leveraged trading funds with small amounts of money. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The trick, I think, is to make sure that when it works it more than makes up for when it doesn't. I happily admit that I tend to take different ideas from different sources that I think make sense and mix them together. And if you bothered to read this far, you would be well served by reading the articles/comments of the these folks: http://seekingalpha.com/author/monty-spivak/articles (the high/yield with moderate risk articles are the biggest influence of the way I currently invest) http://seekingalpha.com/author/douglas-albo/articles (man has been touting the same line for years and it's starting to pay off - excellent cef analysis - I have read all of his articles twice and will be reading them again) http://seekingalpha.com/user/157675/comments (guy's has excellent long-term investment wisdom and keeps things in perspective) http://seekingalpha.com/author/tim-mcpartland/comments (I don't think he comments or writes much, but has the best free site on the internet) http://seekingalpha.com/article/921541-this-simple-trend-following-model-has-crushed-buy-and-hold (this article is the one that got me interested in trend/momentum following and led me to Mebane-Faber and a bunch of other stuff - personal best results so far in my short investing career have come from these type of strategies though you have to deal with a shrinking scrotum and sinking stomach at times)
"Your charm and cleverness are operating so efficiently today that you could talk your way into getting nearly anything you want (but not a winning lottery ticket or smacking the bottom of the cashier at Publix). However, tread carefully because there's more going on than meets the eye and your words have the potential to unleash deeper issues (Huh? I'm usually pleasant unless you meet me in person.). Happy days may be here again, but don't get so captivated by the possible sensual delights (beer and sex) that you forget about the more mundane things (vacuuming/brushing dogs) that require your immediate attention. Use your powers of persuasion for the greater good (what has the greater good done for me?)."
Sounds good - let's go!
For the Roth, I set a limit order last night once my contribution cleared and picked up some shares of OFG-A. This one and its cousin preferreds got extra-hammered after the good governor's speech over the weekend. I've been waiting for a while to pick it or the B shares up again but was holding out for a 8% market yield. I got a 9.5% market yield (tax free forever) on a price of 18.65/share.
This is a well run bank in a terrible environment. It currently has a positive pe ratio and pays a dividend on the common. As long as those stats last, preferred shareholders are pretty much guaranteed to get paid their dividends. And monthly pay is always nice.
Best possible outcome: Shares are called next week at par for around a 25% capital gain (I wish)
Probable outcome: Collect the dividends for a while whilst hoping inflation stays lowish and the Puerto Rico panic subsides and the shares sloooowly recover in price until I can sell them for around $22 - 23.
Worst possible outcome: OFG goes bankrupt next week after being nationalized and is dicovered to have lied in their accounting practices for a long time and I lose all the money I used to buy into it without even receiving a dividend.
The taxable: Bought another chunk of DVYL. Would have been better to do it in the Roth since the distributions are not tax advantaged, but contribution limits and such and this just really raises the position to 50% of what I'm comfortable with in it. Kind of like a dgi fund, except 2x leverage and has other risks by being a bank note.
I put in a limit order to buy SVXY @ $50. It currently runs around $80. Based on a small amount of money irl last year and an online game experiment I'm part of, this may turn out to a kind of hedge. Except I think of it more as a rebound - off - the - bottom - hedge.
If that limit order hits to buy it, then everything else I own has gone to crap and I'm despairing. The good news is that svxy is so volitile that it can rise in price very quickly (though slower than it goes down). Anywho, svxy acts kind of like a 3x leverage short of the vix. I had sweet and sour results with it last year - I don't think I have the temperament to have a large amount of money in it, but when buy low sell high works it really works.
Additional disclosure: For the love of Mike, don't read this at your own risk.