As investors, one of our favorite words is diversification. We are taught to diversify our portfolios to avoid exposure to any one particular investment or sector of the market and achieve balance. One of the easiest ways to achieve diversification is through purchasing mutual funds, which I did at the beginning of my investing career. However, now that I have grown as an investor and now own 30 individual stocks, I wanted to take a look back at my current mutual funds to determine if too much of my portfolio is allocated to these diversified holdings. It is time to take a look at the five mutual funds I hold and determine if ACTION needs to be taken.
As I sit here with the desire to “crank out” an article before the day starts (going for an 8 minute post) – it dawned on me that this year hasn’t been the “strongest” in terms of dividend increases for large companies that we all share, hold and love. Some are even dividend aristocrats that increase their dividend year, after year, after year. Some are big name companies that over the last 5 to 10 years have had large or more than the average dividend growth rates, say between 5 and 15% increases, vs the 0-5% increases from some of the others. This has been a very different year for dividend investors as we navigate the playing field and start seeing action events from companies on their annual increases, which – we can’t blame them at all, given the facts displayed out below. Let’s see what I’m talking about so far this year, with 5 examples of companies that haven’t provided that historical or thought of dividend increase year. Continue reading
There have been a lot of major news stories over the last week covering topics ranging from social to financial issues. It seems like every day there was some new development that had major implication, which is a great fit for our 24 hour news cycles. The one story that has a substantial impact on us dividend growth investors is the continuing saga in Greece. Once again, we find ourselves staring a default, departure from the European Union, etc., in the face and worst of all at any second a decision could be made that could send shock waves through the financial markets. It finally hit me, I didn’t have a plan to capitalize on a potential downturn in the market. But that all changes now.
Looks like I have a little capital from my recent ARCP sale to deploy, so I wanted to take this opportunity to research a potential investment for the excess capital. For me, it was a no-brainer figuring out which stock I was going to analyze. Tobacco has a relatively low weight in my portfolio even though the power companies in the industry offer a very attractive yields. With stock prices falling lately, it seemed like a great time to assess my only tobacco holding, Philip Morris (“PM”), to determine if I should re-up my position.