Your Sell Strategy, or: How to Suck the Joy out of Investing

The part I enjoy most about this Vector for Invective (blog) is the fact that the Financial Industrial Complex and the media that breathlessly feeds at its trough provides such a target rich environment for my vitriol; sadly I lack both the time and depth of vocabulary to truly do their vapid pronouncements justice.

“Markets declined today in a wave of profit taking”

Really? And what inspired the buyers? Continue reading


Investing from within the Echo Chamber

I love my DOGS. Everyone gets that knowing when to sell a stock is much tougher than picking the one to buy (or it is identified as one of the great shortcomings of the individual investor). Yeah, yeah, we make it easy for ourselves: simply buy high, sell low, right? And that is the exact reason why I love my DOGS: buy/sell decisions are based on my simplistic calendar and spreadsheet methodology. Is it November? Check. Is this stock Continue reading

2014, the Home Stretch

Having built these portfolios around November last year, I’m getting to that point where it’s time to dig deeper into my holdings and review possible candidates. My rules stipulate that I track holdings for sudden changes, but yearly reviews include candidate comparisons and dividend distributions.

Before I get to the reviews including a a look at performance, I have to share this gem from Motley Fools –

Imagine you pick 1 million random people from around the world every day,” said Toby McDade, chief investment officer of Momentum Fee Capital Management. “Some days, 51% would be in a good mood, 49% in a bad mood. The next day maybe it’s the opposite. Other days, random chance could mean 8% of people are really pissed off for no real reason. This is basically what the market is on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

Asked what his clients thought of this view, Mr. McDade laughed. “Oh my God, you think I could tell my clients that? How could I justify my salary?” Clients were told Monday’s gain was caused by a mix of reversing geopolitical instability, shifting uncertainty patterns, a risk-on atmosphere, and a perfect storm of beta meeting sigma. Noone knew what those words meant.


Continue reading

Chevron reports Q1’14 results

In somewhat belated news, Chevron – one of my core holdings – reported Q1 numbers that were down from the previous periods and missed expectations. Investors, or rather analysts were looking for $2.47 on $54.B in revenue versus the reality of $2.36 from $53.3B. That translated to a drop of 6% in revenue while profits fell by 27%. Continue reading

Walgreen reports Q2’14 results

On Tuesday, Walgreen, one of my core holdings based on it’s dividend growth record, reported second quarter results with record sales, falling short of expectations by $0.01.

From their announcement,

・Company reports adjusted second quarter earnings per diluted share of 91 cents, compared with adjusted earnings per diluted share of 96 cents in year-ago quarter; GAAP earnings per diluted share of 78 cents compared with 79 cents in last year’s second quarter
・Second-quarter sales increase 5.1 percent to record $19.6 billion as total sales in comparable stores increase 4.3 percent
・Walgreens delivers second-quarter operating cash flow of $1.1 billion

TTM earnings of $2.84 represent an increase of 27%, year over year, and a trailing PE of 23x.

Dividend payout as a function of free cash flow remained stable at 34% – well below my 65% barrier – and 44% for the year.

Total return for the 5 year period came in at 26%; clearly WAG will remain in my US portfolio for the foreseeable future.

“What to do??”

Years ago I had a Russian on my team; endowed with great technical skills, he would still periodically find himself with a dilemma, perhaps with a choice of differing approaches to resolution. He would come to me and lay out the problem, describe the various solutions, Continue reading

HCP increases dividend

A Dividend Aristocrat is any S&P500 company that has increased its dividend on an annual basis, without interruption, for 25 years or longer. Standard & Poors tracks performance and maintains an ETF (SPY) made up of these companies, so it is reasonable to expect that any company that achieves this benchmark will strive to continue to Continue reading