Originally posted October 14, 2016. In recent quarters my goal has been to work especially hard at providing investors with intelligence that will keep them safe and dividend-centric during what I consider the inevitable coming meltdown. Meltdown? Absolutely baked into the cake as I write to you, and becoming more of a deep midterm concern […]
“Meltdown? Absolutely baked into the cake as I write to you, and becoming more of a deep midterm concern for me as time passes,” wrote Dick Young in Intelligence Report back in July 2015. And here we are a short way into 2016 and the speculative NASDAQ index is down over 8%. As Dick notes, “In recent issues, my goal has been to work especially hard at providing you intelligence that will keep you safe and dividend-centric during what I consider the inevitable coming meltdown.”
Safe and dividend-centric—sort of has a ring to it, does it not? It does to me. Those words have been pounded into my head for all the years I’ve worked with my father-in-law, Dick Young, founder, and with my brother-in-law Matt Young, president and CEO of Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. In addition to our family bond, the three of us studied, at different times, at our shared alma mater, Babson College. But it was Dick who studied charts (much to the dismay of his teachers, I’m guessing) as a student at Shaker Heights High School. As you can see, there’s a lot of history when Dick writes, “I have tweaked my original work on dividends and interest, along with my long-time interest in gold (I have held my original 1982 China Gold Pandas for decades) to produce what I call the ‘Maximizers’.”
The Maximizers is a diversified portfolio, a “Retirement Ark,” if you will, of dividend-paying and dividend-increasing (for 10-consecutive years or more) common stocks, high-grade bonds, and gold. A simple enough sounding strategy for sure, but a strategy that is difficult to follow, especially in times like these when legendary investor Jack Bogle would likely advise the twitching masses to “just don’t do something, stand there.”
And stand there should you, as Yoda might say. Because it is my belief that you might lose a couple battles here and there with a Maximizers styled approach, but you will win the war. An inside baseball look reveals that the speculative NASDAQ beat the Maximizers in 8 of 15 years this century, versus 7 outperformers for the Maximizers. A pitcher with a 7-and-8 Major League Baseball starting record would be banished to the bullpen. But despite a 7 and 8 record, the final results have been incredible over the complete 21st Century.
The Maximizers win by a long shot. At the same time, the Maximizers offer you the peace of mind and comfort you deserve. The maximum deviation between the best and worst year for the Maximizers is a tiny 10 percentage points. For the outgunned and outmanned NASDAQ, the deviation is an unsettling, if not breathtaking, 91 percentage points. And the bone-chilling NASDAQ record includes five down years, four of which were bruisers. No half-sensible retirement investor is going to sign on for that backbreaking volatility. Never forget Dick Young’s cardinal rule of portfolio crafting: Always analyze risk before worrying about potential returns.
Investors pay a lot of money to sound good at cocktail parties. Owning growth companies, often found in the NASDAQ Index, sounds exciting, cutting edge, and like a can’t miss investment. But good ideas often make for terrible investments, whereas good “values” make for great ones. That’s why you should always consider the value you’re getting […]
Yesterday, the Dow hit 20,000 for the first time. I remember vividly when the index hit 10,000 back in 1999 (Chart 1 below). Dow 20,000 took 17 1/2 years—a 4.2% compounded annual return, not including dividends. And that’s the key—not including dividends. Because for those of us that have been dividend-centric investors, the road from […]
You might be feeling optimistic about the stock market now that President Trump is in office. Most of my conversations this week have had an optimistic tone. But what does that mean for stocks? Let’s look at what we know. When President Obama took office during the housing bust, he inherited a stock market that […]
Originally posted August 1, 2016. Vanguard Dividend Growth Closes to New Investors No, it is not the end of the world, but if you are a loyal Vanguard investor, as am I, having one of the few dividend-based funds in the world I advise for purchase close is a “Vanguard Crisis” for me as well […]
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How much is that Benjamin in your pocket really worth? If you live in New York or California, it may be a lot less than you think in relative value terms. But no surprise, your money is worth least in Washington D.C., where the relative value of $100 is a mere $84.67. Meanwhile, in Arkansas […]
Throughout July, Americans signaled that they’re feeling more risk. Gold prices pushed higher, people bought more guns, and most frighteningly, dissatisfaction with the country jumped from 69% to 82%. It’s obvious the current political campaign is having an effect on people’s moods, and rightly so. No matter who you’re voting for, no one can deny […]