It has been such a struggle to be faithful and do right by my readers. There’s been a very good reason for that. I got out of financial services, as a broker, at the end of ’12. An analytical software firm asked me to come work for them in ’13, and they kept me on, but said they had to let me go in August of ’15. I didn’t look for anything else, and no one else rang my phone… so, at 62, I took my SSI and retired in March of ’16… just because I could.
Now, here it is, the end of November of ’16, and I’m doing just fine. But, I find my attention and interests wandering. By that, I mean, I find this investment blogging is getting to become work, and I’m not caring enough to give all due diligence to it. I’ve always been a bit lazy and undisciplined, unless adequately motivated. And, I’m not as motivated anymore, like I used to be. So, what does this all mean? Just this:
I could, as I did, run my search everyday, and enter the data into my timer, and measure market risk each day… and report all my findings as I did. I could continue to tell of the many benefits of finding the very best, buy-and-hold type, safe-dividend growers, as I was. But…
In order to keep this fun enough for me, I realize, especially if you are young and have years to go yet, all of this can be made simpler still, and the entire process more fun and enjoyable for all. How’s that?
Well, I would always advocate for 20 or so holdings. I would say, only buy when all market risk had been wrung out. I would look for each annual dividend increase, and look for it to be exceptional, in the double-digits. I would continually praise the twin concepts of re-investing dividends into more shares… but, only when risk was low, so as to magnify the entire compounding process. And, all of that was true. It was real. It worked. But…
Now, I’m getting older. I’m already retired. I’m still not taking my portfolio dividend income, and I won’t begin to do so until my younger wife retires, and so…
I, now, after these years, know this: If anyone, almost regardless of age, would simply try to invest an ever-greater, fixed amount, each month, into any relatively safe-dividend grower, and just leave it alone. And, then, again, the next month, do the same… over-and-over, again each month, for as long as they possibly can, until that day, in their retirement, when they are going to need to begin to take their portfolio dividend income… anyone can do extremely well, and retire very comfortably. The entire key and ‘secret’ is only this: TIME. The market rewards all those who give it sufficient time; and the longer that time, the better.
What I mean is ever so simply as this: Say, you could possibly start by setting aside just a few hundred a month, or even one entire thousand dollars. It doesn’t really matter. Almost any amount will do. But, you elect to set aside whatever amount it is that you know that you can save each month… in a brokerage account, from which you are going to buy the very safest-dividend growing stocks that you know anything about… and, you literally, commence to collect shares in however many you might ever find, with the one simple intent that you’re never going to look back, and you’re never going to sell a share of any one of them… ever. You would be absolutely amazed at what the end result would be years down the road.
Simply, say you had $600 this month to set aside for your far-away retirement, and you opened with eOption an IRA and deposited that $600. Then, right here, in this month of November of ’16, for a mere $3, you put that $600 into 5 shares of JNJ… and simply never looked back. And, then, next month, if you had another $600, or possibly a bit more, (you’d have $26 left from the previous month’s purchase) and you put that into some 17 shares of HRL… and, just kept setting aside some money, and accumulating some shares in companies you would expect to be able to hold forever.
And, you never took the dividends, you just let them accrue to the money fund, and add them to whatever was left-over from the previous month’s purchase, plus any dividends received… and, you did this month-after-month-after-month-after-month. The amount it would come to years down the road would be absolutely staggering.
And, never watch it all the time… continually calculating the value of the account, or try to time when you’d sell out, so as to buy back in again later. I mean you just kept putting a regular savings into the market. That’s all I care to do anymore. I only want to know that by accumulating a few more shares each month, and letting those companies raise their dividend to me each year, I’m steadily, unwaveringly, growing a portfolio dividend income; an income that will never stop growing to me, even after I start taking it out.
I’ve got a handful of some favorite companies; companies I’d like to say that I own some shares in. I just named 2.
So, here’s all I’m going to do in the future, because if I don’t do this, I’m not going to do anything at all here… I’m going to give away what I believe are the very finest safe-dividend growth ideas, and I’ll report whatever I perceive market risk to be. You’ll already know that if the market has been rising, that risk will be reported as high… but, and if, the market has been in a decline, I’ll be telling of when my technical market risk measures have gotten to their lower extremes and are signaling to me that market risk is low.
You might want to wait and hold off to be a buyer at those times that risk would appear to be low, or you just might want to be a buyer of shares in a truly great company each month, on a regular basis. It’s not really going to matter all that much the further down the road we go. If you bought ‘high’, but had to wait a considerable amount of time before you could have bought lower… how many possible quarterly dividend payments might you have missed, hmmmm? All these different factors matter. So, just do this. Be a buyer of very high-quality, safe-dividend growing companies… maybe a different one each time, or add some more shares of another, should it seem to be an especially good value to you. In the end, for all the hard work and thinking that went into trying to be a super investor, and concentrate your holdings, and only buy around market bottoms, etc., etc., etc. Fugetaboutit! Get a life! Live your life! This isn’t your life! It’s just your money, and not all of it at that.
If your goal is to grow a stock market portfolio dividend income, and take that income in retirement… just start buying some shares of the truly great companies, and let that dividend income commence. Make it your aim and effort to just see to it that you are literally causing that dividend income to grow a little bit each and every month. In some years time, you will amaze yourself at what you have accomplished.
I’m taking my SSI now… at 62. But, I’m not spending a dime of it… I’m putting every penny of it to work for me now, to seek to take the income that I will be deriving from it… from out of those shares I’ll be adding to our holdings each month.
So, I’m truly retired. I want to do something else, other than be a market watcher and commentator, and running programs doing searches every evening. You’re not going to see that here anymore. But, what you will see is really fine company stocks being put forth, and some truly great market timing efforts presented as they might arise. And, further, I’ll just be telling you exactly what I am doing, and encourage you to consider doing the same, or something like it.
If you like JNJ and/or HRL… get yourself some, and never look back. They’ll always be there, and they’ll always pay you, and they’ll always give you annual raises. I’ll be back soon, with some other truly good ideas. Simple, easy, actionable. Just say, yea, I like that idea, I want some too, and put a few shares away, as you’re able. You’ll never regret it. The world would have to come to an end first!
Here’s to your truly successful investing!
Harold F Crowell