Investment Help

If you are seeking investment help, look at the video here on my services. If you are seeking a different approach to managing your assets, you have landed at the right spot. I am a fee-only advisor registered in the State of Maryland, charge less than half the going rate for investment management, and seek to teach individuals how to manage their own assets using low-cost indexed exchange traded funds. Please call or email me if interested in further details. My website is at If you are new to investing, take a look at the "DIY Investor Newbie" posts here by typing "newbie" in the search box above to the left. These take you through the basics of what you need to know in getting started on doing your own investing.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dividend Data for DIYers

Here is a table adapted from Barron's 6/15 issue, page M47, showing the quarterly year-over-year dividend payouts of stocks comprising the Dow Jones Industrial Average:

March 2014
March 2015
Am. Exp. (AXP)
Apple (APPL)
AT&T (T)
Boeing (BA)
Caterpillar (CAT)
Chevron (CVX)
Cisco (CSCO)
Coca-Cola (KO)
Disney (DIS)
Du Pont (D)
Exxon (XON)
Gen Elect (GE)
Goldman Sachs (GS)
Home Depot (HD)
Intel (INTC)
John&John (JNJ)

Note that all except Visa increased their dividend.  Apple replaced AT&T, so their dividend experience isn't shown.  Overall dividends amounted to $103.65 compared to $91.94 a year earlier.  The yield increased from 2.22% to 2.25%.

For reference purposes, the yield on the 10-year Treasury is approximately 2.40%.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Retirement Calculator Review

Investor Junkie has written a nice review of Personal Capital's retirement calculator.  For those in retirement, or close to retirement, interested in a detailed analysis on whether they have enough to meet spending plans, the calculator appears to answer the outstanding questions.  Note that it is free but does require providing a lot of information.

For what it is worth, my approach is considerably simpler.  Take 4% on an inflation-adjusted basis, and check it every couple of years.

I was at an American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) a couple of years ago where a complicated Monte Carlo retirement analysis was presented.  One of the audience members stood up and said his approach was to do what he had done all his life - calculate a reasonable withdrawal rate and then adjust his spending so that he lived within his means.

The bottom line is that some people want more detail and, thus, the Personal Capital calculator may be exactly what they are looking for.  For others, the simpler approach will work better.  I also have to admit I am prejudiced against spreading bank info all over the internet - but that's just me.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Look Who's Indexing - Investment Pros

On 4/14 and 4/15, 1,280 Bloomberg terminal users were asked "what do you think is most appropriate for someone who is mid-career and trying to save for retirement?"  Bloomberg terminal users are professional managers.  The choices scored as follows:
  • 42% Passive index funds and etfs
  • 18% Actively managed mutual funds
  • 17% Individual stocks and funds
  • 14% Real estate
  • 3% Hedge funds
The study was reported by Charles Stein, Even Financial Pros Choose Indexing for Retirement Savings.