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Posted by Martin December 06, 2015


Should you continue investing in Kinder Morgan (KMI) or run away?

If you are a dividend investor you may be invested in Kinder Morgan (KMI) as I am and you are desperately searching the internet for news about this company to find out why it was falling recently while scared that you may lose your hard earned money.


Kinder Morgan lost almost 40% from its peak and quite lot of people have gloomy prediction about this company. Analysts started downgrading the company and even Moody’s rating agency joined the group and lowered rating of Kinder Morgan.

When I pick a company to invest in I try to select one in which I can believe for the next 20 years without too much worrying about the stock and studying it anytime it goes down in price. However, the recent drop made me to check what’s going on with this stock.

So I searched internet and found so many people scared and predicting end of the titan. I have seen even experienced dividend growth stock investors bailing on this stock or being ready to jump the boat.

Although these investors have the right to do what they want and see fit to their portfolio, I disagree with those who pushed the sell button and run away from KMI. Here are my reasons for staying invested and even accumulate this stock.

First, let’s see why people were so negative about this stock. What I could find was two main areas of discontent.

 · Bad acquisition

Kinder Morgan acquired a stake in Natural Gas Pipeline Company some time ago and recently they increased their investment in the company (NGPL). Many consider this a bad acquisition and investment because NGPL was a bankrupting company. Some say, KMI overpaid for the company.

I disagree with this view. Although, I am not an expert but considering that KMI is primarily a transporting company involved in natural gas, this was a natural result of capitalist behavior – taking over a weaker company and their infrastructure which under a new stewardship will prosper.

Don’t we see that over and over happening? Even A New England wire and Cable company was taken over because it was weak and making no money! It was more worth dead than alive. NGLP is more worth when navigated by Kinder than on its own.

Moreover, by acquiring NGLP Morgan gained access to locations and areas which would allow the company to better arbitrage and deliver natural gas to places where they can better profit from it.

 · Exposure to oil

I think this is a big misconception and misunderstanding of how Kinder Morgan makes money. This company is not involved in production of oil whatsoever. The company is involved in its transportation. It is an oil UPS version. So, no matter what the price of oil is the company would be making money. While other oil involved companies were losing money (almost the entire 2015) KMI remained profitable showing $186 million profit during the third quarter on $3.7 billion in revenue.

So KMI is exposed to oil indirectly and its price doesn’t influence the company. As long as people will need and use oil, KMI will make money on it. However, majority of the business is in natural gas.

 · Dividend cut

Recently KMI followers and analysts expressed their belief that the management should consider a dividend cut although the financial reports indicate that they can easily cover the dividend. I have seen investors claiming dividend unsustainability of companies for many years. A good examples are Realty Income (O) or AT&T (T) when investors claimed that those companies would cut the dividend soon. I have heard them saying this for many years, yet both companies managed to pay dividends for 40 or more years and increasing it for a similar amount of consecutive years.

Yet the analysts caused a big panic among investors and they sold the stock pushing its price to $16 a share. Is this justified?

The 2016 dividend obligations are expected to be at approx. $4.55 billion, with current cash flow KMI should have $450 million in excess cash flow and $705 million in cash reserves. The dividend is secured at least for 2016.

Even if they cut the dividend and the price drops lower, I will continue investing in KMI as I will show later.

 · Stay the course

You may do whatever you want, but I stay the course, keep the company, reinvest dividends into the company, and even put more capital in it. Why? As I mentioned above I do not think that this crisis is anything KMI wouldn’t sustain.

In the past, I have seen companies being bashed, downgraded, predicted to bankrupt and yet they survived. One example is Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) which a couple of years ago had a significant products recall hurting company’s revenue, cash flow, and profits. Analysts and investors were predicting an end of JNJ, being spun off into several smaller companies and the losing one either sold or dissolved. The dividend was predicted to be cut or even suspended.

Any of it happened and JNJ which fell hard in price now doubled and its dividend continued growing.

KMI is now compared to another Enron and bankruptcy is predicted. Such comparison is obviously ridiculous and shows that the investor making such comparison has no understanding of KMI business.

There is however, one big issue why I stay the course (and which goes to the JNJ example a few years ago): consider your investment time frame. Are you invested in this company for the next two to five years? Are you already retired? Or are you at the beginning having the next 20 to 25 years ahead of you?

If you are a retiree, a portfolio adjustment can make sense. To me, it doesn’t make sense at all. I started investing in this company three years ago, accumulating slowly, and reinvesting dividends into it. I believe in this company and its management and I am in it for the next 20 or 25 years. I believe, that five years from now, this crisis will be forgotten.

So, even if KMI cuts its dividend, I will continue investing in it and reinvesting dividends because once this panic and “crisis” is over, the stock price will be going up again and all I miss on dividends now I will make in capital appreciation later. Even if it takes two or more years to wait. I have a plenty of time. And in the meantime, I believe, KMI will start raising the dividend again.

What do you think about KMI? Are you bailing out or going to weather this panic? From my trading experience, trading SPX I can see what the market can do when it is in a panic. It can recover as quickly as it fell down. Since the price action of KMI is a panic reaction, five years from now, nobody will remember this the same way as no one remembers JNJ crisis anymore.

We all want to hear your opinion on the article above:

November 2015 trading, investing, and dividends results

November passed by even faster than October. I feel like it was just yesterday when October finished and cannot believe that it was already November which ended a few days ago.

It is time to review my November result and see how my investing and trading performed.

Those of you, new to my blog, here is a quick review of my investing and trading strategy. I invest into dividend growth stocks in my ROTH IRA account, reinvest all dividends using DRIP program and plan on investing for the next 20 – 25 years. I believe that it would be better for me to have a portfolio made of fewer stocks as such portfolio is better to manage.

Thus I hold about 10 – 15 stocks only, reinvest dividends, and accumulate stocks.

I also like to trade as I believe that one day I will be able to generate enough income to retire early and trade for a living. I plan to contribute my trading proceeds to my dividend portfolio and invest into dividend growth stocks so once I build a large enough portfolio I can stop trading and live off of my dividends.

This is a report how I did fulfilling this plan in November 2015. I must admit that 2015 year will be a bad year for me, however, I may state that I have learned enough to start trading successfully and be consistent.


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Financial Disaster- From Baby Boomers To Elder Doomers, So What’s A Millennial To Do? By Rich Rabbit with Cure Rabbit Ears

November Aims By Nicola with The Frugal Cottage


 · November 2015 trading results

November was finally a month when I was able to stop my losing strike, calm myself down and get back to be in sync with the market. I have two trades in my accounts which are a bit risky and it will take some effort to manage those trades so they do not end as a disaster, but other trades are finally in shape and I hope I will be able to manage them well and make money.

I slowed down on my trading frequency as well as number of opened trades at one time as it showed to be a bad trading strategy. It was nice to have several trades at a time when they were all making money, expiring one by one, but when they turned ugly on my I wasn’t able to react, panicked, and lost money.

To avoid this bad trading I decided to trade only two to three trades at a time and open a new trade only when the old trade will be over. For example, I will open a bull put spread, then I can open a bear call spread against it to make the trade an Iron Condor. To that I can open a second trade and that’s it. No more trades.

I will be opening one trade (combo) with longer time frame (expiration 45> DTE) and weekly short term trades (expiration <5 DTE). I will be opening one trade for each strategy only and max. 10 dollar wide spreads.


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If you are interested in seeing and following those trades, I created a Facebook closed group in lieu of my newsletters where you can join and see the trades in real time when I post them at the time of opening. It is easier to manage and follow all the trades than via a newsletter and I hope that it will be beneficial for all members of the group who might be interested in trading options and generate an additional income.

To me, at first, I may generate an income of $120 to $360 per month, but as my account will be growing bigger, this amount will grow too.

All trades are spreads against SPX with minimum money to trade as low as $500. If that is something you may be interested in, I recommend you joining the group.

However, if you decided to trade options against SPX, be ready for some hard work, frustration, and tears. Be prepared for your account net-liq fluctuating up and down almost to a break point. Trading is not easy, get rich quick scheme. We will have to work it up slowly, step by step before we become confident, consistent traders.

Here is my trading result for the month:


November 2015 options trading income: $184.00 (1.57%)
2015 portfolio Net-Liq: $4,061.51 (-13.53%)
2015 portfolio Cash Value: $6,431.51 (-6.01%)
2015 overall trading account result: -65.31%


Here are the results of my options trading:

Options Income
(Click to enlarge)

Here are the results of my new options strategy:

Options Income
(Click to enlarge)

Here is the entire account value from the beginning of tracking it up to today:

TD Account Value


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 · November 2015 dividend investing results

My dividend investing continues growing slowly but steadily, although the portfolio value dropped this month thanks to a turbulence in the market when traders are too fixed to FED policy instead of on the economy and companies.

In October the FED was supposed to raise the interest rates. It didn’t happen and everybody is now expecting the FED to hike the rates in December. I personally believe that FED will not raise rates. If they do it, then they will prove that they never were “data dependent” as Janet Yellen was always claiming. As a Democrat, I believe she will be protecting Obama administration until the election. Or she will be that stupid that she will really raise rates into coming recession.

High interest rates are considered to be and work as a break to speeding economy, to slow it down if it moves too fast not to overheat. I am not convinced that our economy is in such shape that we can afford slowing it down.

Yet, if Yellen really raises the rates in December, it will have an impact on your and my stocks. They will temporarily drop in price and if you have been accumulating in recent years, be ready for losses in your portfolio. The question would be, how long the drop will last and how long it will take to recover. Nevertheless, it will be the second time when FED’s policies hurt the regular folks like you and me damaging their savings.

But if you are in this game for a long haul, like next 25 years, don’t be afraid. Your portfolio will survive it. Just do not panic, do not react to the short term storms. Have your plan ready and execute it every day. My plan is continue saving into dividend growth stocks even if they are beaten down hard. I do not care about the value of the portfolio, but about the income it generates.


Dividend stocks added or removed from portfolio:


November 2015 dividend stock buys: none
November 2015 dividend stock sells: none


This month I didn’t purchase any stock. I am out of cash and fully invested but saving hard for my next purchase. I plan on adding KMI stock and I will write about it why in my next post although the stock is heavily beaten down by recent oil turmoil. I do not consider it a tragedy for this stock but a great opportunity.


Dividend stocks DRIP:


November 2015 DRIP: American Capital Agency Corp. (AGNC)
MasterCard Incorporated (MA)
Legacy Reserves LP (LGCY)
Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC (VNR)
Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI)
Realty Income Corporation (O)
Prospect Capital Corporation (PSEC)


I continued reinvesting my dividends and accumulating into the stocks listed above. It is nice to see the stocks falling down and seeing that I could buy more shares than originally planned and now those stocks will bear more dividends into my account. I consider those stocks good stocks although you may argue that some are risky and you may even find opinions on the internet that some of the stocks will bankrupt. I do not think it will be the case.

However, I admit that it is a gut-wrenching to invest into stocks heavily falling in price and the company battling its survival like LGCY. But I think LGCY will survive the oil glut and in the near future we will see the stock performing well again. And if not, well, I will take the loss and move on.

Last month I also used a FRIP program in my Scottrade account (I am not listing it in here) accumulating my LGCY holding and I can see the snowball rolling faster and faster down the hill. In my last report I expressed my hope that I would soon see the same result in my ROTH IRA account. I must say that my DRIP in my ROTH is already rolling faster and faster, so I must admit I regret that I didn’t use DRIP earlier. I fell in love with this program.

Before I used to keep the dividends in the account and invested them once I accumulated enough to invest. You can do this as long as you accumulate enough to invest right away and without waiting. If your account is small (like mine) and you collect little dividends every month, do not do this, use DRIP. Believe me. I have my experience now that your account will grow faster. Once you receive at least $1,000 dollars in dividends every month then you can switch from DRIP to individual reinvesting.

I also used non-transaction fee ETFs to park my money in there but it also didn’t grow as well as I would expect.

Here are my ROTH IRA trading/investing results:


November 2015 dividend income: $86.92
November 2015 options income: $0.00
2015 portfolio value: $14,905.70 (-7.16%)
2015 overall dividend account result: -14.58%


As I mentioned above, my portfolio value dropped this month due to some oil exposed companies. See for yourself:

Gainers by Position ($)  
JNJ $6.96
PPL $6.01
RWX $5.80
Losers by Position ($)  
KMI -$316.90
LGCY -$103.81
EPD -$76.20
Gainers by Percentage (%)  
RWX 0.6%
JNJ 0.6%
PPL 0.3%
Losers by Percentage (%)  
KMI -29.5%
LGCY -20.6%
VNR -20.4%


Here my dividend income:

ROTH IRA account value

Here is the entire account value from the beginning of tracking it up to today:

ROTH IRA account value


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Below is my dividend income review for the entire year:

Dividend Income
My ROTH IRA dividend income breakdown per month and per company.

 · All accounts

Besides trading and dividend accounts I also have 401k account, emergency savings account, etc., which I do not report in detail. You can review those accounts in my “All Accounts Value” table at the bottom of My Trades & Income page.

My accounts dropped from previous month and are losing -3.00% (down from previous month) for the year. This year will be a losing year for my investments.

Remember, if you like trading options and want to have trade ideas for free, join my Facebook closed group and follow my SPX trades in real time, comment, ask questions, and interact with other members.


What do you think?

How about your investing or trading result?

We all want to hear your opinion on the article above:

October 2015 trading, investing, and dividends results

I cannot believe October is gone already. I was so busy lately that I even haven’t noticed that we are approaching mid-November already and I haven’t posted my monthly review of my trading and investing effort.

Although October was spectacular as far as the market moves I wasn’t able to adjust my positions successfully. Let’s take a review of my October though.


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 · October 2015 trading results

Trading can be frustrated and I must admit that the whole 2015 year was a disaster for me. Whatever trade I made, it went wrong. No matter how I adjusted my positions to be on the right side of the market, it went wrong. I was losing money the whole year and I am not able to stop it.

In October 2015 we saw a spectacular recovery of the market coming up from the lows of 1900 to 2100. At some point we saw the market reaching 2115 level. All call spreads I had open and which were safe and making me money suddenly turned up to be a loser. I tried to close them or convert them intoi a bullish trade to protect myself and as soon as I finished, the market stalled and now is turning back down. Now I have bullish spreads which are working against me. Should I leave them and wait them out or convert them back into call spreads? As of now I will wait and see how the price moves. I have a plenty of time in those put spreads, they are all expiring in December.

However, this is being frustrating that I am really so close to give up on trading. It was my dream to be a trader. I wanted to be like some of the traders you read on the internet who turned their tiny accounts into millions. Like Karen the Supertrader who turned her $10k account into $300M in about 5 to 10 years. Apparently, I am not gifted to be like them.

I will give it a bit more time and if this trading continues to be a roller coaster losing game I will stop it for good and continue investing in dividend stocks only.


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At least, I learned a lesson which may be helpful to improve and that is that I was overtrading again. That is a behavior I must stop. For this reason, I am adjusting my trading strategy to trade only one trade at a time and opening a new trade only when the old one is closed. I will be opening only 1 trade per each $5000 of account value. Let’s see if this helps to reverse my record and if not, I will be forced to say good bye to my trading as I am not willing to put more money into my trading account.

Here is my trading result for the month:


October 2015 options trading income: -$395.00 (-3.37%)
2015 portfolio Net-Liq: $4,697.03 (-20.44%)
2015 portfolio Cash Value: $6,843.03 (-14.07%)
2015 overall trading account result: -60.29%


Here are the results of my options trading:

Options Income
(Click to enlarge)

Here are the results of my new options strategy:

Options Income
(Click to enlarge)

Here is the entire account value from the beginning of tracking it up to today:

TD Account Value


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 · October 2015 dividend investing results

This month, I added new shares of KMI to my holdings and continue reinvesting dividends via DRIP reinvestment program. In my ROTH I also downsized my trading effort and focus only on dividend investing. As of now, dividend investing still wins over my trading results. Although, my stocks suffered during the recent correction dividend reinvesting is upholding the entire account value. It is down, but still above the 2015 year’s starting value.


Dividend stocks added or removed from portfolio:


October 2015 dividend stock buys: 20 shares Kinder Morgan (KMI) @ 29.24
October 2015 dividend stock sells: none


I decided to add KMI although it is now a hated stock due to the Keystone pipe line refusal from Obama. But Obama will not be in the office forever and one day the company will be able to build the infrastructure. I am not following this much, but I think in the next 20 years this will not be an issue and since the stock lost almost 40% of its original value (my average cost was at $41 a share, now the stock trades at $25 a share) I see it as a good deal. So although analysts are downgrading the stock (they did the same with JNJ a few years ago too), I considered this a buy.


Dividend stocks DRIP:


October 2015 DRIP: PPL


This is my first month applying DRIP and I am happy for it. I can feel that this is adding the desired speed to my dividend investing. I should have done that a lot earlier and not today. But I thought I was smarter than others who already did it and recommended it in the past.

I was actually using DRIP in my Scottrade account (I am not listing it in here) and I can see the snowball rolling faster and faster down the hill. Hope I will soon see the same result in my ROTH IRA account.

Here are my ROTH IRA trading/investing results:


October 2015 dividend income: $83.01
October 2015 options income: $0.00
2015 portfolio value: $16,054.84 (-2.35%)
2015 overall dividend account result: -8.00%


Here my dividend income:

ROTH IRA account value

Here is the entire account value from the beginning of tracking it up to today:

ROTH IRA account value


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Below is my dividend income review for the entire year:

Dividend Income
My ROTH IRA dividend income breakdown per month and per company.

 · All accounts

Besides trading and dividend accounts I also have 401k account, emergency savings account, etc., which I do not report in detail. You can review those accounts in my “All Accounts Value” table at the bottom of My Trades & Income page.

My accounts dropped from previous month and are losing -1.61% (up from previous month) for the year. Considering how bad my trading was this month I think, this is not a bad result.

What do you think?

How about your investing or trading result?

We all want to hear your opinion on the article above:

Posted by Guest October 24, 2015
No Comments


Dividend Investing For Wealth Preservation

This is a guest post from Ben Reynolds of Sure Dividend. Sure Dividend is dedicated to helping individual investors find high quality dividend growth stocks suitable for long-term holding.

If you read the Strategy page on Hello Suckers Investments, you will Martin’s thoughts on dividend investing (emphasis added):

Dividend investing is a great strategy, but now I look at it slightly differently. I no longer consider the dividend growth strategy my main investing or trading goal. I however look at it as my wealth preservation.

I have seen some traders investing their proceeds to other instruments or investments. Some invest the proceeds to gold or silver, some buy land, others real estate. I want to do the same. Or similar to be exact. I want to be buying dividend stocks.

I understand that at some point in my life I will no longer be able to actively trade options. Dividend stocks will be here to subsidize trading. My options trading is here to create an income now. Not 20 years from now. Now I want to trade, grow my account and enjoy income from trading. Once I will not be able to trade (maybe 20 or 25 years from now), I will have my dividend stocks to take over.”

When most people think about investing, they think about wealth creation, not wealth preservation. After all, it’s more fun to think about getting rich rather than protecting your wealth.

Warren Buffett is one of the richest men alive; today he is worth around $63 billion. Clearly, Buffett knows a thing or two about generating wealth. Interestingly, his focus is on not losing money. Warren Buffett has just two investing rules:


“Rule number one: never lose money.
Rule number two: never forget rule number one.”
– Warren Buffett



Warren Buffett invests primarily in high quality dividend growth stocks. Take a look at his top 6 holdings, which make up about two-thirds of his portfolio:

• Wells Fargo (WFC) – dividend yield of 2.8%
• Coca-Cola (KO) – dividend yield of 3.1%
• IBM (IBM) – dividend yield of 3.7%
• American Express (AXP) – dividend yield of 1.5%
• Wal-Mart (WMT) – dividend yield of 3.3%
• Procter & Gamble (PG) – dividend yield of 3.6%


Prior to the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, Wells Fargo had paid steady or increasing dividends every year since 1972. After the recession, the company began paying rising dividends again.

Coca-Cola has paid increasing dividends every year for 52 years. It one of only 17 Dividend Kings; stocks with 50+ years of consecutive dividend increases.

IBM has paid rising dividends every year since 1999.

American Express has paid steady or rising dividends since 1999 as well.

Wal-Mart has paid increasing dividends for 42 consecutive years.

Procter & Gamble is also a Dividend King (like Coca-Cola). The company has paid rising dividends for 58 consecutive yeas.

 · Dividend Investing for Wealth Preservation

Clearly, Warren Buffett practices dividend investing for wealth preservation. Investing in high quality dividend stocks is an excellent way to protect and grow your wealth over time.

By owning shares of businesses with strong and durable competitive advantages, you can reap the rewards of their steady, predictable growth.

Businesses that have long histories of paying rising dividends have proven that they can reliably and consistently growth their business under a wide variety of economic conditions. This makes them ideal candidates for wealth preservations.

 · Inflation Destroys Wealth

If you do not invest your money, and leave it to sit in a bank account, it will lose its purchasing power through the effects of inflation. Inflation in the United States has averaged around 2.3% a year over the long run.

If your money isn’t growing by 2.3% a year, then you are actively losing purchasing power – that’s not a good thing. This forces people to invest or suffer the consequences.

High quality dividend growth stocks preserve wealth by counteracting the effects of inflation. If prices rise by 5% tomorrow, what do you think Coca-Cola will do? It will raise its prices by 5%, and people will still drink just as much Simply orange juice, Honest Tea, Vitamin Water, and Coca-Cola as they used to. Excellent businesses can pass off the cost of inflation onto their customers.

 · Wealth Preservation Mindset

You can make money investing through active strategies like trading. Martin does a great job of tracking and explaining his options strategies on this site.

Investing in dividend growth stocks is a passive strategy after you’ve identified the business to invest in. All you have to do is hold a high quality dividend growth stock, and you will be rewarded with rising dividend income. This makes dividend growth investing much easier to practice than more advanced trading strategies.

Of course, the stock prices of dividend stocks are volatile – they go up and down just like any other type of stock. By focusing on the quality and growth of the underlying business (and its dividend payments), investors can learn to not worry about stock price advances or declines. Dividend investing is not a short-term strategy. It works best when one invests for the long-run and holds stocks for years or decades, not days or months. This means you have to fight the urge to sell when a stock sees temporary price declines.

 · Final Thoughts

Wealth preservation is an integral part of investing. Dividend investing in general, and investing in high quality dividend growth stocks in particular is an excellent way to practice wealth preservation while simultaneously building a passive income stream.

We all want to hear your opinion on the article above:
No Comments

Posted by Martin October 21, 2015


Great dividend yield misconception

Since I started investing into dividend growth stocks in my IRA account some time ago I thought people know how dividend stocks work. To my surprise many people are unbelievably lost in understanding how dividends work.

Recently, I read a post at Yahoo! The 401(k) crisis is getting worse about a man who started working at 14 and now at his 56 he has nothing saved.

Besides a liberal propaganda in the article trying to convince us to be sorry for the guy and how the system is wrong, which actually it is not, it is people who are wrong, because who prevented him from opening an individual IRA account and saving even $50 dollars a month since he started working when he was 14? I bet no one forbid him to open an individual retirement account but his poor choices.

If Tim (as his was name) started investing $50 dollars a month into his IRA and bought 1 share of (JNJ), Realty Income (O), or Coca Cola (KO), and reinvested all dividends, then after 20 years, his account would be worth little over $100,000 dollars and his dividend income would be $3,000 per quarter. If you add benefits from social security to this number, you would be receiving approx. $2,200 monthly which is enough to retire in some cheaper states of the US (commissions and taxes are not included, so for sake of this example you may want to wait 5 more years and retire 25 years later and not 20).

The shocking part of this article was the discussion below it. When I mentioned my numbers in the discussion (and of course, these are very rough numbers of calculating how DRIP would look like after 20 years) a few people asked me where anyone could pay me 12% in dividends per year and thus my numbers are totally unrealistic and off because there is no company out there who would pay you such yield and if so, it is too good to be true.

When I was reading those responses I was surprised realizing that the author of the comment had no idea how dividend growth stock investing works. If so, you would know right away that good dividend growth stocks would actually pay you a lot more than 12%. Of course, not today nor tomorrow.

And that is the greatest misconception about dividend investing. People take a look at the dividend yield today and think that 3.05% yield is nothing (although in zero interest rate environment, it is a great unbeatable yield), or yield of 1.45% is nothing to cheer about.

People make the mistake at looking at the yield today and not what the yield will be 20 years later.

If you look at the yield future, you will see a lot different story. Here are some examples what your dividend would look like if you bought 1 share of a stock 20 years ago and reinvested dividends:


Stock Total annual dividend Yield on Cost (YOC)
(JNJ) 20 yrs ago $1.81 3.12%
(JNJ) today $22.30 38.46%
(O) 20 yrs ago $1.86 4.89%
(O) today $28.24 74.31%
(KO) 20 yrs ago $1.37 3.24%
(KO) today $28.48 67.35%


In the table above I used today’s prices and yields as if it was 20 years ago, eliminate adding new shares, and no capital appreciation was included. The results are only to show how powerful dividend growth investing is over time and not to provide exact numbers.

Yet the example shows that after 20 years of diligent and patient investing your dividend yield will be a lot higher than it is today. Over time those great numbers will be smoothed a bit due to investing new money, but as you can clearly see, your yield can easily exceed 12% and be somewhere in the 20 – 30% range.

Yet people look at today’s yield and consider it not worth the effort.

I read claims that they can get better yield investing into bonds and be better off and safer.

It is no longer true that bonds are safer than stocks. They are exactly same volatile these days as stocks, you can lose money, but the biggest difference between a bond and dividend growth stock is the growth.

From the example above you can see, that your 1 share of Coca Cola would yield 67.35% 20 years from now, while the bond will still yield the original 4% (for example) yield. There is no growth in it. And you bought your bond at par, you actually lose money.

Investing into dividend stocks is not about yield today, but yield in the future.

As soon as I explained this concept, I got slammed with an argument, that it is impossible to get a safe stock and predict the future knowing what the stock will do 20 years from now.

While the argument of predicting future is valid, it is not so when reviewing dividend growth stocks.

Of course, in the market, everything can happen, yet history can be a good guidance to us when evaluating stocks. Therefore jumping directly at yield may be a suicide. Looking at the dividend history can tell you, what the future may look like.

Let’s compare two companies again:


Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
The company pays dividends since 1944 (71 years)
The company increased the dividend for 52 consecutive years!


What is the probability that this company will continue perform so well? Although it is not 100% the stake is quite high.

Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. (ARP)
The company pays dividends since 2012 (3 years)
The company increased the dividend for 2 consecutive years!


What is the probability that this company would continue paying its dividend in the future and keep increasing it?

See the difference?

Although I am not saying that ARP is a bad investment, if I was to choose which stock to buy, it would be a JNJ. There is a higher chance that they will pay dividends in the next 20 years and continue increasing it.

To add more stress on the power of dividend investing here are one more powerful and interesting numbers. If you start investing and reinvesting dividends via DRIP, you will literally double your dividend income every 5 years for the first 20 years. If you wait longer, it then spikes into unbelievable levels.

To illustrate my point I used data from my ROTH IRA account, normalized them and here are the dividend results at different years:


Year dividend income YOC holdings value
Year 1 $699.68 4.66% $15,699.68
Year 5 $1,042.98 6.95% $19,303.34
Year 10 $1,828.86 12.19% $26,657.49
Year 15 $3,500.04 23.33% $40,284.33
Year 20 $7,489.10 49.93% $68,290.71
Year 25 $18,472.96 123.15% $134,014.93
Year 30 $54,599.50 364.00% $316,782.35

As you can see, once you go over 20 years, your dividend income more than doubles every 5 years from $7,489.10 annual dividend at the end of the year 20 to $18,472.96 at the end of the year 25 and to $54,599.50 at the end of the year 30.

Also your account value almost doubles every 5 year once you get over 20 years!

And this doesn’t take into account capital appreciation of your stocks and the fact that over the course of that 20 years (if not more) you will be saving and adding more money to your account growing your dividends faster.

The numbers speak for themselves. Give your investment time to grow, reinvest all dividends, invest into good dividend companies even if you can afford only very little every month, and start very early. Start as soon as you learn counting numbers. I teach my kids investing, I started an account for them and every time they get an allowance, they invest it and reinvest dividends. They are 10 and 13 and I hope one day, when they see their little accounts growing, they will appreciate this strategy even more.

And everybody has this same opportunity even Tim from the article at Yahoo! the only thing you have to do is to be willing to do something for yourself, learn and avoid the liberal propaganda of dependency. That will always keep you in the poor house.

Do you have any questions about dividend investing? I am always open and free to help or provide my experience. Do not hesitate to ask. Even $50 dollars monthly savings can make a huge difference in your life. I can see it myself and the only thing I regret is that I haven’t started early.


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September 2015 trading, investing, and dividends results

Another month is over and it is time to summarize it and review how my trading and investing did. This month wasn’t good for me from the trading perspective. In June 2015 I created my new options trading strategy, but I was overconfident about so I neglected defense.

I didn’t expect at all that the market could drop 390 points in three days and stay low. I thought that if it drops this fast, it would also recover fast, similar to October 2014 when we saw a huge drop but even bigger V-shape recovery.

The drop left me with a few trades in bad shape and I tried to manage them into closure with a minimal loss. This month I wasn’t successful and one trade ended at almost a full loss.

So I learned my lesson. The hard way.

And I also adjusted my strategy a bit.


You may be interested in:

Investing Shouldn’t Just be for the Rich By Brian with Debt Discipline
The grass is always greener syndrome By TFS with The Firestarter
GETTING A GOOD DEAL : IF YOU DON’T ASK YOU DON’T GET By Fibrarian with The Fibrarian
How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half – Week Four Report By M with There’s Value
Is this the end for “old media” ? By Integrator with Get Financially Integrated!


 · September 2015 trading results

During the violent days I realized that it was inconvenient for me to manage two accounts with many trades. I was trading on my regular trading account and ROTH account. I had a hard time to manage my ROTH account and be fully focused on my trading account.

I decided to reduce my ROTH trading to have open only one or two trades at a time in my ROTH IRA account. I will be opening a new trade only after the old one is closed.

I also created a stop loss order system using OCO order (one cancel other). I will be capturing 50% of the credit or close the trade if my stop loss gets hit.

To set a trigger price, I will be using an underlying price in lieu of the multiple of collected credit. I will set the trigger price 1% below the short call strike or 1% above the short put strike. When the stop is hit, the touched spread will be closed and I will move on. I may roll the opposite spread down (or higher) to collect more credit, but that’s all. Then I will move on.


You may be interested in:

Develop A Financial Plan For Your Life Already By Financial Samurai with Financial Samurai
Living For The Moment – Not Spending It By Sam Lustgarten with Frugaling
How Student Loan Interest Works By Debt Hater with From Debt to Dreams
Good Money Habits as an Evolutionary Advantage By NMW with No More Waffles
A Not so Frugal Opportunity By Weenie with Quietly Saving


Here is my trading result for the month:


September 2015 options trading income: -$1,325.00 (-11.32%)
2015 portfolio Net-Liq: $5,903.77 (-5.36%)
2015 portfolio Cash Value: $7,963.77 (-16.13%)
2015 overall trading account result: -49.57%


Although September wasn’t my worst month it definitely contributed to it. My new trading strategy is now showing a loss. I have three months until the end of the year to improve my results, but I expect this year to be a losing year.

Here are the results of my options trading:

Options Income
(Click to enlarge)

Here are the results of my new options strategy:

Options Income
(Click to enlarge)

I still hold a trade against AGU, but I decided to deal with this trade later and either close it or move it. Besides that trade I now only trade options against SPX.

Here is the entire account value from the beginning of tracking it up to today:

TD Account Value

I hope that my next trading month will be a lot better than those last two months which literally erased all my gains this year. But it happens and it will be happening. You need to be ready for situations like this that you will have a drawdowns at some point.


You may be interested in:

Millenials are (April) Fools By Matt with Rising Returns
Downshifters! Avoid to get a Rich but Boringly Selfish Person! By Mrwoodpecker with Good Day to Live
Home By Stoicinvestor with The Stoic Investor
Defining my uniform By Leigh with Leigh’s Financial Journey
Avoid Becoming Small Minded About Money With These 7 Lessons By DEREK CHAMBERLAIN with Money Ahoy


 · September 2015 dividend investing results

My dividend investing strategy has been adjusted too this month. I decided to add DRIP to my ROTH IRA account and reinvest all dividends. Before, I used dividends for trading in my ROTH IRA account and after that use trading proceeds to buy new dividend stock. But this process showed up slower than what I expected. And I didn’t want to miss some stocks which are now fairly cheap after current selloffs. And if the market continues selling, many dividend stocks will offer great entry price. With DRIP I could participate on this and be buying good quality dividend stocks as they go down.

I use the DRIP strategy in my other accounts such as Scottrade where I use FRIP dividend reinvesting program. This time I am using DRIP in all my investing accounts and from now on I will be also reporting my DRIPs here.


Dividend stocks added or removed from portfolio:


September 2015 dividend stock buys: none
September 2015 dividend stock sells: none



Dividend stocks DRIP:


September 2015 DRIP: none


Here are my ROTH IRA trading/investing results:


September 2015 dividend income: $70.27
September 2015 options income: -$866.00
2015 portfolio value: $16,442.20 (8.87%)
2015 overall dividend account result: -5.78%


Here my dividend income:

ROTH IRA account value

Here is the entire account value from the beginning of tracking it up to today:

ROTH IRA account value


You may be interested in:

August 2015 YTD Progress Toward Goals By Stocks and options

End of the Month Summary – August 2015 By Alexander Fotopoulos with My Trader’s Journal

Dividend Stocks Do Worse By DivGuy with The Dividend Guy


Below is my dividend income review for the entire year:

Dividend Income
My ROTH IRA dividend income breakdown per month and per company.

 · All accounts

Besides trading and dividend accounts I also have 401k account, emergency savings account, etc., which I do not report in detail. You can review those accounts in my “All Accounts Value” table at the bottom of My Trades & Income page.

My accounts dropped from previous month and are losing -4.36% (up from previous month) for the year. Considering how bad the market was this month I think, this is not a bad result. I believe, that this is just a temporary drop which in 6 months nobody will remember.

What do you think?

How about your investing or trading result?

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Posted by Martin September 26, 2015
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To Raise, or Not To Raise,

When Will The United States Federal Reserve Tell Us?

The world awaits. To raise or not to raise interest rates, that is the question for the United States Federal Reserve. For months now, forecasters and traders all around the globe have been reacting to the hint that the United States will enact their first interest rate hike in nearly a decade. Seven of Wall Street’s top banks were expecting a hike in September. According to a poll conducted this week by Reuters, forecasters were betting on a sixty percent chance that the Federal Reserve was going to raise rates. Now according to a poll taken this week by Reuters, 72 of 93 forecasters have chosen December as the month the prices will lift off. Those that are certain about the hike were also as confident about a rate hike forecasted to occur last June.



According to Fed Chair Janet Yellen, both the global markets and China’s vast stock market selloff were solid reasons to take the wait and see approach. Just weeks earlier she was urging the US Central Bank to raise rates. Now it seems she is making long strides in the opposite direction. So what exactly is Yellen waiting for?

Think of it this way. The United States full growth economy is at around 2.2%. U.S. unemployment has improved by almost 50 and held at 5.5% in February. If the United States had specific financial goals before enacting a rate hike, it looks like most fiscal goals have been met. So why does Janet Yellen keep the cost of borrowing money at virtually zero in her country?

Janet Yellen

What The Federal Reserve might be skittish about is the falling prices of commodities. While China became one of the largest importers of world commodities, their inflation ran sky high. Still China didn’t want to adjust their currency. The truth is the problem for China was exacerbated by the Chinese government trying to hold currency low and fastening it to the American dollar. As Chinese stocks have begun to rally slowly these recent weeks, limp Chinese manufacturing data released Wednesday triggered a drop in U.S. markets. Obviously worries about the state of the global economy are being given more weight than realized.

Increasing U.S. interest rates, will also raise rates on U.S. government borrowings. When this happens there is plenty to be concerned with if you are Yellen. A study done this year by the Center for Economic and Policy Research estimates that increased interest rates it will add $1 trillion to $2 trillion dollars to the U.S. debt factored over the next decade. Naturally, a debt increase of this magnitude could lower infrastructure spending or require raising taxes or cutting government programs. The result would have a negative effect on the U.S. economy.

As Yellen sits in her wait and see holding pattern, fiscal scholars are blogging about how her inactions will cause additional global instability. In some cases, her indecision has prompted outright condemnation. None of the pressure seems to have had any effect on her. As it stands now, The U.S. Central Bank will continue to loan cheap currency at rates of zero to .25 percent.
If you take a look around the globe, it seems many economies are slowing down. Europe is deep in recession. China was not able to make their GDP estimate. Low oil prices spell a coming disaster for Middle East countries, and also Russia and Brazil. Not so in America. The low price of petroleum has helped to keep inflation rates down in the U.S… With inflation held low, the Federal Reserve does not have to rush to raise interest rate at the moment. So they haven’t. If the Federal Reserve moves interest rates higher, it will surly strengthen the American dollar. The higher cost of money, on the other hand, will make it more difficult for the United States to export their goods. It’s a quandary for certain.

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Posted by Martin September 26, 2015


How to create options spreads using delta

When I started trading options a few years ago I used all sorts of analysis, predictions, chart reading, but mostly my trading was based on direction prediction. It was all wrong. No one could ever predict where the market or any particular stock will go nor ends up in any particular day in its life span.

There are many traders out there who use all sorts of analytics to enter a trade. Some use unusual options activity others volatility value, or technical analysis only.

In the past I always struggled with one task, how do you choose your strikes when trading options? You do not want to be too close to the underlying price and you do not want to leave money on the table to be too far away.

I wanted my trading simple and easy. I wanted a process which could be simply defined and repeated every day, week, or month. A system, which has given rules or steps and it is easy to implement.

Lately, I finally created such system. It is so easy that I always question myself why it took so long to create this strategy.

Here is my way of trading Iron Condors or spreads against SPX. It can be used against any optionable stock, not just the index. I trade index only because I want to focus on one trade, one market, be in tune with it and not be distracted by other trades.

Here are my steps.

 · Find Delta

To find delta to trade I use my Cash management strategy. Deltas used in the table are arbitrarily chosen. I simply decided to trade 0.10 delta when the market is closer to all-time high, for example 5% – 10% below all-time high. You can choose your own level. If you want to be more aggressive, you can trade delta 15 or delta 20!

But I look at it this way, if the market is at all-time high, the risk of a decline or crash is higher than after the crash and the market is for example 20% below all-time high.

The table showing deltas I decided to trade is on the Cash management page. If you go there, the spreadsheet inserted in there tells you the current delta I will be trading (see “Traded Delta” line). As of this writing it is Delta 0.10.

 · Example of creating a put spread

  1. Once you know the Delta you will trade, the process is very simple. Go to your trading platform, find the delta you want to trade for the short put strike.
  2. When you find delta 0.10 you want to trade, it will tell you its corresponding short put strike price.
  3. Sell the put option from the Bid column of that strike.
  4. Determine how wide spread you can trade.
  5. Let’s say you can afford to trade 10 dollar wide spread, subtract 10 dollars from your short strike to get your long strike.
  6. Now you know your long strike, go and buy that option in Ask column.

Now you are done. Because pictures are worth thousand words, below is the above described process shown:

Creating put spread

The picture above shows how to create a put spread. You can follow the exact same steps to create call spreads, or if you do both together, you create an Iron Condor.

 · How to choose selling price

Once you build your Iron Condor or spread, you need to choose the selling price. When you create a Condor or spread in your platform, it will offer you a price you most likely will not be able to get. So I typically lower the asking price. For Iron Condors I usually want 6% – 15% of the spread width.

For example, if I trade 10 dollar spread or $1000 wide spread, my selling price will be between $100 – $150 dollars. I start with $150 (1.50) and if it doesn’t execute I lower it a bit, let’s say to $130 (1.30) all the way down to $100 (1.00), etc. This also depends on the delta you are trading and time of expiration. The lower the delta and longer expiration the harder it will be to get the desired price.

If you only trade separate spreads, then I usually go for 5% of the spread width, but not less than $30 dollars (0.30) per trade. The $30 dollars premium is my absolute minimum I am OK to trade for. If I cannot get it, I skip the trade whatsoever and wait for the next week.

 · What to do after you place an order?

After you are done, send the trade to your broker and if it executes don’t forget to place your stop loss order and 50% credit capturing order (OCO order) to protect your trades or collect gains as soon as they occur.

You can place your stop loss order based on the underlying price or spread value. The goal is to get out of the trade quickly before you get trapped in never ending battle with the market.

Hope this helps you to start trading. Let me know if you have any questions or need help. You can also subscribe to my free newsletter and follow my trades I trade in my account.

Good luck!


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Posted by Martin September 25, 2015
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Money For Nothing: Inside The Federal Reserve

I knew that FED was messing up our economy, but didn’t know the extend of it.

This movie is worth watching. It takes 1 hr 45 min but I recommend seeing it. It makes me think that I should trade call spread and omit puts untill all this crashes.



Money For Nothing: Inside The Federal Reserve is an independent, non partisan documentary film that examines America’s central bank in a critical, yet balanced way.
Narrated by the acclaimed actor Liev Schreiber, and featuring interviews with Paul Volcker, Janet Yellen, Jeremy Grantham and many of the world’s best financial minds, Money For Nothing is the first film ever to take viewers inside the world’s most powerful financial institution.

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Cash Management section added

For easy trade setups I decided to add a new section to my menu > Cash Management. This section can help me (and all of you following my trades) to quickly assess how much cash and what metrics to use to create a new trade.


My trading in the past was based on “coulda, woulda, and shoulda”, mostly. You can guess what impact it had to my results. Yes, I was making money, but I was also losing them. Not in the far time ago I doubled my account from $11,000 to $21,000 and as of this writing, I lost it almost all, and I am back to $9,000 level. I am slowly working it back up, but this roller coaster way of trading made me think, how to change my trading to eliminate emotions and make the trading automated or at least semi-automated.

To get better in trading and achieve a consistent winning trading, I worked hard to shape a strategy and set of rules which would eliminate my second guessing, wishful thinking, miracles, prayers, or obituaries from my trading.

I came up with a new strategy of trading options, set rules how to defend my trades and cash management.

This post is based on my cash management post and placed here as a quick reference on how to trade my money in an account. I created this table:


Market off all-time high Money invested Delta Strategy
<5% 40% 0.08 Iron Condor, Call Spreads
5% – 10% 50% 0.10 Iron Condor, Call Spreads
11% – 20% 60% 0.15 Put Spread
21% – 30% 70% 0.30 Put Spread
31% – 40% 80% 0.45 Put Spread
41% – 50% 90% 0.55 Put Spread


It basically tells me how much cash I can use at any time whenever I want to open a new trade and what delta I should use for my short strikes.

For example, if the market is 8% below all-time high price, based on the table above I can use up to 50% of all my available cash in the account for trading. The rest must stay as reserves. I can then create Iron Condors or Call Spreads with short delta at 0.10 (or less of course). The goal here is to automate that process of creating a trade. No second guessing, no predicting, or no opinions.

When you know what to trade and how to trade it, then even a caveman can do it.

If you know that you can trade delta 0.10, you just go to your options chain, find that delta, and that tells you the corresponding strike. Easy!

And of course, after you create a trade, you must follow with your protective order and 50% credit capturing strategy to eliminate emotions while waiting for results. It then all works by itself and you can have a good night sleep.

The chart at the very top is an automated spreadsheet calculating all this for me based on the table above. So all you want to do (if you want to use this as your reference too) is just come here and see how much of your cash and what delta you can trade.

Good luck!

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