Madness (Pt 2) Updated

Last year I published Methods To My Madness Pt 2 where I presented part of my non-core investing strategies.  One section has seen some activity in the broader market recently to the point I figured an update was warranted.  The section in question:

Not so obvious are Webster, UMB Financial, Health Equity, UnitedHealth and Xerox.  Each of these companies operate Health Savings/ Flexible Spending Plans.

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Debunking Home Country Bias

Investors’ natural tendency to be most attracted to investments in domestic markets. Investors tend to focus more on their home markets and the companies that do business within these markets because they are familiar with them.

Investopedia

Much has been written on investors’ Home Country Bias recently.  Studies and analyses have been performed.  It’s real and this syndrome has infected most of the planet.  But there is an antidote!  But wait.  Before we get too carried away, let’s take a closer look.

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Agrium Merger

agu   pot

On September 12th, Agrium announced they were merging with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT).  Although billed as a merger of equals, the terms appear to favor Agrium shareholders (of which I am one).  Terms of the all stock transaction are POT shareowners get .4 shares of newco (52%) with AGU shareowners getting 2.23 shares of newco (48%).  Closing is expected mid-2017.

I guess my main question is whether this deal will be the stabilizing factor Potash needs (following dividend cuts) or if Agrium follows POT’s lead.  The answer, I’m sure, lies in commodity pricing.  I’ll ride along and perhaps add a few more shares while the regulators have their say.  I’ll add a link to Morningstar’s analysis.

Rolling Unabridged Update #1

Last month I introduced the Rolling Unabridged Monthly Portfolio (RUMP).  The primary reason was to attempt to identify Herd Mentality tendencies within the DGI community.  My first assumption is that there may be a 6 to 9 month lag from identification to purchase.  My database now carries an eight month lag which I expect to reduce a little further over the next month or two.

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Aug 2016 Update

Last month was relatively quiet as the world digested the Jackson Hole confab and vacations are coming to an end.  With valuations relatively high, concerns are being raised regarding inflated investor expectations.  I touched on this briefly and Passive Income Dude had similar concerns in his post, Two More Powerful Examples of Low Expected Stock Returns: LOOK OUTFor good measure, the S&P was down slightly for the month and my holdings barely outperformed the index (-.06% versus the S&P’s -.12%).  For the year I’m ahead by 11.71%.

Headlines related to my portfolio this month include:

  • August 11 (and 15) – DOW, S&P, and NASDAQ record high
  • August 29 – MORN authorized by SEC to rate corporate bonds joining S&P, Fitch and Moody’s
  • August 31 – AGU & POT reportedly in merger discussions

Blog Updates

  • Updated the Blog Directory
  • Updated Goals
  • My updated portfolio posted
  • Rolled out Blog Stuff (will update next week)

Portfolio Updates

  • Added to KMB.
  • Added to K.
  • Added to AMC.

Dividends

  • August delivered an increase of 12.2% over August 2015.  This was due primarily to dividend increases (Y/Y).
  • August was up 7.2% from the prior quarter.
  • Announced dividend increases currently average 12.98% with 57.43% of my portfolio having at least one raise so far this year.
  • Through August, dividends received were equal to 81.0% of all 2015 dividends, keeping me on pace to exceed last year’s total in early October (as compared to 2015 being Sept. 9th).