Dividend Growth Investing Case Study

Time is the Friend - Buffett QuoteDividend investing seemed to get more popular after the financial crisis. Not that investors didn’t want dividends before then, but a good crisis can make investors rethink and change their strategy. In hindsight, the trend toward dividends makes sense. But why?

From my perspective there are a couple reasons. The financial crisis was harsh enough that investors turned toward “safer” investments.

Dividend stocks aren’t really safer than other stocks. They have their own unique risks. By safer, I mean less volatile, which generally is true, and less volatility was in high demand after the crash. Continue Reading…

Putting the CAPE Ratio Into Context

Ben Graham QuoteThe past few years has seen a growing discussion around how to best value the market. More recently, the argument turned toward just how overvalued is the market and what does it mean? I thought I’d try to answer those two questions.

Several market valuation tools have become more common since the crisis. I use the term loosely because none of the valuation tools are 100% accurate and some are terribly inaccurate. In reality, people want a market timing tool. Keep that in mind while reading further.

One of the more popular tools is the CAPE ratio (Cyclically Adjusted PE Ratio) or Shiller PE named after it’s creator, Robert Shiller. Shiller is a Yale professor who realized the market is hardly efficient, wanted a way to measure that inefficiency, and wrote a book about it appropriately named Irrational Exuberance. Continue Reading…

10 Lessons Learned From Shelby Davis

The Davis DynastyWho the hell is Shelby Davis? That was my first thought after I heard the name from a reader’s comment on recommended investing books. So I added it to my growing wishlist to check out later. Later finally happened and here’s the answer. He’s probably the best investor you never heard of.

The story of Shelby Davis is reminiscent of today. Interest rates were at all time lows. Bonds were loved and stocks were loathed. Davis did the one thing most investors wouldn’t do. He bought the most hated, boring stocks he could find and stuck with it his entire life.

Davis was an unknown. He didn’t build a company or manage a fund. He avoided the media. He only managed his money wisely. He was THE millionaire next door until the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans outed him in ’88.

Davis lived by the principles we so often forget or ignore. The Davis Dynasty shows us what’s possible even if we get started late. Continue Reading…

Template For the Next Market Crash

Stock Market CrashCrashes happen. That’s a risk we take when investing. Lets face it, most of us are better off not following the daily stock market news. Tuning out is one way to leave your investments alone. Until a crash happens, then it’s hard to ignore.

Some event triggers it all. The media showcases the emotion of the day. It starts with frustration, then worry, moves to fear, until panic sets in. It’s a process that sometimes takes weeks or months.

Headlines spread the scary news. A parade of experts all have THE answer for what will happen next. Each one is different and extreme. All of them are wrong. But it doesn’t matter, they’re “experts”.

Articles rehash the events for weeks, and months, along with every anniversary there after. We give these days colorful names like Black Monday and Black Tuesday. Continue Reading…

The Argument For International Stocks

International Stocks Annual Returns BreakdownInternational stocks are a great way to diversify away from the U.S. But when a home country bias is alive and well, it’s easy to ignore everything else. U.S. stocks have performed admirably in the past, but international stocks have too.

Since 1970, the S&P 500 performed at a 10.40% annual clip (with dividends). Did you know that during that same time, international stocks practically matched it?

You can try to hand-pick countries based on expected returns or go with a basket of countries that captures all that missed opportunity. The tables below show how international stock returns breakdown. Hopefully, it makes the argument to stop ignoring the big opportunity outside the U.S. Continue Reading…