Weekend Reading – July 17, 2011

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in Sarasota, Florida. I’m not sure what the rest of the day has in store for me, but I think relaxing by the pool may be first in line. Sunday afternoons, especially lazy ones, are among my favorite moments in life. It’s a time to let the world pass you by and just relax. On a separate note, I appreciate all the visitors to the site over the past week and I really relish all the comments left. I have a lot to learn, being a young investor, and it’s in the sharing of information that I learn the most. Learning and sharing ideas is what I do this for, so in the name of sharing…

Here are some excellent articles from fellow dividend growth investors, frugalists and personal finance bloggers from the past week.

Chubb (CB) Dividend Stock Analysis
Dividend Growth Investor analyzes Chubb, an insurance company and decides he is bullish on it. I share his sentiments and have looked at Chubb a few times now as another insurance company to complement my holdings with Harleysville. There are a couple other insurance companies I’m currently looking at, including Cincinnati Financial (CINF) and Aflac (AFL).

June 2011 Pocket Change Portfolio Performance Update
D4L updates us on his pocket change portfolio. I certainly wish my pocket change looked like his! Another great month, and stellar passive income numbers. He also reveals his recent additions to the portfolio, which includes CINF, COP and GPC. I wouldn’t mind a little GPC and COP in my own portfolio, but I’m a little unsure about Cincinnati Financial. I wish him the best with his continued success.

8 Dividend Stocks With Particularly Strong Balance Sheets
Dividend Monk published an article at Seeking Alpha. As always, Dividend Monk concentrates on the balance sheet, which is something that I could improve on. He’s an astute investor and likes to see low debt before he commits money to a position. I would say most of my positions share low debt, except for my holdings with Telefonica. I would classify that as a higher risk/higher reward position.

Carl Icahn Tries to Buy Clorox (CLX) – Sort Of
The Dividend Pig shows us why Clorox had such a big spike over the past week. Carl Icahn, a legendary corporate raider, is trying to make a push for change and take Clorox private. He is offering investors a premium on Clorox stock. I have not pursued any investments with Clorox out of fear of their debt load. It seems The Pig seems to think this is a ploy to profit from his 9% stake or force a change at management. Carl has already seen his holdings jump in value just by making his feelings public. It’s nice to have that kind of pull!

Would the Real “Fund” Please Stand Up!
Dividend Ninja classifies and defines the difference between Mutual Funds, ETF’s and Index Funds. Good stuff here, and these kinds of articles are really helpful in trying to dissect all the complicated financial jargon that exists around these products. Ninja does a great job at laying down the pros and cons for each investment type. I’m not a big fan of any of the funds, but I can see how true Index ETF’s and Index Funds could be great products for a passive investor.

Why I left the mutual fund industry
My Own Advisor published an article today about why he no longer invests with any mutual funds. He mentioned the word “fees” 17 times in this article, so I think that says a lot! I’m not a fan of fund in general, and I’m least enthused about Mutual Funds. Fees, fees, fees…no thanks!

How To Invest Money In Your 20’s
Buy Like Buffett discusses how a young investor should start, and how it’s best to start as early as possible. This article does apply to me, as I’m still in my 20’s-barely. I’m a little risk-averse as my time horizon is certainly much smaller than a typical 20 year-old. Mark advocates higher risk for higher returns and investing in both retirement plans and brokerage accounts for a young investor. He also recommends small cap investments. Great advice!

Chasing High Yield Dividend Stocks Is Chasing Your Own Loss
The Dividend Guy reminds us to never “chase yield”. Often, an extremely high yield is the result of price depression or unsustainable payouts. Either scenario is generally undesirable. Depressed prices can sometimes be a great deal if the market is punishing a stock that has nothing to do with the company’s fundamentals. But these can oftentimes be value traps. As always, it’s best to be careful when you are looking at high yield stocks!

As U.S. Default Threat Looms: Consider NVS, XOM, JNJ, INTC
Dividend Stocks Online discusses why investing in high-quality dividend stocks is prudent in these times of uncertainty. I’m long three of them, and have looked at NVS a few times.

My HDHP HSA and some comments on health care
Jacob discusses his HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan) and why he believes in proactive health care, rather than reactive. I love his thoughts on HDHP’s and this is something I’ll probably pursue in my early retirement.

Thanks for reading.


  1. says

    Thanks for the mention Mantra!

    Yeah, typing the word “fees” was by design, glad you picked up on that :)

    Glad to hear the weather is great in Florida. Here in Ottawa, Canada, it was over 40 Deg. Celsuis with the humidity today, or about 105 Farhenheit today. Major storms coming our way.

    Take care, will check in again soon!

  2. says

    Thanks for the links.

    When it comes to balance sheets, everything is relative. In general, I consider a balance sheet among the most important of my investment criteria, but in certain industries, what constitutes a “good” balance sheet looks pretty bad compared to, say, JNJ. All useful strategies are flexible rather than absolute. For example, I’m more than willing to make balance sheet exceptions for utilities and partnerships as long as their leverage is reasonable for their industry. Telecom companies require leverage as well. Telefonica has a mediocre balance sheet for its industry at best, but at least the interest coverage ratio is over 5.

  3. says

    Looks good, I am management student & I am collecting information for my Mines & Minerals project. I got to know about one of the successful people in this field Stephen Dattels & I am looking for further information. Pls help me for the same.

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