Just for the heck of it...

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
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x36900
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Just for the heck of it...

Post by x36900 » Sat Nov 03, 2007 11:29 pm

...several months ago, when I was still a regular lurker and occasional poster on the Morningstar forums, I solicited opinions on their "stock picks" forum.

I was contemplating selling my position in Vanguard's Equity Income Fund (VEIPX), and using that money to establish positions in some of the stocks that I like, and that VEIPX often holds. Call it an imitation-of-slash-tribute-to VEIPX.

I have gone ahead with that plan, although properly stated I haven't established positions in all of the stocks that were on my shopping list. Call it a work in progress.

So, I'm going to post results of my performance versus VEIPX, but I will also post results against Vanguard's High Dividend Yield Index fund (VHDYX) because it is also a pretty good bogy for me.

Okay, choosing an "inception date" was tricky; I was holding one of my desired stocks before I even thought of this. I started purchasing the other stocks on August 14, 2007. I decided to call the closing prices on August 13th the inception.

VEIPX: 8/13/2007 n.a.v $25.73; 9/24/2007 dividend of $0.19; 11/2/2007 n.a.v. $26.26. Return so far +2.80%.

VHDYX: 8/13/2007 $20.67; 9/24/2007 dividend of $0.13; 11/2/2007 n.a.v. $20.90. Return so far +1.74%.

ME: 8/13/2007 started with 15 shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) at $61.45.
8/14/2007 added 15 shares of Harley-Davidson (HOG) at $55.55.
8/15/2007 added 15 shares of General Dynamics (GD) at $75.50.

8/30/2007: added 15 shares of Altria (MO) for $70.62; added 30 shares of Pfizer (PFE) for $25.16; added 10 shares of United Parcel Service (UPS) for $77.66.

9/11/2007 JNJ dividend of $6.23.
9/17/2007 UPS dividend of $4.20.
10/10/2007 MO dividend of $11.25.
10/11/2007 HOG dividend of $4.50.

10/17/2007: Big day... added 10 shares of 3M Co. (MMM) for $95.85; added 16 shares of Eli Lilly (LLY) for $58.40; added 16 shares of Pepsico (PEP) for $72.95; added 16 shares of Procter & Gamble (PG) for $71.89;
added 10 shares of United Technologies (UTX) for $79.90; added 16 shares of Wrigley (WWY) for $67.58; added 16 shares of Wyeth (WYE) for $47.23.

10/19/2007 Added 16 shares of Colgate-Palmolive (CL) for $73.45.

10/30/2007 Added 16 shares of Merck (MRK) for $59.19.

Invested so far: $14,446.74, of which $247.50 is commision expenses. (I think that gives me a start-up expense ratio of about 1.74%).
Value on 11/2/2007 $14,149.08...return so far negative 1.88%.

I still want to add four stocks: ExxonMobil (XOM), Coca-Cola (KO), Lockheed-Martin (LMT), and McDonald's (MCD), but they just haven't been cheap enough yet.

Do I expect to beat either of the Vanguard funds? Nope. I'll probably have lucky streaks now and then, but my results should be much more volatile. I'm holding 15 stocks now, hoping to get to 19 stocks. VEIPX holds 171 positions as of 9/30/2007, and VHDYX holds 507 positions.

The only thing I'll have going for me is lower expenses (after I've got all my positions established, that is) because I shouldn't be making any more trades with these for a long, long time.

Regards,
Brian

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gatorking
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shares

Post by gatorking » Sat Nov 03, 2007 11:38 pm

Just out of curiosity, what percentage of your portfolio is invested in these shares?

"9/11/2007 JNJ dividend of $6.23.
9/17/2007 UPS dividend of $4.20.
10/10/2007 MO dividend of $11.25.
10/11/2007 HOG dividend of $4.50. "

I hope these aren't in a taxable account.

Regards.

Topic Author
x36900
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Hi, gatorking, thanks for the reply...

Post by x36900 » Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:29 am

...not too much, actually. The fifteen stocks combined were about 12.9% of my portfolio on October 31st. If I manage to add the other four stocks, and all hold their relative values, I'd have 19 stocks worth about 16.5% of my total portfolio.

Oh, and taxes are not a worry yet. This is inside a traditional IRA.

If you meant, "how much was JNJ, UPS, MO, and HOG?", those four were about 3.2% of the port.

Thanks again,
Brian

Wagnerjb
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Re: shares

Post by Wagnerjb » Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:39 am

gatorking wrote:Just out of curiosity, what percentage of your portfolio is invested in these shares?

"9/11/2007 JNJ dividend of $6.23.
9/17/2007 UPS dividend of $4.20.
10/10/2007 MO dividend of $11.25.
10/11/2007 HOG dividend of $4.50. "

I hope these aren't in a taxable account.

Regards.
I hope these ARE in a taxable account, so you can get the benefits of tax management, including tax loss harvesting. If they were (I see they are not), you could have sold HOG for a tax loss and realized some tax benefits that holders of VEIPX don't get.

(I happen to hold HOG in my portfilio of individual stocks, and I tax loss harvested recently)

Best wishes.
Andy

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x36900
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Lol, Andy, timing is everything!

Post by x36900 » Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:18 am

Hi, thanks for the response. Yep, I have managed to purchase several of these stocks near their 52-week highs.
I am simply shrugging my shoulders...if my analysis was correct (which remains to be seen, obviously) all of these will give me pretty nice returns over the next two to three decades.

Interesting note on your sale of HOG; by any chance do you have positions in any of the other stocks that I'm holding now or looking to add to my portfolio?

Thanks again!
Brian

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x36900
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Oh, here's some info. that I did not include last night...

Post by x36900 » Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:34 am

I suspect that some of you may wonder, "Well, where are these stocks on a market cap. basis?"

Some others may wonder, "Where are these stocks inside VEIPX and VHDYX?"

Here goes...

Per the Total Stock Market Fund (VTSMX), which holds 3,632 stocks as of September 30, 2007:

XOM -- position #1;
PG -- #7;
JNJ -- #10;
PFE -- #12;
MO -- #16;
KO -- #23;
PEP -- #24;
MRK -- #26;
UTX -- #33;
MCD -- #38;
MMM -- #42;
WYE -- #45;
LLY -- #50;
UPS -- #60;
LMT -- #82;
CL -- #88;
GD -- #103;
HOG -- #283;
WWY -- #307.

VEIPX only holds 171 positions as of 9/30/2007...
XOM -- #1; PG -- #15; JNJ -- #22; PFE -- #25; MO -- #8; KO -- #36; PEP -- #39; MRK -- #42; UTX -- no position; MCD -- #35; MMM -- #24; WYE -- #11; LLY -- #62; UPS -- #65; LMT -- no position; CL -- #40; GD, HOG, and WWY -- no positions.

VHDYX only holds 507 positions as of 9/30/2007...
XOM -- #1; PG -- #6; JNJ -- #8; PFE -- #9; MO -- #11; KO -- #13; PEP -- no position! :shock: ; MRK -- #16; UTX -- no position; MCD -- #20; MMM -- #19; WYE -- #22; LLY -- #21; UPS -- #28; LMT -- no position; CL -- #39; GD -- no position; HOG -- no position; WWY -- #107.

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Opponent Process
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Post by Opponent Process » Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:42 am

congrats on keeping up with your actual performance.

most stock pickers never bother to do this and tend to overestimate their performance.

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x36900
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Hi, Opponent Process...

Post by x36900 » Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:36 pm

...Thanks for the reply. I'd be a sad, sad person if I were unable to give you all the facts; that's just not my personality type, I suppose.

Lol, I suppose that I'll be looking rather unimpressive if I keep providing the facts, as opposed to grandiose claims.

I have two basic hopes: first, not to be completely outperformed by the actual Vanguard funds. Second, I hope that I do better than the Munchkin Man's "MUNCH fund" as described by him on the "Off Topic" forum here at Diehards.org on October 31st.

Best regards,
Brian

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Post by biasion » Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:39 pm

[removed]
1. Do not confuse strategy with outcome | 2. Those who fail to plan plan to fail | 3. Do not assume the unlikely is impossible, and | 4. Be ready to deal with the consequences if you do.

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x36900
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bettegga: simply stated, I'm not looking for high yield...

Post by x36900 » Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:40 pm

...In my opinion high yield stocks are too often really poor businesses, which have stock prices that are incredibly low (thus producing the high yield) because they won't be around too much longer.

I'm trying to pick and choose the stocks of companies that pay relatively high dividends -- in terms of dollar amount -- but that are not necessarily considered "high yield." I want the companies to have really good balance sheets, to have a long track record of paying decent dividends (even more preferable, of paying increasing dividends), and I want to believe that they will still be around ten years to twenty years from now -- thus I'm going after companies with market cap.'s of 10 billion dollars or more.

The tricky part, of course, is trying to figure out a price that I'm willing to pay. I had been using prior financial data to set target prices for the various companies, but by the end of August I was only holding 6 stocks off my 19 stock shopping list. I made a change in mid-October to go after forward looking earnings estimates, to reset my target prices. That is how I bought 8 more stocks in just three days' time, and another this past week.

Anyway, to sum up -- I don't care about "high yield," I care about buying the stocks of good companies that I hope will prove to provide decent dividends, sure, but more importantly will provide decent total returns.

Regards,
Brian

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x36900
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Update since last post...

Post by x36900 » Sat Nov 17, 2007 12:54 am

...Since two weeks ago, one of my limit orders was executed. I've added 10 shares of ExxonMobil on 11/12/2007 at a cost of $87.00. Received a GD dividend of $4.35 on Nov. 9th, and received a CL dividend of $5.76 yesterday.

Also, I had to re-figure my costs for both HOG and GD. I do own 15 shares of each, but I was understating the commissions. I'd originally bought 50 sh. of HOG at $56.00, and sold off 35 sh. at $56.196; net cost of remaining 15 sh. actually $55.542666. Similarly, I'd originally purchased 30 sh. of GD at $76.25, and sold of 15 sh. at $77.018666; net cost of 15 sh. was $75.481333.

Bottom line, I was combining two transactions each into one, for convenience. But it's not honest, and understates the commission expenses.

So, since August 13th, 2007: I've made net investments of $14,958.79 into 16 stocks, incurred $357.56 in comissions and fees, for a total investment of $15,316.35 so far.
Dividends collected so far have been $36.29. At todays close, the stocks are worth $15,149.90. I'm still in the hole -- negative 0.79% since August 13th.

My two bogy's are ahead so far; VHDYX stands at negative 0.34%, while VEIPX is at positive 0.62% for the same time frame.

Still on the shopping list: Coca-Cola (KO), McDonald's (MCD), and Lockheed-Martin (LMT).

My stock screener has recently added another name; I'm contemplating adding this one to my shopping list: Exelon Corp. (EXC). They are an electric utility -- Chicago area Diehards would know them as Commonwealth Edison, for example. The Total Stock Mkt. Index holds EXC in position #62 out of 3,632; VEIPX holds it at #18 out of 171; and VHDYX holds it at #29 out of 507.

I'm not sure if I'll keep it, though. It would be nice -- 20 stocks is a nice round number, and my bogy's hold it too. But I just don't feel the love for it, so to speak. For now, it's under consideration.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday,
Brian

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Re: Lol, Andy, timing is everything!

Post by Wagnerjb » Sat Nov 17, 2007 10:09 am

x36900 wrote:Hi, thanks for the response. Yep, I have managed to purchase several of these stocks near their 52-week highs.
I am simply shrugging my shoulders...if my analysis was correct (which remains to be seen, obviously) all of these will give me pretty nice returns over the next two to three decades.

Interesting note on your sale of HOG; by any chance do you have positions in any of the other stocks that I'm holding now or looking to add to my portfolio?

Thanks again!
Brian
Hi Brian: I actually do have shares in two of your other companies - Coca Cola and Johnson & Johnson. However, I would be careful not to ascribe any meaning to this. I am in the accumulation phase, and these stocks are in a taxable account. Thus, I try to minimize the dividend yield....for tax efficiency. Of course, if I totally eliminated dividends I would have a lop-sided portfolio that wasn't diversified.

I hold the stocks passively, and when I need to add a stock I choose based on dividend yield and fit for my portfolio. I don't "pick" stocks based on a view on how they will perform.

So....I don't think we have similar goals for the stocks we pick, and I have no opinion on the stocks I own. (Actually a year or two ago I sold Coke for a tax loss and bought back after 30 days).

My advice to you is to be vigilant about being diversified. I am a supporter of a strategy to hold individual stocks, but without adequate diversification I don't think such a strategy is wise.

Best wishes.
Andy

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x36900
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Latest update to this post...

Post by x36900 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:33 am

...Relatively quiet since mid-November; no purchases or sales have been made. Dividends have been collected on Wyeth (WYE) and Pfizer (PFE).

Within the next week, dividends will be paid by Lilly (LLY), United Technologies (UTX), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and 3M (MMM), but I won't bother to make another announcement until after December 31st rolls around. That'll be the close of the year, or in my case, 4.6 months. :)

As of December 4th: For the period 8/13/2007 to 12/4/2007 --

Vanguard Equity Income Fund (VEIPX): +1.75%.
Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index (VHDYX): +0.19%.
My incomplete portfolio: +0.37%.

This is a bit of a turn. Prior to now, my returns had been negative, and I was trailing both mutual funds. For the moment, I'm slightly positive and have overtaken VHDYX, but still trail VEIPX by quite a bit.

It'd be nice to stay positive first of all, regardless of performance versus the funds. Still looking for opportunities to buy Coke (KO), McDonald's (MCD), and Lockheed-Martin (LMT). Still pondering the addition of Exelon (EXC) to my shopping list.

Anyway, if I don't hear from anyone before then, best wishes for a happy holiday season to everyone.

Best regards,
Brian

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Post by JackS » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:42 pm

i don't like HOG going into a possible recession. It's a discretionary stock.

For those interested in a dividend stock, SPH is a propane company that now yields just over 7%. Hillary Kramer likes it and it might do well for awhile into winter.

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x36900
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JackS: thanks for the note on SPH

Post by x36900 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:00 pm

Unfortunately, it doesn't pass my screens. Mainly, it just isn't a big enough company, nor does it have what would be described as a "wide moat."
Otherwise, it'd certainly be a candidate.
Regards,
Brian

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aainvestor
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Post by aainvestor » Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:36 pm

I have been watching VEIPX & VHDYX also. I am going to watch how you are doing with this because I was hoping to put together a similar portfolio out of my play money. I am probably going to start some time in the new year with I change jobs and roll over my current 401k to its new homes.

What are you using to research your stocks? Morningstar screener? Someone elses? Dividend Investor? Inquiring minds want to know.

F-

B.T.W. GD just declared their next dividend:
The board of directors of General Dynamics today declared a regular quarterly dividend of 29 cents per share on the company’s common stock, payable February 8, 2008, to shareholders of record January 18, 2008.

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x36900
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aainvestor: Thanks for the question...

Post by x36900 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:14 am

...First off, let me offer a congratulations and/or best wishes for the new job.

I believe you are planning to roll your 401(k) money into a traditional IRA, if I'm reading your post correctly. Is that so? And, do you plan to roll it over to Vanguard?

The reason that I ask is that stock trades require commissions; unless you have enough assets rolling over that Vanguard will give you "Flagship" status from the beginning, the VBS (Vanguard Brokerage Service) commissions are, IMO, very high. Well, I'll back off a little -- "Voyager Select" status commissions would be tolerable ($12 per trade).
Flagship customers get 12 commission-free trades per year, and then they are $8 per trade.

Something to consider, in any event. But, maybe think of rolling over the portion intended to be the "play money" to a discount broker such as Scottrade or E*Trade, where you won't have such onerous commissions on the stock trades.

Anyway, where do I do my research? For now, I am using Morningstar's "Premium" stock screener primarily. I do supplement that with company specific data provided by Vanguard, but mainly Morningstar.
I'm intending to let my "premium" membership lapse next April, though. At that point, I'll try to use the same screen that I've saved on my account at the local public library; somebody recently wrote a post stating that such tools are often available at your public library. If so, I'm set.

Oh, slightly off topic, but if you are a Morningstar member and want to know the specifics of the screen I've designed, I'll give you the details. It's not very complex.

Best regards,
Brian

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aainvestor
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Re: aainvestor: Thanks for the question...

Post by aainvestor » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:31 pm

x36900 wrote:...First off, let me offer a congratulations and/or best wishes for the new job.

I believe you are planning to roll your 401(k) money into a traditional IRA, if I'm reading your post correctly. Is that so? And, do you plan to roll it over to Vanguard?
Thank you for the wishes (it would help if I left my current job first). The plan to switch is in place but I havnt done it yet. My goal is that any money I save from that point on in my new 401k will be for the next Mrs. if something unfortunate should happen to me and the money I saved prior to that point will go to my daughters.

BUT, my current 401k is cool. I am allowed to do an inservice rollover of all matching funds and company contributions that have been in the fund less than 2 years to a rollover IRA. I am working on that right now before the end of the year. I that money is going into T Rowe Price (trying to get small company foreign) and Dodge & Cox. When I leave and transfer the balance of the 401k I will proably divide it up between D&C, Vanguard, & my mad money going to Etrade or somewhere like that.

I am currently a Voyager Select but I would fall just short of Flagship if I combined all my retirement funds at Vanguard. So for the time being I will go with my portfolio as it stands and re-evaluate the situation in a couple of years when I am well over the Flagship boundary.

I have just found out that our local library has those same services available but you have to use them from inside the library. You can print or bring a USB drive to save the results.

Yes if you dont mind I would like to see what you are screening for. One thing I have done during the course of the year is focus on 3 funds to see what they are holding to get a feel for what managers looking for Dividends are looking for. One thing I notice about your portfolio is that you have a couple of stocks that arent in either of Vanguard's Dividend Portfolios (Like LMT & GD). They also arent in CAIBX (American Funds Capital Income Builder) that looks for stocks with growing dividends. I would be curious how they met your screens (I personally like both of them and so does Morningstar).

F-

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x36900
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For aainvestor: here's my M* screen

Post by x36900 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:21 pm

I'm just going to type it out, as it appears on the Morningstar web-page.
It's their tool, first of all, and I don't feel like I'm doing anything unique.

So, for you and anyone else that would want to play with the screen -- this is from Morningstar's "premium" stock screener -- I use six conditions to generate the stocks that make up my "shopping list."

First: Market Capitalization (mil $) >= 10000.
Second: Stock Sector not = Financial Services.
Third: Morningstar Economic Moat = Wide.
Fourth: Financial Health Grade >= A-. [that's supposed to be "A minus"]
Fifth: Morningstar Stewardship Grade >= C.
Sixth: Dividend Trailing 12 months ($/share) >= 0.97

As of today, this screen generates 21 stocks. I own already, or intend to own, 19 of them. Number 20, which I've included in some of these later posts, is Exelon (EXC). I haven't decided for certain whether I will buy it or not.
The 21st stock would be Alcon, Inc. (ACL). I've decided for myself that I definitely don't want it, despite the fact that it passes my screen. I don't like Alcon because most of their revenue, earnings, etc. is tied to contact lenses and lense products, where they are by far the biggest player worldwide.
I may be proven wrong, but my gut tells me that contact lenses will be a shrinking market. I used to wear lenses myself, but got LASIK surgery about 6 years ago. I'd expect a whole lot more of that going forward.

Anyway, my screen basically picks out wide-moat (at least as far as M* is concerned), very strong balance sheet, relatively high dividend paying companies, that have large to giant market cap.'s. They are at least average stewards of investor capital (again, per M*).

Why throw out Financial Services? This is another idiosyncracy of my own. I don't like financial services companies because of my own poor track record buying such companies over the last fifteen years. I have had trouble trying to determine how weak or strong their balance sheets are, and this year the sub-prime mess indicates that they aren't too good at figuring that out either. So, I just won't buy banks, brokers, etc. anymore.

I double-checked my screen, and if I allowed Financial Svcs. companies, one stock would be added to the list: Blackrock, Inc. (BLK). But I just won't go there.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Regards,
Brian

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x36900
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Further info on the screen

Post by x36900 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:59 pm

I neglected to mention that I do make modifications to the sixth condition (the one regarding the dividend).
As each quarter goes by, and dividends get paid, the trailing 12 month dividend generally goes up (several of these companies, for example, are on the Mergent Dividend Achievers List -- they have been increasing dividends for a while).
So, necessarily, I increase the dividend amount inside the screen. This past summer, I was only screening for a 12 month div. of $0.88, now it's up to $0.97. Next month, after all the 2007 dividends have been paid, I'll re-calculate the minimum dividend for the screen. My guess is it'll be a little more than $1.00...maybe $1.04 to $1.06.
Whatever gives me at least the same 21 stocks.

At some point in the future, I'll probably increase the Market Cap. inside condition 1. Over time, these companies will grow. At least, I hope so. For now, it's $10 billion or more.

Brian

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aainvestor
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Re: For aainvestor: here's my M* screen

Post by aainvestor » Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:53 pm

x36900 wrote:First: Market Capitalization (mil $) >= 10000.
Second: Stock Sector not = Financial Services.
Third: Morningstar Economic Moat = Wide.
Fourth: Financial Health Grade >= A-. [that's supposed to be "A minus"]
Fifth: Morningstar Stewardship Grade >= C.
Sixth: Dividend Trailing 12 months ($/share) >= 0.97
Wouldn't you want to specify the Dividend as a yield? That will make the cost of the stock more comparable. I can see a very expensive stock having an absolute dividend higher than a smaller priced stock but a lower yeild.

F-

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x36900
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aainvestor -- I don't care about the yield so much

Post by x36900 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:42 pm

I probably could find a few companies that pay $0.50 dividend, on a stock price of $20.00, for about a 2.5% yield.
Or, companies that pay $1.00 in dividend, on a price of $85.00, for a yield of 1.18%.
I want the $1.00 dividend, regardless of the yield.

My opinion only, feel free to disagree, but high yield stocks are too often poor businesses with really low share prices that "produce" that high yield.
I'm looking for strong companies that pay relatively high dividends in terms of dollar amount. Whether the yield is low, high, or in between does not matter to me.

Best regards,
Brian

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aainvestor
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Re: aainvestor -- I don't care about the yield so much

Post by aainvestor » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:08 pm

x36900 wrote:My opinion only, feel free to disagree, but high yield stocks are too often poor businesses with really low share prices that "produce" that high yield.
I'm looking for strong companies that pay relatively high dividends in terms of dollar amount. Whether the yield is low, high, or in between does not matter to me.
Only mild disagreement. Often times that is correct. But times like this, there are alot of stocks that have been punished as part of the sub-prime mess that look like good pickups for their dividend. Occasionally the market throws a big sale.

F-

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x36900
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Well, it sounds like you've got a problem with another one

Post by x36900 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:49 pm

of my conditions then. Remember that I am intentionally excluding financial services companies?
But even that doesn't help; if I drop the condition for Fin'l Svcs., I still don't pick up any banks, I would only pick up Blackrock (BLK).
Bottom-line, Morningstar cannot assign a Financial Health grade of at least "A minus" to any of these companies, whether Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc.
They just ain't good enough for my screen.
I'm ok with that.
Best Regards,
Brian

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x36900
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As promised last month...

Post by x36900 » Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:36 pm

The final return figures for my collection of stocks versus both VEIPX (Vanguard's Equity-Income Fund) and VHDYX (Vanguard's High Dividend Yield Index Fund) for the last third or so of the year.

From August 13th, 2007 through December 31st, 2007:

VEIPX: + 1.78%

VHDYX: - 0.29%

myself: - 0.39%.

No changes to the portfolio since mid-November. Still looking for opportunities to buy some KO, EXC, LMT, and MCD. I finally decided that, yes indeed, I'll include Exelon. No better reason than 20 stocks is a nice round number.

Anyway, at least 2008 will be an actual calendar year. I'll try to post updates quarterly.

Best of luck to everyone for 2008!

Brian

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x36900

Post by HawkeyeMike » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:04 pm

X36900

Did you include in your total return %, Dec Distributions for the Funds?

12/14 VEIPX $1.20 LTCG, $.158 STCG, $.22 Divd

12/12 VHDYX $.17 Divd

Mike

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Relax Hawkeye...

Post by x36900 » Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:03 am

...all dividend distributions and cap. gains distributions are accounted for.

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x36900

Post by HawkeyeMike » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:13 pm

x36900

This should be interesting to track your portfolio vs. these two funds.

I own the VHDYX Fund. I took the lazy man's way of playing LargeCap Dividend stocks in my taxable account. The fund is taking a little loss of NAV due to it's large position in financial stocks.

Good luck to you in 2008

Mike

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Thanks! Good luck to you too, Hawkeye Mike

Post by x36900 » Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:07 pm

I apologize for not expressing that thought in my last post in this thread, but it was pretty late at night.

I just hope to be close to both VHDYX and VEIPX... I don't have any reason to believe that I'll beat them. Maybe I'll scratch out a win once every few years. Plenty of time to find out, as I hope to keep this up for at least another twenty years... hopefully both funds, and me, will still be kicking then.

Regardless of that, best of luck for 2008, and Happy New Year to you and all the other Diehards.

Brian

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Disturbing news regarding my data query...

Post by x36900 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:03 pm

Greetings to everyone,
I ran into an unexpected change with regards to the data query I'd designed at Morningstar.com to generate the names of the stocks I'd buy to create my own mini-mutual-fund.
Saturday afternoon, I thought to myself that I had not run the query since about January 10th, and therefore I may as well run it again to see if any new names would pop up.
No new names did; that wasn't an issue. The troubling news was that my query, which had been generating 20-plus stocks in mid-January, was only producing 5 now!
Looking into the conditions laid out inside my query, it seems that the Morningstar "Financial Health Grade" has changed significantly -- and to the downside -- for about fifteen of my twenty stocks.

I have written an e-mail to the folks at Morningstar, asking them to please explain how/why they have apparently made such dramatic reductions in their own grade.
I am awaiting an answer; depending upon what they tell me, I may have to change that condition inside my query. Or, I may have to conclude that companies I trusted as being very financially strong are in fact not so strong after all.
If I am forced to decide that companies that used to be rated strong are not so strong, I will have to evaluate prices at which to sell those stocks. That may put an end to my personal contest with VEIPX and VHDYX; 5 stocks ain't close enough to a "fund" to run such a contest.

However, I am hopeful that the Morningstar folks will tell me that what used to be an "A-minus" has been re-defined, so it is still a very strong company, but now it's just a grade of "B" or "B-minus," and thus I can simply change the condition inside the query to accept a Financial Health grade of, say, "B-minus."

I'll let you know what I find out after I get a response.

Best regards,
Brian

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Oh, the stocks that are still Morningstar rated as having...

Post by x36900 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:09 pm

...Financial Health grades of at least "A-minus" inside my query are:

Coca-Cola (KO);
ExxonMobil (XOM);
McDonald's (MCD);
Pepsico (PEP);
Pfizer (PFE).

Since I'm using this space for unexpected news, I may as well add that I managed to buy 3 additional stocks in Mid-January: Exelon (EXC), Lockheed Martin (LMT), and McDonald's (MCD).

So, the only stock that I have left to purchase is Coke (KO).

Best regards,
Brian

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Sorry for the delay...

Post by x36900 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:04 pm

...I still have not received an answer from Morningstar.

However, they were kind enough to reply that they did receive my inquiry, and that they had somebody -- I'd assume a relatively young, relatively new to his/her job employee -- investigating, to bring me an answer.

No promise as to how long it will take...

Anyway, since last weeks posts, Vanguard updated the portfolio holdings of all of its stock funds, so that we can view all holdings as of December 31, 2007.

I'll list out my stocks and where they fall in VTSMX, VEIPX, and VHDYX in the next post...

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12/31/2007 portfolio data

Post by x36900 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:18 pm

I'm going to list out my stocks (desired still for KO), by ticker, and then where they fall in VTSMX, VEIPX, and VHDYX.

Regarding those three funds, VTSMX had 3,615 positions as 12/31/07;
VEIPX had 178 positions;
and VHDYX had 585 positions.

MMM 43/ 41/ 19;
MO 12/ 7/ 7;
KO 20/ 45/ 11;
CL 74/ 21/ 34;
LLY 49/ 60/ 20;
EXC 47/ 47/ 25;
XOM 1/ 6/ no position :shock:
GD 98/ no pos./ no position;
HOG 262/ no pos./ 96;
JNJ 7/ 19/ 5;
LMT 85/ no pos./ no position;
MCD 34/ 33/ 18;
MRK 23/ 32/ 14;
PEP 24/ 39/ no position;
PFE 13/ 22/ 8;
PG 5/ 12/ 3;
UPS 57/ 66/ 28;
UTX 33/ no pos./no position;
WWY 304/ no pos./ 101;
WYE 41/ 23/ 21.

Regards,
Brian

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Shockingly, I got an answer!

Post by x36900 » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:24 pm

Late yesterday afternoon/early yesterday evening, about 6:30 P.M. Eastern, I got my answer from the Morningstar troops.

It was about what I'd expected. They have systems set to crunch financial numbers for almost every company, every quarter that they report.

So, while the grades for most of my companies dropped, that is not indicative of poor financial health overall. Just a new quarter that wasn't quite as good as previous.

I won't bore y'all with the details, but based upon what Morningstar told me they use to establish a "Financial Health Grade," I pulled up the numbers for the 20 companies that I'm focused upon.

I understand why they dropped the grades on about 5, although in my opinion the other 10 should not have been lowered. And the first 5, again in my opinion, do not really deserve a downgrade, because 1 quarter is not reflective of a change in momentum, nor in performance.

So, what has this forced me to do? Within my data query, I've reduced the condition on "Financial Health Grade." I used to ask for a grade of at least A-minus, but I've dropped that to at least a grade of C. Also, I had to reduce the Market Cap. from $10 billion to $8.8 billion (Harley-Davidson has just been punished the last few months, and won't come up if I ask for $10 billion market cap; hopefully this will change back later this year.)

So, I'm once again getting all 20 of the companies I've been writing about.

New issue: the reduction in Financial Health to "C" is drawing in an additional 3 companies that weren't drawn before.
They are Anheuser-Busch (BUD), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), and Paychex (PAYX).

I'm going to have to examine the numbers and see how I feel about them; my initial inclination is that I probably shouldn't try to buy them. They weren't "A-minus" on Financial Health a few months back, whereas my 20 companies were.

But...never say never. I may soon be sporting a list of as many as 23 companies. :roll:

Best wishes,
Brian

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After, I hope, a rational and calm examination of the data

Post by x36900 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:02 am

available to me, I have decided to add two of the three "new" companies to my desired portfolio list. So, I am going to try to weclome both Anheuser-Busch (BUD) and Paychex (PAYX) into my portfolio. However, I am not comfortable with Bristol-Meyers Squibb's (BMY) financial health, plus I already own five other pharmaceutical companies.

Anyway, as of December 31st, BUD is holding position # 75 and PAYX position # 251 within the Total Stock Mkt. Index (out of 3,615);
Bud holds position # 124 out of the 178 VEIPX positons, and PAYX is not in that fund's holdings;
BUD holds down position # 37, and PAYX position # 89 out of the 585 VHDYX positions.

So, I've now got a potential 22-stock portfolio, of which 19 slots are filled. With any luck I can probably pick up BUD and PAYX within the next week, possibly Monday, as they both closed below what I'm willing to pay on Friday.
Coca-Cola (KO) will likely remain a holdout for a while... it hasn't been cheap enough since last summer, and remains well above what I'm willing to pay as of Friday. (Shoulder shrug.)

Ok, I promise to make no new posts within this thread until the 1st quarter has concluded, on March 31st, although I will always answer replies if anyone has a new question. Private messages are welcome too, should anyone consider going that route.

Best wishes,
Brian

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Broke the last promise...

Post by x36900 » Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:04 pm

I hope you'll excuse me for the following reason: the screen I've set up on Morningstar is generating one more name, Abbot Lab's (ABT).

ABT is interesting, in that I've looked into purchasing it several times before, over the last 7 or 8 years. I'd just never done it for one reason or another. Reviewing the latest information on it that I could obtain, I decided that it was certainly a candidate. Better than that, the price today was cheap enough for a purchase. So, it is officially another holding.

Oh, I'd written last time that KO was probably going to be on the shopping list for a while. It was, for about 3 weeks. I bought shares of KO last week.

So, at this point in time, I own shares of all 23 companies that my screen generates. The good news with regards to that is I won't have any more transactions costs (provided that no more companies work their way onto my screen).

It's just me versus VEIPX and VHDYX from now on.

Back to ABT, it is holding number #29 in VTSMX out of 3,615; #15 out of 178 in VEIPX; and #16 out 585 VHDYX holdings (all as of 12/31/2007).

At risk of breaking this promise again, I don't intend to make another post on this thread until after 3/31/2008.

Best regards,
Brian

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Post by x36900 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:54 am

Greetings to all,

Hope that your 1st quarter went well.

Here is the YTD performance of my stocks versus Vanguard Equity Income Fund (VEIPX),
Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index (VHDYX), and Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index
(VDAIX) -- that's a new comparison, but while researching the various Vanguard funds'
performance about a week or two ago, I discovered that my collection of stocks is
arguably closest to VDAIX. So, I decided to add it as a comparison rather than drop the
other two.

One other piece of news before I roll out the numbers: some of you may be aware that this
past Friday, Altria (ticker: MO) spun off Philip Morris International (ticker: PM), so my
23 stock portfolio has become 24 stocks for the past three days (and going forward).
I've recalculated the performance for Altria without PM to the best of my ability, using the
closing prices March 28th to determine the "split" as of January 1st.
Dividends were easier, and did not need special calculation, as Altria had already announced
that what had been their 75-cent dividend is a 46-cent PM dividend and now a 29-cent MO div.

Hope that isn't too confusing; drum-roll, and the numbers...

For 1st quarter 2008: I've managed to lose money, - 3.49% for myself. The "good" news
(I use that term loosely) is that has been better than Vanguard's funds. VEIPX stands at
- 7.45%, VHDYX stands at - 7.40%, and VDAIX stands at - 4.88% (all YTD, including all
dividend and cap. gain distributions).

Among my stocks, 9 have made gains, best being Wrigley (Ticker: WWY) + 7.82%;
15 have declined, worst being Merck (Ticker: MRK) - 34.04%. (That includes all dividends
paid so far this year.)

Since "inception" (August 13, 2007):

I am still down, - 3.32%;
VEIPX is at - 5.29%;
VHDYX is at - 7.55%;
VDAIX is at - 3.08% (includes all dividends, and mutual fund distributions, respectively.)

Among my stocks, for the last 7.5 months, or so, 10 have gains, best being Johnson & Johnson
(Ticker: JNJ) + 7.59%; 1 is exactly flat -- I was a little surprised by that -- but PepsiCo
(Ticker: PEP) is at 0.0%; and 13 are down, worst being Merck again, - 34.60%.

All things considered, I am not disappointed comparing to the mutual funds, especially since
I have spent a lot of money in commissions to acquire the stocks. 7.5 months is too short a
period of time to make any claims. I will only say that I've been lucky overall in my
choices of stocks.

Oh, to follow up on what I said regarding VDAIX: on Vanguard.com I was
examining the portfolios of VEIPX, VHDYX, and VDAIX as of 12/31/2007.
My stocks are roughly 18.14% of the VEIPX year-end portfolio, roughly
25.75% of the VHDYX year-end portfolio, and roughly 34.89% of the VDAIX year-end portfolio.

Anyway, I hope you all are doing even better than me. Best regards,
Brian

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Post by leonard » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:08 am

x36900 wrote:The only thing I'll have going for me is lower expenses (after I've got all my positions established, that is) because I shouldn't be making any more trades with these for a long, long time.
This appears to be a statement of your "goal" from this effort. It is just to save expenses, correct?

Also, it appears your portfolio is approximately $15k. Is that correct?

Expense ratio on VEIPX is .29%. Seems you are putting A LOT of effort in to this portfolio to save less than $50 per year over $15k invested in VEIPX.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

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Hi, Leonard,

Post by x36900 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:08 pm

Actually, NO, that is not the only goal, nor is it the primary goal.
Also, good guess on the size, but the portfolio is closer to $20k.

So, just what is the goal? I'd hesitate to call it a goal, because I figure over the rest of my life that my stock portfolio will do about as well as the three Vanguard funds. But, I'm hoping to find out that I put together a portfolio of stocks that outperformed those Vanguard funds. File this next statement under "fantasy": maybe somebody at Vanguard might see this thread, notice my hopefully great performance, and decide to hire me to be the portfolio manager of a Vanguard mutual fund version of my current portfolio. That would be pretty sweet! :)

A lot of work? I don't understand how you came to that conclusion. Now that the stocks have been bought, there basically is no work at all. All I do is collect dividends, and track the performance of the stocks and mutual funds.

I probably spend less than an hour per month doing that, but it's an enjoyable hobby from my perspective.

Take care,
Brian

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For allenmickers: my individual stocks

Post by x36900 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:13 pm

allenmickers, you asked me which stocks make up my portfolio on another thread in the "Investing-- theory, general, etc." forum.

Currently there are 24 stocks in my individual stock portfolio.

I used Morningstar.com's "premium" stock screener to find stocks that are (or, for one stock, were) at least $10 billion market cap., have a "wide moat," have a Morningstar Stewardship grade of at least "C," have a Morningstar Financial Health grade of at least "C," do not belong to the "financial services" sector, and are paying an annual dividend of at least $0.97.

I exclude financial services companies, such as banks and brokers, because I've never been comfortable trying to figure out if they really are or are not financially strong. The subprime mess is the latest example of the difficulty that one can face in that regard.

I like companie that pay a healthy dividend, so the current annualized dividend has to be at least about a dollar. This does not mean "high yield"! I do not care what the yield is. I want to get at least a dollar, regardless if that is a 10%, or 2%, or 0.1% yield.

OK, that 's enough rambling.

My current individual stocks are...

3M (MMM); Abbott Labs (ABT); Altria Group (MO); Anheuser-Busch (BUD);
Coca-Cola (KO); Colgate-Palmolive (CL); Eli Lilly (LLY); Exelon Corp. (EXC); ExxonMobil (XOM); General Dynamics (GD); Harley-Davidson (HOG); Johnson & Johnson (JNJ); Lockheed-Martin (LMT); McDonald's (MCD); Merck (MRK); Paychex (PAYX); PepsiCo (PEP); Pfizer (PFE); Philip Morris International (PM); Procter & Gamble (PG); UPS (UPS); United Technologies (UTX); Wrigley (WWY); Wyeth (WYE).

If I were starting over today, Harley-Davidson would not meet my screen, because its market cap. has fallen under $10 billion. Last August it was something like a $12.5 billion company.

Oh, well. I won't sell it for that fact. HOG's outlook, financial condition, and dividend haven't changed, so I'll keep it.

Hope that helps you some. Good luck!
Brian

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Post by leonard » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:45 pm

x36900 wrote:A lot of work? I don't understand how you came to that conclusion. Now that the stocks have been bought, there basically is no work at all. All I do is collect dividends, and track the performance of the stocks and mutual funds.
I thought you had ongoing work to actively manage this portfolio. If so, that would require keeping up on the research, earnings calls, annual reports, etc. of your holdings. With that many holdings, I would think the ongoing research would be much more than 1 hour per month. Otherwise, I don't think you would be strictly speaking managing this.
wagnerjb wrote:I hope these ARE in a taxable account, so you can get the benefits of tax management, including tax loss harvesting.
I will second that I think your main opportunity to really get any sort of "excess" return from these efforts is by Tax Loss Harvesting and tax management. Market timing and stock selection has been thoroughly discussed on this forum, so I will not reiterate here and leave it to you to research if you are interested.

Good luck.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

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Hi again, Leonard,

Post by x36900 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:06 am

I think you've raised a fair point. Strictly speaking, am I really managing this? I may not be -- I think you could make a case that I've put together a rather small "closet index fund."
On the other hand, because I do check the stock screen that I've designed about every month or so, I do occasionally find a new candidate to consider for the portfolio. For example, neither Anheuser-Busch, Paychex, nor Abbott Labs was even on my shopping list before February.
Also, not every company that my screen pulls up goes into my portfolio; two examples are Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Alcon. I decided that they weren't good enough to include, and so I'd argue that there is some effort that I'm putting into this.

But again, there really isn't any timing going on for sales -- once bought, these stocks are not intended to ever be sold off completely. (I do have a plan to sell off portions in the probably distant future, but that is not an issue for the near-term.) There is no tax loss harvesting; these are inside of my IRA.

Quarterly reports? Annual reports? I do follow those, and do update the data that I already have, but there is not much time required. I may spend more than hour a month, but it sure isn't much more.

I dunno, what do you think?

Best regards,
Brian

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So, what if I wanted to buy some stocks, Brian?

Post by x36900 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:55 am

Question: Are you recommending all of these stocks?

Answer: NO. First off, my goals and your goals could be very different; secondly, my time-frame and your time-frame could again be very different. Probably the latter point is most important -- I am intending to hold these positions for the rest of my life; I'm only 41 years of age. So, twenty years plus, let's say. If you want to become a day-trader or something like that, I truly cannot offer you any advice. If you want to trade positions within something like 2 years to 5 years, probably you should consider me something like a fuddy-duddy value investor; maybe my opinions could be useful to you, maybe not.

Question: Oh, ok, but what if I ask you about these positions -- would you actually recommend any of them if I had money burning a hole in my pocket?

Answer: Uhhhhmmmm, if you really want my opinion (which is doubtful), with the following caveats I will share them. CAVEATS: (1) I'm just some guy with internet access, and (2) I am not a financial professional, and finally, (3) No stock is ever guaranteed to make you money.

So, for all of you potential individual stock buyers, of the two dozen positions I'm holding today, I would say that 18 are probably worth buying. I think that 6 are a little too expensive as of April 4th closing price: Anheuser-Busch (BUD), Coca-Cola (KO), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Exelon Corp. (EXC), ExxonMobil (XOM), and Wrigley (WWY) to me are a little too pricey, so wait for a better opportunity on those.

Best of luck,
Brian

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Vanguard posted the quarter-end stock portfolios...

Post by x36900 » Thu May 15, 2008 9:49 pm

...for all of their stock funds.

I've most commonly looked at the Equity-Income Fund (VEIPX), the High Dividend Yield Fund (VHDYX), and the Dividend Appreciation Index (VDAIX).

For the March 31, 2008, portfolios:

Of my 24 stocks, 18 are held in VEIPX, with a total weighting of about 19.26% of that fund.

19 of my stocks are in VHDYX, they comprise about 26.43% of that fund.

16 of my stocks are in VDAIX, and comprise about 34.83% of that fund.

I don't know if I have too much time on my hands -- well, actually, I know that I do; anyway, I decided to look at the other large-cap value funds' portfolios too.

I wanted to see how "popular" my individual stocks are in these various Vanguard funds.

It turns out that there are about 8 other funds that Vanguard lists as large-cap value, although 2 are institutional funds and therefore most of us would not be likely to have access to them.

These other funds include Capital Value (VCVLX), Dividend Growth (VDIGX), U.S. Value (VUVLX), Windsor Fund (VWNDX), Windsor II Fund (VWNFX), Value Index (VIVAX), Mega-Cap 300 Value (VMVLX), and Structured Large-Cap Value Plus (VSLVX).

Most of my individual stocks are popular in these other funds' portfolios too, with two exceptions. Capital Value only holds one stock that I hold-- Wyeth (WYE), a pharmaceutical company-- and Windsor Fund only holds eight of my individual stocks.

Since I hope to draw some meaningful conclusions, I decided to toss out Windsor Fund and Capital Value Fund.

That left me with nine mutual funds. None of these Vanguard funds holds less than 14 stocks that I also hold individually; none holds more than 19 stocks which I hold individually.

The data breaks out as follows:

Dividend Appreciation Index (VDAIX) -- 16 stocks, 34.83% of that fund;
Dividend Growth (VDIGX) -- 16 stocks, 27.59% of that fund;
High Dividend Yield (VHDYX) -- 19 stocks, 26.43% of that fund;
Value Index (VIVAX) -- 14 stocks, 24.07% of that fund;
Mega Cap 300 Value (VMVLX) -- 14 stocks, 21.63% of that fund;
Equity-Income (VEIPX) -- 18 stocks, 19.26% of that fund;
Structured Lg-Cap Value (VSLVX) -- 15 stocks, 16.57% of that fund;
U.S. Value (VUVLX) -- 15 stocks, 13.21% of that fund;
Windsor II (VWNFX) -- 16 stocks, 12.89% of that fund.

Six of my individual stock picks are found in all nine of those funds (as of March 31st): Anheuser-Busch (BUD), Coca-Cola (KO), Eli Lilly (LLY), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), McDonald's (MCD), and Procter & Gamble (PG).

On the other side of the coin, about nine stocks are held in less than five of the mutual funds. This is troubling to me; I want my individual stocks to be "valuey."

If I'm really holding a small chunk of the Total Stock Market portfolio, I'm not doing myself any good, because it's simpler and cheaper to just hold that mutual fund.

I've looked at the particular stocks, and I've come to the conclusion that for about a third of my individual stocks, I can't make a compelling case that they are "value."

So, I will seek to make sales somewhere along the way for the following stocks:

3M (MMM); Colgate-Palmolive (CL); General Dynamics (GD); Harley-Davidson (HOG); Lockheed-Martin (LMT); Paychex (PAYX); United Parcel Service (UPS); Wrigley (WWY).

Technically, I don't really have to worry about Wrigley -- the recently announced purchase of Wrigley by Mars, Inc., makes that a moot point. The others are all paying nice dividends, so I don't have to make a sale tomorrow, by any means. If it takes a few years to unload the other stocks, that will be o.k.

Hope everyone is doing well,
Brian

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x36900
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2nd Quarter '08 update...

Post by x36900 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:11 pm

Greetings to all. Hope everyone is doing well.

I've made several changes to my individual stocks, which I hinted at in the last post or reply as the case may be.

Anyway, I'd decided that I don't want an ever-expanding list of stocks, that I'd prefer to hold onto so-called "value" stocks.

Ok, so how was I going to do that? I figured that since I already had looked at the March 31st portfolios of 11 Vanguard funds, I'd make use of that information.

For an individual stock held by 6 or more of those Vanguard largecap value funds I could at least make a weak case that it is a value position.

The stocks I was holding that didn't meet this initial sniff test: 3M (held by just 3 funds), Colgate-Palmolive (just 4 funds), General Dynamics (just 3 funds), Harley-Davidson (just 2 funds), Lockheed Martin (just 1 fund), Paychex (just 3 funds), Pepsico (just 3 funds), UPS (just 4 funds), United Technologies (just 5 funds), Wrigley (just 2 funds).

I have managed to sell my positions in General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Paychex, which leaves most of the others on a "yet to sell" list. However, I've decided to exercise my "active manager" privilege, and I've removed Pepsico from the sell list. Additionally, I was holding Anheuser-Busch, but then the talk of an acquisition of BUD by InBev came up. The shares rose in price $7 or $8, when chatter about the Company resisting the takeover became very strong. I decided that I didn't want to hold shares that, if the takeover were successfully resisted, could very well drop in price back down to what I'd paid or maybe even lower. So, I no longer own Anheuser-Busch (BUD).

Ok, with all of that out of the way...what's the performance look like?

I decided, what the heck, I'll put up the results for all of those Vanguard LC Value funds, since I had to dig into their holdings.

For the Six Months 1/1/2008 to 6/30/2008:

Me: -11.48%
VDIGX: -13.86% (Dividend Growth Fund)
VUVLX: -17.58% (U.S. Value Fund)
VDAIX: -18.50% (Dividend Appreciation Index Fund)
VMVLX: -20.53% (Mega Cap 300 Value Index Inst'l Fund) ***
VEIPX: -24.83% (Equity Income Fund)
VSLVX: -25.17% (Structured LC Value Inst'l Plus Fund)
VWNFX: -26.35% (Windsor II Fund)
VIVAX: -27.17% (Value Index Fund)
VHDYX: -28.03% (High Dividend Yield Index Fund)
VWNDX: -30.76% (Windsor Fund)
VCVLX: -34.81% (Capital Value Fund)

For the 10.5 months since "inception," 8/13/2007 to 6/30/2008:

VDIGX: -5.66%
Me: -7.56%
VDAIX: -9.01%
VUVLX: -10.94%
VEIPX: -12.69%
VSLVX: -15.31%
VWNFX: -17.04%
VHDYX: -17.15%
VIVAX: -17.60%
VMVLX: -20.53% ***
VWNDX: -22.59%
VCVLX: -31.92%

Wow -- do I have some sort of special skill? Highly unlikely, unfortunately. For a very short period of time, anyone can get lucky; looks like I have so far in 2008. Note on VMVLX: that fund has an inception date of March 5th, 2008. So, it's putting up a little less than 4 months of actual results versus 6 or 10.5 for the others. The IRR is accurate, but the disparity in time should be taken into account.

Well, that's enough for now...let's hope for a better second half to 2008. Good luck, everybody.

Brian

JimHalpert
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:34 pm

Re: 2nd Quarter '08 update...

Post by JimHalpert » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:30 pm

x36900 wrote: For the Six Months 1/1/2008 to 6/30/2008:

Me: -11.48%
VDIGX: -13.86% (Dividend Growth Fund)
VUVLX: -17.58% (U.S. Value Fund)
VDAIX: -18.50% (Dividend Appreciation Index Fund)
VMVLX: -20.53% (Mega Cap 300 Value Index Inst'l Fund) ***
VEIPX: -24.83% (Equity Income Fund)
VSLVX: -25.17% (Structured LC Value Inst'l Plus Fund)
VWNFX: -26.35% (Windsor II Fund)
VIVAX: -27.17% (Value Index Fund)
VHDYX: -28.03% (High Dividend Yield Index Fund)
VWNDX: -30.76% (Windsor Fund)
VCVLX: -34.81% (Capital Value Fund)

Brian
I think you need to check your numbers.

I was surprised to see the -26.35% loss for Windsor 2 ytd as I own it in my IRA. I checked Google Finance and they show -14.14% loss for the same period.

Maybe you didn't adjust for distributions?

I just did this one quick comparison; I didn't look at any of the others.

YDNAL
Posts: 13774
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:04 pm
Location: Biscayne Bay

Just for the heck of it...

Post by YDNAL » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:00 pm

Brian,

Like Jim I own another fund in your list... VIVAX. The NAV since 8/13/07 went from $26.68 to $21.84 yesterday. I get (18.1%) drop not counting dividends of $0.17, $0.213, $0.165 and $0.156 the last 4 quarters.

Regards,
Landy

Topic Author
x36900
Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:47 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Jim & Ydnal:

Post by x36900 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:12 pm

No, the numbers are good, they are annualized rates of return, and all distributions are accounted for. Regarding Windsor II, it is down 14.16% since last August 13th, which is what Google says. The problem that Google has is that figure is a RAW return.

The internal rate of return for Windsor II since last August 13th is -17.04%.

Regards,
Brian

Topic Author
x36900
Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:47 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Raw Returns as of 9/30/08

Post by x36900 » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:29 pm

Greetings to all,

We just completed the third quarter, and I'm going to briefly report the raw returns YTD for myself and the 11 Vanguard mutual funds that I think are pretty good comparisons.

Last quarter I tried to report the annualized figures, but I think I caused a lot of confusion so this time I'm going to just stick to the raw returns YTD.

The Vanguard figures are all available at Vanguard.com.

YTD: I am up a little bit, + 0.89%. Some of the trades that ocurred this past quarter: I closed my positions in Abbott Labs (ABT) and Exelon (EXC) on July 9th; I sold most of my shares of Wyeth (WYE) on July 10th; I opened a position in AT&T (T) on July 14th; I opened a position in General Electric (GE) on July 14th, and closed it July 23rd; I closed my position in Colgate-Palmolive (CL) on July 30th; finally, I sold most of my Pepsico (PEP) shares on September 12th.
Right now, I have positions in 3M, Altria, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Eli Lilly, ExxonMobil, Harley-Davidson, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, Merck, Pepsico, Pfizer, Philip Morris International, Procter & Gamble, UPS, United Technologies, Wrigley, and Wyeth.
Given the right circumstances, I intend to close my positions in 3M, AT&T, Harley-Davidson, UPS, and United Technologies. Doesn't look like any will be sold anytime soon, though.
I also intend to reduce my positions in Eli Lilly, Merck, and Pfizer, but again it doesn't look like any of those will be sold in the near future.
Lastly, unless something dramatic (and unexpected) happens, myWrigley position will be closed due to the pending acquisition of Wrigley by Mars, Inc.

Ok, enough about my stocks.

YTD Vanguard fund performances as of 9/30/08:
Capital Value (VCVLX) -33.60%;
Dividend Appreciation Index (VDAIX) -13.28%;
Dividend Growth (VDIGX) -10.22%;
Equity Income (VEIPX) -15.78%;
High Dividend Yield Index (VHDYX) -16.22%;
Mega Cap 300 Value Index (VMVLX) -12.04% [note: inception 3/5/08];
Structured Large Cap Value Plus (VSLVX) -19.75%;
U.S. Value (VUVLX) -16.42%;
Value Index (VIVAX) -19.52%;
Windsor (VWNDX) -25.83%;
Windsor II (VWNFX) -19.23%.

So... I've had a better 9 months than those funds. Q: Does that mean I'm better than the funds? A: Absolutely not. It isn't a meaningfully long enough period of time. As a friend of mine used to say, every now and then even a blind squirrel can find an acorn.

Hope you all are having better luck than me finding those acorns,
Brian

Topic Author
x36900
Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:47 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, OK

2008 comes to a close...

Post by x36900 » Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:45 pm

2008 performance of Vanguard funds I like to compare myself to:
VDAIX: -26.56%
VDIGX: -25.57%
VEIPX: -30.95%
VHDYX: -32.51%
VMVLX: -35.74% (note: inception 3/5/08 for VMVLX)
VSLVX: -37.54%
VUVLX: -34.79%
VIVAX: -35.97%
VWNDX: -41.10%
VWNFX: -36.70%

[all fund data gathered from Vanguard.com]

My performance was nothing special, -12.49% for me. Good fortune is my only reason; I managed to close positions in 8 individual stocks between 1/1/08 and 7/31/08, and a ninth stock, Wrigley, was taken off the NYSE at $80/share the first week of October after it was acquired by Mars, Inc. I had purchased Wrigley a little less than a year before that for about $67.58/per share (including commissions.)
So, a pretty significant amount of my stock portfolio missed the fall carnage. Better to be lucky than good, I guess.

My performance since "inception" (8/13/07) is an even worse -14.35%.
Still doing better than the Vanguard funds, though:
VDAIX: -18.78%
VDIGX: -17.73%
VEIPX: -21.88%
VHDYX: -24.64%
VSLVX: -28.59%
VUVLX: -26.38%
VIVAX: -17.99%
VWNDX: -33.39%
VWNFX: -28.31%
[notes: (1) I didn't list VMVLX due to its 3/5/08 inception. (2) All calculations are XIRR excel function calc's that I have in a spreadsheet. For various reasons, my calculations of the funds' performance are likely off by as much as 0.10% to 0.25% in either direction.]

Anyway, there it stands for now. Probably in a month or so I'll be able to list out where the stocks I'm holding stand in these various Vanguard funds. Let's hope for a positive start to 2009!
Brian

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