My mate Phil (@sloan_phil on the Tweets) has kindly provided this Guest Blog following the recent events regarding cuts to Dividends and his action in reviewing and rejigging his Income Portfolio. I have read it a couple of times for proofing and all that and it is really good and has some excellent insights into investing in US Stocks.
Many thanks to Phil for providing WD Readers with this and a personal thank you for saving me a load of work in writing a blog this week !!
I have felt for some time that Readers are struggling a bit with how the WD Websites are structured and this makes it hard for them to find stuff. I have realised this from comments people make and this has driven me to try to explain it simply via a Blog so Readers can get a lot more out of the Sites. I know people dislike the layout of the Websites changing so I promise I will not change how they are structured very much and if I ever do make some significant changes, then I will try to explain them very well. At the time of scribbling this I do not foresee any such changes (to be honest it is a pain in the backside for me as well so I am in no rush to change stuff !!).
My plan is to put a Link to this Blog near the Top of the Homepages so Readers can quickly refer to it if need be and of course any new Readers should find it useful.
This is a Guest Blog sent to me by Zoe Talent Solutions which discusses various aspects of HR management courses and skills. Also at the bottom they have provided me with an Infographic which has some useful information on it. You can get a Zoe Talent Solutions Human Resource Training Course here.
Please note I have no commercial relationship with Zoe Talent Solutions but I thought some WD Readers might be interested.
A continuing mantra you will hear and read from me is around the value that talking to other experienced Private Investors and Traders can provide. In addition, I find this is widely under-appreciated and it is probably the biggest source of Learning that I undertake these days. Indeed, undertaking the TPI Podcasts venture and being able to discuss countless aspects of Investing with someone as talented and successful as @Conkers3 is a huge help to my thinking with regards to how I go about things.
This can be on different levels - probably the main focus for me is to hear the techniques and methods other Investors use and these discussions bring ideas for potential ways in which I can tweak how I go about things in order to improve my Results. On another level, and probably of less interest to me, are the views of other Investors with regards to which Stocks they are invested in and what their take on certain Stocks is. Of course this can be hugely dangerous because it is immensely ‘Noisy’ Information and I won’t just listen to any old Tom, Dick or Fred and there are only a limited group of Investors who I do take notice of on particular Stocks and I perk my Ears up when they give an opinion. Screening out less useful opinions is of course difficult and it is only over time with experience that you can find out who is worth listening to and who just adds to your Noise levels - yet again a situation where there are few alternatives (if any) to actually going through the motions and doing your ‘time’ in the Markets.
Lots of People on Twitter etc. are extremely helpful with Tweeting out Stocks they have been buying and selling - which can be great for drawing attention to New Ideas of Stocks to Invest in and also lets People reading the Tweets get an idea of the sort of Approach a particular Tweeter follows. I always say that I can get a very good insight on whether or not a particular person makes Money simply by looking at the Stocks they Tweet about. This really is one of the many benefits I find from being extremely fortunate to be able to interact with so many helpful and collaborative Investors / Traders and it has enabled me to meet a whole new bunch of top quality Mates - and this has without doubt boosted my own never-ending Learning Process.
As always with these Blog Series, I have a rough idea of how they will pan out when I start on the early Blogs but as they develop I get to a point where I decide that it deserves some more Parts - hence you will note this is Part 5 of 7 and the next two will be looking at each of the Sector Classifications and highlighting particular Stocks that might be suitable for an Income Portfolio. This extension of the Series partly comes about from the size of each Part and the logical flow but it is also driven by my desire to ensure that at least 1 Part gets released each Week - I am sure this is what Readers want to see and also I am sure you appreciate that it takes me a while to bash them out.
How to Find Suitable Dividend Stocks
I guess there are several routes to actually finding the Stocks you want to shove in your Income Portfolio but I will just mention 2 basic methods here which are very much how I tend to go about finding them:
This blog has come about as a direct result of Wheelie’s Summer Bash which was on Saturday 23rd September when a load of us met up in a Boozer local to me. If you take notice of my Twitter Feed, you may have spotted that at the End of each Day (usually around 5pm to 7pm ish) I do a Report via a Tweet of how my Portfolio Value has changed during the Day and the larger ‘DOWN’ and ‘UP’ movements of that day for the relevant Stocks. On a Friday I report the numbers for the Day but I also show the Weekly Result for my UK Portfolio and Spreadbets.
On a few occasions over the last 3 years I have been asked by a Twitter Follower what the Numbers actually mean and I have given a fairly full response on the whole I think but obviously the 140 Character limitations of Tweets probably leaves many People just as bemused as before I tried to answer !!
Finally I have found some time to start on this Blog. I have had this in my mind for many months but not really had a ‘window’ of time where I can really free myself up from the hustle and bustle of life and enable an atmosphere that is peaceful and conducive to the Deep Thinking I suspect this Blog will demand. You could say I have “Cut out the Noise“……
Humans are nutty creatures. I distinctly remember doing a ‘Stock Buy Rationale’ Blog recently where I said something like “I’ve done loads of the Educational type Blogs recently and I want to scribble something about a Stock and do some in-depth research” - well now I am fed up with doing stuff on Stocks and I want to do an Educational tome !! (there is of course an implicit assumption in this paragraph that WheelieDealer actually is human - it is debatable. He is certainly part R2D2.…..)
I am totally on a roll tonight and the words are just flowing forth from the Wheelie Fountain - and I haven’t even been near the Old Speckled Chicken !!
I just wrote a really good first draft of the blog about ‘Is it possible to be too Cautious’ (which should appear on the Website in coming weeks) and when I looked at the clock it was still only 11pm and I had bashed that one out in a little over an hour - so I decided that I might as well crack on with this one because it is another Blog that has been on my brain for some time and while I am spewing out words like this I might as well take advantage of it !!
I remember after doing one of the early Podcasts with Justin, the question arose about “how do you manage so many Stocks?” - I can’t actually remember if Justin asked me this or whether it came about from a Reader/Follower afterwards but that doesn’t matter - the point is that I don’t think I have ever actually got around to answering it and this Blog hopefully will put that major deficiency to rights. On top of that, it actually fits in a treat with some Draft Blogs I am working on about ‘Cutting out Noise’ and my original intention was to include it as a Part of that Blog Series but then I decided it was so important that it deserves its own Blog. So here it is…….
Guest Blog - Peer To Peer Lending - worthy of consideration in an environment of low interest rates and rich stockmarket valuations?
My mate Phil Sloan has very kindly contributed the Guest Blog underneath to explain in simple terms to us all the Ins and Outs of Peer-to-Peer stuff. As he says in the text, he was looking for alternative forms of Income with Bonds and suchlike being such poor yielders and this drove him to do a huge amount of digging into P2P and we can now benefit from his endeavours.
If you have been following me on Twitter and partaking of the Website for some time you will know that I am pretty cautious on the whole P2P ‘thing’ with my main reservation being that most of the Providers sprung up after the 2008 Credit Crunch and we are yet to see how they will behave in a Recession and/or tougher times (having said that, I have just learnt from Phil‘s text that Zopa actually kicked off in 2005). For this reason, I would take the view that it is best to stick to the more well-known, established, names and in-depth research and investigation is essential. Of course it makes good sense also to limit exposure to this area and probably any more than 15-20% or so of a Portfolio might be taking on quite a bit of Risk - at least until you’re used to how it all works and after having more experience of how these things work over the business cycle. Phil has a good section on the Risk side of things and spreading things across Platforms etc.
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