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On Warren Buffett, ETFs, And The Democratization Of Investing

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I’m an average guy. When I travel to New York City, I stay at the Affinia Shelburne in Murray Hill. I usually pick up breakfast at the bagel shop just down the street, or the Pret A Manger at 41st and Lex. Maybe I’ll grab a little lunch at the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. And the last time I visited, I had a great $12 bowl of Tokyo Chicken at Momosan Ramen & Sake, Chef Morimoto’s cool ramen bar at 342 Lexington.

I’ve never been able to stay at the Plaza Hotel, nor have dinner at Per Se or Masa. As I say, I’m an average guy. Not poor, by any means. But not so wealthy that I can consistently engage in pursuits where money is no object.
Perhaps that is why a particular point that Warren Buffett made in his 2016 Shareholder Letter, and the way he explained it, really caught my attention. You see, for about two years now, I have been writing on the topic of ETFs. As I have done so, I have focused on the issue of cost; of keeping your expenses low and putting as much a…

Added A Little Wells Fargo to The ETF Monkey Core Monthly Dividend Portfolio

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In February, 2017, I wrote an article for Seeking Alpha entitled A Dividend Portfolio Built From The World's Best Dividend ETFs. I later expanded on the work I did in a second article, entitled 20 Top Stocks For A Monthly Dividend Portfolio. In this article, I expanded the original portfolio of 12 stocks to 20, with the specific goal of adding companies that, together, generated at least some level of income for the portfolio each and every month.

At the end of that second article, I revealed that I had "put my money where my mouth is," selling all my holdings in 4 dividend-focused ETFs and replacing them with the 20 stocks listed in the article, as well as two "bonus" stocks. I implemented all of this on July 20, 2017.

I recently added a few additional shares of Wells Fargo (WFC) to the portfolio.



My original position was purchased at $54.93 per share. Since that time, the share price has continued to decline, allowing me to pick up a small additional…

The Power Of A Diversified Portfolio

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Just a quick note for today.

Just over a month ago, I wrote an article for Seeking Alpha in which I suggested 20 Top Stocks For A Monthly Dividend Portfolio along with 2 "bonus" suggestions.

Today, Apple was hit by a Wall Street Journal article confirming rumors of iPhone 8 production delays. General Electric got trashed by a negative JP Morgan note. Speaking of JP Morgan, it too got hit by, from the best I can tell, a continuation of concerns over falling interest rates. And Starbucks appears to have another general case of the blues.

Guess what? All of these stocks are in my portfolio. They are represented by the areas highlighted in red below. I also highlighted AT&T, falling solidly as well, for good measure.


Ah, but go back up and take a look at AbbVie. Up 6.26%! Why? It turns out that they received a favorable decision with respect to patent protection for key drug Humira. You'll see AbbVie as one of the areas featured in green above. I also highlighted some po…

Traveling In Italy - Manarola

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One of my favorite destinations in Italy is the Cinque Terre. The phrase "Cinque Terre" literally means "five lands," and refers to 5 small towns (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare) that hug the western coastline of Northern Italy.

If you are a fan of Rick Steves, you likely know that he feels many travelers make the mistake of viewing the Cinque Terre as an afterthought; descending on the region early one morning, blowing through all 5 towns and leaving the same evening. I agree with him that those who do so miss out on so much. I hope to share an overall post on the Cinque Terre at some future point. For this effort, however, I will focus on the town of Manarola.

Manarola is believed to be the oldest of the five villages, with the cornerstone of San Lorenzo church dating back to 1338. Ultimately, the name traces to "magna roea," which means "large wheel," a reference to the mill wheel in the town. My wife and …

Added A Little General Electric To The ETF Monkey Core Monthly Dividend Portfolio

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In February, 2017, I wrote an article for Seeking Alpha entitled A Dividend Portfolio Built From The World's Best Dividend ETFs. I later expanded on the work I did in a second article, entitled 20 Top Stocks For A Monthly Dividend Portfolio. In this article, I expanded the original portfolio of 12 stocks to 20, with the specific goal of adding companies that, together, generated at least some level of income for the portfolio each and every month.

At the end of that second article, I revealed that I had "put my money where my mouth is," selling all my holdings in 4 dividend-focused ETFs and replacing them with the 20 stocks listed in the article, as well as two "bonus" stocks. I implemented all of this on July 20, 2017.

This morning, I added a few additional shares of General Electric (GE) to the portfolio.


My original position was purchased at $26.77 per share. Since that time, the share price has continued to decline, allowing me to pick up a small a…

Added A Little Starbucks to The ETF Monkey Core Monthly Dividend Portfolio

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In February, 2017, I wrote an article for Seeking Alpha entitled A Dividend Portfolio Built From The World's Best Dividend ETFs. I later expanded on the work I did in a second article, entitled 20 Top Stocks For A Monthly Dividend Portfolio. In this article, I expanded the original portfolio of 12 stocks to 20, with the specific goal of adding companies that, together, generated at least some level of income for the portfolio each and every month.

At the end of that second article, I revealed that I had "put my money where my mouth is," selling all my holdings in 4 dividend-focused ETFs and replacing them with the 20 stocks listed in the article, as well as two "bonus" stocks. I implemented all of this on July 20, 2017.

This morning, I added additional shares to one of the holdings for the first time. That holding is Starbucks (SBUX).


In brief, my original position was purchased at $58.12 per share. This price represented a decline of almost exactly 10% from th…

Synchrony Bank Raises Rates - A Great Day For Savers!

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Great news for online savers! Synchrony Bank, which at 1.05% already sported one of the most competitive interest rates for an online savings account, announced today that, effective 6/1/17, the rate is being raised to 1.15%.


Now, this is nothing earthshaking. It's one-tenth of one percent. However, this is the first time in years that I have seen one of the online banks actually raise their interest rate. A little research appears to reveal that competitor Ally Bank has also raised their rates. Their website appears to show their rate as 1.05% effective 6/1/17, as opposed to the previous long-standing rate of 1.00%. Another major competitor, Capital One, appears to be falling further and further behind, with their rate remaining at a comparatively paltry .75%.

Since the financial meltdown of 2007-2009, one of the groups that has suffered the most are small savers. While the stock market has soared, benefiting those fortunate enough to have both the money to invest as well as the…

ACTION ALERT: Added A Little T & VZ This Morning

Based on the principles I outline in this article, I added a small amount of AT&T and Verizon to the portfolio this morning.

My personal portfolio hit a recent high on March 17. This morning, I ran my personal report and evaluated the respective weightings of T & VZ as of 3/17 vs. this morning. Due to some recent uncertainty in the case of both companies, and a soft quarterly report from Verizon, their prices have softened and their relative weightings had slipped compared to the overall markets. I just thought it was a nice opportunity to pick up some dividends in the 5% range.