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Clearly, Not Everyone Is Getting Rich Off The Stock Market

Well, the NY Fed was out today with its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for Q4 2017. Clearly, Americans are in a lot of debt. Take a look.

Just a couple of quick hits from the report. Total U.S. household debt rose $193 billion in the 4th quarter, to a new all-time peak of $13.15 trillion. That's 17.9% above the most recent trough in Q2 2013. Broken down by segment, what do you suppose was the largest gain in percentage terms? Credit cards, with a 3.2% increase. In the picture above, the widening gap represented by the red arrows reflects the fact that non-housing debt is rising at a faster pace than housing debt.

Here's what's troubling about that. Below is a picture of the stock market, as represented by the S&P 500 index, over that same period; from the most recent credit trough in Q2 2013 to the end of 2017.

And thus, the title of this article. Over that period, the S&P 500 index rose by 75%; from roughly 1,600 to 2,800. Apparently, however, the r…

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

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 the recent high closing price of $64.57 on June 2. Nevertheless, since that time, the share price has continued to decline, allowing me to pick up a small additional amount for $53.50 this morning (the shares continued to fall to their closing price for the day of $53.07). 

Amongst other factors, perhaps some of this is due to a report out yesterday from BMO Capital suggesting that Starbucks has deeper issues to be resolved.

In my case, I view Starbucks as one of my core holdings for the next 10+ years. Further, Starbucks has not been a participant in the overwrought market frenzy of 2017. Today's price can be traced all the way back to June, 2015. That led me to think of the famous words of Warren Buffett: "Buy when others are fearful."

What about you? Would you jump in at this price? Or do you expect the rough road to continue? In either case, drop your thoughts below. I would love to hear them.


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