Dividend Paying Stocks Strategies

Guest Post by Donald Conrad fiduciary adviser, Conrad Capital Management

Dividend Paying Stocks are often a great option to traditional income investments. Investors measure dividend value through dividend yield, which is calculated by dividing annual dividends with the current stock price. Although the stock price tends to fluctuate, it might be a good addition to ones current strategy for those willing to hold for long term. In fact, the most popular dividend strategies such as the Dogs of the Dow, DRIPS, Proprietary Dividend Capture Strategy, to name a few, are straightforward and have relatively minimal capital requirements. The typical dividend is offered by mature companies that have graduated from the growth stage and are looking to provide additional investment incentives. Dividends may also lower a stock’s volatility as investors are more likely to hold dividend stocks longer than non-dividend stocks.

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There are four important dividend dates that investors should be aware of before investing in dividend paying stocks:

Declaration date – The board of directors announces all the important dividend dates, and the amount of the dividend payments.

Ex-Dividend date – An investor must purchase the stocks before the Ex-Dividend date to be eligible for dividend payment.

Date of Record – Two days after the Ex-Dividend date. The settlement of the trade needs to occur either before, or on the date of record, for investors to be eligible for the dividend payment.

Date of payment – The registered investors will be paid.

Dividend Investing Strategies

1)  The Dogs of the Dow is a high dividend yield investment strategy where the investor invests in the top 10 highest yielding Dow Jones stocks out of the 30. This strategy often offers diversification, less downside risk, and beneficial reward potential. The investor’s position is re-balanced after a year and a day to take advantage of more tax-efficient capital gains. To learn more about this and other variations to this strategy, consult your financial advisor.

2)  A Dividend Capture Strategy is when the investor purchases the stock before the ex-dividend date and then sells it ex-dividend, hence capturing the dividend. There may be many ways of doing this; thus it is important to work with your financial advisor to develop a strategy that best fits your needs.

3)  Dividend re-investments are another effective way for investors to take advantage of dividends where stockholders can increase their holdings and accumulate the value of their investment over time. Although investors will still have to pay taxes on reinvested dividends, a reinvestment strategy may be attractive to smaller investors looking to build a larger position in a company through dollar cost averaging. Some corporations also offer specialized dividend reinvestment plans called DRIPs, which are usually free of brokerage and transaction fees. Some corporations may even offer stock at a discount to market price through their DRIP programs. Ask your financial consultant about available dividend reinvestment plans that might be suitable for you and your investment goals.

Choosing a Dividend Investment Plan

While dividend investing can provide an attractive source of income for stockholders, it is important to consider the timing and efficiency of your investments. Be aware that dividends are taxed at different rates than income, and may cause administrative hassle if done incorrectly. Consult your investment advisor to ensure that your dividend investment plan maximizes return and best fits your needs as an investor.

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1377 Motor Parkway, Suite 406, Islandia, NY 11749
dconrad@conradcapital.com
Phone: (631)-439-7878  Fax: (631)-439-7879
www.conradcapital.com

Protecting Your ID When You’re Always Connected

With more and more of our time spent connected to smart devices, security is always an important factor to consider whether you’re working on files that live in the cloud, filing photos, or trying to get to the next level of your favorite online game. Your smartphone or tablet could be a target for a savvy hacker looking to capture your information. When you use a smartphone for all the convenience it can deliver (including mobile banking, document signing and sharing, and staying social), what steps should you think about to help ensure your security?

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Using Apps Safely

As you look for applications to add into your smartphone, make sure you’re taking the legitimacy of apps into account before clicking ‘download.’ You can do this by reading reviews of apps that are unfamiliar to you so you’re in the know on issues that other users have experienced. Make sure, too, that you know and can confirm that the developer source is a reputable one. The good news for you is that app stores now have rigorous screening procedures to vet submissions, so they’re on the lookout to make sure your store shopping experience is safer and more intelligent than in earlier days.

Protecting Yourself Beyond Apps

Apps are a major window into device access, but hackers have commonly resorted to other increasingly sophisticated tactics to get into your information by email, too. Commonly known as phishing, these look-alike attempts to scam you out of your personal information by resembling communications that you do (or might reasonably do) business with. Commonly requested information: your Social Security number, account information, and passwords. As a reminder of something you probably are already familiar with, never give these out in email: reputable companies won’t ever ask for you to supply this information by email.

When it comes to taking your information with you on the go, mobile devices are unbeatable for convenience, portability, and staying connected. Just make sure that you’re keeping security in mind when you set up accounts, consider new apps, or access your information from another new place.

RELATED: Protect Your Sensitive Data from Cyber Criminals with the Union Built Cloud

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

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Stealing the Economy in 6 Easy Steps

So… How Does So Much Wealth End Up in the Pockets of CEOs and Wall Street Firms?

1. Companies buy other companies using borrowed money.
Since the 1980s, corporate raiders, corporations and hedge funds have looked to take over any company they could. But here’s their secret.

2. Raiders use the assets of the targeted company to pay for the costs of the acquisition.
The target company is weakened because it has to pay back millions of dollars. Worse, the corporate raiders pay themselves from the assets of the acquired company, too, in fees and special dividends. The CEOs and bankers get their cut as well. Not much left to share with the workers from a once-successful company.

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3. CEOs get paid with stock incentives.
That means when a company’s stock goes up, CEOs get even more money.
Unfortunately, in the U.S., most CEOs are focused on very short-term goals, like improving their own compensation. They most likely aren’t looking at long terms goals like increasing productivity or reinvesting in research and development. They aren’t interested in increasing workers’ real wages and benefits. So what does the CEO do?

4. CEOs use company earnings not to invest in better equipment or operations, not to pass along gains to workers, but to buy more stock.
That raises the stock prices and raises the CEO’s salary.

5. CEOS IMPLEMENT “THE SQUEEZE.”
The company downsizes, and workers get laid off. Jobs are shipped offshore. Pension funds are frozen. Wages and benefits are cut.

6. Results
The earnings of the corporation are redistributed to executives and Wall Street bankers.

What’s left for workers?

NOT MUCH.

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Behind Closed Doors: What Is A Perfect Portfolio?

BY DONALD CONRAD
Fiduciary

What is the best selection of investments?

Research consistently has found: the best way to maximize returns across every level of risk is to combine asset classes rather than individual securities.

I use Modern Portfolio Theory to identify the ideal investment mix for each client. It is important to stress that every asset class has a known history of performance, and each one has a future which cannot be known. Every investment involves risk, which is another term for uncertainty. This is where things get tricky, because there is no risk in the past, no uncertainty about how things turned out. Then how are we creating the optimal mix? Diversification is the answer, investing in a variety of assets.

conrad-capital-investments-sidebarPredicting the long-term performance of just one asset class is harder than predicting the performance of a group of them. Even when most sectors of the market are moving up or down, there’s usually some outlier that’s bucking the trend. Because there’s no way to know in advance what that outlier will be, the best strategy is to own them all and weight them accordingly based on your specific risk tolerance and macroeconomic variables. What we need is long-term past performance data identifying the asset classes with favorable performance and acceptable levels of risk. 11 asset classes were identified based on decades of data and legions of academic researchers. I teach as many people as possible how to put those asset classes together into effective combinations of different investments.

From time to time I slightly overweight towards an attractive asset class when doing so will allow the portfolio to achieve good returns and helps to reach the client’s long-term goals. In the last few months I had several reasons to continue to slowly and carefully invest into the energy sector because fossil fuel related investments have a great chance to outperform their sector, industry or even the market as a whole, and they are at a great discount. I conducted an analysis and created an ENERGY BASKET containing an ideal mixture of US and international energy related equities, currency, and ETFs.

PRINT THIS ARTICLE: Behind Closed Doors: What Is A Perfect Portfolio?

Looking for more information on how to build the perfect portfolio?  Donald Conrad invites you to contact him with your questions or comments at dconrad@conradcapital.com or by calling 631-439-7878.

A Message from Donald Conrad

conrad-capital-donald-conradI am Donald Conrad, President and CEO of Conrad Capital Management. CCM is based in the heart of Long Island, Islandia (New York), right between the Hamptons and Manhattan. I have offered investment counseling, retirement plan advice to families and businesses across the country since 1998. I began my career in the financial services industry in 1982. Throughout my 34 year professional career I have helped labor union workers throughout NY State. My clients have included indispensable, experienced workers with specialized knowledge from all walks of life, ranging from firefighters to nurses to police officers and air pilots. I have seen firsthand the benefits that unions bring to their members and I worked hard to provide highly customized face-to-face fiduciary investment advice for affordable fees to active and retired workers.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hold Series 7, 24, 63 and 65 licenses, as well as Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) Certification. I am an independent investment advisor; – registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as such subject to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of my clients. In this role I have worked with complex portfolios and served the many unique needs that often require special management strategies. Previously, I served as Senior VP – at PaineWebber (1993 – 1997), Sr. Vice President at Shearson Lehman Hutton (1987 – 1993) and Sr. VP at E. F. Hutton & Co. (1982 – 1987).

CCM is dual-registered, and has three divisions:

• Registered Investment Adviser
• Broker Dealer Association1
• Alternative Investment Vehicle/Hedge Fund of Funds – CCM Partners, LP

I lead a great team of professionals keeping client centric solutions in focus. Investors continue to demand an increasingly high level of expertise, integrity and objectivity. We work hard, walk our walk every day and strive to be the best that we can. The team at CCM is comprised of educated, multilingual, and multinational professionals who are experienced in the areas in which they operate.

The main reason that I became a wealth manager was to help people deal with their money. Working with my clients to get them on the right track to meet their goals is a very rewarding part of my job and it is something that I really enjoy doing. Preparing for a financially secure retirement has become significantly harder in the 21st century. There is something unique about making meaningful and positive differences in the lives of many working professionals helping their transition into retirement.

PRINT DONALD CONRAD’S BIO

 

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Conrad Capital Management
1377 Motor Parkway, Suite 406 Islandia, New York 11749
dconrad@conradcapital.com  www.conradcapital.com
Phone: (631)-439-7878 Fax: (631)-439-7879


1 Securities are offered through Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments, member FINRA/SIPC. Headquartered at 18 Corporate Woods Blvd., Albany NY 12211. Purshe Kapalan Sterling Investments and Conrad Capital Management are not affiliated companies.  

A Bigger Lesson Learned: The Verizon Strike and the U.S. Economy

For the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), as well as Verizon management – at least on the surface – there’s been no bigger story this Spring.  The unity of the CWA and IBEW, other Unions who’ve rallied around Verizon Workers, and even the public reflects how normal cuts have become and how unusual resistance on this scale is in the United States of the 21st century.

For working women and men, and retirees in the US, there is little structural economic support.  We can pretend otherwise, but look at nearly every other industrial democracy, where high level and cost effective health care is the norm, retirement security means much higher income replacement, public policy supports retaining jobs in key industries and most important, there is widespread public and political support for collective bargaining.

We are in an economic free fall.  Pretending that we are consumers and not working Americans first will not fix it.  Tax cuts will not fix it.  Attacks on working Americans and their rights will make the landing even harder.

We need to restore workers’ rights in a meaningful way so that we all can negotiate and engage our employers in a meaningful way. Human resource leaders at major US based employers should be ashamed of looking to cut costs at every turn, then collaborating with multi-billion dollar political machines to fight every political attempt to restore balance through public policy.  For example, nearly without exception, US management opposed federal legislation mandating that all employers pay for quality care.   Even those employers like Verizon that provide decent health care end up subsidizing employers that are health care deadbeats by ensuring spouses who work for those companies.

RELATED: 5 Key Reasons to Back the Working People at Verizon

Collective bargaining can make a difference.  Look back to 1938, when the United States still was gripped by the last of the recessions that made up the Great Depression. Well known economist John Maynard Keynes wrote to President Franklin D Roosevelt, stating that the jobs program and financial regulation were important, but “I regard the expansion of collective bargaining as essential.”

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Keynes was not particularly a union supporter but he understood, as did economists for decades to come, that collective bargaining is a critical engine to fire up the demand curve and enable workers to improve their conditions in discussion with management, thus improving the economy. We will never have an economic recovery in this country if instead very profitable employers automatically cut wages, cut benefits and ship more good jobs overseas because their colleagues at other firms are all doing it.  That remains a race to the bottom.

We can’t have a recovery based on a “dollar store” economy. Unless workers can truly use bargaining rights to better their conditions, that’s exactly where we’re headed.  The strike at Verizon demonstrates the severity of the problem, but it will take a majority based political movement to fix it.

5 Unlikely Industries Where Workers Are Clamoring to Join Unions

Fifty years ago, one-third of American workers belonged to a union. Today, it’s one in 10. And that number is likely to slip further if, as expected, the Supreme Court weakens public sector unions, which today account for nearly half of all union members.

Yet despite decades of setbacks, the labor movement still shows signs of life—and not just in its typical blue-collar stomping grounds. Workers across the economy are realizing that unions can help them win better working conditions and higher wages.

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Here are five industries where unions have made surprising gains:

Digital News Media
Last month, more than 220 writers, editors, and other staffers at the Huffington Post voted to join the Writers Guild of America, East. The guild’s victory followed other successful drives in recent months at Gawker, Salon, ThinkProgress, and Vice Media. Another union, NewsGuild-CWA, last year helped organize the Guardian US and digital staffers at Al Jazeera America.

Although unions have represented many newspaper reporters for decades, they’ve only recently begun to penetrate web-only publications. These fast-growing start-ups typically woo young writers with the promise of huge audiences and considerable editorial freedom—while offering little in the way of salaries, benefits, or family friendly scheduling.

But as digital reporters have matured, so have their expectations. “The idea that someone will continue to work all his waking hours is not sustainable,” Bernard Lunzer, president of the NewsGuild, told the journalism site Poynter.org. “If owners are doing well, workers will say, ‘Let’s get a bit more reasonable.'”

Security Firms
Most of America’s 1 million security guards don’t have much security on the job. With scant health benefits and pay that averages just $11 an hour, they are often just one mishap away from disaster.

So some of them are looking to unions for protection. Since 2003, more than 50,000 security guards have won contracts through the Service Employees International Union—often with big improvements in wages, healthcare, paid time off, and other benefits. In 2015 alone, more than 2,100 security officers in Baltimore, Sacramento, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh formed unions.

The SEIU has focused primarily on the 60 percent of security guards employed by independent contractors, which tend to pay bottom-of-the-barrel wages. In May, responding to pressure from labor groups, Facebook announced a $15 minimum wage and a new-parent benefit for all of its subcontracted workers. Google and Apple recently went even further by bringing their security guards in-house and offering them the same benefits as their other workers.

Tech Shuttle Services
In 2014, private buses for tech workers in the San Francisco Bay Area became potent symbols of inequality and gentrification. Last year, however, they became known for something more positive: union contracts.

It all started last February, when newly unionized drivers employed by Facebook contractor Loop Transportation won a contract through Local 853 of the Teamsters. It guaranteed a $9 raise to $27.50 an hour, fully paid family health insurance—a first—up to five weeks of paid vacation, 11 paid holidays, and a pension. “It was just an amazing first contract,” says Doug Bloch, the Teamsters’ Northern California political director. “They were literally catapulted into the middle class overnight.”

The deal sent ripple effects through the Bay Area labor market. The following month, Apple and Google announced a 25 percent raise for all contract shuttle bus drivers. In May, unionized shuttle drivers at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency won a 44 percent wage increase, 25 days off (up from 12), and a 401(k) plan with an employee match.

Other drivers scrambled to join the union, too. In November, Local 853 won a similarly sweet deal for nearly 200 newly organized employees of Compass Transportation, which serves Apple, eBay, PayPal, and Yahoo, among others. Next up on the union’s radar is Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation, a contractor for Twitter, Yelp, Cisco, and Salesforce.

“In the Bay Area there’s a lot of discussion about the intersection between the high-tech economy and income inequality,” says Bloch of the Teamsters. Tech companies “are politically vulnerable for the exact same reason, and that created an opening for us.”

Colleges and Universities
In the 1970s, two-thirds of college and university faculty was tenured and a third was not. Now those percentages are flipped: Nearly half of professors don’t even have full-time jobs. As with other involuntary part-time workers in restaurants or retail, these “adjuncts” often have a hard time making ends meet.

Enter the SEIU’s Faculty Forward campaign. Since launching three years ago, it has won union contracts for more than 10,000 adjunct and non-tenured faculty at more than 30 colleges and universities, including Georgetown, Tufts, Boston University, and the University of Chicago. Some profs have seen raises of 30 percent.

In a related campaign, the United Auto Workers is unionizing graduate student workers such as teaching assistants and resident advisors. There are already grad student unions at some 60 public university campuses, but a 2004 National Labor Relations Board ruling has prevented similar unions from forming at private colleges—until now. In 2013, worried that Obama appointees on the NLRB would reverse the Bush-era ruling, New York University agreed to let its grad students form a union. The UAW now has campaigns at Harvard, Columbia, and the New School in New York City—the union also is in talks with students at many other private campuses. The NLRB is expected to revisit its 2004 ruling sometime this year.

Bike Share Companies
In 2013, Citi Bike became the nation’s largest public bike-sharing program after opening 332 bike stations across Manhattan.

“When it first started we didn’t pay much notice,” admits Jim Gannon, a spokesman for the New York local of the Transport Workers Union. “It was just a bunch of bikes.”

But then the union heard from some of the company’s 150 workers—mechanics and “balancers” who make sure that the racks don’t go empty. They joined the TWU in late 2014 and last year won a contract that guarantees parental leave, paid vacation, and 20 percent raises within five years.

The company’s workers in Jersey City, the District of Columbia, Boston, and Chicago soon followed, becoming union members over the next several months. “We kind of take the position that if it’s public and it moves on wheels,” Gannon now says, ” it should be TWU and it should be unionized.”

Guest Post by Josh Harkinson
The Post originally appeared on MotherJones

Elizabeth Warren Skewers Federal Reserve Regulator Who Played “Pivotal” Role in 2008 Financial Crisis

This video of Elizabeth Warren ‘roasting’ a bank regulator who refused to regulate responsibly has been viewed over 1.8 million times — in just 3 days.

On April 5th, Republicans tried to use their Senate Banking Committee hearing to show that regulating banks costs too much. Elizabeth Warren turned that on its head, opening her questions saying, “I want to focus on the other side of the equation, and that is the cost to American families of failing to regulate.”

Nor would she stand for ‘tenure defenders.’

“Did you have your eyes stitched closed?” she asks Leonard Chanin, Republicans’ lead witness and former Deputy Director of the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve Board in response to his dogged refusal there was any hard data available prior to regulation failures that led to the economic collapse of 2008.

A ‘prime example’ of the hands-off regulatory approach that may lead to the next.

“You did essentially nothing,” Warren told Chanin, who has since left the Federal Reserve to work for a private law firm advising big banks. “Now, your failure had devastating consequences.”