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

Know Your Rights: State Laws on Employee Time Off to Vote

Federal law does not require that employers allow their workers time off to vote, but the majority of states have at least some level of protection for employees who want to leave work to engage in their civic duty. The specifics vary by state, but in each state, the rules apply to almost every type of workplace. Employers are required to know the laws and to provide adequate accommodations according to the rules of that state. Though many states allow employees to have up to three hours off during the time the polls are open (the number of hours varies by state), nearly all of the states allow employers to refuse time off to vote.

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Check this resource compiled by the AFL-CIO for a table of each state and their respective laws surrounding employee time off to vote.  

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5 Common Computer Problems & How to Fix Them

You’re working away at your computer when suddenly, up comes an error message   or worse, your computer comes to a screeching halt. Deciphering what computer problems you have and how to fix them can be difficult, especially if you don’t know as much as you’d like about your PC.

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Blue Screen of Death (BSoD)
Many people think of blue as a calming color; however, when it comes up on your computer screen with a bunch of white text, it probably has the opposite effect. The blue screen of death (BSoD or STOP Error) may appear to be one of the scariest computer problems you’ll come across. However, all your computer may need is for you to reboot it.

As you likely have no ability to power down the way you would normally; hold down the power button on your computer for about 10 seconds until the computer turns off.  There will be no mistaking this; the screen will go off and you will hear a little sound.  Wait a little while and power back up.  If you’re someone who likes to cross every “t” and dot every “i” unplug your computer and connected devices (like printers) once the computer is off.  Wait about 5 minutes and power back up.

If you get the Blue Screen of Death again, repeat but wait longer before powering back up.  If it happens a third time, it may be time to visit www.unionbuiltpc.com.

Applications That Won’t Install
If you’re having trouble with an application not installing, it may be because your computer doesn’t have enough hard drive space. If this is the case, you need to free up some space. This is one of the computer problems that’s, well, least problematic. You can free up some hard drive space by getting rid of files and folders you don’t need. These may be temporary files, duplicate files or data for software you’ve uninstalled.

You can also purchase an external hard drive and move the majority of your files and folders there.

Another option is to make a small investment in a secure cloud storage solution for storage of files and folders.

RELATED: Learn More About the Benefits of Secure Cloud Storage

Applications Run Slowly
There are several reasons software might be running at turtle speed. You may have computer problems that involve your operating system or an application, your operating system might be missing updates or your computer doesn’t have enough hard drive space. If you don’t have enough hard drive space, you can scan, clean and optimize your hard drive.

FREE DOWNLOAD: How to Optimize Your Slow Windows Computer

Abnormal Applications Behavior
Computer problems that involve applications acting strangely oftentimes leave you wondering what has happened. Your application has been working just fine, but now, seemingly without reason, it is doing something strange.

For instance, your Word document will no longer show the top margin of your document. It still says it’s there, and when you print it, there’s not a problem. You just can’t see it on your monitor. If this is happening, you may want to restart your computer. Conducting an internet search for the type of problem you’re experiencing or consulting Union Built PC may help you as well.

FOR THE ADVANCED USER: Missing DLL File
Dynamic-Link Library (DLL) files house information for your operating system on how to perform certain functions. Occasionally, your computer loses DLL files or something damages them. When your PC can’t read the particular DLL file, it doesn’t know how to respond in certain situations. You may have a missing or corrupt DLL file if you receive an error message every time you perform a certain function, such as saving. If your computer problems are stemming from missing and damaged DLL files, you can restore them by downloading them back onto your PC.

We hope these tips will help you solve some of your computing nightmares.  Remember, Union Built PC is always here to help.  Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and subscribe to the Union Built PC monthly eNewsletter for Union News and articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

15 Things to Look Forward to in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Once the Windows 10 Anniversary Update hits, Microsoft Edge may actually be able to play in the same sandbox as other modern web browsers…

On August 2, Windows 10 will receive its first major update: the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, so-called because it drops right around the operating system’s one-year anniversary.

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The Anniversary Update will be free for all Windows 10 users (Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users have until July 29 to upgrade to Windows 10 for free) and will include everything from visual tweaks and security improvements to brand-new features such as Windows Ink. Here are some of the changes — big and small — that you can look forward to…

Read More from on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update from CNET >

 

 
Source: CNET

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.  

Microsoft Warns Windows 7 Has A Serious Problem

Earlier this year Microsoft  warned users that Windows 7 has serious problems.  In addition, now Microsoft has warned of a new serious Windows 7 problem that is very real – even though it makes no sense whatsoever…

In short: Microsoft has made a seemingly small yet completely bizarre tweak to Windows Update on Windows 7 and confirmed it is crippling many users’ PCs.

The tweak? It switched the status of Windows 7 update KB3133977 from ‘Optional’ to ‘Recommended’.

The bizarre part? Despite acknowledging the problems, Microsoft knew they would occur in advance and it has no plans to do anything about it.

PCs That Suddenly Won’t Start

It all centers around Asus motherboards.

Now 27 years old, Asus is one of the largest PC component makers and supplies motherboards to many of the world’s biggest PC makers. Recently it enabled Secure Boot in UEFI on all its motherboards. This wasn’t a problem for older PCs because Windows 7 didn’t support Secure Boot, that is until KB3133977 came along in March and enabled it.

Initially the fallout was small. Asus confirmed the problem, Microsoft confirmed the problem.  But the best news was KB3133977 was an optional Windows 7 update so it had to be manually installed to take effect. The solution was simple: just steer clear of KB3133977 (aka do nothing) and you’d be fine.

So there’s a lot of tech speak here but it all really comes down to this…

Last month – for some bizarre reason – Microsoft made KB3133977 a ‘Recommended’ update. The result was every user running Windows 7 and default Windows Update settings (the vast majority) would find the update now installed automatically.

And then everyone with an Asus motherboard was hit.

A Global Problem

There are now reports from Windows 7 users coming in from all over the world regarding machines that suddenly won’t boot.

Affected machines simply show a red box which says:

Affected machines simply show a red box which says

All of which does nothing to pinpoint the problem or solve it for those without a second secured boot device. In short: you’d be screwed.

The Good News And Staying Safe

The good news is Asus has now issued a workaround to get PCs booting up again.

Furthermore Asus must take some of the blame for not reacting faster when KB3133977 presented a potential landmine and issuing new updates to its motherboards.

VIEW THE ASUS SECURE BOOT VIOLATION SUPPORT PAGE

How do you know if you have an Asus motherboard in your Windows 7 PC?

Go to: All Programs > Accessories > System Tools and select System Information

This will list your PC’s components, including the motherboard.

One downside: some major PC makers like Dell and HP rebrand the motherboard as the computer’s model number. In which case you should do a web search on your model or call the manufacturer directly.

The Bad News And What Comes Next

As for the bad news? It’s Microsoft’s reaction.

On the plus side, Microsoft did update the support document for KB3133977 with a warning which states:

“After you install update 3133977 on a Windows 7 x64-based system that includes an Asus-based main board, the system does not start”.

But Microsoft also uses the document an opportunity to promote upgrades to Windows 10:

Microsoft has also done nothing to modify KB3133977 or release a new patch so users with Asus motherboards don’t run into this problem in the first place. Furthermore, at the time of publishing, KB3133977 remains a ‘Recommended’ in Windows Update for Windows 7.

Needless to say, conspiracy theorists will have a ball seeing it as yet another new way Microsoft can push users to Windows 10. Especially with upgrade rates slowing in April. This in itself is remarkable given the increasing number of heavy handed and devious ways Microsoft has been pushing Windows 10 onto Windows 7 and Windows 8 users.

Regardless, the message is clear: life is going to become increasingly uncomfortable for Windows 7 users from now on.

Keep in mind that Union Built PC is just a phone call or an email away if you encounter any problems.

Call us at (877) 728-6466
Email us at pete.marchese@unionbuiltpc.com

And don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter for articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Five Reasons to Cheer for Unions This Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a perfect time to celebrate the capacity for upward mobility women have gained in the workforce — especially when it comes to labor unions.

Today, women constitute the greatest portion of the labor force working inside and outside of the home. In another couple of years, the same will likely be said of women in unions. In 2015, women made up roughly 49 percent of union members — but by 2023, women will be the majority of the unionized workforce.

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In spite of these strides, millions of female workers are getting the squeeze in today’s economy. Even as women break the glass ceiling in business and politics, they still earn on average, 77 cents to every dollar earned by men — and unions are a big part of the solution.

Women have a great deal to gain from joining a union, with union victories working to pave the way for workers to bargain for affordable family health care, fair wages, improved working conditions and a better life for their families.

Did you know that…

1. Unionization results in significantly higher wages for women of all education levels.
Being in a union raises a woman’s pay as much as a full year of college does. Being a member of a union raises women’s wages by 12.9 percent — or $2.50 per hour — compared to their non-union peers.

Among women workers in the 15 lowest-paying occupations, the benefits are even greater, with female union members earning 14 percent more than those workers who were not in unions.

2. Unions protect workers’ rights regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender.
In a country where it’s still legal for an employer to fire someone for being gay in 29 states, and for being transgender in 34, having a union can make all the difference.

3. Unionization raises the probability of a woman having a pension.
The union advantage is most impressive when looking at employer-provided retirement plans. Women represented by unions are a whopping 53.4 percent more likely to have pension coverage than their non-union counterparts.

4. Being in a union is good for a woman’s health.
The union impact on a woman’s likelihood of having health insurance is even larger than the impact on wages. At every education level, female union members are 36.8 percent more likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance plans.

5. Unions help close the wage gap.
Despite the fact that the gender wage gap overall hasn’t made any progress in the last five years, it’s been shrinking among workers who belong to a union, declining 3.6 cents between 2015 and 2012. The gender gap between what unionized male workers make and what unionized female workers make is just 9.4 cents, which, according to a report by the National Women’s Law Center, unionized working women make more than 90 percent of what men do.

Among non-union workers, on the other hand, the wage gap is 18.7 cents, about double the gap between union workers. And while all workers typically make higher wages when they’re unionized, a women’s boost of $222 a week is even bigger than her male counterpart.

There’s still much work to be done…

Yet even as we celebrate Mother’s Day – we cannot lose sight of the work yet to be done to achieve full equality.

The United States is the only industrialized nation without any paid family leave law. With the changing nature of our 21st-century workforce, it’s getting harder and harder to balance the demands of the family you love and the job you need. Change has yet to come to Washington, but momentum is growing in the states: So far, California, Rhode Island and New Jersey have passed paid leave laws. It’s time to update workplace policies that are stuck in the past and give more Americans paid family leave – to take care of sick loved ones and newborn children.

The Labor Department is awarding half a million dollars to help feasible studies on new paid leave policies and with the support of Unions, it is our hope paid maternity leave will soon be realized.

RELATED: Maternity Leave FAQs

Considering the great boost to equality, pay and benefits that unions bring, it’s important that anyone who cares about the well-being of women workers also care about unions.

Union Built PC wishes our Union Sisters a very Happy Mother’s Day.