Seniors Deserve Better Guidance And More Accurate Direction For Their Investments

By: Steve Bauer | Sat, Jul 14, 2012
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As a retired CFP I can sympathize with the millions of folks that are often forgotten by Wall Street. Clearly, seniors are forgotten when it comes to their financial future. That's because they often are conservative, their broker's account is no longer at the top of the list. And, in today's financial world, brokers have become traders. An active "trading account" is the focus for brokers these days. It's simple to understand: if there are few transactions, there are nearly no commissions. Greed for money will never build a lasting relationship!

I suggest, for the senior, it starts with building a balanced and flexible portfolio. This is called - asset allocation. Bonds, blue-chip stocks, preferred stock, hedge funds, cash and the list goes on. How on earth can you live a decent retired life and keep up with all of this? The answer is, you can't keep-up and neither can the stockbrokers.

Financial analysts are no longer offering a true one on one relationship to seniors or anyone else. That means you are just another account on their books. Their theories and opinions, produced by the brokerage firms make me sick.

Folks, again the solution to this problem is simple. There needs to be a conservative balance between growth and income. Most all quality companies pay a quarterly dividend that you can spend. A rule of thumb is that your portfolio should annually deliver at least 6% or more to you. In today's low interest and dividend environment, 6% is often not available without baring a great deal of risk of principal.

Conservative risk management is the key to earning what you deserve. The next consideration is the dividend percentage amount that the company pays. Be it high (over 4%) or lower, the company must also have a price per share that is growing. I suggest, it is kind of dumb to buy or hold a company that pays a good dividend and also experience the price per share of the company go down in value! If you have experienced this situation, there are conservative solutions. However, you must be willing to participate with the guidance from your advisor. In other words use your head just a little bit.

There are hundreds of companies that pay a good dividend and also are appreciating in value. The rub is; these fine companies do not always appreciate year after year after year. I hope you understand and are willing to become a little more proactive with the management of your assets.

Here is my guide to financially sleeping well at night, have peace of mind and receive 6% or more per annum on your portfolio. The first step is to select at least two seasoned (well seasoned) advisors that write words (financial articles) that make sense to you. Next, think of at least three hard questions and send them an Email. Their answers to your questions will either give you confidence or leave you wanting. If they suggest mutual funds, they are discharging their job to just another losing cause.

It is the financial analyst's job to help you sort through the list of possible investments. This is an ever-changing list and requires much expertise to manage. It is your job to develop a relationship with a person that you are comfortable with. For over 100 years, the stock market cycles from bull to bear and then back again to bull and so do all companies. I hope you agree. If not please study the 20-charts for the two companies I valuate for you below.

Here are three examples of companies that may give you some better perspective - of Why Valuation Analysis is So Important to your financial retirement. The first is Apple, Inc. (AAPL) that is a Growth Company and pays no dividend. The second is Exxon Mobil (XOM) that is an Income & Growth Company that pays a 2.7% dividend. The third is Avon Products (AVP) that is an Income Company that pays a 6% dividend. Growth in share price per share for these companies over the past 12 months was: AAPL 70%, XOM 8% and AVP -40% -- that's MINUS FORTY PERCENT! You can see, from a growth perspective, that if you were looking for 6% paid to you by your brokerage firm in monthly checks that two of the companies did the job well. Looking at AVP, if you were greedy and did not use the above "perspective" and wanted that 6% dividend, you lost 40% of your principal. Let me share some simple mathematics. If you wanted 6% on your invested assets and let the company you were holding go down by 40% you have lost six and two-thirds YEARS of income. There is no guarantee AVP will recover that 40% loss in the foreseeable future. (40% divided by 6 is 6.67 years). On the other hand, if you look only at the dividend you might be nervous about owning AAPL paying O% dividend. As a financial analyst, I will say, loud and clear - owning AAPL was no more risky than owning XOM or many similar high quality companies. In this example, you were hurt by AVP severely and the answer is so very simple for me to explain. Here is the reason (my explanation) for my making this statement. When you routinely do your fundamental valuations well the results always are very near what you will see six months to a year from the date of the valuations. This was true for all three of these companies. AAPL and XOM valuated one year ago very well. AVP valuated one year ago very poorly. (see my Table for my current valuations of JNJ and PFE, below. The ONLY way to seek a low risk increase in monthly income is to diligently and frequently do "valuations" on many, many companies. This is a lost art because it is so time consuming. The world does not have "time" anymore so the people rely on luck. Note the increase in casinos and lottery participation. You can have what you want in this world, if you work hard, hire a seasoned professional or get lucky.

The table below may be helpful in your search for safely and increasing your monthly income.

Company Type 1-year Growth +
Income = (Percent)
Conclusions:
Avon Products (AVP) --
((Click on (chart) to view my 20-year chart for AVP)
Income -40% + 6% = (minus) 34% Dividend - Greed buys you grief if you don't do your valuations well.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) --
((Click on (chart) to view my 20-year chart for XOM)
Income & Growth 8.0% + 2.7% = 10.7% Quality Companies will always produce the needed results.
Apple, Inc. (AAPL) --
((Click on (chart) to view my 20-year chart for AAPL)
Growth 70% + 0% = 70% Growth, isn't bad if you do your valuations well and stick to quality companies.
Notes: Dividends and Interest is important because it is the foundation for being conservative. This is how your sleep well and have financial peace of mind. Growth is important for several reasons: a) it offsets inflation, b) it makes up for low dividend and interest payment, c) if there is no growth, eventually there will be no dividends!

Holding a company in a bearish environment, is not investing wisely. Valuations will always give you both warnings of pull backs and alerts of future growth.

The below chart for AAPL, XOM and AVP should get your attention. I hope so!

There are hundreds of similar examples if you do your homework.

Few Do!

1-Year Comparative AAPL, XOM and AVP


Here are Two Dow 30 (Dividend Paying) Companies that are Currently Doing Their Job Well

These companies are all excellent, blue chip / Dow companies. They also have time-tested tenure as excellent dividend paying companies. In a bullish environment they do their job well. In bear market time frames they, like most other companies, are always expensive to hold.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is paying a 3.60% dividend. My current opinion: Be very careful holding JNJ in the coming months. I would not add it to my portfolio at this time.

Pfizer (PFE) is in the same industry group and sector and is paying a 3.88% dividend. My current opinion: Price erosion is my forecast. Take profits and hold cash until another high quality / low risk company comes along. Patience is almost as important as valuations!


Valuations for: Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer

  JNJ -- ((Click on (chart) to view my 20-year chart for JNJ)   PFE -- ((Click on (chart) to view my 20-year chart for PFE)
Current Price: $68.00 $22.80
Target Price: Currently JNJ is still making new highs. That makes doing a valuation nearly impossible! Plus 4+% / minus 14+% from the current price. (Currently PFE is topping, but restricts very accurate valuations)
Trailing P/E: 18.6 21.4
Forward P/E
(fye 12/ date):
12.3 9.7
PEG Ratio: 2.8 -- that's High 9.18 -- that's Terrible
Price to Sales: 2.9 2.6
Price to Book: 3.0 2.0
Dividend 3.60% 3.88%
Return on Investment
(R.O.I.)
11.28% -- not bad 5.14% -- rather low
Valuation Divergence: Estimated (minus) - 12+% from current the price. (JNJ will require monthly update valuations) (minus) - 15+% from current the price.
Source of raw data: Finviz.

Target Price is calculated and produces a probable range of the current price over the coming one to three months or more. Valuation Divergence is calculated as a current absolute number. With this data in place, I give all my valuations a rating. My ratings are from Excellent to Very Poor. When the market is in between bullish and bearish inflection points, I often recommend holding cash and maintaining patience as an alternative to being fully invested. Future price per share appreciation will quickly make up for the dividends lost when you are holding cash. I always recommend holding cash for conservative investors in bear market environments.


Combined Comments for JNJ and PFE

These are currently not overly strong Valuations and Target Price Projections. The current Valuation Divergence is negative. Although JNJ edges PFE in my current comparative analytics, JNJ is not as strong as the financial analysts would have you believe. Projected earnings growth for JNJ indicates that it will be steady at best. Projected earnings growth for PFE indicates that it will improve in 2013 and be declining through 2015. My technicals are currently graded as, "good" but a top could well be forming in both companies. Current Consensus Opinion is much too bullish. This suggests that both JNJ and PFE will continue to follow the general market indices. (see Market Status below) Security's valuations should be updated, and holdings reviewed as frequently as possible.

2-Year Comparative JHJ and PFE

This happens to be a 2-year chart supporting my strong valuations for JNJ and PFE two years ago. All companies go through cycles. That is why I provide a 20-year chart for each company that I write to you about. The above 2-year chart often presents a very different picture than does a longer-term picture.

Please do not take positions in any of these companies without having an Email dialog with me. There are variables that cannot be included in an article such as this one. Furthermore, you must first have your own personalized asset allocation model in place before accepting advice from anyone.


Market Status

My general market opinion is that the fundamentals are over-valued; the technicals are over-bought, and the consensus opinion is way too bullish. I am currently a bear because my valuations are, on balance convincingly negative, and we are in a general market bearish cycle; it's just that simple!

Further and on-going support for my guidance for the general market can be read in my Wednesday and Sunday personal blog. http://twitter.com/InvestRotation


Summary

Currently, the above tables and charts present a clear and not-so-positive longer-term account of these companies. It is a fact that, the stock market cycles endlessly both fundamentally and technically from bullish to bearish and then back again to be bullish. The bullish trend of these companies will be back to profit from very soon. That is also a fact you can be assured of, so just be patience. Unfortunately, this is a pattern that is not well-understood or taken advantage of by most investors. I am trying to help.

I recommend prudent caution for these and most all companies. There are many stronger as well as weaker companies that I maintain on my "dividend list" for my clients.

Within this present bearish time frame, there is nothing fundamentally (longer-term) wrong with the companies on my research list. It is simple what happens when they turn technically bearish. And is just the on-going "cycling effect" of the way the stock market works. I hope you will continue to follow my work / analytics for guidance. It won't be long before I can offer you a bullish and up-beat forecast once again.

May I remind you to take a few minutes to study my longer-term charts? When buying or selling, taking a longer-term look of a security's price history is often the difference between profits and losses!


Conclusion

I am currently bearish on both the world economies and the general market. I suggest that it is vitally important for you to understand that holding cash during questionable time frames in the marketplace is a much wiser choice than holding your present positions for the long term. I can assure you that; this is definitely a "questionable" time frame!

Smile, have fun, investing wisely.

 


 

Steve Bauer

Author: Steve Bauer

Steven H. Bauer, Ph.D.

Steve Bauer

Steve has several degrees, i.e. post graduate degrees and doctorate and a great deal of (too much) continued education. For seven years, he did a stent as a University Professor of Finance and Economics.

Dr. Bauer also writes for SeekingAlpha.com. His articles can be viewed at: http://seekingalpha.com/author/steven-bauer?source=search_general&s=steven-bauer

He owned a privately held asset management firm and managed individual investor and corporate accounts as a Registered Investment Advisor - for over 40 years.

Professionally he is a financial analyst and private asset manager / consultant / mentor.

Steve can be reached at senorstevedrmx@yahoo.com

Copyright © 2010-2013 Steven H. Bauer, Ph.D.

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