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Where To Put Your Cash Now

January 18th, 2012 3 comments

Even if you are fully invested, inevitably you will need to manage some cash. It’s a good idea to have some of your portfolio in cash in addition to a stash (“emergency fund”) that is very liquid to handle unusual bills or issues (things like car repairs up to more serious issues such as unemployment). My investment portfolio is about 30% invested in cash. I expect to reduce this over time but not to zero so that I have some powder to take advantage of opportunities that come up.

It was just a few years ago that you could earn enough interest on cash that you could call it an ‘investment’. Today, that’s no longer true, cash investments are providing very low returns.

Managing cash means putting the money in instruments that are designed to protect principal. There are many options here plus a bunch that you may think protect principal but don’t. Here are your options plus a few that are not cash.

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Categories: Investing Tags:

How To File Your MLP K-1 On Your Taxes

January 14th, 2012 4 comments

A new year brings a new tax return! To get a head start on this I’m going to talk about the filing of K-1 forms. If you don’t invest in MLPs, this will also give you an idea of how these are accounted for on your tax return.

One of the main reasons why many people don’t invest in Master Limited Partnerships (MLP) is due to the complexity of filing taxes. It is more complicated than simple corporate common stock because when you own ‘units’ in an MLP you actually are a partner in the company. As a partner, you need to account for each component of the business in your personal taxes including gains/losses, dividends/interest and company deductions.

While it is more complicated, it is not overly burdensome. In this article I will show you what your getting yourself in when you file your K-1 on your income taxes using documentation from a 2010 tax filing. This is meant as a overview of the process, not necessarily an exact how to guide for every type of filing and investment.

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Categories: Most Popular, Taxes Tags:

New ‘Budding’ Aristocrats Added For 2012

January 12th, 2012 2 comments

Another year has passed. It’s a good time to take a checkpoint to see how companies are fairing with their dividend plans. The last few years have been hard on companies, many of them have cut or eliminated dividends. Also, we have gotten a real demonstration about companies that can not only persevere through difficult times but thrive.

Now is a great time to poke the waters for what I call ‘Budding Aristocrats’. These are companies that could be future Dividend Aristocrats, only that they are younger. Real Artistocrats after all started as younger ones. The thinking is that if a company has been a solid dividend payer over the past 10 years (and could survive the last 3 years) as a Budding Artistocrat, it has a good chance of maturing into a Dividend Aristocrat.

A Dividend Aristocrat is a company that is a part of the S&P500 Index that has increased its dividend for 25 years in a row. For this article, I am going to consider the newest inaugurated class of 2012 that has joined the 10 year club. This means that the company has increased its dividend for 10 straight years as of 2012. Also, I’m not going to limit the list to those companies that are a part of the S&P500 Index.

Here’s the list below. There are some recognizable companies and a whole bunch I never heard of. This is not necessarily a buy list, but a starting point for further analysis.

Alterra Capital Holdings Limited ALTE 2002 17% (August 2011)
Auburn National Bancorporation, Inc. AUBN 2002 3% (February 2011)
Cass Information Systems CASS 2002 17% (October 2011)
Canadian Natural Resource Ltd CNQ 2002 20% (March 2011)
Delphi Financial Group, Inc. DFS 2002 9% (May 2011)
Harris Corporation HRS 2002 12% (August 2011)
Landmark Bancorp, Inc. LARK 2002 5% (November 2011)
Landauer, Inc. LDR 2002 2% (November 2010)
Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. MMP 2002 2% (October 2011)
Monsanto Company MON 2002 7% (August 2011)
NIKE, Inc. NKE 2002 16% (November 2011)
Inergy, L.P. NRGY 2002 6% (July 2010)
NuStar Energy L.P. NS 2002 2% (July 2011)
Norfolk Southern Corp. NSC 2002 8% (July 2011)
Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. NUS 2002 19% (July 2011)
Royal Gold, Inc. RGLD 2002 36% (November 2011)
Senior Housing Properties Trust SNH 2002 3% (October 2011)
The Southern Company SO 2002 4% (April 2011)
Valmont Industries, Inc. VMI 2002 9% (April 2011)
W.R. Berkley Corporation WRB 2002 14% (May 2011)
Watsco, Incorporated WSO 2002 9% (October 2011)

For this list, I have utilized the lists available on Dynamic Dividend.

Categories: Investing Tags:

I’ve Joined The TFB Best Stock Picks For 2012 Contest

January 10th, 2012 4 comments

I’ve Joined The TFB Best Stock Picks For 2012 Contest, as a write-in candidate! For the post about it go to The Financial Blogger. This is a friendly contest that puts dividend and finance bloggers in a race to beat the market and each other in 2012. Here are my picks:

NYSE:KMI
NYSE:EMR
NASDAQ:LARK
NYSE:NLY

If you want to add your own picks for fun, go over to The Financial Blogger and enter your picks in comment. You never know, you may beat everyone else.

Here are the other best stock pick contestants:

Wild Investor

Million Dollar Journey

Dividend Growth Investor

My Traders Journal

Intelligent Speculator

Dividend Mantra

Passive Income Earner

Where Does All My Money Go

Beating The Index

Categories: Investing Tags:

Checkout The New Zecco!

January 8th, 2012 1 comment

After a delay and a final release misstep, Zecco has finally released its new trading interface.The new interface requires a conversion of your account that takes a few hours. If you haven’t logged in recently, go to the site to get the process started. The conversion takes a few hours and requires your electronic signature confirming whether or not you are a professional investor.

What’s New?

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Categories: Investing Tags: