A Personal Stock Market Investment Philosophy
∙ Make every investment in the stock market a long-term investment.
My Mother worked as a teller in a small bank in Dover, New Jersey. The name of the bank was called The Dover Community Bank. While working at the bank (she eventually became a branch manager) she enrolled in the bank's dividend reinvestment plan, making purchases of the stock through pay-roll deductions. She continued purchasing the stock through the years, having the dividends from her shares in the bank reinvested into more shares every quarter. By the time she left the bank (in the early seventies) she had accumulated around 300 shares of The Dover Community Bank.
My Father, when he retired, had the dividends from those shares sent home - to help ends-meet. When my Dad passed away at age 80, my brother and I inherited over 7,600 shares of The Bank of New York, all originating from those 300 shares of what was once called The Dover Community Bank.
From this personal experience grew an investment philosophy that all stock market investments in a security should be purchased with the intent of providing dividend income to help ends-meet during retirement, with the understanding that no one can successfully retire without financial freedom. So every investment now in a security is purchased with the intent of holding that security (and adding to it during the years) until the dividend income from that security is ample enough to ease the loss of income from retiring from my job.
∙ Make every investment in the stock market provide you with an ever-increasing cash dividend for the rest of your life.
With the philosophical investment approach of holding a security position forever, what criteria should I be looking for in that security? Certainly dividend income - that's a given! And since I never intend to sell the security, capital gains may not even be an issue.
I would argue that a company that just pays a dividend isn't good enough. Instead, I will only purchase those companies that have a long history of raising their dividend every year. This will eliminate a whole bunch of risk. It would eliminate the possibility that the company is 'cooking their books;' after all, the money has to be there to pay the shareholder. And because this company has been raising their dividend every year for many years, it eliminates the risk of investing in a start-up company that may not even be around in a year or so.
Also, the rising dividend every year would help off-set the risk of inflation and the risk of a lower stock price during the year would actually accelerate my income from the security.
Since I would want my position in the stock to grow through the years, thus increasing my dividend income, all dividends would be reinvested back into the stock, until retirement. A lower stock price during the year, therefore, would allow the dividend from the company to purchase more shares, at a higher dividend yield, and would simply accelerate my dividend income.
∙ Diversify into no more than twelve different companies.
Owning shares in twelve companies is plenty. It would provide the diversity to sleep well at night, and provide a cash dividend every week of the year. Start by owning three companies, and build from there. Determine how many shares you want of each company before moving on to the 4th, 5th, and 6th. Invest in sets of three different companies at a time, until twelve are owned.