The ultimate goal of our strategy is to build you, over time, an enduring, diversified portfolio (10-20 companies) of high (8% +) dividend paying stocks that will provide sustainable cash flow for many years to come.
How will we accomplish this goal?
At the outset, let’s be clear; these types of opportunities are not readily available and only come about from time to time, and sometimes with a relatively short window of opportunity. To execute this strategy requires an ongoing and active research effort to maintain an inventory of well-researched ideas of “forever”, “wish-to-own” companies. With this preparation, are in a position to take advantage when the market, from time to time, delivers these opportunities.
How long will it take to assemble such a portfolio?
The time frame for building this portfolio could reasonably be expected to take 5-7 years but could be accomplished in a much shorter time frame, depending on market conditions.
The dilemma with trying to implement this strategy with a money manager is that you wouldn’t want your money sitting idle for an extended time while waiting for these types of opportunities – that would not be efficient. Ideally, you want to be invested in some vehicle that is growing your capital so that you have more capital to gradually invest in the dividend bucket. But, the strategy of being patient for good opportunities is very much consistent with Warren Buffet's philosophy, best explained by one his famous quotes:
"The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don't have to swing at everything - you can wait for your pitch. The problem when you're a money manager is that your fans keep yelling, 'swing, you bum!'"
"Ted Williams described in his book, 'The Science of Hitting,' that the most important thing - for a hitter - is to wait for the right pitch. And that's exactly the philosophy I have about investing - wait for the right pitch, and wait for the right deal. And it will come...It's the key to investing."
How we found our way to this strategy
We were implementing our Actavest long-short strategy for a client and began to accumulate a few of these “forever” high-dividend-paying stocks. I realized that since we were unlikely to sell them in the future, that they really should be put into a separate permanent bucket, not part of an active strategy, and that if we can populate the entire portfolio with these types of companies over time, while providing attractive risk-adjusted returns in the interim, then we have provided a good value to the client and essentially delivered them a “finished” product that will serve them well for years to come.
The ultimate goal of our strategy turns out to be a by-product of our more active long-short strategy
The goal of our strategy is thus two-fold;
1) Grow your capital each year with attractive returns from our long-short strategy. The goal of our Actavest long/short equity strategy is to deliver stable returns through all economic environments. It combines a market exposure component with a stock selection component. The success of this strategy will impact the eventual amount being invested into the dividend portfolio stocks.
2) Transitioning capital from the long-short strategy into enduring high dividend paying companies from time to time, as opportunities arise, until your total portfolio is populated with enduring high dividend payers.
The types of companies we will invest in
One of our biggest concerns with investing in equities today is that we believe that more likely than not, perhaps 30% of the companies in the S&P 500 will not be around in 15 years’ time. The evidence is clear that company lifespans are declining and the trend is only accelerating with rapid innovation and technological advancements. For example, in a survey done by Peter Diamandis of the smartest people he knows on their tech predictions for the next 20 years, one of the predictions was that multiple supergiant oil companies have gone bankrupt by 2030. So, if you are paying 25x earnings for an energy major it is unlikely that you will get a return OF capital, never mind a return ON capital.
Our focus for these long-term holdings will be on companies where we can visualize with some clarity that their products will still be in demand in 15 years time. Things like residential real estate, food staples or agricultural products, or waste management for example. Further, our specific focus is on smaller to mid-cap companies that exhibit more pricing inefficiencies than large-cap companies and where solid research can uncover good opportunities - these are not blue-chip stocks, but nevertheless good-quality companies. Lastly, we always try to buy companies with a healthy margin of safety and at attractive valuations, and since our holding period is long-term, we are not phased by fluctuations in the stock price, not driven by a change in fundamentals.
If we can deliver a portfolio of companies with enduring lifespans, then we have accomplished our objective.
Our value proposition in sum
We believe that our long-short strategy as a standalone product will deliver superior risk-adjusted returns over the full cycle, and in the process of implementing this strategy that our research will uncover, from time to time, attractive opportunities to add high dividend forever companies to your portfolio. By choosing us, you have a manager focused on constantly researching opportunities, and in a position when opportunity knocks, to add a "forever" company to your portfolio.
If you find the dividend portfolio to be interesting, then we recommend your next step is to review our Actavest long-short equity solution, since that is the vehicle we will be using to get there. After that, please reach out if you would like to get started or have questions.