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How I Stay On Top Of My Stocks

April 9th, 2014 at 08:49 am

I have to stay current on what is happening with the companies in my stock portfolio*. If I do not, I could get badly hurt. Or I could miss a great opportunity. So I have developed a simple 3-step procedure to stay on top of my stocks. Here is what I do.

I monitor news about my portfolio companies daily, dividend announcements on their due dates, and earnings reports quarterly. Any of these could foretell a major stock price shift in the foreseeable future. Or right away. And I must not miss those signals to buy or sell.

Daily news. Monday through Friday, I get on the worldwide web at 8am (EDT) and go to the Yahoo Finance website. It is Yahoo for me because this site aggregates in one place all the news and major opinion pieces for each publicly traded company. It is 8am because those companies almost always release their news -- particularly their bad news -- after the 4pm stock market close and before the 8:30 am bond market opening. And I know I have to be nimble. I have to decide what -- if anything -- to do before the stock market opens at 9:30 am.

Dividend announcements. I only invest in dividend-paying companies**. The continued payout of that dividend is crucial to me. So I keep a list of dividend announcement due dates for my portfolio companies, which I update by projecting forward 3 months from the most recent past announcement. A missed dividend announcement due date is a huge red flag. And I must spot that red flag and act on it because it may very well mean that the dividend is going to be either cut or eliminated.

Quarterly earning reports. I select my stocks based on specific financial data* but that data is constantly changing. The quarterly earnings report is my chance to update that data. For the company's earnings report press release, I again rely on the Yahoo Finance website. For transcripts of earnings report conference calls, I go to Seeking Alpha (by clicking on a link at Yahoo Finance!) Once I have reviewed the company's report and conference call, I either give the company a continued thumbs-up or I immediately make plans to eliminate it from my portfolio. Otherwise, I am asking for trouble.

It takes me an average of one to one-and-a-half hours a day to carry out this monitoring. I consider that time to be part of my investment in my portfolio because up-to-date information is essential to its management. And so I make sure that I have that information.

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*My High Yield, High Risk Investing:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/20/my-high-yi...

**Why I Only Buy Dividend Stocks:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/01/why-i-only...

4 Responses to “How I Stay On Top Of My Stocks”

  1. Rachael777 Says:

    RTW.. please share the specific fundamentals and criteria you look for in stocks to help you choose low risk, high paying stocks. I looked at other posts and it is not there. thanks for sharing.

  2. Retired To Win Says:

    Rachael,

    Go to my sidebar. At the top there is a link to "All My Investing Posts". In that Index is a link to the post you are looking for. Or go to My Pages Section and click on "How I Invest In Stocks."

    Two caveats. I HAVE NOT said this is a low-risk investment approach. And I AM NOT a financial advisor, so understand I am simply recording my experiences. I have no idea how things would turn out for anyone else.

    Good luck.

  3. snafu Says:

    RTW, you might find it helpful to track as many as 3 'potential' buys should a holding disappoint/change focus. I buy Div stock on distribution date since it's pretty much the lowest unit cost. My focus just now is S Korea as they are so far ahead of where they were at an earlier visit 2003.

  4. Retired To Win Says:

    Snafu,

    Thanks for the idea. Fact is, I do always have a "to buy" list of stocks in the wings either waiting for a price drop or some other opportunistic reason to buy.

    And you are right about keeping one's eye on the stock's "x-date" which is when the dividend is earned by the present holder of the shares. The stock price invariably drops on that day. The neat thing is very often it drops by multiples of the dividend amount. And, often, that is when I POUNCE!

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