Charles Schwab’s Insurance Policy For Accounts Exceeding $500,000

In a sign of the times, a few readers have contacted me over the past months asking what you’re supposed to do when your brokerage account balance exceeds $500,000 and the amount of your account is no longer covered by SIPC insurance.

As many of you know, the federal government is the first backstop against institutional failure. You got $75,000 in a bank account, and the bank goes under? No problem. You’re covered up to at least $250,000. Got $125,000 sitting in a credit union somewhere? No problem. NCUA insurance has you covered for at least $250,000. And because credit unions have no shareholders, the risk of institutional failure is minimal because the … Read the rest of this article!

Whiting Petroleum’s Bankruptcy: Investment Lessons and the Stock’s Future

Many of you may have seen that Whiting Petroleum recently announced its bankruptcy, which is significant news to me that I consider worthy of a quick case study.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Whiting Petroleum is one of the largest Exploration & Production (E&P) corporations in the oil sector (ConocoPhillips is the largest). E&P companies, often called “upstream oil producers”, do exactly what comes to mind when you picture oil being driven from the ground. Other sectors of the “oil economy” are midstream, which involves the transportation, storage, and marketing of oil, as well as downstream, which involves the conversion of oil-products into gasoline and jet fuel. 

When the price of … Read the rest of this article!

The Twin Pillar Stocks of Dividend Investing


Between 2011 and 2015, Procter & Gamble raised its dividend from $1.97 per share to $2.65 per share. During these four years, each share of P&G that got purchased at $60 in 2011 paid out $11.50 in cumulative dividends if you forward count the September and December payments. At an average reinvestment price of $68.23 over the past four years, and assuming the final two payments get reinvested at the current market prices, an investor would have created 0.168 shares of Procter & Gamble over the past four years just by making a singular decision in 2011 and checking off the reinvest box.

I mention this because the past four years have been … Read the rest of this article!

Everything Not As It Seems


Every now and then, a reader will want to know what kind of formula can be easily plugged in to figure out what stocks to buy. I can think of useful approximations to get the process started. If a newbie investor only considers companies that have been raising dividends for 20+ years with earnings per share growth of at least 5% annually over the past ten and then selectively removes the financial and tech companies from the list, he will put together a pretty darn good portfolio. It’s not a perfect test—companies like Dr. Pepper and Hershey would be great lifelong holds even though they don’t have the dividend history due to buyouts … Read the rest of this article!

The Upcoming $16.50 Dividend To Kraft Shareholders


In 1988, the private equity firm of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts was on the prowl to take over a company after making hundreds of millions of post-tax dollars quickly from the leveraged buyout of Reynolds Tobacco. It wanted to buy The Kroger Company, a large American grocer that looked small enough to be taken over by activist investors. Because KKR wanted to oust the then-existing management at Kroger, the management team sought a creative strategy to keep out KKR so that they could keep their jobs. At the time, KKR did not engage in the golden-parachute strategy of paying off executives handsomely to relinquish control of the company and go away.

In one of … Read the rest of this article!