Archive for March, 2012

Weekend Readings

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 03.31.2012 (5:00 am)

With the summer around the corner, I’m thrilled to have some good weather back here, it was a bit of a brutal week but it’s now over, I’ll go rest a bit outside, I hope you all had a great time:) If you feel like reading some interesting stuff, here are a few suggestions:)

The Case For Raising Top Rate Taxes @ New York Times
Should You Buy The S&P500 Or Include More Large Caps? @ BuildYourETFPortfolio
Vanguard life strategy funds @ Long Term Returns
SkyNet Wars: How A Nasdaq Algo Destroyed BATS @ ZeroHedge
What if You Could Only Work 1 Hour Per Day? @ Passive Income Now
Avoiding hedge funds is a benefit for the 99% @ Curious Cat
The is the time to shine – Nail your CFA exam @ SmartFinancialAnalyst

Dividend News

You are thinking about retiring? Read this first @ TheDividendGuyBlog
Why dividends beat buybacks @ Fortune
-Buy a Coke or the company @ GetRichSlowly
Retirement Planning & Paycheck Issues @ Do Not Wait
4 dividend growers with almost zero credit risk @ Dividend Monk

Tech Stock News

Online Empires – Rise & Fall @ The Big Picture
A Modest proposal @ The Big Picture
Mobile Ad Network Millennial Media Prices IPO At $13 Per Share @ TechCrunch
Apple bashing- since when is a 60 work week abuse? @ Darwins Money
It’s time to believe in RIM and the blackberry again @ TechCrunch

Muppets vs. Goldman Sachs Funny Video:)

Apple ($AAPL): Please Don’t Split Your Stock

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 03.30.2012 (5:00 am)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a quick piece describing why a stock price does not matter. Clearly, there are many different opinions on this. Every time a company splits its stock price, it is usually in order to appeal to investors that do not believe in that theory. I personally do not get it.

Clearly, others agree. Look at the price of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway which has skyrocketed in the past few decades. That is perhaps taking it to an extreme as many investors couldn’t afford buying the stock.

That being said, there has always been a class B which trades at a much more affordable price. Even that had not been split though. Finally, a few years ago, Buffett was forced to oversee a split of the B shares to facilitate an acquisition that was being done in part with shares. That being said, it’s clear that Buffett is not a fan of stock splits.

Others are though. Numerous companies try to keep their stock in the $20 range or as they expect that price to be at an optimal point. People that think a stock that Google is too expensive because it’s worth $635 while Microsoft is a bargain at $32 are exactly the type of people that stock splits target. And if enough of those people end up wanting to buy or sell a stock because of its price, wouldn’t that have a “real impact” on how a stock performs?

Sure, it might. I would however think that the impact is not very significant. Given the fact that Apple (AAPL) remains a stock that I truly believe in, not only as a tech stock but now also as dividend value stock, I would much prefer that the company not split its stock price. I prefer that those thinking the stock is too expensive stay on the sidelines. Thankfully, CEO Tim Cook seems to agree as he said he did not plan to split because it has never proven to add any sustainable value.

Perfect… now how long until Apple hits $1000?

 

How The 4% Retirement Rule Converts To Dividend Investing

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 03.29.2012 (5:00 am)

A common rule that has been applied both by individual investors and financial planners/brokers is the 4% rule. What is it? Basically, if you try to plan your retirement, you should expect to be able to retire 4% of your capital in the first year. Then, you can increase the amount that you withdraw every year to account for inflation. If I take someone with a $1,000,000 retirement savings portfolio retiring today that would mean:

$40,000 to spend this year

If inflation is 2.5%, that would mean $41,000 to spend next year and so on

The objective is to set realistic expectations of how much should be spent and how much should be saved in order to avoid outliving your retirement savings. The rule has been a great rule of thumb and one that I personally think is very useful when planning years and even decades ahead. Since retirees generally end up having a very conservative portfolio, the 4% withdrawal does mean selling assets over time and eventually leaving some amount for family but not a whole lot in most cases.

Enters Dividend Investing

One of the main differences between retiring with a traditional savings portfolio and a dividend portfolio one is that the ultimate goal is to be able to live off of the dividends and hopefully avoid selling any of the stocks. In such a way, there is very little to worry about in terms of outliving your expenses but it also means being able to leave a significant amount behind when that moment comes. I think those benefits are very significant.

Ideally, I think someone would look for a dividend portfolio that is similar to the Ultimate Sustainable Dividend Portfolio, a portfolio that yields 3% or so but that can generate dividend growth of 4% very easily. I consider those assumptions to be very conservative.

The one thing that you could say though is that living off of 3% in those initial years makes a major difference right? I mean earning $30,000 or $40,000 is far from the same thing. I agree, so let’s change things a bit. In those earlier years, We will adjust the payout to 3.5% by selling some capital. It’s not ideal but I think it’s a fair compromise. Obviously, this could be adjusted up or down depending on your specific needs but let’s try this out. So basically in:

Scenario #1 – 4% Rule:

John withdraws 4% on year 1 then adjusts this amount for inflation – John gets a 4.5% total return since he must become very conservative

Scenario #2 – 3% Dividend Rule (adjusted 3.5%)

John withdraws dividends, a dividend yield of 3% that increases by 4% per year. In the first 10 years, he actually withdraws 3.5% thus reducing capital but also dividend growth to 3%. I will assume an average total return of 5.5%, very realistic given the portfolio being less risky.

I will also assume that after 20 years, the amount being withdrawn will only increase by the inflation rate (unfortunately, at some point, we become older and less able to travel, etc).

Let’s assume inflation of 2%

First, take a look at my data, which you can download here as well:

4% rule

[table “380” not found /]

Dividend Portfolio

[table “381” not found /]

Now take a look at the amounts that these investors can take out:

And the remaining capital:

Assumptions

Of course, over a 40 year period, changing inflation rates or returns by even a small amount is enough to make a major difference. That is why I tried to be much more conservative. If you asked me what I would really expect, the difference between these two solutions would be much more drastic. That being said, I would love to hear any type of criticism or comments regarding those assumptions or the conclusion.

What Is Your Action Plan?

I don’t think it’s a big surprise to see that an investor that relies on a dividend focused portfolio down the road will end up doing much better than someone that basically switches its portfolio to a low risk, little return portfolio. There are some critical parts to making this work though.

#1-Psychology Switch: If an investor, especially an aging on looks at day-to-day or month-to-month variations in the value of the portfolio, it can certainly become a source of anxiety and in such a case, switching to dividend ETF’s might be a better way to do it. If however a retiree is able to look at the portfolio from the perspective of the annual dividends and focus on making that number grow, I think it’s much easier to remain focused.

#2-Dumping Stocks Before They Decrease Dividends: I’ve discussed this in the past, it’s important to spot the signs early, growing debt, less growth in revenues, earnings and dividends, etc. These should all be warning signs that there might be a better stock out there.

#3-Portfolio Optimization: This is something that I’ve discussed a lot and am now doing with the USDP. Actually if you missed it, seeing last week’s post about the small changes that I made gives you a good idea. Why? I don’t believe in buying a portfolio of great dividend stocks and then just sitting on it. Things changed. Companies evolve and so do their industries/competitors. That means that even a very long term portfolio should have a strong focus on keeping the right names.

What are your thoughts on this? What kind of portfolio do you aspire to own once you retire?

Is Money The Solution To Everything? Even Saving Black Rhinos?

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 03.28.2012 (5:00 am)

It’s always interesting to see how some like to minimize the importance of money. I would not say that money buys happiness. It doesn’t get you quite that far. That being said, it can certainly help in many different ways. What I always find interesting is how money can help solve almost any problem. Global warning, recovering from natural disasters, helping a loved one, being able to discover the world, etc. It just seems like everything has a price these days. Is that a good thing? Or a bad thing? Hard to say I guess.

Any sport fan would tell you that things have changed a great deal in the past 2 decades as now all involved parties consider it as a business and make moves that make sense from a business perspective. Loyalty to a team, a company or even organisation seems gone.

One very interesting thing that I read the other day was how some endangered animals are being saved. You may have heard about the Black Rhino, one of the rarest species on earth that is in clear danger of becoming extinct. What you probably do not know is that in order to try to save the animal, some governments have now made it legal to charge for killing it. For example, a ranch could allow hunters to pay an amount to go hunting for a black rhino. The price tag comes to a rather expensive $250,000…..!!

How Could Allowing Black Rhino Hunting Help Them Survive?

Black Rhinos are extremely rare for a few reasons. One of them is of course that they are being illegally hunted because of their high resell market. An even more important one is that it is very difficult and expensive to care for them, they also need a very specific environment to be able to reproduce. Who would have a big enough incentive to take on this very expensive mission?

You might think that groups like the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) would be up to the task and they do try their best but it is incredibly expensive to do and they have limited resources.

The Money Alternative

Why not give land owners an incentive to breed Black Rhinos? By telling them that thye will be able to sell hunting rights later on, it gives incentives to protect the animals, help them breed, keep illegal hunters away, etc.

Could It Work?

It’s difficult to say but there are some circumstances when it has. In Texas, they have been able to grow in spectacular ways the populations of many endangered species by giving that exact right. Ranch owners make sure they are able to have several of them and let hunters take down 5-10% of the group every year. The proceeds make it possible for them to keep growing the herds thus also improving the long term perspectives of these animals.

It’s An Outside The Box Solution

Obviously, it took a lot of failed experiments to finally reach this point. Still to this day, many believe this is the wrong way to do it. I think it’s fair but only if a better way is proposed. Many more of the problems could probably solved through unconventional methods…

What are your thoughts on this?

The One Reason You Are Not Saving Enough

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 03.27.2012 (5:00 am)

The other day I was listening to an interview about the human mind and thing struck me as very related to personal finances even though the interview had nothing to do with it. Basically, it was about the fact that the human mind has so many strengths but one problem it has is evaluating and juding future benefits or downsides. Just think about it for a second…

-People that struggle to lose weight know very well that eating healthy food is the biggest key yet they often struggle.I think a big part of it is simply that the desert or chocolate bar that I can eat now is so much more powerful than the future benefit of losing weight. If that happened only once, it would not be an issue, but when we keep making decisions based on the present, it can have major impacts down the road.

Back To Saving Money

If all of us know that we should be starting to save money as early as possible, that it will end up making a world of difference, that pretty much anyone nearing or at retirement tells us they wish they would have saved more and started earlier, how is it that the savings rate in the US remains so incredibly low? Sure, it has risen a bit but nowhere near what it should be.

It’s Critical And We All Know It

Picking the right stocks, having an optimal asset allocation, choosing the right person to help us manage our money.. All of those decisions certainly have an impact on how our retirement will end up looking like. But I don’t think any one of those comes even close to being as important as saving enough money early on in our life/career….

Why We Are So Terrible At It

For most of us, being able to save money comes down to being able to spend less than we make for a few weeks in order to be able to transfer that amount to a retirement/savings account. Unfortunately, how often do we end up with extra money? It’s rare. Why? Because we find extra expenses like a trip, a gift for a loved one, etc. It doesn’t matter because what does a $20, $50, or even $500 really change? Especially for something that will happen 20-30 years down the road and sometimes even more? Not much of course, even with the compounding effect. But those things add up.

The Only Way Out Of It

Personally, I feel like the only way to be able to save enough is to put it away before even seeing it. I will write more about this in the future but basically, for some time now, I’ve been automatically transferring money to my savings account every time I receive a pay. Also, when I get an increase of any kind, I make sure to increase that amount as well. That way, I never get used to having that money to spend

More Importantly

The critical part here is that I don’t rely on making the smart long term decision over and over…

How do you manage? Are you saving enough? Or should you be saving more? And if so, how can you get it done?

New Trade: Long Priceline (PCLN) & Short Demand Media (DMD)

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 03.26.2012 (5:00 am)

Last week turned out to be a rather volatile one with some good moves (long LinkedIn-LNKD, Long Apple-AAPL) but also bad ones (short Monster-MWW). The trade on Monster has nearly reached its stop loss after MWW basically confirmed it was open to selling part or all of its company. Unfortunately, M&A action is difficult to predict and it can sometimes go our way but sometimes it doesn’t… Hopefully that trade recovers. After last week’s action, the average trade has returned 1.47% so far this year, which is not bad (14% annualized return). It’s not great but not bad.

Just before getting into today’s trade, I wanted to discuss Apple which lost nearly 10% in one second on Friday after a glitch on BATS exchange. You could not tell because those trades ended up being cancelled so no harm right? I just want to remind everyone that such trades are not always cancelled. They are one more reason to always avoid market orders and also intra day stop orders.

Back to today’s trade as I am going long Priceline (PCLN), a stock that I have loved to trade but have been less active on recently because it has been rather expensive. Against it is Demand Media (DMD), a company I have often discussed (rarely in a positive way). Let’s get right into it by looking at the numbers for both stocks:

[table “379” not found /]

Long Priceline (PCLN)

Clearly, Priceline (PCLN) has been a star no matter how you look at it.The company continues to bring strong growth to both revenues and profits despite being one of the huge players in the online travel. It has remained focused on its core strength and its strong brand. I do think that its forward looking P/E is fairly reasonable but when I compare it to Demand Media, it starts to look like a major bargain. I look at PCLN as being a very safe play for strong growth which makes it a safe play.

Short Demand Media (DMD)

Wonder why I think PCLN, a “safe play” is a good bet against DMD? Because I think DMD could do very poorly. It has a heavy reliance on Google for its traffic (and thus revenues) and some major changes to the Google algorithm could have a significant impact to DMD. Even if that turns out not to be the case, I think that DMD’s business model is still much more difficult to scale and the level of risk does not seem to be fully incorporated into the stock price. It relies heavily on online advertising which continues to show slower growth than other segments.

Disclosure: No positions on Priceline (PCLN) or Demand Media (DMD), this trade will be opened on Monday morning

Would You Rather Buy Amazon (AMZN) Or Facebook (FB)?

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 03.23.2012 (5:00 am)

Much has been said in recent weeks about the upcoming Facebook IPO as the leading social network is expected to become public in the next few months at a valuation expected to be between $75-100B. I was thinking about doing a comparison with LinkedIn (LNKD), a very similar company that I think will end up being a great story when all is told and done. The truth however is that I consider $LNKD to be very expensive so perhaps not the best point of comparison. Guess which large company trades in that range? Online powerhouse Amazon is currently valued at $84 billion, basically right in the middle of that range. This should certainly be interesting because I recently read 2 interesting posts that I also tweeted (@intelligentspec):

Complete miscalculation of Facebook’s value
Amazon overvalued?

Both were very interesting and the Amazon one certainly made me rethink my evaluation of Amazon as a long term play. The reason why I am comparing these two companies is not that they’re similar. They have a few points in common (web based, social aspect, etc) but also have so many differences (sheer size, growth, margins, etc). I do however think it’s a very fair question to ask and would love to get your thoughts later on in this article!

Valuation Challenges

No doubt, both of these companies present tremendous challenges in valuationss and I think it’s very possible to make a case for either one as being a great buy or as an overvalued stock. Let’s start off with a few big ones:

Facebook

Facebook certainly carries a lot more business risk than the average $100B business. It has a very loyal user base but so did MySpace just a few years ago. The fact is that some other competitor such as Google could end up taking a large part of Facebook’s market share.

Monetization: Every time someone brings up the fact that Facebook has no space left for space, I like to bring up the fact that user growth is only a small part of the story. In my opinion, it’s all about adding new sources of revenues. There are plenty of ideas (mobile ads, 3rd party ad services, increasing usage of its virtual currency, adding paid services for corporations, etc) but the fact remains that Facebook has not seen this as a priority up to now. With Mark Zuckerberg still holding the majority in Facebook, it’s not clear how determined he is to make that happen.

Amazon

Margins: Amazon has been reinvesting tons into expanding its capacity, its offering, buying smaller websites in niche areas, becoming the leader in cloud compuiting, etc. But much of this has been done at the expense of margins which have been very small (especially when compared with a company like Facebook and have not improved over the past few quarters).

Unprofitable businesses: Sure, launching a business like the Kindle makes a lot of sense but does selling it for so little also make sense? What is the objective here? How about Amazon Prime? How profitable is the service? Amazon seems to be after market share these days and at some point it will need to turn those into profits.

The Numbers

It would be very difficult to compare the revenues numbers in the same chart given the differences so let’s do this instead. I will compare the revenyes for both individually but then compare the growth rates year over for the last 4 quarters (given that we do not have more history for Facebook.

Revenues

I don’t think there is any doubt that Facebook will probably never catch up to Amazon, or anywhere close to that. The fact that Amazon continues to growth so fast despite its huge size is very impressive. Of course, as is the case with any non-luxury physical goods company (that is the bulk of AMZN’s business after all), margins tend to be much smaller. So let’s take a look at the critical number here, the profits.

Clearly, this chart will probably make you rethink. Already last year, Facebook made almost as much money as Amazon and this year it should be much higher. I think these numbers are much more important and representative than charts that detail revenues per user or that compare Facebook to Google at the time of its IPO.

In The End

I think it’s very close but also very difficult to compare. Clearly, one stock has a much clearer path and will eventually become the next generation Walmart (WMT) – I could probably argue that it already is. The other one, Facebook (FB), has a lot more upside in my opinion but also carries a lot more risk. In the end, if I were investing in a safer retirement account, I would probably go with Amazon. In all other cases though, and in general, I would argue that Facebook has enough upside to justify it being a bargain even at these valuations. What about you? Which stock would you prefer buying?

Is Goldman Sachs (GS) Evil?

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 03.22.2012 (5:00 am)

If you think about all of the big debates of the last few months or years, you’ll think of the Wall Street Bailouts, the 1% vs. 99% and a different set of other heated discussions. One common element in recent years has been Goldman Sachs being in the middle of the discussions. It’s nothing new. A few years ago, one of the very interesting authors that I enjoy reading, Matt Tabibi wrote about Goldman Sachs basically being the root of all evil. I’m barely exagerating. In fact, he said that Goldman had been a major player in both creating financial bubbles (profiting on the way up) and then making even more money when the bubble ended up bursting.

That article and many others also pointed out how Goldman employees seem to be running the US government in many different ways. If you look at the top guys that manage institutions such as the US Treasury you will see that the majority of them did spend a considerable amount of time working for Goldman. Was it by chance then that the Treasury came out to rescue Goldman and others but also AIG which owed a tremendous amount of money to Goldman? Many find that difficult to believe….

The Testimony

As if public opinion wasn’t bad enough, CEO Lloyd Blankfein ended up testifying regarding the role of Goldman Sachs in the selling of toxic securities. I personally thought it got a bit ridiculous. He was mostly blamed for selling products that his firm had judged to be “crap” to its clients. We could probably discuss this for a while but the main point is that it certainly did not help Goldman’s image.

The Departing Employee

Then, Goldman Sachs saw one of its executives, Greg Smith, leave the firm in a very public manner as he wrote a piece in the NY Times explaining why he was leaving. The summary would be that he felt the culture of GS was compromised, that it was no longer about helping clients but about crewing them. It made enough of a story for Goldman to have to react as it GS said:

“In our view, we will only be successful if our clients are successful,”

Even the fact that Goldman felt the need to reply to Mr Smith was sign of how bad things have become. Of course, many others such as Andrew Ross Sorkin have been very public about how GS is screwing its clients,

@GSElevator

For the past few months, what is almost certainly a fake twitter account has been posting as a Goldman employee with all kinds of remarks that do not help the GS image. It’s not that anyone thinks those are actual quotes. It’s rather that few believe that they are that far outside of what is really happening.

My Thoughts

Clearly, Goldman is to blame for a lot of what is going on. Its main problem though is that it continues to act in an arrogant way. That being said, I don’t think Goldman is evil. What I feel even stronger about is that it’s not more evil than its competitors. Goldman is the biggest and has been the best in its industry for a few decades now so in this era where attacking the rich and successful, it is such an easy target (as is attacking the top 1% or fortune 500 CEO’s). What I would say though is that having firms like Goldman that are considered too big too fail is certainly an issue and if there isn’t enough control on how much risk the firm can take, then it should not be allowed to “bet the house” knowing that taxpayers will pay back if needed.

What are your thoughts on Goldman Sachs (GS) ?

Do You Ever Feel Rich?

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 03.21.2012 (5:00 am)

It’s an interesting question. Feeling rich has a different meaning to each person of course. Personally I feel as though it’s mostly about being free to live the lifestyle that I wish, to avoid feeling stress or anxiety about losing my job or having an unexpected expense. At some point in time, I would love to be able to live off of passive income which I consider to be the ultimate sign of being rich. I do however know that every person answering that question would probably have a different answer, especially as you start to get into details (what kind of lifestyle, vacations, car, etc).

Do You Feel Rich?

Chances are that you answer this question with an unequivocal “NO”. Don’t feel bad. Almost everyone does. The more interesting question is the follow up:

How much would you need to own/make in order to feel rich?

Why? Because it seems as though

those making 20-30K/year will often answer this question by saying that they’d feel rich if they made 50K/year
-those making 50-60K/year will often answer this question by saying that they’d feel rich if they made 100K/year
-those making 100K/year will often answer this question by saying that they’d feel rich if they made 200K/year
-etc… you get the idea

Sometimes, it feels as though we are each climbing the same mountain and we always feel like we’re near the top. Once we get there, we’ll feel happy, free to do whatever we want, etc. We’ll feel like we’ve accomplished a great feat, like we can enjoy things a bit before taking on a new challenge.

I should know, I’m the 1st in line….

Chances Are That You Are Making More Money Than 5 Years Ago

Perhaps, it is significantly more. Try to put yourself back in your shoes from 5 years ago. If someone had told that you could potentially make $X, would you have said that it would be enough to live off, to feel rich, etc? Personally, there is no doubt that I would have said so. Yet here I am, making more money than those objectives but still not feeling “rich”.

It’s As If There Is No Top To This Mountain

Every time we reach a new level, we suddenly realize that there is a higher level that we can reach and that we would surely feel rich if we got to that level. Unfortunately, every new level reached makes us see the next one…

Perspective…

If today you decided to wake up and instead of looking at how much more you could/should be making, you looked at all of those that are climbing, trying to reach the place where you are, wouldn’t that make you feel rich in some way? It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to make more in order to sustain a lifestyle that might be much more than what we truly need.

Maybe I’m a bit reflective today, travel/vacations can do that to you:)

Mirror, Mirror On The wall, Is Apple (AAPL) The Greatest Dividend Stock Of Them All?

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 03.20.2012 (5:00 am)

IS: “Mirror, Mirror On The wall, Is Apple (AAPL) The Greatest Dividend Stock Of Them All?”

Mirror: Weren’t you the person who wrote about being crazy to not own Apple?

IS: Yes, I did say so. I mean Apple is an amazing company, and I feel like it is priced ridiculously cheap. The company has been growing at an incredible rate for years now yet it continues to trade at P/E ratios that are comparable to Microsoft and others. Just look at these numbers:

[table “378” not found /]

Mirror: So doesn’t that answer your question? Why do you even need me here?

IS: You see, my analysis was completely based on tech stocks or on a more speculative portfolio, I did not really consider that Apple could be part of a dividend portfolio.

Mirror: Now that Tim Cook has confirmed that Apple will be paying a $2.65 quarterly dividend, doesn’t it become an obvious pick?

IS: Not exactly, you see my main dividend methodology is look for long term sustainable dividend stocks that are able to increase their dividends over time.

Mirror: How would Apple not qualify then?

IS: You see, I have absolutely no history that Apple will be able to sustain and increase its dividend payout over time. If the company waited so long to start paying out a dividend, there is certainly risk that the payout would not increase over time.

Mirror: First of all, in terms of Apple being able to keep its dividend payment. Surely you know that Apple has around $100B of cash reserves. Also, in each one of the past 9 quarters, Apple made well in excess of $2.65. In fact, in the past 4 quarters, Apple has earned nearly $9 of earnings per share on average, making its current payout ratio close to 30%.

IS: I have to say, I’m starting to run out of arguments

Mirror: I could actually go on much longer… Apple continues to increase sales. Last weekend was a new record for iPad sales and with the iPhone 5 launch expected this fall, Apple will likely continue to improve its numbers. As you’ve said yourself, it’s a no brainer even without considering the Apple TV due to launch next year. That alone could be a game changer.

IS: What about dividend increases? How could I possibly know what to expect?

Mirror: That is the only negative point that I can see right now in all honesty. We simply do not know. Given the incredible rise in revenues and profits, I do think that Apple will be increasing that payout, not only for shareholders but because it clearly seems to believe that holding $100B in cash is more than it needs.

IS: There doesn’t seem to be much downside either

Mirror: Exactly.. The current dividend yield would be slightly under 2%, a very reasonable start. At its current P/E, it seems like a bargain from almost any possible angle.

IS: Don’t you have at least 1 bad thing to say about Apple then?

Mirror: It’s almost too good to be true. And you know what people generally say about things that look too good to be true?

IS: Mirror, that doesn’t sound like a convincing argument for me to hold off

Mirror: It’s not. Apple will not be amongst the top dividend yields. But if you are looking for a long term source of income that could fit in a portfolio such as your Ultimate Sustainable Dividend Portfolio, you need to buy Apple (AAPL), it’s a no-brainer.

IS: Thanks, I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t crazy:)