Sunday, June 3

Week 361 - Blue Chips

Situation: What is a “Blue Chip” stock, and why should you think highly of such stocks? There are several definitions but traders are generally talking about a stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average when they use the phrase “Blue Chip.” More generally, they’re talking about a very large company that pays a good and growing dividend, and has a trading record that covers at least the past 40 years. This also includes any very large company that has a negligible risk of bankruptcy. These characteristics are important because traders think Blue Chip stocks are the only relatively safe bets for a “buy-and-hold” investor to place. Warren Buffett often highlights the importance of these same characteristics whenever he’s being interviewed, and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) owns shares in several: Apple (AAPL), Coca-Cola (KO), International Business Machines (IBM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Walmart (WMT).

Mission: Develop specific definitions for the above characteristics, and list all companies that meet those definitions. Use our Standard Spreadsheet to analyze those companies.

Execution: see Table.

Administration: Here are my specific definitions for the qualitative terms used above:
   "A very large company"Any company in the S&P 100 Index (OEF)

   "A good dividend": Any company in the Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index (VYM)

   "A growing dividend": Any company in the Powershares Dividend Achiever Portfolio (PFM)

   "A 40+ year trading record": Any company in the 40-Yr BMW Method Portfolio

   "A negligible risk of bankruptcy": Any very large company issuing bonds that carry an S&P Rating of AA+ or AAA. There are only 5 such companies: Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and Exxon Mobil (XOM). 

Bottom Line: If you want to include common stocks in your retirement portfolio, Blue Chips are the ones you’ll want to Buy and Hold, provided you buy shares in at least half a dozen. Those that carry a statistical risk of loss greater than “The “Dow” (DIA, see Column M in the Table) best purchased by dollar-cost averaging. But the 6 that carry no more than a Market Risk can be owned by using a “buy the dip” strategy: MCD, PEP, KO, JNJ, PG and WMT. Of course, those are still stocks and market volatility will still affect their prices. 

Caveat Emptor: Corporate debt has been steadily increasing over most of the past 10 years. Why? Because the Federal Reserve reduced to cost of borrowing money to almost nothing. So, pay attention to companies that have purple highlights in Columns P and R (see Table). In the next recession, you’ll be surprised how far their stock prices will fall.

Risk Rating: 5 (where 10-Yr US Treasury Notes = 1, S&P 500 Index = 5, gold bullion = 10)

Full Disclosure: I dollar-average into KO, JNJ, PG, MSFT, WMT, IBM, CAT and XOM, and also own shares of MCD and MMM.

"The 2 and 8 Club" (CR) 2018 Invest Tune All rights reserved.

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