I was asked the question recently of my opinion on some recent comments at Dividend Growth (http://dividendgrowth.ca/pages/old_site/index.html); especially those directed with getting rid of financial planners and beginning to invest in dividend growth stocks. Although I’ve been given the opportunity to read Tom Connelly’s monthly reports from a mentor of mine, I did find the recent comments on the website troublesome for a few reasons:
The problem with the abruptness of the comments is that many young or novice investors frequently search out information over the internet in the hopes of crafting the discipline of effective & successful investing. Whether you choose any one strategy, or multiple in my case, doing so before you are properly prepared can be dangerous, foolish & disastrous to your savings.
I’ve made my points abundantly clear so far on both CB forums and this blog that although I feel investing on your own provides the opportunity to take care of your money like no one else can, it is important to realize that financial advisors DO play an important role in the activities of some investors.
No investor should ever simply follow the advice (no matter how reputable) of any website, person or piece of written material they find. It’s important to place that advice in the context of your own personal situation and whether that advice fits effectively your objectives and tolerance for risk.
Although the author of the site is an educated and respected investor among peers (me included), I felt that I should point out that no investor should ever make a rushed decision based on any advice (even my own). Although the strategy appears simple enough, one should understand the why, what, where, when & how of that investing philosophy before ever attempting to do so. It is true that financial advisors benefit financially from the fees they generate, but a quality advisor (see my earlier posts) should provide excellent feedback and professional guidance on your investing activities while you learn to venture out on your own.
If you choose to follow the strategy proposed by the author of “How to start?” (http://dividendgrowth.ca/pages/old_site/How_to_Start.html) then by all means proceed. I just felt I should provide an opinion on the write up since I have provided links to the site and beginning investors may align my opinions to be with the author of that material.
I found the Connolly report by accident several years back and was immediately impressed with his comments. Not only did they make sense, they offered an approach to evaluating stocks which I'd never heard before. After checking other sites and looking up a number of books (such as Single Best Investment, Dividend Rich Investor, Dividends Don't lie, all of which are american) I became more interested in Tom's recommendations. I was heavily invested in Mutual funds and had a variety of stocks as well. But I started following his recommendations and switching to only Canadian dividend\dividend growth stocks. I got rid of all the funds and since I've been using his strategy, I'm not only satisfied with the approach, I'm much more relaxed. The 2008\2009 crash clobbered many of my holdings, but with the Dividend Re-investment (the one issue I think Tom should stress) I've recovered much quicker and actually look forward to downturns so I can add to my positions. I strongly recommend the Dividend Growth strategy and especially want to thank Tom Connolly for showing me the path.