Michael Flannelly

Michael Flannelly is a Junior Analyst for Dividend.com. Michael is an alumnus of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, graduating with a degree in Business Studies with a minor and extensive coursework in Economics. He is also a member of the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society in Business. Michael's interests include the financial markets, economics, politics, and everything in between.

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Posts by Author: Michael Flannelly

December 27th, 2013

Last week, the Federal Reserve announced that it was going to scale back its bond-buying stimulus program – to the shock of many financial institution-employed economists who were predicting that the Fed was going to maintain its current levels of stimulus. It goes to show how everyone, from investors to policymakers, need to take what economists predict with a grain of salt, as their hypotheses are often incorrect. Unfortunately, many investors and policymakers act as though economists can predict the future. As such, many end up shaping investing strategies and even laws and policies around possibly flawed, or even wrong, expectations of where the economy and the markets are going.

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December 23rd, 2013

Among notable dividend-paying stocks, some strong performers this year have been Best Buy (BBY), Herbalife (HLF), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). Though each of these companies have been embroiled in their own narratives in recent years, the stocks have been proving many on Wall Street wrong. A number of analysts have tried putting a nail in the coffin of these stocks, only to be on the losing end of the call in 2013. Day after day, month after month, quarter after quarter, these stocks have continued to see gains to the delight of their shareholders and to the disdain of many investors missing out.

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December 20th, 2013

Social media has become a big, almost integral, part of our modern culture. Especially within the finance world, sites like Twitter and Stocktwits have become the go-to place for individuals to see at a moment’s notice what investors, traders, analysts, and economists have to say about the financial markets and the economy. While these instant information resources have provided retail investors with the ability to gain market knowledge in real time, this access comes with its drawbacks. At a certain point, all of the information spewed on these sites might reach a point of diminishing returns – when all of the differing opinions become noise and eventually cause you to make poor investment decisions.

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December 18th, 2013

There are still people out there that believe the notion that individuals can get rich practically overnight. Whether it is through winning the lottery, day-trading stocks, or riding an unforeseen asset rally over the course of a year, people will try to do anything and everything to get rich with minimal work. While the numerous stories about individuals that have been able to build wealth quickly using these strategies make us believe it could easily happen to us, it’s just not a practical mindset. The closest thing to a surefire way to build wealth is through a long-term investing strategy.

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December 16th, 2013

Over the past five years, investors have gotten used to corporations boosting share buybacks–as well as initiating and increasing dividends–when the companies have had excess capital on hand. Rather than looking to mergers and acquisitions or other types of growth investments, many companies have focused on increasing shareholder value with payouts and buybacks because it has seemed less risky given the uncertain economic climate. While this has been great for some investors–especially dividend investors–this sentiment won’t and shouldn’t last forever. At some point, companies will start to scale back their focus on dividend payouts and share buybacks as a way to increase shareholder value, and will resume focus on investments and growth.

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December 13th, 2013

Almost every day I see stories about how many retirees and near-retirees are still attempting to rely solely on pension plans and Social Security payments for their retirement incomes; however, this sort of planning just doesn’t cut it anymore. Unfortunately, most individuals have failed to adequately prepare for retirement during their core working years as they thought the traditional safety net would be enough for retirement, simply because that had been the case for generations prior. This reality is leaving many retirees and near-retirees scrambling to find some way to ensure adequate income when the time comes.

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December 11th, 2013

When assessing dividend stocks, the first thing most investors do is look to a company’s dividend yield. Especially during a time when investors are eager to find high-yield income producing assets, a stock’s dividend yield can become an indicator of an attractive investment opportunity. But this piece of information cannot be the first and last stop for assessment – dividend yields alone are often misleading.

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December 9th, 2013

Slowly but surely, yields on the U.S. 10-Year Treasury Note have been climbing back to the 3.00% mark. Ever since falling from its year high of 2.98% in September and reaching a fourth quarter low of 2.51% at the end of October, the 10 Year T-Note has steadily risen following weeks of strong economic data and expectations that the Federal Reserve will scale back its monetary stimulus. Dividend investors need to keep an eye on this development, as the rise in interest rates has an impact on income investment vehicles of all kinds, including dividend stocks.

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December 6th, 2013

Here we go again: the financial media, various analysts, and all kinds of investors are once again obsessed with predicting when the Federal Reserve will begin to slow down its purchase of long-term Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities – a stimulus measure known as quantitative easing. Especially with strong economic data across the markets over the past two months (culminating with today’s seemingly strong November jobs report), many expect the Fed to scale back its monetary stimulus sooner rather than later. But for retail investors, attempting to speculate the future of the Fed’s stimulus in order to make some short-term gains will just lead to ultimately losing long-term investing decisions.

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December 4th, 2013

If you employ a dividend-focused, buy-and-hold investing strategy (and I assume this is the case for most Dividend.com readers), it does not mean that you have to hold your investments forever. There are times when a stock, or perhaps multiple stocks, will face some problems. Investors cannot know everything about the companies we invest in, nor can we look into the future to predict smooth operations, industry stability, and attractive stock performances. At times, there may be legitimate reasons to sell your position in a stock, and when the time comes you cannot be afraid to pull the trigger.

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