“Meltdown? Absolutely baked into the cake as I write to you, and becoming more of a deep midterm concern for me as time passes,” wrote Dick Young in Intelligence Report back in July 2015. And here we are a short way into 2016 and the speculative NASDAQ index is down over 8%. As Dick notes, “In recent issues, my goal has been to work especially hard at providing you intelligence that will keep you safe and dividend-centric during what I consider the inevitable coming meltdown.”
Safe and dividend-centric—sort of has a ring to it, does it not? It does to me. Those words have been pounded into my head for all the years I’ve worked with my father-in-law, Dick Young, founder, and with my brother-in-law Matt Young, president and CEO of Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. In addition to our family bond, the three of us studied, at different times, at our shared alma mater, Babson College. But it was Dick who studied charts (much to the dismay of his teachers, I’m guessing) as a student at Shaker Heights High School. As you can see, there’s a lot of history when Dick writes, “I have tweaked my original work on dividends and interest, along with my long-time interest in gold (I have held my original 1982 China Gold Pandas for decades) to produce what I call the ‘Maximizers’.”
The Maximizers is a diversified portfolio, a “Retirement Ark,” if you will, of dividend-paying and dividend-increasing (for 10-consecutive years or more) common stocks, high-grade bonds, and gold. A simple enough sounding strategy for sure, but a strategy that is difficult to follow, especially in times like these when legendary investor Jack Bogle would likely advise the twitching masses to “just don’t do something, stand there.”
And stand there should you, as Yoda might say. Because it is my belief that you might lose a couple battles here and there with a Maximizers styled approach, but you will win the war. An inside baseball look reveals that the speculative NASDAQ beat the Maximizers in 8 of 15 years this century, versus 7 outperformers for the Maximizers. A pitcher with a 7-and-8 Major League Baseball starting record would be banished to the bullpen. But despite a 7 and 8 record, the final results have been incredible over the complete 21st Century.
The Maximizers win by a long shot. At the same time, the Maximizers offer you the peace of mind and comfort you deserve. The maximum deviation between the best and worst year for the Maximizers is a tiny 10 percentage points. For the outgunned and outmanned NASDAQ, the deviation is an unsettling, if not breathtaking, 91 percentage points. And the bone-chilling NASDAQ record includes five down years, four of which were bruisers. No half-sensible retirement investor is going to sign on for that backbreaking volatility. Never forget Dick Young’s cardinal rule of portfolio crafting: Always analyze risk before worrying about potential returns.