How I let Diversification Suffer for a Stronger Portfolio

Diversification isn’t always the goal. Successful investing is. Read how I let one holding represent 25% of the Freedom Portfolio.

I believe in and have told others to diversify, diversify, diversity their portfolios. I understand the need for multiple holdings, multiple industries and even (maybe) multiple countries for my positions.

I now find myself in a position of what I call strength in my portfolio in that I am highly confident it will meet my financial goals and continue my enjoyment of life with Financial Independence. That strength and confidence comes from VIOLATING the principal of diversification.

Warren Buffet is famously quoted as saying, “Diversification is protection against ignorance. It makes little sense if you know what you are doing.” I am not saying I am an expert, but I do think I’ve spent enough time analyzing my holdings, their industries and the markets that I’m comfortable with ONEOK, Inc. (OKE) representing 25.37% of the Freedom Portfolio.

I bought my first position in OKE in April of 2016 as a new position when I bought 342 shares at $28.92 for a $9,890.64 investment. I thought of a position back then as a $10k holding. I figured getting into each position at $10k would be guard rails insuring diversification.

What happened? I watched ONEOK as an equity position increase in price from that initial $28.92 per share to a high of $74.87 in December of 2019. A 250% return on a dividend investment in three years. Awesome!

During that 3 years OKE also returned $2,568.74 in dividends. For holding it just 3 years and a quarter, OKE returned a quarter of my investment in income. Income I reinvested each quarter compounding my returns.

Fast forward to this year, OKE crashed just like the rest of the market and hit a low of $21.81 per share. A horrible event if I had sold. Instead, I took a hard look at the company again, read a lot from the community and decided to invest more. This time I was going in hard and invested $69,971.56 for another 2,564 shares at $27.29. Was I crazy? I just threw everything I knew about diversification out the window.  I also thought I was making a critical move for my family’s wealth building future.

In June of this year, I invested another chunk and bought another 315 shares at $31.58 for a total of $9,947.70. I just could not resist the 12-14% percent yield on a company I was willing to buy at a 5% yield. Talk about cheap. This fit all my criteria for what I consider a core holding.

Altogether, I have $89,809.90 invested in OKE right now representing 3,577.7094 shares including 356.709 from reinvesting dividends. OKE is currently trading at ~$38-42 range per share giving me a total position around $143k for a 62% total return in just 4 and a half years. ON A DIVIDEND INVESTMENT!

Folks, that is winning.

Looking forward, I see no real issues with OKE continuing to meet their dividend. Each Quarter I will see almost another 100 shares through reinvestment or $3,500 per quarter moving forward in dividend income. I will keep reinvesting for the next five years until I start drawing the income from the Freedom Portfolio.

If OKE reaches a price that would push the yield down to a more normal 3-6% range, I would probably find other stocks to reinvest the dividends into but for now I’ll stick with the 10% yield. If some information comes up that would change my mind about OKE’s prospects in their business or they cut their dividend I’d probably consider rebalancing but for now I have the confidence OKE will continue to be a very large part of my life in Financial Independence.

What are your thoughts on diversification?

Do you think you would ever let a single holding represent a Quarter of your portfolio?

Got a similar story of a home run you’ve hit?

Did the downturn in the Spring help or hurt you in the long run?

Thanks for reading.

Deep dive into the Freedom Portfolio

My Freedom Portfolio is an IRA made up of the rollover balances from my last two employers’ 401k plans. Since I just retired March 1st, I had a particularly good opportunity to buy in near the bottom of the Spring decline in the markets by rolling over my last 401k in early April. That has solidified my personal projections guiding my retirement income.

I purposely chose my IRA to make public because I feel most people have or will experience a similar scenario nearing and in retirement. Transactions inside this portfolio have no tax consequences so some decisions are easier.

The current market value (fluctuates daily with the market) is $547,040.36. There are 17 equity positions in well known, successful businesses. The current yield based on 2020 projected (mostly actual) dividend income is 5.1%. That 5.1% represents over $28 thousand dollars in dividend income I will receive by the end of this year.

All this income was and will continue to be re-invested for the next 5 years at a minimum. I will start tapping into it when I turn 60. By that time I anticipate the income to grow way more than double its current amount. Stick around and watch it grow in real time as I blog about it each month.

Here are current positions along with market values and projected current year dividend income:

Position                                                         Mkt Value          Annual Dividend 2020

T (AT&T Inc)                                                  $59,013.25         $3,467.38

ABBV (Abbie Inc)                                          $47,219.02         $1,536.24

MO (Altria Group Inc.)                                $45,138.41         $2,104.61

ADM (Archer Daniels Midland)                 $15,169.74         $435.03

CVX (Chevron Corp)                                    $22,125.10         $1,086.61

CHCT (Community Healthcare Trust)       $2,158.89           $78.40

DOW (Dow Inc)                                            $20,287.03         $612.14

EMR (Emerson Electric Co.)                       $15,719.78         $408.60

XOM (Exxon Mobile Corp)                         $10,653.70         $915.46

IRM (Iron Mountain Inc REIT)                   $30,660.74         $1,241.96

JNJ (Johnson & Johnson)                           $14,994.54         $398.17

LMT (Lockheed Martin Corp)                    $6,055.60           $158.87

OKE (Oneok Inc)                                          $134,056.77       $9,553.30

PM (Philip Morris Intl)                                $48,311.07         $2,109.06

O (Realty Income Corp REIT)                     $15,641.39         $703.83

RDS.B (Royal Dutch Shell)                          $34,650.00         $1,514.56

SO (Southern Co.)                                       $25,179.41         $1,013.50

Total                                                              $547,034.44       $28,109.17             

Looking at the Freedom portfolio one quickly notices that 24.5% is represented by one holding OKE (Oneok Inc). I did not intend to overweight this much in one company and may need to think about rebalancing in the future but right now I am confident in this investment. I have huge capital gains on it, I have huge dividend yields and I feel the dividend is safe, so I am letting it ride into retirement.

The other serious weighting is by industry. The freedom portfolio has $201,485.57 in Oil and Gas representing 38.5% of the total.

I spend a lot of time on this portfolio, following the businesses, listening to the community and right now I am comfortable with these decisions. This portfolio is a key to my retirement, and I like it.

Of course, all these numbers fluctuate daily as the market churns with volatility. A patient investor can look past a 30% market drop like we had earlier in the year and watch their investments rise as it recovers. Whether that takes one year or many years, as long as the dividend is paid, I’m happy. My job is to assess the business as events occur as best I can. Not rocket science but does take some diligence that pays off with multi-generational financial independence.

That is all for now. Ill do one of these deep dives once a Quarter or so. Future ones will allow some comparisons by Quarter etc. They will also give readers a good sense of managing a real portfolio and hopefully motivate you to your own dividend success.

Thanks for reading.