One of my heroes is Harry Benjamin. He led a Dale Carnegie course that my dad completed over 50 years ago. Harry convenes a weekly group of friends to discuss investments. The group met yesterday, in the midst of a cascading stock market. It’s always fun to visit Harry’s group, which has diverse investment interests. My interest in the stock market is very specific.
For me, the stock market a way to invest in companies with relatively safe, growing dividends. Dividend growth companies typically raise their payout once a year. This focus is less stressful to me than focusing on fluctuating prices. It’s like watching a calendar rather than a clock. Procter & Gamble and Genuine Parts have each raised their dividend for 63 consecutive years.
Vanguard founder John Bogle (1929-2019) focused on the enduring rather than the ephemeral, preferring “the wisdom of long-term investing, based on the enduring creation of intrinsic corporate values, to the folly of short-term speculation, focused on the ephemeral prices of corporate stocks.”
Bogle cared deeply about the common good, which he expressed in The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism. He battled against “form over substance, prestige over virtue, money over achievement, charisma over character, the ephemeral over the enduring.”
While yesterday’s financial news was dominated by falling stock prices, Toronto-Dominion Bank quietly raised its dividend 6.8%. I like calendar news more than clock news.