Another positive of analyzing companies with strong competitive advantages is that there are few major developments that happen. I choose to ignore the daily market noise, and try to focus on important things such as acquisitions, dividend announcements and earnings releases.
Because of this, once the investor has accumulated a comfortable level of knowledge about a company, it can mostly still be relevant 5 – 10 years from now. It could allow the investor to accumulate a good amount of knowledge on the 100 or so dividend champions or on most of the 300 dividend achievers out there, during the span of their investing career. Remember that a portfolio of 30 individual stocks takes a few years to build.
Similarly, your knowledge of the dividend growth stocks of our day will take time to accumulate. As you gain experience, you will be more efficient in analyzing companies from different industries much faster.
My weekly routine includes compiling a list of dividend increases for the week, which I typically post on my site on Mondays. I also screen the market for companies which are attractively priced, given the fact that I still add money to my portfolio every month.
In addition, I also try to update my knowledge of companies I have already analyzed thoroughly by compiling a weekly analysis or two. In the meantime, I have set up a portfolio at Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) Finance, which allows me to scan the market for headlines related to the companies I am interested in. Most companies would typically post their annual reports in February or March, which is when they would be sending those documents to me. All of this takes me 10 – 15 hours per week.
Of course, by intimately understanding the investments I am making, I feel in charge of my own retirement destiny. I would much rather spend the time I spend on my investments, than pay 0.5% annually of my net worth to an investment adviser, while I feel clueless about my financial situation. I also enjoy expanding my knowledge on investment related subjects, which is the same reason that you are reading this website.
Full Disclosure: Long MCD and WMT