Dividend Aristocrats: Income Stability and Growth Over Time

A review and performance recap of Durig’s highly successful Dividend Aristocrats Portfolio that also compares the portfolio to another aristocratic dividend portfolio. The Dividend Aristocrats Portfolio was also designed with income stability in mind, maintaining investment focus on only higher quality blue chip companies known as “Aristocrats.”

(all performance reported net of fee, as of 10-18-19)

October Performance Highlights

  • Average Dividend Yield of 3.51%
  • Lifetime return of 9.44%
  • Excess Return of 3.27% (vs. benchmark)*
  • Alpha of 7.95 (vs. benchmark*)
  • Beta of 0.18 (vs. benchmark*)

Hong Kong Leader Cancels Speech After Chaos in LegCo

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam was forced to read her annual speech via video after protests from pro-democracy legislators. They reportedly shouted and mocked Lam in the middle of the speech. Lam is being pressured by protests against Chinese intervention which had taken place four months ago. In her speech, she promised to remain committed to restoring trust in the government and asking people to “put aside differences.”

Hydrogen Infrastructure Market Domination: China is the Elephant in the Room

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering announced on October 14th their intend to form the Midwest Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Coalition to raise awareness of the potential for hydrogen and fuel cells to provide energy resilience and security, reduce emissions and foster economic growth.

China’s Draconian Verification Process – Social Credit True Danger

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that from December 2019, it will use facial recognition to control over 800 million mobile internet users. According to China’s laws, a person using any online service needs to be identified. There is no such thing as anonymity in China.

The chronology of the evolution of the Chinese totalitarian laws:

Hong Kong Police Arrest More as “Lady Liberty” Looks On

Hong Kong police carried out new arrests during protests on Sunday, organized in different neighborhoods by pro-democracy protesters. Security forces stormed a shopping center which protesters had vandalized for supporting the pro-Beijing Hong Kong government. On the other hand, a group of protesters secretly transported a statue that became a symbol of their mobilization on top of an emblematic mountain of the ex-British colony, the “Lion Rock” (495 meters), which dominates the peninsula from Kowloon.

Big Trouble in Big China— NBA Storm Intensifies

All Chinese companies have suspended their cooperation with the NBA in the wake of a controversial tweet from one of the association’s general managers. However, Thursday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets in Shanghai went on as scheduled, and Saturday’s game between the two teams in Shenzhen will continue as usual as well. At the same time, the attitude of this incident on the Chinese network is one-sided.

Intriguing New Results Outlining the Genomes of Vikings and Eurasian Population

There is an intriguing new analysis of the findings pertaining to the genome-wide markers in the current Eurasian population. Apparently, there are two streams of genes.

1) Mongoloid from Central Asia to the territories of Turkey and Syria. (Mongoloid is a grouping of various people indigenous to East Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, North Asia, Polynesia and the Americas. It is one of the traditional three races first introduced in the 1780s by members of the Göttingen School of History)

2) Uralid from Eastern Siberia to the Estonian border.  (West Sibirid subtype, especially common in the basin of the Ob River among Khanty and Mansi people. Sometimes in Altai and Khakassia. Due to the harsh Siberian climate, this type was never very numerous. Today, the indigenous groups are largely outnumbered by Russians)

Chinese Soldiers in Hong Kong Issue Warning to Protesters

Chinese troops stationed in Hong Kong warned protesters on Sunday when they shone a laser at a garrison in the city, according to Reuters. This was the first direct confrontation between Hong Kong protesters and military forces from the mainland in four months of anti-government protests. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison stationed in Kowloon District, Hong Kong, warned a crowd of several hundred protesters that they might be arrested for shining laser lights on soldiers and garrison.

Chinese President Xi to Visit India— Kashmir Not on Agenda

Notice of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India is expected to be made within the next 24 to 48 hours. According to The Indian Express, Xi will visit India for an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the next 5 days. Experts said that in the upcoming visit to India, the Chinese side will not mention much of the long-standing tense disputes, but will instead focus on cooperation.

Trump Urges Ukraine, China to Investigate Bidens

US President Donald Trump is in the midst of a political storm and is risking an impeachment because, in a telephone interview, he allegedly called for— and perhaps even tried to pressure— the President of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, but that has not caused Donald Trump to abandon the idea. Trump is also now calling on China to investigate the former Vice President and his son, Hunter’s business.

​​China to Show Military Power on its 70th Anniversary

China will hold one of the largest military parades ever on Tuesday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. Beijing also promises to show off a series of cutting-edge weapons. The military parade— part of a huge celebration— will take place at Tiananmen Square in front of guests, selected members of the public and 188 military attaches from 97 countries.

Hong Kong: Protests Scheduled Before Chinese National Day

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have set themselves a busy schedule for Saturday, Sept. 28, according to Reuters. These schedules include restoring the “Lennon Walls” and celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Golden Umbrella movement. Thousands of protesters gathered in the harbor area on Friday, chanting slogans accusing police brutality of protesters for more than three months of unrest in Hong Kong.

World’s Largest Airport Opens in Beijing

Daxing, Beijing’s new star-shaped airport, has officially begun operating after just four years of construction. In under two years, passenger capacity at the massive airport is expected to reach 75 million a year.  The official inauguration ceremony of the new Beijing International Airport was held Tuesday evening, which Communist Party leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping attended.

Chinese Foreign Minister: China Has No Intention of Playing “The Game of Thrones”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi retaliated against US criticism of Beijing’s trade and development model on Tuesday, saying that Beijing has no intention to “play the Game of Thrones on the world stage.” He also warned Washington to respect China’s sovereignty, including on the Hong Kong issue. The Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor said that Beijing will not succumb to threats, including on trade. However, he also expressed the hope that a round of high-level trade negotiations next month will produce positive results.

Solomon Islands Ends Diplomatic Ties with Taipei, Switches to Beijing

The Solomon Islands announced on September 16 that it had broken diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with China. AFP analysis said that this move will be regarded as a major diplomatic achievement by Beijing, especially on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The Solomon Islands officially acknowledged that the Beijing government will bring a lot of investment and development assistance to the country.

Russia’s Geopolitical Appetite in Latin America

Russia is trying to re-establish allies from the Soviet Era in Latin America. The current focus on Nicaragua is largely due to the president  José Daniel Ortega Saavedra. He has been a Nicaraguan leader since 2007. Ortega is serving his third consecutive term as president. The constitution had to be changed to allow Ortega to run for the past two terms. Ortega was also the president of Nicaragua during the Soviet Era from 1985 to 1990.

Has China Reached Dangerous Levels of Pro-Russian Propaganda Against the US?

China continues its anti-US propaganda using media, including the topic of the possibility of a US-Russia war and a blatant overstatement of Russian defense arsenal superiority in comparison to the US. In an article posted on SOHU (one of the largest internet companies in China) they claim Russia can overpower the US in the defense sector and that Russia is the only country globally who can successfully rebuff the US.

Google Pre-Empts Huawei’s New Mobile Phone, Mate 30

China’s communications equipment giant Huawei plans to release its new flagship phone in Munich, Germany this month. However, due to the US government’s sanctions, the new mobile phone will only be equipped with an open-source Android operating system, without pre-installing Google’s supporting applications. This will greatly affect the experience of users in China’s overseas markets.

Report: China Used Twitter, Facebook to Sow Disinformation on Hong Kong Protests

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute released a new report on Tuesday, based on Twitter’s data released last month, about China’s intention to influence Hong Kong’s anti-extradition (or “reverse delivery”) campaign. Among the findings, the Chinese government has spent the past two years intending to spread fake news targeting specific people across several social media platforms.

Global Privacy Extinction – Is Big Brother Watching You?

Since 2014, China has been developing a social score system for its citizens. The official system launch will take place in 2020. A negative score will result in punishment. The criteria include: wrong religion, late payment of taxes, financial loan default, political critique against the current government, smoking, loud music and even the condition of your front lawn. Consequences under the above criteria will include being banned from overseas travel, public transport, hotel stays, etc.

Developments in the Trade War – Can China Compromise?

Up to this point the Trump presidency has been marked with controversy, uncertainty, disapproval, and excitement. Of All of the president’s policies none embody these characteristics as well as his tariffing of Chinese imports, and the subsequent trade-war with China. This trade war has caused volatility in the stock market, increased costs to American manufacturers, and has threatened US imports into China. It has also has also helped to protect American industry and to give the US leverage against China to renegotiate trade agreements.

Johnson “Very, Very Worried” About China-US Trade War

France hosted the G7 summit in Biarritz from August 24th to 26th, 2019. Although China did not participate, and the China-US trade war is not an issue, it is an unavoidable topic. Only seven Western countries (and the European Union representing Europe) are present, but the group discussed pressing issues, such as the global economy, climate change, Libya, Iran, terrorism and immigration issues.

Trump “Orders” US Companies to Leave China After Beijing Announces Tariffs

US President Donald Trump says he has issued an “enforceable order” for US companies to leave China, after Beijing announced tariffs on US goods and products. The White House did not say whether the president had the authority to force private US companies to leave China. Trump pledged to respond to Beijing after Chinese authorities unveiled a plan to impose a 10 percent tariff on US goods and products, worth up to $75 billion a year.

Protests in Hong Kong Again Turn Violent

Security officials blocked the way for protesters in Hong Kong. They began to erect barricades from bamboo scaffolding and street iron partitions. Near the police station building, the confrontation continued for several hours, until the demonstrators began to throw stones, bricks and water bottles at the police. The police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and began to detain the protesters, beating them with batons.

With Hong Kong in Turmoil, China Upgrades Shenzhen’s Status

Hong Kong broke out again in “reverse delivery” protests Friday, opposing the now-withdrawn extradition bill to mainland China, and demanding democracy in the city. The organizers said that the number of people participating in a human chain reached 1.7 million. On the same day, Shenzhen, a mainland Chinese city adjacent to Hong Kong, received a “birthday gift”– the Chinese government issued a plan to build Shenzhen into a pilot demonstration area for socialism with Chinese characteristics.

China-US Trade War Drives Chinese Students to UK Universities

According to official British data, the number of Chinese students studying in the UK last year has increased by 30% from the previous year. This fall, the number of Chinese students studying in the UK will reach a new high. Although many universities in the UK have been in the new school year for a while, most students have already received admission notices, and are preparing for admission. That includes Chinese students going to the UK for undergraduate and postgraduate studies.