Say what you will about President Trump’s business choices or multiple bankruptcies, but he’s a conservative stock picker. Before selling his stocks last year, Trump had an equity portfolio that most investors would be proud to own.
Nearly 90% of the stocks listed on the president’s 2017 Financial Disclosure Form pay dividends. And many of them are what Marc Lichtenfeld calls “Perpetual Dividend Raisers.” These companies raise their dividends every year.
But Trump sold his income-generating stocks last year to prevent conflicts of interest. So his dividend income train has come to the end of the line. And he also missed out on the S&P 500 Index’s incredible 20% return with dividends reinvested so far this year.
I wouldn’t feel too bad for the president though.
Only $40 million of Trump’s estimated $4 billion net worth at the time was invested in the stock market. That’s just 1% of his assets.
Let’s take a look at a few of Trump’s top stock picks from 2016.
Nothing Trumps Dividend Stocks
When it comes to the stock market, President Trump (like many Wealthy Retirement readers) is an income investor. Before he sold them off, his portfolio was stacked with a variety of dividend payers from different industries.
His diversified portfolio included companies in the consumer goods and services, defense, financials, technology, and industrials sectors.
Apple (Nasdaq: APPL) was one of his largest holdings. The technology giant has raised its dividend by 10% or more each year since it began paying one in 2012.
But though Trump was a fan of Apple’s stock, it seems he wasn’t a fan of the iPhone. The president didn’t trade in his unsecured Android phone for an iPhone until March of this year. And he even called for an Apple boycott on the campaign trail after the company refused to unlock the iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino shooter.
And while Trump was railing against Wall Street fat cats during the presidential race, he was cashing dividend checks courtesy of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM). JPMorgan has been increasing its annual dividend by 9% or more since 2011.
Additionally, the president loves soft drinks. A recent report claims that Trump drinks a dozen cans of Diet Coke each day. So it’s not surprising that he once owned shares of The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO).
That said, he had a larger investment in Coca Cola’s rival, PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP). However, when you look at the total returns of Coca-Cola versus PepsiCo over the last five years, Trump bet more on the winner. PepsiCo’s stock has bested Coca-Cola’s by nearly 52%.
PepsiCo is a Dividend Aristocrat. It has been raising its dividend for 45 years in a row.
These top stock picks show that Trump doesn’t let his personal preferences or emotions get in the way of a good investment.