24 Cases of Effective Leadership Among the Top CEOs

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To the Editor:

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In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins argues that effective leadership is what transforms a good company into a great company, and usually, once this happens, it is followed by significant stock returns (“2022 Top CEOs,” Cover Story, July 8).

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The findings from this article could indicate a buy signal for these stocks, as returns could be boosted in the near future due to the effective leadership of these company chief executives.

Aloysius Yongbi Fontama, On Barrons.com

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To the Editor:

The long lines at Costco counters are a gesture of customer loyalty. Genuine leadership, reasonable prices, and customer service matter most in this hyperinflationary, tight labor, post-Covid era.

I’m glad you picked W. Craig Jelinek along with other top leaders.

Sreeni Meka, On Barrons.com

Purchasing Envy

To the Editor:

I hate reading Up & Down Wall Street when I don’t have much money left to invest. I get purchasing envy. I have already purchased 14 companies over the past couple of weeks, including Lundin Mining, a copper-, zinc-, and gold-mining company on the Toronto exchange, for a little under six bucks. I’ll make 800% on it in four or five years.

George Powell, Carmel Valley, Calif.

Dividends First

To the Editor:

I never buy a stock unless it pays a dividend (“Dividend Stocks Can Help During Recession. Here’s What to Look For,” July 8). A dividend is my first screen. I would advise people to look for a dividend first. If no dividend, then look to earnings. If no earnings, you need to take a long walk on the beach.

Ray Noack, On Barrons.com

Retirement Advice

To the Editor:

What can mitigate the dramatic effect that sequence-of-return risk might have on a retiree’s account (“How to Handle a Bear Market in Retirement,” July 8)? Most clients will need continuous income flow during the distribution phase. Since there is no way of knowing when a bear market will end, retirees would have difficulty in determining how much they can safely withdraw.

Variable annuities offer the ability to stay invested in the equity markets, provide guaranteed living benefits, offer the possibility of a death benefit, can be set up for joint life, and transfer the risk to the insurance company. The downside? Cost. But protection isnt free. I’m a certified public accountant as well as a financial advisor, and I can tell you the biggest fear from clients is running out of money. Annuities can be part of the solution.

Allen Herskowitz, Pound Ridge, NY

To the Editor:

The article focuses on a retiree’s asset allocation, which typically refers to the classic 60/40 equity/fixed-income split, along with many other variations on the theme. Rather than somewhat arbitrarily choosing a “top down” formula, I would recommend utilizing a more “bottom up” approach based on the retiree’s actual yearly living expenses.

After subtracting any income offsets such as Social Security, pensions, and annuity payments, for example, the retiree should have a net annual expense figure that needs to be funded. Then, based on their individual risk tolerance, they can choose how many years of a cash-equivalent bucket they want to have in order to avoid having to sell equities when they are down, avoiding the classic sequence-of-return risk.

Various pundits have recommended anywhere from two to eight years of annual living expenses for this bucket. Once retirees choose how conservative they wish to be, they can figure out how that drives their ultimate allocation figure. I believe this bottom-up approach is more evidence-based, given real expense figures, and tailored to each individual’s risk tolerance, or their ultimate ability to sleep at night.

Dr. Douglas Propp, Naples, Fla.

To the Editor:

Tweaking one’s investment portfolio can help investors through a bear market. However, some of the most attractive opportunities in this environment would come from creative financial-planning strategies. One example is tax-loss harvesting by utilizing correlated, but materially different, holdings to reposition your portfolio. This will allow the investor to offset future gains with losses while not violating the wash-sale rule. Another strategy is implementing a Roth IRA conversion in order to mitigate a retiree’s future tax liability. Finally, one can make gifts to other family members today at depressed prices. This will allow the gifter to “freeze” the value of those assets and more tax-efficiently shift funds out of their estate.

Jonathan I. Shenkman, West Hempstead, NY

Ford’s F-150 Lightning

To the Editor:

In Steven M. Sears’ column “Ford’s F-150 Electric Truck Is Red-Hot. What It Means for the Stock” (The Striking Price, July 7), he states that sales of the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck increased to about 1,800 units in June from 460 in May. The F-150 Lightning has the capability of reverse-charging a house for three days in the event the power grid is down. This is monumental.

As mentioned in the article, the price of gas might influence the purchase, even though owners of its gas-powered cousin are not concerned about mileage. The F-150 Lightning still has the hauling capability and is one powerful vehicle.

James Curtis, Atlanta

Send letters to: [email protected] To be considered for publication, correspondence must bear the writer’s name, address, and phone number. Letters are subject to editing.

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