In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. Her beauty caused Apollo to grant her the gift of prophecy. However, when she did not return his love, Apollo placed a curse on her so that no one would ever believe her predictions. In any case, Cassandra sees a lot of controversial things happening during the next few years. As Cassandra so aptly says...."Forewarned is Forearmed."

This Day in History

Friday, August 29, 2014

A High Income 'Sleep Soundly' CEF Portfolio | Seeking Alpha


  • The Sleep Soundly CEF Portfolio has generated greater return with lower risk than the S&P 500 over the bear-bull cycle beginning in 2007.
  • The Sleep Soundly CEF Portfolio outperformed the S&P 500 on a risk-adjusted basis for all time frames analyzed since 2007.
  • The Sleep Soundly Portfolio provides over 7.5% income and still allows me to sleep soundly each night.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reaves Utility Income Fund - Solid 5.7% Dividend Payer - Reaves Utility Income Fund (NYSEMKT:UTG) | Seeking Alpha


  • History of consistently raising the monthly dividend.
  • Trading at the low end of NAV discount history.
  • Strong NAV growth, but volatile price history creates trading opportunities.
  • Managed since inception by the same team.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

30 reasons not to worry about a stock market crash(A Satirical Vision) - MarketWatch

I have seen the light.
I have seen the error of my ways.
At long last, I understand. This stock market is a great investment. Stocks are just going to keep going up and up and up and up. Anyone who doesn’t buy now is a fool.
I have learned to love the bull market.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Building A Conservative Hedged Income-Producing CEF Portfolio | Seeking Alpha


  • Basket of 11 CEFs yield an average of 6.3%, trade at an 8.2% discount and NAV up 19.8% YTD.
  • Inverse ETFs used to hedge market risk.
  • All CEFs have not returned capital in last two years.
  • Dividend payout for the hedged portfolio is 5.1%.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Swiss Gold Referendum on November 30 | GoldSwitzerland

One of the very few remaining proper democracies in the world will vote on bringing the Swiss Gold back to Switzerland on November 30.  This is an initiative that could only happen in Switzerland. An influential member of parliament, Luzi Stamm, representing the biggest Swiss party SVP (Swiss People’s Party) started this initiative with two other parliamentarians.  In order to have a national referendum on an issue in Switzerland, 100,000 supporting signatures are required. The ‘Swiss Gold Initiative’ already achieved this requirement in early 2013.  Not only will the referendum deal with gold repatriation but also seeks to stop all gold sales by the SNB (Swiss National Bank) and to require the SNB to hold 20% of its assets in gold.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

5 Companies With Strong Dividend Yields Suitable For Defensive Investors | Seeking Alpha


  • OLN, DE, JPM, WFC, and INTC are all suitable for the Defensive Investor following the ModernGraham approach.
  • Each company is rated as undervalued by the ModernGraham valuation model based on Benjamin Graham's formula.
  • All five have strong dividend yields and should be attractive to investors.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Buy Gold Miners Instead Of Gold?? | Seeking Alpha


  • Gold prices fell almost 30% last year as the Fed hinted at easing its bond purchases.
  • As gold prices plunged, physical demand for the precious metal picked up in China.
  • Going forward, physical demand in China and India will be the key drivers for the gold market.
  • Gold now has a strong floor at around $1,200 an ounce, however, it has limited upside potential as the Fed ends its bond purchases.
  • Investors looking to gain exposure to gold should opt for gold miners instead of physical gold or ETF as the present price environment will help miners generate steady cash flow.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

12%+ Dividend Payer AG Mortgage Investment Trust Is An Attractive Mortgage REIT ??- Seeking Alpha

AG Mortgage Investment Trust Inc. (NYSE:MITT) is a hybrid mortgage REIT. It acquires and manages a portfolio of Agency RMBS of various kinds and credit investments. The credit investments consist of things such as non-Agency RMBS and ABS, CMBS and CMBS interest only securities, commercial loans, residential loans, and excess mortgage servicing rights. MITT is a relatively small competitor in its space with only about $3.83B (as of Q2 2014 end) in fair value assets in its portfolio; but that does not mean it is not worth investors' attention. Its annual dividend is about 12.7%, which is outperformance by itself, when many other mortgage REIT annual dividends have fallen to 10% or less.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why the Middle Class Isn’t Buying Talk About Economic Good Times -

For five years, the United States economy has been expanding at a steady clip, the stock market soaring, the headlines filled with talk of recovery. Yet public opinion polling shows most Americans still think the economy is pretty miserable.
What might account for the paradox? New data from a research firm offers a simple, frustrating answer: Middle-class American families’ income is lower now, when adjusted for inflation, than when the recovery began half a decade ago.

Warren Buffett Buys These 8 Dividend Stocks | Seeking Alpha

Warren Buffett is one of the most trusted investors in the world. Recently, he came out with his 13F Filling which informs investors about his recent investment activity.I studied Warren's latest buys and sells. Below is a small overview of his latest purchases. In addition, I've included a detailed view on his latest dividend buys for you.  In total, Warren bought 13 stocks, of which eight pay dividends. The highest yielding company was Verizon, followed by General Motors.  His total portfolio value hit the USD 107 billion benchmark and around 65 percent of his assets are invested in four companies (Wells Fargo, Coca Cola, American Express and IBM).

Friday, August 15, 2014

Why I Am Adding Treasuries To My Retirement Portfolio - iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:TLT) | Seeking Alpha


  • Buying Treasuries is like buying insurance, if everything goes well you'll be sorry you bought them.
  • But when things go wrong you'll be sorry you didn't.
  • The threat of rising interest rates makes it a difficult time to feel comfortable investing in treasuries.
  • Here's how I am dealing with this dilemma.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Investing: Gloom And Doom Or A Technological Boom? | Seeking Alpha


  • Do American children have reason to hope for a more prosperous future?
  • What does history tell us about the potential for rapid changes in economic and geopolitical conditions?
  • How can we approach investing as uncertainties are seemingly increasing by the day?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cypress Energy Partners: Next Wave Of MLPs - Cypress Energy LP (NYSE:CELP) | Seeking Alpha

Founded in 2012 and IPO'd in January 2014, CELP (NYSE: CELP) provides saltwater disposal and other water and environmental services. CELP operates under Water & Environmental Services ("W&ES") and Pipeline Inspection & Integrity Services ("PI&IS") segments - for 1Q14, W&ES and PI&IS contributed 43% and 57% of gross margins respectively. I plan on briefly touching upon the PI&IS business but will focus more so on the W&ES segment and more broadly so the salt water disposal industry.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Italy Falls Back Into Recession, Raising Concern for Eurozone Economy -

 The Italian economy shrank in the second quarter, according to an official estimate on Wednesday, taking economists by surprise and provoking concern that violence in Ukraine and tension with Russia could be pushing the eurozone back into recession.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

“The people causing the crisis are the ones who stand to gain the most from it” | GoldSwitzerland

In view of the public debate they have raised in Germany, Matterhorn Asset Management is extremely pleased to feature the below written interview Lars Schall did, on our behalf, with Marc Friedrich and Matthias Weik this past week. German economists Friedrich and Weik co-authored two books which unfortunately are still only available in German. In their latest publication, “Der Crash ist die Lösung”, the economists explain from a German and International perspective, in easy to understand language, why “The Crash is the solution” and why this crash will be more catastrophic than the previous one. They describe based on solid economic fundamentals why a ‘final financial collapse’ is on our doorstep.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Searching For High Yield And Diversification With ETNs | Seeking Alpha


  • ETNs offer diversification and high income potential that can offset the various investment risks.
  • Investors should keep track of indicative values relative to market prices, and be aware of tracking fees and maturity dates.
  • BDCL, DVHL and MORL should be considered by the more sophisticated investor.
Exchange-traded Notes (ETNs) are senior, unsecured, unsubordinated debt securities that provide investors with exposure to the total returns of various market indices, including those linked to stocks, bonds, commodities and/or currencies, less investor fees. ETNs must not be confused with ETFs (Exchange-traded Funds) - unlike ETFs, ETNs are bond instruments with a set maturity date that do not buy or hold assets to replicate or approximate the performance of the underlying index.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Fears Of A Sudden Sharp Rise In Interest Rates Are Overblown?? | Seeking Alpha


  • When considering all of the factors that could derail the bull market in US equities, a sharp rise in interest rates is prime among them.
  • A review of historical velocity of money, interest rates and economic growth confirms that traditional monetary policy has become ineffective and has been replaced with non-traditional measures.
  • The US economy is growing and excess slack has been reduced but not to the extent that traditional monetary policy will be reinstated.
  • We do not expect a sharp rise in rates and therefore do not expect rates to pose a threat to the current bull market in US equities.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Argentina's Default Option | Seeking Alpha

The sun has risen, and Argentina is - once again - in default. NBD.
Default: it's the worst thing that any debtor can do. It marks you out as being a deadbeat, unable or unwilling to keep your promises. And it's particularly bad if the debtor in question is a sovereign nation, because the taint of default adheres not only to the government of the day, but also to future governments, as well as everybody in the country. Any present-day company or individual who needs to borrow money will find it impossible, or at least much harder, if their government is in default.

Q. and A.: Exploring What's Behind the Battle Over Argentina's Debt -

Argentina is on the verge of defaulting on billions of dollars of government debt. It has reached this point after years of battling a group of New York hedge funds that have been demanding full payment on bonds that defaulted in 2001. The battle has already rocked international debts markets and may affect the economies of other countries in the future. Below are answers to questions about the fight, which has taken complicated twists and turns over the years.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Retirement Strategy: Is It Time To Dump Everything? | Seeking Alpha


  • Warren Buffett said "Be fearful when everyone is greedy and be greedy when everyone is fearful". Is it time to fear for our retirement portfolio?
  • In retirement, income is essential, not simply important.
  • Does selling everything right now, to be in cash only, make sense?
I have been reading some very interesting articles just about everywhere these days. Yes, our bull market appears to be fairly valued if not more, and it is only natural for the average investor to feel "itchy", which is the reason that this article struck me as being very indicative of how many investors, even good ones like the author of that article, react to the noise.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Beating The MLP ETF Tax Bite With Closed-End Funds - Seeking Alpha

In a comparison between exchange-traded funds and closed-end funds, the low expenses and low portfolio turnover features of an ETF provides a built-in advantage over a comparable CEF with a typically much higher annual expense and tax consequences from capital gains distributions. You have probably seen the statistics and articles stating that an index stock fund on average outperforms 2/3rds, or 75% or 90% some other one-sided number of actively managed funds. However, when it comes to running an ETF based on an MLP index, the rules shift, putting the chances for out-performance into the closed-end fund camp.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Median Return Of Different Asset Classes In Bear Market Years | Seeking Alpha

We've experienced a number of years over the recent past where the broad stock market average produced a negative rate of return. The years 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008 all produced negative returns for someone invested in a stock index fund. Experiencing the occasional bear market year in stocks is inevitable for those investors following a buy-and-hold approach to stock investing. Given the difficulty in market timing stocks over the long term, buy-and-hold investors will on occasion be forced to endure bear market years in their portfolio.

Monday, July 28, 2014

What Single Page Of An Investment Book Should You Read? | Seeking Alpha

When the topic of investing comes up in conversation, I'm often asked to recommend an investment book. Since I'm biased toward the value investing philosophy, one of Benjamin Graham's books always comes to mind. But what if I were to tweak the question a bit and not recommend an investment book, but only a particular page of an investment book? What single page above all other pages from a book on investing would I recommend.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Should You Invest In UBS ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Mortgage REIT ETN? ??????? Seeking Alpha


  • ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Mortgage REIT ETN pays a "too-good-to-be-true" dividend.
  • Is MORL overly leveraged and too risky that you should avoid even with such a tempting dividend?
  • This article analyzes the performance of MORL since its inception and compares it to its underlying securities to show how its volatility risk and return stack up against its components.
UBS ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Mortgage REIT ETN (NYSEARCA:MORL) is thought to be a "too good to be true" investment, with extremely high dividend yield. Should you avoid MORL even if it can provide you with a stellar yield? At 20% dividend yield, if the stock price stays the same, it takes only three and a half years to recover all of the initial investment. It is indeed a temptation.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Equity CEFs: New Kids On The Block | Seeking Alpha


  • New issue Closed-End funds (CEFs) can be expensive depending on how they come to market. CEF IPOs typically start at a premium whereas spin-offs can start at Net Asset Value.
  • Two new issue CEFs have recently come to market, one in the popular energy MLP space and one in the not-so-popular small & mid cap value space.
  • Though no one can be sure which sectors which will outperform going forward, just based on CEF premium and discount valuations, we can come to some investment conclusions.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ETF Deathwatch For July 2014: List Count Back Above 300 | Seeking Alpha

ETF Deathwatch membership rolls crept back above 300 this month. Thirteen additions and six removals combined to grow the list from 295 to 302. No closures occurred in June, and therefore all products coming off the list were due to health improvements.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

15 Clean Energy YieldCos: Company Structure | Seeking Alpha

In the first article of this survey of yield cos, I looked at the possible reasons for the seemingly endless enthusiasm for US-listed clean energy yield cos. Here, I'll take a look at how these yield cos are constructed, and why investors should prefer one structure over another.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Closed-End Fund Advisors: Second Quarter 2014 CEF Review And Outlook | Seeking Alpha


  • Traditional CEFs Ended The Quarter with 585 Funds Totaling $270B with an average discount of -6.1% and yield of 6.8%.
  • BDC CEFs Ended The Quarter with 50 Funds Totaling $32B with an average discount of -0.17% and yield of 9.4%.
  • There Were 2 Traditional CEF IPOs and 2 BDC CEF IPOs During the Quarter: Raising $810M in Combined Assets.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Do Dividend Aristocrats And The Permanent Portfolio Make The Perfect Match? | Seeking Alpha


  • Find out if Dividend Aristocrats really improve the risk and return of the Permanent Portfolio.
  • The Permanent Portfolio was created by a former US presidential candidate and has a fantastic 4+ decade record.
  • The cash portion of the Permanent Portfolio can be viewed as inverse leverage.
  • Does volatility weighting assets improve Permanent Portfolio Performance?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Retirement: Are You Exposed To False Diversification Risk? | Seeking Alpha


  • Many retirement plans suffer from “false diversification” and could perform much worse than expected in a bear market.
  • A well constructed portfolio plan may be lacking two additional and crucial steps to protect your net worth in the next bear market.
  • Specific examples of possible risk exposure are provided.
  • Additional steps to improve your odds of long-term retirement planning success.

Monday, July 14, 2014

REM: Exposure To mREITs Without Having To Choose Just One - Seeking Alpha


  • What are mREITs? How do they function? Why should a dividend income investor want exposure to them?
  • The basics and constituent parts of REM.
  • Why REM ETF is a better choice than any single mREIT company from this REIT class and how REM solves the single biggest problem for the investor in mREITs.
  • Three strategies to employ to buy REM ETF, gain dividend income and further strengthen an income portfolio.
  • While the future as always is uncertain, dividend income investors should consider the REM ETF for high dividend yield and exposure to mREITs.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Need 7-8% Yields In Retirement? Build Your Income Portfolio With Closed-End Funds | Seeking Alpha


  • Many retirees have income needs that exceed the 2-4% one might expect from dividend stocks.
  • Higher income yields can be had from several other asset classes including MLPs, BDCs, REITs and high-yield bonds.
  • An alternative -- or complement -- to these investment vehicles is a diversified portfolio of closed end funds which can provide income in excess of 7-8%.
  • An aspect of closed end funds that differentiates them from other investment choices is that they trade at discounts or premiums to NAV. I discuss some implications of this.

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