CASSANDRA'S HYPOTHESIS

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

Monday, March 30, 2015

Stronger Dollar in a Weak Global Economy - NYTimes.com

The dollar is now the strongest it has been against more than two dozen other currencies in more than 10 years, according to an index compiled by the Federal Reserve. One euro was trading at $1.09 on Friday, down from $1.37 a year ago; many analysts predict that the two currencies could reachparity in the coming months for the first time since 2003. At the same time, the yen has fallen about 14 percent against the dollar.

The Cost Of Holding Cash | Seeking Alpha

Investors in the past could maintain a cash balance and earn a nice return. For example, during the 1990s, the 3-month T-Bill average rate was 4.99%. A cash balance of $100,000 would generate $4,990 of interest income per year. From 2000 to the present, the 3-month T-Bill yield has averaged 1.85%. A cash balance of $100,000 generates $1,850 of interest income per year. The current 3-month T-Bill yield is under 10 basis points. A $100,000 cash balance generates under $100 of interest income for the year.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Get U.S. Dividends From Canadian Dividend Stocks | Seeking Alpha

There was a time when the Canadian dollar was at parity and it was a good time to just buy US companies. With the currency exchange, there is a value blocker that all Canadian investors need to get over. Aside from exchanging currencies using your favorite method, you can start earning US dividends by holding Canadian stocks on a US exchange. There are many large public corporations in Canada that also trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), allowing you to earn US dividends. The dividends are also eligible as Canadian dividends since they is distributed by a Canadian company. The shares can be moved between the TSX and the NYSE through a process called journaling, so you can buy them in Canadian dollars, move the shares over to the NYSE and then earn US dividends.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dividend Growth Stocks: Are Defense Stocks Good Defensive Stocks?

When the economy and the market starts heading south, many investors start buying dividend growth stocks. They have long been considered a defensive position in turbulent times. Given these investors defensive stance, one might ask how about some real defense stocks, as in the Aerospace and Defense industry. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

6 Confident And Secure Companies Boosting Dividends | Seeking Alpha

If income investing were as simple as picking the stock with the highest yield, everyone would be an expert. Most assume (rightfully so) that yield is heavily influenced by risk, but much more goes into determining yield. The industry the company operates in, legal considerations (REITs and MLPs), maturity and growth potential all have an effect on an individual stock's yield, along with the company's ability to grow its dividend.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

ETF Deathwatch For March 2015: Membership Falls Below 300 | Seeking Alpha

The ETF Deathwatch membership roll dropped by fourteen and established a new 3-year low of 293, consisting of 199 ETFs and 94 ETNs. Only seven names joined the list in March while twenty-one escaped. In a sign of improving industry conditions, sixteen of the names coming off the list this month were due to improved health. The percentage of all listed products currently on ETF Deathwatch is now just 16.7%, its lowest level since October 2011. This is down substantially from the peak of September 2012 when more than one of every four products (27.3%) was in trouble.

Monday, March 16, 2015

11 Canadian Dividend Stocks You Should Consider For Your Dividend Growth Portfolio | Seeking Alpha

My main focus was on U.S. stocks, which is generally good because American capitalism works fine, but outside of the U.S. too there are good stocks with a predictable business and stable growing dividends.  This week, I look at companies in Canada that have had a history of growing dividends, but more importantly have the capacity to continue to grow these dividends in the future.

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Primer On Alternate Energy ETFs | Seeking Alpha

Solar and wind are gradually transforming the way we produce and consume energy, driving the ongoing global energy transition. Although some better-established sources of alternative energy - hydro, wind, biomass and waste, not to mention solar photovoltaics ("PV") - are supported extensively, niche renewable energy sources such as geothermal and concentrated solar power are also on the rise, natural conditions permitting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Concerns About Deflation Show Up in an Obscure Derivatives Market - NYTimes.com

Something unusual is happening to prices right now: They are falling.
The recent sharp decline in gas prices is part of the story, but there is now growing fear that the Federal Reserve will undershoot its own 2 percent inflation target, hindering the economic recovery. There’s also a small but worrying risk that the economy could enter a deflationary rut.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why The Smart Money Is Beginning To Worry About The Downside | The Felder Report

A month or so ago, I was struck by Ray Dalio’s comments at Davos. He seemed fairly concerned and the major media outlets didn’t really pick it up.
“It’s the end of the supercycle. It’s the end of the great debt cycle.” -Ray Dalio

Monday, March 9, 2015

5 Equity Dividend Income Ideas For Conservative Income Investors | Seeking Alpha

In this era of low interest rates, income investors may be considering, or already be maintaining, a higher level of equity exposure. Today's dividendsgenerally far exceed risk-free yield, and are highly competitive, in many cases, with investment-grade bond payouts. While I have mostly considered the transition to equity as a thoughtful allocation maneuver in today's market, expanding valuations and the elevated general risks of equities should not be forgotten.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Thanks For The Corporate Bond Bubble, Fed | Seeking Alpha

Once upon a time businesses borrowed long term money--if they borrowed at all--in order to fund plant, equipment and other long-lived productive assets. That kind of debt was self-liquidating in the sense that it usually generated a stream of income and cash flow that was sufficient to service and repay the debt, and to kick some earned surplus into the pot as well. 

Valuable Lessons From Warren Buffett's 2014 Letter To Shareholders | Seeking Alpha

The education of any business person is incomplete if it doesn't include a thorough reading of Warren Buffett's annual letters to shareholders. I often say that I have learned more from reading his annual letters than I have reading anything else. And I spend much of my days reading! That said, this year's letter was no different than usual.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2015: A Fine February | Seeking Alpha

This year, I split the model portfolio into two sub-portfolios of six income stocks (Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital (NYSE:HASI), General Cable Corporation (NYSE:BGC), Transalta Renewables Inc. (OTC:TRSWF), Capstone Infrastructure Corp. (OTCPK:MCQPF), New Flyer Industries, Inc. (OTC:NFYEF), and Accell Group NV (OTC:ACGPF) and four value growth stocks (FutureFuel Corp. (NYSE:FF), Power REIT (NYSEMKT:PW), Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC), and MiX Telematics Limited (NYSE:MIXT)).

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A 6-Position Portfolio For High-Yield REIT Investors | Seeking Alpha

REITs offer an impressive variety of options for income-focused as well as total return geared investors. If you wanted to diversify to all corners of the real estate market, you could end up owning over a dozen different REITs that invest in everything from apartments to timberlands.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lessons From A Dozen Years Of Short Selling | Seeking Alpha

Shorting looked easy in 2008, but in reality, it's a brutally tough business. In many ways, it appears to involve nothing more than applying the same analyses one uses when determining whether to buy a stock: on the long side, investors generally seek companies with good management, strong growth, high margins and returns on capital, little or no debt, clean balance sheets, and sustainable competitive advantages - all at a low price. Conversely, short sellers look for weak or dishonest management, low or negative growth, margins and returns on capital, high and increasing debt, accounts receivable and inventory, and weak competitive advantages - all at a ridiculously high price.

Friday, February 27, 2015

CEFL March Dividend Brings Yield To 19.2% - SMHD May Be A Good Diversifier For CEFL - UBS ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Closed - End Fund ETN (NYSEARCA:CEFL) | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • CEFL continues to generate high yields for those willing to accept the risk that leverage entails.
  • A new UBS leveraged ETN, SMHD, which just started trading, may be a good diversifier for CEFL.
  • There are some concerns with SMHD, but the 17.7% yield makes it worth looking at further.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

China Levels The Global Playing Field | Seeking Alpha

It's a powerful vision for the world's future. The US and China: two growth powerhouses; two major currencies.  At the heart of China's much-publicized economic reforms are the internationalization of its currency - the yuan renminbi (RMB) - and the liberalization of its capital markets. It's no exaggeration to say that these changes will affect not only China, but the world.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dividend Growth Stocks: All Investing Involves Risk

If your goal is to accumulate wealth for a comfortable retirement, then there is no risk-free path. Throughout time every angle has been tried and failed. However, some approaches carry less risk than others. Let's consider some of the popular paths.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

No Interest Rate Hikes Soon... Time To Celebrate? | Seeking Alpha

It wasn't surprising to read in the FOMC minutes that the Federal Reserve is in no hurry to increase the federal funds rate. The prices of almost every commodity from crude oil and refined energy products to iron ore and copper have fallen sharply in recent months, and the strengthening of the US dollar has only accelerated the declines of dollar-denominated commodities for US-centric operators.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Why Warren Buffett Sold Exxon Mobil And Bought Suncor Energy | Seeking Alpha

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) reported its Q4 2014 moves. It sold out of its Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) stake of 41 million shares and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) shares. However, it added almost 4M shares of Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU).

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Equity CEFs: How To Play Sector Rotations By Investing In CEFs | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • What started as a rotation in 2015 has become more of the same over the last couple weeks as leading sectors such as technology and healthcare have reasserted themselves.
  • But beneath the surface, there are tell tale signs of a rotation going on, particularly in interest rate sensitive sectors such as utilities and REITs.
  • Equity CEFs are a great way to play a rotation because opportunities can arise regardless of which sectors are doing well and which sectors are falling out of favor.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tracking David Einhorn's Portfolio - Q4 2014 Update | Seeking Alpha

This article is part of a series that provides an ongoing analysis of the changes made to David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital US long stock portfolio on a quarterly basis. It is based on Einhorn's regulatory 13F Form filed on 02/13/2015. Please visit our Tracking David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital Holdings article series for an idea on his investment philosophy and ourprevious update highlighting the fund's moves during Q3 2014.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tracking Tweedy Browne's Portfolio - Q4 2014 Update | Seeking Alpha

This article is part of a series that provides an ongoing analysis of the changes made to Tweedy Browne's US stock portfolio on a quarterly basis. It is based on Tweedy Browne's regulatory 13F Form filed on 02/12/2015. Please visit ourTracking Tweedy Browne's Portfolio series to get an idea of their investment philosophy and our previous update for the fund's moves during Q3 2014.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Global Debt Has Risen by $57 Trillion Since the Financial Crisis. Here's Why That Is Scary. - NYTimes.com

Here are two things we know about how debt affects the economy.  First, in the abstract it doesn’t matter. For every debtor there is a creditor, and in theory an economy should be able to hum along just fine whether a country’s citizens have a great deal of debt or none. A company’s ability to produce things depends on the workers and machines it employs, not the composition of its balance sheet, and the same can be said of nations.  Second, in practice this is completely wrong, and debt plays an outsized role in creating boom-bust cycles across the world and through history. High debt increases the amplitude of economic swings. To think of it in terms of the corporate metaphor, high reliance on borrowed money may not affect a company’s level of output in theory, but makes it a great deal more vulnerable to bankruptcy.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dividend Growth Stocks: 10 Dividend Stocks With A 10% Yield In 10 Years????

There are income investors and Dividend Growth investors. While the distinction is rather simple, it slips past many casual observers. Income investors are investing for maximum current income, while dividend growth investors are looking to maximize income over an extended period of time -- usually sacrificing current income for higher future earnings.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Paradox of Inflation/Deflation | Armstrong Economics

 We are all victims of how we were taught to think in a linear fashion. It is a difficult thing to let go of this archaic thinking process and many people simply cannot make that step forward to see the dynamic world that exists around them. They will forever remain captive of their linear world trapped in a paradox they cannot escape. Those linear people tend to be people who gravitate toward government. If you grasp what I am talking about no doubt you are nearly there or you would not read this blog since it is not for the fainthearted nor the linear thinker.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Canadian Dividend stocks with the strength to grow their payouts? - The Globe and Mail

Dividend stocks with the capacity to grow their payments.  A string of promising U.S. economic results led to heightened speculation about the timing for rate hikes, but Janet Yellen’s promise to be patient reassured markets on Wednesday.  Given persistent U.S. unemployment and low inflation, the U.S. Federal Reserve chair said the central bank would take a measured and gradual approach to normalizing monetary policy.

The Shrinking American Middle Class - NYTimes.com

The middle class, if defined as households making between $35,000 and $100,000 a year, shrank in the final decades of the 20th century. For a welcome reason, though: More Americans moved up into what might be considered the upper middle class or the affluent. Since 2000, the middle class has been shrinking for a decidedly more alarming reason: Incomes have fallen.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gundlach: Fed should hold line: ECB QE will fail

The Federal Reserve has little justification to raise interest rates amid a deflationary global backdrop, bond expert Jeff Gundlach said.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Diversified, High-Income Bond Portfolio For 2015 | Seeking Alpha

I recently wrote an article on a diversified closed-end fund (CEF) portfolio that included a range of equity funds but had only 28% of the assets allocated to bonds. I realized that many retirees would like to have a higher percentage in bonds, so I wrote this article, which focuses exclusively on bond CEFs.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Closed End Funds Vs. ETFs, Which Is Better For You? | Seeking Alpha

Some of the oldest closed-end funds, or CEFs, like Adams Express (NYSE:ADX), trace their history back as far as the Great Depression. The oldest exchange traded funds, or ETFs, meanwhile, date back to only the early 1990s. But new and exciting things often get the most attention in the market, and ETFs have blossomed while CEFs continue to be the investment world's unloved step child. That said, it's worth looking at the pros and cons of the two products. You might just decide that unloved and obscure is more to your liking.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

How to Avoid Frauds in Investments, and Personnel Hires - NYTimes.com

I’m often left scratching my head when seemingly smart investors get blindsided by a fraud. But I’ve learned that it isn’t reasonable to expect them to entirely avoid mistakenly getting taken in by what on the surface seems like a sound investment but turns out to be a fraud. A buying mentality is simply incompatible with the skeptical mentality needed to avoid scams.

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