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

Friday, December 19, 2014

Retirement Strategy: I Will Not Follow The Herd, Will You? | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • Panic is not a strategy for retirement investing; it is an emotion that could derail your portfolio.
  • Once again it is all about the income, not about the value of a portfolio on any given day.
  • I will not be showing the total value of the new FMBP because to me it simply does not matter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Vanishing Male Worker: How America Fell Behind - NYTimes.com

Working, in America, is in decline. The share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16 percent. More recently, since the turn of the century, the share of women without paying jobs has been rising, too. The United States, which had one of the highest employment rates among developed nations as recently as 2000, has fallen toward the bottom of the list.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Fed Meets This Week Dealing With Alarming Bond Market Bubble | Seeking Alpha

In short, there is just way too much liquidity in the system, and buying of any assets is what follows regardless of price or the fundamentals, and the bond market is in such a bubble right now that the Fed needs to start pricking it fast before it crashes all at once where everyone tries to get out at the same time, which of course they cannot do. This is where a responsible Fed comes in and prepares the bond market for the inevitable rate hikes in 2015.

Monday, December 15, 2014

High-Yield BDCs Hit New Lows | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • Over the last two months investors have favored BDCs with ‘safer’ portfolios.
  • Higher yield BDCs have reached new lows and offer attractive yields averaging 14.4%.
  • I believe these companies have the most upside potential as well as downside risk.  

Blackstone Mortgage Trust: 7% Yield And Rising Rates Protection - Blackstone Mortgage Trust, Inc. (NYSE:BXMT) | Seeking Alpha

One of the fears stalking many investors that own higher yield financial stocks and REITs is what will happen when interest rates start to increase. Commercial mortgage REIT Blackstone Mortgage Trust (NYSE:BXMT)offers the combination of a current high yield and a business model that will generate higher profits if/when short-term interest rates start to rise. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Collapse In Oil Prices Rocks The Markets | Seeking Alpha

The steep price drop for oil continued last week. However, unlike the last month and a half; the markets took a very different direction in response to the continued decline of crude this week. Investors are starting to realize that the fall in oil prices has some negative consequences for both the economy and equities. This is something I have been warning about in recent weeks.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Canadian Bank Stocks - 3 Stock Analyses | Seeking Alpha

The hottest topic as of late, that I’ve seen outside of the oil/gas industry is… Canadian Banking. I have seen quite a few dividend investors over the last two weeks, continue to purchase shares into the big 6 Canadian Bank companies. I also own of them, but with all of the downward pressure on the industry in that geographical location, plus all of the activity with buying happening, it has caused me to dive into some research on the fundamentals with 3 of the bank stocks. Let’s take a look.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Utility Stocks: Focus On Policy, Not Politics | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • Midterm election results imply more gridlock at the federal level.
  • Outcomes of gubernatorial races have important implications for our investments; governors appoint regulators who oversee utilities and set industry rules.
  • We run through the results from the gubernatorial elections and their implications for utilities that operate in each of those state.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Closed-End Funds Are Better For Income Investors Than Open-End Funds | Seeking Alpha

Closed-end funds, often called CEFs, are a way for investors to pool their money so they can hire a professional to manage it for them. Mutual funds do the same thing, but in some ways do it better. However, as the country shifts from stuffing money away for the future to trying to live off of what's been saved, closed-end funds are set to shine. If you haven't looked at the space, you should do it now.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

3 Reasons Why Municipal Bonds May Offer More Than Just Tax-Exempt Income | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • We believe higher tax rates increase the incentive for taxpayers to seek tax-exempt income using municipal bonds.
  • Municipals have the potential to offer a broad range of investment options that are exempt from federal income tax and, potentially, from state and local income taxes.
  • While municipal bonds are rightly renowned for generating tax-exempt income, there are several other reasons to consider them, including their relatively attractive yields, low default risk and diversification benefits.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Where To Invest In China: Four Powerful Trends Long-Term Investors Can't Ignore | Seeking Alpha

"Long term." This is a phrase that international investors have heard many times when it comes to investing in China. Veteran China investor Martin Lau, director, greater China equities, First State Stewart, apparently shares that sentiment.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Pros And Cons Of Collapsing Oil Prices In 2014 | Seeking Alpha

That's right - we're in the middle of the largest decline since 2008 when the global economy looked like it was collapsing. So, the question is - is it different this time? Is the current hurting the global economy more than it's helping?

Monday, December 1, 2014

75 Fairly Valued High Current Income Dividend Stocks For Your Retirement Portfolios: Part 2 | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • In this Part 2, my emphasis shifts to providing research candidates offering above average current dividend yields.
  • Time in the market is more important than timing the market.
  • I am eager to invest when I find a good business that can be bought at a sound valuation.
  • The level of the overall market interests me little.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

3 Canadian Dividend Stocks With Great Yields - NASDAQ.com

The search for income continues to be one of the more frustrating endeavors for investors. To make matters worse for yield-hungry investors, it now looks like the Fed may drag its heels raising rates as a result of continued global economic weakness.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why Is Mr. Market Raining On This Small-Cap Farming REIT? - Farmland Partners Inc (NYSEMKT:FPI) | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • With such a small number of shares being traded, Farmland lacks the Wall Street coverage and since the IPO earlier this year (April 2014) the shares have been significantly underestimated.
  • Even for the low flying crop dusters, Farmland is flying under the radar and the company has very little institutional coverage.
  • The most important aspect to this small-cap REIT selection is demand: the business model is steady and repetitive and the supply of farmland is limited. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Did Tony Robbins Just Signal The Top In Bonds? | Seeking Alpha

Self-help guru Tony Robbins is out with a new book which offers a slew of financial advice including an "All Weather Portfolio" (NYSE:AWP). Without delving into too much detail (others have already done this favor for us….), the crux of Robbins' All Weather Portfolio is a recommendation to allocate 55% of ones portfolio into US Treasury Notes & Bonds:
Then you need long-term government bonds. 15% in intermediate term (7- to 10-year Treasuries) and 40% in long-term bonds [20- to 25-year Treasuries]."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Five Decades of Middle Class Wages: Update

Here's a perspective on personal income for production and nonsupervisory private employees going back five decades.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been collecting data on this workforce cohort since 1964. The government numbers provide some excellent insights on the income history of what we might think of as the private middle class wage earner.

Friday, November 21, 2014

MORL December Dividend Higher - Annualized Yield 23.1% - UBS ETRACS Monthly Pay 2x Leveraged Mortgage REIT ETN (NYSEARCA:MORL) | Seeking Alpha

Only three of the 24 mREITs that comprise ETRACS Monthly Pay 2x Leveraged Mortgage REIT ETN (NYSEARCA:MORL) and Market Vectors Mortgage REIT ETF (NYSEARCA:MORT) have an ex-dividend date in November 2014. Those three components are: American Capital Agency Corp (NASDAQ:AGNC) which now pays monthly and goes ex-dividend November 25 2014 with a pay date of December 4, 2014., Armour Residential REIT (NYSE:ARR), which pays monthly, and thus goes ex-dividend during the relevant period and NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. (NYSE:NRF), which goes ex-dividend November 5, 2014 with a pay date of November 14, 2014. Thus, it is now possible to project that the monthly dividend that MORL will declare for the month of December 2014 will be $0.1343.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ready For The Holiday Shopping Season - In Closed-End Funds? | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • Tax-loss selling appears to be a major force in the closed-end fund marketplace.
  • However, selling pressure has historically been strongest in early-to-mid November.
  • Long-side investors should begin readying their shopping lists of fund bargains that have been excessively battered in the tax-loss season sell-off.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

'$1.6 Trillion In Defaults Coming,' Legend Says ?| Seeking Alpha

Martin Fridson is -- without question -- the biggest name in his field. (He has been for decades.) Right now, he's extremely concerned... Last week, he shared his big concerns at our investment conference in the Dominican Republic.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Vanguard High Dividend ETF Doesn't Play Well With Bears - Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (NYSEARCA:VYM) | Seeking Alpha

Dividend ETFs are more popular than ever, thanks to the central banks of the world giving us zero interest rate policies (ZIRP), but the word "dividend" in an ETF means different things in different funds. Some funds target very high-yields, such as Global X SuperDividend ETF (NYSEARCA:SDIV), but others such as Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (NYSEARCA:VIG) aim for growth, while WisdomTree has an entire lineup of ETFs that use dividends as a selection factor in their indexes. Investors benefit from having a wide range of choices among dividend funds, with sector and international exposure sliced and diced in many different ways. Picking the right fund for a portfolio can be a chore, though, since investors can dig through dozens of options.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Oh No Canada | Seeking Alpha

I have long favored owning Canadian stocks when attractive opportunities present themselves. The country is well positioned in several industries that are key to long-term global economic growth. And they also boast a banking oligopoly in the country that in many respects is managed more responsibly and prudently in comparison to their global peers. Given these favorable attributes, it is reasonable to consider whether an investment in Canadian stocks is a worthwhile strategy at the present time or if it is better to wait for better opportunities in the future.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

2 Countries For Old Bulls | Seeking Alpha

The bulls are off and running once again in the U.S. After a short but sharp pause in September and early October, all is well with stocks and investors are once again brimming with confidence about the boundless upward trajectory for stocks into 2015. But what about stocks across the rest of the world? While the bulls are stampeding in the U.S., the bears are out of hibernation and on the hunt across most other parts of the globe.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Canadian Banks Outpace Fixed Investments | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • Review of interest rates, impact on investments, and an introduction to Canadian bank shares.
  • Saving accounts and government issued bonds are non-ideal against current inflation rates.
  • Review of several banks who offer dividend yield rates higher than current inflation rates.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

5 Large-Cap Dividend Companies That Offer Very Different Exposures | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • Annaly Capital Management has a very strong dividend yield, a discount to book value, and impressive results.
  • AMT offers the most potential for dividend growth from operating leverage.
  • CAT and MMM have seen their operating margins move in opposite directions, but both have decent yields and are actively repurchasing shares.
  • DFS has a low yield, but it’s not bad for the payment industry. Technology improvements by Apple may help to enhance the product.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes ?| Farnam Street

When it comes to using our minds, we all want to be a little more like Sherlock Holmes.   Maria Konnikova’s book, Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes, takes a deep look at Sherlock Holmes’s methodology to develop the habits of mind that will allow us to mindfully engage the world.   

Monday, November 3, 2014

How Did High-Yield Dividend Champions Do During The Great Recession? Part 2 | Seeking Alpha

In Part I we showed that the higher the yield of the dividend champions of January 2008, the less likely they were still dividend champions in September 2014. As a number of comments pointed out, the great recession did not affect all industries equally. In this article we break down the results by industry groups.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dividend Zombies - Over 100 Years Of Uninterrupted And Undiminished Dividends (Part 1) | Seeking Alpha

October is drawing to a close, autumn and Halloween is upon us. Here in the southern hemisphere, at my home in Brazil, spring has arrived with the promise of new growth. These metaphorical cliches remind me that it is time to highlight the importance of a company's dividend history to gauge stability for income investors. In this spirit, I am opening a new series, The Dividend Zombies -- companies with dividends that never die.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gold: Making The Most While Avoiding The Risks - A Strategy For Income Investors??? - SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:GLD) | Seeking Alpha

In May of this year, I wrote about a way for conservative investors toearn superior rates on their emergency reserve liquid cash (or near-cash) assets using gold and covered option writing. In this article, I will review the strategy's results to date and explore some of the current myths surrounding gold, including a factual rebuttal to a recent gold article that provides an example of the misleading, inaccurate, and unreliable information being written about gold which you must be wary of when reading any reports and advice about investing, yes - even my advice. This is true especially about investments with traditional allure, such as precious metals.   

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oil Companies Sensitive To The Oil Price Decline And Those That Are Not | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • Oil price has declined about 25% since June 2014.
  • Let’s see which oil companies were more sensitive to the oil price decline.
  • Let’s see which oil companies weren’t as sensitive to the oil price decline.
  • Now maybe a good time to start dollar-cost averaging into quality oil companies for a higher starting income after the price decline.    

Friday, October 24, 2014

How Did High-Yield Dividend Champions Do During The Great Recession? Part 1 | Seeking Alpha

Many investors use the Dividend Champions as a starting point for selecting dividend growth stocks. The lists provided by David Fish (thank you, David) consist of stocks whose dividends have risen every year for 25 years or more.
In this article and the articles to follow, we will examine the dividend champions that have fallen off the list. The list is released every month. To make the data more manageable, this article only uses the lists released in January from 2008-2014 and the September 2014 list.
The great recession lead to a large number of Dividend Champions falling of the list. Did the market give us warnings about which dividend champions were most at risk?   

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