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, April 24, 2015

Comparing 2 Tax Friendly Closed End Funds - Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Global Buy-Write Opportunities Fund (NYSE:ETW) | Seeking Alpha

The article compares the Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Global Buy-Write Opportunities Fund (NYSE:ETW) and the Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Buy-Write Opportunities Fund (NYSE:ETV) for steady monthly income. The differences between these two funds and how each fund has its place in the investment world will be shown by looking at total return, company allocation, the use of covered calls and the distribution break down of each fund.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Make Over 6% Income With Utility CEFs | Seeking Alpha

As a retiree seeking income at a reasonable risk, I am a fan of utilities. Over the years, utility companies have prospered from increasing residential and commercial demand coupled with a low interest rate environment. However, I do not have the time or requisite knowledge to select suitable individual companies so I purchase professionally managed Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) or Closed End Funds (CEFs). The ETFs are typically passive funds that track an index while the CEFs are actively managed. In the current environment of potentially rising rates, my preference is to invest in CEFs where the manager has the flexibility to select utilities that will be less sensitive to rate increased. This article will assess the risk versus reward of these utility CEFs.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Retirement Strategy: Dividends Vs. Capital Gains | Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • Let's face it, there are far more folks looking for the big gains rather than slow and steady income.
  • There is absolutely nothing wrong with that strategy but it carries far more risk than many investors admit.
  • A dividend growth investing strategy is not fancy, can be really boring, but for a retirement portfolio it makes perfect sense to me.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Q. and A. With the Fed’s John Williams: Timing of Rate Rise Is Overrated - NYTimes.com

John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, says he’s done talking about which month the Fed will start to raise its benchmark interest rate.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lumber Prices Fall Sharply: Implications For Bonds And Different Stock Market Sectors | Seeking Alpha

I like to watch breakouts in either direction that Mr. Market is ignoring. In these days of unceasing money creation out of the Fed's "thin air," we have gotten used to asset price melt-ups. Deflationary crashes, which generations ago were just as common as upside breakouts, may be more noteworthy. That could be because while asset prices have been booming for years, the real economy as a whole has not boomed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

CEFs: Discounts, Premiums And Yield | Seeking Alpha

Closed-end funds occupy a unique niche in the investment world stuck between open-end mutual funds and regular companies. There are good things about that positioning that allows closed-end funds, or CEFs, to provide income investors with a little extra juice. But there are also bad things that can come about if you aren't careful.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Make Over 8.5% With A Multi-Sector CEF Bond Portfolio | Seeking Alpha

There are currently 23 closed end funds listed in the multi-sector category on CEFConnect. Many of these have been launched recently and do not have a long history. Also, a few of these funds sell at extremely high premiums. My personal preference is to not invest in a fund with a premium over 5% (unless there are some other compelling reasons). Therefore, I reduced the sample size to 7 funds based on the following criteria.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2015: Marching Ahead | Seeking Alpha

My Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2015 model portfolio added a second month to its winning streak, with a 6.1% gain for the month and a 5.7% gain for the year, despite a continued drag by the strong dollar. If measured in terms of the companies' local currencies, the portfolio would have been up 7.5% for the month and 10.5% for the quarter or year to date. For comparison, the broad universe of US small cap stocks rose 1.5% for the month and 4.0% for quarter, as measured by IWM, the Russell 2000 index ETF.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dividend Growth Stocks: How Much Money Will You Need To Retire?

How much money will you need before retiring? This obviously is very important question, but also a very difficult question to answer. There are many factors and assumptions that go into estimating the income that will be needed in retirement. With so many estimates and assumptions, there is a high probability the estimated number will be incorrect. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

CEFs Versus Actively Managed ETFs | Seeking Alpha

Closed-end funds, or CEFs, trade like stocks but are pooled investment vehicles. Exchange traded funds, or ETFs, trade like stocks but are pooled investment vehicles. While they are both similar, they are far from the same, and that can be a benefit or a detraction depending on how you view the world.

REIT ETF/ETN Showdown: REM Vs. MORL - | Seeking Alpha

I have been writing primarily about individual equity REIT stocks this year, with occasional forays into specialty finance REITs such as Hannon Armstrong and Arbor Realty. This article pushes the envelope in another direction with the iShares Mortgage Real Estate Capped ETF (NYSEARCA:REM). REM is a $1.2 billion Exchange Traded Fund. ETFs can be risky and volatile, or placid and dull, depending upon the underlying securities. Since REITs are very sensitive to interest rates, REM has been one of the more volatile ETFs.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Warren Buffett’s Best Dividend Stocks-Kiplinger

When it comes to dividends, Warren Buffett is happy to collect them but not to pay them. His holding company, Berkshire Hathaway (symbol BRK-B), has never paid out any of its profits to shareholders. But when the Oracle of Omaha looks for companies to invest in, he often focuses on businesses that repurchase shares or issue dividends, or both. “Buffett likes companies that return cash to shareholders,” says David Kass, a finance professor at the University of Maryland who owns Berkshire shares and follows Buffett’s moves closely. Investors could do worse than to follow the master’s lead. And if you’re looking for current income, you might want to consider some of Buffett’s favorite dividend-paying stocks.

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).

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