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, May 22, 2015

Overcoming The Pitfalls Of High Yield Investing | Seeking Alpha

Is high yield investing a sensible way to invest or does it carry abnormally high risk? The answer is yes and yes. High yield investing can be very risky if caution is thrown to the wind and all you consider is dividend yield, yet it can also be a very sensible way to generate income.

The Chase For Yield | Seeking Alpha

The fact that investors are searching alternative sources for returns to reach their income targets has been stressed many times since the markets hit historically low interest rates all over the world. But which alternatives are most usable for chasing yield? Since the investment industry is a very innovative industry, fund promoters have introduced a number of new strategies, such as unconstrained bond funds or multi-asset funds, and have made a case for existing products such as dividend/income strategies or mixed-asset products.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Which Are Better: Active Or Passive Managed Bond ETFs? | Seeking Alpha

As a retiree seeking income at a reasonable risk, I have allocated a significant portion of my portfolio to bond funds. I do not have the time or requisite knowledge to select suitable individual bonds, so I tend to purchase professionally-managed funds. Most Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are passive funds that track an index, but recently the ETF industry has expanded and a few ETF bond funds now offer active management.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ray Dalio Shares His Advice on Investing,Life and Business - YouTube

Billionaire Ray Dalio being interviewed on the charlie rose show , he is asks a variety of questions , most to do with work, life and the economy. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ray Dalio - Comments on gold portfolio allocation - Excerpt from interview with CFR - YouTube

"If you dont own gold...there is no sensible reason other than you dont know history or you dont know the economics of it"   Ray Dalio is an American businessman and founder of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates. In 2012, Dalio appeared on the annual Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.  He is known as perhaps one of the smartest fund managers in the world, with some $150+ Billion AUM for world governments, sovereign wealth funds, and some of the largest pension funds in the world.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Martin Armstrong-Big Losses Coming in the Bond Market - YouTube

Renowned financial analyst Martin Armstrong says you can forget about the U.S. dollar crashing in value. Armstrong contends, “No, that’s absurd. The euro is in terrible shape. The yen is in terrible shape, and honestly, you can’t park money in yuan or Russian rubles, yet. I mean, let’s be realistic here, but eventually--yes.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Airbnb Grows to a Million Rooms, and Hotel Rivals Are Quiet, for Now - NYTimes.com


By any measure, Airbnb’s growth has been stunning since the company was founded in 2008. It now has more than a million rooms available in homes, apartments and even former barns — more places to sleep than hotel giants like Marriott and Hilton.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Value Trapped: 10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2015, April Update | Seeking Alpha

My Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2015 model portfolio held on to first-quarter gains in April, despite a 29% fall for one of the stocks. (For details on that decline, see the Power REIT (NYSEMKT:PW) section below.) The portfolio as a whole was rescued by the recovering Canadian Dollar and Euro, as well as mild advances for most of the other stocks across the board. That includes a 4.9% gain for TransAlta Renewables [(TSX:RNW), (OTC:TRSWF)], and a 5.8% gain for FutureFuel (NYSE:FF) which I singled out as having "fallen too far" in last month's update.

Friday, May 8, 2015

7 High-Dividend Stocks in REITs

There are two main types of REITs: those that own property and those that invest in mortgages. Both have their own pros and cons. Mortgage REITs tend to pay high dividend yields but are vulnerable to certain market conditions, such as changing interest rates. Property REITs pay lower dividends but offer greater upside potential as the values of their real estate holdings increase. The latter also tend to be less volatile, since the income they produce is more consistent.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Straight Talk On The 4% Rule | Seeking Alpha

Seemingly everybody that has thought about retirement knows about the 4% rule. But some of what I have read recently has seemed misinformed or oddly slanted. The purpose of this article is to lay out the basics of what we have come to know as the 4% rule, give my own take, and perhaps to start a discussion about what it is, where it stands, and how to use it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The All-Defensive Team: 20 Safe Dividend Stocks For An Uncertain Market (Part 3) | Seeking Alpha

In the current market environment, it is important for income investors to choose their dividend stocks wisely as they are putting new money to work. As volatility increases (especially downside volatility), a higher allocation of low beta stocks should help dampen portfolio volatility. In general, companies with low betas will tend to be less volatile than the general market.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Millions Of Millennials And Retirees Can't Answer 3 Basic Financial Questions: How About You? | Seeking Alpha

A new San Diego State University study of young Americans has found that they are lacking when it comes to financial knowledge and behavior.
Out of these three questions measuring basic financial knowledge, the average respondent could answer only 1.8 correctly-and only a quarter got all three right.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Income Strategy: What You're Not Thinking Enough About | Seeking Alpha

Investors predisposed to generating a dependable income stream may be looking at a variety of security types as part of an individualized portfolio solution. Dividend growth stocks, REITs, higher-yielding niche equities as well as fixed-income products and cash flow generating options strategies may all be part of the mix.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How Bitcoin is Disrupting Argentina’s Economy - NYTimes.com

On the 20th floor, he hustled into an impersonal, windowless office and quickly removed the tools of his trade from his backpack and set them on the desk: locked blue cash box, cellphone and clunky Dell laptop with the same yellow smiley-face sticker that he puts on all his electronics. Then he unbuckled the fanny pack from around his waist, which contained the most important part of his business: bricks of $100 bills and 100-peso notes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Today's Income Investor Guide To Picking CEFs | Seeking Alpha

Closed-end funds could be the investment industry's most curious product. While their underlying values are tracked on a regular basis just like typical open-ended mutual funds, they trade just like equities, with price based on share supply/demand. This can lead to visible price inefficiency and potential opportunity for value-income investors.

Monday, April 27, 2015

ETN Showdown: Is MORL Overvalued? - | Seeking Alpha

I cover REITs and other income plays, but also like to invest in Exchange Traded Funds ("ETFs") and Exchange Traded Notes ("ETNs"). I particularly like those that are based on REITs and other income stocks due to the income, diversification and leverage they provide. They are fun additions to a well-diversified portfolio that provide a dash of excitement and also, at times, big returns.

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.

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