A Lump of Coal for Christmas

Even though we had gains overall today in our accounts as we got some bounce in some of the term preferreds overall preferreds were off another 15 cents (on average).

It will be good to have a day off tomorrow–let some of the rhetoric settle down.  While we do not want to get into political discussions on this website I think most of us can agree that the stupid commentary coming out of Washington is of no help at all.  The ‘beatings’ will continue until this stuff resolves.

We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and/or happy holiday.  We always have our 16 kids/grand kids over on Christmas eve so am battening down the hatches a bit.  For us this is the time for the stuff that is important–family.  The poor stock markets will be put aside for the next 40 hours.

41 thoughts on “A Lump of Coal for Christmas”

  1. Dear Santa…I just tried to return some preferred shares of the hated Spark Energy (SPKEP) along with a sweater my aunt bought me that was too big. The store took back the sweater but told me to keep the lump of coal.

    Signed… disillusioned youngster

  2. A possible buying opportunity for one of our “sock drawer” candidates – CNLPL. Bid $53.96, ask $56.09.

    Looks like some individual investor dumping, as the latest 4 trades around $53.95-$53.96 totaled only 280 shares. Definitely not any panic dumping.

    I had a bid out at $54 even, it never filled, go figure.

  3. Tim
    I just discovered your website a couple of weeks ago – really appreciate the flow of information. Do you offer portfolio management – I could not tell from the site. I am approaching retirement and have muni bonds maturing like crazy and would like to begin establishing higher yield portfolios. Thank you

    1. HI Debbie–no we don’t offer much except information and a fine group of folks sharing their knowledge.

    1. They did have a minor shakeup a while back but it was treated as a non event at the time. No obvious reason I can see now other than holders have the jitters and it’s on the riskier side of IG. The common is up about 2% today.

    2. Tech,

      Not rated, perpetual, non QDI, and it’s lumped in the ‘MLP’ group. The common has dropped 41% this year.

      The financials look pretty darned good to me, so this may be a baby with the bathwater scenario. Then again, the perpetual aspect of it probably hurts the most IMO.

      1. Pretty much all green here today except GBLIZ & LMRKO. Hopefully income sec. are near a mid/long term bottom. Tnx

        Good day

        1. My SRC-A is up bigly today. Up almost a dollar. This one has really been bouncing up and down lately.

          1. Got SRC-A (thanks to you) and AGO-A (thanks to you) on Monday. Looks like maybe you gave me a Christmas present. Thanks! Not seeing many deals today.

            1. P, Had to sell some of my SRC-A today to cover a buy…Locked in some profits and even more short term cap gains to pay taxes, on…Ugh! Oh well, Inspbudget got the word out and I bought 15 shares of MTB- at $955…Heck I may be forced to hold it long term now at this sweet price…

              1. You do OK for somebody who said they don’t know anything. I’m happy my annoying pop-up warning about day trading has calmed down a bit. It tormented me last week.

              2. 6.67% QDI investment grade cumulative preferred MTB- at $955….If I had my access codes to other brokerage account I would have bought 30 more shares of this today. But out of state now.

                1. Grid, glad to see you were able to scoop up some of the MTB- shares. I got a few, but at much higher price, my GTC order at $984 got taken out as the hot knife sliced through the order like a laser goes through a piece of plywood.
                  But, still a good price for a strong company, QDI and 6.3% yield, with no risk of call loss whatsoever.

                  Ask is back to $990, still not a bad price, but I’m not chasing it. maybe another nervous seller is just behind the curtain waiting for his cue to dump.

                  1. Inspbudget, you got me in at 6.67% QDI at $955…investment grade…Incredible…Thanks for waking me back up on that issue again!

                  2. I just put buy in. My experience on small buys of $1000’s is to piggyback same price as a bigger one, even if it’s lower price. Unless a sizeable drop occurs, sometimes small buy orders are crumbs and don’t get eaten so as not to foul the bid/ask. Not chasing but I’d take it at 6.7%.

                    1. P, that buying opportunity seems to have passed. Ask is now above par at $1,002. My order did not fill, but that’s OK, I have a fair amount already.

                      The clear winner for this one is Grid. Even while the guy is on vacation, he can execute a great profitable trade. We poor saps in front of our screens all day trying hard to get some gains are left wallowing in his dust.

  4. Tim, Merry Christmas and thank you for all the ideas shared for us to research these many years– from Yield Hunter to now. Bea

  5. mikeo
    started buying pfds in 2000. my target allocation is 25% to preferred and etd instruments. I’ve not been able to maintain it the last few years. the market is now offering the first credible offerings in some time but it is still early. many contributors here have vastly better analytical skills and prosper in good times and bad. i have to keep things simple so IG and coupons above 6.5 in businesses i can understand are fundamental to me. i do not purchase excess of par. when i’ve stretched to find yield i gotten my you know what kicked. i have found patience helpful. good luck to you mikeo.
    happy holidays to all and many thanks Tim

  6. From one Tim to another. God bless us everyone! Thanks Tim and everyone else for information, advise, and general hand holding. And, to quote another well known saying, to all a Good Night! Merry Christmas

  7. Merry Christmas! And thanks to all for assisting in my education.

    Would a few of you experienced folk please tell me approximately what percentage of your portfolios are allocated to preferred + baby bonds?

    1. This is a great question and there will be no one correct answer. If one’s goal is to produce income then I expect the percentage to be fairly high while someone accumulating assets for retirement would have a much lower percentage. As someone who is 10 years from retirement, I have an overall target allocation of 5% – 10%. I am currently at less than 5% as I sold out several years ago once interest rates began to climb and have just recently began to accumulate this asset category again.

    2. Hey Mike,
      After being roughly 95% common stocks to preferred stocks/etf’s about 2 years ago, I’ve now reallocated my portfolio to be roughly 80%/20% common stocks to pfd/baby bonds, currently.

      The key moves going thru 2019 is to continue shedding the common stocks down and moving to term dated pfd’s and related vehicles. Since the Fed is destined to crash the market, the only ‘surer’ way to feel like you’ll get your principal back and get paid to wait, is to focus on short term dated items, the KYN-F, the GAIN family, the baby bonds, etc.

      Always subject to change… Best wishes to all who have joined us here on the site. Happy 2019…

  8. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Tim and to Everyone who commented on Tim’s best WEBSITE.


  9. Agree. The market is not a good place to look for long term satisfaction but it does help you get where you are going

  10. Merry Christmas to Tim and the other people on this site. When I now look back at 2018, I’m not really concerned about my investment returns. This is a time to value family relationships and be thankful that we live in such a wonderful country where we have freedom and to make our own path in life.

    I wish everyone a wonderful week and a happy an prosperous new year in 2019.

  11. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Tim and everyone on the board. Hopefully 2019 will be a better year for the preferred investors.

  12. This is great news for coal, it’s finally making that comeback. A very Merry Christmas to you Tim, and to all.

  13. Thank you Tim. For me I got my Christmas present earlier this year — finding your website and this online community 🙂 Thank you for all the work and efforts you continue to put on maintaining this incredible site.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  14. Thank you so much Tim for sharing your expertise and time with me and the rest of the group. You are appreciated, no doubt, more than you know. I wish you and your family a healthy and Merry Christmas! And everyone else too.

  15. Ditto to the above. Thank you for providing this resource. It is the best I have found so far.

    Happy holidays to everyone and let’s hope for a positive 2019

    1. Tim, Merry Christmas and thanks again! I agree that the comments coming from Washington do not help,
      I have not sold my investments, trying to stay clear and steady, believing this shall pass.

  16. Merry Christmas Tim, Thank you for all that you do and wishing you and your family a very joyfulChristmas!

    1. Tim,
      Although the bleeding continued today (e.g. MDLQ, COWNZ, GLOP-C, AGM-A down more than 2%), I also saw a bounce in some of my holdings (CHSCM, SOCGP, CUBI-F, GAINL, TCRW up more than 2% today, after having dropped a lot last week), with +0.25% up in my portfolio today.

      Does this mean that clever bargain hunters are stabilizing the beaten preferreds? Is this hinting to some kind of limit on further losses in the coming days? Or is this just wishful christmas thinking?

      If the former, then maybe it is time to start hunting for those bargains?
      However, I agree, with such washington comments, things can remain out of control, logic and decency….

      ..interesting times…


  17. thank you for your good wishes but it is really your readers who should thank you for your efforts and inputs. I would like to wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday and a more productive and profitable new year. The same good wishes extended to all the members of the board who make it so interesting and helpful to read and review here what we are doing. Investing is by definition a lonely or isolated activity and a community makes things more productive. thank you all sc

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