Common Stock Chat

This page is set up for those that want to chat about various common stocks.

There are no rules–other than the usual–no politics.

330 thoughts on “Common Stock Chat”

  1. JMP, Thank You Insider Cow for that.
    Insider Cow is a web site that lists all insider buys and sells.
    I have been playing stocks based on that strategy for many years.
    Alas, I don’t hold for long.
    I just my last shares of JMP 7:57 AM EST at 11.00 . (Bought Feb 2nd)
    SPLP also has steady Insider buys, but I bought preferred instead of common and that was a mistake. I will buy the common today because I see a Cup forming and hope the handle is way higher.

  2. Devon Energy — DVN
    I’ve been on a contrary streak lately, and even though the energy sector has fallen on hard times and is not much loved these days, I think there may be some opportunities here. One such opportunity is Devon Energy. DVN has recently completed it’s merger-of-equals with WPX Energy and the combined company appears to be on solid financial footing. What I like is the fact the company reports they can break even at $33 WTI and with oil trading around the $60/barrel mark DVN has plenty of upside IMO. So much so, they just declared a variable dividend of .19/share on top of the regular, fixed .11/share dividend, both payable 03/31 to share owners as of 3/15.
    Here is a link to a PowerPoint presentation outlining the company’s position and outlook.
    I invite your comments and observations.

    1. DVN has a history of chasing trends and not having the balance sheet to take advantage.

      This has allowed activist investors to take over.

    2. I’ve been in and out of several energy producers over the years, including the shales. I’ve made money on some and lost on others. Seems the totally uncontrollable factor remains OPEC. Despite a lot of discussion of OPEC being dead or nearly so, the Saudis can open or close the spigot at any time and it will affect your investment. With oil over $60 a barrel, it’s just a matter of time before the Saudis begin pumping more. Plus, DVN has had a heck of a run in the last six months.

  3. Any idea why CNIG is dropping so much today. Not a huge amount, but for being bought out a little surprising.

  4. Softbank (SFTBY) is up 8% today. Was it the increase in profits or was it that Softbank and Microsoft was mentioned in the same sentence in a headline? It doesn’t take much in this market to get stocks to pop or drop.
    Softbank invests in and sells new technology companies regularly. Winners exceed losers so It’s worked out in this technology growth market. Surprising to me is that it has a small dividend of about .5%. The CEO, Masayoshi Son, is an interesting guy and aggressive so I took a chance with a small investment that resulted in a 145% gain. At times there is negative press when some of its holding like Weworks has problems but those losses are covered by major profits with other companies. There’s growth potential in the investments it makes and it remains aggressive so I’ll hold and hope for the best. It’s hard to judge the value since they are constantly investing and selling.

  5. The proxy voting instructions I received for one of my holdings allows only a “For” or “Abstain” vote for the slate of Directors. Always in the past, I have been allowed to vote “Against” nominated Directors. I’ve never seen only choices “For” and “Abstain”. This is one time when I really do want to vote against all the directors, so it pisses me off that there’s no “Against” option, and just seems typical of this crowd of criminals.

    Anyone else seen this before?

    1. Do you own enough shares for it to make a difference? If not, I’d worry about something more pressing in my life.

      Also, why continue to hold shares in a firm run by what you discern to be a ‘crowd of criminals?’


    2. Many people abstain by not casting a vote at all, and one really can’t know if these individuals are just lazy/indifferent or if they oppose management. If you actually vote “Abstain”, you are clearly opposing the Directors.

    3. camroc, I’ve asked myself the same question and yes it’s past time to exit.

      af, thanks for the thoughts.

      Bob, thanks for the humour.

  6. RSS Feed –

    Just testing…. sorry but haven’t seen anything in past 3 hours…….that seems out of the ordinary.

  7. Thank you all for the wonderful education that you have given me , a lurker, for quite some time. I have been on this website a lot more of late due to the pandemic, so I thought I should come out of the shadows. I wanted to make sure that I was looking at CNIG correctly, since Grid has brought it up recently and since I have made a decent sized purchase. If I were to purchase more today at $23.75, I would receive $24.75 when the deal closes in the 2nd half of 2021, plus any dividends paid during that time, correct? Seems like a no brainer. Is there a likely chance of the deal with Argo Infrastructure not happening? Is there anything else that I am missing? Thanks again to all of you for the great education!

    1. Hey JTS, I bought a bunch of CNIGP which is the 1 preferred to 1.2 common stock convertible at $27.
      That makes the redemption cash in of it worth of $29.70. Im just sitting on mine….Your not missing anything. But these tend to sit where they are at waiting for approval. The market is going to give you a small bone here until merger is complete. However, you are taking the ~30% haircut risk if it doesnt go through…For whatever reason that may come upon.
      CNIG isnt going to retract as the “6 unit team” that owns well over half and is aged (along with Gabelli thrown in) already said yes over a few martini’s. But many unforeseen risks can occur thus why it sits below merger price.
      I can list several easy reasons why this will go through, but the unforeseen and regulatory angst if any, I have no idea which is the key in the end. Plus it could drag out longer than planned which ultimately shaves annual return down also. …. Its now just a modified version of picking up nickels in front of a steam roller… Keep your head up when bending over!

      1. Thanks Grid, that makes sense. I’ll sit tight with what I have and find other opportunities in the meantime.

      2. Grid, concerning CNIGP – when merger completes, does that mean our CNIGP shares get transformed into CNIG common stock at a rate of 1.2 shares for every CNIGP held?

        And if so, would we be able to sell on the open market, or will those shares be changed to those of the merging company?

        1. No, according to filings they get cancelled and pay $29.70. Just like the common gets cancelled at its buyout price (cant remember off top of my head what it is). But they all are getting cancelled as there is nothing to convert too since a private company would be taking it over.

          1. Thanks, so we will be getting cash of $29.70, plus any accrued dividends. Correct?

            Merger is supposed to complete in second half of 2021. I will sit tight on CNIGP until then.

            1. Yes, that is the plan…But… It involves two separate state regulatory agencies and one is NY. I dont know if their wheels are well oiled to move fast now. So these things drag out…Remember Exelon and PEPCO merger and how it dragged on and on and was cancelled and then on again? Oh and the painful part for us both…When we bailed on PEPCO the day before because it wasnt going through and PEPCO was going to drop like a rock?
              We lost our investing testosterone 24 hours before pay dirt and it cost us both a 30% windfall. You have probably got over it, but it still burns my rear.

              1. Wow, PEPCO – you did bring up a long forgotten event. Yes, it was painful at that time, but like you correctly said, I have moved on.

                Sure hope that this merger will go through and be complete as they say.

    2. JTS – Welcome to the wonderful world of low risk merger arbitrage because that’s what you’re looking at re- CNIG. Grid’s mentioned Gabelli on this one and they are big players in the field though from what Grid’s said, I think they were in CNIG before the buyout surfaced… What you’re doing is weighing the odds of the deal closing at 24.75 and/or closing on schedule and then deciding whether or not that’s worth the wait to get that price then or sell today at 23.75. That’s a pretty simple yield to hold date calculation if you throw in a guesstimate for actual closing date. Eyeballing it, I suspect a hold is a pretty good deal, especially with the risks of closing probably being quite low

      BTW, true merger arbitrage would include playing with vehicles that minimize the risks of the deal falling thru.. Simplest example would be when one public company buys another, the arbitrageur would buy the company being bot and sell the shares of the issuer based on complicated proprietary formulae they create…. People like MERFX and GABCX specialize in this and in general, they offer a pretty safe bet for steady but low yields, good places nowadays to use as money market rate alternatives..

    1. I’ve been hitting those points on message boards and the response is hilarious. ‘Take up the pitchforks’ …”you must be a hedge fund guy”. “You must be short”…..psst I’m a long only investor!! Without being able to understand its Institution vs Institution. The tape proves it. Just look at GME biggest shareholder starting with…..FIDELITY. Is fidelity a reddit trader with robinhood trading accounts?

      The stock hit 2.50. It had 4 dollars in losses. **NEWS FLASH** kids download their fortnight games. And they have Amazon walmart and TGT as options too.

  8. So the soundbite of the day, week, month, and year is GME. My thoughts are

    1. Short squeeze has elevated their shares so high as to give them a new shot at shoring up their insolvent balance sheet
    2. The only people hurt were short so who cares
    3. The way margin trading acts work it’s not naked shorts that pushed the short interest over 100%…and see #2
    4. The trading volume in dollars of the top 15 shorts for last 4days exceeds 200 billion, no way is the majority of that retail day trader
    5. Reports that’s it’s all robin hood and retail traders are lying or actually too stupid to know (which is more dangerous!) that’s its institutional vs institutional trading
    6. Doesn’t anybody care to report this fact; there may be 140% short common shares, but offset by 141% long option positions.

    Shorting was first done in year 1602. This is not a new concept, and none care to even report how a cash/margin account/short margin accounts work

  9. I had a few of stocks hit my “buy” level today (keep in mind I’m a buy and hold dividend investor).


    Not a lot of dry powder at the moment though so simply noting them.

    1. Any reason for liking EIX more than some others? I’m losing PNM this year on a “merger” which is really a buyout since we only get cash. So really looking for some good utilities to put that back into. I voted no on the merger since my purchase yields range from 8-14% so I’m trying not to chase yield to make up the loss but rather hoping to find one raising divs consistently.

      1. My utility watchlist includes D, EVRG, and PNW. I am also looking at VZ. The “California” risk keeps me disinterested in EIX, however the additional risk does appear to be already discounted.
        I strongly believe that the increased usage of EVs is an underappreciated catalyst for the electric utility sector.

      2. RE EIX – Morningstar has a fair value of 69, pays 4.6% and has a 16 year dividend track record so checks a lot of boxes for me. I also own DUK, SO, PNW (also a buy I think).

        There is the wildfire risk of course and I expect that’ s why there is a slight discount.

        1. Bill and af,
          SO has the two year converable SOLN also if you are good holding that Util even after conversion to common as a worst case scenario. Paying about 6.8% for about two years. Decent and fair conversion clause.
          There are a couple other big utils, D/DCUE and I forget the other one, with similar short term converts, but understand the conversion features if the stocks are down at the time of conversion with a conversion to common and that div…if there is one.

          1. Joel – I looked into SOLN as that 6.75% yield and selling sub 50 was enticing. Looking at the charts it appears that the price of the this preferred follows the price of SO very closely. (I ran them side by side). I take this to mean that the value of the shares at conversion is affected by the value of the SO common shares at the same time.

            Am I correct that one is essentially making a bet on the value of SO if you hold this to mandatory conversion? In particular, below that lower limit of $57.20 for SO share price in seems one starts to lose ground in the principle returned to you.

            I am new at mandatory convertibles so this is of interest to me. Thanks for any clarification/guidance you or anyone else can provide.

            1. Bill, You basically got it figured out. These are equity units and ultimately are just a bet on the common stock with a slight yield tease thrown in for playing.
              These typically are “stall tactic” shares issued for company to grow its earnings into some type of recent or near future digestive purchase or capital expense before converting the equity dilution.
              Since you are new to these, remember they will not trade independently like a preferred stock, they are in bed with and tethered largely throughout the process with the common stock.

        2. BillW,
          Having grown up in Southern Cal and now living in the North I have lived through 2 wildfires and talked to many of my customers throughout Northern and Southern Cal.
          Outside the risk of Santa Ana winds I am comfortable holding SCE-PH
          Look at it this way, I have no desire to hold SO because I think of the destruction from hurricanes that happen almost every year now.
          So no different in my view from Calif and the wildfires.

    2. BillW

      Of your names I like WPC, PFE, NNN. I agree with af below that CA fires are concerning for EIX. That’s why I don’t hold the SCE trusts(?). With BFS I’m more comfortable holding the PFD (BFS-E).

      Given where the market is, I think purchasing stock-as-bond income is best where one has lots of dry powder to continue to scale into these as they drop. And pick dividend champions, as you don’t want to continue scaling in on an equity and then have the divie cut.

      Another thought if your cash is limited is just pick T, MO (if you’re okay with it), EPD or MMP at their current rate, and don’t look back. You’re getting 7-9%, and let the stock price be a concern of the estate.

      1. WPC is the only common stock I presently own, I am using it more as a preferred stock replacement. It kind of moves around a lot frequently in a days time. So I have day traded it several times. And its a good thing I have as the trading has got my cost basis barely below present price. Without trading, I would be several bucks underwater in total, not counting the dividend. Jan 1, 2013 it was a $67 a share stock, albeit with a 66 quarterly dividend, now its still right around that price with an almost $1.05 quarterly. One can always pick their comparison price point, I get, but its more of a slow dividend growth play than anything.

        1. Same happens with me with EPD. I buy a chunk with the intention to hold for years, but then it rises 8%, and I’m like “why wait the whole yr for the 9% divie, just take the profit now.”
          But then FOMO pops up so I immediately buy a quarter lot, in case it goes up. I scale in as it drops, then it pops 7%, and it’s like “why wait for the divie”? Rinse and repeat as “someone” said.
          I’m a “recovered” FX and minis trader who had to “sober up” in longer-dated senior debt for years to get my life back. So I am not looking to trade: 4-5% makes me very happy. But you hold dozens of these PFDs and quality high-yield equity positions, scan your ‘unrealized gains,’ and you’re up generously in a position – you gotta take it and buy something else. That “something else” in equities is a much smaller group – and I agree WPC is one at the current 6.30% (not a “champ” but a “contender” with 24 yrs – good enough). On the other hand there are dozens of decent holdings in the PFD sector with their sober 0.5 betas.
          It’s a weirdly easy market to make money in – almost makes you feel uneasy. The Fed has a floor under this thing like never before.

      2. Yep have T, EPD, and MMP in the mix. Long term holds for now.

        My common stock portfolio is averaging 4.3% which I’m OK with. Have blue chips like JNJ, PEP, MMM Etc bringing the average down vs the above.

        Lately have been buying REITS in the IRA. WPC among others.

      1. There is merit (no pun intended) in buying the most non ESG companies out there. All they do is make money.

        Every time I see hate directed at a company or industry I look at selling puts. All those nervous holders wanting to get out! Making yourself out to be an insurance company can be profitable.

  10. Hello Fellow Investors…
    I love this site – its’ a breath of fresh air. Thank you!!

    Still, I’m not a trader at heart and don’t really want to manage 20+ stocks or bonds. Nearing retirement and want to get more in the income area, and don’t mind putting some $ away in leverged income CEFs – put away and forget. Any med risks tolerance recommendations? e.g. CGO, JPS, RCS, RFI, etc…Gamestop of course! 🙂
    All the best!

    1. Ricks- Put the Flaherty & Crumrine Preferreds on the list as well. FFC and a few others. I don’t own any now but when I did I liked them over the others in the category. Great long term track record. All are too expensive now but when the market turns these get killed and a great time to buy. As long as you wait to buy and don’t get spooked by the volatility. They can be a good piece of your portfolio. I

      1. I 2nd FFC as long as you wait for a crash to buy. These can drop 20% in the blink of an eye, that being 3 years worth of distributions. Sitting in cash to buy at 20% under present price is not bad.

        PS – FFC dropped 60% in March, so such moves are possible.

        1. Is continuing to hold it when it’s as high as it is now a bad idea after buying in the crash?

        2. I actually own FFC and plan to get more with the next correction. Probably one of the best CEFs in my research, too. Agreed: Everything is pricey right now, and I would not buy more until we get some better prices/NAVs. I bought a lot of NOBL in March – got lucky and did well. Would do it again with a good panic (I love those times).

          Thanks again – helped confirm some of my bet/strategies. Good Luck!

          1. I like FFC and have a marker holding of only 25 shares just to keep it in front of my face to watch for buying opportunities. Monthly payout of just under 7% at current high price is good reason for me to pick up more, its rated 5-Star by Morningstar. Plan to add more when it gets closer to the 3-year prem/disc average.

          2. RickS, you might take a look at BIF it’s got a big tilt to Berkshire Hathaway but has a dividend kicker, also a large discount to nav.

        3. Bob,
          I looked over on SA and read a article on these funds. One comment struck me as interesting, But the person didn’t provide proof
          “they were all able to take advantage of drops in the short-term rate and, by virtue of being private agreements, they are out of scope of the 1940 Act asset coverage rules making them less liable for a chance of deleveraging.” Would appreciate an explanation of this why / how they were able to avoid deleveraging when prices plummeted in March like so many other funds did

          1. FFC does not use preferred or bonds with covenants to fund leverage. The 1940s act states 200% asset coverage required.

            When large drops in price happen to CEF funds the asset coverage ratio goes down. Causing funds to sell at the lows of the market locking in losses.

            1. Micahc, Thank you, I like simple easy to understand. Other CEF’s are leveraged so have to issue more shares or preferred or sell assets to raise cash to bring coverage ratio back in line in time of a crash. FFC doesn’t

  11. Gift from Heaven. Proving once again that it’s infinitely better to be lucky than good, I submit the following tale. B&G Foods, BGS, is a sleepy food processing and distributing company whose management has apparently been involved in some sort of empire building by buying up other companies in related fields. This has left the company with a big pile of debt. Sales and earnings have never been that good until the Covid pandemic hit and, apparently, people started shopping at their supermarket and cooking at home. That caught my attention, and figuring that this trend would last until at least early 2022, I impulsively bought a few hundred shares motivated by what at that time was a juicy 6.7% divi. I did not check what percentage of the shares had been sold short. (I know, I know. Maybe I’m not that conservative an investor). But apparently it was a lot of shares, as this stock has simply exploded upwards in the last 3 trading sessions with absolutely no news. What I paid $27 for I sold today for $43. Maybe I should have waited, might go to $100.

    1. As the Gamestop Reddit kiddies blow up a couple hedge funds, seeing this type of action in a number of stocks. the Hedge Funds that were short GME had to cover and had to sell / unwind other positions to raise capital – hence why the market is down big and stocks that had large short positions are up

      Hence I was able to see a nice jump in one of the dogs I have been holding, SKT as well as in IRM which I have been holding due to the juicy dividend

      Seems the next targets of the reddit crowd are AMC and NOK. I bought a few shares for kicks and giggles (and I do mean a few)

      1. i sold IRM on the reddit pop. i also bought a little AMC just for kicks.
        Frankly i like what the reddits kids are doing. taking out wall street hedge funds. after all the abusive stuff wall street has gotten away with over the years its nice to see it happening to them instead.

        1. i dont recall ever seeing a stock trade over 1B shares outside an IPO.
          AMC is at 1.15B right now

        2. Yeah, I sold most of my SKT and a little IRM on these pops
          Limit orders to sell the rest of SKT and more IRM in case they pop again tomorrow

        3. I sold all of my IRM on the pop. Did not understand the reason for the sudden increase, and am optimistic that I can buy again when the price returns to it’s pre-pop levels.

  12. EPR, closed Friday at $ 37.29 and moved up sharply today on heavy volume.
    I’m guessing hedge funds were the buyers.
    I sold all my shares at 40.80.
    2WR, Here’s another “CUP” formation setting up nicely.

    1. Newman — LOL! Not saying EPR is an example but there’s so much casino type money in the market right now that to me, it’s difficult to feel comfortable in equities…. Yet those betting on red are the ones making the money these days, not me…….. it’s tough to argue with that… So what say you for the trading pattern on GME today??? It looks like the dreaded bed-o-nails pattern to me… lol

      1. Wow, GME is not for moi.
        It reminds me of the .Com days.
        I was tipped ACRS in January 2020 while in Vegas.
        Seems a genius in the family researched it diligently and bought his shares at $1+.
        Me and the Missus bought 3200 shares at 2.24.
        By the Summer of Covid, We were tiring of this nowhere stock. So we sold and broke even to making $ 500 or so.
        Now we hear the genius has sold a bit of it at $16 Just last week.
        And we went huh?
        That’s my story . I am not a Buy and Hold fellow.
        btw, In my taxable acct. I just bought 500 EPR at 39.50 and sold 5 July $40 calls at 7.20.
        Wish me Luck

  13. One might think that when you combine the new physics: what goes up never has to come down as long as the Fed is your backstop….with Modern Monetary policy i.e. you are not bankrupt as long as mass media says you’re not….that investing in equities would be easier. I find its just the opposite.
    I reviewed a number of lists of top global 1000 companies, Fortune 500 companies, Dividend Aristocrats, etc…..and was hard pressed to find 10 companies that I thought would still be in business 20 years from now, even though many of the companies have 50 and 100 year histories.
    So for me the question comes down to whether I want to join a herd that can’t seem to rush off the edge of a cliff fast enough or try to maintain a sane position by just having my eyes open and seeing what I see and ignoring what I’m told to see.
    It’s a difficult choice, its the difference between making money and not making money. Capital preservation and significant losses. I maintain that the 2008 Financial Crises has still not ended, illusions or delusions to the contrary.
    Preferreds and ETFs are my compromise and equities are my gamble. In my perfect world a 5% FDIC insured CD was all I ever needed…..and that world has been totally destroyed and will probably never return….for reasons or in whose interest I still don’t understand

  14. PCF – I don’t see a way to start a comment in the CEF section so I’ll ask here: Does anyone follow PCF and/or have an opinion regarding the rights issue?? the cutoff date = January 22 but with Fidelity, I have to decide by Jan 21… Anyone in this one???? Right now it looks like possibly a good deal to participate but nobody can be quite sure until after the fact just how much the issue itself will lower NAV…

  15. Anyone holding DD and have an opinion on their tender to exchange for Nutrition & Biosciences shares (which will then convert to International Flavors & Fragrance shares? I’m inclined to pass but wondering whether anyone is seeing something compelling in IFF.

  16. RILY – Not that I’m complaining or anything as I do own RILY, but does anyone have an explanation as to why RILY is soaring to 51.50 on a day when it priced 1,228,735 new shares in a secondary at $46??? Usually a secondary leads to a stock temporarily weakening in order to absorb the new supply, but not this time….. Yay!

  17. Many of us are holding “dry powder” to be able to react when the opportunity arises…looking for ideas where to store that powder while we are waiting.
    Open to ideas for relatively safe principal but yielding more than zero.

    1. AP, Besides Cash? The problem is that you are going to have to liquidate in order to re-allocate when stuff is cheaper….probably so will those temporary instruments.
      Traditionally treasuries can be effective (in theory) and they are liquid and good margin security depending on the term.
      Margin used properly and in a disciplined fashion can be effective, but that is the first things brokerages throttle back in a downturn and that should be well understood.
      An open home equity credit line with pre-arranged electronic transfer system to your brokerage set up can be a tool for deployment.
      Selling the labor of your children in the futures market??

    2. Andrew, I’ve used PULS and JPST ultrashort term ETFs in the past. Now yielding ~1.4% and very stable, but they will drop some if the bottom falls out. Just a lot less than common stock.

    3. One thing doable for very short term powder storage is buying called preferreds and baby bonds…. you’re talking about 30 day or less holding periods, but with zero commission trading available you can pretty simply earn 2% or better on an annualized basis on these essentially riskless buys. It’s definitely picking up pennies but when you’re earning 2% annualized with money that would be earning you zippo annualized otherwise, why not… Forget about trying to do this with called bank stocks because they’re always too high, but off names right now provide a safe possibility… they’ll hold value or appreciate ever so slightly toward call and usually are an easy sell without loss should you want your powder wetted, but it’s a timewaster of a trade for any other purpose… An example would be NGHCO which traded today between 25.06 and 25.07. It will be called on Feb 3. @ 25 + accrued which should be approx 25.1093. You do NOT get the 1/15/21 divvy payment however, even at 25.07, that nearly 4¢ you get above cost is about a 2.00% annualized yield, maybe better. Accurate calc is complicated due to trying to compensate for what you DON’T accrue between today’s settlement date today and 1/15 when accrual begins..

    4. Andrew, since we are in the common stock area, i like the prospects of growth and the current yield on AVGO. (I think the yield is 3%+). Have help this a while and it’s had a price run up but i think it’s still in a buy zone.

        1. I would not buy AVGOP…yield is higher than the common, but it is trading above the highest conversion price. The highest number of shares one can receive on mandatory conversion is 3.0303 shares. That means one would receive shares at a cost of 476.52 based on today’s price of 1444 on AVGOP. Note that the current price of AVGO is $443.

  18. Are we all just playing a futile game investing in preferreds these days??? I can’t ever remember a stock market as is being experienced today where percentage gains on so many individual stocks can be in double digits without any new buyers batting an eye about a concern for valuation… It’s really extraordinary…… It made me do a dumb little calculation…. On a lark, I bot $3500 worth of a new battery maker, EOSE, on November 24. Based on where EOSE stands right now, I would have to have invested $51,250 in 2050 shares of a $25 baby bond yielding 5.5% and held collected a year’s worth of dividends to equal that gain…. Yeah, I get it the gain on EOSE could very well turn out to be illusionary and yes my 2050 shares could maybe have appreciated oh say 5% as well as pay interest, but still, isn’t this a crazy world right now??? The Efficient Market Hypothesis for the stock market seems like such a quaint concept today.. [] I suppose there’s nothing terribly meaningful about this post. I’m just voicing amazement at today’s markets.

    1. Sorry – meant to say “where percentage [DAILY] gains on so many individual stocks can be in double digits”

    2. 2WR, it does seem to be difficult to justify stock prices now and for the past year or more. If inflation gets its legs under itself later this year and/or the FED gets cold feet about pumping money into the economy nonstop there could be a reckoning that is painful indeed.

    3. 2wr: We can very effectively turn into an economy based on trading! When the is no risk, there are no losers!
      In the words of the investment guru/prophet: Merle Haggard, “drinkin that green bubble up and eatin that rainbow stew…”

    4. First, I would say I have different objectives for my preferred portfolios than for equity MFs and ETFs. The primary purpose for me as a “buy and hold” preferred investor is income flow rather than price appreciation.

      That said, my preferreds in the aggregate are up 30% over cost of purchase, lowering the yield on original investment of 7.43% to a current yield on market value of 5.68%. I have no expectation of further price appreciation, in fact the opposite. But, who knows?

    5. You just need to know what Musk will tweet next, I’ve never shorted a stock but the Signal story sure makes me wish I knew how.

  19. CUBI – Has anyone found a way to find out what to expect regarding when CUBI shareholders should receive shares of BMTX from the divestiture? Given it was completed in Jan 4 I would have thought that the new shares should have shown up in my accounts by now, but calls to TDA and Fidelity Corp Actions have so far been met with blank stares as no one seems to know anything….. CUBI IR is between IR directors so that doesn’t seem to be a helpful avenue either, though the Director of Marketing has been very helpful in attempting to find out more.. So far, though, he too has no answers…

      1. EarlyB – that link would only show up on your own computer I think… In any event I just got this from Director of Communications and Marketing : shareholders will be receiving a letter from Jay Sidhu by email that has lots of details (attached).  I can also tell you that the website IR page will soon have that letter with these bullet points:

        BankMobile – Special Distribution

        Customers Bancorp closed its divestiture of BankMobile on January 4, 2021.  Holders of CUBI common stock will share an aggregate of 4,876,387 shares of BM Technologies, Inc (“BMT”) common stock. Each holder of CUBI common stock is entitled to receive 0.15389 shares of BMT common stock for each share of Customers common stock held as of the close of business on the Record Date of December 18, 2020. BMT shares are being issued to eligible Customers shareholders exclusively in book entry form by BMT’s transfer agent, Continental Stock Transfer and Trust Company until the transfer restrictions have been lifted or expire pursuant to their terms. Shareholders will receive a statement from Continental that evidences the issuance of the special distribution of BMT stock.The BMT shares received by Customers shareholders are subject to certain transfer restrictions and are not immediately tradeable. The shares are subject to a lock-up period beginning on the January 6 and continuing as described in the letter to shareholders from Customers Bancorp Chair Jay Sidhu. Other important details are also contained in this letter. If you have any questions regarding your BMT shares, you can contact Continental Shareholder Services at 800-509-5586 or via email at

    1. Doesn’t really answer your question but my shares of MFAC at Vanguard did turn into BMTX on schedule.

      1. No, it doesn’t, Bob but interesting none the less…. So what do you figure accounts for the price drop these past 2 days? I’m not even sure what my cost basis is going to be but best I could figure it’s supposed to have been around 10.38 coming from the CUBI side… Do you know yours???? Is the selling in your opinion just fast money locking in and moving on?

        1. no idea actually. i look at this as having 10-bagger potential and it will take years to unfold. there aren’t many pure play fintechs that i would touch but i’ll give this one a shot.

          1. I’ve been trying to figure out what Bank Mobile does that makes it appealing. I’m sure I’m not the target customer since banking seems so simple to me and can’t imagine what Bank Mobile could offer me that is better. If they truly have over a million customers they are doing something right even if I don’t understand it.

            1. BMTX is not for you, or for me, but the kids are going for it in a big way. It’s online only, like the rest of their lives, and they focus on customer acquisition at the college level. The aim to do full service financial services all on your phone. None of it is rocket science but if they can establish a leadership position quickly enough they will crowd out competition.

              1. I really doubt BankMobile is going to establish any leadership position. Tons of banks already offer mobile banking apps. BankMobile is no different than those. And kids regularly use platforms like Venmo, CashApp, etc.

                My 27 year old daughter after graduating from college took a job out of state. She has now been working 6 + years now. She has not set foot in a bank all that time. She uses the app from her bank account that she had in college. She rarely uses ATMs. Paychecks get direct deposited. Money she makes free lancing transferred via Venmo. The rare check she gets she deposits online via her bank’s phone app. She uses a credit card for purchases and has it paid automatically from her bank account. When she had roommates, they would transfer funds to each other via Venmo or cashapp for their share of rent, utilities, etc. I think in 6+ years she has written 3 whole checks. Yes, just 3. So yes, younger adults live online on their phones today. But BankMobile has far from first mover advantage. they are just another option in a sea of existing ones

                1. Mav – that is certainly one side of the debate. The other is that a bank with an online only focus, aimed squarely at kids just entering the financial world for the first time, can leapfrog the others. Jeff Bezos was hardly the first person to have the idea of selling remaindered books (online or not) but his execution certainly was better. Microsoft wasn’t the first company out with a small computer operating system (they actually bought DOS from another company) but they made a greater commercial success of it. Many other examples.

                  I don’t invest in may individual equities often but I threw a few (thousand) bucks at this to see if the team could make something of it.

                  1. Bob – I just don’t see what advantage BankMobile has. I looked at their app, it does the same thing my daughters small credit union app does or my bigger bank app does. As to online only – I have funds at Ally Bank and their app actually does more than BankMobile. So not sure one can say Bankmobiles tech is better or going to leapfrog the competition.

                    As far as first mover advantage, that ship long ago sailed. So I just don’t see the advantage BankMobile has.

                    Anyway, good luck with it but I personally would not count on it becoming the next big thing

                    1. Mav – Though my expectations are not over the top on BankMobile, I think one point you may be overlooking is that most likely, even your now 33 year old daughter may not be BM’s primary target and, if that’s the case, then the idea that the “first mover advantage” has already sailed could be wrong and will in a way always never sail because I believe BM’s target is essentially first time openers of bank accounts always…. They’ve established proprietary relationships with something like 725 colleges so far with an eye toward becoming the first bank new incoming college frosh consider having with the assumption being that if they can get ’em when they’re beginning their first banking relationship, they’ll have a high percentage of sticky account relationships that will stay with them forever…. So as long as colleges have incoming freshmen every year, BM is trying to position themselves to possibly always be perceived by their target audience’s “first movers.” Throw in their newly established positioning with Google Pay, and it looks like they’re heading in the right direction… But then again what the heck do I know?? I had to look up Venmo just to see what you were talking about…. lol

                    2. 2WR – I do understand their marketing strategy. And yes, on one level, it makes sense to target college freshman and hope they stick. But think about this. How many college freshman are there that don’t have an existing bank account.

                      I think you can break these freshman down into a few categories. Those who already have an account, those who don’t but have no job / income, those who don’t but work a part time job in college. So really the target audience is that last group.

                      I believe you will find a number of students who go off to college have an account already – either to hold funds they earned from working a summer or two in high school, set up by their parents , etc. I mean, how many kids go off to college with no spending money to their name? Or no easy way for their parents to deposit money if they need it?

                      But let’s assume there are some – well if they don’t work in college, why would they need an account? They have no funds and no funds incoming.

                      So now you are down to that last group who have no account but get a job in college to earn some money. I just personally don’t think the numbers are that big. I could be wrong of course, but just my sense.

                      Just my 2 cents from my work experience. Good luck with it

                      PS – just a correction on what you wrote and sorry if what I previously wrote may have mislead you – my daughter is currently 27. She graduated at 21 and has worked for 6 years

                    3. Mav – You know, in the back of my head I was thinking I should probably reread more carefully what you wrote before coming up with that 33 number, but I took the lazy writer’s way out and just winged it.. Sorry ’bout that… I do think that their target audience is broader than how you define it, but still, I also think it’s not a wide moat competitive advantage that they have and the key to success will have to be execute, execute, execute…. Given my initial exposure will be based on such a very small percentage of my already small amount of CUBI common, I suppose my exposure might equate to merely a freezer full of future steak dinners. This will be more of an adventure into de “youts” banking behavior these days as Cousin Vinnie might say than anything else.. Those days are so far behind me I don’t even remember whether I had an existing account heading into freshman year or not, despite having had summer jobs throughout high school and probably even prior. I do remember feeling uncomfortable with money in those early years so the door would have been open to any entity looking to coddle my wallet..

                    4. 2WR – No problem. And yes, if one can figure out in advance what “De youts” next big thing is, one can profit from it.

                      As Vinny would say – Oh you like grits? I like grits too, how do you like your grits? Regular, creamy or al dente?

  20. I have not been looking that hard, but I like Enbridge stock for 2021. Already an ~8% dividend on the common, and the dividend could go up quite a bit once Line 3 replacement construction is completed.

    Not finding much I like for Preferreds right now. NSARO is my only preferred holding.

    1. I have been in ENB off and on over the years – currently in and added a nice block recently (~31.75) to my holdings. Nice holding, great dividend (reasonably safe), and good prospects.

      1. Jake, Tim and Proto above,
        I third…or fourth… the motion. Can go naked, but I am using puts and call with them too, but not necessary. Good volume and bid/ask.

  21. Anybody follow CNFR?? I can’t see any reason why the price has doubled in AH. I’ve followed it for a couple of years, owned CNFRL for a while and to date have seen no signs of a turnaround or any other reason to get back involved, so what’s caused this spike? Somebody knows something because it’s on large volume as well.. Maybe it’s just because Robinhood’s run out of $2.50 stocks to play with..

    1. 2WR–saw that pop this morning–can’t find any news anywhere. I learned my lesson on these small insurers with Atlas Financial–they are all pretty dangerous.

      1. Amen, Tim… I had followed Atlas as well, but fortunately never bot in… as mentioned, no visible signs of actionable turnaround in CNFR in the past 2 years imho. Still the volume’s crazy on the day but the whole event seems to be based on absolutely no news….. perhaps just another example of capability to get momo players in today’s market to glom on to anything without knowing nothing……. And who can blame them? They’re winning for now….

      2. Need some advice on a loser of mine. “Freeport” FCX have held since 2013 in a retirement account. Paid a nice 4% dividend at time of purchase, actually picked off a special dividend to boot. Management took a mining company $20 billion in debt with poorly timed bet on energy and suspended dividend. I’ve road this dog for years, with miracle rebound plus another 7% today, now about $500 from break even. If not qualified money? surely someone has had a similar problem? any comment helpful.

        1. Mike – Have you ever heard the Wall St cliche, “The market doesn’t care what price you paid?” I think it’s one to always keep in the back of the head because we all probably have the same tendency to think emotionally and possibly do what you seem to be describing where your buy/sell decision is based more on original cost, no matter how old and out of date that cost basis info may be, than considering today’s prospects for the stock in question…. Here’s one short article that sums this concept up – There are probably even better articles out there but the conclusion made is, “ask yourself: would I buy this stock today at the current price? If your answer is no, then it is likely that you are making an emotional investment [or emotional decision to hold]….”

          1. 2whiteroses, agree. I remember when Nomadicmist posted “If I didn’t own this stock today would I still buy it now”? I keep that on a post-it note next to my computer. I need that reminder to counter my emotional leanings. Sometimes it’s hard letting go and moving on.

        2. Mike, You have ridden through the commodity bottom. It can be grueling! These are notoriously long, multi-year and frustrating. It’s a throw in the towel challenge…I hear ya.
          My take is that now the multi-year bottom has been placed, oil, ag, metals, and the first move up is not to be believed…AGAIN. I see this as the first wave back up, there will be sellers here, then a sustained, higher low which will create a verification for the real trend move up. It could take a while since commodities move slow.
          The other good news is that these businesses and tough-ass managers have LONG experience managing these commodity cycles and have wrung out their balance sheets so now, small increases in their commodity pricing can really flow right down to their bottom lines and hence share price. Corn, Copper, Silver, Oil, even NGas.
          As an indicator: Basic commodities are at a very low percentage of overall market cap and when they begin to reassert, many institutions will jump in too. I am a holder and overweight commodity companies (using options too) and preferreds in my portfolio. In answer to 2wr above, yes I would buy here.

          1. thanks joel & 2wr, Just saw on cnbc half time’s Pete Najarian just bought Feb. $29 call options on FCX I’m not an option expert or trader, but I’d say he also likes Freeports chances. Thanks again Mike

  22. Does anyone else here follow CASS? It looks kind of appealing at it’s current price. I own some but was considering adding.

  23. Has anyone investigated the much hyped electric battery automotive and lidar autonomous driving fields? I’m looking at Quantumscape (QS) for their solid state EV battery development and two lidar tech companies, Luminar (LAZR) and Velodyne (VLDR). All three common stocks are on a tear, plus they have warrants available, QS.WS, LAZRW, and VLDRW respectively. Any thoughts?

    1. mikeo – wished you had mentioned QS in early November before it increased 1000%! 12.93 beginning of Nov to 119 today.

      1. danzeb, yes it would have been great to be onboard QS 6 weeks ago! When I got edu-ma-cated last Friday I pulled out the double edged leverage sword and bought a few QS.WS warrants and am up about 75%.

  24. 180Degree Capital Corp. [TURN] announces a 1 for 3 reverse stock split and possible $2.5 mil buyback
    TURN is a tiny (pun intended given stock symbol used to be TINY] registered closed end fund that I only mention because The CEO’s letter to shareholders is such a refreshing read. I own it but mention it more as commentary on a CEO’s candor.

    Fellow 180 Shareholders,

    I now know what it is like to live the life of a dog; in that every dog year lived is equivalent to seven years lived for human beings. 2020 has definitely felt like more than one year; it has actually felt like a decade. This year has been a trying one for many as a global pandemic claimed over 320,000 lives in the United States. To put that into horrific perspective, that is the equivalent of having a 9/11 terrorist attack, where over 3,000 lives were lost, every day for 107 straight days. I sympathize with anyone, who, because of the pandemic, has had to endure a loss of a loved one. I equally sympathize with those that suffered from economic hardship as a result of the fallout from the events of this year. For those that have sought to minimize the effects of the pandemic, I question their sanity, their belief in facts and science, and their overall motives. Thankfully, vaccines are here and are being distributed. We are now near the end of what has been a year to forget as far as I’m concerned. Over the years, I have had so many wonderful conversations with 180 shareholders and I truly hope all of our shareholders are safe and well.

    As we exit the year, we are going to be instituting two actions for 180 shareholders. First, effective January 4, 2021, we will be initiating a 1-for-3 reverse stock split. Second, we will begin share repurchases under our $2.5 million stock buyback program, particularly in the event that our share price responds in the opposite way to what is intended by this announcement of the reverse stock split. I think almost everyone who has followed us over the last four years knows that we are fully transparent with all that we are doing in our effort to create value for our shareholders. As such, we wanted to discuss each of these steps in more detail with you.

    First things first, the reverse stock split. By definition, a stock price split has no inherent effect on a company’s enterprise value. The market capitalization of 180 after the split should have exactly the same value as it does before the split. If I was cooking and the recipe called for a stick of butter, would it make a difference if I added a whole stick or two halves? No. You would have exactly the same amount of butter. But in the three-dimensional psychological analysis world of stock splits, to some, reverse stock splits are perceived to be a “bad” thing, while the popular 2-for-1 (or whatever the ratio is) stock splits are perceived to be a “good” thing. It is true that some reverse stock splits are enacted from low quality companies whose price per share is below $1. These companies face delisting from stock exchanges that have minimum share price rules. Well, that’s obviously not 180. As of the close of business December 18, 2020, we have grown our cash and securities of publicly traded companies to nearly $58 million or $1.86/share. That is up from $17 million net of outstanding debt, or $0.55/share, in mid-2016. Over our history we have carved out a name for ourselves for our unique strategy in the asset class we invest in. 180 has a remade balance sheet, a healthy business model, and hopefully you agree, both a short and long term shareholder friendly view of value creation. We have heard from a number of shareholders that a higher priced stock would attract more attention from both the institutional and retail world of investors. Many institutions require a company’s stock price to be above $3/share, or even $5/share before they even consider investing in the company. Many of our shareholders have asked us to do the reverse stock split to make us more attractive to a more diverse set of shareholders. That is it. There is nothing more complicated about why we sought and obtained shareholder approval for the reverse stock split at our 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. There is no bad news here and there is no ulterior motive! As a matter of fact, while there are still a couple weeks left in the year, we currently believe we will grow our net asset value per share (“NAV”) once again in Q4 2020.

    Now, for those that maintain some sort of negative view on a reverse stock split, while I will never agree with your view based on math, I do not live under a rock as it relates to understanding the perception issue related to them. Should unexpected weaknesses arise, we will use the opportunity to repurchase our stock under our Board-authorized $2.5 million share repurchase program. Since our shareholder call in November, we have continued to grow our net asset value through our public investment strategy. While there are still a couple weeks left in 2020, we currently estimate that our NAV will be back above $3.00 by December 31, 2020. Within this estimated NAV, cash and securities of publicly traded companies account for approximately $1.86/share, or approximately $58 million, as of December 18, 2020. This amount of cash and securities of publicly traded companies does not include the carried interest on our separately managed account that we currently estimate will be more than $2 million. Our closing stock price as of December 18, 2020, was $1.91, which suggests investors are ascribing virtually zero value to our private portfolio holdings. To be blunt, I find our public market valuation to be absurd. I have consistently stated that over the last year as our management team has personally reached into our pockets and bought TURN in the open market. Today’s accretive share repurchase is the next step towards the goal of creating value for our shareholders.

    This repurchase says nothing about our belief in our ability to create value from our strategy. This has everything to do with our own stock price. This management team has bought over 5% of the Company with its own after-tax dollars in the last four years. We have completely transformed our business with competitive public market stock picking performance. We have grown our cash and securities of publicly traded companies by over $40 million since I joined 180’s Board. Our NAV is currently expected to climb to above $3.00 by year end. And for all that, the market believes our business is worth $1.91? We do not. As such, we will be aggressive in our share repurchases.

    If anyone wants to discuss any of these announcements, you know where to find us and I will look forward to that call. On behalf of all of 180, I hope everyone has a happy holiday season, and we look forward to talking to you in 2021.

    Best Regards,

    Kevin M. Rendino
    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

  25. ORI declared a $1.00 per share special dividend. x-div Jan 4. This is one of my larger common stock holdings. Solid, old line company with a very good track record, 4.5% dividend, and some upside potential on the stock price.

    1. Nice. I have owned ORI for many years. Nice to see yet another special dividend from them.

  26. COST: Costco opened its 800th warehouse today. Five more warehouse openings are slated by the end of November. Revenues are running +10% year/year. Like many, their online sales have exploded this year. They are currently sitting on $12 billion in cash and talk of a special dividend in the spring is swirling.

    1. This afternoon Costco announced a special dividend of $10 per share to be paid next month!

    2. COST is certainly interesting. The strange thing to me is that Buffet exited his entire holding of COST. Since he’s smarter than me, that gives me pause…

  27. CUBI – I know some here follow CUBI – any opinion on shareholders now to be directly receiving shares of BankMobile upon the spinoff before the end of the year? I note a 1 year lockup on the shares which is not thrilling, but I look forward to receiving shares of BM Technologies [BMTX], which will be the corporate name of BankMobile once the shares are distributed:

    As previously disclosed, on August 6, 2020, Megalith Financial Acquisition Corp., a Delaware corporation (“Megalith”), MFAC Merger Sub Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation and (“Merger Sub”) a wholly-owned subsidiary of Megalith, BankMobile Technologies, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation (“BankMobile”) and Customers Bank, a Pennsylvania state chartered bank and the sole shareholder of BankMobile (the “Bank”), entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Original Merger Agreement”). On November 2, 2020, Megalith, Merger Sub, BankMobile, the Bank and Customers Bancorp, Inc., the sole shareholder of the Bank (“Customers Bancorp”), entered into a First Amendment to Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “First Amendment;” and, the Original Merger Agreement, as amended by the First Amendment, the “Merger Agreement”). Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, at the closing of the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement (the “Closing”), BankMobile will merge with and into Merger Sub (the “Merger”), with Merger Sub continuing as the surviving corporation.

    The Original Merger Agreement provided that a portion of the consideration payable to the Bank in the proposed Merger was to be paid in shares (the “Merger Consideration Shares”) of Megalith’s Class A common stock to the Bank. Pursuant to the First Amendment, the Original Merger Agreement was amended to provide that (i) Customers Bancorp would become a party to the Merger Agreement, (ii) the Merger Consideration Shares will now be issued directly to the stockholders of Customers Bancorp instead of to the Bank and (iii) Customers Bancorp may at its discretion, upon written notice to Megalith, redirect or reallocate the distribution of the Merger Consideration Shares at any time prior to the Closing to other parties.

    Additionally, the Original Merger Agreement was amended to provide that, subject to certain exceptions, there will be restrictions on the sale or transfer of the Merger Consideration Shares for a period of twelve months after the Closing, rather than for a period of 180 days after the Closing as contemplated by the Lock-Up Agreement attached to the Original Merger Agreement.

  28. Sold GAB, The Gabelli Equity fund today.
    its trading at almost a 9% premium to NAV compared to its 5 and 10 year average of close to zero. plus with its policy of paying out 10% of NAV as dividends per year and a current NAV of 5.24 i expect next years payout to be closer to .50.

  29. I’m sure a number of us are also interested in common stocks that provide decent dividends. I’ve owned AT&T (T) for a while, and with a 7.5% dividend, I’ve found it quite attractive. Sure, the share price is down after Covid, but before then it had been doing quite well. Frankly, at 7.5%, I don’t care too much about the share price (as long as it doesn’t drop dramatically). I’m trying to think if I’m missing something on this one, but it sure looks like a decent candidate for an income investor.

    1. AT&T is trading close to 10 year lows, so the downside risk for share price is minimal (imo). Dividend increases over the past decade have kept pace with inflation. AT&T has lots of cash flow, and the low interest rate environment make its massive pile of debt look less ominous. I’ve always maintained a core position in T but add to or subtract from that position depending on share price…currently adding.

      1. be care full guys, the old southern bell “SBC “, before the formation of current “T” had a big dividend in 2002, which was cut in half, the total return since that episode without reinvesting dividends, is like 1.9% for 18 years. If your in it now with a good cost OK, but starting a new position here leaves a taste in my mouth. debt & Hat size dividends are always a red flags.

        1. Meh…there is much more risk in the REIT space right now than there is with AT&T at these levels. I’m willing to put AT&T up against any REIT on your recent list of recommendations for total return over the next 3-6 months. Want to make a friendly wager on it Mike?

          1. Citadel West, your may be right about a 3-6 month time frame, which is irrelevant to me. I was only only speaking from experience in ’02 on old SBC I don’t recall posting any recommendation list of reits. I have commented on holding STOR and WPC and a couple PSA preferreds, and asked for an opinion of STAG, if that constitutes a recommendation, so be it. As far as exposure in the telecom sector, its Verizon & Telus up north. Better watch what I comment on in the future, if this is a betting “site”?

            1. I happen to think REITS are a terrible investment right now Mike, and I’m sure if we look back 20 years or so we can find a couple of “red flags” on both STOR and WPC. The difference I guess is that I don’t feel compelled to show up in REIT Chat to pour cold water on folks when they’re talking their book there. Since you don’t want to make a friendly wager, then maybe you’ll take some friendly advice.

              1. Citadel West, what’s a good invest investment now ? everything is overpriced including preferred’s, and reits have been hammered. How did I ” pour cold water”: on any bodies book? I’ll now keep my opinions to my self, read the good information, and dismiss the “vomit”.

              2. Get real – giving a differing opinion is not pouring cold water on anyone’s book. It’s a discussion forum, everyone will have different opinions. Learn from them rather than attacking someone who has a different opinion than you do

                And FWIW, I have owned T as well as a host of REITs for some time. My most recent buys from that group have been in REITS because they have been beaten down and I see the potential for more long term upside there in the right REITS. T is nice for the dividend but it has been range bound for years

                1. Agree with you Maverick. I own T but have not added to it in years. I think my cost basis is around 31 or so.
                  Recently, I have bought a significant position in FRT and small amounts of MNR and UBA on dips. More upside in them than T IMHO with a decent dividend while we wait.

                  1. Thanks Bill. I too have added some FRT. And I believe I mentioned recently I like a few of the Apartment Reits (AVB & CPT are my 2 favorites) as I see them undervalued now – and am willing to take a reasonable dividend while I wait

                2. Since when is offering to make a friendly wager with someone over a difference of opinion considered to be attack? Mike is clearly traumatized over the prospect of “betting” but that doesn’t mean I attacked him.

                  Anywhoo…my offer stands, your top REIT against AT&T, for % total return over the next 3 months. We’ll use this Friday’s close as the starting point, and you can sell your position and go to cash at any point along the way.

                  Any takers?

                  1. First off Citadel, all Mike did was give his opinion on T based on his past history with old Southern Bell. He never mentioned any REIT at all – you brought it up and challenged him to a wager. Mike declined because for him, just like for me, 3 to 6 months is irrelevant. Except for some planned flips of new issues, I typically invest for the long term – not 3 months. Seems Mike does the same

                    Second, you then told Mike “The difference I guess is that I don’t feel compelled to show up in REIT Chat to pour cold water on folks when they’re talking their book there. ” Then you followed that up with “Mike is clearly traumatized over the prospect of “betting” but that doesn’t mean I attacked him. ”

                    What the hell? Seems to me Mike simply gave his opinion on a stock and just because it was opposite of yours, you attack him for it for no reason and continue to do so.

                    And no, I want no part of your silly wager either. I do not invest for 3 months out

                    1. To all who commented and also “TIM”, Thanks for the support, I never intended and never will intentionally offend anyone. I’m learning where I can have a discussion and who to avoid. I certainly don’t want to taint this valuable resource.

                    2. mike–sorry if you had a bad experience, but you are right that some conversation is more accepted than others. I don’t think many folks intend to offend here–although it happens and I am of the thought that the ‘more the merrier’.

                    3. Go back and read my original comment about AT&T and you’ll see that I covered the debt issue as well as the historical trends in share price. There is absolutely no need to go back 20 years for “red flags”, unless the object is to throw dirt on the subject. In fact at least one of the REITS that Mike prefers to invest in doesn’t even have a 20 year track record to look at…go figure.

                      If you’re unwilling to back up your “opinion” with a wager that’s fine, but
                      don’t presume to lecture me about it… your crew doesn’t hold any exclusive franchise on profitable income investing, in fact far from it.

                  2. Maybe Warren Buffet, will take you up, Berkshire recently doubled down its stake in that newcomer STOR your referred to: I’ve heard he plays cards with Bill Gates you’ll have to ask him if he bets? good bye and good luck

                    1. Buffet and Gates play bridge. They have played competitively in-person and also play online at Gates is a part owner of bbo.

                    2. Citadel – Damn, I have a crew now – who knew. Can you please let me know who they are, I need to add them to my Christmas Card list.

                      As to T and REITS, you really are missing the point. As I said I have owned T for many years and I have owned various REITS for some time as well. There is a place for both in my portfolio. But I would not be putting my new money into T right now. And who cares if one of the REITS Mike likes hasn’t been around for more than 20 years? Are you saying a newer company can not offer a compelling investment?

          2. citadel west, just cleaning up some “old” business from your bet offer of last month. AT&T has done well along with the market. That newcomer “STOR” you beat up, in the “reit’ space has rallied 19.2% since you offered to bet for whatever reason. Not pouring cold water on anybody here. Both have a way to go past 3-6 months.

      2. Dave and CW

        I’m an Old Telephone Guy who is a retiree of an AT&T subsidiary (Avaya). My telecom common stock exposure is with LUMN and I suggest you give it a look in lieu of T.

        LUMN is a the old US West and a roll-up of major fiber plays and many rural telcos. The new CEO has been successful paying down the sizable debt with the free cash flow and I think (eventually) the stock price will rise significantly. The current yield is ~10%.

  30. Anyone have an idea on why PCG surged this week? I had been trading in and out of it for fun but it soared this week and I can’t find anything as to why.

    By the way, have they paid out the cumulative dividends on those preferreds yet?

  31. CUBI – I don’t profess to be a good stock analyst but it sure seems to be amazing just how hated all bank stocks seem to be today, no matter what news they announce… CUBI confirmed once again today that their target EPS for 2020 is $3/share, just as they have projected all year long and yet the stock is down on the day @ around $12/share or 4 P/E…. I guess banks are never getting out of the doghouse until “lower for longer” goes out of style.

  32. Sachem Capital (SACH) is breaking out big to the upside with volume, up 13% so far on the day. No news reported, so this might be a technical move based on the 50dma crossing above the 200dma. Good for all long positions, especially if there is some follow through next week.

    1. Decent follow through for Sachem Capital (SACH) today, currently up 5.00% on approximately 3x normal volume. This stock currently yields ~12.50% and goes ex-div at the end of October.

  33. The PBCT has very strong support at 10.5, I started to build a position in this dividend aristocrat.
    At least their 6.8% divies looks good for these times.

  34. Warning – the market is very dangerous right now. The same negative divergences are happening now that happened in ‘07, ‘11, ‘15, ‘18, ‘20 right before big corrections. A/D line, stocks above 50 dma., Vix, vxn, are not confirming new highs. Not to mention that QQQ is 25% above its 200 dma. We have only seen a higher number 2 times and they both ended badly. Reversion to the mean can be a bitch. At least take some profits and sell the weak stocks. Hope this warning saves you some cash. Capital preservation, ATB.

    1. Thanks Tim…yes your warning was very helpful. It gave me more confidence in trimming some stinkers and winners.

  35. Someone is long EVRG? It looks like it found it’s bottom at 50 and from there consolidation begins.
    Probably, I will start to slowly build a position there so that no one say that I am a permabear ))))

  36. Thinking about starting to pick up Dow’s Fallen Angels PFE, RTX and XOM. Not sure about the XOM, there is a lot of risks in the Energy sector.

    1. Yurly – Do you happen to know anything about ANGL, VanEck Vectors Fallen Angel High Yield Bond ETF?? I just saw an ad for it today and thought it might be worth investigating… Is this out of place for Common Stock Chat?

      1. I follow this index but have never bought ETF. I believe there is too much garbage there, e.g. such as CBL or X
        Now there is a great demand for Junk at the market and these funds (ANGL, JNK, HYG etc.) are trading high, but sooner or later many companies from their portfolios will go bankrupt and investors will write down their losses.
        Too much risk for the 5% yield IMO.

    2. Yuriy: saw you posted in “canadian discussion” thought you might have an opinion on a canadian fallen angel Suncor SU “buffett” increased position ?
      In roth, no withholding of dividends. Saw some buy ratings and price targets, thanks anyone else for input, maybe “canuck buck”

      1. Of the Canadian commons I’m currently long only on the NTR.
        SU is a “buy” just because is a WB backed, but personally I prefer not to buy loss-making companies. Especially from the energy sector. I own some HSE but only their prefs.

      2. Mike, I’ll chirp in here as a follower of many Canadians. Do a deep look at these two royalty streamers which do have OTC symbols as well: FRHLF and PREKF. Of course they are available TSX. Another outlier is IPPLF. I bot into all three and now is a good entry point in my reckoning.
        I have followed them for years and the presentation they have on their sites tell their real story and diligence on management through every up and down cycle. Even if you want to just understand another business model. Freehold pays monthly. The other two used to pay monthly, but quar.
        With these streamers you are an OWNER and just let the hardened management do their jobs. They move the div up and down as a target percentage of free cash flow. If divys go down with the cycle then buy when they are low like now. Say it again, “like at these current prices!”
        These are tough survivors and the two royalty streamers have NO debt, own NO infrastructure or hold no liability, plugged into delivery systems. Core holdings for me esp at this price. Good ‘oily’ holdings in lieu of companies with massive debt and liability issues.
        Oh yeah, SU is proven tough SOBs too!
        Happy hunting! JA

        1. joel thanks for the leads. I have several Canadians in my roth as foriegn exposure, BIP, BAM, EMB, NTR, BNS, TU. more comfortable up north than europe or far east, I’ll checkout tax treatment of your ideas plus canadian prefferreds. thanks again!

  37. Today I bought two regional banks – PEBO and ASB both paying in the 5-6% range on common dividend. I think there is probably more upside here than in the preferred space at the moment.

  38. I just noticed that a call option that I previously sold on OXY (and many other call and put options) have now been reclassified as “non-standard” options. Does anybody know why and what is the effect. Could it have had anything to do with their junk bond offering? Any info or suggestion as to where to look would be appreciated.

    1. they distributed warrants, so you have to deliver those as well hence non standard. see recent press releases

  39. PG&E (PCG) started trading. Seems like they gave away the company on IPO, which is usually the case. In my experience, these are great buys once they come out of bankruptcy. The investment banks under price it so they get to buy all they want to make up for their losses. Even M* commented how low it was. Food for thought.

  40. I opened a small position in AT&T this morning, with an eye on the ex-dividend date upcoming in several weeks. The current yield on T is around 6.85% which is reasonable in this environment. This is a tough market to forecast, but my expectation is that AT&T has the cash flow needed to maintain its dividend. I fully expect another ‘risk-off’ correction as second quarter earnings are reported, so there may be opportunities to add to this position over the summer.

    1. I’ve been considering T for some time now, attracted (as usual) by the yield. The company is working on reducing the mountain of debt they piled up in their shopping spree and to that end they may have to resort to some asset sales. But the best thing that could happen is for the CEO to finally leave and allow a more conservative manager to come in and tackle that debt. I also believe there will be more opportunities to add to a starter position later in the year.

      1. AT&T you have to go in knowing the next 10yrs the stock will stay flat to go down. If you reinvest all dividends this will cause a great opportunity for wealth creation.

        Once the business leverage is reduced growth will return and price appreciation will restart.

        Essentially businesses like this for most investors are non-investable due to the long timeline involved.

  41. Recently been on the look out for quality CEF funds using data from the recent crash.

    Screened for positive 3/5yr NAV trend which eliminated 80% of funds. 100% coverage of distribution. and 80% investment grade or higher.

    Truly wanted unleveraged funds to avoid messy deleveraging when markets go irrational. Only found 2 so I started to review leveraged candidates as well. Municipals seem to be the goto asset class for this type of screen.

    Which makes me wonder when states are asking for debt bailouts.

    Target Date:
    (Muni) BTT – BlackRock Municipal 2030 Target Term (Leverage Y) Current Distribution: 3.16%

    (Muni) MTT – Western Asset Muni Defin Opp Tr Inc (Leverage N) Current Distribution: 3.63%
    (Muni) NXR – Nuveen Select Tax Free Inc (Leverage N) Current Distribution: 3.32%

    (Muni) BBN – BlackRock Taxable Municipal Bond Trust (Leverage Y) Current Distribution: 5.62%
    (Muni) EIM – Eaton Vance Municipal Bond (Leverage Y) Current Distribution: 4.65%
    (Muni) DTF – DTF Tax Free Income (Leverage Y) Current Distribution: 3.38%
    (Muni) MQY – BlackRock Muniyield Quality (Leverage Y) Current Distribution: 4.36%
    (Muni) BYM – BlackRock Muni Inc Qty Trust (Leverage Y) Current Distribution: 4.24%
    (Muni) DMF – BNY Mellon Municipal Income(Leverage Y) Current Distribution: 4.19%
    (Muni) BAF – BlackRock Muni Inc Inv Qty Tr (Leverage Y) Current Distribution: 4.56%
    (Muni) PMO – Putnam Muni Opportunities(Leverage Y) Current Distribution: 5.02%

    1. BBN is a different breed of Muni bond fund, a CEF holding taxable municipals and Build America Bonds, which is why it’s yield is higher than the others.

  42. Looking at some of Nomad’s old comments and saw that on Friday another of Rita Moron picks bit the dust. ATAX cuts its dividend 52%
    Also they paid off their debt with Deutsche bank and terminated their relationship and opened new debt financing with lender Mizuho Capitol. Like taking one credit card to pay off another.

  43. Some commons that are well down from pre-virus highs, have a noteworthy dividend, and seem like recovery candidates. Which of these should be avoided? I already own one, but a couple others look pretty tempting…

    Discover DFS 4.3%
    FedEx FDX 2.2%
    IBM 5.5%
    JP Morgan-Chase JPM 4.0%
    Coca-Cola KO 3.6%
    Wells Fargo WFC 8.3% (I’m not confident this can stay this way for long)

    1. Recently added to my positions in DFS and TD, BNS. More confident in Canadian banks loss provisions.

      Tempting picks:
      Adp 2.55% or payx 3.68%
      Gd 3% or rtx 4.46%
      Eqr 3.98% psb 3.45%

      Avoid wfc, jpm as jpm has already indicated dividend will be suspended or cut in last conference call. If jpm cuts will cause domino effect.

      IBM is unable to return to growth seems they are in a binary mode with recent acquisition of red hat. If they can’t grow revenue the dividend will be under further pressure.

      1. PPL, ASMIY, MSB. Assuming there’s life on earth post CV19, or the government cytokine storm response.

      2. Micaha, I bought RTX around 57.50 an as I posted before I made the error of buying pre 1st qtr. Release of financials. It dropped to around 54 and had me sweating, but I am looking at it as a long term hold both a dividend and growth stock. Few defense technology companies under 100.00 a share. July upcoming bid for replacement of all B 52 engines and spare engines and spare parts. Hope they get it. This pulling out of treaties with Russia, our Allies and antagonizing China in South China sea and resurgence of cold war arms race has me worried, but might as well make money off it

        1. rtx, gd, lhx Once you think they are down and out another contract shows up. Blowing up stuff never goes out of fashion.

  44. I reduced my cash position from 72% to 67%.

    Purchased an oversized position in Wells Fargo Common Stock. The current dividend is 7.7%. The price on the common stock is back to 2011 levels. It has been cut in half this year. From $54 a share down to $26 and change.

    The next ex-dividend date is tomorrow 5/7.

    How the economy is going to recover with all the money center banks doing so badly that they are going back to 2011 levels is beyond me. So, is this around the low for the money center backs (Citibroup is down about 45%)? I have no clue but I don’t see much downside at this price. If it does, I will buy at 2007/2008 levels.

    1. Not a bad move, Steve. If WFC can keep working on fixing their reputation, they’ll be just fine I think. On another note, COF got a little gut punched by Moody’s today (worried about credit card defaults and asset quality issues):

      Outlook Actions:

      ..Issuer: Capital One Financial Corporation

      ….Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

      ..Issuer: Capital One, N.A.

      ….Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

      ..Issuer: Capital One Bank (USA), N.A.

      ….Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

    2. Well I am in for a wild ride. Picked up my first Defense stock yesterday, 200 share of RTX yesterday at 58.65 goes ex-div. 5-14
      Compared to other defense stocks its cheap, but there is a reason. Combined company of Raytheon & United tech is now a large company in the market but United had more sales to the public sector which will be hurting for the forseeable future even with its international sales.
      May flip just before the dividend and then buy back.

    3. I’m a long-time shareholder, retaining my WFC position, this is dirt cheap for the stock but don’t be surprised if the dividend gets cut.

  45. Shell ADRs off ~13.5% on this news

    The Hague, April 30, 2020 – The Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc (“RDS” or the “Company”) today announced an interim dividend in respect of the first quarter of 2020 of US$ 0.16 per A ordinary share (“A Share”) and B ordinary share (“B Share”), reduced from the US$ 0.47 dividend for the same quarter last year.

    The pace and scale of the societal impact of COVID19 and the resulting deterioration in the macroeconomic and commodity price outlook is unprecedented. The duration of these impacts remains unclear with the expectation that the weaker conditions will likely extend beyond 2020. In response, Shell has taken decisive actions to reduce our spending and position our businesses to compete in the current lower commodity price environment and uncertain demand outlook. The Board of Royal Dutch Shell has taken the decision to reset its dividend to provide financial resilience and further flexibility to manage the uncertainty. Shell is taking the steps necessary to ensure that we are well-positioned for the eventual economic recovery.

  46. FWIW, opened a starter position in FLR, about 80% off its late 2018 high. Lots of industrial and government work, paying a little under 5% dividend. I expect it to double over the next year and a half or so. Any thoughts?

    1. I hadn’t thought about Fluor in years. Looking at recent events I know why.

      Even absent COVID this company has a bag full of problems. It was an $80 stock not very many years ago and it recently went under 3. It’s definitely a contrarian bet. Be sure to read all the recent SEC filings before you go big.

      A good acquisition candidate, perhaps. BAM is a possible acquirer.

      1. Yeah, tell you the truth, I sold it next day for a couple of bucks, but keeping an eye on it. Just strikes my left-sided brain as a “person of interest” and I may get it again, as you say one of the future survivors may take it over. It’s occurred to me, now that I’m working at home, that I may be able to play a name or two for short term gains in our qualified accounts. Did the same with ERX, speaking of danger, at the same time. I’m out at the moment. Thanks, Bob, I wish I had the time — and the smarts — to get into the Canadian prefs, maybe that time is coming. Best of luck!

    2. Fluor had a couple of favorable mentions in Barrons this week as a possible industrial value play. Also mentioned were Flowserve, United Rentals, and Emerson Electric. Of those four, my money would be on Emerson.

    3. I took a look at FLR after the Barron’s mention but all the recent drama makes me want to avoid it.

      I did notice that their small-cap subcontractor GVA is trading at 10-year lows and pays 3%.

      This is not a recommendation as I have only started DD.

  47. Just saw this somewhere else. Makes ya think, don’t it…

    “The worst continued to worsen. What looked one day like the end proved on the next day to have been only the beginning. Nothing could have been more ingeniously designed to maximize the suffering, and also to ensure that as few people as possible escape the common misfortune. The fortunate speculator who had funds to answer the first margin call presently got another and equally urgent one, and if he met that there would still be another. In the end all the money he had was extracted from him and lost. The man with the smart money, who was safely out of the market when the first crash came, naturally went back in to pick up bargains. The bargains then suffered a ruinous fall. Even the man who waited for volume of trading to return to normal and saw Wall Street become as placid as a produce market, and who then bought common stocks would see their value drop to a third or a fourth of the purchase price in the next 24 months. The Coolidge bull market was a remarkable phenomenon. The ruthlessness of its liquidation was, in its own way, equally remarkable.” –The Crash of 1929 by John Galbraith.

    I’m 15-20% cash and wondering if it’s enough of a cushion.


    1. Call me dumb but i am 70% in cash. i have been selling hard the last few weeks as things recovered. I was fortunate that i cashed in my target 2020 fund back in february when this started, that was 30% of my portfolio. I wish i had cashed out everything then. At one point i was down 16%, now i am only down 4.5% and i can live with that until the market stabilizes (maybe it will be 24 months). My strategy is to collect dividends, i am not in this for capital gains so i will wait until things stabilize rather than try to buy low. Fortunately the dividends are not critical as i am not yet retired. Currently a 4.5% loss puts me back to where i was around fall last year.

      1. jmp, by the way that was a great reminder of how sour things can go. Not saying it will but it’s a great reminder, thx for posting.

  48. Recently purchased shares in ATO (Atmos Energy) A rated texas gas regulated ute with narrow moat on its recent drop.

    In searching through this sites comments their is no mention of this ute which I found odd given the loyal ute fan base.

    From all financial indications it appears steadily growing and extremely safe dividend. Geographically exposed to Texas which the regulator at times has been ute unfriendly (recent CNP rate case). No preferred issuance but plenty of bonds trading above PAR.

    Maybe I’m not getting it.

    1. Micach, You answered your own question. No preferred stock. Right or wrong, that appears to be the focus. If it had a preferred you would here more about it. I remember owning ATMOS 25 years ago or so.

  49. This weekend I spoke with the Supply Chain Directors for two large publicly traded firms. One is a spice firm and the other a construction equipment firm.

    I asked about the virus impact and their responses. Both have significant plants and distribution in China. One also has two plants in Italy. Both are reliant upon India.

    My question concerned the Communist Party in China and its likelihood of “taking over” their plants if the economy of China deteriorates. Both expressed hesitancy to criticize China publicly. But, both also said the Chinese Govt. is inside their plants and directing any operations/exports.

    My question concerns the large cap stocks that are reliant upon China. I would appreciate thoughts from this board on the risk for those large cap stocks.

    I did NOT speak with Apple but it greatly concerns me. As far as I know, Apple cannot operate without its Chinese supply chain. That seems to make Apple more of a risk.

    I am focusing on large cap stocks that I believe in the next five years can recover nicely.

    Appreciate any thoughts here.

    1. Keep your eye on Whirlpool, lot of plants in US but idling some due to demand. It has already hit what I would of thought was a good price range (mid 70’s ) From when I was looking at it a couple weeks ago and talking to a nephew in law. If you want to buy in I would nibble as Tim has said. Personally, Now that I have seen this, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go to low 50’s over the next couple months as we see how much damage has been done to the economy.

    2. We are simply staring into an abyse right now as estimates are just being revised down on a huge GDP drop. I own or highly desire to own the following companies but waiting for Q2 results to roll in.

      Financial Services Companies:
      CME Group (CME)
      Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE)
      The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW)
      Broadridge Financial Solutions (BR)
      Paychex (PayX) / Automatic Data Processing (ADP)

      5G Picks
      Crown Castle International Corp (CCI)
      Bell Canada (BCE)
      Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN)

      Consumer Related:
      Discovery Financial Services (DFS)
      Unilever (UN)
      Lowe’s (LOW)
      Dollarama Inc (DOL.TO)

      General Dynamics (GD)
      Honeywell (HON)
      Rockwell (ROK)

  50. Steve A and All, appreciate your USB insight, am looking at the preferred. Wondering about commons of the 5 major Canadian banks? I read and super respect the Canadian prfrd mavens on III, but find it’s too complex for my feeble brain (friends sometimes call me D minus), so interested in the commons. Made money with all of them over the past few years and closed out last holdings (BNS in mid-50s) six or so weeks ago, and now I see they’re yielding 6-8 percent again. Tempting. They bounced a bit today. I’m all in on 3 of 5 portfolios, but looking for an alternative to fixed income for dry powder in the other 2. Appreciate any insights. D

    1. Not a big 5 Canadian bank – CWB Canadian Western Bank. Price has not recovered over concerns of debt exposure to oil and gas industry.

      Missed the boat on td/ry. Only buy if yield is above 5%.

  51. Purchased 25% position in DTE common this morning at $82 which is approximately 40% below it’s 52 week high of $135.67.

    Have order in for another 25% at $78. At a price of $80 per share, the yield on the common would be 5%

  52. Consider myself very fortunate this morning, I brought a 50% position in US Bancorp common stock at $30.05. At that price, the current yield is 5.6%. This is the 7th largest bank in the US and Buffet’s 7th largest holding. Naturally, it has been stress tested. This bank does not have a lot of overseas exposure.

    $30 per share is below its 2012 stock price. The price in the financial crisis was around $15 per share.

    At $30.05, this is a more than 50% drop from its 52 weeks high of $61.11.

    At this point, I am looking at common stock buys. After searching all weekend, this is the only one I found that I wanted to invest in.

    1. Sorry.

      This is the 9th largest buffet holding in terms of $$ invested according to CNBC Buffet portfolio tracker.

      This is the 5th largest bank in the US

  53. Airlines have been hit hard. It will probably last for some weeks, probably months. I believe they’re asking for gov’t funding. But when this virus problem subsides, surely airlines will recover in a significant way, won’t they?

    Even with the huge gains on Friday (3/13), American is still down over 50% since January 1. United down over 57%. Spirit is worse, down 62%. Southwest got hit the least, down 23%. The ETF for airlines, JETS, is down something like 43% for the year.

    I wouldn’t buy a cruise line for quite a while, but the airlines would seem to have a more significant and quicker recovery likelihood. Maybe a nibble here and there until it looks like a turnaround is in site…

    1. Lower energy prices normally provide a tailwind to earnings for the airlines also, but this market is anything but normal.

  54. I’m scaling into MMM below $150 on the theory it had the better part of its correction before the latest general downturn. So far it has pretty good relative strength. If I see some good capitulation, I’ll write put strikes at $135 or below.

    Also looking at PSX and RY the same way, but I haven’t started buying any yet.

    I already wrote puts on EPD (too early), but I’ll be OK being assigned.

    My favorite royalty trusts (MSB, SBR, DMLP) are almost into buy range, though I’d only add to MSB.

  55. PPL is off almost 3% today after hardly moving on Monday and the first half of Tuesday. The only news I can see is the CEO is stepping down and a new CEO was named. Seems like an over reaction to what looks like an orderly rotation in the C-suite. With an ex-dividend date approaching (3/9)…this may be a trading opportunity. PPL currently yields 4.8%.

  56. XOM has been beat down mercilessly. Adding a starter position here along with RDS.B. Two excellent balance sheets.

        1. Alpha, Im not feeling it yet. The XOM premium is not there anymore. There isnt any reason why it cant join some of the other Integrated Oils with a 7% divi with risk of a cut.

          1. It might be better to value XOM by their cash flow statement rather than by the balance sheet.

            If you do that it might be harder to convince yourself that the stock is a bargain at 54.

            Not sure what multiple of cash flow xom would deserve so I can’t say

  57. Anyone on here follow the solar industry? SunPower (SPWR) specifically. I’m just trying to get a feel for the upcoming spinoff of the manufacturing arm to Maxeon. Current shareholders will become shareholders in both companies after the spinoff. I own about 300 shares. Thinking of selling before the spinoff. I don’t know anything about Maxeon yet – I do plan to do a little research, but just thought I’d see what the sentiment on here was before making any rash decisions… TIA

    1. Mark,
      I am not directly involved in the Solar business although a project estimator for Tesla Solar reached out to our company a couple days ago and I had a discussion with him about supplying to them.
      The state of California has mandated all new homes be built with solar. But I don’t believe that is where the money is at. In talking to people in the business its in the large scale mega projects. Even then these go from project to project and if a company doesn’t have multiple projects in the pipeline the revenue streams can dry up. That has been the problem with residential solar, so much money has to be spent on marketing, call centers, sales and installation just to land a job that the margins are thin. Kind of like the Calif gold rush, the only people making the money were the ones selling the picks and shovels to the miners.

      1. Hi Charles,
        Thanks for your thoughts. While I agree that commercial / utility scale solar is where the real money is, it is interesting to note that SunPower actually has far better margins in residential solar. While I find that encouraging, especially in light of the fact that California is going to be a big driver in residential solar, my question was really more pointed towards the separation of it’s manufacturing business and its sales side business.

        It looks to be a roughly 70/30 split with the majority of shares staying with SunPower. I’m overall bullish on solar, so maybe I’ll just hang on and see what plays out. I also have small positions in First Solar (FSLR), Terraform Power(TERP), Pattern Energy Group (PEGI), and Brookfield Renewable (BEP)

  58. BANX – Anyone follow this company? Shareholders are being asked to vote for “Approval of a new management agreement (the “New Investment Advisory Agreement”) between the Company and StoneCastle-ArrowMark Asset Management, LLC (“StoneCastle-ArrowMark”), a newly-formed investment adviser that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ArrowMark Colorado Holdings, LLC (“ArrowMark Partners”), which would replace the current management agreement between the Company and StoneCastle Asset Management LLC…” It looks like in the details this change essentially makes Josh Seigel disappear in a continuing role of importance, though he theoretically will continue in some titular capacity. IMHO, Seigel’s the reason to be BANX. I have no feel for ArrowMark but my inclination is to oppose this change by voting NO. Anyone else in this and have an opinion? It’s been a nice steady performer over the 2 1/2 years I’ve owned it…

    1. 2wroses

      I visited with the company about two years ago. What you have to understand are the following. Banx holds mainly proffered issues from local and regional banks. Mostly because the banks will not sell equity. The holdings in the fund are only the tip of the iceberg as Josh has a private firm with major assets.In the past I did not buy Banx as I did not see upside and the yield did not excite me. Today that is less true given the new environment.
      When I read the news release it seemed clear that Josh was giving up control of banx. To me this was strange unless he had health or other issues which meant that he could not actively manage things. I’m afraid I don’t know any more and know nothing about the buyer. I too would be against the sale unless there is something that we do not know. The cfo and the ir people were clear and helpful and overall I’ve had a good impression of the firm. If you learn more, would like to know. tia sc

      1. Thanks for your input, sc…. I decided just to not vote since there was not enough compelling info imho on ArrowMark to think getting a 10 cent payout plus promises of increased dividends was compelling enough to overcome Seigel pending departure as a result of this change should it pass… I discovered that not voting is the same as voting no so I guess I’ll just continue to be an abstainer. Confirming Seigel’s exit from BANX occurs for all practical purposes should this go through only reconfirms I’d vote NO anyway…. I was surprised to see he’s only 48 yrs old..

        1. 2wroawa-
          A I suggested above, we need more information on why he left. If he sold control of the management company then there must be a reason because his private company located at the same office- has a lot of money under management. For this reason, I thought perhaps it related to health issues but I have no insight.The original announcement came as a total surprise. sc

  59. Re-posting a comment/question from last night about energy complex equities, originally directed to Citadel West, but interested in opinions and insight from all III readers:
    Greetings, CW, apropos your interest in WMB, wondering how your take on energy names has evolved since New Year’s? I see SLB closed back under 34 again today, yield heading back toward 6 percent. I played it three times last year from low to high 30s, last time up over 40, and picking up several dividends along the way. Looking at opening a small position again, especially if it weakens further in next week or so — it goes ex-div in a couple of weeks. I like these volatility driven short term (and small quantity) plays to juice yield. I’ve also stumbled, entered positions in ET recently that are under water, but holding for yield and ready to leg in further if it drops significantly. Just curious what you may be thinking. Thanks and best wishes.

    1. Good morning D…I was on a holiday and missed your original comments here regarding WMB and the other energy names. While I generally think that income investors need to hold dividend paying common shares as part of an overall strategy, I have been disappointed by my picks in the energy sector so far this quarter.

      WMB has mostly been a loser since I first started to nibble at it in December, and I have since cut my position to a bare minimum. I also have some shares of OXY, which is still in the green but have lost much of their earlier gains. I ditched my shares in BP when they started to turn red, and never pulled the trigger on RDS/B.

      I may circle around and try to play the bounce in some of these names, but my general feeling is that the energy sector is still bottoming and the risk of capital loss there is still significant. The better way to get some dividend exposure to energy sector may be to just own XLE.

  60. Corrections are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get…lol. I still believe we have one more wave lower in Spx below 3200. That should be a great buy opportunity. ATB

  61. Amazon (AMZN) pushing above its 200dma and making a break topside this morning +3% on 2X volume. Will be interesting to see if it can hold the gains or fall back down again.

  62. SAVA or FDX anyone?
    Seems insiders bought at both of these.
    Sava is a low priced stock (Red Flag) but i may play with just 700 shs bought at 2.65. I have no idea where it will trade by 9:45
    FDX is a giant shipping company and i will buy 100 shs only at 148.90
    I’m not expecting big moves at all..looking for $250 minimum gain.

  63. This is a much quieter page than sandbox, but my question is probably more closely related to common stocks…. Hope to get a few replies.

    Anyway, was wondering if anyone here has experience with FastGraphs?

    As I am still dabbling in common shares, this seems a good way to get a quick picture of a company. If nothing else, a good starting point for further DD. At $480 for an annual subscription though, I’m wondering if other’s see value in it. Are there other products where I can get same / similar info for less or free? Do the Level II platforms on the brokerage sites show anything similar? These FastGraphs are pretty easy for me to understand.

  64. I’m more hopeful about our investment in The Williams Companies (WMB), which has been rising on above average positive volume for the past two weeks…even shrugging off the usual dip in share price associated with going ex-dividend. WMB is a large domestic natural gas infrastructure company which is 90% owned by institutions. We’re looking to capture a 10-15% capital gain in the next four months, along with a couple of dividend payments. The Williams Companies’ most recent presentation where they update their strategy and guidance is linked below.

    1. Greetings, CW, apropos your interest in WMB, wondering how your take on energy names has evolved since New Year’s? I see SLB closed back under 34 again today, yield heading back toward 6 percent. I played it three times last year from low to high 30s, last time up over 40, and picking up several dividends along the way. Looking at opening a small position again, especially if it weakens further in next week or so — it goes ex-div in a couple of weeks. I like these volatility driven short term (and small quantity) plays to juice yield. I’ve also stumbled, entered positions in ET recently that are under water, but holding for yield and ready to leg in further if it drops significantly. Just curious what you may be thinking. Thanks and best wishes.

  65. We finally rang the register on Macys (M) yesterday, after missing a chance to do so last week. When I started the position in mid-August, my expectations were to capture a 20%+ capital gain plus a couple of dividend payments, and while the stock did run up over 12% a couple of times, it always fell back down again shortly after. Our trade did generate a roughly 6% gain plus two dividend payments, but that is not a sufficient reward (imo) for the risk of a four month hold.

    1. One of my rules is to avoid retail. Too much like a game of musical chairs. Too many participants for all to prosper and the winner/loser classification seems to get scrambled every quarter. Way too much work to follow trends. Plus the yields are generally not enticing.

      1. You’re right Vinny…its easy to get burned by individual retail names. A lot depends on your tolerance for risk and like you said how much time you spend following trends.

  66. Sentiment is extremely frothy at the moment and Spx at new highs without a Vix at new lows. I expect a correction sometime in Q1 or Q2. Be careful out there. ATB.

    1. I suspect if / when fed stops repo program that will be a catalyst to start a correction. 3190 needs to be broken to confirm at this point.

  67. I forgot to check my i-phone and didn’t respond to a text: PLCE Insider Buy at 9:05 AM.
    It would have only made sense buying pre mkt. By 9:36 AM it’s move was over.
    You snooze–You Lose.

  68. For anyone on III who may be holding or following it, PPL closed up c. 6% today, highest close since late 2017. I don’t see any specific news, wondering if anyone has an insight In to what‘s going on? Thanks

    1. D, Seems to be related to the blowout British vote and a surety of Brexit actually happening. It’s amazing when people get out of the way so that choking regulations and stupidity can be eradicated and free markets are let loose to do their thing. Sounds like another recent historical event around our neck of the woods.

    2. D, The regulators were about to put the choke hold on allowable equity rate of return for them during next approval cycle which is 2021 or 2022. The assumption is basically what A4I is suggesting. That the powers that be may be more lenient on utes in their rates of return. The Labour party was still yakking about nationalizing them. That chatter will be gone for now.

    3. I took some profits in PPL on Friday afternoon. When someone offers a years worth of dividend income in a single day I usually take it.

    4. D, sorry for the late reply. Just catching up on this tread. PPL generates a large amount of it’s revenue from UK operations and concern over brexit, etc have kept pressure on the PPL shares. Boris Johnson’s impressive re-election has caused companies like PPL, SSE and others to get a significant boost.

  69. SAGE CEO and other officers bought $2 Million of their plummeting stock at 64.20.
    I bought at too high a price a few minutes ago at 64.62
    Its at 64.26 bid now
    Anyways, I hope after a 80 point drop that this is a FLU shot in the arm.

    10 minutes to countdown

    1. Thank You Insider Cow.
      I kept some shares just in case Sage rebounds 10 or more points.
      The bad news is my Medicare part B will go up in 2021 as a result of gains and other income in 2019.

    2. Newman – I don’t normally watch recommendations on the Stock page, but just happened to notice your timing on SAGE….Great call!!!! Congrats…. You bot it too high at 64.62???? Pssssshaw…….

      1. 2WR, The credit goes to my younger brother who filters the best bets.
        He was pumped up and bought 1200 shs and i did 750 shs.
        We had a great day. Normally i make $200-700 on these buys, but this one was a doozy.
        I overslept on a few issues and missed those.
        But , i’ll post new ones as they come.
        The Inside Buys only work in a Bull Market .

  70. I have a generalized question about trade executions, but I’ll use a trade this morning on RILYL as an example (even though it’s not a stock). This morning there were 2 trades executed for 1000 shares and 400 shares at 25.23 at 9:44.33 AM. Simultaneously, 1000 shares and 400 shares also show up as being traded at 25.2375. Can anyone explain why this frequently happens? I was the buyer of the 400 lot at 25.23. Was the execution of 400 at 25.2375 and sale to me at 25.23 an example of my broker being willing to execute on my behalf while eating .0075? Certainly these were related trades and not coincidental. Anyone have an explanation?

  71. Citadel West, Back in the day, I eagerly waited for Saturdays when Barron’s would come to the newsstand.
    It was a huge paper with immense data . I would read the musings of Abelson and company. Many guests were asked for their outlook. But, Year after year of S&P growth did not deter Barron’s from their bearish outlook. Five years on, I realized this relationship was not helping me understand the market and make money.
    I have not touched a Barron’s in 25 years and i’m better off for it.
    So when i said the bad news was their write up, i felt they were jinxing the stock.

    1. IMHO, Barrons has gone way down hill since the Abelson days.. To me, reading what’s available today thanks to, it’s become not much more than a dumbed down weekly tout sheet.

      1. I agree. I sold out my final shares of expe at 110.69.
        I erased the symbol from my Fido watch list as well.
        That gain should pay for the office crews lunch this week and the feral cats food in the back yard.

        Cash me outside y’all

    2. I still enjoy reading Barrons on Saturday morning occasionally, but I totally understand your sentiment. My personal jinx is that guy Jim Kramer on TV…

      1. CW, My brother emailed Kramer about some bad picks and got a nasty e-mail from Kray Kray.
        I see where you play Macys stock. I admit i’m intrigued, but I’m too busy working, no SLAVING for my daughters fledgling business to watch the stock markets up and downs.
        I used to play Teva, but it ran away from me after $7.50…
        I’ll watch out for your comments though.

        1. Thats funny Cramer got his dandruff up on his bald palate over a critical email from a bad pick. Cramer doesnt say it often enough, but he does consistently say index funds are largely the way to go investing in stocks.
          But, there would be no show if all Cramer ever said was invest in low cost index funds though.

  72. Insider buy at EXPE.. I picked up 150 shs at 108.79 just now (5:30)PM
    First inside buy last week was at 98
    The CEO and CFO were booted, usually that’s bad news.
    But what the hay.
    Only bad news is Barron’s likes it in a write up on 12-6
    This inside buy was at 108.33, $ 2.5 Mill by VP
    Another risk is holding it overnight. One never knows what’s going to impact us tomorrow AM

    1. “Only bad news is Barron’s likes it in a write up on 12-6”

      Ok, that’s pretty funny…

  73. In a week that saw the general markets rise, Macys (M) did not perform well at all, and remains stuck below its 20 day and 50 day moving averages. Macys goes ex-dividend on Thurs 12/12 paying 38 cents per share, so any moves up this week are likely going to be followed by a move down on Friday. After holding Macys since mid-August and being up over 10% at a couple of points in time, we currently only have a slight gain when you add in a couple of dividend payments. Perhaps more patience is needed, but opportunity costs are starting to weigh on this investment. We may be sellers on the open Friday.

  74. Ready Capital to join the the S&P Small Cap 600 – At opening this puts RCA in the money as a convertible

    NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — S&P Dow Jones Indices will make the following changes to the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600:

    S&P MidCap 400 constituent Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. (NASD: ODFL) will replace SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) in the S&P 500, S&P SmallCap 600 constituent Cabot Microelectronics Corp. (NASD: CCMP) will replace Old Dominion Freight Line in the S&P MidCap 400, and Ready Capital Corp. (NYSE: RC) will replace Cabot Microelectronics in the S&P SmallCap 600 prior to the open of trading on Monday,

  75. Another stock which has come across our radar screens recently is major US oil and gas pipeline provider The Williams Companies (WMB). Williams stock has not had a great year and the sector its in is beaten down, but Williams pays $1.52 dividend and at its current share price yields 6.69%. This is a better yield than many of the recent new preferred issues and is well covered. There is also some upside capital gains potential for Williams going into 2020, especially if there is a cold winter, and the downside risk to share price (imo) seems limited. Gonna start nibbling on this one.

  76. Does anyone here follow STAR??? I own STAR bonds and have owned preferreds in the past but was wondering if it’s a good time to buy STAR common. What got me thinking is their 67% ownership of SAFE.. In round numbers after SAFE’s recent successful equity raise, the market value of STAR’s holding in SAFE is over $1.2 billion and yet STAR’s total market cap is $788 mil approx? You can buy STAR at a 35% discount to the value of its SAFE holding alone and also get the rest of STAR thrown in for free???? STAR is also on credit watch positive at S&P… Sound good?

  77. Macy’s (M) sold off 11% earlier this week after Kohl’s (KSS) reported earnings and lowered guidance going forward, so it was somewhat anticlimactic when Macy’s reported their own mixed bag of earnings and lower expectations. On Friday the stock rebounded nicely +5% to close out the week. From a technical perspective this breakdown puts Macy’s share price below the 50 and 20 day moving averages which become resistance rather then support going forward. On the plus side, Macy’s had 2x normal positive volume Friday which it needs going forward to breakout of its pattern.

    We are adding to our position next week and plan to hold at least until the next ex-dividend day in December. The volatility experienced this week may provide the catalyst needed to fill the gap created back in August.

    1. CItadel, who is “we”? You and the mouse in your pocket? Or do you run some hedge fund? Or is this a post from somewhere else?

      1. Just me and my long time advisor A E Neumann here Grid…We both like Macy’s going into December.

        1. I would trust Ol Neumann more than Rida and the ‘Boys… Macys…I always watch it with interest. About 6 times the past couple years I almost pulled the trigger. Good thing I didnt because I would be down, as I would have guessed wrong. I still get the itch though.

          1. The shorts have had their hooks into Macy’s for quite a while, but we (Alfred and I) think it’s a good value around the current price. Some good news regarding consumer spending and the upcoming ex-dividend date should provide the catalyst needed for a short squeeze and a nice breakout.

            -btw I think you guys are too hard on the HDO crew…It’s the folks blindly following their investment suggestions without due diligence (IMO) who deserve the scorn. Caveat Emptor!

            1. Its definitely a volatile stock and if played right could score someone no doubt. Its not like its losing money either. But it has the trouble of being in struggling department store segment and their buildings are in many bad malls too.
              Im hard on Rida, because I have caught them in too many lies. Cant be trusted. I agree totally the buying responsibility is on the buyer. So since I believe that, I can say I respect honest money losing stock pickers than dishonest ones who have some winners. They take advantage of fact that most readers are too dumb or lazy to fact check them. Oh wait, silly me.. I am a dinosaur, the word lie is illegal and politically incorrect, so I apologize. I meant to say factual untruths. 🙂
              Though I must say I respect Preferred Stock Trader. And he is an honest well meaning person too.

  78. Fibonacci anyone?,
    I’m not a follower of this, but they (actually 1 guy who has some cred) predicts a very big down day on Tuesday.
    I find it hard to believe that one can predict that from lines and waves.
    I remember this one guy who used astrology to predict the market. Archie Crawford i think.
    I’m not buying it.
    Anyways, late monday, i’ll buy a SPY put for a day or two trade just in case.
    I want him to be wrong of course.

  79. UBER CEO buy $ 7 million of stock
    I bought 600 @ 28.50 extended hours trading
    Will unload by 10 AM or later tonight
    I hope for a .50 cent gain minimum

    Not for the faint hearted

    1. Sold all 600 for a measly gain of $134
      UBER is much higher after i sold.
      Oh well, let someone else share the ride.
      There was a big sell overnight that deflated trading early, now it’s at 28.94.
      Picking which inside buy to trade is imperative. Tech stocks are the desired types.
      Maybe this is not the forum for Insider buys.

    1. Too late, It jumped too fast out of the gate. Did not buy.
      I got the news at 9:21 but was away till 9:29

  80. Good news for those who bought into EFC-A –

    Ellington Financial Inc. Announces Common Stock Offering
    [Business Wire] [PRICED 4.2 MIL SHARES AT $18.20]
    Business WireNovember 18, 2019


    Ellington Financial Inc. (EFC) (“Ellington Financial” or the “Company”) announced today that it has commenced an underwritten public offering of 4,200,000 shares of common stock. The Company also expects to grant the underwriters an option for 30 days to purchase up to an additional 630,000 shares of common stock. UBS Securities LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, BofA Securities, and Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Inc. are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.

    The Company expects to use the net proceeds of the offering to acquire its targeted assets. The Company may also use the net proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes.

    The shares of common stock will be offered under the Company’s existing shelf registration statement on Form S-3, which was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 3, 2019. The offering is being made only by means of a prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of the prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus related to the offering may be obtained from UBS Securities LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10019, or by telephone at (888) 827-7275; or Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Eleven Madison Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, New York 10010, Attention: Prospectus Department or by telephone at (800) 221-1037; or BofA Securities, Attention: Prospectus Department, NC1-004-03-43, 200 North College Street, 3rd floor, Charlotte, NC 28255-0001 or by email at; or Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., 787 Seventh Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10019 (Attn:Capital Markets) or by telephone at (800) 966-1559.

  81. ATGE cfo bought $1,000,000 worth
    i paid 33.91 for 700 shs.
    Let it ride..
    I will be out within the next 20 minutes i hope

    1. I sold off all at 34.29-34.32.
      I thought it would be a bigger haul.
      A gain of .40 is still acceptable.
      Till the next inside buy..seeya

  82. Anyone play the inside buys ?
    Just bid 25.50 on tdc after hours….I don’t want to chase it too high.
    Also bought dbx @ 19.41..I know i wuz late, culda bought it at 19.29
    I usually unload at the open , i hope
    The best ones are the ones that come in after hours.
    One can hold these longer, but it’s not my practice.

    1. Just sold tdc at 26.75..I know , i know it’s over 27 now.
      But i made some nice change..
      DBX is a drag..will give it another few hours.

  83. Hmm, where is the CEF Chat page?

    Anyone have an explanation for EOT’s plunge today? It made me think dividend cut, but there is no news anywhere. Did some index rebalance?

    1. Macy’s (M) had a nice bump up on Friday +3.76 as shorts began to cover their bets. Macy’s will report earnings on thursday, and according to the perverse logic of the markets if the number is less bad then expected more shorts will cover to lock in their gains, driving the share price higher. Of course Macy’s could lay an earnings goose egg, but as outlined last week the technical set up looks favorable for a spike higher.

  84. October 28, 1929– About 90 years ago, is known as ‘Black Monday’ in financial circles.
    The US stock market had peaked the previous month, on September 3, 1929, with the Dow Jones stock index reaching a record high of 381.
    But throughout September and October, nervous investors began pulling their money out of the market.
    And over a three day period in late October (including Black Monday), the market lost more than 30% of its value.
    Ninety years later, I thought it would be prudent to look at three key insights from that historic crash, starting with:
    1) Stocks are more overvalued today than they were in 1929
    Back in 1929, the price/earnings ratio of the average company trading on the New York Stock Exchange was about 15.
    In other words, investors were willing to pay $15 per share for every $1 of the average company’s profit.
    That’s not high at all. In fact, a Price/Earnings ratio of 15 is completely in line with historic averages.
    Coca Cola’s Price/Earnings ratio back in 1929 ranged between 15 and 18. Today it’s 30… meaning that investors today are willing to pay roughly twice as much for each dollar of Coke’s annual profit.
    Coca Cola is actually quite an interesting case study.
    If we just go back a few years to 2010, Coca Cola’s annual revenue was $35 billion. By 2018 the company’s annual revenue had fallen to less than $32 billion.
    In 2010, Coca Cola generated $5.06 in profit (earnings) per share. In 2018, just $1.50.
    And Coca Cola’s total equity, i.e. the ‘net worth’ of the business, was $31 billion in 2010. By 2018, equity had fallen to $19 billion.
    So over the past eight years, Coca Cola has lost nearly 40% of its equity, sales are down, and per-share earnings have fallen by 70%.
    Clearly the company is in far worse shape today than it was eight years ago.
    Yet Coke’s share price has nearly DOUBLED in that period.
    Crazy, right?
    It’s not just Coca Cola either; the Price/Earnings ratio of the typical company today is about 50% higher than historic averages.
    (This means that the stock market would have to drop by 50% for these ratios to return to historic norms.)
    It’s clear that investors are simply willing to pay much more for every dollar of a company’s earnings and assets than just about ever before, including even right before the crash of 1929.
    2) Stocks fell by nearly 90% in 1929… and it took decades to recover.
    The ‘crash’ wasn’t isolated to Black Monday.
    From the peak in September 1929, stocks ultimately fell nearly 90% over the next three years. The Dow bottomed out in 1932 at just 42 points.
    42 is lower than where the Dow was trading in 1885… so the crash wiped out DECADES of growth. And it took until November 1954 for the Dow to finally surpass its high from 1929.
    If that were to happen today, it means the Dow would fall to just 2,700… a level it hasn’t seen since the early 1990s. And it wouldn’t return to today’s highs until the mid 2040s.
    Most people think this is completely preposterous.
    And to be fair, I think the government and central bank will do everything in their power to prevent a severe crash.
    The Federal Reserve has already announced that it will print another $60+ billion per month, which should be favorable for the stock market in the short term.
    But just because we can’t imagine something happening doesn’t mean it can’t happen. In fact it’s happening right now in Japan:
    Japan’s stock market peaked in late 1989 with its Nikkei index reaching nearly 39,000.
    Within a few years the Nikkei had lost half of its value and would ultimately fall by 80%.
    Even today, thirty years later, the Nikkei index is still 40% below its all-time high.
    There is no law that requires the stock market to go up. It can fall. And it can stay low for years… even decades.
    3) Adjusted for inflation, stocks have returned just 1.7% per year since 1929.
    It’s best to think long-term about any investment. Businesses take time to grow and expand, and patient investors who understand this tend to do well.
    But when thinking about the long-term, it’s imperative to consider the extraordinary effects of inflation.
    Every single year your money loses around 2% of its value. But over time those small bites of inflation fester into a major chunk of your investment gains.
    Consider that, even according to the federal government’s monkey math, the US dollar has lost 94% of its value since 1929.
    So even though the Dow is more than 70x higher than it was in mid-1929, when you consider the effects of inflation, stocks are only about 5x higher over the past 90 years.
    That works out to be an average annualized return of just 1.7%.
    Even over the past 20 years– if you go back to late 1999, the stock market has only returned about 2.2% per year when adjusted for inflation.
    Think about all the risks and wild market swings that investors have had to deal with over the past 20 years– all for a measly 2.2%.
    It’s interesting to note that, when adjusted for inflation, GOLD has outperformed stocks over the long run.
    When adjusted for inflation, gold has averaged a 1.8% return since 1929 (slightly higher than stocks), and a 6.7% return since 1999– more than 3x as much as stocks.
    But unlike stocks, people who own gold haven’t had to put up with the same risks. No shady brokers. No WeWork bullshit. No Enron scandal.
    They earned 3x more than the stock market– with the added benefit of being able to hold their investment right in their own hands.
    Please do your own deep due diligence before investing and NEVER follow someone blindly just because they are a good and convincing writer..l
    To your freedom,

    1. Thanks for that chilling reminder, I’m staying in bed thank you.
      I think i can stop the bull market in one week, all i have to do is to invest 100k in the S&P index. Once i’m in the market, it’s guaranteed to drop.
      It may take a major European bank to shutter its doors to get me out of the market.
      Following blindly, Well, guilty as charged.
      When me and the missus are on 39th street and Broadway sipping our coffees and we see people from uptown start running down our street in drips and drabs and then huge crowds running wildly past us, Do we stop and think what’s happening ? or do we run with them thinking they know better?
      It’s hard to run against the crowd. I did that once in 2009 when i bought Mer-k and actually had the print low of $7 or $9 and change. I believed that after Lehman, the treasury would not allow ML to go under. What a roller coaster ride.
      I made my most of my money in Real Estate buying low and selling at the next top or keeping the rental properties. RE seemed to tank 2-4 years after a market crash and it stayed low for 3 years. That gave me plenty of time to cherry pick. My last buys were in 2010-2013. In RE no one manipulates the value from one day to another and you can’t just sell when you are panicky. I played with gold for awhile..last purchases were at 1,200.
      Sorry for the rant.

  85. Macy’s (M) had a nice break out today, up 5.4% to 16.71 on higher volume. The two key technical parameters from my perspective will be the 20 day moving average crossing above the 50 day, (should happen this week) and the down gap from mid-August that getting filled when the share price reaches 18.86. Also, the 200dma sits two full points above the gap fill, at 20.87… so its a nice technical set up going into the start of the holiday season.

  86. LTS – Ladenburg looking to sell itself and hired an advisor to do so.. I wonder what what a sale would mean for the baby bonds and preferred?

    1. 2whiteroses, On LTS, I have not verified but the following is from Richard LeJune on the SA HDO Chat: “No LTS.PA would Not be hurt if LTS goes private. LTS.PA has conversion rights to put shares at par subject to a share cap of 25 LTS shares. So unless LTS was taken private for less than $1 per share (which isn’t going to happen) , there is no danger to preferreds. “

      1. TNT – To be honest, I wasn’t thinking negatively should LTS get bought out… It’s such a dicey one as it is, I was wondering outloud whether or not there was a requirement for the notes to be assumed by a purchaser. Practically anyone would be a credit positive if they had to assume the outstanding.

  87. If you ever wanted to own Amazon (AMZN) shares tomorrow morning should provide a decent entry point, as the company reported earnings this afternoon that are being interpreted as a miss. After hours share price is off ~7% to 1655.

    1. AMZN feeling the pain in after hours, now down to about $1,648.

      I put in a lowball bid for a couple shares tomorrow opening, in the hope that some panic dumping ensures.

    2. If you bought AMZN at the open this morning …congrats… you’re probably feeling pretty good right now as shares are trading about 60 points higher. Looks like 1700 is a technical support level, although that may get tested again the afternoon if traders fade the rebound.

  88. My Macy’s investment is currently flat after being up almost 10% and am looking to add some more shares today. It remains to be seen whether Santa delivers a stocking full of sweets or a lump of coal on this one.

  89. MO Altria Group – Rumoured merger with PM as JUUL continues to get hammered from regulators and medical rumours.

    FDX Fedex – Previous earnings call hammered stock. Will the sell off continue or is it overdone.

    UNH / MRK / MDT – Best of the beaten healthcare stocks.

  90. AAPL trading flat on lower volume today, after launching some new products. This not a positive signal for the company, although these launch events have seen diminished effect on stock price over the years.

    Meanwhile Macy’s (among other retailers) continues its post-Labor Day run…trading up 4% today. Macy’s goes ex-dividend on Thursday which may create a buying opportunity.

    Both stocks are consumer driven, but at these price levels Macy’s is more of a value bet and Apple is more of a momentum play.

    1. There’s a big rotation going on right now… Value is making a push while Momentum is getting hammered. That’s a major reversal and it’s three straight days. HUGE if it sticks. That probably signals that Q4 may get ugly again. JMO

      1. Agreed, somebody is rotating something. Probably just rebalancing ahead of the slow October period / window dressing the 3rd quarter. My biggest gainers of over 150% like V and MA are not having a good few days, but I’m not worried. I’m taking these 2 to the grave. Meanwhile. T is crushing 52 week highs and some ute’s are also doing very, very well like DUK. I love playing both sides of the fence.

  91. A few comments: Income related: For those who are talking equities, need to hone up, looking to build in a possible new skill set and are good self-directed students. This is actually no more difficult than understanding the preferred details. Hope it is useful to some!
    1) Take a look at selling calls on something you hold? I have held SIL and published this a few months ago as being cheap. It was a good bet. I’m out now. Did not sell calls at that time.
    I looked at selling calls on a new silver or gold holding and a good candidate is CDE. I learned to appreciate the commodity managers in the global mining space as the toughest bunch of manager hombres around. These companies have proven they can manage thru all cycles. IE: RIO just paid out a special dividend and all their balance sheets are wrung OUT. I am usually 6 – 12 months early, but my planning would be to collect the divys and option premia while waiting. (etf: PICK or GUNR if you want some ag in there)
    Regarding selling call options: If they get assigned, it can guarantees a profit and you can re-enter if you choose or roll up and out of the money along the way. I think selling calls is the BEST way to SELL stock.
    So my example: look at a holding some CDE now ? , buy at $5.40 , sell options at $6 to Sept 20 at $.10. Receive 1.85% on investment cash up front now. If called at $6 on Sept 20th with no roll out = 12.9% or 70 cents/ $5.40 per share. Boom: On $10,000 = $1,290 and out of the position in fifteen market days. If not called 1.85% in fifteen trading days and cost basis down to $5.30.
    Skill Set:
    Sell options again? (Do this in a tax sheltered account, all short term, ordinary income)…
    roll or stay naked?
    Roll up and further out of the money if the stocks begin to wave up? Don’t forget you CAN roll if prices start to go up (calendar call spread, standard electronic entry on all brokerage sites) not just on expiration date. Best to roll before option goes in the money and the volatility is beginning to price up calls further out.
    PS: You keep the divy if xdiv date occurs before an in the money call assignment may be made on you.

    That’s really about it. No more detailed than preferreds, calls, floats, resets, etc.
    It is a safe, conservative and prudent approach to the market of equity if you ARE going to hold equity anyway.
    Sideways and down markets are best for call option strategies. Commissions apply too.
    Usually have to request options trading on your account…stick to ‘covered calls’ only!
    2) Big oilys look like their 60% retracement since Xmas has happened, but is lost in the news morass. Some decent spasms since then, someone is accumulating? I like the yields and their balance sheets can ride a LONG time. Still hold IPPLF and FRHLF in the Land of the Grandmother, monthlies and hardy as a cabbage plant. Bot some RDS.b and BP and looking to just watch now…maybe sell some covered calls! All in Roth about 8% of portfolio.
    “As long as we are here the Story is not over. We can change the entire thing.”
    Happy Investing

  92. I bought a small amount of FL (foot locker) yesterday. >4% dividend with only a .32 payout ratio.

    Stock is down 45% from recent highs on China and recession fears. Could be a value trap.

    1. August has traditionally been a good time to invest in retailers Jacob, and you’re getting into FL at a reasonable price close to a major support line at 32.91, which is the 200 month moving average. There may be a better entry point if the market melts down again, but technically it looks good.

              1. Good job Jacob. Gutsy call on that one. Maybe you should consider giving TGT a shot going into next quarter’s earnings. What a year they’ve had. Going from ~65 to just cracking 109.00/share.

                1. TGT valuation seems full right now with a PE at 18.

                  I was considering using my M proceeds to buy TLRD (tailored brands) but it seemed too risky… glad I didn’t! They announced div suspension today and stock is down 25%.

  93. Interesting to see JNJ up on lower than expected judgement in OK. I have been hesitant to consider drug stocks between the liability risk and political ramifications. MMM is interesting at this level, but with their lowered outlook and continuation of trade war, they may have a bit further to fall.
    Any thoughts?

    1. furcal, I get my exposure to the drug industry through a fund, HQH, which gives me diversification and a nice yield. Between the talcum powder and opioid lawsuits, things could get dicey with some individual firms, especially JNJ.
      I’m not smart enough to know when is the bottom on any issue so if I like it, I’ll buy a small position (1% or less of my stock portfolio) and watch to see if I should add over time or admit I made a mistake and get out. A full position in my stock account is 2 to 3%. This keeps the land mines (unanticipated blunders) from being fatal.

      1. JV, A few weeks ago I looked at the 4 main healthcare cef’s THQ THW HQL HQH and went with THQ since it pays monthly (as does THW vs quarterly for HQL and HQH) and THQ had a very nice cushion with nearly $2 in UNII. I have been trying to avoid cefs with negative UNII.

        Further discussion on healthcare cefs welcome in case I am missing something obvious, per usual.

    2. Hi Furcal,

      I would be interested in MMM at 125 – that would give them a P/E of about 15. Speaking of litigation, I’ve seen commercials about ‘defective’ 3M military earplugs.

      1. Jacob, thanks, I know MMM had some environmental litigation risk, was unaware of the airplug issue. I have starter position from 165 but am not averaging down at this point.

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