Fun Fact Friday

Since the markets are closed today we thought we would post a couple of website statistics.

Below is a chart of the type of device used to access the website.

As you can see for last year over 73% of visits to the website were made on a desktop computer. This isn’t surprising to me because for the 13 years that I have been publishing websites like this one the lions share of traffic has come from desktops–although it has slowly been falling over that time.

I think that obviously the demographics of the website visitor to this site skews to the above 50 crowd-we are the ones maybe at home accessing the site. The youngsters are at work or simply have no interest in income securities because they think (probably wrongly) that they can beat our performance with common stocks.

The other “fun fact” to share today is simply — which is the most popular page on the website (other than the homepage)?

It is the “Reader Initiated Alerts” page. This is kind of a surprise to me–I didn’t realize it was so popular with 1000’s of visitors every week. The page is here. Once I noticed so much good info from smart folks I set it up on one of my monitors to be on “fulltime”. Readers can usually find info on new issues etc., faster than I can read my RSS feeds and get the alert posted. Plus folks post info on some oddball issues that may be of interest to many.

34 thoughts on “Fun Fact Friday”

  1. Thank you Tim also from an less than 50 Italian reader. Your website is very useful for me
    US pref and baby are becoming more popular in Italy, where people is more close to the regular bonds for income

  2. I’m 77 years old and have been retired for about 15 years. I’m a retired biologist ( pharmaceutical research) so investing has a steep knowledge curve for me. But I enjoy it. Every morning I eat breakfast in front of my computer screen.
    I run 2 major accounts. A smaller stock account for growth and income ( energy, REITs, financials, infrastructure, etc) and a larger IRA invested in fixed income for our actual living expenses. Originally, the IRA was based on a 5 year CD ladder that provided 4.5 to 5% and was bullet proof but Mr. Bernanke put a stop to that. Now that account is mostly preferreds so the reason for my lurking here is obvious.
    My sincere thanks to Tim and the other knowledgeable posters (you know who you are) for a really, really valuable asset.
    I really am in New Jersey and stay because I have family here. Otherwise NJ has little to recommend it for retirees.

  3. I’ll add my appreciation for Tim, this site, and all the smart folks who give freely their knowledge. Thanks from an over 50 (by a couple of decades) reader and rare poster

  4. Just turned 60. Started the transition from running our company to investing in financials in early 2018. Having always been 100% invested in hard assets (real estate) there was much to learn. Met Grid in an article regarding the ute SO (that rock star has paid like a slot machine) and followed him to Tim’s site. Like others, I’m extremely grateful for the generous mentorship, knowledge, camaraderie, friendships and laughs-out-loud gained over the last year – and looking for every opportunity to give something back. Also looking forward this year to working on pfd arbitrage and capitalizing on mismatched risk/reward opportunities.

  5. It is important for younger investors to understand an inherent risk we are all taking with “income “securities like preferreds and baby bonds. If and it is a big if, interest rates substantially increase, our “income” securities will have large drops in value. The math of bond prices versus interest rates broadly applies to income securities. And this math is well known.

    Broadly sleekly we have been in a secular (long term) downtrend in interest rates since 1982. Yes it has been 37 years long. Growth stocks, income stocks and bonds have performed well in this time frame. Contrast that to the 1966-1982 when all three suffered dramatic losses in real (after inflation) terms.

    Luckily for us, all of the forecasts calling for higher interest rates have proven to be false alarms to date. As long as rates remain low, we will feel very smart for holding these income securities. If the higher interest rate forecasts ever come to fruition, our investing IQ’s will drop by 100 points. . .

    It is up to each investor to make his/her own forecast of interest rates. Just understand if you hold a lot of income securities, you have made a forecast that interest rates will NOT increase in the short term.

    You can take comfort knowing that the interest payments will ~ not decrease if interest rates increase. If you are say 80+ years old, I would not worry about increasing rates. If you are say 20 years old, it is a much larger long term concern.


  6. As someone in their early 60’s I appreciate all the great ideas and thoughts I’ve cleaned from his site. It definitely has made me money but I’m such a fickle investor and I really shouldn’t be at my age. My IRA portfolio held a lot of preferred stock in December, mostly from suggestions made on this site and no common stocks. Then I did a complete 180 in late January and I was 100% in high flying indivual tech. Now it’s a balance of low volatility dividend stock and bond ETF’s (PSK and PFXF are 15%).

    Although I’m just hanging out at the moment, I always check Tim’s site for ideas. One of these days individual preferred stock and baby bonds will again be bargins and I’ll flip back.

  7. Because the younger set is at work, I HELP my son by sending him timely
    info, including links to this site when applicable. I don’t know if he makes the purchases I recommend, but he gets the information minutes after I see an interesting product. Last data was the OTC symbol for Energy Transfer Operating LP ‘s newly issued preferred 2 days ago, the first day of trading, under it’s temporary symbol; of course, he is in a position that allows him to
    receive the info and follow up if he wishes to. Father knows best ( sometimes ). !

  8. Early 60s and follow on both a desktop and iPad. Stumbled into the site about 6 months ago and now follow it religiously. Never comment as I’m not smart enough to add to the conversation. Used to follow some SA authors but have lost faith in much of that expertise – I think the comment I once read here was something to the effect of ‘mediocre advise, great salesmanship’. Opened my eyes a bit. Thanks for all the effort.

  9. Tim,

    Over 50’s (just). In CT, but from UK originally…relative newbie to the site. Been visiting nearly every day for close to a year. Desktop, Ipad and mobile.. i’ll use them all. Have even sneaked a peak via son’s Xbox and wife’s Kindle. Also Gas Station TV screens (well, maybe not that last one)

    Been investing fairly steadily in income investments for last 7 years..trying to build up income stream to help with kids college and then hopefully a somewhat early retirement (keeps getting pushed back, of course).
    Had been doing most of it thru friend at RBC until I realized how much they stiffed you on fees ($95 a trade for Prefs!..not to mention Bond highway robbery and tomfoolery).

    Have since struck out on my own into Prefs and baby bonds, emboldened in large part thanks to your site and your amazing community. An absolutely indispensable resource…don’t know what I would do without you quite frankly.

    So, simply, thank you.

    1. Yeah Adrian, I had a “friend” at Merrill who made bank off me too while I was building my business. But when I retired at 47 I started running my own investments. You have to take some lumps, but I have made more for myself than he made for me simply because of how large the commission buffer was. It gave me a huge margin of error.

      I do have an account at RBC though where I only trade the structured products and the only commissions there are baked into those so that has worked well.

      I am also surprised that no one ever mentions the market linked CD’s that Fidelity offers. They are typically FDIC insured and will match the S&P or Dow returns up to a certain rate which varies depending on the issue. I figure a little off the top end is worth there being no worry about the capital investment. The risk on an 8% preferred is a lot more than a FDIC insured market return CD, that is for sure. Just don’t pick one of the ones linked to a synthetic excess return, or momentum benchmark.

      1. Scott R. – Funny you should mention the Fidelity structured product offerings because I’ve been considering one now offered by Morgan Stanley Bank – a 5 year CD based on the S&P. It’s 100% participation in the performance of the S&P capped at a final percentage to be determined between 38% and 43% based solely on the S&P’s level on the final date. At the midpoint, that’s the equivalent of a 7.04% annualized return if the S&P hits the max amount of return over the 5 years. Personally, I have attempted and failed a few times to farm out money to money managers to handle equity exposure for me. I’ve given them my parameters of wanting them to capture a merely decent share, not a shoot out the lights share, of the market’s upside performance in exchange for serious out-performance in ability to protect those gains in downside market moves. Each one seemed to end up more capable of protecting me from upside performance than the downside, so I was figuring this product does exactly what I’ve unsuccessfully asked money managers do for me with 100% downside protection insured. The tradeoff is you can’t enter into one of these products with any expectation of liquidity at any time during the 5 year holding period and you also begin by buying at 100 a product that will immediately be valued in your account at about 97. What also seems to be something to take into account is the history of the S&P’s performance historically on a 5 year rolling basis. When you look into that, despite the most recent few periods, the odds of the S&P hitting a 40% increase over a 5 year period are not that high, so it’s unrealistic to expect you will actually get the max performance.. Bottom line, I’m still firmly sitting on the fence. Anyone else interested in fence sitting, I think you have until 4/29 to decide on this one…. Here’s the link to the prospectus$61765QVL0.PDF
        MSBNA is also marketing a 7 year similar CD based on the Dow capped at 75% and Fidelity’s also offering 3 others as well offered by other banks but based on more esoteric indices….

      2. I remember looking into market linked CDs by Fidelity. I seem to remember the downside of paying taxes each year depending on performance of the product (and possibly necessity of claiming back the tax after such CD matures). Got AXA structured product instead (it’s tax deferred).

  10. Not surprising that the major demo here is old fuds. Have the time, ability and inclination to do this. Plus the money with which to do it. Anyone here by chance from the Santa Barbara area?

  11. Tim, This is my first year using your site. I find it invaluable. I took a company out of bankruptcy and sold. Invested the bulk of the funds with professional advisor boutique firm. After 15 years and paying fees, I saw my money either lost or simply gain due to macro market. I am not slowly managing my own funds. I have subscribed to a few websites. Thus far, your site is far superior. Much gratitude to you and your commentors.

  12. I am a daily reader and an occasional poster. I have followed Tim for several years dating back to his prior site. I usually make several notes per week concerning securities discussed on the site that I want to follow up on and research. Such great information shared by knowledgeable folks. I sold my company 10 years ago (am now 65) and every single security in my portfolio is producing income. After the tech meltdown in 2000-2001 I came to the conclusion that unspent income is just as valuable as a capital gain and have never looked back. As such I own zero common stocks. I reside in the northwest halfway between Seattle and Canuckland.

    Cheers to all fellow readers and a special thanks to Tim for all your hard work. It is truly appreciated.

    1. @Gary Alexander
      I, and perhaps others , would like to know what areas you do invest in; obviously preferred issues are one of them since you access this site.
      I have only a couple of individual common stocks, and some via various closed-end funds. Over half my portfolio is invested in preferred issues; also various types of Reits, Royalty Trusts, Closed end funds, Partnerships, and Canadian closed-end funds. I trend to preferred issues even if the common shares offer a higher yield.
      Thanks ,

      1. Hi Howard, I have the portfolio aligned generally as follows: 30% individual corporate bonds, 30% preferred stocks, 24% baby bonds, 10% muni bonds/muni ETF’s. The balance I use to play or trade in and out of closed end funds, Canadian income securities and newly issued income securities many of which are discussed on this site. I am kind of a numbers guy with my educational background in accounting. So, I view researching securities and playing with the numbers to be just plain fun.

        Happy investing to you,

    1. Inspbudget, you and I go back many years. So I feel comfortable correcting your minor error in your above post. I corrected it below for you, so you dont have to…😁

      Another WAY over 50 visitor, and greatly appreciative of Tim’s work and this site.

      1. You are one guy who looks for minutiae – which benefits everyone when these minutiae are in SEC filings, 10-Q, 10_K, 8-K etc, etc.

        But you are absolutely correct, of course – we are both over 50, and while you are within the decade proper, I am outside :-((

        Not to detract from extolling the benefits of Tim’s site here, of course!!

  13. I appreciate the information you provide. I sold my biz when I was 40 and invested in common stocks with very little success until I found income producing securities. Your information And comments help continue my investment success and learning.

  14. I am a lurker myself, occasional poster…55 year old. 100% IPad. Happy holiday weekend to all who are celebrating something.

  15. Tim, Nomad & Grid- you are very much appreciated by this community …including us old, retired folks who are just trying to stay ahed of the wolves 👀

    1. Bigbear, thank you so much for your kind words. I retired in my 40’s from a 24 year career on Wall Street after Law School (I would have been a horrible attorney) investing and managing a portfolio truly is a labor of love (most of the time). After retiring a few years ago, I had time to concentrate on my commercial real estate development company (it’s about 15 years old) and develop/build on some of the land I bought many years ago. I am currently working on a cell tower deal on one of my sites and SBA Communications (SBAC) is giving me a run for my money (they keep changing the deal). I use an iPad and my iPhone and appreciate all the great information we can share with each other here and thank Tim for all he does for us.
      Happy Holidays to everyone, Nomad

  16. I’m one of those younger investors that work during the day and access the site over mobile. In my 20s I chased common stocks with disastrous results. My 30s have been spent on income securities with much improved returns. You will rarely see me comment, but I really appreciate the work you do. I read everything you post, and also want to say thank you to Nomad and Gridbird as I highly value their comments

    1. Tim,

      I am one of those “over 50”who view your website multiple times daily on my phone.

      I am extremely grateful for all the information you provide as well as the folks who continue that education with their thoughts and comments.
      Please continue your great work!

      Happy holidays to all,

    2. Stratgo, thanks for being young and lowering out collective group age average. I feel younger already! Hopefully sharing ideas is helpful to all….It just needs to fit into your personal risk level, and goals….I remember a friend exposing me to preferred securities 7 years ago. Those 10-12% yields looked awesome!
      But I researched 2 weeks hard and realized those sectors to achieve that yield were not in my comfort zone at all. So the research helped me to define what I really wanted out of income securities and what sectors I was comfortable buying.

      1. I am one of the few in their late sixties and will retire in a couple of month from a long academic career. I visit the site few times daily from a laptop. I lived through 2 bear markets in stocks (2001-2002 and 2008-2009) and found out the hard way that investing in preferreds and baby bonds is more suitable to my temperament. I followed Tim on his previous site but this one is amazing; in short I am addicted to it.
        Many thanks to TIM for creating this wonderful forum where he and knowledgeable people like Grid and Nomad and many others share their experiences.

      2. Thank you for your reply Gridbird. I’ve read so many of your comments both here and on SA that I feel like I’m talking to a celebrity. When I started investing I naively assumed that high risk equaled high returns, but the school of hard knocks helped me to appreciate that the correlation between risk and reward resembles a bell curve much more than a straight upward line extending into infinity. I personally find the best opportunities on the risk/reward curve to be in low to moderate risk preferreds and bonds. There is substantial overlap in our investing styles, and it’s obvious you do extensive research and have good investing instincts, so I always value your opinions

        1. Lol, Stratgo, I need to show your comment to my girlfriend. Maybe she would be more impressed with her BF…Nah, she would laugh at me, and say I wrote your comment under an alias! 🙂
          Seriously, I dont have any more special insight or knowledge than you or anyone. I am just a parrot of info and try to stay out of trouble. My real cornerstone of knowledge was my initial research. My basic criteria was: what sectors survive recessions, dont have as much price volatility, and who can I trust not to screw me over.
          A lot of other great opportunities I dont explore. But either I can muster no energy to understand it, or worry it may lead me to thinking I am smart and invite promiscuous investing behavior that might come back to bite me. But, I do like to have a little fun with it all. Just have to keep it under control and its proper small proportion for me anyways.

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