Housekeeping Notes

The addition of ‘Yield to Worst’ is complete on the 2 ‘Master Lists’ on the site found on this page.

We probably will be adding ‘Yield to Worst’ on some other lists as well, but we are cautious with adding this calculation intensive piece of data to too many areas as in the past we have found it will degrade site performance.

If you downloaded a copy of these sheets for personal use and want the updated information you will need to copy and save once again.

Note today that the Interstate Power and Light 5.1% preferred has changed from trading on the NYSE to now trading on the NASDAQ–we have updated ticker symbols, but quote providers have not yet caught up so it will be N/A for a couple days.  The OLD ticker was IPL-D  and the NEW ticker is IPLDP.

40 thoughts on “Housekeeping Notes”

  1. Tim – are you adding a site search? Or maybe its there but I am missing it. Would be helpful when searching previous comments on issues as I can’t recall where they are located all the time.


    1. Hi tghokie–I have a site search on site now–BUT I don’t think it covers comments.

      I am finally meeting with my tech guy tomorrow afternoon and will ask him about that possibility.

  2. Question for Tim – I noticed that you started rating preferreds on a scale of A-F. What is the formula for deriving the rating and what do the ratings mean? Is it possible to get a spreadsheet sorting the preferreds/BB by ratings? Also, is it possible to get a spreadsheet of just Term Preferred securities?

    1. xwords59, I did not know Tim started rating preferreds, that is going to be useful.

      However, I can’t find where these ratings are. Can you provide the location?

      I checked some of Tim’s lists but didn’t see them.

        1. Thanks, Tim. I had thought it was a rating by some agency. But it still is useful to see how safe the dividend may be.

          Thanks for all the work you do here.

    2. Hi xwords59–there is currently a spreadsheet for term preferreds on site–it is here–

      Also on the ratings you see on the individual security pages if you ‘hover’ over the rating it says ‘in terms of dividend safety’. It is simply my own interpretation of the balance sheet and income statement–done very rapidly.

      In the future I will refine this further and maybe add to the lists, but can’t right now as there is not enough time to get the task accomplished.

  3. As we close out 2018 and I am just about recovered from my flu bug this week, I’ll make a final comment to some of the newer investors to fixed income. About 20 years ago I decided the stock market was too risky and bond returns were too low, so I made the move to preferred stocks and baby bonds. This decision has allowed me to semi-retire in the past year. One of the keys to my success was subscribing to the Forbes/lehman Income Securities Investor newsletter. QuantumOnline has a link to the newsletter and it is well worth the $195 annual charge for the monthly newsletter. Each January, the publication puts together 4 different portfolios and tracks the performance. Unlike Seeking Alpha, this publication is the real deal and reports on the annual results.

    Plus, if you go to the website, you are able to download a copy of an older newsletter – just to see if the publication would suit your needs. I’m not getting any referral fees from this, but just want to share my knowledge with any investors that want stable returns with less volatility than the stock market. It’s a great publication for investors of all ages and for about $17 per month I get a great overview of fixed income. In the past several years they have provided more coverage on common stocks and MLPs – so I just ignore this investment information, although I do enjoy the reading.

      1. kaptain lou,

        More information is always good. This might be a good source but I followed your link, looked at the web sight and just for fun clicked on the “pick of the month”. This, as it states, is just an example of a past pick of the month but my gosh, what a scary pick. They also state it’s been one of their top picks on multiple occasions over a five year period and currently (whenever that was) trades around $20. A $25 trust preferred which might have been a good pick at one time but now trading at less than $10 and yielding ..21%. OUCH!! Time to update their example.

        1. Retired, I agree. That pick was a real downer and not something I would own. Overall, I’d download the sample newsletter and take a look at their portfolios – no fees for that. I pick and choose from their examples, but overall a good quality publication. Appreciate you picking out the flaws on some of their selections and like the feedback from other investors.

        2. Retired, a $25 TRUP trading at $10? Heck that is only a 60% loss on stock price. Rida Morwa and Richard Lejuene have picks this year on SA that would make that one look like a winner! I lost almost $2 on a trade once this year with NSS and I am still ticked off. That was my worse one this year by far. I cant imagine how ticked I would be to buy something that went to $10…

          1. I’ve long considered not knowing when to sell as my greatest investing weakness. It sure would be nice to know.

            1. P, probably for most the best thing to do for most is buy at a good price and hold. Take for example MTB- I just bought last week at $955…I will just hold them now probably for good…EBBNF and NISOP are probably very long term holds also, because of the QDI, the quality, and I really like the 5yr Tbill yield plus kicker reset, instead of those Libor ones which are the prevalent.
              Selling to lock in profits I usually do for three reasons. 1) I bought with intention it would be flipped maybe. 2) When an illiquid becomes too liquid and bidders keep bidding up price above its normal range and I know I can buy something else of equal quality with better yield….Take for example my recent purchase of SBNCM at $11…A bidder was out at $15. Well at $15 that made it a 6.0% yielder. I can (and did) find one of equal quality, so I took the 36% profit and a dividend also, and moved on… 3) A preferred that has dropped quickly from a large sell/buy imbalance…I will buy it up, and then usually sell before end of day one of the issues I own that has appreciated, or one I can live without. I can buy with a negative balance provided I sell something of same value by market close, or pump money into account before end of day…..Rarely do I sell at max price, but it is what it is. I was pleased or I wouldnt have sold, and then I just move on…Sometimes it can take many months or even years before I can rotate back into a specific issue.

                1. P, I have sold for losses twice this year and that was one…And to be truthful I sold because I was pissed at myself. Now over all I have made decent money with NSS flipping in and out past couple years and still scalping interest payment…But I always said if oil sinks below $50 sell and get out…I got greedy and didnt do it. My mistake as I deserved it…Now probably I should have just hung on, but I was just over it. I usually had 1000-1500 shares and at this time I only had 400 or 500 so I wasnt very exposed to begin with as I had been moving my riskier money more into ALLY-B….So in short I sold with no plan, emotionally ticked at my lack of discipline…And guess what, I lost money! 🙂
                  I find when I stray from my plan I lose money…And I am setting myself up again for “Three wrongs dont make a right”. My other loss was recently selling CHSCN for a $1.50 loss. I violated another rule. Dont mess with companies with accounting issues…I did anyways and then it dropped, and then I sold ticked off, lol….But here is the worst thing….I just bought CHSCO friday. Only 400 shares like CHSCN was, but a dumb illogical trade, because if I bought CHSCO friday why didnt I just keep CHSCN? Trouble is I have made a lot of money on CHS issues through the years and it has been very good to me when I had a bigger exposure to it and trading it…So I guess I just cant let it go.
                  So in short, when I have a plan and follow it, I do very well. When I get off script bad things happen…I am done with NSS, and now have a bigger exposure to EBBNF which has jumped nicely lately. The company is financially a lot stronger than NS, and just more suited to my comfort. Out of the 17 preferreds I own, I would say ALLY-A and CHSCO are the weakest ones…But that is relative as the universe is loaded with preferreds of poorer credit risk quality than those two are….Just depends on where one is comfortable at in terms of risk reward and yield grab.

                  1. I had 1500 NSS since IPO and rode it through one downturn. For some reason I sold it the day it barely dipped below $25 the second time. Wish I would have done that with some other stuff, but I didn’t. Just doesn’t make sense. Remember CHS cannot pay more than 8% on the resets and CHSCO pricing doesn’t look bad. I can’t predict anything a week out so a couple years out doesn’t carry much water for me. I think NS.C might be a buy right now but my New Years resolutions block me. I’m a trader at heart though so who knows. I sure played it to the limit before New Years. Ha.

                    1. P, I cant deny the value of the NS preferreds. If they pull through their mess as is their intentions one should be rewarded. As you know investing is emotional.. And I have plenty of that… If AILLL dropped $5 in one day, I would sell everything I own at market and buy those up without hesitation….If NS-C dropped $5 I would think they were going bankrupt and kicking myself for buying, lol.
                      So I have to stay in my running lane…Now if one bought those CHS reset adjustables under par currently would in theory could get more than 8%. But like what you are alluding to, I am just grabbing the extra fixed yield instead that CHSCO offered….On NSS, I wish you had sold mine for me, when you sold yours. 🙂 I may dabble one last time in an mlp preferred Monday, but I am done with NS for better or worse.

                  2. I assign zero value to a reset at call. If it’s in their best interest they will pay you, if it’s in yours they will call. Where’s the carrot there? I’ll take the CHSCO.

                    1. P, The only real live effective adjustable I personally have is ALLY-B…But EBBNF sets up well at the ~$18 purchase price to keep it outstanding and still be adjustable. If on 2022 reset, the 5yr is 3% the yield would be about 8%. But since Enbridge is just paying off par its only 6.15% to them. So both sides win by leaving outstanding. If 5 yr goes to zero, the preferred at $18 still yields 4.37% which would be very good in a negative rate environment. So this is largely why I am holding this one long term.

    1. Hi kaptain–hope you are well and thank you for your wise counsel on various items.

      I caught a 1 day flu bug on Christmas Eve–seems to happen each time the grand kids are around-bring all the various bugs from their schools.

      Was just thinking of you as I wrote a comment on a different page–mentioned you and UHAUL. I had just made another transfer to UHAUL and am moving into some of the longer dated items instead of just the 3 and 4.15% items.

      1. Good evening Tim, hope you are getting over the flu bug like I finally am. It was passed around my family this past week and several of us were down for a few days. Oddly enough, I just put some more funds into U-Haul this evening. I’m 49, so I don’t mind the longer term hold with some of their issues.

        The new 25 year issue in Brookline, MA was interesting to me. Took me about 10 minutes to get assessment information for Norfolk County, MA, but this little property is worth several million dollars even though it is less than an acre. I’ll take the 7.25% yield considering the loan on the property is only $140k. Hat’s off to the assessment office in MA for their fine search engine and for allowing me to look at property values in the surrounding area. Not sure how people there can afford a condo at $575,000 for 800 sf, but I’ll take the loan on the property considering the loan to value is very, very low.

        1. Hi kaptain–I forgot you were a ‘youngster’ so the flu is not such a problem for you–the older I get the more I get concerned around the flu bug.

          It will be next week before my cash lands at UHAUL I suppose so I will see what is available at that time, but I want to get a higher return than the short term issues so will have to climb the risk ladder a bit.

  4. Happy New Year Tim, and all. I already made my resolutions about a month ago. They are the same ones I didn’t keep last year. This time is different.

    1. As 2018 winds up, I am disappointed in my performance; it has been poor compared to previous years.

      But I learned valuable lessons, like not going for “story stocks” and taking a much more conservative strategy. I am optimistic that this knowledge acquired very expensively, will stand me in good stead come 2019.

      And as we look out to a new year, may this be a brighter horizon that rises to meet us.

      Wishing everyone here a 2019 with much success and happiness in all you do.


    2. Yes P–I am going to lose 20 lbs this year. If I would have started a year ago I wouldn’t have to do it this year.

  5. Hi all,

    I also posed this question on SI but I’m wondering if anyone has any comment on KTN which I thought was supposed to be a fairly steady issue. It has been trending down all year and I’m not sure why.

    KTH has also been open past five months or so.

    What am I missing?


    1. Amy, I caught you on SI. Its nothing out of ordinary. If you check their maturities it is about the 6% range for YTM…For subordinated debt of good quality that is a fair yield. They bounce around on liquidity and illiquidity. I tried to get in but missed the bottom as it came to quick. As an overpar issue with a mandated maturity starts to get closer it has to drop. You cant have a $25 par with a 2027 maturity trade at say $35 (over exaggeration for illustrative purposes) as there is no meat on the bone to own for a buy and holder. BTW…KTN just kicked out its 6 month interest payment so that will weigh on it also.

      1. Grid, thanks for your responses here and on SI….and thanks for the reminder that this is a 2x/year pay schedule. I had that in my notes but…10 pages ago.

        So much to remember……my brain is about to short circuit…..

            1. thank you Amy.. i never heard of it.. have you found it useful vs Seeking alpo? is it more like chat or real analysis, seems like chat when i peruse it

              I guess my social media finance gathering started out on Yahoo Finance, where the message boards (believe it or not, back in the day of course) were good chat sources of info.. and it was generally a good source of info as a starter.. SA used to put articles on there so that is how i started on SA in 2008.. we all know what happened to yoohoo…. I may have found Tim’s yield hunter via a post on the message boards..used to read MarketWatch, Business Insider, Bloomberg, but dont really bother anymore.. Barrons..meh.. Alan Ableson died and Mike Santoli is of course on CNBC..

              now SA is disappointing me to say the least.. but really I just used them all to get ideas and do my own “Bea” magic (!) on what I buy/sell.. Tim’s sites have provided me some real gems over the years, companies I would never have heard of or researched.. (SORRY TIM I MISS THE OLD YH still!!)

              Happy New Year to all…preserve that hard earned capital! watch out for the “smart” money and “great” ideas..I see Einhorn’s hedge fund lost beaucoup bucks for his folks this year!

              1. Bea, Tims site is more informative especially since he updates on new issuances and provides a running perspective of his thoughts and such. The only thing I ever read is the “income forum”…There are a bunch of them, but I never read them. Kind of like here in that the posters are congenial and just share their thoughts or ask questions…Like here, no agenda or promotion pushing. Kind of a stream of different people sharing their thoughts on income whether it be conservative or more aggressive in nature… Stick with the plan…Steal ideas then conduct a thorough “Bea Magic” analysis yourself before pulling the trigger!

              2. Hi Bea, Grid summed up SI very well. I spend most of my time here on Tim’s site and SI…..very little time on Seeking Alpo….love that name.

              3. HI Bea–yes I miss the old site as well, but when Salem came calling out of the blue and dangling some moola I didn’t really have too much choice but to let it go.

                Yes SI (Silicon Investor) has been around forever and is something I watch–you never know where you will pick up a tidbit. I think most of the bunch there are some of the biggest participants here.

  6. 10 year TBILL continues it’a free fall. Now down to 2.688%.

    90 day LIBOR at 2.797%.

    Vanguard money market rate (VMMXX) now at 2.42%

  7. As I said many times the fruit market around the block is more efficient than this market dictated only by liquidity. I noticed today they are selling for no reason MRCC that now is very interesting. Naturally bid to ask spread of 4%. Is it possible to ask for a return of market makers or any sort of solution to improve pricing? This is a joke, no possible for serious investors with mark to market obligation to have positions.

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