Our site runs on donations to keep it running for free. Please consider donating if you enjoy your experience here!

Sandbox Page

I will be adding a new link titled “Sandbox” in the right hand menu.

That link will get you to this page.

I had originally set up the “Reader Initiated Alert” page for ‘alerts’. I was thinking this, for instance, might be when a preferred stock is undergoing a temporary selloff and someone wants to let the population know about it quickly. Of course we all (including me) use the ‘alert’ page for general messaging.

I am requesting that we start using the Sandbox page for all general talk, and try to preserve the ‘alerts’ page for ‘alerts’.

I have had a screen up on one of my monitors all week where I see all comments – no matter where they are posted–it is a great page and I wish everyone had a page like that–believe me we all benefit from all the knowledge being shared. I don’t want to stifle any of the exchange of knowledge, but hope to get things a bit better organized by adding the Sandbox page.

1,954 thoughts on “Sandbox Page”

  1. anyone buy ADM today ; price tanked bigtime on possible
    CEO malfeasance; im betting the reaction is way overdone ;

    1. ADM
      24% drop in stock price of an industry leader over concerns with accounting for a subsidiary comprising 10% of revenues? Previous expectations were earning of $7. CEO, while announcing placing CFO on leave, said $6.90 still looked like the right number.

      Too tempting….
      Grabbed at the falling knife

      Bought at 53 (down 22% from previous close)
      More at 52
      More at 51
      Average cost ended $52.50

      Pre-opening today $52.55

      I’m a conservative investor. What makes me do this?

      Keep? Sell when: Break even? Make $500? Lose $500?

      I’ll tell ya how it worked out

      1. Westie, I was about as interested in thinking about putting in a low ball bid like 48. Are your convictions enough to keep buying if this keeps falling? but today looks like you could do a quick flip for $1.00 a share profit on most of what you own.

        1. ADM
          Charles
          Up a buck/share.

          Decided timing the sale based on market moves would make the decision based upon emotion.
          Not good – my weakness.

          Decided on a Sell Limit 0f $54 and to not look at the price hereafter.

          We’ll all see how it works out

          1. You have a growth stock that you picked up at almost a 3-1/2% dividend return. Throw it in the sock drawer. On the other hand, we don’t know what the former CFO was doing and if there is more bad news to come out.

            1. ADM
              Charles, you are 100% correct.
              I must have picked up your brain waves.
              To keep from making an emotional decision, I made up my mind this morning to put in a Sell at $54 and not look at the market.
              On a long bike ride afterwards, the same thought you expressed came to me.
              If ADM is a good company and there is little probability of further downside, why do I want to sell at a 25% discount from yesterday’s valuation?

              When I got back, I did some research and it confirmed my intuition that ADM is a dominant company with solid products, strong balance sheet, and, up to now, good management.

              I cancelled the Sell order and “put ADM in my sock drawer.”

              Hmmmm.
              Ready – Fire – Aim
              Not the best way to be successful.

              1. Right now in hindsight it looks like it would have been a stroke of short term trading genius to have left that limit in.. Yikes! What to do what to do… Agree ADM is blue chip..

                1. Yeah, ADM started dropping this afternoon when this headline crossed

                  S&P PLACES ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND ON CW NEG ON INVESTIGATION

                  Not unexpected

          2. For those familiar with options and interested in ADM as an income play rather than a quick trade or a sock box holding, you can combine them with owning the stock and increase the return while having about 20% of downside protection.

            Buy 100 shares (currently $53.05), buy the $52.50 put, sell the $42.50 put and sell the $57.50 call, all for June. If you can do this for a debit no worse than 35 cents (a favorable fill if the MM splits the B/A), that plus the initial OTM downside risk of 55 cents equals the two 45 cent dividends b/t now and expiration. That means 20% of downside protection down to $42.50, below which you will begin to lose money (on an expiration basis). The potential upside profit is $5 if assigned. These numbers diminish if the dividend is cut and they’ll improve if implied volatility increases.

            The synthetic equivalent to this is buying the $52.50/$57.50 call spread and funding it with the sale of the $42.50 put (some call this a Seagull Spread). This is worth knowing because sometimes, its cost and R/R is similar and it involves fewer legs. Also, play with other strike price combinations to see if other risk graphs are more to your liking.

      2. I spent some time in corporate litigation and discovered an expensive newsletter on corporate litigation for stock traders. The rule of thumb is that in civil litigation when a settlement of civil litigation will only help the stock of the defendant (because of decreased uncertainty). The exception to the rule is the perennial bad boy which always has another naughty bit to resolve. Twenty years ago, the archetype of the bad boy was ADM in the aftermath of lysine feed scandal. Just saying….

    2. Ted, I was in as of 3:59 pm yesterday, waited until the last possible moment, lol. This was also a pandemic buy some years ago and sold close to a triple. Hope my luck doesn’t run out.

      1. Pig; me too jumped on 300 shares at 51.65 during last minute yesterday.
        It’s a rare opportunity to pick up a True Blue Chipper at this discount.
        wake me up when it hits 70 ; this one is going in the Sock Drawer

        1. I might have to look at ADM again. I got in when Russia invaded Ukraine at about $75 and bailed at about $95 that summer. I was playing in my high risk bucket, so I didn’t buy enough (I had way too much in UAN, which turned out to be a barn burner, so I can’t complain too much).

          Anyway, might be worth a look at $50. These “scandals” always blow over with big companies, especially when they are about accounting and not about their products (like at Boeing).

          1. Thank you Ted for posting about ADM.
            Love the volatility. I have flipped a bunch of shares three times this week for a total of over $6 a share. That will pay for a trip to Disneyland for all the kids and grandkids.
            Back in at $50.7x. Hope to get another couple of flips before it settles down.

        2. Good deal Ted, very likely to come out winners in the end here, going to just forget about the purchase and collect the dividends from here on out.

  2. Could anyone on this site give me an idea why my broker at Morgan Stanley was unable to get me a Farm Credit Bureau bond today? I provided the cusip number and other data to them, but no trade occurred. I am baffled. My broker even called their bond desk but still nothing materialized.

    1. glmpa, If you put in an order for a “new” FFC Bond – they typically have settlement dates that are a few days out from offer date.

  3. The Fed’s BTFP loan program for banks is scheduled to expire on March 11, 2024, barring an extension by the Fed. Over the last few months it has become an arbitrage play by banks as the interest rate benchmark is uncoupled from the Fed’s excess reserves payment, allowing banks to borrow from BTFP at 5% and loan at 5.4%. All news reports indicate the Fed is unlikely to grant extension. As we approach March 11, presumably banks will begin selling assets to repay their BTFP/generate reserves, or they will issue alternative financing, like CDs. Either way, as bank moves reverberate through the markets, we should expect some type of jump in interest rates on the shorter end, no? Is anybody else getting spare cash ready for early March to jump on things?

    1. Someone mentioned that Banks can repay current BTFB loan and borrow funds from FED again for a year . As late as march 10th

  4. How many (if any) Gaslog A were you left with after the call last month?
    I had 200 in one account and 2 were left and 600 in another account with a different broker and 0 were left. Wonder if I was unlucky in the lottery.
    Just curious

  5. Sunoco acquiring NuStar! Looks like the market doesn’t particularly care for Sunoco as SUN is down almost 9% as I write this. I have owned SUN since 2016 and collected a ton of distributions from them over that time. Been a great cash cow. More concerning is I own all three NS preferreds (A,B, and C) and now have some decisions to make. I don’t see anything about the date except it is expected to close the second quarter. We definitely get this quarter and maybe most / all of the second quarter in distributions. Looks like the distributions will be more than the amount they are presently selling for over par, but they will go to par fairly quickly. My thoughts now is ride them out to redemption and bid a fond goodbye to a whopping quarterly cash haul from these three as I own upwards of 3000 shares. I’ve owned all three since early 2018. I will also reap a very nice capital gain as I bought all three below par, including one around $21. Now I have an upcoming ton of cash to think about re-deploying. I suspect I am not the only one here with the same problem……….

      1. 7:47 NS NuStar Energy: Sunoco (SUN) will acquire NuStar in an all-equity transaction valued at approximately $7.3 billion (18.03)

        Under the terms of the agreement, NuStar common unitholders will receive 0.400 Sunoco common units for each NuStar common unit, implying a 24% premium based on the 30-day VWAP’s of both NuStar and Sunoco as of January 19, 2024. Sunoco has secured a $1.6 billion 364-day bridge term loan to refinance NuStar’s Series A, B and C Preferred Units, Subordinated Notes, Revolving Credit Facility, and Receivables Financing Agreement. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024 upon the satisfaction of closing conditions, including approval by NuStar’s unitholders and customary regulatory approvals.

        Strategic Rationale
        Increases Stability: Diversifies business, adds scale, and captures benefits of vertical integration by combining two stable businesses
        Strengthens Financial Foundation: Continues Sunoco’s successful capital allocation strategy on a larger scale, improving the Partnership’s credit profile, and supporting a growing distribution
        Enhances Growth: More cash flow generation for reinvestment and growth across an expanded opportunity set
        Positive Financial Outlook
        Accretion: Immediately accretive with 10%+ accretion to distributable cash flow per LP unit by the third year following close
        Synergies: At least $150 million of run-rate synergies by the third year following close
        Financial Savings: Approximately $50 million per year of additional cash flow from refinancing high-cost floating rate capital
        Leverage: Will achieve leverage target of 4.0x within 12-18 months post close
        Distribution Growth: Supports continued distribution growth while maintaining strong coverage

  6. Shorter Tenors Slide Amid Fading Rate Cut Odds
    ….. May see Funds Rate cuts more mid-yr ………
    U.S. Treasuries ended a down week with losses in most tenors, paced by relative weakness in the 2-yr note, which lifted its yield to its highest closing level in a month as prospects of a March rate cut dimmed. The 2-yr note underperformed from the start while longer tenors opened near their flat lines, but selling pressure built shortly after the cash open, keeping the market under pressure through the first three hours of action. Treasuries saw an extension of their early losses after this morning’s batch of data showed a slight miss in Existing Home Sales in December (actual 3.78 mln; Briefing.com consensus 3.80 mln), but more notably, the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index for January (actual 78.8; Briefing.com consensus 68.8) was well ahead of estimates, hitting its highest level since July 2021 with year-ahead inflation expectations decelerating to 2.9% from 3.1%, a rate not seen in just over three years. The 5-yr note and longer tenors marked session lows after the market received the pair of economic reports, climbing off those lows as the day went on with the long bond making the most progress in the rebound. The 2-yr note, however, bounced briefly, but eventually slipped past its late morning low, finishing at its lowest level of the day. Today’s session saw a turn in rate cut expectations, with the implied likelihood of a 25-bps cut at the March meeting falling to 45.4% from 55.5% that was seen yesterday.

    1. AB—the housing market direction is really a function of the strength/weakness of the US economy. It’s a lagging indicator. If the economy strengthens this year, the housing market will also strengthen. Wolfstreet is a perennial bear. This kind of data just hits his sweet spot. I’m not saying this data is useless, only that it’s not of much assistance in predicting the future. of the housing market in 2024. JM2C

      1. Randy, the housing market is dead because those that have existing mortgages from the last 14 years have rates much lower than the current mortgage rates and they aren’t selling/moving to “secure” higher interest rates on their new homes. Small to medium sized builders (like me) are afraid to get stuck right now with a portfolio of built homes we simple can not make a decent profit on. IF the interest rates move lower than there will definitely be a surge of new and existing buyers. I develop properties (mainly commercial now), but the 220+/- legacy homes we own (bought many years before the interest rate surge) all have mortgage rates under 4% and we are not selling (just collecting rents) at this time. A while back I bought a piece of land to build townhomes here in South Florida and had to pivot to renting some of them as apartments (instead of selling) because we just couldn’t sell all the units and be comfortable with the return on our capital.. I truly wanted the place to close after almost 2 years of risk building/carrying a builders loan. I do not like what I see for these residential properties unless the Fed starts cutting rates again and demand for buying/buyers will come again. Lastly, the tree growing properties I own are much different; the cost of carrying them is so low and IMHO they will always have good value. Wolf Street tells the absolute truth (good or bad) and he’s spot on about the housing market at this time…

        1. Just some musings on the housing scene – it’s not down and out, just taking a breather! Remember when 8% mortgages were the norm in the ’70s through 2000? I do! 😅 Times change, and now, the past decade’s era of low-interest rates, though beneficial, has its consequences, reminding us that “cheap money” comes at a cost.

          While I’m no fortune teller, the days of 4% rates might not make a swift comeback. Thinking more like 4-6% could be the new groove. Waiting for the golden era to return might take a while. 🕰️

          I foresee our economy getting comfy with slightly higher rates, not as sky-high as today, but a new normal. 🌐 This shift could kickstart the housing scene into an active cycle. Life happens – jobs change, families grow or shrink – and that’ll nudge us toward embracing the new norm.

          And hey, if I’m off the mark on rates, no sweat! Refinancing might just be the silver lining.

          1. Agreed, 5%-6% is a reasonable mortgage rate when compared to historic rates. I don’t see them going any lower than 5% anytime soon.

          1. David, I posted this before but to answer your question majority of housing is new construction. Existing homeowners with low interest rates are not selling (yet). I discovered these large homebuilders are extraordinary efficient (though contractor friends declare work sub-standard). Look into their supply chains. They own many required supplies for home building. In my local market, the city received so much push back against them from local builders that no zoning changes were made for them. Instead local folks buy land, obtain entitlements and then flip to Horton, etc. (including me).

            1. TNT long long ago in a place far far away…
              I drove by an old farm house on my way to work every day. I knew the bay area was (is) growing. One day a for sale sign went up. Old house was occupied and on well and septic. Was told the county might condemn the house or not allow permits to be pulled unless the septic was replaced. In that area was heavy clay soil. Thing was, it came with a flat 20 acres. I tried talking a friend’s dad who was a realtor into going in on it with me, but he had a bad experience with partnerships. I owned a 5yr old house that was about the same value. My other choice was to sell and try to buy that property.
              Guess I am not that big a gambler as 2WR says.
              In 5yrs the city annexed the area the property was in. They also bought about 10 acres for the site of the new Elsie Ellen high school I think around $1m the other 10 acres was sold off for housing tracts after the city brought in sewer and water for the high school.
              So, you make a good point that some of these larger builders may be in a good position to sell new homes. One of the medium sized ones out of Colorado that operates in several states was just bought by the Japanese.

          2. Not dead in most of California, prices are stable and houses sell quickly. Some cities like San Francisco and the Bay area in general are the exception. New building projects going up all over the state.

    1. I guessing it’s Monday 1/22, based on the previous ex dates and the strong close on Friday.

      1. From the ET press release:

        “The cash distribution for the Series E and Series I unitholders will be paid on February 15, 2024 to
        Series E and Series I unitholders of record as of the close of business on February 1, 2024.”

        “Notice of redemption with respect to the Series E preferred units will be issued at a later date and
        such units will be redeemed once redeemable on May 15, 2024.”

    1. I would think that having a new buyer in the market that never sells would nudge up the price, or at least provide a floor so it stops dropping. They could be doing this in response to complaints about lost value from the insiders holding 7.6 million units.

    2. Massive volume on the close today for the Canadian reset issues.

      Good chance it was Brookfield buying from the silly index funds which had to sell.

      1. Wow, wow, wow.

        It was indeed the index funds dumping. The part of Brookfield buying remains a guess. Either way, it was a massive buyer.

        CPD, the Canadian equivalent of PFF, liquidated its BPO Office holdings (except 1 issue) on Friday.

        And as we saw, BPO Canadian reset prefs we UP ~5% on significant volume into the close on Friday.

        This makes me even more confident with my position, as the opposite usually occurs. The ETF fund force sells and the shares crater. In fact, I can’t think of any other similar instance.

        These remain very risky so DYOD.

        https://www.blackrock.com/ca/investors/en/products/239836/ishares-sptsx-canadian-preferred-share-index-fund

  7. I have not posted this free stock grader from my old friend Louis Navellier in some time. I met friends at an RV show in Tampa, Florida today and my friend told me this Navellier portfolio grader has helped him immensely. I hope it can help each of you too https://navelliergrowth.investorplace.com/portfolio-grader/
    There are two way to live your life. One as though nothing is a miracle, the other as though everything is a miracle

    1. I took it for a spin, and quickly learned that FTNT’s top-rated competitors are GWRE, NSIT, WDAY, and PSN. Yeah, I don’t think so. I give this website a grade of F.

  8. VIASP getting crushed
    Down 6.75%
    Probably a weather impact
    Expect bad news momentarily
    Common dividend suspended – probably pref next

      1. If it drops below 200 day moving average cut and run fast. Much of my unrealized profit on this one evaporated today.

    1. VIASP down last year on suspicion the divvy would be suspended. Bounced back halfway then fell again. It’s all about the perceived odds of default. Do you feel lucky, punk?

  9. Is anyone following KKRS? Price volatile, -1.5% today.
    4.625% BB 2061, call 2026, current yield 6.17%

    1. rocks—where do you find the BB rating for KKRS? Where I look on Schwab and QOL it is higher?

  10. Hi folks, I can’t seem to find any info on CSSEN regarding the Dec 2023 dividend payment. I have looked on this sight but I am probably missing something. I have not received my payment from Schwab. I read the preferred was suspended but no info on the notes. Any insight is appreciated. Thanks, Acesplit

  11. Quantumonline –
    I’m sure many of us help QOL as we do Tim in notifying them of info they have that’s either wrong or needs updating right? Have you noticed any change in their responsiveness to your contributed info? In the past, they’ve always updated relatively quickly and always provided an acknowledgement of thanks. Not recently though….. I know I have sent along at least 3 updates, including the notification of call on FNB-E and a link to an actual prospectus on AQNB that they don’t have but they have not responded nor updated in over a week…. Anybody else having the same experience? It would be sad to see QOL go downhill in responsiveness – they’re such a valuable tool…

  12. Looks like Schwab likes to Pendragon obfuscate a bit… I guess I am in the May cutoff group with 2 accounts. One, an HSA was moved a few months ago.

    Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) has made “exceptional progress” on the TD Ameritrade conversion in 2023, CEO Walt Bettinger said Wednesday, having converted about 90% of client accounts and assets.
    That’s equivalent to about $1.6T in assets and 15M accounts. The remaining 10% will be converted in May 2024.
    “Attrition continues to track below the estimates that we shared in 2019, when the transaction was announced,” Bettinger said during the online brokerage’s Winter Business Update call.

    1. Grid, or others, any recommendations for existing Schw a/c to explore on the upcoming trading site transition.

      1. Jim, I have a lot of my stuff I dont trade as often in my HSA, so I dont transact as much in Schwab yet. All my ToS stuff that I use is still on TD. Ticker symbols are different I have noticed but that is easily managed. But I really wont mess with it a lot until May I guess. Quit frankly for my needs it will really have to piss me off somehow to change as I would have to coordinate two transfers being one is a separate unrelated HSA account and I already have another brokerage plus govt TD.

      2. Jim- I migrated from TD to Schwab last summer and I’ve had a few issues:

        Late last year, I placed a buy order based on the Cash Available stated on their All-In-One Trade Ticket and it went through. Later that day, I noticed that I was on margin so I called Support. It turns out that one’s accurate cash balance is found on the Accounts Balance page. The trade ticket is unreliable. I don’t know if this has been rectified.

        Second, the symbology for Schwab preferred tickers is /pr so for example, ALL/prH. However, on one of the trade tickets, it was listed with a + rather than /pr and the + is invalid so buy/sell orders won’t go through. When you’re unfamiliar with a new platform, issues like these are really frustrating because you have no clue that it’s them, not you.

        Unlike Fidelity, Schwab does not have automatic sweep so they’re nickel and diming you for fees. Cash not in a money market account earns ka-ka. In the aforementioned margin issue, even though I had sufficient back up funds in SWVXX, it’s a one day settlement and therefore, I had to pay one day of margin fees (for their error). It’s also an inconvenience to have to transfer MM to the brokerage account and have to wait one day in order to trade.

        On a positive note, customer support is excellent. Don’t hesitate to tap into it if you are confused by anything or you’d like to be walked through anything (finding things, placing orders, etc.).

        1. Schwab actually has three naming conventions in different parts of their systems:
          XX/prY
          XX+Y
          XXpY

          The last one us mostly just in streetsmart edge. Stupid thing in SSE is that if you click “research on schwab.com” for a preferred with that XXpY name, it will fail. They aren’t smart enough to “translate” among their own naming conventions (after it fails, you will have to type in the name in either the “/pr” or the “+” convention).

          I agree with you that the “cash available” thing is a mess. It blocks orders where there is sufficient value (cash + mm balances) pretty regularly (esp. in non-margin accounts like IRAs), and it pushes you into margin if you aren’t careful. I think their goal is to make you keep more uninvested cash in your account so they can make money on it.

          1. Goofy stuff abounds that amazes me. Whenever I sell a preferred from Vanguard and hit sell icon next to ticker, it converts into a ticker symbol it does not itself recognize and wont transact. So I have to manually override its own ticker symbol into a different format to transact. Simply amazing.

          2. Schwab has more than one naming convention? So it’s even worse than I thought. Jeez…

            Apart from the margin issue, I had a $32k treasury mature today and I also have $500 or so in SWVXX. In order to buy 33 new treasuries, I have to sell the MM today and buy them tomorrow. That means that the $32k does not earn MM rate interest for 1 day. That’s Schwab’s rip off. I should have sold the MM yesterday in anticipation but I was got busied up with other things. Mea culpa. A few months ago, a rep said that they were going to fix this but I’ll believe it when I see it. Fidelity is so smooooth when it comes to this.

            1. Hi, this has not been my experience. Treasury bonds and MMFs are both T+1, so you can buy the bond and sell the MMF on the same day.

              1. I suspect that Schwab likes you more than me :->)

                Their bond page would have allowed me to buy 32 Treasuries today since there was enough money in the account (excluding MM). It denied purchase of 33 which I will be allowed to do tomorrow when the SWVXX sale settles.

                Is there any chance that after I placed the SWVXX sale order, the system would recognize tomorrow’s settlement and would have allowed the purchase of 33 today? I have another one maturing in 2 weeks and I’ll test this idea then. I’d be surprised if Schwab allows this since that wouldn’t allow them to grab a day of interest.

                1. No, placing a sale order on the MMF doesn’t change the amount available to trade.

                  Is this a margin account?

                    1. If you add the margin feature, you won’t have the problem you mentioned.

    1. Azureblue, Thanks for posting that link. A very interesting article to read. I bookmarked that page so I can go back to there for reading more articles.

      1. Dj, the author is a 1 man show (no additional staff), but has great insight and no real axe 🪓 to bring politically or market bias

  13. SLMNP – Ahhhhhhhhhhhh nuts! You would think that someone or some institution having enough money to own over $2 million worth of SLMNP would know better than to sell it into the expert’s market but NO.. Somebody dumped 2500 shares at $822.50. I know I had a few bids in higher than that and I’m sure other III’ers probably did too. Grrrrrrrrrrr… The 2500 shares immediately sold them all at $825 to a more knowledgeable “expert” who probably is now going to put them all to LYB instantaneously at $848.27 and pocket $58K risk free…. Nice day’s work if you can get it….

      1. SLMNP was originally issued by A Schulman as a convertible preferred. Schulman was acquired by LyondellBasell (aka LYB) and at the time, since the conversion factor could no longer be exercised given Schulman shares no longer existed, as an alternative, shareholders were provided with an ability to put SLMNP back to LYB at a set price equivalent to the value of the Schulman shares at the time of the acquisition. That’s the Cliff notes version of the story, but bottom line is that holders of SLMNP will always have the ability to put them back to LYB at the set price…. However, if you own SLMNP and are interested in putting them back only do so immediately after payment dates because you’ll give up any accrued on the day you exercise your put.

        1. 2WR, Thanks! When I googled LYB I kept getting LyondellBasell up no matter how I phrased the question. Never occurred to me that LYB was ticker symbol! I was thinking it was a mnemonic for a financial term. I did go to the LYB website and wondered what the heck a chemical plastics company had to do with an old preferred. I am not familiar with SLMNP and the company who originally issued it, A Schulman, who got swallowed by LyondellBasell It all makes complete sense now.

    1. Yep, totally skipped over my bid too. Big thanks to the feds for “protecting” us here!

      The expert market is really working out well —– for the experts.

  14. Just found this Google Sheets function that I didn’t see listed in their Help description.
    GoogleFinance(ticket, “name”) where ticket gets replaced by the stock symbol or the the cell that contains the stock symbol.

    GoogleFinance(CHSCM, “name”) returns:
    CHS Inc Preferred Shares Series 3

  15. Citibank is implementing monthly charges for my savings and checking accounts and I’m not happy about their ways to avoid these fees. In looking for a new bank, I found a Chase offer for a $900 bonus if you deposit $15,000 in a MM account for three months and open a checking account. That’s 6% for 3 months. Might do it. Google for details.

    1. Mind sharing the specific name of the account/package you have? Is this part of the rollout of existing accounts to Simplified Banking? To my knowledge, no new monthly charges have been introduced. The minimum balance requirement (now called “tiers”) to avoid the monthly fee have shot up, but the bank will waive monthly charges if you have $250+ deposit each month (a pretty low bar) for checking or have $500 for savings (unchanged).

      1. I don’t have an account package. I have had a checking and savings account with them for 20, maybe 25 years with no fees or requirements. I transfer $1,000 to $2,000 in whenever bill payment depletes the checking account.

        I spoke to a rep today and he mentioned that I could waive the fees if deposited $250 a month. Call me picky/petty but at my age, I want simple, not a new responsibility. I’d have no problem with something like a minimum balance of $500 or $1,000. I specifically asked him if there was another way (such as the $500 minimum balance in the savings account that you mentioned) but he said no. On the off chance that this rep was misinformed, I’ll call my branch tomorrow and see if they have any alternatives.

        I like having two online checking accounts so my no fee 30+ year old Wells Fargo account will suffice until I find a Citibank replacement, if I have to mosey on.

        1. I’m not familiar with the features/details of what is likely a grandfathered account from two decades ago but I’m glad the rep confirmed the $250 external deposits will waive the fee so this confirms you are being migrated to Simplified Banking (2025 completion date). Technically, it’s an “Enhanced Direct Deposit” so the following is included or excluded:

          “An Enhanced Direct Deposit is an electronic deposit through the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network of payroll, pension, social security, government benefits and other payments to your checking account totaling at least $250 or more in a calendar month. An Enhanced Direct Deposit also includes all deposits via Zelle and other P2P payments when made via ACH using providers such as Venmo or PayPal. Teller deposits, cash deposits, check deposits, wire transfers, transfers between Citibank accounts, ATM transfers and deposits, mobile check deposits, and P2P payments using a debit card do not qualify as an Enhanced Direct Deposit.”

          The $500 average monthly balance is one of two ways to waive. The other is to simply own a checking account. So technically no new fees, more ways to waive fees, but yes, it seems you might have an extra hoop to jump through.

          30 year Wells account? Possibly a former First Interstate customer?

          1. It’s no problem if I have to keep a minimum balance of $500 but it’s too much of a hassle to me to have make a $250 deposit every month.

            I applied for the Chase bonus deal and at the end of it, I was rejected because I forgot that I had blocked my credit agency accounts (I went to the emergency room for pneumonia two years ago and shortly after that, patient records were hacked). Couple that with the inability to easily get a bank rep on the phone and it has sucked off a lot of wasted time. Tomorrow, I’ll try again.

            No, not First Interstate Bank. I was with some tiny local bank in the late 80’s – can’t remember the name. It was acquired by Wachovia Bank which was acquired by First National Bank circa 2000 which was then acquired by Wells Fargo 6-7 years later.

    2. 1. If you theaten to close your Citi accounts, you can probably get a small retention bonus.

      2. If you don’t care about having a local bank branch available, you could consider using Fidelity brokerage and/or cash management accounts for checking and savings.

      3. Otherwise the Chase offer is great if you don’t mind jumping through the hoops and have a direct deposit available. It’s been around for a while so you can read plenty of detailed reviews, for example:
      https://www.doctorofcredit.com/targeted-chase-900-checking-savings-bonus/

      There is also a lot of reddit discussion.

      1. 1) I spoke to a rep this morning and when he indicated that my only alternative was to deposit $250 a month (see my previous reply), I indicated that I would close the two accounts if there wasn’t a better solution. He was apathetic.

        2) Fidelity is a good possibility. I opened a brokerage account with them last year and I like it much better than Schwab (via Ameritrade merger).

        3) As far as I can tell, the Chase offer only requires a 15k deposit. I did not see a direct deposit requirement at DoctorOfCredit (which is where I found the offer). I won’t bounce my Social Security deposit around. I did that once and it was a royal PITA rectifying the bank’s mistake.

        1. Without direct deposit, you can only get the $200 savings account bonus:

          “To receive the checking bonus: 1) Open a new Chase Total Checking account, which is subject to approval; AND 2) Have your direct deposit made to this account within 90 days of coupon enrollment. Your direct deposit needs to be an electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension or government benefits (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government.”

    3. Chase has a self-directed investment account with no fees or commission. Not the best but the funds qualify toward your $15,000 to be a premiere customer. Maybe not for the $900 bonus just wait 3 months but they do sometimes offer a $200 bonus.

        1. There are still numerous banks offering free or low-cost accounts offered by community and even regional banks, yet so many people still gravitate to the large institutions because that’s all they seem to know. Witnessed this plenty of times when customers blindly walk into a Chase/BofA/Wells branch looking to open accounts. There are ~4,500 banks but these three capture all the attention.

          1. >> The $500 average monthly balance is one of two ways to waive. The other is to simply own a checking account. So technically no new fees, more ways to waive fees, but yes, it seems you might have an extra hoop to jump through.

            I spoke to another Citibank rep today. The $500 average monthly balance requirement only applies to savings accounts. The checking fees can only be waived with a $250 monthly deposit. She did mention something about a larger package with $30k in assets but I nipped that discussion in the bud.

            Hasta la vista Citibank. I really liked their online bill pay the best.

        2. You might be in First Citizens territory. Plenty of branches and they have Free Checking with eStatements.

          1. I think that I’m going to use Fidelity for online bill payment and use my Wells Fargo for the occasional paper check. Since I have a Fidelity account, opening a separate cash management account will be easy since they already have my Trust papers. Fidelity on, Citibank off. Thanks to all for the responses and suggestions.

            1. You can just order paper checks from Fidelity (seems to take quite a while to get them though).

              Also, you may not need the cash management account – the main advantage is ATM fee rebates.

  16. I don’t know whether anyone here uses MYGAs in lieu of CDs, but Canvas has a 5-year at 6.50%. They have indicated that reductions are coming.
    Also, does anyone have experience with IShares Term High Yield, e.g., IBHH ’28? I’m not sure of the mechanics. Do they pay interest and guarantee all principal back at the end of the term?
    As always, thanks so much for any thoughts. I’m learning a lot from this site. For those fathers complaining about their kids not having interest in investments, I’m available for adoption!

    1. The defined maturity bonds like IBHH don’t guarantee all principal at the end. The hold a portfolio of high yield corporate bonds set by an index and pay out coupon yield along the way. In the final year, as the bonds mature, they invest the principal in money market-like assets and pay out what’s left at the end of the year. Since the portfolio is set by an index and bonds continue to get issued after fund inception, wonky things can happen.

      For example, imagine the ETF was issued at $25 with rates of 5%. If rates rise, new bonds are issued, and you’re looking at it then, you might see an SEC yield of 7%, a distribution yield of 6%, and a market price of $23. You will not get 7% yield, you will get 6%. You will not get $23 or $25 back at the end. You will get closer to $24.

      They are billed as an alternative to direct bond holdings or CDs or MYGAs but they are fundamentally different since they can’t guarantee a specific sum of principal at the end. They do offer a fair yield for a reasonably known duration, but it’s not the same.

      1. Cervantes, 2yrs ago I played around with picking up dimes and nickels in front of the steamroller. A lot of these term funds and target date funds have been sold as the next safe investment over the decades. There is a writer over on the other site I followed who reported on these funds. For the past few years a lot of funds closed, merged or termed out. When people found out the fund they were in wasn’t going to pay out what they expected they bailed and the price dropped. The writer was pretty good at estimating the final payout.
        If you swooped in and bought when others panicked and by the right date you got the final payout. Risky game and I quit playing before I got burned

      2. Cervantes – I haven’t owned any IShares Term ETFs such as IBHH, but I don’t understand why your example ought to necessarily hold up…. I would think a term bond fund such as this, if they stick to their guns in what they should be buying, will concentrate on owning practically all bonds that mature in 2028, maybe early 2029 or earlier. So barring any defaults, they should get close to $25 no matter what at their term date. And in fact, when you look at what IBHH presently holds 100% of their holdings if you include cash have maturities of 3 to 5 years or less. I realize in the closed end area there’s a difference between term funds and “target term” funds where a “target term will look to stay more within the maturity range of their term than term funds, but is that possible in term ETFS too? If so, by structure right now, IBHH looks more like a target term CEF in comparison and would hopefully have a pretty good chance of reaching its original issue price by 12/15/28 no matter where interest rates are at that time. NO??

        1. No 2whiteroses. You have to think through what happens when rates change and new bonds are issued that go into the index and have to be bought. If interest rates go from 5% to 7%, then all existing bond holdings lose market value (but benefit from a new higher YTM). For example, a par $100 bond with 5% coupon and 4.5 years left is priced around $92.50 if rates rise to 7%. We expect that to mature back at $100 so no problem.

          However, if a new 7% bond is then issued and the ETF needs to match index, the ETF will sell $92.50, $5 coupon, 7% YTM bonds and buy new $100, $7 coupon, 7% YTM bonds. If the fund was all $92.50, $5 coupon, 7% YTM bonds before but is now half (measured by market value) that and half $100, $7 coupon, 7% YTM bonds, then the total received at maturity would be $96.25 ($92.50 split into $46.25 worth of 7% bonds mature at $46.25, the other half matures at $50). Sure, the ETF will continue to earn 7% YTM either way, but the index/holding changes will cause that YTM to shift around between coupon and principal. The investor has no control over that shift since it’s introduced by market developments/index changes/ETF manager choices.

          1. I see…. So this seems to be a case where attempting to match an index causes a principal loss were they merely matching up duration with their final term date….. a DISadvantage to an index based ETF?

            1. I think it would affect both traditional open-end MFs and ETFs where the manager was buying new bonds after a rate rise, index or active.

  17. FITBI – Fifth Third Bancorp, 6.625% Dep Shares Fixed/Float Non-Cumul Pfd Stock, Series I

    I’ve got a starter position going on this one at 25.15 and there just seems to be something weird going on…. It’s as if Mr. Market has yet to realize that FITBI is ALREADY floating…..It pays SOFR +.2616 + 3.71 with SOFR having been calculated probably on 12/27 or 28. So it’s next coupon for payment on 3/31 will be something like 9.30%. This for a preferred rated Baa3/BB+.. That makes no sense… Even if it’s trading “pinned to par” already, it seems cheap, although they can call at any time, not on any payment date, upon 30 days notice…..
    But here’s the other thing – they already are paying 8.67% on FTBXL which started floating last June… I wonder why? Granted there’s a huge difference between 8.67% and 9.30% but still, the fact that FITB has been leaving FTBXL outstanding seems to me to slightly increase the odds that FITBI might remain outstanding for a while……. Am I missing something? Yes, it’s a bank and everyone’s questioning banks right now, but still 9.20% + current yield seems pretty tasty IMHO, especially when you also get a decent YTW as well…. As per usual – DYODD.

    1. A slight correction that just adds a little more credence to the theory that FITBI may stay outstanding for awhile: FTBXL is paying a coupon yield of 8.88% I think and its last trade was at 96.829 today – that’s a 9.17% current yield. And this for an IG preferred from a bank that has a 14 year bond outstanding yielding 6.34%….. Go figure….

      1. 2WR you comparing the preferred to the bonds? That was another thing I noticed and several others mentioned that the bond market seems to have recovered or over recovered .
        I feel like I should be getting a higher rate for holding something longer term then these BB or preferred.

        1. Sure, Charles, why not? There has to be a reasonable spread between the two. Granted I’m comparing current yield on a theoretically perpetual FITBI vs YTM on a 14 year bond, but still, +300 basis seems quite wide.. It does narrow on a YTM on the bond v YTC basis on the preferred, but I contend call is not imminent quite yet on FITBI…. famous last words re imminent call???? if so I can live with the consequences.

        2. BTW, Charles FITB also has outstanding FITBP which is 6.00% Dep Shares Non-Cumul Perpetual Cl B Pref Stock Ser A. That’s one of their 2 perpetual fixed rate preferreds… Wanna guess where it’s trading???? At $24.51 it’s spitting out a 6.12% current yield… Now you can compare preferred to preferred, fixed rate perpetual vs F/F rate…. If you can get an extra 300 basis points current yield to give up the fixed rate and go to F/F, I think that very adequately compensates for any risks involved owning the F/F if interest rates decline…. I’m not saying this is necessarily a unique spread for FITB, ALL-B comes to mind as another example, but for my purposes, it still makes a pretty powerful argument to be participating in F/F issues just as long as you keep in mind positive yields to potential call dates.

  18. Question for anyone—today I received a return of principal payment equal to exactly 1/3 of my investment in FHLB 6% due 12/32 (3130AUB60). However, my Schwab account does not show a reduction in the size of the investment. Shouldn’t it be reduced by 1/3? Is it the kind of thing that takes a day or two for the accounting to catch up? Any ideas? Thanks.

    1. What do you mean by “size of the investment”? The number of shares you own? I think what you will see is a change in your cost basis when the adjustment is made. At least that is what I have seen with the preferred shares I own that have had return of capital.

    2. randy,
      I’m seeing a similar situation at Fido. 5/6 of my position in FHLB 6.15% due 07/33 (3130AWMM9) showing as principal payment without reducing the size of my original position. It looks like a partial call, but we’ll have to see in a day or two if it comes out in the wash!

  19. Delta Airlines Credit Union member? Here’s a niche offering for a rung on your CD ladder:

    Available through February 29: 5.15% base, 12-month, no call with $100 bonus at $10,000 and $250 bonus at $25,000. Right at $10K and $25K, this translates to a yield a tad north of 6.15%. Bonus paid in 1st Q.

  20. Today is a red letter day for me. I finally sold the last of my troublesome MLP shares from my inherited MLP.

    Many years ago, I inherited some MLP shares in an IRA. I wasn’t really paying attention until years later when i wanted to sell, and realized I had a big recapture looming, which would have triggered big UBTI taxes. So, I embarked on a mission to sell just a few shares every year, which kept me under the $1K ubti threshhold (messed up one year and paid a few bucks).

    Today I sold the last of those MLP shares. It isn’t a bad company, I just didn’t like the shares in an IRA.

    I told a friend about it on the phone (while picking up some grandkids from school) and said I ought to throw a party to celebrate.

    My 3 year old (eavesdropping) granddaughter said we should have a party with cookies and milk, and she volunteered to “help” me make the cookies (which usually entails her stirring a little, putting sprinkles on, and eating more cookie dough than her mother would like). Her older sister said she doesn’t want to help make them, but she will be happy to eat them. So, we are apparently going to make chocolate chip cookies with rainbow sprinkles.

    1. Good morning Private,

      I believe it was you that posted some wonderful commentary on China. If so, any updates?

      Best regards,

  21. Put Heartland HTLFP a Tim holding on watch for possible add, 7% w a strong reset (5yr T) protection in 2025. Bea

    1. Bea, Heartland was one of the regional banks I tested my theory on how the market viewed the bank by how the market prices their long term bonds.
      For Heartlands 2031 bond CUSIP 42234QAE2 2.75% it is priced at 86.97 which if I am using Fidelity’s bond calculator correctly gives a YTM of 4.8%
      That seems like to me the market is giving them a strong vote of confidence.
      I did the same with Zions bank 2029 bond CUSIP 98971DAB6 3.25% and the market is telling me the price right now gives you a yield of 7.43% says the market thinks they are a higher risk and that’s with even a shorter time to maturity.

      1. Charles – there’s a problem with your theory but I don’t think it changes your conclusion- that trade on Heartlands 42234QAE2 happened a year ago as confirmed both at Fido and FINRA (thnx again for the FINRA lesson)…. It was an 86.97 buy (after an near simultaneous sell at 86.75) on 1/27/23. So the actual YTM @ 86.97 was about 4.60% at the time, but how much have interest rates changed in a year? Using the 10yr Treas, it’s up 51 basis points, So this bond is probably truly worth no more than 5.11% YTM today…. . Still vs 7.43% for Zions bond today and your point most likely remains.. 98971DAB6 was trading at just under 6% YTM on Jan 26, 2023.

        1. 2WR, yes you really have to be on your toes with FINRA as sometimes no information is better than bad or old info. FINRA also is horrible about keeping redeemed bonds on their website and doesnt specify if they are active or not. Plus when looking at trading prices you have to mentally differentiate between the dealer trade pricing and retail purchases as those could easily be 5% or more difference in pricing.

    2. Heartland looks plenty strong enough to reliably make HTLFP dividend payments. Will it be called in July 2025 when it floats at 5yy + 6.675%?

      I do wonder why in June 2020 it was necessary for Heartland to pay so much. Maybe with Covid uncertainty high, it wasn’t a good time to raise money.

      1. HTLFP “resets.” It doesn’t float….. So it will reset for a period of 5 years instead of floating every quarter after 7/15/25. What makes this important is that I think it’s also callable only on reset dates. So if it’s not called on 7/15/25, it will remain outstanding until at least 7/15/30….. That probably makes the likelihood of call even higher for 7/15/25 barring any strange happenings to interest rates in general by then…

        1. 2wr-
          Thanks for clarifying the difference between floating and reset.

          You are correct. HTLFP is callable only on reset dates. Implications abound.

        2. 2WR I noticed its actually easier on Fidelity to see dealer to dealer trades and customer to customer than on FINRA. Also the “spread”? is wider especially on smaller lots. I figured my crude observation was going to be just that. I thank you for saying it does have some usefulness. I do admit I didn’t think of the flaw in my idea that it’s old information but hopefully some of these banks have been working on cleaning up their houses.
          So much has changed in rates that I think you’re right about HTLFP. Probably not going to last for years without being called but a good place to hang out while we are waiting. Even if rates fall and the reset is lower I think it’s been discussed before that if it’s not called it’s still going to be offering a higher rate at the time than the rest of the market. That will still keep it attractive to investors looking for yield and support it’s price. Just have to avoid owning it if the value is too high above call price.
          The Goldilocks dilemma, on fixed to float and fixed to reset. Too low a yield and at some point the price of the holding drops, too high of a yield and the issuer calls it. How to find the right stock that the yield stays up to the market and it doesn’t get called.

  22. i think we have had similar discussions about us passing our investments to our heirs. Everyone here is great, but the idea/theme is that our heirs are not like us. As the years go buy, the majority of investors want to interact with investments in a similar style as how they do it at their work with retirement/401k, etc accounts. They define an amount invested per month, and define what types and %’s of where that money gets deployed to.

    The scenario is this. Our kids do not want to invest how I do it. They dont want to research, they are not driven by the deal of the day/week, they dont want to spend the time to figure out what investments right now are great to either buy or sell based on the various rules we all have. That is ok, but I just dont want them to have a disaster after I pass on.

    Questions:
    1) Is there a solution out there today (not a spreadsheet) that people are using where you define your primary investment categories. They could be by region (NA, EU, LA…) or by sector (energy, realestage, health care), or by whatever other preferences or combinations of them all (bonds, common, preferreds, etc). You define the %’s at each category, and new money is spent on the %’s that you want/category.
    2) Is anyone else struggling with this with their heirs? I still have 12 years before retirement, but I want to get a jump on this, get stuff in place so that I am prepared in case something happens. The solution should work well for my kids that simply have no desire to do what I do which is managing a couple hundred investments. My fear is that if I dont have this in place, they will simply sell everything, and turn around to anyone and say, what should I do? If I have an easy to use investment plan in place, they can easily be trained on how to sell and take money out if needed, but keep the structure in place to continue to generate income.

    I think in the next several years I will have more thoughts on this, but wanting to know if there are investment firms that offer this today. My kids are in their early 20’s, and my guess as time goes by, they start spending $$$ on a house, car, etc… they will be more in tune with discussions like this. Their college party days have ended, and a few have really started to mature and are asking good q’s, but in the end, I think what I do is not sustainable for my kids.

    1. Mr. C, My boys are both finance guys. One has an IQ in the 150s and worked in IB. Neither are interested. The older already has his accounts with a group at MS and I’m sure that route would prevail.

      My alternative advice to them would be to roll into an S&P index, set modest distributions and leave it alone.

      1. Thx Alpha. It would be interesting to understand why we do what we do. Probably a combination of genes, psyc, soc, and education. I underestimated the impact of education. One of my sons went to an expensive private college that was $300,000 after 4 years. When he was done, he felt bad about who he was. It took a couple of years in the world and a few therapy sessions for him to recover and believe he controls his destiny vs being privileged. He was told that saving $$ money meant he is oppressing the rest of the world.

        On the social front, I think the next generations truly get that life is short and trying to enjoy life before they hit their 50’s. My kids try to go on 2-4 trips per year. They lean towards spending the $$, making memories, and after a decade start working on retirement.

        I have heard that you should just target some funds tied to S&P and set aside about $750/month for ~ 30 years and you will have about 1 mil which in 30 years is probably peanuts, but at least you wont be broke. I do have the kids pulling 20% out of their income and into 401k/roth each year, and i think that is a great start for them.

        1. Mr. C, Your advice to your sons and that they are following it probably puts you and them in the top 1%.

          Can’t help but feel for your son. We have to laud him for caring deeply, though the undercurrent of mis-information and shaming in society is out-of-control. Sounds like he’s back on track – so sounds like he listened to you again. Congrats.

          As for why we do what we do..I have no idea. We could have entered the S&P March 2009 and netted a 13.6% CAGR without watching. For everyone here though – we like the challenge I guess. And of course you know if we all relented and through all the chips at the market it’d drop 50% that year. hahaha. But it is also entirely possible our kids are smarter than us – at least that’s the goal. 🙂

          1. I have a couple of theories that are probably at least partially right.
            1) Gamification. Myself included, I want to win at everything. I grew up in a rewards based system and the harder I worked the more I was rewarded financially. I knew what putting hours in meant for me. I think many folks here want to win/beat the market. You can see tangible results each year.
            2) The next generations have been growing up with cell phones in their hands, lots of social media, and have a social presence. They are posting pics, chats, 12+ hours /day. Their time is limited and geared towards the social aspect of friends and peers. I didnt grow up with a cell phone and I dont have a vast social network. Hence I have a lot more time for me and my personal family. More time equates to more investment hunting. I have already maxed my career journey and not climbing the corp ladder.

        2. Mr. C, Use their market inactivity and lack of attention to their advantage. As damn near every survey shows the average investor under performs S&P 500. So average is actually way above average. Since 7 companies are taking a rather huge chunk of the Index, maybe a slight tweaking with having some $ in an equal weighted S&P index.
          Time in the market beats timing the market. Their willingness to contribute a nice chunk to their retirement accounts is most critical. Their main worry should be that they are not in some high cost fund. Expenses are the one thing they can truly control if there are options.
          I invest in income for specific reasons. But income investing is no elixir and probably actually detrimental to LTR for people investing LT for retirement. Plus it keeps them out of the “fools gold” income that Moron and PennYlessY peddle in the income world that actually destroys capital.

          1. You said it Grid. Rule #1: Don’t follow the fools gold of someone like Moron! And just because you read it on the internet, doesn’t mean it is good advice. 🙂

      2. alpha
        could u suggest one or two index funds that you think are suitable.? Understand we each do are own dd but this would provide a reasonable starting point. tia sc

        1. One of the weird things is that index funds that follow the same index can have different returns in taxable accounts.
          e.g. VOO is better than SPY because they made an election with the IRS that SPY didn’t

        2. sc4, Here are a few of my favorites, but please due your own DD. Disclosure: I own all of them.

          SCHD, VFH, VIG, VOO, VNQ, VYM, XLU

          Through ETFs, appreciating the full market or industry exposure without the single party risk.

    2. Mr. C

      This is not really designed for my heirs but could be. I manage my daughters 401k retirement accounts. In her field, she has changed jobs often so I have been spending the past week rolling everything over into one account to make it easier to manage

      I have a handful (about 10 totaling around $14k) of individual stocks from her first 401K plan I have left in place. The rest from the accounts I just rolled over into this account I am splitting up into mutual funds or ETFs. I have come up with overall %’s by category and went and picked the funds in each category. I probably have more than most people would but I am a big fan of diversification. To give you some sense, my overall parameters were

      45% – S&P 500 / Extended market (4 funds – 2 of which are low cost index funds)
      15% – International (2 funds)
      15% – Dividend / income oriented (2 funds, 1 ETF (schd)
      15% – Value stock -(3 funds)
      5% – Real Estate (1 ETF (VNQ))
      5% – Alternative (1 fund)

      Plan is to rebalance between these annually. Will be easy for her husband to take over at some point and manage

      I did not include a bond category as she is still young (30) and the one Dividend/Income fund has a heavy bond weighting

      The individual funds are a matter of choice – I favored a mix of index funds, lower cost funds along with a few higher cost funds with strong performance histories. But if you want to keep it real simple, choose the best index fund in each category and be done with it

      just one approach – I am sure there are endless others

      1. Thx Mav for the suggestions. Right, I am thinking of some diversification into several funds spanning several categories. The work is finding out what those funds are! Ha.

      2. mav
        If you would be willing to share the symbols for the funds you are using, I’m sure several of us would value the suggestions.For international at this time I”m using IHDG while the cager is slightly lower than VHGEX, the yield is consistent and strong.
        also not certain I understand what alternative means in this context so a fund name would help. TIA your thoughts. SC

        1. sc

          I will post what I am doing – but please do your own dd. Remember, these caveats with these selections I made for my daughter

          1. She is 30
          2. This is in a rollover IRA
          3. I worked within what was available from Fidelity at No Transaction Fees (and load waived if the fund had one) – so you don’t see any Vanguard funds
          4. They had a minimum investment amount of zero or a balance low enough to work for the overall plan
          5. There are lots of alternatives -for instance I could have chosen the SPY ETF for the S&P 500 Index but I went with the Fidelity S&P foo Fund – as I preferred a fund in this case as I am not trading it, did not have to deal with any premium or discount to NAV and the difference in expense ratio is negligible
          6. I do like diversification, perhaps more than most folks (so it could be some overkill), but each fund had certain attributes (so while I have 3 Income / Dividend funds / Etfs, they each fill a certain niche with what they hold)
          7. This is much more focused on growth than income given her age
          8. I am still in the process of completing her rollovers so I may still make a tweak here and there

          SP 500 /Extended market
          FXAIX Fidelity SP 500 Index 20% (very low fee)
          FNILX Fidelity Zero Fee Large Cap Index 10% (no fee)
          OAKMX Oakmark Fund 10% (reasonable fee / impressive performance)
          FSCRX Fidelity Small Cap Discovery 5%

          International
          FOSFX Fidelity Overseas Fund 5%
          IHDG Wisdomtree Int’l Hedged Dividend ETF 5%
          MSMLX Matthews Emerging Mkt Small Cap 5%

          Income / Dividend
          FEQTX Fidelity Equity Dividend 5%
          TIBAX Thornburg Investing Builder 5%
          SCHD Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF 5%

          Value
          FSLSX Fidelity Value Strategies 5%
          HFMDX Hennessy Cornerstone Mid Cap 5%
          HWAAX Hotchkiss & Wiley Opportunities 5%

          Alternative
          QLENX AQR Long Short Equity 5%

          Real Estate
          VNR Vanguard Real Estate Index ETF 5%

          1. mav
            much appreciated. Will have to look over this a bit more and naturally understand that suitability depends on individual situations. thanks again for sharing. SC

    3. As I began investing at an early age (before the ubiquity of index funds), I hold many individual stocks. The tax upon selling is burdensome. Upon my death and subsequent step up basis, my legacy trust is directed to sell and purchase low cost funds. The trustees and trust department will be responsible. My sons will serve as co-trustees. A 43 year old estate attorney will serve as the protector.

      Both sons have ROTH and 401Ks. They understand the power of compounding. That being said, I observe impulse purchasing which is not productive for managing a portfolio.

      For stocks/bonds that are illiquid I have written instructions (but not in the trust documents) to not sell until maturity.

      Both sons manage their investment accounts. I gifted the allowed amount a few years ago and set it up in their own brokerage accounts. They both seem satisfied to let the S&P500 do its magic. During 2022 when the market declined, it was painful for them. Like all, they complained but never once did they speak of selling. I hope my mantra and examples to them of holding equities will serve them well. I actually showed them my Microsoft purchase and how for almost a decade it didn’t do much; now it is a mid 7 figure value.

      Yes, I agree this generation lives for today. Mine are always traveling or attending functions (as are we). That doesn’t preclude good financial sense.

      My concern now (as a Mother never stops worrying about her children) is their retirement accounts. The values are starting to matter and I worry about potential divorce! (even though neither are married) It is a bridge too far for me to advise them to think of a pre-nuptial. 🙂

      My advice is to let your adult children manage a small amount for themselves.

      1. What are the responsibilities of the estate attorney who serves as the protector? Does he oversee the trust department? TIA

        1. The trust protector has the resources and authority to change trust companies. I wanted someone that is young enough to oversee the trust department and allow my sons the “right” to ask for a change. I have worked with him the last few years and feel very comfortable with his role

    4. After reading all this? I’m really lucky. Never wanted children and don’t think they are worth all this trouble. Will they be there for you? Maybe.

    5. I find it amazing how most people will spend 40 to 45 years grinding out a living but when it comes to their retirement investments, want nothing to do with it. They then depend on a financial planner to tell them when they can retire. When I was getting ready to retire, different people asked me “who was my guy”? I said I am my guy. I can not imagine relying on someone to tell me when I can retire.

      1. YES! Me too – I have been investing since I was 24 in 1984 so know my way around – made practically every mistake in the book at times but also made a ton of good decisions. I just retired Friday from NASA but I began whole-heartedly planning for that day back in 2012 and really meticulous about it in 2017.

        And I don’t mean the amount of $$$ I was putting away, I mean planning for cash flow income AFTER I retire. Began purchasing dividend payers and learning preferreds and baby bonds better and laddering to provide regular and staggered income. By the time last Friday showed up, I am well-versed in all this and can comfortably retire.

        A divorce stuck me in the eye back in the early 2000s but I had time to recover from that. Plus, choosing NASA as a second career helped back in 2003 because that pension after 21 years adds nicely to the cash flow as well as SS, which I have paid maximum into every year since the early 90s. I decided to take SS at age 65 because my b/e is like when I turn 82 – I’d rather have that money now than gamble on it being much reduced in 18 years. Of course neither of these go to my heirs but they provide a very nice income which I can live easily on.

        Then, my 401(k), Roth, taxable account and risk accounts pay my “fun money” and add to my stash for the future if needed. I’m not what you’d call filthy rich but I have way more than I need to live going into the future for both daily needs and leisure activities. This site has been invaluable for advice on the preferred and BB stuff which I have a lot.

        BOTTOMLINE is, I don’t need and wouldn’t even trust a “wealth manager” or financial person to manage my money, knowing they would not put in half the effort I have done in the past or will do going forward – plus, who wants to pay those fees? Every time I see that Fisher Investment commercial on CNBC, I want to gag, it’s that bad – plus, everybody and their brother are sending me mail, email, social media invites, etc. so they can “help” me retire…
        LOL. NO THANKS, I got this.

        1. Worked for 28 yrs as a federal DoD employee, retired at 50. Was burnt out by decades of 12 on-12 off schedule. Been investing since my late teen yrs after a grandparent passed away and left me 2K to start an IRA account. I bought MSFT and AAPL with that money. Now 58, taking 72t IRA payments along with an ok, but not great pension with some spouse income for a little while longer. Have 4 kids, 2 still teenagers so lots of bills to pay. I am in the camp of doing my own investing as well. Was able to retire early due to some astute stock purchases and just generally paying attention, nothing fancy or complicated. I obtained wealth by hardly ever selling and I wasn’t really a trader until I got into the income world a little. I have a decent stash some would say, but I’m very retirement rich but otherwise poor. Most of my money pays for youth hockey and volleyball. When the last one leaves the nest, I will be in an entirely new income bracket. Not looking forward and looking forward to that at the same time.

          1. Pig, you are definitely preaching to the choir with me. But I have been blessed with having great friends on both ends of the intelligent scale. I have one friend who doesnt have a lick of common sense and is impulsive. I have went to sports book 4 times in past 2 months and have won over $4k. I tell the dumbarse to stick with the plan like I do, but he goes nuts when he is over there and actually managed to lose several thousand because he couldnt stay disciplined. My point being he needs someone to help him when he retires because he will screw it up. He will retire in a couple years and wants me to get him “x” amount of income out of it. I told him hell no I am not getting involved in his money. As I dont see a path that will work to his over optimistic dream of income flow.

            1. My answer is always no to family or friends who wants me to manage their finances. I have a devil of a time doing my own, I will never put myself in a situation where I can be blamed for their shenanigans. I give very high level advice, but that’t it. I’m no genius, but I do have an abundance of common sense.

              Rest assured Grid, when the 4th one leaves the nest, my gambling addiction for betting NHL will be in full swing. I’m destined to die penniless, lol.

              1. Pig, I love me some NHL season point totals. I took most of the recent profits and “reinvested it” into the Minnesota Wild not making playoffs, and Buffalo Sabres 81.5 over. I refuse to believe they will stay under fake .500 all year.

                1. Crosby’s loyalty to Malkin/Letang shudda extended to Fleury who is still going strong in Minn! Pens languish w fits of wins..sad. Sid is so nice talks to people signs autographs here in his local town. Lottery the only extent of my ‘betting’..
                  re running money, used to help, no more. No ins advice either, I don’t have E&O anymore.. only running my and mom’s money (cd’s!) . I have a Janney and MS friend I trust and refer people to that I used to wholesale to.

                  Advisors used to have me structure their portfolio’s in variable and indexed ins products for their clients, hours long meetings and all the compliance, with limited choices in sub accounts. Oh the headaches!! always made me nervous and I caveat-ed the hell out of what I told them (in emails so I had a trail)..oh makes me tired just thinking of it!! lol. Bea

                  1. You guys are all heathens and will rot….
                    Plus, take the AVS or Knights this year. I’ve done well betting the over.

                    I have too many F&Fs that need the manager – they manage $$ like pennies in a wet bag, and don’t get it. Math professors that go deer in headlights with simple compound interest.

    6. I have a 32yo male pain in the ass at times I’m thinking hire money manager at Fidelity take conservative approach until he puts a few more miles on

    7. Mr. C,
      I have talked about this before (and apologies to everyone who is tired of hearing it from me). I am a few years older than you, but still a few years from “retirement age”.

      I started worrying about the same issues about 20 years ago and I went through a lot of iterations of plans that I decided wouldn’t work.

      The approach I finally settled on is that rather than trying to set up “directions” for my heirs to follow, I spent the time to pick advisors they could let run things or who could help them if they want to run things themselves. i think I am in a better position to “sort out” finding those advisors today than my heirs will be in the days following my death.

      Over the years, I have helped settle a lot of trusts/estates for friends/family, and the often the most difficult part is to see the look on a widow’s face when she realizes she now has to take on all the responsibilities that her husband managed for decades and for which she is totally unprepared. Almost terror, added to her grief (don’t mean that to sound sexist – but it seems to always be wives I deal with who take this very hard. just an artifact of dealing older generations where wives often had no involvement in finance). I don’t want that for my heirs.

      My wife is very talented, but she has no interest in investing. Several of my kids are wealthy in their own right (one has made many millions in Silicon valley) but none has an interest in investing. Hopefully that will come, but I was only successful in recent years to get them to spread their money across multiple banks to stay under FDIC limits, and to at least ladder CDs and treasuries if they aren’t going to take the time to do more. I think they are just so caught up in their work (they are all engineers/programmers) that they don’t want to spend time on managing money.

      Anyway, after trying a bunch of approaches to get my wife to follow my philosophy, set up directions to follow, etc., I finally realized that I can’t “manage from the grave”. No way to predict the world years after I am gone. I also realized that a reliable, experienced live person beats any set of outdated directions I might leave. I also wanted to have someone my heirs could turn to for help (or to let manage things they just don’t want to).

      So, I spent several years finding a money manager. I went through a BUNCH of candidates (a group from Smith Barney, another recommended by a broker, etc. etc.). I finally stumbled onto someone I had known socially (and we had done a bunch of charity work wiith) who turned out to be a fiduciary money manager. Wonderful guy. My wife and several of my kids already knew him and like him. My wife is very comfortable talking to him and trusts him.

      I went one more step and let him start managing a slice of my holdings today. Initially, it was to “try him out” – which I had done with some other candidates (before dropping them). Once we got past that “trial period”, I found I like having him around. Yes, it costs me a little money each year, but he is a great anchor for me and someone I can talk to about some of my financial issues – especially some of my crazy offshore stuff. He is more conservative than I am (not a bad thing, when I start taking too much risk). His portfolio usually underperforms mine but has less risk, so overall I am OK with his results. My guy leads a nice little firm, so he has some younger guys I have met who are also good – should he retire.

      Best thing is that when I die, I have suggested to my wife that unless she wants to start managing money, she should just turn everything over to him to manage. Since he already manages some of our money (the fiduciary accounts are at schwab, as are most of the ones I manage), that transition consists of one signature and no fuss. Yes, it will cost her a little money to have him manage, but she won’t have to manage it or worry about it if she doesn’t want to.

      This plan lets me sleep well at night.

      I see from some of the discussion below that some folks plan to use bank trust departments. FWIW – I looked into some of bank trust departments, and I have had to work with a few trust departments when I have been helping settle estates over the years. Most are not very good (IMHO). They seem to be most interested in covering their backsides and driving fees rather than making intelligent decisions. Several I have worked with use really junior folks who don’t have enough experience to be helpful. Most have lots of “process” that takes time and wastes money. They are better than nothing, but not by much (Just my view). If anyone has worked with a really good trust dept, I would love to hear who they are.

      My wife is the trustee for our trust, with my daughter and then one of my sons as successor trustees. They will do fine running/settling the trust – but I think they will all just let the money manager manage the investments – even after distributions.

      For those who don’t have someone to manage their trust/estate, I suggest you look beyond a bank trust dept. (which tend to be expensive and inflexible) or their attorney (who can still provide oversight) and look for a professional fiduciary. They are the people courts appoint to manage/administer trusts, conservatorships, etc. – but you can pick one now before your need arises. I know a couple who have been great to work with. In California, they are licensed – and if you can’t find one, they usually have an association website like https://pfac-pro.org/ . Ask your trust/estate attorney for a reference – most know several and can help you find a good one. They tend to be much cheaper and easier to work with than having a bank trust dept or an attorney handle the day to day work of running a trust – especially if your trust will involve someone who has special needs (elderly, etc.).

      Anyway, sorry to harp on this once again. I am just a “convert” to the idea of having trustworthy (fiduciary) people in place instead of trying to manage from the grave, and I tend to “evangelize” it.

      1. Good post, P.. no apology necessary imho… You say, “So, I spent several years finding a money manager. I went through a BUNCH of candidates.” So how did you identify those candidates in the first place and what did you then do with each? Interview fact to face? Extended phone conversations or dare I say Zoom meetings? I feel like I’d have to pick up the yellow pages and start dialing given my lack of even starter contacts locally out here in the sticks… And my professional contacts such as attorneys, etc., might as well be strangers given the amount of contact I have had with any of them over the years TurboTax is my accountant so that doesn’t help as a starter point either..

      2. Private – No apology necessary. Thanks for your detailed explanation about your financial planning. I’m struggling with this and all information is greatly appreciated.

      3. Wonderful post. I agree about trust departments. In my situation the bank is a TN based (expanded now). The founder is a successful (Billionaire) and has merged his banks in the past with the big guys. This latest bank he declares is his last. He is known as a “tight-wad” and I have no fears about bloated administration or such. My fear is he receives another lucrative offer. That is why I have the trust protector as I have given him a letter that I do not want the trusts managed by any follow on successor of this bank.

        I also have a great and trusted advisor I pay hourly. As TN has some of the best trust laws in the nation we have set up that at least half if not all of the assets upon the first spouse death will be sold on a stepped up basis. These sales will go into a low cost index fund. I don’t want stock pickers which is why I have left written instructions as such. My attorney and others advised me not to put this direction into the trust documents but rather a letter, as no one can predict the future and perhaps something better than index funds are created.
        This is a complicated and time consuming effort. One does this out of the love for family. I will never understand those that leave their assets (regardless of size) in disarray.

      4. Private. Many thanks for taking the time to write that and explain in detail. It was very good to hear what you have done, and the trials and tribulations you have gone through on this journey. I feel now that I would do a similar approach. First step as you say… start researching firms, start out small, gain trust, etc. I’ll see if there is a fiduciary group for Minnesota. Then when I approach retirement, I and everyone can sleep well 🙂

  23. How do you let Tim know if there is an error in a listing? I’ve spotted two or three but didn’t make notes…d’oh.

    I noticed that SFB (Stifel BB) is missing from the master list. I bought a little SFB in May 2023. I was so excited to find a bond trading as a stock and wanted to find more but didn’t know how. Now that I’ve stumbled into the hallowed precincts of III, my cup runneth over.

    Tim does a fantastic job. Thanks, Tim! Here’s a suggestion: In the listings of Recent Comments, add a date. For example,
    alpha on Sandbox Page 1/15/2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *