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Sunday March 1, 2015

To View Current Positions Go To Core Portfolio Click Here.  Add us to your Favorites!

Go Here for the prior post which describes our new buys in the oil patch.

(We own two DoubleLine funds in the Core Portfolio, click here to read our prior post.)

Here is a new income ETF from my favorite family DoubleLine.

Image result for doubleline total etf

SPDR DOUBLELINE TOTAL RETURN TACTICAL ETF.  I suggest you buy the multi-sector fixed income etf TOTL.  The estimated return is a rather small 3.5% but it is a great conservative and safe investment in the bond arena.  This is a good addition for the conservative part of your portfolio.

This position would be a good “parking spot” for excess cash that you may have laying around.  You don’t have to tie up the money for years and you can sell at any time you may need money.

There are numerous higher risk investments listed in the Core Portfolio if you want higher yields.  Remember:  A single position should NEVER represent more than 4% of the portfolio.

Here is a link to the video if you want more info:

The investment seeks to maximize total return. Under normal circumstances, the fund invests substantially all of its assets in the State Street DoubleLine Total Return Tactical Portfolio (the “Portfolio”), a separate series of the SSgA Master Trust with an identical investment objective as the fund. As a result, it invests indirectly through the Portfolio. Under normal circumstances, DoubleLine Capital LP (the “Sub-Adviser” or “DoubleLine”) will invest at least 80% of the Portfolio’s net assets in a portfolio of fixed income securities of any credit quality. The fund is non-diversified.

We continue watching EPD for a buy………at lower prices.


You need to read this.  From the New York Times.

The market has been rising — for the most part — since March 2009, in no small measure because of that policy, which makes stocks and other assets relatively attractive, compared with low-yielding fixed-income instruments. Ms. Yellen’s prepared testimony seemed aimed at keeping the market calm — not only now but whenever the Fed actually decides to raise interest rates.

Recently, the market has been rising despite a barrage of corporate reports that might suggest that stock prices are overextended. After all, growth in both revenue and earnings for the last quarter has decelerated. For the 440 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index that had reported by Wednesday, revenue for the fourth quarter rose only 1.5 percent over the period a year ago, compared with a 4.1 percent growth rate for the third quarter at the same point in the previous earnings season, Mr. Yardeni said.

Comparable numbers for earnings were an annual increase of 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter, versus a 10.4 percent rise at the same point in the previous earnings season. The strong dollar, falling oil prices and a sluggish global economy have all taken their toll.

What’s worse, guidance for future earnings turned extremely pessimistic. Bespoke Investment Group examined 1,680 publicly traded companies that reported earnings between Jan. 12 and Feb. 19. After subtracting downgraded guidance from upgrades, it found that, on average, companies had downgraded their earnings prospects by “a ridiculously low” net 9.5 percentage points. Corporate guidance hasn’t been that bleak since the end of the financial crisis in the first quarter of 2009.


Sectors to AVOID due to the potential of rising rates.  If you own these, be sure and place sell limit orders:  preferred stocks, utilities, municipal bond funds and LONG term bond funds. 

Where religion starts, logic ends.


February 23, 2015

To View Current Positions Go To Core Portfolio Click Here.  Add us to your Favorites!


Jonathan Gruber, the consultant who said ObamaCare became law due to the “stupidity of the American voter,” was fired from the board of the Massachusetts health exchange on Wednesday.Gov. Charlie Baker (R) asked Gruber, an MIT professor, to resign, along with three other members of the board, according to the governor’s office.

All three complied. WBZ-TV in Boston first reported the news. 

In the fall, Republicans jumped on a series of videos that surfaced of Gruber commenting on ObamaCare, using them to argue the law was passed through deception.


The IRS’s inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner’s emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency’s chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed.

Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.

“There is potential criminal activity,” Mr. Camus said.


(Update:  We are Still watching EPD to buy.  But it is still heading down.  Wait and watch.)

(UPDATE Thursday:  Plains All American  BUY PAA)

Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in transporting, storing, terminalling, and marketing crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGL), natural gas, and refined products in the United States and Canada. The company operates in three segments: Transportation, Facilities, and Supply and Logistics. The Transportation segment transports crude oil and NGL through pipelines, gathering systems, trucks, and barges.

(Update:  Sectors to AVOID due to the potential of rising rates.  If you own these, be sure and place sell limit orders:  preferred stocks, utilities, municipal bond funds and LONG term bond funds.  You should be looking to BUY PAA and EPD we may buy…floating rate bond funds are also ok.)

(Update:  We continue looking for opportunities in the oil patch.  JPMorgan has upgraded MEMP which we hold in the Core Portfolio.  ADD to this position.)


That said, he sees little chance of a distribution cut for Memorial Production Partners (MEMP) given its strong hedge book and liquidity position, which is a part of his rationale for upgrading the stock from Neutral to Overweight, with an $18 price target:


A note to my readers:  We like getting ‘comments’ in response to our posts….and we get a LOT.  WordPress the host of this blog sends the majority of the comments to moderation because most of them are in fact spam.  I have been deleting the majority of these comments.  I have even had complaints that readers are not seeing their comments published.  But from now on I am going to selectively publish those comments that appear to be valid.  If you want to promote your website, critique my spelling, or complain about how the site loads, do not send me spam….but if you have valid comments send them in.  Let’s see how it goes.


While oil is plunging we have been trying to pick up bargains in the oil industry.  The assumption here is that oil has turned around and we want to buy now assuming that prices will trend up.

Last week we started watching EPD.  I expected EPD to trend down and we could buy at lower prices.  Well of course it did exactly the opposite and started to trend UP!!  Since the long term momentum is DOWN I am going to wait and watch.  If we get EPD at lower prices great.  If not we can move on to other possibilities….such as OKE Oneok Inc.  Pasted below is a general description from http://www.Fidelity.com:

ONEOK, Inc. operates as a diversified energy company in the United States. The company gathers, processes, stores, and transports natural gas; gathers, treats, fractionates, stores, and transports natural gas liquids (NGL); and owns and operates interstate and intrastate regulated natural gas transmission pipelines and natural gas storage facilities, as well as stores and distributes NGL products to petrochemical manufacturers, heating fuel users, ethanol producers, and refineries and propane distributors. It also owns and operates a parking garage; and leases excess office space to others in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. ONEOK, Inc. operates as the general partner of ONEOK Partners, L.P. The company was founded in 1906 and is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

NOTE that OKE is a general partner, a term that most investors are not familiar with.  Below is more pasted copy that talks about general partners:  from http://www.dividenddetective.com.  OKE reached at high of $70 and is now down at $47….it should start trending up.  I suggest you buy a small position in OKE.

However, there’s a better way to invest in natural gas pipelines. As the name implies, MLPs are partnerships, not corporations. Typically, a general partner (GP) runs the business, and individual shareholders (technically unit holders) are limited partners.

Here’s why you should consider buying the GPs instead of their MLPs. The general partner usually takes a percentage off the top of its MLP’s cash flow, and then distributes the balance to the limited partners. The GP’s percentage typically increases as the MLP’s cash flow grows. For instance, the GP’s cut might start at 2%, but then eventually ramp up to 50%.

Here’s how that math works. Say that three years ago, an MLP generated cash flow of $200 million and its GP took 10%. So, the GP collected $20 million, and the limited partners received $180 million. Now, assume that this year the MLP generates $400 million from its pipeline business, but now the GP takes 25%. In this case, the GP takes $100 million leaving $300 million for the limited partners. Thus, over the three years, the GP’s take grew fivefold (400%) compared to 67% for the limited partners.

GPs pay lower dividend yields (2% to 4%) than their MLPs. However, your total return is dividends plus share price appreciation, and GP’s faster dividend growth translates to faster share price growth.

Stick With Corporations
General partners may be organized as corporations or as MLPs themselves. I recommend sticking with corporate GPs. Corporations require simpler tax returns than MLPs and their dividends are subject to a maximum 15%/20% federal tax rate.


This corrupt administration keeps telling us how great the economy is.  BUT now we hear that the Fed is very hesitant to raise rates.  IF the economy is so hot and good they should be raising rates…..but now they hesitate.  Strange isn’t it.


They didn’t mention this on the Oscars……………………!!!!!

Last year alone, Covenant Eyes, an Internet research firm, reported that the Adult Film industry (PORN) created 13,000 videos that brought in over $13 billion in revenue. Compare that to the 504 movies and $8 billion that Hollywood made in that same period. That’s easy to quantify.

MOVIES  50 Shades of Grey.  Wow the critics are killing this thing.  But we found it very very interesting.  Definitely recommended.  I just read that the male star is NOT returning in the sequels because his wife objects.  (The sex scenes are very tame.)

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Core Portfolio Current Positions


February 19, 2015

To View Current Positions Go To Core Portfolio Click Here.  Add us to your Favorites!

My always wrong crystal ball was…well…wrong again.  I was convinced that the idiots at the Fed would be raising rates.  But yesterday they indicated hesitation.  With this lousy economy people were wondering how the Fed could justify an increase.  And now they are talking patience.  Just goes to show you haw difficult this financial game really is.

I suggest that you continue holding the positions in our Core Portfolio.  (If you are holding municipals, utilities, long term bonds and other interest rate sensitive investments you can hold them but be aware you will eventually get hurt and you need to have sell limit orders in place.


I continue watching EPD for a buy.  Pasted below is come information which was posted in http://www.seekingalpha.com.  EPD is a toll taker in the oil transportation business and yields 4%.

EPD is one of those popular income investments that every financial planner in the dividend arena holds.  I consider it a safe and conservative pick for yield.  It appears we will be able to buy EPD very cheap and we like to buy stuff when it’s on sale!!!!  (EPD goes in your taxable account.)

Just for the fun of it I am placing a buy limit order at $31.00.  We might get lucky and buy this thing cheap if it takes a dump.  The price today is $33.50.  WMB is also a buy.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Enterprise Products Partners is the largest publicly traded master limited partnership (MLP) in the United States. It boasts a diversified business mix that includes natural gas pipelines, offshore production platforms, oil pipelines and even tank barges. The company provides midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLS), crude oil, petrochemicals, and refined products in the United States and internationally.



 mmmm I didn’t know this:

Since 1980, there have been 12 times that oil prices saw a drop of more than 40% in a six-month period, based on research done by Price Asset Management. The data table shows that prices tend to rebound about three months later and continue to climb.

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Core Portfolio Current Positions


February 17, 2015

To View Current Positions Go To Core Portfolio Click Here.  Add us to your Favorites!

We recently purchased municipal bonds and we still have a small profit.  But these things are quickly declining.

Image result for sell

SELL GBAB, AFB and MYI today.  I would rather take our profits and get out now, rather than waiting for possible big losses.

It is unclear as to what is going on— at least to me!!!!.  Munis are interest rate sensitive and it is possible that investors are suddenly concerned about the Fed raising rates in June.  I do know that there are numerous financial advisors out there that are avoiding munis.  There appears to be a growing consensus that the Fed WILL be raising rates.

Additional sectors to avoid are utility funds and long term bond funds.  You should place Sell Limit Orders if you own these.

(Update Thursday:  It now appears the Fed is becoming cautious about raising rates.  I would still get out of munis and place sell stop orders on utilities and long term bond funds.) 

Image result for pflt

I suggest you start looking at floating rate funds such as PFLT which we hold in the Core Portfolio.

MEMP is also a buy and we hold in the Core Portfolio.



The event was pure, unadulterated, unchanged Christie, as he lambasted Democrats including President Obama, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and Hillary Clinton. “I almost feel bad for the president,” Christie said, making clear that he didn’t at all feel sorry for the president. “He’s like a man wandering around in a dark room, feeling around the wall for the light switch of leadership.”

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Core Portfolio Current Positions


February 16, 2015

To View Current Positions Go To Core Portfolio Click Here.  Add us to your Favorites!

DoubleLine Funds are planning on introducing a new bond ETF within the next few months.  We currently own DLTNX but I plan on getting into their new ETF also.  Keep an eye out for this new position.

We recently purchased an oil Corporate Bond at a huge discount.  Here is another oil related bond that you should consider.

(Update Tuesday:  These are NOT available thru my broker.)  Transocean Sedco Ltd 2.50% Notes. These are currently available for $91.19 ($911.90) each. These bonds mature on 10/15/2017 and have a yield to maturity of 6.057%. This is the attractive part to these bonds–the maturity date. . These bonds are INVESTMENT GRADE.  As you are buying these on-sale at $900 you will make an additional $100 per bond when called …in addition to earning the yield while you own them..

CUSIP is 893830BD0.


MOVIES.   Well we decided to pass on 50 Shades since the reviews were truly terrible.  Kingsman turned out to be a really entertaining film.  It is somewhat a ripoff of the Bond 007 flicks.  Recommended.
Funny Quotes:   From Maureen Dowd New York Times
But, for now, what Republicans say about government is true of the Clintons:  They really do believe that your money belongs to them.

The continuing sage of Dimwit and Mrs. Dimwit:

Furious First Lady MICHELLE OBAMA is fed up with her philandering hubby – and in a bombshell world exclusive, The National ENQUIRER has obtained official papers for her divorce!

The tax documents detail the couple’s finances, and will be included in her $100 million split from “Commander in Cheat” husband Barack, said sources.

An outraged Michelle might even end her 22-year marriage before the womanizing Prez finishes his second term in office, an insider told The ENQUIRER.

“That’s how livid she is! Frankly, Michelle’s reached the point where she doesn’t care much about keeping up appearances. “She’d have been out of there long ago, if not for the sake of their daughters, Sasha and Malia,” said the well-placed confidante. “Michelle’s been pushed to her wit’s end – and she’s been in secret talks with her divorce lawyer!”

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Core Portfolio Current Positions


February 10, 2015

To View Current Positions Go To Core Portfolio Click Here.  Add us to your Favorites!

(Feb 16:  We are buying another Corporate tomorrow, check back for details.)

Animated map of what Earth would look like if all the ice melted



Does anyone really give a damn about Brian Williams.  Does anyone really watch the evening news.  What a joke.  This has to be the most stupid fabricated mass media farce I have ever seen.

FOX News Channel ranked number one in all of cable in both Total Day as well as in early primetime (7-11PM) viewers last week. This represents the first time FOX News Channel has topped both metrics since 2013. Meanwhile, both CNN and MSNBC didn’t crack the top 20 in either metric.


As readers know, I like Corporate Bonds and we own individual Corporates and baby bonds.  But there is an additional third way to buy Corporates.  And it’s NOT buying the run of the mill mutual funds and etf’s that everyone knows about.

BSJJ BulletShares 2019 essentially buys corporate bonds and holds to maturity.  It is NOT the typical bond mutual fund or etf.

Most investors are NOT aware of this newer type of bond fund.  I DO like the target maturity bond funds like BSJJ.  This is like buying individual corporate bonds and holding to maturity.  (We have some individual corporates listed in the Core Portfolio.)  This also provides the smaller investor the opportunity to buy into the corporate bond segment without having to spend $1000 each for individual bonds. The fund currently holds 146 bonds!!!  Wow!!!

BSJJ offers monthly income, final distribution at maturity, broad diversification, (remember 146 bonds) liquidity, transparency, convenience and cost effectiveness.  All good stuff!!!!  You CAN also sell this fund at any time but you buy this with the intent to hold until maturity.

BSJM pays 5.4% so it provides you a steady and moderate income.  Buy BSJJ now before the price goes up.

Try to buy under $25.10  Do NOT overpay.

Guggenheim BulletShares 2019 High Yield Corporate Bond ETF* (BSJJ) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the performance, before the fund’s fees and expenses, of a high yield corporate bond index called the BulletShares® USD High Yield Corporate Bond 2019 Index. The Index is designed to represent the performance of a held-to-maturity portfolio of U.S. dollar-denominated high yield corporate bonds with effective maturities in 2019. The effective maturity of an eligible corporate bond is determined by its actual maturity or, in the case of callable securities, the effective maturity of the security as determined in accordance with a rules-based methodology developed by Accretive Asset Management LLC, the index provider. The Fund has a designated year of maturity of 2019 and will terminate on or about December 31, 2019. BSJJ will invest at least 80% of its total assets in component securities that comprise the Index. Under normal conditions, BSJJ will invest at least 80% of its net assets in high yield securities (“junk bonds”), which are debt securities that are rated below investment grade by nationally recognized statistical rating organizations, or are unrated securities the investment adviser believes are of comparable quality.



Very informative article on preferred stocks from Forbes.  I pasted part of it but the link to the full article is:


At least once a year I review the market for preferred stocks to remind income investors that there is an alternative to bonds. Bonds currently have an interest rate cloud hanging over their future, yields are already meager and in the case of junk bonds high risk is a big worry.

Think of preferreds as the Rodney Dangerfield of investments; that’s what makes them such a good buy. They cover seven varieties of securities that can be either debt or equity. They are particularly suited for individual investors because they’re often too small for institutional investors who deal in million-dollar positions.

However, when you ask your broker about them, you usually get a negative response. Most brokers don’t understand these securities well enough to recommend them. This is compounded by the fact that many firms ban their sale by rank-and-file brokers because most preferreds are rated below investment grade. No brokerage firm wants to get tied up in client litigation in the event that one of those preferreds ends up in a bankruptcy. If you insist on investing in preferreds, many advisors will simply steer you into mutual funds, for a fee of course.

My advice is to ignore your broker and selectively buy preferred stocks directly. All the news about Fed rate hikes and their effect on long-term securities is greatly exaggerated. The hikes affect long rates only if our central bank begins selling off Treasurys and mortgages, and this is not even under discussion. When rate hikes come, they will affect short-term paper, probably in one or two 25-basis-point hikes.

Preferreds that pay 5.5% to 7.5% are likely to appreciate in 2015 because long rates will be driven down by the rising value of the dollar. That hurts international companies’ earnings but brings a flood of carry trade and foreign money into the U.S. to invest for yield and currency gains. In fact, the real fear today is that declining oil prices will induce deflation, which also drives interest rates lower.

It is important to diversify your preferreds. Start with CHS Inc. 6.75% Perpetual Preferred (CHSCM, 25), yielding 6.8% with no call until Sept. 30, 2024. I have been recommending securities of this unrated but well-run global agricultural cooperative for a decade. It’s getting hard to find such high coupons with long call protection, and this one is eligible for the 15% tax rate on qualified dividend income (QDI).

For those wanting an investment-grade issue, look at RenaissanceRe Holdings, a Baa2/BBB+/BBB-rated global property and casualty insurer. It has a 5.375% Noncumulative Perfetual Preferred (RNR E, 24) yielding 5.6% (QDI), callable in June 2018. A comparably rated bond currently yields less than 4%.

Financial institution preferreds make up a large amount of the market, and here I recommend Capital One Financial. This medium-size financial services company has a QDI-eligible 6.25% Perpetual Preferred (COF C, 25), which is rated Ba1/BB and callable in September 2019.

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Core Portfolio Current Positions

BUY TCCB Business Development Company. Over 6%

February 9, 2015

To View Current Positions Go To Core Portfolio Click Here

(Update:  TCCB is trading, buy SMALL amount at $25.00.)

Last week I suggested you look at VNR Corporate bonds.  Every so often you get a “gift” and these bonds are an excellent example.  With the collapse of the oil market, the bonds of VNR, an oil Company, have declined.  In other words they are on sale and if I teach anything here, it’s to buy when stuff is on sale.

Here is the cusip number you need to find the bonds.  CUSIP  92205CAA1


Business development company, Triangle Capital Corp (ticker:TCAP) has priced a new $25 note issue. The coupon will be 6.375%.  This is a relatively safe investment and I suggest you buy a small amount….symbol is TCCB.  As of this morning TCCB was not trading, but should be available within the next few days.

RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Triangle Capital Corporation (NYSE:TCAP) (the “Company” or “Triangle”) today announced that it has priced an underwritten public offering of $75.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 6.375% notes due 2022 (the “Notes”). The Notes will mature on March 15, 2022, and may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at the Company’s option on or after March 15, 2018. The Notes will bear interest at a rate of 6.375% per year payable quarterly on March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15 of each year, beginning March 15, 2015. The Company has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $11.25 million in aggregate principal amount of Notes to cover over-allotments, if any.

The Company intends to invest the net proceeds of this public offering in lower middle market companies in accordance with its investment objective and strategies, and for working capital and general corporate purposes.


MOVIES. Jupiter Ascending.  Don’t waste your time.  Ignore this DUD.


Lies.  Lies.  Lies.  The crooks keep manipulating data to make you feel better.  From http://www.investyourself.com

In 1994, they didn’t like the fact that all the folks that were frustrated and gave up looking for work, were still being included in the overall unemployment rate, making it look bad. So, they did what Governments do…they changed the rules. No longer would those not ‘actively seeking work” be considered unemployed. Instantly millions of people were no longer counted as “unemployed”. They were simply ignored.  

 So, back in 1998, the “U-6″ reading of unemployment, which included all categories of joblessness, was at 7%. Today it’s 11.5%.  But GET THIS…if we calculated unemployment as we did for decades before 1994 … our current unemployment rate would be 22%.


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