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ONE MORE CHANCE GLOPPRA. AND ‘SHATTERED’ BOOK

May 26, 2017

On May 10 we bought GASLog symbol GLOPPRA.  Yesterday we noticed the following analysis on the Company.  It is still not too late to buy this position.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4076715-4-reasons-avoid-fallen-pipeline-giant-choose-much-higher-yielding-faster-growing-mlp-instead

GO TO CORE PORTFOLIO to see current positions.

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Margaret Thatcher once said that the problem with socialism “is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”.  As you will see below, the combined enrollment in America’s four largest safety net programs has reached a staggering 236 million.  Of course that doesn’t mean that 236 million people are getting benefits from the government each month because there is overlap between the various programs.  For example, many Americans that are on Medicaid are also on food stamps, and many Americans that are on Medicare are also on Social Security.  But even accounting for that, most experts estimate that the number of Americans that are dependent on the federal government month after month is well over 100 million.  And now that so many people are addicted to government handouts, can we ever return to a culture of independence and self-sufficiency?

On Wednesday, CNN ran an editorial by Bernie Sanders in which he called President Trump’s proposed budget “immoral” because it would cut funding for government aid programs.

But is it moral to steal more than a hundred million dollars from future generations of Americans every single hour of every single day to pay for these programs?

There will always be some Americans that are unable to take care of themselves, and we should want to help them.

But as millions upon millions of Americans continue to jump on to the safety net, eventually we are going to get to the point where it is going to break.

As I mentioned above, the combined enrollment in the four largest safety net programs has reached a new all-time record high…

 

More than 74 million Americans are on Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program).

More than  58 million Americans are on Medicare.

More than 60 million Americans are on Social Security.

Approximately 44 million Americans are on food stamps.  And even though we are supposedly in an “economic recovery”, this number is still dramatically higher than the 26 million Americans that were on food stamps prior to the last financial crisis.

When you add the figures for those four programs together, you get a grand total of 236 million, and that doesn’t even count any of the other federal programs which are helping people.

Once again, there is overlap in enrollment between these various programs, but even accounting for that most experts believe that well over a third of the country is currently receiving benefits from the government each month.

How far down this road do we have to go before people start calling it “socialism”?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-25/handout-nation-combined-enrollment-americas-4-largest-safety-net-programs-hits-recor

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BOOKS:  Shattered.  Coming in at 464 long long pages, the new Hillary book Shattered makes for fun reading.

So why would anyone want to read about the election six months after the fact.

Well I guess when you DESPISE the crooked Hillary (and Bill—and Obammer for that matter) as much as we do, we love to learn more about the failure of the first female president’s campaign.

Shattered is the detailed behind the scenes look at the Hillary campaign.  For those political junkies out there, this is a must read. (Read the last chapters first!!)

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OWN SPRINT: NOW BUYING ANOTHER PHONE CO.

May 24, 2017

Today we are buying a highly rated NON callable AT&T corporate bond.  It gives us a decent 3.8% if held to maturity:  not great but it is high quality.  Everyone knows AT&T so we are not going into detail on the Company.

CUSIP 00206RCT7   Matures 2-17-2026

GO TO CORE PORTFOLIO to see current positions.

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It is rather surprising that Trump still gets decent polls with all of the terrible press he is getting.  Rasmussen is a reputable organization-unlike some of the other crap out there:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Republicans approve of the job Trump is doing versus 82% of Democrats who disapprove. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 46% approve; 54% disapprove.

Please give us your opinion and link into our ten second POLL 

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We bought the Kemit individual corporate bond “on sale”.  It has now been called giving us a very nice 7.5% profit in the price PLUS the dividends we received in just six months.  We continue looking for distressed bonds as we have had very good luck.

The Sprint individual corporate bond that we purchased “on sale” has been fantastic.  In a short time we have a 25% increase in price….AND we continue getting the dividends.  This thing continues to slowly go up in price.

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GETTING NERVOUS YET? YOU SHOULD BE. LOOK AT GGN.

May 22, 2017

The liberal press is doing everything they can to kill Trump..and he is certainly not helping himself.  This is obviously making the markets nervous.  It would appear right now that the bills and programs Trump promised are not going to happen, at least in the near term.  Is the Trump rally failing?  We think so…despite a little bump today.

It is time to watch STOCK positions closely and sell if fundamentals start to fall apart.   The Core Portfolio is NOT heavily loaded on stocks, and we are primarily in bonds……So we are not making any changes now or in the near future.  But this administration appears to be falling apart and you have to pay attention. 

We were huge supporters of Trump and liked what he was trying to do.  (Clinton would have been a disaster.)  But his execution is terrible and his OWN party is not helping.  We have to wait and watch.

Bottom Line:  You may want to think about placing sell limit orders below your current prices to ensure you get out if we see severe declines.  We think a ten percent decline is possible.

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Every so often we mention GGN….. our gold position.  Since March of 2016 the technicals have been moving upward.  GGN pays almost 12% !!!! and we think gold will continue it’s positive trend.  If you do not own GGN we would suggest buying some.

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We have only recently “discovered” the Bloomberg Businessweek site.  Wow this thing is loaded with business related (obviously) stories.  If you do not watch (or are sick of watching) the trash talk on the cable “fake news” shows and the garbage evening news shows, Businessweek is an excellent alternative.  They dish up very interesting and informative stories:  heroin epidemic, airline problems, the new Nike shoe lol, how Disney operates.  Why do you want to watch that crap on CNN and NBC.

https://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek

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BUY ASSURANT.

May 19, 2017

It is really tough finding quality individual bonds that pay a good yield.  High quality bonds like we are buying today typically pay an acceptable dividend, but NOTHING GREAT.

At this point, we are retired and do not want to take a lot of risk.  A lower yield from a good company is really the best we can hope for in this crappy environment.  (Altho we DO have some high yield high risk positions in the Core Portfolio which we have talked about in this blog.)

Yeah the Assurant bond yield really sux.  But it is high quality and that is really what you want when looking at corporate bonds.  Assurant is basically an insurance company and we have linked to an article below.

ASSURANT  CUSIP 04621XAF5  Matures March 23.  3.26%

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4072323-assurant-quality-insurer-waivering-path

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Confirming what we already know:

A Harvard study published Thursday has revealed a dramatic anti-Trump bias in the media, with major outlets including CNN and NBC producing more than 90 percent negative coverage of Trump’s first 100 days in office.

CNN, NBC, and CBS give Trump’s presidency 93 percent, 93 percent, and 91 percent negative coverage, respectively, Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy found.

On the broadcast side of the media spectrum, Fox News provided the most even-handed coverage, with 52 percent anti-Trump coverage.

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HUGE COMPANY. SMALL RETURN.

May 16, 2017

(Update May 18:  Despite a mini crash in the stock market yesterday, and with expected downward pressure today, we had a very tiny decline in our Core Portfolio.  Trump is obviously failing and none of his bills are going to get passed:  the stock market is finally reacting.

We hold major positions in bonds, and we have to laugh at the bond bears out there telling us how bonds are going to collapse.  This aint gonna happen folks.

btw Here is an article on financial derivatives that you must read:

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/financial-weapons-of-mass-destruction-the-top-25-u-s-banks-have-222-trillion-dollars-of-exposure-to-derivatives

Another issue:  We keep reading all the articles about why Hillary lost.  lol.  (We finally got the book Shattered from the library, about Hills loss)

Folks there is one major reason:  her calling Trump supporters “basket of deplorables”.  This had a major impact on the Trumpers:  just remember that as you read all the crap about Hillary.

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(“Tabloid Media” having a field day today trying to get Trump pushed out.  LOL)

Generally speaking retired, and near retired folks, are looking for investments that provide safety first, and if possible, good returns.  If rational, this group does not expect 10% returns……….like the ponze scheme that Madoff was running.  By the way if you missed the Madoff show on CNBC, be sure and take a look at the re-runs.  We expected to be bored silly, but it was a great review of the destruction that Madoff dumped on his clients and family.

So anyway, the bond we are looking at today gives you rather modest returns.  But the Company is absolutely humongous and when buying Corporates you have to be virtually certain that the issuing Company will be around when the bond matures.

(As a note, we DO have high paying riskier positions in the Core Portfolio.  You can take a look and view the yields on the Core Portfolio holdings.)

GO TO CORE PORTFOLIO to see current positions.

We were not aware of Brookfield until over the weekend when we read some articles in Forbes that were fascinating.  The link is below.

BUSINESS:  Brookfield Asset Management Inc., is a global alternative asset manager with over a 100-year history of owning and operating assets with a focus on property, renewable power, infrastructure and private equity.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2017/05/02/brookfields-bruce-flatt-billionaire-toll-collector-of-the-21st-century/#42e2c24b792d

BUY  CUSIP 112585AH7  Yield 3.66     Matures January 2025

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Here is a good article on bonds:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4073287-high-yield-bonds-now-2017-outlook

 

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TELECOM: BUYING CENTURYLINK. 4.78%

May 15, 2017

We are buying a rather large position in CenturyLink Corporate bonds today.  Below is a description and a link to a recent article on seekingalpha.com.

BUSINESS:  CenturyLink is a global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company enabling millions of customers to transform their businesses and their lives through innovative technology solutions. CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, Big Data analytics and IT consulting, and operates more than 55 data centers in North America, Europe and Asia. The company provides broadband, voice, video, data and managed services over a robust 250,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 300,000-route-mile international transport network.

CUSIP:  156700AS5.  Mature March 2022.  Yield to Maturity:  4.78

CTL stock is paying almost 9% but we would NOT recommend buying.  It has dropped from $41 down to $25 and appears to be stabilizing but still too risky for us.  There are financial advisors out there that anticipate the stock will start turning up…..and this would be a good entry point.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4069268-centurylinks-whopping-8_51-percent-dividend-yield-safe

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/investing/T018-C008-S001-is-the-s-p-500-s-highest-yielding-dividend-stock-s.html

GO TO CORE PORTFOLIO to see current positions.

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GSLGF OFFERING 8.6%

May 10 2017

GO TO CORE PORTFOLIO to see current positions.

Shipper GasLog Partners is selling a new fixed to floating rate preferred with 8.6%.  We are buying a small position.

We do not LOVE shippers having had poor luck in the past.  But a small position is ok to start and we can always add.

DividendYieldHunter.com is one of our go-to sites for attractive dividend payers.  Go the the link below for their detailed description.

http://www.dividendyieldhunter.com/lng-shipper-gaslog-partners-l-p-sells-a-nice-fixed-to-floating-preferred/

(We are watching NSS for a buy if we can get a lower price.  The long term indicators are still pointing down.)

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