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August 21, 2017

NOTICE:  Before buying any bond or stock, check out Core Portfolio to see CURRENT positions.

Trump seems to be imploding and that means his programs may not get approved:  which means this market may take a turn DOWN.  We are looking at two new buys but with all the political turmoil, we are hesitant to do anything right now.  Still holding all positions.

We will set here and read the this new book:  SEE BELOW


BOOKS:  We skim through a lot of highly promoted books….skimmed meaning most of these are crap, boring, and simply rehashed old stuff that we have read many times and we surf thru the boring stuff.

In contast the new book The Smear is loaded with fascinating information and stories on the organizations (Media Matters) and scuzz-bags that smear politicians and other talking heads.  We doubt most Americans have any idea of the extent of this ‘industry’ and we strongly suggest you read this book.

The Smear How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think by Sharyl Attkisson, a five time Emmy Award winner. 


Ever hear of Sinclair Broadcasting?  New right-wing competitor to FOX???????

We only started reading about Sinclair Broadcast a month ago when the rumors circulated that high profile people were going to defect to Sinclair.  Link below to full story.

The growing anxiety in America over the rise of Sinclair stems from the belief the company’s close connections to Trump have allowed it to skirt market regulations. Already the biggest broadcaster in the country, Sinclair is poised to make its biggest move yet. If the FCC approves Sinclair’s $3.9bn purchase of an additional 42 stations, it would reach into the homes of almost three-quarters of Americans.



And you don’t believe there is voter corruption in California??!!!!

Judicial Watch lays out the specifics: “[T]here were more total registered voters than there were adults over the age of 18 living in each of the following eleven (11) counties: Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%), Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%), Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%).” The letter notes that the percentage in L.A. Country may be as high as 144%.


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August 16, 2017

NOTICE:  Before buying any bond or stock, check out Core Portfolio  to see CURRENT positions.

(Update:  ECCY spiked up in price right after we purchased.  We suggest you do NOT buy at current prices, which is $25.54 as we type.  If it drops down to $25.25 or below, which we do not expect, you could buy.)

In this tough market we typically buy positions that we like, but don’t really love.

Well in this case we love the bonds from Eagle Point. 

Symbol:  ECCY

Eagle Point Credit Company (NYSE:ECC), an externally managed closed-end management company, recently sold a small baby bond issue ($25/bond) with a 6.75% coupon.
While the coupon is a little below what we want, the issue’s maturity in 2027 makes it attractive to us. Specifically, 1.1 million bonds will be offered with an additional 165,000 available for broker overallotments, with proceeds totaling $30.63 million.

As a closed-end fund, ECC is registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the Act), which means the company must have an asset coverage ratio of 300% of debt securities. We call this a “margin of safety” for holders of these baby bonds. The beauty of the “Act” is that holders of company debt will have approximately $4-5 of assets for each dollar in debt — only an event of mammoth proportions would render this debt worthless.

Link below for more info:



If you believe “fake news”, Amazon, all by itself, is killing retail.  Well…..that is not true.  Here is an interesting article we came across this morning.

Retail stocks have been annihilated recently, despite the economy eking out growth. The fundamentals of the retail business look horrible: Sales are stagnating and profitability is getting worse with every passing quarter.

Jeff Bezos and Amazon get most of the credit, but this credit is misplaced. Today, online sales represent only 8.5 percent of total retail sales. Amazon, at $80 billion in sales, accounts only for 1.5 percent of total U.S. retail sales, which at the end of 2016 were around $5.5 trillion. Though it is human nature to look for the simplest explanation, in truth, the confluence of a half-dozen unrelated developments is responsible for weak retail sales.

Our consumption needs and preferences have changed significantly. Ten years ago we spent a pittance on cellphones. Today Apple sells roughly $100 billion worth of i-goods in the U.S., and about two-thirds of those sales are iPhones.

Consumer income has not changed much since 2006, thus over the last 10 years $190 billion in consumer spending was diverted toward mobile phones. Between phones and their services, this is $340 billion that will not be spent on T-shirts and shoes.

But we are not done. The combination of mid-single-digit health-care inflation and the proliferation of high-deductible plans has increased consumer direct health-care costs and further chipped away at our discretionary dollars. Health-care spending in the U.S. is $3.3 trillion, and just 3 percent of that figure is almost $100 billion.

Then there are soft, hard-to-quantify factors. Millennials and millennial-want-to-be generations (speaking for myself here) don’t really care about clothes as much as we may have ten years ago.


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August 15, 2017

NOTICE:  Before buying any bond or stock, check out Core Portfolio to see CURRENT positions.


Our Sprint bond purchase is a classic example of “Buy low, Sell high”.  We got in at a low bargain price and we now have a 23% increase in bond value……. PLUS we have been receiving dividends.

The price spiked up after we bought this bond but it is now slowly declining.  The Company’s debt load is huge and concerning.  So we have been procrastinating for many months about potentially selling this thing.

Well, the time has come to get out.  If you purchased this position, you are very happy with the profit.  Sell.



Every so often, (when we manage to remember) we like to mention the site Real Investment Advice…..especially for our newer followers who may not be aware of the blog.

This is by far the most informative and educational financial site that we have found, and better yet it is free.  They go into detail, sometimes way too much, on what is REALLY going on in the markets.  Lance Roberts, the author, also has a daily radio show.

We think you will find the information very helpful.  This is one site that we check very day.


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August 14, 2017

NOTICE:  Before buying any bond or stock, check out Core Portfolio to see CURRENT positions.  

We bought JC Penney bonds before starting this blog and NEVER did place it in the Core Portfolio.  The Company continues to flounder.  We understand they are slinging mud at the wall trying to find new categories of merchandise that will sell in their stores.  Our bonds are priced almost exactly where we bought them….so we have been collecting dividends and we can now get out having a very nice return with the dividends.

If you own JCP (or Macy’s and the other chains that everyone is talking about) we suggest selling as a lot of financial wizards feel they will go under.  We do NOT necessarily agree but why risk it…….Amazon is taking over the market as people would much rather sit at their computers and buy on line:  who can blame them.


Altho the market took a dive last week we are holding all Core Portfolio positions, except Penney. 

We mentioned MDLX for a potential buy around $24.00  It may STILL decline further heading down to 24 so watch and wait.


We just had to laugh when we say this graphic:  Far left liberal Goog is in the news.

For those who have managed to avoid this storyline, James Damore, now a former Google employee, caused outrage when he circulated a manifesto on Friday, complaining about Google’s “ideological echo chamber,” alleging women have lower tolerance for stress and that conservatives are more conscientious. By Monday, the chess master, who studied at Harvard, Princeton and MIT and worked at Google’s Mountain View HQ, was fired after the search giant’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, said portions of Damore’s 10-page memo “violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes” despite saying in the same memo that Google employees shouldn’t be afraid of speaking their minds.

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August 9, 2017

NOTICE:  Before buying any bond or stock, check out Core Portfolio to see CURRENT positions.  


The dollar UUP a barometer of the economy went up 9% after the election.  It has now plunged 10%.  Don’t believe all the bullcrap about the economy being so great.  Of course the stock market likes this as it helps overseas sales but hurts us here.


We have yet another positive review of a Core Portfolio:  this one on American Tower.  The bonds are now priced too high for purchase and we continue to hold for the dividends.  Link

AMT’s foundation is defined by the high quality, comprehensive U.S. portfolio, which is expected to generate significant organic growth for a number of years to come. The REIT also has an international portfolio of nearly three times the size of its U.S. footprint, including key strategic markets like India, Brazil, Mexico, and Nigeria, that the company expects to provide a turbo charger to the U.S. growth. Together, domestic and international operations form a global presence that is unmatched. 



Can you believe we still have 41 MILLION people on food stamps?

More than 1.1 million Americans dropped off the food stamp rolls since President Trump took office in January 2017, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics on food stamp enrollment.

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dropped to 41,496,255 in May 2017, the most recent data available from the USDA, from 42,691,363 in January 2017 when Trump took office.

According to the latest data, SNAP enrollment during the first few months of Trump’s presidency decreased by 2.79 percent.

Food stamp participation on average in 2017 has dropped to its lowest level since 2010, and the latest numbers show that this trend is continuing.

Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration has also prompted many immigrants, both legal and illegal, to cancel their food stamps over concerns that they might be denied citizenship or deported.

Federal lawmakers are also working on legislation that would seek to expand food stamp work requirements and put time limits on how long those enrolled in the food stamp program can receive benefits.



Too Funny:

“You know, if you look back eight years ago, the Democrats actually had a majority of the governorships, but under President Obama, they got wiped out, and the absence of a bench makes it all the more difficult to find the right candidate who can win in those states.”

Host Joe Scarborough insisted on putting up the numbers of the Democratic party’s losses in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections to hammer the point home.

“There were two just massive Republican years: 76 house seats lost, 13 senate seats, as we’ve been saying, Steve Radner. also, the governorships are at an all-time low, tied with 1922. Dan is exactly right,” Scarborough concluded. “Their bench has been absolutely decimated.”


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August 8, 2017

The lame street ‘fake news’ media was going nuts with last Friday’s job numbers.  It was absolutely stunning to watch.

But what happened?  The stock market was flat.  Why?  Because everyone knows the government numbers are a fraud.  Copied below, from http://www.investyourself.com is the REAL story.  (You can subscribe to their weekly newsletter)
It’s things like Friday that make me want to buy more gold and silver. See, Friday was the non farm payroll report. When it hit, the headline said that we had created 209,000 new jobs last month. The Talking heads on TV were giddy, saying it’s a great number and blah blah blah.
Well here’s the skinny on it all. The BLS injected 158K jobs into the report via their “birth/Death” model.  Once again for anyone that doesn’t know what that is, the BLS says “for every company that shuts down and lays off, some of those laid off go out and open a business. Then they hire people”.  So, with NO proof if these jobs, no tax receipts, etc, they just “guess” each month at how many that is. This month they say 158K magically appeared. Yeah. Right.

But worse and worse by a long shot was the composition of the jobs. In July 393,000 part time jobs were added, offset by a drop of 54,000 full-time workers. Now let me ask you something. With the DOW at 22K, with Price to sales, price to book, price to earnings at nosebleed levels, are you going to tell me that 400K “gig jobs” are supportive of such a strong market? PLEASE.
Once again we see that this market is NOTHING about the real economy and everything about multiple Central banks running QE ponzi schemes. 


We own Iron Mountain Corporate Bonds in the Core Portfolio.  Here is a link to a positive article on this Company—we have always considered this position to be a little risky but it looks like Iron Mountain is doing well.  The bonds are not a good buy right now BUT you may want to consider buying the stock.

Symbol:  IRM.  Currently paying 6%.  



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August 7, 2017

We recently purchased BMXT for the Core Portfolio.  We saw a very positive article last week on the position, and here is an excerpt.  The link to the full text is below.  The pricing is slightly below where we purchased and you can buy now.

I have doubled down on Blackstone Mortgage Trust, Inc. (BMXT) this week because I see the REIT as a promising income vehicle that has capital upside on the back of its floating-rate loan portfolio. The real estate finance company has invested heavily in variable-rate assets, which will serve the REIT well as long as the Federal Reserve keeps lifting interest rates. I think Blackstone Mortgage Trust will not only be able to maintain its current dividend rate, but actually grow it in lockstep with rising short term interest rates.

How can companies that already pay out a good chunk of their money to shareholders manage to increase their dividends? Four words: positive interest rate sensitivity.

In a nutshell, positive interest rate sensitivity requires a company to invest into variable-rate assets. As opposed to fixed-rate assets, variable-rate assets become more valuable in an environment of rising short term interest rates. As interest rates rise, (net) interest income rises also. Obviously, this relationship has huge value for income investors since we are still in the relatively early stages of the current rate hiking cycle. Companies that have invested a large part of their investment portfolio in floating-rate assets are therefore in a good position to post higher (net) interest income and core earnings as we move along the interest rate curve.

Blackstone Mortgage Trust has done just that. The real estate finance company has assembled a $10.6 billion portfolio consisting of senior loans, and, importantly, has huge net interest income upside related to positive changes in U.S. interest rates. The REIT’s management estimates that a 1.00 percent increase in USD LIBOR will boost net interest income by $0.23/share annually. Blackstone Mortgage Trust’s investment portfolio has 92 percent exposure to floating-rate assets, which sharply contrasts with the REIT’s fixed-rate exposure of only 8 percent.



From CNN:  the approval polls on the Congressional morons goes even LOWER LOL.

Washington (CNN)It’s no secret that Congress isn’t exactly the most popular institution in American government. But now it’s reaching new lows.

Congress sank to a 10% approval rating in a new Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday, with roughly five in six Americans saying they disapprove of the country’s legislative body. This compares to an 18% approval rating in March.

And if you’re searching for the main reason behind the drop, look no further than Republican voters.

Back in January and March, more than one in three Republicans said they had positive views of Congress, which is controlled by the GOP in both chambers.

But now, that’s plummeted to just 14% of Republican voters who give Congress a thumbs up.



According to 720 Global, total government debt plus total personal debt in the United States was just over 3 trillion dollars in 1980.  That broke down to $38,552 per household, and that figure represented 79 percent of median household income at the time.

Today, total government debt plus total personal debt in the United States has blown past the 41 trillion dollar mark.  When you break that down, it comes to $329,961.34 per household, and that figure represents 584 percent of median household income.

If anyone can make a good argument that we are not in very serious debt trouble, I would love to hear it.

And remember, the figures above don’t even include corporate debt.  They only include government debt on the federal, state and local levels, and all forms of personal debt.

So do you have $329,961.34 ready to pay your share of the debt that we have accumulated?

And more………….

For example, the U.S. military actually spends 42 million dollars a year on Viagra.

Yes, you read that correctly.  42 million of your tax dollars are being spent on Viagra every year.



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