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March 8, 2018

We are picking up the new Media Madness from the library.  It is getting good reviews and will let you know our thoughts.

According to the media, Donald Trump could never become president. Now many are on a mission to prove he shouldn’t be president. The Trump administration and the press are at war―and as in any war, the first casualty has been truth. Bestselling author Howard Kurtz, host of Fox News’s Media Buzz and former Washington Post columnist, offers a stunning exposé of how supposedly objective journalists, alarmed by Trump’s success, have moved into the opposing camp.


Update:  We were filled at $61.18.

We placed a limit order for a very small number of shares of WPC at $61.18.  Here is some copy that we have already posted a few weeks back.  We will be adding if this stock keeps rising.

W.P. Carey Inc. (WPC) is a top-shelf commercial property REIT that I consider to be a “Strong Buy” on the drop. The real estate investment trust has consistently raised its dividend payout in the last twenty years, the dividend is covered by cash flow, W.P. Carey has a conservative AFFO payout ratio, and shares are cheap after the most recent stock market correction. W.P. Carey’s entry dividend yield has spiked to 6.7 percent, which is not a red flag in my opinion.
Stocks, including REITs, were in for a rough 2018 so far as strong employment data triggered a major sell-off in the stock market. Investors’ fears: Wage growth points to higher inflation, which in turn could prompt the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster clip in 2018. The Fed has guided for three interest rate hikes this year, but may lift rates faster and more often if inflation picks up steam throughout the year. The consequence: Bond yields have been rising, which often hurts dividend-paying stocks (bond yields have become more attractive relative to stock yields).
The sell-off has weighed on all stocks, but especially dividend-paying stocks including W.P. Carey. Year-to-date, W.P. Carey’s shares have dropped ~13 percent.



Immediately after the passage of the tax reform bill, companies lined up to garner “political favor” by issuing out $1000 bonus checks to employees. While the mainstream media, and the White House, gushed over the “immediate success” of tax reform, the bigger picture was entirely missed.
A $1000 bonus to an employee is a one-time “feel good” event. Wage increases are “permanent and costly.”
The reality is that companies are NOT increasing wages because higher wages increase tax liability, benefit costs, etc. Higher payroll costs erode bottom line profitability. In an economy with very weak top-line revenue growth, companies are extremely protective of profitability to meet Wall Street estimates and support their share price which directly impacts executive compensation.
So, while companies are gaining media attention, and political favor, by issuing one-time bonus checks; the bottom 80% of workers are falling woefully behind the top 20%.



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