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Dan Plettner

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  • A Closed-End Investor's Thesis on Distribution Variances and Allianz's Funds [View article]
    A couple months after I wrote the article you are commenting on, Allianz tripled the distribution at NFJ, which I was long. The declaration date was 12/21/10. It now trades around a 6-7% discount.

    So, with regard to NFJ, Allianz addressed the issue after the article was written.
    Jan 24 03:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alpine Funds: Skiing Down Another Cliff 31 Months Later [View article]
    Dear gd39

    Respectfully, the "Overdosing on Financial Engineering" writing 39 months ago did not take 3 years to demonstrate as relevant. Over the course of less than 10 days, AOD and AGD had dramatically cut their distributions *a first time*. When Alpine did, AOD market prices went from then recent 30%+ premiums to discounts *a first time*.

    What happened in the last week was a 2nd set of distribution cuts. Perhaps you could say it took three years for the market to reflect the initial observations as relevant twice.

    As noted in this piece, trading swings are anticipated. After Alpine skiid down the latest massive slope, week-to-week peaks and valleys are no surprise. If you and your 8% care to offer the world a perspective of which way it'll go next week, feel free. I don't claim to be that wise.

    Respectfully Yours,
    Dan Plettner
    Jan 24 12:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alpine Funds: Skiing Down Another Cliff 31 Months Later [View article]
    Dear Oiainc

    I'm not a Financial Advisor and please understand I do not intend to give advice. I intend only to be transparent about whether I see a decent opportunity by my own standards in the marketplace. I do not.

    At AODs approximate 15% current discount and AGDs approximate 5% discount, neither motivates me to consider owning these particular funds today. Based on my contemplation, I do not see a plausible catalyst in sight for supply and demand recalibration at a more favorable relative valuation.

    While I do not see fit to short either today, my best guess is that a washout in the shareholder base of each is more likely than not to precede any eventual improvement.

    I should note that AGD getting back to a premium someday would not shock me. It is a much smaller fund and it would not require as many shareholders or speculators (warranted or not) to again cause it.

    Overall, I find it appropriate to look at situations with humility and discipline. While I might guess the discounts of AOD and AGD both drift considerably wider long before either gets meaningfully better... the combination of conviction and magnitude in my own assessment obviously has not motivated me to currently be short either one. I have been wrong many times before and I will surely be wrong many times again.

    For the benefit of AOD and AGD shareholders, I hope I am wrong regarding the next move on these.

    Respectfully Yours,
    Dan Plettner
    Jan 24 11:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Firsthand Tech Value Fund: SolarCity, Facebook And Other Offerings Gone Bad [View article]
    To be clear, the model to which you refer is owned by Covestor, not me. I merely license my data relating to Covestor.

    But I'm curious, are you suggesting that somebody needs to have paid more for SVVC to assess why Mr. Market is valuing it at less than 80 cents on the dollar? Would you argue I am anything less than fully rational about why it is trading at its deep discount? Would you argue that anything less to governance changes to address shareholder value can have longstanding affects on its deeply depressed market value relative to NAV?

    SCTY being valued on SVVC's books at more than double what its IPO would be priced at (less than a quarter later) affected the management fee SVVC's Advisor gets for the position on the period by more than double. I have not argued whether FBs latest trend is more or less of an impact on the NAV. In all funds, constituent securities can go up or down. The one thing every fund's stewards have control of is whether to serve shareholder value with risk-free actions like buying back stock or open-ending if Mr. Market showcases that management is value-destructive.

    Respectfully Yours
    Dan Plettner
    Dec 14 09:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Firsthand Tech Value Fund: SolarCity, Facebook And Other Offerings Gone Bad [View article]
    The exact size of the Twitter position from the most recent quarterly SEC filing (Sept 30) has been accurately transposed. The piece also links to that SEC filing. At the $10 Million a month pace for cash delta I cited, I certainly expect that Twitter (and many other holdings) are subject to increasing allocations.

    I find SVVC's apathy toward shareholder value, signs of the management/Board's conflict of interest, and competitive weaknesses the most important categories to watch for potential change. Sadly, I don't get the impression SVVC's stewards are focused to improve these categories internally.

    Respectfully Yours
    Dan Plettner
    Dec 14 08:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Firsthand Tech Value Fund: SolarCity, Facebook And Other Offerings Gone Bad [View article]
    If the entrenched Board were straightforward, this would have been over before it began.

    "Odd bag" for SPE? By looks... But look back at SPE’s own origin. SPE used to be a Municipal Bond Fund but its then Board was tardy in responding to Well Intentioned Activism.

    So, that fund’s stewards determined the end game by default (that the assets were reassigned to Brooklyn Capital Management).

    Today, whether it is DHFT, SVVC, or any of the entrenched Boards sized up by Bulldog or a Bulldog filing group, that entrenched board would be short-sighted not to realize their entire pool of assets can be similarly reassigned, merged, tendered for if the entrenched board remains tardy in addressing its underlying failures (toward shareholders).

    There are secondary markets for pre-IPO holdings these days (ie: secondmarket), which firms like Bulldog used for ARPS, etc. Brooklyn Capital Management would not need to become something it isn’t (ie: VC, tech) to manage whatever portion of the assets aren’t ultimately tendered for. Obviously, such an outcome (into SPE) would have steps.

    Respectfully Yours,
    Dan Plettner
    Dec 13 03:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Greater China Fund And JF China Region Fund: Assessing Plausible Outcomes [View article]
    The Special Meeting Proxies appear to have been distributed already to shareholders of record Friday, September 28, 2012. If memory serves, I received mine on the Saturday the 6th (electronically).

    With GCH having not announced what specifically they (would) be doing on the condition they attain approval of Aberdeen as a new investment manager, how would you determine whether to vote with the Board's Recommendations anyway?
    Oct 9 08:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Greater China Fund: New Advisory Agreement Won't Pass Absent Large-Scale Liquidity Event [View article]
    A quick follow up comment in my own concern that my observations could be read in such a way to imply something I believe false:

    Regardless of the language of GCH's most recent special meeting proxy, it is improbable that re-elected Directors at GCH received a single “for” by City of London at the 2012 meeting which terminated Baring as the Fund’s Advisor.

    There were no alternate Director candidates and the voting choice (other than “for”) was whether to vote "against" which might itself enable a quorum when cast by COL, or to abstain from the director vote.
    Sep 25 04:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Macquarie Global Infrastructure Total Return Fund: Captivity Telegraphed By Costly Rhetoric [View article]
    Dear “abcdahl”

    Your assessment appears logical and is likely similar to most shareholders who take the time to look at the facts and recognize the absurdity of MGU’s stewards isolating a select a bull market period to assess performance, or their attempt claim some sort of credit for the more narrow discount since Western Investment involved itself.

    What time will tell is what proportion of shareholders pay attention to such matters and vote their shares based on such logical assessments. MGU’s entrenched stewards clearly believe that by soliciting the fund’s shareholders to do as they say, they will. To me, it is not clear what the outcome will be this year. But ultimately, I do believe Western will be successful.

    One irony is that MGU’s stewards would appear to have considered the distribution policy as a tool... but not until after the Activism thesis trade presented itself to savvy investors.

    Respectfully Yours,
    Dan Plettner
    Jun 7 03:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Superior Inflation Protected Securities Allocations [View article]
    I am not anyone's financial advisor... So let me answer a slightly different question so as not to be mistaken for offering financial advise... Do I want to own PFK for me, at present? No, absolutely not.
    Sep 8 12:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eaton Vance Risk Managed Diversified Fund: A Deep Look at a Recently Discounted Market Price [View article]
    For me, I attempt to have discipline. I'm not in the boardroom. Let me try and use an analogy. All signs may have suggested the captain of a ship could and should have steered northeast, but the ship's captain steered southwest. When confronted with such a scenario, I must evaluate the captain. If I don't think the captain has the shareholder's best interests in mind, I must exercise discipline.

    I'm proud of the work I did on ETJ. However, I was punished for owning it. Discipline requires I don't get emotionally tied to my losers and that I look at them objectively (just as I do winners).

    Looking at ETJ today, I want to own some, but not a ton of it.

    Respectfully Yours
    Dan Plettner
    May 3 10:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alpine's Total Dynamic Dividend Fund: Overdosing on Financial Engineering [View article]
    Is this a joke?

    Perhaps you missed that the distribution was slashed by more than half two days after the article was published... and a market valuation which then was a massive premium is now a discount.
    Jan 26 06:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kayne Anderson MLP Investment and Kayne Anderson Midstream / Energy Fund: Alternate Structural Sacrifices, Similar Marketing Outcomes [View article]
    Dear “TChill”

    Thanks for the kind words, however unnecessary.

    If someone has both IRA and taxable wealth, and chooses any MLP exposure they might be served from asking their Financial Advisor (assuming their financial advisor is privvy to all related financial issues) whether the MLP asset class exposure is more financially efficient in the IRA or the taxable account.

    I am not your Financial Advisor and I am not offering you financial advice. I merely license trading data, including MLP trading data to Covestor Ltd. ("Covestor"). Covestor is a Registered Investment Advisor.

    As far as seeing the data that displays the NAV effect in support of the general assertion about all MLP focused CEFs, please feel free to read my other articles. It may be most appropriate that you discuss actual performance data with your chosen Registered Investment Advisor.

    Respectfully Yours,
    Dan Plettner
    Dec 16 11:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eaton Vance Risk Managed Diversified Fund: A Deep Look at a Recently Discounted Market Price [View article]
    Dear “frikker”

    Although never necessary (and apparently untimely in this instance), thanks for the kind words.

    The forward looking yield is certainly still noticeable, and I continue to own some with an income orientation. But, I was a seller into today’s post-open rebound.

    I was out of consensus believing that a cut, if any would be minor. So, I think it was reasonable to anticipate some rebound after today’s open. The rebound may or may not persist. When a less thorough consensus is proven correct, concerns for the level nature of the playing field temper my resolve/restraint.

    In my eyes, the key thing here is discipline. In my perspective, the extent of the distribution cut changed ETJs distribution in such a manner that was not entirely consistent with my understanding of Eaton Vance’s criteria. Further troubling is that fact that Mr. Isaac at Eaton Vance has recently been non-responsive.

    All signs suggest there was plenty of big money anticipating this, whether it was anticipated by thorough research or not. Sell the rumor, buy the news may work. But, absent an Activism catalyst I can’t feel comfortable with a large stake where my thorough research proves counterproductive.

    There are plenty of other things I really like. So, I took a good portion of my loss with discipline and moved on where I am less concerned with the possibilities of inconsistent governance and/or asymmetric information. The recent discount widening may or may not have just been tax loss selling. Either way, I wanted to sell the portion I wasn’t keeping rather quickly into a buy the news bounce because I anticipate there is plenty of reason for plenty of shareholders to do a tax loss swap.

    Among Covered Call Funds, my favorite forward looking holding is IDE. I’m definitely staying away from other Eaton Vance funds.

    Respectfully Yours
    Dan Plettner
    Dec 15 01:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tortoise Energy Capital: Structural Inefficiency for MLP Exposure Apparent in Shareholder Report [View article]
    In addition to writing, I always enjoy observing comments and considering the logic. As an observer, it amazes me how some put time and energy into trying to beat the market making Macro bets where they have no real intellectual advantage over other market participants… and then call the MLP structure’s inherent tax advantage a “headache” and throw it out the window while making their bets in order to save time. Some people try to invest, some people by choice or practice are gambling and doing so inefficiently. The think I found particularly interesting about the comments of “LinusVanPelt” is that he knew which he was doing and seemed to be at peace with it.

    Respectfully Yours,
    Dan Plettner
    Dec 7 10:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment