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David Stafford
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Student of markets, enjoys following their course.
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  • Maryland And Virginia Munis, With Some Hedge For Good Measure.

    After doing a touch of research per se, on this mid-Atlantic muni idea, I've come up with the following perhaps as an idea if anyone is interested in this sort of investment opportunity or portfolio per se.

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    For a decent yield for this type of investment, it seems as though our friends at Blackrock per se, have a decent portfolio put together that has relatively good yield in regards to these 2 investment opportunities. Namely, they have BZM for Maryland, and BHV for Virginia. Though there are other Muni funds for these two states, these two seem to have relatively attractive dividend yields(>4%), while somehow still maintaining a decently rated selection of municipal investments per se in there respective portfolios.

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    For the sector breakdowns per se for each investment; for BZM, we have a selection comprised in such a way that the sectors relating to health, education, transport, and housing, each comprise about 15-18% of the portfolio, leaving a small miscellaneous category amongst the holdings per se(link). For BHV(link) we have a 20% concentration in healthcare, with percentages in the upper teens being allocated to education, "state-tax-backed", and "local-tax-backed".

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    By combining these two, one might be able to create an interesting sort of Maryland/Virginia Muni portfolio with decent yield; BHV's div. yield being 5.36%(link), and BZM's being 4.92%(link). However, by adding in a little bit of taxable income streams per se, one might be able to come up with a sort of quirky, and perhaps a little more fun, and diversified portfolio if one will.

    Image source(link)

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    For example, by adding a little bit of "high yield" low rated munis from all across the US into the mix, of the portfolio, one might be able to get some more diversification per se, while maintaining the portfolio's overall yield. For example, by throwing in a little HYD(link), one can get that sort of diversification, with a yield of roughly 5.08%(link), so that might be a good addition to our portfolio. It also contrasts with the relatively higher rating of the Blackrock portfolios, whether that's the sort of diversification one desires however, may be somewhat of an "open question" per se.

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    For a little systemic risk hedge, one might also want to call upon their inner entomologist per se, to get a little precious metal buggy. For some interesting, and somewhat high yield metal related plays, one might for example want to include some 4.76% div. yielding PAAS(silver exposure)(link), and perhaps even a little bit of matching 3.34% div. yielding NSU(link) for its exposure to the copper, gold, and zinc, markets(mostly copper and zinc historically(link)).

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    Hence, altogether, we might end up with a portfolio looking a little something like the following;

    (click to enlarge)

    Hence, one might have essentially 70% of one's portfolio in the sort of desired beta of Virginia and Maryland Munis, 20% in the sort of ancillary but none the less perhaps semi desirable high yield muni market, with 10% decent yielding precious metals beta, thrown in for good measure. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, while in the process of getting this diversification per se, one might only lose about .0035 dividend yield, all the whilst giving one's portfolio a beta that might be pretty close to zero, depending on how one weights it per se. Hence, it seems as though these investment opportunities in Maryland, and Virginia Munis, can be as interesting as one would so desire. With a little bit of diversification into different investment qualities, and into different betas, one might altogether perhaps be able to make a portfolio which presumably wouldn't hurt one's sleep too severely, while simultaneously giving one's self a healthy dividend yield, which might be mostly tax free.

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    Hopefully one's own adventures in Muni-land, are fun and enjoyable, and satisfying. Thanks again for reading, and I hope everyone's investments and weekends are going great. Thanks again.

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    Image source(link)

    Nov 23 9:53 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Scratching The Surface; Muni Research; Virginia And Maryland

    Though Virginia and Maryland are not exactly "powerhouse" states, like Texas, California, and New York, Virginia and Maryland may pose interesting muni investment regions per se. For a while I've had my eye on Virginia Munis per se. However, upon reflecting upon what makes Virginia Munis attractive, I've been tempted by perhaps similar situations in Maryland. One might at least superficially argue per se, as well, that Maryland, is also geographically much smaller than Virginia, hence perhaps its more like Northern Virginia, without wine, horse and farm country per se, and perhaps this is a good thing in a sense in regards to municipalities always having stable sources of revenues. Needless to say though, these non super populated/commercial regions of Virginia are none the less truly fantastic places as is perhaps attested to in the writings of colonist John Smith, who once remarked concerning Virginia that; "heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a place for man's habitations"(link).

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    Haymarket Virginia for ex;(source)

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    None the less, perhaps these ponderings deserve at least an initial amount of research so here are some preliminary facts per se, concerning Virginia and Maryland. According to "FRED"; the 2012+1 GDP of Virginia was; 452,585 million dollars(source), while that of Maryland was; 343,383 million dollars(source). These stats put Virginia somewhere inside or just outside the top 10 GDP's in regards to states, and Maryland at least within the top 15.

    Things get interesting however, when we dig a little deeper and compare these two state's populations. Hence, we have Virginia's pop. at about 8.2 million(source), and Maryland's at about 5.93 million(source), hence giving us a per capita GDP figure for Virginia of about; $56,500.00, and a value for Maryland of about; $57,166.00. Hence though there isn't really a noticeable difference, that probably couldn't be attributed to external unaccounted for variables(difference is less than 5%(5% of 57K= ~2850), it does seem that Maryland holds a slight edge in regards to per capita GDP.

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    Perhaps hence the next step should be seeing the foundations for these figures, and hence looking into how well these sovereign-sounding states' commercial activity is diversified(or not).

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    Virginia;

    flag image source;(link)

    (click to enlarge)

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    According to various sources(infoplease.com, netstate.com, and yesvirginia.org) there may be more to the Virginian economy than meets the eye. For example, though its most commercial hustling and bustling region is perhaps found in its northern area next to DC, it also has a few aces up its sleeve per se, tucked away from the traffic and "tumult". For example, though Tobacco, was and perhaps still is a semi-important part of the Virginian economy, chickens, per se, or "livestock" are also becoming key players in the Virginian economic profile per se. Amongst these perhaps not so immediately apparent industries present in Virginia, are some "titanic" players like the shipping hubs in Virginia of Newport News, and Roanoke, not to mention the naval hub at Norfolk(not as busy as ports in California and New York but Norfolk is close, at 4th place overall in regards to US ports(link)). While men and women of the sea are busy bringing in "fish and crabs" from the large coastal fishing areas off of Virginia's coast, IT, Govt. Service, and Govt. workers, are dealing with DC related issues in the state's north. Amidst all of this there is even some aeronautical research conducted in the state per se(At Hampton(as opposed to "Hampton Roads"), as well as some coal mining.

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    Maryland;

    flag image source(link)

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    Cobbling together a few different sources one can perhaps also paint a somewhat more zoomed in perspective on the economy of the suzerain state of Maryland(maryland.gov, netstate.com, infoplease.com, bls.gov). In doing so one may note a good economy overall perhaps in regards to Maryland's, but one which saw the 49th "best" state-economic growth in the nation last year, so perhaps that's not exactly a glass-raising discovery per se(source). However, with that we also have a stable economy perhaps, and one that is none the less quite interesting. For, from a quick glance at the BLS's employment info in regards to Maryland, one may note that the economy is sort of "simpler" or less diversified per se, at least in terms of employment than is that of Virginia. For Maryland's 4 most notable sort of employment are, Transport/Utilities/Services, Government, Professional Services, and Health and Education related activities. Like Virginia, Maryland also is famouse for it "crabbing" per se, as well as other fish related activities, however, unlike Virginia, its Agricultural sector, seems vastly overshadowed by the likes of the defense industry companies/manufacturing industries that operate out of the state. Hence, there seems to be a sort of heavy leaning towards Government related/Defense related activities that really sort of perhaps propel the state's economy. Not to mention being the headquarter-state of various financial firms, like that ram of a financial firm, T.Rowe price. Hence, Maryland perhaps has a greater sort of government tie in to its economy, than Virginia does, perhaps due to Virginia's extra-agriculture related diversification per se. Surprisingly aswell, Virginia's port at Norfolk, also perhaps overshadows Maryland's port of Baltimore, at least in regards to business, with Norfolk being the 4th busiest port overall in the US, with Baltimore, not really being in the top 10 per se(link).

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    Hence before getting into the makeup of the municiple investments and portfolio's offered by these 2 states, and the individual investment vehicles one can use to access/invest in said investments, it seems as though the difference between Virginia and Maryland's economies, may come down to a sort of subjective decision. Maryland seems to have a higher per capita GDP, and a more concentrated in Defense/Govt. economy(with some hospitals and education thrown in for good measure), while Virginia seems to have this sort of economy in North. Virginia in particular, with the agricultural buffer/diversification thrown into its portfolio to perhaps provide some extra bulky beta per se, to offset any potential government instability.

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    Hence, perhaps with their queenly names these two states provide an interesting backdrop to the curious Municipal bond admirer. Perhaps in the future, the individual investments one can make into these state's bonds should be looked at more thoroughly, however, perhaps for now, we should have at least a precursory understanding of these two mid-Atlantic territories, and perhaps if we are ever on "Jeopardy", and asked about America's busiest ports, perhaps we now will have at least a somewhat better handle of the shipping traffic into and out of this great land per se. Thanks again for reading, I hope everyone's investing is going great, and that one and all have a great weekend.

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    Queens in question;

    Virginia's namesake; Queen Elizabeth 1(source),

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    Maryland's namesake; Queen Henrietta Maria(source)

    (click to enlarge)

    Nov 14 2:51 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Weekend Infotainment; Ebola Talk, And Peer-To-Peer Mind Control.

    Though it may veer off from the peculiar scientific trend involving turning human bodily fluids into a source of power, this week has yielded some pretty interesting talks and scientific breakthroughs per se.

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    If one wants to hear the personal stories and anecdotes, and insights of the writer of "The Hotzone"; namely Richard Preston, here's an interesting talk he gave recently on the subject of ebola. In it he chronicles some sort of heroic characters who were unfortunately amongst the victims of the this latest bout between humanity and ebola, and its all together perhaps an interesting speech,that touches on interesting subjects relating to genetic study aswell; link.

    source for image(link)

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    For some more unique ideas we may turn to none other than sciencedaily who have this article on person to person, un-intrusive nerve control per se. In the study that is mentioned in the linked story it seems that some folks were wired up with sensors per se and then essentially put in such a position where one person sitting across a "campus" per se, from the other person was shown a video game, another person was given a mouse and a blank screen, and the two had their brain-activity connected via the internet. It seems that ~25-80% of the participants could operate in this sort of manner, and actually play the shared game if one will. Supposedly this technology has developed to the point whereby this sort of experiment or experience, can be conducted with "walk-in"s. Perhaps its sort of fascinating how this sort of thing may invoke various manchurian-candidate related ideas, but either way, perhaps we're getting closer to some sort of avatar-esque situation with each passing day.(link)

    image source; (link)

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    I hope everyone's having a great weekend. Thanks again for reading.

    Nov 08 9:05 PM | Link | Comment!
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