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J.D. Welch  

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  • Alliance Resource Partners: Safe 7.5% Yield With Significant Unit Price Upside [View article]
    Thank you, Peter! I've been asking for info on ARLP for weeks now on various coal articles, and no one has come through, until now. Through a series of purchases while the price has been slipping down these past 2 weeks, I've accumulate enough ARLP to put it over my self-imposed 5% allocation limit of my IRA portfolio, with a cost basis of $56.87. I felt good about doing that, as ARLP has consistently come out on top in My Mad Method of ranking stocks to pick for my portfolio, and I feel MUCH better about that after reading this article. Thanks again!
    Jun 21, 2012. 09:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: The Next Evolutionary Step, Part 2 [View article]
    No problem. I'm now with Interactive Brokers. You can find them at You have to accept that you're pretty much on your own, but they have a slew of tools and data sources, many of which you need to subscribe to but they're reasonably priced, and don't expect all of the customer service reps you might need to talk to to be little miss sunshine, but they are professional and I've always gotten what I need with a minimum amount of hassle. I'm very happy there, although I do have some problems accessing their tools from behind my company's firewall, but I work from home alot and don't day-trade, so that's something I'm willing to live with for $1.00 per trade. So far I haven't spent more than $1.00 per stock trade, and most options trades (that I can afford to make) have been $1.03 or less. Good luck!
    Jun 21, 2012. 03:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Could It Be That I'm Smarter Than My Broker? [View article]
    Initially I didn't complain about their commissions because we were supposed to be "buy-and-hold", right? But after months of neglect, when I got around to getting online access to my account at that firm, I saw so many of my investments in the red that we needed to rebalance and stop the bleeding. That's when the $82 commissions per trade started really stacking up, and also I was hamstrung in that I couldn't afford to move less than $3K worth of funds for any trade to justify the commissions. I finally said "Enough!", and was able to prove to my wife that what I was investing in was doing better than what they had us invested in, so she finally agreed and I've moved everything but 3 stocks over to Interactive Brokers. I haven't paid more than $1.00 for any stock trade at IB, and most options trades are $1.03 or less. Now I can be nimble AND afford to slowly grow positions in companies like JNJ with smaller purchase over time. I'm in a much better place now...
    Jun 21, 2012. 03:35 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Holy Cow Tipping! [View article]
    Hi, Guraaf. If you're writing covered calls from within your IRA, I don't think there are any tax implications. Outside of that, if your shares get called away you will probably have to record long term or short term capital gains, depending on how long you'd held the shares until they got called away. I'm also guessing (just a guess) that the premium you received for selling the CCs is taxable as regular income, but you should check with a tax professional abou that to be sure. Otherwise, short term CG, long term CG, dividends, premiums, etc, matter naught in they're all taking place in your IRA; you just get taxed when you pull the money out of the IRA, but you shouldn't be doing that until you're long in the tooth...

    Hope that helps. Like I've said, I'm not a professional, so if you have specific tax questions or concerns, please contact your broker or other tax advisor and ask them. You can probably get an answer over the phone from your broker...

    Thanks for the comment!
    Jun 21, 2012. 11:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Holy Cow Tipping! [View article]
    Thanks Richard, Tactical and Gratian for your comments. Richard, I think your questions about tax implications for MLPs has been answered: That is, you don't have to do anything special if your MLPs are in a tax-deferred account (IRA) if the total of your UBTI from all MLPs is less than $1,000. That's my understanding. After that, it gets tricky. At this point, I don't see the total of what I get from MLPs I'm holding in my IRA topping $1K, but I should probably go to my spreadsheet and check to be sure. At this point I don't have a taxable account and no near-term plans to set one up, but if I have to I will and sell the MLPs in my IRA and accumulate funds outside of the IRA to re-invest in those MLPs in the taxable account.

    Richard, thanks for taking the time to read the MMM series. I've had a lot of positive response to it, and it's been a blast writing about it. I will continue to do so as new topics crop up. In terms of using Excel, I've offered this before, but I'll do so here again: If you'd like a "blank" copy of the MMM spreadsheet, just send me a message here on Seeking Alpha with your email address, and I will get it out to you. It is, of course, a "use at your own risk" kind of deal, but I'm more than willing to share, and I've done so with a bunch of people already.

    Thanks again!
    Jun 21, 2012. 11:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft May Have Just Hurt Lumia 900 Sales [View article]
    @Kiminho:: My wife & I got our iPhone 3GSes in Dec 2010 when AT&T dropped the price to $50 when the iPhone 4 came out & Verizon got in on the action. Just cuz there's a newer version doesn't mean folks on a budget won't get the prior version when it's a bargain. My contract with AT&T is up later this year, but my 3GS is still meeting my needs. Dunno what I'm gonna do except try to get on a cheaper data plan since the subsidy of the phone will have been paid off by then. Also considering Nokia or phones with Intel inside. Point being, people will buy last year's model when it meets their needs and it's a smokin' deal...
    Jun 20, 2012. 11:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Holy Cow Tipping! [View article]
    That's a great idea. Thanks!
    Jun 20, 2012. 09:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Holy Cow Tipping! [View article]
    Awesome info. Thanks, Jeff!
    Jun 20, 2012. 08:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Holy Cow Tipping! [View article]
    Holy Cow Update!:

    After the close today, while I was listening in on an important meeting that I had nothing to contribute to but just needed to listen in on, I was playing around with my spreadsheet and numbers and decided to make a somewhat substantial change. One of the stocks that I mentioned I would be trying to buy more of in a previous article is StoneMor Partners, L.P. (STON). I really like these guys, but their stock shows up on MMM as "Too High", and when I checked my allocations I found that they were already at 5% of my total IRA portfolio, which is my threshold for how high I want any one position to go. Plus the price is too high, and my limit price I'd set in a previous article was higher then my current cost basis. So I decided to cancel that order, and divert the funds that would have been used to buy more STON to increase the number of shares in my order for MV Oil Trust (MVO) to 80 shares. MVO is solidly in "Holy Cow!" territory, so it looked like the better move, and its got a 12% yeild vs STON's 9% yield. Looking at the chart, I also adjusted the limit price for MVO down from $33.50 to $33.10. Might not seem like a big deal, but it's $32 bucks, and, hey, every little bit helps, especially since I've had to chase a few other stocks up these past few weeks. So, that's the big update for today, other than the FTE order getting filled.

    I'll post more updates as these orders get filled. I don't think I'll make any more adjustments, but you never know. Today was supposed to be ex-div day for HTS, so I'm expecting the price to drop by a bit, and hopefully it'll be enough to hit my $28 limit price so the order will get filled (Oh, yeah, I upped my order for HTS from 45 shares to 50 shares.) As I mentioned just above, ARLP is still looking juicy, and I've got enough dry powder on hand to snag a few mores shares if the price is right...

    Anyway, thanks for checking in. More Madness to come!

    Jun 20, 2012. 07:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Holy Cow Tipping! [View article]
    Hi, Jeff, agreed. Didn't know about the div increase coming up in July. That's something that I've got to get better at is tracking down when companies usually increase their dividends annually (or more often, in some cases), but I've got to focus on my day job. I figure that when I retire I'll have the time to dig deeper into company filings and such and get a better grasp on stuff like that. Anyway, was just looking over my account and after tweaking the weightings this way and that on MMM, ARLP keeps coming out as #1, so I may end up picking up a bit more after some more divvys roll in, especially if it drops to $53 or $54. My cost basis after 3 rounds of purchases is now $57.44, so I'm definitely keeping an eye one them. Thanks for the feedback; I prod others for any info on ARLP that I can get, but all they seem to want to talk about is BTU, JRCC and PCX. I guess that's not such a bad thing for ARLP. Anyway, thanks for the comment!
    Jun 20, 2012. 07:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Holy Cow Tipping! [View article]
    Hi, Miz. Yes, I knew about the dividend situation at NPK, but I still really like them. Yes, they're one of the few USA companies that only pays dividends annually, and yes the did cut the special dividend this year, but I like their management and that they have so much skin in the game. Part of their problems at the end of 2011 which led to them cutting the special div was that WalMart didn't plan for holiday shopping very effectively and didn't give NPK the shelf space they needed to stock their pressure cookers and such. That's something they know they need to work on, having more outlets and not relying so much on their presence in WalMart stores. The absorbent materials division has been having great success, so there's hope there. I know a lot of guys who are ex-military, and they all say the same thing: There's nothing like shooting real ammo, simulators don't cut it in training. Most of the ammo that NPK makes ends up getting used up in training exercises, not in actual combat, so there's a misconception there that the USA pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan will have a negative impact on their ammo biz. They recently signed a 5 year contract with the DOD for the ammo, and while there may be Defense budget cuts in the future, they're more likely to cut out a few fighter jets than they are significant amounts of ammo. That's how I see it, anyway. Like I said, I was planning on adding a few more shares before the end of the year rolled around anyway, and this seemed like a good time, like the price had hit a kind of bottom. Maybe it'll go down further, who knows, but that applies to everything, right? They're quirky and eclectic and I like that, so until management changes significantly or screws up, they'll have a small position in my portfolio, and we'll see how that special divy works out next February.

    Thanks for the feedback and concern, though; much appreciated!

    Jun 20, 2012. 07:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Rookie Season Writing Options: Second Inning - June Expiry And July Contracts [View article]
    Thanks, Victoria (and everyone else!), that's how I was looking at it. And as I think iheartbusiness mentioned, it may be more profitable and less risky to sell at smaller premiums more frequently, rather than going for the big premium 6 months out, plus it doesn't tie up your capital (margin) in your account for as long, allowing you to be more nimble.

    Great discussion, everyone, thanks very much!
    Jun 20, 2012. 07:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Rookie Season Writing Options: Second Inning - June Expiry And July Contracts [View article]
    Thanks, Jason, that's extremely helpful. :-)
    Jun 20, 2012. 07:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Holy Cow Tipping! [View article]
    Ouch. That's gonna take a chunk out of it. Yeah, it's in an IRA, so no USA tax credit... Thanks for the info, tho...
    Jun 20, 2012. 03:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: Holy Cow Tipping! [View article]
    Thanks for the update. That's a shame. But 7.04% still isn't bad. Need to see what the net is after they take out the inevitable taxes. At least I've got 2 more quarters in 2012 to reap the 14%+ yield that it's generating now.

    BTW, my order for FTE filled earlier this morning at $12.50. It is currently trading at $12.66.
    Jun 20, 2012. 02:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment