Seeking Alpha

Left Banker

 
View as an RSS Feed
View Left Banker's Articles BY TICKER:
  • Cambria Introduces A Global Core Portfolio ETF With Zero Management Fees
    Tue, Dec. 23 GAA 7 Comments

    Summary

    • Mebane Faber's Cambria Funds has added another ETF to its stable.
    • The fund is a fund-of-funds comprising a core global portfolio of stocks, bonds, commodities and real estate.
    • Cambria charges no management fees for the ETF. Acquired fees for the component funds are 0.29%.
  • Update: Double-Digit Distribution Portfolio
    Tue, Dec. 2 AWLCF, BIT, BOE 83 Comments

    Summary

    • The double-digit distribution portfolio was introduced as a model 3 months ago.
    • The portfolio objective is to provide distributions in excess of 10% annually with long-term preservation of capital.
    • The first 90 days has seen the anticipated income yields but capital value of the portfolio has dropped.
  • A Brief Look At 'Dual Momentum'
    Mon, Nov. 24 44 Comments

    Summary

    • Gary Antonacci's book, Dual Momentum, describes a momentum investment strategy.
    • The dual momentum strategy combines relative and absolute momentum.
    • The objective is to exploit the "momentum anomaly" without the excessive downdraws often associated with relative momentum investing.
  • Gee Mom, It's A New Global Momentum And Trend-Following Fund Of Funds
    Sat, Nov. 8 GMOM 22 Comments

    Summary

    • Cambria Global Momentum ETF is the latest addition to Cambria Funds' ETF offerings.
    • GMOM is a fund of funds, comprising a portfolio of ETFs drawn from all global asset classes.
    • GMOM follows a momentum strategy coupled with a trend-following algorithm designed to moderate downdraws.
  • On Sale Now: Tax-Free Income Over 6%
    Mon, Oct. 6 BBF, BIE, HYD 47 Comments

    Summary

    • Municipal bonds closed-end funds offer high levels of tax-free income.
    • Municipal bond CEFs solidly outperform ETFs in this asset class, frequently by a large margin.
    • Discounts are currently running at exceptionally low levels, indicating bargain shoppers should be able to find rare deals in today's muni bond CEF marketplace.
    • I identify five muni bond CEFs to buy now on the basis of the above criteria.
  • Will ETRACS 2x High Dividend, Low Volatility ETN Really Return Either?
    Fri, Oct. 3 HDLV 50 Comments

    Summary

    • ETRACS' latest 2x leverage ETN has opened for trading.
    • The ETN promises high yields and low volatility from mid- and large-cap domestic equity positions.
    • I investigate the yield and volatility metrics here, and consider that the ETN falls short of those promises.
  • A New 2x ETN From ETRACS Focuses On High Dividends And Low Volatility
    Wed, Oct. 1 HDLV 32 Comments

    Summary

    • ETRACS continues to expand its offerings of 2x leveraged ETNs.
    • The latest addition focuses on high-dividend, low-volatility stocks.
    • Yield is projected to be about 8.5% annualized after fees.
  • Gross Out At PIMCO: What Next For PIMCO CEFs?
    Sun, Sep. 28 PDI 41 Comments

    Summary

    • Bill Gross has moved on from PIMCO.
    • Five Gross-managed closed-end funds suffered large losses in the wake of his departure.
    • Other PIMCO funds also took losses which are less likely to be sustained as Gross had no real role in the day-to-day management of these funds.
  • Building An Income Portfolio With Closed-End Funds. Part 2: MLPs
    Thu, Sep. 11 AMJ, AMLP, CBA 62 Comments

    Summary

    • This is the second in a series on using closed-end funds for the core of a retirement-income portfolio.
    • The article explores CEFs for energy master limited partnerships with regard to distributions, total-return parameters, discounts and relative tax-efficiencies.
    • More than 20 funds are covered.
  • Building An Income Portfolio With Closed-End Funds. Part 1: Real Estate
    Mon, Sep. 8 AWP, IGR, IYR 93 Comments

    Summary

    • This is the first in a series on using closed-end funds for the core of a retirement-income portfolio.
    • This article explores the full range of real-estate closed-end funds with regard to portfolio composition, distributions, total-return parameters, discounts and relative tax-efficiency.
    • Ten funds are covered: three global and seven domestic. They range from unleveraged to leveraged near 33%. One holds predominately mortgage-backed securities; the others hold mainly equity REITs.
  • Double-Digit Distribution Income Portfolio: Part 2. Portfolio Constituents
    Tue, Sep. 2 AWLCF, BIT, BOE 58 Comments

    Summary

    • Previously, I presented an exercise to generate a diversified, income portfolio yielding more than 10% that carries moderate risk for that level of yield.
    • The portfolio comprises 20 positions, the bulk of which are closed-end funds.
    • Here in part 2, I discuss the component positions.
  • Double-Digit Distribution Income Portfolio: Part 1. Over 10% Yield From A Diversified Portfolio.
    Tue, Sep. 2 AWLCF, BDCL, BIT 87 Comments

    Summary

    • High yield is an challenging and risky goal in the current income markets.
    • I've constructed a model portfolio that generates double-digit yields with sufficient diversification to moderate risk to capital.
    • The portfolio employs leveraged ETNs and closed-end funds to achieve these goals.
  • This Fund May Be Your Best Call For Preferred Shares
    Fri, Aug. 29 FFC 106 Comments

    Summary

    • Preferred shares are a key asset class for an income portfolio.
    • Leverage and interest-rate hedges can, in an able manager's hands, drive optimal performance from preferred shares.
    • This closed-end fund, which holds primarily investment-grade securities, is currently bargain-priced, pays a 8.5% distribution, and has been a category leader in total performance for a decade.
  • Reorganization Of Nuveen Equity CEFs: Good Or Bad For Shareholders?
    Mon, Aug. 11 QQQX 16 Comments

    Summary

    • Nuveen has opened the vote on reorganization of several of its domestic equity, option-income, closed-end funds.
    • Four new funds will emerge post-reorganization. Three will follow a "dynamic" options strategy. One will use a "complete" options strategy with total coverage of the portfolio by options.
    • The new funds will be pegged to the major US market indexes: S&P 500, Dow Jones 30, and the Nasdaq 100. I focus here on the latter.
  • Will The High Premiums For The PIMCO High Income Fund Continue To Erode?
    Thu, Aug. 7 PHK 97 Comments

    Summary

    • Two PIMCO closed end funds with long-term high premium valuations have seen erosion of those premiums over the past week.
    • PIMCO High Income Fund has lost nearly 12%, all of it to erosion of its premium. The premium for PIMCO Global Stocks Plus has also turned downward.
    • Other funds provide comparable returns with more sustainable valuations.
  • Oxford Lane Capital Corp. Is Paying Double-Digit Yields
    Wed, Aug. 6 OXLC 50 Comments

    Summary

    • This is the third entry in a series on high-yielding positions from my income portfolio.
    • The article discusses Oxford Lane Capital Corp., a closed-end fund that invests in CLOs.
    • The fund has a strong history of outperforming its peers and is currently yielding 14.7%.
  • Double-Digit Yields From This Diversified ETN Of Closed End Funds
    Wed, Aug. 6 CEFL 69 Comments

    Summary

    • This is the second part of a series of three, double-digit yielders.
    • Today's subject is the ETRACS 2x Leveraged Closed-End Fund ETN.
    • The ETN is paying 16.1% annualized yield and presents an opportunity hold an interest in a broadly diversified portfolio of closed end funds.
  • Double-Digit Yields From Awilco Drilling Ltd.
    Wed, Aug. 6 AWLCF 118 Comments

    Summary

    • This is the first in a series of three, double-digit yielders.
    • Awilco Drilling, which owns two North Sea drilling rigs, is currently yielding 18%.
    • Management's commitment to returning value to shareholders is shown by increases in dividend payouts which have grown 15% since 3Q 2013.
  • Conatus Pharmaceuticals: Large Upside With Attractive Risk And Income Profiles
    Mon, Jul. 28 CNAT 19 Comments

    Summary

    • Healthcare and Biotechnology will continue to produce strong results for the near to mid term.
    • Conatus Pharmaceuticals is well poised to generate effective treatment in a spectrum of liver diseases.
    • By using a covered-call strategy one can build a position with 100% upside potential coupled with an attractive risk profile and attractive income.
  • Need 7-8% Yields In Retirement? Build Your Income Portfolio With Closed-End Funds (Part III: Discounts And Premiums)
    Sun, Jul. 13 JFR, PCI, PDI 89 Comments

    Summary

    • Many retirees have income needs that exceed the 2-4% one might expect from dividend stocks.
    • Higher income yields can be had from several other asset classes including MLPs, BDCs, REITs and high-yield bonds.
    • An alternative -- or complement -- to these investment vehicles is a diversified portfolio of closed end funds which can provide income in excess of 7-8%.
    • An aspect of closed end funds that differentiates them from other investment choices is that they trade at discounts or premiums to NAV. I discuss some implications of this.
  • Buy-Write CEFs Are An Alternative To An S&P 500 Dividend Fund
    Fri, Jul. 11 DIAX, ETB, HSPX 115 Comments

    Summary

    • Buy-write or covered-call funds can provide high income compared to S&P 500 dividend ETFs.
    • Covered call ETFs do not combine that income with competitive total returns. Large-cap, covered-call CEFs do.
    • The leading CEFs have outperformed ETFs that follow either S&P 500 dividend stocks or S&P 500 option income strategies.
  • Leverage In Closed End Funds: Another Look
    Tue, Jul. 8 PCEF 14 Comments

    Summary

    • My recent analyses of leverage in closed end funds is expanded to emphasize individual fund categories.
    • Market and NAV returns for trailing 12 and 36 months are considered for 8 categories of closed end funds.
    • Emphasis is on equity funds and how well returns are correlated with increasing leverage.
  • Debunking The Myth Of Leverage For Closed End Funds
    Sun, Jul. 6 PCEF 42 Comments

    Summary

    • Two-thirds of closed end funds (ex. muni bond funds) are leveraged.
    • This report looks at how well distributions and share price returns correlate with leverage.
    • Results indicate that investors may not be getting adequate returns for the leverage risk in closed end funds.
  • A New 2x Leveraged ETN Tracks Non-Energy MLPs And Yields 14%
    Tue, Jul. 1 LMLP 60 Comments

    Summary

    • ETRACS has an extensive array of 2x leveraged, high-yield ETNs.
    • The ETRACS line up covers most of the high-yield asset class.
    • The latest addition adds non-energy MLPs to the mix.
  • Need 7-8% Yields In Retirement? Build Your Income Portfolio With Closed-End Funds (Part II: Leverage)
    Mon, Jun. 30 HYG, HYT, JNK 79 Comments

    Summary

    • Many retirees have income needs that exceed the 2-4% one might expect from dividend stocks.
    • Higher income yields can be had from several other asset classes including MLPs, BDCs, REITs and high-yield bonds.
    • An alternative -- or complement -- to these investment vehicles is a diversified portfolio of closed end funds which can provide income in excess of 7-8%.
    • One tool managers use to generate those yields is leverage, which I discuss here.
  • Should You Add To Your Holdings In These H&Q Biotechnolgy Funds?
    Wed, Jun. 18 HQH 62 Comments

    Summary

    • Two biotech healthcare and medical technology closed end funds have rights offerings for current shareholders.
    • The rights offerings allow shareholders to increase their stake in the funds at a 5% discount to average market prices over the four days beginning June 19.
    • Both funds have seen a sharp decline in market price relative to NAV since the offering was announced.
  • Dividend Payers Outperform Non-Payers. But What About Too Much Of A Good Thing?
    Sun, Jun. 1 64 Comments

    Summary

    • In this article, I discuss a study on the overall performance of dividend-paying stocks vs. non-dividend payers.
    • The report also considers relative performances of five cohorts of dividend payers based on yield.
    • Results confirm the enhanced performance of dividend payers over non-payers and reveal interesting relationships for performance and volatility among dividend-paying stocks.
  • Need 7-8% Yields In Retirement? Build Your Income Portfolio With Closed-End Funds (Part I)
    Sun, Jun. 1 JNK, MORT, RWR 87 Comments

    Summary

    • Many retirees have income needs that exceed the 4% one might expect from dividend stocks.
    • Higher income yields can be had from several other asset classes including MLPs, BDCs, REITs and high-yield bonds.
    • An alternative -- or complement -- to these investment vehicles is the closed end fund.
    • A high-income portfolio of closed end funds can provide income in excess of 7-8% while being sufficiently diversified to provide a high level of protection for capital.
  • Is It Time To Sell These PIMCO Closed-End Funds?
    Mon, May. 26 MORL, PCI, PDI 64 Comments

    Summary

    • The recent rally in the bond market has driven up prices for fixed income funds.
    • Closed-end fixed-income funds' discounts have closed during the rally.
    • Two PIMCO funds that had uncharacteristically wide discounts a few months ago have seen those discounts shrink, and may now be ripe for profit-taking.
  • Shareholder Value Goes Global
    Sun, May. 25 PKW, SYLD, FYLD 12 Comments

    Summary

    • Two shareholder-value, domestic-equity funds have posted impressive results since their inceptions.
    • Sponsors for these ETFs have recently introduced international-equity funds employing the same strategies.
    • In this article I present a summary and analysis of each of the ETFs.
  • Is The H&Q Healthcare Fund Rights Offering A Good Deal For Shareholders?
    Tue, May. 20 HQH 49 Comments

    Summary

    • HQH will add 33.33% to its total assets through a non-transferable rights offering to shareholders.
    • The rights offering will be priced at a 5% discount to volume weighted average market price for the three-day pricing period.
    • HQH has fluctuated from discount to premium pricing multiple times in the recent past. Current premium stands at 3.66%.
    • The attractiveness of the rights offering will depend on the premium/discount status of the fund during the pricing period. At today's premium it does not appear appealing.
  • Nuveen To Consolidate Its Equity Option Income Funds: What Does It Mean?
    Fri, May. 2 QQQX 39 Comments

    Summary

    • Nuveen proposes to consolidate its equity option income funds into a new line up.
    • The replacement funds are based on the three major equity indexes.
    • The option income investment strategies will change in most cases.
    • Only one of the new replacement funds currently exists: QQQX which is proposed to absorb JLA only.
    • Based on current prices it looks like a favorable conversion for holders of JLA, but many questions remain unanswered.