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Monty Spivak  

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  • Standard Chartered's Low Valuation Seems To Be Justified [View article]

    Thanks for the excellent article. In addition to the financial and strategic reasons not to invest, it is also worth mentioning that they were involved in laundering money for Iran. My position, explained in this article, is also a "sell".

    Cheers, Monty
    Jul 27, 2014. 07:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Day I Sold Everything [View article]

    There were other, more effective strategies than to sell-off your portfolio, such as:
    - Sell covered calls on your over-valued winners
    - Place stop losses
    - Many other risk-mitigating ideas in my recent article: An Investment Strategy For These Highly-Priced Markets

    If we are in a bubble, it is prudent to take defensive actions, but disregarding your strategy and disposing your portfolio seems extreme. I propose that - even if the market has a substantial pull-back - one proceed methodically and cautiously on managing long-term portfolio holdings.

    Cheers, Monty
    Jul 26, 2014. 08:17 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • An Investment Strategy For These Highly-Priced Markets [View article]
    Thanks, Ray. Thanks for your readership, comment, and excellent articles! Cheers, Monty
    Jul 8, 2014. 08:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Caribbean Utilities: Moderate Risk With A 7% Yield [View article]
    Hi oagfy,

    Thanks for reading! You are correct! No taxes or withholding taxes for Cayman Islands!

    Cheers, Monty
    Jun 22, 2014. 07:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • World Grows Brighter For UBS With Their Darkest Pool [View article]

    Great article!

    Interesting story about trading transparency, which may help address Charley's questions: The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street‏

    Based on Don's article, it appears that:
    1. Regulators are "late to the party".
    2. UBS and the others are doing too little, too late for investors, but may have protected their dark pool revenues as long as possible.

    Cheers, Monty
    Jun 9, 2014. 08:22 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • CitySpring Infrastructure Trust - Low Risk With A 7% Yield [View article]
    Hi Drizzt,

    Thanks for your comments and readership! As part of my research on Singaporean securities, I discovered your website (and a couple of weeks ago subscribed to your Investment Moats newsletter).

    Although I alluded to the Basslink problem, you have stated it much more clearly. As a positive: I do like the monopolistic and "toll-road" nature of Basslink's transmission assets and believe that it will be a long-term contributor to the financial distribution. On the other hand... As you identified, management floated a lot of debt and a rights issue to pay for it.

    This article attempted to look at all of the CitySpring operations as a single financial entity, with an assessment of the financials regarding the sustainability its distribution to shareholders. Despite Basslink's under-performance, the other 3 businesses are supporting the CIT distribution. No doubt, it would be better without the Basslink drag on earnings and debt load.

    Your "on-the-ground", experience with CIT and other Singaporean investments contributes to our understanding of the investment risks. Thanks, again, for your feedback!

    I intend to (eventually) write about another Singaporean Business Trust, and look forward to your further comments.

    Cheers, Monty
    Jun 8, 2014. 03:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • DRIP: A Much Worse Deal Than You Think [View article]
    Hi Sajit,

    Thanks for this interesting article! A few years ago, I wrote a pair of articles about DRIPs.

    Dividend Reinvestment Plans, Part 2 - The Case Against DRIPs
    Dividend Reinvestment Plans: The Case for DRIPs

    The conclusion... There are trade-offs, and one's DRIP results will be influenced by several factors. I would not discount DRIPs as inefficient; rather, I would suggest that depending on the security, personality, investment style, goals, and other factors, it may or may not be an inefficient investor return mechanism.

    For the record, I personally subscribe to your thesis - I only have 1 security DRIPped, as my objectives and investment style make this approach "inefficient" for me :) That said, a close friend is far-outperforming me with his (tax-sheltered) DRIPs.

    Cheers, Monty
    May 25, 2014. 10:49 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CitySpring Infrastructure Trust - Low Risk With A 7% Yield [View article]

    Thanks for your readership and comments!

    Sajit Kapurvalapil - I had once attempted to open a brokerage account in Australia, but they had residency requirements. I use Interactive Brokers (for ASX LSE, and some OTC trades), but access to the Singapore Stock Market is costly for an infrequent trader. I agree that OTC is often a difficult trading platform from which one can build positions, but am unsure if you can open an account in Singapore as a resident of Canada or USA.

    Howard Philipsonh raised an interesting point around the exchange rate and yield. Over the course of researching this article, I found an item that stated that Singapore's SGD exchange rate is used to actively manage to economic goals - more than interest rates. I suppose that this is possible in a very open economy, such as theirs. Therefore, the exchange rate is a real risk on one's yield. On a positive note, it does diversify outside of the USD and CAD in a developed country.

    Lionel Yeo - yes it is boring. I need some staid investments in a volatile investment world. I see that you have PENN WEST PETROLEUM LTD as a security of interest - I have owned it for years - too long, as it was a lot higher, and I am now "in the red". I agree that PWE is a much more interesting investment :)

    tangerinehouse - thanks for identifying Religare. I have been watching it as a possible safe way to gain exposure to India, but have not done anything about it. I will try to find the time to write other articles about (obscure and high-yielding) Singaporean investment opportunities, but work is very busy, and this is my hobby.

    Thanks, again! Cheers, Monty
    May 23, 2014. 08:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Drums Of War Are Beating: Prepare Your Portfolio For An Escalation In Ukraine [View article]

    Thanks for your great article and generating an interesting discussion.

    I propose to add to your statements around gold. Last year, when Japan/China and Israel/Iran tensions were the greatest risks of war, I assessed which gold investments would provide the best hedges for a major conflict:

    Which Form Of Gold Investment Provides The Best Hedge For A War Or Global Crisis?

    Several gold (and gold-substitute investment alternatives are examined, some of which are:

    Although Gold ETFs may be best for a long war and possibly the best at all times, leveraged gold ETFs would provide a higher short-term gain at outset or turning point of a war (spikes in gold prices), and Options - if predicted and timed accurately - is a very-leveraged gold play, which can provide magnitudes of return at the outbreak of a war. Gold miners results depend on factors such as management capabilities and interest rates, so are not as likely to correlate as well with a high return from a major conflict.

    Therefore, if you believe war is imminent, it would be important to choose the gold investment which would align with your expectations of the conflict. Of course, some of these gold investments are "trades", rather then "investments".

    For complete disclosure, my precious metal investments do not correlate as well as other alternatives with a high return from the outbreak of a war or major conflict. Long gold miner convertible securities (on the TSX), silver miners (options on PAAS, long HL), and a gold ETFs (on the TSX).

    Cheers, Monty
    Apr 27, 2014. 09:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian REITs To Buy For 8%-Plus Yields [View article]
    Hi galicianova, Yes Dundee Real Estate Trust (OTC:DRETF) is D.UN on the TSX and is my "favorite" :) Cheers, Monty
    Apr 9, 2014. 10:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian REITs To Buy For 8%-Plus Yields [View article]
    Hi, Good observation and question! I bought my larger, initial position before the dip... Then I added more at a lower price, but am overall "under water". Cheers, Monty
    Apr 9, 2014. 09:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian REITs To Buy For 8%-Plus Yields [View article]
    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for your feedback. Great choice! In fact, it is my personal favorite - $3B market cap; 7.75% monthly-paying yield; ~50% payout ratio; office properties; largely in Western Canada; growing; and top management team.

    As you can see from my previous comments, I also own the other Dundee-affiliated REITS (Dundee Industrial and Dundee International), but these are not doing well.

    Cheers, Monty
    Apr 8, 2014. 09:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CEMIG Walking A Fine Line In A Challenging Market [View article]

    I have been watching CIG and have been reluctant to buy. I own 2 other electric utilities, and neither has done well. I wrote a couple of articles on the topic:

    On a macro basis, Brazil (economy, currency, etc.) is in trouble; electricity prices - from CIG and other utilities - are being used as a subsidy; and, the "smart money" is being repatriated to the US, accelerated by tapering.

    The court decision on the hydro power concessions will likely have an enormous impact on CIG's share price, as the income-producing assets on the balance sheet and income from operations on the income statement should experience material reductions.

    There is the potential upside of a court decision in CIG's favour, but precedence (other utilities also have launched various court cases) suggests that this is a gamble. My $0.02 is that it is too risky to buy CIG until the courts make the decision, unless one prefers to bet on the lawyers and legislators instead of management.

    Cheers, Monty
    Mar 22, 2014. 08:39 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Gimme Some Sugar: Reasons For Rising Sugar Prices And 3 ETF Plays [View article]
    Thanks, Rupinder. Great article!

    I like to invest in food - we all need to eat; in the long-term, this industry is bound to be a winner. That said, I am not very enthusiastic about ETFs.

    Another alternative - for yield-oriented investors with an above-average risk "appetite" - is an under-performing Canadian, high-yield security - Roger's Sugar OTC:RSGUF (trades on the TSX:RSI). It has under $300M cap; 8% dividend yield; and due to various operational problems, is down 25% this year.

    More details on their website:

    Long TSX:RSI. Cheers, Monty
    Mar 18, 2014. 08:19 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian REITs To Buy For 8%-Plus Yields [View article]
    Hi 11146471 / BR,

    Thanks for your question. The answer is a little complicated.

    I do not own BTB REIT - I have other REITs which have similar investments (I hold Dundee Industrial, Retrocomm, and Partners REITs), so view it as an overlap - but I believe that BTB is an attractive investment and yield.

    Caveats: You have an appetite for a REIT with a $120M market cap. High beta, and trading around 10% below high, and 15% above low - I prefer to get in at a lower relative price, but this is still a good entry point

    Positives: Profitable, growth-oriented, Canadian real estate (Ottawa and suburban Montreal), mixed use properties and portfolio, and a very-high yield (although none of the REITs with a high yield are growing theirs, with the recent exception of Northwest International Healthcare). Not a lot of institutional ownership (4%) or analyst coverage, due to the micro-cap, but I view this as an opportunity to invest in up-and-coming securities.

    I hope that this helps! Cheers, Monty
    Mar 4, 2014. 08:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment