Alex Filonov's  Instablog

Alex Filonov
Send Message
I was born in 1956 in USSR. After graduation from college in 1979 I worked full-time as an IT specialist. Until 1990 I worked for different companies in the Soviet military industrial complex. I created a small software business in 1991, which failed in 1993. I worked for Oracle Corp in 1995 in... More
My blog:
Muddling Investor
  • Time To Reduce REITs Exposure 3 comments
    Feb 7, 2012 6:36 PM

    I am holding significant positions in two REITs with huge dividends; Annaly (NYSE:NLY) and American Capital Agency (NASDAQ:AGNC). These are agency REITs, they invest in mortgage obligations guaranteed by government agencies. So far I made a lot of money by holding them. But all good times come to end.
    First, my initial idea. These two companies use a lot of leverage, buy government backed mortgages and pay huge dividends. There is little or no risk to principal, the only significant risk is increase of borrowing costs, which depend on Fed rate. I estimated (correctly) that Fed is in no hurry to raise rates.
    But bad things started happening. First, Annaly, then American Capital Agency reduced dividends. It was unexpected. OK, Annaly made a serious mistake. They decided to deleverage in time of low rates. And I am waiting for a good price to close that position. But there is another problem for both companies: Obama's mortgage refinancing plan. Currently, many homeowners have trouble refinancing their mortgages, even if they pay in time. There are several reasons, but main reason was outlined by Felix Salmon here. In short, homeowners were forced to pay big rates. Bad for them, good for Annaly and AGNC. Now, Obama's plan gives homeowners possibility to refinance. Good for homeowners, good for economy, bad for REITs.

    Today reaction to AGNC dividend reduction was interesting. Stock dropped in price first, then jumped. I used that jump to reduce my position. I don't expect REITs prices to tank, there is still time to gradually reduce exposure. But it must be done.

    Disclosure: I am long AGNC, NLY.

    Additional disclosure: Positions can change any time.

Back To Alex Filonov's Instablog HomePage »

Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (3)
Track new comments
  • TruffelPig
    , contributor
    Comments (4208) | Send Message
    As long as NLY pays 14% and AGNC 17% they still rule - even considering higher tax rate. Everything has its risks, but I am probably not going to increase my position now. Which is something I do not like - I was planing to buy more.
    7 Feb 2012, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • anarchist
    , contributor
    Comments (2035) | Send Message
    Thanks Alex for your prospective. I have been getting a little nervous about AGNC for a couple of weeks and there were a couple of conflicting articles here as SA and I think your instablog helped me with my decision to sell half of my AGNC.
    8 Feb 2012, 09:48 AM Reply Like
  • TruffelPig
    , contributor
    Comments (4208) | Send Message
    I bought some FTE instead now - seems very well priced with all the Euro stuff going on and pays nearly 13% - even with foreign tax I have less taxes than with REIT in this case.
    8 Feb 2012, 10:54 AM Reply Like
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers


  • Sold some $FB Mar 15 $80 covered calls and Mar15 $72.50 puts
    Jan 29, 2015
  • CLosed $LRLCY. Will buy back at lower level
    Jan 21, 2015
  • Added to $SAN
    Jan 7, 2015
More »

Latest Comments

Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.