Jan. 11, 2014, 9:00 AM
- Ranking about dead last a year ago in Barron's handicapping of where to go for yield, municipal bonds climb nearly to the top for 2014. Long-term issues yield 4.5-5%, towering over the 30-year Treasury at 3.8% ... and don't forget the tax exemption. Credit worries are high, but the "real news is that the credit profile of local governments throughout the U.S. will improve as property valuations rise, local sales and income-taxes increase, and major reform of public employee pension plans accelerates," says John Loffredo, co-manager of the MacKay Shields Municipal High Yield Fund.
- A few closed-end funds trading at discounts to NAV: NIO, NVG, BTT, NPM, NRK, MUC, VCV, NEA, NMA, NAD, ETX, BKN
- Muni ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, MLN, HYMB, CMF, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, SHM, SUB, PRB, SMB, PZT, NYF, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, MUAF, INY, MUAD, MUAG, MUAE, VRD, MUAC, GMMB, RVNU
- Topping the list are the best performers from last year: dividend stocks. Even after a big rally, plenty of blue chips yield more than the 10-year Treasury and payouts are still low, says S&P's Howard Silverblatt, who sees a double-digit rise in cash payouts this year.
- Dividend ETFs: DVY, IDV, VIG, SDY, VYM, SDIV, HDV, SCHD, DWX, KBWD, PID, DES, DTN, PEY, SPHD, DIV, DHS, DLN, LVL, DTD, DGRW, DON, FDL, FVD, PFM, FGD, NOBL, DOO, DOL, SDYL, DVYL, DEW, IDOG, HGI, DGRS, DNL, DGRE, DVYA, RDIV, QDF, RDVY, QDEF, QDYN, IQDF, EMDG, IQDY, WDIV, IQDE, FIEG
- Near the bottom of the list this year after a big move in 2013 are MLPs, which trade for nearly twice the valuation of utilities and telecom, based on Enterprise Value/EBITDA. Yields are tasty at 5.5%, but many MLPs barely cover their payouts - a contrast to the vast majority of dividend-paying corporations. Stick with MLPs comfortably covering their distributions like EPD and PAA.
- MLP ETFs: AMLP, AMJ, MLPL, YMLP, MLPI, MLPA, MLPN, EMLP, MLPS, MLPG, MLPY, MLPJ, MLPX, AMU, YMLI, ATMP, MLPW, IMLP, ENFR, MLPC
Dec. 28, 2013, 8:30 AM
- A tripling of the market over the last five years has made it a difficult environment for value investors looking for ideas, writes Tsachy Mishal; difficult, but not impossible. Mishal has recently put money to work in four new investments:
- Air Products & Chemicals (APD) has a lot more in common with Bill Ackman's successful moves than it does with boners like J.C. Penney and Herbalife, says Mishal. The appointment of a CEO in Q1 should be a catalyst, he says, as the new chief lays out his strategy and Ackman makes public his detailed investment thesis.
- Trading at a steep 20% discount to book value, Annaly Capital (NLY) is the victim of year-end tax-loss selling and the fear of the effect of higher rates on book value, says Mishal. But the year is nearly over, and Annaly management has lowered leverage, hedged its book, and diversified into CMBS - it's well-positioned against further rate increases.
- Eastman Chemical (EMN) has spent the past few quarters paying down debt from an acquisition, says Mishal, but starting in Q1 should begin using its ample cash flow to aggressively buy back stock. Management has an EPS goal of $7 in 2014 and $8 in 2015, and is on the record as saying acquisition targets are too expensive. That leaves share repurchases. Against his long in Eastman, Mishal is short ALB, CE, DD, DOW, and FMC.
- Municipal bond closed-end funds are getting it from both sides - fears of higher rates and credit worries. Throw tax-loss selling into the mix and many are now trading at near-10% discounts to NAV and yielding almost 7% - the taxable equivalent of over 10%. "Municipal bonds offer the best after-tax, risk-adjusted return of any asset class." He's long: NRK, VMO, VKQ, PMO, NAN.
Jun. 27, 2013, 4:51 PMGundlach: Tell us how you really feel, Jeff. "TIPS (TIP) are probably the worst asset class in the U.S. ... I have talked myself blue in the face (previous) trying to get investors not to buy (them)." Given their recent big declines, he doesn't hate them as much as a few weeks ago, but he's still not a buyer. On municipals (MUB), he's a buyer, particularly in closed-end funds who've been doubly whacked thanks to growing discounts to NAV. A sampling of muni CEFs: NIO, NVG, BTT, NPM, NRK, MUC, VCV, NEA. | 3 Comments
Jun. 26, 2013, 3:34 PMWith today's gain, the iShares AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF (MUB +2.1%) has its biggest two-day rally since the financial crisis. but is still off more than 5% YTD. "We are taking advantage of this very opportunistic time," says Cumberland's David Kotok, reiterating a bullish stance he's had for a couple of weeks. "We see no more attractive alternatives." | 3 Comments
Jun. 13, 2013, 9:20 AMMunicipals (MUB) are a buy, writes David Kotok, noting an above-4% yield for very high-grade tax-free muni paper - a taxable equivalent yield above 7%. He suggests fixed-income markets (AGG, BND) have overreacted to the poor communication policies of central banks. "We are now lengthening duration ... If the market wants to give us bargains, our job is to take them." Some closed end muni funds at discounts to NAV: NIO, NVG, BTT, NPM, NRK, MUC, VCV, NEA. | Comment!
NRK vs. ETF Alternatives
Nuveen NY AMT-Free Muni Income Fund is a closed-end investment company. The Fund's investment objective is to provide an attractive level of total return, primarily through long-term capital appreciation and secondarily through income and gains.
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