"A lot of people bought into Pimco because of Bill Gross, who was the face of the organization, and so they’re shooting first and asking questions later,” says Motley Fool Asset Management CIO Bill Mann. "Investing is a personal business, and the market is saying it trusted Bill Gross.”
Meanwhile, headlines indicate Dan Ivascyn, Pimco's (OTCQX:AZSEY, OTCPK:ALIZF) deputy chief investment officer, will succeed Gross and take over portfolio management; WSJ had written earlier this week that Ivasycn already was growing in popularity among Pimco investors, who had been putting more money into his fund even as they were pulling it from Gross’ fund.
"When times get tough, on Wall Street or in Newport Beach, Calif., the tough turn on each other," writes David Weidner, not seeing anything too unusual in the Pimco saga. These sorts of ugly partings happen all the time amid the massive egos on Wall Street. Consider Citigroup with Sandy Weil and Jamie Dimon, Morgan Stanley with Phil Purcell and John Mack, and Bear Stearns with Jimmy Cayne and Warren Spector.
"In every case, the splits occurred under tremendous pressure. Much like a marriage headed for divorce, long simmering incompatibilities, jealousies and flaws rose to the surface ... When push comes to shove, it is always better to be king. No. 2’s instinctively need to watch their backs. You want normal? That is normal."
It turns out it was three, not two lined up to be deputy CIOs to Bill Gross amid the departure of Mohamed El-Erian. One - Marc Seidner - resigned in January just hours before he was to be publicly announced in his new position. Seidner - who followed El-Erian to Pimco in 2009 - reportedly had found working there increasingly difficult over the last 18 months, with Gross becoming "increasingly illogical and irrational."
In other news Pimco has lost a $1.3B bond fund mandate to TCW.
“There is a heightened level of uncertainty in the post El-Erian era surrounding the questions of whether Pimco’s latest senior staffing transitions will prove beneficial to investors [and] whether recent and future senior-level departures indicate a persistent side effect of the firm’s pressure-cooker culture," says analyst Eric Jacobsen cutting Pimco's "stewardship" rating to C from B and the "parent pillar score" - which examines manager turnover, investment culture, and fee levels - to Neutral from Positive.
It's not automatic, but look for the big-picture rating changes to quickly filter through to the ratings of individual Pimco funds, says Morningstar.
PIMCO Strategic Global Government Fund (RCS) declares $0.08/share monthly dividend, in line with previous. Forward yield 8.41%. For shareholders of record Dec. 13. Payable Jan. 02. Ex-div date Dec. 11. (PR)
Not limited to mortgage REITs, panic grips another favorite of income investors, closed-end investment funds - notably those trading far above NAV for seemingly no other reason than their fat yield. The payouts on many of these are sustained by digging into capital rather than by earning a return on it. PGP -7.5%, PHK -7.8%, PHT -5.5%.
Blinded by fat yields, investors continue to bid closed-end funds far higher than their NAVs. 66% of taxable and 73% of muni-bond funds trade above NAV now, compared to just 30% a year ago, with often the funds with the highest distributions having the highest premiums. "We believe that an excessive premium for the fund is not likely to be sustainable," says Gabelli of one of its funds. Are investors listening?
$RCS completed a Black Hammer candlestick pattern on 12/03/2010. Look for an upward price movement on 12/06/2010
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RCS vs. ETF Alternatives
The Fund aims to generate a level of income that is higher than that created by high-quality, intermediate-term U.S. debt securitiesThe Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in a combination of income