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  • Why I Prefer Surgutneftegaz Preferred Over Common Stock? Its 21% Dividend Yield  [View article]
    With all due respect, I personally have a hard time understanding how one can make an investment case without elaborating on, or even mentioning, the following important questions. Can someone please help me out?
    - What provisions does Russian law provide regarding preferred shares in case of an acquisition, other than that an an offer for acquisition of common shares does not have to be extended to preferred shareholders? How would this potentially impact the revenue stream of preferred shareholders?
    - What is the rationale for a business to hold a cash pile of US dollars for a long period of time like years if not decades? Especially with interest rates close to zero and positive inflation, will it not lose value in the long run? If yes, what motivates a company to destroy value, rather than investing it, or even issuing moderate amounts of debt to increase profit?
    - How do the provisions for preferred and common share dividends per the company's charter, respectively, affect relative valuation, particularly the discount or premium of preferred shares, and what valuation model is used?
    Jul 29, 2015. 05:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Prefer Surgutneftegaz Preferred Over Common Stock? Its 21% Dividend Yield  [View article]
    Jeff, what full service broker do you use? I have a hard time finding any that doesn't also force-feed adviser services to me.
    Jul 29, 2015. 05:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Bull On The Russian Bear  [View instapost]
    How exactly can one buy this? According to the Swedish exchange web site, there has been no trade for two days, and the current bid/ask spread is at least 2.5%. Am I interpreting this right?
    Jul 23, 2015. 05:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Bull On The Russian Bear  [View instapost]
    google it (
    Jul 20, 2015. 02:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Bull On The Russian Bear  [View instapost]
    EOS Russia is most likely a PFIC, which means hefty taxes and lots of paperwork, right?
    Jul 17, 2015. 09:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Alpha Globally  [View article]
    What specifically prompts you to recommend WKOF? Korean preferreds have gone up ca. 50% over the last month, and ca. 75% over the last year on average, while WKOF has gone down. WKOF seems to own garden variety names, mostly market cap based, and as such is overconcentrated in a few big names like Hyundai and Samsung, and seems to destroy value in return for high fees ;)
    Jul 16, 2015. 06:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Alpha Globally  [View article]
    I tried, but they don't do it. They claim that other brokers use a manual labor intensive process of handling dividends, that they can't use so they can offer low commissions. I personally think most other brokers do it in an automatic way too, but can still automatically handle the exemptions from withholding per tax treaties - IB just has to figure it out. As the foreign withholding is higher than the benefits of low commissions, I moved my foreign securities from treaty countries that have withholding to another broker. Sad that IB doesn't get this right.
    Jul 16, 2015. 06:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Bull On The Russian Bear  [View instapost]
    Do you have any insight into corporate overhead expense of EOS Russia? Taxes on the corporate level?
    Jul 16, 2015. 05:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Bull On The Russian Bear  [View instapost]
    May I offer a contrarian view? With all due respect, but even a big discount to NAV of a holding company / CEF / investment company is not necessarily a bargain, and SOTP (NAV) valuation is in most cases not an appropriate valuation method to arrive at fair value. The discount usually reflects the present value of the diminished future cash flows from operating costs / corporate overhead / corporate taxes / management fees / hidden fees / payments to "preferred related parties or vendors" / profit sharing and kickbacks / etc., and will often never materialize in the form of increased cash flows (nor capital gains) to the end investor. Most investment companies / CEFs / limited partnership structures that I know are consumer retail products geared to small investors, and "discounts to NAV" and alpha potential is usually eaten by all the above mentioned overhead and effectively goes to management. Investment companies and limited partnership structures are in my experience often similar to "CEFs in disguise", representing "captive" capital, generating fees or management compensation, where the expense ratio does not have to be disclosed. While the Russian electricity companies may be cheap, as are most other Russian assets right now, to sell a discount to NAV or a "double discount" as a bargain without analyzing the corporate structure, is misleading in my opinion. Admittedly, I am speaking in general terms. I don't know EOS Russia specifically, but I would be interested in learning what the corporate overhead is. Another red flag from "The Company plans to reinvest capital gains. Dividends to shareholders will not be prioritized during this period." - surely one of the investment company's priorities (other than investment returns) is to increase fee-generating (or management compensation generating) captive capital, which is a potential conflict of interest to eff efficient allocation of capital. Interests are only partially aligned.
    Jul 16, 2015. 05:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway At ½ Price  [View article]
    Your math is seriously flawed. Capital in CEFs is "captive" capital. Your annual excess return is ca. the distribution yield times the discount. If we assume 3.36% distribution yield in perpetuity, and 20% discount, the yearly excess return from discount to NAV is ca. 0.7%. Compare that to the 1.72% expense ratio and figure if this is a good investment. It's amazing how many SA contributors promulgate fancy investment ideas but can't do elementary math ;)
    Jul 4, 2015. 06:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy India Before The Herd  [View article]
    "The ETF we like best for capturing India's growth is the Market Vectors India Small Cap." - This fund appears to be the total loser during almost any time frame, regardless if up or down market:
    Can you explain how this small cap, cap weighted index fund manages to underperform even the Indian small cap indices by orders of magnitude? The currency doesn't explain it if you overlay it on the chart
    May 22, 2015. 04:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Quick Overview Of UBS ETRACS 2X Leveraged ETNs  [View article]
    3832814, how do you get $5 trades at TDA? Their online commissions are $9.99. Is this a grandfathered account?
    May 19, 2015. 05:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • South Korea Valuations Close To 2009 Levels  [View article]
    Are you trying to make an investment case largely on one valuation metric (P/S)? Was this metric cherry picked? Not very convincing to me.
    May 19, 2015. 02:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • South Korea: Home Of The World's Best Equity Opportunities  [View article]
    "after valuation, I focus my attention on economic freedom - the rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency, and open markets." - Do you have any evidence that corruption, transparency, open markets, common law, etc., correlate with equity returns, or is it just what you "believe" or what "would make sense" to you? I cannot find any evidence in your article. What seems intuitive, often does not stand rigorous testing. It is conceivable that corruption, transparency, etc., are already priced into current valuations. It is also conceivable that a change in future expected corruption, transparency, etc., correlates with equity returns, rather than the current level of corruption etc. - similar to how changes to growth expectations correlate with equity returns. The article cites no hard facts, metrics, or evidence that the proposed asset allocation and country selection is based on.
    May 19, 2015. 04:25 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Jardine Matheson Is A Great Way To Invest In Asia  [View article]
    Do you have any rational basis for your statements, or is it just what you "believe" after reading the companies' shareholder "propaganda" publications? The complex, majority controlled, holding structures exist for a reason, and it is obviously not shareholder value, as evidenced by the steep discounts. Those holding structures are in essence vehicles to hold captive capital of minority shareholders, similar to mutual funds in disguise, with no way to get the capital out. They carry corporate expenses (fees) and are leveraged to give the illusion to add value. Rigorous studies have shown that over long time periods, Asian holding companies have underperformed the market. Sorry to question your belief system based on facts.
    May 18, 2015. 11:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment