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  • My Utility Fund Vs. Reaves Utility Income Fund: Which Offered The Better Return Last Year? [View article]
    I was the one who suggested UTG in the comment section to your earlier article. I gotta tell you, Henry, I'm not used to people taking my suggestions so seriously!

    Anyway, like some of the commenters above, I've been happy with UTG's returns, but I share the concerns that you and others expressed about the amount of UTG's leverage and somewhat unusual holdings for a utility fund. Because it's a CEF whose discount was shrinking, and it was at the top of its 52-week price range, I just sold most of my holding to capture ~ 18% capital gain, which gave me a total return of almost 25% in a little over a year. If UTG's discount to NAV again goes to over 9% (as it does periodically--the fund seems to have 7 to 12 month cycles in recent years), it might be a buy again, but right now I'm just continuing to hold preferreds of about 8 separate utilities.

    I appreciate your articles, Henry, and wish you the best in your investing.
    Apr 2 12:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ukraine Crisis: A Decision That May Have Sealed The Fate Of The EU [View article]
    @The People's Choice: Your mentioning of only one LNG facility in California is misleading. You're right that US facilities are not in a position to supply the EU's need next week, but there is a big infrastructure build-out going on. You might want to check this recent map from the API:
    In addition, many of the comments don't mention the other LNG exporting nations, such as Qatar and Norway (which sold more NG to the EU than Gazprom did in 2012). Remember, too, there's a world market out there, so the US doesn't have to directly supply the EU to have an effect. Increased competition in the world market from US and Canadian LNG exports will drive other countries/corporations into attractive markets such as the EU.
    Mar 19 10:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why A Stock Market Crash Is Imminent [View article]
    Mr. Kaminis: It says in your profile that you once considered becoming a priest, and I'd encourage you to consider it again. As a Christian myself (or "Christen," as jbbson calls it above) I know that many folks in church/ temple/ synagogue/ mosque like a good apocalypse story, and don't demand much in the way of rational argument or supporting evidence. You'd be perfect.
    Mar 18 01:12 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why A Stock Market Crash Is Imminent [View article]
    @Muzzmatrix: Nicely done! The only thing missing from this long, mostly ridiculous string of partisan blather was a conspiracy theory. Thanks for supplying the missing piece.
    Mar 18 12:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • In This Year Of The Horse, Ride The Best In Our Stable: UDOW [View article]
    Thank you again, Peter, for your fresh perspective. The standard disclaimer that comes with highly leveraged ETFs such as UDOW is that (to quote my Scottrade screen) they "may carry additional risk, particularly if the position is held beyond a single trading session." Any words of wisdom/reassurance for those of us who need to protect principal? How great is that deterioration risk if UDOW is held? Or should these short-term trades always be backed by a stop-loss at the downside percentage you give?
    Feb 8 10:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ETF Stats For January 2014 - Launch Pace Highest Since 2007 [View article]
    Thanks once again, Ron, for tracking the new offerings and closings. Care to venture any analysis about these numbers? Do you think that the record monthly and total ETF numbers indicate an overheated market, as is generally said when equity IPOs peak? Is this just financial companies offering an entire array of ETFs to gain market share for their brand? Just wondering if there are clues here about market direction.
    Feb 5 08:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Undervalued Closed End Fund Has Hidden Net Asset Value: Central Securities [View article]
    Congratulations on your first article, James, and welcome to SA. I'm impressed by your ferreting out CET, and especially this accounting issue, which I didn't know about even though I own the stock.

    CET had popped up on my income screen in 2008 when it paid out over 14% (despite the knives falling all around) and then made another payout in 2009. Last November it made a big $3.50 cap gains payout, which accounts for its current astronomical 16.88% "dividend yield" on sites such as Scottrade. That amount was unusually large, but CET is a reasonably steady income payer, paying out between 3.8% and 4.8% for the previous 4 years.

    For some SA investors, the "old style" semi-annual dividend (May & November) may be a problem, though I'd argue it may have helped CET avoid some of the worst turbulence in 2009 by not having to respond on a quarterly basis. They generally pay a nominal $.20 in May ($.10 in May 2009), then wait until November to assess annual performance and pay out the capital gains. As a result, the payouts are not predictable, which may also be a problem for those seeking steady income.

    Despite those issues, I own it for the steadiness (in business since 1929 and has paid dividends/cap gains every year since 1955) and management's commitment to "to pay out substantially all net investment income and realized capital gains."

    However, I agree with @Darren McCammon that there doesn't seem to be any catalyst to align the price with the NAV. It's nice to know that the pieces are worth more than the stock price, just in case the sky falls. But I'm holding a small (2% of portfolio) position in CET as a steady, though not spectacular, income payer, with the occasional pleasant capital gains surprise.

    Long CET
    Jan 18 11:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ETF Best Picks Now, Told By Market Makers' Hedging Actions [View article]
    Thanks, OldWarrior. I'm about 2 weeks behind on articles, so I appreciate you pointing this one out.
    Jan 2 11:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Proper Market Timing Trumps 'Buying And Holding' [View article]
    This article does have some good observations and useful (though dense) charts, but the problem is in the first paragraph, where "buy and hold" is defined much too broadly. The author says buy and hold "really means several things: Set fixed allocations to stocks, bonds, and cash; dollar-cost average into the portfolio with periodic purchases; and, above all, stay the course." Setting allocations is asset allocation, which is not identical to buy and hold. If I allocate 70% to equities, that doesn't determine how long I hold any particular one of those stocks. Second, dollar cost averaging is a buy strategy that has nothing to do with how long (or why) one holds a stock. I guess "stay the course" comes closest to "buy and hold," but it is too colloquial to mean anything in terms of testing the author's thesis.

    I also have a problem with the attitude that seems to be lurking just under the surface of this article that individual investors are Muppets who need simple phrases to carry around in their simple minds.
    Jan 2 06:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Canadian REITs That Look Promising, And 3 To Avoid [View article]
    . . . unless you drown
    Jan 2 04:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Canadian REITs That Look Promising, And 3 To Avoid [View article]
    @dhunter: can you supply some reasons for that optimism re: DRETF ? Not challenging you, just interested.
    Jan 2 04:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ETF Stats For November 2013: 2nd Highest Annual Closures Clinched [View article]
    Good riddance to FactorShares. I share your outrage that they were able to claim a management fee of .75% in their literature and bury the other ~33% in the prospectus. Another reminder of the importance of dd.
    Thanks for your diligence on this issue, Ron, and Happy New Year to you.
    Jan 2 04:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • ETF Best Picks Now, Told By Market Makers' Hedging Actions [View article]
    Thanks for another insightful article, Peter. As I've said before, your perspective on the markets is unique at SA. I'm late getting to this article, but am still going to investigate trading EPP and XES in short cycles as part of the 20% "active" component of an IRA.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.
    Jan 2 03:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Beaten-Down Dividend Stocks For 2014 [View article]
    @bg6638-2: I'll make you a deal. Let's meet back here on July 1, 2014 and we'll see where the interest rate on the 10 yr Treasury is.

    The highest the rate has ever been was 14.84% (July 1981), and that was the outcome of a roughly 10-year climb in rates. For it to rise from the current 3.04% to the rate you're predicting in 6 months--well, let's just say I'm a little skeptical of your crystal ball. If I'm wrong, I'll be happy to apologize here in July.
    Dec 31 06:20 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I'm Keeping Vodafone, Selling Issued Verizon Shares, And Substituting AT&T [View article]
    @galicianova: re "waiting for 34$ is unwarranted greed. . . european fund managers who have no option to wait and have to sell will do so and drive the price well under those dreamy 4% you hope to get."

    I am continually amazed at SA comments that predict the future with such certainty (such as the phrase "will do so"). VOD closed yesterday (12/26/13) at $39.05, a "dreamy" 18.73% above where it was when Ray wrote this article.

    Diclosure: long VOD, but not for long.
    Dec 27 09:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment