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Sugar Charlie

Sugar Charlie
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  • Wheelock Trades At Less Than Half Of NAV [View article]
    Many thanks. Very helpful. Long Wheelock (0020.HK). See also Nigel Stevenson's piece in SA on May 7, 2014, now archived in Seeking Alpha Pro. Quite a number of excellent top-quality stocks on the HKEX, with both China and multinational exposure.
    Jul 29, 2015. 10:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Electric On A Better Path, But Not Yet Priced Accordingly [View article]
    Thanks. Very encouraging. My long-term position has required patience, deserved patience, and received patience. Patience is being rewarded. Cost basis CAD $6.65 per share.
    Jul 22, 2015. 08:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • General Mills: Safety, Growth, And 3%+ Dividend Yield All In One Tasty Investment [View article]
    Thanks. A good piece with useful points. I have a long term and very profitable position in GIS. An excellent company which has known how to meet challenges and diversify through the years, for example moving into yogurt.

    My main concern is with challenges to the cereal-sector generally, with the headwinds from changing breakfast habits. GIS has been coping better than K with these challenges. This would not induce me to reduce my position and take a tax hit, but it would be a deterrent to taking new positions, especially if other opportunities appeared to be superior within the food and beverage sector, or in other sectors altogether.

    Good luck to all.
    Jul 18, 2015. 01:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wells Fargo Managing Through Low Growth [View article]
    Thanks. A long-term position, by far my largest and most successful, and relatively low-risk. I'm perfectly content to accept periods of slow growth. Buffett is a great partner to have.
    Jul 16, 2015. 04:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Playing Q2 Philip Morris Earnings: Sell, Sell, Sell [View article]
    If one is a long-term shareholder with substantial unrealized capital gain, the decision is made more difficult. I would not be guided by fx considerations. Of concern to me are litigation and regulatory risks, and declining numbers of smokers in the medium and longer term. For the time being I am holding on, though several years ago, before the break-up and the spinoffs, I did reduce my position by 2/3 on account of the risks.
    Jul 16, 2015. 04:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ahold Delhaize And The Ghosts Of Acquisitions Past [View article]
    These aversions of mine,--prejudices if you like,-- certainly lead me to leave money on the table. A lot of it. On that you are absolutely right. But, especially as a buy-and-hold investor (cost basis of my original position om JNJ is 6.76) do I have to hold positions in every sector? I think not. I held no tech during the dot-com boom and so lost not a cent when the bubble burst. Buffett seems to have overcome that aversion (as with IBM). I hold a little TSM. Should I have bought Google, Apple and others? Of course. Could'a. should'a, would'a. But even so my portfolio has prospered beyond ajything I could have imagined.
    Jun 30, 2015. 04:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Look For General Mills To Miss Earnings Expectations [View article]
    I am a long-term holder of GIS and will continue in my position, which over the decades has done well on capital growth and dividends. I heavily overweight consumer-staples as bond-substitutes and for stability during market-downturns in a 90%-equity, buy-and-hold portfolio with no market-timing.

    But there is no doubt that the cereal-sector has headwinds in terms of changing consumer tastes, and of course U.S. multinationals have currency headwinds. I am certainly grateful for heads-up alerts like this one, and, given all the circumstances, would not add to my position even on a pullback because of secular challenges.

    That said, GIS been pretty good at meeting challenges (e.g. with the diversification to yogurt). Given all the headwinds, I'm frankly pleased at how well GIS has kept up its stock price. So far more agile than K.
    Jun 29, 2015. 01:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ahold Delhaize And The Ghosts Of Acquisitions Past [View article]
    Always two strikes against retailing of any kind, in my opinion. Highly competitive sector with thin margins. They do not lend themselves to a buy-and-hold strategy.

    Strong companies making consumer-staples branded goods, esp. food & beverages, are a different matter entirely. They deserve to be heavily overweighted in a diversified and balanced equity portfolio, especially when the equity-weighting is high, since they are excellent bond substitutes.

    Even skilled investors can too easily go wrong with retailing: witness Buffett's disastrous purchase of Tesco shares.

    Okay,-- Never say never; just almost never. I have done well with CVS.
    Jun 28, 2015. 09:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble: Pros And Cons [View article]
    I heavily overweight consumer-staples as bond-substitutes and for growing dividend-income in a diversified, 90%-equities, buy-and-hold. portfolio, and I hold PG and CL as core positions in the HP-PC space. But I do so in large measure for diversification, because my positions in food & beverage are much more numerous and much larger (BRFS, DGE.L. (DEO) GIS,K, KRFT. KO, MDLZ, NSRGY, PEP). My point here is that, in my view, the personal-care and household-products sectors are fundamentally inferior in investment qualities to the food and beverage sectors. I suggest putting one's priorities heavily on the latter. Of course, this does not mean dispensing with close attention to the individual names under consideration.
    Jun 20, 2015. 05:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As Bizarre As It Sounds, Inflation Is Fueling Australian Dollar Strength [View article]
    A few decades ago, inflation-news regularly drove currencies down because their purchasing-power had fallen. I remember in particular sterling being in crisis whenever inflation performance or prospects were poor. In recent years you often can't be sure whether economically-bad news will be treated by the markets as market-positive news. In particular, if inflation points to the prospect of rate-increases from central banks, this often outweighs adverse purchasing-power effects.

    I would guess that if one were constructing a theoretical explanation for students in Economics 100 or Ec 200 or Ec 300,-- whichever level of course,-- one would try to aggregate the expected interest-income benefits from prospective rate-increases leading to currency purchases, and weigh them against reduction of currency purchases, or even currency sales, by those who abstain from buying goods or services denominated in the relevant currency because that currency, and therefore the relevant goods and services, are overpriced.
    Jun 20, 2015. 05:22 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Canadian Dollar Is Likely To Range With No Clear Trend [View article]
    Thanks. Fx movements are hard to forecast at the best of times. Except to watch the nominal value of my portfolio fluctuate in CAD terms (as a Canadian resident), I myself can largely stand aside from fx movements. I have substantial and successful U.S. and Canadian equity portfolios,-- essentially buy-and-hold.-- which generate significant USD and CAD dividend-incomes. l do not trade fx and only rarely need to sell USD to meet CAD cash requirements, for instance, for tax payments.

    But I get a lot of requests for investment advice from friends and colleagues. The Canadian equity markets can offer them suitable good long-term names for investment in some sectors,-- financials; resources; infrastructure; telecom; pipelines,-- but nothing worthwhile in many other sectors like blue-chip dividend-paying pharma-staples (say, JNJ) and packaged foods and beverages (e.g. PEP, KRFT, MDLZ, GIS, NSRGY). Or industrials like HON or UTX.

    Parenthetically, this dearth is so true that that the Canadian investment industry, including S&P indexing, treats consumer-staples retailing as consumer-staples, even though such names should be considered retailing (which has very different fundamentals from manufacturing branded goods), or, at most, considered as consumer-staples retailing as a distinct sub-sector. I frankly find this incessant presentation to be infuriating.

    However, purchase of such names for USD bought with CAD exposes Canadian investors to significant fx risk, and especially so because history points to a likely major recovery of the CAD after a period of time,-- a period admittedly very difficult to estimate, especially given lower Canadian productivity and possibly a long depression in resource prices, especially o&g.

    What sort of advice would you suggest I give such investors? In paricular what time-frame for their holdings would reasonably justify their ignoring the fx implications of buying the U.S, names for CAD? Of course I tell everyone the risks, but I am still concerned to give advice which is as good as I can manage. Home-market bias is pronounced here and is in my view a poor strategy.
    Jun 20, 2015. 02:39 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Citigroup: The Tortoise, Not The Hare [View article]
    Thanks. You put your finger exactly on my all-time best position, WFC. I don't have access to my cost-bases justv now, but on WFC it can't be more than a couple of bucks.
    Jun 9, 2015. 12:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Think About Risk [View article]
    Thanks. My portfolio is mostly unrealized capital gain and generates a very handsome dividend income from a well-diversified portfolio, which always overweights consumer staples (as bond substitutes and for dividend-growth). The 10% of my portfolio not in stocks is in cash, is held for liquidity, and would through last several years of falling asset values and reduced dividend income.

    I now look on October 1987 as a valuable educational event. I held on then; equities recovered quite quickly; and I was encouraged to hold on again after "9/11" 2001 and through the recessionary years which followed, and again in 2008-09. Over the decades I have prospered greatly through the equity markets. If your portfolio is well-diversified and holds mostly strong, dividend-paying companies, you offset a lot of the risk of an equity portfolio.
    Jun 9, 2015. 12:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Contenders: General Mills [View article]
    If the capital value of GIS shares fell consistently to match the dividend payments, it would be idle to announce your indifference to that fact in the face of the rising pile of cash. All you would have achieved is tax penalty and a gradual erosion of the asset, ultimately (in theory, but not actually if the dividend-stream continued) to nil.

    A better way of putting it, I think, is that various challenges have at times stymied capital appreciation, but that through the years GIS has shown an ability to meet them and achieve capital appreciation while it provided reliable and growing dividend income. I am a long-term GIS shareholder, and my position is mostly unrealized capital gain.
    Jun 9, 2015. 12:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Brookfield Infrastructure Looking At A World Of Possibilities [View article]
    BAM has outstanding managment. Their various vehicles (BIP, BEP, BPY) can be expected to be good investments (I have some BIP and BPY spun off from BAM) since BAM uses them to raise capital to buy assets which are profitable to BAM through retained interests in these partnerships and through management fees. I have held BAM through many decades through successive reorganizations (Hees/ Edper/ Brascan/ Brookfield) with great success.

    SA types should look closely at BAM. In my registered retirement acount it has always been held in the dividend reinvestment plan. My cost basis in that account is CAD $6.14.
    Jun 7, 2015. 05:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment