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  • Don't Skip The Homework: High Yield's Overlooked Risks [View article]
    What lame advice. Are you trolling for customers with an article like this?

    How many investors buy individual corporate bonds? I buy a corporate bond mutual fund, and I expect that the managers are trying to keep the worst bonds out (that is, double checking the work of the ratings agencies, since they aren't perfect). Yet a few defaults are normal. Is your bond fund diversified so the companies don't all default at the same time? For example, JNK's biggest holding is 0.72% of the portfolio. If that one defaults I don't think I would even notice. Its 20th largest holding is 0.35%. It would take a lot of defaults before it would matter much. Comprehensive information like this is freely available at

    But, hey, "do your homework," without telling someone where to look for good information, almost sounds like it is good advice. "Bonds are risky too." "Buy low, sell high."
    Jun 5 11:08 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dumb Investment Of The Week: Junk Bond Funds [View article]
    Now I see what he was saying. I thought he was proposing splitting the bonds into treasury and HY, while keeping the SPY.
    Mar 18 11:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dumb Investment Of The Week: Junk Bond Funds [View article]
    That's an interesting thought. I just checked, however -- the correlation between SPY and IEF (7 to 10 year bonds) is negative, -0.30, while the correlation between JNK and SPY is quite high, +0.86. Switching from IEF to JNK would not give you the kind of diversification you think you should. High yield bonds move more in line with the stock market than they do with the bond market.

    By the way, there's a newcomer on the block -- HYLD which has a higher total return than JNK or HYG over its 3 year history. Its 3-year annualized total return is 8.4%, vs JNK and HYG both at +7.9%. It has a lower correlation with SPY, +0.74. That might be quite interesting.
    Mar 18 01:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Xilinx: 5 Different Insiders Have Sold Shares This Year [View article]
    That ownership calculation does not make any sense. Options do not pay dividends. Options cannot be voted. Above all, Options expire, typically within seven years, so that "Ownership" will evaporate. If insiders wanted to exercise the options and keep the shares, so your ownership number would remain unchanged, they would have to bring cash for the exercise price plus the taxes on the difference between the strike price and the market value. In the example of Raja's Feb 13th exercise, he profited about $350,000 (after taxes). If he had wanted to have kept the 21,875 shares, he would have had to pay about $730,000. I would call that "a purchase." You would tell me "his ownership remained the same."

    As inaccurate as Yahoo finance.....
    Feb 18 10:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Xilinx: 5 Different Insiders Have Sold Shares This Year [View article]
    Yes. But an option exercise is a PURCHASE at a discounted price. On Feb 13, Raja exercised options to buy 21,875 shares at $24.74 to $25.39 a share. He then sold the shares, also on Feb 13, at $49.74 per share. The number of shares he owned on Feb 14 (tiny as it is as an "insider") was THE SAME as it was on Feb 12. Similarly, on July 22, 2013 he exercised options to buy 33,125 shares at $20.31 - $25.39 per share, and sold 33,125 shares (What a coincidence!!!) at $40.49 per share. On July 21, 2013 he owned exactly as many shares as he owned on July 23, 2013, and even the same as on Feb 14, 2013. What a coincidence! And here you are telling me that he is selling off his shares and decreasing his holdings.

    You are as inaccurate as Yahoo "insider transactions" summaries, which ignore the option exercise and only report the subsequent same day sale transactions as if they are liquidating their holdings. Their options far exceed their holdings, typically. And their option exercises and same day sales are a totally different animal.

    Can you at least TRY to understand options, and notice the difference between exercising options and selling off shares that an insider owns?

    Or you can continue to be as accurate a source of financial news as Yahoo. Your choice.
    Feb 18 12:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold And Silver: How To Trade The Pressure. [View article]
    I love the sound of technical analysis. It makes you think you have learned something: "if it goes below this then it will go down. On the other hand, it it goes above that then it will go up." Yay.
    Nov 14 03:20 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best And Worst ETFs, Mutual Funds And Key Holdings: Utilities Sector [View article]
    Nice link, thanks. I've made a fair amount on REIT ETFs, but those charts make me want to be careful.
    Oct 23 12:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Academic Commodity ETF [View article]
    You should buy that one then. But if you are relying on getting the cost from the first day of business making a big difference versus starting with the second day of business, that's not going to impress me as an investment strategy. USCI had a great run-up when it opened but has remained unimpressive since then.
    Oct 23 10:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best And Worst ETFs, Mutual Funds And Key Holdings: Utilities Sector [View article]
    Of course, this isn't the good day to say that VPU is dangerous. It's up on a day when almost everything else is down. But someday it will come down, for sure. A stopped clock is right exactly twice a day.

    And you are lumping a leveraged ETF (UPW) in with the non-leveraged ones, and didn't think it worth mentioning that? By the way, UPW has had annualized total return of 20.9% over the last five years (in spite of losing 20% from its peak in late April to its bottom in late June). If you can stand the ride, there's a lot of money there.
    Oct 23 10:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Academic Commodity ETF [View article]
    (My numbers included the costs. Yup, USCI has performed worse than DBC, and by more than the difference in cost.)
    Oct 22 01:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Academic Commodity ETF [View article]
    Yeah, USCI slightly beats DBC's 12 month returns today, it is only -6.9% return, vs DBC's -7.6%. Longer term, DBC wins at 24 and 36 months, having an actual positive 3 year return, a whopping 1.4%. The returns of the two are highly correlated, with about the same correlation to SPY. There seems to be no significant advantage to USCI. I used to own it, but I do not plan to buy it again.
    Oct 21 12:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Asset Allocation And Rebalancing Review [View article]
    Not entirely related to this article, but why is anyone interested in Year to Date information? In January that gives you a few days history; in December it is nearly 12 months. Do people actually forget about the previous year when December 31st rolls around, and think, "never mind what my investments did last fall, how have I done since January 1?" I can see looking at different time scales, but then I look at 3 months, or 12 months, or 5 years, but a time scale whose length depends on when I look at it? That makes no sense to me.
    Sep 13 03:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stocks: What Hell Hath The Fed Wrought? [View article]
    So how do you read what the Fed did?
    Aug 22 11:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Golden Cycle [View article]
    Well can I be any more clumsy? The 128.27 was by propagating my "2011" typo to getting the historical quotes. If you do the calculation properly, on July 2, 2001, Yahoo's historical quotes reports a split&dividend adjusted price of 98.56. Using the inflation calculator gives 129.95 in purchasing power in 2013. The actual close on July 1, 2013 was 161.36. Giving an inflation adjusted total return of 24.2% more buying power. You have 63.7% more money. Mike904's assertion that you would have "made no money" is off the charts bogus.
    Jul 23 02:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Golden Cycle [View article]
    my bad. First, a typo, I meant 2001, of course. And as Mike elsewhere points out, when you take inflation into account, you have 25.72% more money, but you have lost 4.65% buying power. (Using the inflation calculator at ) I yield, Mike is more right than I was.
    Jul 19 03:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment