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  • Shareholder Value Goes Global [View article]
    Left Banker: Thanks for the research and heads up on the two foreign funds. I can probably find out on their site but do you know if the PKW and IPKW stock selections are based on an index or are they actively selected by the managers?
    May 25 07:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Articles Can Affect The Share Prices Of Stocks Like Sirius XM And Capstone Turbine [View article]
    Crunching: Another way to look at the impact of SA authors--have you ever bought a stock based on an article on SA? You make the point that you seldom "uncover meaningful non public info" and I'm sure that is true but most investors (including me) aren't aware of the vast majority of PUBLIC investment info. An example--before I started reading SA some three years ago I was totally unaware of Business Development Companies (BDC)--now I own three of them. Those articles didn't provide non public info but they did provide information that led to the purchase. Does that not move the market in some small way? Quantifying all those small impacts is a different story.

    If you look at the portfolios of many SA readers you will find far more ownership of MLPs, BDCs, dividend stocks and closed end funds than non SA readers--because those are topics that are heavily followed. On the other hand since SA avoids open end funds like the plague they are probably under owned by SA readers.
    May 22 09:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Caution Advised If Investing In Floating Rate Loans CEFs [View article]
    John: You make the statement that none of the distribution "was from ROC". Not sure what you are basing that on unless you are only looking at 2013 or 2014. I looked at the first three on your list on Morningstar and their NAV is far below their IPO price and that tells me that on average their distribution has exceeded their earnings and that to me is ROC. For example, VTA had an IPO of $20 and its current NAV is $13.90 (price $12.89). Now at the time of IPO there is some loss of NAV to grease the palms of the brokerage crowd but nowhere near six bucks. Most of that $6 is ROC. Any thoughts?
    May 21 07:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • S&P 500 Historical P/E Ratio [View article]
    There have been so many changes to the S&P 500 over the years that I am always surprised at how many investment professionals continue to focus on the historical PE chart you show above. For example, in 2001 the index included it's first REIT. Now there are 14(?) of them in the index. All of us amateur investors know that REITs have very high, artificial PE ratios (typically 30 to 50)--caused by the inclusion of depreciation (which in the real world should be appreciation). Some like Simon Properties have high market caps so greatly impact the index. Including those REITs in the current PE and comparing them to historical PEs (when there were no REITs in the index) gives you a flawed comparison. How many other changes have occurred over the last 50 years to the S&P 500 that impact the PE comparison?
    May 20 07:21 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Find The Best Style ETFs [View article]
    David Trainer: I saw your name mentioned in Barron's a few months back and based on their positive comments I started reading your articles.

    After reading some 10 articles I have arrived at the following conclusions. (1) you think the market is very inefficient. (2) your firm has analyzed some 3000 stocks and rated them (3) using those stock ratings you recommend ETFs that hold the greatest number of your most highly rated stocks and the lowest number of the poorly rated stocks (also taking into account expenses).

    What I struggle with in that process is your chance of finding ETFs that only hold your strongest rated stocks would seem to be close to nil. So the obvious question is why not just introduce your own ETF (or closed end fund) where all the holdings are your firm's strongest picks? Since your firm has already performed the research on the stocks the expenses of such a fund would be minimal.

    The danger, of course, is that if your ETF under performs, your rating system is proved of no value.
    May 20 10:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BDC Pricing And The Russell Indices: Part 3 [View article]
    Buzz: I have read many times about the indices removing BDCs but I have never read any explanation of why they took the action. Do you know?
    May 19 07:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Source Capital A Better Option For Mid-Cap Growth Than An ETF? [View article]
    Robert: As an owner of SOR it is discouraging to see how difficult it is to beat the ETF index funds. I have always thought of FPA as one of the best mutual fund companies, not hesitating to take the flack of holding a lotta cash when they think the market is overpriced. But SOR doesn't hold cash--Morningstar shows them at zero cash--but at the same time they don't use leverage which IMO is one of the few advantages that the closed end universe has when compared to ETFs. I think your comparison would make SOR look even less attractive if you mentioned after tax returns. ETF index funds have two advantages, taxwise--first they have little turnover so don't generate capital gains and then when they do have to sell (changes to index components) tax law allows them to largely avoid taxes by transferring stock to the big holders as a nontaxable event. You have almost convinced me to sell.

    So it seems to come down to the managers of SOR not being good enough to offset the extra .60% of expenses per year.
    May 17 09:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Commodities Today: Good News For Shale And LNG Companies [View article]
    Matthew: According to today's WSJ the reason crude spiked yesterday and today is that the US Energy Secretary (Moniz) made a statement that the "issue of allowing export of crude was under consideration".
    May 14 01:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Danger Zone: Rydex Funds [View article]
    David: Thanks for the offer. I have the Solar (TAN) and Spinoffs(CSD). I do know that Morningstar gives the CSD a 5 star rating but think the TAN is unrated.
    May 14 01:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Danger Zone: Rydex Funds [View article]
    I don't own any Rydex funds but I do own two Guggenheim ETF's--do you see any of that same poor stock picking and high expenses in the Guggenheim funds?
    May 14 12:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Self-Directed Hospitality REIT Isn't So 'Super' [View article]
    John: It's not the main purpose of your article but let me ask you about your initial screen. You included in the screening "price to book value". I had always thought that book value was of no real use in evaluating REITs because of the mostly artificial depreciation that reduces book value--and that the amount of the artificial depreciation varies dramatically among REITs based on age of buildings, etc. I have read that what you want to use instead is net asset value (NAV) which uses a mark to market value of the buildings. What I don't know is where to get the NAV. Do you or any of your readers know of a good source for REIT NAV?
    May 14 11:29 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Physician Compares Gilead's And AbbVie's Hepatitis C Products [View article]
    Papita: Seems that BIIB is a lot more bubbly than GILD. The numbers I see are an estimated 5 year growth rate of 21% and a forward PE of 46 for BIIB. Compare that with Gilead with a 30% 5 year growth rate and a forward PE of 13. GILD almost seems too good to be true so some big investors must not buy into the growth rate. Add to that what Doctor RX is saying ( I think) that earnings growth might come in even better than that 30%.
    May 12 03:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clouds Over Omaha - Time To Sell Berkshire Hathaway [View article]
    Over: It won't be BRK employees doing the questioning. It will be the shareholders (and the media and Seeking Alpha readers!). Has already begun based on the 5 year performance.
    May 7 06:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clouds Over Omaha - Time To Sell Berkshire Hathaway [View article]
    physdude: You might be right. From what I understand corporations holding stock in other corporations don't receive capital gain treatment--they pay full ordinary income (up to 35% Fed). They do get a break on dividends and pay a reduced rate which is probably why Buffett likes dividends received (but not dividends issued). KO has badly under performed the market over the last five years and yet they continue to be very pricey based on past performance--what does Buffett do if he sees that trend continuing? To avoid paying those taxes does he continue to under perform on this section of the portfolio? And won't he have the same problem on all of his corporate holdings over time? Mutual funds get to bypass taxation but BRK isn't a mutual fund and maybe shouldn't try to invest like one.
    May 7 07:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Water And The Future Of Energy Economics [View article]
    And not a word about impoundment? Many articles such as this talk about "finite" fresh water. You call it a "limited commodity". Is fresh water finite or limited? Yes, but we as a country decide what the limit is. Much of the rain falling in this country started as evaporation of salt water. That is especially true of the eastern half of the country. We choose how much of that water to impound. So the limitation on fresh water is self imposed. We could double or triple the number of reservoirs if we so choose. I am even guessing that solar powered pipelines could move water to the drier portions of the country. Obviously environmental concerns need to be addressed.
    May 7 07:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment