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What Are You ... Buying ... Selling ... or Pondering? February 2017

edited February 2017 in Off-Topic

I see, Ted is starting to post again so the thread I started on the Markets & More (in his absence) will most likely be no more when he returns to the morning slot with his daily opening post. Know though, if for some reason he chooses not to return and make his former daily opening post ... The Markets & More will continue.

With this, I have elected to open a new thread of "What Are You ... Buying ... Selling ... or Pondering?" that I took over, about a year ago, after another poster left the board.

Recently, in reading the board, I found many are looking at high yield and bank loan funds in this projected rising interest rate environment as a good investment choice. As I remember, my convertible securities funds performed well in past rising interest rate environments as well. In fact, I use to have a complete sleeve consisting of three convertible funds years back.

Since, I already have a meaninful representation in high yield and bank loans I recently opened a position in a convertible securities fund adding it as a member in my hybrid income sleeve.

I have linked below a few links on convertibles that might be of interest.

An old but good article ...$FOCA$CV.aspx

I wish all ... "Good Investing."



  • Looking at BUFHX. I want to have meaningful positions in the funds I own and less funds.This fund not only has high yield bonds but bank loans and convertibles. I can purchase one fund and get some diversification as well.
  • edited February 2017
    Hi @Art,

    Thanks for stopping by and making comment.

    I took a look at BUFHX and have linked it's Morningstar report below for others to view.

    Indeed, it does have all three (high yield, bank loan & convertibles) packaged into one fund.

    Now, you are trimming the number of funds you hold while I am expanding the number I hold with some niche positions.

    Another fund that I use to own and have my eye on again (pondering) is AZNAX. I'm about to see if this girl can still dance? So to speak.

    It's Morningstar fund report is linked below for those that might wish to view. Notice, it is about a third each ... stocks, high yield and convertibles. Plus, it makes a nice montly distribution of 8.25 cents per share which, by my math, equates to an effective annual distribution yield just short of 9%.

    Take care ... and, thanks again for making comment.


    Additional Comment (2/6): Well, it seems the old girl just could not dance (so to speak) as the fund failed to have nav growth because its distributions were greater than the gains for the three and five year periods thus a decline in nav. Gotta watch these high distribution funds. At times, they will give you your own principal back in the form of a distribution.

    Moving on ...
  • Considering RSIVX/RSIIX vs OSTIX and ZEOIX vs RPHIX/RPHYX. Others thoughts for retirement stability income?
  • edited February 2017
    Hi @Dave,

    Thanks for stopping by and making comment. I have linked below the Morningstar Fund Reports (for easy access) for the subject funds so readers can learn more about these funds through review of the reports.

    I'd be interested to know which of these funds you select? And, Why?

    You might find the below link of interest so you can compare your choices against others within the same category.

    Hopefully, some other posters might make some commets on your fund choices offering their thoughts and insight that I am unable to offer.

    Thanks again ... for stopping by.


  • Howdy folks,

    I'm still scaling into a momentum play in the junior silver miners. Riding Silvercorp, Aurcana, Santacruz and Tinka. Otherwise, things are pat.

    and so it goes,


  • Hi rono,

    Thanks for stopping by and making comment.

  • @Dave said Other thoughts for retirement stability income?
    Safe and stable. Is 3% for 9 years enough ?
    TD Ameritrade is participating in the FDIC Insured* JP Morgan Chase Bank Fixed Rate Primary CD offering.
    Offering details:
    Issuer: JP Morgan Chase Bank
    Rating: FDIC Insured*
    Order Period: until February 17, 2017
    Coupon: 3.00%
    Maturity: February 23, 2026
    Payment Frequency: Monthly-Pay
    Call Status: Callable 02/23/2018 @ 100 and Quarterly Thereafter
    Survivor's Option: Yes, Up to applicable limits
    Price:100 Date 02-23-2017 9 year, Callable, Next Call 02-23-2018 @ 100.000
    Trade Date

    Tax Status Taxable
    Close Date 02-22-2017
    Maturity 02-23-2026
    Coupon 3.000 Monthly
    Current Yield 3.000
    Frequency Monthly

    First Coupon 03-23-2017

    Recently stuck my toe in this water.Hope it doesn't go over my head.
    B. Riley Financial, 7.50% Senior Notes Due 10/31/2021

    Western Alliance Bancorporation, 6.25% Subordinated Debentures due 7/1/2056
    Use patience and limit orders .

  • I've added the following funds to my income portfolio this last month.

    PTIAX ( purchased today )

    Plan on adding VEIPX and several individual stocks as the market allows.
  • edited February 2017
    Hi @Zoneblitz,

    Thanks for stopping by and making comment.

    Nice portfolio of income funds including both hybrid and fixed plus (when added) some equity income.

  • edited February 2017
    Hi @TSP_Transfer,

    Thanks for stopping by and making comment.

    I have been looking at restoring my CD ladder ... However, the three percent nine year CD you have presented is going to far out for me. I am looking to do a six month, 1 year, 18 month and two year while interest rates are on the upward move before I start to streach out maturity. I am wanting interest rates to move a little higher before I move.

  • Perhaps of interest:

    >> the case for either a huge Trump effect or a huge Trump bubble is a lot weaker than you might think.
  • Buying - nada. Selling - zilch. Pondering - while sitting on my hands.
  • @Old_Skeet AZNAX looks good, and I always consider it a plus when M* is negative or neutral on a 5* fund.
  • edited February 2017
    Hi @FundStudent,

    This is a high distribution fund.

    I owned this fund, AZNAX, for a good period of time, in the past, and as long as it could make its distribution of about $1.00 per share per year(8.25 cents per month) I kept it. But, being that it is a high distribution fund over the past three and five year periods its nav has wained. At times, this fund would return principal as a mothly distribution and when its nav reached the point of where I bought it I let go a few years back.

    And, even if it is a 5* fund ... I just can not bring myself to buy it again with a continued decline in nav. However, 2016 was a good year for it. It would probally do ok if it reduced its distribution to the six percent range ... but, with a distribution yield of nine percent makes the hill too steep from my perspective.

    I was thinking when I presented it that it would catch somebody's eye beside mine that it had a declining nav. (Morningstar's Five Star Rating ... Makes me wonder? Now, if it could meet the 9% distribution for a ten year period then adward 5*'s.

    Again, I think they need to cut the distribution rate from about 9% to 6%. Then, I probally buy it again. To hold a 5* rating ... I'm thinking it needs to be able to meet it's distribution goals without an erosion of its nav.

    This Time, I Gotta ... Pass.

  • Mark said:

    Buying - nada. Selling - zilch. Pondering - while sitting on my hands.

    Yes, the Charlie Munger strategy...assiduity.

  • Mark said:

    Buying - nada. Selling - zilch. Pondering - while sitting on my hands.

    Hey old friend,

    I too have been into a rope-a-dope since the Ides of November. Tree-hugging and having the serenity prayer tattooed on the inside of my eyelids.

    Take care.

    and so it goes,



  • Hard to buy at this juncture. Doing some trading through ANALysis. Consumer Staples, Utilities, Healthcare.
  • @Old_Skeet
    AZNAX has stumbled a bit for the first part of this new year. A 9% distribution rate would make me wonder about the holdings in that portfolio. Everyone else is currently around the 3 to 5% range.
  • edited February 2017

    Thanks for making a comment on AZNAX. Morningstar list its yield at 3.6%. However, the funds distribution goes beyond return of yield as it includes at times capital gains both long and short term plus principal when necessary to meet the 8.25 cents monthly per share distributon.

    From my study, AZNAX's distribution amount has been higher over the past five years than it's nav growth thus resulting in a decline in its nav while the markets have moved higher through this period of time. With this, I'd rather have a smaller distribution and nav growth over the larger distribution and a decline in the nav. If there should be a major market pullback then the nav is also going to follow and drop with the market and an investor really becomes upside down in a fund of this high distribution type. This has happen to me before being in a few other high dstribution funds.

    For me, to be a buyer of this fund (again) they need to lower the distribution from 8.25 cents per month to somewhere around 5.5 cents per month per share. In this way, over time, it should be able to grow its nav. which form my study it was unable to do over the past five year period. This seems to be a peril of most high distribution funds. This is indeed a nice fund that I'd like to own if they would roll the distribution back.

    Because, it has not been able to meet its distribution goal without, at times, disbursing principal I don't believe it should carry a Morningstar five* rating.

    And, again ... I've got to pass.


  • I am now 65% junk corporates - IVHIX and MNHYX - and 35% bank loans - BXFYX. I knew it was not a good sign when Gundlach recommended bank loans so have lightened up there in favor of junk corporates. This whole rising rate scenario embraced by everyone on the planet (including me) is looking a bit shaky. And didn't a recent COT report in Treasuries show the smart/dumb money at historical extremes in their positions. And hasn't the Market Vane polls of newsletter writes recently been near historical bullish extremes in sentiment on equities. So I may be raising cash in the next day or two. Maybe we are at another "it is different this time" moments because of Trump. Can't recall too many other "it is different this time" though that worked out.
  • edited February 2017
    High Yield Fund (HWHAX) Eight reasons for High Yield
    ..spread narrowing has tempered our near-term return expectations compared to a year ago, but as we look forward the high yield asset class continues to possess attractive characteristics that we believe should benefit investors; our latest newsletter highlights eight of the most compelling. The first four reasons describe why today is a good time to invest in high yield; the last four represent reasons why high yield should have a permanent allocation in a diversified portfolio.
    OUTLOOK (Scoring Scale: 1 = Very Negative . . . . 5 = Very Positive)
    Fundamentals (3): We maintained the fundamentals score at 3.
    Valuation (2): We retained the valuation score of 2, or below average.High yield also appears compelling relative to investment grade fixed income alternatives, which continue to offer paltry yields.
    Technicals (4): We increased the technicals score from 3 to 4. Asset class sentiment is warming as depicted by increased flows in the year.
  • edited February 2017
    Bought a bunch more's a flier, and way more than I should have.
  • edited February 2017
    I'm trying to buy BALFX and IFAFX but TIAA won't let me after telling I can. So if they won't take my order, I am not buying anything E-|
  • Every Feb 1, I buy energy services sector ( XES, FSESX ) and hold until May 1. If it is the first year of a Presidential term and the forward year risk model * ( calculated on Feb 1 ) indicates Low / Favorable risk, then I hold until Aug 1.
    Bold = Pres 1st year / Fav risk year

    1985 6.50%
    1986 -5.5%
    1987 13.0%
    1988 15.0%
    1989 25.1%
    1990 4.7%
    1991 10.2%
    1992 3.3%
    1993 31.9%
    1994 -2.8%
    1995 21.4%
    1996 17.7%
    1997 -5.5%
    1998 30.5%
    1999 65.2%
    2000 32.0%
    2001 3.8%
    2002 14.3%
    2003 2.7%
    2004 3.4%
    2005 28.5%
    2006 5.6%
    2007 17.7%
    2008 9.9%
    2009 34.4%
    2010 9.0%
    2011 5.4%
    2012 -1.5%
    2013 5.0%
    2014 15.6%
    2015 6.4%
    2016 6.0%
    2017 ?
    Median return = 9.9%

    * quantitative price based tactical variable # 2 at bottom here :
  • Hi @jstr,

    Thanks for the comment about this seasonal trend ... interesting indeed.

    And, most importantly ... its history seems to work and you report good success with it.

    Looks like I might just add this to my list of opportunity for a spiff.

    Thanks again,

  • Hi @jstr, the returns on energy services certainly look nice but do you have any information about the returns and/or risk-adjusted returns of an index like the S&P 500 during the same times?

    You have a number of different approaches that all seem to overlap to some degree and all have had great returns previously. Do you actually trade these strategies? What made you want to share your research with everyone?

    Thanks for your posts!
  • jstr , I like the 7 year itch rule here. Starting in 1986 and buying every 7th year, you average 18.3%.:) tongue-in-cheek.

    This data set is rather amazing actually. 88% of the time since 1985 shows positive returns for the energy sector.
  • I've checked some of these numbers, at least in rough terms, so I'm not questioning the results, but isn't it amazing that energy services does well from Feb-May during internet bubbles (ok, that makes some sense), credit crises and even crude oil prices falling precipitously. Why is it that Feb-May, and occasionally May-July, is so special for energy services and why hasn't it been arbitraged away by all the guys with super computers who are trolling for every possible quantitative advantage?
  • edited February 2017
    A cent and a half worth here. Seasonal heating patterns play a part - but not sure exactly how the timing works with crude. However, during the 2-year plunge from $100+ to $26 nothing seemed to help. Crude went pretty much straight down. Nat gas by contrast, I've read, tends to react more to hot weather (or the forecast of such) - as it's used to generate electricity and air conditioning demands rise. More days than not gas and oil seem to move in opposite directions.

    I haven't really studied jstr's chart much - so not taking issue with anything he said.

    The thing about oil is when it's rising people seem to find a hundred reasons to think it will rise forever. And when it's falling they'll give you a hundred reasons why it's destined to keep falling.
  • @hank who said"The thing about oil is when it's rising people seem to find a hundred reasons to think it will rise forever. And when it's falling they'll give you a hundred reasons why it's destined to keep falling." As in politics, so much goes on behind the curtain.

    However regarding natural gas usage, I've always been under the assumption that usage (and thusly price) moved more in tandem with the heating season vs. the cooling season. Guesss I'm more out of touch than usual but I've got no furnace or AC in the igloo.
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