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Old 01-31-2008, 11:43 AM   #1
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Pgx

Is the PGX the easy way to play preferreds right now? Monthly income vs. quarterly, and lower cost than buying a mutual fund.

I'm trying to post top 10 holdings, but can't figure out how to do it here.


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Old 02-04-2008, 02:22 PM   #2
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This is a tough place to get responses. Does it help if I say "pretty please"?
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:24 PM   #3
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As a rule, I don't comment on individual issues publicly any more, and many of the participants here are indexers. So I dunno what to tell you.
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:45 PM   #4
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I checked Schwab, Morningstar, Argus, S&P and none of them had any analysis of PGX.
I can't even find info about expense ratio, top holdings, or anything other than press release. I am not a huge fan of prefereds, I am inclined to hold true bonds, or equities, or my favorite high yielding dividend stocks.
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:19 PM   #5
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I checked Schwab, Morningstar, Argus, S&P and none of them had any analysis of PGX.
I can't even find info about expense ratio, top holdings, or anything other than press release. I am not a huge fan of prefereds, I am inclined to hold true bonds, or equities, or my favorite high yielding dividend stocks.
Powershares Preferred Portfolio
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:23 PM   #6
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ER is 0.5% (probably about 10% of the income). Top 10 holdings are about 60%. You effectively could DIY more cheaply if you wanted.

I'm not a fan of preferreds either since they have a lot of the downside of bonds with little of the upside of stocks. Rates go up, the price goes down. Rates go down, they call them away from you. Company goes bankrupt, you're probably getting nothing since you're behind the debtholders anyway. Company does well, you get your forever-fixed dividend and par if they call it away from you. Sometimes they can suspend your dividend, sometimes they accumulate, sometimes they don't. I know they serve a purpose, I just don't like them for me.

Some preferreds seem like good deals now and I was looking at them this weekend but I ended up investing the dividend pool into a REIT instead.
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:55 PM   #7
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Well at least I got a response...
I don't get it, this is a thread for individual stocks, and yet every time I post a recommendation for one, no one offers any opinion. Do I need an additional 3000 posts before people take me seriously?
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:05 PM   #8
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I don't get it, this is a thread for individual stocks, and yet every time I post a recommendation for one, no one offers any opinion. Do I need an additional 3000 posts before people take me seriously?
Might not hurt anything. And since you asked...

One problem just may be that you showed up on this "early retirement" forum, never introduced yourself, haven't posted anything related to early retirement or any other subject other than stock picking and defending annuities, and come across (to me at least) as a stock promoter rather than as someone attempting to do real analysis. I haven't seen any real meat behind your suggestions.

Oh yeah, and your first few posts didn't exactly get you off on the best foot either.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:45 PM   #9
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Well, I can appreciate your honesty. However, I've noticed on this board that most people get the cold shoulder when they first start. I've never posted on a board where I needed an introduction.
So, let me see...I posted about annuities, which would seem to me to be very near to peoples' hearts around here, considering everyone in retirement is looking for income. However, I got blasted for that and called an "annuity salesman".
Then I posted some short ideas suggesting GOOG, which is down almost 200 POINTS since, and I've gotten a lukewarm reception on that thread. Then I come to a thread called individual stocks, and made (in my opinion) some pretty darned good stock recommendations for the near future, and have gotten the cold shoulder. Oh yeah, I have also recommended some high quality long term hold stocks, and gotten no response.
So...how about you tell me what kind of information you like to get from fellow posters and I'll see if I can oblige. I happen to be a pretty well rounded feller. We could discuss strategies for winning high stakes poker, or perhaps how to make a lovely chocolate souffle'? Or perhaps we can discuss the current social crisis of the modern man?
BTW, as far as I know, a stock promoter is one who recommends penny stocks for pump and dump situations. I abhor the penny stocks and I'd hardly think any of my stocks fall under a category of needing promotion, I was merely trying to help.
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:31 PM   #10
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Art I think part of the problem is the stocks/ETFs you've suggested are pretty small/obscure stocks/ETF (PGX just started trading this year) with the exception of GOOG.

I have looked every symbol you've posted. CMC is reasonably representive Commercial Metals Company M* rating 3 stars P/E 10.5 (low) Yield 1.36% (low recently increased good) 52 Week range 20.85-37.15. Market Cap 3.3 Bil

The first paragraph of M* report is
Quote:
Commercial Metals Company has created a decent business strategy for competing in the volatile steel market. The company's strategic move into Central Europe provides it with an attractive asset that has improved historically lackluster returns.
You'll forgive me if your one sentence post and perfectly average M* report isn't enough to get me interested in further research.

If you'd like make a meatier case for why you think it is a good investment. I'll be perfectly happy to discuss it.

As for GOOG, I have a hard time justifying the value. I don't find that Google's drop 25-30% is particularly exceptional for high beta stocks since the Nov highs.

The reasons I am not interested in shorting GOOG are two fold. During the 1999, when was intimately involved in the internet world, I lost more than 100K shorting big cap internet stocks AOL, AMZN, Yahoo. I was right about them over valued but wrong about the timing.

GOOG CEO Eric Schmidt was one of only two teaching assistants I remember from college. (The other was a smoking hot blonde who taught German ) He was exceptionally good teaching assistant. I meet him a couple of other times since college and he struck me as one of those rare genius computer science types who also is blessed with common sense. Two of the smartest people I knew from Intel now are at Google. This leads me to conclude that GOOG reputation that it is filled with really smart people is justified. I'm not willing to bet against a company with 10,000 people smarter than myself.

Are you still short at $500?
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:54 PM   #11
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Well, I can appreciate your honesty. However, I've noticed on this board that most people get the cold shoulder when they first start. I've never posted on a board where I needed an introduction.
Speaking as the guy who used to drive the Welcome Wagon, I think your "cold shoulder" opinion is biased by the noisier posters who arrive in a big splash and depart in a spectacular trail of flames. Most of the people who posted in "Hi, I am..." over the last couple years got a good start with answers to their questions or a few suggestions. Many of them lurked for a few weeks or even months, getting to know the board before they started posting. Or they asked for advice instead of telling others what to do.

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Originally Posted by Art G View Post
So, let me see...I posted about annuities, which would seem to me to be very near to peoples' hearts around here...
You're joking, right? Or did you really not take enough time to search for the keyword "annuity" and then gauge the board's comments on the subject?

Did you just leap right in and support a financial product that has legitimate applications yet has been so oversold and abused, only because you think it's important to board members who've managed to achieve financial independence?!? Have you tried that act on the Bogleheads or the Diehards to see if it's just this board... or just you?

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Originally Posted by Art G View Post
Then I posted some short ideas suggesting GOOG, which is down almost 200 POINTS since, and I've gotten a lukewarm reception on that thread.
Ah, the one where your analysis rested mainly on mutual-fund companies being able to divest themselves of the stock when it became fairly valued? I've read a lot of books on shorting, and I've spent a few years practicing what I've learned, and it seems to me that you're basing your analysis mainly on the technical indicators of the charts.

If you're so good at it then you don't need us to make you feel better. You need to go on margin, short some more, and then pick the bottom to make a killing on the way back up. Wouldn't that be a little more life-affirming than the applause of a bunch of strangers over the Internet? Heck, with your profits you could just buy the board and install your own set of moderators. Or, better yet, start a smarter stock-analysis board than this one.

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So...how about you tell me what kind of information you like to get from fellow posters and I'll see if I can oblige.
OK, I'll take the bait. Maybe some other poster will read this and accept the constructive suggestion.

For shorting, how about indicators like short interest, options ratios, executive defections, major insider sales, adverse publicity, or leading indicators that might adversely affect their customers or industry segment. Even Ascensio or Chanos' editorials would be interesting, or material discussed in Kathryn Staley's "The Art of Short Selling" more than by Stan Weinstein or Bill O'Neill.

For going long, how about an analysis of financial data that's been overlooked by the media, major insider purchases, rising dividends, discounts to intrinsic value, assessments of book value or price/sales ratios or even other more traditional financials, or even trading at a discount to a long-term average. Heck, you could even go with Seeking Alpha. "Significant upside potential" is easy to come by on Yahoo! Finance or Cramer.

Another good response-evoking tactic is castigating the rest of the board for not giving you a response quickly enough. Does the quality of your analysis stand on its own merits, or does it depend on the amount of controversy you're able to whip up?

If you're really unhappy about the way you're being treated here (and not just trying to raise another ruckus) then I'd suggest you post on M*'s "Hands On" board or one of their other stock boards. Be prepared, though, because some of those folks know of what they speak...
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:33 AM   #12
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Well at least I got a response...
I don't get it, this is a thread for individual stocks, and yet every time I post a recommendation for one, no one offers any opinion. Do I need an additional 3000 posts before people take me seriously?
For me:

1. PQX isn't an individual security. It's a fund of about 50 preferred stocks. To do a proper analysis you'd have to go and analyze all of those. To me, "individual stock" means the security (equity, debt or other) of a single company.

2. It's not you. When we asked Andy to start this board I made a point of posting detailed analysis for a couple stocks (which have not gone well I must admit) to get it going and put forward how I thought we should be discussing and basically got no response or vague non-researched responses. So, I don't bother making new posts here anymore. Some people come to the "Stock Picking - Individual Security Analysis" forum and post about all sorts of macroeconomic issues and get pages of discussion. Oh well. You just need to realize that this is an ER forum, not really a stock discussion forum. Most of the people here haven't done and don't know how to do individual stock analysis -- they are fund investors. Nothing wrong with that. There are a lot better forums out there for reading and discussing stocks.

3. As for GOOG, well, we all have different investing interests and timeframes. For me, my short term timeframe is usually a couple years so shorting stocks isn't something that interests me. I look at GOOG, think a couple years out and there's no way I'd want to be short on a company that is making something like $5 billion per year, has grown earnings at a 20-30% pace and is now trading at 25x 2008 estimates and 20x 2009 estimates. Not that it can't go down but they aren't going out of business anytime soon.
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:54 AM   #13
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Art I think part of the problem is the stocks/ETFs you've suggested are pretty small/obscure stocks/ETF (PGX just started trading this year) with the exception of GOOG.

I have looked every symbol you've posted. CMC is reasonably representive Commercial Metals Company M* rating 3 stars P/E 10.5 (low) Yield 1.36% (low recently increased good) 52 Week range 20.85-37.15. Market Cap 3.3 Bil

The first paragraph of M* report is


You'll forgive me if your one sentence post and perfectly average M* report isn't enough to get me interested in further research.

If you'd like make a meatier case for why you think it is a good investment. I'll be perfectly happy to discuss it.

As for GOOG, I have a hard time justifying the value. I don't find that Google's drop 25-30% is particularly exceptional for high beta stocks since the Nov highs.

The reasons I am not interested in shorting GOOG are two fold. During the 1999, when was intimately involved in the internet world, I lost more than 100K shorting big cap internet stocks AOL, AMZN, Yahoo. I was right about them over valued but wrong about the timing.

GOOG CEO Eric Schmidt was one of only two teaching assistants I remember from college. (The other was a smoking hot blonde who taught German ) He was exceptionally good teaching assistant. I meet him a couple of other times since college and he struck me as one of those rare genius computer science types who also is blessed with common sense. Two of the smartest people I knew from Intel now are at Google. This leads me to conclude that GOOG reputation that it is filled with really smart people is justified. I'm not willing to bet against a company with 10,000 people smarter than myself.

Are you still short at $500?

First off, thanks to anyone and everyone who responded. I don't mind fair criticism and am certainly willing to discuss my strategies.
With that said, allow me to answer or expound...
clif, I appreciate your post. It seems very open minded and fair. You refer to this M rating, and apparently I haven't perused the right places on this board because I'm not sure what that is, however, it seems quite a few of you rely on it. I often times will recommend a stock based on information I'm hearing, however, I don't want to come on here and say, "buy this stock because there's a rumor on the street". This, to me, would make me appear much more like a stock promoter, however with that said, I have been trading CMC for quite some time now, it is a local company and very well run. There have been rumors for quite some time of their getting bought out, and recently I've noticed option trading on this stock rising at an alarming rate, so I believe the time may be near. However, I don't want to say this, so instead I recommend buying the stock for other reasons. For the record, I am a chartist. I've seen too many companies (especially recently) that "fudge" their earnings, making their earnings reports somewhat moot to me. I have also seen for years that stocks tend to trade well in advance of their good news, and usually, there are insiders selling by the time the news hits, so instead I watch charts for increased volume and breaks of moving average lines. With all this said, I think CMC above $29.75 is a nice play, however, when I recommended it last week I believe it was closer to $24. I hope this was meatier enough for you.
As to GOOG, I never went short. The stock is way too scary for that! What I did was recommend Put options on the stock. In this way you can limit your downside if you are totally wrong. I currently think the stock continues dropping to around $420 or so.
BTW, this is all merely my opinion.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:31 AM   #14
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Speaking as the guy who used to drive the Welcome Wagon, I think your "cold shoulder" opinion is biased by the noisier posters who arrive in a big splash and depart in a spectacular trail of flames. Most of the people who posted in "Hi, I am..." over the last couple years got a good start with answers to their questions or a few suggestions. Many of them lurked for a few weeks or even months, getting to know the board before they started posting. Or they asked for advice instead of telling others what to do.


You're joking, right? Or did you really not take enough time to search for the keyword "annuity" and then gauge the board's comments on the subject?

Did you just leap right in and support a financial product that has legitimate applications yet has been so oversold and abused, only because you think it's important to board members who've managed to achieve financial independence?!? Have you tried that act on the Bogleheads or the Diehards to see if it's just this board... or just you?


Ah, the one where your analysis rested mainly on mutual-fund companies being able to divest themselves of the stock when it became fairly valued? I've read a lot of books on shorting, and I've spent a few years practicing what I've learned, and it seems to me that you're basing your analysis mainly on the technical indicators of the charts.

If you're so good at it then you don't need us to make you feel better. You need to go on margin, short some more, and then pick the bottom to make a killing on the way back up. Wouldn't that be a little more life-affirming than the applause of a bunch of strangers over the Internet? Heck, with your profits you could just buy the board and install your own set of moderators. Or, better yet, start a smarter stock-analysis board than this one.

OK, I'll take the bait. Maybe some other poster will read this and accept the constructive suggestion.

For shorting, how about indicators like short interest, options ratios, executive defections, major insider sales, adverse publicity, or leading indicators that might adversely affect their customers or industry segment. Even Ascensio or Chanos' editorials would be interesting, or material discussed in Kathryn Staley's "The Art of Short Selling" more than by Stan Weinstein or Bill O'Neill.

For going long, how about an analysis of financial data that's been overlooked by the media, major insider purchases, rising dividends, discounts to intrinsic value, assessments of book value or price/sales ratios or even other more traditional financials, or even trading at a discount to a long-term average. Heck, you could even go with Seeking Alpha. "Significant upside potential" is easy to come by on Yahoo! Finance or Cramer.

Another good response-evoking tactic is castigating the rest of the board for not giving you a response quickly enough. Does the quality of your analysis stand on its own merits, or does it depend on the amount of controversy you're able to whip up?

If you're really unhappy about the way you're being treated here (and not just trying to raise another ruckus) then I'd suggest you post on M*'s "Hands On" board or one of their other stock boards. Be prepared, though, because some of those folks know of what they speak...
Nords...
To answer your questions, I found this board due to Scott Burns, a local financial writer who I read religiously, and disagree with regularly. On his website he recommended this place to discuss his articles, one which was written about the negatives of variable annuities. I am currently a strong proponent of the variable annuity product as this vessel has changed so much recently that all those haters from the past are starting to change their viewpoints. In fact, Burns himself, who has always written on the evils of annuities, is now admitting that the living benefits riders of the newer products are worth a second look. I realize there are many here who are well off and have already made up their minds on such products (such as my father for one example), however, I can't think of another investment product that has made such a 180 degree change in value as annuities have, and quite frankly, my only concern is whether or not some of the small insurance companies will be able to payoff all their promises. While death benefits are a one time payoff, living benefits can cripple a company. Anyway, if you're unhappy with me just "jumping on here", then blame Burns for directing me here.
As to my logic on Google and American Funds holdings, I'm not sure you fathom how big a club they carry. They are SOOOO much bigger than the number two mutual fund company, and after 80 years of existence, THIS has become their largest holding, and mostly they buy stocks to buy and hold for dividends. So when I say that their selling will affect the stock price, well quite honestly, it makes the most sense to me why we've seen the stock drop 200 points.
As to making myself feel better, this wasn't my intent nor need. I am merely trying to assist some in some stock ideas, and others in answering questions. While I enjoy trading ideas and information, I certainly don't need hand holding. In fact, I have in the past posted on other stock boards and am considered a valued member of the community, however, too many boards wish to discuss penny stocks and get rich quick schemes, and I am greatly opposed to this type of investing as a whole.
To answer you last paragraph, much of what you're asking for is fundamental persuasion for investing, and as I've explained, while I use fundamental information, it's not my focus for stock selection.
If you'd like, I'll be glad to discuss point and figure charting methods for stock selection. I am a big proponent of Tommy Dorsey and have discussed strategies with him both in person and on the phone on regular occasion.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:35 AM   #15
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For me:

1. PQX isn't an individual security. It's a fund of about 50 preferred stocks. To do a proper analysis you'd have to go and analyze all of those. To me, "individual stock" means the security (equity, debt or other) of a single company.

2. It's not you. When we asked Andy to start this board I made a point of posting detailed analysis for a couple stocks (which have not gone well I must admit) to get it going and put forward how I thought we should be discussing and basically got no response or vague non-researched responses. So, I don't bother making new posts here anymore. Some people come to the "Stock Picking - Individual Security Analysis" forum and post about all sorts of macroeconomic issues and get pages of discussion. Oh well. You just need to realize that this is an ER forum, not really a stock discussion forum. Most of the people here haven't done and don't know how to do individual stock analysis -- they are fund investors. Nothing wrong with that. There are a lot better forums out there for reading and discussing stocks.

3. As for GOOG, well, we all have different investing interests and timeframes. For me, my short term timeframe is usually a couple years so shorting stocks isn't something that interests me. I look at GOOG, think a couple years out and there's no way I'd want to be short on a company that is making something like $5 billion per year, has grown earnings at a 20-30% pace and is now trading at 25x 2008 estimates and 20x 2009 estimates. Not that it can't go down but they aren't going out of business anytime soon.
terminator...
Yes, PGX is new and usually ETF's don't interest me; however, a blend of preferred stocks seemed a bit intriguing and I've found enough intelligence on these boards that I just thought I'd run it by others. Thanks for your thoughts.
And again, I wouldn't want to be short GOOG either. However, Put options seemed the way to go. FWIW, I wouldn't be buying them now though. JMO.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:48 AM   #16
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Nords...
To answer your questions, I found this board due to Scott Burns, a local financial writer who I read religiously, and disagree with regularly. On his website he recommended this place to discuss his articles, one which was written about the negatives of variable annuities. I am currently a strong proponent of the variable annuity product as this vessel has changed so much recently that all those haters from the past are starting to change their viewpoints. In fact, Burns himself, who has always written on the evils of annuities, is now admitting that the living benefits riders of the newer products are worth a second look. I realize there are many here who are well off and have already made up their minds on such products (such as my father for one example), however, I can't think of another investment product that has made such a 180 degree change in value as annuities have, and quite frankly, my only concern is whether or not some of the small insurance companies will be able to payoff all their promises. While death benefits are a one time payoff, living benefits can cripple a company. Anyway, if you're unhappy with me just "jumping on here", then blame Burns for directing me here.
As to my logic on Google and American Funds holdings, I'm not sure you fathom how big a club they carry. They are SOOOO much bigger than the number two mutual fund company, and after 80 years of existence, THIS has become their largest holding, and mostly they buy stocks to buy and hold for dividends. So when I say that their selling will affect the stock price, well quite honestly, it makes the most sense to me why we've seen the stock drop 200 points.
As to making myself feel better, this wasn't my intent nor need. I am merely trying to assist some in some stock ideas, and others in answering questions. While I enjoy trading ideas and information, I certainly don't need hand holding. In fact, I have in the past posted on other stock boards and am considered a valued member of the community, however, too many boards wish to discuss penny stocks and get rich quick schemes, and I am greatly opposed to this type of investing as a whole.
To answer you last paragraph, much of what you're asking for is fundamental persuasion for investing, and as I've explained, while I use fundamental information, it's not my focus for stock selection.
If you'd like, I'll be glad to discuss point and figure charting methods for stock selection. I am a big proponent of Tommy Dorsey and have discussed strategies with him both in person and on the phone on regular occasion.
I didn't put up that post to rehash Scott Burns' objectivity or the merits of annuities or to invite a tutorial on point & figure.

My "point" was that if you're here to advocate high-cost investments or technical analysis then your credibility won't be held as high as those who've chosen to go with low expenses and fundamentals. Whether you have credibility or not is irrelevant next to the perception that you lack it.

If you're not happy here then try someplace like M*'s (that's an acronym for Morningstar.com) Hands On discussion board. They don't do penny stocks there, either, and they have their share of momentum investors. Other places include FundVision.com which is heavily chart-oriented, but they tend to be more funds than stocks.

But if you're here to raise a ruckus or annoy people then you're going to become even more unhappy.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:06 PM   #17
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I didn't put up that post to rehash Scott Burns' objectivity or the merits of annuities or to invite a tutorial on point & figure.

My "point" was that if you're here to advocate high-cost investments or technical analysis then your credibility won't be held as high as those who've chosen to go with low expenses and fundamentals. Whether you have credibility or not is irrelevant next to the perception that you lack it.

If you're not happy here then try someplace like M*'s (that's an acronym for Morningstar.com) Hands On discussion board. They don't do penny stocks there, either, and they have their share of momentum investors. Other places include FundVision.com which is heavily chart-oriented, but they tend to be more funds than stocks.

But if you're here to raise a ruckus or annoy people then you're going to become even more unhappy.
Nords, so if I understand you correctly, you're saying that if I don't follow in your line of reasoning, I'd be better off elsewhere. Gotcha....however, I've already received a few private messages to the contrary.
That's the second time now you've accused me of trying to start a "ruckus" even though I think I've politely tried to answer your questions.
Perhaps you should consider opening your mind just a tad, perhaps there's still room to teach you something.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:20 PM   #18
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Art G, I appreciate the different viewpoint you bring to the forum. Don't worry about conforming to Nords' view of pure, wholesome thought.

We have discussed bank preferreds in another thread a bit, and I mentioned PGF (slightly different than PGX) as a possible play.

But banks are issuing these high-yield instruments to improve their capitalization, and one theory says they aren't anywhere near done yet. So, yields could go higher, which would drop NAV, of course.

Personally, I don't find them compelling.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:26 PM   #19
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Personally, I don't find them compelling.
Not at current prices. But the last week of 2007 was a bonanza.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:27 PM   #20
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Thanks twaddle. A very valid point!
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