Model Portfolios Updated

Sun, 2014/11/23 - 1:11pm | Your editor

The portfolios have been updated, one, showing closed positions, visible to the world. The others, showing our stocks and bonds, and our closed-end and exchange traded funds, are only for paid subscribers.

Log in to to view the tables. Use the printer-friendly button to make the spreadsheets narrower, even if you do not want to print them.

While on the site, note that there are links to other newsletters on the left side of the welcome page which you can click from our site. These are other financial letters which may be of interest to readers, mostly focused on the US market. I do not control which sites advertise, and last week I was surprised to discover that one of the was plugging wild conspiracy theories about the murder of JFK and the terrorist 9/11 attack. Please do not hold me responsible.

More for paid subscribers follows.

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Bull In A China Shop

Fri, 2014/11/21 - 12:52pm | Your editor

Yesterday Goldman Sachs predicted that 2015 would be the year of Asia. Asian markets ex-Japan are expected to produce a return of 11% for US investors, the investment bank forecast. Japan will produce a gain of 7%.

PM Abe of Japan will probably call a snap election after dissolving the Diet. We prepared for this late Thursday. (Paid subscribers should read our trading alert note below.)

China also caused waves across our portfolio today. First of all, in an admission that something was needed to set GNP growth back on track, China cut interest rates in a new stimulus initiative.

Then some of the details of the deal on cutting carbon emissions made with the other gross polluter (the USA) were revealed. Bloomberg wrote:
“China, which does nothing in small doses, will need about 1,000 nuclear reactors, 500,000 wind turbines, or 50,000 solar farms as it takes up the fight against climate change.” More on what this means for paid subscribers below. The impact of Chinese measures is global and we highlight some of the best gains so far today.

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Trading alert

Thu, 2014/11/20 - 3:04pm | Your editor

Trading alerts are only for paid subscribers. Join them by subscribing to our newsletter at

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Wrong Ticker

Thu, 2014/11/20 - 2:42pm | Your editor

I gave the wrong ticker symbol for our latest stock pick.

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Going Green and Saving Green

Thu, 2014/11/20 - 2:28pm | Your editor

I spent most of Wednesday between the computer repair shop, the Doubletree hotel where an investor day was being held by one of our recommended companies, and Bloomberg's offices and mine, all a short walking distance from each other. It was bitter cold. But given the weather in Buffalo, I figure I got off lightly. However, I refused an invitation to bundle up again so we could be treated to dinner by our son, who is visiting. I preferred to simply cook.

A week from today is the heaviest traffic day of the year, when US families gather together to feast on turkey and give thanks. What makes it worse for us is that we will head north to New England, just as a gazillion college students hit the road to head home. So we are taking a train.

In both cases we are saving greenbacks plus going green by not using an auto, probably contrary to the trend—which is both to cite the ghastly cold weather as a sign that global warming is a myth, and to burn lots of gasoline as it has become much cheaper.

Today we consider a way to play cheap fuel prices which directly offsets one of our oil plays. It is a new buy-and-hold pick. I am proceeding with it despite objections from our Latin expert who is being superstitious.

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Wed, 2014/11/19 - 6:26pm | Your editor

For paid subscribers only, meet Dr KSS and Benitec, our stock he recommended.

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Ethics Matter

Wed, 2014/11/19 - 9:37am | Your editor


Today's truncated brief blog is about ethics.

We wrote yesterday about how foreign companies with a lot of US shareholders often mess up their investor relations because they are not as PR savvy as American corporate executives. They also often fall down on morality as well.

I was turned off owning Chilean fertilizer and lithium miner SoQuiMich by the clearly shareholder-unfriendly and probably unethical behavior of its board. Among other offenses, they nullified the votes against an insider share buyback, not only from small investors, but from large non-Chilean ones.

So we sold over protests from among others the writer who tipped the share after trekking across the Atacama Desert. I did not bother retracing her footsteps before pulling the recommendation over disgust at its shenanigans. Today SQM reported that its sales and profits had fallen sharply. The fiddled board (made up of insiders from the Pinochet regime) could not continue to fiddle the company accounts to meet its whisper numbers. SQM Q3 EPS of 25 cents/sh missed by 4 cents and revenues at $466.4 mn, off 11% from last year's Q3, missed by 9%.

Another major American Depositary Receipt stock we own from India has a new CEO who has opted to get rid of bad hat executives. Their offense was not specified but probably included sexual harrassment, given the company's reputation.

One of the results of listing your ADR is that US behavior standards are required even if your firm is from an emerging market with macho traditions or dictatorial links.


More for paid subscribers:

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Wednesday Blog Cancelled

Tue, 2014/11/18 - 8:18pm | Your editor

There will be a truncated blog on Weds. Nov. 19 as I have been given the possibility of attending a conference with analysts by one of the stocks we cover about which there is a certain amount of controversy. So I am going there rather than to my office. Then I have more to do in the afternoon so I will be the soul of wit, for once, because of my brevity.

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Bad IR Opportunities

Tue, 2014/11/18 - 3:01pm | Your editor

Today's blog is late because of too many conference calls, but at least most of the news was good. My round-the-world summary yesterday was mostly gloomy. The problems of at least two of our shares turn out to be related to poor handling of news by their executives. While US company brass get early experience in massaging news, this is not instinctive among foreign companies with American Depositary Receipts listed in this country. More on this for paid subscribers below along with hot news from Ireland, Spain, Israel, Germany, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Jordan, Angola, and Portugal.

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Visit our website

Mon, 2014/11/17 - 5:13pm | Your editor

I got some feedback from readers showing that the blog written today on a different computer lost some copy about the Raich report. Please visit the website to view the full issue with the missing quotation from as well as to see our tables.

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