February 2009

"So now you pick stocks according to your dreams?  Extremely sound financial planning model. "

Lucas Riley  

The Professional Opinion

S&P 500 Index: 825.88

An Outlook for the Stock Market

The first part of the newsletter provides more history on bear markets and their bottoming processes and is basically another rehash of prior commentary which can be better summarized this way:

The Bear

Since I'm pretty busy this month, that's about all she wrote except for the following:

Dollar cost average in any new monies.   Bob is staying fully invested.


No changes to portfolios.

Individual Issues (Stocks)

No changes except one:


Fountains  across from the Crown Center in Kansas City, MO

Personal Portfolio
Ytd Return
A Pause in the Downward Spiral - I thought

I decided to go ahead and sell all my position in ETFC and use it as a tax loss. Turned out to be a fairly good idea, all things concerned.  

Where did the money go?  See Below.

UNH has turned around and is actually showing a gain   MO and WMB are going positive on occasion.

GE continues to be one of the biggest drags on the portfolio on a percentage basis.
The bank and insurance stocks....Not improving nearly as quickly as I would have thought.  I am going to continue holding these as I think the Obama Nation won't dare do more damage to the economy in the short run,  but judging by what I have seen in the last month, I may have been optimistic.

What a Year

Boy, Memories are Short

MS Feminist Sorry folks, 

Barry is not the nation's first elected black president.  That title went to William Jefferson Blythe Clinton back in the 90's when the congressional black caucus bestowed our good buddy Bill with the honor.

Our newly elected community organizer is not without hope when searching for a legacy for his future presidential library.

His personal claim to fame it seems, is assuming one of the most sought after titles in the New World Order ........that of First Feminist!

And of course he can also proudly proclaim the stock market performance during inauguration day as absolutely the worst in history.  What does this tell me?

The market is forward looking........

A Triple Bagger


It's nice to win one once in a while and PALM did not disappoint.

I now have enough spare change for my 300' of fence and a GoldenDoodle (long story there).  As an adult male, I think I am going to have some trouble admitting I am the future owner of a GoldenDoodle. Kind of like admitting to being a proud owner of a Cockapoo or a Lhasa Apso.

It just doesn't quite roll of the tongue as well as, say a German Shepherd, Airedale, Rottweiler, Bulldog, Catahoula or Doberman Pinscher.

Anyway, I have very little PALM left and have a hard time believing it will reach much more than nine dollars a share, especially in this economy.  You never know though.  That's why I am holding just a bit of PALM.

I might be tempted to pick up some more if the stock dips back to the 5's.

In the mean time, I split some of the surplus into two more stocks.

First on the list is Sprint (S)


Sprint has been creamed by the competition, especially by those who distribute IPhones and BlackBerries.

My thought on Sprint is simplistic.

I highly doubt being the exclusive provider of the new Palm phone is going to make or break the company but I think the stock could get a nice bounce when it brings the phone to market.  However, there is talk of Apple filing lawsuits for patent infringement again but they seem to mostly be bluster when it comes to suits but it is something to consider.

Word is that Sprint is also going to be offering a flat rate, $50.00 a month plan with unlimited text messaging in an attempt to capture the younger crowd who use text messaging as the primary form of communication. I would dare say a plan like that would be quite attractive to people in that group.

That's not to say the competition would come out with something equally competitive and I bet they do.
I think one third of my Sprint shares in a taxable account and two thirds in tax privileged accounts could do quite well with a little patience.

Huntsman Corp


Next up is the Huntsman Corporation (HUN)

This is a specialty chemicals and plastics company. I managed to pick this one up right at its lows (so far). 

It is still paying a dividend and at these prices the yield is around 13%.

The company settled several law suits to their advantage as a result of a failed merger attempt.

I am viewing this one as a long term hold. 

Xl Capital
Last but not least, I picked up some more XL in the very low three's, sold it in the high three's and bought back in the mid two's.
This has been a great trading stock and in a tax privileged account, it has been providing some nice returns.

I don't imagine it is going to be paying a dividend much longer so I wouldn't pay much attention to that.
If you have a little patience with this one, you could do well.

However, with the financials you must be aware you are playing with fire.

I never thought I would see Bank of America at $27.00 a share.  I never thought I would see it at $13.00 a share and I certainly never thought I would see it at seven and change. 

This has been bloody.

Regions Financial, a favorite of mine got clobbered too.

The only one this month that managed to stay in positive territory was Altria (MO).

People are still going to drink and they are still going to smoke.

That's about it for financial commentary other than to say my wife's GNMA fund yielded around 7% last year and this year it is the only financial asset that has not lost value.

Something to think about.

Harry Truman
If you are ever out in the midwest and are looking for something to do,  give the Harry S. Truman presidential library a try and prepare to spend several hours there.  On the way out, this mural points the way.   Harry liked going for early morning walks in his home town of Independence, Mo.  Awesome image.  He looks like a happy man.