Current Issue - October 2014

On 20 January 1963, I had a defining moment that has carried me for decades in my investment career. On that day, I entered my name and date in my just-received copy of Ben Graham's Security Analysis. On page 52 is wording that has worked as a foundation for my investment advice, management, and personal investment activities for over five decades. "It may be said with some approximation to the truth, that investment is grounded on the past whereas speculation looks primarily to the future. … For investment, the future is essentially something to be guarded against rather than to be profited from. If the future brings improvement, so much the better; but investment as such cannot be founded in any important degree upon the expectation of improvement." 

To that end, in this month's issue, I'll give you the specific six-part investment package I recently put in place as the basis of a major investment effort for my own account. I'll also update you on the three biggest risks for your money, which I laid out last month, plus big changes in the MLP world with the consolidation of the Kinder Morgan companies and the transformation of the U.S. oil and gas industries. On the flip side of the M&A coin, I have an update for you on Rayonier's split into two separate companies earlier this year and my advice for you on both. And for those of you who are just getting started, you'll be happy to know that by buying the six highest-yielding names from this month's Top 10 Common Stock Countdown, you will own a blue-chip mini equity portfolio providing a 4.3% yield, with each stock offering the prospect of a higher dividend for you in future years. That's investing Dick Young/Ben Graham style. More >>

Economic Analysis - October 2014

Each month, I provide you with an Economic Analysis supplement to the issue. This supplement provides you with a bird's eye view of the indicators that I monitor on a regular basis. The incisive, story-telling charts included in this supplement are updated every month and range from "The Leaders" to "World Currency Reserves/World Gold Reserves." There will always be great new material as well as timely reference dates, and my comments spell out the meaning of each chart for you. Download in pdf format.

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Housing Permits Stagnate, is Regulation to Blame?

September 19, 2014 A disturbing look is appearing on the long-term chart of residential housing permits granted in the United States. The monthly measure has stabilized near 1 million. That’s about twice as many as the depths of the housing crisis, but not even close to its long term average of 1.4 million permits per month. Worse yet, […] More »