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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dividend Basket Joins the of Dividend News blogs

This blog has joined The Div-Net Group of Dividend Investing news and strategies blog roll. We have joined as a Associate Member, We ask the you be sure to visit the other members sites and get their RSS feeds added to the reader of your choice. Below I will list the members and their feeds so you can add them.

  1. the moneygardener
  2. Stock Market Prognosticator
  3. The Div Guy
  4. Disciplined Approach to Investing
  5. Living Off Dividends and Passive Income
  6. Old School Value
  7. Triaging My Way To Financial Success
  8. Dividend Money
  9. Bullish Dividends
  10. Everyday Finance
  11. Contrarian Value Investing
  12. Wide Moat Investing
  13. Dividend Basket (OUR SITE)

This are 13 Perfect RSS feeds for dividend investing and the world of passive income Be sure to visit all our sister sites and help support us all as we help your investments grow. This article was written by Dividend Basket. Be sure to visit our New Dividend Basket shop help keep our site up and turning out new material. Thanks for your support.

Dividend Basket Audio Podcast's 20 Pick's Investing on the go

Here are some links to some of my favorite podcast programs. Keep you up on the news of the market and dividends while on the go, at work or pumping iron at the gym. They can be loaded on Ipod, Sandisk Sansa(like the one I use), or most any other major mp3 player.
  1. Airelon’s Investing and Trading Podcast
  2. Dave Ramesy Show
  3. Sound Investing Fund Advice
  4. Common Sense on Commodities
  5. The Source for Market Opinions
  7. Jim Lacamp and Pat Reddell
  8. The Ray Lucia Show
  9. Sector Exchange with Jim Farrish
  10. The Disciplined Investor with Andrew Horowitz
  11. The ETF Expert with Gary Gordon
  12. The Index Investing Show with Ron Delegge
  13. The MoneyMan Report with Daniel Frishberg
  14. The Real Story with Frank Curzio
  15. TheJackBouroudjianShow
  16. Through a Trader's Eyes with Karl Eggerss
  17. Wall Street Confidential with Jim Cramer
  18. Wall Street Unspun with Peter Schiff
  19. Dh Unplugged with Horowitz and Dvorak
  20. Doug Fabian's Wealth Strategies Radio Show

All these podcasts are free as of the time of this writing. I listen to each and every one of them at work each night Many useful tips and tricks of the trade. The provide hours of solid investing and dividend news. Each has their own strategy and I use bits and pieces of all of them to understand this market we are in. Feel free to listen to any of them and pass this website on to your friends. Be sure to browse our new Dividend Basket Shop helps support this website so I can continue to provide valuable info on dividends for free. This article written by Dividend Basket.

New Dividend Basket Shop

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dover Corporation Declares Regular Quarterly Cash Dividend of $0.25 cents per share

The Board of Directors of Dover Corporation (NYSE: DOV) today declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 (twenty-five cents) per share, payable on June 15, 2009 to shareholders of record as of May 31, 2009.

Dover Corporation, with over $7 billion in annual revenues, is a global portfolio of manufacturing companies providing innovative components and equipment, specialty systems and support services for a variety of applications in the industrial products, engineered systems, fluid management and electronic technologies markets.

SOURCE: Dover Corporation

Dover Corporation is a world-wide, diversified manufacturer of Industrial products. Our goal is to be the leader in every market we serve, to the benefit of our customers and our shareholders.

Currently Dover is paying out a mere 29.15% on its dividend payout. Dover annually generates strong free cash flow at 8 to 10% of revenue to fund its strategic growth initiatives.

Dover has rewarded shareholders with an annually increased dividend for over 50 years (the fourth-longest record on the NYSE).

Dover's capital allocation strategy includes opportunistic share repurchases. I have been very impressed with my Dover holding and will continue to hold it as a portion of my industrial goods folio.

Disclosure I am Long VERY HAPPLY shares of Dover. (DOV)

Barnes (B) declares regular quarterly dividend 16 cents a share

Barnes (B) today declared its regular quarterly dividend of $0.16 per share of common stock. The stock currently yields 4.08%. Carrying a P/E ratio of 9.50 forward P/E of 10.89 the stock is a good value compared to its competitors. A nice low payout ration of only 34.39% plenty of room to raise the dividend in the future, Now that is what I am talking about.

Has raised the dividend in 2005 it stood at .10 cents a share and today is is .16 cents a share. With a 2 for 1 split in 2006.

Barnes Group Inc. (NYSE:B) is a diversified global manufacturer and logistical services company that provides precision component manufacturing and operating service support and solutions to nearly every industry around the world. With more than 70 locations on four continents worldwide, our 5,700 employees deliver on our promise to our customers, ensuring exacting performance, superior support and service, and dynamite results.

Disclosure I am long B shares. Written By Dividend Basket.

Bunge Limited (BG) Pumps Up Dividend 10.5%

Bunge Limited (BG) Board of Directors has approved a 10.5% increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend, from $0.19 to $0.21 per common share. The new dividend is payable on September 2, 2009 to shareholders of record on August 19, 2009.

The dividend has grown from .095 cents a share in Feb.2002 to $0.21 cents a share with this new announcement. I place a book value on this company at approx. $59.60 a share with $4.08 a share cash on hand. Low debt.

Disclosure I am long BG shares at this time. This article Was written by Dividend Basket.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Is your Dividend Ready to be Whacked Many left to go

12 of the top 50 S&P 500 have rasied their dividends in trhe last 6 months

Watch more AOL Personal Finance videos on AOL Video

In Dividends We trust 14 year raiser and growing Rated A

Sycso (SYY)Leading Foor Supplier to resturants

Southern Co. CEO(SO) on 1Q Earnings 61 years of dividends!

Rough all Around down and out Day, New JPM Etf MLP and New Currency x-US dollar etf

Sorry haven't been on to do much of a post lately the wife was in hospital today all day and till tomorrow at least I hope. She had her gallbladder removed, which was a huge success. She was very drowsy and out of it I pray I can bring her back home tomorrow. Thanks to all those that sent their letters of encouragement much needed in times like this.

As far as yesterday's action I sold PMD all around ugly earnings report for sure dividend cut coming soon. This stock was purchased for the growth and dividend. I sold for a 21% gain and let is go.

I sold bvf on its dividend cut as well. I sold for 2.01% profit squeaked by on this one. Also sold span it was bought merely for capital gains purchased in march 09 around 7.85 and sold for $10.21 money made ring the register it done its job.

Wisdomtree launched a new currency non us etf that I will be buying soon as my broker can get some shares for me. WisdomTree Dreyfus Emerging Currency Fund (CEW) on the NYSE Arca with an expense ratio of 0.55%. The following quote form wisdomtree:

“Our new Emerging Currency fund fills an important void in the ETF landscape by giving investors the first currency basket product delivered in the 1940 Act fund structure. CEW should be attractive to investors interested in diversifying outside the U.S. Dollar or accessing a less correlated asset class.

“The ETF provides investors exposure to both money market rates across 11 Emerging Market countries, as well as movements in these currencies relative to the U.S. Dollar. Our clients asked us for a basket strategy to complement our individual country currency income funds and we are happy to deliver that today.”

Set to be equally weighted and rebalanced monthly, with no us dollar exposure.

Jpm morgan launched a new MLP etf, tyvm I can not stand getting all thos K-1 forms in the mail each year so this will play the mlp industry without all the hassle of K-1 forms. According to Avi Morris over at

"The ticker symbol is AMJ . AMJ has a limited track record, just over one month, which tracked the spectacular rise of the Alerian MLP Index in April. More information on the fund is available here.

This ETF tracks a portfolio of MLPs aimed at emulating the Alerian MLP Index. But it has advantages others don't because MLPs are master limited partnerships. Partnership ownership is measured in units, not shares. Their quarterly payments are called distributions, not dividends. Distributions are typically 80-90% tax free (which really means tax deferred bringing tax hassle). Some accountants handle the hassle better then others, although ordinary computer tax packages are supposed to do the tax work very well. MLPs send K-1 tax packages around March 15, but they are trying to speed up distribution of the statements.

However, an ETF is a corporation which issues shares. Taxable dividends are reported on 1099s, unless they are paid as stock dividends in which case there is no need for tax statements. As stocks, they are also IRA (retirement account) friendly.

The ETF gives an averaging effect of many MLPs. Those who want to invest in MLP growth but are afraid because of tax issues from distributions, may want to take a look at this ETF."

Tomorrow will be a big day in my roth I am buying a slight step into many new stocks and etfs. I plan to buy a super small take tomorrow approx. 1/20th of a full position then I can dollar cost average into them all in the new few months.

On the list to purchase are, IJH,IWB,PFF,RPV,VB,VOWE,VV, for my index fund folio.

Emerging markets folio is adding, CWI,EFA,GWL,JSC,MDD,SCJ,MEU.

Consumer goods Folio is adding, PM,VGR,KO,LEG and UL.

Commodities folio adding, GAZ,GSC,JJC,JJG,LSC and PTM.

Basic Materials folio is adding, CMC,CMP,NL and POT.

Bonds folio is adding CWB, CFT and EMB.

Financial Folio is adding, WFC,JPM,BAP,BRK-B,UBS and WBK.

This will all be real small starts to just sorta dip my toes in the water. I am pretty sure I am buying most if not all of these stocks on a higher than I would like to do basis. However being on 34 and having loads of time to dollar cost average my way in I am sure in 20 to 30 years I can produce sizable positions in each of these stocks.

Midweek portfolio check-up shows me with 194 holdings up 8.68% year to date, not including dividends. I have rung the register and locked in a profit from sales this year to date of 6.52% percent. So even if the rest of the year is a flop for me I can still come out smelling like a rose.

My dividends for the month of March Rose 130.1059 % try to get that at the bank.

Thats it for now gotta run to bed hope to post more soon. Thanks for your patronage.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chesapeake Energy(CHK) posts 1Q $6B loss

Chesapeake Energy on Monday posted a nearly $6 billion loss for the first quarter as tumbling natural gas prices forced one of the nation's largest gas producers to write down the value of its gas and oil properties.

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake said it lost $5.7 billion, or $9.63 per share, for the quarter ended March 31 compared with a loss of $132 million, or 29 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding special charges, Chesapeake recorded profit of $277 million, or 46 cents, a share for the quarter. Excluding a $704 million charge in the year-ago quarter, Chesapeake would have been made $561 million, or $1.09 per share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Chesapeake to report profit of 49 cents a share. Those estimates typically exclude charges.

Chesapeake shares hit $74 last summer as prices rose, but then tumbled all the way to $9.84 in December, the lowest level in more than five years.

Disclosure I am long CHK shares

Corp Exec Bd (EXBD)beats by $0.15, beats on revs; lowers FY09 guidance, cuts dividend

The Company is decreasing its quarterly dividend from $0.44 per share to $0.10 per share, which will preserve approximately $46 million cash for the Company on an annualized basis. The Company will fund its dividend payments with cash on hand and cash generated from operations. The dividend is payable on June 30, 2009 to stockholders of record at the close of business on June 15, 2009. Mr. Monahan commented, “We remain committed to returning excess cash to shareholders while at the same time maintaining operating flexibility in these uncertain economic times.”

Corporate Executive Board Co (EXBD) posted a drop in quarterly profits hurt by a fall in the value of its contracts, slashed quarterly dividend and cut its outlook for 2009, sending its shares down as much as 10 percent in extended trading.

For 2009, the company expects to earn 90 cents a share to $1.40 a share. It had previously forecast earnings to range between $1.30 and $1.60 a share.

Revenue for 2009 is expected to be $410 million to $450 million, down from its previous forecast of $445 million to $475 million.

For the first quarter, the company posted earnings of $13.1 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with $14.8 million, or 42 cents a share.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 25 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $112.8 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Shares of the company fell 10 percent to $15.98 in trading after the bell. They closed at $17.69 Monday on Nasdaq.

Disclosure None

Neenah Paper(NP) sets 10-cent quarterly dividend

Neenah Paper, Inc. (NYSE: NP - News) announced today that its Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per share on the company's common stock. The dividend is payable on June 2, 2009 to stockholders of record as of close of business on May 15, 2009.

Disclosure None

Legg Mason posts fifth straight loss, cuts dividend 88%

Asset manager Legg Mason(LM) on Tuesday cut its regularly quarterly dividend by 88 percent to 3 cents per share.

Legg Mason had previously paid a dividend of 24 cents per share. The new dividend will be paid July 13 to shareholders of record as of June 16.

The company cut the dividend as it reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $325.1 million, or $2.29 per share. Many financial firms have been cutting their dividends in recent quarters to help preserve capital amid the credit crisis and ongoing recession.

The results were close to expectations. Analysts surveyed by Reuters Estimates were expecting the Baltimore company to lose $2.33 per share. Revenues fell 42 percent to $617.2 million, against the average analysts' forecast of $611.5 million.

The company's shares fell to $20.08 from their close of $22.53 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

Disclosure None

Monday, May 4, 2009

Beware of the DEADLY leveraged ETF'S Can wipe you out

Leveraged exchange-traded funds are, in theory, an excellent way to harness that conviction you have about the future direction of a particular index. Some of these funds will reward investors with two-times or even three-times the daily moves of the underlying investment – so if the S&P 500 rises 1 per cent, you could gain 3 per cent. In theory.

In practice, these ETFs have received a lot of criticism recently because investors have realized that the actual returns, on a longer-term basis, don't come close to reflecting the moves of the underlying indexes. Birinyi Associates listed a number of fine examples on their web site.

The Ultra S&P 500 ProShares, which aims to give investors twice the daily performance of the S&P 500, has fallen 66 per cent since June 21, 2006. However, its opposite – the ETF that gives investors twice the inverse performance of the S&P 500 – has risen just 12 per cent. In other words, if you had made an astute bet against U.S. blue-chip stocks during one of the greatest equity meltdowns in history, your return wouldn't have beaten the dividend on a high-yielding tobacco stock.

Same goes for a bet on energy. The Ultra Oil & Gas ProShares, which aim to deliver twice the daily return of the Dow Jones oil and gas index, has fallen 67 per cent since Feb. 1, 2007. However, the inverse ETF (again: twice the inverse daily return of the index) has fallen 56 per cent. In other words, a bet for or against energy stocks has resulted in similarly dismal returns.

“When leveraged and inverse ETFs were first released they were touted as wonderful new innovations,” Birinyi Associates said. “As they have developed, more and more investors have caught on to the fact that they don't perform as expected.”

Disclosure None

Filings: Foreign Sector ETFs Planned By iShares

In a move expected to round out its lineup, iShares has filed to launch 10 international sector exchange-traded funds.

The firm already has some 38 sector ETFs for the U.S. and North America. It also has 11 different global funds focused on industries covering U.S. and foreign markets.

Now, iShares wants to boost its coverage to just non-U.S. developed and emerging markets divvied up by sectors.

No expense ratios were mentioned in the filings. The proposed iShares international sector ETFs will face several competitors, including a full lineup tracking S&P indexes sponsored by State Street Global Advisors. Most have tiny asset bases and charge 0.50% in annual expense ratios.

The proposed ETFs would be:

  • iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Consumer Discretionary Index Fund
  • iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Consumer Staples Index Fund
  • iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Energy Index Fund
  • iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Financials Index Fund
  • iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Health Care Index Fund
  • iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Industrials Index Fund
  • iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Information Technology Index Fund
  • iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Materials Index Fund
  • iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Telecom Services Index Fund
  • iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Utilities Index Fund
Disclosure None

Why Emerging Market ETFs Are Outpacing Developed Markets

While developed countries are left to grow at a crawl, if at all these days, emerging economies and related exchange traded funds (ETFs) are dashing forward.

So far this year, emerging economies have performed quite well compared to developed economies that are trying to get out of their holes, writes Gary Gordon for ETF Expert.

Emerging economies are still very much tied to those of developed countries and the stabilizing effect of the financial systems will have developed countries looking to consume.

The success of businesses in emerging markets is tied to inexpensive labor, easy access to capital, good cash flow, potential for growth and sustainability in rougher times. More notable emerging markets, like China and Brazil, have domestic revenue surpluses, trade surpluses and they provide cheap labor.

As long as developed countries still use emerging market commodities and labor, emerging markets may continue growing at its impressive rates.

Disclosure I am long EEM,VWO and ADRE.

Emerging-Market Stocks Rally to 7-Month High on Metals, China

Emerging-market stocks, bonds and currencies rallied as higher commodity prices and the first expansion in Chinese manufacturing in nine months boosted speculation the worst of the economic crisis may be over.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index surged 5.5 percent to a seven-month high of 699.28 at 11 a.m. in New York. Brazil’s Bovespa jumped 5 percent, also reaching its highest level since October. In Eastern Europe, Poland’s WIG20 Index and Russia’s Micex added 4 percent. Taiwan’s Taeix index advanced 5.6 percent, extending its two-day gain to 13 percent, the biggest back-to-back rally in more than 18 years.

China’s manufacturing expanded after declines in export orders moderated and investment surged because of the government’s 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package. Copper and zinc futures climbed by the exchange-imposed 6 percent daily limit in Shanghai, helping boost revenue for emerging economies sustained by exports.

“The worst-case scenario is now on the backburner, and the future doesn’t seem as gloomy anymore,” said Rabih Sultani, hedge fund manager at Duet Mena Ltd., part of a group managing $2 billion globally. “Liquidity is slowly returning to the market as China proved more resilient.”

Emerging-market bonds gained, with Brazil’s 11 percent notes maturing in 2040 rising the most in almost two weeks. The yield to the 2015 call date on Brazil’s bond, one of the most widely traded emerging-market securities, fell 15 basis points to 5.57 percent, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. A basis point equals 0.01 percentage point. The bond’s price rose 0.90 cent on the dollar to 128.40 cents.

Currencies Rally

Mexico’s peso paced gains in emerging-market currencies, climbing 3.7 percent to 13.2687 per dollar. Peru’s sol rose 2.6 percent, while Chile’s peso strengthened 2.1 percent. South Africa’s rand jumped 2.7 percent.

Stocks from developing nations may “break out” into a bull market at the end of the year as falling interest rates and easing inflation make equities more attractive, Templeton Asset Management Ltd.’s Mark Mobius said yesterday in an interview.

Gerdau SA, Latin America’s biggest steelmaker, rose 7.3 percent to 16.84 reais. Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA, Brazil’s second-biggest steelmaker, rose 4.7 percent, while third-biggest Cia. Siderurgica Nacional SA added 5.4 percent to 42.07 reais.

In Eastern Europe, KGHM Polska Miedz SA, Poland’s only copper producer, rose 6.2 percent gain, while OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel gained 4.2 percent.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, together with Japan, China and South Korea, said they will start a $120 billion foreign-currency reserve pool by the end of the year to help revive investor confidence. The pledge was agreed upon at a weekend meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

Disclosure None

Closed-end funds offer MASSIVE PROFIT opportunities

Investors looking for higher yields in today's low interest rate market might consider closed-end funds, said Marc Rappaport, senior managing director of Alpine Woods Capital Investors LLC, especially those that offer unique strategies that fare better when executed in a closed pool/architecture/framework.

Even though closed-end funds have been around for more than 100 years -- since 1893, according to the Closed-End Fund Association, more than 30 years before the first U.S. mutual fund appeared on the scene -- the average investor is not familiar with them.

Mutual funds are open-end, which means they offer to sell their shares to investors on a continuous basis, and to buy them back, or redeem, when shareholders want to reduce or liquidate their holdings.

Closed-end funds are not offered continuously. They are offered to the public in a manner similar to a stock offering -- through an initial public offering; of course, additional shares can be sold to investors in subsequent offerings. A closed-end fund shareholder cannot present a redemption request to the fund; instead, he has to sell his shares in the market like he would sell a stock.

As a result, the investment manager of a closed-end fund has a distinct advantage over a mutual fund manager.

The closed-end manager works with a fixed pool of capital. In contrast, a mutual fund manager has to react to inflows of cash, when shareholders buy shares, and outflows, when shareholders redeem their shares.

Cash flows can and do affect the manager's decisions over when and what to buy and sell for the portfolio.

"In a time of heightened investor fear, mutual fund redemptions rise and managers are forced to sell portfolio holdings when the managers would rather do just the opposite," Rappaport said.

In contrast, the closed-end fund manager has the advantage of buying and selling based on his convictions, rather than cash flow management. Theoretically, his performance should reflect this management edge.

If you're used to investing in mutual funds, you won't be able to apply the same selection criteria to closed-end funds. There are some major differences.

First, be aware that there are two sets of share prices.

One is net asset value, which is the end-of-day value of all the holdings of the fund, less expenses. Open-end funds and closed-end funds calculate NAV the same way.

The other is market price or market value. Shareholders buy and sell shares of closed-end funds in the stock market throughout the trading day.

Since no one is interposed between the shareholder and the fund -- in contrast to exchange traded mutual funds -- the price at which the closed-end fund trades is set by supply and demand, in the same way that a stock's price is determined. More buyers bid up the price; more sellers drive down the price.

Because of that dynamic, investors buy shares at or below or above net asset value. Remember that net asset value is the underlying value of all the holdings in the fund, representing the value of the fund if it were liquidated or liquidation value.

That means that investors who buy funds at a price below net asset value are buying at a discount.

Now, here's the interesting point for income investors.

If you buy a dividend-paying closed-end fund at a discount from net asset value, your yield will be higher than the fund's yield.

Let me give you an example:

Consider a closed-end fund with a net asset value per share of $10 that you bought for $10 and that the net asset value per share and market price both remained $10 for a year. In real life, the net asset value and market price will fluctuate. Assume that the fund paid a monthly dividend that totaled 30 cents per year for a 3 percent annual dividend yield.

Now assume that you were able to buy the same fund for only $8 a share. You would still receive your 30 cent per share dividend. But your yield would not be 3 percent -- it would be higher, reflecting the lower price you paid for the shares -- in this case, 3.75 percent.

Here's the math: You paid $8 a share for a fund whose net asset value is $10 a share. Your dividend was 30 cents. Thirty cents divided by 8 equals 3.75 percent, which is your annualized distribution yield. The annualized dividend yield reflects the price at which you bought the shares; the yield at net asset value is referred to as the dividend yield.

(Be alert to the fact that some closed-end funds' distributions may also include return of capital, meaning some of YOUR principal may be paid out as part of the distribution -- a subject we'll discuss next week).

On the other hand, if you paid more than net asset value when you bought shares, your annualized distribution yield would be less than 3 percent. If you paid $12 a share, for example, your yield would be only 2.5 percent. Thirty cents divided by 12.

In today's market, you can find funds to buy at discounts as high as 70 percent, turning that same hypothetical 30-cent dividend in my example into a 10 percent yield to the investor -- not to suggest that a prudent investor would buy such as fund solely based on the discount, but you get the idea.

Nonetheless, you can't deny that yield advantages are plentiful for income-conscious investors who buy well-selected closed-end funds at a discount.

Disclosure I am long 10 different Closed End funds

Nuveen Closed-End Funds Declare Monthly Distributions

Distributions Increase for 80 Municipal Closed-End Funds

Nuveen Investments, a leading global provider of investment services to institutions and high-net-worth investors, today announced that 106 Nuveen closed-end funds had declared regular monthly distributions. These funds represent a broad range of tax-exempt, taxable fixed and floating rate income investment strategies for investors seeking to build sophisticated and diversified long-term investment portfolios for cash flow. The funds' monthly distributions are listed below.

Monthly distributions from Nuveen's municipal closed-end funds and portfolios are generally exempt from regular Federal income taxes, and monthly distributions of single-state municipal funds and portfolios are also exempt from state and, in some cases, local income taxes for in-state residents. Unless otherwise stated in the funds' objectives, monthly distributions of the municipal funds and portfolios may be subject to the Federal Alternative Minimum Tax for some shareholders.
Nuveen funds generally seek to pay stable distributions at rates that reflect each fund's past results and projected future performance. During certain periods, each fund may pay distributions at a rate that may be more or less than the amount of net investment income actually earned by the fund during the period. If a fund cumulatively earned more than it has paid in distributions, it holds the excess in reserve as undistributed net investment income (UNII) as part of the fund's net asset value (NAV). Conversely, if a fund has cumulatively paid distributions in excess of its earnings, the excess constitutes negative UNII that is likewise reflected in the fund's NAV. Each fund will, over time, pay all of its net investment income as distributions to shareholders. The funds' positive or negative UNII balances are disclosed from time to time in their periodic shareholder reports, and are also on

JFP, the Nuveen Tax-Advantaged Floating Rate Fund, has implemented a managed distribution policy which permits it to include as part of its monthly distributions supplemental amounts from sources other than net investment income. This fund currently expects that any supplemental amounts would represent anticipated portfolio price appreciation over time once financial market conditions stabilize and prospects begin to improve for the middle market financial companies in which the fund primarily invests. Because the timing and extent of any such recovery is presently difficult to assess in light of continued market volatility and the negative effects on financial companies of the on-going credit crisis, the fund's latest monthly distribution is estimated to contain only net investment income and does not include any supplemental amounts.
Because a managed distribution program permits regular distributions from sources other than net investment income, it is important to understand the components of a managed distribution and the fund's NAV performance relative to its distribution rate. JFP posts information and estimates on regarding the sources of distributions and total return performance over various time periods. In addition, at least in any month in which fund distributions include supplemental amounts from sources other than net investment income, the fund will also send this information directly to shareholders. Estimates are for informational purposes only, and the final determination of the source and tax characteristics of all distributions paid in 2009 will be made in early 2010 and reported to shareholders on Form 1099-DIV at that time.

In addition, distributions for certain funds investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs) may later be characterized as capital gains and/or a return of capital, depending on the character of the dividends reported to each fund after year-end by REIT securities held by each fund. The Nuveen preferred securities funds, JTP, JPS and JHP may invest in REITs; a list of funds that are likely to be affected by re-characterization is posted to each January, and updated tax characteristics are posted to the web site and mailed to shareholders via form 1099-DIV during the first quarter of the year.
The following dates apply to today's distribution declarations:
Record Date        May 15, 2009
Ex-Dividend Date May 13, 2009
Payable Date June 1, 2009

                                        Monthly Tax-Free Distribution Per Share
Change From
Amount Previous Month
Ticker Closed-End Portfolios
NXP Select Portfolio $.0570 -
NXQ Select Portfolio 2 .0555 -
NXR Select Portfolio 3 .0535 -
NXC CA Select Portfolio .0555 -
NXN NY Select Portfolio .0510 -
Closed-End Funds
Non-Leveraged Funds
NUV Municipal Value .0390 -
NUW Municipal Value 2 .0750 -
NCA CA Municipal Value .0380 -
NNY NY Municipal Value .0355 -
NMI Municipal Income .0445 -
NIM Select Maturities .0350 -
Leveraged Funds
NPI Premium Income .0680 .0060
NPP Performance Plus .0680 .0035
NMA Advantage .0715 .0035
NMO Market Opportunity .0690 .0045
NQM Investment Quality .0635 .0010
NQI Insured Quality .0625 .0010
NQS Select Quality .0740 .0070
NQU Quality Income .0685 .0035
NIO Insured Opportunity .0605 .0015
NPF Premier .0630 .0040
NIF Premier Insured .0635 .0035
NPM Premium Income 2 .0690 .0055
NPT Premium Income 4 .0615 .0040
NPX Insured Premium 2 .0595 .0080
NAD Dividend Advantage .0715 .0060
NXZ Dividend Advantage 2 .0730 -
NZF Dividend Advantage 3 .0735 .0055
NVG Insured Dividend Advantage .0645 .0045
NEA Insured Tax-Free Advantage .0620 .0030
NMZ High Income Opportunity Fund .0835 -
NMD High Income Opportunity Fund 2 .0800 -
NCP Performance Plus .0655 .0055
NCO Market Opportunity .0675 .0060
NQC Investment Quality .0685 .0065
NVC Select Quality .0710 .0055
NUC Quality Income .0735 .0080
NPC Insured Premium Income .0615 .0010
NCL Insured Premium Income 2 .0650 .0070
NCU Premium Income .0570 .0015
NAC Dividend Advantage .0665 .0035
NVX Dividend Advantage 2 .0695 .0035
NZH Dividend Advantage 3 .0675 .0035
NKL Insured Dividend Advantage .0695 .0060
NKX Insured Tax-Free Advantage .0630 .0040
NQF Investment Quality .0610 .0020
NUF Quality Income .0550 .0010
NFL Insured Premium Income .0575 .0020
NWF Insured Tax-Free Advantage .0540 .0010
New York
NNP Performance Plus .0645 .0050
NQN Investment Quality .0615 .0055
NVN Select Quality .0595 .0050
NUN Quality Income .0590 .0050
NNF Insured Premium Income .0550 .0045
NAN Dividend Advantage .0635 .0045
NXK Dividend Advantage 2 .0645 .0065
NKO Insured Dividend Advantage .0620 .0070
NRK Insured Tax-Free Advantage .0545 -
Other State Funds
NAZ AZ Premium Income .0540 .0010
NFZ AZ Dividend Advantage .0525 -
NKR AZ Dividend Advantage 2 .0585 -
NXE AZ Dividend Advantage 3 .0545 -
NTC CT Premium Income .0535 .0035
NFC CT Dividend Advantage .0570 .0015
NGK CT Dividend Advantage 2 .0590 .0040
NGO CT Dividend Advantage 3 .0510 .0010
NPG GA Premium Income .0525 .0010
NZX GA Dividend Advantage .0560 .0010
NKG GA Dividend Advantage 2 .0530 -
NMY MD Premium Income .0580 .0020
NFM MD Dividend Advantage .0600 .0015
NZR MD Dividend Advantage 2 .0600 .0015
NWI MD Dividend Advantage 3 .0580 .0045
NMT MA Premium Income .0610 .0055
NMB MA Dividend Advantage .0600 .0020
NGX Insured MA Tax-Free Advantage .0565 .0010
NUM MI Quality Income .0585 .0030
NMP MI Premium Income .0565 .0035
NZW MI Dividend Advantage .0565 .0010
NOM MO Premium Income .0545 -
NQJ NJ Investment Quality .0600 .0055
NNJ NJ Premium Income .0580 .0065
NXJ NJ Dividend Advantage .0590 .0040
NUJ NJ Dividend Advantage 2 .0620 .0045
NNC NC Premium Income .0550 .0045
NRB NC Dividend Advantage .0620 .0020
NNO NC Dividend Advantage 2 .0585 .0020
NII NC Dividend Advantage 3 .0565 .0010
NUO OH Quality Income .0645 .0070
NXI OH Dividend Advantage .0620 .0050
NBJ OH Dividend Advantage 2 .0580 .0035
NVJ OH Dividend Advantage 3 .0635 .0045
NQP PA Investment Quality .0630 .0045
NPY PA Premium Income 2 .0590 .0025
NXM PA Dividend Advantage .0610 .0025
NVY PA Dividend Advantage 2 .0635 .0030
NTX TX Quality Income .0620 .0040
NPV VA Premium Income .0605 .0050
NGB VA Dividend Advantage .0620 .0045
NNB VA Dividend Advantage 2 .0620 .0025
Monthly Taxable Distribution Per Share
Change From
Closed-End Funds: Amount Previous Month
Ticker Taxable Funds
Preferred Securities
JTP Quality Preferred Income Fund .0520 -
JPS Quality Preferred Income Fund 2 .0620 -
JHP Quality Preferred Income Fund 3 .0540 -
Floating Rate: Corporate Loans
NSL Senior Income Fund .0335 -
JFR Floating Rate Income Fund .0410 -
JRO Floating Rate Income Opportunity Fund .0500 -
Floating Rate: Tax Advantaged
JFP Tax-Advantaged Floating Rate Fund .0345* -

* This represents a managed distribution amount. A description of the fund's managed distribution program appears in the text preceding the tables.
Nuveen Investments provides high quality investment services designed to help secure the long-term goals of institutions and high net worth investors as well as the consultants and financial advisors who serve them. Nuveen Investments markets its growing range of specialized investment solutions under the high-quality brands of HydePark, NWQ, Nuveen, Santa Barbara, Symphony, Tradewinds and Winslow Capital. In total, the Company managed $119 billion of assets on December 31, 2008. For more information, please visit the Nuveen Investments website at

Disclosure None

Could Municipal Bonds Really Default?

When Warren Buffett speaks, it’s usually worth paying attention. This time, the Oracle of Omaha is voicing concerns about the ability of some battered local and state governments to pay off their debts. The idea of cities and states facing insolvency is alarming for sure, and Buffett isn’t alone. Moody’s recently assigned a “negative outlook” to the creditworthiness of all the nation’s local governments. The agency has rarely made such a sweeping generalization but said the magnitude of this recession warranted the move. The comments are the latest to have shaken the once-staid world of municipal bond investing.

Traditionally, muni bonds offered lower yields — usually about 20% less — than Treasury bonds, since their income isn’t taxed. But the group was crushed last year, sending prices down and yields up. Now bargain hunters have started to emerge, attracted by yields that are as much as 70 basis points, or 0.7%, more than similar 10-year Treasurys, for example. As a result, the S&P Muni index has climbed 7% this year, compared with the nearly 6% decline in the broader stock market.

These low prices reflect investor concerns about possible downgrades, says Daniel Solender, director of municipal bond management at Lord Abbett. The Federal Reserve’s buying spree in other areas of the bond market is also depressing yields of Treasury bonds and making municipal bonds all that more attractive. And then there is the $100 billion fiscal stimulus headed toward the states that should help offset the shortfall in tax revenue, says TD Ameritrade Chief Investment Strategist Stephanie Giroux, who adds that historically there has only been a 1% default rate for muni bonds.

“There is some risk, but if you can earn three times buying municipal bonds diversified across the United States and backed by the taxing authority of the states, maybe it’s worth it,” said Gregg Fisher, chief investment officer for advisory firm Gerstein Fisher.

The key is to pick carefully. Here are some tips for bargain-hunters:

• For the most part, it’s worth sticking with so-called general obligation bonds that finance essentials like water and sewers which can be paid back with tax revenue the city or state collects. The recent stimulus spending for health care and education has some pros dabbling with high-quality hospital and university bonds funded by those institutions’ revenue. But it may be worth paying the experts to do the picking or at least sticking with shorter-term options since stimulus spending won’t last forever.

• While most individual investors buy bonds offered by their own state for the extra tax advantage, it pays to diversify nationally by buying bonds of states facing different economic prospects. In other words, don’t invest only in states dealing with, say, a battered real estate market. While Fisher says allowing a state like California to go bankrupt would be akin to throwing it in the ocean, it’s worth protecting against an unlikely default. “In a portfolio of 20 bonds, if one defaults, you only lose at most 5%,” he says.

• Stick with shorter-term durations in general, preferably less than five years. Fisher recommends laddering municipal bonds, buying durations of one to five years, perhaps more maturing sooner if you expect inflation down the line.

• Keep an eye on bond ratings — not just the actual rating but also the trend of the rating to gauge whether the city or state’s health is improving or deteriorating. Check a state or city’s web site to find the sources of income for the bond.

Disclosure I own some muni bond etfs, no individual muni bonds.

Why Treasury Bond ETFs Are Surging

As many investors are wary of what exactly the swine flu is and what affect it will have on stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and the overall global economy, they are fleeing to safe havens.

One such haven that has seen a surge is the Treasury market. The U.S. Treasury Department auctioned $40 billion in 2-year notes on Monday, followed by $35 billion in 5-year notes on Tuesday and $26 billion in 7-year notes on Wednesday, reports Ben Rooney of CNN Money.

This is a whopping $101 billion in Treasuries that are set to sell in one week, in addition to the $57 billion in Treasury bills expected to be sold. To make these numbers even more eye opening, the May refunding will hit next week, where the Treasury expected to sell another $200 billion in Treasury notes and bonds.

To top it all off, some analysts even said that the Treasury would announce plans to launch and offer a 50-year bond, which would be the longest maturity ever issued by the United States, states Deborah Levine of Market Watch. This just a rumor that has been floating around Wall Street and many believe that the Treasury will just sell more of its 30-year bonds.

This is all fine and dandy as long as the demand for U.S. debt remains robust. Some strategists fear that the federal government is going to flood the market with excess supply forcing prices to plummet. Others believe that the Treasury market is in a bubble and as economies recover interest rates will most likely increase causing a burst in the bubble. Short-term Treasury bills are generally one of the safest investment tools, which is why investors scurry to them whenever they’re unsure.

If you want to grab exposure to the bond market, we think that ETFs are the way to go. After all, there are about 15 different ETFs with holdings in U.S. Treasuries.

Disclosure I am long BND and MBG.

Grail American Beacon Large Cap Value ETF Listed on NYSE Arca

NYSE Euronext (NYX) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, NYSE Arca, today began trading the Grail American Beacon Large Cap Value ETF under the ticker symbol “GVT.” The ETF is sponsored by Grail Advisors.

The Grail American Beacon Large Cap Value ETF is the first product by Grail Advisors to list on NYSE Arca. The new fund represents the industry’s first ETF to use traditional active management.

The Fund's primary investment objective: Long-term capital appreciation and current income.

PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES: Ordinarily, at least 80% of the ETF’s net assets (plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes) are invested in equity securities of large market capitalization U.S. companies. Such companies generally have market capitalizations similar to the market capitalizations of the companies in the Russell 1000® Index* at the time of investment. The Russell 1000 Index measures the performance of the 1,000 largest U.S. companies based on total market capitalization. As of December 31, 2008, the market capitalizations of the companies in the Russell 1000 Index ranged from $240 million to $421.8 billion. The equity securities in which the ETF may invest may include common stocks, preferred stocks, securities convertible into U.S. common stocks, U.S. dollar-denominated American Depositary Receipts, and U.S. dollar-denominated foreign stocks traded on U.S. exchanges (collectively referred to as “stocks”).

* Russell 1000 Index is a registered trademark of Frank Russell Company.

The ETF’s assets are currently allocated among three investment sub-advisers:
Brandywine Global Investment Management, LLC
Hotchkis and Wiley Capital Management, LLC
Metropolitan West Capital Management, LLC

The ETF’s investment sub-advisers select stocks that, in their opinion, have most or all of the following characteristics (relative to the Russell 1000 Index):
• above-average earnings growth potential,
• below-average price to earnings ratio,
• below-average price to book value ratio, and
• above-average dividend yields.

The fund’s prospectus and other fund information are available at:

Disclosure None

Jim Rogers Claims GOLD could plunge to $700 or less on IMF sale

Will the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) decision to sell 403 metric tons of gold drive down gold prices? Yes, gold prices will plunge to $700 or below that if and when IMF really sells its gold reserves, says legendary global commodities investor Jim Rogers.

Rogers, who left the United States to settle down in Singapore last year, and who is regarded as a commodities guru globally said he will hold on to his gold and is waiting to buy more gold because he expects gold prices to considerably come down when IMF sells its gold holdings.

”The fact is that IMF is trying to get permission from everybody to sell gold. I don’t know it will succeed or not. But if and when IMF sells its gold, gold prices may go to a bottom. Who knows? It may go down to US$700. IMF has got a lot of gold to sell. If it does, I hope I’m brave enough and smart enough to buy more,” Rogers told Bloomberg Radio in an interview.

Rogers launched the Rogers International Commodity Index in 1998. The index is a composite, US dollar-based, total return index, designed to meet the need for consistent investing in a broad based international vehicle. The Index represents the value of a basket of commodities consumed in the global economy, ranging from agricultural to energy to metal products.

Rogers who is hot on China has been investing heavily into Chinese investment and agricultural funds in the last year. According to Rogers, three billion people living in Asia, most of them in India and China, will account for a major portion of the total demand for commodities in the coming years.

Rogers, author of such famous books like Hot Commodities and A Bull in China, recently launched an agricultural commodities index focused on food consumption in China. In an interview to Commodity Online Rogers said recently: “China is a fascinating place to invest in. China is on the rise, like America 100 years ago, and the problems the Asian giant is encountering right now in certain, mainly export-driven, sectors of its economy will not alter the country’s long-term trajectory. “

Rogers who is known for a investor across various commodities has never been fascinated by gold. Recently he had stated that gold trading at COMEX was a paper game.

Rogers said that is worried that gold prices are under pressure because of the IMF decision to sell gold reserves.

He said owns own some gold. But at the same Rogers is not planning to buy any more yellow metal because IMF, which is one of the largest owners of gold in the world, is desperate to sell its gold.

Rogers’ comments come in the wake of the G20 leaders’ decision that IMF should sell gold from its reserve to help stimulate the world economy.

"Additional resources from agreed sales of IMF gold will be used, together with the surplus income, to provide US$6 billion additional concessional and flexible finance for the poorest countries over the next two to three years," G20 leaders had said.

The IMF’s board approved a proposal in April 2008 to sell 403.3 metric tons of bullion as part of a plan to close the Washington-based lender’s annual deficit. The sale of 403.3 tonnes of gold was originally proposed in 2007 after a committee chaired by Andrew Crockett recommended the IMF adopt a new funding model.

The IMF is the third-largest holder of gold reserves after the US and Germany, with 3,217 tons in deposits, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).

Countries like India and China want IMF to sue the money to invest to raise IMF liquidity or spend it to improve incomes of the poorest countries.

A large part of the IMF gold may find its way into central banks and private players. Since most of it will be out of reach for retail markets, gold prices may not get hammered.

Globally gold prices now are in the $870-$950 per ounce range. India and Turkey, traditionally big buyers of gold, have not bought much lately because of low domestic demand.

According to IMF, a recent surge in IMF lending to countries facing balance of payments crises related to the global economic slowdown and financial turmoil has led analysts to question whether the Washington-based institution will proceed with the plan.

The sale is expected to hit the gold price, which is at the peak now. Following the recession, gold prices have soared to new heights as safe haven buyings increased.

Disclosure I am long GLD shares.

Top 10 Investing Rules of Thumb

Not too long ago, J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly posted 25 Useful Financial Rules of Thumb. These guidelines are designed to help everyday people do more with their finances. We wanted to expand on that idea and make a more investing-specific list, with useful rules of thumb for the everyday, buy-and-hold ETF/index fund investor. Here are 10 investing rules of thumb that can help you make the most of your long-term EFT portfolio:

  1. Rule of 72. The Rule of 72 states that you can divide the number 72 by whatever yield you are getting to see how long it would take for your investment to double. Master Your Card has a great example of how the Rule of 72 works in real life:

    The membership share he currently has his money in is earning 1% interest. I explain the rule of 72 to him and then write it down on paper so that he can see what I’m doing…I like to draw crazy pictures when I talk numbers. So, I break it down for him. At 1%, it would take 72 years for his $165,000 to double. If he wen back to the money market — our rate up a little — he’d be earning 4.75% on his money and that would only take about 15 years to double. Clearly he’d have more fun in the next 15 years than he would in 72.

    The concept works that same with returns on an ETF. You can estimate how long it will take for the money in your ETF to double if you leave it there at its average yield. Of course, because ETFs can change, it is probably best to figure this number on a five or ten year average (or a longer average if you can find one).

  2. “120 Minus Your Age” Rule. The old rule of thumb was to take your age and subtract it from 100. That is your percentage of stock allocation. No Debt Plan, however, points out that with the new life expectancies, that rule is rather conservative. Instead, the suggestion is to change that 100 to 120:

    As an individual investor, you need incentive to take risk. That incentive with stocks is — over the long run — higher returns. If you couldn’t earn higher returns in stocks then everyone would invest in safe assets like bonds, CDs, and saving accounts. There would be no incentive to take the additional risk.

    With longer retirements and longer lives, a little more risk at a younger age is needed to make sure that your money will last as long as you do. You can have some or all of your equity allocation in the form of ETFs (or index funds) comprised of stocks. Then, use a bond ETF like BND, or even a TIPS ETF (to protect against inflation),to account for your bond allocation. Note that in our ETFdb sample portfolio we actually recommend using the formula 110 minus your age, but the truth is, any of these rules will achieve the goal of moving to less risky investments as your investment horizon decreases.

  3. The Long Term Inflation Average Is 4%.For the immediate future, deflation is one of the major concerns afflicting the economy. However, over time, inflation provides a real hit to your investment portfolio. AllBusiness points this out about assuming an inflation rate of 4%:

    An inflation rate of 4% might not seem significant until you consider the long-term effect on your purchases and your investments For example, in 20 years, 4% inflation annually would drive the value of a dollar down to $0.44.

    Inflation also works against your investments. When pursuing long-term financial goals, from college savings for your loved ones to your own retirement, it’s important to consider the real rate of return, which is determined by figuring in the effects of inflation.

    When figuring the real rate of return on your investments, using a 4% annual inflation rate can help you plan more realistically for your future needs. Long-term, buy-and-hold investors know that they need to look at the big picture and add inflation-beating investments to their portfolios. When combined with rule #2, you can set up a long-term investment portfolio that has an asset allocation to that provides a capital preservation base but also offers growth that beats the rate of inflation.

  4. Very Few Years Are “Average”. One of the indexes that is routinely touted as a great market beating investment is the S&P 500 (you can “buy” the S&P with an ETF such as SPY or RSP). Indeed, rolling returns from the S&P 500 show an historically high level on an average basis. However, the nature of the stock market is to move up and down; year-to-year consistency is not to be expected. Indeed, columnist Humberto Cruz points out that the S&P rarely makes it’s historical average in any given year:

    The average historical long-term return for the S&P 500 Index is about 10 percent a year. But the index rarely comes close to returning 10 percent any particular year.

    In the past 40 years, returns have ranged from a gain of 37.5 percent in 1995 to last year’s 37 percent loss. Only twice — gains of 10 percent in 1993 and 11 percent in 2004 — did gains range between 8 and 14 percent.

    Another thing to keep in mind that inflation must be subtracted from returns as well, so annual S&P gains on a real basis are closer to the 6-7% range.

  5. You Need 20x Your Gross Annual Income to Retire. This rule is a great starting point for your retirement planning, though as GRS’s J.D. points out, this 20x your income rule may not be the be-all-and-end-all:

    Another approach to retirement savings says that you’ll need to save about 20x your gross annual income to retire. In other words, if you earn $50,000 per year, you’ll need $1,000,000 to retire. Again, I think this is lame because it focuses on income and not expenses, and expenses are what matter. But still, this can be a handy gauge.

    The point, of course, is that expenses may matter more. So use the 20x your income rule as a good starting point, but modify according to your expenses. Figure out how long you think your retirement will be and multiply that by your annual expenses. I think my retirement is likely to last 30 years. 30x my annual expenses of $40,000 (which will go down when I retire and no longer have a mortgage and student loans) is $1.2 million. Will my rule #2 asset allocation help me get there in 20 years when I retire? I can use rule #1 to get an idea. And, of course, I’ll still be adding to my retirement portfolio. Of course, this formula doesn’t take into account me living longer — or needing long-term care.

  6. 4% Withdrawal Rule. In order to protect your principal during when you start withdrawing from your investment portfolio, use the 4% rule to figure out how much you can take out. Four Pillars offers an excellent explanation of how the 4% rule works:

    The way the 4% rule works is that you start by taking 4% out of your portfolio in the first year - this includes dividends, interest, withdrawals. The next year you take out the same figure you took out the first year plus inflation. So if you start by taking $40,000 out and then inflation is 3% then the second year you take out $40,000 + 3% ($1200) = $41,200. Every year after that you adjust the previous year’s withdrawal amount by the inflation rate.

    Of course, you will probably need to adjust this rule, depending on how your retirement is going, and how well the market is performing. But it’s a reasonable rule that can help you determine how much you can take out. And if your investments are beating inflation (a TIPS ETF can help ensure that some of your portfolio is at least keeping pace), this rule should last you quite some time.

  7. Retirement Plan Priorities: 401(k) ’til match, then Roth IRA, then 401(k) ’til max. It’s a good idea to understand your retirement account investing priorities. There is a definite strategy that can be employed when you are putting money into your retirement accounts. The Motley Fool offers some great advice on retirement account priorities:
  8. Your priority should usually be your employer’s 401(k) plan, if it matches your donations to any degree. Take maximum advantage of matching funds, because they represent free money which will grow for you over time. The Roth IRA is the next best option for most people, since it offers a place where your (post-tax) dollars can grow tax-free for many years. Note that you’re probably best off contributing as much to your 401(k) as you need to for the maximum match, then putting your next dollars into a Roth IRA. Once you’ve maxed out the Roth, look at the 401(k) again, and after that, a traditional IRA.

    It is also worth noting that another option is the Roth 401(k). I’d consider using that if at all possible, since it combines the higher contribution limit and no AGI restrictions of a 401(k) with the tax advantages of a Roth account. The more you can put into a tax advantaged account, the better. Always wait until the very end to invest in taxable accounts. (Of course, if you’ve reached the point where you are investing in taxable accounts, you’re probably doing rather well!)

  9. Save and Invest 10% of Your Pre-Tax Income. Before spending your money, follow the old adage “pay yourself first.” This is great advice! Take 10% of your income (pre-tax if possible) and set it aside, preferably in some sort of account that offers returns, such as a retirement account. Master Your Card offers this observation about the 10% savings rule:

    Think about it this way: for every 10 dollars you earn, save at least one dollar for yourself before spending the rest. This practice is often referred to as “Paying yourself first”, implying that you’re paying to build equity in yourself with every paycheck. This money which you’re saving is then kept as a private reserve, which you can invest in a wide array of low-risk investment vehicles. Thus, over time you are building wealth not only through your regular deposits of 10% of your income, but also through the interest being earned on the money you’ve already made.

    One of the best ways to do this is via direct deposit. Have a portion of your paycheck direct deposited into a savings account. Even better, make sure your retirement account deposits are coming out of your paycheck automatically as well. The best policy is to make savings automatic.

  10. 10, 5, 3 Rule. This is a handy rule that states that you can expect a nominal return of 10% from equities, 5% return from bonds and 3% return on highly liquid cash and cash-like accounts. Of course, this is a an average return over the long haul. Here is what FIRE Finance points out about what is more likely to be the case this year:

    [B]eing conservative in nature and observing the current state of the market we’d rather root for a more achievable 8, 5, 3. That’s our rule of thumb for investing this year. Let’s see how the year unfolds as we go along and the lessons involved.

    And it is worth noting that some feel as though equities offer lower average returns that 10%. The bottom line is that investment returns fluctuate year-to-year. It is also worth noting that ETFs can be used in many of these investments–including stock ETFs and bond ETFs. There are even cash and currency ETFs, such as FXE.

  11. Required Return. There is an interesting formula to help you figure out your required return (this is a bit more advanced than our other rules, but it’s a useful one). It looks as follows: Required return = risk free rate + beta (historical market return - risk free rate). Allan Baraza offers this explanation of what each of the parts to this equation represent:

    The risk free rate is the return on a 5 or 10 year government note. Choice of notes to use will depend on time horizon used to estimate the historical market return.
    Beta is a measure of a stock’s volatility; the higher the beta, the higher the volatility. This volatility is relative to the market volatility. A stock with a beta of 1.5 means that the stock will rise 15% with a 10% rise in the market; conversely, it falls 15% with a market fall of 10%. It follows, then, that the market beta is 1.
    Historical market return is a regression estimation of the return over the estimation time period.

    He points out that during times of uncertainty and volatility, lower beta stocks are preferred. You can learn a little more about the advantages and disadvantages of beta in a useful Investopedia article on the subject.

These ten investing rules of thumb should serve you well in building and maintaining your ETF portfolio. Of course, there’s more to personal finance than just investing, so if you’re not yet to the point where you find this article to be helpful, you’ll want to check out GetRichSlowly’s 25 Useful Financial Rules of Thumb first.

Disclosure None

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AmeriGas Partners, L.P. (APU) boosted its quarterly distributions by 5% to $0.67 per unit.

AmeriGas Partners, L.P. (APU), a master limited partnership operates as a retail propane distributor in the United States, boosted its quarterly distributions by 5% to $0.67 per unit. AmeriGas Propane, Inc., has rewarded its shareholders with an uninterrupted streak of increased dividends since 2005. The partnership currently yields 8.30%

Disclosure None

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (ETE) pumps up quarterly distributions to $0.525 per share

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (ETE), a master limited partnership which through its general partnership interest in Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., engages in the natural gas midstream, transportation, and storage in the United States, announced an increase to its quarterly distributions from $0.51 to $0.525 per unit. Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. has rewarded its shareholders with an uninterrupted streak of increased dividends since 2006. The partnership currently yields 8.10%

Disclosure None

W.W. Grainger (GWW) Boosts its quarterly dividend 15% to $0.46/share. Yield: 2.22%

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (GWW), which distributes facilities maintenance and other related products in North America., announced a 10% boost to its quarterly dividend to $0.55 per share. W.W. Grainger, Inc. is a dividend aristocrat, which has rewarded its shareholders with an uninterrupted streak of increased dividends for 38 consecutive years. The stock currently yields only 2.00%.

Disclosure None

IBM (IBM) boosts qtr dividend 10%. Yield 2.11%

International Business Machines (IBM), which develops and manufactures information technology products and services worldwide, announced a 10% boost to its quarterly dividend to $0.55 per share. IBM is a dividend achiever, which has rewarded its shareholders with an uninterrupted streak of increased dividends for 14 consecutive years. The stock currently yields only 2.00%.

Disclosure None

ExxonMobil (XOM) Raises Quarterly Dividend To $0.42

ExxonMobil (XOM), which engages in the exploration, production, transportation, and sale of crude oil and natural gas, raised its quarterly dividend by 5% to $0.42 per share. Exxon Mobil is a dividend aristocrat, which has rewarded its shareholders with an uninterrupted streak of increased dividends for 27 consecutive years. The stock of the largest energy company in the world currently yields only 2.40%.

Disclosure None

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Disney joins Hulu video site

Walt Disney Co will buy a 30 percent stake in, bringing popular TV shows such as "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy" to the video website founded by NBC Universal and News Corp.

Disney's entrance, which comes after months of negotiations, means that three of the four major U.S. broadcast networks now have stakes in Hulu: NBC, News Corp's Fox and Disney's ABC. Only CBS Corp is absent.

Hulu officials declined to provide financial details on the deal on Thursday. A source directly involved in the deal, who did not want to be identified because all sides in the deal decided that the terms would be confidential, put Disney's stake at 30 percent, the same as the other networks.

Disney will get three seats on the 12-member board, the same as News Corp and NBC Universal.

Hulu has emerged as one of the most popular online video destinations since its launch in 2007. Though it still lags Google Inc's YouTube, some 380 million videos were viewed on Hulu last month, up 14.3 percent from February, according to market research firm comScore. It is now among the top three online video sites in the United States.

Disclosure none

Confirmed cases of H1N1 virus approach 900

The World Health Organization cautioned that the swine flu outbreak could gain momentum in the months ahead, despite claims by the health secretary of Mexico -- the epicenter of the outbreak -- that the virus "is in its declining phase."

The outbreak is only about 10 days old, and even if the illness is declining, it could return, said Gregory Hartl, the WHO spokesman for epidemic and pandemic diseases, at a briefing Sunday.

"I ... would like to remind people that in 1918 the Spanish flu showed a surge in the spring, and then disappeared in the summer months, only to return in the autumn of 1918 with a vengeance," Hartl said. "And we know that that eventually killed 40 million to 50 million people."

Mexican authorities believe the virus's most active period in Mexico was between April 23 and April 28, and Mexican Health Secretary Jose Cordova described the outbreak as being in decline in his country.

As of Sunday, WHO confirmed 898 cases of swine flu -- known to scientists as influenza A (H1N1) -- reported in 18 countries.

Our prayers go out to the families affected by this pandemic.

Disclosure None

Citi sticks out hand give me just $10 billion more oh please

Citigroup Inc. (C) may need to raise as much as $10 billion in new capital, according to people familiar with the matter, as the government continues negotiations with banks over the results of its so-called stress tests.

The bank, like many others, is negotiating with the Federal Reserve and may need less if regulators accept the bank's arguments about its financial health, these people said. In a best-case scenario, Citigroup could wind up having a roughly $500 million cushion above what the government is requiring.

Disclosure None, I wouldn't buy Citi with your money!

Bank stress test results delayed Until May 7th

Wall Street will have to wait until May 7 to find about how 19 big banks did on the stress tests as regulators push back release of results by three days.

Regulators have delayed releasing the results of stress tests conducted on the nation's largest banks until May 7, government officials familiar with the matter said Friday.

The government expects to release its assessment next Thursday afternoon and will provide information both on individual companies as well as the overall group, according to sources.

For weeks, Wall Street has been anxiously awaiting the results of the tests, which regulators originally indicated would be announced on May 4.

So park the truck, crack open a beer and pop a squat we waiting even longer.

Disclosure None

43 Risky High Dividend Stocks Paying 15 to 24%

Here is a list of some risky high dividend stocks paying 15 to 24%.

Company Symbol Yield % Price
Compass Diversified Holdings CODI 15.01 9.2
Pengrowth Energy Trust (USA) PGH 15.28 6.78
Linn Energy, LLC LINE 15.33 16.97
Royce Value Trust Inc RVT 15.38 8.59
Medical Properties Trust, Inc. MPW 15.41 5.55
Cogdell Spencer Inc. CSA 15.49 5.81
Calumet Specialty Products Partners, LP CLMT 15.52 11.64
Kimco Realty Corporation KIM 15.53 11.15
Martin Midstream Partners LP MMLP 15.59 19.3
Sun Communities, Inc. SUI 15.75 14.66
Triangle Capital Corporation TCAP 15.8 10.1
Mesabi Trust MSB 15.92 9.65
BlackRock EcoSolutions Investment Trust BQR 16.05 9.72
K-Sea Transportation Partners LP KSP 16.09 20.64
EV Energy Partners, LP EVEP 16.57 18.25
Pennsylvania REIT PEI 16.76 6.58
MarkWest Energy Partners, LP MWE 16.85 14.78
Cushing MLP Total Return Fund SRV 16.89 5.6
OSG America LP OSP 17.01 8.98
Legacy Reserves LP LGCY 17.04 12.35
Hatteras Financial Corp. HTS 17.11 23.15
Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC VNR 17.27 11.53
Aracruz Celulose SA (ADR) ARA 17.55 12.47
Alto Palermo SA (ADR) APSA 18.1 5.22
Prospect Capital Corporation PSEC 18.14 9.15
Northern States Financial Corporation NSFC 18.18 5.04
PennantPark Investment Corp. PNNT 18.22 5.37
Golar LNG Limited (USA) GLNG 18.25 5.55
Targa Resources Partners LP NGLS 18.3 12.03
Capital Product Partners LP CPLP 18.49 9.12
Anworth Mortgage Asset Corporation ANH 18.6 6.46
ING International High Dividend Equity IID 18.95 10.36
Cohen and Steers Global Income Builder INB 18.99 7.08
CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. CBL 19.07 7.06
The Macerich Company MAC 19.18 16.67
American Capital Agency Corp. AGNC 19.23 18.39
Capstead Mortgage Corporation CMO 19.79 11.4
Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc HTGC 20.61 6.14
AEGON NV (ADR) AEG 20.69 5.07
Apollo Investment Corp. AINV 20.84 5.12
General Maritime Corporation GMR 23.15 11
Teekay Tankers Ltd. TNK 23.96 12.18
Cheniere Energy Partners, LP CQP 24.67 6.44

Disclosure I am long TNK,GMR,IID,ANH,PSEC,HTS,and TCAP

8 Super risky Stocks for the Yield Chasers 25%+

Here is a list of 8 super risky stocks with yields greater than 25%.

Company Symbol Yield % Price
Cornerstone Progressive Return Fund CFP 25.41 9.86
Lloyds Banking Group PLC (ADR) LYG 26.47 6.5
Whiting USA Trust I WHX 27.62 11.28
Ares Capital Corporation ARCC 29.22 5.86
BreitBurn Energy Partners LP BBEP 33.07 6.94
Apartment Investment and Management Co. AIV 33.38 7.27
Tel Offshore Trust TELOZ 38.28 5.21
Highveld Steel and Vanadium (ADR) HSVLY 39.53 7.45

Disclosure I own none of these stocks.