Conspiracy Theories

Two of the investing kingpins are in the news this week for different reasons.  Warren, obviously, for his annual meeting.  Carl, on the other hand, stole some of the thunder with his announcement yesterday that he exited his Apple position.  I’ll get back to Warren in a minute, but over the years have come to realize that rarely is a given act random.  Most times it’s calculated, particularly when significant amounts of money are at stake.  So I look for the hidden agenda, or for lack of a better term, the Conspiracy Theory.

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First Cloverleaf Merger


This evening we received notice that First Cloverleaf (FCLF) was being acquired by:


This transaction will be performed as either (my choice):

  • A stock transaction exchanging .495 shares of FMBH for each FCLF share, or
  • $12.87 cash for each FCLF share

The deal is subject to proration, with FMBH wanting to pay 25% in cash.  This translates into roughly a 24.4% gain in less than two years.  My guess is I’ll take the shares to roll the capital gains into the future, but I’ll base the decision on the spread between the two a few months down the road.

The good news, besides the premium, is FMBH pays a slightly higher dividend.  The downside is the dividend is semi-annual rather than quarterly.

Portfolio Weightings

When I researched my holdings and dividends for my quarterly review, I noticed something that required further analysis.  I put it aside while completing my taxes, but resolved to readdress it.  The issue is portfolio balance – or more specifically – being out of balance.  I noticed over the past few months that portions of my portfolio were sliding farther from their assigned allocations.  I currently rank my holdings by value (price * # shares).  I then weight by category.  The companies I’ve identified as Anchor positions would comprise a maximum 18% of the total value.  Frankly, none of these positions has yet attained the 6% threshold since I only added this category last year.  WEC (5.4%), CLX (4.6%) and KMB (3.8%) hold these slots and I haven’t been adding to them this year outside of dividend reinvestment due to valuation.  So my ‘heavy hitters’ aren’t out of balance.

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Recent Buy, Sell & More

  • Sold: Monarch Financial
  • Bought: Source 1, Arrow Financial, Bank of South Carolina, Codorus Valley Bancorp
  • Cancelled  Chevron DRIP

Today I made the decision to sell Monarch Financial.  This was going to be pulled from my account – probably later this month – anyway, so I chose to accelerate the process for these reasons:

  1. Locked in a 22% total gain over the past year and half
  2. Since I also own the acquirer, I didn’t want the same stock in two accounts
  3. In the event the merger fails (doubtful), could buy in cheaply

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March ’16 Dividends

My last dividends for March have arrived so it’s time for the report card.  I was considering redoing the presentation data but couldn’t figure out a clean way to display it so I defaulted to the old way.

New Record – my dividends were the highest month ever in March, coming in 21.8% greater than 2015.  Compared to 4Q 2015, my increase was 22.1%.

Noteworthy Items – March saw my first Australian dividend (Computershare) and PJT Partners’ inaugural dividend.  L Brands also paid a special dividend which may distort next quarters’ comparative results a little.

With the 1st quarter complete, I’m on pace to equal last year’s dividends near the end of September.

My dividend table has been updated through April 2nd although two of my April 1st Canadian dividends are missing (my broker has a one day lag on foreign postings).  And my April game plan should be completed in the next day or so.


Unbundled PRI Q2

While I’m waiting for my last two dividends to post so I can close out the quarter, I figured I’d update the results of the Primerica challenge.  Just to recap, about a year ago a Primerica rep provided some advice to me, the gist being even if I bought no products, I might want to buy the stock since it has performed ‘pretty well’.  So I did – but got to thinking – do the pieces that are sold via the reps perform better as a standalone investment rather than packaged with Primerica salesperson?  The last quarter said no, to my surprise.

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