The theme for the month was volatility. A couple of ETNs cratered as a result of the high volatility causing investors to lose significantly when using these levered products. “We sincerely apologize for causing significant difficulties to investors,” Nomura said. Credit Suisse stated “investors who held shares of XIV had bet against at volatility at their own risk. It worked well for a long time until it didn’t, which is generally what happens in markets”. Caveat emptor.
During the month, the S&P index dipped into correction territory before rallying to close the month down 3.89%. My portfolio sympathized with the index closing down 5.53%. I never hit correction so my peak drop was less but I also failed to recover as quickly. Probably an area to perform a root cause analysis on at some point. Following back-to-back monthly losses against the S&P, I’m down 3.44% to start the year.Selected Headlines has been retired. You can find this section as a Menu Item (Headlines). These are generally updated within a day or two of the news item. The older items will scroll off – my plan is to have 10-20 items at a time.
- completed the move of RY from taxable to IRA through a rebalance of my taxable Canadian portfolio resulting in slight increases to BNS, BMO, BCE, CNI, CP, ENB, MFC, NTR, RCI, SLF, TU, TD, TRP and AMTD (us)
- Added to KMB, OTTW, MAIN, NVS and QCOM
- Initiated positions in LUV, NTB, CSL, WM, RSG, CVA and SMG
Motif informed me that I had found a loophole in their new pricing scheme. Their intent was to enact a back-door price increase rather than a quasi free-trade platform. So back to normal operation with them – but at least I got about a dozen free ones, and the way I use them I’ll see no price increase.
- February delivered an increase of 35.33% Y/Y fueled by dividend increases and purchases.
- February delivered a 13.07% increase over last quarter (November).
- Dividend increases averaged 10.49% with 38.0% of the portfolio delivering at least one increase (including 1 cut (GE) and 1 suspension (DST see M&A).
- 2018 Dividends received were 15.12% of 2017 total dividends putting us on pace to exceed last year in early November.
Spirit Realty Capital (SRC) – Nov 21, Form 10 was filed confidentially with spin completion targeted for 1H 2018.
Jan 13 – DST announced it was merging with SS&C for $84 cash per share. As part of the merger agreement, the dividend has been suspended – therefore my proxy vote will be against the merger (protest vote only). I expect the deal to complete in April or May.
Jan 31 – XRX announced a merger with Fujifilm for stock and $9.80 in cash.
All in all a good month despite the gyrations. As if goofy products (leveraged ETNs) aren’t enough to spook the markets it appears we’re getting a preview of March Madness in the form of a Trump induced possible trade war. Fasten your seatbelts as March could be a doozy!
Hope all of you had a good month as well.