Virtual Portfolio Insurance

This is an article I was saving for the private site but news has forced my hand so I'm going to start picking up some of these next week. Insurance companies are always good in times of trouble and should hold up better than the Dow in a plunge (but will not be immune to it so we sell calls against or get out in a downturn). Currently the IYF insurance ETF is 10% behind the Dow's rally but usually outperform the Dow (move the time-line further out, resting neatly at the 10% rule. I'd like to give a shout out to my man Warren Buffett who took the time over the weekend to pump my beloved BRK.A, saying "you ain't seen nothin' yet" (I may be paraphrasing) while at the same time jumping on our bandwagon and taking a stab at Exxon for sqandering Billions on buybacks and dividends. Berkshire Hathaway was my stock of the year selection for 2006 and, although it was outperformed by some, there were none that made us feel safer through thick and thin! This puts a lot of pressure on my 2007 pick... I think that Warren Buffet taking the time out of his busy day to tell you his company is still a good 30% undervalued at $107,000 a share should tell you something about the markets, especially the insurance sector. AIG comes to mind as a possible play, with 2007 earnings projected at $6.26, up a mere 8% from 2006. "Yawn"you may say, but then you would be sleeping through the story! AIG only earned $3.33 a share in 2005, which was it's best year ever, but still fell from 2004 highs of $77 a share down to $49 during "the scandal." That was then, this is now, AIG is so similar to Berkshire that they co-insured deals and poor Mr. Buffet was even slightly tainted by that nonsense back in '04 but he's moved on and so should we with the AIG Jan '09 $70s for the "I'm Not Kidding Price" of $10.40. You can produce an income against them by selling the Jan $70s for $1.70 AND covering yourself with the Feb $75s for .40 but I would just do half as long as the stock holds $70 because you don't want to miss a nice pop. Now here's a freebie for my hedge fund buddies (as you need a lot of equity and patience to play this one). Buy the Jan '08 $70s for $6.70, sell the Jan '09 $80s for $5.60 AND the Jan $70s for $1.70 AND cover yourself with the Jan $75s for .20. That gives you .60 in cash on a $0 investment. The strategy is very complex but generally, you hope it stays flattish but you are playing to sell for the premium each month but with some protection. If it goes up, you can roll it, if it goes down you don't care once you get past the first month. As a reference, the Jan '08 $80s are just $2.40 so your goal is to make another $1.80 (you made .60 taking the position) to cover your eventual buyout of the '09's but everything else is pure gravy. This allows you to play the insurance game while laughing at natural disasters! If Mr. B's comments boost Berkshire, then there are several other nice companies we can take a look at: Insurance is a game of inches and the whole sector has been very out of favor in the latest rally as sexier stocks have gotten all the attention. Just like an old boyfriend, investors will come running back to these old reliables as soon as they have a fight with their new squeeze. AFL is certainly famous enough and trades right in line with the industry in p/e (14.72) but is growing about 10% faster than most. May $45 are $2.05. If they ever stop spending money on advertising, their cash flow should skyrocket! I meant to write this last week and there's a post-it on my screen with PGR (car insurance) written on it. They got a Bernstein upgrade last week (c'est la vie) and stopped at the 5% rule at $24. These guys are NOT doing a good job of growing but they have been unduly punished for it and have fallen way behind the sector. Jan '08 $25s are $2.05 and I'm not selling against them until they test $25. PRU got away from us last week but CB has made such a mess of their year that they are getting no respect, despite trading at a 20% discount (p/e 10) and, at $20Bn, being a more attractive takeover target. They are buying back 5% of their stock so the Jan '08 $52.50s for $4.50 seem safe(ish) but I won't rest easy until they break the 50 dma at $52.75. I am dumbfounded that GNW is still at $32! They added 13% to the bottom line this year and project another 10% next year on about 8% more sales. They missed last Q and I sometimes wonder if my love of this old GE division clouds my judgment but I have to take the Mar $35s for $.75. They should have a tough time at the 200 dma with a death cross 50 dma at $33.75 but there are 9M shorts who will be in a 5 day "House of Pain" if they break it. According to Yahoo, this stock is 101% held by institutions. Good luck to the retail shorts getting out of those positions if it takes off... I'm in no hurry on this one as I will happily get other $35s once it breaks out! TWGP just came down to where I want it with the Jan $35s at .85 that were $2 just 2 months ago before a 48% increase in earnings caused the stock to drop 20% as the company lowered guidance by a penny (I know, people are idiots!). I'm very sorry I missed it then! ALL is being probed in CT for pulling new policies in CT, NJ and DE as they are looking to get out of the storm business. Don't they have the right not to insure? Well the way they are doing it is sneaky - they are requiring Connecticut homeowners to install hurricane shutters to maintain coverage. That way they get to say you left them, they didn't kick you out! As an insured I say Boo! to the evil corporation but, as a shareholder, I say "why insure people we might have to pay?" If they come down closer to $63 I want the July $65s, hopefully for $1.50.
 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Italian Cases Soar Past 300 As EU Stubbornly Refuses To Close Borders; 10 Dead: Live Updates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Summary:

  • WHO warns the rest of the world "is not ready for the virus to spread..."

  • CDC warns Americans "should prepare for possible community spread" of virus.

  • Italy cases spike to 322; deaths hit 10

  • HHS Sec. Azar warns US lacks stockpiles of masks

  • Italy Hotel in Lockdown ...



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Phil's Favorites

World economy flashes red over coronavirus - with strange echoes of 1880s Yellow Peril hysteria

 

World economy flashes red over coronavirus – with strange echoes of 1880s Yellow Peril hysteria

Courtesy of John Weeks, SOAS, University of London

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, travel restrictions are being imposed around the world. China is the main target, with various countries including Australia, Canada and the US placing different restrictions on people who have travelled through the country ...



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Biotech & Health

World economy flashes red over coronavirus - with strange echoes of 1880s Yellow Peril hysteria

 

World economy flashes red over coronavirus – with strange echoes of 1880s Yellow Peril hysteria

Courtesy of John Weeks, SOAS, University of London

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, travel restrictions are being imposed around the world. China is the main target, with various countries including Australia, Canada and the US placing different restrictions on people who have travelled through the country ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Dow Industrials Reversal Lower Could Be Double Whammy for Stock Bulls!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Dow Jones Industrial Average “monthly” Chart

The Dow Industrials have spent the past 70 years in a wide rising price channel marked by each (1). And the past 25 years have seen prices test and pull back from the upper end of that channel.

The current bull market cycle has seen stocks rise sharply off the 2009 lows toward the upper end of that channel once more.

In fact, the Dow has been hovering near the topside of that price channel for several months.

But just as the Dow is kissing the top of this channel, it might be creating back-to-back “monthly” bearish ...



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Insider Scoop

Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For February 25, 2020

Courtesy of Benzinga

Upgrades
  • Sidoti & Co. changed the rating for FormFactor Inc (NASDAQ: FORM) from Neutral to Buy. For the fourth quarter, FormFactor had an EPS of $0.41, compared to year-ago quarter EPS of $0.31. The stock has a 52-week-high of $28.58 and a 52-week-low of $14.20. FormFactor's stock last closed at $23.16 per share.
Downgrades
  • Dougherty downgraded the stock for Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE: PANW) from Buy to Neutral. Palo Alto Networks earned $1.19 in the second quarter. The stock has a...


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The Technical Traders

Yield Curve Patterns - What To Expect In 2020

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Quite a bit of information can be gleaned from the US Treasury Yield Curve charts.  There are two very interesting components that we identified from the Yield Curve charts below.  First, the bottom in late 2018 was a very important price bottom in the US markets.  That low presented a very deep bottom in the Yield Curve 30Y-10Y chart.  We believe this bottom set up a very dynamic shift in the capital markets that present the current risk factor throughout must of the rest of the world.  Second, this same December 2018 price bottom set up a very unique consolidation pattern on the 10Y-3Y Yield Curve chart.  This pattern has been seen before, in late 1997-1998 and late 2005-2008.

...

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Chart School

Oil cycle leads the stock cycle

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Sure correlation is not causation, but this chart should be known by you.

We all know the world economy was waiting for a pin to prick the 'everything bubble', but no one had any idea of what the pin would look like.

Hence this is why the story of the black swan is so relevant.






There is massive debt behind the record high stock markets, there so much debt the political will required to allow central banks to print trillions to cover losses will likely effect elections. The point is printing money to cover billions is unlikely to upset anyone, however printing trillions will. In 2007 it was billions, in 202X it ...

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Members' Corner

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

 

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

Courtesy of David Brin, Contrary Brin Blog 

Fascinating and important to consider, since it is probably one of the reasons why the world aristocracy is pulling its all-out putsch right now… “Trillions will be inherited over the coming decades, further widening the wealth gap,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The beneficiaries aren’t all that young themselves. From 1989 to 2016, U.S. households inherited more than $8.5 trillion. Over that time, the average age of recipients rose by a decade to 51. More ...



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Digital Currencies

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

 

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

‘We have you surrounded!’ Wit Olszewski

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, Manchester Metropolitan University and Richard Whittle, Manchester Metropolitan University

When bitcoin was trading at the dizzying heights of almost US$2...



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ValueWalk

What US companies are saying about coronavirus impact

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

With the coronavirus outbreak coinciding with the U.S. earnings seasons, it is only normal to expect companies to talk about this deadly virus in their earnings conference calls. In fact, many major U.S. companies not only talked about coronavirus, but also warned about its potential impact on their financial numbers.

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Coronavirus impact: many US companies unclear

According to ...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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