Wednesday, October 9, 2013

VIX/Senator Coburn (R-OKLA)-The U.S. Government's Failure to Pay Any Lawful Obligation is a Default/Sold 50 VEU at $48.1/Sold 100 USMV at 33.07/Bought 150 ACG-$6.975-Regular IRA/ Sold 100 LBAI at $11.04/

The font sizes in this post for some reason moved from small to large which required me to reset the font size to large for the entire post rather than the normal font size. 

Notwithstanding the small decline yesterday, the stock market continues to believe that the politicians will work out their differences without causing significant harm to the economy. That may end up happening, but I would not assign a 100% probability to that scenario. When making asset allocations, I will always assign ranges to possible and probable outcomes, and will attempt to design asset allocations based on alternate scenarios. 

If there is a 5% to 20% possibility of a 30% to 50% decline in the stock market, I can not ignore that assignment when making my allocations. If the debt limit is not raised, and the government shutdown continues for three or more weeks, the odds of a 30%+ plus decline is a very real risk. 

As noted below, the Treasury is simply not set up to prioritize payments and chaos will ensue without a raise in the debt limit. Since government spending has accounted on average for about 1/5th of GDP since 1965 (Chart), the ripple effect in the economy would be severe. More recently, government spending has accounted for almost 23% of GDP. YCharts

I am also naturally cautious, predisposed to assuming irrational behavior, a practitioner of turtle investing which requires moving the soft tissue back into the shell whenever there is danger.

So far, I have only made minor adjustments. Why minor? I have not seen enough yet that makes it likely that Washington politicians will use nuclear weapons on their constituents.

Given the dysfunction in Washington, and the interest in my response, I am publishing posts whenever I finish writing one. I will go back to the regular Saturday morning publication when and if a measure of sanity returns.

"Many in G.O.P. Offer Theory - Default Wouldn’t Be That Bad" -

Big Picture Synopsis:


Stable Vix Pattern:

Volatility is spiking. The VIX closed over 20 yesterday. The Stable Vix Pattern is still in force under my Vix Asset Allocation Model until there is a Trigger Event which requires a spike into the high 20s lasting for several days.

Short Term: Expecting a 10%+ Correction
Intermediate and Long Term: Bullish

I continue to take chips off the table in response to the ongoing political dysfunction. Even if the current conflicts are resolved, I have to question whether the U.S. is even capable of rationally governing itself. 

These incidences will likely occur with increasing regularity. Dysfunction is increasing and is the new normal.  

How much time would the next deal give us before taking us through the old Wringer Washer again, Wringer Washer Demonstration - YouTube Maybe a year at the outside. I remember those wringer washers. Ours was not as fancy as the one shown in that video.

From the GOP's point of view, they are making a concession to the Democrats by agreeing to a debt limit increase in exchange for more discretionary spending reductions than the $90+B already required by the existing sequestration law during F/Y 2014.

If the Democrats do not agree, the GOP will not grant their concessions which consists of reopening the government and allowing the treasury to pay all U.S. government obligations approved by Congress and signed into law by the various Presidents.

For a starter, to show their good faith, the Democrats need to gut Obamacare, the President's signature legislation, and then give up more of their precious social program spending down the road in a few weeks or months.

As anyone can see, the Democrats are being unreasonable in refusing to negotiate.  

The ultimate way to resolve the problems would be with the creation of a third political party. The name "American Independent Party", which sounds about right, is already taken by a far right wing organization that calls itself the "fastest" growing party in the U.S. American Independent Party 

So, the new third party could be called something like the "Sensible Party", or "I am Not an Idiot" party,  or the "Sane Party". I am inclined to recommend the later as a brand. The GOP is always concerned about its "brand" or "branding", and I have learned a great deal from them over the years about Madison Avenue mind control. 

The new party would then need to win a majority of seats in the House, secure 60 Senate seats and the Presidency. This is not going to happen of course. 

So back to hoping that the Democrats and Republicans can agree on a host of initiatives that are sensible, fair and likely to work long term. Did anyone just chuckle? 

One of the typical GOP solutions, their voucher plan for Medicare, approved by virtually all of them in 2011, is fair only for those who define fair as a plan deliberately designed to bankrupt the middle class in their golden years while giving more tax breaks to the top 1%. CBO: Seniors Would Pay Much More For Medicare Under Ryan Plan - Kaiser Health NewsStocks, Bonds & Politics:  GOP's Plan To Bankrupt the Middle Class

The Koch brothers view that as fair.

Has there ever been a single vote that so defined the modern day GOP as their near unanimous vote approving the Ryan budget plan? Final Vote Results for Roll Call 277 I call that vote a gaffe, that is, when politicians tell you exactly what they believe and would like to do provided no one stood in their way.


Before reading Frank Bruni's column in the NYT, I had noticed a number of comments by partisans from each tribe comparing the other side to Nazis. Senator Ted Cruz (TB-TEXAS) was one of the GOP offenders, who basically said that a refusal by GOP members to stop Obamacare would be analogous to rolling over for Hitler and the Third Reich. He is serious.

The Chairman of the California Democratic party compared  Paul Ryan to Joseph Goebbels after Ryan gave a usual fact challenged speech.

Needless to say, those kind of comments made by both sides are not conducive to conflict resolution and accomplish nothing other than inflaming passions.

I would admit, and it is painfully obvious, that it is impossible to have a reasonable fact-based discussion with an ideologue. Zealots, particularly those who are both ignorant and stupid, are not subject to persuasion with cogent fact-based arguments and view compromise as a dirty word.


Short Term: Bullish

Intermediate and Long Term: Slightly Bearish 

I have changed my short term outlook based on sluggish economic data and a possible upcoming flight to bonds and away from stocks due to the ongoing dysfunction in Washington. 

So far, bonds have benefited from the recent decision by the Federal Reserve to continue its asset buying spree at $85B per month.

China and Japan have startied to speak out about the political dysfunction in the U.S. Reuters Those two nations own $2.412 trillion in U.S. treasuries.

Why listen to a bunch of foreigners trying to tell us to be sensible? Owning U.S. paper is their problem, not ours. Isn't there some kind of saying on this issue? Now I remember it. "If you owe a bank thousands, you have a problem; owe a bank millions, the bank has a problem", attributed to John Maynard Keynes.

Besides, the Federal Reserve is buying up all of the outstanding paper anyway with newly created money and will eventually own all of it? So who cares? If any of those nations are unhappy, sell that paper to Uncle Ben who is buying hand over fist. 

The FED's balance sheet is approaching $3.5T. System Open Market Account Holdings - Federal Reserve Bank of New York  

As noted earlier, I am estimating that the normal 10 year treasury would be yielding now 4% to 4.25% in the absence of Federal Reserve intervention in the market, based on current inflation expectations embodied in the 10 year TIP. That estimation is based on the historical 10 year yield, determined in a free market, will average 2%-2.25% over the anticipated inflation rate. 

For each .25% rise in that annual inflation expectation above 2.25%, I would raise that normalized nominal 10 yield treasury yield by .25%. 

I would raise the 2.%-2.25% spread to anticipated inflation even higher during periods where inflation expectations are increasing rapidly higher, since such events create more uncertainty and consequently require larger than normal spreads to compensate for the inflation risk.


Recent Developments:

IMF cut its global growth forecast again.

Liz Ann Sonders believes the the U.S. economy is ready for lift off provided politicians do not interfere. Daily Ticker - YF I would disagree with her lift off comment. Politicians could send the economy into a recession next year by prolonging a government shutdown. A depression is a possibility with a failure to increase the debt ceiling lasting for several weeks.

In a recent poll, 38% of the respondents thought it would be a good thing to refuse a debt ceiling increase. CNN Poll

Among republicans, 52% favor no debt limit increase.  CNN Does that surprise anyone?

"What default? Republicans downplay impact of U.S. debt limit" | Reuters

Norm Ornstein offered one possible solution to the political dysfunction in a YF interview last Tuesday which involves bringing back what is known at the McConnell Rule, named after the republican's Senate's minority leader. New Republic Ornstein wrote a book titled "It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism": Thomas E. Mann, Norman J. Ornstein Books (May 2012)

The GOP's argument is that a default involving numerous federal obligations will be in the nation's best interest provided the nation continues to pay interest on the debt.

Maybe the treasury can start its prioritization by eliminating all payments owed to those 38% including Medicare, farm subsidies, etc. I am certain that they would all come forward and agree to surrender their benefits, including those embodied in the tax code sometimes referred to as tax expenditures, that would allow Uncle Sam to pay most everyone else and to raise more revenue at the same time through the elimination of tax breaks.

The republican Congressman from Iowa, Steve King, who was featured last week, is not worried about a failure to increase the debt ceiling, claiming that the Democrats were engaged in "false demagoguery". CNN Fortunately for King, no one asked him to spell "demagoguery".

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) told us over the weekend that it was just nonsense to talk about a U.S. default. In his view, the U.S. would still make "interest payments" on the national debt. USAToday I am sure that it was an oversight that the senator from Oklahoma neglected to mention "principal" payments and all other financial obligations of the U.S. government under law.

Senator Coburn has openly discussed impeaching his good friend President Obama. WP; POLITICO August 2013).

Senator Coburn is on to something here. If the Obama administration violates the law by failing to make other required payments after the House fails to increase the debt limit, while making the interest payments, then the House Republicans could impeach Obama for failing to carry out his Oath of Office. Maybe that is the plan, just possibility the most sensible idea that I have heard from them. Makes sense in a perverse kind of way. I can not wait to hear what the faux blondes at Fox "news" have to say on the subject.

I would be curious to know the legal authority that allows the treasury to pay some obligations and to default on others, what David Stockman calls prioritizing. (see discussions at NYTBusiness InsiderReuters)

Maybe David needs to read the Prompt Payment Act, 31 U.S.C. Sections 3901-3907, U.S.C. Title 31, though that would be too much to ask of an old cranky white guy.

Jon Stewart had an interesting take on the GOP's prioritization argument: 
Comedy Central

Bartlett linked another good read on the subject for the TBs: Dorf

Joe Nocera observed in his NYT opinion column that the Tea Party republicans want the U.S. to default. One only has to listen to confirm that observation.

The republican Bruce Bartlett points out the practical difficulties in prioritizing payments,  NYT. No fact will have an impact on a TB's opinion so Bartlett is wasting his time. The Treasury pointed out to the republican Senator Hatch that there is no way to prioritize the 80 million payments per month made by the treasury. at pages 5-6 .pdf The treasury told Boehner already that the failure to pay any lawful obligation was a default. Boehner.pdf

Just forget about all that nonsense, full speed ahead toward mutually assured destruction.

The "conservative intellectuals" believe that a refusal to raise the debt limit is one way to tame the Leviathan. I did discuss in the prior post that a failure to pay any lawful obligation should be considered a default by the U.S. government. Without question, the U.S. would have to default on lawful obligations without a debt limit increase. The only questions are the laws that the treasury will have to break.

For the millions of voters, reneging on the obligations of the U.S. government, is just one of their ways to tame the Leviathan, one of the new words apparently learned by them during the recent budget impasse and finding increasing use by those advocating no debt limit increase at the YF message boards and in the comment sections to WSJ articles.

One way to wake up the older TBs is to cut their SS benefits. The Social Security Administration issued a warning earlier this week that it could not guarantee full payment of its SS obligations if Congress refused to raise the debt ceiling. WSJ

Yes, hit him where it hurts, and maybe a brain cell will activate somewhere causing the light bulb to go off for the time since birth, producing the following revelation: "Gosh, do you mean something could happen to me. Yeah, I get it now."

The treasury will make those SS payments if it is possible to do so. Somebody else will need to be stiffed by the government other than the seniors who vote in droves.

The other brain dead way offered by them is a Constitutional Amendment requiring a balanced budget. It does not matter that their representatives, who control the House, could not even come up with appropriations bills within the existing sequester limits.

If  a TB wants to balance the budget, have at it with the calculators at this website: Budget Simulator | Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Explain then how you are going to gut Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Defense Spending, etc to arrive your Holy Grail.

Harry Reid started last Monday the process toward a Senate vote on a clean CR. He believes that he has the votes to stop a GOP filibuster. Senate Dems to call GOP’s bluff on debt limit

Boehner will not allow the House to vote on a clear CR. If he did, the radicals would find a new Speaker willing to tow the line. 

A number of Republican senators will oppose a clear CR for the same reason as their House compadres. One of them, Texas Senator John Cornyn (TB-R), promised to offer a lot of amendments in an effort to make it unclean Capitol Report - MarketWatch

I would add again that a clean CR vote is anathema to most Democrats since it would include over $90 billion in discretionary spending cuts due to the ongoing sequestration. The GOP wants more. 

A letter released by a spokesperson for Harry Reid last week highlights the lack of trust. NYT That letter called Boehner a liar. Hardly a way to facilitate an atmosphere conducive to conflict resolution. 


Colorado "conservatives" are contemplating severing their ties with that state and forming a new one more to their liking which they plan to call "New Colorado". NYT Their motto will be "Gun Control is Hitting Your Target". Eleven eastern counties are up for grabs. 

Rather than forming a new state, our RB pointed out that it would be easier to allow either Mississippi or Alabama to annex those 11 Colorado counties. Whichever of those two states loses out on that first annexation can have the third congressional district now represented by Scott Tippin: Colorado’s Members of Congress & Congressional District Map -

It is not clear from reading that NYT article whether those citizens will resort to their Second Amendment remedies as advocated by the republican's former candidate for Harry Reid's senate seat. 

We all fondly remember Sharron Angle who ran against Harry Reid for the Nevada U.S. Senate. What a gift for Harry! The Nevada republicans would have been better off picking a name out of the Las Vegas phone book. 

In the GOP primary, it had to be a difficult choice for Nevada republicans, Sharron Angle or the chicken lady Sue Lowden

Sue is at least attractive, about the OG's age too, and may not even believe in armed insurrection against the U.S. 

Sue was the business candidate. She did have that chicken issue however, just one of best GOP free market alternatives to Obamacare: 'Chickens For Checkups' Proposal That must have been a toss up for Nevada's republicans, but not really. Sharon beat Sue with about 14% more votes. The majority of Nevada republicans were apparently unconvinced that chicken barter for healthcare was a better idea than armed insurrection against the United States unless you got your way.  

I understand Sue. I know the history of chicken barter for medical services because that is how my great granddad was paid more than a century or so ago. It certainly has appeal to those living in the Nineteenth Century today. I wonder how they do that.

Back around 1900, my great granddad was a country doctor in Hickman County Tennessee. His patients did not have any money but they did have chickens that could be used in barter for medical services.

As I recall, setting a broken arm was worth one chicken or three rabbits and squirrels, mix and match sort of deal.

For those with more serious condition, like heart surgery, it might be necessary to exchange a hog or a cow.

Those city dwellers, who had neither hogs, cows or chickens, would be out of luck. At least he was not asking $400 for a cortisone shot in shoulder which is what Medicare pays my mother's orthopedic doctor while paying her foot doctor about 1/10th as much for the same shot in the foot. Say what?

My great granddad could not offer his medical services for the services of a plumber, one of those city dweller trades for example, since there was no running water in the home and plumbing is not necessary in an outhouse.

Someone with windows might have been able to do a deal as shown in a picture of my great granddad's home taken around 1900 which can be found at Stocks, Bonds & Politics: RB Wants to Tell a Story.

His niece became one of the most prominent songwriter from that era. She left Hickman County for Chicago in 1909, as a young lady, and her story was told in this 1925 magazine article:  My Dreams Come True (1925).pdf


I have to ask myself why the hammer has not come down on people defrauding the government. In a 2010 Post,  I referenced this CBS 60 Minute documentary about Medicare fraud, the most profitable crime in America. "Medicare: A $60 Billion Per Year Fraud -CBS News"

The Obama administration had 3 years to prepare for Obamacare's launch. It just smacks of incompetence to have a large number of technological glitches and errors. (see discussion at; The Atlantic Wire) During the first week, Milwaukee's Health Department was not able to sign up a single person due to the glitches. As in Zero Somebody needs to kick some serious butt.

1. Sold 100 USMV at $33.07 (see Disclaimer):

Sponsor's website: iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (USMV): Overview - iShares

Quote: iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF Fund (USMV)

Snapshot of Trade:

2013 Sold 100 USMV at $33.0742
Snapshot of Profit:

2013 Sold  100 USMV +$370.41
Item # 2 BOUGHT 100 of USMV at $29.29 (July 2012)

Rationale: For the reasons stated in recent posts, I am slightly paring my stock allocation in response to the current political dysfunction in the U.S.

I am liquidating mostly small ETF positions. I am also attempting to select lower yielding securities and positions that can be sold profitably.

I will consider buying back this ETF position when and if the dust settles in Washington.

I can replace the income being lose with these ETF dispositions with bond or bond like securities using less money and generating more income. Over the past 4 quarters, I have received $.777 per share in dividends, varying in amount per quarter, which would equate to a 2.35% dividend yield at a total cost of $33.07

2. Bought 150 ACG at $6.975-Regular IRA (see Disclaimer):

Snapshot of Trade:

Bought 150 ACG at $6.975

Security Description: The AllianceBernstein Income Fund  (ACG) is a leveraged closed end bond fund.

Credit Quality Breakdown as of 8/31/13: The weighting is in investment grade rated bonds with a heavy 69.6% in AAA.

CEFConnect Page for ACG

ACG AllianceBernstein Income Fund Page at Morningstar (currently rated 2 stars)

While rated 2 stars, the first sentence of the report noted that the ACG has an average return of 8.25% since inception. If an investor read the report, and then guessed at the star rating, I doubt that anyone would have guessed lower than 4 stars. The analyst report is available only to Morningstar subscribers.

Data as of Date of Purchase: Monday 10/7/13

Closing Net Asset Value Per Share: $8.24
Closing Market Price: $6.97
Discount to Net Asset Value: -15.41%

The discount expanded to -15.66 as of 10/8/13

On my purchase date, the discount to net asset value was higher than the 1, 3, and 5 year averages which is one relevant criteria supporting a purchase.

Average Discounts as of 10/7/13:

1 Year= -10.01
3 Years= -10.14%
5 Years= -8.02%

This fund has an historically high average discount for a bond fund. A return to a 10% discount with some improvement in net asset value over $8.24 per share, unadjusted for any dividend payments, would likely provoke a sell.

This bond fund closed at $8.21 on 1/2013 with a $8.88 asset value per share.

After adjusting for subsequent monthly dividend payments/accruals of $.3438 per share through 10/7/13 (i.e. adding the dividend back to the current numbers), the market price decline was 10.93%  between 1/2/13 to 10/7/13 while the net asset value per share decline was lower at just 3.33%.

It is helpful to do that kind of calculation when CEFs are under stress. During those periods, it is normal for the market price to fall more than the net asset value per share. That CEF risk characteristic is a disadvantage for the owner prior to the stress event(s) and a potential buying opportunity, short or long term term, for the new buyer.

Last SEC Filed Shareholder Report: AllianceBernstein Income Fund (period ending 6/30/13)

Dividends in 2012 were supported by long term capital gains totaling $72+M (page 63). After utilizing capital loss carryforwards, the fund made a $.52 per share capital gain distribution at the end of 2012, of which .$2282 per share was characterized as a short term capital gain

The expense ratio before leverage costs was reported at .63% (page 64)

The average maturity was 14.69 years as of 8/31/13, with 379 holdings. The diversity and quality of holdings provides a measure of protection against credit risk.

Prior Trades: Fortunately, I did not own this one during 2013 prior to this purchase. I have repeatedly bought and sold it, both at higher levels. The general approach has to be clip a few dividends and then dispose of the shares at relatively small profits.

Item # Sold 400 ACG at $8.44 August 2012-Item # 1 Bought 400 of the Bond CEF ACG at $8.19 May 2012:

2012 ACG 400 Shares +$85.62

Item # 1 Sold 400 ACG at $8.122 (December 2011)-Item # 4 Bought 200 ACG at $7.85 August 2011ADDED 200 OF THE BOND CEF ACG at $7.98 October 2011 POST

Bought 300 of the Bond CEF ACG at $7.63 April 2011Sold 300 of the Bond CEF ACG at $7.82 May 2011:

2011 ACG 700 SHARES +$100.93

Item # 3 Sold 200 ACG at $8.35 August 2010-Item # 7 Added 400 ACG at $7.85 May 2010:

2010 ACG 200 SHARES $58.27

My only prior trade in a retirement account has a spotty discussion in my posts. I apparently sold 400 shares in 2010 that were bought in two 200 share lots:

Bought 200 ACG at $8.12 in Roth IRA May 2010 and Bought 200 ACG in June 2010-Sold in 2010

2010 ROTH IRA +$59.34
Total Realized Profit on the Shares: $304.16

Selling all of those shares turned out to be the right decision.

Rationale: (1) Please note that a 150 share purchase is the lowest number of shares ever purchased in one order. The size of the order reflects my current risk balancing.

Assuming a continuation of the current monthly rate of $.0346 per share, the dividend yield at a total cost of $6.97 per share is about 5.96%. That is better than .01% being paid by the MM fund used as a source of funds.

As noted above, the credit quality is high due to the significant ownership of low yielding U.S. treasuries.

Regardless of the legality of paying some obligations rather than others-prioritization-it would be suicide to skip interest payments owed on U.S. debt or to fail to pay the principal amounts at maturity.

When rationing payments, the treasury will need to violate the law in other areas. As I noted in last week's post, honoring treasury debt obligations after a failure to increase the debt limit could cause treasuries to rise in those circumstances, as risk assets decline in price, due to a "shortage" of treasuries to meet the demand during a flight to safety.

The cause of that shortage would be the Federal Reserve's huge ownership of outstanding treasuries. If all of the foregoing happens, and I am simply outlining one of many possible scenarios, the net asset value per share of ACG may rise. The fund did better than most bond funds in 2008 due to its weighting in treasury securities. The fund decline 4.69% in price that year.

Through 10/7/13, the ten year annualized total return based on NAV was 8.04% The future may be different of course, particularly with treasury yields so low already.

I bought this position in the regular IRA rather than the Roth IRA. If there is a 5% to 10% further decline in market price, I may transfer that position into a ROTH IRA account.  The general idea is that I pay less taxes due to the lower market price at the time of transfer.

Risk: (1) Dividend Cuts: Provided a bond fund wishes to avoid supporting a dividend with the investor's own capital, it is not unusual to see a bond period cut its dividend during a long period of declining rates. As older bonds mature or are redeemed earlier, the reinvestment opportunities would generally be at lower coupons and will consequently produce lower amounts of income. I can not wait to hear the opinions of the faux blondes at Fox "news" on the impeachment issue.

ACG cut its monthly dividend from $.04 per share to $.0346 effective for the August 2013 distribution.

(2) CEF Risks: One major CEF risk is that indiscriminate selling will occur as buying interest drys up during periods of market stress that cause the CEF's holdings to rapidly decline in value, such as the recent spike in intermediate and long term interest rates starting in early May. In those cases, the discount to net asset value per share will expand at a far faster rate than the decrease in net asset value per share.

(3) Interest Rate and Credit Risks: Even with U.S. government obligations, there is credit risks as shown by the incredible discussions now occurring in Washington.

Assuming the U.S. does not default on its debt obligations, the main risks are interest rate and the normal risks associated with CEFs.

The effective duration in years was 8.61% as of 8/31/13. As a rough estimate, I would expect net asset value to go up 8.6% with a 1% decline in interest rates and down 8.6% with a 1% rise. Get to know your bond fund: Duration| Vanguard

3. Sold 100 LBAI at $11.04 (REGIONAL BANK BASKET STRATEGY)(See Disclaimer): As part of my ongoing stock allocation reduction, I decided to sell this small position since this stock is one of the lowest yielding ones in my regional bank basket strategy.

Snapshot of Trade:

2013 Sold 100 LBAI at $11.04

Snapshot of Profit:

2013 LBAI 100 Shares +$142.09

Item # 1 Bought 100 LBAI at $9.46 (April 2013)

I may buy this one back at less than $10.

4. Sold 50 VEU at $48.1 (see Disclaimer): The Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF is another low yielding stock ETF that was sold solely due to my ongoing risk reduction effort. Since 9/28/12, I have received $88.1 in dividends or about a 1.83% dividend yield at a total cost of $48.1 per share. Again, the security was selected for disposition based on its small relative size in the portfolio, the low dividend yield and the decent total realized since my purchase back in February 2012.

I still own 20 shares.

Snapshot of Trade:

2013 Sold 50 VEU at $48.10

Snapshot of History:

Snapshot of Profit:

2013 VEU 50 Shares +$204.95

Item # 3 Bought 50 of the Stock ETF VEU at $44


I will frequently liquidate one or more Vanguard ETFs as a means to reduce my stock allocation. In 2007 for example, I sold all of them, including VEU:

2007 Vanguard ETF Dispositions (VEU +$401.91)

I also flipped a 100 share position in 2010:

2010 VEU 100 Shares +$862.98
BOUGHT 100 VEU at $29.8 April 2009-Sold 100 of the ETF VEU at 38.6-Item # 2 Sold 100 of the ETF VEU at $38.6 June 2010

I also had a far less profitable flip in 2011:

Item # 6 Sold 100 VEU at $49.19 March 2011-Bought:  100 VEU $47.73 (realized gain +$144.55)(trade in taxable Vanguard Brokerage-no brokerage commission)

I will consider buying this low cost ETF back at a lower price when and if the dust settles in Washington.

Total Realized Gains to Date: $1,469.84


A reader pointed out that I had an erroneous link in two prior posts to a magazine gun cartridge. I have corrected both entries with this link: High-Capacity Magazines I do not think that company is selling a toy.

Some states will not allow companies to sell 100 round cartridges online but 50 round magazines are apparently copacetic. There is such high demand for the 100 round cartridge that order fulfillment will be delayed.

Magazine, 100-Round

Apparently, I could also buy a silencer for the automatic weapon.

I want to remind readers that historical links to FINRA information about bonds no longer work. FINRA redesigned their site which caused the old links to no longer work.  

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