Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Follow By Email and Notifications of Comments/Interactive Brokers

My posts are not being sent by Google to those who signed up for "follow by email" since my posts exceed Google's word limit. 

Readers will be notified of comments after checking the "notify me" box, but that box only appears when you are signed in. Google has to know who you are and where to send the notifications by email. 

This post may be forwarded since it is short. 

I noticed this morning that Interactive Brokers did not claim my tax treaty rights to a 15% withholding rate for dividends recently paid by Roche (Switzerland) and Orkla (Norway). Fidelity claimed the 15% tax treaty limit for both dividends. 

Norway withheld 25% from my Orkla dividend paid into my IB account, and Switzerland claimed 35% of my Roche dividend. This is a list of dividends payments that were credited to me yesterday in this IB account, though the Roche dividend is dated earlier. The GJS and GJP distributions are actually interest payments and should have been noted in the interest payment section.  

In my last post, I had a snapshot of the RHHBY withholding tax paid into my Fidelity account that shows a 15% withholding rate. 

This is a snapshot of an Orkla dividend received in a Fidelity account: 

With the recent lowering of commission rates at Fidelity and Schwab to $4.95, the advantages of IB have more than disappeared for most trades given its poorly designed website, lack of research, and its refusal to provide real time quotes unless the investor forks over more cash. The IB commission can be higher if more shares are bought. Both Fidelity and Schwab gave me 500 free trades after I deposited more money with them. Free is better than IB's commission rate. 

I will not be adding anymore cash to my IB account. That account is now relegated to what I call a satellite taxable account. I now view IB as inferior to Fidelity and Schwab.  

MACK: In a comment to this post, I discussed selling 50 of 150 MACK shares at $3.9:  


  1. South Gent,

    This is just an fyi. I don't get email notification of your new post although I have already signed up for "Follow by Email" and confirmed by the following message:

    "... is already subscribed to the mailing list of Stocks, Bonds & Politics"

    Since your blog is part of my daily read the notification issue does not bother me at all.

    1. Y: LMH contacted Google and was told that my blogs were about 4 times too long to be forwarded by email.

    2. I did find that out.

      I have been getting notifications though of the comments. So by adding that you've written a new blog entry, I then come here, re-check the notify-me, and I get the comments up dates and know there's there's a new blog to read.

      It is correct that I don't emails of the new blog entries. Not this one either. So maybe it wasn't the length preventing it.

      Where I've had problems is that I don't stay logged into google constantly. Or sometimes google logs me out on it's own. Then even though I've clicked notify me and it knows perfectly well where to email to, it stops these notifications even when the sign out was somewhere else on the internet.

      However, overall it's working well enough for me. I just really have to remember to save my posts before posting, for those instances where they disappear instead of being sent to moderation.

    3. LMH: There is usually a one day lag to get the post by email. So if you get this post tomorrow by email, the problem is length.

  2. The Swiss France started a move above parity with the USD yesterday and is surging this morning.

    CHF/USD 1.0114 +0.79%

    Possibly, this price movement is related to Donald's mouth.

    The precious metals are also trading higher this morning. The CHF is frequently viewed as a safe haven currency but its value since 2011 has been undermined by the extremely abnormal monetary policies of the Swiss National Bank.

    Although I have not mentioned it, the Nestle ADR has been jaunting up in price over the past several days:

    Nestlé S.A. (NSRGY)
    $82.97+1.36 (+1.67%)
    As of 9:30AM EDT

    Ordinary Shares in CHFs:

    CHF82.05+0.75 (+0.92%)
    As of 3:32PM CEST

    The ADR is going up more due to rise in the CHF/USD conversion rate.

    I own 50 NSRGY at an average cost per share of $67.86.

  3. MACK: While my small cap biotech basket strategy is immaterial to me in its totality, some readers are interested in what I am doing, recognizing that I really don't know what I am doing in that sector.

    I sold yesterday my 50 shares of MACK, held in my IB account, at $3.9, recognizing a whopping $12.99 profit and bringing my total MACK trading profits up to $145.46.

    I own another 100 shares in my Schwab taxable account, bought with commission free trades, with the last purchase made at $3.85:


    MACK is about to go ex dividend for an approximate distribution of $1.06 per share. That will increase my unrealized loss for my remaining 100 shares and will create a tax event.

    The general idea is to buy the 50 shares back in the Schwab account at some point subsequent to the ex dividend date, probably somewhere in the $2.5 to $2.7 range. I have requested that Schwab reinvest the dividend.

    The ex dividend date is strange:


    The money for the dividend comes from a recent closed transaction with another drug company:


    Currently, the market is not pricing into the current price any meaningful success from the pipeline compounds or any significant future milestone payments for ONIVYDE, which could go up to $450M.

  4. I watched enough of McMaster's news conference this morning to now characterize as an effective spin artist for Trump. I find him evasive and disingenuous. Just another Spin Doctor.

    He repeatedly refused to answer the yes or no question about whether Trump leaked classified information to the Russians.

    He also claimed repeatedly that he had not misled the public yesterday with his straw man argument.

    Instead, he stated that the information discussed was entirely appropriate in his opinion and even suggested that it was publicly available. If the later was the case, why not answer the yes or not question with a simple no.

    He claimed that the leaks about the purported publicly available information was the real national security threat.

    He is not someone that I will take seriously anymore. Others can make up their own minds. I just turned the TV off, having heard enough from him.

  5. PFE: I noticed that Citigroup today changed its recommendation to sell and lowered its price target to $31.

    $32.63 -0.49 -1.48%
    Last Updated: May 16, 2017 at 12:25 p.m. EDT

    While I have reduced my PFE position, I still own 132+ shares and I am reinvesting the dividends.

    3. Continued Paring Stock Allocation:
    A. Sold 100+ PFE at $34.65:

    As I have pointed out many times, Pfizer now has a market capitalization far less than the sum of its acquisitions starting with Warner Lambert in 1999. The company has overpaid for most acquisitions, and those acquisitions were done to compensate from Pfizer's inability to invent in house.

    I view the stock as a bond substitute. The dividend yield is greater than the yield on its bonds. A 3% PFE SU bond maturing in December 2026 has about a 3.04% yield at the last trade price:


    The common stock has a yield of about 3.93% at the last trade price:


  6. Another explosive article was just published in the NYT.

    "Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation"

    "Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations."


    A special prosecutor can not now be credibly avoided by the republican politicians who are shielding Trump.

    If the article contains true statements, then that is even more evidence of a criminal obstruction of justice. truestatement

  7. SVNLY: I sold my position, held in my IB account, at $9.23 today since I am now confident that IB will allow France to withhold 30% as a tax rather than the allowed 15%. The annual dividend goes ex-dividend on the 18th:


    If I buy that stock back, it will be in my Fidelity account where 15% has been withheld from dividends paid by other French companies.

    I bought this 50 share lot at $7.24 last January:

    Item # 5

  8. The NYT is reporting that Israel was the source of the classified information leaked by Trump to the Russians.

    "Former Mossad chief: Israel will "think twice" before sharing sensitive info"


  9. I did not listen to McMaster's news conference in its entirety. I listened to enough to size up the man.

    I consequently did not hear him say the following:

    QUESTION: General, when was the decision made to share that information with the Russians? Did the president spontaneously on the spot decide to give that information over, or was there an inter-agency process or some kind of formal decision-making process in advance of that meeting with the Russians last week?

    MCMASTER: It is wholly appropriate for the president to share whatever information he thinks is necessary to advance the security of the American people. That's what he did."

    Whatever Trump decides to disclose, including his spur of the moment decisions to provide an adversary with highly classified information, makes the disclosure wholly appropriate. The standard advocated by this National Security Advisor is that Trump can share anything simply because he was elected President.

    Trump and his advisors also said the courts could not question the constitutionality of his executive orders.

    The Washington Post has now run a story containing the same information relating to the purported Comey memo.

    " Notes made by former FBI Director Comey say Trump pressured him to end Flynn probe"


  10. The Stock Jocks apparently have taken note of the Comey memo disclosure after ignoring just about everything else.

    E-Mini S&P 500 Future Jun 2017
    2,382.50 -14.50 -0.60%
    Last Updated: May 16, 2017 at 7:26 p.m. CDT


    That contract has been falling slowly since the NYT broke the story that Comey was claiming that Trump had asked him to stop the Flynn investigation.

    The decline is not material yet and investors may be back into the rally mood before the market opens tomorrow. The reaction is different than to the early story about Trump disclosing classified information which was a total non-event for the market.

    The S&P 500 Index closed today at 2,400.67, down .07%.

    Gold is rising some in price.

    The ten year treasury is making a noticeable move down in yield, crossing back below 2.3%:


  11. Now futures are moving back up from that lower point (-.6%). There could even be a rally over this, with the way this market has moved.

    Along with McMaster, I saw some reps with talking points to defend him. I can see being partisan, but I can't understand people who support outright stuff they wouldn't tolerant if it was done to them in their personal life. It's like they're on a path and can't stop to look at what they're defending and whether they really think it's defensible. Maybe they think Trump will make them ultra rich with his policies... so better defend him. The loyalty is overwhelming and seems so odd.

    1. LMH: It is too early to say one way or the other whether this Comey memo will cause the Stock Jocks to hit the brakes and slam the runaway train into reverse.

      Nothing else has caused them to re-evaluate their beliefs that economic nirvana is just around the corner, with Donald as our savior who after all inherited a big mess from Obama.


  12. Big move in pre-market trading for the ten year treasury:

    U.S. 10 Year Treasury Note
    2.257% -0.071
    Last Updated: May 17, 2017 at 9:04 a.m. EDT

  13. Maybe the Stock Jocks are starting to think about the possibility that the herd consensus opinion about the future may be off the mark some.

    Dow 30
    20,695.58-284.17 (-1.35%)
    As of 10:58AM EDT.

    6,061.68-108.19 (-1.75%)
    As of 10:59AM EDT


    OMER (own 60 shares): This is one of my positions in the small cap lottery ticket basket.

    $16.64 +1.69 (+11.27%)
    As of 10:57AM EDT.

    The rise today is based on this news release:


  14. An eloquent op-ed in yesterday's NYT by Ross Douthat on Trump's unfitness for office:


    "There will be more talk of impeachment now, more talk of a special prosecutor for the Russia business; well and good. But ultimately I do not believe that our president sufficiently understands the nature of the office that he holds, the nature of the legal constraints that are supposed to bind him, perhaps even the nature of normal human interactions, to be guilty of obstruction of justice in the Nixonian or even Clintonian sense of the phrase. I do not believe he is really capable of the behind-the-scenes conspiring that the darker Russia theories envision. And it is hard to betray an oath of office whose obligations you evince no sign of really understanding or respecting."

    1. Cathie: There is a zero percent chance that Trump will be removed under the 25th Amendment based on what we know now.

      If he does a Rickie Bobby, and starts to run round in his underwear claiming that he is on fire or that the "liberals" and Fake News media have placed listening devices in his head, then maybe a few republicans will start to think along those lines.

      It is impossible for me to see Pence and a majority of Trump's cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment procedure. And, if that by chance happened, Trump would object and then it would require a 2/3rds of both the Senate and the House to remove him.

      Section 4:

      I have used this Rickie Bobby analogy previously:

      He is IMO clearly unfit to be President, but that was clearly apparent before 62.97+M voters put him in that position and has only become more so since the election.

      When it comes to the Russian investigation, he is not acting like an innocent man and more shoes are likely to drop.

      I suspect he understands what he has done, but believes he is untouchable which is the case for as long as the GOP controls the Executive Branch, particularly the Justice Department, and both houses of Congress.

      Trump is doing what he can to make Pelosi Speaker of the House again after the 2018 election.

      Trump is not in jeopardy IMO based on what we know now, including the Comey memo, because he will be protected and shielded by the republican politicians.

  15. I decided this morning to increase my allocation to high quality Tennessee municipal bonds by another $10K.

    Schwab pays me .05% for funds left in my sweep account so I have been using spare cash in that account to buy Tennessee municipals.

    While Schwab charges more than Fidelity when the order is for less than 10 bonds, given its $10 minimum charge at $1 per bond, Fidelity does not have in its "inventory" a large number of bonds including any from the Tennessee Housing Development Authority.

    If the municipal bond is not in Fidelity's inventory, no order will be accepted on online for that bond.

    Schwab has several bonds from that issuer. I discussed buying 5 of the 2041 here:

    Item # 1.G. Bought 5 Tennessee Housing Development Agency 3.25% Bonds Maturing on 7/1/41:

    Today, I bought 5 of the 2.55% Tennessee Housing Development bonds that mature on 7/1/27, rated at AA+ by S & P and Aa1 by Moody's:


    My YTM is 2.627%. The offering statement says the interest is both federally tax free and AMT free.

    I am not allowed to place a bid for a municipal online at either Fidelity or Schwab. I have to accept the offer or call the bond desk which would raise my commission rate at Schwab ($25 plus the online rate)


    Since this bond rarely trades as shown in the trade activity section at EMMA, that option, besides costing me more, would likely end in repeated and time consuming failures.


    While the Stock Jocks are hyper-ventilating today, and higher quality bonds are experiencing a good rally, some of the suppositions and fears are not grounded in reality.

    For example, there is not a single republican in the House that will request the initiation of an impeachment proceeding against Trump.

    The odds of Trump being impeached based on what we know now is zero, and that assumes that the Comey memo exists and he will testify under oath to its contents.

    Instead, the republicans will simply attack Comey and may even have Sessions indict Comey for failing to immediately report to the Justice Department Trump's purported effort to obstruct justice. I have already started to see some legal arguments along those lines.

    The other part of the strategy will to focus attention more on the leaks, calling the whole deal a liberal conspiracy to overturn the election results by a bunch of sore losers, and dismissing any statement actually made by Trump as a joke, more locker room talk among the boys. I am already seeing that last line of argument being taken by several republicans. Trump will of course deny anything that is substantive even if a tape is produced with his voice on it.

    The Democrats can howl in the wind about impeachment or appointing a special prosecutor and will not achieve either objective for as long as the GOP remains in control of the Executive Branch and both Houses of Congress.

    iShares Trust - iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF)
    107.08+0.82 (+0.77%)
    As of 1:51PM EDT

  16. In addition to investment grade bonds and precious metals, several stock sectors, mostly those with some bond like characteristics, held up well.

    Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ)
    $81.26 +0.29 (+0.36%)
    At close: 4:00PM EDT

    I have been slightly increasing my REIT exposure. REITs are my largest stock sector.

    The Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF Fund (XLU)
    $51.72 +0.15 (+0.28%)
    At close: 4:00PM EDT

    The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF Fund (XLP)
    $55.000 -0.09 (-0.16%)
    At close: 4:00PM EDT

    XLP was in positive territory until the last few minutes.

    KO is probably my largest consumer stable position:

    The Coca-Cola Company (KO)
    $43.945+0.10 (+0.22%)
    At close: 4:00PM EDT

    S&P 500: 2,357.03 -43.64 (-1.82%)
    At close: 4:05PM EDT

    With the decline in interest rates, regional bank stocks were hit harder today than the major stock indexes:

    SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE)
    $51.91-2.36 (-4.35%)
    At close: 4:00PM EDT

    I have been saying for weeks, as I slashed my exposure to this sector, that NIM was not expanding and was likely to contract some. Intermediate and long term rates have been coming down as short term rates have gone up, squeezing NIM more rather than less.

    Investors were and still are pricing a substantial increase in NIM, along with no emerging problems on the non-performing loans and charge-off categories. The Stock Jocks place the odds of a recession within two years at zero.

  17. The Deputy Attorney General has appointed the former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be the special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation.

    Mueller has been given the authority to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump’’.

    This should quiet some of the noise, but will not be a positive for Trump if he has something to hide.

    Mueller was the FBI's Director under Bush Jr. and Obama for several years. In the past, he was an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's criminal division and a U.S. prosecutor for the Northern District of California.


    Cisco, a DJIA component, is sliding in after hours trading after giving weak guidance.

    $31.06 -2.76 (-8.16%)
    After hours: 6:15PM EDT

    I recently sold 30 shares and kept 50 bought at a total cost per share of $23.14 (1/21/16):

    B. Sold 30 of 80 CISCO at $34.14:


  18. The WP just published another interesting story.

    "House majority leader to colleagues in 2016: ‘I think Putin pays’ Trump":

    “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016 exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia.

    Paul Ryan stopped McCarthy from saying anything further on that subject and swore all present to secrecy.

    1. Some Washington Post stories are republished at MSN. The story referenced in the prior comment can be found here for non-WP subscribers.


    2. This could be a scene straight out of The Godfather:

      “No leaks, alright?,” Ryan said, adding: “This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

      “That’s how you know that we’re tight,” Scalise said.

      “What’s said in the family stays in the family,” Ryan added.

  19. I have published a new post: