Blog News and Recent Portfolio Moves

Three notes on the blog itself.  1) I will be guest-blogging for one post at another site on Thursday.  Won’t say where, but watch for “The Fundamentals of Real Estate Market Bottoms.”  It will be reposted here Thursday evening.  2) I can’t paste certain bits of code in my blog because of a WordPress limitation introduced in version 2.5.  As of now, that won’t be remedied until version 2.9, which as far as I can tell, is a huge update, and is at least half a year off.  3) I have not left RealMoney, though I have not posted there in a while.  I started this blog so that I would have a site with my own distinct voice, and so that I could have greater creative freedom to write about things dearer to me that I felt would not fit the RM audience.  Also, I felt that I had run out of articles to write, simply because I held myself to a higher standard, and didn’t want to write articles just for the sake of putting something into print.  RM readers deserve better.  I will come back to posting at RM, I just don’t know when, amid my current busy-ness.

I last mentioned portfolio moves a little more than a month ago.  Here are my moves since then:

Rebalancing Buys:

  • Ensco International
  • Nam Tai Electronics
  • Cemex
  • Assurant
  • Industrias Bachoco
  • Charlotte Russe
  • Valero
  • Cimarex

Rebalancing Sells:

  • Universal American
  • OfficeMax
  • International Rectifier
  • Jones Apparel
  • Smithfield Foods
  • Group 1 Automotive
  • Shoe Carnival

For a six-week period, that ‘s a decent number of trades, at least for me.  My methods are designed to try to not trade frequently, but to trade to minimize risk and maximize return in a majority of situations.  For those not familiar with my rebalancing trades, I keep a fixed set of target weights in a largely equally-weighted portfolio.  When a security gets more than 20% away from its target weight, I buy (after review) to bring it back to target weight, or sell to bring it back to target weight (take some money off the table).

There have been three other actions during this time. 1) National Atlantic’s merger went through.  A loss for me, but I ain’t missing them at all.  2) After the buyback announcement, I traded my holdings in Anadarko for holdings in Devon Energy.  I like the valuation, and the Natural Gas exposure better at Devon.  3) I tendered all my MetLife shares for shares in RGA.  I like RGA a lot here and am willing to make it a double-weight in my portfolio. In the current tender offer, I should get approximately 10% more value in RGA shares for my MetLife shares, subject to a number of conditions listed in the prospectus.  Also, RGA is a unique company that makes its profit mainly from mortality, which is not correlated with other financials.  It is a well-run company, and deserves to be valued at a significant premium to book value.