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On May 4th, Assured Guaranty reported another phenomenal quarter of financial performance. Operating income was $273MM, or $2.14 per share in the quarter. These figures were up from $123MM, or $.89 per share in the prior year’s quarter. These returns were achieved despite the company adding an extra roughly $100MM in reserves for Puerto Rico,...
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Over the last month, we have begun to see financial stocks outperform the overall market.  If one was to ask why, most market participants would say that the perception that interest rate hikes are more likely to be forthcoming in 2016 is driving the stocks.  In a market where short-termism is the status quo, these...
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Today it was announced that TIAA was buying Everbank (EVER) for $19.50 per share.  Everbank is a very average bank with lower returns on equity than the big banks.  As of the 2nd quarter 2016, Everbank’s tangible book value per share was $13.24 meaning that TIAA is paying right around 1.5 times tangible book.  Because...
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I’ve been writing extensively about the incredible undervaluation of the big banks relative to intrinsic value. Financials in general are by far and away the cheapest and most attractive area of the stock market.  Remember banks have been around for many centuries, and the reason for that is it’s a pretty good business to be...
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While banks have been our worst performers year-to-date, it is not because they aren’t performing well from a fundamental basis or improving their financial strength materially. In a stock market that is very expensive and where market participants are taking incredible risks through paying 35-40% higher than historical averages for certain sectors and companies, financials...
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Last Thursday’s Brexit vote led to a historically nightmarish day in the financial markets: Indexes across the globe were down between 3-10%. The British pound dropped from a high of $1.50 to $1.32, before finally recovering to $1.37, down an enormous 9% for the currency. European banks stocks were down between 15 and 20%. S....
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Last night’s vote for Great Britain to exit the EU was a massive shot to the bow of the European establishment. While polls had been even, the betting odds were basically 8-1 that the country would stay in the EU, so markets are quite shocked at the result. In overnight trading, just about every asset...
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Investing is when one buys an asset with the expectation of a profit over time, based on fundamental analysis that provides a strong rationale for this expectation. It is also known that publicly traded securities, by definition, fluctuate and can change prices violently based on short-term emotions of market participants. There is a reason why...
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  Since the extremely weak May jobs report, interest rates have plummeted across the globe. There are now over $10 trillion in bonds that are trading at negative interest rates. This is unprecedented as the buyers of these bonds are guaranteeing themselves losses if they hold until maturity. This has pushed asset prices up as...
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In perusing the WSJ today, an article caught my eye. The venerable Charles Schwab has become the latest company to discontinue offering load mutual funds, where investors pay what generally is a high commission in addition to regular fund fees, as a result of the new Department of Labor law requiring brokers to act as...
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