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|In This Issue...|
Fourth Edition of Preferred Stock Investing - Now Shipping!
Readers of Preferred Stock Investing learn how to screen, buy and sell the highest quality preferred stocks.
The Fourth Edition is now available at your favorite online retailers (see retailers).
Just published three weeks ago, the Fourth Edition of Preferred Stock Investing includes my latest research and updated charts and examples using real preferred stocks.
And Part III "Buying When The Market Favors Buyers" has been completely re-written to focus on the buying conditions that we will be facing throughout 2011 and 2012. Check out the new Fourth Edition Table of Contents.
The preferred stock investing method explained throughout the book - the "CDx3 Income Engine" - uses three rules and ten selection criteria to accomplish its three objectives: maximize revenue while minimizing risk and minimizing work. The results are itemized in chapter 15 for every qualifying preferred stock issued since January 2001 - ten years worth of the highest quality issues. And here are the results (average Effective Annual Return shown).
A new chapter has also been added (chapter 11, "The Crisis That Keeps On Giving") that describes two specific opportunities for preferred stock buyers. Both of these opportunities were created by the 2007 - 2009 Global Credit Crisis and are expected to remaining available well into 2012.
Preferred Stock Investing is one of the highest reader-rated books available at Amazon and sells within the top 2% of all book titles in the United States. Look for your copy of Preferred Stock Investing, Fourth Edition at your favorite online retailer.
Just Posted On The Preferred Stock Investing Reader's Forum: On June 20, 2011 PNC Financial Services Group announced that it will be acquiring the 424 bank branches of the Royal Bank of Canada in the southeastern United States. But it is not the acquisition itself that is important to preferred stock investors; rather, PNC's method and motivation behind its funding model. (jump to Forum)
The Last Month's CDx3 Investor Results article describes an opportunity for preferred stock investors that was first brought to your attention in the April issue of the CDx3 Newsletter. At that time the marketplace for the highest quality preferred stocks was offering five opportunities to "upgrade" your low paying preferred stocks to higher dividend payers. During June that number jumped to 108. Take advantage of these temporary market price disparities to trade in your low payers for higher payers and have cash left over. (jump to article)
The Special Announcement article provides you with an updated list of trust preferred stocks (TRUPS) that will be among the first to be affected by Section 171 of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Remember that subscribers to the CDx3 Notification Service, my preferred stock email alert and research newsletter service, receive this same list with all of the trading symbols. This month's list identifies six of the highest rated, highest quality trust preferred stocks. Secondly, I have summarized some of the research from my book, Preferred Stock Investing, Fourth Edition, and am making it available to brokers, financial planners and investment groups for free. (jump to article)
In the CDx3 Company Spotlight article I introduce you to PNC Financial, a $32 billion regional bank. Pittsburgh National Corporation was first established as the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Company in 1852. During a whopper of a first quarter, PNC generated a net income of $832 million, up 24% from last year. (jump to article)
The CDx3 Question of the Month is presented both here and on the Preferred Stock Investing Reader's Forum. If you visit the Forum you can test your knowledge by clicking on your answer to the question. You will receive an automatic email that provides you with the correct answer and my explanation. Or you can just read the answer in the below CDx3 Question of the Month article. This month's question - "What are the three types of preferred stock?" (jump to article)
Why wait until next month's CDx3 Newsletter to find out what is going on in the preferred stock marketplace? Throughout the month I post regular research articles on the Preferred Stock Investing Reader's Forum and make them available to you for free. In the Free Special Offer article below I provide you with a link that allows you to receive my posts via an email message rather than having to visit the Forum to see what's new. Any time a new article is posted, you will receive a message in your email inbox automatically - free. (jump to article)
Coming Up For Preferred Stock Investors: In a probable nod toward Basel III compliance, PNC's June announcement of its acquisition of the 424 US-based branches of the Royal Bank of Canada includes the issuance of a new $1 billion preferred stock even though the bank can fund the deal with cash on hand. This is our first example since July 2010 of how compliance with new domestic and international reserve requirements could very well lead to a wave of new high quality preferred stock issues for your consideration. (jump to article)
Enjoy this month's issue. I look forward to reporting back to you in next month's issue of the CDx3 Newsletter.
Principal Protection For Preferred Stock Investors
108 Upgrade Opportunities - Trade In Low Payers For Higher Payers And Have Cash Left Over
Performing an "upgrade" is a technique used by savvy preferred stock investors to trade in your lower dividend payers for higher dividend payers and have cash left over when you're done.
The April issue of the CDx3 Newsletter gave you a heads-up that upgrade opportunities were on the way for preferred stock investors. That issue listed the five such opportunities that were available at the end of March; at the end of June there were 108.
Why This Is Important
Checking your preferred stock portfolio for upgrade opportunities is easy to do and especially important prior to and during a period of increasing rates. Here's why.
The cost of money, as reflected by interest rates, moves up and down continually. This chart was taken from page 79 of my book, Preferred Stock Investing, Fourth Edition, and shows the yield of the five-year Treasury note over the last 30 years (high quality preferred stocks have a five year life span, IPO date to call date, so the five year treasury yield is a good one to watch).
Notice that increasing rates are always followed by decreasing rates over any five year period.
As rates fluctuate, market prices of fixed-income securities (bonds, preferred stocks) tend to move in the opposite direction (rates up, prices down and vice versa). Since the federal funds rate is currently at zero, we know that rates will be heading up at some point. While most analysts do not expect any increase for another year or so it is likely that any such increase, as set by the Federal Reserve, will be very minor and gradual as to not upset our persistently weak economy.
When rates do eventually tick back up it is likely that the market prices of preferred stocks will move down a tick as well, especially the lower dividend payers (those that have a declared dividend rate less than 7%).
Some will tell you that this is why you should never invest in preferred stocks ("...what if interest rates go up...you'll loose your bacon...look out below!!"). Those uttering such short-sighted advice are not only assuming that rates never come back down (pushing preferred stock prices right back up) but are ignoring the power of "upgrading."
Upgrading takes advantage of temporary market price disparities, allowing preferred stock investors to trade in their lower paying preferred stocks for higher payers and have cash left over. Using this technique, the doomsday scenario where your principal is forever tied up by low payers is avoided entirely.
27 Low Payers Available To Be Upgraded Right Now
Table 1 itemizes the 27 high quality preferred stocks that are ripe for upgrading (using June 27, 2011 prices). Note that to protect the values of subscriptions to the CDx3 Notification Service, my preferred stock email alert and research newsletter service, trading symbols are not provided here. These are the low payers (declared dividend rate less than 7%) that preferred stock investors should consider selling and using the proceeds to purchase shares of higher dividend payers (7%+). As I am about to show you, you can currently do so and have cash left over when you're done.
Each of the 27 upgrade candidates listed in Table 1:
1. Meet all ten of the selection criteria from chapter 7 of Preferred Stock Investing (investment grade, cumulative dividends, issued by a company that has never suspended a preferred stock dividend, etc.);
2. Are all low payers with declared dividend rates less than 7%; and
3. Are relatively "liquid" in that they tend to trade in quantities every day that promote regular buying and selling.
If you have any of these 27 preferred stocks in your portfolio you would be wise to consider upgrading to a higher payer that is available to be purchased for a lower market price.
5 Higher Payers Available For Less Than $25 Per Share
The idea behind upgrading is to sell your low dividend payer and use the proceeds to purchase a higher dividend payer and have cash left over when you're done. That requires that the market price of the higher paying preferred stock that you are purchasing be lower than the market price of the low paying preferred stock that you are selling.
Table 2 lists the five high quality preferred stocks trading on U.S. stock exchanges (June 27) that:
1. Meet all ten of the selection criteria from Preferred Stock Investing;
2. Provide a declared dividend rate of at least 7%; and
3. Are available to be purchased for a market price less than $25 per share. This is important since shareholders will receive $25 per share in the event that the issuing company retires the shares some day. Investors paying less than $25 position themselves for a nice downstream capital gain in addition to the 7%+ dividend income in the meantime.
The 27 low payers identified in Table 1 and the 5 higher payers from Table 2 provide 108 upgrade opportunities for preferred stock investors. That's up from five such opportunities at the end of March. The current marketplace for the highest quality preferred stocks is favoring upgrades in a big way.
How To Upgrade A Low Paying Preferred Stock To A Higher Payer
As with most tasks, the easiest way to identify upgrade candidates is to have someone else do it for you. Subscribers to the CDx3 Notification Service receive their own monthly research newsletter called CDx3 Research Notes. Pages 2 and 3 of the current (July 2011) issue of CDx3 Research Notes provide Tables 1 and 2, respectively, with trading symbols.
The CDx3 Notification Service also provides a software tool called Preferred Stock ListTM used by subscribers to help find upgrade opportunities automatically.
For example, let's say that you own PFD-A (top row on Table 1). PFD-A has a declared dividend rate of 6.5% and is currently selling for $25.66 per share (June 27).
Now look at Table 2. PFD-B pays a 7.25% dividend and can be purchased for $24.67 per share (again using June 27 prices).
So if you were to sell PFD-A for $25.66 and buy PFD-B for $24.67 you would increase your dividend income by 3/4% (moving from PFD-A's 6.5% to PFD-B's 7.25%) and have $0.99 per share in cash left over.
For more on upgrading a low paying preferred stock a new section was added to the new Fourth Edition of Preferred Stock Investing titled “Upgrading – Trade In A Low Payer For A Higher Payer” (see page 187).
Learn To Screen, Buy and Sell The Highest Quality Preferred Stocks
Preferred Stock Investing includes the information, websites and other resources needed for you to be a very successful preferred stock investor. The new Fourth Edition is available at your favorite online retailer. For those who would rather someone else do the research and calculations, I offer the CDx3 Notification Service. Subscribers to the CDx3 Notification Service receive an email alert when there are buying and selling opportunities coming up. Subscribers also receive their own non-promotional preferred stock research newsletter every month, have their own website that hosts the CDx3 Preferred Stock Catalog and have access to the CDx3 Discussion Group, the only online forum just for preferred stock investors.
PNC Financial Delivers On Big Bank TRUPS Opportunity
UPDATE - 6 Big Bank TRUPS Available For Less Than $25 Per Share, 7.0% Average Yield
The Big Bank Trust Preferred Stock (TRUPS) opportunity first reported to you here in July 2010 is starting to come to fruition as our Big Banks are starting to take action in order to comply with the provisions of the Wall Street Reform Act and Basel III's international capital requirements.
Triggered by the 2010 Wall Street Reform Act, there are actually three opportunities here for preferred stock investors. And it is not too late to participate as the six Big Bank TRUPS listed in this table illustrate (note that in order to protect the value of subscriptions to the CDx3 Notification Service, my preferred stock email alert and research newsletter service, trading symbols are not provided here. But this is real data gathered on June 29).
If you are unaware of the Big Bank TRUPS opportunity created by the 2010 Wall Street Reform Act please read this article from the July 2010 issue of the CDx3 Newsletter for the whole story. The short version is that the Act changes the formula of a key measurement of bank reserves called Tier 1 Capital, effective January 1, 2013. Starting on that day, Big Banks (assets greater than $15 billion) will no longer be able to count TRUPS that they have issued toward this key metric of reserves. Since boosting that reserve calculation was the primary reason that these Big Banks issued these TRUPS to begin with, the Act makes it extremely likely that these Big Banks will retire (buy back from shareholders) these TRUPS beginning January 1, 2013 (a few even sooner). In the event of a call, shareholders will receive $25.00 per share from the issuing bank.
Opportunities Created By The Act
By limiting your purchase candidates to just the highest quality preferred stocks to begin with (i.e. those Big Bank TRUPS that are able to meet the ten CDx3 Selection Criteria from chapter 7 of my book, Preferred Stock Investing), the Act created the following opportunities for preferred stock investors who are able to purchase shares today for less than $25.00 (such as those itemized in this table):
(1) added principal protection for preferred stock investors purchasing Big Bank TRUPS shares for less than $25.00 per share (since the Act makes a call more likely, the risk of principal loss is less likely for such investors);
(2) adding a capital gain to the great dividend income once the issuing Big Bank calls the issue and purchases your shares back from you (in the event of a call, all shareholders who paid less than $25 per share will earn a capital gain); and
(3) a wave of brand new, very high quality, traditional preferred stocks beginning in early 2013 for preferred stock buyers to pick from (banks will most likely issue new traditional preferreds, which the Act still allows, and/or bonds in order to raise billions in cash for these calls).
UPDATE - PNC Financial First To Announce New Preferred Stock Issue
The new Basel III international capital requirements favor cash reserves. During June PNC Financial announced that they will be using a new $1 billion high quality preferred stock offering, among other capital sources, to acquire the U.S.-based branch banking operations of the Royal Bank of Canada even though PNC has plenty of cash on hand already.
This deal closes in March. Read more about this bank acquisition funding model on the Preferred Stock Investing Reader's Forum (my blog).
Brokers And Investment Groups: Free Meeting Materials Now Available
As the most comprehensive research service available for the highest quality preferred stocks, all of the large, and many smaller, brokerage firms subscribe to the CDx3 Notification Service.
My Preferred Stock Investing Group Materials are intended for brokers with a group of clients or self-directed investment groups that are interested in learning something about preferred stock investing.
The Preferred Stock Investing Group Materials include a slide show (27 slides, PowerPoint Show format) and an accompanying handout that provides my commentary for each slide. The handout is available in color and black and white (PDF format) for easy printing.
The materials include my tips regarding how to select, buy and sell the highest quality preferred stocks and summarize much of the research from my book, Preferred Stock Investing. Specifically, the materials are organized into three parts:
Part 1: Approach and Objectives To Preferred Stock Investing
Part 2: How and When To Buy and Sell Preferred Stocks
Part 3: Preferred Stock Investing Resources
To request the Preferred Stock Investing Group Materials just send an email request to:
You will receive an auto-reply email message with current download instructions.
Who Are These Companies That Issue CDx3 Preferred Stocks?
PNC Financial (NYSE: PNC)
Pittsburgh National Corporation (PNC) is a $32 billion regional bank headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. PNC was established as the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Company in 1852, making it the oldest bank in Pittsburgh. Within months, the company moved its offices to Wood Street, one door from the corner of Fifth Avenue, and in 1858 it acquired the corner lot. The company has been doing business at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Wood Street ever since and now serves customers throughout the northeastern and southeastern United States.
PNC had a whopper of a first quarter, posting a profit of $832 million, a 24% increase over the same quarter last year. That cash gets heaped onto the top of an already impressive pile.
What's the plan for all that cash? For one, they are going to be buying back up to $500 million of their own common stock throughout 2011. But PNC has a long history of growth through acquisition and 2011 is not going to be any different.
Looking to expand its footprint in the southeast the bank announced in January that it is acquiring 19 BankAtlantic branches in Florida. But the big announcement came last month when PNC disclosed that it will be acquiring the 424 bank branches of the Royal Bank of Canada in the southeast. That deal is scheduled to closed next March.
As explained in the Next Month's Sneak Peek article below, this transaction could very well be the first bank acquisition deal that ushers in a new wave of Big Bank-issued traditional preferred stock for your consideration. PNC is issuing $1 billion in new preferred stock, even though it has plenty of cash on hand, as part of the funding for this acquisition.
At the close of the first quarter PNC had some encouraging news from both the residential and commercial loan sectors of its business. During the first quarter new purchase home loan applications were up sharply to $3.2 billion and the bank saw commercial loan growth of $1.2 billion.
And the bank posted a massive increase in new checking accounts as well, creating 75% of the new net accounts during the first quarter that were opened in all of last year.
PNC made big news in October 2008 when it acquired National City Capital (NCC), a struggling competitor racked by distressed mortgages, for $5.6 billion. PNC has reduced this nasty portfolio by 40% since that acquisition, taking out $5.4 billion over the same quarter last year leaving $14.1 billion to go.
Reader Note: The purpose of the CDx3 Company Spotlight article is to give you a sense of the types of companies that issue CDx3 Preferred Stocks. Companies that appear in the CDx3 Company Spotlight either currently, or in the past, have issued CDx3 Preferred Stocks. Since I am not familiar with your financial goals, resources or risk tolerance, my mention of these companies here should not be taken as a recommendation by me for you to buy, or not buy, securities issued by these companies. Companies can issue multiple series of preferred stocks, some of which may meet the CDx3 Selection Criteria while others do not.
What are the three types of preferred stock?
Over the years the financial services industry has found a way to take something that is very simple and make it sound as if it is onerously complex. Hearing pundits talk about preferreds, one would think that there are a multitude of obscure types with all manner of confusing provisions.
What leads to the confusion is that speakers often confuse the types of preferred stocks with the characteristics of preferred stocks. And, in their confusion, make it sound like there are lots of types. There are only three types of preferred stock.
The question this month for preferred stock investors:What are the three types of preferred stocks?
(A) Cumulative preferreds, trust preferreds, convertible
(C) Redeemable preferreds, tax-favored preferreds, trust preferreds.
The correct answer to this question is (B), traditional preferreds, trust preferreds, third-party trust preferreds.
Any of these three types can have a variety of characteristics that define something about the dividends, the structure of the issuing company or the tax treatment of the dividends (to either the issuing company or the shareholder).
For example, the term "cumulative" describes an obligation on the part of the issuing company to pay back any skipped dividends to shareholders. If a preferred stock's prospectus includes the cumulative dividend provision, the issuing company's obligation to pay you any skipped ("deferred") dividends accumulates; they still owe you the money. There are traditional preferreds, trust preferreds and third-party trust preferreds that have cumulative dividends and there are others that do not. But the term "cumulative" is a characteristic of the preferred stock's dividend payments to you; it is not a type of preferred stock.
"Convertible" preferred stocks are those that, at some point in time and under conditions specified within the prospectus, convert to shares of the issuing company's common stock. Any of the three types of preferreds can include this provision in their prospectus so being convertible is not a type of preferred stock; it is a characteristic.
"Redeemable" preferreds (also called "callable" preferreds) are those that, on a certain date in the future as declared within the prospectus, can be called (bought back from you) by the issuing company. Most preferred stocks, regardless of type, are redeemable but some can only be redeemed upon the arrival of their maturity date.
"Tax-favored" preferred stocks are those whose dividends qualify for 15% tax treatment under the 2003 Tax Relief Act. But again, these are not a separate type of preferred stock. The tax-favored notation makes a reference to a characteristic of the preferred stock's dividend tax treatment, not a type of preferred stock. All tax-favored preferred stocks are traditional preferred stocks and no tax-favored preferred stock has ever been able to meet the ten risk-lowering preferred stock selection criteria from chapter 7 of Preferred Stock Investing.
Traditional preferred stocks have been around for many decades and were originally primarily issued by utilities, but that has not been the case for almost thirty years. When you buy shares of a traditional preferred stock you are buying an non-voting equity position in the issuing company.
With trust preferred stocks (TRUPS), investors are actually purchasing preferred stock shares in a trust company that is owned by a parent company (usually a bank but some TRUPS are issued by insurance companies). The parent company sets up the trust company and sells the trust company a bond (like a loan). The trust company collects interest from the parent company on that bond and uses that cash to pay your dividends.
A third-party trust preferred stock is similar to a TRUPS but the underlying bond held by the trust company is not issued by the parent company. Rather, the parent company is a brokerage firm that buys a bond on the open market and puts that bond into a trust company as its sole asset. The trust company collects interest on the bond from the bond's issuing company and uses that cash to pay dividends to investors who have purchased shares of preferred stock in the trust company.
The distinctions between these three types of preferred stocks are largely irrelevant to you, the investor. The differences exists primarily to meet the tax strategy or regulatory needs of the issuing company. While all three types can have a variety of characteristics, there are only three types.
For a complete description of the three types of preferred stocks - traditional, trust and third-party trust - see Preferred Stock Investing, Fourth Edition chapter 2 titled "Creating A New Preferred Stock."
You can submit your own preferred stock question: Submit your question.
Preferred Stock Market Research Now Available All Month Long - Free
Automatic Email Delivery Of Preferred Stock Market Research Now Available
Readers do not have to wait until next month's issue of the CDx3 Newsletter to stay plugged into the market for high quality preferred stocks. Preferred stock research articles, marketplace observations and preferred stock news from the financial press and other information are posted to the Preferred Stock Investing Reader's Forum (my "blog") throughout the month.
A separate window from FeedBurner (a Google service) will open on your screen. Enter and verify the email address that you want articles from the Forum to be emailed to as instructed. And don't worry - you'll never receive any spam from me and your email address will not be shared.
By receiving the articles as I post them via email, you do not have to visit the Forum in order to stay plugged into my research regarding the marketplace for the highest quality preferred stocks.
You are also invited to visit the Forum and comment on my articles.
Basel III Compliance To Trigger New Preferred Stock Offerings – Our First Case
With Plenty Of Cash On Hand, PNC Financial To Issue New $1B Preferred Stock
On June 20 PNC Financial Services Group introduced a new bank acquisition funding model that, if it comes to fruition, will generate a wave of new high quality traditional preferred stocks for your consideration. The PNC model, for the first time, clarifies how preferred stock investors are likely to benefit from the new international Basel III capital requirements placed on banks.
Since the Wall Street Reform Act was signed into law in July 2010, every monthly issue of the CDx3 Newsletter has explained how new banking regulations are likely to produce a wave of new high quality preferred stocks from our Big Banks over the next two years.
We’ve known that our Big Banks are going to have to replace their trust preferred stocks (TRUPS) with other forms of capital in order to meet new reserve requirements. Under the Act, while traditional preferred stock can still be counted toward bank reserves, TRUPS cannot be beginning January 1, 2013.
Since many will likely favor introducing new traditional preferred stocks to replace their TRUPS, preferred stock investors were already looking forward to a nice crop of new high quality traditional preferred stocks from Big Banks over the next couple of years as we approach 2013.
Then in June, PNC introduced a second reason that such a wave could be on the way. PNC announced that it was acquiring the U.S.-based branch banking operations of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), allowing PNC to expand into the southeast with 424 bank branches. The deal is scheduled to close in March.
While regional bank acquisitions are not all that newsworthy, the method that PNC is using to fund the acquisition, and the reasons behind that method, could be very telling about such acquisitions in the coming years.
In a probable nod toward Basel III compliance, among other sources PNC will be financing the acquisition by issuing $1 billion in new preferred stock. What makes doing so unusual is that PNC has the cash on hand without the new preferred stock issue. With Basel III’s emphasis on cash holdings, PNC improves its compliance position by issuing new preferred stock rather than depleting its substantial pile of cash.
Prior to Basel III, it is unlikely that PNC would be issuing a new preferred stock to generate cash for this acquisition since it already has plenty of cash on hand.
If bank acquisitions going forward follow the PNC model, preferred stock investors should plan for a smorgasbord of new, high quality traditional preferred stocks from our Big Banks over the next couple of years – courtesy of new domestic and international reserve requirements.
Thank you very much for your interest in my research. As always, I look forward to reporting back to you in next month's issue of the CDx3 Newsletter.
to screen, buy and sell the highest
quality preferred stocks by
the Fourth Edition of my book, Preferred
Stock Investing (see
retailers). The book identifies
the resources that you need to be a very
successful CDx3 Investor completely on
your own. If you would rather we do the
research and calculations for you I
CDx3 Notification Service
15 of Preferred Stock Investing
includes a list of all of the CDx3
Preferred Stocks issued since January
2001 and the investing results you
would have achieved had you invested in
them using the CDx3 Income Engine.
readers also receive free periodic
updates to the preferred stock lists in
chapter 15 as long as the Fourth Edition
of the book is in print.
take a look at
And if you
someone who might be interested in simple
for non-experts please have them send an email
they will automatically
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And readers also receive free periodic updates to the preferred stock lists in chapter 15 as long as the Fourth Edition of the book is in print.
Many Happy Returns,
Doug K. Le Du
Copyright (c) 2011 by Doug K. Le Du
Preferred Stock List, CD Times 3, CDx3, CDx3 Income Engine, CDx3 Investor, CDx3 Portfolio, CDx3 Preferred Stock, CDx3 Perfect Market Index, CDx3 Bargain Table are trademarks of Doug K. Le Du. All rights reserved.
Company logos are trademarks of the indicated companies. Service Marks (SM) are service marks of the indicated companies.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this CDx3 Newsletter is to be regarded as educational, rather than advisory. There can always be exceptions to trends and/or generalizations that may be discussed herein. Consider your financial resources, goals and risk tolerance before investing. You, and not Doug K. Le Du, are solely responsible for your own investment decisions.