“Thank you for your book on preferred stock investing...I can't understand why everyone is not investing in the CDx3 preferreds." - Jeff M., CDx3 Notification Service subscriber
In This Issue...
Last Month's CDx3 Investor Results
Just Published: The Third Edition of Preferred Stock Investing is now available!
The Third Edition of Preferred Stock Investing includes all of my latest research regarding the market price behavior of high quality preferred stocks. Five new chapters and 70 additional pages use real preferred stocks to show you how to screen, buy and sell the highest quality issues, even during a Global Credit Crisis.
Chapter 15 lists all qualifying preferred stocks that have been issued since January 2001 and shows you how you would have done by using the investment method described throughout the book for each one. And the book includes all of the web sites and other resources that are used to implement the CDx3 Income Engine on your own.
The Third Edition of Preferred Stock Investing, the manuscript of which was reviewed by several dozen readers and subscribers before going to the publisher, is my most comprehensive work yet and it is now available at your favorite online retailers (see retailers).
Just Posted On The Preferred Stock Investing Reader's Forum: A month has now gone by since holders of Citi preferred stocks were nervously considering whether or not to take Citigroup up on its kind offer to convert their trust preferred stock shares to Citi common stock. Who made the better decision - those who chose to convert or those who chose to hold? On September 1 I posted the results on the Preferred Stock Investing Reader's Forum (my "blog") in an article titled "Citi Preferred Stock Conversion: A Win-Win For Preferred Stock Investors." Please post your comments after reading the article. I am especially anxious to hear why Citi preferred shareholders decided to convert, or not. How did you decide and are you happy with your decision? (jump to Forum)
In the Last Month's CDx3 Investor Results article I show you three charts that illustrate the transition of the marketplace for high quality preferred stocks from the "buyer's market," that we have been in since June 2007, to a "seller's market" where preferred stock investors will be looking for capital gain opportunities. Spotting capital gain opportunities during the upcoming seller's market will require a different approach to buying and selling (jump to article).
Preferred stock investors are facing the most unique market conditions that we have seen in most of our lifetimes. Conditions that are full of opportunity if look under the right rocks. While receiving this CDx3 Newsletter at the beginning of each month is informative and helpful, I am pleased to announce in the Special Announcement article how you can receive preferred stock research news throughout the month without having to wait for the next issue of the CDx3 Newsletter. Information sooner is always better than information later (jump to article).
In the CDx3 Company Spotlight article I introduce you to a bank that, despite all odds, has seized on the opportunities that a crisis can often deliver. U.S. Bancorp has not only paid the government back their TARP money in record time, but it has also expanded its business significantly by snapping up many of the slower swimming fish along the way. Read about their carefully selected acquisitions and how U.S. Bancorp has shown others how to recognize opportunity when it presents itself (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, I answer the question "When do I have to purchase preferred stock shares to be sure that I receive the upcoming quarterly dividend payment?" (jump to article)
I am committed to making certain that readers understand how the CDx3 Income Engine (the preferred stock investing method described throughout my book, Preferred Stock Investing) is being used during this credit crisis. In the Free Special Offer article below I am providing you with a free downloadable copy of my Quick Guide To Preferred Stock Investing During A Global Credit Crisis. This Quick Guide provides you with a summary of how to use the highest quality preferred stocks to earn above average dividend income while simultaneously creating multiple downstream capital gain opportunities (jump to article).
Coming Up For Preferred Stock Investors: As of the end of August 2009, newly issued high quality preferred stocks are offering the highest dividend income ever (averaging above 9%). At the same time, bank Certificates of Deposit (CDs), due to low loan application volume and high personal savings rates, are offering near-record low interest rates (2.35%, $10k, 24-months).
Banks are making it real clear - without being able to make profitable loans, they do not want more of your cash.
Check out the chart at the bottom of this CDx3 Newsletter (jump to chart). High quality preferred stocks usually pay two or three percentage points higher than bank CDs in order to cover the investment risk. Two or three additional points on the return is usually enough to compensate low-risk investors. But due to plummeting rates on bank CDs, that spread has just exceeded seven percent.
How low must interest rates on bank CDs go before CD investors seek another alternative?
I look forward to reporting back to you in next month's issue of the CDx3 Newsletter.
Tipping Point: Market For High Quality Preferred Stock Nears Benchmark
Several Issues Now Trading Over $25 Per Share
The market for high quality preferred stocks ("CDx3 Preferred Stocks" - see top sidebar) appears to be in a big time transition from a buyer's market to a seller's market (see charts), with a huge step in that direction being taken during August. If this trend continues, we will see preferred stock portfolios start to shift from emphasizing dividend income, as they have been since June 2007, to emphasizing capital gain income. Preferred stock investors should be prepared to consider different buying and selling strategies than they have been using for the past two years in order to take advantage of the coming seller's market.
The "buyer's market" that we have been in since June 2007 (and continue to be in) has made it easy for preferred stock investors to position themselves for a nice profit ("capital gain") when purchasing CDx3 Preferred Stocks because, during a buyer's market, market prices decrease (well below $25 per share) at the same time that dividend rates go up. High dividend payers for dirt cheap market prices - a buyer's market.
Seller's Market: Piles Of Dividend Income With A Capital Gain On Top
But as the economy recovers and investor cash comes back into the market, starting with the highest quality bonds and preferred stocks, prices start to go back up and the value of our holdings goes up with it.
A "seller's market" for CDx3 Preferred Stocks is characterized by falling dividend rates offered by new issues and increasing market prices (well above $25 per share) for previously issued, higher dividend-paying preferred stocks. As explained in my book, Preferred Stock Investing, dividend rates and market prices move in opposite directions (this is the Rule of Rate/Price Opposition, page 52).
Through this mechanism, while preferred stock portfolios always generate dividend income, investors will be able to add capital gain income onto those great dividends by selling at a favorable price during the upcoming seller's market conditions.
The trick, of course, is knowing when those conditions are upon us and the selling price that you should look for in order to make selling your shares worth your while.
At $25 Per Share, Start Paying Attention
During a seller's market for CDx3 Preferred Stocks, the market price of the shares that you are buying now for less than $25 per share will tend to rise. If you are interested in collecting a capital gain, once the market price of your shares passes $25 it is time to start paying attention.
Why is $25 per share important?
As described throughout Preferred Stock Investing, by purchasing high dividend paying CDx3 Preferred Stocks for less than $25 you are guaranteed a capital gain in the event that the issuing company "calls" your shares. A call is when the issuing company buys your shares back from you in order to stop the dividend expense. If the issuing company calls your shares, which they regain the right to do five years after the preferred stock is introduced (and not before), they must pay you $25 per share, regardless of the then-current market price or your original purchase price. $25 per share; that's what you are going to receive in the event of a call.
Over the last couple of years preferred stock investors have become use to purchasing CDx3 Preferred Stocks for less than $25 per share. As explained in my Quick Guide To Preferred Stock Investing During A Global Credit Crisis, this has allowed us to position ourselves for a capital gain in the event of a call.
In a nutshell, that's the preferred stock investing strategy explained throughout Preferred Stock Investing: use the highest quality preferred stocks to create multiple downstream capital gain opportunities while earning above-average dividend income in the meantime.
Measuring The Market
Take at look at these three charts. Since March, not only have the market prices of CDx3 Preferred Stocks been climbing (chart 1), but some issues are now consistently trading above $25 per share for the first time in two years (chart 2).
Also, the market price disparity that we have seen between CDx3 Preferred Stocks issued by banks and those issued by non-banks is all but gone (chart 3); yields are now essentially the same between the two groups. Short of returning to crisis conditions, investors are no longer making a risk distinction between the two.
We're not in seller's market territory yet, but with prices rising dramatically, breaking through the magic $25 wall, and two-year old yield discrepancies disappearing, the market for high quality preferred stocks is clearly moving in that direction.
Subscribers to the CDx3 Notification Service receive a single chart each month that illustrates the type, depth, direction and speed of the marketplace for CDx3 Preferred Stocks. Called the "CDx3 Perfect Market Index" (see pages 80-86 of Preferred Stock Investing), this metric allows subscribers to monitor the marketplace and actually see, and make adjustments for, the approaching seller's market for high quality preferred stocks.
Change Of Market, Change Of Approach
As we transition from a buyer's market to a seller's market, preferred stock investors should consider changing the approach that they have been using for the last two years when buying and selling CDx3 Preferred Stocks.
Invest in the best and be prepared. Pick up a copy of Preferred Stock Investing now and read how to continue purchasing new CDx3 Preferred Stocks for less than $25 per share during the upcoming seller's market (chapter 11, "Buying During A Seller's Market"). Then read chapter 13, "Selling For The Target Sell Price," that shows you how to calculate your Target Sell Price and when that price is most likely to occur, creating a great selling opportunity for your consideration.
Know how to buy and sell during a seller's market for CDx3 Preferred Stocks.
The CDx3 Notification Service is the most comprehensive resource available for the highest quality preferred stocks. We do the research and calculations for you. If you are interested in riding the recovery wave using the highest quality preferred stocks, isn't it time that you considered subscribing to the CDx3 Notification Service?
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, questions from readers, 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.
In addition to the daily preferred stock news headlines, the Preferred Stock Marketplace Snapshot chart and other features, the following articles were recently posted on the Preferred Stock Investing Reader's Forum:
September 1 - Citi Preferred Stock Conversion: A Win-Win For Preferred Stock Investors
August 25 - Federal Judge Creates Opportunity For Savvy Preferred Stock Investors
August 16 - Bargain Table Criteria (subscriber post)
August 15 - Colonial BancGroup Folds, CDx3 Selection Criteria Protect Investors Again
To receive articles by email automatically without having to visit the Forum, click here
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 is 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 or the comments and questions posted by other preferred stock investors.
The new Preferred Stock Investing Reader's Forum is the most comprehensive (and free) news and information source specifically for preferred stock investors anywhere on the web. Please accept my invitation to receive articles by email and visit the Forum.
Two new features were added to the PreferredStockInvesting.com web site during August:
1. Preferred Stock Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) Library: This feature takes all of the "CDx3 Question Of The Month" articles from past issues of the CDx3 Newsletter since January 2008 and presents them in a single scrolling list. Clicking on a question opens a new window on your screen and shows you the answer to the question as I crafted it at the time. Going back through this list of Frequently Asked Questions from readers is informative and a bit like taking a look back in time to what has been a very historic period for the U.S. economy.
2. Reader's Mail Bag: Want to see the email that I receive from other readers and subscribers just as they have written them? Two or three times per month I take some of the reader email messages that I receive and post them in the new Reader's Mail Bag feature. You can see by the dates and times that the messages come in that I receive such messages continually. I am very appreciative when readers and subscribers take a moment to provide me with some feedback regarding my preferred stock research and I am now able to share it with you in the Reader's Mail Bag (sender identity has been removed).
While protecting the value of subscriptions to the CDx3 Notification Service, I am committed to providing preferred stock investors with timely and useful information regarding my research of the marketplace for the highest quality preferred stocks. Please take advantage of the many resources that I provide.
Who Are These Companies That Issue CDx3 Preferred Stocks?
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB)
U.S. Bancorp, with its $43 billion market capitalization, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 6th largest commercial bank in the United States. The Minneapolis-based company was founded in 1863 and operates 2,850 banking offices and 5,173 ATMs, and provides banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions throughout the United States.
During this two-year old Global Credit Crisis a few spots have been brighter than others. Last fall, U.S. Bancorp, along with 600+ other banks, sold custom-made preferred stock shares to the U.S. Treasury under Treasury's TARP program. Along with these preferred stock shares, Treasury also purchased common stock warrants from U.S. Bancorp.
In July, the company became one of the very few banks that have now not only re-purchased the TARP preferred stock shares from the government, but U.S. Bancorp has also re-purchased the TARP warrants. U.S. Bancorp has removed the U.S. government from its business.
Further, several times over the last couple of years I have noted that this Global Credit Crisis, while creating tragedy for many, has also created opportunity. By virtue of a sort of economic Darwinism, a crisis of this magnitude will put the stronger swimmers in a position to gobble up the weaker swimmers on the cheap and U.S. Bancorp has been among the most astute at bank bargain hunting to expand its business:
April 24, 2009: U.S. Bancorp acquires First Bank of Idaho.
November 21,2008: U.S. Bancorp acquires Downey Savings & PFF Bank in what is now the third largest credit crisis acquisition next to those involving Washington Mutual and IndyMac. This presentation explains the characteristics of this huge western expansion for U.S. Bancorp.
March 28, 2008: U.S. Bancorp acquires the Mellon 1st Business Bank of Los Angeles.
U.S. Bancorp is also a recipient of the U.S. Department of Defense's Patriot Award (2008) given to corporations that support employee participation in the National Guard and Reserve Forces.
U.S. Bancorp is an issuer of CDx3 Preferred Stock.
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.
When do I have to purchase preferred stock shares to be sure that I receive the upcoming quarterly dividend payment? - Preferred Stock Investing Reader's Forum.
Shares of high quality preferred stocks trade hands by the thousands every day. One relatively new CDx3 Preferred Stock, in fact, has had a daily trading volume exceeding 300,000 shares for the last several weeks.
And with each trade there is a change of ownership of the shares - a buyer and a seller.
For the issuing company of such a preferred stock to pay shareholders their dividend payments, they need to know who the shareholders are on a specific cut-off date. Knowing this cut-off date is, of course, critically important if you are considering making a purchase of a preferred stock. If you are counting on this quarter's dividend check from your new purchase, you sure would not want to buy your new shares the day after the cut-off date. Subscribers to the CDx3 Notification Service receive a list of CDx3 Preferred Stocks each month just prior to their dividend cut-off dates.
How is the cut-off date determined so that investors can avoid missing out on the current dividend payment?
The company that issues a preferred stock pays the quarterly dividend to whomever owns the shares on the:
The answer is (c) the Record date.
This is a bit of a trick question since to answer this correctly one has to be mindful of the responsibilities of the issuing company versus those of the public stock exchange.
Here is a standard clause that occurs within the prospectus for most CDx3 Preferred Stocks (this example comes from the prospectus of a preferred stock issued by Public Storage, Inc., shortened for presentation here):
''Holders of shares of Preferred Stock will be entitled to receive, when and as declared by the Board of Directors, cash dividends payable quarterly. Dividends on the shares of Preferred Stock will be payable quarterly to holders of record as they appear on the stock register of the Company on such record dates as shall be fixed by the Board of Directors.''
As explained further within the CDx3 Special Report titled ''Who Gets The Money,'' each quarter the Board of Directors of the issuing company declares (usually via a press release and on its web site) the cut-off date. Whoever rightfully owns the preferred stock shares on the morning of the cut-off date is going to get the dividend check for that quarter. This cut-off date is called the Record date. Once declared (which is referred to as the Declaration date), the issuing company notifies the stock exchange of the Record date for their preferred stock.
Now, as a practical matter, the stock exchange needs some time to clear any last minute trades that might occur. No one wants to get into a situation where you purchase a share just before the market closes the day prior to the Record date only to find that the exchange did not actually finalize your trade until the follow day or so. The stock exchange needs a couple of days in advance of the Record date to be sure they can finalize any last minute trades.
So, once the stock exchange receives the official declaration of the Record date from the issuing company, the stock exchange calculates and publishes the Ex-Dividend date which is usually two trading days prior to the official Record date.
It is the responsibility of the issuing company to set and declare the Record date; it is the responsibility of the stock exchange to set and publish the Ex-Dividend date.
The issuing company cuts the quarterly dividend check to whomever owns their shares on the Record date (this is the answer to our question); but if you want to be listed as the owner on the Record date, you better have purchased your shares before the start of trading on the morning of the Ex-Dividend date, generally two days prior to the Record date.
The Payment date is the date, as specified in the prospectus, that the quarterly dividend will be paid. But if the Payment date falls on a non-business day, the date that the cash actually shows up in your brokerage cash account is referred to as the Distribution date. Most of the time the Payment date and the Distribution date are the same.
You can submit your own preferred stock question. If your question is used as the CDx3 Question Of The Month you will receive a free copy of the CDx3 Special Report "Dividend Accounting."
Many CDx3 Newsletter readers have been with me for quite some time. And from the email that I receive I know that many of you have read Preferred Stock Investing and have implemented the CDx3 Income Engine on your own (the book includes all of the resources needed to do so without the CDx3 Notification Service).
The 26-month long Global Credit Crisis has shaken our financial system and everyone who is invested in it (which is just about everyone). Even though the CDx3 Selection Criteria, day after day, have successfully filtered out the preferred stocks from every failed bank for over two years now, and even though there has not been so much as a missed dividend for those who have invested in CDx3 Preferred Stocks, there's still some anxiety.
And that's what concerns me the most. As a researcher, I have an enormous volume of data regarding the market price behavior of CDx3 Preferred Stocks.
I can not only explain this market price behavior but I have the data needed to support my conclusions. Chapter 15 of Preferred Stock Investing includes the investment results, using the CDx3 Income Engine, for every qualifying preferred stock issued since January 2001.
Whether market prices are driven down by uncertainty related to war (2002) or by a Global Credit Crisis (2007-09), the market prices of CDx3 Preferred Stocks behave in certain ways at certain times.
To thank you for your interest, and to provide you with some very timely insights, I have published a "Quick Guide To Preferred Stock Investing During A Global Credit Crisis."
This is an important and timely document that all who are interest in using the highest quality preferred stocks to benefit from this credit crisis should read. Understanding the CDx3 Income Engine is more important now than ever.
Enjoy reading the Quick Guide and thanks again for your interest in my preferred stock research.
National Average 2-Year Bank CD Rate Plummets To 2.35%
Just As Highest Quality Preferred Stocks Offer Record Dividends
The difference in the income opportunity between bank Certificates of Deposit (CDs) and CDx3 Preferred Stocks has always been substantial, but never more so than it is right now. At the end of August, just as CDx3 Preferred Stocks are offering historically high dividend rates, bank CDs, due to recession-driven low loan volume and record savings levels, fell to their lowest in years.
With 24-month bank CD interest rates falling to 2.35% at the same time that CDx3 Preferred Stocks are paying dividends at an average annual rate exceeding 9%, ignoring the highest quality preferred stocks as a low-risk investment alternative has just become very hard to do.
Banks make a profit by taking the money that you deposit and lending it out for a higher interest rate than they are paying you. But once the Global Credit Crisis began in June 2007 and unemployment numbers started to climb, Americans stopped buying cars and new homes and started saving their cash at near-record levels.
But companies issue CDx3 Preferred Stocks for different reasons - not to make loans but, rather, to raise cash to invest in the future of their businesses. Looking at this chart, you can see how CDx3 dividend rates have been climbing since the Global Credit Crisis began in June 2007; just the opposite of bank CDs.
Do CDx3 Preferred Stocks carry more investment risk than bank CDs? Sure. It is always possible that the issuing company will become insolvent and stop paying your dividends. And each investor needs to carefully consider their personal financial resources, goals and risk tolerance before investing.
But I think it is also important to note that the ten CDx3 Selection Criteria (Preferred Stock Investing, chapter 7) have filtered out all such companies. Even during the historically extreme conditions of this Global Credit Crisis, not one of the failed banks qualified as an issuer of CDx3 Preferred Stocks to begin with. And all CDx3 Preferred Stock dividends have been paid in full and on time. Not one CDx3 dividend has been missed - ever (my data goes back to 1936).
The spread between bank CD interest rates and CDx3 dividend rates has now climbed over 7%. For many investors, 7% buys a whole lot of investment risk, especially when one considers the perfect track record of CDx3 Preferred Stocks. On a $5,000 investment, that's an annual difference of $469.15 in CDx3 Preferred Stock dividend income versus a miserly $117.50 from that bank CD; and the interest from the bank CD is taxable as regular income.
For bank CD rates to come up either (a) banks need to start receiving a whole lot more new loan applications and/or (b) people need to stop saving so much cash. Since a robust economy still seems to be a ways off, it is unlikely that either of these is going to happen any time soon. We all have to make our own investment decisions, but from a researcher's perspective, the 7% spread between the return offered by bank CDs versus the highest quality preferred stocks, in light of the current economy, gets pretty hard for many low-risk investors to walk away from.
I will report back to you in next month's issue of the CDx3 Newsletter.
to screen, buy and sell the highest
quality preferred stocks by
the third 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 investment 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 Third Edition
of the book is in print.
take a look at
And if you
someone who might be interested in simple
experts please have them send an email
they will automatically
begin receiving this monthly CDx3
next month (plus a
CDx3 Special Report) - all FREE.
Chapter 15 of Preferred Stock Investing includes a list of all of the CDx3 Preferred Stocks issued since January 2001 and the investment results you would have achieved had you invested in them using the CDx3 Income Engine.
And readers also receive free periodic updates to the preferred stock lists in chapter 15 as long as the Third Edition of the book is in print.
Please take a look at www.PreferredStockInvesting.com. And if you know someone who might be interested in simple investing for non-investment experts please have them send an email message to:
and they will automatically begin receiving this monthly CDx3 Newsletter next month (plus a CDx3 Special Report) - all FREE.
Many Happy Returns,
Doug K. Le Du
Copyright (c) 2009 by Doug K. Le Du
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.