Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!!

Market Performance

12/31/2006 12/31/2007 Year 2007
Close Close % Change

DJIA ^DJI 12,463.15 13,264.82 6.43%

S&P 500 ^GSPC 1,418.30 1,468.36 3.53%

NASDAQ ^IXIC 2,415.29 2,652.28 9.81%

Russell 2000 ^RUT 787.66 766.75 -2.65%

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tax Free Bonds : Crisis Brewing ?

I have three issues with tax free Muni bonds at this juncture

1) Many of the Insurers also have insured Mortgage backed securities; the decline of issues may force a lowering of credit rating for the Muni insures and there for negatively impact the Muni Bonds they have insured.
2) Many Hedge funds buy Munis to barrow against, a decline in the credit quality may lead to a decline in collateral and there some hedge funds to sell other equities.
3) On and un related note several state including New Jersey and California are facing some major fiscal issues which could further pressure Muni prices .

I don’t want to come off as an alarmist its not my style but in general Muni investors are the most risk adverse investors and we have already had significant price erosion in many bonds.

So I am suggest for some customers to look at the old stand buy Utilities for income.

End of the year mark up time

It might be time for more Mark-downs in retail ,but on Wall Street its year end Mark-Up time.

......And yes I am swapping some bonds for utilities

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I would like to take this time to wish everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous Christmas and New Year

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The ECB turns on the faucet..............

The ECB turns on the faucet looking to avoid credit seizure and suggests seriousness to dealing with the sub prime lending mess.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Three Stooges

The Crisis of confidence continues the FED seems to have massively fumbled its recent actions, government involvement in the sub prime mess seems suspect at bets and banks and financial institutions continues to claim,” just one more cash infusion should do it”.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Buck stops here..or is here or here ....

So what happened? The market was looking for firm decisive action. The market was looking for the FED to take the lead, but instead we go a muddled academic statement. I know I have po- poed this thing since the beginning ,but weather it’s a calamity or not the market wants certainty and firm FED action would say to all that the “Buck stops here” .

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

FED fails to deliver market reassurance….. stay tuned..

What is a Customer Centered Philosophy ?

Over the years many of my clients have asked me to speak with one of their friends or colleagues concerning my Customer Centered Philosophy and Private Client Asset Management Services. I consider it an honor and a privilege and have been happy to accommodate their wishes. For your future reference, I want you to be aware of the standards by which I comply with such requests.

First, confidentiality is the cornerstone of my business. Each of my client relationships is distinctly separate and totally private.

Second, thoughtful and courteous service is guaranteed. This is a people business.

Finally, I will never give advice and counsel to a client without thoroughly understanding his or her needs.

My purpose in writing this letter is to let you know that if and when you would like me to speak with a friend, relative or associate, you will feel comfortable with my professional standards.

Best Regards,

James J Foytlin

Monday, December 10, 2007

E* Trade : Because you asked ,What Happens When a Brokerage Fails?

What Happens When a Brokerage Fails
Monday December 10, 6:20 am ET
ByPhilip van Doorn, Ratings Bank Analyst

When headlines were screaming about problems at E*Trade's bank unit, depositors weren't the only ones unnerved. Word of the S&L's home-equity loan exposure and writedown of asset-backed securities also sparked a run on E*Trade's discount brokerage accounts. E*Trade stated that investors pulled a net $7 billion from both bank and brokerage accounts month to date, through Nov. 27.
Judging from reader questions, there's a lot of confusion about what the bank's problems mean for E*Trade's brokerage customers and the risks associated with the failure of a brokerage firm.

Bank Failures
If a broker-held bank were in danger of failing, its regulator would probably try to help avoid a failure by encouraging a sale to a larger, strongly capitalized institution. This would avoid a failure, so no depositors (insured or otherwise) would be hurt.

If the regulator were forced to close down the bank, the FDIC would then immediately pay off insured deposits, usually by transferring the balances to another bank overnight. Uninsured depositors would later be paid a "dividend" to recover a portion of their uninsured deposits.

For example, when NetBank failed, depositors were immediately paid a dividend of 50 cents on the dollar for their uninsured balances, with the possibility of additional dividends as the FDIC sold off NetBank's remaining assets.

Brokerage Firm Failures and SIPC Coverage

If a brokerage firm fails and securities are missing from customer accounts, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC, will ask a federal judge to appoint a trustee to oversee the liquidation of the firm's assets and orderly transfer of customer accounts to other brokerage companies. The day of the SIPC's request is called the "filing date."

Investors may simply have their accounts transferred to another broker with no loss. In the event that securities or cash are missing from a brokerage account, investors have some protection from SIPC.

There are major differences between SIPC protection and FDIC protection. Unlike the FDIC, SIPC does not provide blanket protection for losses. The purpose of SIPC protection is to replace securities that are missing when a brokerage firm fails. It does not make up missing value for securities that may have lost market value while missing or for investments that the customer may feel he or she was ill-advised to make.

If you are missing 100 shares of IBM when your brokerage firm fails, SIPC will simply replace the 100 missing shares, regardless of whether they have gone up or down in value since they went missing.

Eligibility and Coverage Limits
It is important to make sure that your broker is a member of SIPC. The words "Member Securities Investor Protection Corporation," or "Member SIPC" will appear on signs at brokerage offices and on websites or advertisements for most brokers. If you are not sure, go to SIPC's Web site to check.

Both cash and securities are covered, with a limit of $500,000 in value as of the filing date, including a $100,000 limit for missing cash. However, some types of investments are not covered, including commodity and currency futures contracts, unregistered investment contracts and annuity contracts.

Most investors are eligible for SIPC protection. Those that are ineligible include officers, general partners and directors of a failed brokerage firm, and brokers, dealers or banks acting on their own behalf, rather than for their customers. You should visit SIPC's Web site for a full list of the rules on eligibility and coverage.

SIPC Coverage for Money Market Funds
This is an area that can easily cause confusion. Many investors consider money market balances held at brokerage accounts as "cash." But a money market fund is actually a mutual fund that seeks to keep its share price fixed at $1.

The companies that manage these funds may or may not be affiliated with your brokerage. Money market funds hold short-term debt instruments, such as Treasury bills, commercial paper, certificates of deposit and other securities with maturities usually averaging about 90 days.

Because of the short maturities and generally liquid nature of these securities, it is very rare for a money market funds to "break the buck," or fall below $1 a share, which could lead to investor losses. When this has happened, fund managers have usually stepped in and supported the $1 price with their own money, but this has not always been the case.

So while investors often think of money market funds as safe alternatives to bank accounts, they are not insured by the FDIC or any other entity.

For SIPC purposes, shares in a money market fund are considered securities. SIPC protection may or may not apply to investments in money market mutual funds within your brokerage account. Whether or not your money market shares are covered depends on how your relationship with the money market fund is set up. There are two possibilities:

While the broker helped place your money in a money market fund, you have a separate relationship with the money market fund manager. This means you have your own money market fund account number and probably a checkbook and separate statement for the money fund. The company managing the money market fund "knows you." In this case, if your broker fails, SIPC coverage does not apply to your money market fund, and is not even necessary, as you can contact the money fund manager directly to access your shares.
The broker has placed your cash in the money market fund on your behalf. This means that the money market fund "does not know you," and that the broker is supposed to keep track of each of its customers' shares in the money fund. In this case, if any of your money market shares are missing from your account when the broker fails, SIPC covers the money market shares as part of your coverage for missing securities, up to $500,000.
Filing Claims

If your broker fails and securities are missing from customer accounts, the trustee will send you a claim form and instructions with a deadline for placing a claim, which is usually 30 to 60 days from the filing date. You will need to supply proof of what the broker owes you, which shows how important it is to save your statements. If you receive or have access to electronic statements, save the electronic files and maintain printed copies as well. Most customers receive their property back within one to three months.

Again, you should visit the SIPC Web site for further information. There's a much more detailed summary of how SIPC protection works. Among the other highlights is the Investor Survival Quiz. Take it. You may be surprised at your score!

... maybe these retailers just ,"suck"...

December 10, 2007


Give us your poor your weak ,your hungry your hudled masses and your sub prime lenders….consenious builds for government bailout for the sub prime mess far be it for me to rain on anyones parade but isnt this just warehousing bad loans similar to Japan did in the late 1980’s and is still paying the cost for this action to day ?....yikes!

Productivity remains strong ,employment hangs tuff and even gun toting Christmas shoppers cant keep the American Consumer away from the mall. However the drum beat on wall street continues to be negitve finding doom and gloom at every turn.

One componet so often left out of the consumer story is customer service and merchandising and lets face it many of the merchants suffering lack of consumer love are poorly stocked,badly merchandised ,and have awfull customer service. Failure to meet earning expectations is more a function of these facts than that somehow a given retailer has missed its mark due to the death of the consumer. The real question is an remains and is the cunsumer taped out or do some of these retailers just , “suck”?
Ho Ho Ho or Humbug for the market in December ? Since 1943 each time the month of November has ended with a negative return the year prior to an Election Year the Dow has had a positive return for the month of December gaining an average of 4.8%. When the Dow was down significantly in the month of November (1943, 1987 and 1991) it was followed by a strong December. So Ho Ho Ho I suspect.
So why all the talk of doom and gloom ? I will refer to my December 21st ,2006 comments,
“Many analysts seem surprised by the large increase in retail spending this Christmas season, not this blogger. One look at the age old “Christmas light “gauge gives you a clear indication that the economy is booming. The Christmas light gauge is a theory that’s says when people are flush with cash and spending they feel joy for the season, so the more out door Christmas lights you see house to house the more prosperous people feel about themselves and the economy . It seems a bit of a slow start this year but in the last few weeks people have been decking the halls with close to reckless abandon. Bottom line the more Christmas light you see the more prosperous people feel and the more they spend. Look for a big gain in Christmas retail sales.”

Again watch out for those Christmas lights the amount clearly indicate the direction of the economy.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

help is on the way for the sub prime hudled masses ...

Give us your poor your weak ,your hungry your hudled masses and your sub prime lenders….consenious builds for government bailout for the sub prime mess far be it for me to rain on anyones parade but isnt this just warehousing bad loans similar to Japan did in the late 1980’s and is still paying the cost for to day ?....yikes!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bottom for the US Dollar?

Hip Hop Videos ,Super Models not wanted to get paid in dollars ,crazy 3rd world dictators looking to price oil in other currencies…if that dosnt signal a bottom in the dollar I don’t know what does.