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2009
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Stingy News Quarterly
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Dan's Reports
  Perspective on the bear
  Dilution excessive
  Fund fees revisited
  T class funds
  Bonds vs. bond funds
  Bear market protectors
  Investing in bonds
  Ignore bonds at your peril
  Coping with change
  Future of trust funds
  Dilution trumps
  Are fees excessive?
  Performance anxiety
  Top advisory model?
  81-106 a step back
  Poor fund classifications
  Pension shortfall
  A longer-term report card
  Information overload
About Dan

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The Stingy News Weekly (12/20/2009)

"Never count on making a good sale. Have the purchase price be so
attractive that even a mediocre sale gives good results."  - Warren Buffett


Stingy News Flash

The December edition of our Graham Value Stocks letter is now
available exclusively to Rothery Report subscribers. Get your copy today!
http://www.ndir.com/RR/store/order.shtml


New @ StingyInvestor

Is Mr. Market off his meds?
http://www.ndir.com/SI/articles/MS1109.shtml
"The market often behaves like a deranged manic-depressive and it
was clearly off its meds this year. Just last winter it was in
a deep funk, and panicky investors couldn't sell fast enough.
Then all of a sudden, the gloom vanished, the market reversed
course, and it shot skyward. It's all a bit zany. But how should you
deal with such massive market swings? Benjamin Graham had the
answer. You should help out manic-depressive investors. Buy when
they rush to sell. Sell when they line up to buy."

Top 500 U.S. Stocks
http://www.moneysense.ca/2009/12/10/top-500-u-s-stocks/
"Hints of economic recovery are in the air and the U.S. stock
market is starting to sparkle. It's true that a host of worries
remain, but that hasn't stopped investors from looking beyond the
economy's current troubles to the return to normalcy. As a
result, stocks are up smartly from their lows. Even better, our
highest-ranked stocks from last year provided some handsome returns.
These high-grade U.S. stocks gained 24.1%, not including
dividends. That's much better than the S&P 500 (SPY), which only climbed
4.2% over the same period."


Stingy Links
http://www.stingyinvestor.com/SI/articles/articlearchive.shtml

The economist's guide to happiness
http://timharford.com/2009/09/the-economists-guide-to-happiness/
"Spend less time with your children. Don.t underestimate the
benefits of a divorce. Never serve dog food at a dinner party. These
are some of the unexpected revelations to have emerged from an
unlikely combination: happiness, and economists."

Upper mismanagement
http://www.tnr.com/article/economy/wagoner-henderson
"One of the themes that came up while I was profiling White House
manufacturing czar Ron Bloom earlier this fall was managerial
talent. A lot of people talk about reviving the domestic
manufacturing sector, which has shed almost one-third of its manpower
over the last eight years. But some of the people I spoke to asked
a slightly different question: Even if you could reclaim a
chunk of those blue-collar jobs, would you have the managers you
need to supervise them? It's not obvious that you would."

Thinking about politics
http://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2007/Robertspolitics.html
"Bruce Yandle uses bootleggers and Baptists to explain what
happens when a good cause collides with special interests. When the
city council bans liquor sales on Sundays, the Baptists rejoice -
it's wrong to drink on the Lord's day. The bootleggers,
rejoice, too. It increases the demand for their services. The Baptists
give the politicians cover for doing what the bootleggers want.
No politicians says we should ban liquor sales on Sunday in
order to enrich the bootleggers who support his campaign. The
politician holds up one hand to heaven and talk about his devotion to
morality. With the other hand, he collects campaign
contributions (or bribes) from the bootleggers."

When an annual report speaks volumes
http://www.financialpost.com/news-sectors/story.html?id=2359626
"Want to find a great long-term investment? Look for an annual
report that treats you like a human being. Most don't. The
standard-issue annual report features heroic photos of the CEO, staged
snapshots of maniacally grinning workers, and vague assurances
that, despite enormous challenges being faced by the stalwart
management team, the future looks just fine. Only a handful of
annual reports talk to you like a partner. These reports don't spend
a fortune on glamour shots of smokestacks basking in the
sunset. They avoid canned promises to "respect all our stakeholders."
Instead, they deliver a blunt assessment of both the firm's
successes and its failures. In a high proportion of cases, these
exceptionally honest reports come from companies that are also
exceptionally good at making you money."

Ten years after
http://norris.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/ten-years-after/
"I've been working on a year-end piece - this is my last day at
the office in 2009 - and I came across an article from Feb. 20,
2000, in which 10 money managers each chose one stock to buy then
and hold until 2010. It's almost 2010, so I checked to see how
they had done. For most, not well." and yet "Here is more good
news. Thanks largely to Henry Schlein, an investor who bought
$1,000 of each of those 10 companies, and held on, would now have
more than $13,000, even with losses on eight of the holdings.
That performance is much better than that of the overall market."

Will fees stop bugging investors?
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704247504574604291928484478.html
"Don Phillips, managing director at Morningstar Inc., the fund
researcher, argues that 12b-1 fees "are a farce, because they
don't capture all the distribution costs." Some fund managers pay
for marketing out of their management fees, for example. Mr.
Phillips suggests that funds should overhaul their financial
statements by sorting all expenses into three main buckets: "investment
management," or what it costs to research and run the portfolio;
"sales and marketing," or what it costs to distribute the fund;
and "operations," or overhead like accounting and legal
expenses."

From the 'do a little evil' file
http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-googlers-score-a-quick-2-billion-on-option-repricing-2009-12
"Thanks to an extremely fortuitously timed stock-option repricing
(exchange), Googlers have made a killing in the past eight
months at shareholder expense."

Montier on Value Investing
http://www.ndir.com/SI/strategy/tipsheet/12-17-2009-Montier-on-Value-Investing.shtml
"I've been thoroughly enjoying James Montier's new book Value
Investing: Tools and Techniques for Intelligent Investment. I
heartily recommend it to value investors. "

Graham's net-nets: outdated or outstanding?
http://www.sgresearch.socgen.com/publication/en/strategy_update%2820080930%29_12f.pub?download
"One of Ben Graham's favoured valuation signals was a stock
selling at a price below net current assets (that is selling for less
than its 'net working capital, after deducting all prior
obligations'). Graham's methods are often dismissed as anachronistic.
However, rather than dismissing Graham's approach as outdated,
our evidence shows that buying net-nets is still a viable and
profitable strategy. Buying a basket of global net-nets would have
generated a return of over 35% p.a. on average from 1985 to
2007."

Cyclicals, value traps and margins of safety
http://www.sgresearch.socgen.com/publication/en/strategy_update%2820081013%29_c0f.pub?download
"We have tested Graham's suggestion by constructing PE's based on
average earnings rather than just one-year earnings. The
results show that this simple adjustment has significant merit. For
instance, a simple PE strategy based on one-year trailing earnings
has beaten the market by around 2-3% p.a. since 1985. However,
a strategy using a 10-year Graham and Dodd PE shows a 5% p.a.
outperformance on average."

Value in the TSX60
http://www.ndir.com/SI/strategy/tipsheet/12-16-2009-Value-in-the-TSX60.shtml
"Our value scorecard for stocks in the large-cap S&P/TSX60
highlights stocks with the best value ratios. It also alerts you to
those with the worst value metrics. The whole list is shown in the
spreadsheet below."

The worst-run big city in the U.S.
http://www.sfweekly.com/2009-12-16/news/the-worst-run-big-city-in-the-u-s/1
"It's time to face facts: San Francisco is spectacularly
mismanaged and arguably the worst-run big city in America. This year's
city budget is an astonishing $6.6 billion - more than twice the
budget for the entire state of Idaho - for roughly 800,000
residents. Yet despite that stratospheric amount, San Francisco can't
point to progress on many of the social issues it spends
liberally to tackle - and no one is made to answer when the city comes
up short."

A career spent finding value
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703438404574598442025375858.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
"'He was something of a collector,' said analyst A. Michael
Lipper of Lipper Advisory Services. 'It took a lot of disappointment
for him to get rid of an underperforming stock. Could somebody
else have produced better results by getting rid of the losers?
One might think so, but it wasn't [Tweedy, Browne's] style.'"

Excess cash and mutual fund performance
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1516069
"I document a positive relationship between excess cash holdings
of actively managed equity mutual funds and future fund
performance. The difference in returns of portfolios of high and of low
excess cash funds amounts to over 2% annually, or approximately
3% after standard risk adjustment. I study whether this
difference in performance can be explained by the differences in
managerial stock selection skills, market-timing abilities, fund
liquidity needs, and operating costs. I show that managers of high
excess cash funds make more profitable stock purchasing decisions,
while low excess cash fund managers make better sell decisions.
Neither high nor low excess cash groups exhibit significant
market-timing skills; however, funds with volatile excess cash
holdings are successful market timers. The difference in returns
between high and low excess cash groups is particularly pronounced
during periods of low fund flows, suggesting that high excess
cash funds are better able to anticipate fund outflows. Finally, I
show that high excess cash funds incur significantly lower
operating expenses than do their low excess cash peers. I
additionally document new important determinants of mutual fund cash
balances, showing that funds with riskier or less liquid
shareholdings, as well as those with higher return gap measures hold more
cash. The determinants I consider jointly explain three times more
cross-sectional variation in cash positions than variables
studied in prior literature."

Altman Z-Scores for the TSX Composite
http://www.ndir.com/SI/strategy/tipsheet/12-15-2009-Altman-Z-Score.shtml
"How likely is a firm to go bankrupt? If in doubt, you can just
look up its Altman Z-Score. High scores indicate that bankruptcy
in the next two years is unlikely. Low scores indicate that the
firm is at risk. I've listed the Altman Z-Scores (AltZ) for the
stocks in the S&P/TSX Composite below. But you won't find
financials in the list because the method was developed for
non-financials."

Dividend growth lives
https://secure.globeadvisor.com/servlet/ArticleNews/story/gam/20091216/RCLINIC16ART1918
"Still need convincing that dividend growth stocks, and utilities
in particular, deserve a place in a well-diversified portfolio?
In his December investment outlook, Pacific Investment
Management Co.'s Bill Gross - manager of the world's biggest bond fund -
urged investors to move money out of ultra-low-yielding savings
accounts and money market funds and into utilities stocks.
Utilities are reasonably priced, and "their growth in earnings
should mimic the U.S. economy as they always have, and most
importantly, they yield 5 to 6 per cent, not .01 per cent," he wrote."

Sardar Biglari's 2009 letter
http://www.steaknshake.com/chairman2009.pdf
"Because metrics are proxies for performance, managing by a
single metric causes the tail to wag the dog. Using just one metric
is akin to taking a picture of a two-ton elephant: No single
angle can capture the 'big picture.' Analysts who evaluate
same-store sales trends almost to the exclusion of other metrics, and the
CEOs - who either primarily weigh that one piece of data or
(shudder) listen to the pundits - do their best to deliver on that
one statistic, but usually cost their shareholders dearly."

Picking (up) winners without placing a bet
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/08/sports/08otb.html?_r=1
"For the past 10 years, Jesus Leonardo has been cleaning up at an
OTB parlor in Midtown Manhattan, cashing in, by his own count,
nearly half a million dollars' worth of winning tickets from
wagers on thoroughbred races across the country. During his
glorious run, Mr. Leonardo, 57, has not placed a single bet."

Why social beats search
http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2009/12/why-social-beats-search.html
"That's a controversial post headline and I don't mean that
social will always beat search, but there's a rising chorus out there
about "content farms" and search optimized content creation
that is worth touching on."

Christopher H. Browne dies
http://www.pionline.com/article/20091214/DAILYREG/912149985
"His firm, where he had worked since 1969 and which his father
co-founded, occupied a special niche in Wall Street lore due its
relationships with two legendary clients: Ben Graham, author of
two seminal books on the subject of how to value stocks, and Mr.
Graham's most famous pupil, Warren Buffett. Tweedy Browne
brokered trades for Mr. Graham from the 1930s through the .50s and
from that experience developed an extensive business relationship
with Mr. Buffett."

Bad investment ideas for 2010
http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=319446
"I always did like the Grinch a lot better before those meddling
Whoville residents swelled up his heart. In tribute to that
(ig)noble creature, I offer Bad Investment Ideas for 2010. Unlike
all those sappy happy Best Investment Ideas pieces from my fellow
Morningstar analysts that congest your inbox and befoul your
spirits, this article delivers recommendations that would warm the
Grinch's soul, if he had one. Ideas that, if implemented, would
lead to wonderfully empty space under next year's Christmas
trees."

A stock trade a day keeps stress away
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B840620091209
"Traders seeking a break from volatile global markets may want to
head to Bhutan's bourse, where stocks are traded on just four
computers -- when they have not crashed -- only twice a week."

Kill these job-killers
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/13/AR2009121302448.html
"Here's a thought: Instead of trying to "create" jobs by tweaking
this tax break or increasing that spending program, why not
stop doing things that destroy jobs?"

Capitalist pigs and global warming
http://sppiblog.org/news/capitalist-pigs-and-global-warming
"Dear Secretary of State, My friend, who is in farming at the
moment, recently received a check for 3,000 from the Rural Payments
Agency for not rearing pigs. I would now like to join the 'not
rearing pigs' business. In your opinion, what is the best kind
of farm not to rear pigs on, and which is the best breed of pigs
not to rear?"

What matters now
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/files/what-matters-now-1.pdf
"Here are more than seventy big thinkers, each sharing an idea
for you to think about as we head into the new year. From
bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert to brilliant tech thinker Kevin
Kelly, from publisher Tim O'Reilly to radio host Dave Ramsey, there
are some important people riffing about important ideas here.
The ebook includes Tom Peters, Jackie Huba and Jason Fried, along
with Gina Trapani, Bill Taylor and Alan Webber. Here's the
deal: it's free."

Select dividend club
https://secure.globeadvisor.com/servlet/ArticleNews/story/gam/20091214/RDIVIDENDS14ART1912
"Canada's most exclusive dividend club just got a whole lot
smaller. After a year in which some high-profile companies slashed
their dividends and many others failed to increase their payments
as they dug in for the recession, the S&P/TSX Canadian Dividend
Aristocrats index is losing 15 members - including most of the
banks - and gaining just one."



DOW 30 Value Screens

High Dividend Yield Stocks                   P/E P/B P/S P/D Yield
============================================ === === === === =====
AT&T  (T)                                     5   4   3   5    5
Verizon  (VZ)                                 3   4   5   5    5
EI DuPont  (DD)                               1   2   4   5    5
Kraft  (KFT)                                  3   4   4   5    5
Merck  (MRK)                                  5   2   1   5    5
Pfizer  (PFE)                                 4   4   1   4    4
Chevron  (CVX)                                5   4   4   4    4
McDonald's  (MCD)                             3   1   2   4    4
Boeing  (BA)                                  0   0   5   4    4
Home Depot  (HD)                              2   3   5   4    4
More Info: http://www.stingyinvestor.com/SI/strategy/dogs.shtml 

Value Ratio Stocks                           P/E P/B P/S P/D  VR
============================================ === === === === =====
AT&T  (T)                                     5   4   3   5   2.2
Merck  (MRK)                                  5   2   1   5   2.4
Verizon  (VZ)                                 3   4   5   5   2.9
Travelers  (TRV)                              5   5   4   3   3.3
Chevron  (CVX)                                5   4   4   4   3.5
Kraft  (KFT)                                  3   4   4   5   3.7
Pfizer  (PFE)                                 4   4   1   4   3.9
McDonald's  (MCD)                             3   1   2   4   4.5
Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ)                      4   2   2   4   4.6
Procter & Gamble  (PG)                        4   3   2   3   4.9
More Info: http://www.stingyinvestor.com/SI/strategy/valueratio.shtml 

Graham-Lite Stocks                       P/E P/B P/D   G$   dG$(%)
======================================== === === === ====== ======
Travelers  (TRV)                          5   5   3   78.73  63.54
General Electric  (GE)                    4   5   3   16.28   4.40
Chevron  (CVX)                            5   4   4   79.10   2.86
AT&T  (T)                                 5   4   5   27.74   1.53
More Info: http://www.stingyinvestor.com/SI/strategy/graham.shtml 

Top US Stocks                                    Yield V.R. Graham
================================================ ===== ==== ======
AT&T  (T)                                          Y     Y     Y  
Chevron  (CVX)                                     Y     Y     Y  
Kraft  (KFT)                                       Y     Y        
McDonald's  (MCD)                                  Y     Y        
Merck  (MRK)                                       Y     Y        
Pfizer  (PFE)                                      Y     Y        
Travelers  (TRV)                                         Y     Y  
Verizon  (VZ)                                      Y     Y        
Boeing  (BA)                                       Y              
EI DuPont  (DD)                                    Y              
General Electric  (GE)                                         Y  
Home Depot  (HD)                                   Y              
Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ)                                 Y        
Procter & Gamble  (PG)                                   Y        
Stocks score a Y for each test they pass.



S&P/TSX60 Value Screens

High Dividend Yield Stocks              P/E P/B P/S P/C P/D Yield*
======================================= === === === === === ======
BCE (BCE)                                3   4   4   5   5    5
Telus (T)                                5   5   4   5   5    5
Bank of Montreal (BMO)                   4   3   3   5   5    5
CIBC (CM)                                1   2   3   5   5    5
Transalta (TA)                           2   3   4   4   5    5
Sun Life (SLF)                           1   5   5   4   5    5
TransCanada (TRP)                        4   4   2   3   5    5
Power Corporation of Canada (POW)        1   4   5   5   5    5
Husky Energy (HSE)                       3   3   4   3   5    5
National Bank of Canada (NA)             4   3   3   0   4    4
More Info: http://www.stingyinvestor.com/SI/strategy/dogs.shtml 

Value Ratio Stocks                       P/E P/B P/S P/C P/D  VR
======================================== === === === === === =====
Telus (T)                                 5   5   4   5   5   1.6
Weston George (WN)                        5   5   5   5   3   2.7
Enbridge (ENB)                            5   2   4   3   4   2.9
BCE (BCE)                                 3   4   4   5   5   3.1
Bank of Montreal (BMO)                    4   3   3   5   5   3.1
National Bank of Canada (NA)              4   3   3   0   4   3.7
Encana (ECA)                              5   5   4   5   3   3.7
Biovail (BVF)                             5   3   2   4   3   3.7
TransCanada (TRP)                         4   4   2   3   5   4.2
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)                 4   2   3   0   4   4.2
More Info: http://www.stingyinvestor.com/SI/strategy/valueratio.shtml 

Graham-Lite Stocks                       P/E P/B P/D   G$   dG$(%)
======================================== === === === ====== ======
Weston George (WN)                        5   5   3  110.24  73.07
Encana (ECA)                              5   5   3   51.16  58.03
Telus (T)                                 5   5   5   43.38  31.18
Biovail (BVF)                             5   3   3   17.23  16.73
Canadian Tire (CTC.A)                     4   5   2   64.52  16.03
Talisman Energy (TLM)                     5   4   2   20.84   9.89
Loblaw (L)                                4   4   3   35.26   5.76
Canadian Pacific Rail (CP)                4   5   2   58.14   4.40
Metro-Richelieu Cl.A (MRU.A)              5   3   2   37.94   1.18
More Info: http://www.stingyinvestor.com/SI/strategy/graham.shtml 

Top Canadian Stocks                              Yield V.R. Graham
================================================ ===== ==== ======
Telus  (T)                                         Y     Y     Y  
BCE  (BCE)                                         Y     Y        
Bank of Montreal  (BMO)                            Y     Y        
Biovail  (BVF)                                           Y     Y  
Encana  (ECA)                                            Y     Y  
National Bank of Canada  (NA)                      Y     Y        
TransCanada  (TRP)                                 Y     Y        
Weston George  (WN)                                      Y     Y  
Bank of Nova Scotia  (BNS)                               Y        
CIBC  (CM)                                         Y              
Canadian Pacific Rail  (CP)                                    Y  
Canadian Tire  (CTC.A)                                         Y  
Enbridge  (ENB)                                          Y        
Husky Energy  (HSE)                                Y              
Loblaw  (L)                                                    Y  
Metro-Richelieu Cl.A  (MRU.A)                                  Y  
Power Corporation of Canada  (POW)                 Y              
Sun Life  (SLF)                                    Y              
Talisman Energy  (TLM)                                         Y  
Transalta  (TA)                                    Y              
Stocks score a Y for each test they pass.

* Notes: http://www.stingyinvestor.com/SI/strategy/notes.shtml 



Books for Stingy Investors

The Aggressive Conservative Investor
by Martin Whitman & Martin Shubik

Originally published in 1979, this value classic is once again in
bookstores with a new introduction but most of the tome remains
unchanged. Aside from providing a glimpse into investing in the
late 1970s, much of Whitman's basic moneymaking approach, which
focuses on balance sheet values, continues to apply today. A
great book for more seasoned investors but it might be a little
heavy for some.
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471768057/


Stock Research

The Rothery Report
http://www.rotheryreport.com/ 

The Rothery Report provides research on select deep-value stocks in
North America. Discover overlooked and undervalued stocks in quarterly
investment reports which provide detailed analysis of Canadian and
U.S. stocks.  Weekly email news and additional updates keep
subscribers informed about new opportunities and developments.

Rothery Report Performance (03/31/2001 to 09/30/2009)
  Average Capital Gain    Average Holding Period
          35.8%                   2.4 Years

Learn More
http://www.rotheryreport.com/store/store.shtml

Subscribe Today
http://www.rotheryreport.com/store/order.shtml 



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ISSN 1499-2795 Copyright Norman Rothery, 2009.  All rights
reserved. The securities mentioned in this report are not appropriate
for all investors. Consult your professional investment advisor before
making any investment decision.  While all reasonable effort is made
to ensure the accuracy of information and data contained herein,
accuracy can not be guaranteed. Past performance is not a good
predictor of future performance.  Results are not guaranteed and we
assume no liability whatsoever for any material losses that may occur.
No compensation for suggesting particular securities or financial
advisors is solicited or accepted.  The information in this
newsletter, and in its related website, is not intended to be, nor
does it constitute, financial advice or recommendations.  Investing in
stocks can be risky and may result in substantial losses.  Norm or
related-parties may have an interest in the securities mentioned.

 
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