Monday, July 22, 2013

Alpha-D Updates for 07/22/13

I took only one action with my portfolio this month in the aftermath of options expiration weekend.  My covered calls on FXF expired unexercised and I renewed them.  I think the Swiss franc is stable now and the Swiss central bank won't be able to hold down its value indefinitely.

I am still long FXA and FXC (with no option positions) as currency hedges against the devaluation of the US dollar.  I'm also still long a small put position against FXE because I do not expect the euro to survive in its present form.  I'm still long GDX (with no option positions); I will keep holding it as a hard asset hedge against the onset of high inflation but its usefulness will diminish as high inflation turns into hyperinflation.

Future portfolio candidates are all overpriced or inappropriate.  I keep looking at REITs for a sign the housing market will cool off, with no such luck.  IYR is still valued at more than twice what I think its fair value should be based on its dividend stream.  My watchlist of stocks in mining, energy, agriculture, and logistics is similarly overpriced.  There will be very few opportunities to make money in the defense sector for many years.

I briefly considered the merits of non-US fixed income instruments but pickings are slim.  The only countries I'm willing to consider are the same as my currency strategy:  Australia, Canada, and Switzerland.  There are few ETFs devoted to the government debt of those countries and those ETFs are not optionable.

My cash pile remains silent.  The S&P 500 is hitting record highs today but I don't care.  I have no regrets about being largely absent from an equity market where corporate earnings are twice their historic averages.  I'll keep waiting for a dirt-cheap entry point.