Braggin’ Rights : Oil Continues To Curse ( your) Portfolio Results


My rant – the  curse of Cassandra :

Cassandra, daughter of the king and queen, in the temple of Apollo, exhausted from practising, is said to have fallen asleep – when Apollo wished to embrace her, she did not afford the opportunity of her body. On account of which thing :

when she prophesied true things, she was not believed.

I have written :


Managed Accounts Year End Review and Forecast

in part

Oil/ Energy

I am very happy for the call in natural gas prices – out at $12 and into oil. When oil was above $100 we lessened positions and that is our saving grace in the past two weeks. We are not bottom feeders and will wait for a turn in the market before reentering drillers or producers.

On Friday November 27th, crude oil prices dropped to below $72 and the slide has continued into the weekend, with Brent crude oil at $70.15 as I write this post. Shares of major oil companies traded down on Friday. Our former energy sector holdings are down another between 4% and 11%, including SDRL, which dropped another 8% following Wednesday’s 23% plunge..

OIL Sector Update Dec. 20,2015

  • Official data show Saudis shipped more crude amid global glut
  • Saudi output exceeded 10 million barrels a day for ninth month


Saudi Crude Exports Rose in October to Most in Four Months

Saudi Arabia boosted crude exports in October to the highest level in four months, as the world’s biggest oil exporter added barrels to a worldwide supply glut that has contributed to a slump in prices.

Saudi shipments rose to 7.364 million barrels a day in the month from 7.111 million in September, according to the latest figures from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative. The monthly exports were the most since June and 7 percent higher than in October 2014, the data released on Sunday showed. JODI is an industry group supervised by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum.

Saudi Arabia produced 10.28 million barrels a day in October, up from 10.23 million in September, the JODI figures showed.

Saudi Arabia led OPEC to decide on Dec. 4 to abandon the group’s limits on output amid efforts to squeeze higher-cost producers such as Russia and U.S. shale drillers out of the market. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had set a production target almost without interruption since 1982, though member countries often ignored and pumped well above it. The oversupply has pushed the price of benchmark Brent crude to almost a seven-year low and triggered the worst slump in the energy industry since the 2008 global financial crisis.

Brent for February settlement dropped 18 cents, or 0.5 percent, on Friday to $36.88 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The crude grade has tumbled 36 percent this year.

Saudi Arabia pumped 10.33 million barrels a day in November, exceeding 10 million barrels in daily output for the ninth consecutive month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Saudis have stuck to their one-year-old view that any output cuts won’t succeed in supporting prices unless big producers outside OPEC, including Russia and Mexico, also participate.

Crude exports fell in October from Iraq and Kuwait, OPEC’s second- and fourth-biggest producers, respectively, according to JODI. Iraq shipped 2.708 million barrels a day, down from 3.052 million barrels a day in September for the country’s fourth consecutive monthly decline, the data showed. Kuwait’s exports dropped to 1.905 million barrels a day in October from 2.008 million in the previous month, JODI said.

Iran, the fifth-biggest supplier in OPEC, exported 1.395 million barrels a day of crude in October, a marginal increase from 1.39 million in September, JODI figures showed

Join in on the portfolio profits of Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts:

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Similar to wise buying decisions, exiting certain underperformers at the right time helps maximize portfolio returns. Selling off losers can be difficult, but if both the share price and estimates are falling, it could be time to get rid of the security before more losses hit your portfolio.



Kinder Morgan ( KMI) / Shipping Sector/ Natural Gas – Why Chase Stocks Down ? – plenty of reasons to watch and wait

There was a recent video / interview of Jim Cramer saying his industry sector guru called $ 20.00 as the bottom but Cramer saw the stock in free fall and just did not know.


Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI)

Analysts have been split on whether Kinder Morgan’s dividends are sustainable as the pipeline industry’s ability to tap equity and debt markets to finance growth dimmed. The company’s stock has slumped 27 percent this week to $17.47 as of 12:34 p.m. in New York. Moody’s Investors Service warned on Tuesday that Kinder Morgan’s bonds were on the verge of tipping into junk.

“Dividend growth is unrealistic,” Vivek Pal, a managing director at Jefferies LLC in New York, said in a note to clients before the announcement. The company needs a 50 percent dividend cut to avoid being downgraded to junk, he said.

Prior to today’s announcement, Kinder Morgan had been expected to lift its 2016 dividend to $2.14, according to Bloomberg Dividend Forecasts. Companies across the oil and gas industry have been slashing or freezing dividends to conserve cash as plunging energy prices choked off money needed to drill wells, pay debts and purchase drilling rights.

Transocean Ltd., Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Linn Energy LLC are among those whose investors have seen payouts halted amid the crunch that began 18 months ago. Kinder Morgan’s $40 billion-plus debt burden exceeds the economic output of entire nations, including Bolivia and Bahrain.

We have no oil / gas stocks in the managed accounts.Braggin ‘ Rights – out of Chesapeake at $22

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)

We have no shipping stocks – Summary from Seeking Alpha

Dry bulk shipping unlikely to recover before 2017, consultant says
Dec 3 2015, 19:15 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor Contact this editor with comments or a news tip
Dry bulk shipping faces at least another year of pain, according to a new report from Drewry Shipping Consultants, which says companies in the industry will not return to profitability until at least 2017.Drewry says its dry bulk freight rate index fell 14.5% in September from August, and rates have fallen another 13.8% between September and November, although numbers for the full Q4 will not be available until early next year.”Demand has almost dried up,” Drewry’s lead analyst says. “China’s iron ore imports have stagnated, China’s coal imports have come down massively and India’s coal import growth has also slowed down.”Drewry forecasts demand for iron ore growing at 3%-4% over the next few years, but says demand for coal, especially in China, will not rebound any time soon.Related tickers: DRYS, SBLK, SALT, DSX, PRGN, EGLE, NM, NMM, SB, SINO, SHIP, FREE

Safe Bulkers Inc. (SB) – NYSE
$1.04-0.17(-13.64%)12:26 PM, 12/04 

Safe Bulkers Inc. stock chart
52wk high:4.92
52wk low:1.03
PE (ttm):N/A
Div Rate:0.04
Market Cap:$101.02m

Good Advice  DOES COST Money -and it does SAVE Your Portfolio

Tax Haven Wealth Management : GUARANTEE of 6 % OR YOU DON’T PAY


The key is to give yourself options. They may not love any of the scenarios, but providing choices usually leads clients to eventually embrace one.

Despite solid advice, some clients just spend too much. Others, like the married couple we’ll call Matthew and Elizabeth, diligently save but still run into retirement-planning problems.

Matthew and Elizabeth became clients of Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts a few years back, looking to manage their portfolio and put a retirement game plan in place. At 66, Matthew was considering retiring. Elizabeth could finally travel now that she was no longer the primary caregiver of her mother, who had passed the year prior. Together, we looked at their joint financial picture and analyzed the situation.

Then came some bad news: They wouldn’t be able to confidently cover living expenses if Matthew stopped working. They were shocked, because they’d done so much correctly—worked hard, lived within their means and consistently saved for retirement, putting away $2.3 million between retirement and non-qualified investments. Matthew even ran some preliminary retirement numbers online over the years to make sure they were on track.

Part of the problem was that Matthew’s planning assumptions were too rosy. He didn’t assume he’d have any variability on his portfolio returns, he didn’t assume he’d have health-care costs once Medicare kicked in, and he didn’t assume that retirement could last more than 20 years.

We projected that if Matthew retired at 66, the couple would only have about a 70 percent chance of being able to cover lifestyle expenses without having to make adjustments to spending over time; if either of them experienced a modest long-term care event that ate into their resources, they would achieve only a 65 percent success rate.

Their miscalculations aside, the other part of Matthew’s and Elizabeth’s retirement problem was that they, like many other people, put others’ needs before their own, in traditional “sandwich generation” style.

When their kids asked for help with down payments on houses, they obliged. When Elizabeth’s mom needed in-home help for a few years prior to her moving in with them, they covered it. Consequently, these unforeseen events ultimately put their retirement in jeopardy.

Working toward a solution

Matthew and Elizabeth weren’t happy to hear they weren’t on track to retire, but they appreciated having a framework from which to choose their solution.

Ultimately, Matthew chose to work 30 hours per week so that his company could continue to pick up their health-care costs (saving them about $1,000 a month in Medicare-related costs). The part-time work allowed him to take off every Friday, and that gave him the added benefit of “test driving” retirement.

He and Elizabeth also decided to downsize their home and buy long-term care coverage. The LTC insurance assured that their children wouldn’t be faced with the possibility of someday having to assist them financially.

As with all best-laid plans and good intentions, sometimes things go awry with retirement planning. However, by exploring alternative saving tactics, you can still achieve your goal.

Investment Management

Offered by Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

We can administer your account via the internet so that you can track your returns and only you can transfer funds from that account.

Guaranteed Investment Performance

( minimum 6 % annual return)  Or You Don’t Pay

Our stock market letter :


Information must proceed action and that is why we offer a no cost / no obligation inquiry service.

Email info@ or

Call Jack direct at 604-858-3202 – Pacific Time 10:00 – 4;00 Monday to Friday

( same time zone as Los Angeles)

The main intention of our website is to provide objective and independent information that will help the potential investor to make his own decisions in an informed manner. To this effect we try to explain in a simple language the different processes and the most important figures involved in offshore business and to show the different alternatives that exist, evaluating their pros and cons.

On the other hand we intend – in terms of  offshore finance, bringing these products to the average citizen.

Do something to help yourself – contact Jack A. Bass now !

A final word of advice – information without action will produce nothing in the way of improved investment returns.

GOLDMAN: These Stocks Equal Great Buys

Wynn Resorts

Wynn Resorts

Thomson Reuters

Ticker: WYNN

Sector: Consumer Discretionary

Dispersion Score: 5.6

Upside to Price Target: 89%

Executive Comment: “We enjoy a segment of the market that we wanted to continue to enjoy, the upper premium, the VIP business and the top end of the mass marketing. We enjoy that advantage today and we intended to increase that advantage by the opening of Wynn Palace, such worthy assumptions of its creation, and I’m happy to say that that was the result of the construction and the development,” said CEO Steve Wynn.

UPDATE : Sept 23

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) Stock Falls on Fitch Ratings’ Lower Macau Gaming Revenue Forecast

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Shares of Wynn Resorts were falling by 3% to $62.01 on Wednesday morning, after Fitch Ratings revised its Macau gaming growth forecast for 2015.

The statistical ratings firm said it now expects Macau gaming revenue to decline between 33% and 34% in 2015, down from its previous forecast of a 29% decline.

Fitch Ratings said that gaming revenues in Macau are down 36.5% year to date through August, which reflects on the difficult first-half 2014 comparison, and pressures such as a corruption crackdown in China that took a toll on gaming.

The ratings firm said that Macau’s decision to loosen its visa restrictions “should produce some positive benefit, underscoring that Macau is willing to use certain levers to prop up its gaming-centric economy.”

Fitch Ratings said it expects Macau gaming growth in 2016 to be “relatively flat,” citing the positive impact of new properties opening in the region next year.

The lower 2015 Macau gaming revenue forecast helped bring down shares of casino operators with properties in the region, including Wynn Resorts.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WYNN RESORTS LTD as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

“We rate WYNN RESORTS LTD (WYNN) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed — some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow.”

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • 37.14% is the gross profit margin for WYNN RESORTS LTD which we consider to be strong. Regardless of WYNN’s high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 5.42% trails the industry average.
  • WYNN, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 26.3%. Weakness in the company’s revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • WYNN RESORTS LTD has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has managed its earnings and share float. We anticipate this stability to falter in the coming year and, in turn, the company to deliver lower earnings per share than prior full year. During the past fiscal year, WYNN RESORTS LTD’s EPS of $7.17 remained unchanged from the prior years’ EPS of $7.17. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 54.4% in earnings ($3.27 versus $7.17).
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock’s performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 60.15%, worse than the S&P 500’s performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company’s earnings per share are down 72.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $201.34 million or 45.41% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm’s growth is significantly lower.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WYNN

Viacom Inc.

Viacom Inc.

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Ticker: VIAB

Sector: Consumer Discretionary

Dispersion Score: 3.3

Upside to Price Target: 52%

Executive Comment: “Viacom is seizing every opportunity. Many of our brands speak to the younger audiences that are at the leading edge of the evolution of media. This has always proven to be an advantage over the years and will again as we accelerate our investment in initiatives, platforms and content. We continue to do the hard work to confidently move forward and lead our industry through the latest pivot,” said CEO Philippe Dauman

Dollar Tree Inc.

Dollar Tree Inc.


Ticker: DLTR

Sector: Consumer Discretionary

Dispersion Score: 2.1

Upside to Price Target: 44%

Executive Comment: “Dollar Tree continues to be part of the solution for millions of consumers as they strive to balance their household budget. We serve a very loyal and growing customer base. Our commitment is to continue serving our existing customers better while taking every opportunity to gain new customers in every store every day,” said CEO Bob Sasser.

United Continental Holdings

United Continental Holdings

Getty Images/Scott Olson

Ticker: UAL

Sector: Industrials

Dispersion Score: 3.9

Upside to Price Target: 35%

Executive Comment: “The second quarter was a very good quarter for United and I am proud of the work our employees have done to deliver record earnings which benefit all our constituencies, including our employees themselves. We have a great deal of confidence in our future as we work to make United the carrier of choice,” said CEO Jeff Smisek.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters

Flickr/Mike Mozart

Ticker: URBN

Sector: Consumer Discretionary

Dispersion Score: 3.5

Upside to Price Target: 34%

Executive Comment: “All brands have carefully, but steadily, offered larger, non-redundant product assortments across a number of categories and, in several cases, have added entirely new categories. At the same time we are launching initiatives to make very important operational improvements, like better category distortion in stores, faster reaction to customer demand, more efficient use of store space, and better integration of technology,” said CEO Richard Hayne.

Portfolio savings : for information on saving taxes by going offshore read

Seeking Alpha highlights Gold Portfolio Destruction

The destruction of capital can be seen across a swath of gold relative securities, and silver too.

Precious Metal Relative Last Week Last 3 Mos. TTM
SPDR Gold Trust -2.5% -6.0% -13.9%
iShares Gold Trust (NYSE: IAU) -2.6% -5.9% -13.8%
ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Trust (NYSE: SGOL) -2.5% -6.0% -14.5%
iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) -4.4% -8.6% -29.9%
ETFS Physical Silver Trust (NYSE: SIVR) -4.6% -8.4% -28.7%
Market Vectors Gold Miners (NYSE: GDX) -7.9% -21.8% -42.5%
Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners (NYSE: GDXJ) -5.3% -14.3% -52.2%
Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X (NYSE: NUGT) -23% -55.2% -89.1%
Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) -10.4%* -24.8% -44.4%
Randgold Resources (NASDAQ: GOLD) -3.6% -17.1% -28.6%
Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) -13.1% -30.5% -52.8%
Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW) -9.5% -29.5% -48.1%
Coeur Mining (NYSE: CDE) -8.2% -22.3% -48.8%
Silvercorp Metals (NYSE: SVM) -9.6% -28.8% -56.2%

-3 month & trailing 12 month data from Seeking Alpha; GG 1 week performance adjusted for dividend

Now get your watch list updated – from Books

for portfolio guidance and tax reduction strategies 


Peter Hodson’s Research Tools



With an ever expanding suite of metrics and ratios available to retail investors, deciding how to size up a prospective position in a company has never been more complicated. But does it have to be?

Peter Hodson, the founder and CEO of 5I Research joined BNN Wednesday to discuss the five basic things he looks for when analyzing companies.


It’s the amount of net income returned as a percentage of shareholder equity. Basically, it’s a measure of how much money you are making from a company versus how much money you put in.

“A good number is 20 percent, but some of the great companies can come in with 45 or 50 percent which basically means they are exceptionally profitable and you are making a lot of money from what’s being put into the company. It’s my favourite ratio by far,” said Hodson.


When a company is growing faster than its peers, you have a sure fire sign that something good is going on. It could be anything from a better product, to a faster growing consumer base, to better sales people. It doesn’t really matter, growth is growth.

“Magna International (MG.TO -0.13%) recently had a profit growth of 13 percent and volume growth of about the same versus the auto industry as a whole, which is growing at three or four percent. They are multiples better than the industry right now,” said Hodson.


How a company weathers tough times says a lot about its fundamentals. Chances are if it fought its way through the worst economic conditions seen in a generation, it will continue to do reasonable well in more prosperous times.

“ (PCLN-O) tripled their profits in the middle of the financial crisis. It’s a travel company and nobody was travelling,” said Hodson.


It’s a good show of faith if the executives have some real skin in the game – not stock options – actual positions that show they believe in the company. If they drop the ball, you want them to hurt as bad as their shareholders.

“Constellation Software Inc. (CSU.TO 3.38%), it’s one of the best performing stocks on the TSX. The CEO owns about $360 million worth of stock and the executives are forced to put some of their bonuses into stock, not options, just pure stock. They are on the line with investors as well,” said Hodson.


Has the company met analyst expectation? Have they hit that mark consistently? Look for companies that regularly beat the street. It sounds simple, but that’s why Hodson likes it.

“What we look for is momentum, a company that can under promise and over deliver,” said Hodson.



Using The Caymans To Avoid Taxes on Portfolio Profits

The Keyprotect income from taxes, including those invested in the United States, from tax, while retaining control over and use of the funds.

The Cariibean Portfolio 

A typical way that U.S. individuals can easily evade tax on domestic income through a Cayman Islands operation with relatively little expense other than the ione time set-up fees :

The individual can open a bank account in the name of a Cayman corporation that can be set up for a minimal fee. Money can be electronically transferred without any reporting to tax authorities, and investments can be made in the United States or abroad. Investments by non-residents in interest bearing assets and most capital gains are not subject to a withholding tax in the United States.

In addition to corporations, foreign trusts can be used to accomplish the same approach. Trusts may involve a trust protector who is an intermediary between the grantor and the trustees, but whose purpose may actually be to carry out the desires of the grantor. These trusts are legal but in either case they can be used to protect income from taxes, including those invested in the United States, from tax, while retaining control over and use of the funds.

Limited Information Reporting Between Jurisdictions

In some cases the countries themselves have little or no information of value. One article, for example, discussing the possibility of an information exchange agreement with the British Virgin Islands, a country with more than 400,000 registered corporations, where laws require no identification of shareholders or directors, and require no financial records, noted: “Even if the BVI signs an information exchange agreement, it is not clear what information could be exchanged.”

Alternative Policy Options to Address Corporate Profit Shifting Because much of the corporate tax revenue loss arises from activities that either are legal or appear to be so, it is difficult to address these issues other than with changes in the tax law. Outcomes would likely be better if there is international cooperation. Currently, the possibilities for international cooperation appear to play a bigger role in options for dealing with individual evasion than with corporate avoidance. Several of the issues addressed below, such as hybrid entities and instruments, transfer pricing for intangibles, and debt also have been considered in the OECD action plan on base erosion and profit shifting.

Read more  at our March 22 article on The Tax Haven Guru ( wordpress)   AND



Application :

Do you have a tax reduction strategy ?

The most important thing that you MUST do is seek advice from a qualified advisor – Jack A. Bass, B.A. LL.B. (someone who understands international tax jurisdictions and tax law) . Your advisor must understand the benefits of particular offshore jurisdictions. It is your responsibility to take action.

In most jurisdictions you can set up your offshore company in as little as a few weeks. We most often start the process with registering a company name and sending in the right documentation and supporting documents for the incorporation and a bank account(s) or merchant account for you and your business.All of this can be conducted by internet on in rare cases we will attend in person – for you.

Contact Information:

To learn more about asset protection, trusts ,offshore company formation and structure for your business interests (at no cost or obligation)

Email  OR

Telephone  Jack direct at 604-858-3202

Monday – Friday 10:00- 4:00 Pacific Time Zone ( same as Los Angeles)

Do You Have A Plan – or are you just planning to think about a plan ?


Everyone Hates U.S. Stocks ?


Not since the year of the credit crisis have the world’s biggest investors had a lower opinion of American equities.

With interest rates poised to rise and Europe ascending, the percentage of global money managers who are underweight American equities is the highest since 2008, a survey by Bank of America Corp. shows. At the same time, clients of exchange-traded funds have pulled about $14 billion from U.S. equities this quarter and added $29 billion to international stocks, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Souring sentiment is a reversal from the last two years, when money flowing to the U.S. was double that going elsewhere. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index trails virtually every developed market in 2015 as accommodative central-bank policy from Europe to Japan lifts valuations and the Fed winds down programs that helped share prices triple since 2009.

“The U.S. stock market was an island of opportunity for a number of years,” Stacey Nutt, chief investment officer who oversees about $4 billion at ClariVest Asset Management LLC in San Diego, California, said by phone. “It has lost that status, not because it’s negative, but because other places around the world have started becoming more attractive.”

The percentage of money managers holding fewer American stocks than the country’s weighting in benchmark indexes exceeds those overweight by 19 percentage points, according to a March 6-12 poll of 207 money managers in Bank of America’s survey released Tuesday. That compared with a net 6 percent overweight in February.

Better Returns

After beating global stocks every year since 2009, the S&P 500 is up 0.7 percent since January, compared with a 2.1 percent advance in the MSCI World ex-USA Index. The U.S. gauge is on pace for the worst quarterly performance compared with the world index since the third period of 2013.

Better returns elsewhere are luring investors away after American stock ETFs attracted nearly $350 billion in the past two years, compared with the $160 billion that flowed to international equities.

Europe, in particular, has gained favor, as the Stoxx Europe 600 Index has rallied 16 percent so far in 2015, with benchmark indexes in Germany, Portugal and Denmark rising more than 20 percent. The gains came as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi introduced a 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) quantitative-easing program aimed at spurring growth and thwarting deflation.

The WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund has absorbed $8.4 billion this quarter, the most among all equity funds. By contrast, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, the biggest ETF tracking the U.S. benchmark gauge, has seen the biggest outflows, with investors withdrawing $31.2 billion.

Mindset Change

A net 35 percent of respondents in Bank of America’s survey picked the U.S. as the worst place to invest in the next 12 months, the most in almost a decade, while the proportion of those favoring Europe jumped to a record 63 percent.

“There has been a mindset change,” Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James Financial Inc., in St. Petersburg, Florida, said by phone. “The crowd now thinks that the quantitative easing program that Draghi has put on is going to do the same as it did here.”

Negative sentiment by fund investors toward U.S. equity markets has been of little consequence for American stocks since the bull market began in 2009. The S&P 500 has risen in five of the last six calendar years, a stretch that encompasses $93 billion in outflows from funds in 2012, when the S&P 500 jumped 13 percent.

Favorably Inclined

Most of the bull-market gains came as individuals plowed money into the fixed-income market after living through the S&P 500’s 57 percent plunge from October 2007 to March 2009. To some investors, skepticism has been the fuel for advances, leaving pools of unconvinced speculators to change their minds and buy as gains snowballed, especially in 2013 and 2014.

Hedge funds have raised their bets against equities, sending a gauge of manager sentiment to the lowest level since October, a survey from Evercore ISI showed. The measure of hedge fund long versus short bets fell to 49.6 in the week ending March 11, from 50.3 the previous week. Its low point in 2014 was reached in October, when the S&P 500 suffered the year’s worst retreat of 7.4 percent from Sept. 18 to Oct. 15.

“I can understand the rationale of being discouraged, thinking the U.S. is not the place to be, but we are still favorably inclined toward the U.S,” Walter Todd, who oversees about $1 billion as chief investment officer for Greenwood, South Carolina-based Greenwood Capital, said by phone.

Relatively higher valuations and a dimmer profit outlook are taking a toll on American stocks. After surging 207 percent during a six-year bull run on the back of Fed stimulus and a doubling in corporate profits, the S&P 500 trades at 18.5 times earnings, near the highest level since 2010. That compares with a multiple of 17 for the MSCI world index.

The proportion of investors in Bank of America’s survey saying U.S. equities are overvalued has reached its highest since May 2000 at a net 23 percent.

‘Europe Better’

Earnings from American companies are forecast to post the first back-to-back profit contractions since 2009 as the dollar’s ascent to highs not seen since the invasion of Iraq hurt sales for firms like Procter & Gamble Co. to Pfizer Inc., analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg show.

By contrast, a net 38 percent of respondents in Bank of America’s survey say that they expect double-digit earnings growth in Europe in the next 12 months.

“It’s U.S. good, Europe better,” John Manley, who helps oversee about $233 billion as chief equity strategist for Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York, said by telephone. “I wouldn’t say anything bad about the U.S. at this point. If I were pushed, I’d lean toward Europe in the next two years but it wouldn’t be any more than a shallow lean.”

NOTE: Our November New letter:

Out of oil

Out of Gold

Out of Shipping

 Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

November 2014 – 40 % cash position

Year End Review and Forecast


Oil/ Energy

I am very happy for the call in natural gas prices – out at $12 and into oil. When oil was above $100 we lessened positions and that is our saving grace in the past two weeks. We are not bottom feeders and will wait for a turn in the market before reentering drillers or producers.

Have you avoided these sectors – you would have been better off to follow our advice in 2014 and now you have to decide for 2015.

No one – and I am not being humble here – can project the future with great accuracy but our clients continue to do very well and we offer that experience to you.

Fees : 1 % annual set up and a performance bonus of 20 % – only if we perform.

You can withdraw your funds monthly if you require an income stream.

Contact information:

To learn more about portfolio management ,asset protection, trusts ,offshore company formation and structure for your business interests (at no cost or obligation)

Email or

Telephone :  Jack direct at 604-858-3202

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday Pacific Time ( same time zone as Los Angeles).