My investment committee has been operating in a nearly round-the-clock mode. You would think that they have become born-again bulls. However, they insist that they are just acting prudently buying stocks now that they have dropped rather dramatically this year.
Of particular interest, they bought ANAT this morning. That goes along with the ITIC and ORI that they bought previously. Their opinion is that the reduction in mortgage interest rates has increased the demand for refinancing. They assure me that this trend has legs.
They are also bullish on oil stocks and have positions in COP, BP and RDS-B. They believe that, even in a recession, their will be demand for gasoline. No members of the committee drive a solar powered car.
They also have bought some bank stocks. Namely, WAYN, FMBL.OB and BAC.
The committee's biggest problem is that they are running out of money and they have issued a call for me to contribute extra dollars so that they may continue to buy. The treasury bills in my IRA mature today and I may allow them to buy more COP and RDS-B with those funds.
Then I will have to consider whether or not to allow them to use margin in their efforts to make me a master of the universe. That would be right in line with government policy as the Feds want the banks to loan and for people to spend. What a propitious occasion. When the bear gets back from his shopping trip to the malls at the Bellagio and the Wynn and the Wynn Encore, Would you please ask him his opinion as to whether I should go ahead and grant the investment committee unlimited use of margin in my investment accounts? I will wait until I hear from you. Thanks.
I have learned from experience not to guarantee things or make too many predictions. However, I would be very surprised if we see FMBL on the most active list any time soon. It might be on the list of biggest $ advances or decliners.
pmlljl, The bears says, "Never," in response to your question as to whether or not to allow your committee to use margin.
He does use margin so that he can sell short, keeping the cash balance in the margin account positive so that interest is never paid. He never spends borrowed money on stock.
For example, if the bear has deposited ten dollars in a new account, he "uses margin" to sell short one share of ITIC at $2. (This is hypothetical.) The result of his short sale is a cash balance of $10, a "short account" balance of $2, and an ITIC share balance of -1. The bear collects interest (unless rates have dropped to zero as I type this) on $10 that night. If ITIC closes at $3 the next day, his margin balance is $9, and his short account balance is $3, and he collects interest on only $9 that night, having lost $1.
If this sub-5% thing takes off, maybe pressure will come off the claims. Then we'll see the whole sector really ringing the cash register, years earlier than I expected. But imo a bump in premium volume alone won't do much. We have to see a break in the panic and claims and legal lashing out.
And I'm a gloomy guy, but I'm starting to think it could really happen. Who'll tell the Fed no?