E Warren Buffett And Me

Today I face what the locals call an “embarras de richesse”, a pot of cash from mySunday profit- and loss-taking (both because of taxes; I don't want to go into hock to Obama, Cuomo, and de Blasio, all off whom tax my earnings plus capital gains outside my IRA. That means half the money is in my IRA, by the way, because my investments in taxable and tax-free accounts are similar, both following my newsletter's advice.

So like Warren Buffett I am going into cash because the pricing on Wall Street doesn't offer enough temptation. In fact I will put the cash into our bond picks until the inevitable reversal I expect takes place, after which I intend to redeploy the money into new idea my team of journalist-detectives will turn up around the globe. Meanwhile I have yield recommendations which my readers know about, in foreign preferreds.

My main reason for selling a reasonably balanced bunch of gainers and losers (outside the IRA) was that my performance has been too good lately. In the past 12-mo our gain has been 10.84% on our holdings, according to the Dow-Jones newsletter tracking newsletters, Hulbert's Financial Digest. The performance level is relatively comparable to the 5-yr performance level of 11.33% and the 10-yr of 12.14%. That is our steady Eddie side.

But the range of outcomes this year has been very mixed compared to historic ranges. The level of huge gains and huge losses is much greater than normal vs our track record. That is what is scaring me.

Today we have interesting but unclear news from our advertiser, www.bullionvault.com, a very cheap and safe and legal way to buy physical gold. You can click through to their site from ours. Now they will offer US clients with enough funds to cover the shipment of their bullion the right to take certified delivery of 100 grams or more of their gold. The cost of course depends on what insurance the client ultimately takes on the bullion delivered. I could should I wish too just put my gold into my existing bank safe deposit box.

I am not really interested in having bullion (as opposed to jewelry) around the place. Others may be more interested, but until I get the costing details from the advertiser I would not advise taking delivery mainly because I think owners should be ready to trade their gold, and because it all depends on the cost.

But having said that, hard money investors might be reassured about the bona fides of bullion vault, which is one of the World Gold Council's investments to market the gold its members mine. The best known of these marketing entities is the SPDR Gold Fund, GLD, but this is another very respectable and straight gold investment vehicle.

There will be no blog tomorrow as I am returning to London with my passport-less hubby. He will have to spend a fortune getting a new passport for the return to the USA. But the malefactors did not get his wallet which would have been worse.

I am grateful to all the readers who told me to never carry my passport with me. In France you are legally required to have an identify paper with you and a passport is the thing you use if you are a foreigner.

*Banco Santander (SAN) reported attributable profits up 22% y/o/y at euros 2.756 bn, or 12 eurocents/sh, a brilliant performance by an Iberian peninsula family-run bank which contrasts with what happens across the border in Portugal. SAN like Banco Espirito Santo is a listed bank which is closely associated with a founding family active in management today. SAN's banking base is strong, a capital ratio of over 12% and core capital at 10.9%, important metrics in bank regulation.

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