Entries by Simon Lack

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REITS: Pipeline Dividends Got You Beat

Long time MLP investors fondly recall the days before the Shale Revolution, when yield comparisons with REITs and Utilities made sense. This ended in 2014, when the energy sector peaked. Cumulative distribution cuts of 34%, as subsequently experienced by investors in the Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP), convinced income seeking investors that pipelines were a hostile […]

ETFs: Business Could Not Be Better

At the InsideETFs conference in Hollywood, FL, author Michael Lewis outdrew the many luminaries on hand offering investment advice. From Liar’s Poker to The Fifth Risk, Lewis has honed his ability to identify a story and recount it engagingly. Interviewer Barry Ritholtz provided thoughtful questions that allowed his guest to enlighten and entertain. The book […]

The Bovine Green Dream

To slow global warming, we should phase out cows. Bovine flatulence is often a source of scatological humor for those making light of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). However, cattle generate 5 gigatons of CO2 equivalent, annually. More precisely, they produce methane. A chart used by Bill Gates reveals that cattle produce almost as much in […]

The Trump Put

Last week President Trump tweeted, “Dow just broke 25,000. Tremendous news!” It wasn’t the first time the Dow had risen through that threshold. On July 14th, the President tweeted, “The Stock Market hit 25,000 yesterday.” A year ago, on January 4th, 2018: “Dow just crashes through 25,000. Congrats! Big cuts in unnecessary regulations continuing.” This […]

American Energy Independence is Imminent

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published their 2019 Annual Energy Outlook. Whenever your optimism on the prospects for U.S. energy infrastructure waivers, this will restore your confidence. The outlook for domestic energy production is bullish, and in many cases more so than a year ago. For example, in their 2018 report, the EIA’s […]

Problems Made in DC Can Be Fixed There

The Federal government has been moving markets of late. Venezuela is the latest issue to watch. The U.S. is currently aligned with most of the world in seeking the overthrow of leader Nicolas Maduro. The sanctions look significant, with almost all Venezuela’s hard currency coming from oil exports, half of which go to the U.S. […]

MLP-Dedicated Funds See Increasing Redemptions

Fund flows will always beat fundamentals. This was rarely more evident than in the performance of MLPs last year. Throughout 2018, earnings reports from pipeline companies were generally in-line, with positive guidance. Operating results contrasted with stock prices, which confounded investors and management teams as they sagged. Negative sentiment worsened late in the year, not […]

The Value in Listening to Bears

Short sellers are a breed apart. Because they’re going against the trend, and numerous stakeholders, they possess a tenacity and conviction that can be breathtaking. When I was investing in hedge funds at JPMorgan, I especially enjoyed meeting with bearish managers. For a start, they do some of the best research. And while a long […]

Kinder Morgan: Great, But Stick to Pipelines

Kinder Morgan (KMI) kicked off pipeline company earnings last week. Their results contained no big surprises. Distributable Cash Flow (DCF) for the year came in at $4.73BN, up 5.5% versus 2017’s $4.48BN. Leverage finished the year at 4.5X (Net Debt/Adjusted EBITDA). KMI has argued previously that their diversified business could sustain a 5.0X ratio, something […]

Lose Money Fast with Levered ETFs

A few years ago Vanguard invited me to their campus to give a presentation on my just-published book, The Hedge Fund Mirage. Vanguard’s business model is the antithesis of the hedge fund industry, and they were curious to hear from that rare breed, a hedge fund critic. The company’s frugal culture runs deep. As I […]

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