Managing Downside Risk With The Fiscal Cliff

Having been pushed into the background in recent weeks by the election, the Fiscal Cliff is now at the forefront of investors concerns. Basic game theory dictates that a resolution should not occur until late in December. Negotiators won’t know if they have extracted the maximum concessions from the other side if they agree too soon. In addition, since America returned approximately the same set of leaders to power that engineered the Debt Ceiling mess in the Summer of 2011, there’s little reason for high expectations. Ultimately, one would think the Democrats are more inclined to compromise to get a deal, since it is “their” economy. However, for Republicans so opposed to taxes, a failure to agree will result in automatic tax hikes and just what they don’t want.

The one caveat to all this is that, living in the North East U.S. and having just endured the disruption of Hurricane Sandy, the economy is a little more vulnerable than a month ago. Losing power for days on end can really mess with your productivity. On balance we expect a compromise that will avoid the more dire forecasts, but it won’t be an easy road to get there. In our Deep Value Equity Strategy we’ve raised from more cyclical names. Yesterday we invested a small amount in McDonalds (MCD) which remains under pressure because of disappointing sales, and today we added to Kraft Foods Group (KRFT) which reported earnings yesterday and now sports a dividend yield of 4.55%. Yesterday’s earnings report was good and although their payout ratio is high at 77% based on 2013 EPS guidance of $2.60 supporting the $2 dividend, we think it’s well covered and an attractive investment here.

But we continue to hold back some cash because of the increasing likelihood that the market will respond poorly to the undoubtedly messy negotiations.

The reflation theme remains compelling, with developed country central banks fully committed to keeping interest rates below inflation. Owning gold bullion through the Gold Miners ETF (GDX) remains one of our larger positions. Corrections Corp (CXW) also held their earnings call this morning and are still working towards restructuring themselves as a REIT which we think provides further compelling upside. The Fiscal Cliff represents a potential source of uncertainty for them since the Federal government is such an important client of theirs, but while that may cause some short-term uncertainty we don’t belive it materially alters the value of the company.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Important Disclosures

The information provided is for informational purposes only and investors should determine for themselves whether a particular service, security or product is suitable for their investment needs. The information contained herein is not complete, may not be current, is subject to change, and is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by, the more complete disclosures, risk factors and other terms that are contained in the disclosure, prospectus, and offering. Certain information herein has been obtained from third party sources and, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified and its accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. No representation is made with respect to the accuracy,  completeness or timeliness of this information. Nothing provided on this site constitutes tax advice. Individuals should seek the advice of their own tax advisor for specific information regarding tax consequences of investments.  Investments in securities entail risk and are not suitable for all investors. This site is not a recommendation nor an offer to sell (or solicitation of an offer to buy) securities in the United States or in any other jurisdiction.

References to indexes and benchmarks are hypothetical illustrations of aggregate returns and do not reflect the performance of any actual investment. Investors cannot invest in an index and do not reflect the deduction of the advisor’s fees or other trading expenses. There can be no assurance that current investments will be profitable. Actual realized returns will depend on, among other factors, the value of assets and market conditions at the time of disposition, any related transaction costs, and the timing of the purchase. Indexes and benchmarks may not directly correlate or only partially relate to portfolios managed by SL Advisors as they have different underlying investments and may use different strategies or have different objectives than portfolios managed by SL Advisors (e.g. The Alerian index is a group MLP securities in the oil and gas industries. Portfolios may not include the same investments that are included in the Alerian Index. The S & P Index does not directly relate to investment strategies managed by SL Advisers.)

This site may contain forward-looking statements relating to the objectives, opportunities, and the future performance of the U.S. market generally. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of such words as; “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “planned,” “estimated,” “potential” and other similar terms. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, estimates with respect to financial condition, results of operations, and success or lack of success of any particular investment strategy. All are subject to various factors, including, but not limited to general and local economic conditions, changing levels of competition within certain industries and markets, changes in interest rates, changes in legislation or regulation, and other economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory and technological factors affecting a portfolio’s operations that could cause actual results to differ materially from projected results. Such statements are forward-looking in nature and involves a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, and accordingly, actual results may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements or examples. None of SL Advisors LLC or any of its affiliates or principals nor any other individual or entity assumes any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, subsequent events or any other circumstances. All statements made herein speak only as of the date that they were made. r

Certain hyperlinks or referenced websites on the Site, if any, are for your convenience and forward you to third parties’ websites, which generally are recognized by their top level domain name. Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship by or affiliation with SL Advisors LLC with respect to any linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by SL Advisors LLC. Any such information, products or sites have not necessarily been reviewed by SL Advisors LLC and are provided or maintained by third parties over whom SL Advisors LLC exercise no control. SL Advisors LLC expressly disclaim any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information, and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites.

All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will be suitable or profitable for a client’s investment portfolio.

Past performance of the American Energy Independence Index is not indicative of future returns.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.