Being journalists ourselves, we are always on the lookout for the best content for our readers, including who to read for stock calls. That led us to a site, called TipRanks, which ranks all the equity research analysts on Wall Street. One of the major components of their rankings is their average market return per recommendation. The top ten analysts from returns are: Richard Davis, Cannacord Genuity (42.7% return per recommendation); Ross MacMillan, RBC Capital; Joseph Foresi, Cantor Fitzgerald; Matthew Hedberg, RBC Capital; Glenn Greene, Oppenheimer; Brian Schwartz, Oppenheimer; John Difucci, Jefferies; Brent Bracelin, KeyBanc; Gerard Cassidy, RBC Capital; and Brian Peterson, Raymond James.
FINSUM: This list, and TipRanks in general, is a great way to separate value from noise in all those equity research comments.
It seems like wealthy people everywhere are talking about picking up and moving to Florida to get away from the lack of SALT deductions in so many states. However, UBS financial advisors say it isn’t as easy as it is made to sound. Firstly, there are significant residency rules—it is not as if you can just buy a place in Florida and make it your tax home without really leaving your high tax state. And secondly, even for those who do actually want to move, the issue is that the wealthy suburban home market is very soft at the moment, and these residents are having a hard time selling their primary home, which means they are stuck.
FINSUM: Moving is not nearly as simple as the idea of “retiring in Florida” sounds. We do think this will cause a migration, but it will not be a flood.
The pool of Democrats keeps moving left. In what comes as a no surprise (but was not a sure thing), Bernie Sanders has just announced his candidacy for the 2020 election. His platform is going to be built around three pillars: free education, Medicare for all, and a $15 minimum wage. Sanders narrowly missed the Democratic nomination in 2016 and has a particularly strong following among the young.
FINSUM: Politics could not be more polarizing right now, so in many ways it makes sense that the Democratic candidates are quite far left. The difference between now and 2016 is that those leftist narratives have more popular traction than the more centrist position Hillary Clinton adopted then.
We think we might have found an area when Democrats and Republicans might agree. Here is an interesting argument—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac distort the housing market and negatively affect renters. This is a conclusion from the Wall Street Journal, which found that the subsidized loans from the agencies artificially lowered interest rates on multi-family properties (apartment buildings), which helped developers in acquiring them. The developers then go on to raise rents. In some cases, owners of big units refinance using agency mortgages and are therefore rewarded for raising rents.
FINSUM: From the left’s view, this hurts everyday Americans by raising rent prices. From the right’s view, this is an example of how big government distorts the economy. All that said, in single family housing, the agencies still seem to have benefits that outweigh their negatives.
As our readers will know, we spent the better part of last week at the Inside ETFs conference. As part of our time there, we are planning to feature a couple of ETFs which we think might be interesting to advisors. The first one we want to feature is a special fund from Legg Mason, the fund is called the Legg Mason Low Volatility High Dividend ETF (LVHD). We were lucky enough to meet with one of the fund’s specialists, Josh Greco, at the conference, and his passion for the fund’s approach really shined through. The fund’s own words describe it best, it seeks to track “the investment results of an underlying index composed of equity securities of U.S. companies with relatively high yield and low price and earnings volatility … LVHD may benefit investors who want income but are concerned about the volatility that can come from traditional equity income investments”. Basically, the idea is to get yield and upside, without so much of the volatility that is traditionally associated with equities. Mr. Greco contextualized the utility of the approach succinctly and convincingly, explaining that as clients’ lives elongate they are going to need to stay in equities longer to get capital appreciation. Accordingly, this fund seeks to de-risk some of that necessary exposure while still giving significant upside and yield. The fund has about $600m in AUM, is widely available, has an expense ratio of 0.27%, and a dividend yield of 3.48%.
FINSUM: In our mind, this fund does an excellent job of fusing some of the best elements of fixed income (yields and less volatility) with the best part of stocks (capital appreciation). It may be a great fit for older clients that need to keep a significant allocation to equities. It is also quite affordable at 0.27%.