Monday, August 20, 2012

Risk of Mortgage REITs

At some point in building a wealth portfolio you may come across the option of purchasing mortgage REITs. Mortgage REITs can be an extremely powerful investment in real estate. These are highly risky investments that can sometimes produce a significant return on your overall investment portfolio. However, how much risk are you actually willing to take to get rewards that may never come? When building your portfolio how smart is the choice of adding mortgage REITs? To answer this you must first understand not only the basics of what a mortgage REIT is but also what the hazards involved really are.

Mortgage real estate investment trusts, or REITs, simply put are investments in residential mortgages that have been grouped together into a security known as a Mortgage Backed Security or MBS. The main difference between a regular REIT and a mortgage REIT is that a mortgage REIT owns no actual physical property. This is where the risk factor comes into play. You will then receive your income from payments that the borrowers make towards the mortgages that you own in your REIT package. Because of this Mortgage REITs are more similar in nature to bonds and therefore have more risk involved then regular real estate investments that are backed by actual property. There are two types of Mortgage REITs, called as the agency funded and non-agency. An agency REIT is backed by the government through either Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae which makes them creditworthy. Non-agency REITs are backed by investment banks. Non-agency debts hold more risk because they are less credit worthy and also less liquid, therefore if there is a default by the issuer, the holder of the loan is the one that is at a loss due to this.

Other risks involved include the fact that REITs do not allow for appreciation of collateral since there are no actual physical assets and they are in fact just instruments of debt. Interest rates cause significant fluctuations in dividends making them unstable and sometimes nonexistent. Due to their unpredictable nature the investor has to weigh how much they are willing to risk for a possible short term gain. Even in the best of circumstances, hefty payments that you may receive from a Mortgage REIT are not guaranteed and have the additional problem of being short lived.

When investing in Mortgage REITs one must also consider that if they are using a non-agency held bond the risk becomes even greater. The yields can also become much higher for the investor of a non-agency bond. Unless one is willing to deal with the inherent risks, it might be safer to go with an agency held bond. When using non-agency held bonds there is a certain amount of leverage that must be used. This leverage also increases the risk. By having to utilize leverage (such as the hazard of default), as well as deal with prepayment and interest rates an investor would be wise to understand and be well advised when weighing their options.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

ARMOUR Residential REIT and Investing Risks

Managing Risk At ARMOUR 

Risk management at any corporation, particularly a securities firm is inevitable. This is particularly the case at ARMOUR. At ARMOUR Residential REIT, risk management is critical to successes and failures. Involved mostly in hybrid variable rate, and fixed rate of mortgage-backed securities, risk happens every day. Risk at ARMOUR is never something that is taken lightly by quality assurance managers. Risk is something that is carefully weighed, examined, and mitigated.

ARMOUR has strategic policies in place to help mitigate risk. These are firm policies committed to lowering risk and improving cash available in the event interest rates rapidly increase, or in the event a financial collapse were to occur. ARMOUR’s investment strategies also involve some risk; therefore policies are set to help protect investors from risk.

The primary risks involved with ARMOUR include risks associated with early payment, increasing interest rates, and concerns associated with ARMOUR’s ability to fund portfolios. Each of these risks are addressed below.

1. Managing prepayment risk. To assist with prepayments ARMOUR has in place a policy that allows ARMOUR to purchase mortgage securities at prices in excess of 100 cents on the dollar. This allows the company to pay top dollar prices for all securities. ARMOUR will also review delinquencies and refinancing to help address premiums traditionally associated with prepayment premiums.

2. Increasing interest rates. Interest rates are sometimes beyond the control of ARMOUR. At present ARMOUR would put into place a systematic program that would increase the cost of funding but allow asset yields to remain constant or allow them to change at a rate that remained slower than the rise in interest rates. This would allow a total decrease in net interest spread earned and accompanying potential dividends that ARMOUR would pay out. If funding costs and asset yields still resulted in a discrepancy, ARMOUR may consider selling assets at prices far lower than the original payment price to help offset costs and fees associated with high interest rates.

3. Funding portfolios. There are currently several strategies in place to protect portfolios and earnings from rising rates, including a strategy that focuses on shorter duration assets. The objective of ARMOUR’S current hedging program is to promote cash flow if rates rise, and decrease cash flow and decline in value if rates decline. ARMOUR’S goals include protecting assets and liabilities for all clients.

ARMOUR also seeks to help mortgage borrowers or homeowners pay off their loans at any time. This is a challenging task, and must take into consideration many factors including different interest rates. It is possible that a company including ARMOUR may over hedge, and under hedge. ARMOUR’s primary
goals include maintaining proper hedging that will protect against these factors and interest rate fluctuations as best as possible.

ARMOUR insists on paying out all dividends monthly and conducting all business in an honorable fashion. All business matters are handled in a transparent manner. This also contributes to the legitimacy and risk management potential of the company.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Shares Investment Conference

Dear Readers,

Some of you might be interested in an upcoming shares investment conference.  Speakers include Jim Rogers.  Details are as follows:

Below will be the details - Speakers: Jim Rogers and Mike Bellaflore

Date - 01 September 2012, Saturday (English Session)

Time - 9am - 1pm (AM Session Pass)
          - 2.30pm - 7pm (PM Session Pass)
          - 9am - 7pm (Fold Full Day/Platinum VVIP Pass)

Adding on, we do have Chinese session as well. 
Please see the below details. - Speakers: Professor Chan Yan Chong and Hu Li Yang

Date - 15 September 2012, Saturday (Chinese)

Time - 9am - 1pm (AM Session Pass)
          - 2.30pm - 7pm (PM Session Pass)
          - 9am - 7pm (Fold Full Day/Platinum VVIP Pass)

For more information, you may visit -

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Enerplus Corporation - An Overview

Enerplus Corporation is a North American energy producer with a varied asset base of top-quality, low-decline oil and gas assets well complemented by growth resources with greater economics. The company focuses on strengthening value for its investors by developing properties in a successful manner and managing a disciplined balance sheet. By carrying out its various activities the company strives to provide a good return of income and growth to its investors.

Enerplus has been resilient even in a very competitive environment and unstable market conditions just because of being a responsible producer of resources. The Enerplus executives pay a close attention and are very responsible towards their employees, their shareholders, their partners and the communities engaged with them. This responsible outlook has been incorporated in the Enerplus foundation and has added to the company’s success.

In 2010, the company generated a revenue of more than1.2 billion from oil and gas sales of 82, 138 BOE/day. These figures placed Enerplus among the top traded gas and oil producers. The picture of Enerplus has been quietly changed from its early times.  Enerplus was founded through investments in gas and oil assets in 1986 with about two dozen employees. The company continued to acquire assets while yielding a high income sharing model. With good progressive plans, the company turned into a high oil and gas producer with about 800 employees.

Enerplus has a low risk and a good return on its investments because of its focus on generating cash flows from the oil and gas industry. The entrepreneurial spirit of the company has helped it in acquiring more attention by providing high yields to its shareholders. Enerplus says that “you are not buying assets but a company with organized people and a well built system”.  Enerplus promises no change in its fundamental values.

Another reason for taking note of  Enerplus is its employee feedback program in which a survey is being conducted every two years by the company. The company compares its performance with its industry peers and studies the survey closely to find the areas which need to improvement. These programs are carried out for empowering the employees and uncovering the ideas for yielding high and profitable results. Enerplus possesses a technical toolkit of a large firm but is quiet small to move decisively with a team of talented experts who have the power of harnessing new technologies to unleash the best resources.

The best time to be a part of a company is when it is in the stage of growth.  Enerplus has already made deep foundations in North America’s various resource plays. A lot of drilling is already going on and the company is trying its best to find out how large can these plays be. The company’s main focus is on Oil and liquids rich gas which has a very high market, so investing in this company could probably yield very high returns.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dividends from Armour Residential REIT

Received a cheque for the dividends from Armour Residential REIT.  Based on my holdings of 500 shares, I am given $38.13.  Not a bad amount if you ask me.  Just the day before receiving this cheque, I also just banked in the cheque that I received for my investment in Gamco Global Gold and Natural Resources Trust.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Feng Tian Wei Wins Bronze Medal

Congratulations to Feng Tian Wei who has won the bronze medal in the Olympics for Singapore on 1 Aug 2012.  Watched the match last night and was impressed with how she completely dominated her opponent.  A medal is a medal is a medal.

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