A Global Power Shift Is Emerging

Short term cautions not withstanding, we are on the precipice of something great.

The entire structure of the global economy is shifting, slightly and slowly. But like all great change, the most striking of the movement comes all at once, at the end.

The United States is driving this assault of the balances of power, globally, as the energy revolution progresses on our shores. This country is set to become the biggest oil producer in the world – and we are now slowly removing the export restrictions that are the last remaining barrier to this mighty end.

This isn’t just about US trade balances and deficits. Those numbers games matter, but they always matter less than you think.

This game is about power. Oil has been the source of power to our enemies for too long. Russia and the Middle East have fed well on global consumption of this product, erecting their cartels around the flow oil to global industry. It has made them powerful and a threat.

The move by the US to become the world’s largest producer of oil and gas can be viewed through a different lens than financial gain alone: this is also going to completely upend our adversaries. What wars and weapons and diplomacy and cooperation could not possibly have accomplished, given the entrenched interests we faced, this one might push on our part will quickly bring about.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You must get invested in it, and stay invested in it. All US leadership sees the goal, and no one objects to it. The days of getting beat about by monarchies in Saudi Arabia, needing to cut backroom deals that undermine our own morals with foreign militant groups, having to sit through endless meetings while Russian oligarchs threaten our allies with gas supply shortages…these days are coming to an end.

As the US increasingly becomes energy independent, the argument to even have relations with half these villains becomes non sequitur. We can marginalize them while circling around our true allies and real friends.

I can’t see everything that is going to come from this. Naturally US power will follow. And the North and South American continents should improve, swinging towards democracy and capitalism. Outside of that, while I think US energy independence is a good thing, I wouldn’t be surprised if war also follows. Revolutions surely, but also open war between foreign, former energy exporters who find themselves being boxed into a corner. The Saudi’s days are surely numbered, in particular.

My bet is that Russia will not change much, but they will also have to cut less lucrative deals with China to make it. So at least they will be a less powerful, less interfering Russia. Good riddance there.

Suffice to say, this is unpredictability at its best. While I think I see the theme, I do not yet hear the notes. But I’ll take my chances with it anyway. The old order of things was repulsive. I won’t be crying any tears for OPEC, or for Russia.

Happy Return From Independence Day

It is with fondest thoughts I welcome you back, tenderly, to the 9th Floor. I have been particularly withdrawn from these halls, choosing to spend my precious remaining time on this Earth outside during the benevolent months of summer.

Michigan summer exceeds anything you have known, rivaling in my esteem that of the West Coast. The lakes call to you and the woods are cool and soothing.

If you missed it, in the middle of last week I drew down to 75% long, and am preparing to let off the lever.

There are dark murmurs, my friends, coming out of Asia. And a steady stream of data revisions and downgrades has begun which shall plague us yet.

Being optimistic, the US continues to heal. But we are not immune. The odds are not in our favor of continuing this most excellent run much longer. Seven years marks the expectancy of another downturn, and we draw close to that number.

Sold UEC, SLW, Partial Sales of CCJ, HCLP

This morning:

I completely sold out of UEC (5% cash raise).

I completely sold out of SLW for +5% (11% cash raise)

I then sold down CCJ and HCLP (my two remaining largest positions) until my cash position was 25%.

HCLP remains my largest and most successful position this year, +170% since I bought it last August. CCJ is an idea I remain committed to, but it’s gone nowhere and I need some cash.

UEC is small, speculative, and just asking for a beat down.

SLW was a quick trade, not an investment.

It’s time to start letting off the gas. Because, let me ask you: isn’t this getting a little out of hand?

Up Another 1% Again Today

HCLP just blew through $60, as analysts raise targets in response to the HAL announcement.

BAS is back above $27. I guess I could have held onto all of those shares, but I have no regrets. Retaining a 15% position in BAS is more than reasonable.

SLW is pushing its way to $26.

My only position that is down noticeably today is UEC. And that remains my smallest position at 5% of assets.

Fracking investments remain the place to be. Oil names are doing well by extension (and a high price per barrel). I’m telling you, coal will be the next thing to run.

Have a wonderful afternoon.

Made Another Round Of Purchases Of ETP

I redeployed some cash from yesterday’s sale of BAS, bidding up ETP for $57.64.

They announced today that they’re building a new pipeline connecting the Bakken oil reserves being built out in North Dakota to Illinois. More importantly, they announced they already have commitments from shippers in the form of long term agreements.

I like this partnership a lot. It pays almost 7% in distributions to unit holders annually, and their operation has a lot going for it.

Reduced Size Of BAS Position To 15% Of Assets

I made a large series of sales in BAS for $26.23 on average. These shares were sold for an average gain of 116% from my initial purchase price a few years ago.

This sale brings BAS back in line to a 15% position in my portfolio. It had been almost 25%. The 10% cash raise will sit on my books for now.

I ran some numbers, and from their last report, I’m thinking BAS was probably worth about $8 a share. This massive move higher has been from the company managing to stop the losses they were taking every quarter. However, the next major risk to the shares will be execution; can the company turn a profit?

I think I can see how the company could make $1.60 a year in earnings pretty easily. That puts an 11 year break even point, which is about the top end of my acceptable range. At this junction, the shares are a fair price, in my book.

But I love the company, so I’ll be keeping the 15% position I have in them. I think they don’t just turn $1.60. I think they surprise us all and make $2.50-3 per share annually, sending the shares into the $30-40 range.

I cannot justify keeping the massive ~25% of my portfolio in BAS though. That’s too much, and I do have a lot of money sitting on the table here. I’m only willing to take regular risks that Basic Energy Services makes the next step successfully, even though I’m confident they will.

A Global Power Shift Is Emerging

Short term cautions not withstanding, we are on the precipice of something great.

The entire structure of the global economy is shifting, slightly and slowly. But like all great change, the most striking of the movement comes all at once, at the end.

The United States is driving this assault of the balances of power, globally, as the energy revolution progresses on our shores. This country is set to become the biggest oil producer in the world – and we are now slowly removing the export restrictions that are the last remaining barrier to this mighty end.

This isn’t just about US trade balances and deficits. Those numbers games matter, but they always matter less than you think.

This game is about power. Oil has been the source of power to our enemies for too long. Russia and the Middle East have fed well on global consumption of this product, erecting their cartels around the flow oil to global industry. It has made them powerful and a threat.

The move by the US to become the world’s largest producer of oil and gas can be viewed through a different lens than financial gain alone: this is also going to completely upend our adversaries. What wars and weapons and diplomacy and cooperation could not possibly have accomplished, given the entrenched interests we faced, this one might push on our part will quickly bring about.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You must get invested in it, and stay invested in it. All US leadership sees the goal, and no one objects to it. The days of getting beat about by monarchies in Saudi Arabia, needing to cut backroom deals that undermine our own morals with foreign militant groups, having to sit through endless meetings while Russian oligarchs threaten our allies with gas supply shortages…these days are coming to an end.

As the US increasingly becomes energy independent, the argument to even have relations with half these villains becomes non sequitur. We can marginalize them while circling around our true allies and real friends.

I can’t see everything that is going to come from this. Naturally US power will follow. And the North and South American continents should improve, swinging towards democracy and capitalism. Outside of that, while I think US energy independence is a good thing, I wouldn’t be surprised if war also follows. Revolutions surely, but also open war between foreign, former energy exporters who find themselves being boxed into a corner. The Saudi’s days are surely numbered, in particular.

My bet is that Russia will not change much, but they will also have to cut less lucrative deals with China to make it. So at least they will be a less powerful, less interfering Russia. Good riddance there.

Suffice to say, this is unpredictability at its best. While I think I see the theme, I do not yet hear the notes. But I’ll take my chances with it anyway. The old order of things was repulsive. I won’t be crying any tears for OPEC, or for Russia.

Happy Return From Independence Day

It is with fondest thoughts I welcome you back, tenderly, to the 9th Floor. I have been particularly withdrawn from these halls, choosing to spend my precious remaining time on this Earth outside during the benevolent months of summer.

Michigan summer exceeds anything you have known, rivaling in my esteem that of the West Coast. The lakes call to you and the woods are cool and soothing.

If you missed it, in the middle of last week I drew down to 75% long, and am preparing to let off the lever.

There are dark murmurs, my friends, coming out of Asia. And a steady stream of data revisions and downgrades has begun which shall plague us yet.

Being optimistic, the US continues to heal. But we are not immune. The odds are not in our favor of continuing this most excellent run much longer. Seven years marks the expectancy of another downturn, and we draw close to that number.

Sold UEC, SLW, Partial Sales of CCJ, HCLP

This morning:

I completely sold out of UEC (5% cash raise).

I completely sold out of SLW for +5% (11% cash raise)

I then sold down CCJ and HCLP (my two remaining largest positions) until my cash position was 25%.

HCLP remains my largest and most successful position this year, +170% since I bought it last August. CCJ is an idea I remain committed to, but it’s gone nowhere and I need some cash.

UEC is small, speculative, and just asking for a beat down.

SLW was a quick trade, not an investment.

It’s time to start letting off the gas. Because, let me ask you: isn’t this getting a little out of hand?

Up Another 1% Again Today

HCLP just blew through $60, as analysts raise targets in response to the HAL announcement.

BAS is back above $27. I guess I could have held onto all of those shares, but I have no regrets. Retaining a 15% position in BAS is more than reasonable.

SLW is pushing its way to $26.

My only position that is down noticeably today is UEC. And that remains my smallest position at 5% of assets.

Fracking investments remain the place to be. Oil names are doing well by extension (and a high price per barrel). I’m telling you, coal will be the next thing to run.

Have a wonderful afternoon.

Made Another Round Of Purchases Of ETP

I redeployed some cash from yesterday’s sale of BAS, bidding up ETP for $57.64.

They announced today that they’re building a new pipeline connecting the Bakken oil reserves being built out in North Dakota to Illinois. More importantly, they announced they already have commitments from shippers in the form of long term agreements.

I like this partnership a lot. It pays almost 7% in distributions to unit holders annually, and their operation has a lot going for it.

Reduced Size Of BAS Position To 15% Of Assets

I made a large series of sales in BAS for $26.23 on average. These shares were sold for an average gain of 116% from my initial purchase price a few years ago.

This sale brings BAS back in line to a 15% position in my portfolio. It had been almost 25%. The 10% cash raise will sit on my books for now.

I ran some numbers, and from their last report, I’m thinking BAS was probably worth about $8 a share. This massive move higher has been from the company managing to stop the losses they were taking every quarter. However, the next major risk to the shares will be execution; can the company turn a profit?

I think I can see how the company could make $1.60 a year in earnings pretty easily. That puts an 11 year break even point, which is about the top end of my acceptable range. At this junction, the shares are a fair price, in my book.

But I love the company, so I’ll be keeping the 15% position I have in them. I think they don’t just turn $1.60. I think they surprise us all and make $2.50-3 per share annually, sending the shares into the $30-40 range.

I cannot justify keeping the massive ~25% of my portfolio in BAS though. That’s too much, and I do have a lot of money sitting on the table here. I’m only willing to take regular risks that Basic Energy Services makes the next step successfully, even though I’m confident they will.