Mark Gorman: ‘In connection with ‘cleaning like a guy’ you recently wrote: ‘You will also want to add a second washer, for colored fabrics.’ Shame on you! A real guy knows that the way to wash clothes is to throw everything together and wash it all in cold water. When she comes for a visit, my mother sometimes comments ‘That’s why your underwear is gray’ (it’s not really gray, but let’s just say it’s not as white as it used to be). To which I respond, ‘And your point is….?”

☞ I stand corrected.


Smokin’ Joe Cherner (who types about 120 words a minute): ‘TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters on a single row of an English language keyboard.’


Several of you have asked about a mortgage REIT (real estate investment trust), symbol NLY, that currently yields 14.85%. (It sells for $18.50 and pays a $2.72 dividend.) Clearly, the market does not expect that dividend to be sustained. But you asked me about it because it came recommended by Jim Grant of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer. Well, Jim is way smarter than I am (although that alone is no formula for investing success), and he tends toward the skeptical end of the spectrum (a plus). So I checked with him over the weekend. Yes, says Jim, it looks too good to be true, and yes it has risen in price since he last wrote about it (in October, it was selling so cheap that it yielded 17.3%) ‘but we are bullish nonetheless.’ He owns some, and one of his former publishers is the REIT’s director of research. The outfit – Annaly Mortgage Management – is basically in the business of making sophisticated bets on interest rates. This is a scary business that can go wrong. Jim Grant is convinced the reward justifies the risk. On his recommendation, I am buying a few shares.


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