Fun!  (In a dark sort of way.)  And totally different.  See it this weekend?


Dave Neal:  “I agree that lumber is definitely a long term hold.  PCL also produces a nice dividend (4.7% at today’s price according to Yahoo finance).  I own all three timber REITs: PCL, PCH, and RYN as long term (permanent?) holdings.  RYN has outperformed the S&P for the last year.  RYN and PCH are up for the last year and PCL is under water, as Brian points out.  Overall, they more or less track each other, but owning all three smoothes out the ‘individual stock’ risk (management problems, individual plant problems, forest fires, etc.).  This is one asset class that is easy to own via individual stocks, rather than index funds, saving on the expenses.  I use it for roughly 5% of my portfolio. . . . By the way, of the nine asset classes I own, timber reits are the lowest performing this year.  I have found that when this is the case, the asset class tends to outperform in the next year.  For example, my two lowest performing asset classes in 2008 (emerging markets and international reits) are my top two this year.  So I would personally rate the timber reits as a buy right now.  (In 2008, timber was my top performer, losing “only” 33.2%.  In 2007, it was middling, gaining 10.4% for me, excluding dividends in both cases.)”


Ralph:  “Your readers who served in the military might be interested to know that USAA recently expanded their eligibility criteria to include anyone who has served at any time, in any branch of the military. (When I first heard about them, their membership was restricted to Army officers.)  I’ve only heard good things about the products and services USAA sells.  Their Service Ratings on their wiki page lists many awards they have received.  They have an excellent full-service website.  I love the fact that they allow individuals to deposit checks by scanning them via their home computers.  Probably best for those, like myself, who do their banking online.”


Bruuuuuuuce!  The boss himself – Springsteen! – says same-sex marriage should be legal.  Let’s see if the legislature listens.  (They were supposed to vote on this today, but have delayed it.)


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