I am retired and take educated guesses on all things financial.

September 27, 2006

September 28, 2006: Crooks and Banks

If you are a crook, and plan on running gang members or drugs from Central America up the coast to California, you have a BIG problem. This picture,taken yesterday from one of several brand new high speed and well armed Coast Guard sub-vessels of their newly refurbished "mother ship" off the Pacific Coast of Central America confirms highly trained boots on the water. Rumour has it that they can spot a rowboat five hundred miles away.

If you are looking for an investment bank:

Here are three investment banks that are diligent in requiring appropraite assurances before approving real estate deals, in my opinion.Don't expect to hit home runs with banks at this stage of the cycle. Then again, competent companies have a way of beating some far-off analyst living (and dying) by a plethora of corporate/industry prediction schemes.Tuck these names into your financial prospects folder for future reference.

ABN Amro (ABN) through its LaSalle Bank division is extremely thorough and demanding. This bank has its act together.Holland-based ABN trades at 29.15 and pays at present a dividend of over 5%.

US Bancorp (USB) requested documents that sends project planners scurrying. Their finance team is well prepared and comps properties realistically. Rates and terms are fair. The stock trades at 33.18 (a bit rich for me at this time)and yields 3.98%.

Bank of America (BAC) expects the most refined package presentations. They are detail-oriented and tough inquisitors. Like USB, they were very well versed with appropriate comps and projections (quite conservative).The stock (also a bit rich at this time) trades at 53.24 and yields 4.21%.

I presently have two banks as long term holdings in my portfolio - Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) and First Horizon (FHN). I do not own the three banks presented above.

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