Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Franklin Templeton Posts The Premium/Discount For The Templeton Russia Fund (TRF) On Its Website

Want to find out the premium (or rare discount) for the Templeton Russia and Eastern Europe fund (symbol: TRF)? Franklin Templeton posts the current premium on its website every few days or so. I just checked and as of May 26, 2006, the premium for TRF was a whopping 33.22%! It's concerning that the premium is that high, as a sharp pullback in the Russian stock market could send TRF plummeting.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Emigrant Direct Raises Its Money Market Interest Rate to 4.65%

I just saw an online advertisment for Emigrant Direct which indicates that they have raised their money market interest rate to 4.65%. As far as I can tell, this rate change was implemented today. Emigrant Direct now pays half a percent more than INGDirect, which currently pays a paltry 4.15%.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

BusinessWeek Has An Article About The Recent Sharp Pullback In Emerging Markets

BusinessWeek has published an article entitled "Behind Emerging Markets' Malaise" on their website about the sharp pullback over the past two weeks in the Emerging Markets sector. BusinessWeek interviewed Alka Banerjee, who focuses on international markets as vice-president of global index management at Standard & Poor's. Banerjee seems to be of the opinion that this is just a temporary, but necessary, pullback in the Emerging Markets and that Emerging Markets will continue to do well unless the price of oil collapses.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The NAV Premium For The Templeton Russia Fund (TRF) is Plummeting!

The Templeton Russia and Eastern Europe closed-end fund (symbol: TRF) has dropped like a rock over the past week. TRF has dropped from a closing price of $93.81 on May 9th to a closing price of $72.50 as of today, May 15th. That is a drop of 22.7% in just four days of trading. Meanwhile, the Russia stock market benchmark RTX index has dropped around 9% over the same time period.

The reason why TRF has fallen so much more than the RTX index is because its closed-end fund premium was very high as of last week. According to ETFconnect, TRF was trading at a premium of about 37% above its net asset value (NAV) on May 9th, and that premium has dropped all the way down to about 9% as of today, May 15th.

Most closed-end funds trade at discounts to their underlying NAV. However, some of the best performers do occassionally trade at large premiums. Unfortunately, these premiums can quickly evaporate when the going gets tough and momentum investors start to jump ship.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Everbank Provides An Easy Way To Speculate In Foreign Currency And Precious Metals

I just discovered Everbank, a bank that allows investors to easily invest in foreign currency and precious metals. They offer CDs and deposit accounts in foreign currencies that will appreciate in value if the U.S. dollar depreciates. Everbank also offers a "DollarBull" CD that will increase in value if the U.S. dollar rises against selected foreign currencies.

One of their most interesting offerings is their "MarketSafe" Gold Bullion CD. This is a great offer because if gold rises over the five year holding period, the investor will get back the original principal plus the value of the increase in the price of gold. But the investor is also protected if gold falls in price and will still get back the original principal in the event of a decline in the price of gold.

Friday, May 05, 2006 Has An Interesting Article About Small Cap Stocks

I recently discovered an interesting article about small cap stocks and their returns relative to large cap stocks over at The article also includes an online calculator that allows one to enter a range of years between 1927 and 2005 and view the annualized returns for small cap and large cap growth and value stocks. The calculator also showns nominal and inflation-adjusted returns. As I have previously written, small cap value stocks trounce large cap growth stocks over time and this article provides further evidence of the disparity in returns.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Free Online Access To The Wall Street Journal's Website,, Through May 10

I just discovered that the Wall Street Journal is providing free access to its online website,, through May 10th. I wish I had discovered this promotion a few days ago because apparently they have been providing free access since Monday, May 1st. The Wall Street Journal is, in my opinion, the best financial-related newspaper in the U.S. and I highly recommend that everyone check out the website.