Trading Pfds

The following is notes to myself, not investing advice.

There are roughly 730 pfds, though some are actually converts or bonds. Most websites (all?) that discuss them or provide lists/screeners say what their CY is, which is mostly useless info, but fail to calculate YTC/YTW/YTM and never those relative to an issuer’s credit-worthiness, which is what really matters. In short, if you understand bond investing, then investing in pfds is a piece of cake (and takes far less money, since par is typically 1/40th of a bond).

What both do require, though, is the ability to do basic, funnymentals analysis, plus a means to chart the security. Absent a Moody’s report, the easiest site for estimating an issuer’s credit-worthiness is SimplyWallStreet. The best (only?) site for charting bonds is FINRA. Any website will chart pfds.

So, here’s what I’m finding. Many companies issue stocks, bonds, and pfds, all at the same time. Which is/are the better buy depends on your goals and the ability to get a decent fill. I buy a lot of bonds. But I’m finding that the higher YTMs and shorter maturities of pdfs are attractive, even in today’s over-bought market.


PS Depending on the context, there is no meaningful diff between the terms ‘investing’, ‘trading’, ‘speculating’, ‘gambling’. All of them are bets on the outcome of very uncertain events. Therefore, timing and position-sizing are crucial, not the nonsense called “diversification”.


I pretty much eliminated individual preferred’s from my portfolios 10% allocation. I use to get them on/near their IPO’s and sell them if they ever got to $27.5. That seemed to work based on a CDx3 book recommendation. CDx3 web/ownership changed hands, but still is a great resource for Preferred’s along with Quantumonline.

Much easier now to simply purchase ETF “PFFA” currently paying 8.25%. You may get that same percent on an individual pfd’s but you will surely be in the more risky companies. If we ever get another Pandemic type downturn like March 2020, where you could get 15-20% yld on PFFA, I’d surely up my 10% allocation.

Yeah, the CY for PFFL is attractive, but not its YTD, total return of (-22%). You’re trading elephants for rabbits.


Some site options?… - this used to be The google sheet behind it takes 10 seconds to load. Is it being maintained? Can’t tell. For example, mitt-a shows an accurate current price……
Site requires an account (free?) to use its screener, but on an individual basis a research page comes up.

FWIW I just bought a little TELZ (8.5%+ yield, 9 CDx3 rating) today - but the volume is so thin somebody decided not to sell more to me at limit even 2% above yesterday’s close.