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Executive Summary

Good Value is Hard to Find

By Roger S. Conrad on Mar. 7, 2014

The Bull Market turns 5 years old this weekend. That’s the average age most rallies have come apart, including the previous decade’s run that ended with the 2008 crash.

Happily, there’s plenty of differences between now and then. Consumers, businesses and even governments are far less leveraged. The global economy isn’t close to overheating. The US dollar is the hot commodity. And there’s still a wall of worry to climb, judging from the popularity of bear arguments on almost any subject.

It’s undeniable, however, that real values are harder to come by. That’s especially true for dividend-paying stocks. And though still nowhere close to 2007 levels, investors’ appetite for risk has grown. That includes piling into popular fare that have already scored big gains, as well as piling on with short sales of battered stocks.

In recent months, we’ve scored hefty profits in several unloved Aggressive Income Portfolio holdings that squeezed heavy short interest by posting better-than-expected results. That includes ENEL SPA (Italy: ENEL, OTC: ENLAY), which I’m taking a roughly 60 percent profit on in 7 months.

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