Morton Fox (mortonfox) wrote,
Morton Fox

All's well that ends Wells

GWB Challenge

I noticed that one of my stock picks made the Top Movers list today: Agrium was up 7.91% on a higher earnings forecast. They make fertilizer, so rising corn prices have much to do with that. Usually though, I don't look at day-to-day price movements as a lot of that is merely noise in the long term. I just happened to take a look at the Google Finance main page today and saw that. What's served me well over the past decade is to look at the big picture and use that to guide my research. Then I enter limit orders to automate my trading. So how did fertilizer enter into the big picture? It's one of many backdoor ways to play the commodities boom. I also figured that worldwide demand for agricultural commodities would rise because people in newly-industrialized Third World countries with hefty trade surpluses would be looking to upgrade their diets. I didn't foresee the corn ethanol program, so that was icing on the cake. My main concern was that a spike in natural gas futures would hurt the company's profitability (because natural gas is used in fertilizer production), so it's a good thing that didn't happen.

In more mundane proceedings, I have to transfer out of my Wells Fargo account. The change they're planning to make that will have a material adverse effect is they're switching everyone with under $200K in balances from their Money Market Fund Sweep to their Wells Fargo Cash Sweep. The difference is in APY. Whereas the money market sweep had a yield of just under 5%, the cash sweep offers a skimpy 1.5%. Normally, I would not worry too much about the yield, except that this account happens to hold about 1/3 of my emergency fund! So lowering the interest rate is unacceptable. I filled out the paperwork today to transfer the assets to an E*Trade account.

That's a bit of a shame because what they have there is some of my oldest money. Back in 1996, I got some individual Strong funds. Then those were merged into a Strong Prime Managers account, which later became Strong One and then Strong Brokerage. Then Dick Strong (no, really, that's the name of Strong Capital's chairman) got caught with his hand in the till in the mutual fund scandal of 2003. Luckily, nothing I had there was actually affected but nevertheless, Strong Funds folded and Wells Fargo took over all Strong accounts. Anyway, I would've gladly remained with Wells Fargo because it would've been a bother to switch (aside from the asset-transfer paperwork, there's also some extra accounting and recordkeeping), but they're becoming greedy so I'm leaving.

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