New York, New York

“I'll make a brand new start of it In old New York If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere It's up to you, New York, New York”

. . . Frank Sinatra, The theme song from the Martin Scorses film New York, New York (1977), composed by John Kander.

Well, I have certainly made a new start of it after a wonderful 20+ year stint at the venerable firm of Raymond James. As previously stated, I am writing a stock market strategy letter under the domain of [email protected]. My colleague Andrew Adams has brought back Charts of the Week in our Wednesday report, while another colleague, Harry Katica, is writing Friday’s report on sectors and individual stocks ideas. I have also associated in a professional partnership relationship with the billion+ dollar money management firm of Naples, Florida-based Capital Wealth Planning (CWP) as a strategist and a portfolio manager. Last week CWP’s founder and CEO, namely Kevin Simpson, accompanied me to my various haunts in New York City to meet some folks and do media “hits.” I will not bore you with the events of the entire week, but I will share with you what a typical day looked like. Take last Wednesday. The day began with a hit on CNBC at 8:45 a.m. at the NASDAQ website with an interview conducted by my friend Becky Quick. From there Kevin and I walked to Barry Ritholtz’s money management shop to talk about the markets and do a 20 minutes video with Barry and Josh Brown. I have known these guys for years and consider them to be some of the savviest folks on Wall Street.

Next was lunch with one of my favorite portfolio managers, Mary Lisanti, president of Lisanti Capital Growth and captain of Lisanti Small Cap Growth Fund (ASCGX/$20.64), a fund I have owned for a long time and have been very pleased with its performance. The lunch took place at Capital Grill on 42nd, a spot I tend to use for midtown lunches. A conversation with Mary is always insightful since she is a small cap genius. For the record, Mary was an institutional all-star technology analyst at EF Hutton, which is where I first heard of her (gosh I am old!). We discussed the various markets where she noted the Russel 2000, her benchmark, is comprised of the wrong stocks, while the Russell Value Index is WAY over-weighted in financials. Nevertheless, Mary is outperforming her benchmark by some 500 basis points (YTD), which the reason I love her investment style. While many topics were discussed between Mary, Kevin and myself, her insight about innovation really struck me. To wit, Mary noted that one of the reasons that Europe trailed in the move to the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700’s was the fact that Europe was an agrarian economy that did not have much “innovation,” which is necessary to morph into the “new world!” Fast forward to today, many of other countries’ economies fail to possess that “innovation” that is necessary to move into the 21st century. Clearly, the United States currently does.

From there, we rode the number 4 express subway to Wall Street to see one of my best friends, and the best midstream Master Limited Partnership (MLP) portfolio manager (PM) in this country, Eric Kaufman, of VE Capital fame. Eric is the PM that told me 8 years ago to NOT own any upstream MLPs, like bankrupt Linn Energy, advice that was worth its weight in gold! Currently, he and Mary Lisanti, both like Enterprise Partners (EPD/$27.89), which yields ~6.3% on a tax favored basis. I own a lot of the midstream MLPs because they are out of favor, are the cheapest they have been in two decades, everyone hates them because they did not heed our advice to sell the upstream MLPs before the declined and the midstream got sold just because they were MLPs. Of interest, is that the two international PMs I met with a few times last week in NYC are buying the midstream MLPs.

From Eric’s trading desk, in the old JP Morgan Bank building, across from the NYSE, Kevin and I went to Bobby Van’s, right next to Eric’s place, to imbibe at Friend of Fermentation (FoF), where another best friend, Arthur Cashin holds “court” every night at 4:15 p.m. while we marinate olives. Kevin sat next Arthur to get to know him, while I commiserated with Eric. There were a bunch of other FoF members there, but my writing space is limited.