Since its February 19 high, the S&P 500 Index has fallen 19%. Market chaos.
You should be thankful when this happens.
The market is on sale!
When you go to the grocery store, do you avoid items that are on sale?
I haven’t seen people tell the manager: “I came here for milk, but I see it’s marked down. Can I get a rain check to come back and buy it at full retail price?”
It sounds silly, I know.
But that’s what we do with the stock market. We clamor to pay full price and ignore names that are on sale.
If you’re a long-term investor looking to add to your positions, this is what you should want.
If you’re a short-term investor looking to snag a quick uptick, this should appeal to you too.
I often say you should have a list of stocks at the ready at all times.
Today, I want to make your life easy during this market chaos.
There’s an investment that already owns a list of great companies … and is trading for more than 20% less than the value of them.
Read on to learn more…
A Solid History of Returns
Central Securities Corp. (NYSE: CET) is a closed-end fund.
Closed-end funds trade like stocks. But they have active managers who buy and sell the names the fund invests in.
And given the volatility we have these days, that’s good for you.
Central has been doing this for more than 90 years … and it has done well.
Its total return has beaten the S&P 500 over the last one, two, three and five years.
Why I Like It
I like Central’s investments.
Its largest investment is in 23% of the shares of Plymouth Rock, a private property and casualty insurance firm in the Northeast.
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett has generated huge value over the years via insurance too. People need it in good times and bad.
Over the 34 years current management has run Plymouth Rock, its book value has grown 18% per year. Central relies on these steady gains to anchor its portfolio.
Over the 38 years Central has owned Plymouth Rock, the value of its stake has grown to $216 million. Its initial investment was less than $1 million.
The fund also owns solid public stocks.
As of the end of last year, the fund’s top five were:
These stocks have more than doubled, on average, over the past five years. By comparison, the total return of the S&P 500 was 56.4% over the past five years.
Central’s public and private investments both beat the market.
How Central Uses the Gains
Central’s policy is to pay out its net investment income and realized capital gains.
It does this in two payments.
The first — in June — is the smaller of the two.
At the end of the year, it pays the realized gains. This is the larger of the two payments.
CET Pays Its Investors Like Clockwork
(Source: CEF Connect)
You can see the smaller initial payment followed by the much larger payout when the company harvests its gains for the year.
In 2019, Central paid its investors $1.35 per share. At yesterday’s closing price of $28, that’s a 4.8% yield.
The most Central paid in one year was $4.35 in 2000. That’s a 15% yield compared to today’s price.
Over the past 20 years, Central has paid out more dividends than its current share price. Nearly $6 more.
We expect more of the same in the future.
Plymouth Rock is expanding its operations outside of the Northeast. And Central’s public investments continue to deliver gains.
Pick up CET at a Discount
Today, you can buy Central at a discount to the value of its holdings. A big discount.
Central posts its net asset value each week. Its most recent value is $35.73 per share.
It’s trading nearly 22% less than that today.
And it’s your opportunity during this market chaos.
Shares have been riding a roller coaster, so I suggest you wait until they move higher again to buy.
Once you do, I believe you have at least 20% upside in this name.
Editor, Profit Line