Thursday, February 23, 2017

"Infrastructure Stocks Tumble On Report Trump May Delay Infrastructure Bill Until 2018"

Even without the funding uncertainty it is very, very difficult to make money as a portfolio investor rather than as a direct investor in this area because, as in the investment banks and the movie biz, if there are any profits, they go first to the "talent" and only secondarily to investors.

I'd tell you about adventures is water and electrical infrastructure but I'm still a bit concerned about the implications of yesterday's "Long-winded speech could be early sign of Alzheimer's disease, says study".

From ZeroHedge:
Construction, engineering and materials stocks are underperforming the market on sudden concerns that in addition to tax reform and Obamacare repeal, another core aspect of Trump's fiscal stimulus, Infrastructure spending, may be delayed by at least two years.

As Kalex Advisors wrote in a note "Time for Plan B?" this morning, while no decisions have been made, Axios reports that the Trump is considering pushing off its call for Congress to pass an infrastructure bill until 2018, given the full slate of other top-tier items on Congress’s plate this year including healthcare and tax reform, Supreme Court fight, and potential debt ceiling / government shutdown battles.

The idea would be to take up infrastructure in an election year and make it very difficult to oppose money for home-state roads, bridges and other projects that lawmakers can take credit for. It also would make sense procedurally given we expect the money to pay for infrastructure will largely come through tax reform and deemed repatriation of overseas earnings with a one-time tax.

Again the legislative strategy is still evolving and such a timeline would run counter to what GOP leaders laid out last month in their Philadelphia retreat, but the calendar is beginning to look crowded and infrastructure has always been less of a priority for Republican leaders on Capitol Hill than it has been for Trump...MORE
Okay, since you asked one quick infrastructure re-reference:

Water Focused Hedge Funds: Liquid Assets or H2OhNo?
I think this will become our standard intro to water as an asset, originally used to introduce "A Look at the World's First Water-focused Hedge Fund" in 2014: 
Since the first Earth Day in April 1970 and more importantly since the establishment of the EPA in December of that year, folks have been trying to make money out of water in the U.S. 
Put simply, the returns have not been market-beating.
Because so much of the opportunity was my-little-crony stuff, at the whim of politicians, there was no consistency of growth at a time when other portfolio investments offered very competitive comparisons. 
The alternative was to own the cash flow, private equity style, but unless one felt a passion for grit chambers and sludge pans it was pretty pedestrian, utility type ROI.
In fact the most reliable water investment in the U.S. has probably been York Water Company of York PA. 
They've been paying dividends for 199 consecutive years and just announced their 575th divi.
The announcement carries the boilerplate "This release contains forward-looking statements".... 
I won't use the 'Liquid Assets' schtick ever again, promise....