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In This Issue
bullet Cale's Notes:  Way too much homework.
"Video, a special report, and more blog posts, too."
bullet About the Tarpon Folio: More about our Spoke Fund®.

Letter to Investors
For June 2010 [email protected] (305) 522-1333             

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Cale's Notes

Cale Smith

Dear Investors,

It has been a tough, strange few months in the stock market. My relief that the situation in Greece appears to be resolving itself as I thought it would was short-lived. Uncertainty caused by financial reform legislation, confusing economic data and this blasted oil spill which now appears large enough to have its own NFL team have clearly impacted the prices of the companies in the Tarpon Folio lately.

I'm trying something different in this letter - namely, video. I'll tell you in advance it's going to be a bit clunky, but consider this my attempt to look you each in the eye and tell you that while I don't expect you to be happy about the portfolio being down lately, I don't want you to worry about it, either.

I'll save the rest for the video, which you can watchby clicking here.

To update the performance figures I mentioned in that clip - as measured from the beginning of its second year through yesterday, Tarpon is down 9.4%, compared to a decline in the S&P 500 of 12.3%. I realize that doing slightly less poorly than the market is probably of little consolation to anyone - particularly those of you who have invested with us more recently. To all of you I'd offer the following:

Tarpon, if considered an asset itself, is more attractively priced right now than it has been in a year. I have been making a significant number of changes the last few months to capitalize on some remarkable opportunities that have emerged during the recent market decline. As usual, I am buying beaten down shares in some terrific businesses, ones we have long-owned and some new names, too. The market is once again extremely inefficient in certain areas. This is good for us.

For instance, as mentioned in the video, we now own two companies that are trading for less than the value of cash and/or securities on their books. In those cases I am effectively buying dollar bills for us by paying eighty cents. We're getting a discount upfront on the dollar bill, and then, when the market realizes the underlying businesses are in fact worth significantly more than $0, we will profit accordingly, too. There are other big discrepancies between price and value out there, as well, and I intend to keep adding the best I can find to the Tarpon Folio.

I also suspect that, all things being equal, the value gap in our companies will narrow relatively rapidly. We may have already started to see some of that in this week's market rise. Despite recent economic headlines that no doubt seem depressing, they are, in the big picture, consistent with a moderating recovery from one of the worst economic periods in seventy years. The odds still overwhelming point to a full economic recovery, although certainly not as quickly as any of us would like.

Along those lines, I've written a report titled "Why We're Buying in This Market: How The Risks of a Double Dip Recession Are Being Overblown." It was too long to include in this letter, but I very much hope you can find time to read it. It explains much of what I've been doing in the portfolio.

You can download the PDF version of that report by clicking here, or view it on my blog here.

Lastly, in my previous letter I mentioned I'd be reporting to you on my rationale for buying our sole bank stock - Citizens Republic Bancorp (CRBC). That report is also too lengthy to include in this letter, but I will be posting sections on my blog at over the coming days. I have put a little more time into that write-up than usual because I suspect many of you are still uneasy about investing in banks these days. Citizens, however, is not one to be overly concerned about. While there is still some mild uncertainty about the bank's near-term results, there is not a lot of risk. Being able to distinguish between the two is important when investing.

For those of you who'd like the summarized version of the investment case for CRBC, here it is:

Citizens Republic is an undervalued and now well-managed bank in the early stages of a turnaround that I believe will see the bank regain profitability in the first quarter of 2011. The bank has strong capital levels, is showing solid improvements in credit quality, and trades at a significant discount to what I believe shares are worth. There is a high degree of uncertainty surrounding the bank's true value, but even under conservative assumptions, that value is significantly higher than where shares currently trade.

For portfolio managers and analysts reading this - here are valuation spreadsheets on CRBC. They, too, are a bit clunky, but drill down as you see fit.

Citizens is a great example of a company that the market is pricing too irrationally lately. CRBC also typifies how I intend to continue to grow our wealth in Tarpon - with hard work, a clear head, and weighing facts more than emotions.

I'll be posting more on my blog in the coming weeks and months to fill in some of these long pauses between investor letters. If you haven't checked it out yet, please do, at

Here are those links one more time:

My Video Update

"Why We're Buying" report

CRBC Financial Model

As usual, call or email anytime. And thank you for hanging in there with me.

- Cale Smith
Portfolio Manager
Tarpon Folio
[email protected]
(305) 522-1333

About The Tarpon Folio

The Tarpon Folio is an innovative, investor-friendly alternative to the traditional actively managed mutual fund. It's built on a model we call a Spoke Fund®

It is more transparent, takes more concentrated positions and is significantly less expensive than the vast majority of mutual funds. The portfolio is managed for long-term growth using value investing principles. 

Fees are 1.25% of assets annually, assessed on a monthly basis. Turnover, taxes and trading are minimized in the fund, and investors can customize their accounts in several key ways, including tax preference. Each Tarpon Folio account is also protected by three types of insurance for a maximum of up to $10.0 million

For more information, visit our website.  

Here is our privacy policy, our Form ADV and our Fiduciary Oath.

Privacy Policy Statement

Investment advisers, like all providers of personal financial services, are required by law to inform their clients of their policies regarding privacy of client information. Investment advisers have been and continue to be bound by professional standards of confidentiality that are even more stringent than those required by law. Therefore, we have always protected your right to privacy.

Types of nonpublic personal information we collect

We collect nonpublic personal information about you that is either provided to us by you or obtained by us with your authorization.

Parties to whom we disclose information

For current and former clients, we do not disclose any nonpublic personal information obtained in the course of our practice except as required or permitted by law. Permitted disclosures include, for instance, providing information to our employees and, in limited situations, to unrelated third parties who need to know that information to assist us in providing services to you. In all such situations, we stress the confidential nature of information being shared.

Protecting the confidentiality and security of current and former client's information

We retain records relating to professional services that we provide so that we are better able to assist you with your professional needs and in some cases, to comply with professional guidelines. In order to guard your nonpublic personal information, we maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with our professional standards.


See our performance disclaimer for more. Any historical performance data contained above represent performance results as reported by the portfolio listed. The performance results are for illustration purposes only. Historical results are not indicative of future performance. Positive returns are not guaranteed.

Individual results will vary depending on market conditions and investing may cause capital loss. The S&P 500, used for comparison purposes, is significantly less volatile than the holdings of the funds listed. The performance data is net of all fees reflecting the deduction of advisory fees, brokerage commissions and any other client paid expenses. The performance data includes the reinvestment of capital gains. 

The publication of this performance data is in no way a solicitation or offer to sell securities or investment advisory services.

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