Seeking Alpha
View as an RSS Feed

Alex Rasmussen  

View Alex Rasmussen's Comments BY TICKER:

Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    Hey thanks for the comment. Personally I look at AAPL as more of a short opportunity (caveat being I don't short sell, just like thinking of them!). I'm in the "what's going to move the needle" law of large #s camp more than the "low p/e, brand, and look at the buybacks!" camp. That's oversimplifying it but the point for me is this; there is a very good reason the market is obsessed with their development of software/OS for a car. Mobility is the hot trend and though he's known for his futurist/out-there thesis, I really enjoyed meeting Adam Jonas at MS and hearing about how he thinks about the future of this industry. The network effects of an Uber, how astonishingly far head TSLA's cars are, and the massive financial and intellectual capital being put to work at GOOGL on autonomous driving technology are all very real reasons to be excited about this. It only goes to show how big they've gotten that the iPad is in "decline", the iWatch has been a relative "flop" (in its on right, a massive business success), we're still waiting to see the full implications of the TV, but by and large they need a bigger market like mobility to make the next splash with their dominant ecosystem.

    The world thrives on diversity and capitalism thrives on change, I see AAPL as uniquely positioned to be most threatened by those fundamental realities. That said, when and where would you take a shot at a short and is it possible with their massive balance sheet giving them so much optionality (massive risk for a short)? I don't know, maybe not. That said do I want to be long? Probably not either. The company hasn't managed capital allocation well imo and pales to firms like AMZN and GOOGL that reinvent themselves constantly and continue to reinvest within their moats and generate superior flywheel economics within their businesses. I find those 2 much more compelling longs than AAPL, and the market currently agrees with that view given the returns we've seen in the past 3 years.

    Just my 2 cents! Alex
    Nov 26, 2015. 10:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    Fair enough that is frustrating. Hopefully SA editors will take note of it!
    Nov 26, 2015. 10:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    dunkmaster was this on one of my articles? Sorry to hear that, though I assure you I'm never offended by any of these comments. Also sorry to hear you felt the article wasn't publishable - obviously I disagreed but clearly in retrospect enough people felt that way so point taken. We'll see in 12 months if I can exceed your expectations.

    Happy turkey weekend, Alex
    Nov 26, 2015. 10:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    That's also to say, if I saw the fundamental trends reverse (primarily good ol fashioned traffic growth!!!) and the market didn't rerate it higher, that + lower volume, lower newsflow (out of the spotlight), then I'd be positive like before. When the facts change, change your mind!
    Nov 24, 2015. 02:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    It may very well be. A big thing for me has been trying to "fight in the shade" or just have a preference for ideas that aren't front page. If it's on the first page, it's probably pretty efficiently priced by the market. Given the risks and the massive deterioration in fundamentals at both M and JWN, I don't see them as being drastically undervalued; cheap yes, but not mischaracterized or with any hidden optionality.

    We've had the REIT discussion come and go, we've blamed weather multiple times, and we've seen not only topline shrink but margins pressured all while inventory has gotten out of control.

    When the facts change, change your mind. All those facts have changed in the past year. That's why I thought it was worth a shot last year but why I have no strong opinion (up or down) here. If investment decisions were based off price alone this would be a pretty easy job eh Sam? A little harder than how you buy your socks!

    Nov 24, 2015. 02:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    Thanks Chris. On IBM - agree to disagree I guess. Until recently I would be in your camp, but there's a price for most things, and I like being a contrarian on IBM with sentiment this poor.

    Conversely on AIG - yes they are still very cheap, but the ability to close the gap has been limited by exploring close to the full extent of capital return/optimizing structure/m&a, while during that time they made very little headway on improving loss (ok on expense). I agree that they still have a long way to go on expense, but I don't want to own this while Icahn is making a fuss - when people stop talking about it I'll probably be interested again - when ACE and CB close in Q1 and starts trading as new Chubb, the boring insurance sector is going to be obsessed with that story and could contribute to fund flows out of AIG on profit taking to a newer story like ACE. If that trade pans out and goes too far in that direction then it will again likely be a good time to get contrarian on AIG, but right now it feels a bit played out. Alex
    Nov 23, 2015. 10:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    Yep I'm seeing it as the 4th highest yield. That said obviously that strategy has a lot to do with the power of reinvesting dividends - all else being equal over time with enough securities that is going to power higher returns, but needs to be with more than 1 stock (10) and over more than 1 year.

    Also I do think dividends are a really interesting subject right now, because in a ZIRP world they've rightfully been sought after and written about by investors more than ever. If you look back to the earlier days of public markets, most of the listed equities and the analysis that went into them was all about the dividend (railroad stocks being a huge part of the index for example). That higher payout ethos was actually maintained throughout most of the 20th century (higher in the 60s, lower in the 70s, rising in the 80s, falling in the 90s). The 21st century payout (using medians as the averages get skewed in recession years) is noticeably lower than the 20th century median payout.

    Further, div yields carried a massive spread over the 10yr for example only 12 months ago, and we're now much closer to even. I don't know what bonds are going to do but it's definitely a dynamic I've been thinking about a lot - in a ZIRP environment do you want to favour growth (higher reinvestment, minimize payout) or favour yield (for that spread which is so rare)? Increasingly I think equity managers should be managing that dynamic based off of the action in the long bond, considering that the role of equity income has changed with fixed income yields so low. All good stuff to think about, Alex
    Nov 22, 2015. 03:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    I'm using "fintwit" as the abbreviation for finance twitter, a collection of mostly anonymous hedge fund managers, analysts, and independent investors who share ideas and talk about current events. There are some businesses that have garnered quite a following amongst this group as well as on well known blogs and forums (think Value Investors Club for example). IBKR is one of those businesses. Another that is off the Wall Street radar but definitely has a strong cult following is Amerco (UHAL).

    Below is a small list of people that have helped me a lot - there are dozens more than this. Some would own IBKR as well.

    Nov 22, 2015. 03:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    Sorry to clarify the "nearing 30" was in reference to the RSI 14 (relative strength index, 14 day). It all depends on how soon we get back to more normal inflation - if you assume quickly then this can be a $50-$53 stock, if you assume slowly something closer to $45 is more reasonable, and if you assume secular stagnation the high $30s is where the stock is relegated to. These are the levels I see when I'm looking at my model. So when we get freakouts below $37, barring any fundamental changes to the company, thats a decent place to take a shot at it imo.

    Nov 22, 2015. 02:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    I'll admit I should strive for more than "fuzzy" but thanks for backing me up in any case. Alex
    Nov 22, 2015. 05:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    Bently I agree, there is a lot of art to it - probably more than science you're right. There's an interesting book called "Investing: The Last Liberal Art" - you may find that useful if you want to read more along those lines. Cheers, Alex
    Nov 22, 2015. 05:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    Thanks for the hat tip - I agree that it can be frustrating personally when the market seems to go against you (or for you) for reasons that seem out of your control. Predicting the future, whether in investing or in any other discipline, is obviously inherently difficult. That said, as a species we get smarter globally every year, and sharing best practices and learning from people that have been successful seems to be worth it regardless of your discipline. Thanks, Alex
    Nov 22, 2015. 05:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    It's the ticker that SA allows you to link too. As a Canadian investor I actually own MRC on the TSX in my personal account. It is also highly illiquid. You need to have patience and a long-term time horizon, but also unless you're trading millions, I suspect you'd be able to build an alright position with some time and effort. That said you're totally right that liquidity is a big part of the story with MRC. Thanks! Alex
    Nov 22, 2015. 05:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    Thanks GD, it's not too much of a bother don't worry about that. Thanks as well for the feedback on my performance. What's the Bucks reference too? Alex
    Nov 22, 2015. 04:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Picks For 2016 [View article]
    The Canadian real estate market is definitely something I think about a lot, especially with my Morguard position. That said, if Morguard were to sell off even more on a deteriorating market, I would be happy to buy more if a) book value was still well about market value and b) Rai is still guided by the same value philosophy. If one of those two conditions change, I will be the first to sell and don't pretend that the RE market isn't a risk factor. Thanks for pointing that out, Alex
    Nov 22, 2015. 04:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment