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Bill Gunderson
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Bill Gunderson @billgunderson is the CEO and Chief Market Strategist of Gunderson Capital Managment in San Diego, CA. He is also a professional money manager, former research analyst, author of Best Stocks Now, and developer of the Best Stocks Now smartphone app. He offers four free weeks to his... More
My company:
Gunderson Capital Management
My book:
Best Stocks Now! Summer 2011 edition
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  • Investing in the President's Jobs Commission? Not so fast.

    The CEO’s on the President’s jobs commission must know what they are doing, right?
    by Bill Gunderson



    The CEO’s on the President’s jobs commission must know what they are doing, right?


    Just look at the roster. General Electric (NYSE:GE), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Eastmann Kodak (EK), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), CitiGroup (NYSE:C) American Express (NYSE:AXP),  Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) , Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and the former CEO’s of AOL and Time Warner.


    Big Timers, all.


    The president picked his commission members the same way lots of people pick their stocks. Let’s hope he gets different results because most of those stocks have been terrible investments.


    They make money. But for the managers, not for the owners. 


    GE, for example, has returned minus 6.6 percent to its investors over the last 10 years. 


    The commission members who used to be CEO’s at AOL and Time Warner made business history by engineering the worst merger in history. 


    Southwest may be a good airline, but it has lost 4% a year for the last 10 years.


    Eastmann Kodak has been diving 20 percent a year for 10 years.


    Citigroup received one of the biggest bailouts in history. Not sure what they are even doing on there.


    These are tough times, no doubt. But some companies are thriving in tough times -- and making money for their shareholders.


    How about companies such as Autozone (NYSE:AZO) : that gets a grade of A  in my proprietary rating system.


    Or Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) which gets an A. or 


    CSX, A-. or


    Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST), A, or my stock of the decade,


    Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) A.


    These are companies run by people who know who to make money and create jobs.


    They are not the only ones either. Of the 2700 stocks I follow, 10% are investment grade.


    That’s a lot of good people, from good companies, with a lot of great advice. But none is on the president’s jobs commission.


    Perhaps the problem is not just who is doing the talking, but also who is listening.


    And that report is not any more encouraging. 











    May 25 2:11 PM | Link | Comment!
  • The Dollar Tree and Pawn Shop economy. (DLTR) (FCFS) (EZPW) ( CSH)
    The Dollar Tree Economy
    By Bill Gunderson
    Gunderson Capital Management

    The stock market may go up. It may go down. But it always tells the truth.
    Today, the market is saying we are living in a Pawn Shop economy. A Dollar Tree economy. An Autozone economy. 
    But people who put their money down on stocks are not expecting any greatness or job-creation any time soon from the big blue-chippers that occupy so much of our financial attention. 
    We are talking about, of course, companies such as GE, Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Ford, GM, IBM and even Google. 
    The price of the stocks tell the story: Evan as the blue chipper stay flat, three of the bigger publicly traded pawn shop companies -- First Cash Financial, Easy Corp. and Cash America -- are doing great.
    Over the last ten years, First Cash Financial (NASDAQ:FCFS) has returned, on average, 32.7% a year to its shareholders. That’s from growth and dividend from operating 383 pawn shops.
    EZCORP (NASDAQ:EZPW) operates 368 pawn shops, returning 43.2% per year over the last ten years to shareholders.
    Cash America (NYSE:CSH) operates 676 pawn shops. Over the last ten years, it has returned 21.2% per year.
    The price of these stocks today tells us what investors think will happen to the company next year: They think the economy is going to stay the same. Or get worse.
    Don’t shoot me. I’m just the bean counter.
    Autozone is another company that does well in tough times. When consumers decide to slap another muffler on their old beater instead of buying a Lexus, they go to Autozone (NYSE:AZO).
    So do investors: Autozone has returned 24% per year over the last ten years. Contrast that with Ford Motors, losing 4% per year during the same period.
    Finally we come to Dollar Store (NASDAQ:DLTR) and Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST), returning 14% and 22% per year over the last 10 years, respectively. With Dollar Tree recently hitting all-time highs.
    People with the money to invest in the stock market may never even visit a neighborhood where these companies thrive. If my friends and clients catch me shopping at the Dollar Tree Store, they are going to think I am going broke, instead of being a big time investment advisor rolling in dough.
    But that is where people willing to put their money down expect to find more of us tomorrow. And many more, the many tomorrows after that.
    There are glimmers of hope: Wynn Casinos (Wynn) and Norstrom (NYSE:JWN) are returning dividends and growth to their investors.  Unrelenting excellence survives and prospers, regardless. 
    So says the stock market.
    May 19 5:40 PM | Link | Comment!
  • How to Make a Small Fortune in Green Energy Stocks.

    How to Make a Small Fortune in Green Energy stocks:
    Start with a Large One.
    By Bill Gunderson

    If you are thinking about investing in Green energy stocks, don't.

    Not if you need the money for retirement, or college, or anything besides impressing your friends with good intentions.

    Because green energy companies are creating a lot more press than profits. And that will get worse before - if ever - it gets better.

    People in the investment business only have two ways to value a share of stock: We can listen to what the company says. Or watch what it does.

    If you choose the former, you probably like all the pretty pictures of windmills and solar panels featured so prominently in so many television commercials.

    The truth about wind and solar and alternative energy is that none of them would exist without the full-throated support of a well organized green lobby. And that together, both account for an infinitesimal portion of the energy we create.

    No amount of subsidies or green happy talk can change this fact: Energy from solar still costs 22 cents a kilowatt hour. Coal cost 6.

    That's not solid enough ground to build a strong portfolio.

    If there is one thing smaller than the energy wind and solar produce, it is the profits these energy sources add to their company's balance sheets.

    Prospects are not profits. Talking is not doing. Betting on prospects is gambling. Betting on performance is investing.

    Last year, President Obama visited the solar power manufacturer Solyndra, the largest recipient of federal subsidies for solar power. Despite all the talk about the bright future of solar, not one major news account of that day mentioned one small fact about this company: Just a few months earlier, to prepare for a stock offering, its own accounting firm said the company was no longer a "going concern." So it had to cancel its Initial Public Offering for stock.

    And that was after the hundreds of millions of dollar in federal loans.

    The president of the United States was betting the future of green energy on a company whose own accounting firm said would not be in business for long.

    If you are investing in a company - green or not - because of promises, and not a record of earnings, you are doing the same thing.

    Little noted in the green frenzy of the last few years are the companies that drill or pump or mine for oil, natural gas or coal. They are making money. They never stopped - even during the financial tsunami.

    What they say is not that sexy. What they do is. CSX makes money running railroads. Caterpillar makes money building trucks. Golar makes money shipping and storing liquefied natural gas.

    And they are doing so despite one of the most challenging regulatory environments any business can imagine.

    It is not in the least political to say our leaders in Washington are losing their appetite for - and ability to - heap subsidies on expensive energy while ignoring abundant domestic supplies in times of record scarcity.

    Already, some big funds are getting out of green energy because investors want something that actually makes money.

    So should we.

    Bill Gunderson is an investment advisor and the owner of Gunderson Capital Management in Oceanside, Cal. He also hosts a show on KCEO radio about investing in stocks and is author of The Best Stocks Now!


    Tags: CSX, CAT, GLNG
    May 17 5:46 PM | Link | Comment!
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