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Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA  

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  • Creative Destruction in the Smartphone Market [View article]
    To all:

    There are some good comments here, and I'd like to reply to a few of the better points made.

    Remember, we're dealing with the economics of "free" here. Google's Android can indeed be an iPhone killer without being particularly beneficial to Google. What is bad for Apple is not necessarily good for Google. From what I can see, Android is beneficial to Google for branding purposes and not much else.

    The real beneficiaries of Android thus far have been the mobile phone manufacturers that had been left for dead during the first mobile consolidation -- like Motorola -- who have now make great handsets that utilize Android.

    I will note that I am not bearish on Apple, although I can't get comfortable owning it because of the hard-to-quanify risk of Steve Jobs health. Though at times too stubborn for his own good, he is one of the world's true capitalist visionaries, and without him at the helm I don't see Apple amounting to much.

    I am also mildly bullish on Google; not because of Android, which makes no money, but because the company has become quite cheap and is now attractive as a blue-chip value play.

    Finally, I am also quite bullish on Microsoft. Most of what the company does is "clumsy," as one poster noted. But the company is perhaps the best in history at copying the ideas of others and making them more commercially successful. In his insightful book "The Dandho Investor," Monish Pabrai makes a point of saying that imitators often make better investments that innovators. Microsoft's strength is its organization. Apple's is Steve Jobs.

    Nokia has royally botched the smartphone battle. But at current prices, it would appear that the company is priced for destruction. There is downside here, of course. But I see the downside as modest while I believe the upside is enormous. It's analogous to a call option on Nokia's management getting its act together.
    Aug 16, 2010. 09:18 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sell Gold Now: Divergences in Buying Patterns Suggest Top [View article]
    I have to agree with ker.nulov here. You're not taking a contrarian position when you are long the most popular investment in the world.
    Aug 15, 2010. 08:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sell Gold Now: Divergences in Buying Patterns Suggest Top [View article]
    To All:

    There were a few thoughtful, insightful comments here, and I thank those posters for their time. But most of the comments were unprofessional and immature ranting that actually proves my point for me. The gold market is being fueled by emotional retail investors who are letting ideology and angst drive their investing decisions. We'll see how well that works out for them.

    It's like 1999 all over again. Substitute "tech stocks" for "gold," and many of the argument are the same. I disagree with the emotional and politicized popular view, and thus "I don't get it."

    Carl Martin commented that gold prices tend to follow cycles. True enough. But what I'm seeing today in the sentiment of angry retail investors suggests that this cycle is nearing a bubble top. Commodities DO follow cycles. But there is no fixed number of years that it "has" to be.

    And for those who feel empowered by lobbing profanity and insults at a person you've never met--usually under an anonymous user name from the safety of your living room--your comments reflect poorly on both your professionalism and your character.

    We'll see what the price of gold does. But ask anyone who bought gold in 1980 how good of a store of value it was when it proceeded to fall for the next 20 years.

    Thank you,
    Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA
    Aug 13, 2010. 03:25 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment