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Charles Margolis  

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  • Wake Forest: Health In Tobacco Country [View article]
    You're welcome & thank you.
    Apr 25, 2014. 08:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wake Forest: Health In Tobacco Country [View article]
    Thanks for commenting, these bonds went up considerably since I wrote the article. The muni bonds due in 2033 were $87.53 with a 4.99% yield, now they are trading close to par: $100.

    I see the current reports about layoffs:

    I reviewed the info about EPIC when I wrote this, here is an article I just pulled up:

    Health & medicine can be a tightrope for investors and for the businesses themselves (and to the point of your comment, to the people who work in the industry.) Both schools & hospitals (in many instances) routinely cutback workforce and simultaneously issue new job offerings. So there is a contradiction which exists in many businesses (and there are a very few businesses that standout for very low, to no layoffs.)

    For any business that issues bonds, one of the most important things is **credit rating**. The lower the rating, the more it costs to borrow. Additionally, medicine in particular is complicated by the cost of doing business, and the insurance, possibly new taxes, etc.

    Hope this sheds some light on the subject.
    Apr 22, 2014. 07:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will D-Wave Render Intel Obsolete? [View article]
    Here is TINY's profile:

    No it's not a closed end fund, that I know of. I think it is simply a venture capital company. It appears to be $93M market cap, but negative 0.65 EPS ... possibly TINY's investor relations page will provide the info you're looking for?
    Feb 13, 2014. 09:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Will D-Wave Render Intel Obsolete? [View article]
    Haha, that's too funny re: "I'm just glad that there was so much less to learn back when I was in school."

    There may be slightly more to learn now, however it can be learnt in half the time.
    Feb 12, 2014. 11:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Long-Term Investors Need Not Worry About Trading Commissions [View article]
    It's been a while since I traded in empties.
    I do agree with you... there is one way around the commissions.
    For instance Vanguard has a few ETFs, with rock bottom low expense ratios -- and they are commission free at Vanguard -- though of course I like individual stocks too, so I get your point. Thing is Vanguard has higher commissions unless you keep a minimum in their funds and it's like $50,000 (then you get a $7 commission, so your brokerage beats them by a nickel it seems) -- of course $50k is sort of a lot for smaller investors. I believe Fidelity has several commission free ETFs though they must have higher expense ratios on average compared to Vanguard (known for their very low expenses.) A couple I like to look at are (VYM) and (VCLT) though with the market where it is, I'm quite conservative currently.

    I just make "recouping commissions" one of my top priorities, when I can.
    Feb 12, 2014. 10:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will D-Wave Render Intel Obsolete? [View article]
    Thank you for commenting.
    D-Wave was in the news last week, because IBM made a claim that D-Wave's computers are not actually quantum computers. This has been a much debated subject.
    There are multiple types of quantum computers, in theory. D-Wave is working on a particular type. Some computer scientists who previously criticized D-Wave as IBM just have, ultimately changed their minds. Though it goes to a very technical realm.
    I looked at the Time cover you pointed to, that's interesting, I look forward to reading it. Though I think it is fair to say the designers at D-Wave do have an idea of how their computer works.
    (TINY) is not an ETF it is a very small venture capital firm with investments in many companies. D-Wave is not a publicly traded company. Theoretically if the company was bought out a venture capital firm with exposure could benefit -- however, in some scenarios it might not. Check out TINY's income statement: there appears to be regular losses, instead of net income. I'm simply not an expert on TINY.
    I wrote this article based on my reaction to the NY Times Hardy article cited at the beginning -- from the perspective of a Lockheed Martin and Intel investor. I must say I find IBM's claims to be sort of 'dramatic.' D-Wave is working on a particular project, they are trying to develop a very particular type of quantum computer -- some of their research and results have seemingly indicated that they are not so far off -- I'd rather see IBM make a quantum computer, than spend time pointing fingers at D-Wave, criticizing them. I simply have no reason to believe that D-Wave has done anything other than make an intelligent and sincere attempt -- though please understand my perspective is as I stated, from that of an Intel & Lockheed investor -- not as an expert on quantum computers. Still, I find the subject extraordinary.
    Feb 12, 2014. 10:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Long-Term Investors Need Not Worry About Trading Commissions [View article]
    I called my brokerage, they don't take pizza -- they do take beer (empty or full cans) but it's only the 0.05 cent exchange rate, per can. So, I got a lot of drinking to do :)
    Feb 12, 2014. 07:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Long-Term Investors Need Not Worry About Trading Commissions [View article]
    re: "Of course it is better to pay the $6.95 commission and invest the funds rather than blowing the funds on beer and pizza."

    You could always find a brokerage that accepts beer and pizza, in lieu of cash.
    Feb 12, 2014. 05:27 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retired Investors Could Benefit By Owning These 3 ETFs For Dividends [View article]
    I agree with VYM -- I just picked some more up recently... isn't the expense ration 0.10% ?
    Feb 8, 2014. 05:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Chemokine Concept [View article]
    Do you have any thoughts on the CCR5 Delta 32 mutation and potential for elite controllers' bone marrow transfusion to try to treat diseases?
    Feb 3, 2014. 03:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Day Of Amazon Is Here [View article]
    Thank you for taking the time to reply -- I see what you are saying.
    I do not invest like you, however I respect your way of investing. I should actually add that to an extent, I do invest like you, in that I have a particular interest in medicine. One of the most difficult areas of investment, in my opinion.
    I wrote: "I would be less surprised to see the stock encounter weakness; however, this is directly tied to leadership, strategy, competition and the economy." And, it is worth repeating: "I've just been around long enough to know a stock can go up or down. However, my opinion is to give credit where credit is due. The way I see it, on average, investors don't give "free passes."
    I believe Jeffry is a smart contributor, and appreciate his adding to the comments here. I believe he is a bear on Amazon and as such I believe he is critical of a few of Amazon's moves -- each investor is different -- though, I would add, I find it slightly ironic, I suppose, to be critical of Amazon on the groceries, and compare to Wal-Mart, which introduced groceries more extensively a few years ago.
    Once again I am neither a bear or a bull. I like the company, and I do see reason to have exposure. I view Amazon as an important service, kenser80, by the way if you did not read my IBM article please do, so you can see a more full perspective.
    I speak from a long-term, conservative stance. Also, I'd add, that the reason I do look to mutual funds particularly on a company like Amazon, is that I increase exposure through reinvested distributions. As I pointed out, Amazon went down 11%, the market went down 0.94%, and the mutual fund went down 0.96%.
    So, I can have exposure to a company like Amazon, and it could go down 11% (in certain scenarios, obviously if every company in the mutual fund went down more, it would go down more, etc. etc.) However, in the long-term, I just get more shares if / when there is a distribution, PRGFX has a very small dividend -- though VTI has a higher yield, etc. etc.
    Growth is important to Amazon, again I see points on both sides of the fence. Thus far, it does not change my opinion, to have some exposure to the company. It does not change my opinion to look to mutual funds for companies like Amazon. Stocks go up and down - you can win (or lose) either way. Though, I believe some exposure to Amazon does make sense -- not for one day, or one week: For decades. Hope you have a great weekend -- and good luck. I would, again, just say, it is my opinion that earnings can be very volatile; a company can go up on bad news and down on good news, I see you wrote a "smidge" in the stocktalk and then "at will" in the comment forum here (so I see you started conservatively, then added and added -- it is simply that, as I presume you know some companies can start out down then wind up, up. Obviously not the case for Amazon on Friday, however in context, the sell off was softer given the prior day's 4.9% gain, etc etc) -- As investors, we're just along for the ride, and the market is unpredictable.
    Feb 1, 2014. 02:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Day Of Amazon Is Here [View article]
    Thank you for adding your thoughts. Amazon went down 11% on Friday after going up 4.9% on Thursday.
    I'm somewhat surprised to see that you say "... shorting AMZN before earnings was a low risk move."
    While your investment worked out, do you really view it as "low risk?"
    I've said: "when I see a situation like this I think to exposure through a quality mutual fund." Additionally I've had commenters, who I have tried to reply to, say things like: "You provided a lot of factual material, yet failed to link it to your long position in AMZN. It's a pity, as probably your bullish case would deserve some merit based on amount of info you analyzed."
    I suppose it must just be something about Amazon or companies like Amazon. I am objective on Amazon, however the hint of anything good to say about the company - or saying that both sides have valid points, brings some people to try to tear up that stance. Because in their opinion there is nothing good about the company they are bearish on. That is not directed at Jeffry or Paulo, who I believe state their cases intelligently.
    I stated "I've just been around long enough to know a stock can go up or down. However, my opinion is to give credit where credit is due. The way I see it, on average, investors don't give "free passes."
    I do not believe that investors gave Amazon a free pass -- if anything, the fact the company went down on Friday illustrates this. In terms of short-term trading, those who bought Amazon at the beginning of the day and sold mid-day could have made money -- those who bought on Thursday could have made money and long-term Amazon investors who have built up positions in the past few years have done well.
    I appreciate your comment because you bring up a good point about market timing. Though I have seen numerous bearish article, about Amazon in the past couple years, where readers and investors stood to lose because Amazon has had a history of bucking the trend.
    T Rowe Price Growth Stock went down 0.50 cents or just about 1% on Friday.
    Anyways, good luck to you, and Jeffry thank you for adding your thoughts to this comment thread -- frankly I'm not sure why kenser80 decided to thank you here, instead of on your article. However he is welcome to do that. I would just emphasize, it is my opinion that placing large bets around earnings is not "low risk." Have a nice weekend, everyone.
    Feb 1, 2014. 05:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Day Of Amazon Is Here [View article]
    Hey Amit,

    re: "I would think the goal of investing is to..."

    Many people would finish your sentence differently (if given the same topic.)

    So allow me: "I would think the goal of investing is to: Create a balanced portfolio, which can (hopefully) sustain market volatility - based on an understanding of historical context and an understanding of both bullish and bearish sentiments on the company and the market, in both the near and long term."

    I do not disagree with you -- though, some would say:

    "I would think the goal of investing is: To arrive at objective conclusions."

    "Why are 'bullish' and 'objective' distinct categories?":

    In this comment thread I have compared the objective stance to the Owl (with two other birds representing moves towards either Bullish (Eagle) or Bearish (Hawk).)

    So I am using the term "objective" to state a perspective in the absolute center, between the Bull and the Bear.
    Jan 26, 2014. 10:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Day Of Amazon Is Here [View article]
    Good point Paulo. What I'm saying though, is catalogues are not as effective, I don't believe.

    If you send out 10,000 catalogues, some % of them go to waste. Some yield one purchase, some yield several. Also the online platform is much more instantaneous -- this can be beneficial for inventory, and determining supply / demand.

    Now Sears has an online marketplace, I just browsed it, though it does not appear to be as cohesive as Amazon -- I need to look at it more, to understand it fully though. Not to discount the model Sears created, it was certainly an important business in those days. I'm just saying $3.3B x 3 years (or so) revenue, and cumulative $500M loss does not compare to Amazon's ($34B + $48B + $61B) totaling $140B over three years, in revenue - with $1.7B net income over three years ($1.1B + $631M - $39M) through 2010, 2011 & 2012.

    $1.7B net income is certainly minimal, though it appears one reason it is so low is spending on advancing the business into new areas. If the UPS overload during the holidays is an indicator, and 70,000 seasonal jobs, I'm guessing the holiday season was good. Earnings time can be volatile though as Netflix just proved. As you know -- it seems a company can have an excellent quarter and fall hard, conversely the financials can sound bad, and the company can jump.
    Jan 25, 2014. 08:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Day Of Amazon Is Here [View article]
    The point? You really see a comparison between Sears catalogue and Amazon?

    $3.3B annual (or $5.3B) adjusted for inflation, compared to $61B annual revenue.

    Just saying, if that's the best you got, it's not convincing me. (You're making me feel like renting The Great Debaters now :) ) And yes, I respect the fact the Sears catalogue was the Amazon of the early 20th century.

    I'm looking at the history of revenue growth over time and the decline in net income over time -- I'm looking at what Amazon has built, and it just seems impressive. The company has succeeded in the past, and I can not say for certain if they will continue to. Though, I do see some value. Of course it can go up, it can go down -- though Amazon has proven once, the market can fall hard, they kept on working harder (I believe) -- also, 70,000 seasonal jobs last October, offering 70,000 jobs for the holidays -- to support more business, I see 'that as good.'
    Jan 25, 2014. 07:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment