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Charles Margolis

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  • Apple's Innovation Is Stronger Than Ever, Valuation Very Attractive [View article]

    The comparison is nonsensical. The moves made Apple look weak, they need to run a tight ship, in my opinion. They should be able to keep their top brass together and it is expected there would be some disagreement... however, in my opinion if a company releases a shoddy product, the CEO might have recognized it before it hit the shelves.

    Forstall was not a 'tail' of a dog. He is a person who contributed, who you'd think Apple could have worked with. Apple, I thought had to settle a suit over the antenna.

    Bart, it is not 'ancient history.' Only in a world where you can't remember what the stock's price was 52-weeks ago... you have companies betting the farm on Apple and losing and needing capital injections.. because they think Apple is some sort of equity miracle.

    If these people thought it at the right time when Apple was $35 a share, I'd understand. However you must recognize it is now $575. If you realized that you could knock $10 billion or more of your market cap. by appearing weak, it would make sense to not portray weakness.

    That's it. I think they could have sent Forstall to some lab and fostered his talent. Apple insiders might have despised him... however at one point.. they despised Steve Jobs.

    When you take control away from the visionaries, this is what you get. A cookie cutter company, that appears not to be interested in 'innovation.' Apple innovation does not appear to be 'stronger than ever,' at all.. I hope it turns around.

    Right now what ever Tim Cook wants he can have. Just like Google wanted self driving cars. If Tim Cook wants a laptop that can do 20 quadrillion computations per second by next Christmas.. well he could probably do it (oh it would cost a lot... but the following Christmas the price would come down and he'd have one that could do 100 quadrillion computations per second.)

    But right now he does not appear to be interested in innovation, the same way Steve Jobs was... They've created a powerhouse, however simple ideas like some of those brought to Apple by Forstall can add billions, and they ejected him over him not apologizing for something (maps). Just seems petty, like evicting Steve Jobs was (in what I presume is prehistoric history in your book.) Regards.
    Nov 3 10:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Innovation Is Stronger Than Ever, Valuation Very Attractive [View article]
    Really... the buck stops with a VP? I think the buck stops with the CEO. I believe Tim Cook needs to keep the peace internally and externally.

    I agree that Apple should stand up for its design. I also know that making a functional map is extremely complicated. Cook should put more blame on himself for those faults. Forstall is a visionary, I very much doubt Steve Jobs would have wanted him to be let go. It doesn't make sense. Like I said if he was having temper issues, send him to Hawaii for two years or something to work on prototypes. He probably would have made some new $10 billion dollar invention. Instead Cook kicked him to the curb, for not apologizing, that is a load of b.s.
    Nov 3 07:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Innovation Is Stronger Than Ever, Valuation Very Attractive [View article]
    Radar the problem with Foxconn seems to be very relevant. Possibly Apple needs to work to be able to assemble their products using robotics, they could possibly do that from America.

    Instead they are going with a company that basically uses slave labor. I know why they do it and I disagree with that, I wish they did not need to, however yes, you are right that is not Apple's fault, that China is reported to have little to no regard for 'human rights.'
    Nov 3 07:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Innovation Is Stronger Than Ever, Valuation Very Attractive [View article]

    "Cook could have taken the Maps thing out and gave it a test? Really? And because he didn't act as a beta tester, you imply that it's somehow Cook's fault that the Maps have issues?"

    Yes that is correct.
    Nov 3 07:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Expect Apple To Surge In Coming Months [View article]
    Loungin "...Agreed, we need to see an iTV or something spectacular to prove they are still int he game."


    I'm not sure an iTV would do the trick... I thought of all appliances... and I figured Apple should buy (ISRG) Intuitive Surgical... that would be cool, in my opinion.

    Otherwise they need to do what Google is doing, think outside the box with self driving cars. That technology could be huge (as in streamline UPS and FedEx with self driving mail carriers in the future.)

    Apple needs to invent something that has not been invented (not reinvent the wheel and put an "i" in front of it... just my opinion.. thought it did work for the phone.)
    Nov 3 02:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Innovation Is Stronger Than Ever, Valuation Very Attractive [View article]
    I guess I disagree with the 'Innovation Is Stronger Than Ever.'

    You can not have it both ways -- some people are saying the iPad mini has an inferior screen... (I've not seen one yet.)

    Apple seems to have a major problem getting along. They want to use... basically slave labor... then a fight breaks out, they have tremendous problems (with Foxconn) and they could have afforded to have given all their workers adequate care.

    I think they have just set a course to monetize what Steve Jobs left them... and innovation is not a top priority. Cook could not play nice with Forstall.. flipping give the guy a nice office away from everyone... you can not blame the maps fiasco on one person... like Tim Cook couldn't take the thing out and give it a test and see how much people say it sucked?

    They need to create a new product... I've said I wish they'd buy (ISRG) that would be huge for them. Tim Cook deserves criticism here (though to be fair some original iPhones under Jobs leadership had antenna problems.)

    I mean Apple could buy AMD... or go into Intel big... and not try to reinvent the wheel.. and then get into big lawsuits with the company they are doing it with (Samsung.)
    Nov 3 02:37 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE, Goldman New Issue Comparison [View article]
    Hey drone,

    According to this 60 minutes interview

    Obama reached across the aisle to bring in Immelt. These executives seem to turn positions like that (Obama's job czar) into monthly lunch or dinner parties, so I'm not sure it is detracting too much from his work at GE.

    I'm not looking to invest in GE currently, and I agree with part of your criticism. Currently the company is drowning in debt -- though they make some interesting technology...
    Oct 27 10:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE, Goldman New Issue Comparison [View article]

    Every investor is different, I believe many would agree with your logic.

    I personally allocate about 15% to bonds and 35% to stocks, 15% to mutual funds and 1% or so to income funds. The remaining in cash equivalents. I find that the bond income compensates for commissions, expense fees, and losses when stocks go down or go bankrupt. Of course the bonds can default too.

    Additionally, I am using income to go into more income CEFs and ultimately hope to build funds to go into new treasuries and bonds in 3 or 4 years when rates are expected to go up. So you may see my perspective more.
    Oct 26 12:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE, Goldman New Issue Comparison [View article]
    Hey NYer,

    One thing is, if... if you can find some bonds you are satisfied with, they should generate cash, that you can use to go into income funds, if you want. Unlike the funds, the bonds do not have expense fees.

    The same goes for treasuries, I own some government bond funds and some actual treasuries. I find that the income CEFs are a good supplement, however the bonds are more structured. However, it seems important to consider conservative allocations, since the yields are lower now. Goldman and GECC just happen to issue a lot, and their yields are attractive.
    Oct 26 04:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Celanese TCX Technology: Fueling The World, And Your Portfolio [View instapost]
    The company's debt has a Ba3 rating from Moody's and there is currently a lot of 200 of their 5.875% coupon (callable) 06/15/2021 senior notes (cusip: 15089QAC8) on the secondary market. They have a 4.1% yield.

    Ba3 is 'speculative grade,' or non-investment grade. It looks like Celanese has strong financials... though it has $2B more debt than cash. If you like the company you might like the bonds in addition to the stock... though many investors prefer investment grade bonds over non-investment grade.

    In terms of comparable investment grade bonds (though I realize this article is about the stock,) I see A3 rated call-protected Corning (GLW) 2023 bonds (cusip: 21935NAV7) with a 4.1% yield. They are trading at a 28% premium though.

    Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) 01/15/2020 callable bonds (cusip: 631103AD0) are trading at a 9% premium and also have a 4.1% yield. They are Baa3, investment grade. -- Goldman Sachs (GS) 12/15/2022 call protected, monthly coupon bonds currently yield 4.06% (cusip: 38141E2N8)

    Not sure how much of a strain Celanese's debt will place on their equity. I'm not sure what the competition is looking like on the ethanol creation either.
    Oct 25 10:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • GE, Goldman New Issue Comparison [View article]
    I calculated the total %, however did not for the individual positions. The actual dollar figure on the bonds is up a little to leave room for accrued interest and commission (the latter varies from brokerage.)

    I try to get 10% more than the minimum in mutual funds, so I often get $2,750 to leave room for the fund to fluctuate. In this instance I would not put together an example, for even larger portfolios, that exceed 25 of either of these bonds (or total allocation to Goldman or GE at the current rates, though they are offering better yields,) just to give you an idea of my conservatism.

    For instance some investors might prefer larger investments and consider 50 of either 2025 Goldman or GECC bond. The question I would pose is why not get 15 Goldman, 15 GECC and 15 Goldman subordinate... or the remaining third into Berkshire Hathaway bonds.

    Going back to the example, of course the % in the 100k portfolio, is 2.1% in Goldman, 1% in GECC, 2.5% in the mutual fund and 0.5% in the income CEF. In the larger portfolio they are 0.3% in the 2025 Goldman, 0.2% in GECC, 0.5% in the mutual fund and 0.07% in the income CEF. -- Though as I wrote, I am personally keeping Goldman to around 1%, for the purposes the example, in a 100k portfolio 2% is two bonds. Thanks for your comments.
    Oct 25 03:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE, Goldman New Issue Comparison [View article]
    Hey Gary,

    When I first started investing I would often get one stock, or one bond, or one mutual fund, at a time (then check them in a few months.) As I invested more and more I began to look at groups, as illustrated in this example.

    Now when I get one stock, I am reviewing competitors and different sectors and different financial vehicles and consider these sorts of positions. The allocations go to:

    "It is interesting to consider the difference in amounts necessary to properly allocate to bonds, mutual funds and stocks."

    Consider Google's big drop when they announced their earnings. Investors lost 7% in a day. Often you would not see that in a mutual fund (one that has bonds and stocks, and is well managed... my criteria include 4 or 5 star morningstar rated, and expense ratio under 1.5%, and a review of holdings.) So, for instance recently I bought Google on the drop, and IBM, and a couple mutual funds and a bond (after having profited on target dated mutual funds.) In order to diversify, and not keep all eggs in one basket (while also keeping some of the profit on my previous fund positions, to raise my cash position.)

    The amounts in the example here are conservative, because there is uncertainty in the market, and presuming rates go back up to where they were last year the prices of bonds will fall. Keep in mind I wrote, "I am keeping the allocation (of Goldman bonds) at slightly less than 1% of the portfolio."

    Your question was general, if you have a more specific one let me know. Regards.
    Oct 25 12:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE, Goldman New Issue Comparison [View article]
    Hey Vol,

    What interested me about these was the fact that they are trading just slightly over premium.

    Take Disney bonds for instance, 7% coupon 3/1/2032 Disney bonds (cusip: 25468PBW5) issued in 2002 yield 3.469% while 4.125% coupon 12/01/2041 Disney bonds (cusip: 25468PCR5) issued in 2011 yield 3.434%. That is a 9 year difference, and clearly the nearer-term bonds yield more. They are callable, and the difference is (as you mentioned, "Older notes do yield more but they will cost more") -- the 2032 Disney bonds are trading at a 49.5% premium, $149.54.

    I wrote, "...that are trading at less than 10% of a premium." Because, as you see compared to the Disney bonds (and many bonds currently trading at premiums) the Goldman and GECC bonds will recoup the premium in less than two years. The Disney bonds will take over 5 years, just to recoup the premium.

    I do not always see newer issues with higher yield than older bonds, however you are right given the current near-term change in rates, this may be more common, whereas if rates went up dramatically and companies needed to issue debt they would need to set higher coupons. Thanks for your comment.
    Oct 25 11:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vanguard Natural Resources: An Impressive MLP With Monthly Distributions [View article]
    Well I see several SA authors are calling Linn an MLP even though the company website says it is not an MLP.

    This may shed some light on it:;highlight=

    "The most meaningful event during the year was the completion of the merger with Encore Energy Partners, LP (“ENP or “Encore”) that was finalized on December 1, 2011. This merger completed the long but very rewarding process that began in 2010 and which has subsequently transformed Vanguard from one of the smaller, gas focused upstream MLP’s to a much larger company with a liquids platform from which to build upon in 2012.... Our acquisition efforts allowed us to continue to be one of the leading upstream MLP’s in terms of distribution growth with a 4.9% increase over our 2010 levels."

    So here VNR calls themselves and 'upstream MLP' however in the first link I provided in the first comment their FAQs state it is not an MLP...

    It looks like incentive distributions and voting rights are two differing points... I just don't know if they are saying they were an upstream MLP, and are now an LLC or if upstream MLP and regular MLP are different...

    But there is a difference... just saying. I also would think Cramer would put that point in there for discerning investors, who could be considering larger investments and might like to know, that in this case you do get voting rights, where as MLPs don't give shareholders voting rights.

    Might not be a big deal to smaller investors, so Cramer may be thinking his base is smaller investors so its not important.. I don't know... however, I'm not a big fan of stock promotion in general, I think he's somewhat irresponsible. By hyping and promoting stocks... I liken it to gambling, because he does not promote a strategy.. that I have seen.
    Oct 24 12:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Financial Crime Is A Systemic Risk [View article]

    I'm sorry I'm not sure where those questions are coming from or who they are directed to.

    I said "successful businesses." You don't need to recount 3 of the hundreds of thousands, or millions of programs that have been funded with tax dollars. You'd just need to show one that brings in the sort of income that Apple does.. and don't go saying the government invented the computer so therefore it created Apple, or some b.s. I'm talking about the government actually bringing in net income and revenue, in a way that would work and not shut out private competition... government has spent a trillion on all sorts of things... if certain people had that much money they would be able to make more with it.. not drain it to nothing.

    I'm not sure you are speaking to the point of my comment.
    Oct 23 07:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment