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George Acs  

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  • Season's Misgivings [View article]
    I don't know if that generalization you make can stand on its merits, although your concluding words offer a universal truth..

    While we may be able to agree to disagree, that's generally not the case when divisions are created and then codified, essentially eliminating the minority opinion from your midst.

    To suggest that district lines have to be re-drawn to ensure that people have a voice is akin to the manner in which national lines are drawn on the basis of religion, tribal history, etc. How have those worked out, other than to eliminate any understanding or empathy?

    It does nothing to bring dialogue and only brings polar beliefs that are continually re-inforced.

    The fact that one particular group is outnumbered is itself not a reason to create unnatural divisions that widen the gap between groups. When you have no one with differing opinions in your midst you have no reason to even begin considering their perspective on issues.

    Diverging views are only constructive when they help to inform and form the basis for convergence and understanding. They're not terribly useful when they have no voice in your society or within your borders. Gerrymandering certainly doesn't contribute to understanding, it contributes only toward isolationism.
    Oct 6, 2013. 01:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Season's Misgivings [View article]
    Not a big fan of margin, although I do like gumption.

    I like it when other people leverage up, though. Makes them emboldened and sometimes less prone to rational decision making. Of course, that's more so on the buy side of the equation when the leverage is more pronounced.
    Oct 6, 2013. 01:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Season's Misgivings [View article]
    You're projecting far too much.

    There was no statement that gerrymandering was the root cause of the GOP majority nor that Republicans are "any less representative." In fact, the statement was completely without prejudice to party. Gerrymandering, whether to the benefit of Republicans or Democrats is an inherently anti-democratic practice.

    Further, gerrymandering creates districts that are relatively homogeneous in opinion. As a result, a congressional representative only gets reinforced on particular opinions, rather than receiving a range of opinions from the electorate. Doing so is far more likely to make someone intransigent on an issue when their belief is that everyone feels the same way.
    Oct 6, 2013. 10:36 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Season's Misgivings [View article]
    Given the kind of metaphors that you elect to use, it's not very likely that there's much room for openness or objectivity on the issue.

    Further, citing an opinion piece in a Tucker Carlson publication may not make for the most compelling of arguments. In fact the references to GDP conveniently use absolute changes in GDP and not percentage changes during the periods in question. Whether GDP increased is not the issue. It's whether the change in GDP was adversely impacted by a shutdown. The GDP can still exhibit an increase in the event of an otherwise robust economy, but not as much of an increase due to the shutdown. The article did nothing to substantiate the case that the shutdown had no adverse impact.
    Oct 6, 2013. 10:22 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Season's Misgivings [View article]
    While I certainly understand the connection between market outlook and the decision to sell calls versus puts, I've become agnostic as to which direction the market or a stock is going, for the most part.

    That's because I think that I can get a greater ROI through the sale of calls, rather than puts. That's especially true if factoring in dividends.

    While the sale of puts is said to be reflective of a bullish sentiment, there is another common use. The conventional wisdom is that you sell puts when you like the prospects of owning shares in a company, but at a lower price. By virtue of selling out of the money puts you are already getting a lower premium and lower ROI. However, if you were truly bullish you would be selling in the money puts which is counter to the conventional wisdom and introduces additional risk.

    Compare that to the sale of calls, which is said to be a bearish sentiment strategy. The use of in the money calls reflects that sentiment and offers a greater premium, in addition to a chance to grab dividends, often even if shares are in the money at the ex-dividend date.

    I reserve the sale of puts for situations that a company has taken a very sudden drop in share price that appears over-done or when the premium indicates an expectation for a large price drop, for example in advance or earnings, and the premium is large relative to the implied move.
    Oct 6, 2013. 10:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Turned My Back On Jim Cramer [View article]
    Snake oil salesman usually have to stay one step ahead of the crowd before they realize the emptiness of the promises and claims. has been on the scene for quite a while and has won lots of fans on the investing side as well as on the user side. Snake oil peddlers pay for their testimonials from among the crowd. I don't think Benioff has had to resort to that tactic, as there have been many happy shareholders and users along for the long ride.

    Insofar has Cramer may have been a proponent of its shares the thesis has played out. Comparing it to Enron is itself a bit of hype and connecting its future prospects to Federal Reserve liquidity is a huge leap of faith.

    On the other hand, most stocks that have seen chart patterns like that of eventually do have significant reversals at some point. In the event of a market reversal often the largest drops are seen by those that sustained the greatest gains during a rising market. could definitely be at risk for that reason. But that doesn't necessarily mean the stock or the company is broken, it simply means that it's time for a more rational phase of share performance
    Oct 6, 2013. 09:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Season's Misgivings [View article]
    I tend not to pay too much attention to information tha's been published and is in the public domain, at least not insofar as it can be used as a prospective tool.

    If the information is from a credible source then it will have already been discounted in share price.
    Oct 6, 2013. 08:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Calm Before The Storm [View article]
    Not really. I use a "gestalt' that simply glances at charts, occasionally compares price performance to similar stocks or an index and is aware of company specific events, challenges & risks, as well as macroeconomic factors.
    Oct 5, 2013. 09:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Calm Before The Storm [View article]
    The key is to distinguish between "profits" and income. You can easily generate 2%/month income flow from holdings, that as I said earlier "...either can mitigate capital losses, complement profits or be at the expense of profits."

    The income flow is separate and distinct from portfolio return and usually serves a very specific purpose, that is generating income that can be drawn from a portfolio without accelerating depletion of assets.

    In all but consistently higher moving markets the comparative return should be higher on a portfolio that utilizes a covered option strategy.
    Oct 5, 2013. 09:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Calm Before The Storm [View article]
    As Bill Clinton used to say: "It depends on the meaning of the word 'is'"

    In this case, the word "get" is what needs to be interpreted. I don't believe the comment was referring to "profit" as you have interpreted the word. Since the discussion thread was about the benefits of covered calls, it would be reasonable to assume that the word "get" refers to the receipt of income, rather than the realization of profits.

    That income either can mitigate capital losses, complement profits or be at the expense of profits.

    You may or may not realize that different investors may have different goals and objectives and even vary them at different stages of life. Asset accumulation and asset preservation needn't be mutually exclusive and needn't exclude the predominant use of stocks and option writing in the latter stage.

    The generation of a 2% monthly income from assets through the use of call/put sales and accumulation of dividends is not terribly difficult and can substantially lengthen the tail of the curve that illustrates how long assets will last in the retirement phase of life.

    In this stream, at least, you have a habit of making unsubstantiated assumptions that don't particularly help your positons or confirm your logic. Get over the bias and be receptive to the possibility that other views and practices may have validity
    Oct 5, 2013. 11:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Calm Before The Storm [View article]
    No one will deny that a covered option strategy is best suited in a market that does not go in a parabolic direction higher.

    Being a somewhat compulsive individual as it comes to the use of spreadsheet review of performance and comparing it to time adjusted S&P 500 performance, I don't think that I've been kidding myself over the years. Although perhaps the best comfort that I receive is knowing that my decision to retire about 10 years early from a very lucrative profession in order to ply such a strategy full time has been warranted.

    Through its history, the market has very few such parabolic periods. Longitudinal and consistent application of a hedging strategy, including strategic variations when in bullish uptrends or general weakness can further enhance returns.

    While you like to focus on a 13 year time frame in order to poke a hole in a particular approach, my time frame is measured in a week at a time. What I do predict is that over time particular price points will recur with some regularity and being attentive to those recurrences offers a really wonderful way of milking predictable and reliable income that offers an envious return even when markets are moving strongly higher.

    Specifically regarding your comment about selling puts, thus far in 2013 out of about 300 trades recommended to subscribers, 25 have been for the sale of puts. Of those 5 have been assigned and subsequently further hedged by the sale of calls.

    No one can predict which way a market or a stock will go, but there are pre-existing patterns of behavior that often reduce some of the uncertainty. I never hit any home runs as a result of using a covered option strategy, but I certainly get lots of singles and don't feel as if I'm giving up much on the hope of the upside to which you refer.
    Oct 4, 2013. 02:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Calm Before The Storm [View article]
    OK. It was you.

    I was reasonably diplomatic, though, wasn't I?

    Pretty amazing seeing how much volume was being reported by various states on their ACA sites

    I have a Masters in Public Health so I have a hard time understanding how the concept of the ACA could be so controversial. Who knows, maybe if the Democrats agree to end funding for the Death Panels we could get all of this resolved and even get government back and running tomorrow.
    Oct 1, 2013. 07:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Calm Before The Storm [View article]
    Thanks, but that part of life is behind me unless I really get bored. Unlike my wife who has to constantly be doing something, I never get bored.

    One of my subscribers asked me that same thing this weekend. I was more diplomatic in finding a way to say "No" to him, because, after all, he does help to pay some of the bills.

    But for you? No. And by that I mean, no and no diplomacy.

    I used to fly twice a week for 7 years, spent far too much time away from home and have run out of amusing anecdotes to tell during lecture presentations. Don't make me have to come up with new ones.
    Oct 1, 2013. 06:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Calm Before The Storm [View article]
    You should read this article and perhaps the other 50 or so articles in a weekly series that I've written. They all revolve around the central them of creating profits from buying stocks and selling calls (or puts) in order to derive profit, looking at various lengths of ownership, but typically weekly or monthly time horizons.

    The articles are all about the other side of the options trade. Selling them, not buying them. I'm not quite certain why you insist that options, whether on the buy or sell side, are all or none. There are many opportunities to effect trades prior to expiration or assignment.

    Just to be clear, I'm not a bank, but I sell options. In fact, so much so that I retired early from a very lucrative profession and replaced that income from premium derived income.

    Even though I believe that stocks are a gamble, I mitigate risk with the sale of options and further mitigate risk by being very familiar with the stocks I trade, their price history and those price points that may offer sufficient reward in return for the risk.

    Your suggestion that as the pie gets bigger all investors should be winners is another example of some of the flawed logic you bring to a discussion.

    Finally, your comment about Microsoft is really reflective of a very narrow focus. Most people would find any means of generating profit, especially in excess of the return from the broad index, as being of some value. Microsoft, has for years, been an excellent means by which to surpass the index through the use of covered calls and accumulation of premiums. The insight is not that it is Microsoft, but rather when is it a good time to consider purchasing shares and then how do you manage those shares through the use of hedging instruments to continually create income from your assets.

    Specifically, just looking at the 9 Microsoft trades that I've recommended to my subscribers since July 2012, including one this week, the cumulative ROI has been nearly 27% on shares that have otherwise would have returned approximately about 10%, unless you were one of those claiming to be able to buy shares at their lows and then sell them at their highs, in which case the return would have been about 25%. The S&P 500 for the same period, coincidentally, returned approximately 25%.

    What the above doesn't take into account is the punctuated ownership that also allowed assets used to purchase shares of Microsoft to then be used to purchase something else during periods of time that Microsoft wasn't owned.

    Luck? No, I don't think so, at least not entirely. Knowing the market and focusing on core stocks reduces the gamble and certainly levels the playing field that you believe is stacked
    Oct 1, 2013. 01:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Calm Before The Storm [View article]
    I discussed it in an earlier comment. I was surprised that it fell in two phases last Tuesday. I bought shares at about $10 never expecting that it would drop almost another $1. On a percentage basis the move was really stunning and from the tone of the guidance report seemed really overblown.

    I bought more shares at what I hope will now be the low point in the further hope that it will act like Fastenal that also recently pre-announced and has punished for doing so a few weeks before earnings were reported.

    Subsequently, Fastenal rebounded to where it had been prior to that event. Cummins Engine also comes to mind last year for the same behavior and for representing a good opportunity.
    Sep 30, 2013. 01:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment