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George Acs  

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  • Double Dipping Dividends [View article]
    No, I don't believe that it is. I am predominantly interested in the use of covered calls, but since writing the book I've expanded my use of puts, including some variations in strategy utilizing short put sales, sometimes in conjunction with covered calls.
    Jul 13, 2015. 03:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Doing Battle With Nature [View article]
    There's no doubt that there are all kinds of interventions. At no time was it suggested that China was alone in intervening or attempting to manipulate the market. The point, however, is that such interventions aren't necessarily able to stem the tide of where the markets themselves are going.

    If those actions could abruptly change market direction, you would have seen immediate and longer lasting impacts from previous currency interventions, the TARP program and numerous other policies and actions.

    While we can never know whether they truly had an impact, perhaps attenuating or shortening a crisis, what is clear is that the time necessary for meaningful recovery could still have been simply part of a normal cycle that would have resolved without intervention.

    I think that whatever the reasons for intervention you can reasonably exclude the very cynical ones that you cite.
    Jul 13, 2015. 03:16 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Doing Battle With Nature [View article]
    We're going to overlook the pun, but it merits a Yellow card.

    As with most of those, I wish I had thought of it first.

    Maybe I get the best of the worst the first time around. I wonder what the third attempt will look like?
    Jul 13, 2015. 03:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Doing Battle With Nature [View article]
    I bought and personally selected over 100 of the 5/4" pieces in lengths from 8 to 16 feet and transported them myself. It was definitely easier to find nice quality pieces among the The "Premium" quality selection and so I paid up for those (nearly 100% higher on the 16 foot lengths).

    But I needed 13 of the 20 foot lengths which were special order and that I just couldn't transport on my own so ordered it for delivery.

    I decided that as long as I was going to get a delivery, I added the final 31 pieces I needed, also from 8 to 16 feet, particularly after the guy told me that the quality would be good, because the really don't want to deal with returns.

    Made sense, as when we get groceries delivered the produce is usually exceptionally good. Better than what we typically select for ourselves.

    I thought that if there would be any issues they might be with the 20 foot pieces, but those were all usable. One piece had a little bit of wane, but was acceptable.

    The surprise was that the problems were in the shorter pieces, especially the 8 and 10 footers. Of those 31 remaining pieces, 13 of them were just terrible. Huge knots with deep cavitation, shredded areas, significant warpage and lots of wane. Check out this piece -

    How does that make it through the quality assurance process?

    Long story short, Lowes arranged to have a delivery made to me last night and arrived at 9:30 PM (on a Sunday), after they called me about 2 hours earlier saying that they wouldn't be able to make the delivery because they were running late (so we re-scheduled).

    The fact that they showed up last night was great, but of the 12 pieces they delivered (they forgot one piece), 3 of those were far worse than any of the originals, including a through and through hole the size of a quarter -

    You would think that they might apply a little bit more in the way of quality assurance the second time around.

    We'll see what happens the third time around, which is supposed to be tomorrow.

    At some point all of these unnecessary deliveries have to be cutting into margins.
    Jul 13, 2015. 03:03 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Double Dipping Dividends [View article]
    Not to stick my nose in, but while awaiting a reply from Surfgeezer, if you sell puts and the price moves against you, putting you in line for assignment of shares, there is another possibility.

    You can consider rolling over the puts. That is you buy back the short puts and sell new ones for some future date. Ideally you would not only get additional net premium from doing so, but you may also be able to lower the strike price, especially if selling a little bit farther out in time.

    You do that in order to defer, delay or avoid assignment in the assumption that sooner or later the price of shares will move in your favor and you can extricate yourself from the position.

    That works best when there's sufficient liquidity and reasonable narrow bid - ask ranges for both legs of the transaction. The caveat is that I would prefer to take assignment if there is an ex-dividend date upcoming, as just as the premium of a call sold going into an ex-dividend date may be partially subsidized by the buyer, so too is the put premium partially subsidized, but it's the seller doing the subsidizing instead.
    Jul 13, 2015. 02:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Doing Battle With Nature [View article]
    Thank you.

    I'm not really familiar with ARP, but would expect that their dividend may have another decrease in store for it. Their options market isn't very liquid, although the concept of a monthly dividend paying stock and trying to double dip might be nice, if the right stock existed.

    Vale is just one of those stocks that continually asks the question "how could it possibly go any lower?" but it has found a way.

    I always get nervous ablut companies that have a large dividend yield, even if they have earnings to offset the dividend. Vale doesn't have much in the way of earnings.

    For someone who had some tolerance for risk, Vale might be a put sale candidate. This morning a $5.50 put sale, expiring this Friday could generate nearly 2% ROI, even if shares fall by as much as about 3.5%. As opposed to ARP, there is good liquidity for those options.
    Jul 13, 2015. 01:27 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Doing Battle With Nature [View article]

    Nice article. The trickle down impact of any of these large decisions, whether it is an agreement on Greek debt or Chinese intervention in capital markets, can be far more far flung than we ever may consider at first blush
    Jul 13, 2015. 12:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Doing Battle With Nature [View article]

    I failed to mention my recent consternation with Lowes over a wood delivery that was of really poor quality, despite assurances that they would select nice pieces. To make matters worse, the replacement pieces, which came yesterday were even worse.

    But that doesn't figure into a purchase decision. Who knows, that may be a way of keeping margins up.
    Jul 13, 2015. 11:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    I missed the Queen Tour with Adam Lambert last year when it played the outdoor venue at Merriweather Post in Maryland. That's actually a nice place to see a concert, even Bob Dylan, who was terrible last year, although he had 3 opening acts that were really very good.

    As far as Neil Young goes, I was upset with his using Kickstarter for his Pono music player. That was nothing more than an exercise in pure greed. A person who has access to cash and investors the way Neil Young has (or at least should have, unless he's burned bridges) uses Kickstarter only to keep more potential profits for himself and limit the people sharing in success.

    Otherwise, it just limits his own personal exposure in the event the project doesn't succeed and keeps his friends with money to invest in good graces for some other venture that may have a higher likelihood of success.
    Jul 9, 2015. 08:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    Now, that's a good line. "Ive been F'd"

    My father's first car, a couple of years after coming to the US was a used 1958 Ford Fairlane. It didn't last very long and was then replaced by a brand new 1962 Chevy Impala and he stayed with GM thereafter.

    It was nothing against Ford, but the advice that he always gave me and to his grandchildren about cars was to never buy a used one. "Why would you pay money for other people's headaches?" was his belief. On the other hand, he was more than happy to buy a stock that someone else had dumped as its price may have plummeted.

    One person's headache can be just the remedy for what ails you.
    Jul 9, 2015. 08:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    I have to agree with you about GM. It has actually been a very good covered call position over the past 15 months. It's precisely those ups and downs, yet still somehow managing to stay within a reasonable range, that has made it so good, despite nothing but bad news for so long.

    At the current price I'm considering adding some more or maybe selling puts, starting next week, going into earnings the following week.
    Jul 8, 2015. 09:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    The key word is "almost."

    That's been the case for too many positions. They just can't put together 2 or more consecutive nice moves higher.

    I'd love to sell some LVS calls in advance of earnings next week.
    Jul 8, 2015. 08:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    Boy, isn't that the truth.
    Jul 8, 2015. 08:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    I saw Queen in concert in 1978. What a great show that was, other than the opening act, Thin Lizzie doing a 45 minute drum solo as part of "Boys are back in town."

    Saw the Beach Boys, maybe 1972, at Fordham College in NY. I think they were slumming it then. Why else would they play The Bronx?

    Saw CSN 2 years ago, a little older, but so was the audience. Baltimore has a great outdoor venue, Pier 6, that occasionally gets some good shows. Will be seeing Gordon Lightfoot there in a few weeks. Somehow, I can't imagine that he has aged well.
    Jul 8, 2015. 08:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    That's the part that's so hard to understand as an individual.

    It's not very different from being lectured by your parents about the evils of alcohol when they're in-between binges.

    In the case of Greece, why in the world would a citizen take seriously their responsibility to pay taxes when the nation doesn't take seriously its responsibility to re-pay debt?

    Of course, just as with the financial crisis in the US, you do have to wonder about international lending standards. Why lend to someone who is an exceptional risk and then act surprised when the risk becomes realized?
    Jul 7, 2015. 03:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment