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George Acs

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  • That Was The Crash, Dummy [View article]
    The only part of your comment that caught my attention was the reference to popcorn and I think it underlines some of the fallacies or biases inherent in your outlook.

    Besides, citing Doug Kass isn't much different from citing Peter Schiff on gold, except that Schiff is more likely to lapse into something beyond ludicrous and suggest that gold is now edible and supplies both shelter and warmth.

    Kass isn't too far behind in having a fairly narrow outlook and is, reportedly not beneath attempting to advance "news" that would support his prevailing thesis.

    But why is popcorn $8 for a bucket? Is it related to economic forces that are either in the control or out of the control of bankers, central bankers, manufacturers or consumers?

    While the price of gas may just as easily be down by 10 cents by the time I type this comment, I suggest that the price of popcorn in a movie theater has as much relevance to any of those factors as the metrics or opinions you've gathered have toward predicting behavior or economic outcomes.

    The popcorn certainly is a discretionary purchase, yet is exhibits inelasticity to a degree. That degree is part of the art and science of selecting a price point that won't cause someone out to impress a date or take their children out during a visitation week, to demur.

    Despite purchase alternatives, the popcorn has a traditional allure and there is a prohibition from supplying your personal supplies.

    The problem of cost is solely due to consumer behavior. Don't blame Bernanke or a cabal of bankers seeking to protect their hold on the "truth."
    May 25 03:14 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • That Was The Crash, Dummy [View article]
    The use of protective puts was the topic in my Daily Market Update for subscribers today.

    In general, I'm not a fan of their use. Although you cite a low cost, that cost may be quite high relative to its utility in offsetting portfolio losses.

    The individual investor who chooses to use protective puts has to then decide whether to use short term expirations versus longer term and whether to select near the money or out of the money strikes.

    Those decisions can have significant differences in effective cost as well as the degree of protection offered.

    The specific example used in your Instablog looks at a deep out of the money put with a long time frame. In that case it was for a strike price 20% out of the money and 6 months from now.

    Yes, in that scenario the premium is low, however, the protection offered may be equally low for anything less than a catastrophic collapse happening at an opportune time such that time value is also maintained.

    For those investors who have patience and are not prone to panic, the knowledge that corrections tend to be short lived and recoveries tend to be certain, the protective put often represents a superfluous expense that reduces ROI over the long term.
    May 24 11:17 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • That Was The Crash, Dummy [View article]
    I don't know whether or not I agree with your assessment. Obviously time will tell, but I think of QE as the spark that's necessary to begin a process that can be self-sustaining once the initial energy has started a cascade of events.

    We all know that economic cycles exist and are for varying periods of time. What we don't know is whether such central bank intervention can reliably flatten out the cycles, easing the downturns, while awaiting the natural consequence of the cyclical process.

    Even if ameliorating the downturn ends up also flattening the upturn, the result may end up leaving us with far less tumultuous rides up and down.

    If that is the case, I think the central bank interventions are just what is needed by economies that have either been in hibernation or in a deep slide.
    May 24 10:46 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • James Altucher: Why The Stock Market Is A Sucker's Game Right Now (And What Stocks I Own) [View article]
    Thanks, my mentor once called me "slippery and manipulative" which I suppose is a positive thing when going through dental school, although his praise did fall short of the beatification I was seeking.

    If only there was a way I could put those skills to use that didn't involve faxing you unsolicited stock offerings and then writing articles about them
    Apr 30 01:24 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Shares Are A Screaming 'Bye' [View article]
    No, I don't believe in reading, nor editing.

    If you look at price reactions to earnings, it is clear that earnings play a role, but increasingly it is the expectation of a certain level of earnings that plays an even important factor. Anyone can play a staid P/E ratio. What matters in a dynamic sense is the elation or disappointment with regard to earnings and the anticipation of future earnings as laid out in guidance.

    So, yes. It is part of the equation. Never remove the human element or minimize its role. It is what ends up being responsible for the seismic moves.
    Dec 13 06:32 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Shares Are A Screaming 'Bye' [View article]
    Since this article was forward looking, it can't qualify as a non-fiction piece, so I suppose it's already a novel of sorts.. But then again, many novels are thinly veiled retellings of real events.
    Dec 12 04:17 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Simple Is Better [View article]
    If I were an investor with a long term horizon, I would have been very happy with this move into oil and diversification of the their portfolio, However,even if a premium was paid and the deal isn't immediately accretive, it still feels as if the reaction was beyond excessive. But then, what else is new?
    Dec 7 08:13 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Turning Hatred Into Profits [View article]
    Yes, that's exactly how you should make all of your decisions.

    You will be greatly missed. I'm certain that your contributions to the thread would have been of consistently high caliber.
    Oct 28 12:09 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Turning Hatred Into Profits [View article]
    You hit on a couple of really important and related points.

    Greed is the real killer. I always get amused when people criticize the covered option technique, for example, as one that limits upside potential. In their criticism, they are essentially saying that they are perfect market timers and know when to sell their shares (presumably always at the peak).

    The reality is that human nature, greed, prevents us from doing that. We almost always think that there's more to be had and instead, end up watching those paper profits disappear.

    There's nothing wrong with being assigned and turning those paper profits into real ones and then getting to do it all over again.
    Oct 27 10:11 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Turn The Key On This Retirement Strategy [View article]
    Statistics indicate that their is a finite pool of net new jobs in the United States. You may claim that to be a fallacy, but you do so simply to suit a fallacious argument.

    The net creation of jobs is lagging behind the demand for such. Even as employment numbers go up they have not kept up with the demand for jobs by a growing population of those newly entering the workforce. That is very often the case when a baby boom or boomlet generation comes of age. At present, that has been compounded by increased productivity, off-shoring and technological advances in the manufacturing process that have less need for a workforce.

    Throughout the 20th century there have been periods when that has been the case, but economic expansion mitigated the impact.

    You're missing a big point and you choose to equate retiring with no longer contributing to society. The point that you overlook is that there can be a mechanism by which to create income and wealth without the need to maintain your regular employment as you are approaching, or have already entered into your retirement. That is the premise. It is not to simply retire and then live off the efforts of others. Retire and create an environment whereby you create new wealth, instead and also allow others to finally get their chance to enter the workforce and begin their careers.

    Not only that, but consider the statement that is so often cited regarding the 50% of Americans that pay no taxes. Besides the opportunistic definition of "taxes," since they mean "no additional taxes," as a result of having over paid via with-holding, the vast majority of people who truly do not pay taxes are the retired, whose income is predominantly related to their social security benefit.

    Now, consider the difference if those who supplemented their retirement with an investment strategy whose primary aim was to produce income actually did so.

    Did I mention that investment income is taxable income?

    Does society not benefit from the generation of taxable income? Beyond that, the job that I give up, in order to find the time to create income and wealth through investment activity can now be taken by someone else who was collecting unemployment benefits due to the scarcity of jobs. Another societal drain has now been removed.

    Again, you're welcome.

    Your two island concept perpetuates the notion that someone who chooses to retire from a job will simply be a drain on society. It is simplistic and illustrates nothing.
    May 19 07:03 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Money Does It Take To Make Money? [View article]
    Thank you. I was juggling a series of flaming Molotov cocktails while balanced on a unicycle as I wrote it.
    May 16 11:42 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Now Everything Is Crystal Clear [View article]
    Biting satire? Swashbuckling innuendos?

    What have you been reading? Or in innuendo form, "What have you been smoking?"

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    As Pete Seeger would have sung, "There is a time to every purpose."

    Now is "a time for low beta"
    Feb 9 08:56 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Volatility Is Back [View article]
    We've been this way before. At some point we'll all hear how the real growth opportunities can be found overseas until that point that they can't. Seems like we're at that latter point for now.
    Feb 2 08:40 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Merry Christmas to the Seeking Alpha community [View news story]
    Best wishes for a joyous holiday season to all of the SeekingAlpha staff around the world. Personable, tireless, responsive, capable and dedicated are their common attributes. I'm very happy to have made the association with such a group of people.
    Dec 25 01:41 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Things Aren't Always As They Seem [View article]
    Between the two of you, you could have purchased nearly 72 items off of the McDonalds dollar menu, not including tax.

    I'm going to wake up Monday morning and have about 64% cash and will be willing to get it down to about 40% for the week. That 40% will be able to buy me 12 items from the dollar menu.
    Nov 17 08:44 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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