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  • Stress Tests Are Imperfect: Global Data Indicates GFC-2 Is Imminent [View article]
    Good stuff... Well written and presented and without the usual propaganda regarding financial stocks, bubbles, and unlimited paper money manipulation thanks to the TBTF/FED/agency conflict party.
    Mar 24, 2015. 02:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Greenlight Re And Never Sell [View article]
    Here's the deal with "conservative" insurers -- most HAVE to own bonds, and bonds are horrible right now. Stick with the oddballs who invest in long short strategies, or with Berkshire, but sell some calls on the B shares... the stock is up a lot, but I LOVE IT.
    Mar 23, 2015. 05:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Greenlight Re And Never Sell [View article]
    Hedge funds protect the downside -- IE they don't make much money in up markets but flourish during bear markets. Good hedge funds are like an all weather vehicle. Relative performance is not the goal. Preserving capital is job number one.

    Sure, one can argue fees all day. When I ran money I was a zero and twenty. Now I trade only my own money... I am not bullish, IMO except for very few places.... GLRE being one... This should hold up well if the index crowd blows up... indexing is the new crowded deal in my view. Hiring a guy who takes a performance fee is fine just don't be mad at them for being less risky then the herd of lemmings at market tops...

    For 40% of your savings, the SPY or other index funds are OK just remember, THIS TIME IS NOT DIFFERENT and valuations are sky high... When/if the market tanks, the long short equity approach works wonders...
    Mar 23, 2015. 05:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets Look To Capture All-Time Highs But Dillard's Poised For A Pullback [View article]
    bravo... DDS is overbought as well as overvalued... RSI on daily = 75...
    Mar 22, 2015. 01:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Insane Apple Advantage Revisited [View article]
    good point... I think the market for the yearly replacement of phones may be more a cyclical deal rather than a consumer staple deal. Then again, I'm not "into them" as are most people. Don't like squinting.

    Well written/researched and interesting article.
    Mar 21, 2015. 08:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire: Is Now A Good Time To Buy? [View article]
    Yes, I am playing dividend devils advocate a bit... Zero interest rates are like beer goggles for dividend stocks.... at least they are better than nothing, lol...

    For moderate growth companies dividends are a check on managerial imperative, growth through acquisition, agency conflict, etc... I "like" dividends, but I don't think Berkshire should ever pay one -- the dividend I want from them is a higher share price!
    Mar 16, 2015. 01:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire: Is Now A Good Time To Buy? [View article]
    hey bobbobwhite --

    Thanks for your comment... We are not worried about it myself -- the same thing could be said about Tim Cook and Apple, and those fears never materialized. Berkshire has a much deeper bench than people realize. It's that they are incredibly humble, so you've not heard much from them... That's what we love about the future the most -- he picks winners, and his strength is in finding managerial and investment management talent.

    As for no dividends, that policy is surely the best for in this case because Buffett is a far better allocator of capital than anyone else. If he paid a divvy, it would be because he could not invest profitably into his company.

    Dividends generally don't work for growth companies but are more useful for mature, zero growth enterprises. Today, dividend stocks in general are overvalued and we would tread very cautiously in those waters.

    Agree that dividends are a nice way for folks to invest and see a "return of capital" from their investments, but some companies borrow money to pay divvies and that's sort of a Ponzi in my view...

    If you are making 20% per year on invested capital, paying a dividend is foolish. If you are breaking even in a mature business and the future looks bleak, by all means managers should pay out as much book value as is reasonable given liquidity position.

    Thanks all for comments and for reading... We know very little, but at least we know that we know not!
    Mar 16, 2015. 01:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire: Is Now A Good Time To Buy? [View article]

    I handicap recession risk using skills I learned playing poker off and on for a couple decades semi-professionally against the real pros... lol... Regarded Solutions being one of em... lol...

    Valuations are at extremes (27X CAPE -- which Ben Graham pretty much invented the precursor to...), while the FED effectively leveraged 30 to 1 and cannot cut rates if stocks start sliding... liquidity issues (M2 money multiplier, rising debt to GDP, rising and extended market cap to GDP and GNP, NYSE margin debt, Auto loans surpassing mortgage debt, labor force participation, Greece, zombie banking, shadow banking, derivatives growth since 2008, counter party risk, currency wars, the BOJ buying stock, etc... etc...)

    Because I am an incredible optimist, 20% seemed like a good handicap, but it's fairly tough to speculate on a "when." All I know is that risks are very elevated so it may be a good time to hold a higher than usual amount of cash (I also think 5-10% in silver and gold in a safe somewhere makes sense after the drubbing since 2011)...

    Berkshire is fine for a 10-20% permanent core holding just don't ever look at the stock quote.
    Mar 16, 2015. 02:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire: Is Now A Good Time To Buy? [View article]
    Well, the debt to GDP here, margin debt, currency wars, 100 year high valuations, etc... make now a particularly difficult time to be a long only guy.

    all that I am suggesting is finding a "hedge" ... Buffett would never do such a thing, but I'm no Warren Buffett...

    Paying off debt is almost always a good idea in my view. As Buffett says, you don't want to invest debt into the equity market because someone else can force you to sell.

    Thank you for your comments!
    Mar 16, 2015. 01:52 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire: Is Now A Good Time To Buy? [View article]
    He closed his partnerships in 1969 and wrote his first annual letter to Berkshire shareholders in 1970. But you are correct, he had effectively gained control earlier than I mentioned in the article, it's just that the partnerships were likely the center of his career until 1970.

    Thank you for your clarification.
    Mar 16, 2015. 01:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire: Is Now A Good Time To Buy? [View article]
    Several typos, and edits needed, Thanks Omaha...
    Mar 16, 2015. 01:40 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire: Is Now A Good Time To Buy? [View article]
    Thanks for the comment buy and hold... there are some reasons to avoid taking risks, but the consequences to not taking risk outweigh them more often than not... Appreciate your wisdom on the overall market... I am also looking to buy more on a much overdue correction.

    thanks for the comments here all...
    Mar 16, 2015. 01:38 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Confessions As A Gambler And Why You're Likely One Too [View article]
    Great article Old School.
    Mar 15, 2015. 02:25 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Greenlight Re And Never Sell [View article]
    Hey two investing.... TPRE.. Yes we like it. At tangible book also. Going to write about it we like it so much. The guys doing RE insurance and buying bonds with the float should PM us! we could do so much better.
    Mar 14, 2015. 12:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Greenlight Re And Never Sell [View article]
    The price hasn't gone up, but the value of the company has risen an impressive amount. As Buffett says, there are many people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. We don't care about price so long as the value increases over time. Not saying you are one, but that the market is filled with them, and that may have made the stock cheap.

    Fees are a good point, but may also be a reason why value investors may be overlooking the shares (value investors, like us, are notoriously cheap!). David Williams drives a Ford Focus and we respect that.

    Momentum investors look at the chart and run away, and growth managers look at the industry. As for combined ratio, We are admittedly not experts on insurance companies, but this is a good point. It is why a 3-8% position in GLRE is all we would suggest holding currently.

    As value investors, we like the stock today precisely because the value has gone up since 2010 substantially, but the price has not... Exactly what we want when buying a stock for the long term (as GroVal states) -- an undervalued stock of a company producing long term shareholder value. Think of like a mutual fund at a huge discount. If the stock drops below book, it is in my view a much better investment, so start positions small and add on drops.

    The insurance side is the harder part to evaluate, and as I stated, I am not an expert.

    Allegheny (Y) is a well run insurance business... Also, NWLI sometimes trades way below book value and is attractive when it gets cheap enough, but they mostly buy bonds, which don't yield much.
    Mar 14, 2015. 11:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment