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Jeff Miller  

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  • 2011 In Review: The Year That Wasn't [View article]
    Country Boy -- Good points. You may be right about a fast solution either way.

    Jeff
    Jan 2, 2012. 10:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2011 In Review: The Year That Wasn't [View article]
    Dancing Diva -- I participated in a 2012 roundtable that will soon be published. In it I cited multiple expansion as my worst prediction. I would have done better to say that when interest rates move higher, so will multiples. I explored this counter-intuitive idea here: http://bit.ly/rFfYJ7.

    As is the case in many economic/market factors, many things move together and causality is difficult to determine. I would call the causal factor "fear of deflation." The effects are extremely low yields, pervasive fear, skepticism about future earnings and low multiples. The result, for which there is plenty of data, is a curvilinear relationship.

    Thanks for your observations and suggestions for the list, and your comments throughout the year.

    Happy New Year:)

    Jeff
    Jan 2, 2012. 10:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 2011 In Review: The Year That Wasn't [View article]
    Angel -- Yes. That was the idea behind the "DSK" event. His absence cost a lot of time -- about seven weeks. Sometimes it is not just the amount of time but when it happens.

    I am taking the approach that multilateral cooperation was required and also that the IMF was a key player. The ECB might have acted alone, of course, but that was unlikely and perhaps not as good in the long run.

    Jeff
    Jan 2, 2012. 10:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 2011 In Review: The Year That Wasn't [View article]
    Ricard -- If you read the link to the Edward Jay Epstein story, you will see the rationale for the suspicion, vigorously denied of course. The story has a number of links to French participants, including intercepted email messages, the ownership of a firm doing hotel security work, tampering with DSK's cell phone (which mysteriously went missing and then lost all signal) and iPad.

    Why French opponents would choose America as the scene is a good question. Could conspirators really have guessed that he would be held without bail?

    The article has sparked many replies.

    Jeff
    Jan 1, 2012. 04:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Signs Of The Apocalypse In Financial News [View article]
    Thanks to everyone who joins in the discussion on my articles. I learn from the comments, and I am sure others do as well.

    I appreciate the kind words of encouragement.

    Happy New Year to all of my regular readers. I hope 2012 will be safe and prosperous for all.

    Jeff
    Dec 31, 2011. 01:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Signs Of The Apocalypse In Financial News [View article]
    Thank you:)

    and Happy New Year.

    Jeff
    Dec 31, 2011. 01:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Signs Of The Apocalypse In Financial News [View article]
    Thanks for the holiday smile!
    Dec 31, 2011. 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Signs Of The Apocalypse In Financial News [View article]
    webmind -- thanks:)

    I have been focusing on combining reasonable dividends with reasonable call sales. That means that I must first like the stock on fundamentals, earnings growth, and dividend payout ratio. Look for some technical support as well. The bid/ask spread on the option has to be reasonable and I am trying to get over 1% per month on calls that are at least 2% OTM. I have a report available for those who want more detail on the method.

    MDT was successful last month -- the stock called away but that is good enough for a few months of gains and there are plenty of alternatives. I might go after that again.

    ABT and JNJ are both fine, and I did AVP last week. There are a lot of candidates fitting the criteria.

    Best of luck and Happy New Year!

    Jeff
    Dec 31, 2011. 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Week Ahead: What To Expect From Santa [View article]
    Thanks, Perk.

    And lets hope that Jennings gets well soon:)
    Dec 22, 2011. 11:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Predicting Policy Decisions: Europe In Focus [View article]
    pdtor -- what would you have said about the US in 1783? Pretty much the same?

    Seeing the problems is much easier than having enough imagination to visualize solutions.

    I agree that perhaps not all of the members belong in the EU or the eurozone, so that will be an issue.

    Jeff
    Dec 18, 2011. 10:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • European Impact On U.S. Equities Is Overstated [View article]
    As I said about Platt, he is describing a process that most cannot do. He also is talking about one of his five funds. The disaster scenario occurs if nothing is done, and I think it is possible to monitor that.

    Taking the upside and downside from the last five years is not a method I would use for stock selection. I prefer to look at earnings, earnings growth, cash flow, balance sheet, and business strategy. For Oracle to reach the old high does not require a "raging bull market" and the increase would not constitute "skyrocketing." The earnings low from the last five years was $1.10 and the 2011 estimate is $2.42. The earnings did not decline during the recession.

    A large part of my success has come from stock selection, not market timing, so that is what I emphasize. This is why my risk/reward ratio for the stock is so much different from yours. While I do not object to put-selling as a way to establish a position, it does not work if you want to own the stock. If Oracle is trading 39 in January of 13 you will only collect the put premium. That would still only be about 13 times earnings if the growth continues. I would use put selling only for stocks where I was more ambivalent about the prospects or the current entry price was too high (as you seem to think it is).

    But you have piqued my curiosity with the safe 5% return and capital gains of 5% as well. I see a lot of yield ideas, and it is not as easy as you are saying.

    I am getting 10% (after fees) in my enhanced yield program by buying strong stocks with a yield of 3-3.5% and selling calls --- and not assuming any capital gains -- just that the stocks will (on average) hold their value. It requires a lot of work to do this, and it really is not feasible for the average investor.

    As you say, we can check out total return at some point, but no one is going to ring a gong telling us that all is clear in Europe.
    Dec 18, 2011. 05:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • European Impact On U.S. Equities Is Overstated [View article]
    Mike -- Thanks for that description. I know that you are not trying to advertise, but after all, I invited it:)

    As you can tell from what I write, I also have the daily problem of trying to be helpful and stimulating with commentary while avoiding specific investment advice.

    Jeff
    Dec 18, 2011. 01:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • European Impact On U.S. Equities Is Overstated [View article]
    You talk about "jumping in at time such as these" as if investors should be market timing their entire portfolio. This is how most investors trail market averages by 4 - 8% in study after study. Most do not have reasonable alternatives.

    I'm not sure how you became "we" but I am curious about your confidence that you will know when it is a "can't miss" opportunity. I think this will play out slowly with no special moment of universal recognition -- just gradual improvement. The market will respond as this happens.

    As to your Platt link, which has gotten a lot of publicity, did you watch the entire interview? The interviewers are trying to emphasize the big headline -- insolvency -- which is not his main focus. He is describing the benefits of short-term trading with leverage, and how well he did in 2009.

    His analysis is simple arithmetic. He says that if everything goes on the way it is, we will have a disaster. I say the same thing. The difference is that he is an economist, and he does not consider the process of achieving political solutions in democracies. The progress is grudging and maddeningly slow, but it is happening.

    If you listen carefully, he also does not describe a disaster for US stocks, but talks about recession impacts -- the same approach I am taking. I think I agree with about 90% of what he said.

    For those who do not follow my weighing the week ahead series, I have had a very cautious posture for several months.


    Jeff
    Dec 17, 2011. 03:30 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • European Impact On U.S. Equities Is Overstated [View article]
    Mike -- How about a specific suggestion? I started in the business at the CBOE in 1987. Most of the people in my audience are not up for trading options themselves, and you clearly have some ideas.

    How about sharing one?

    Thanks,

    Jeff
    Dec 16, 2011. 11:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • European Impact On U.S. Equities Is Overstated [View article]
    untrusting investor -- I completely disagree with your upside/downside risk for the market and especially for the stocks I mentioned. I think the ratio is 3-1 or 4-1, with much of the negativity already reflected and multiples low.

    I also have access to some private deals, shared with some investors, but that is not what this story is about. I am writing for the average, long-term investor, most of whom have been scared witless and out of the market by the headlines.

    There are many profitable approaches, and I am delighted that you have one that works for you -- and that you recognize the alternatives.

    And Merry Christmas to you as well:)

    Jeff
    Dec 16, 2011. 11:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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