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Jeff Miller

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  • What Investors Should Know About the Debt Ceiling Debate [View article]
    ValueAdded -- I certainly did not mean to insult you, and I apologize for anything that might be construed that way.

    I meant the "breathless fear" that we see, hear, and read about every day in the media. I should have been clearer. Obviously I have no idea about your emotions.

    I do think that before you criticize Mr. McTeer's wisdom, you should read more of his work.

    Your program would get you elected in some districts, but not in others. If you insisted on it without compromise, some would think you were posturing!

    I congratulate you on your investment returns, and your ability to distinguish between investment and political decisions.

    Jul 14 03:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Upside Risk: How the Individual Investor Can Trade Like a Pro [View article]
    retailinvestor - I have seen several studies from retail brokerage and mutual fund companies, all saying the same thing. This one from Morningstar is an example, although the spread is lower than usual. articles.chicagotribun...

    Here is a simulations of market timing:

    If you google individual investor and market timing you will also see a number of academic studies that have references.

    I think I have some links from past blog articles. Of course, there are always some investors who do better.

    90% are probably above average:)

    Jul 13 05:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: All Eyes on Earnings [View article]
    Michael -- Steven's interesting hypothesis is that temporary employment smooths the business cycle. After a recession, the first reaction is to pick up temporary workers before increasing permanent hiring. You can see the dip in temp workers after the 2001 recession and long before any new recession. It is true that we have only one past instance to evaluate, an inherent problem in assessing this "new" viewpoint.

    His conclusion, by the way, included an accurate and timely call of a peak in April, but they still do not see an impending recession.

    I appreciate that you are actually looking at the data! Do the indicators you follow suggest a different conclusion?

    Thanks for joining in.

    Jul 10 10:28 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Investors Should Know About the Debt Ceiling Debate [View article]
    WAdem -- I used McTeer as an example of how the process might come to a conclusion. Nothing in my article endorses a particular policy outcome.

    There is plenty of room to debate tax equity on hundreds of specific issues. That is yet another reason why this should not be part of the debt limit legislation.

    So to be clear, we are all free to make points like yours. As a practical matter, the GOP has an entrenched position on tax rates. There is still the matter of the eventual expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts.

    Jul 9 10:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Investors Should Know About the Debt Ceiling Debate [View article]
    Value Added -- Posturing is what legislative leaders do when they want to do the right thing and still get re-elected.

    You can get stuck in a "Mr. Smith goes to Washington mode" which is what most people who never took any political science think should happen.

    What would you do if you were in Congress?

    And this breathless fear about the existence of the republic is going to cost you money in the long run.

    I suggest that you go to McTeer's blog and read about twenty articles.

    Just a thought....

    Jul 7 09:34 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Investors Should Know About the Debt Ceiling Debate [View article]
    expatsp -- This is an interesting article, and we all appreciate the pointer.

    I think that we still have many twists and turns before the finish line.

    Thanks for joining in.

    Jul 7 09:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Use Discipline When Trading the 200-Day Moving Average [View article]
    Change - No hypocrisy here:) As I said in the conclusion to the article and in response to some comments, I invest in Apple based upon the fundamentals. I change my weighting occasionally and my sell rule relates to when it hits a certain target price or the earnings expectations change. I have several other articles on this theme.

    In this piece I am trying to illustrate a popular method for people who choose not to do this constant review of the fundamentals. I know that many people adopt a system, but then do not follow it.

    I agree with you about sticking to the system rules, and that is what I was trying to emphasize here.

    I can see where I generated some confusion. The paragraph starting with "I am using" should have said "To illustrate this point I am using."

    Thanks for the comments and I'll use them to improve this for the next edition.

    Jul 4 10:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Lurching From One Crisis to Another [View article]
    yoohootoo -- The reporting and schedule can be found here:

    Having said this, I do not think the daily timing is very important to watch. These purchases are very small compared to both the overall balance sheet and especially to daily trading in treasuries, which is over $500 billion.

    Jul 3 11:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Use Discipline When Trading the 200-Day Moving Average [View article]
    LiberTea -- Yes, taxes are always a consideration.

    As I noted, I do not use the 200 day EMA for investment accounts. I use my own assessment of the fundamentals, and I keep taxes in mind.

    Having said this, sometimes it is right to sell a stock no matter the tax consequences.

    Good point.

    Jul 3 10:12 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Use Discipline When Trading the 200-Day Moving Average [View article]
    Gunny -- I did hold the stock and do nothing, since the fundamentals did not change. I am describing a popular system which, as you can tell from the chart, is followed by many.

    Jul 2 06:27 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Profit From Insights About Government [View article]
    Tom and Angel --

    First, I agree that we should not ignore the possibility. I monitor the news on this subject constantly. And thanks for the pointer.

    With that in mind, every development so far is consistent with the political theater that I have been forecasting, so I have no reason to revise my forecast.

    Here is another analysis, focused on Boehner support.

    Meanwhile, the bond market is not reflecting default concern. This may change later this month.

    I appreciate the comments -- always wise from both of you.

    Jul 1 10:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Mythology Surrounding Earnings Estimates [View article]
    Fabien Hug -- Why do you think the Oracle news was poor. My read was that the report was excellent except for hardware sales.

    We can discuss how much that is a part of the core business, the effect on ORCL earnings, and implications for others.

    I did not see much to worry about, so I am very interested in your take.


    Jun 28 10:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Analyzing QE II's Effect [View article]
    dcfusor -- We only have a week or so to go. What do you think will happen at the end of the QE II purchases? Will there be no one to buy our debt, as Gross has warned? Will there be failed auctions? What will happen?

    I predict business as usual, so we can reconvene here shortly and see who was right.

    Bill Gross has built a huge and successful business. Part of the way he does so is by talking his book. He has a long history of erroneous predictions that would be costly to stock investors if they were paying any attention. Dow 5000 is a notable example.

    I prefer to buy individual bonds for my clients, but if I were to invest in a fund, PIMCO would be at or near the top of the list.

    So he can be a successful manager and still be completely wrong about the market for US Treasuries. In fact, he might be wrong on purpose. We just don't know.

    One thing you do know about me is that I am not selling a fund. Each client is unique. I advise on asset allocations,adjusting with circumstances. I am more objective and aligned with the client than is Bill Gross, who has a bully pulpit to sell his fund.

    And by the way, we don't know if Gross could even do a simple Supply/Demand analysis. He is a psych major:) Lots of big shots do not have the background knowledge that you might expect. His skill set was obviously helpful for building the fund. He now has plenty of top-flight economists, all of whom seem to toe the party line.

    I am going to pass on discussing the conspiracy theories, but thanks for bringing up Bill Gross.

    Jun 22 11:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Analyzing QE II's Effect [View article]
    LJK - The Fed does take account of psychology. I think they have been quite clear that restoring confidence about deflation fighting was the point of the QE efforts. Others have spun various tales about money going from the Fed and into the markets.

    So you are correct.

    Jun 22 06:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Analyzing QE II's Effect [View article]
    enigmaman -- Any process of forecasting begins with understanding. If you had the wrong idea about the causal link, you would not have expected the alleged effects to reverse three months before the buying ended.

    Similarly, it might be helpful to know that the bond market will not have a big immediate spike in interest rates. Or that the dollar will not magically get stronger (although it might be oversold anyway).

    In my own analysis I find it very helpful to use data to determine what is really going on and then analyze perceptions. I often choose a contrarian approach when I think that the reality will become clear soon enough.

    Having said this, we all know that short-term market behavior is ruled by perceptions whether they are accurate or not.

    Good question....

    Jun 22 10:39 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment