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Kiisu Buraun

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  • The Energy Sector - Risk Or Opportunity? The S&P 500 2015: Part 2 [View article]

    Thank you for another interesting article.


    With regards to oil, coal, natural gas, biomass, hydroelectric, nuclear, and the other energy sources, you might find the following article "Cubic Mile of Oil" [] and the book with the same name [] (by Crane, Kinderman & Malhotra) interesting.

    Among the things I found of particular interest were "Annual energy consumption by source" and "Replacement of oil by alternative sources".

    Regarding consumption, as of 2006, Wind+Photovoltaic+Solar thermal produced less than 0.005 of the 3CMOs our world's population consumes annually (that's less than 0.1%).

    Regarding alternative energy sources, the estimate is 91,250,000 rooftop solar photovoltaic panels developed each year for 50 years to replace 1CMO (basically US usage for 1 year) at a total cost of $68 trillion and which would cover nearly 24,662 square miles (the combined land area of Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut, and most of Rhode Island).

    By comparison, we could also replace 1CMO (of the 3 globally consumed each year) by building 4 Three Gorges Dams, each year for 50 years. That 1CMO equivalent would only require 200 such dams, cost about $6 trillion and only cover 488,200 square miles (the combined land area of Texas, California & New York).

    I'm not adverse to non-hydrocarbon energy; I find large engineering projects interesting; I believe in the long term, hydrocarbons are potentially more valuable as lubricants, feed stocks (for plastics, medications, dyes, etc), and the like; and I've explored wind & solar as peripheral engineering topics for more than 35 years.

    While one could theoretically replace natural hydrocarbons with the artificial (using solar power to drive the process) to create the compact energy sources needed for aviation and other special-needs where solar is currently impractical or infeasible, the natural hydrocarbon is still too cheap for it to be economically practical...

    ...and my friends who lean green, tend to get a bit testy about the notion of artificial hydrocarbons for anything... but that's a different story.

    On a smaller scale, when I've checked the cost for taking my farm off-grid, I've found energy storage to be one of my major cost drivers. It's hard to beat petrol, diesel, and propane for energy storage.

    Batteries are amazingly expensive have a relative short life; pumped (water) storage is not feasible without massively reworking the topography of the farm; my wife won't ok pumped pneumatic storage (she thinks it is a very large bomb in the back yard, and she's right). Hydrogen storage is another very large bomb, and its transport has a whole host of peculiar engineering problems that are not cheaply solved.

    Best wishes,

    Jan 20, 2015. 02:46 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seadrill Shows Just How Little Insider Buys Can Mean [View article]

    I appreciated Mike's article, am glad he wrote it.

    Bought SDRL for portfolio2 (a much smaller portfolio with a more "liberal" rule set than for portfolio1) after what I thought was adequate DD.

    However, as is obvious in retrospect, my P2 process was deficient in the "diligence" part. Fortunately, my purchase was relatively small and what I now have is scheduled to be sold, but which when completed will still be a bit of a loss.

    But my point is ... I learn more from folk who show where (and particularly how) I've screwed up, than from all those who slap me on the back, mouth a bit of praise and offer no critique.

    As a result my SDRL & PSEC errors, I'm re-examining my P2 rule set to see how I can better achieve my goals for that portfolio while limiting my risks.

    Best wishes,
    Dec 20, 2014. 07:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Investing FAQ [View article]

    Thank you for an excellent primer.

    I too have forwarded it to friends and family that have expressed an interest in the topic.

    Best wishes ... and Merry Christmas,

    Dec 19, 2014. 02:05 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Investing: How I Derive The Top 40 (Part 2) [View article]

    Thank you for the info on VLOOKUP. Something new to help me with my spreadsheets.

    Best wishes,

    Dec 15, 2014. 03:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Valuations, Goals And The Stock Selection Process [View article]

    My ride in the astronauts' 6-DOF Shuttle trainer was a memorable experience.

    However, unlike much of what you'd see in modern movies (such as "Interstellar"), the cabin space was cramped, we had limited situational awareness and the console was primitive (basic 60s-70s tech, it still had a mechanical artificial horizon).

    The last time I visited Dryden, an SR-71 had been towed off in the sand ... like so much useless junk ... I recall salivating over that and similar tech as a youngster. The stuff our government tosses aside is amazing.

    Best wishes,

    Dec 14, 2014. 12:22 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Investing: How I Derive The Top 40 (Part 2) [View article]

    Another interesting, educational and worthwhile article.

    Thank you.


    Don't know if you or anyone else is interested, but your comment on Chowder rule filtering triggered the following ...

    I compute my target price (for limit order buys) by:

    o computing the "Chowder Yield" (the yield required for the stock to match its Chowder Rule of either 8 or 12).

    o adding a bias to the current yield (usually 1/4%)

    o selecting a minimum acceptable yield (currently 3% for my main DGI portfolio)

    My "target yield" is the maximum of the three above yields.

    I compute my target price by dividing the current dividend by the "target yield" (as a %).

    I use the target price for limit order buys.
    Quick example:

    Assume my minimum acceptable yield is 3%, the current price for company A is $100.00, its current div is $3.50 and its chowder rule is 8.25% (assume A is not a MLP, REIT, or utiltity so the Chowder rule requires a value of 12% [5yr DGR + yield]).

    The current yield is $3.50 / $100 or 3.50%; the biased yield is 3.50% + 0.25% or 3.75%; and the "chowder yield" is (12% - 8.25%) or 3.75%.

    The maximum of (3.00%, 3.50%, 3.75%) is of course 3.75% (all of which can be automated with Excel)

    My target price would then be $3.50 / 3.75% or $93.33

    Best wishes,

    Dec 12, 2014. 11:49 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Investing: How I Derive The Top 40 (Part 1) [View article]

    Thank you for an excellent article.

    Based on what I've learned I'll tweek my selection process.

    Best wishes,

    Dec 12, 2014. 10:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Stocks Are Not In A Bubble, But Many Of Them Are Pricey [View article]

    Thank you for another excellent educational article. Much appreciated.

    I wasn't aware of S&PCIQ ... so I use ValueLine (Safety & Financial Strength) in my evaluations.

    Best wishes,

    Dec 12, 2014. 05:07 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 52 Fairly Valued REITs For Substantial Total Income For Your Retirement Portfolios [View article]
    Chuck, Charlie, Bruce,

    Many thanks for the info and links. I've a bit of reading to do.

    Best wishes,

    Nov 27, 2014. 02:29 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Buy A Few Premium REITs That Deliver Something Special [View article]

    "You can't compare an apples BMW 535i with an oranges Kia Optima."

    --> Unless the individual making the comparison is an engineer evaluating which vehicle will get her reliably from point A to B while minimizing upfront and operating cost over a fixed time period.

    In other words, a valid comparison depends largely on who is doing the comparing and what her essential parameters are.

    A great many years ago whilst in college, I recall reading an advertisement for a Rolls-Royce which stated, "at sixty miles per hour, the only sound you can hear is the clock" (which was mechanical) followed by a statement from a RR engineer who said "the clock is too damn loud".

    I'm not immune from seduction...but though the ad was memorable, it was wasted on temptations in the automotive realm tend to be more geared toward relatively ancient manual transmission pickups.

    Alas, for a temptation to be effective it's best directed at an appreciative audience.

    Best wishes,

    Nov 27, 2014. 12:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 52 Fairly Valued REITs For Substantial Total Income For Your Retirement Portfolios [View article]

    Thank you for the feedback...much appreciated.

    Re: ... Thank you. Was unaware of the URL. Will go there and read up.

    Best wishes,

    Nov 26, 2014. 04:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan: The Calm Before The Storm? [View article]

    Don't know how voting came into the discussion, but in general I agree, and I vote...though I do have basic philosophical issues when group A votes to increase group B's taxes...and A & B are disjoint sets.

    And yes, none of our rolling equipment was bought new, our fire stations were built with volunteer labor ... and donated materials. But we also have dedicated fundraisers for additional equipment, building maintenance and the like.

    I like the volunteer/donation process (though it requires more effort on my part) as I feel I get a better bang for my buck, and more community cohesion, than has been my experience via taxes.

    Best wishes,

    Nov 26, 2014. 04:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan: The Calm Before The Storm? [View article]

    I agree organizations need money to survive...arguing otherwise would be, at best, foolish.

    However, I believe it is also a truism that as taxes increase, the competition for available dollars tends to squeeze out charitable a result folk tend to regard taxes and tax-supported activities as the only viable solution.

    I find the trend of increasingly higher taxes former DC colleagues are already convinced they are the brightest lights in the room. Feeding their hubris, I believe, is not a good idea.

    Regarding the quote, I would emphasize "MAY be supported by taxes in a city, town, county, fire district". It is NOT a requirement.

    The local VFD of which I am a member has no taxing authority...we are dependent on private and corporate donations, state grants and the like.

    Best wishes,

    Nov 26, 2014. 02:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan: The Calm Before The Storm? [View article]

    Not all good (read as "benevolence", "charity" or "public service") requires government intervention or tax support.

    There are numerous examples of non-governmental "good" which include mutual benefit societies (, Volunteer Fire Departments (, and Carnegie Libraries (

    Best wishes,

    Nov 26, 2014. 04:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 52 Fairly Valued REITs For Substantial Total Income For Your Retirement Portfolios [View article]

    Thank you for an interesting article. As my introduction to REITs is quite recent, your work is much appreciated.

    In reviewing each REIT subset you presented, I noticed the "5-year historical FFO growth rate" for each entry in each subset was marked with double asterisks "**".

    Can I assume this means "Fiscal year data is incomplete and only quarterly dividends in our database are included in these calculations."? If not, what does that symbol signify?

    Perhaps someone could jump in and help me understand the details of FFO... Investopedia defines it as: "A figure used by real estate investment trusts (REITs) to define the cash flow from their operations. It is calculated by adding depreciation and amortization expenses to earnings, and sometimes quoted on a per share basis."

    While I understand the definition in a general fashion, I'm admittedly fuzzy on the details.

    Specifically is FFO the same as "Total Cash Flow From Operating Activities" found on a "Cash Flow Statement" (for example for VTR: Or is it something entirely different, and if so, where do I find it or how do I compute it?

    Alternatively, is there a reference (online or print) that is roughly "REITs for Idiots" or some that provides the necessary details so this uninitiated can understand where to find or how to generate the relevant numbers?

    My apologies if the above is trivially obvious to those familiar with REITs. As my background never overlapped the subject, at times I feel like I'm back in kindergarten trying to wrap my mind around tensor calculus. ;-)

    Much appreciated,

    Nov 26, 2014. 03:08 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment