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Kirk Lindstrom  

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  • VTI Is Still A Buy In 2015 [View article]
    I like VTI, but once you have enough funds, I recommend breaking it into the large and mid/small cap components so you can occasionally rebalance to take advantage of periods of relative out performance by the either sector. I recommend doing the same for the international markets... start with the global index then break it into sub sectors when you have enough for it to make sense. I've done it with the "core portfolios" in my newsletter and it has helped significantly add to returns.
    May 13, 2015. 11:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 20 Years In The Chevron DRIP [View article]
    Finally, if you figure you have enough of the stock, then you can save the dividends in the account until you have enough to buy a new stock for your portfolio but I usually look for declines in some of my other stocks to buy back shares on corrections. With a well diversified portfolio, I find there are often some stocks making new highs to take some profits in to generate funds to buy shares that fall to support levels once the market declines.
    May 13, 2015. 11:00 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 20 Years In The Chevron DRIP [View article]
    Nice article!

    I used to do DRIP with one of my first stocks but even with great records, handling splits can be a nightmare with the fractional shares. Now the brokers I use do it for you. I either reinvest dividends for free or save them up until I have enough to buy more shares on my "buy if it falls to this support level list" in my newsletter.

    When you have just a few shares and are just getting started, DRIPS make a lot of sense. But once you have 10 or 20 shares for a diversified portfolio, you may only want to reinvest dividends in stocks that are at my "accumulation prices" and turn it off when they reach my "take profits" prices.
    May 13, 2015. 10:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • SPY Near Record High While ECRI's WLI Rises To 30-Week High [View article]
    jyard01: Have you read their book?

    "Beating the Business Cycle: How to Predict and Profit From Turning Points in the Economy"

    The indicators are discussed there plus I have an article somewhere on my hard drive with the specifics of how WLI is calculated. I believe Doug Short dug it up from before ECRI made it a state secret.
    May 7, 2015. 03:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SPY Near Record High While ECRI's WLI Rises To 30-Week High [View article]
    Q1 GDP may turn negative at the next revision due to the just reported March trade deficit.

    >>>It turns out the US economy may have contracted in the first quarter.

    Last week, we learned that gross domestic product grew by just 0.2% in the first quarter, far below the 1% economists had expected.

    Then on Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported that the trade deficit in March exploded to a six-year high, $51.4 billion.

    ... The slowdown and strike over a labor dispute limited the flow of goods through some of America's biggest ports. And that could have put more downward pressure on growth in the first quarter, according to economists.

    In a note after the release, BNP Paribas economist Laura Rosner wrote: "We calculate that today's report, if taken at face value without considering any offset from inventories, implies a 0.6pp downward revision to first-quarter growth, leaving our tracking estimate at -0.4% q/q saar (BEA's initial estimate was +0.2% q/q saar)."

    To explain why imports surged and exports were soft, Rosner suggests that the goods on inbound ships were unloaded before they were restocked with goods meant for exports. <<<
    May 5, 2015. 12:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SPY Near Record High While ECRI's WLI Rises To 30-Week High [View article]
    Sanibel, that is the way I see it also. To ignore their WLI completely would be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
    May 4, 2015. 06:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Play Expected Inflation From The TIPS Spread [View article]
    SPY Values
    Closed Feb 11, 2011 at $133.11
    Opened Feb 14, 2011 at $133.03
    Today (5/4/15) SPY is 211.42
    May 4, 2015. 12:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2% Inflation Is Alive And Well [View article]
    I agree that we're running 2%, easily, with the way they measure inflation.

    People are using their savings from lower gasoline to buy bigger smartphones with bigger data plans. I also noticed my satellite TV bill has doubled in the last 10 years mostly because of the high prices for sports that used to be free over local TV. Also networks I don't care about like Fox News raised rates and Dish eventually caved and raised the cost of all plans about $5. None of these high priced items existed when they first started calculating inflation so I'm not sure how they account for it.

    The average home in SF just went over $1M. We're somewhere between $2M and $3M for an older home on 1/4 acre in Los Altos, CA where in 2000 it was only $1M. Try and tell anyone hired by Google, Tesla, Faceplant, Apple etc. that want to buy a home here that inflation is only 2% and they'll die laughing.

    Property taxes here are locked in at just over 1.1% of purchase value plus 2% a year max inflation. They keep adding fees so my taxes have about 20% adders... anyway, figure out how much you have to earn to buy the average $1M home in SF, pay the property taxes, get told to let your lawn die while they add surcharges to water to pay salaries and pensions... tons of inflation in CA.

    So, if the Fed is hoping for prosperity to spread out of Silicon Valley, beware of MASSIVE inflation to come. For example, see " Los Altos Home Prices Grew 13% in 2014 & up 282% since 1998" at
    Apr 18, 2015. 12:57 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Debt At 104% Of GDP Hits Another Record. Stocks, Gold Should Do Well On Slow Rate Hikes [View article]
    dear james, you wrote:

    "I look for Gold to reach $1500 per oz by Dec 2015"

    There are some remaining gold bulls that agree with you. RONALD L. ROSEN in his April 15, 2015 letter at
    says the decline in gold was "a running flat correction" in a longer term bull market.

    "Gold and silver have completed a magnificently bullish running flat correction. For gold the failure of the C wave to decline below the beginning of the A wave is absolutely, monumentally bullish."
    Apr 16, 2015. 11:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Altera Investors Should Be Cautious With Intel's Offer Reportedly Off The Table [View article]
    What is lacking from all the excellent discussion so far is an analysis of profits Intel could make by selling the Altera chips. I believe Altera has huge margins for chips made by chip fabs. Eliminate some redundant staff such as HR and the savings grow even more.
    Apr 15, 2015. 12:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Debt At 104% Of GDP Hits Another Record. Stocks, Gold Should Do Well On Slow Rate Hikes [View article]
    Dear mkemac,
    How do you arrive at 300%? That works for buying a home but I think we would be a disaster, especially since the real debt is more like $210T when you account for off the books debt such as Social Security and Medicare.
    Apr 14, 2015. 07:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Debt At 104% Of GDP Hits Another Record. Stocks, Gold Should Do Well On Slow Rate Hikes [View article]
    Dear bbro, while that would be another interesting statistic, the Fed and most economists I follow track "Total Public Debt as Percent of Gross Domestic Product", especially those who like to say how great President Clinton was and how awful the next two were/are.

    See The Fed's chart at
    Apr 14, 2015. 07:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TIPS Say The Deflation 'Threat' Has Passed [View article]
    Great article. Thanks.
    Feb 27, 2015. 10:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SPY 1.8% Below Record High While ECRI's WLI Growth Rate Rises To 6-Week High [View article]
    alorenz, not everyone believes we escaped a recession. From CNBC this AM

    The highlights;

    “There is no acceleration in underlying economic activity.”

    “There’s this wrong concept that I keep on hearing about in the financial press about the acceleration in economic growth… It isn’t happening!”

    “We had a horrible retail sales number, we had a horrible durable goods number, we’re likely to have a very disappointing retail sales number coming forward, this month we have a strong payroll number we say everything’s great – it’s not great….it’s been the same thing for the last five years, there’s no improvement in the economy!”

    “After a string of dismal data on durable goods, retail spending, and inventories, we get a good jobs number and everyone saying the economy’s good – it’s not good!”
    You could argue that the recovery is only benefiting those of us who were rich enough AND smart enough to step in front of the Fed's money printing and government spending programs to buy assets (stocks and real estate) that would benefit. I keep taking profits as the market moves higher so my pile of cash in the investment accounts is at record levels even as my stock and REIT holdings are ALSO at record levels.

    Talk to small business owners and they don't see a huge pickup, even here in the Silicon Valley where many are doing great. Housing costs here are SOARING and eating up most of the gains for those who rent and higher premiums for health care eat up most other gains from lower gas prices and small raises.
    Feb 12, 2015. 02:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SPY 1.8% Below Record High While ECRI's WLI Growth Rate Rises To 6-Week High [View article]
    Good question DavidLMO. I use ECRI's data as part of a much larger body of data. Much of what I use is reported on by others on Seeking Alpha already by people who have closer access to the data, or those who actually create the data such as the II Sentiment Survey.

    I believe many of ECRI "critics" are little different than those on the East Coast who hate the Patriots for their long history of success while the teams they root for failed to reach the Super Bowl at all. That is most economists have such awful records that they enjoy seeing ECRI be wrong on something. Sort of like making a big deal out of a football with a little less pressure.

    I feel ECRI's only major "mistake" was to underestimate the lengths the Fed would go to prevent a recession. I believe the FED probably uses ECRI's data or saw the same indicators ECRI uses and concluded it would take EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES to prevent a recession, hence the massive QE with interest rates below fair market rates.

    Go read my last article from Nov. 10, 2014 "SPY Sets Another Record High While ECRI's WLI Growth Fell To A 2.3-Year Low"
    then compare GDP, WLI, GDP & WLI Growth rates and the value of the S&P500 to where we are today.

    WLI and its growth rate were well off highs at 2.3year lows while SPY & S&P500 were at record highs. Q3 GDP was at 3.5% (later revised to 5.0%) and ECRI said sustained growth above 3% would be hard to maintain.

    Today we have 2.6% for Q4 GDP... significantly lower than the 5.0% revised Q3-2014 GDP and the S&P500 is essentially flat at up 20 pts since November.

    It seems quite useful to not have used the 5.0% Q3 GDP as an "all clear" signal for strong growth to follow. Using the falling WLI was a good "caution, drive carefully" signal as I took profits when markets or stocks I own were at record highs and I have used the several periods of weakness to buy back shares. From this trading and good stock selection (Alpha) I've managed to get roughly market returns with only 2/3rds of my portfolio in the market the past few years.

    If you check Jim Cramer's record at you'll see he only managed to squeak out a gain of 1.1% in 2014... He's a guy who makes a lot of noise with access to tons of data and economists who've asked questions of the President and the Fed chair yet he only managed to do an 8.4% compound annual return for the past five years, well below my mad money "Explore" or "Aggressive Core" portfolios. I've read hedge funds have had a tough time too getting returns I show at the link... It seems most were either too bullish or too bearish rather than "cautious." Maybe they should use more of ECRI's data or follow my methods?

    I hope that answer was helpful.
    Feb 12, 2015. 09:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment