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Larry House

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  • Breaking News: Occasionally Stocks Go Down [View article]
    You are right, Roger. One makes a decision to be in stocks or not to be in stocks. I am neither buying nor selling today. Today's action does not determine how the rest of the year or years will be. This is a time to look carefully at diversification and allocation. Today may cause headaches for a trader, but it is all part of the process for an investor.
    Feb 4 01:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Best Commodities to Hedge Inflation [View article]
    One sure thing about investing is there is rarely one sure thing. I totally agree with the comment that inflation is not now visible, but I don't think it wise to ignore it either. Real assets in general can be held as inflation hedges--real estate, TIPS, a basket of commodities (such as GCC), precious metals. I have an allocation to each of these. I don't think it makes sense to try to pick just ONE best inflation hedge.
    Feb 3 04:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 'Inflation Bomb' [View article]
    Nothing new here: Inflation is beginning buy gold and short treasuries. See how simply that can be said?
    Feb 2 11:26 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Double-Down Investing [View article]
    Of course we never learn; this is America! This once-great land has gone from the land of opportunity to the land of entitlement. Huge difference. We need to redefine ourselves and our expectations. Pensions must be redefined so that young workers can adjust accordingly. Investment managers must employ new strategies with more modest expectations. Leverage must become a four-letter word. This is going to be a painful adjustment, but it can be done and it must be done.
    Jan 29 03:30 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jim Rogers, The World Is Not Short of Grain [View article]
    I follow Rogers' comments fairly closely, and the author has compressed Rogers' time frame to try to prove him wrong. All the comments of Rogers that I have seen have been couched in a very long-term view that is favorable to agricultural products. Buffett is a master at saying he is not looking at the short-term but has great confidence in time proving him right. I think the author has unfairly put Rogers stated views in a context of her own making. One does not have to be in "denial" to see that long-term, a growing world population will put increasing pressure on our agricultural resources and our ability to produce them. The world is always just two growing seasons away from a terrible crisis if nature does not smile on agriculture around the world. It makes sense to keep some exposure to this asset class regardless of the short-term view.
    Jan 21 01:37 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Taleb's 'Fooled by Randomness' and 'Black Swan': Proceeding Through Waiver, Doubt, Inquiry [View article]
    I find it interesting that you want to make a connection between Taleb's ideas and value investing. Keep in mind that Taleb's conclusion in Black Swan is to put 85% (or so) of one's money in the safest possible investment, and then put the rest in the most risky investment. That is not exactly value investing.
    Jan 20 12:25 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Parsing Gary Shilling's Take on 2010 [View article]
    Any time you ignore asset classes and try to focus the portfolio on just a few, you greatly increase the overall risk. Everyone may have great ideas, and I have a lot of respect for Mr. Shilling, but to follow his advice to to try to become a trader, and about one in a 1000 is suitable at that. I will keep my broader allocation this year and not try to call the hot and cold spots. I am underweight most of the components of my allocation at this time, but I plan to raise them as the year goes on. It makes no sense to pick and choose when you just don't know what is going to happen.
    Jan 20 12:15 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Predictable Predictions for 2010 [View article]
    Everyone has a guess. Predictions are useless verbage. Trends are important. Analysis beats guessing every time. True investors in the Benjamin Graham tradition do not make predictions; they analyze companies, sectors, and the macro situation and invest or don't invest accordingly. Predictions are a waste of time to make and to write about.
    Jan 13 03:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 11 Corporate Bonds Yielding 8% or More [View article]
    I have positions in ABHIX and PAXHX as reasonable exposure to high yield with good diversification.
    Jan 7 10:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 6 Events Which Will Probably Not Happen in 2010 [View article]
    Interesting points. I don't think gold has an equal chance of going to $600. I would agree with a possible drop to $950, which I think would be a great entry point or add-more point. Inflation is in our future. It may not be right this minute, but it is coming. This is the time to get positions in commodities, TIPS, etc. to be ready when it comes.

    There are a host of very bad things (Black Swans) that could happen but may not in 2010--another financial crisis, a devastating terror attack, etc., but investors are in great peril to ignore them. Fact is, we just don't know what this year will hold, but it makes sense to prepare for some of the "fat tails" that are out there and swinging. I am keeping my diversified asset allocation in place, but I am underweight all components and overweight cash. There just might be some really good opportunities coming as well as threats.
    Jan 7 10:42 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OPEC Signals $70 Is the New Floor in Oil [View article]
    I think the OPEC comments make $70 more the median price than the floor.
    Dec 23 10:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Opportunities in Agriculture and Soft Commodities [View article]
    I think making this call about 2010 is just a roll of the dice. There are still as many deflationary forces at work as there are inflationary. I think you can make a decade call for higher prices, but to pick out next year, while the world economy is still struggling and the U.S. is doing worse than that, it will just be luck if you are right.
    Dec 23 10:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Outlook 2010: Moving Towards a Multi-Polar World Order [View article]
    Everyone reads the tea leaves a different way. Bill Gross of PIMCO sees 2010 as a year of deflation. You see a case for reflation in prices. I think world GDP will be less than 4% because of the drag of the U.S. I really think next year will be a year of muddling along with perhaps no great moves in anything as the world economy continues to shift and heal. Throw in a Black Swan or two, and 2010 may be a very lackluster investing climate.
    Dec 23 10:48 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Gold Debate: Here's Why You Should Be Wary [View article]
    I look at gold & silver as an insurance policy. I pay a lot of money for insurance of various kinds, and I think it only makes sense to carry some percentage of financial insurance in gold and silver. As insurance, I think about 5% is sufficient.
    Dec 23 10:40 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unchartered Economic Waters [View article]
    True enough, David. Anyone who says the investing picture for 2010 is clear and predictable is crazy. We know what we have experienced so far, but we don't know what we don't know about the coming months. Caution is called for.
    Dec 22 03:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment