Lucas Krupinski

Lucas Krupinski
Contributor since: 2011
I think his point is, don't just keep burning fossil fuels willy-nilky assuming a fix will appear. I know many people in alternative energy amd they all talk great talk. But until they can provable produce all the energy we consume currently at equivalent cost. (That second part is very important), its just a pipe dream.
Munger said something else, somewhere else. It went something like "we've got all sorts of ways to propel vehicles, but only one way to produce enough fertilizer for our crops. They're both oil. If we run out of oil, well be able to come up with a new way to propel vehicles with little issue. But if we run out of oil, well be stumped about how to produce enough food for everyone who needs it. Yet we continue to burn up the source of tomorrow's food today"
Again. Rough paraphrase. But I couldn't agree more.
I hope one of the things you do isn't dealing with your online bank and brokerage accounts. There are many other reasons I like apple products, but the just the simple number of virus' and Trojans on the android platform (and found in the app stores) gives me severe pause about ever trusting important information to them.
Besides which, I like using a product that the vendor continues to support and provide updates for for years after its release, compared to the android market which seems to be "oh, you want the latest android operating system? That's easy, go buy a new phone!
I hope one of the things you do isn't dealing with your online bank and brokerage accounts. There are many other reasons I like apple products, but the just the simple number of virus' and Trojans on the android platform (and found in the app stores) gives me severe pause about ever trusting important information to them.
Besides which, I like using a product that the vendor continues to support and provide updates for for years after its release, compared to the android market which seems to be "oh, you want the latest android operating system? That's easy, go buy a new phone!
Seems silly to make all these assumptions without knowing a thing. 5% penetration among iPhone users for a device that could cost between 50 and 300 dollars? Lets see if the thing materializes first, then lets see what it's capabilities are, it's price point etc.
They say don't count your chickens before they hatch, iwatch speculation is akin to counting your chickens before you even have a hen that may or may not lay eggs...
Apple was able to jump start desktop publishing because at the end of the day, almost any one can do a passable job at it, given enough commitment to the task. This isn't to downplay graphic designers skills and abilities, but technical aptitude takes a back seat to a designers eye in that field. So, they created tools (or more accurately, provided the platform so that others could build tools) that allowed people that lacked the technical aptitude (you know, constructing paste-ups, rub on type, etc) to skip that part and move straight on to unleashing their creative side. It worked and a new industry was born.
3-D printing isn't like that; again from a platform perspective, I can't think of anything that Apple offers or could offer that would make OS X any more able at 3D printing than Windows or Linux. I'll note that I'm writing this on a Macbook Air, while looking at my desktop, which runs a Redhat clone, which itself hosts a virtualized Windows computer. So i'm not out to bash anyone, I use them all.
But the move from a vision in your head to it being produced on a piece of paper is much less complex than turning that vision in your head into a 3D printed object. That's a job for Autodesk or an upstart. And while graphic designers have to think about typography, they can leave some tasks to specialists (such as color correction and color separation), leaving them to be more focused on their creative side. People producing for 3-D printers can't just create their models and leave it to someone else to actually make the model work in the real world, they need to know all the rules themselves.
So again, I don't see what Apple would bring to the 3D printing game that's not already out there. True, easier to use software might be nice, but Apple is generally known for providing the underlying platform, not the actual tools. And I don't really see how designing 3-D objects can ever be simplified to the point that ordinary people will be able to make anything but the most rudimentary of objects.
But then, I will admit to not being a fan of 3-D printing, so maybe that's my issue.
Bitcoin isn't appropriate for retailers; it can take up to an hour for a transaction to broadcast through the network and be verified, letting a customer leave the store with a unverified transaction represents far more risk than the risk that a customer will do a chargeback.
Funny thing, no, the sad thing is that should apple announce a cheaper iPhone, the cries from Wall Street will be "oh no, their margins are going to plummet !" Never mind the huge additional market that such a move could create, both in the us and other developed markets, but more so in china, India and other developing markets,... These people hold margins sacrosanct,even above actually expanding their traditional markets and growing sales.
A cheaper re-think of the iPhone for all the people for which an iPhone represents an outsized amount of outlay compared to their income - I say go for it.
Funny thing, no, the sad thing is that should apple announce a cheaper iPhone, the cries from Wall Street will be "oh no, their margins are going to plummet !" Never mind the huge additional market that such a move could create, both in the us and other developed markets, but more so in china, India and other developing markets,... These people hold margins sacrosanct,even above actually expanding their traditional markets and growing sales.
A cheaper re-think of the iPhone for all the people for which an iPhone represents an outsized amount of outlay compared to their income - I say go for it.
You do realize that companies were parking tons of cash offshore before Obama, right? And that corporate America blew their hopes for another tax holiday before Obama too, when they lobbied for a tax holiday to repatriate profits, promising to use that for hiring and then spending it on dividends instead? Though clearly the level of the debt is not a worry to you at all, since you're clearly opposed reducing our deficits and therefore debt growth. Insightful...
You do realize that companies were parking tons of cash offshore before Obama, right? And that corporate America blew their hopes for another tax holiday before Obama too, when they lobbied for a tax holiday to repatriate profits, promising to use that for hiring and then spending it on dividends instead? Though clearly the level of the debt is not a worry to you at all, since you're clearly opposed reducing our deficits and therefore debt growth. Insightful...
Rates could rise 5% and we still should have zero interest in the unrealized losses in apples portfolio - mark to market is useless when the company has an unquestioned ability to hold those investments to maturity. There is no event I can imagine that would force them sell them at a adverse price.
Based on a product that is no more than rumor?
No, that's based on any amount of cash. If you're a net buyer of stocks (As I am - I'm in my accumulation years) you want cheap stocks so you can buy more. When you're a net seller of stocks, that's the time you want High prices. It works with any amount of cash, and really, if anything, its most appropriate for people with limited capital, since they're the ones who should be doing the most accumulating. It's a good lesson for all of us.
"Shorting this stock would be like shorting MSFT in 1990."
Supposing that this is the Microsoft. Recall, there were also Digital Research (CP/M and DR-DOS) and Novell. Later than that and with no potential for taking over the world, were the folks making BeOS - Apple fans should count their lucky starts that forums such as SecondMarket didn't exist back then, because Be Inc was the absolute darling of the Apple universe for the couple years leading up to Apple's purchase of NeXT instead.
But point being, especially in an industry so young, it's incredibly unclear who the winners will be. You can call any company in it a potential Microsoft, but for every potential Microsoft, there are going to be dozens of potential Digital Research's.
Computers, I think, are different than 3D printers in their reach and potential. Computers are tools - even in the beginning at their most basic, one could buy a computer and use it as a wordprocessor - barely any additional knowledge beyond knowing how to type was required. But 3d printers need a lot more specialized knowledge, and for that reason, I'm not sold on the mass market appeal of them. Sure, there will definetly be markets and uses for them that don't exist now, but if they "only" transform the manufacturing and design industries, but even in doing so, that would be a massive failure to live up to the hype that proponents have for the technology. Just like direct to press and plateless printing have transformed the printing industry, but outside that industry, only the fortune 500 really sees fit to bring their printing operations in house as a result of the technology. And plateless printing is another area where, I'm sure, had the echo chambers of message boards that exist on the internet today been in full force a decade or two ago, that would have been viewed by so many as the ultimate transformative, democratizing technology as well, despite it's ultimate market being only with the people that had presses in the first place.
In that case, maybe you're not looking at the next Microsoft at all. I can't think of a
Throughout history, we've always been in uncharted territory. To call a market top in the making, but that that top could be anywhere from around the corner to several years out is, well, rather vague.
For the past several years, ever since the crash really, I've read so many people predicting market tops and saying that each new level of the stock market is unsustainably high - but i've also noted that along the way, and despite laments that the only reason the market is where it is is because the Fed has made fixed income investing so unappealing, the P/E for the market is nowhere near any sort of danger zone. The S&P 500 trades at 18 times earnings - that's at the higher end of the spectrum, but far from nosebleed levels. And any improvement to Earnings will lower that number.
I don't think lower rates will do anything to stimulate home purchases. Buyers already see the lowest rates that they've ever seen and aren't pulling the trigger, possibly in anticipation that rates could go lower (at which point, they'll continue to wait to see if they go even lower). That doesn't mean there's no market for housing or for mortgages, just that potential buyers don't see the need to rush; were the Fed to slow down their purchases, to announce higher target mortgage rates in the future, that would probably be the best way to get people off the sidelines. That would create a sense of urgency that doesn't exist right now, and that sense of urgency won't be created by knocking a few more basis points off of already historically low mortgage rates.
I'm no fan of 3D printers, at least as devices will ultimately have mainstream appeal. But I don't see where legislation can stop them from being able to print up whatever shapes people desire, including the pieces to make a firearm (whether an all-plastic firearm will be usuable for more than a shot or two being a whole other story), nor can I see how a 3d printer manufacturer could be held liable for someone successfully creating a firearm. For that to happen, they would need to have employed about the least competent lawyer ever.
They're selling a device with a million and one potential legitimate uses, which has no way to be monitored once it gets purchased and installed at home, and even if there was a monitoring capability, there'd still be no real way for the "watchers" to discern whether the part that is being printed is for use in a firearm or any other device.
Copyright infringment, too. Being that 99% of the market has no idea how to operate CAD file, these people are going to be printing 3rd party objects. They'll either come from legitimate sources or be infringing on other peoples copyrights and/or patents. But there is simply no way for the manufacturer to know or have any control over what their customers are printing. And with the manufacturer being able to point to a billion other printable objects (checkers, replacement chess pieces, key chains, etc), i don't see how it would ultimately be arguable that they should be able to monitor and approve designs printed by customers.
Now, if you were talking about 3d printing service bureau's, where customers send their files in and the company prints them out and ships them back, that would be a different story. But to be sued over a home creation? Not going to happen.
Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of reasons to avoid investing in 3D printers and lots of reasons to disbelieve the hype of their potential, but lawsuits centered on manufacturers because their customers printed objects that they shouldn't have printed, I don't think that's the reason at all.
I agree, i think investing is much "easier" when you limit yourself to a small spectrum of companies; if you have too many, they all just become ticker symbols. I think right now I have probably about 18 or 20 positions throughout my portfolio, 1 is a mutual fund (i let the managers of that fund worry about its holdings), 4 are closed end funds, and the rest are individual companies. At this point, I could probably add another 4 or 5 companies to my portfolio and still be able to stay on top of them, and a few months after that, I could probably (if i wanted to) invest in a few more, but I'm honestly wary of being too diversified - Buffett used an analogy in one of his lectures that went something like this: "i know lots of people who got rich off of their first or second idea, but not so many who did so off their fifteenth or twentieth."
I think lots of people build up portfolios with way too many positions in it, thinking that that'll provide protection through diversification. But diversification just for the sake of it, it isn't very helpful. As diversified as you could have been in 2008, if you owned one financial or 5, you saw some ugliness in your portfolio. Just as you can own 10 oil companies, but if oil falls to $30/bbl, that diversification isn't going to help you very much.
some time ago, I moved opportunistically into JPM, right around the London Whale fiasco. The losses to their market cap far exceeded the likely losses from the trades gone wrong, and despite a few debby downers here on Seeking Alpha, I thought that was about the closest thing to a sure thing i could find in the market. Now, it's been stuck in its range for quite a while, and really, I'm just biding time before I exit. I think it's just a few more weeks before the gain turns from short term to long term, absent any news that makes me think it's got some more upside I'll likely use that event to close out. So yes, it was a "trade", but with a 366 day time horizon. There's just nothing about JPM that makes me want to stay invested in them, it was just leaping into what I thought was the market overreacting.
Point being that while I subscribe mainly to the buy and hold philosophy, I have more ideas than I have money, and I just don't have enough capital to sit on something that seems destined to go sideways, when there are so many other companies out there that strike me as having real growth potential.
It's not his specialty, but it's something he does from time to time (that chinese company springs to mind, what was it? batteries or electric cars?). I would be that Europe is going to start coughing up some incredible bargains soon, just as our own stock market did in 2009.
I've been looking for another company that provides financial services to lower end customers (my only other holding in that area is WRLD). This looks like it could fit that bill, thanks for the starter due diligence.
you also then have to worry about ubit with an mlp in your ira. Which completely destroys the purpose of using a tax exempt vehicle for your investements.
Actually, every share they offered to the public was sold, at the highest price that people were willing to pay, which is why we didn't see a huge bounce. Now, if theyed offered those shares for $19, and then saw them immediately trade as high as $38 or $44 per share, that would have been a failed iPo, as they would have left a ton of money on the tab,e during the course of accessing the public equity markets for the first time. So no, their iPo was far from a failure - it was executed as every company should hope their iPo would go- the only people who experienced failure were those who lined up to buy at the opening bell, hoping to make a few quick dollars in what they hoped would be a game of easy money.
I'd say that one of the reasons that Buffett has been such an effective investor is that he's positioned himself in such a way that he only has to think about tothe long term; he doesn't have to live life that should he make a bad call, that that could result in His clients leaving him. Nor does he have to worry about Morningstar ratings or any other metric that fund managers worry about. Berkshire has a permanent supply of capital, and his position at Berkshire is one where even if he struck out on every investing call he ever made, his job would stillbe safe
Seems like avoid theory, except his results as a fund manager, where he did have to worry about those sorts of things, those results generally trounced the spectacular results he's gotten at Berkshire.
Fully agree here. Thedayto day business data that hesees/collects doesn't really have an effect on his investment results. It's not warrens spidery sense goes off, causing him to sell out of financials because he's seeing that consumers aren't buying as much paint or as many diamond rings as they did before. No - once a company is added to the Berkshire "family" of companies,it stays there, no matter what. He may sit in the captains chair and have reports from all his businesses delivered constantly,but that information basically goes unused, since he is only a buyer, never a seller.
I'm still in my accumulation years - what's in my portfolio is added to on a weekly basis, with more swept in from time to time. So, yes, I'm generally fully invested, but have cash coming in too. And even then, when there is a dip in something I'm holding or interested in holding (JPM during the "london whale" controversy, for instance), I'm happy to go out on margin to make that purchase - which itself is another way to have buying power despite being fully invested, if you're ok taking on that additional risk.
what good does buying back the stock actually do? Sure, it improves the EPS for the remaining shares, but the fundamental problem with Apple's share price isn't that the EPS is too low, it's that people are basically ignoring the EPS. Spending $100 billion dollars in order to be able to show off an even more EPS and an even lower P/E ratio makes no sense when they're already as compelling of numbers as you can find in the stock market.
And with a dividend at 3%, it would take 33 years for the cash savings from paying dividends on fewer shares for it to actually register as a better thing to do, cash flow wise. Maybe 15 years with aggressive annual increases, but hardly investor aside from Warren Buffett actually has that sort of time horizon when buying shares of a compamny. And the people that say they do, I'd wager they're mostly lying.
in what regard was Apple too expensive? Having a $700 share price? Or simply trading at a P/E ratio of 13? That's the thing i never got when people talked about Apple being a stratospherically overpriced stock - there were talking in terms of price per share, not in terms of P/E or any metric that might have actually implied actual overpricing.
Book value is relatively straight forward to calculate for financial firms. They own tons of assets that are generally priced on a regular basis, accompanied by liabilities whose amounts are continuously recalculated. It's alla very straight forward exercise
You can't apply that logic to an Apple, Google oreven a microsoft. If you creaks banking institution with the same number of shares as BAC, and populate it with the same mix of assets and liabilities,, you can be reasonably sure that it'll perform in line with BAC
You ca t apply the same methodology to a non-financial company, much less a tech company. I mean, you can, but the result will e meaningless.
Take apple - what goes into calculating its book value? Cash, equivalents and investments are all easy to value. It's property (buildings, land, etc) can all be appraised. And I suppose you could come to a reasonable idea about the value for their own equipment - all the computers on desks and in data centers, along with the value of all the software licensed throughout the enterprise. Add on accounts receivable and thn back out payables, mortgages and other debt and you're getting pretty close to "book value"
Now ask, if you created a new company and funded it with an equivalent amount of assets and assigned a like amount of liabilities to, will the resulting company have a shot at unseating apple in any of its ventures? Will it generate cash at the same rate?
Of course not. But how do intangibles - intellectual property
Iike patents, copyrights ,trademarks, along with millions, if not billions of lines of code get valued in a book value calculation? What is the precise value of Mac OS X 10.8 or ios 6? What are the plans for the iPhone 5 worth when determining book value?those numbers simply can't be distilled down to exact figures that can be used to calculate apples book value, and to even try to would be insanity. You simply can't look at apples share price from day to day and say "on September 16, apple was clearly trading below book value, and then the trend reversed itself and by October 28, you can see that Apple was trading ata50% premium to book.
It's impossible.
All that said, I,very disappointed in apples choice to ramp up its but back program. To me, that's using the companies cash, really shareholders cash in order to provide pricing support for shareholders who want to exit. We're not talking about a Berkshire Hathaway operation either, where retained earning are invested In the equity markets for growth.
If management believes that the market is mispricing them, then that's fair. But I fail to see how reducing the share count by 200 million shares can be a guarantee that the mispricing will come to an end. The mis pricing could end, or it could become even more exacerbated.
Writing checks to shareholders won't guarantee anything either, but at least that way, the cash that the company has generated, which in turn is why the investors invested in the first place, that money would be used by the, to each and every shareholders benefit rather than just to benefit the ones who want to reduce their exposure or end their ownership altogether.
For financial firms that need to access the equity markets from time to time, I can understand them wanting needing to raise cash and selling shares when they think that their shares are richly valued and then buying those shares back when they're more flush with cash , especially if they're buying those shares at a discount to their easy to calculate boom value. But that's not apple; when it's sitting on mountains of cash and seeing tidal waves of more cash coming in, I think that money should be used to reward the shareholders who have all taken risks in owning the company, than to deploy the money in s financial engineering operation meant to make the worlds most profitable company look even more profitable without changing its financial results one iota.
End of rant. Off to sleep for me.
Yeah, we're in such a worse place now than we were in late 08 early 09 when the reigns were being handed to him. Are we really??
A lot of people say that - that they're putting off purchases until the pullback theyed like to see arrives. If they're really stick to their guns, then they've missed a decent amount of appreciation,along with distributions along the way.
What if the pullback you're awaiting never happens? Or it does happen, but in 4-5 years? Talk about opportunity cost.
Not to say i wouldn't loves pullback. About my only regret in the last 5years, investing wise, is that I didn't have more money to du p I tothe market during the last two months of its decent. Here we are today with no idea where the market will go next I don't think letting cash pileup on the sidelines is a prudent choice for myself, so I do the next best thing - look for companies with strong fundamentals that (i think and hope) that offer decent returns today and which I think can withstand another market rout. I'd rather be accumulating shares now and then reducing my basis in the event of a major correction than let cash pile up waiting for a correction to occur at some future unknown date.
The nearest whole foods to me is 45 minutes away. As much as I'd love to shop there, I'm not driving that far just for groceries. But when I find myself in the vicinity, I stop in and try to do as much of my shopping as I can there.