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Matthew Dow  

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  • Saving For Kid's College - 2nd Quarterly Purchase And Update: Philips [View article]
    Nice article I like it. I think as long as you keep it as diversified as possible, with stable brand name type companies, also non-discretionary consumers or pharma or other non-cyclicals will probably be a safer bet.

    Some food for thought:
    1. I would consider putting $2000 of your $5000 per year in a Coverdell ESA. To improve your after tax return. Several online brokers have them, and these still allow you to buy individual stocks, unlike 529 plans. I have one for my daughter from Firstrade. I would prefer my broker of choice, IB, but they don't offer them.
    2. I am also doing all stock in the early years (~10 years), but as your kid gets into High school you may want to consider the riskiness of the portfolio and mix in some bonds or other less volatile investments. I mean granted, if you do end up with $190k and the stock market takes a dive when your kid is 17 (losing half that value), you would hae enough still to pay for 2 years and hopefully it recovers. Personally though, I would probably do 100% stock until age 10 or 11, and then slowly reduce to about a 50/50 mix by age 18.

    I won't comment specifically on your stock selections, but earlier this year I did write a detailed piece on PHG if you're interested.
    Oct 2, 2015. 08:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion International Holdings Inc.: This Promoted Stock May Get Axed To Zero [View article]
    Not sure if any of you are still following this, but it looks pretty ugly, with stock down to only $0.08 - ouch. 3 Directors also resigned a few months ago at the same time, clearly indicating some internal issues/divisions on how to move the company forward. This also included some of their financial backers who kept them afloat for years. They signed an $8m distribution agreement back in May for construction mats, but again referenced near time financing issues. Not sure where they really stand now, but the stock is the true definition of a call option. It either goes bankrupt and to zero in the next 6 months, or they squeak by and sell a few more deals (double, triple, or more). Question is.... anyone up for a true gamble?
    Aug 25, 2015. 02:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rayonier Advanced Materials crumbles [View news story]
    I invested in this one, and liked their stable long term business in an industry that is essentially an oligopoly. However recent pricing pressures are persisting, and the few new entrants posing some challenges. This problem with Eastman is a big issue, as they make up over 30% of sales. I think it could take a long time to dig out of this whole, and as such I'm out. Win some and lose some, and in this case the chips didn't fall well for me
    Aug 19, 2015. 10:23 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • DGI Beats Indexing; What Beats DGI? [View article]
    Great article Chris. My quick thoughts. Like Greenblatt said in his last book, alternative indexing is a great way for retail investors to beat standard market cap indexes by 1-2% over the long run. I actually own a bit of PRF and RSP in my daughter's college fund. You are correct that for enterprising investors, finding balance sheet bargains and doing good cash flow analysis can yield better results. The point to be very clear about here though is that for MOST retail investors, this kind of skill/analysis is out of reach or they dont have time to be bothered. In those cases they should either 1) Hire great folks like you to handle their money, or 2) Buy indexes, especially value or equal weighted ones
    Jul 15, 2015. 11:28 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Bet On Seeking Alpha's Future [View article]

    Thanks for all the hard work you've put in to grow this great community. I've been very thankful to have a place where I could have a voice for my ideas, and also as a way to help me grow my skills with the eventual hope of a career switch into investing full time.


    As many have said already, congrats, and I'm confident SA will be in great hands as many of us contributors have seen over the years how well you've managed the growth of quality content. I've especially liked your knack for professionalism and sincerity in handling the tough questions, especially as the platform has gone through continuous change (mostly for the better!)

    Best of luck to both of you in the future,
    Jul 14, 2015. 10:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Geeknet: The Force Will Awaken Again In 2015 [View article]
    Thanks guys for the nice comments, much appreciated!! I was actually traveling yesterday and casually checked my stocks before boarding a plane- I almost dropped my phone on this one, lol. Anyways its all I could have hoped for in a short time and then some, price was even better than my estimates.
    May 27, 2015. 05:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • RealNetworks Has Significant Upside Optionality With Rhapsody Stake [View article]
    A further note on this - I played around yesterday a bit with the new RealTimes app. I do think its a lot more promising then their first RealPlayer Cloud app. I know personally my wife has spent many hours making video compilations using iPhoto and iMovie on our mac, and this essentially can do the same thing for you instantly. Now as a free user, it's quite limited - it only let me make a "story" with 7 photos. It showed a potential story of 120+ photos/videos based on my trip to Indonesia (where I happen to be right now), which seemed great, but then I found out you need to pay and be a premium user for a story that big :)
    Bottom line though, is that I believe they will monetize this app better than the first generation, because users are much more enticed to upgrade to paying sooner. You can also pay for a yearly unlimited storage subscription for $100, sync all your photos from your phone automatically, and also include all the montage/story features for a price that is quite comparable to major cloud storage platforms (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc). Actually most of the other platforms provide a maximum of 1TB of storage for similar prices.
    May 24, 2015. 07:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • RealNetworks Has Significant Upside Optionality With Rhapsody Stake [View article]
    Yeah that's not a bad idea. You can get November $7.50 calls for about $0.30 each. If the product does nothing in the coming 6 months, stock will surely be below this level and you get nothing, but if product suddenly took off, which in my view is unlikely but always possible.... stock would probably double. I would prefer actually longer term options in this case, i think risks are still quite high you get nothing on this bet.
    Although if you said there was a 10% chance of stock doubling, 10% chance of it going to $10, and an 80% chance of it staying under $7.50 and options expiring worthless, the average holding period return would still be well over 30%. So from that perspective, could be worth a small speculative bet.
    May 23, 2015. 09:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • RealNetworks Has Significant Upside Optionality With Rhapsody Stake [View article]
    I wrote some articles on RNWK and was bullish for a time starting about 2 years back. Like you, I saw a solid balance sheet, old dinosaur internet company that had fallen on hard times and was forgotten, and Glaser had come back to fix things up, which I figured he had plenty of motivation considering his equity stake. So far I've been disappointed, and actually some time ago I sold out of my position because I felt they were continuing to burn lots of cash, quarter after quarter, and most of their "promising" new products were much slower to materialize than hoped. They had several potential new gaming initiatives, all of which have not done much, and Real Player Cloud app has gotten a lot of downloads but its been quite clear from the past few conf. calls that they still have not figured out how to really begin monetizing it. Now they have come out with this photo sharing extension, which looks interesting with some of the features like the personal montages. I need to try it out a bit to form a full opinion on it. There is clearly upside potential here, but I'm still in a "i'll believe it when I see it" mode, and as the cash has been whittling away I got a lot more nervous about the downside.
    Now Rhapsody is an interesting one, as it's been doing much better lately then it was a few years back, so you may be right on this piece. But they still are not doing well financially, so definitely a lot of risk there.
    Overall and I'm staying on the sidelines for now, I see too much risk and uncertainty for my taste.
    May 22, 2015. 09:45 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Just Because You Can Make It Here… [View instapost]
    Starbucks for sure grew like a weed and expanded rapidly internationally. But for every Starbucks like company, I suppose there were hundreds of similar style chain restaurants/cafes which failed to meet growth expectations, no? Just an assumption, I didn't spend anytime researching this, but The chances that these "hot" IPO companies hit speedbumps is relatively higher than the chance they become international phenoms
    May 17, 2015. 07:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Ways To Spend Your Time, 1 Way Not To, & Lorillard [View article]
    Chris, one thing you forgot in your %. Where is the time spent on writing SA articles?? :)
    May 14, 2015. 08:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Ways To Spend Your Time, 1 Way Not To, & Lorillard [View article]
    I think you are correct, although you could ask all kinds of questions on how to define "is it a good value". In addition Chris largely focuses I believe on special situation investing, which requires a heavy focus on what he refers to as premise testing, especially when you are talking about tings like the probability of deals closing. For straight up lets buy and hold good and cheap businesses until they appreciate to fair value, your simplistic system is a pretty good start.
    May 14, 2015. 06:08 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dollar crumbles as retail sales sting [View news story]
    Thanks Daniel, It's exciting and also a bit scary at the same time! Will be a big change. I don't follow currencies closely either, but I did some analysis of it due to a few of my stock picks in the last 6 months, and what I understood from many analysts was that one reason for the big forex move was that people were leaving the Euro and heavily buying dollars with the expectation that interest rates were finally going to start moving up. Where as in the Euro zone it was the opposite - for many years interst rates have been a few hundred basis points higher here than in the US, so a lot of people buying short term fixed income instruments starved for yield were parking money in relatively safe Euro zone countries , but that demand has evaporated because of the decreasing interest rates in the Euro Zone (due to worsening economy), and the shift to the USD. Now in the news in the past few weeks are several reports indicating the US economy is slowing a bit, which could push off the Feds interest rate hikes, and also there has been better economic news coming out of Europe. If this reversal continues, we could again see a stronger Euro by trhe end of the year.... although it will take quite some further economic signals to really make that full reversal happen IMO.
    May 14, 2015. 05:56 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dollar crumbles as retail sales sting [View news story]
    True, although your euros are becoming worth more again. I feel you on this, as I'm an American living in Europe and most of my money is in Euros. I'm moving back to the US next month, after 9 years here, and just my luck it's about the worst exchange rate in that whole period to take my money back to the US. On stocks.... there are some names I like, which have been hurt by a strong dollar, and they could start to show better results. I wrote at op idea on Philips (PHG), which is one good example.
    May 14, 2015. 05:14 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tom Brady, Punished [View instapost]
    It's not his only one either ;)
    May 13, 2015. 09:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment