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Michael Nau

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  • What Seeking Alpha Is Doing To Prevent Paid Stock Promotion [View article]
    Well done SA, I am impressed.

    I do wonder, however, if your email hotline will be swarming with touts. The only times commenters have challenged my integrity is when I write negative articles, not positive articles (I almost never short myself and I write for fun). I've found a similar degree of contempt in the comment sections of other many critical articles.

    Shorts and those with critical perspectives are a rare commodity in the capital markets. It would be a shame if they were bullied into silence for fear of being accused of manipulation.
    Mar 27 02:11 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Good And Bad Of Dave Ramsey [View article]
    I think this is a fairminded assessment of Dave Ramsey. They guy definitely raises eyebrows when it comes to conflicts of interest and investment advice, but his stuff about budgeting and getting out of debt seems reasonable.

    In terms of personal taste, I don't like people using religion like he does to brand their business. Commerce and the sacred do not mix well.
    Sep 27 09:31 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It Is Not Different This Time - It Is Worse [View article]
    Out of curiosity, have you ever gone to socialist, er, public schools? That's a handout most people in our society have received.
    Apr 7 03:16 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Leonard Melman: Are You Prepared For Hyperinflation? [View article]
    Hyperinflation will probably happen some time in the next 500 years, so Mr. Melman's "long term" prediction is likely to be correct. But as Keynes said about the long run.....

    The frustrating thing about goldbugs and inflationistas is that they refuse to revise their opinions in light of evidence. Say that we continue to have low inflation for 10 more years, will any of the above change their mind? I predict that they won't. Massive, destabilizing inflation is always just around the corner, but not quite yet......
    Mar 7 01:10 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It Feels Like The Dotcom Craze All Over Again [View article]
    Excellent article! I think a related symptom of this thinking is that much of the recent criticism directed at AAPL focuses on how executives market the stock vs. the comany's solid fundamentals. I've heard suggestions that AAPL should:

    1.) Split the stock! A $450 price tag is scary!
    2.) Spend the cash and buy something, anything!
    3.) Sieze control of the "story" because the stock is "broken"!
    4.) Come out with some "good news" i.e. new device, China Telecom deal, etc. NOW NOW month/quarter will be too late!

    None of these things would add to the businesses' intrinsic value, which is what shareholders should care about. 2.) would actually have a good chance of destroying value. CEOs should run businesses with a long-term view of creating value and should not be judged by their ability to attract suckers....I mean the short run. All that being said, not sure why they aren't doing more buybacks.
    Jan 25 04:19 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Retire At 30! [View article]
    I don't get the point of retiring early. Why not just get a job you love and adjust your standard of living accordingly? Even if you can pull off retiring at 30 or 40 or whatever, why spend a decade or more of your best years before that doing something you hate?

    By the way, it sounds like this MMM guy does have two jobs: blog writing and being a landlord. Maybe he loves those jobs, but they are jobs if he relies on them for income.
    Jan 29 05:54 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Good And Bad Of Dave Ramsey [View article]
    Thanks for proving my above point. Criticism of business practices should be irrelevant to salvation.
    Sep 27 09:41 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tim Cook's Improbable Victory In Washington [View article]
    The problem with these shenanigans is that it makes the playing field unfair.

    I'd love to create a shell company in Ireland, sell it the rights to all future paychecks in exchange for non-dividend paying stock and then take out monthly "loans" from my shell company the size of my paycheck, and then periodically have the company write-off the loans to obtain a tax asset for a subsidiary that could be sold to a real company. But then again, if I did that, I would pay no income taxes. If everyone did that, we wouldn't have roads.
    May 22 04:49 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple $395: Time To Give Up And Abandon Ship? [View article]
    I'm pretty smug. Who cares what happens with the stock price for a few quarters.

    Long AAPL
    Apr 19 03:44 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It Is Not Different This Time - It Is Worse [View article]
    Fair enough. Bret, its been fun intellectually jousting, keep those articles coming!
    Apr 7 08:54 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It Is Not Different This Time - It Is Worse [View article]
    Ok, so lets say that SSI and SSD are full of scammers. SSI, the one that does not require paying into Social Security through payroll taxes, has a yearly max of $8,529 in 2013. I don't make much as a grad student/college instructor, but that's not enough money to get me to fake depression. To get SSD, you need to have actually worked at a job for a long time and getting disability is a significant pay cut, just like social security retirement isn't 100% income replacement. Once again, not enough incentive for me to fake it. There's just no good way to be solidly middle class and live off these programs.

    By the way, in my school district, spending per pupil was about $14,000 per year last year. Even if you say that teachers are overpaid etc and that we should follow the South Carolina education model, you're still looking at $10,000 per year for 12 years for every student. Did you get that handout?
    Apr 7 04:19 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The U.S. Housing Bubble Is Back [View article]
    Your charts look more bubbly when you use linear price on the y-axis. If you log transform price, my guess is that the 2000s would still be an obvious bubble but the recent uptick would be a blip.

    If you have a straight horizontal line and your axes are linear, that means growth is slowing over time. A $10,000 increase when your starting point is $50,000 indicates much higher growth than a $10,000 increase when your starting point is $200,000.
    Mar 19 09:12 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Seeking Alpha Is Doing To Prevent Paid Stock Promotion [View article]
    Good points, I agree that there should be some sort of accountability for inaccurate articles. Comment sections often do the job.

    But here's the problem: many "facts" are a matter of interpretation and emphasis, and many contributors, such as myself, are amateurs prone to mistakes. Being on a company's dole and not disclosing that information is crossing a red line, but what about people who stake out a controversial position on a company that is difficult to "prove"?

    I'm thinking of the Herbalife wars and how intellectual disagreements sometimes devolve into accusations of criminality.
    Mar 27 02:38 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook Is Insane - The Stock May Be A Short [View article]
    They will have to stop printing eventually. And even $4B for a company with 50 employees is ridiculous. If FB has to make acquisitions greater than net income in order to sustain its moat, then it is not a sustainable business model. It will work only as long as the current bull market.
    Feb 20 09:44 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nobel Laureates Fama And Shiller Duel Over Bubbles [View article]
    I don't know about Shiller's views about bubbles, but I think Minsky has a solid approach that does not soley rely on "human nature" or "psychological quirks" but doesn't throw in the towel like EMH folks.

    It focuses on how assets/enterprises are financed: hedged, speculative or ponzi. Hedge borrowers can repay through current cash flows, speculative borrowers can pay interest through cash flows but must continually roll over debt, and ponzi borrowers cannot even pay interest but depend upon asset appreciation for solvency. The less hedged borrowing and the more speculative and ponzi borrowing supporting an asset class, the more bubble-like an asset is because the underling financing structure is fragile and unsustainable.

    I think this does a good job of explaining junk bonds in the late 1980s, internet companies in the 1990s, homes in the 2000s, investment banks until 2008, etc. Its all about the underlying financing.
    Nov 22 03:13 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment