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Ray Merola  

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  • 3 Takeaways From Intel's Earnings Call [View article]
    Helpful, Bruce. Thank you.
    Apr 15, 2015. 08:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 2015 Yellow Sleeper: How And Why I Invest In Gold [View article]
    NGeist

    First and foremost, please let me clarify that's I'm no expert on gold.

    That said, while I didn't delve into it much in the article, I'm not terribly concerned with how the GLD vault is comprised, who's guarding what, the serial numbers on the bar, does the physical gold add up to the shares, etc. There are a million and one conspiracy theories out there.

    The GLD is the oldest, and most liquid of the gold trusts. Note that it's a TRUST, not a redemptive vault for its day-to-day shareholders. It's regulated by the SEC. Heck, I don't even invest in the GLD ETF, only its derivatives.

    My view is I'll take my chances with HSBC bank and GLD administrators.

    Maybe it's another good reason to buy DITM long GLD calls: I'm only on the hook for what's at-risk. My plan is outlined so I control 100 shares of the GLD with approximately half the capital outlay. Therefore, if the day comes and we all learn the entire GLD has been some kind of ruse, and the shares become worthless, I only can lose half of the share value because that's all I'll have in it.

    And indeed if so, I suppose many of us will have wished we buried a few coffee cans of gold bullion or coins in the backyard?

    Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Apr 15, 2015. 05:09 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Takeaways From Intel's Earnings Call [View article]
    Please refresh me, I just went to the Intel investor web site and am trying to recollect the pieces:

    The Company lost $4.2 billion on mobile/communications last year.

    How much contra-revenue was included in that figure?

    M/C net revenue - M/C operating expense = M/C operating income; therefore

    $200 million - $4.4 billion = ($4.2 billion) loss

    Am I thinking about this the right way?

    If Intel improves the handset business by $800 million, how much may the old mobile/communications business lose in 2015?

    Thanks in advance.
    Apr 15, 2015. 02:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Transfer Investor Day: What You Need To Know [View article]
    Regency could stay a separate MLP for awhile. I suspect there's no immediate need to consolidate it into another corporate structure. There's bigger fish to fry.
    Apr 15, 2015. 01:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Transfer Investor Day: What You Need To Know [View article]
    Pablomike

    No, it will not change things for ETE; except over time in a good way.

    Energy Transfer is doing several things at once with its structure. This makes it more confusing, but the outcome is actually simplification.

    First, they are moving retail facilities to SUN. This MLP will ultimately hold those interests: Sunoco station, MACS, and Stripes (Susser).

    Second, they want the assets to be in the affiliated MLPs (ETP, SXL, SUN, and RGP) and and the GP interests to be with Energy Transfer Equity. Note that last year Energy Transfer divested of all interest in AmeriGas units. So that one will be gone from K-1 report in 2015.
    Apr 15, 2015. 12:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel's Q1 Was A Dinosaur Egg [View article]
    Bruce

    What do you make of potential competitive threats to Intel's dominant Data Center business in 2016/17?
    Apr 15, 2015. 11:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Transfer Investor Day: What You Need To Know [View article]
    I thought RR might mean that, but wasn't sure.

    I like the rails in general as these are great American businesses with wide moats, fine franchises, and generate lots of cash. I believe UNP is the best-of-breed. It's still a little pricey, but "coming in." I like it at $105.

    ETE appears to have the pieces in place for a strong run. I encourage you to do the DD on that one, as you've suggested, since it's complicated. It's important to understand exactly what one's buying.
    Apr 15, 2015. 10:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel's Q1 Was A Dinosaur Egg [View article]
    A takeaway from the earnings CC yesterday is Intel is a business in transformation. Management emphasized a hard focus is upon Data Center, IoT, and NAND. Interestingly enough, tablet and phone chips were not included.

    As an aside, I was impressed that management didn't use forex as any kind of excuse. Most of Intel's business is overseas.

    William, I believe the key question raised in your article is whether Intel's total dominance in the server chip market is (or will become) a battleground.

    Additional thoughts?
    Apr 15, 2015. 09:49 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 2015 Yellow Sleeper: How And Why I Invest In Gold [View article]
    Thank you, Edi22

    Timing investments with any precision is difficult, at least short-term. There's certainly an argument that the dollar isn't done getting stronger, and that would likely be a negative for gold. So would a significant interest rate increase. On the other hand, the buck is unusually strong already compared with many currencies, and the Fed is talking about nudging up short rates later in the year; not banging on them.

    Spurring some thinking / interest in gold was an objective of this article, and I trust it's done so for you.

    Indeed, WFC is the best large bank out there. Yesterday's earnings report was more of the same: consistent and profitable.

    All the best....
    Apr 15, 2015. 08:46 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The 2015 Yellow Sleeper: How And Why I Invest In Gold [View article]
    blackberryman

    Great question.

    I've been using this approach since 2010. So there's been some good years, and 2013, which wasn't very good at all. 2014 was a slight down year, but I kept above water with the synthetic income component.

    Prior to that, I had a little exposure to gold via the GLD or miners, at times, but no investment strategy.

    For 2015, I increased my typical allocation to gold, but retain the same investment methodology since 2010. As you've surmised, I believe 2015 will end the gold bear market streak.
    Apr 14, 2015. 11:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 2015 Yellow Sleeper: How And Why I Invest In Gold [View article]
    Maniad1

    Just saw your comment here. Thank you very much for some very kind words.

    I agree that it's a good idea to have some currency handy for an emergency. In an electronic world, having some hard assets is wise.

    Whether its gold or otherwise is another matter. A few bucks in a safe? Or gold coins in coffee cans buried in the back yard?

    Practical moderation may be the best approach.
    Apr 14, 2015. 11:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 2015 Yellow Sleeper: How And Why I Invest In Gold [View article]
    Thank you for comprehensive and helpful comments, H. Bruce Campbell

    To further your point about Buffett's quote, he made those remarks many years ago. Indeed, the economic landscape does change over time. Gold, while not having great industrial utility, does have more than it did years ago.

    I will have to check out CEF. I was unaware of that ticker. A brief check on what is it and its objectives is worth a closer look.
    Apr 14, 2015. 11:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Transfer Investor Day: What You Need To Know [View article]
    Hi JM

    ETE does most certainly file a 10-K. Here's the link for the 2014 edition:

    http://1.usa.gov/1HpZW2V

    ETE is a MLP, and therefore LPs are provided a K-1 for income tax purposes just like any other other MLP. Energy Transfer Equity is a bit more complex since there's about six underlying MLPs that report up to it. However, Energy Transfer does a good job making it reasonable for the Average Joe to get it right on his/her FIT.

    While I can't give any tax advice, I do not have any MLPs in my retirement accounts. There are some odd tax regs around that. It's enough of a challenge to get everything straight at tax time with these in regular, taxable accounts.

    Hope this helps a little.

    What's a RR?
    Apr 14, 2015. 10:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The 2015 Yellow Sleeper: How And Why I Invest In Gold [View article]
    Thanks bobdoc1

    Good point. A little speculation is fun. It still requires discipline and an investment plan, but adding a little juice to the mix help keep us on our toes.

    That said, NUGT is taking my outline and putting it on big-time steroids!

    Not only does it triple the leverage, it utilizes miners instead of the straight GLD. I generally view any of the "wildman" ETFs with healthy skepticism. Check those management fees, and whether the fund "trues up" every day, sometimes prohibiting it from actually tracking what it's supposed to!
    Apr 14, 2015. 08:25 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 2015 Yellow Sleeper: How And Why I Invest In Gold [View article]
    Hi nicholas

    Your actually recited the long call / short call income process perfectly. I bet you're not lost; I think you got it down pat.

    Certainly, doing a buy-write on GLD is an alternative. But there's tradeoffs.

    As an example, you could purchase the GLD today for ~$114.50, then write a January 2016 short call at $120 strike and generate about 4% income. However, you'd have to limit your upside to about 7% including the option premium; since if the shares go up you'd get called at the $120 strike.

    The other downside is having to hold the long GLD shares, even if the gold market tanks. You'd have to buy back the calls at a loss or take the hit on the shares. I don't like giving someone else control of my shares for such a long time.

    Finally, you'd have to put out $114 a share. Buying DITM $60 strike long calls would permit you to put out less than half the capital, yet control the same number of shares. It also reduced the amount of income needed to make a 4% (or whatever you choose) income hurdle rate.

    If one buys the DITM long call LEAPs, and sticks to far OTM short calls, short duration; the chances of getting the shares assigned is low. It requires a drastic spike in the GLD. I've been called once in a number of years doing this: other than when the long calls are close to expiration. Then I WANT to get called.

    Bottom line: there are several ways to accomplish an objective. I've outlined but one. You've highlighted another. Weigh the pros and cons and run with a prospective winner.

    Apr 14, 2015. 07:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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