Seeking Alpha

Robert Wagner

 
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  • Balance Sheets Mean Little To Green Economy Stocks: Why I Hate Book Value Analysis
    Tue, Apr. 1 BIOF, GPRE, REGI 51 Comments

    Summary

    • Politics are far more important to "Green Economy" stocks than balance sheets.
    • The EPA and Congress will greatly impact the outcome for biodiesel firms in 2014.
    • The 2014 and 2016 elections will be critical for the "Green Economy."
  • China Supply Demand Dynamics May Drive Gold Lower
    Tue, Apr. 1 GLD 22 Comments

    Summary

    • Contrary to conventional wisdom, China selling may be more important than China buying gold.
    • Continued economic weakness in China will likely trigger more gold selling.
    • Investors just seem to be moving on from financial collapse fear trades like gold and Bitcoin.
  • Bitcoin Is Sinking Fast, So Are Hopes Of Bitcoin-Related Investments
    Tue, Apr. 1 COIN, BTCS, EBAY 79 Comments

    Summary

    • Bitcoin is sinking fast, but far from hitting bottom.
    • The Bitcoin was a fad, and recent events have made it unfashionable.
    • Investors should understand the flawed foundation of the Bitcoin to understand why it basically has zero chance of success.
  • Black Swan Events: How To Protect Your Portfolio When It Is Needed
    Tue, Apr. 1 SPY, DIA, QQQ 32 Comments

    Summary

    • The current markets don't mirror past market crash prone markets.
    • Extreme levels of optimism aren't present in the markets.
    • A wall of worry is being climbed, not a celebration of euphoria.
  • Alibaba May Be The Amazon Killer
    Sun, Mar. 30 BABA 21 Comments

    Summary

    • Amazon's recent weakness may be due to the Alibaba IPO.
    • A successful Alibaba IPO should hurt Amazon and eBay.
    • Amazon's current technical weakness will likely be compounded by the Alibaba IPO.
  • Is GameStop The Next Blockbuster Video?
    Sat, Mar. 29 GME 8 Comments

    Summary

    • GameStop is likely to follow the same pattern as Blockbuster Video.
    • Amazon and Wal-Mart are likely to out-compete GameStop.
    • GameStop is focused on yesterday's technology and the market is moving away from retail stores.
  • Rates Up, Fear Down: Washington Crossing Advisors Say 'Stay Away From Gold'
    Fri, Mar. 28 GLD, IAU, GLL 71 Comments

    Summary

    • Fear trade supporting gold is dead... again.
    • Gold is breaking key support, and likely headed towards a retest of $1,200/oz.
    • Longer term, China and Russia are likely to alter the dynamics of gold to the downside.
  • Alibaba Estimates Are Getting Frothy, Caution May Be Warranted
    Mon, Mar. 24 BABA 11 Comments

    Summary

    • Softbank and Yahoo shareholders may want to hedge their positions pre-Alibaba IPO.
    • Estimates of Alibaba's value have grown from less than $40 billion to $250 billion in a year.
    • Relatively little is known about Alibaba making it difficult to accurately/confidently value.
  • Ethanol Economics Gone Wild, But Can The Party Continue?
    Mon, Mar. 24 FF, GPRE, MEIL 80 Comments

    Summary

    • Ethanol economics are defying the free market economic text books.
    • The fear of a "blend wall" is propping up ethanol and making biofuels companies ideal buy out targets for "Big Oil.".
    • Repeal or reduction of the EPA's RFS2 would likely be catastrophic to the biofuels industry.
  • You Go Girl; Janet Yellen Gives Gold The Beat Down
    Mon, Mar. 24 GLD, IAU, PHYS 33 Comments

    Summary

    • Janet Yellen comes out swinging and delivers a body blow to gold and the markets.
    • Surprising the markets, Janet Yellen signaled that rates may be increasing sooner than expected.
    • Higher rates will likely drive gold lower, as it increases the opportunity cost of holding gold.
  • Market Data Proves Russian U.S. Bond Threat Is A Paper Tiger Blowing Hot Air
    Sun, Mar. 23 DIA, SPY, QQQ 18 Comments

    Summary

    • Objective quantifiable market data proves Russia's threats to sell US Bonds would be ineffective.
    • Russia would likely hurt itself more than the US in a massive US Bond dump.
    • Russia has in the past attempted to topple the US financial markets, so there always is a covert threat.
  • The EU, China Offer Case Study Warnings For Green Economy Stocks
    Fri, Mar. 21 STP, TAN, REGI 78 Comments

    Summary

    • Government dependency is a tremendous risk for "green economy" companies.
    • Countries across the globe are abandoning their costly "green" agendas.
    • The 2014 election may tilt the balance of power against the "green" agenda in the US.
  • Someone's Betting Big On Coming Volatility; How And Why They Might Be Doing That
    Fri, Mar. 21 VXX, UVXY, TVIX 52 Comments

    Summary

    • An investor has recently made an $8 million bet on increased market volatility by the end of May.
    • The trade appears to be selected due to the increasing storm clouds developing over the markets.
    • The levels selected imply that the investor expects a greater than routine level of volatility to develop.
  • Peter Schiff Is Wrong On Gold... Again
    Thu, Mar. 20 GLD, IAU, PHYS 347 Comments

    Summary

    • Peter Schiff's bullish argument for gold is unlikely to materialize as he outlines.
    • Gold is more likely to reach $770/oz before it reaches $2,000/oz.
    • Geopolitical and Chinese financial fears are driving gold, not fears of inflation.
  • How To Play The Alibaba IPO; Yahoo Vs. Softbank Vs. Others
    Wed, Mar. 19 BABA 12 Comments

    Summary

    • The Alibaba IPO is likely to have a significant impact on YHOO both before and after the IPO.
    • Because of its massive size, the Alibaba IPO will likely to force indexes and portfolios to be rebalanced.
    • Like the Facebook IPO, the Alibaba IPO may "suck the air" of the markets, impacting future IPOs.
  • eBay's Paypal Has The Potential To Topple The Bitcoin
    Wed, Mar. 19 EBAY 12 Comments

    Summary

    • Paypal is ideally suited to create a merchant and customer centric virtual currency.
    • Virtual currencies are likely here to stay so companies like Paypal should embrace the concept.
    • Bitcoin will never be a mainstream virtual currency because of its volatility.
  • Will The 'Green Economy' Trigger The Next Global Financial Crisis?
    Mon, Mar. 17 TAN, PBW, KWT 51 Comments

    Summary

    • The "Green Economy" threatens to trigger the next global financial crisis.
    • China's first bond default was on a loan made to a solar company; a second solar company is likely to be next.
    • A global financial crisis would likely depress fuel prices, triggering even more "green energy" related bankruptcies and a possible bursting of the farmland bubble.
    • The "Green Economy" has created a greenhouse of cards.
  • Chinese E-Commerce Giant Alibaba And Its Smaller Brother JD.com File For U.S. IPOs
    Mon, Mar. 17 BABA 8 Comments

    Summary

    • Chinese e-commerce companies Alibaba and JD.com have filed for U.S. IPOs.
    • The Alibaba IPO may be impacted by the timing of the JD.com IPO, and may be as soon as April.
    • The first Chinese e-commerce IPO may impact the enthusiasm for and success of the second IPO.
  • Investors' Guide To El Nino, Climate Change And Summer Weather Forecast
    Fri, Mar. 14 ADM, DE, GPRE 501 Comments

    Summary

    • 2014 looks like it may be the year that El Nino returns.
    • El Nino can have serious economic consequences, and greatly impact the earnings of some companies.
    • El Nino will likely drive "extreme weather," which is certain to play into election year politics.
    • Public support for climate change legislation is critical for the survival of many "green economy" companies.
  • Freddie And Fannie Highlight Government Dependency Risk Of Green Economy Stocks
    Thu, Mar. 13 LNG, D, SRE 6 Comments

    Summary

    • Fannie and Freddie highlight the political risk inherent in government dependent companies and industries.
    • The "green economy" companies are the companies most dependent upon government support.
    • The Russian/Ukrainian/EU conflict is likely to impact US energy policy going forward.
  • Don't Judge Berkshire Hathaway By Its Book Value Cover
    Wed, Mar. 12 BRK.A, BRK.B 93 Comments

    Summary

    • Total return of the stock price compared to a benchmark is a far better way to measure Berkshire Hathaway's success than by its book value.
    • Because of the many investments Berkshire Hathaway has, it is difficult to categorize the firm and understand its total risks.
    • Berkshire Hathaway's performance relative to appropriate benchmarks isn't impressive over the last 5 and 10 years.
  • Berkshire Hathaway's Pieces Are Worth More Than The Whole
    Tue, Mar. 11 BRK.A, BRK.B 86 Comments

    Summary

    • The pieces of Berkshire Hathaway are worth more than the whole.
    • Berkshire Hathaway's price to book value ratio shows management is not adding value.
    • Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway focus on performance and risk, not book value.
  • Fuel Cell Firms And Other Companies: Where There's Smoke, There's Fire
    Mon, Mar. 10 BLDP, FCEL, PSIX 17 Comments

    Summary

    • Recent large contracts have driven optimism about the future of fuel cells.
    • Fuel cells have the potential to be a "disruptive" product, dramatically altering the energy industry.
    • Not all are sold on the promise of fuel cells, especially not Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk.
  • Higher Soybean Prices Are Helping Renewable Energy Group's Margins
    Mon, Mar. 10 REGI 12 Comments

    Summary

    • High soybean and soybean oil prices are likely to help Renewable Energy Group's margins.
    • D4 RINs have been rapidly increasing since the start of the year, up near 100%.
    • Reinstatement of the blenders' tax credit and/or increases to the EPA's biodiesel RVO could dramatically change Renewable Energy Group's earnings outlook.
  • I Wouldn't Bet On Frac Sand Going Parabolic
       • Sun, Mar. 9 SLCA 36 Comments

    Summary

    • Frac sand is highly elastic and unlikely to go parabolic.
    • New supplies, new alternatives and recycling are likely to keep a lid on frac sand prices.
    • Other fracking related investment ideas are likely to outperform frac sand.
  • PayPal Could Be eBay's Alibaba
    Fri, Mar. 7 EBAY 10 Comments

    Summary

    • PayPal may be this year's Alibaba-type investment.
    • Early estimates of Alibaba were extremely low, early PayPal value estimates may be low as well.
    • A virtual currency angle to PayPal may change the calculus of a potential IPO.
    • The chances of a PayPal IPO should increase if its estimated value increases.
  • Russia Forex Selling Highlights Monetary Policy Risk To Gold
    Thu, Mar. 6 GLD, IAU, PHYS 61 Comments

    Summary

    • Russia's reaction to the Ukranian crisis highlights the monetary policy risk to gold prices.
    • Crises in the emerging markets may have the exact opposite impact on gold prices as 2008 did.
    • Events developing in China may result in China having to sell gold in an emergency.
  • Smith And Wesson; Elections Have Consequences
    Thu, Mar. 6 SWHC 23 Comments

    Summary

    • Gun manufactures' sales are surging.
    • Motivation to buy guns and ammo will be materially impacted by the upcoming election.
    • A Republican victory taking the Senate would likely send gun manufactures' sales into the basement.
  • Warren Buffett's Portfolios Don't Reward Investors For The Added Risks
    Thu, Mar. 6 BRK.A, BRK.B 208 Comments

    Summary

    • Warren Buffett has underperformed the S&P 500 total return over 5 and 10 years.
    • Warren Buffett's portfolio assumes much higher risk than a broadly diversified index.
    • Warren Buffett's public persona doesn't match his portfolio construction.
  • Ethanol Economics Are High Octane And Firing On All Cylinders
    Thu, Mar. 6 GPRE, PEIX, FUE 14 Comments

    Summary

    • Ethanol margins are surprisingly strong.
    • Low corn prices, high gas prices, high ethanol prices and high RIN prices have boosted margins.
    • The pending EPA decision and the Brazilian drought may impact ethanol margins in the future.
  • Don't Let Putin Scare You, Bully-Proof Your Portfolios With VIX ETFs
    Tue, Mar. 4 VXX 15 Comments
  • Warren Buffett's Politically Incorrect Investments Underperformed The S&P 500 Over The Past 5 Years
    Tue, Mar. 4 BRK.A, BRK.B 61 Comments