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  • 2 Rarely Mentioned Reasons to Include Microsoft in Your Portfolio [View article]
    "Moreover, there are countless people trying to create filler web pages, utilize SEO techniques and drive search traffic to their crappy sites in an effort to make money."

    I don't know what SEO stands for, but this probably explains why so many Google searches end on Web pages that just seem to be pointless garbage that just exist for no apparent reason, even though no one would ever choose them as a destination.
    Jun 30 05:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Monday Madness - Greece Is a Drop in the Bucket Compared With Us [View article]
    Phil Davis for President!

    I've lived under a proper socialist government, and I have lived under an ultra conservative capitalist government, and to be honest I can see that both have their pluses and minuses, but the ultimate aim of both socialism and capitalism should be to make the world a better place for the average person to live in.

    Surely we can all now admit that socialist road building has been a great success, and that capitalism is an abysmal failure at providing cost effective health care, but that we would never have Henry Ford or the microchip and all that flows from it without some kind of free market capitalism.

    Can't we throw away the two useless political parties in the US and start afresh with some sort of proportional representation so that we get a wider variety of reality-based opinions in Congress?
    Jun 30 05:22 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stock Picking: Why It Is So Difficult to Be Successful [View article]
    I do have a copy of William O'neill's book "How to make money in stocks", which is generally very well reviewed on Amazon, but I was a bit disappointed with the book which has a few gems, but a lot of padding and and lot of promotion of IBD. His main thesis is that the best ploy is to trade on upward momentum.

    Although I have several investment books, I can't say that any of them are indispensible. "Generate Thousands in Cash On Your Stocks Before Buying and Selling Them" by Samir Elias, in spite of the ridiculous title, is a fairly sound book, and "The Options Playbook" by Brian Overby is a useful primer.

    My own tendency is to try to combine the strengths of Soros and Buffet, which means first picking industries likely to flourish in the current and future geopolitical global situation, and then selecting the companies that seem to be best positioned to prosper, especially if they have "moats" or unique assets that cannot be reproduced. Obviously you want a management that has a good strategic plan, the ability to execute, and an interest in rewarding the shareholder.

    Then you want to buy the stock cheaply.

    I would like to invest in the same companies as Buffet, but to buy them before he does--but of course this is impossible unless you are a hedge fund manager, as many of them are psychic!!!!! Or so it would appear, or maybe they just think like Buffet. With enough resources you could probably program all of Buffets past investment decisions and use computerized artificial intelligence to predict what he will do next, or at least produce a list of likely actions, but as a retail investor, that is a bit beyond my capacity.
    Jun 25 11:16 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stock Picking: Why It Is So Difficult to Be Successful [View article]
    None of this surprises me. That's why my view, at the present time is that the amateur investor is best to buy into companies that look like they have a good long term future and be prepared to hold them for a few years, and to buy into them very gingerly indeed over a period of time. It would not be a bad idea to buy into a stock position over a period of a year or more, so as to be able to take into account seasonal fluctuations, political happenings, the general state of the market, earnings announcements, ex-dividend dates , and the current standing of the VIX before adding shares or selling puts.

    None of these things will guarantee profit and success, but at least they will help to level the playing field.

    Of course if you are just starting out adding $5000 per year to an IRA, it is very difficult to be patient and tempting to swing for the fences with the latest stock mentioned in an article, which is nearly ALWAYS a grievous error...

    My interest as a Rookie IRA Investor is geared more to the situation where the investor has a rollover from a company or government pension plan that includes many years of contributions and thus a sufficient sum in play to use longer term strategies.
    Jun 25 10:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Note to Apple Fans: Stop Talking About Value [View article]
    This has been discussed endlessly. It certainly looks like either a 10:1 stock split or a dividend would boost the stock price upwards, but I understand the company has to pay Wall St. a good chunk of change to do the stock split and I suppose there are administrative costs with a dividend, although I cannot imagine these would be very significant for a company as rich as Apple Computer. Sooner or later something will happen, I am sure.
    Jun 24 02:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Peabody Energy: Poised to Gain From Increased Coal Demand [View article]
    I like the reserves, but how elastic is the extraction rate?
    Jun 24 02:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stock Picking: Why It Is So Difficult to Be Successful [View article]
    Picking stocks is easy, but the hard part is buying them at the right time and at the right price. Too many retail investors don't realize that buying, say, Intel at $24 is not the same thing as buying Intel at $20.

    People who have heard that I know a thing or two about the stock market often ask me questions like "Do you think Ford is a good buy?" to which I invariably reply that it just depends on what you pay for it.

    In reality, buying stocks is a much more complex business than just slapping in a buy order, and to assume a full position of maybe 1000 or 2000 shares one may have to go through a months long process of placing limit orders, selling puts, and buying stock at market price so as to be sure not to buy a stock at its 10-year high and be left as a bag holder.

    The professionals and hedge fund traders who are on the other end of your trades don't just go to work one day and place an order to buy 5 million shares of Intel at market before coffee time and let the chips fall where they may, and neither should the wary retail investor.
    Jun 24 11:16 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia's N9 Launch Unlikely to Stop Downtrend [View article]
    Yes, everything is in transition at the present time. Here's what I want from a smartphone:

    1. Dual sim. Even cheaper oriental phones have this, and it is very useful for overseas travel.

    2. Wifi and ability to use as a mobile hotspot for other devices.

    3. Unlimited data plan in the US at a reasonable price.

    4. User replaceable battery, and capacity to charge battery off phone and switch batteries.
    Jun 24 01:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Reasons You Want to Own Wal-Mart for the Next 30 Years [View article]
    I like that play.
    Jun 24 12:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Note to Apple Fans: Stop Talking About Value [View article]
    He could say: "In a large government department".

    It is interesting to me to know which industries are switching over to using Apple to communicate, because it may give an indication of the shape of things to come.

    Having a Google pad computer, I know there there are many thousands of apps, but from the point of view of a general user there are probably only a couple of dozen apps that are of any use, and often that is because the browsers on these things are so lousy, that it is better to get a direct app to a Web site you want to use.

    So presumably very large numbers of Apple pad applications are industry specific and it is helpful to know wjhat they might be.

    Some people say that security on Apple may be a problem, so it would be interesting to know, for example, whether home health nurses are using iPhones to chart on patient medical records, because then one could see the potential size of that market, which could be world wide.
    Jun 23 10:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Analyzing Wellington Management's Top Buys [View article]
    Sssssh! BP is good value at the moment, with the gulf spill still on the agenda, and Libya and Rosneft going pear-shaped, and I am backing up the truck selling puts, spreads, covered calls. But if the whole market swoons any more, it could go even cheaper, so please don't go telling people about this company. Let's just keep it strictly between you and me until the share price gets back down to $35.
    Jun 23 10:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Note to Apple Fans: Stop Talking About Value [View article]
    So if you say what industry you work in, you will out yourself? Is it a one-man industry?
    Jun 23 09:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Worthless Stocks That Refuse to Go to Zero [View article]
    This is true, but the point I was making is that my friend thinks Sirius cheap because the stock price is $2 and thinks Exxon is expensive, because the stock price is $100, i.e small number cheap, big number expensive, without relation to earnings.
    Jun 23 07:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Deeper Look at Sirius XM's Used Car Deal With GM [View article]
    As far as I can see the subscription stays with the receiver in the car, so it could enhance the resale value of the car. The fee is for moving the subscription to another receiver, not for moving it to another owner. A lot of cars these days have a life of 15 years or more. I have a 10-year-old Toyota that has 85K on the clock. It is like new. The one I sold last week had 300K. Not sure what I will get to replace it. Maybe something with SIRI.
    Jun 22 11:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Gold and Silver Bets of Congressman Ron Paul [View article]
    A fairer question would be whether he would rather take an ounce of gold or $1600 in exchange for what cost him $1000.
    Jun 22 05:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment