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  • What To Look For In RIM's Upcoming Earnings Announcement [View article]
    I'm saying RIMM consumers in Canada will be more forgiving, and adopt the new phone sooner than American's when the positive reviews start rolling. I was actually suprised that RIM sales held up so well in Canada in 2011, considering we were well in the know that the newer and better versions were only a year away (at the time that's what we thought, turned out to be almost 2 years away).

    I've been waiting for the new phone before I upgrade, and I imagine many others have been too. Canada will be more eager to try the new phones on positive reviews, especially compared to American's who have no nationalism-related reasons to choose a RIMM over other vendors. It will take a lot of great headlines to sway the American consumers to the degree needed to get the numbers back where they were (in fact it may never happen in the US, even with great phones).

    Other countries will continue buying RIM, including the old phones with the updated software and (hopefully) upgraded hardware, because they utilize the available bandwidth better in those countries. That type of advantage, combined with the popularity of BBM, means that part of the market should remain a solid one, and will definintely last while the first versions of the new phone line's start rolling out throughout 2013.
    Sep 21, 2012. 06:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • RIM Outlook Bleak With Blackberry Delay [View article]
    American's are extremely astute consumers. They abondoned RIMM in droves because new and more exciting products came out. If RIMM hadn't been so excited by the potential of their new products, everyone would be asking "what is RIMM doing" but their sales would have held up better. Now that we all know the new phones are only a few more months away, I'm holding off until they come out before upgrading... I imagine there are many people diong the same thing.

    There are so many strengths in the company, and in their phones. The software potential of QNX and the suite of products they will make available on the new phones should be more than enough to start driving consumers back (and pleasing those like me that waited).

    I don't think we'll see a turn-around in the United States for almost a year, as they start to warm up to the superior product... In the meantime RIMM just needs to keep the lights on and get Ex-US markets to continue purchasing and they'll be fine. A going concern in markets other than the US = $20-30 per share. Becoming popular in the US again? $60+ per share. With the security, longevity and software advantages the phones will have, I think American's will start buying again... At some point...

    Long RIMM.
    Sep 21, 2012. 02:58 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What To Look For In RIM's Upcoming Earnings Announcement [View article]
    Interesting article. Valid concerns about their operation are going to be the theme for all RIMM articles going forward. Even once the new phones are released I imagine the news in the United States will be abysmal. In my view, Canadians (loyal to a Canadian company) and world markets will be the bread and butter for RIMM, and they will continue to make inroads in larger international American companies and governments. RIMM's phones will be markedely better than anything out there on most of the criteria that consumers and businesses require, and match them on the rest. RIMM owns some very valuable companies over it's acquisition happy years, excecuting on those acquisitions will continue to unlock value for shareholders for years with the suit of products RIMM has at it's disposal.

    The real problem is how fickle American consumers are. It will take quite a few years for RIMM to dig itself out of the public relations nightmare it got itself into there. Everyone seems to think RIMM needs to knock it out of the park in order to succeed... All they have to do is get their products out there, fill them with proprietary software, systematically upgrade the hardware, keep the networks running until the US consumers finally suck it up, try the product, realize it's strengths and start buying again. In the meantime, I think they should continue to focus on the less profitable Ex-US markets... American's will come around, it just takes them a while.

    Long RIMM... And Canadian.
    Sep 21, 2012. 02:49 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Electric: Company Analysis [View article]
    GE's collapse was well documented as a valuation problem. If you purchased GE before the crash with a 40+ P/E there was no way not to be burned. The company today stands to increase value for shareholders much like it did for anyone who could purchase it for a P/E of 20 any time over GE's history. The dividend cut hurts everyone, but was necessary. The mistaken bullishness on its financing division (and it's profitability) was an error on management's part, but that was not just Immlet's issue, it was the prior management's fault as much as his.
    Sep 19, 2012. 03:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To That Ozymandias, BlackBerry? [View article]
    I wouldn't call follower's of RIM "blind". Granted, there are valid concerns about the companies abilities to turn itself around, but there is a lot of solid research and development behind it's new operating system (and really, nothing Samsung or Apple have done cannot be repeated hardware-wise). To be honest, I believe RIM phones would sell as they currently are if they were marketed properly and recieved regular updates the way other phones have(reduced in size, updated features, etc, etc, all the things promised in their new phone that have not been implemented in the current offerings). The strength overseas all but guarentees that the new phone, no matter how poorly Americans receive it, will do well in most foreign countries, since they are enjoying Blackberry's even without all the updates and new software/hardware that should come with the new phone. You need American's to purchase your phone to become immensely profitable (like Apple or Samsung to a lesser extent), but you do not need the US market to be a going concern, or to create value for shareholders.
    Sep 19, 2012. 02:37 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2 Analyst Hold Recommendations Worth A Closer Look [View article]
    I've been long AT since their acquisition of one of my positions (Capital Power Income), and I doubled down during the acquisition due to what I perceived as miss-pricing. They are a solid company, well diversified regionally and geographically. My understanding is that their payout ratio is closer to 90%, and lowering as they start to realize the benefits of their increased size (they doubled with the Capital Power Income acquisition). The larger company, with strong income and reasonable price stability has made it a stalwart in my portfolio, and should continue to see the benefits of the acquisition for several years.
    Sep 19, 2012. 12:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Be The Equivalent Of A Stock Market Racist [View article]
    Great take on indexing versus individual stocks. Especially the note of becoming familiar with the companies in your portfolio. If you truly believe in their story (the only reason to hold them) when they drop in value you should be salivating, not running for the exit.
    Sep 15, 2012. 10:32 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Concerned About mREIT Dividends? Buy The Preferred Stock [View article]
    It's so tough to time the exit from mREIT's I've been considering something like this myself. I believe in them long term, this might be a good way to get the income with less of the associated risks.
    Sep 13, 2012. 02:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Build A Futures-Free Commodity Portfolio [View article]
    Good article, I've been looking for a way to play commodities without exposure to futures contracts. Very timely for me personally.
    Sep 13, 2012. 02:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Normalcy Returning To American Capital [View article]
    FAS 157 valuations, as related to the debt covenants (as per the article) threatened ACAS with bankruptcy if it couldn't refinance it's debt (regardless of the strength of the business, if you are leveraged and no one lends to you, you go under). Staving off bankruptcy caused the dividend to be cut, but I imagine investor concern that ACAS would enter bankruptcy is the only excuse for pushing this companies stock to 60 cents.

    As for Bernie Madoff, it's the only investment on the list that will never generate future returns. It is a locked-in loss, the other banks, and ACAS have potential to create future value.

    Long ACAS.
    Sep 10, 2012. 06:07 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Best Retirement Investing 'Mistake' [View article]
    Energy costs - ARX, IMO
    Food costs - AW.UN, MCD
    Inflation - BAM.A, GZT, MRC
    Yield - MTGE, ATP
    Currency hedge - All of the Canadian issues above (6 of 9)

    As a Canadian investor, I like the concept. I thought I'd run through some of the one's I've invested in and see where they could fit into the idea you've got. I'm no longer long all of them due to prices, etc. But if you want to diversify currency risk, I really like GZT, ATP, ARX and AW.un (I think all of these have pink sheet or NYSE listings).

    Sep 8, 2012. 12:44 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Best Retirement Investing 'Mistake' [View article]
    Good choices, as a fellow Canadian I'm firmly in your camp... Canada has some very strong DGI options. Personally though I'm not long a Canadian bank yet. It's tempting, but i'm in the financial industry. Having trouble deciding if that is enough risk, or if I should bite the bullet and get me some of the big 6.

    To be fair, I took a small long in BBO when I started investing about a year ago. It would have been a strong choice, since covered calls were supposed to hold up better during sideways and bear markets... Alas, as one of my first purchases, I wasn't familiar enough with the "never buy a closed fund at a premium" concept.

    But I digress, MSFT, INTC, KEG and RY are all on my radar, though I have held off buying so far. In hindsight I maybe should've jumped in earlier, they have all (with the exception of INTC recently) performed pretty well.
    Sep 8, 2012. 12:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mythbusting: Young Investors And Bonds [View article]
    I've always tried to keep this in mind when I am creating and back-testing portfolio's and asset mixes. My idea? Create half a dozen or so logically sound, reasonably diversified mixed holdings that focus on different (but equally viable) strategies for long term value creation, adhering to Modern Portfolio Theory.

    Plot the 1 and 5 year returns on these portfolio's against one another.

    Eliminate the outliers (the top and bottom from each time horizon) and select from the 4th and 5th choices left in each (or, if it works out, select the one that is 4th and/or 5th in both time horizons). The point is to avoid the worst performing, but select the "relatively weaker" performer.

    Once you have built a portfolio that encompasses all 6 of your trading strategies, you start using the above to decide which to trim back (top performing), which to add to with the funds from cutting back (lowest performing) and which to add new money to (the middle funds). Essentially you are re-balancing, with the effect being reduced each year as the portfolio grows, but that adds value over time.

    The idea behind it is that strong past performance is an indicator of under-performance going forward... Especially if the strategies selected are soundly based on modern portfolio theory, and will each, theoretically, achieve a decent (and similar) rate of return.

    By using the past performance to help you see which have outperformed (likely through miss-pricing or a core holding of that strategy suddenly becoming "popular") you can avoid chasing past returns, and are in fact capitalizing on other investors tendency to use past performance to indicate future results. By eliminating the outlier to the downside you avoid doubling down on a strategy that is destined for future or near term failure, or doubling down on a strategy that's core holdings are being rightly (but hopefully temporarily) punished.

    Building the 6 portfolio's would be up to the investor and their knowledge, risk and timeline, but if each followed MPT (but the asset's chosen are slightly different between each one) you will end up with a perfect example of Modern Portfolio Theory in the end (if you in fact created 6 portfolios with perfectly similar long term prospects, and the market was seemingly random, you would have a portfolio that was equally weighted in all 6 strategies), but get there by systematically betting that Mr. Market is prone to mistakes.

    Disclosure: Long Mr. Market's mistakes (hopefully)
    Sep 6, 2012. 09:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mythbusting: Young Investors And Bonds [View article]
    My favorite part of reading SA articles is the comments written below. I don't entirely agree with the author's premise, much like the commentary above. However Benjamin Graham illustrated the case for never being 100% in any asset class by explaining that no-one... And he means NO-ONE can predict the future. There is no telling what would happen in the future that would make one asset class obviously better than another. Though bond prices are high, and yields are low, there is no way to predict with absolute certainty that this trend could not continue. The market could very well remain "wrong" longer than we can stay "solvent" in our attempt to alienate the asset class.

    Though there are valid arguments to be made that bonds as an asset class represent terrible value for investors at this time, I think it would be a folly on everyone's part not to entrust a best-guess weighted amount to bonds. In my case, being so young, my level is aimed at 10%, with lump sum additions increasing with age to about 60% as I near retirement... Hoping that by spanning my purchases over the long haul will help alleviate the best-guess risk I see. But even though I am in the age bracket where 0% allocation to bonds could be argued, there is simply no doubt in my mind that I have no idea what the future will hold... And the perceived risk of me being systemically wrong for the next 30 years is just vivid enough that I want to hold some bonds, even at these prices.
    Sep 6, 2012. 08:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Diapers To Death Income Investing: Making Money From Diaper Fills To Diploma Mills, Old Age Homes And Funeral Parlors [View article]
    Unique idea, I like it.
    Aug 31, 2012. 02:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment