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  • The Crash Of Oil Prices Could Be The Opportunity Of The Decade [View article]
    Jim Rogers, I think.
    Nov 23, 2014. 05:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Stocks Not In A Bubble; I'll Tell You What Is, Though [View article]
    Thanks for the thought-provoking article, James. What I found most interesting in your article was attacking John Hussman's position that profits are mean-reverting, saying that this position was unfounded. And you certainly made an excellent case to debunk his (and Montier's) thesis. I'm very surprised that people as data-driven as Hussman and Montier would have missed this. Nonetheless, I may still disagree with you on the following basis: in the 50's, 60's and 70's, governments were not approaching a "bang" point as Rogoff and Reinhart would say. Don't you think it is inevitable that western governments are inevitably either going to have to cut back services or raise taxes (pick your poison), which will have significant adverse implications for the economy, resulting in a big downturn which will devastate corporate profits? Isn't that different from the periods of time that you refer to? So isn't it possible that this is what Hussman et al. are referring to?
    Nov 9, 2013. 12:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Indicators That The Stock Market Rally Is Over [View article]
    English police here: Actually "prevaricator" refers to someone being evasive as to the truth, or equivocating. If you google it, you will see that. I don't think someone who says that they know what is going to happen in the stock market for certain is equivocating. Anyway... I did enjoy your article. The problem is the old Lord Keynes dictum that the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.
    Mar 24, 2013. 12:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Everyone Must Know About The U.S. Dollar: Sea Change Coming? [View article]
    Cliff,

    I'm going to buy your book because I do feel the same as you that the role of currencies in terms of one's exposure to risk is greatly underestimated. As a Canadian, I was wondering if you have any thoughts on what Canadians should be doing in terms of diversification?
    Mar 10, 2013. 06:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Up Nokia? Oh Yes... Lumia [View article]
    "Even Asia wants AAPL, for its Ecosystem, that they can't get anywhere else." Wrong. AAPL is no longer "it" in Singapore and Hong Kong.

    From a January 27th Globe & Mail article: "But StatCounter, which measures traffic collected across a network of 3 million websites, calculates that Apple’s share of mobile devices in Singapore – iPad and iPhone – declined sharply last year. From a peak of 72 per cent in January, 2012, its share fell to 50 per cent this month, while Android devices now account for 43 per cent of the market, up from 20 per cent in the same month last year.

    In Hong Kong, devices running Apple’s iOS now account for about 30 per cent of the total, down from about 45 per cent a year ago. Android accounts for nearly two-thirds."

    "Where Hong Kong and Singapore lead, other key markets across fast-growing Asia usually follow.

    “Singapore and Hong Kong tend to be, from an electronics perspective, leading indicators on what is going to be hot in Western Europe and North America, as well as what is going to take off in the region,” said Jim Wagstaff, who runs a Singapore-based company called Jam Factory developing mobile apps for enterprises.

    Southeast Asia is adopting smartphones fast – consumers spent 78-per-cent more on smartphones in the 12 months up to September, 2012, than they did the year before, according to research company GfK.

    Anecdotal evidence of iPhone fatigue isn’t hard to find: Where a year ago, iPhones swamped other devices on the subways of Hong Kong and Singapore they are now outnumbered by Samsung and HTC Corp. smartphones."
    Feb 1, 2013. 01:52 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Making Buffett's Alpha Your Own [View article]
    Excellent article. You have a new follower. I particularly appreciate the attempt to turn the academic research into actionable investment advice!
    Jan 12, 2013. 11:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In Science Fiction Tech: Artificial Intelligence [View article]
    Thanks Matt - I'll look at the article.
    Dec 8, 2012. 05:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In Science Fiction Tech: Artificial Intelligence [View article]
    Thanks Modernitst - I'll look at that!
    Dec 8, 2012. 05:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In Science Fiction Tech: Artificial Intelligence [View article]
    I wonder whether they will follow Asimov's three laws of robotics? Loved the reference to Phillip Dick - if you old enough to recall the original Star Trek, several episodes were also written by him, I think! On the investing side, and I know the author mentioned robotics separately, I would love to be able to invest in some robotics companies. Apparently the Japanese are at the forefront of this. Imagine all the disdain about the Japanese demographics (ageing population) being flipped upside down. That could power productivity, which ultimately is what enriches society (pretty hard for the average guy/girl to become better off with no productivity improvements - I suppose some people may see that as controversial, but otherwise we're talking about a zero sum game). It would also ultimately go a long way to solving our environmental issues, because then population control would clearly be the number one environmental issue (which it should be now, but I won't start on that). So I'm all for AI and robotics, and if anyone knows any companies that are worth taking a flyer on, please let me know!
    Dec 7, 2012. 01:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • RIM's BB10 Chances Better Than Analysts Expect [View article]
    Mirra88888, I had almost the same experience with my iPhone regarding losing contacts, and then not being able to recover them even though they were supposedly backed up. I will probably go with a Windows 8 phone, but I can certainly understand people going with a Blackberry, especially if they've operated one before and mainly need email and contacts. One thing that tech security people seem to be clear on is that BB's have the best security.
    Dec 4, 2012. 01:31 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fiscal Grand Bargain: Are Spending Cuts And Revenue Increases Both Needed? Part 2 [View article]
    Thanks James for an honest non-partisan attempt to give your solution to the problems The U.S. is facing right now. It's unfortunate that a lot of people will continue to read politics into your prognosis. To those people I would say that I would like to hear their solution (really!).

    A thought I have had a lot these days is "systems inevitably leading to outcomes". Not always, but often. One corollary of that is "a government that can rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul." (George Bernard Shaw). That is why this is not an US. phenomenon but really common to all Western countries to a greater or lesser degree (sure there are a few exceptions, but I'm talking generally here - U.S., England, France, Italy, Spain, even Germany is in breach of their Maastricht Treaty obligations). What Euro party has been re-elected promising tax increases? Sooner or later it all reaches a breaking point when confidence in the ability of governments to fund their future financial obligations ceases. That point is fast approaching, and it won't make a difference whether a Republican or Democrat is the president, who controls Congress and the Senate, etc.: voters won't vote for pain, and politicians would rather avoid talking about it or else they'll be punished for it at the ballot box. People always look for the easy way out even if there isn't one.

    Along these lines, could you see a situation where the Fed at some point just forgives the debt that they have purchased through QE? I have heard that the Fed already owns 70% of US treasuries - if so, much of the debt would be gone, and therefore interest payments lower, debt mostly gone, and no "pain". I want to be clear that I don't advocate this because it would in my opinion be a sort of fraud (on everyone who trusts currency to have value), but could this be the outcome of this system? I could see the Krugmans of the world arguing for something like this (given that Krugman advocates far more deficit spending with no real "end-game" solution).
    Nov 11, 2012. 12:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian Housing: It Actually Is Different This Time [View article]
    I'm a lawyer who does a lot of conveyancing in Vancouver, almost exclusively for Chinese clients, so that probably puts me at the epicenter of this topic. I can tell you that the Chinese who are buying are almost all from Mainland China, and U.I. was dead on when he said that as China, goes, Vancouver goes (in real estate anyway). In the 80's it was Hong Kong Chinese, in the early to mid-nineties, it was Taiwanese buyers, and for the past few years it has been Mainland Chinese. I was looking at the list of lawyers/notaries who received notice for a pre-sale closing that is coming up, and my staff and I couldn't help but laugh that almost all the lawyers/notaries were Chinese (no racist intentions here, just stating the facts!). So it totally comes down to the Chinese economy, at least as far as Vancouver is concerned.

    The other thing I can say is that it is REALLY quiet right now in real estate in Vancouver, though the realtors see the pick up in business before I do. Me, I'm going to take advantage of the slowdown and will be on a plane to a warm place in an hour.

    Last thought: Vancouver will always be expensive because it is an extremely welcoming place for Chinese and in fact all people of Asian descent.

    P.S.: possible impact of immigration changes for investor class immigrants could have a big impact on immigration levels, and if that happens, then all bets are off re real estate prices.
    Nov 6, 2012. 07:08 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lumia 920 Is Facing Solid Demand In Europe [View article]
    Leon, will the 920 come in Cyan? From what I've seen, it looks like the 920 doesn't come in Cyan, though the 820 might. Not an investing comment, but I want a 920 in Cyan too!

    I sometimes wonder whether it's just me, the techie types, and those who comment about Nokia on SA who like the new Nokia phones. In Canada there doesn't seem to be a lot of buzz. The news about being sold out in Italy as well as strong demand France is encouraging. Not sure about North America. Some people I talk to turn up their noses as soon as they hear it will run on WP8. It's a prejudice, but prejudices matter when you're talking about whether a phone sells!
    Oct 18, 2012. 12:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ilari Nurmi, Nokia's (NOK) VP of product marketing and the exec responsible for its smartphone strategy, has left the company for unknown reasons. Nurmi's departure comes as speculation grows CEO Stephen Elop will get axed next year if Nokia's Windows Phone 8 sales disappoint, and 3 months after chairman Risto Siilasmaa talked about having a "contingency plan" (believed by many to be Android) should WP8 fail to meet expectations. [View news story]
    The release on Seeking Alpha says that this person was in charge of their "smartphone strategy", though as you point out, the Reuters story says he/she was also in charge of marketing. I hope it is marketing. Even their last ad gently mocking the iPhone 5 was really weird - you have a phone that blows away other phones with their camera, has NFC, city lens, wireless charging, together with legendary Nokia quality, and you emphasize the COLOUR?

    Meanwhile, Nokia is just going with one carrier in the U.S. (AT&T)and it looks like the same for Canada (Rogers). If that is the case, that is a firing offence (perhaps why this person was let go?).

    I personally like them going with WP8 (WP7 has received excellent reviews from what I've seen, and WP8 sound like it will be even better), but clearly Microsoft doesn't consider it to be a monogamous relationship. That's ok, but then why couldn't Nokia have done the same - similar phone but running on Android as well as WP8. I'm no techie, so maybe I'm out to lunch on that, but I don't see why they had to go with only one platform. Doesn't seem like Samsung and HTC do that. Another strategy issue. All of the features that the 920 has could have worked on Android as well, and then they wouldn't be betting on having to convince users to switch platforms in order to buy Nokia.

    There's one other issue that is concerning me - the "perception becomes reality" issue. I do see some commentators on Seeking Alpha and even in the product reviews dissing Nokia. The criticism is never directed at the new Nokia phones directly, which by all accounts have received rave reviews, but rather comments like how long they are going to survive, too bad it's a Windows phone, and now even that Microsoft is going to bring out their own phone to compete (if they did, bye bye Samsung, HTC and Nokia products for Windows platforms - I can't believe MSFT would be that stupid). If enough people think the platform is going to fail, or the company itself is going to disappear, then that perception can become reality because of the perception. It almost arouses the conspiracy theorist in me - are there people out there who want it to fail, but because they can't diss the phone, they just say that "no one buys Nokia anymore" or "too bad it's a Windows phone". Nokia needs to convince people that they will be around. Hope they do get someone who knows how to market, and hope they go with more than one carrier!

    long NOK
    Oct 5, 2012. 02:26 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Schooled Nokia On Launching New Products [View article]
    Most dangerous words in the English language (especially for investing): "they must know something I don't know".

    I have an iPhone, so I am definitely not anti-Apple. But I think what bothers many people is the over the top gushing about the iPhone 5 when it clearly isn't doing much that Samsung hasn't already done and Nokia is doing now. As for the author's article about Apple schooling Nokia, when you look at the situation for Nokia - not being in a position to launch the 920 until W8 is released on October 29th, Nokia not only didn't blow it, they were subversively brilliant: a lot of comentators were comparing the 920 specs to the iPhone. If Nokia had NOT come out a week before and said this is what our phone is going to have, these comentators would not have been talking about Nokia. I'm not saying all was perfect, but it got people talking about the 920, and comparing it to the iPhone 5, which is pretty amazing when you think about it (Nokia is a bit player compared to Apple in smartphones). Once people start talking about the two, half the battle is won if you have a good product, and the Nokia 920 is a good product. I will be buying a 920 when it comes out, as long as it does deliver what it says it can.
    Sep 14, 2012. 05:50 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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