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  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    Reel Ken,

    Oh please... I have rarely read such an impressive amount of clichés and randomness in one single comment... Bling-bling mother Theresa at her best. Millionaires with gigantic hearts.

    "I sit on the board of two charities and have funded two foundations."

    How much do you earn for your board sits? How much donations actually goes to the purpose, 15-25% as usual? The rest are "expenses". Love it when people try to show off their high moral backgrounds and still earn a nice buck out of it. Love that cynicism!

    "The great bulk of my assets will go to charities not my heirs"

    Do you have children? If not, that explains a lot. If yes, well, you must have really messed up as a parent if they disappointed you that much. Educate the next ones better.

    "people are measured by the difference they make, not the different things they wear"

    What difference did you personally make? Let's face it, we come to the Earth and we leave the Earth. No one makes any difference in that stinking marsh. Those who think that they changed something are simply delusional.

    Mister "Yachter", may I ask you what kind of suits do you wear? Must be really life changing to wake up on your own yacht and say to yourself "what a wonderful and charitable guy I am. Maybe one of my foundations could send me an helicopter, after all I deserve it." Must be very refreshing!

    "Those that try to diminish him, do little good."

    I know humains way too well to have any illusions. I heard him myself saying once that he thinks that he is the best placed person to know where his taxes should go and therefore he prefers to decide that himself.

    I do little good by diminishing him, but I do not do any harm either. I am simply analyzing the situation as a rational person. And between us, it is by working and volunteering at all kind of charity organisation that I started to see the things as they are and not as people would like us to see them. Charity business is one of the most hypocrite and profitable businesses in the world.
    Jun 2, 2015. 03:28 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]

    No, you are right, these are extreme examples. But from point of view, Buffet's example is at least as extreme. His consumption is money, as making money provides him with the highest utility level. This is what is truly unique. For him, it is not about earning money to spend more, but instead to earn money to invest more, in order to earn more. His case could be studies in behavioral economics! He is an absolute lender and a compulsive saver.

    With his modest lifestyle and his low expenditures, he could give right away 50% to 75% of his fortune to charity and still be able to do what he loves the most - investing and making more money. Instead of that, he needs to wait until the final moment, when he will be 100% certain that he will not need his money. As I see it, it is not really about his good feelings, or his love towards humanity, but there is something else.

    "He just chooses to spend it on philanthropy"

    Are you sure that it is not simply about the taxes? There is a huge difference in my opinion.

    "spending wisely helps not to invite trouble in one's life"

    I could not agree more. Nevertheless, the question is what is spending wisely when you have got billions. Your perspectives obviously change and what represents an yearly wage for a normal person, might be equivalent to an ok weekend for a billionaire. Moreover, when you meet only wealthy people, after a certain moment you would simply not be able to interact with middle class anymore.
    Jun 2, 2015. 03:12 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]

    When I was a kid, I used to spare each and every penny in an extremely compulsive way. I never bought anything, I just worked, spared and started my first investments by the age of 16. When I turned 19, I moved from my parents and rented a small studio. Once my mother came to visit me and she was simply horrified by my lifestyle. We had a dramatic dispute and I still remember it as if it was yesterday. To be honest, I was so averse to spending that between 19 and 20 years I lost 1/4th of my weight, cause I found that food was too expensive. The positive thing was that I was certainly one of the wealthiest young people in the city, the negative is that I was living and looking like a real hobo.

    It is wonderful to be humble and to disregard what everyone else thinks, but what is the point of making money if you are (physically and mentally) unable to spend it. At some point my family and my fiance made some sort of intervention, they took me to see a psychologist and I finally realized how sick I was. Today I still keep sparing, but I also allow myself some pleasures.

    It is pointless to be a billionaire if you live like a middle class person. Billionaires like Buffet are slaves of their fortunes, while it is supposed to be the opposite. But of course, this is just my point of view and everyone should live as he/she wishes.

    It reminds me of the story of my doctor's brother. He has a university degree and he received €52 millions in heritage from his parents. He kept each and every penny on his bank account and he has been living on the streets for over 20 years now. There was another case of a dead homeless person who lived in Berlin. He was sleeping on his matras for decades on the exact same spot. When he died, Policemen found €10 millions in cash in his matras. It is obviously unhealthy and it must be some psychiatric disorder.
    Jun 2, 2015. 01:55 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]

    "If they forget to put on their Rolex, they may feel bare, for awhile. If they lose the connection with their Apple Watch, they may feel isolated and alone."

    I assume that they will still have their phones and computers, would not they? I would have perhaps agreed with you if Apple Watch was an all-in-one device. A device that can be used as a phone, internet access, car/home key, electronic ID, wallet and maybe even a 3D screen projector (the screen is still too small for all of that). But as long as it will remain an additional "bonus" gadget for a phone, no one will barely see the difference.

    It will take a while before luxury Swiss watch makers would need to worry about Apple. Swatch, Casio, Ice Watch, etc on the other hand will really feel lonely in the next few years. I have actually been shorting Swatch Group stock for a while now! It went from 550 CHF to almost 350 since Apple Watch has been released. I shorted at 550, covered at 370 CHF and now took another short position at 400. It trades at 355 today. Massive money can be made with that stock!

    Luxury watches on the other hand are a real dynasty, an independent institution. Many families (including mine) have been offering golden Swiss watches to their kids upon their 18th birthday for generations. It is a statement in itself. For me it says, you are an adult now and you can now be part of the elite of this world, as you have got everything you need to succeed.

    I am a big fan of Breguet (part of the Swatch Group, by the way - hehe) and what I find amazing is that when you open their catalogue, you see all the famous owners of Breguet, including Victor Hugo, Napoleon, European kings and queens, Winston Churchill, etc. You really feel that you are part of the history. A bigger picture that goes way beyond yourself. I doubt that Apple Watch could ever replace traditions. Watch and Jewelry businesses are timeless, eternal and have always been disconnected of current trends. Having the same watch as Winston Churchill could never be compensated by the fact that some Britney Spears or David Beckham wear Apple Watches. I would go even farther, people who follow these "celebrities" rarely have the funds to purchase luxury goods.

    Moreover, I will add that in Europe, the new hype is to become disconnected. Wealthy people shutdown their FB and Twitter accounts and go back to their feature phones. It is the new sign of distinction, as Internet and the Internet of Things became too democratic and random.
    Jun 2, 2015. 01:38 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Short Interest Jumps 44% [View article]
    I'm not sure that AAPL really delivered what investors expected. Consumer are still here, but concerns remain and they might even have become even more exacerbated since this month.
    AAPL released new potential sources of revenue such as Apple Pay, Apple Watch and iHealth. The issue is that these new sources of revenue depend entirely on iPhone sales. There is absolutely no alternative or safety nets for the AAPL's future (besides its cash) in case if iPhones would suddenly go out of the trend. There is an absolutely irrational and exuberant hype surrounding iPhones, but the issue is that these types of trends vanish as suddenly and unexpectedly as they appear. What if iPhone 6 would make a flop on the long run? After all, iPhone 6 is a breakthrough compared to 5s, but they only sold 1m more 6's than 5s's so far. What if iPhone 6s/7 won't have the same success? What if iPhone would become the next Nokia or Blackberry? It would be completely irresponsible to swipe these concerns, since they are completely justified.
    Today iPhone counts for 58% of AAPL's revenue. iPad sales have already been decreasing for over a year now. So what's next? iWatch is entirely dependent on iPhone, no other brand's user would consider buying it. Apple Pay and iHealth depend on iPhones as well. So basically, once again there is no "big" releases or new product segments. Cash is obviously important, but when a company lacks of vision and uses its old cows, money won't safe it on the long run.
    A lot of Apple aficionados feel disappointed by the new iPhones. There are no Liquid Metal technology, no Sapphire screens and obviously huge lacks of basic durability engineering studies. iOS8 offered a new round of glitches and battery drains, without any true innovation to counterbalance these inconveniences. If the quality of AAPL products goes down, design alone won't satisfy consumers anymore.
    If as expected, the coming Keynotes would only deliver some minimalistic refreshments and no new products, I think that AAPL will face a slow downtrend such as the one we saw after the iPhone 5 release. A business that doesn't go forward, always goes backwards.
    Sep 25, 2014. 07:22 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With Apple Over $100, Time To Sell? [View article]

    Any mean is good for a politician to justify his laziness, lack of professionalism and irresponsibility. What kind of chief of State would allow himself going on two vacations in less than a week? Hope he will stuck his official BB right in his official behind once he would get ejected from the government after the upcoming elections. Any other person, including a CEO who'd dare to pull such an excuse, regardless of the employed smartphone, would be notified of his immediate unemployment in a matter of hours (by smartphone of course). Civil servants... All the same.
    Aug 20, 2014. 09:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With Apple Over $100, Time To Sell? [View article]
    Einstein, imagine how many puts AAPL would have to buy to secure its buyback program or at least a part of it. That kind of massive purchases alone would send such an alarming signal on the options market that it would be sufficient for AAPL shares to go down big time in a huge panic sell.
    Aug 20, 2014. 09:07 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With Apple Over $100, Time To Sell? [View article]
    According to the chatter sapphire glass turned to be way too expensive for Apple at the moment. A glass alone would cost AAPL $12 for each iPhone compared to $3.5 for a regular Gorilla glass. Thus, apparently only 64Gb and 128Gb (if there is one) 4,7" models will be equipped with sapphire glass and it's still uncertain what the decision is going to be for 5" models. Sapphire might be off the table for another 12 months, cause these models are being extremely marginal on the market. If that information is being exact, GTAT will tank for sure. In a year or two, sapphire glass should become much more affordable thanks to Apple's investments and technological breakthroughs.
    On the side note I really hate to invest in companies which share price depends on one single major client. Risks are multiplied, cause even if nothing fundamental changes for the company, if its major partner has troubles, the stock goes down way more.
    Aug 20, 2014. 08:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Stabs BlackBerry In The Heart [View article]

    Companies such as GOOG, CSCO, MSFT, AAPL and FB signed an NDA to have a full look into BBRY business just a year ago and not one single Western IT company made a public offer to buy BBRY out. If you take into account all the cheering of BBRY's security system all over the Internet, you'd suppose that everyone would start a bidding war to get that "treasure". But no. Even at less than $4.8B with 1.5-2B in cash, not one single IT giant decided to make an offer. Our legendary bulls, on the other hand, think that they discovered a treasure map and they think knowing BBRY from behind their PC screens and by googling it 24/7, better than CFOs who signed an NDA. Today BBRY has less assets, less cash, a billion dollar debt, much less revenue and their already very old patents have got even closer to the expiration date. Since no one made any efforts to purchase BBRY at least for its security after seeing the whole company from inside, I think it's way more safe to say that they are pretty screwed. Their last hope wanished with AAPL and IBM.
    Jul 23, 2014. 04:24 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Some Appear Too Optimistic [View article]

    I don't want to argue with you, it's completely pointless. It's a subject about which everyone has been arguing for decades without any results. It's all part of these endless discussions in economics and econometrics and it also depends of your personal time perspective. If you consider markets on the long term, sure all the ratios are important and at some point they allow to explain the "why" question, but they don't give us the possibility to make any 100% accurate forecasts. If you watch markets on the short term, ratios are completely useless. All these "magical companies", as you call them, allowed me and many other people to make loads of cash. What most of the people call a dot-com bubble was a true Eldorado for me and my associates, even though the end was quiet a hangover, we lost 27% of our profits in a month. More recently, the same thing went for AMZN (+98% net profit in about a year), NFLX (+270% net profit) and TSLA (almost 450% profit in just a year!). Do I believe in these companies? Hell no! But were they among the best trades of my life? Obviously! These "houses of cards" made simply the best year in my trading career, while I expected it to be an extremely hard time frame for me. If you think it's enough to take a glimpse on some "public" ratios to become a billionaire (I'm not claiming to be one), than you're dead wrong. Trading is not about public information or technics, you must be the fastest, the most sensitive and the most imaginative to make it.

    "The PE does not need to be compared to any other company to have a meaning." [...] "Given the fact Apple's PE and PEG are still much lower than other tech companies leaves you with a decision."
    -> If you start arguing with someone, please don't contradict yourself inside the same comment. You simply have to compare any ratio to get the most exhaustive information.

    Michael Blair is an extremely weird man. He says himself that he believes that AAPL will sell loads of iPhones, will make smashing profits, will do well on the short term, but would fall on the long term. So even though he believes that you need to be long now, he goes short already. I can't even imagine what's going on in his poor head.

    I don't know for sure why exactly people started to go long on AAPL again. I suppose that everyone had his own reason. I bought back at $392, after shorting it from $630 (with interruptions), because the share price seemed right, because of the dividends, because of the buy back program, iPhone 6, iWatch, then I stayed long because of a bigger buy back program, the split, etc... I don't really care about the P/E to make my investment decisions, even though I keep it in my mind unconsciously. Regarding the valuation, you can never say. I'm still long now, but I don't know for how long.
    Jun 24, 2014. 07:19 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Some Appear Too Optimistic [View article]
    Jim Mullin,

    I'm surprised that you don't understand that obvious question. The whole point of a ratio is to compare it to other ratios, since it's mainly a statistic tool. A ratio as it is, doesn't provide any useful information. The fact that you compare AAPL's P/E only to S&P, is quiet awkward. You obviously have to compare it to other tech companies, I'd say at least 5 of them, to offer us a descent argumentation. And that's where you'd notice that your argumentation is extremely weak, since P/E isn't representative at all on the tech market. So what "what do I know" tried to tell you, is that there are dozens of companies with completely ridiculous P/E ratios, especially when you compare them to APPL.

    So even though I agree with your conclusion, I disagree with your argumentation completely and you should seriously improve it.
    Jun 24, 2014. 04:33 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Market Share: Slip, Slipping Away [View article]
    "Boring products with little innovation."

    That's a highly subjective claim. I'd prefer you to tell us which phone would you consider as "exciting and innovative"? AMZN with a simplistic useless 3D screen that apparently gives headaches? I hope you have the honesty to admit that it's just a gimmick and that we are still a couple of years away of the real holographic 3D technology. Or maybe would you consider Samsung or the bulky Nokia/MSFT as more innovative?

    "Most think the new iPhone will sell very well and so do I [...]"

    And that's all that should matter to a rational investor, who's not a biased reckless geek like yourself. I don't know if you are able to realize that you hate AAPL without any rational reason and because of that blind hatred you have already missed a huge 35% rally and you're about to miss the next huge rally too. You're not an investor, you're a lunatic bigot.

    Anyhow, thanks for your article. After your last piece AAPL rallied, let's hope that it's going to be an encore!

    PS : Do you still eat apples for breakfast, or did they become the forbidden fruit at your home too?
    Jun 23, 2014. 11:28 AM | 32 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon's New Smartphone Spells Trouble For Apple [View article]
    David Trainer,

    I think that AAPL's customers can be divided in two main categories : APPL unconditional fans and snobs. Neither of them would buy a cheap AMZN phone no matter how good it could be. They'd rather wait for AAPL's next iPhone that would offer the same features. An AMZN phone is rather a potential thread for lower tier phones, like Samsung, MSFT, etc... Also, most of the people expect the imminent iPhone 6 launch to chose their next phone, so any company that would launch a new model during the next 2-3 months is going to be seriously disappointed by the first quarter sales.
    Jun 9, 2014. 12:37 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple + Beats: Cutting Through The Hype And Negativity [View article]

    Let me explain it from the marketing point of view. You come to an electronics store to pick some random headphones (or anything else). You don't know a thing about headphones, just like 90% of the customers. You see Beats going from 250 to 450 and you say to yourself "Wow, these must be some awesome headphones!". Then you see Sennheiser, Bose, Sony,... with price ranges going from 20 to 600 and there are two things going in your mind. First of all, you are scared to buy the expensive models cause you're afraid to overpay or to be able to buy them for $50 in a year or so. On the other hand, you see the cheap models and you start thinking that the brand isn't as good as you though and the first reaction is that if there are ok models for 30-50 then people don't buy them, so they are trash. The same thing goes for cars, an expensive Citroen won't sell well because of the cheaper models and people's stereotype that the brand is cheap.

    Now I don't know any professional musicians at all and there aren't that much musicians in the world, or to be more precise there aren't a lot of musicians who could afford expensive headphones. However I know dozens of people who own Beats. They don't know a thing about music, they just know that Beats are expensive, good looking and trendy. And that's the only thing that matters for an average Joe. All I can say is that Beats found the golden middle. You can't earn money by selling $10k headphones and you can't earn by selling $30 crap. Today you earn more money by offering a high scale "illusionary luxurious" products, just like Apple and Beats do.

    PS: I own Sennheiser Momentum myself.
    May 11, 2014. 01:33 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple + Beats: Cutting Through The Hype And Negativity [View article]
    Sennheiser is a plastic boring €30-50 trash. They offer better specs, but they aren't trendy and aren't popular at all. 5 year old Beats models are never discounted. They are being sold for €250-450 and people buy them like if there was no tomorrow. Transforming Sennheiser into Beats would be impossible even for Apple, but making Beats better (if it's actually necessary cause customers buy them anyway) would be a peace of cake for Apple.
    In my opinion market positioning, marketing, consumer reception and sales growth are way more important than buying unpopular companies like Senheiser, Bose, Koss, Sony or Philips.
    May 11, 2014. 09:11 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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