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  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    Dennis Baker,

    As a matter of fact, I still own 4 pockets watches, one of which is a brand new Bovet. It is a real pleasure to wear them!

    I understand your point, but as I see it, the pocket watches of the wrist watches were actually phones. At some point, a lot of people stopped buying watches and used their phones. However, it mainly concerned cheap watches and a lot of people still kept purchasing Swiss watches.

    Apple Watch is made of quality parts for a smart watch, but unfortunately it still looks very cheap. It seems like a more modern version of a Casio. Personally, I would not wear it with a suite. It will have to become extremely practical in the next years, for me to actually consider purchasing it. Moreover, any practicality of the Apple Watch will be offset by the fact that I would have to charge it every damn day! I do not even have enough sockets in my office for a Watch...

    I think it will be a huge hit and it will be sold by millions, but I do not understand the point of the Edition. Nevertheless, once I even saw a Casio G-Shock covered with diamonds in a store. So perhaps, some insane people will actually purchase the Edition.
    Jun 5, 2015. 09:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    I think that it is possible. Unfortunately I am not sure that Apple will be able to produce 300 millions of watches in the next 3 years. They do not have the same specialization as for iPhones. New technology, miniatures details and very complexe parts that are even harder to produce than the watch itself... At this point it will be all about the supply side.
    Jun 3, 2015. 01:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    "I didn't deny the luxury watch its place, and the luxury watch industry need to realize that a new watch experience is emerging, not belittle its existence. Change happens much faster than often recognized."

    You should not mix up an industry that is a pure state for art for tasteful adults, to the IT industry, that is full of grownup teenagers wearing teeshirts to go to work. There is a huge difference between productivity and pleasure. A Swatch is for productivity, an Apple Watch is for a much bigger productivity, a Swiss watch is for pleasure of your eyes only. Therefore, you will keep your Apple Watch for 2 years and your Swiss watch for decades. A cheap piece of technology will never replace a piece of art, even if you put that cheap technology into a golden box.

    "And, the comment about "watches... being timeless", ... I appreciate your verve for the watch industry. It reminds us of a threatened era, and how people hate to let go."

    This a comment coming from a person who has never owned an expensive watch and who does not understand why anyone would buy one. Therefore, you are a perfect client for Apple, but you would have never been a client of a luxury watch maker.

    You obviously do not understand that you are comparing completely different markets, that do not even interact with each other and that face completely different demand curves.

    It is like comparing a Ferrari to a Honda. Yes, Hondas sell well, they are more easy to drive, easier to park, less expensive and have a way better productivity with their bigger space. But they do not compete against each other as their clients are way too different. Even a $200k Honda would not be appealing, as it is still a Honda. Perhaps a Ferrari owner would buy a Honda for an everyday use, but he would never give-up his Ferrari for a Honda. That is the difference that you do not understand.

    Rolex owners might buy an Apple Watch, but they would not replace a Rolex by an Apple Watch. People who buy Apple Watches are either people who had a regular cheap watch, or people who have never owned a watch before. Therefore, there is no direct competition with the luxury markets.

    I shorted Swatch Group because Apple will eat everyone's lunch, but it will have to work extremely hard to be able to compete against luxury watch makers as it will need to gain an outstanding handcraft and prestige. Marketing alone will not bring Apple that.
    Jun 2, 2015. 05:59 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    Reel Ken,

    "extremely low salaries for executives ... in the 50k-60k range."

    Right... Extremely low indeed. Good thing that they are charitable enough to accept such a low "compensation".

    But nevertheless, congratulations for working for free. Very few people would do that. I would have been even more admirative if you would not have brought up your positions in your former comment. Sounds a little bit ostentatious to be honest. A lot of my friends own charity associations and foundations, but unfortunately I must say that it is never about helping people and it is not their intention whatsoever.

    I always feel that talking about my own donations and voluntary work always removes the uninterested and altruistic image of the gesture. It simply shows that you did it for yourself and not for others. As it is written in Talmud - Give and forget immediately, receive and remember forever.

    "Yes I have children. One died at a young age .. thank you for bringing it up. You're my "hero"."

    Sorry to hear that.

    "They are "E.F.Hutton" they earned their money the hard way ..."

    Well I do not understand why you came up with "money needs to be earned in order to be appreciated" in the context of leaving your fortune to your children. But it is your money, your kids and your business. Personally, I have a completely different point of view, as I work as much as I can in order to leave them as much as possible.

    "Yep, I enjoy my yacht and could buy a helicopter if I ever felt the need to impress someone. Instead, I do the things I enjoy, don't chase after money for money's sake and live a good life. No complaints."

    Well good for you! As if a yacht was not impressive enough already, hehe.

    "Maybe if you took more after me , you wouldn't come across so angry, belligerent or up-tight."

    Well, people rarely change. Everyone has his own background that explains who we are. The fact that we talk through Internet obviously distorts the real meaning of our comments, as I did not mean to be agressive towards you.

    Unfortunately I have seen so much cynicism and hypocrisy in the world of charity. When executives from Unisef, Red Cross, WWF, Greenpeace and other less known European organisations come to my office in Luxembourg, with Bentleys and Rolls Royces belonging to their respective associations, so that I could manage their wealth or optimise their taxes, it simply shocks me. There is absolutely nothing altruistic in their intentions and they do it only for the money.

    Personally, I prefer to seem like a misanthrope to others, but to do my share in this world, instead of pretending to be a saint while earning money on people's misery. Thats is why I have a systematic aversion towards people who talk about their charitable deeds or who work in charity. The simple concept of "wage" in charity makes me uncomfortable, even though I understand that some employees actually do not have no other sources of revenue.

    I am glad to see that there are still some exceptions like yourself.
    Jun 2, 2015. 04:28 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 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
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