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  • IBM: We've Been Here Before, And It's The Moment Buyers Get Rich [View article]
    IBM is not the IBM of the past.
    Core competency is sacrificed for less competent but much less expensive engineers from India and other third world countries, to make unsustainable short term profit gains, often to support bloated bureaucracy throughout the Company. Understandably, morale and motivation of highly competent and once loyal employees erode, especially as they are required to train their replacements, prior to being let go. The article does not address what happens to a once great company when it gives short shrift to its underlying strength. Look no further than HP.
    Oct 20, 2013. 02:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Following a brief rebound at the open today, health insurance stocks resume their downward trajectory on the back of yesterday's Supreme Court decision: UnitedHealth (UNH -2.5%), WellPoint (WLP -3.2%), Aetna (AET -3%), HealthNet (HNT -0.7%) and Coventry Health Care (CVH -2%).  [View news story]
    We have the costliest and least effective Federal Government Administration of any large nation in the world. We're at or near near the bottom and liberals are uniformly in denial of that reality. And they want this Government to run Health Care?
    Why is US health care so expensive?
    For starters, by law, it cannot be sold across state lines. How smart is that?
    Second, the bumbling bureaucrats who run Medicare practically invite foxes into their hen houses 24/7; we taxpayers are ripped off daily and the Feds can't or don't know how to stop it.
    Third, we have no effective tort control; outrageous awards by bleeding heart juries have driven many good OB/GYNS, Anesthesiologists and Surgeons out of their businesses. Trial lawyers get filthy rich but nary a single liberal politician has spoken out against this obscenity. Insurance companies pass on the cost of irrational litigation awards in high mal practice premiums to the medical community. The Docs then either raise their fees or, in many cases, quit.
    Why do you think mid wives are found more often in hospitals, clinics and medical facilities throughout the country? Why are Physician Assistants now performing surgeries that, a few years ago, could only have been done by licensed surgeons? Follow the money and the truth emerges.
    I could list dozens of other facts, but those who are reasonably familiar with the health care systems in the US know the truth better than those who look at the smaller picture.
    I will wager that this dumb and dumber administration has never given a collective thought to promoting medical education to meet the demand of this ill conceivd law. Instead, they toss money at the Solyndras, instead of supporting education programs beginning in elementary school, to increase our supply of engineers, scientists and yes, MDs. What has this Administration accomplished? Nothing except to push through a law that none of them had read, few of us want, and shove it down the throats of American tax payers. The solution to this and our other pressing national issues is vote the bums out and start over with a program that makes sense. Ryan's is an order of magnitude more rational and certainly more affordable.
    Jun 30, 2012. 02:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Starbucks (SBUX -0.2%) has been outed in New York City where a stealth store inside a Macy's location sells beer and wine without displaying the trademark mermaid logo and limited menu. As more branded Starbucks stores pop up unannounced around the country, the company will get a better idea how beer and wine fits into its future.  [View news story]
    Smart move.
    May 24, 2012. 02:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Sells A 2 Headed Vision [View article]
    Your article and replies to the naysayers make extraordinary sense and show your even better sense of humor in that order. Apple is, in my opinion, the soundest of all technology companies in the world, and will remain so as long as it continues to develop and sell new innovative and elegant products that are better than those that preceded them. In addition to an excellent CEO and Chief Designer,they also have a world class engineering staff, marketing genius, highly motivated, enthusiastic employees, and tremendous amounts of ready cash to take advantage of opportunities, you have a company that is geared for continued success. And you cannot overlook the growing number of customers world wide who are almost fanatically loyal to the brand. What's not to like? The truth emerges in the numbers and those who give them short shrift do so at their peril.
    May 24, 2012. 01:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Under The Hood Of Mortgage REIT American Capital Agency Corp. [View article]
    I have bought both AGNC and NLY on routine pull backs immediately or shortly after dividends are paid and have never regretted those purchases. I have owned NLY for 15 years (through many ups and downs in the value of the stock) and AGNC for four. As long as interest rates remain low, the risk to reward ratio for both mREITs is heavily in favor of the long term investor. I respect the investment strategies and quality of both management teams. I own 6,300 NLY and 4,500 AGNC shares at present and have maxed out my allocation to mREITs. All but 100 AGNC shares are held in an IRA, so the ordinary income tax on dividends is not an issue.
    Although reinvesting the mREIT dividends may be a sound strategy, I have chosen to diversify by investing the quarterly dividends equally in VZ, KO and WFC, thus dollar cost averaging into those blue chips.
    Like all other high yield securities, there are associated risks with mREITs that an astute investor must recognize and monitor. In my opinion, prepayment risk is not as important, although related to, the underlying economic dynamics that affect prevailing interest rates in general. Both firms make money on arbitrage, the spread between their cost of money (including leverage) and rate of return they receive. When interest rates start to rise, income and price will start to decline. Nothing is a sure thing forever.
    One must always diversify and limit exposure, not only to individual securities, but to sectors as well. I hope this ideas may help those of you who have recently been attracted to these securities, primarily because of yields.
    May 22, 2012. 01:46 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Slingshot In Full Effect [View article]
    Ignore him, he makes no sense.
    May 6, 2012. 02:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Annals Of Ridiculous Exec Comp: A $12 Million Howard Schultz 'Retention Bonus' [View article]
    Why pick on one of the most successful business people in our life time? I, as many other investors, have prospered by owning the stock of the company he built. Not only that, but he returned to rescue the company when it was in danger of sinking into the abyss. Just as Steve Jobs did when the likes of Sculley and Amelio were mismanaging Apple. I
    s it worth $12 M to keep him aboard, for whatever reason? Hell yes!. Do I begrudge his success or, as a share holder, his very handsome rewards? Of course not.
    If you want to slam executive compensation abuse why not go after the multitude of irresponsible CEOs (e.g., Corzine ) who have destroyed wealth and cashed in while they did it? They deserve derision, not those who have built wealth and are still growing income and adding jobs.
    And while you're at it, why not condemn those people who ravaged our hard earned tax payer cash - starting with Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and the current CEO of the USA, just for starters?
    I'll take Howard Schultz, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs and their ilk over the real bums and crooks any day.
    May 6, 2012. 02:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL) says it will hold a conference call tomorrow at 9AM ET to discuss its plans for its massive cash balance, which is likely above $100B at this point. Remarks from Tim Cook about how Apple is discussing uses for its cash, as well as other hints, has led to fervent speculation that a dividend and/or buyback will soon be announced.  [View news story]
    I don't know what the Apple board will do, nor do I know what they should do. I know they should not re-patriate $65 Billion held in offshore accounts and pay a 35% tax hit on those monies.
    This illustrates, to me at least. the utter stupidity of IRS regulations that penalize American companies severely for bringing money back to the USA where it could be put to use productively for the benefit of all stake holders in the Company, ultimately including the USG. .But then, this Administration collectively has the economic acumen of the average first grade kid, so I expect that no matter what Apple does, the tax code limits and thus prohibits the best use of the funds. And as share holders, folks, that's our money.
    Mar 18, 2012. 09:13 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Saying Apple (AAPL) has reached the "trading toy stage," Robert Sinn reminds of the track record of other stocks that have recently garnered the public imagination - it's not good. "Volume and volatility create action, excitement, and opportunity. However, the action we are currently witnessing in Apple is not healthy."  [View news story]
    I absolutely do not think that Apple is over valued.
    However, all securities are subject to market risk, no stock has ever experienced a pure linear run to its apogee. Apple has had days when the share value retreated with the broader market in the run from near bankruptcy, when Steve Jobs returned as a "consultant" until the explosion of the past year.
    I'm not sure how you define a correction. But a pull back in the 5% - 10% range is not unprecedented. If it were to do that, I would use the "correction" as a buying opportunity.
    Assume you accept a 5% - 10% drop as a correction. If so, it could come any time, not only for business reasons, but for an unexpected event or a general market retraction or any other phenomenon your imagination can drum up.
    The old cliche is greed and/or fear trump logic when in near term stock valuation.
    In the long run, true value can always be found in the numbers. (Sales, revenue growth, margin, cash flow, etc.)
    Mar 14, 2012. 06:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Saying Apple (AAPL) has reached the "trading toy stage," Robert Sinn reminds of the track record of other stocks that have recently garnered the public imagination - it's not good. "Volume and volatility create action, excitement, and opportunity. However, the action we are currently witnessing in Apple is not healthy."  [View news story]
    I believe Apple's current and projected sales, profits, sound management, strong bench, pipeline of attractive products, incredible cash reserve, commitment to excellence in design & function, R & D, PE, PR etc. justify the PV.
    To me, they suggest a run to $700 over the next 12 months, barring, war, tsunami or such cataclysmic global event(s).
    I also expect the stock will occasionally pull back a bit now an then on that run. I have no idea what the upper limit on the stock might be in years to come, but like other once bright gems, it could slowly lose its luster over time..
    At present value, a wise investor either has profit protection in options or stop limits in place, IMHO
    Mar 14, 2012. 04:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Earth To Fed: MetLife Is Not A Bank [View article]
    Retired USAF, TRW retiree, AMP retiree
    Mar 14, 2012. 03:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Earth To Fed: MetLife Is Not A Bank [View article]
    Looking for a rational action by the Fed relating to a real business is akin to looking for the NY Times to recommend Rush Limbaugh for the Pulitzer.
    Mar 14, 2012. 03:03 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Options Traders: Beware Of 'Special' Dividends [View article]
    Recently retired Financial Planning Franchise owner, long time TRW Inc. retiree, USAF Officer (retired), skier, runner, golfer, writer, married, wife is life long best friend.
    Mar 1, 2012. 08:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Options Traders: Beware Of 'Special' Dividends [View article]
    As a long term investor, not a trader, I'd much rather that Apple invest the money to generate more products/income, either organically or by acquisition. I think the pay off would be much greater in the long run by increasing share value than by giving the profit pool away. I would also have a little better control of the tax implications by identifying specific shares to be sold and I determine when I want to sell.
    Mar 1, 2012. 08:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple A $17,000 Stock? [View article]
    The enormous amount of cash/cash equivalents Apple has on hand, both in absolute terms and in relationship to that held (as a percentage of assets) by other companies mentioned doesn't seem to be factored into the data presented by the authors in arriving at a rational per share value, or in the many posts above.
    I wonder why not.
    Seems to me that Apple has a great opportunity to put much of it to work to create additional shareholder's value; and Tim Cook's Mama didn't raise any dumb kids.
    Aside from the numbers, I believe the "Apple experience" will continue to convert users to their products at an accelerating rate. I'm a late convert, and like many of my colleagues, once having tried it, I will probably never go back. If you don't "get it," try it for a week or two. You'll see.
    Feb 15, 2012. 08:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment