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  • The Interpretation Of The Earnings And Price Correlated F.A.S.T. Graphs™ Made Simple [View instapost]
    When I like something, I repeat my endorsements. Hence, I'm doing so again here.

    I love Fast Graphs. They help me identify potential alpha. Efficiently and quickly. I then review in more detail cash flow, balance sheets, and relevant markets. Hence, Fast Graphs is a complementary but decisive tool in my value investing endeavors.

    Again, I emphasize the time savings. There's a reason we colloquially say "time is money". Last but not least, and speaking of money at that...Fast Graphs is a bargain.
    Aug 25 02:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wells Fargo next? Kovacevich blasts BofA settlement [View news story]

    I've posted before about the key factors the caused the perfect financial storm that crashed the economy of 2008. I've consistently noted the main actors: government, the fed, wall street, and main street. We did it together.

    However, as stated, I reserve a special contempt for government. Again, due to voter apathy and ignorance, main street lets minority votes all too often repeal things like Glass-Steagall and allow for activism that, for example, diminishes lending standards. Irresponsible behavior is rewarded.

    The salient point remains that in the aftermath a minority of innocent shareholders are being punished. Nothing you said detracts from this. Especially your comment about growing dividends implying something illicit.

    The icing on the cake is you absolving gamblers as victims, asserting that banks pushed risky mortgages on them. Please. I live in San Francisco. I was routinely outbid by folks who were not putting much down. Never mind what I was seeing in other markets. The buyers in nearly all my exchanges were irrationally exuberant about new real estate rules and growth. They were suddenly as expert in real estate as they were on stocks during dot com...but betraying the same ignorance about cash flow, balance sheets, interest amortization, ROI, and assessment of value.

    As I explained, I stuck to my guns in holding out with 25% down, funding a mortgage that was 1/4 of my take home pay. Sure, I made an exception in buying BAC stock, as normally I'm a value investor. It's my worst performer. I only hold it as a grim reminder to invest more intelligently.

    It's also now a continuous reminder of the hypocrisy of our government and modern society. To come full circle, I'm now specially being punished as a shareholder...beyond my deserved punishment for my risk in BAC by the collapse of its stock. By a government that essentially set the rules for a game of last fool standing in a crash that rivaled 1929.

    Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't say that I have my doubts that you were a BAC shareholder. You almost take a certain glee in this judgement against BAC. You go to some lengths to build a case against BAC and shareholders, albeit logically fallacious. You even claim it's alleged wrongs could have been seen by shareholders.

    Yet you were a shareholder? Forgive me for my negative speculation. But all too often in these kinds of chats, folks push their partisan biases. That's how you come off to me...making this about those bad banks, their 1% executives, and us greedy investors in the stock market.

    I speculated in BAC. I paid. $50 down to $5. I doubled down at $8 and am overall down 13%. As I keep saying, I paid the set by the rules.

    Don't hit me again. That's all. Especially as a means of wealth redistribution. That's what my taxes are for. Which I am willing to pay a higher amount on in order to help us keep recovering from the crash of 2008.

    All the best.
    Aug 24 11:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wells Fargo next? Kovacevich blasts BofA settlement [View news story]

    There are laws for what you're vaguely discussing. In particular, Glass-Steagall before it was systematically diminished was in place to avoid passing risk to commercial banks. Moreover, there remain SEC laws about misrepresentation of market instruments and fraud.

    Government played a key role in all of this. They diminished Glass-Steagall. They coerced diminished lending standards. They didn't oppose Greenspan and his ill advised cheap money issuing. And main street certainly did their part in running up real estate on extreme leverage.

    Apply the law in this case. At least in terms of strict criminality. Again, I see no justice in effectively seizing wealth from shareholders, whom might have been morally innocent in all of this.

    I'm a BAC share holder. But I paid 25% down for a nice home. I never missed a payment. I bought only what I could afford. I endured the crash. Now why hurt my interests like this?

    What could I have done to prevent BAC from buying Countrywide? I was to review internal accounting and balance sheets? Come on.

    If you are an investor, you would know that it's impossible to read and discern every board ballot. Never mind understand all of them. And as I discussed, this topic is beyond what normal shareholder-proxy voting dynamics could have reasonably handled.
    Aug 23 10:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett's IBM Stake Surpasses 7% With Strong Upside To Fair Value [View article]
    Companies like SalesForce will have their day of reckoning. Eventually price will track earnings. As implied, no, I don't believe SalesForce has a credible excuse of trading profits for innovative investment. I'd even say they are acquiring their way into growth, at a loss of course...whilst IBM gets dinged for acquisitions that grow and make a profit in their respective business areas.

    As I said, we'll see what happens in the next 3 - 5 years. Let's see where SalesForce winds up, versus companies like IBM, SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft.

    I am sure you all heard of Microsoft. That's the company that Benioff mentioned on Mad Money last night. He in not so many words said Microsoft building products on the SalesForce cloud.

    Lucky that Microsoft finally has access to a cloud!

    Aug 22 12:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett's IBM Stake Surpasses 7% With Strong Upside To Fair Value [View article]

    And on some days you would have lost more money in 1 day with SalesForce, as opposed to holding onto IBM for the year.


    It's the long range future that matters. Not day to day or month to month trading. Let's see in the next 3 - 5 years. I have a high confidence factor my IBM returns will beat the S&P500.

    I am not sure SalesForce will be around independently by then.
    Aug 22 11:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • GT Advanced Technologies: Philip A. Fisher's 15-Point Analysis [View article]

    I liken GTAT to any emergent company that one actually believes in. For me, it's similar to having taken a stake in Microsoft or Google early on. With perhaps more volatility, given that industrial companies aren't glamorized by wall street as are technology companies.

    But I nevertheless expect GTAT to emerge into an industrial/materials/t... winner over time. As it continues to meet guidance for a few quarters, wall street will increasingly embrace, pump, and make it a growth play. Those of us whom have staked and held early positions will be very well rewarded.

    I'm up ~100% on a $27k basis over a total of 2 years. 3050 shares at a $9.09 average price/share. I've absolutely resisted the impulse to sell.

    I've had the opposite problem. In spite of some good advice, especially on selling naked options, I've resisted the impulse to buy. Twice we've hit around $13 - $14 in the past few months. I really should have put in more.

    Nonetheless, as the story and growth builds, I'll overweight. Like you, I don't want to too concentrated. But I think GTAT will be worth taking a bigger gamble here.

    As always, fingers crossed. And all the best.
    Aug 22 11:30 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wells Fargo next? Kovacevich blasts BofA settlement [View news story]
    We live in a great country. There is still a lot of opportunity. However, as these bullet points illustrate, there is a lot of random corruption. In this case, it is simply immense, given the dollar amounts.

    In this case, the letter of the law is being abused to flout the spirit of the law. As usual, ad-hoc parochial interests, delivered with a class warfare populist edge, trump genuine concern for the commonweal. This is yet again a punitive measure against savers, investors, and folks who generally did the right thing.

    I'm an avid capitalist. But I also have a social conscience. I have no problem paying higher taxes and assisting those in need. But let's be fair in how we tax and redistribute.

    The crash of 2008 was collective: government, main street, wall street, and the fed. All of these factored in the repeal of Glass-Steagall, diminishing lending standards, cheap money, and abusing debt to speculate wildly in housing. We did it together.

    But I have to say, I have a special contempt for government. More than any other player, it did the most damage. It allowed the other parties opportunities to be economically abusive. It could have used its considerable power to properly regulate, tune, and intervene.

    It's for me the epitome of hypocrisy for government now to go after banks. Especially banks that merged or acquired offenders. Go after those who actually committed opposed to siphoning wealth off what politicians see as cash cows to fund their pandering schemes.

    Again, don't get me wrong. I love my country. But for the love of sanity, can't our governments find a way to optimize spending and stay within budgets? Mitigating the need for excessive and unfair wealth redistribution.

    Sure. Take some wealth from me and redistribute. I get that this is social contract. But it gets irritating when its abused.
    Aug 21 02:22 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire Ups Their Bet On Chicago Bridge & Iron [View article]

    Thank goodness for aberrations caused by shorts! I got in at $68.90 4 weeks ago. I doubled down last week at $59. I'm now only down 2.61%...on a very undervalued an industry with strong a time when the S&P500 is a bit over valued.

    Fingers crossed.
    Aug 20 04:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett's IBM Stake Surpasses 7% With Strong Upside To Fair Value [View article]

    MSFT experienced both revenue and earnings declines. A bar chart from WikiInvest shows a general decline from 2008 - 2011. Again, it depends what time frame one is looking at.

    To be sure, IBM has had issues since 2011. And it is indeed a point of current concern. But for me, it is similar enough to what MSFT faced in 2008, even if the crash gave MSFT more of an excuse.

    I'm still betting IBM has in its DNA the ability to turn things around. They still have massive cash flow, great R&D, channel, and are addressing internal structural issues.

    Let's see.
    Aug 20 02:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GT Advanced Technologies' Merlin: The Formation Of A Giant In 2015 And Beyond [View article]
    Once again, another super and informative piece of analysis from Matt. His research has been instrumental in convincing me to take what is for me a significant speculative stake in GTAT. He patiently and genuinely discussed my queries, ever since we met on the GTAT Yahoo finance board.

    We may not agree on all the specifics, especially timing. But I absolutely agree with his general deductive analysis. Namely, that if sapphire and solar markets materialize and favor GTAT, this is a serious multiple bagger. The odds keep getting better here, as events corroborate the deductive predictions.

    This might prove to be my most lucrative investing adventure. I'm already up 125% or so on a $27k basis. My family & I have to give Matt a lot of thanks here...and we'll surely remember it when the day of fortune really comes. I'm hoping a bunch of us can even meet up one day.

    I know it sounds trite. But we live in a great country. SA is a great resource & opportunity. So are the vast number of authors and posters offering exceptional, cutting edge advice, criticisms, and tips.

    Like I said, it's sure helped my fortunes. All the best folks. Fingers crossed for success here.
    Aug 20 12:50 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett's IBM Stake Surpasses 7% With Strong Upside To Fair Value [View article]

    I remember you citing XOM as under performing the S&P500 when it was cheap on 1/1/2008. Well, IBM has out performed the index in the same time. Not much to be gleaned here.

    However, as I showed you in my MSFT example, a company with a good history of growth and earnings is a good bet when it becomes undervalued. MSFT has significantly outpaced the S&P500 since 8-May-2006, when I bought in. Many of the same criticisms leveled against MSFT are being leveled against IBM.

    Obviously there are differences as well. And certainly nobody has a crystal ball. But I'm confident that the same type of analysis that led me to success with MSFT will materialize with IBM, over due time. I definitely believe I will outpace the S&P500 here in the next 3 - 5 years. Here is my current IBM investment:

    date shares total price $/share
    17-Oct-2013 30 $5,233.68 $174.46 basis
    10-Dec-2013 0.16 $28.50 $177.02 div
    10-Mar-2014 0.15 $28.65 $187.25 div
    22-May-2014 30 $5,600.05 $186.39 basis
    10-Jun-2014 0.18 $33.35 $185.00 div

    total gain: 6.04%
    CAGR: 11.51%
    S&P500 total gain: 18.68%
    S&P500 total gain: 9.71%

    This isn't too bad a losing gap. But the S&P500 is over valued. IBM isn't. We'll see in the next 3 years.
    Aug 20 11:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett's IBM Stake Surpasses 7% With Strong Upside To Fair Value [View article]

    It's all good man.

    It is what it is. Again, for me it's about attracting, retaining, and enabling the best and brightest. To a good degree, as we both agree, this has been degraded due to some combination of financial engineering and structural issues.

    I saw recognition of this and glimmers of change in my last 3 months. From the top. I'm hinging my hopes on this.

    Fingers crossed.
    Aug 19 07:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett's IBM Stake Surpasses 7% With Strong Upside To Fair Value [View article]

    You're trolling, but I'll bite.

    You can check my past posts where I "genuinely" discuss management and employee morale issues at IBM. It's not a malevolence issue, but rather one of largesse, scale, inertia, and, yes, financial engineering...and is being actively addressed.

    I worked for IBM for 2 years through an acquisition. I left last year. Suffice it to say, The pay, benefits, and bonuses were outstanding on an absolute scale. That is, if you seek and do something of value.

    The issue for me was that relatively speaking, there were better opportunities in Silicon Valley. Especially if you want to take bottom up initiative in product development, sales, and marketing. Moreover, many Silicon Valley companies have clear persona, a mission, a sense of being part of a positive endeavor.

    Being an IBMer didn't have that magic. Niggling cost cutting grated. Like 401k matches being paid at the end of the year and only if you were employed. No free food and drinks, never mind off site morale trips...which always are nice.

    In many ways, it's a mess. But it's 2 ways. A good % of employees have been allowed to coast. They don't have modern skill sets. Middle management is too bloated and restrictive. Now the mess has to be cleaned up.

    Again, it's not a product of malevolence. And it's being addressed. I believe it will turn around.

    I can attest to 1 thing: IBM still retains legions of top talent. Like I said, read my past posts for more details. I have to believe management will do the right thing in rewarding, retaining, and enabling that considerable talent...which the have lots of latitude to do, given their enormous cash flow and strong balance sheets.

    This morale issue for me is the #1 threat to IBM. As is obvious, I'm betting it will be solved. All the best.
    Aug 19 01:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Implosion Is Near: Signs Of The Bubble's Last Days [View article]
    This thread really has devolved into being anything but being about economics and investing. Partisan demagoguery and voodoo economics just have to rear themselves. Must everything come down to identity affiliation?

    Even when we're discussing the best ways to make money?
    Aug 19 12:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Corning: A Takeover/Activist Investor Target And A Gorilla Glass Innovation [View article]
    The current GLW valuation is a bit excessive in my mind. I've enjoyed a very strong run up. But I wonder if it's going to hit a languishing, sideways phase for a while.

    In particular, I'm mulling selling some GLW to buy GTAT.

    GLW is a great company. I believe they will stand the test of time. But I'm unsure as to how much growth there is in the next 3 - 5 years. I'm at a bit of crossroads with GLW right now.
    Aug 19 11:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment