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  • Don't Watch CNBC [View article]
    It's hard for anybody to argue the following against the central tenet espoused in this column; that CNBC gives viewers a trading advantage and/or serves a valuable public service.

    For most of us on seekingalpha, it goes without saying that CNBC broadcasts their scheduled programming to a global audience, and by the time you hear them pick up on a story - that story has already effected the markets.

    A more accusatory argument, and also my personal opinion, is that CNBC relies on online brokers and other agents advertising dollars to operate. Those businesses make money on trading frequency rather than profits. They also are in a powerful position where they can reach hundreds of millions of homes around the globe, and seem to have utilized that luxury to deliberately spread dis-information about how and why the market moves - on both intra-day and long-term basises.

    They do this because if you are an trading company on Wall Street, you likely make the bulk of your money by profiting from others transaction costs. They get what spills out of your cup everytime you fill up. Those "collection agencies" reside where the real money is made and where the real influence lies.

    Many Wall Streeters don't know any more than you or I, and likely much less, about analyzing financial statements and dealing with risk management and risk/reward. That is not their business for the most part. They are not better traders than you or I, but merely the beneficiaries of our fear and greed surrounding money and our propensity towards taking an action - any action - to appease our emotional state.

    CNBC begins their market-hours broadcast right off the trading floor of the NYSE. They end it right there too. Right in the middle of Wall Street. Right in the Middle of the private trading firms, the investment banks, and all the enormously wealthy money changers/handlers of the modern age. Their incentivized to create more transactions, and you are their target.

    Buy Monday and Sell Thursday. Buy Thursday and Sell Monday. It doesn't matter what's going on. It doesn't matter what you are buying or what you are selling or whether you are making money or not. It doesn't matter what the market does. The goal is to keep you trading, to keep you from investing for the long term.

    CNBC as a collective organization was unaware of and powerless against the recent market crash, although to be fair many of the more intelligent inside the company likely agreed with "The Economist" magazine which often argued in 2007 that most asset values were overpriced globally. The important thing is not to harp on them for helping cause a crash or deepen it - asthey most certainly didn't cause it.

    Rather, it is their indefensible new catchprase they can't stop agreeing on that "Buy and Hold investing is dead." In this kind of environment, where everything is cheaper than it was before and therefore is - with hindsight's clarity - a much better buy and hold than before.

    Yes, if you can avoid watching CNBC, I'd recommend it. You could find yourself saving time and money. There is also a large, though subtle, opportunity cost to watching the network,especially in light of their existing at this moment many attractively priced small, mid, and large-caps out there.

    Think about sectors you think have strong still have growth potential, or sectors you think have been unfairly punished. Then analyze a few companies in them and find ones with a strong balance sheet that illustrates both a strong margin of safety (high percentage of tangible assets and or only cash vs. current market valuation) and growth potential. Those companies are out there and you can find them if you put in the time.
    Mar 15, 2009. 06:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Notable earnings before Thursday's open: SFD, SOL  [View news story]
    What about (Ocean Power Technologies) OPTT!

    It will be interesting to see the progress on their power-buoy system and hear whether they have started designing the 500MW powerbuoy.

    We should hear about that tomorrow on the conference call.

    Mar 12, 2009. 01:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "In less than two months, the hopeful enthusiasm that welcomed the Obama administration has given way to growing worry and frustration. I find myself wringing my hands, not over the goals President Obama has set but over the ineffectual ways the administration has pursued them." (WaPo)  [View news story]
    What surprises me most is that Obama actually seems intent to come through on some of his campaign promises. If Obama branded himself a man of "change", coming through with real political action post-election on populist driven political rhetoric microphoned to the masses during the election; this appears to me to be change.

    Whether America's wealthy elite excused their opulence to the detriment of the other 98% or whether we truly need an elite class to "raise the tide" and "lift all ships" remains to be seen. I, personally, don't feel that we've had an executive department that combined intellectually brilliance with ethical concern for quite some time. I've only lived 26 years, so my fully-informed knowledge on the previous statement is specious at best, but I'm sure the majority of you who lived a few more years than me will agree.

    Nobody should rightfully expect Obama's vision to have been a success by early March, so let's give him ample time to see if his team can improve upon Bush's 8 miserable years of knee-jerk political theatre.

    I'm on the fence for now and am more curious than furious.
    Mar 12, 2009. 01:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Where Is That Mythical Housing Bottom? [View article]
    One caveat to GoMyLittleSheep's argument is that if you paid more for your house, you are also making higher monthly payments, thus making you more dependent on the income-stream that you had when you applied for the mortgage.

    For many individuals, because they paid such a steep price for their house, they can not afford even merely one small financial setback because it will cause them to fall behind on their pay schedule.

    In this environment, it's hard for people invest for the next 30 years and buy up all the excess inventory (which as of now is at a record high, ~13 months supply), causing the potential problem of housing staying at low prices due to large supply and, at best, average demand while more and more of those who suffer a financial setback are forced to sell their home due to foreclosure.
    Mar 11, 2009. 12:50 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Goldman Sachs Is Toast [View article]
    Check out this guy's blog. There is a link provided under his photo at the top left of the page, www.dormroomderivative.../.

    Are people paying him to be a professional negative indicator? No offense, brother, but your skill in markets, if applied to chess, would leave you open for a 4 move checkmate.
    Mar 10, 2009. 11:50 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Goldman Sachs Is Toast [View article]

    Thanks for the further clarification on the $122,000,000.00 dollar cash holdings.

    If what you are saying is true, this 19 year old blogger from Michigan will be quite wrong as time unfolds.

    Mar 10, 2009. 06:52 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Goldman Sachs Is Toast [View article]
    I'll take the opposite side of that bet anyday.

    Goldman has $122 billion in cash, which I believe is still considered a tangible asset. Are you sure that they are 23x overleveraged?

    It appears to me they have significantly more room for error than either Bank of America (BAC) or Citigroup (C). I'd imagine some financial companies are going to remain standing when this is all said and done, and I see few mega-institutions left standing as cash rich as Goldman.

    I'm more of a micro-cap hunter than a institutional bank analyzer, so correct me where I'm wrong. Perhaps my arguments are too simple.

    Mar 10, 2009. 05:53 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • VIX Suggests Changes in Selling Behavior [View article]
    Are you guys all sleeping? The market will all do what nobody is expecting it to.

    The next move is going to be a short squeeze of historic proportions, for not other reason than the market is over-shorted.

    Nobody is saying it, that is exactly why it is going to happen.

    Mar 7, 2009. 05:00 AM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fannie Mae (FNM) tests a new idea to reduce foreclosures: allowing homeowners to short sell their houses at less than the outstanding loan value, and forgiving the difference. FNM would set the minimum price it's willing to accept.  [View news story]
    Who would be the buyer of these short sales?
    Jan 9, 2009. 01:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investor Sentiment and Market Returns: Now's the Time to Be Bold [View article]
    Money is being printed with rapidity to increase "liquidity".

    Who's fearful it's going to end up in Joe Sixpack's pocket? Not I.

    Who thinks it is going to end locked in commodities sending them to levels that cause commodity prices to fall sharply on their own weight, while destroying economic growth? Not I.

    Who think it's going to end up in companies that are innovating and creating new efficiencies (alternative energy, distribution technology) instead of just extracting stuff from the earth? I do.

    Stocks are going to rise from here - especially China Stocks.

    Buy EFUT, WX, XFML now, and you'll be sitting pretty in 10 years.
    Mar 28, 2008. 11:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bear Stearns: 'Remain Calm! All Is Well!' [View article]
    Would you stop it already, Tony?
    Mar 17, 2008. 07:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Recommendations to Defend Against a Financial Armageddon [View article]
    In many sectors, stocks are not subject to future writedowns, but many of these stocks are trading at or below book value. Although I am extremely bearish on financials in the short-term, I think many stocks, such as the companies more logically independent from consumer spending, with PEGs of .1-.2 are quite attractive.

    I own a company right now with 24 million in assets which is trading for 14 million today. After writing off their unprofitable operations, they earned 800K after tax last quarter alone. With a real PE of 4 trading at 40% lower than book value, there is plenty of room to absorb an economic slowdown.

    From a pure valuation standpoint, many companies are cheap right now. As more cash is injected into the system, that cash is likely to fall somewhere - and I doubt it will continue to be buying commodities unsustainably or a rush to lower 2-month treasury yields to under 1%.

    Correct me where I fail in understanding...
    Mar 17, 2008. 07:39 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tongjitang Chinese Medicines: Finding Value in China [View article]
    Tongjitang has over 110 million in cash. 797.x Yuan.
    Mar 17, 2008. 07:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "A Whiff of Panic..." [View article]

    Pardon my ignorance. I have one last question.

    Don't you think investments banks, for the sake of the broader economy, should start going back to their roots and doing more banking and less investing?

    It's been mentioned that if the Fed Rate is considerably higher than the market rate for bonds, that banks would rather park their money in government bonds instead of take unnecessary lending risk at a lower return.

    I am a believer that the international market panic we noticed early this week was a result of western institutions bailing to provide immediate liquidity to stay solvent. After all, there is no more liquid asset, other than cash, than equities.

    How I'd approach the market:

    If I had any free cash after buying some OPTT and TCM, I'd be an aggressive buyer of Asian ETFS or Precious Metal Miners. GFI, perhaps?

    What about you?


    Jan 22, 2008. 04:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "A Whiff of Panic..." [View article]

    Do you think this portends to more aggressive rate cuts? If so, I think gold/international equity markets are safe havens from the US government printing press.

    Also, do you think these numbers may be the reason we're seeing heavy selling on international markets. I see from the published spreads that individual Thai and Indian investors (among others) have been accumulating in the SET and SENSEX, while international holders (likely large banks) of foreign stocks are bailing - perhaps only for liquidity purposes.

    Don't you think this is a reason for buying at these levels? The depressed prices have nothing to do with valuation reasoning.
    Jan 22, 2008. 02:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment