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  • Bank of America (BAC) says it is getting out of the reverse mortgage business so it can focus on its main mortgage operations (PR), and creates a new unit to clean up its 1.3M delinquent mortgage loans (PR). BAC +0.7% AH.  [View news story]

    BAC created a Legacy Assets division to work on Foreclosures. What I found shocking was that it will employ 30,000 people.

    I wonder if they still think Countrywide was a steal?
    Feb 4 07:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Stocks Reaching a Major Top? [View article]
    It is an interesting time to invest. I tend to remain fully invested unless I see a game changer.

    It is time to take profits to pay off debts.

    I do think QE has its limits and by mid March those limits will have been reached.

    Natural Resources have been very frothy lately. Reminiscent of a top off

    Early cycle indicators have risen and mid cycle indicators show spark

    Probably move 20% out of market by mid March. Other than that I will likely look to lower my beta for the summer.

    I do think the investor who sells will find a profitable time to buy ahead. Most of them will miss it however because scary thoughts drive markets down. It is harder to invest with scary thoughts in the background.
    Feb 3 10:04 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips: A Dividend Stock With Earnings Growth [View article]
    As a COP shareholder I am a big fan. Management estimates big gains in earnings and revenue next year as well.

    At the same time as COP sells investments such as Lukoil and several others I am looking harder at metrics such as Cynic2011 suggests.

    It sometimes is easy investing in Natural Resources companies as they rise. It often seems like the future can only be a Mountain climb. However prices do not rise forever. Even if they do rise profits are based on the cost to produce.

    Anyway as I began buying COP in the upper $30s and then 40s and then 50s it is important to understand just what their reserves are and the estimated production costs. Getting surprised by declining reserves can be costly.

    I do believe COP is a well managed company. However I am admitting that I need to dig into a 401k.
    Feb 3 09:20 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Watching Dividends Rise: Putting Together a Focused Dividend-Growth Portfolio [View article]
    Great Article!

    I will add a few twists that I use.

    1) GE - after it crashed in 2009 I bought it with a dividend plan 5 yrs out thinking it would restore much of its dividend. It has raised it 2 times this past year. Targeting $1 from .56c 3 yrs out. I want $xxxx of future return from it.

    2) C - same plan bought shares looking at .50 dividend down the road 3 years to provide a specific amount of income

    3) JPM/USB - bought both in the past week as they are itching to restore their dividends ( possibly Apr both CEOs talking about significant increase when Gov't releases them to do so )

    4) MMM - probably will raise div in the next month, great history of div growth. Also HON

    5) ADP - currently 3% with great growth history. Also COP similar.

    6) I try to keep a focus on total return so I reduced an outsized position in T recently which reduces current return but increases dividend growth.

    7) Like some foreign Blue Chips as well such as RDS, NSRGY. Also to be diverse IBM offers a great total return and Div growth.

    My main point is you can sometimes gain by looking farther into the future than others and developing a specific plan for Dividend growth.
    Feb 1 09:48 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Barry Ritholtz is keeping 53% of his assets in cash, expecting a 5%-8% correction in coming weeks, while admitting the Fed moves set this rally apart, "making short-term calls fraught with danger." He sees the bull returning after the correction, as the third year of a presidential term "tends to be very powerful" for stocks.  [View news story]
    I dont blame Barry for moving to cash. Today did have a feel of a commodity top off event. We have come very far, very fast and commodities have ended many a fortune.

    On the other hand, anything that can be done to increase GDP and employment, is being done. In Robert Shiller's language today was the first evidence of Animal Spirits that I have witnessed.

    - It could be the beginning of a true recovery that rapidly grows GDP and employment.

    - I am hearing that Banks are starting to lend again.

    - It might be that World leaders understand that if the World doesn't speed up it might look a lot different in a year.

    I dont know the answer. What I do know is that I am not selling. Not without a good reason and a plan. Trying to time the market and move to cash isn't wise investing and usually results in losses.
    Feb 1 08:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • John Paulson's Long-Term Stock Picks [View article]
    It is interesting that Paulson made 5 Billion but his investors made 15% last year. At least that was reported on CNBC this morning.

    Many individual investors did better last year than Paulson's investors. A low cost Vanguard fund once again is hard to beat.
    Feb 1 07:35 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Abbott and Johnson & Johnson: 2 Dividend Aristocrats for Long-Term Gains [View article]
    Thanks for many excellent articles from the author.

    That said I own both stocks and recommend ABT at its current price of 45. The market is bearish on the health sector and especially on ABT.

    JNJ is a different story. A great great company with incompetent management that has lost control of product quality. From pharma products to hip replacements to over the counter products it is really quite sad how far they have fallen.

    The leadership is a threat to the company and its shareholders as they contiinue to alienate their customers. I have kept a small amount but transitioned most of my JNJ holdings to ABT.
    Jan 31 07:30 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Netflix: Dismal Owner Earnings, Priced to Plunge [View article]

    I dont suggest that NFLX is fairly valued. Only that NFLX has a business model that is capturing customers. Lots of companies are envious and suggesting they will enter the market. Every month NFLX keeps exploding!

    Glad I didn't sell short 4 months ago and then double down and triple down... If I had I might write something like the above.
    Jan 31 07:03 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apotheker's Quest for 'Coolness' the Spark HP Needs? [View article]
    It will be interesting to see how HPQ operates going forward. I was a big fan of Hurd because he made me money without surprises.

    If Leo can put a couple of non negative quarters together the stock should be worth more than a 7-8 fwd PE. Lots of investors are sitting on their hands and not ready to trust HPQ yet.

    If they do what they say they are going to do with earnings a $53 stock with 16% return could be in store at year end.
    Jan 30 09:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Energy Policy Is Responsible for Unrest in Egypt [View article]
    I must disagree with the author that the US is responsible for the unrest in Egypt. It is common today for many to criticize the US and make outrageous allegations and statements that are untrue.

    We do use too much Oil! That will change. Perhaps much faster than many critics think. I have been wanting a change in energy policy for 30 years. When we start down that road it will be a very difficult adjustment. I hope I am ready for it.

    We are fortunate to live during a small sliver of time where freedom is prevalent. It is due in large part to the US. We are free to criticize our government but we ought to think carefully and not do so in an outrageous and inaccurate manner.
    Jan 29 08:39 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Latin American Prince of Beer [View article]
    BUD seems fully valued to me at 1st glance.

    I would be more positive except that they have declining sales. In the US that would appear to be because they slowed down marketing Budweiser and its volume has fallen off. Diminishing large cash producing brands is not a way to grow.

    I do think they can squeeze costs out of the process but perhaps not enough to overcome commodity inflation. An 18 PE would be generous vs the current 20 PE.
    Jan 29 07:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • March 7 Looms Large for Sirius XM and Liberty Media [View article]
    Thanks for great information all.

    I go back to a valuation analysis. For anyone to buy SIRI they would have to see a bargain. A 50-60 PE for 16% growth doesnt seem to be a lowball valuation.

    My guess is Malone has made his money buying the 40% for pennies and getting NOL's. He will have effective control anyway.

    He is very shrewd and unlikely to pay big bucks to existing shareholders.
    Jan 29 07:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets Freak Over Riots, Earnings [View article]
    I didn't think the market "freaked".

    With some poor earnings and international strife it had a marginal sell off. I waited for the market to drop heavily in the final minutes wanting to scoop up a bargain. The market was firm and disciplined to the end.
    Jan 28 04:19 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble: The Greatest Dividend Stock [View article]
    Excellent article!

    As a long term holder I would add a couple of details. PG is projecting lower profit in 2011. As such I would not look for the dividend to grow at 10%+ this year in spite of a 45% payout.

    PG seemed to stop investing in their brands after the recession and has started back which is increasing their costs. Input costs have also been increasing squeezing margins.

    PG is a favorite company over many years and normally provides growth and dividends with a minimum of volatility. With a lack of growth the PE is not as attractive today.
    I would rate PG a hold and would be a buyer at 62 or less until I see them turn the corner and begin increasing profits. By the way except for the flash crash the stock traded in a range with a low of approximately $59 in 2010
    Jan 28 12:33 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are These 8 Hated Stocks Ready to Pop? [View article]
    If they all doubled tomorrow I wouldn't notice!

    If they all went out of business tomorrow I wouldn't notice.

    Gamblers Anonymous # 1 800 I AM Broke
    Jan 27 09:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment