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  • Oil closing out week on the lows [View news story]
    "So let me get this straight: A perceived oversupply of 700,000 bbls/day (on a total demand basis of 92.5mil bbls/day) has led to 45% decline in the price of crude oil?"

    Oil's pretty much always been like this. A supply that's 1-2% +/- (oversupply/scarcity) has always amounted to large drops/increases in the price of a barrel of oil.

    I was a kid when the oil embargo of the early/mid 70s occurred. It was crazy - long lines at the pump (wasn't uncommon to wait 2+ hours in a giant line at the gas station to fill up) and fistfights/near riots if you were waiting in line and the gas station ran out of gas! My understanding was that the oil embargo in the US was the result of something like only a 2-3% reduction in fuel supplies. Crazy!

    At the opposite end of the spectrum, I was a high school senior (I think) in California in the late 80's when there was a glut of oil when the larger oil producing members of OPEC refused to honor the specified quota for oil production and just decided to pump at will. Can't remember what the price of a barrel of oil fell to, but it was crazy cheap. At the pump, a gallon of gas was only $0.70-ish cents!!! Minimum wage was around $3.25/hour (I think), so a high school kid like myself could still pay for 4+ gallons of gas on 1 hour's wages. Road trip!
    Dec 12, 2014. 06:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • No Longer Posting At Seeking Alpha [View instapost]
    Thank you for your contributions, Tom. I had you in my "feed" and I always enjoyed your insightful commentary.

    Best of luck to you.
    Mar 27, 2014. 11:52 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Airline misery continues as snow storms pound on [View news story]
    Good points, 7576Captain.

    That's why I'm (finally) working on my Private Certificate ;-)
    Feb 18, 2014. 05:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire Should Buy BlackRock [View article]
    I like your premise, but I doubt very much that PNC Bank would want to liquidate their 20-plus percent ownership anytime soon in such a lucrative and growing entity as BLK.

    After doing some research a few years back into PNC (and learning about the Blackrock ownership stake) I was very fortunate to load up on a bunch of PNC TARP warrants that I still own today. I have received a "more than adequate" return on this investment to date ;-)
    Jan 31, 2014. 02:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Buy REITs Like Sir John Templeton [View article]
    Hi Brad,

    Another excellent article, as usual. Looking forward to reading your book on Trump.

    I know that you've been in the real estate game for a long time now, and at one time I believe you were a developer. Have you thought about maybe writing a book about how individual investors can either get into property development and/or invest in commercial real estate? I've always been an investor in companies (stocks), but would really like to diversify by getting into commercial real estate and/or property development, but I don't have a clue where to start, how to learn about it, etc. (BTW - if you have any suggestions or sources, I would love to hear about them :-) Thanks!
    Jan 28, 2014. 01:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Carpe Diem, 5 Blue Chip REITs On Sale [View article]
    Great advice, Archman!

    I try to do the same thing: I bought a chunk of BP when it got much lower after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; I also buy chunks of Intel over the last several years whenever it dips <$20/share.

    I buy these with my IRA, where I can let them DRIP away for the next 20-plus years ;-)
    Jan 7, 2014. 03:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jardine Matheson: High Quality At A Low Price [View article]
    Hello Mr. Stevenson,

    Thank you for the informative article on JM. I discovered this wonderful business a couple of years ago and bought a chunk. Planning to hold onto this (hopefully like a lot of my other "babies") for the rest of my life, save for the company's business prospects souring. I will likely buy another chunk with the next market meltdown.

    I haven't heard of Swire, so I will have to check them out.

    Thanks again.
    Oct 29, 2013. 01:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's American Dream Can Turn Into A Speculator's Nightmare [View article]
    For what it's worth, I have worked in the automotive industry (auto & motorsports PR) for nearly 20 years now...and I have NEVER invested in car companies:

    Tremendous competition
    Enormous expenditures (something simple along the line of redesigning a particular model's fenders, etc.? Try a quarter BILLION dollars or so)
    A plethora of difficult-to-control costs
    And on and on...

    I remember talking to a high-ranking GM executive in the late-90s. At that time, he told me that GM "was spending more on prescription drugs FOR RETIREES - not even current employees - than they were spending on steel" for crying out loud!!!

    I would rather invest my money in what I consider simple/solid things. Things like BRK.B, NOV, IBM, PCP, WF, etc. ;-)

    Of note, I knew the late, great automotive journalist, Jerry Flint. Some of you may be familiar with his automotive industry musings in Forbes for many years. I remember the first time I met him many years ago, he told me that he used to load up on shares of Ford, GM or Chrysler whenever each company was considered to be down and out, on death's door, etc. over the previous several decades; I believe he did quite well with this "strategy."

    As for Tesla...I'm staying as far as hell away from it as I can.
    Sep 3, 2013. 04:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wells Fargo: Compounding At Double Digits [View article]
    Excellent analysis (as usual). Thanks for the article.
    I bought a chunk of WFC for my IRA a little more than a year ago. Hopefully it will DRIP away for the next 20-plus years.
    Also bought a bunch of WFC TARP warrants several months back, so hopefully these will also do well over time.
    Apr 15, 2013. 03:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wells Fargo: Doubling An Already Juicy Dividend [View article]
    Agree with you and RonB. I have bought a bunch of WF TARP warrants (as well as for PNC) in the past...and plan to buy many more when the market inevitably "adjusts" itself.
    Mar 6, 2013. 01:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Value Investor's Perspective On The Opportunity In Priceline [View article]
    Nice article, Tim.

    I agree with your analysis and rationale wholeheartedly. I'm not a big believer in tech companies as investments, save for a handful of ones I've made in the past, mainly because:

    1) I'm not a tech-savvy person (to say the least), but it seems to me that some ones that I've invested in the past - IBM, GOOG, AAPL - had, for various reasons, clear and easily comprehended "moats".

    2) A big one for me - when I read the annual reports for IBM, GOOG, AAPL, the info and what they "do" was clearly and easily understood by me, the non "techie".

    Position-wise, still own IBM and AAPL...and probably will until I don't think they are good at doing what made them great anymore.

    GOOG is long gone from my protfolio. Once I (kinda) got a handle on what they did and why I thought they were on their way to building a good "moat" some years back, I bought in around $200 and sold a little more than a year later (I think) for over $400. No regrets - Google essentially paid for the down payment on my first house :)
    Feb 27, 2013. 10:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Groupon (GRPN): Q4 GAAP EPS of -$0.12 misses by $0.15. Revenue of $638.3M (+30% Y/Y) in-line. Gross billings +24% Y/Y to $1.52B. Expects Q1 revenue of $560M-$610M, below $650.3M consensus. Expects Q1 operating income of -$10M to $10M. Shares -25.8% AH. (PR[View news story]
    So true, Ashraf.

    Personally, I think the vast majority of public companies are absolute crap businesses. So few truly worthy of investing - and not speculating - in.
    Feb 27, 2013. 09:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wrapping It Up For 2013 [View article]
    Mr. Armistead,

    I completely agree with you. Shiller P/E, S&P 500 to GDP, etc. tell me that the market is fully to overvalued. Cashed most of my investments out a couple of weeks ago (almost all of them were full or overvalued per FastGraphs). I'm now about 50% cash, only holding on to my big winners that I plan on keeping for a long time - BRK.B, WFC, BP, INTC, BK, AAPL, MA; PNC & WFC TARP warrants.

    I do hope that you will continue to bless SA readers with your outstanding articles; I greatly appreciate your wisdom and rich insight.

    Thank you again for your wonderful articles.
    Feb 18, 2013. 11:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Reasons Why The Berkshire/3G Deal For Heinz Is A Home Run [View article]
    All excellent points, Tim.

    I will continue to sleep well at night (SWAN) with BRK.B as my largest shareholding ;)
    Feb 18, 2013. 05:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wal-Mart Remains Built To Last Regardless Of Competitive Threat Of Amazon [View article]
    Thanks, Tim

    That's another thing I don't understand about the "undervalued real estate" investment philosophy for Sears, JCP, etc.

    My question: Should Sears, JCP, et al decide to close stores...who exactly is going to buy them?

    I would think that most of the successful ("moat"?) retailers like Costco and WM are probably not in a big expansion mode and/or are already (at least for the time being) pretty much in the locales that they want to be.

    Also, I'm guessing that a lot of the Sears, JCP stores are anchor stores at malls. What retailer is dying to get more "big box" stores into malls? And, with the whole Amazon (and others) mail order/other internet retailing concept seemingly accounting for more and more sales every month, I would think big box retailers might be wary of committing more funds to large square footage anchor stores in malls.

    Anyway, just my $0.02 ;) Keep those great articles coming!
    Feb 15, 2013. 05:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment