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  • The Great 401(k) Experiment Has Failed? [View article]
    Leo, we get a printout of our Social Security contributions. If I had taken those amounts and put it into an account invested in the major indexes, I would have had a lot more money--a whole lot more. Shifting efficient private investments to horribly inefficient government plans isn't the way to go. Legislating that pension contributions have to be saved (like SSN) and invested could be done. Keep the 401Ks, and mandate that all workers contribute 10% to a portable defined contribution plan, just like SSN is deducted. Make it just as hard to withdraw early as SSN. The 401K should be an extra plan for the ants out there. The grasshoppers may not ever have the discipline to save if it is optional.
    Mar 24, 2015. 09:13 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Give'em The Old Razzle Dazzle [View article]
    So sorry to read the mistakes of your fat fingers, AA! And, there was much more than a comparison to Venezuela, if you will examine it carefully. BTW, I was in Venezuela frequently before and during Hugo's rise to power. That is exactly how the rhetoric started. Maybe that shocks you?
    Mar 24, 2015. 08:34 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Even as oil prices plunge, airfares stay high in U.S. "uncompetitive oligopoly" [View news story]
    Exactly! Wages and benefits have been increased since bankruptcy. New planes have been ordered and bought. Facilities have been upgraded. Debt has been paid off. Much more of this needs to happen, not less. There are essentially no airlines that are rich and wasting money. Five years from now if airline employees are making what they made 15 years ago (inflation adjusted), the carriers have all new planes, companies are debt free, and executives are wrapping their cigars in $50 dollar bills to smoke them--then let's have the discussion. Airlines desperately need profits to heal themselves and especially their balance sheets. If you want to pick on profits that are really high, look at tech or biotech! I disagree, but Mr. Sorkin could argue that they are making too much profit.
    Mar 24, 2015. 08:18 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Give'em The Old Razzle Dazzle [View article]
    AA, buy a plane ticket to Caracas and you can observe what happens when economic equality is legislated by the well meaning, but always erring left wing! Here is a nice quote from Margaret Thatcher about those who legislated "equality" in her day:

    >>Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation, and they're now trying to control everything by other means. They're progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.<<

    Sounds a lot like Washington to me!
    Mar 24, 2015. 07:11 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Plan To Rethink Television [View article]
    They may not aim it at desktop/living room computing, but I do think it would work. The Apple TV is essentially the computer in an iPad/iPhone with wifi (from a few gens back) in a box the size of a big hockey puck. With an A8T processor (I just made that up), it would have roughly the same computing power as a desktop w/video card computer from 5-10 years ago. Running IOS, it would do very well and would have a massive software library. It could game, do home control, stream TV and music, etc. $199 is very doable. Think of it like an iPad mini with no screen or associated hardware. I don't see at as replacing the Mac; I think it would displace some PCs, but it would mostly be another Apple computer in the house and additive.
    Mar 21, 2015. 09:20 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Technical Breakouts For Popular ETFs On The World Stage [View article]
    I agree Jer, and that saying was coined before there was a European Fed equivalent. Fighting the ECB is likely as profitable as fighting the Fed. I think it is time to worry if and when growth really kicks in; that is when the Fed and ECB will start fighting the rally.
    Mar 20, 2015. 09:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett Financial Analysis Template: Chicago Bridge And Iron Company [View article]
    You are supposed to read the article with your best British accent. At least he didn't talk about maths class!
    Mar 20, 2015. 05:37 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Plan To Rethink Television [View article]
    I like the idea of thinking of it as a Mac mini--a very competent home computer hooked up to your TV. You can game, control the home, stream TV and music, or use it as a home computer running IOS. I'm not sure how wide Apple's aim is here, but I would try to drop a big bomb. It could easily have the capability for less than $200.
    Mar 20, 2015. 05:16 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: New Apple TV launching in June, will feature App Store/Siri [View news story]
    WSP, I am pretty good with directions, but recently on a vacation to CA with my wife, I needed some help. She started talking to SIRI, and I thought, oh no, we are going to wind up vacationing in Mexico! I have to say, SIRI and her directions were very close to flawless. The more we used it, the more confident I became. CA is her backyard, but the navigation capability was superb. Women communicate better than men in general, and my wife gets way more out of SIRI than I do.
    Mar 20, 2015. 05:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: New Apple TV launching in June, will feature App Store/Siri [View news story]
    Scott, we use it all the time, too. It is superb for sharing pictures or youtubes via airplay off of any Apple device. It streams Netflix beautifully, and it is very easy to work and cut on. The one thing they were missing was computing power. I have said it before, but I would love to see a modified A8X with improved graphics power, so gaming at 1080P would be possible. Hook it up to an HDTV and you really have a home computer (much like mac mini) on IOS. I think they could sell hundreds of millions if they were aggressive. With the TV/software/music revenue, they could afford to give it away.
    Mar 20, 2015. 04:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: New Apple TV launching in June, will feature App Store/Siri [View news story]
    I would say about time to Apple! This area has so much potential it is mind boggling, and of course Apple is the perfect company to capitalize on it. A powerful, A8X based system would be a very competent home computer running IOS. You could have a keyboard, mouse or pointing device, a game controller, a remote controller, and it could connect to a home control system. I am amazed they haven't done it sooner. They could likely sell it very reasonably and sell hundreds of millions. Remember, this is another Apple computer in the house and it probably won't replace anything, mostly additive. I am more excited about this than the Watch, at least the first iteration.
    Mar 20, 2015. 04:32 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Airlines Group: Why This Strong Gainer Hasn't Run Out Of Steam Yet [View article]
    Jaremi, Bobcat said it better than I could have...I do agree with you on CBI; those are great points. I think it has been punished as if it was very oil sensitive even though it really isn't that sensitive, so I suspect it would rally on a rebound. You are right about other stocks/ETFs being more oil sensitive, but I am actually of the opinion that oil is going to stay lower than most people think. My energy stocks are designed to be less reliant on oil prices, and that is one reason I like them. I tried to coin a phrase on airlines in the comment section of an earlier article--reverse oil wells! They print money when oil drops, and when oil soars it sucks the life out of them. After looking at late last year in AALs Qtlry SEC filing, I found AAL was burning about 375MM gallons of jet fuel a month, so every dollar that jet fuel drops, they are saving ~375MM/month! That is close to 50 cents a share, every month! Bobcat's point is key, though, AAL is designed to make good money at $100 oil. That is a sea change.
    Mar 20, 2015. 03:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Chart Shows Why Chicago Bridge & Iron Company Remains A Top Pick In 2015 [View article]
    Spartan, I wasn't questioning your purchasing accounting knowledge, nor will I be in the future. Actually, most of us read what you wrote and we are just trying to make sense of it. I did question your agenda. Why would a person join SA and only make comments on one company, a company they say they don't own and they have no financial connections to? Why are you here typing page after page of attacks on CBI? You may have a good reason (former Shaw or CBI?), and I'm not questioning your right to do it. I also questioned some of your accusations, for instance:
    >>If you want to trust a management team that bought a liability in Shaw, lied about it and made accounting adjustments to cover it up, all the power to you.<<
    So, when I questioned your accusation, you responded with the following (along with another accounting diatribe in all caps),
    >>CBI is not "lying" about the accounting.<<
    You also said they had basically zero cash flow, but they are guiding for significant cash flow this year and they said they had cash flow last quarter. Again, just trying to understand. How are they going to have ~$7 a share in cash flow this year? More accounting tricks?
    Mar 19, 2015. 09:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Airlines Group: Why This Strong Gainer Hasn't Run Out Of Steam Yet [View article]
    Me, too, Bobcat. AAL is my favorite, but I really like pairing airlines with select energy names like CBI. CBI and KMI are the two I have balanced against them. No matter which way oil goes, something should win, but especially with CBI and AAL, neither should do terribly if the commodity moves against the stock. AAL is still making money with $100 oil, and CBI is making money with $30 oil. Either should pop if oil goes its way, though. GLTA.
    Mar 18, 2015. 03:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Chart Shows Why Chicago Bridge & Iron Company Remains A Top Pick In 2015 [View article]
    Spartan, the point I was making with Berkshire is that they were adding to their position last year in the second quarter, and they retained their position last quarter, even though they sold a much, much larger position in XOM. Einhorn also initiated a several million share position last quarter. So, there are a lot of very smart investors who disagree with your thesis. Maybe you are right, and they are wrong. That is certainly possible. Now, since you are new to SA, you need to realize people will question you and disagree with you. You recommend questioning CBI, even calling them liars, but when we merely question you, you get defensive! To reverse the old saying--if you are going to throw rocks at others, don't live in a glass house! I actually appreciate contrary views, as it always gives a platform to both sides of an argument, and that is a particular strength of SA imho. If the smartest analysts and fund managers will lose your money versus buying an index fund, then questioning the herd mentality is probably smart. A couple of comments on valuation: if CBI should be valued at $45, then a market PE implies real earnings are less than half the recent guidance! CBI has grown revenues through Shaw and growth at more than 50% per year over the last few years (unless you think they are lying about revenues, too). So, they have shown superb growth, and they haven't gotten close to defaulting on their loans, as Prescience predicted would be happening. Finally, let's remember that nuclear engineering is pretty complicated; everybody understands this fact. The PSC/power company issues are often handled in the press because it involves the public. CBI probably isn't going to make their case publicly because those entities are their customers. They will probably try to handle it quietly, exactly as it should be done. Their close to the vest approach is good business. Also, very few companies will or can even attempt nuclear work. Nuclear expertise is hard to find because we haven't built reactors for a generation, up until Summer in fact. Like defense contracts, they are often pushing the limits on engineering and changes and delays happen. Selling BA or LMT because of engineering issues is often a mistake. CBI's nuke expertise could be a disaster, but it could also end up being great for diversification and future growth. Nuke is close to carbon free electricity. Couple safe nuke with electric cars, and even Al Gore might be happy!
    Mar 18, 2015. 09:23 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment