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  • Comparing The Option-Income CEFs From Eaton Vance [View article]
    Nice job, Lefty. I own several of these funds, and I like the idea of having my covered calls managed for me, rather than by my whims and gut feelings--they are also a ton of work to manage and document. Getting the higher discounts increases the margin of safety, imo, instantly. I like selling calls in sideways, and in moderately up or down markets. I felt we would hit one of those three this year, but it should outperform in a hard down market, too; obviously I would rather be many other places if we go down hard. I like these funds and your article helps readers get a grip on them. Thx.
    Oct 6, 2015. 06:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobs Data Will Leave Federal Reserve On Pause [View article]
    Great points. I think they would have really looked stupid if they had raised rates, because they would likely be reversing almost immediately. Even if they had done it six months ago, they would still have to reverse it. The layoff announcements are coming hot and heavy from big companies. What that tells me is the strong dollar and weakening EMs are already pressuring profits. That is why I like REITs, utilities, and high yielding companies that are less affected by currency and EMs.
    Oct 2, 2015. 11:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Titan? Or Titanic? [View article]
    you really want to compare MSFT with Toyota and BMW? Mercedes, F, and GM have been going at this a long time. They have huge market caps, government support, a lot of IP, and tens of thousands of engineers. Also, it remains to be seen whether ICE's are wrecked. Don't forget, lithium batteries burn with unquenchable intensity; once they start, they are next to impossible to extinguish. Also, we will need some big breakthroughs on density and charge time to make them a majority option. That is possible, but even if Apple did find a non-flammable option with twice the energy density and a tenth of the charging time, I think they would be forced to split up due to antitrust concerns. The world auto market is huge. Now, I am all for the research and competition and Apple knows how to engineer and outsource the jobs to China with an efficiency that would make the Robber Barons jealous, so we will see how this plays out.
    Oct 2, 2015. 06:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy These Leadership Stocks Today For Powerful Rally Into Year - End [View article]
    This is a tough market. Sentiment is a nice recipe of Oct '87, mixed with a little 2009, baked to a nice crisp with 2000 sprinkled on top. Investors are scared to death. US equity markets are fairly valued plus or minus a bit, based on current estimates. Bonds are near lifetime highs for most of us and cash is zero. High yield is scary. Commodities are getting crushed. There aren't too many happy places for investing. I have read over ten articles in the last month by intelligent people who think the end is here economically. I have to think we are going to rally with this kind of negative sentiment, but you never know. Maybe this will be the first time they were, in fact, ringing bells at the top.
    Oct 1, 2015. 03:48 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Titan? Or Titanic? [View article]
    Absent a big breakthrough, I suspect Titanic. Automotive design is very competitive. If somebody told me they were working on a six gallon container of powdered hydrogen, I would wonder if they were working on a car or a bomb. Can you imagine the lawsuits after the first explosive crash? I'm not convinced Tesla isn't going to go down when they have serious fires in the future. We will see. I have no doubt Apple could do a good job on the interface hardware and software, and that could be where they are working.
    Oct 1, 2015. 08:15 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's NOT Intel Inside Microsoft's New Windows 10 Lumia Phones [View article]
    I'm not sure it is a good thing that Intel is having to put Core chips up against ARM mobile chips to beat them. I always thought Atom would crush ARM...Intel's 3 year lead in process, IP, and engineering expertise made Atom a sure bet to win.
    Oct 1, 2015. 06:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's NOT Intel Inside Microsoft's New Windows 10 Lumia Phones [View article]
    "Chill out, nobody that really knows what's goin on expected Intel Inside Microsoft's Lumia 940/950 to be released on October 6th. it will be mid..."

    Let's be honest about a couple of points. Nobody that really knows what's going on expects Intel to be competitive in mobile any more, Techy. We've been hearing wait till next year for a long time. One of many examples, this one from the Spring of 2008:

    "Intel is placing a huge bet that its new processor and platform will open up what CEO Paul Otellini has called a $10 billion market for the new mobile devices....So far, the chip maker has 25 OEM partners that will deliver..."

    Then, Medfield was going to flatten ARM, and the list goes on. Maybe this year is different, but we have learned that competitors aren't sitting on their hands and that has been Wintel's problem. I know because I was sitting on mucho INTC reading the PRs! Apple's cash flow for this qtr is approaching 2X Intel's revenues! It has grown to a lot bigger than 10 Bn.
    Oct 1, 2015. 06:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's NOT Intel Inside Microsoft's New Windows 10 Lumia Phones [View article]
    >>They really have done everything they could to strand unto death their legacy code .<<

    Exactly!! It is all about integration, uniform software, and security. Android is integrated, but it is fragmented and always a shared experience--you must share an Andy with hackers; you can't own one by yourself. MSFT is the only other company that can provide a secure, integrated, and uniformly updated (for free) platform besides Apple. That they haven't done that with Intel in the last eight years is so far beyond dumb, it is truly unbelievable. You have to wonder if Jobs had MSFT on mind control or something.
    Sep 30, 2015. 08:42 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REITs Belong In Every Diversified Portfolio [View article]
    Great article, Ben. A couple of other points I like about REITs: some REITs have an extra level of built-in diversification. For instance, if they own RE rented to many different companies in different industries. One failure, or a weakness in one industry is mitigated. Also, you can diversify them yourself and some are tied to very specific businesses--from prisons, to hotels, to farmland, to medical buildings and the list goes on and on. I like medical REITs a lot, as they should be recession resistant. The ETFs you mentioned provide instant and massive diversification very cheaply.
    Sep 30, 2015. 08:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's NOT Intel Inside Microsoft's New Windows 10 Lumia Phones [View article]
    Another dumb move imo. Wintel should be producing solid phones and giving them to the wireless carriers for cost to let them brand them. Three sizes--little, big, and phablet. The Verizon/ATT/Sprint phone (that happens to run Windows) could be given away with a small carrier subsidy, maybe a one year commit. It is a loss leader to bring people back to the ecosystem. Apple has stolen Wintel's bacon, and people are paying them $900 a phone to boot. Crazy. Really nice Wintel laptops sell for less.
    Sep 30, 2015. 07:24 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What The 3rd Quarter Tells Us About The Stock Market In October [View article]
    Good discussion. There are a number of people yelling at the Fed to raise rates. I have to wonder if they are net short the market. If you think back to '09-'12, energy and EMs were improving and the low dollar really helped big, exporting US multinationals. People were lamenting that residential real estate was MIA in the recovery and so it was muted. Now, the mere rumor of increasing rates has put the dollar up in the stratosphere and it has helped crush commodity prices, so all of the earlier strengths are now MIA. However, residential real estate has finally mended and has picked up a little slack. The question is how much they can raise before stifling residential real estate? My guess is very little, if any; real estate is a recovering brain cancer patient, not a healthy 25 year old! The last leg of the stool will be kicked out and we will be headed back toward recession. Honestly, just the factors mentioned above might have already caused a slow down. This is a solid article on the real unemployment rate, to which you allude, Gary.
    Contrast all of this good news with some of the worst sentiment in our adult lives and who knows which way the market is headed? The bond market is at lifetime highs to boot, as frothy as any market I have ever seen. The panic and pessimism are pervasive. I would think we should be rallying. There really isn't much going on besides the contrived crises that seem to whip up volatility for little reason.
    Sep 30, 2015. 06:58 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Insurmountable Lead Over Commodity ARM Processors [View article]
    Cincy, that was interesting and I'm wondering if you read it. He compares desktop and mobile processors and he argues that they overlap already. He was also missing some of the benchmarks that show the tremendous capability of the A9. Apple could easily do it, and very quickly. The question is whether they think it is cost effective. Obviously, it would be a complete redesign for a few million chips and there would be some risk. I'm sure that 300MM CPUs/yr, updated annually, are keeping them pretty busy. What I would do, if they asked me, is put a 20-30W A-XX version in a Mac Mini chassis, sell it for $399 with 128Gb, and make IOS a little more robust on multi-tasking. They already have more robust differences in the newer devices, like opening multiple tabs in Safari on the 6S Plus. It would be easy. I think they could sell them by the millions to students and people who know IOS and love the simplicity of the OS.
    Sep 29, 2015. 08:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Insurmountable Lead Over Commodity ARM Processors [View article]
    Cincy, you made some good points, and I might be tempted to buy your argument, but there are several problems. The first is that Apple shrunk the batteries and they are still pretty close on total life. So, they are getting this performance with very low wattage, maybe 1-2W on the TDP. Most of the Android phones have much larger batteries, but the endurance usually lags Apple's. It is hard to know how much is the CPU, I will agree. How long would the 15W Intel chip last with a 6.5 Whr battery? Second, the i5 Haswell 15W chip in the SP 3 still manages to lose or come pretty close on a couple of tests. I would expect Intel's chip to be much, much better across the board. I would have expected Atom chips to beat Apple like this, not Core chips from last year! And that from an avowed Intel fan through the years. Finally, because of the exponential increase in chip performance through the years, everyone who had a mainstream desktop in the 80s or 90s was using a chip with weaker performance than the A9 in a desktop. I would have to study it to figure out at what point in the past they were roughly equal. You might be shocked, particularly when you consider graphics. Apple got over 80FPS on the 1080P TRex offscreen test. The Haswell laptop chip only got 64FPS! Either would have been great 10 years ago. If they designed a chip with 20-30 times the TDP of the A9, I think it would do fine. I detailed above why they might not want to do that.
    Sep 29, 2015. 07:46 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Insurmountable Lead Over Commodity ARM Processors [View article]
    Somebody pointed out the scale on another thread, Bill. 20-30MM Macs; 300MM IOS devices. The A series has the scale to make it worthwhile. I agree they could easily replace Intel if they wanted to--could happen in a couple of weeks. I think they ought to start producing IOS laptops and desktops, offering both lines concurrently. It is integrated with OSX and would be a very low risk way to do it. If you look at the Pro, it really is a laptop in a tablet already. It would be easy to offer an IOS desktop in the Mac mini footprint (very cheaply), and I think Millennials would buy them by the tens of millions, since they know IOS much better than basic manners!!
    Sep 29, 2015. 06:52 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Insurmountable Lead Over Commodity ARM Processors [View article]
    PA Semi was Apple's best purchase ever, and that is what is ironic about the Jobs is dead and so is Apple talk. Apple (under Jobs) bought something that would end up being more important to Apple than Jobs. Intel or QCOM could have saved megabillions by buying them. The people that don't appreciate their CPUs are in denial imho.
    Sep 29, 2015. 06:47 PM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment