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George Edwards

George Edwards
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  • Debunking The 'Dividends Don't Add Shareholder Value' Myth [View article]
    PLEASE do not continue to explain the value of dividends to these folks. If the get the idea, they will be competing with me to buy the good stuff. Better they remain ignorant and keep on buying the junk.
    Mar 14 09:47 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rebuttal: 'Is A House Really A Good Investment?' [View article]
    My wife and I have owned our own home for some 48 years, and our numbers are pretty much in line with "Joe's". Last year, exhausted from maintaining the one-acre lot, the 2,600 sq.ft. house, the swimming pool, etc., we sold and moved into a nice and conveniently located condo. BTW, it is not the costs of maintaining real estate that get you down, it is the burden of managing a crew of maintenance workers, from pool cleaners to lawn guys to maintenance contractors, finding, hiring, supervising them all, and wondering if they really know what they are doing.

    All in all, accounting everything you accounted for, our investment is flat over 48 years. That is, we gained nothing over renting a home other then knowing we were in charge. Putting the difference into the same kind of portfolio we have held for many years would have made a difference in our net worth in the million+ range, very much like "Joe".
    Jul 26 08:31 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Gas Really Gets Priced [View article]
    Why should gasoline be under $3 per gallon? If you object to the market price, buy less. There is no better cure for high prices than high prices.

    Oil, and gasoline, were cheap for a long time after World War II as a result of the huge effort during the war to explore for and develop petroleum reserves. This effort was enormously successful, and created a vast over-supply of petroleum and its products, causing in turn a suppression of prices. We enjoyed really cheap gasoline for more than thirty years, with a brief hiatus in the early 70's when OPEC tried to remind us of our comfortable position.

    I cannot see any rationalization for under-$3 gasoline, given the cost of production and the current level of demand.
    Mar 16 09:23 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Gas Really Gets Priced [View article]
    So Scooter-Pop is saying that the CME and the NYME are accepting secret (closed) bids? That's worthy of some investigative reporting.

    Blaming high prices on speculators is a losers game.

    And keep in mind that if you look up the price of regular gasoline in the year of my birth (1935), and then adjust it for inflation since then, it comes out about $4.10 per gallon in 2013 dollars.

    Never forget inflation - that's what is keeping you poor
    Mar 16 08:51 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Gas Really Gets Priced [View article]
    You do not seem to mention that both crude oil and gasoline are sold at open-outcry auctions, the most free and open market system known. Of course, speculators can bid-up the price of the lots of RBOB they buy, but if the consumer does not buy the commodity later, you will see a bankrupt speculator. The system works, and supply-and-demand still functions.
    Mar 16 08:17 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Is Why Gas Prices Are Going Up And Heading Much Higher [View article]
    Obviously, since motor fuel does cost less than it did 78 years ago, the entire discussion indeed needs to be rethought. If you do not understand inflation and its effects on your buying power, you are doomed to be impoverished in retirement!
    Feb 28 08:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Is Why Gas Prices Are Going Up And Heading Much Higher [View article]
    My goodness! What a compendium of malinformation and paranoia! Including the article, which confuses consumption with demand, which we all understand do not proxy for one another.

    Class, here is your assignment: Look up the price of motor gasoline in 1935 (the year I was born), and then adjust it for inflation - that is, do a future value calculation using the average inflation rate since then as i, and 78 as n. You will be happily surprised to see the answer.

    Sorry, conspiracy theorists, gasoline and crude oil are sold at open-outcry auctions, the purest and most free market system ever devised. If a speculator bids above what his customers will pay, he soon is a bankrupt speculator. Free markets are wonderful that way, which is why they work, and controlled markets do not.
    Feb 26 09:26 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CenturyLink's Management Has Lost Its Mind [View article]
    I think Hoosier Native has it right. Cutting the dividend is simply a ploy to drive down the stock price so the buy-back can be done at the lower price. Is this legal, or is it a prohibited manipulation of the stock price? A stockholder lawsuit would help answer that. So would an investigation by the SEC, which I think is warranted.
    Feb 15 10:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan Partners: An Energy Toll Road [View article]
    I have owned KMP for over 10 years, in which time the share (unit) price has almost tripled, and so has the dividend. Three years ago my fnancial adviser told me to sell KMP. I fired him.
    Feb 14 04:21 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • You need an alkaline diet. Expect that to be the next message pounded out by Hollywood celebrities and health advocates as beverage firms eye the high-margin product category. The theory is that alkaline-infused drinks help offset the effect of acid-forming drinks such as coffee and alcohol. Skinny Water aims to kick off the new craze with a drink that adds magnesium, zinc, potassium to some old-fashioned H2O, but perhaps waiting in the wings is Coca-Cola (KO -0.1%) and PepsiCo (PEP -0.1%). [View news story]
    Hmmm. Well, if he brings the beverages, preferably beer, he can come to my house.

    BTW, magnesium is an alkaline earth, zinc is a metal, but potassium by golly is an alkali. Do those fad diet folks have any idea about what they are peddling?
    Aug 21 04:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • You need an alkaline diet. Expect that to be the next message pounded out by Hollywood celebrities and health advocates as beverage firms eye the high-margin product category. The theory is that alkaline-infused drinks help offset the effect of acid-forming drinks such as coffee and alcohol. Skinny Water aims to kick off the new craze with a drink that adds magnesium, zinc, potassium to some old-fashioned H2O, but perhaps waiting in the wings is Coca-Cola (KO -0.1%) and PepsiCo (PEP -0.1%). [View news story]
    Alkaline is an adjective, not a noun.
    Aug 21 02:03 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Oil Is So High When The World Economy Is So Low [View article]

    Before we get all short of breath about the wonderfulness of polycrystalline photovoltaic solar cells, we should consider some of the background on the fabrication of these devices. They are not the "clean green" energy providers their promoters claim. In fact, they emit huge quantities of carbon dioxide. And they have other drawbacks.

    Production of silicon for photovoltaic power cells releases abundant CO2 through the consumption of charcoal (source of the carbon) in the arc furnace, use of sacrificial carbon electrodes, and release of CO2 from the burning of coal or other fossil fuel at the power plant which generates the electricity required by the furnaces. The reaction is SiO2 + C + heat yields Si plus CO2. The Si-O2 bond in the feedstock quartz is very strong, and it takes a lot of heat to break it.

    Silicon smelters are 100+ kilowatts/day power consumers. None of the processes involved are notably efficient, either in producing electricity, nor on reducing silica to silicon. Silicon smelters are hot, violent places with arc furnaces emitting clouds of smoke (particulate carbon), intense heat, and a lot of noise. Hellish is the term usually employed to describe them.

    One manufacture of PV cells claims their 40W cell saves 875 pounds of CO2 over its expected service life. (The manufacturer hopes for a 20 year life, but experience suggests 10 years is more realistic, so we use the smaller figure.) If we assume this manufacturer is as overly optimistic in this estimate as he is in other engineering estimates he publishes, a safe figure would be about 400 pounds of CO2 per 40W panel, allowing for other manufacturing inefficiencies. Not all the silicon produced makes it to the PV cell.

    A 40W panel weighs about 10 pounds.

    Data on CO2 emissions by silicon cells are hard to find, but a range estimate would be 10 to 20 pounds of CO2 for each pound of silicon that makes its way into a functioning cell, or 100 pounds to 200 pounds of CO2 per 10-pound panel. The process may actually be less efficient than we have given it credit, so these numbers may be low.

    This gives us a rather disappointing greenhouse gas savings value of 2 to 4 pounds of CO2 per pound of silicon production, over the lifetime of the PV cell. If the cell fails prematurely (many do), there will be no savings at all.

    Better data on any step in the process would refine this calculation, and the numbers might change either up or down.

    Also, we must remember that solar cells have relatively short service lives, perhaps ten years or so, and that replacing them earns no Federal tax credits or subsidies.

    Sorry, guys, there is no free lunch.

    And by the way, there has never yet been a wind power installation that could be justified on an economic basis. Even with those massive Federal subsidies.
    Aug 18 10:22 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Many energy stocks trade "near liquidation value," and the group is valued at "trough" levels, some analysts say, as the price ratio of energy stocks relative to the S&P 500 is near lows reached at the 2009 market bottom and in 2010-11. Among favorites: CVX, XOM, RDS.A, APA, APC, HES, HAL, SLB. Avoid gas-oriented issues such as CHK, SWN, ECA.  [View news story]
    Everyone should recognize that these comments are for investors with extremely short time horizons.
    Aug 6 12:19 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Choices: Annuities Vs. Dividends [View article]
    BruceCM (above) sets out the situation I spoke of earlier, and he does it with professional clarity and precision. Annuities are legitimate products sold in a free market, and there is nothing wrong with them per se, as long as the buyer knows what he is buying. The problem arises in that all too often the buyer does not understand the product sufficiently, and may be seduced by a fancy printing job. He is paying the insurance company a large fee to do what he could do for himself if he tried. If people really understood annuities, they probably would not buy them. I hold the same opinion on stock mutual funds.
    Jan 16 08:37 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Choices: Annuities Vs. Dividends [View article]
    Your analysis of any annuity offer should begin with a careful look at the brochure the salesman gives you. Try to estimate what it cost to produce that beautifully printed on expensive cardstock, mult-page, multi-color proposal (that is what it really is), and then think about how much profit your purchase must generate in order for the insurance company to think it could afford such a printing job. If it is such a good deal, why do they have to spend so much money convincing you? Maybe, just maybe, the good deal is pretty one-sided in their favor. Just maybe.

    Think about it.

    George
    Jan 12 07:27 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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