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  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    The seas are rising. The ice of the last advance was a mile or more than two miles thick over northern North America and much of Eurasia. Sea level was more than 700 feet lower than now at its minimum. All that ice used a lot of water.

    Find a copy of "The Making Of A Continent," R Redfern, buy from an online vendor who can find a copy. It has been out of print to my understanding for decades but is a marvelous source of understanding tectonic plate movement, Ice Ages, how current continents have developed. The book says the ocean floor at the time of Pangea has been pushed under North America and raised North America out of the sea. So the seaway between the Rockies and the Appalachians that runs from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico is now dry land. And more. Ancient Ice Ages, some long before Pangea, are described.

    Add a few of the very recent books about the Ice Ages and 'Climate Change' is easy to understand. Ice Ages are few and far between. Ice Advances are like corrections in the Markets. The Ice Age currently in progress has been working for more than a million years and there have been 9 Ice Advances. That mostly covers all of Human existence. Our species has seen it all before several times; a shame there are no records so we might have a better expectation about the stages of the 10th Ice Advance now barely beginning.

    Most of the current push about 'Global Warming' and 'Climate Change' is entirely about money and power.
    Apr 17 11:39 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    I look at a "Wind Map" ; keep a tab in my bookmarks bar next to the National Weather Forecast tab; and if the people who say such things wanted to, we are watching another "Polar Vortex." Of course, Polar Vortex's only happen in the Winter season and this is Spring.
    Apr 16 09:47 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Simply Buy The Dividend Aristocrats And Perhaps Beat The Market [View article]
    ETF's all seem to have a reduced dividend return but the list price, the cost of a share of the stock, is as volatile as any other stock. When I do my own 'Due Diligence' which is pretty minimal, I usually find I cannot make myself buy the ETF I am looking at. I end up buying a dividend paying corporate stock with a higher yield and a substantial history to look at as a guide.

    That is, I do not have the background or other understanding to try to take apart the financial documents. I look at the graphs of share price for most of the lengths of time available. Charts for a week, a month, several months, a few years, usually 5 years and sometimes for 10 years or more. I try to see where the share price has been and where it might be going as a general trend. One of the big-name market gurus supposedly once said that all that matters is the numbers on the tape. The ticker tape. So that dates the comment but it may be the best truth?

    I do my own thing and then I read these articles in SA and in other forums and other sources and the articles from people who are much more savvy about the markets usually mess with my mind. Many of my mistakes were from listening to these people. OTOH, their published knowledge and information is critical to understanding where the markets may be going and being aware of relevant things that do not show up on the graphs.

    Mr. Roberts, I like to read your articles and comments. Despite the remote anonymity of this and other forums, I think I would like you if there were ever a face-to-face; and I respect your professionalism and competence. I think I like the name "Cranky" better. :-) .

    So far as return on investment and ETF's, I have bought a few CEF's and some other relatively higher-risk funds that generate much higher dividend yields. I buy positions that cost a half or a quarter of my usual major corporation position sizes and watch closely. If I am in doubt I keep a trailing stop in place. I pick these from the suggestions in sources like SA and from the one paid Newsletter I subscribe to. The Newsletter subscription also provides some other investment missives of whatever interest.

    I am trying to say that I am creating something of my own ETF or mini-mutual fund and generating a decent return considering my lack of knowledge, ~5.25% to ~5.5% net realized gain & dividend in 2013 on the brokerage stated market value, before tax. Precise figures depend on final adjustments in some documents that will not be available for some time.

    Options are not a possibility for me. I cannot get my head wrapped around them and I cannot meet the cash reserve requirements of my brokerage.

    But: Why not create one's own little ETF equivalent with funds and stocks that produce much higher yields, do not have tacked-on on-going expenses, have no more collective real risk than most of the ETF's?

    Apr 14 11:23 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    There was an article yesterday about Thorium Nuclear power. China and India are apparently researching using Thorium. The article covered the subject quite well. Sorry, don't have a link. Read it in another forum that links to a newspaper and the newspaper publishers threaten any further links. It would, I suppose, be unreasonable to suggest easy Twitter links to such articles.

    Apple apparently is about to make an iPhone 6. Production said to begin early this summer. And an an 'iPhone 6 - 2.0' a little later ????. I saw the '6' discussed in the last few days and more thoroughly this morning in Business Insider. The '6' will supposedly have a 4.7 inch screen; the '--2.0' a 5.5 inch screen. I am an "average" or highly "typical" consumer and I think I will wait for the 5.5 inch version. I also want AT&T as my provider. A bigger screen would help me. The '--2.0' big screen may not work with current Apps, according to BI.

    Otherwise, I am doing well with my iPhone 4 and see no reason to change.
    Apr 11 11:05 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    To: DeerCreek--
    64% of salary is not the disaster it sounds like. In the US, at least, deductions for most of us are nearly half of gross pay. Upon retirement (presumably at or after "Full Retirement Age") most of those deductions go away. It does not take much 'other' or independent income from investments so that monthly cash in hand stays about the same. Then, again in the US, Medicare 'A,' required at age 65, and Medicare 'B,' required at Full Retirement Age or actual retirement picks up a lot of slack on medical need. Any follow-on medical plan fills holes and left-over costs and the regular premium drops a lot (because the plan becomes secondary to Medicare A & B whether the individual signed up for them or not. If not, the individual must pay those costs out of pocket. So. . .).
    Apr 9 10:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    In the summer of 2011, left a model year 2000 car behind and bought a new (almost new) 2011 version. The tech improvements and the corrections/adjustments to the things I did not like about the 2000 model were amazing.
    Apr 9 09:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    Pre-owned cars that I have seen that are one to three years old all seem to have either been wrecked or the first owner replaces his vehicle every 'that many' years and does no maintenance at all. For myself, brand-new cars have always lasted 10 years; used or 'pre-owned' cars cost tons of money for maintenance and repair and only hold up even then for 3 or 4 years.

    It has been too long for me to properly recall: my last car was new and lasted 10 years and then I decided the cost of repair was not reasonable (for my pocketbook) or it might have gone 10 more. (Toyota Camry.) The replacement car, another Camry, is now 3 years old, was bought cash with a discount to MSRP, so no loan interest added, and has been totally reliable so far. The OEM tires were pathetic and were replaced at 1 year; but otherwise.

    I take summer road trips. My car is a support system; a rental would be (have tried it) a serious pain. Last summer I ran Wyoming I-25 from Custer Battlefield to Cheyenne on a tank of gas. About 29.7 MPG, carefully at exactly the posted freeway speed limits. (checked with GPS calculator on my cell phone Nav App.) Cannot imagine being out there on I-90 and I-25 and then crossing the Great Divide (US 550) in an electric car. My Toyota factory 4-cyl, 285 HP, twin overhead cam, automatic, never really knew there were mountains or that we were at 10 or 11 thousand feet. (Computer fuel control and fuel injection! How wonderful compared to the carburetors of yore!) The speed control computer did drop a gear now and then, but the speed needle never quivered. Charging an electric would have been impossible out there and I ran roads (not freeways) where I could go for all day at posted speeds of 65, 70, sometimes 75 and only pass one or two possible gas stations.

    My local, routine driving is currently about 40 miles a day. Five years ago it was 50. Typical variations add(ed) 25 to 75 real often. Most electric cars cannot comfortably fit into that need. A 100-mile-range Tesla is so far out of reach it is a joke.

    I believe that I am a prime 'average' case. Electric powered cars are marginal or inadequate for my 'typical' needs. The farther the person is from being inside a big city, the more that is true. Used and 'Pre-owned' cars are for when I cannot manage the price or financing for a new one.

    I drive a Toyota. My (grown) children drive Hondas. Nissan is popular here. Sometimes there are 'American' brand cars, more likely pickup trucks but even there it will usually be a Toyota. When I toured the East in 2012 I was blown away by all the American brand vehicles and the paucity of Japanese brand cars.

    Apr 7 03:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    The very first gas liquefying plant is not due to be in operation until middle to late 2015? The others as much as at least a year later? Market and world conditions/situations may be very different by then. The plants were built to turn liquid gas back into vapor: it took a long time and now the capability seems not needed; accepting that it may be again in a few decades. If we want to help Europe by providing natural gas in this next winter, probably we could not do it given the current construction and operationally ready expectations.
    Mar 25 11:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    Summer 2013 I took a road trip from Texas to California. It was fascinating to see how many windmill farms are visible from I-40. Also, how difficult to see the blades move in even minor atmospheric interference like light mist or dust. Birds focus on prey and the blades are not a part of their threat alarm responses. That may come to be: but it would be better if the blades were painted to get the attention of the birds. Jet engines and propellor hubs have a high-contrast spiral painted that does deter birds (some)-- at least on the ground where there is time and space for the birds to react. Big spirals on the wind turbines might help reduce the bird kill. It is also possible that the big spiraling effect would hypnotize people and cause bigger problems? Something might be done, if there was a will to do it.
    Mar 25 11:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Simply Buy The Dividend Aristocrats And Perhaps Beat The Market [View article]
    This ETF is interesting.
    I am concerned that while the -- so far -- one dividend shows up on, there is no dividend yield stated in the data boxes. At the end of January the price took a major hit that stands out on the charts, both and on the graphs within my brokerage data. Then, this article has clearly caused a big sudden increase in the price.
    My own perspective is to wait for a time, read your future articles about this ETF after you "look under the hood," see what the price does, see how the dividend works out.
    Thank you for writing this article, for bringing this ETF to the attention of the SA community.
    Mar 25 11:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    NOT part of Mexico. How about an independent nation?
    Mar 20 10:45 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    Canals were the current state of the art of transportation. Serious cargo movement was only by water. Schooners along the coasts and into suitable rivers. The canals extended the reach of water-borne transportation. The invention and development of steam power made railroads possible and the rails could reach much farther inland much more cheaply and into places where canals were impracticable. Therefore, railroads and then highways pre-empted the canals. The capabilities of steam engines were a motivation to simplify the system and encouraged the internal combustion engine, which in turn required a suitable fuel. The internal combustion engine encouraged the improvement of roads from mud and gravel to concrete. However, canals are apparently still doing well in some places in Europe with internal combustion engines instead of horses or oxen powering the canal boats. All I know of European canals is from photos in art forums.
    Mar 20 10:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rich And Retired? Why Buying Dividend Growth Stocks Might Not Be Your Best Move [View article]
    Thank you for a truly wonderful article. Best reading I have had in a long time.
    Mar 18 01:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Debunking The 'Dividends Don't Add Shareholder Value' Myth [View article]
    All this theory and intellectual discussion.

    How about: Dividends are a product of corporate earnings. The stockholder is being given money from earnings in proportion to the part of the business he owns/holds.

    If a dividend is not paid because the stockholder is being given a greater value or unrealized capital gain, then why not also withhold payment/salary to all employees and especially the executive staff because the employees and executives (particularly the executives) are receiving the implicit value of a better and stronger corporate performance from their efforts?

    It really is the same thing.
    Mar 14 12:34 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rich And Retired? Don't Buy Dividend Stocks [View article]
    An easy way to invest for someone like the subject of this entire article/thread would be to just follow 'Crossing Wall Street' and use the portfolio there. The track record is great; regular updates and discussion. The whole thing is even free, at least the version I read. Buy some Treasuries for insurance. Buy some corporate bonds too. Too easy.

    Leaving a big estate for family? Needs serious legal advisory. My own take is that usually family spends it all so fast they hardly know they ever had money but there are aftershocks of big bills they never thought of too. Lottery winners are famous for that kind of thing and so are many sports figures and movie stars. The inheritance he leaves needs tax protection and spending controls, if the controls can be managed under applicable law.
    Mar 13 01:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment