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truthteller

truthteller
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  • Dilution Risks in Emerging Energy Storage Companies [View article]
    As a shareholder of about 11,000 shares of zbb and 9,500 of acpw, I am a bit concerned with the events of this week. Zbb's managment bit the bullet all right, they played russian roulette with a fully loaded weapon and shot their ear clean off! They were far too optimistic, when they poured too much capital in PECC R&D and re-tooling operations for versions 2-3. This combined with a few misplaced words almost laid the company to waste.

    The best hope and yes I said hope for Zbb's management is:

    1) The senate immediately takes up climate change legislation and the provisions benefit storage companies, my guess this is highly unlikely.

    2) Zbb wrangles more low to zero interest loans from Wisconsin, my guess this is somewhat unlikely given state budget woes.

    3) The senate immediately takes up legislation to offer US government loan guarantees for small businesses, my guess this is likely but I am not sure zbb would qualify. And if they did whether they can afford a place at the trough, beacon shows it takes a lot of influence to get government money.

    4) Zbb starts focusing on sales and distribution. Well they have a plan in place but management seriously damaged the company's reputation. I really hope they can get back to work making money and stop spending it.

    5) The winds blow in a different direction, such that oil and inflation picks up, over the next couple of months.

    Right now, Active Power is starting to look like one of the smartest people in the room by finding practical applications for data centers to use their products.
    May 22, 2010. 01:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Q1 Bank Earnings Due to Marking Up Assets, Not Fundamentals - Meredith Whitney [View article]
    I don't know even she said that she could be wrong about unemployment and homeownership rates, which can in turn change her assumptions on a double-dip in housing. Also she had a more stagnant economic view about the outlook over this summer. That's not up, nor down, just more of the same.
    May 6, 2010. 01:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Durables Indicate a Rougher Road Ahead [View article]
    I am not a trader type and only mock those like the author, who make dire predictions that inevitably turn out to be false. I manage my own personal portfolio and as of last year, say around march or so, I broke even with my balance before the recession hit. I did not use complex formulas and did nothing more than read two short chapters from the intelligent investor.

    The doom and gloomers that predicted this recession were absolutely right. However, those who were late to the party and want to chime in before it's too late and say we're headed down another leg are just acting foolishly. The more foolish people are those who make investment decisions based on political ideals and not on cold hard facts. Sure the current idiots we elected, are dampening the recovery by causing increased charges to pay for porkulus and this health care crud. The same way the previous idiots we elected, failed to protect the dumping of Chinese goods and caused enormous deficits relating to the Iraq war.

    There are a whole bunch of indicators that show we are now entering a new phase of recovery. The recent unemployment numbers is just one of many. I am reminded of a quote from a pretty smart guy, "Beware of geeks bearing formulas." I'm not going to use some hundred plus year old formulas to tell me, where we are headed.
    Mar 26, 2010. 10:48 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Durables Indicate a Rougher Road Ahead [View article]
    I am still waiting for the dire market events to unfold as you "predicted" in January's post "consider yourself warned". Maybe one of these days you will man up and admit you were wrong but after reading much of the crud you have written, I seriously doubt it.
    Mar 26, 2010. 08:30 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here It Comes: Consider Yourself Warned [View article]
    I watched an interview with the former NY Fed governor, president or whatever you call them on CNBC yesterday. I thought it was pretty interesting when they asked him if he would raise interest rates to fight inflation with employment still high. He said the risk to price stabilility was far greater than the risk of unemloyment. As far as Buffett, he's been bullish on the long-term growth aspects of the S&P 500. If you're a follower of Buffett; then you have read chapter eight of "The Intelligent Investor" and would know the difference between an investor and a speculator. It sure seems this author and your post is doing a whole lot of speculating and not enough investing. The fact is we don't know fully understand what impact inflation will have over the next ten years and the CPI report this morning only showed .8% inflation in Nov. A mentor told me once, you don't know what you don't know...

    READ CHAPTER EIGHT!!!
    Jan 15, 2010. 11:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-In Vehicles Are 'Waist Deep in the Big Muddy' [View article]
    I have my doubts about plug-in vehicles as well. In addition to the information shared in past posts, the praticality of a set of batteries in an auto escapes me. I have enough trouble getting my laptop to a full charge. I can't count the number of times each week, I walk over to my laptop, begin computing only to discover I failed to charge it the night before. Also, I would suspect, once those batteries are jostled, like in an accident, they might develop micro fissures, hampering performance and hastening replacement time. It just seems so impractical to me and I don't support extra gasoline taxes, like the vice chairman of GM recommends, as it may place a burden on folks who are out of work. I remember all the rules with my new netbooks, cell phones and bluetooth about allowing it to run down the first time all the way before recharging and just cringe at doing that for a car...
    Jan 15, 2010. 11:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Financial System: More Dangerous than an Al Qaeda Attack? [View article]
    I remember when Bank of America's shares touched $2.70 in February of 2009. I had some severance money in my bank and my wife and I had a long discussion about why I shouldn't invest this money. In the meantime, I sold all the stocks in my retirement account and purchased a concentrated position in Bank of America, around $4 bucks a share. Later the next day, my wife acquiesced and the following day, I was able to buy more bank of america in a personal account as well, also around $4 buck a share. The hardest part was letting go of the fact I lost so much money in the first place but I remember it feeling both scary and rather exhilirating.

    I remember people telling me that it's impossible to pick a bottom and most wouldn't recognize it even when you're there but something felt different when I saw it fall below $5 bucks. Now sure I could have lost a bundle but wound up making back everything I lost in the stock market collapse of 2008-2009.

    Something also felt different at the beginning of 2010, maybe it was the volume at the start of the new year, or desperation in the shorts, during the end of 2009. Anyways, I wouldn't let bitterness, or personal feelings stand between me and making money. It seems like you can either admit you got the something wrong and missed the boat, making it easier to reposition cash into long positions like financial company values with strong cash flow, industrials, clean energy storage, cloudsharing and information technology, or keep saying it aint so.

    Otherwise, the only thing left is to keep claiming the skies are falling. However, that's the problem with looking in the past and not in the future, you don't make money.
    Jan 11, 2010. 07:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I'm Still Distrustful of This Rally [View article]
    I enjoyed reading your article and thought it was well written. Although I disagree with your conclusions, I enjoy reading contrary opinions to test my own assumptions.

    I suspect, inflation would impact our trade relationship with China and that could be positive. Afterall wouldn't a little domestic production be a good thing right about now? I have always supported economic policies that penalize dumping cheap goods here in the US and inflation can be a very good thing, just as long as the US is getting something of value for new debt. The US government and our companies need to learn how to get on the winning side of trade by understanding the games our asian partners play, like go strategies from Sun Tzu.

    I would also suspect the book of loans written during this recession will be very high quality loans and subsequently very profitable, due to stricter underwriting guidelines. I agree that the government should do a better job managing the loans on their balance sheet. We shouldn't wait for a customer to be delinquent before offering help, especially if unemployment impacted the household.

    I suspect inflation is coming but it's not all the doom and gloom the gold bugs make it out to be and hyperinflation is not in the cards. We are on the same page as to the facts, only they took me to a different place in the end...
    Jan 11, 2010. 12:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here It Comes: Consider Yourself Warned [View article]
    I think I replied to you in another article but it bears repeating here as well. People who make investment decisions on politics, rather than dollars and sense, can and will lose a lot of mony. Now, I don't make investments on conspiracy theories because I am an unabashed capitalist.

    On a separate note, there's a group here in the US, who feels disaffected from the current political system. Those same people did not pay their fair share under Bush Tax cuts and caused the very same deficits that they now protest on the street. There's also another group in the US, incentivizes low earnings, by refunding more money than they paid into the current tax system. In effect, giving that group a handout, rather than a hand-up.

    Inflation is coming, no doubt about it, but we will never see hyperinflation and I suspect an asset bubble is starting to form in precious metals. If you want to base investment decisions on conspiracy theories and populist politics, or tea-bagging, or any other idealogical ideas, go right ahead and place your bet. Last tiime I checked this is an investment website, helping investors make money, not a place to pedal idealogical ideals. That's what the blogs on CNN & Fox are for....
    Jan 11, 2010. 10:01 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here It Comes: Consider Yourself Warned [View article]
    Having a mentor can sometimes color your judgement. The author is looking at the trailing P/E ratios, rather than forward P/E ratios, which intentionally makes the data look bad b/c that's when we were right in the middle of the melt down and earnings were artificially low. However, most financial firms took a throw out bathwater & baby, or kitchen sink, whichever analogy works best for you.

    I don't place much stock in Bill Gross because he has a vested interest in people purchasing bonds, even while yields are extemely low, no money in it and fact you could lose a bundle with inflation. However, betting against Buffett is a strategy, I just couldn't recommend. While on the subject, Ben Stein had lunch with Buffett and wrote a nice article on CNN, he made an interesting comparison to the 1953 recession. I am quoting directly here:

    "This, however, said Buffett, was not a reason to doubt the stock market's 2009 comeback. Buffett noted that the biggest gain the Dow had ever notched in the postwar period came in 1954 when, according to him, the unemployment numbers were dismal (although nowhere near as bad as today's) until late in the year, when a rapid recovery began. The same thing could be happening now, he said. (I checked this later and as usual, Buffett had it right about the recovery from the 1953-54 slowdown.)"

    Btw, that was a V-shaped recovery. Take a short position, place your bets because I am sure there are plenty of sharks on wall street ready to take it...
    Jan 10, 2010. 10:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Here It Comes: Consider Yourself Warned [View article]
    Agreed. This piece doesn't make a lot of sense to me. It seems like investors shouldn't hold too much faith in the trailing P/E ratio because it reflects the past twelve months and as such includes all the losses from last year. However, the economic climate today has changed dramatically from 2008-2009 levels. From my perspective, the forward P/E ratio makes a lot more sense in judging future stock performance. It seems like this author is stuck in the past twelve months and not looking forward to the next twelve months. This is classic behavior, which is why so many people miss rebounds like the major move last year and the old saw that nobody can accurately predict the bottom, even once you reached it.
    Jan 10, 2010. 10:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Negative Real Interest Rate [View article]
    I agree with the main thrust of your article. The US government has played this game and quite well over the past sixty years. I have always held the view that inflation is healthy for the US because it makes our government debt held by China worth less money, while injecting capital back into the economy and GDP. It's the only way to stop the dumping of cheap Chinese goods here in the US. I am surprised that the European Union hasn't caught on yet and started to deflate their currency as well.
    Jan 10, 2010. 09:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is there a message in the 300+ year old chart? [View instapost]
    Great comment Donald and last name, I might add!
    Jan 10, 2010. 09:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is there a message in the 300+ year old chart? [View instapost]
    Sorry, but I am reminded of the old axe from Warren Buffett, beware of geeks bearing formulas. Ben Stein had an interesting lunch with Buffett back in December 2009 and wrote an fascinating piece on CNN. I thought it was interesting that when the discussion turned to the economy, Warren brought up the 1953 recession, which was a V shaped recovery.

    "This, however, said Buffett, was not a reason to doubt the stock market's 2009 comeback. Buffett noted that the biggest gain the Dow had ever notched in the postwar period came in 1954 when, according to him, the unemployment numbers were dismal (although nowhere near as bad as today's) until late in the year, when a rapid recovery began. The same thing could be happening now, he said. (I checked this later and as usual, Buffett had it right about the recovery from the 1953-54 slowdown.)"

    Sometimes a duck is just a duck...
    Jan 10, 2010. 09:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did BofA Make a Big Warrants Error? [View article]
    Really nice political commentary but how does that have anything to do with investing???

    If Bank of America traded in line with peers, JPM & WFC, relative to price/book, an implied share price would be $26.20 and $34.49 respectively.
    Jan 10, 2010. 05:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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