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Storm Warning

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  • What Is Smart Beta Anyway? [View article]
    Smart beta is simply a marketing term promoted to sell more shares. It belongs in the can.

    Just come out and say your indexing is better. Oh, but that ad campaign is years old and nobody listens to it anymore. Gotta have new marketing terms to increase sales, so smart beta is all about increasing fund sales and zero about offering the investor a better product.

    What changed in your indexing that makes you now call it 'smart beta'? WisdomTree may have some worthwhile products, but 'smart beta' isn't one of them.
    Mar 24, 2014. 08:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Adding Some Gangnam Style To Your Portfolio [View article]
    One further alternative to consider is the First Trust South Korea AlphaDEX Fund (FKO).

    I would prefer it over EWY on a long-term basis, especially considering the gap in expense ratios is not that great.
    Feb 18, 2014. 03:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Netflix slow for many Comcast customers [View news story]
    Looks like Verizon FIOS is a big waste of money from those results.
    Feb 12, 2014. 01:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Atlantic Power -11%, continues slide after last week's debt refi [View news story]
    What has been going on at Atlantic Power the past few years can only be described as a criminal fleecing of innocent investors who don't know better. If this "div payer" were a prescription drug it would have a label "warning: may cause death".

    This is a scam IMO that the SEC should be all over. Why is it a scam? It appears to have been structured in such a way as to pay a fantastic monthly dividend that income-starved investors would be desperate to latch onto. Then with little warning (none that the little investors would pick up on) it collapsed on them. Reading the history of this makes it seem it was no surprise to management, though. Just look at the SA authors who published on this stock. Several of them were really caught. What a shame. And it should be a crime, too.
    [Disclosure: No position]
    Feb 3, 2014. 04:03 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. government seeks BP's continued suspension from new contracts [View news story]
    BP's repeated negligence has killed people. The government position seems reasonable to me.
    Jan 29, 2014. 03:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The PowerShares NYSE Century ETF is open for trading [View news story]
    It would seem the First Trust Capital Strength ETF (FTCS) is a much better approach to investing in "strong institutions", although it sticks to NASDAQ listings and has a high expense ratio (no word here on NYCC's expense ratio which is probably similar). At least the rationale is more on target with FTCS.
    Jan 15, 2014. 11:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Regulators ease Basel leverage ratio requirements [View news story]
    Why bother counting at all?
    Jan 13, 2014. 05:38 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • JPMorgan, authorities close to $2B deal over Madoff [View news story]
    At first read, I have to say I want the guilty plea.

    The biggest problem with the TBTFs is there is no enforcement to make them alter their "misbehavior".
    Jan 6, 2014. 05:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • SEC widens probe into hiring practices at banks [View news story]
    ["However, documents that JPMorgan has handed over as part of the investigation don't indicate that executives at the bank's New York HQ knew of the recruitment strategy."]

    Simply another example of a bank Too Big Too Manage - break it up.
    Dec 8, 2013. 07:17 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Stocks Not In A Bubble; I'll Tell You What Is, Though [View article]
    "It's pretty easy to tell when something is NOT in a bubble.

    It's a bit harder to determine that something IS in a bubble"

    LOL - someone clearly doesn't get on TV enough.
    Nov 8, 2013. 09:50 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Stocks Not In A Bubble; I'll Tell You What Is, Though [View article]
    What I loved most was the National Association of Realtors commercials back then stating "now is a great time to buy" - such as this one uploaded to YouTube on 1 Jan 2009. Yeah, that was a great time to buy! Frauds.
    Nov 8, 2013. 09:44 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Danger Zone: XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) [View article]
    Glad to see you point this out, David.

    Without attention like this the problems will not get fixed (or I should say "improved" as I expect the data is rarely 100% correct).

    Hopefully someone at the SEC will take note as these XBRL files are the best solution (when corrected) for us investors to tap into the submitted reports.
    Nov 8, 2013. 09:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Danger Zone: XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) [View article]
    I expect the XBRL files will stick around, and over time they'll slowly get better. Hopefully the SEC will get on a quality control initiative and put some controls in place.

    A blank or value of 1 for "total shares outstanding" should be rejected as in the simple example cited, but I'm sure there are many more checks that could/should be done.
    Nov 8, 2013. 09:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Reality Check For Peter Schiff [View article]
    Let's refer to some evidence here, such as this study:

    Here are 2 quotes just from the abstract:
    "...we find that increases in homeownership rates reduce criminal
    activity over time. "

    "Our results suggest that federal, state, and local policies as
    well as other initiatives, such as Habitat for Humanity, that support
    homeownership, will have substantial positive spill-over effects on the social fabric of a given community."

    Based on this study, mortgage interest deduction has a positive effect on communities by encouraging homeownership. Their findings make the deduction a positive for government and the community, it should be kept in force.

    I have the understanding that it does not apply to Jumbo Loans which would make sense and perhaps offset your concern about it only supporting the wealthy, but I'll leave that for another to research.
    Nov 1, 2013. 04:05 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Reality Check For Peter Schiff [View article]
    Right, that's all simply due to superior economics!
    Nov 1, 2013. 12:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment