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  • 5 Reasons The U.S. Economy Is Not Healthy [View article]
    Our system has been corrupted over the years to provide guaranteed mediocrity at its robust best.
    To expect anything better is not realistic.
    This will only worsen as time passes, as we are entrapped within our own system without the wisdom or the will to improve it.
    No improvements for the broad majority can take place until we take the power tilt out of campaign finance laws, and the virtuous money loop between the banksters, the military industrial complex, the politicians, the media, and the FED.
    They select and control our leaders.
    We, the people, Do Not!
    Mar 2, 2015. 12:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • This Picture Is Worth 1000 Words [View article]
    Lawrence, Thanks for the reply.
    With great reluctance , and for the first time in many years, I did watch the FED report to the Senate today.
    For the most part, it was nauseating, as usual , which is why I normally avoid watching it. Will resist going on a rant.
    Congratulations for staying behind the plow, and providing us with some logical financial foodstuffs to help maintain a little sanity in this insane world.
    Feb 24, 2015. 01:33 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Picture Is Worth 1000 Words [View article]
    As long as Citigroup continues to write the legislation, and buys the politicians to pass it, and the FED gives them all the cover they need, logical analysis will take a back seat.
    You have provided good logical, rational analysis in this fine article and I thank you for that, but it's relevance to what happens in the stock market is muted by my leading statement.
    Audit the FED, or ban it!
    Rewrite election campaign finance laws to remove the power tilt now firmly in place and maybe logical analysis will have more meaning someday, but I'm afraid most of us won't be around when that happens.
    Feb 24, 2015. 01:12 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: A Free Cash Flow Scorecard Analysis [View article]
    IBM is an enigma in the corporate world, and a classic case of a large company being a victim of it's own huge success.
    As a result it has become slow, fat and hidebound.
    It waits too long to initiate new business oportunities and acquire expertise and new businesses in the first place, and then waits too long to divest itself of weak and underperforming business units when truly indicated and necessary.
    It's internal administrative burden is massive and suffocating to it's employees, and they have expounded on it in exhaustive detail and volume in many comments and articles.
    Some have named it "International Bureaucratic Monstrosity".
    There is little doubt in my mind they will regroup and have their excellent run up again someday, but it will be assisted by a 4% plus GDP and a world recovery and boom, and even then if only they have properly adapted to their needs.
    I understand their current logic in paring down their size and staff to become leaner and more efficient.
    Good as far as it goes, but it must be combined with expert and brilliant selection of markets and the products that match.
    That remains to be seen, and till it at least "starts" to happen, by whatever means, I will continue to take a pass.
    Their negative tangible book value doesn't inspire confidence either.
    Feb 20, 2015. 04:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Key Tail Risk That The FOMC Missed (And You Should Pay Attention To) [View article]
    With all the stumble bumble drunks staggering down the road, it is amazing that several have not already fallen into the ditch.
    Charmed lives I guess.
    As far as the FED is concerned, their response can best be illustrated by putting your forefinger to your bottom lip, strumming it , while making the sound
    "beebah dubbledah dee dum."
    Feb 19, 2015. 11:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: A Free Cash Flow Scorecard Analysis [View article]
    PGP: I am reading all your articles as usual and consider the info as "Magnificent".
    I am curious as to whether you have explored the metric: "Owner's Yield", which is Net profit margin divided by Price to Sales ratio?
    This ratio answers the question of how much net profit is received for every dollar of sales.
    I think it would be a great addendum to FCF Yield, etc.
    Thanks again for all the superb work you are sharing with us.
    Feb 18, 2015. 09:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What, Me Worry? [View article]
    It's always darkest before the dawn, ---- and before the Hurricane.
    It is a jolly Casino we're dabbling in, and the author is just suggesting that a little more than the usual care be applied at this time, and for very valid reasons in my view.
    Double check your bets and watch your coat.
    Doesn't matter to me what his portfolio has been, just the relevance of his current information is plenty good enough for me.
    Feb 18, 2015. 07:18 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware The Macro Value Trap [View article]
    Value is Worth/$Cost.
    If one is shopping for a Shovel, and store A has the shovel for $10 and store B sells the exact same model shovel from the same production run, for $20 then the shovel from store B has one-half the Value as the shovel from store A.
    Similar model for stocks, and if the fundamentals and future prospects for a given stock has not changed, then its "value" will be greater when it drops in price, and LESSER if it rises in price.
    That is actual value , but there is also "perceived" and "relative" value, and that depends on the mind of the individual for "perceived" value , and his analytical skills for "relative" values.
    It appears to me that the "perceived" value of stocks are going up when their price increases but there is little or no improvement in fundamentals, and future prospects and perhaps even a slippage or diminution.
    This "perceived" value, should it prove to be incorrect, is the thing that puts higher risk in a rising market.
    So the challenge is to determine if the overall market is improving enough fundamentally to justify its rise in price.
    Of course, this applys to individual stocks as well.
    If you think that it isn't justified, then you may perhaps hold with increased risk, but it would be unwise to join the bull herd and buy aggressively.
    There's a lot more to it than that, but that relates to only one item to consider , which is Value.
    Feb 17, 2015. 05:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Watch The Small Cap Canary In The Stock Market Coal Mine [View article]
    Just a word about options activity and their associated geopolitical risks and opportunities.
    I noticed on Feb.2, 2015 that the market staged a sudden rally where the Trin plunged down to 0.6 area. I tried to justify this using conventional news and could justify some of the rally but not it's full magnitude.
    The next day the TRIN plunged down to 0.5 confirming the continuing strong rally, etc. I still could not justify the magnitude and breadth of the rally.
    What had actually happened is that V. Putin on Feb.2 had expressed "extreme concern" about the fighting in Ukraine according to Reuters.
    I believe this was the first hint about the Minsk II cease fire agreement talks underway that it was going to get confirmed.
    This suggests to me that there is a strong inside link from the State Dept. , the CIA, the Treas. to the FED , and hence to Wall Street/Banks that move markets on inside geopolitical, and other, information.
    Meanwhile , conventional "news" did little to place any important emphasis on this early on.

    This by no means explains "everything" about the markets, but it does indicate why trading options on conventional information, or short term technical analysis can be so devastating at times.
    Feb 14, 2015. 11:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Watch The Small Cap Canary In The Stock Market Coal Mine [View article]
    Correction: I misquoted Phil Davis' website. It is (
    Feb 12, 2015. 10:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Watch The Small Cap Canary In The Stock Market Coal Mine [View article]
    convoluted:Phil Davis has his own site (, and he usually let's you read his daily letter, but not always. I usually find it an interesting and useful read, and his Phil's "favorites" line up are also very good and timely.
    Feb 12, 2015. 04:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Major cereal brands no help for Kellogg in Q4 [View news story]
    Have given up on eating all highly processed cereals. This after years of no problems, but now many problems. Wonder if other people are having the same problems (GMO's?, Gluten? Additives?).
    Anyone with any knowledge on this, personal or otherwise, please speak up.
    Feb 12, 2015. 04:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Watch The Small Cap Canary In The Stock Market Coal Mine [View article]
    convoluted: sounds like you and Phil Davis would get along fine. He's also very good at it. But no margin activity for me.
    Feb 12, 2015. 03:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Watch The Small Cap Canary In The Stock Market Coal Mine [View article]
    Lawrence: Thanks for the interesting and well reasoned reply including some of your personal history and experiences.
    Sometimes we have to see it first hand at least once in order to truly grasp the possibilities of what could actually happen on any day and as things unfold.
    Feb 12, 2015. 12:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Watch The Small Cap Canary In The Stock Market Coal Mine [View article]
    Lawrence: Anytime I think of buying puts on the RUT or anything else, I take a good long hard look of the NASDAQ chart of the period 1995 thru 2002 that is posted on my wall beside my computer monitor where I can plainly and readily see it.
    This is the best example of an irrational (insane) market on a rampage in both directions that I know about.
    Think of yourself buying puts on the way up from '95 to 2000 because it was overbought and overvalued along most of the way.
    By the time you ended up being right you probably would have been long since broke or severely damaged at the least.
    Even the multiple very strong counter trend rallies on the huge downside of the slope during 2000 thru 2002 would have scared daylights out of most anyone with puts.
    I use my fundamental and technical analysis mostly for judging when "don't buy here" is reached, and secondly, after a sell off, "it is probably safe to buy here" and/or sell puts.

    But with a fundamentally overbought market even that strategy is compromised.

    Bottom line is that I have not reached a confidence level to buy put insurance on the RUT because markets are far too irrational and unpredictable, but I usually do have confidence enough to reach a decision "don't buy (don't go long) here!"
    Feb 12, 2015. 09:44 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment