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  • The Most Important Financial Statement When Selecting Dividend Growth Stocks [View article]
    All the effects and nuances of cash flow can never be discussed enough, and you have presented an excellent overall solid approach.
    One must always remember however that it (cash flow) is a single snapshot of cash at a frozen point in time.
    To help counter this, for instance, though I have never seen it discussed, I always take a look at how well net discretionary free cash flow covers accounts payable, and other short term pending commitments, and how much of the depreciated amount has been reinvested in plant and equipment,etc.
    Aug 12 11:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Want To Reduce Missteps? Become A 2-Faced Investor [View article]
    Trying to apply a rational thought process to a too often irrational domain like the stock market is like trying to reason with an unreasonable person or argue for fairness with someone with no moral character.
    Your chances for success are largely unpredictable, and too often thoroughly negative.
    It "mostly" boils down to guts and luck, plus some knowlege of probably what NOT to do as much as what to do.
    This is not at all true for the insiders and the power brokers, both the legal and illegal variety. They have all the edge that they need to "make it happen" in most cases.
    Yes there is usually someone to take the other side of the trade, but they have millions and billions and most of us have somewhat less.
    Doesn't mean we can't play along and also do very well in some periods, but it's a stacked deck from top to bottom, and some people like Phil Davis know this very well and can make it work anyway, if one becomes single minded and almost obsessed about it.
    Most of us are not wired that way, hence we struggle.
    My view is that the market would be much lower but much more stable and investable if it were not rigged from top to bottom as I believe it definitely is in almost every way imaginable, starting with the FED, and sideways and down from there.
    Not looking for anyone to agree with me , and I am not trying to convince anyone of anything.
    It's your own view that counts and so just play it as you see it.
    May 14 09:17 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How I Analyze Earnings Reports [View article]
    Good points all.
    Always glad to hear more inputs on free cash flow.
    Would be nice if you included some guidelines and ratios about the quality of the free cash flow, i.e. what are the almost immediate demands on it such as the amount of accounts payable?
    What other demands/options are lurking , like new CAPEX in the quarter, year, etc.?
    What discretionary actions are owners likely to do with the cash, such as acquisitions , stock buybacks, increase dividends, pay off debt, make loans, etc.?
    Just some quick off the cuff thoughts.
    PS: Enterprise Value to EBITDA ratio is often recommended to evaluate. Is this also a no-no in your book? If so , what would you substitute for EBITDA --- i.e. use FCF?
    Apr 25 08:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Case Of 'Risk Exhaustion'? [View article]
    A lot of "value" stocks are no great shakes either, as in prior times they would be considered growth stocks at today's valuations, and metrics.
    Nice charts and narrative, and the VIX chart esp. nice. Thanks.
    Apr 15 05:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stocks: Short And Medium-Term Outlook [View article]
    A fine compendium of work. Many Thanks!
    Apr 15 05:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Real Retail Sales Per Capita: Another Perspective On The Economy [View article]
    Doug, Splendid Work!
    Since late 2013, I have been calling 2014 the year of the Dog, as in "Dog Eat Dog" competition. If the retailers want any revenues at all they will have to lower prices.
    BestBuy and HHGregg finding this out now, and it is not just the weather although that did play a part, no doubt.
    Once again, the consumer is tapped out by buying too many new cars and houses last year,etc.
    People who do this leave stores with a small number of small packages.
    Car dealers once again pushing "economy" cars , if you can call them that.
    Apr 15 05:29 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Week: The Start Of A New Bear Market? Evidence And Real Danger Signals [View article]
    It's the action "post" correction that I'm interested in.

    So if we correct 10 -15% and then rally strongly have we really "corrected" anything, or just made things confused again?
    I think we need a correction and then a much improved economic climate to support higher prices. This means income, wages , GDP and all the rest.
    Otherwise, it's just the same 'ol rigged game that it's been over the last several years, but with even less substance to back it up.
    Who can have any confidence in that?
    All this with no "predicted" Recession in sight, but with more people suffering and struggling than we've had in years.
    These inconsistencies and distortions must be corrected before trust can be restored.
    Regrettably, it is not likely to happen with the FED, and all the political power brokers behaving as they are.
    The Big Casino in the Sky continues to be the Big Casino in the Sky.
    Apr 13 10:11 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
    Interesting point on "in-the-money" PUTS.
    Agree with some of your thoughts (beliefs) about Wall Street.
    To that must be added the in control Shadow Government and all of its mega powerful components and activities.
    It is true that these functions own and control both parties, and the people are left to believe (wrongly) that their "voting" really counts for something - not anymore at the national level as the candidates are selected and controlled by the power brokers.
    Some voting effectiveness may still exist at the local level, but it is diminishing rapidly.
    Apr 11 02:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Protecting Your Equity Portfolio For Less - Part XIV [View article]
    Reading your articles with interest, as we all need all the help we can get with options.
    I have yet to buy PUTS in this cycle, but have been tempted recently.
    The lack of any "official" recession warnings and associated factors has restrained me thus far.
    I don't know if you have addressed the "autoexercise" feature of options or not, but it is worth mentioning that an in the money naked PUT in expiration will "normally" be autoexercised and the amount of shares under contract will be sold short in your behalf by your broker. If your shares under contract are sold short and the stock takes a hard bounce up and continues to rise then this could be damaging to your financial health if corrective action is not quickly taken.
    Preferably, previous action of covering the PUT has already taken place.
    I apologize if you have previously discussed this somewhere in your articles as I intend to read them all, but have yet to complete the mission.
    Apr 9 09:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Danger Zone: Value Investors [View article]

    David, Agreed.
    Same ol' story by some except more so - dazzle'em with your footwork and footnotes.
    I remember when many companies did a superb job on their reports and it made sense when you read and analyzed them. And I would often think "Well done and most impressive!" i.e. a timely work of business art in the best sense of the word.

    Now it has become a most tedious and sometimes befuddling operation, that I certainly don't have time for anymore because of the extra volume, complexity, and obfuscation in most cases.
    Now have to depend more on key ratios and metrics plus all else I can reasonably find out, and just go with that -- not a comfortable feeling.
    Apr 3 09:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • In Praise Of Clear Thinking Over Blind Modeling [View article]
    Agreed, and I avoided Milton Friedman the same way I avoided Larry Kudlow and Arthur Laffer for the same reasons. They would have been better off living in the 18th century (or anytime but now).
    Apr 2 12:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The Stock Market Cheap? [View article]
    Just the facts ma'am - Solid work as always - Many Thanks
    Apr 2 11:45 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Black Swan Events: How To Protect Your Portfolio When It Is Needed [View article]
    Clinton signed the Gramm -Leach- Bliley Act repealing Glass - Steagall because it was VETO PROOF.
    This was another serious and major self inflicted wound perpetrated on the American people, and a blot and stain on both houses of congress.
    The bill was overwhelmingly supported by and voted for by the vast majority of Republicans (with GHWB's blessing and encouragement) and tacitly approved by enough Demo's (in the final version) to make it VETO PROOF.
    Arguably this was not without some footwork involved by Phil Gramm who appended an amendment that slipped past some congressmen in the final version: The Commodities Futures Modernization Act.

    It has since become known that President Clinton really did not mind signing the bill - a disappointment to me as I once believed otherwise and was foolishly grateful for a position of his that did not really exist.
    Just because one may trust a congressperson or President one day, does not mean that they can necessarily be trusted the next.
    Apr 1 10:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rigging The Stock Market Is Old Hat [View article]
    Moon, Well stated to a good article..
    The style now is to not kill the cow that you milk (and bleed) every day.
    Just skim (milk) and scam (bleed) right up to the point of causing an outright revolt , but not more.
    If a revolt seems eminent , then buy off some more regulators and media prostitutes until things settle down again.
    The interplay between HFT and inside knowledge of buy/sell high cluster points and pending Big Block buy/sell orders, along with just about everything else one can think of makes this a hugely rigged game that HFT serves to perfect for the benefit of the practitioners.
    And they wonder why some of us are so skeptical.
    Apr 1 11:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Controlled Experiment With The S&P 500 [View article]
    So are you saying that things are now so complex that only the most informed insiders and professionals can possibly figure it out? - if your answer is "Yes" then I agree with you.
    Also, are you saying that timely manipulation of the markets are possible by overloading specific options ,and other trading strategies ?- if your answer is "Yes" then I agree with you.
    And they wonder why some of us are so skeptical.
    Apr 1 10:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment