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  • Another Disappointing Jobs Report: Only 113K New Jobs, But The Unemployment Rate Slips To 6.6% [View article]
    The stock market was cheered (elated) by the dreary employment numbers which may have even been enhanced by some arcane rules changes that I didn't quite get a full handle on when briefly mentioned this morning.
    If the rules changes are true, we are not only rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, we are making sure that we are counting every single one of them plus a few that are no longer serviceable, or perhaps only to the most minimum degree.
    So we have a system that serves many very well while at the same time trying to eliminate every single job that does not maximize the bottom line, and replace mostly every one of them with a robot of some kind.
    So the ultimate goal is to UNemploy all workers so that total labor costs are reduced to zero (or very close to it for all you purists).
    From a capitalist point of view and philosophy I understand the reason for this.
    In essence there is nothing wrong with it as it could release the human race from a form of involuntary servitude at least in some cases, while maximizing profit for corporations who, after all, are also people according to some.
    Now all we have to do is figure out what we are going to do with all the unemployed "human" people - how they are fed, clothed and sheltered, and kept reasonably healthy- we can forget education at this point.
    Perhaps selective elimination would alleviate stress from this dilemma, or slave labor camps, or experimentation farms, or maybe even a long series of exploitive wars of adventure and conquest - none are without precedent, and usually were for much less motive than exists today and almost certainly more so in the future if we don't address, come to grips with, and solve more of the pernicious problems that grow each and every day .
    Feb 7 07:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investment Style Rankings For ETFs And Mutual Funds [View article]
    Good and necessary data. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Feb 5 01:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Improving Upon The 'Swensen Six' Portfolio [View article]
    A well thought out and presented system that could be put to good use by many investors.Thanks.
    Feb 3 04:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Avoid Distressed Stocks With This Easy Formula [View instapost]
    A worthy refinement to a conventional pair of metrics. Thanks.
    Things are seldom as simple or complete as they first appear, and you have added a good way to deal with and improve on these classic ratios without a lot of extra complexity.
    Feb 2 11:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • December Durable Goods Report: A Massive Disappointment [View article]
    Splendid presentation of a key economic metric. Thanks.
    Jan 28 09:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Reasons S&P 500 Earnings Will Falter In 2014 [View article]
    If you are wrong, it won't be because you did not study (and present) the subject thoroughly.
    This data and forecast dovetails well with my less rigorous analysis.
    The fragile economy itself is going to throw nails and broken glass in the path of a continuing accommodative FED for my anecdotal take on things i.e. the market "training wheels" provided by FED to markets are likely to go flat as far as earnings are concerned.
    Good article and thanks for your fine analysis and useful work.
    Jan 27 12:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Early Case For A First Quarter Top [View article]
    Phrase for 2014 is "Cut Throat Competition".

    Already reflected in weak retail sales and Retail ETF XRT down -8.1% YTD.
    Economically sensitive Materials , Industrials, & Financial ETF's etc, also down sharply for the week.

    Would not be surprised to see at least one quarter of Deflation in 2014.

    Durable goods orders and pricing worth watching closely.
    The market/Investors finally starting to size things up more realistically.
    Good article and I am in accord with your overall theme.
    Jan 26 05:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Strategies For When The Bull Market Finally Dies [View article]
    This is one of the best treatments of the historical aspects of 'ol Grizzly that I have reviewed.
    Good that you noted the linkage of the Asian crisis with the Russian ruble crisis and the resulting LTCM event during 1998 . -- well done.

    One thing that would be beneficial , in my view, is to put long and/or intermediate term "Trend Lines" , as appropriate, on ALL the charts. Absent this, the 150 dsma, that you typically show can serve as a rough proxy for this.
    The violation of long and intermediate trend lines supplements all the other technical indicators very well, or at least they do for me.
    The hardest thing for me to deal with is the evaluation of the "bounce points" after a sell off i.e., will there be lower bounce points soon to follow after a rally?.
    I think this is the point that technical analysis alone fails to get the job done.
    Example, we get a much anticipated 12 per cent or so sell off and stocks then start to recover.

    The question is then, is this a good value point for new purchases, or is this just a head fake?
    At this point, I think personal situations, abilities, and personal philosophy takes over, and the ability to assess "all things and parameters" economically , fundamentally, globally, and politically, -- something not well done , or even possible for the typical investor, is paramount even if the attempt is always imperfect.
    Otherwise, be prepared for whiplash city, heavy and quick trading, hedging and guessing , and all the grief that can come with it.
    If that "bounce point" met all or most of one's well reasoned criteria on a best can do basis, however, then one has a better chance of dealing with what comes, even if one's attempt resulted in failure.
    If an investor has no capability at all for doing this, then I fail to grasp how they can remain in the stock market, which is why so many have left I would surmise.
    It is possible that many in the current crop may join them fairly soon.

    A better financial system that establishes and maintains faith, confidence , and trust in it would also help a great deal, but we are far from that now, and probably always will be.
    A very good job overall, and if it prevents just one investor from over extending themselves when they can little afford to, then your article has been worth it. Thanks.
    Jan 23 04:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Managing Risk In A Mature Bull Market [View article]
    That big dip in 1998 (Asian crisis) scared a lot of people, and I believe it took more than technical analysis alone to weather that storm in the most beneficial way.
    As some of us labored to assess during that period - i.e. what were the salutary effects to the crisis relative to the negative effects?
    Our study group at that time concluded that there were enough salutary effects to the American economy to more than offset the negative ones.
    In a few weeks the market agreed with us.
    This approach, coupled with the type technical tools that you suggest tends to be the most helpful in my view.
    Jan 18 04:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Early Real Estate Warning Signal May Have Just Sounded [View article]
    On balance it looks like we will have a modest year.
    Not great but not bad either.
    About those robust orders---- miscalculations are made all the time, and they may be a bit ahead of themselves, but certainly should not ignore them as they will be a factor one way or the other.
    Jan 17 03:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Will Corporate Profit Margins Contract? [View article]
    EK1949, Thanks again.
    The reduction in food stamp recipients due to improvements in our economy is what I meant, not just callously driving them off the food stamp program. I didn't think it could be interpreted any other way within the context of my comment, thanks for pointing out to me that it could be misinterpreted.
    Also, I am a firm believer that fewer crooks and shady dealers allowed to run rampant and exploit innocent people as a result of enormous financial advantage is a preferred way of running a country, and would lead to a more trustworthy and robust economy for everyone, including investors, esp. the small investors.
    If that's just ethics, I readily accept the criticism.
    Jan 16 11:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Will Corporate Profit Margins Contract? [View article]
    Thanks EK1949 for your thoughts and views, and you may be entirely correct, at least within a certain framework.

    As for myself, I'll start believing in the quality and sustainability of earnings when I see the labor participation rate climbing above multi decade lows, the food stamp base shrink from current levels and those things I mentioned show more improvement than I see right now, and not just in the US, but in most of the world.
    I don't blame or resent anyone for seeing things differently as it is seldom a clear cut picture and different perceptions are bound to result, and good luck and best wishes to you and yours.
    Jan 15 08:02 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 12 Northwest Quadrant ETFs Beat S&P 500 [View article]
    The data Richard has provided helps an investor choose less risky selections that one may utilize to help diversify those more risky
    high fliers that are doing so well right now.
    A fine service in my assessment.
    Jan 15 05:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Will Corporate Profit Margins Contract? [View article]
    Cullen, Well done with excellent charts of useful data.

    Trouble is, that those high profit margins are a result of stock buybacks, layoffs, shortened work weeks, benefit reductions, reductions in capex, lower R&D, higher prices with reduced quality, and artificially low interest rates.
    In other words , a lot of "smoke and mirrors".
    When the dam breaks, don't be sitting around asking,
    "What's that noise I hear."
    Jan 15 05:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 12 Northwest Quadrant ETFs Beat S&P 500 [View article]
    Richard, You have provided us a beautifully prepared table and charts of essential information. Thanks.
    Jan 15 04:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment