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  • Looking For A Hep C Price War? Merck Just Started It  [View article]
    A mandatory price cut? Could they also compel a company to sell a product if their budget required it to sell below production cost? I know that Harvoni is very expensive. Any number (more than 'free') is conceivably too expensive in a socialist state.

    CSYJ, I rest my case. I suppose you don't get my point since you prove it so well. I guess you won't have a problem if your government sets the price of goods and services you wish to offer either?
    Feb 2, 2016. 07:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividends: A Key Component Of Total Return  [View article]
    See http://bit.ly/10hkXsK Long time frames is pretty vague, so any multi-year period since 1900 can be viewed in these charts. You can look at taxed or tax free, nominal or real return. Dividends reinvested or not. Lots of 10 year periods show negative CAGR. Even a few tax free real return 20 year period CAGRs are 0 or negative. There is a lot of data so look carefully. It also helps to look at the charts side by side to see the effects of taxes, inflation, etc.

    BTW, at the bottom of the chart you can see the index dividend rates - which never fell below 4% until 1959, and often were 6% or more. You would think that such high rates would make the early 20th century CAGRs obviously better, but it's not apparent. Unfortunately, the author's rules weren't well understood at the time. Compounding is mysterious.

    Of course, the solution is to be a great stock picker and only pick the good companies from those available.
    Feb 2, 2016. 07:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividends: A Key Component Of Total Return  [View article]
    Crosetti, I never thought you would say that to Chowder. But there it is in black and white. Your favorite colors.
    Feb 2, 2016. 07:15 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividends: A Key Component Of Total Return  [View article]
    How does one exit the learning phase? When did it happen for you?
    Feb 2, 2016. 06:37 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividends: A Key Component Of Total Return  [View article]
    Well MB & PIA, that certainly demonstrates the article thesis. But not in the intended way. Dividends represented the greater portion of what (under) performance there was.
    Feb 2, 2016. 04:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividends: A Key Component Of Total Return  [View article]
    "There is a way to earn solid returns on your investments over the long term with the lowest possible risk. It's an approach that can get you off the hook of information addiction, free you from the need to constantly keep up with the latest developments, and the opinions of a million pundits. In effect, you can invest in stocks without "playing the market."

    Lowest possible risk? Well, why would anyone do anything else? So maybe the reason every investor isn't rich is that they pay too much attention. Or their investment horizon is less than 90 years. Or their 10 year horizon had an unfortunate start date.

    We should probably should remember the FINRA disclaimer, and/or add the word "historically" to the article title.
    Feb 2, 2016. 04:41 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking For A Hep C Price War? Merck Just Started It  [View article]
    Ptatty, the money has to come from somewhere. Calling it price gouging (are you a trial atty by any chance?) is not informative. You seem to propose another kind of asset transferring scheme where the ownership rights of Harvoni are actually taken away. Other countries aren't afraid to go there. Shall we?

    Shall we nationalize both the supply and delivery of healthcare? You certainly must realize that the USA can't resolve this by itself. Maybe we could forbid US companies to sell anything for less outside the country?
    Feb 2, 2016. 04:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking For A Hep C Price War? Merck Just Started It  [View article]
    Oh no, CSYJ -it's global all right. Why do people in Japan have to pay an order of magnitude more than the lowest cost available elsewhere? Do you think if the government pays it's somehow free?

    When a company must figure a politically derisked ASP it's clearly a global issue. The healthcare sector companies can't fix this problem. Only the governments around the world can, and I don't think that they have the will, much less the cooperation to do so.
    Feb 2, 2016. 04:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking For A Hep C Price War? Merck Just Started It  [View article]
    CSYJ, recommending a clearly fraudulent course of action is an interesting tactic within what is essentially an ethical discussion. Not to mention that it is simply another form of stretching out hands seeking payment by others.

    I sympathize with those grappling with access to needed care. Clearly our system for discovering and delivering medical treatment is dysfunctional. It's equally clear to me that treatment must be paid for, and it's my opinion that a free market would produce better results than the mix of regulated delivery we see in social policy around the world.

    In a free market, the "haves" and "have nots" are determined by largely impersonal economic forces. What we currently have is a mix, where policy makers are deciding (not well) who receives care according to other factors. The result is that those with money pay for those without. This is a global issue.
    Feb 2, 2016. 10:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking For A Hep C Price War? Merck Just Started It  [View article]
    Well, one can look at the data when all else fails. Or independent evaluations. http://bit.ly/1L9jg4O. Another picture: a subcontractor takes twice as long at half the price to frame my house. Should my casualty insurer pay more for the faster schedule I want?

    I'm sitting in a hospital right now 24 hr post op on a knee replacement. I have really good insurance, yet they denied the state of the art surgical computer guidance as not medically necessary. The outcome they support is a properly aligned implant, which the doctor can do manually. Of course, the surgery lasts 20-30 minutes longer. I don't object, and pay the difference myself since a shorter surgery is a better outcome in my opinion.
    Feb 2, 2016. 10:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Amgen Beats And Raises, The Street Yawns: An Analysis  [View article]
    RL, similar to what the author described, I have been pretty happy trading AMGN's pps range especially using covered calls and puts. Given the added benefit of being a pretty defensive holding, trading 3 round trips around a core position for annual gains over 10% in 2015 is not a bad outcome.
    Feb 2, 2016. 12:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking For A Hep C Price War? Merck Just Started It  [View article]
    <Let's think about this rationally for a minute.> Mercedes vs. Yugo is a no brainer too. How come everybody isn't driving Mercedes?

    Preferences are affected by price. If I'm a treatment naive genotype 1 patient, I will prefer Harvoni - until the price differential convinces me otherwise. An equal outcome for me, at a possibly $25k lower cost, would certainly influence my decision. The rational answer must assume that the one who pays will heavily influence the purchase decision.
    Feb 1, 2016. 10:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • J&J Should Not Consider Splitting Its Business  [View article]
    I agree - at least in abstract terms. The real problem is that the effects are only distinguishable in hindsight. We can't simply assume that the activist's goals are inevitably harmful long term, since outcomes aren't ultimately controllable. We also can't assume that company management is any more aligned with a small shareholder than is an activist. They also have short term objectives that may not produce optimal longer term benefits. If this is a reasonable view, then maybe the best controllable outcomes are short term by definition.
    Feb 1, 2016. 10:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sector Spotlight: Healthcare Deserves A Close Exam For 2016  [View article]
    TD Ameritrade, I would much rather see you address payment for order flow conflicts of interest than this superficial sector analysis stuff. While I still have a TDA account, I do all my trading at Interactive Brokers and transfer positions in and out at TDA. Word to the wise from a former source of ~$5k in annual commissions.
    Feb 1, 2016. 10:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Checkout On Scotiabank And Bladex: My Favorite Foreign Banks  [View article]
    Thanks for the update HN. I'm pretty happy to buy BNS at these levels given the data I see - for instance here: http://bit.ly/1NNEweW

    Ratings agency comments are also helpful, as all the agencies have recently weighed in on the biggest Canadian banks. Despite negative watch and/or downgrades the resulting AA- is comparatively strong.

    No single risk is very worrisome, mortgage exposure looks fine, O&G likewise, etc. I also like the currency differential here with more CAD/USD upside than downside IMO. OTOH, prolonged commodity weakness could affect the overall economy and hurt profits. On balance, this is a much better bet than similar US or EU banks. No opinion on BLDX, but I'm fairly restrictive on country/political risk.
    Feb 1, 2016. 09:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment