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  • NYSE Crackdown On... You [View article]
    Total Return Investor,
    People with GTC sell orders under your scenario have not been damaged in any way shape or form. The stock went down, so no GTC sell orders should have executed (except those placed after the "panic" during the same day).
    Your argument for intangible damage is spurious--the elimination of GTC orders is not going to change the existence of or the price impact of rumor mills; rumors and occasional panic will happen with or without GTC orders. The only way to eliminate such "panic" is probably to restrict the stock market to something like one day of trading every month or quarter or year. Under that scenario, company news flow will almost all occur while the market is closed and the one infrequent day that it is open will be all about reaching an equilibrium price. What do you think the NYSE or SEC reaction to that suggestion might be?? Personally, I strongly favor it over the elimination of GTC orders. I would guess that Warren Buffet would favor it too over eliminating GTC (though Buffett probably has his traders work de facto GTC rather than enter orders using GTC).
    Nov 27, 2015. 06:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • You Just Got $1 Million. Now What? [View article]
    Automobiles are almost always wasting assets. One should only buy a car for its utility. Of course, some people obtain great utility from being seen in a certain type of automobile.
    I want a car to safely and efficiently get me from point a to point b, nothing more.
    Nov 20, 2015. 01:27 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pfizergan - The Pfizer-Allergan Deal Vs Obama [View article]
    Downtown's suggestion can work equally well through Schwab's Charitable Trust; and I believe, but am not sure, that Vanguard also offers a Charitable Trust. Take your pick among the big three. These are referred to as donor advised funds--you donate a chunk of money (e.g. your PFE stock) to the fund; the fund will sell the stock and convert it to plain vanilla mutual funds (you get some selection) and over time you get to "advise" the fund to donate the money that you contributed to the Fund to other non-profits.

    You should still have time to do the paperwork, set up your fund, and contribute some stock before year end. Schwab requires a minimum of something around $5000 as an initial contribution to set up your portion of the fund; you don't need to "advise" Schwab about where you want the money to go until later. You can contribute more to the donor advised fund as the need or desire occurs. Further, you get to "advise" Schwab to donate as little as $50 (out of your initial $5000 donation) to any one organization. We have made virtually all our charitable donations thru our Schwab fund for around four or five years. Further, we own Abbvie and when they proposed to do an inversion with Shire last year, we donated around half of our position to the fund to avoid the cap gains tax (though the deal did not go thru). Just last week we contributed shares of another company with large unrealized gains to get a deduction for 2015. Meanwhile, We make all our monthly church donations automatically thru the fund as well as sporadic individual donations to five different educational institutions, three or four social services organizations, two or three musical foundations etc from the
    Nov 20, 2015. 01:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is There A Problem With W.P. Carey? [View article]
    Agree totally with RAS with even one additional positive for WPC: The dividend growth may be meager, but it is very comparable to measured inflation (and beats the non-existent inflation in Social Security for 2016!!)
    Nov 18, 2015. 08:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MLPs With Safe And Growing Distributions [View article]
    Use SEC.GOV and check out EPD's June 2015 10-Q--the balance sheet is on page 2. At the very bottom, they show partner's equity--this is broken down into some sub-categories though almost all of the equity belongs to the limited partners. All of the entries are over $20 billion. If you want to calculate tangible equity (equity minus goodwill and intangibles, or leaving out potential overpayments), you would still come up with somewhere around $13 billion in tangible equity. The partners (that includes me, BTW) own all of that equity--we own the economic rights to EPD. Since EPD has just over 2 billion partnership units outstanding, the book value per unit is roughly $10 per unit ($20 billion divided by 2 billion units) and the tangible book value is roughly $6+ per unit ($13 billion divided by 2 billion units). The total market value of EPD fluctuates every day as the unit price changes with transactions. The total market price would be the unit price ($27.62 on Oct 30) times the number of units outstanding, or roughly $54 billion.
    Hope this helps.
    Oct 31, 2015. 06:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shell Loses $6 Billion In 2015 3Q: Good News For Investors! [View article]
    Jrc50 and Ray,

    Thank you for these last two comments.

    Many years ago, a wise and sensible supervisor of mine told me that investment research is similar to gold mining: you spend almost all of your time sifting thru a lot of seemingly useless debris, and every once in a great while you find a truly valuable nugget that makes the whole effort worthwhile. These two comments (one by each of you) easily made today's "sifting" worthwhile.

    Jrc50, the Saudi's motivation for this price war seems enigmatic. The potential outcome for long term oil prices, however, seems reasonably clear.

    Ray, thanks for the comment from and on Core Labs. As an owner (small position) of the stock, I will pay substantially more attention to what they say.
    Oct 31, 2015. 11:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill Ackman's Valeant Defense [View article]
    Chris, your articles and investment ideas are worthwhile and fun.
    You were somewhat ambiguous when you responded to SevenSeas with a single "yes". Perhaps SevenSeas created the ambiguity by asking two questions; so I will ask only one of the questions to eliminate the ambiguity: was SevenSeas thought process logical?
    Thanks (and no offense whatsoever intended) !
    Oct 30, 2015. 01:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • MLPs With Safe And Growing Distributions [View article]
    MMP and EPD both have positive equity. EPD's equity is over $20 billion. Tim mentioned EPD comfortably covers their distribution (at last for now). MMP also comfortably covers their distribution; I believe MMP has also funded all of their growth projects from internally generated cash flow for the past three years (i.e. they have not issued stock or debt to finance new projects).
    Oct 29, 2015. 12:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • V.F. misses by $0.05, misses on revenue [View news story]
    Dividend increased $0.05/quarter, or 16%.
    Oct 23, 2015. 10:06 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Learning From The Masters: Q&A Session With Richard Berger, Part I [View article]
    Grace Groner DID have a HUGE realized profit without ever selling one share of her stock.
    The dividends that she received over those 60 or 70 or however many years absolutely DWARFED the amount of her original investment.
    Those dividends were VERY REAL and they were profit because ultimately she received a LOT more from her purchase of Abbott stock than she paid. Whether you classify the cash flow to her as "income" or "capital gain" they were profit.

    Sep 20, 2015. 10:51 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TI hikes dividend by 12%, ups buyback plan by $7.5B [View news story]
    Shigang zheng,
    The dividend over the latest 12 months is less than 40% of free cash flow. If they use the remaining roughly $2 billion for share repurchases, it shrinks the share count. What is wrong with that?
    Sep 18, 2015. 12:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 18% Annual Return From WuXi [View article]
    Just looking for nuances: but why do you credit Wilson, Sonsini and Sullivan and Cromwell with the dates? Since they are the attorneys, why would they "approve" of those dates in a press release if the reality should very reasonably be later (especially with all the vulture attorneys who sue every acquisition)?
    Sep 2, 2015. 11:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Moody's downgrades ADP on plan to fund buyback with debt [View news story]
    What makes ADP management think their stock is so inexpensive? ADP is a great company, but how great is the stock at this price? Maybe I am missing something, but the stock looks roughly fairly valued to me, so why take on this debt to buy back an average valued stock?
    Aug 28, 2015. 01:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire For Retirement Income [View article]
    Excuse me, but these are catastrophic results.
    Our retirees' purchasing power appears to steadily decline even without inflation.
    Assuming 1% inflation per year, our retiree who "sells" $27,000 in year 25 will experience $0.58 of buying power compared to their year one income of $40,000. The only thing that does not make this a disaster retirement plan is if our retiree genuinely enjoys the taste of cat food.
    I am retired and own some BRK, hence I don't see BRK as a poison to a retirement plan. However, using BRK as the sole asset in the way you appeared to use it seems dangerous.
    Aug 25, 2015. 08:42 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Finding Value In Dividend Stocks (Part 1): Setting Up A Plan To Take Advantage Of The Correction [View article]
    Tax Novice,
    Note that VIG, Vanguard's dividend ETF, has been down over 10% for close to an hour this AM while the stocks that VIG holds are all down 3% to 5%. Recognizing panic is always difficult (we have to read the collective minds of millions of investors), but the anomaly that is VIG compared to its constituents this morning suggests that at least some panic has set in.
    Aug 24, 2015. 10:31 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment