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charles matthews

charles matthews
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  • Warren Buffett's 'Cool' Assistant At Berkshire Hathaway [View article]
    Hi there

    The best thing for you to do is to get the Berkshire annual reports and read them. They are available on Amazon, 1996 through 2012 in one volume. Hold onto your share and you will continue to get the annual reports in the mail.

    Read through from the beginning to the end. When you’ve finished, read them again. When the markets go down a lot, as they do every five years or so, read them again. After you’ve pretty much memorized them, then your agony will have cleared. Then you’ll know what to do. Good luck and take care

    Jan 31 10:24 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mitek One Billion Potential Users By 2014 And 33% Of The Float Short [View article]
    Here's the puzzle in a nutshell: two small companies with huge short positions and no public statements of the short thesis.

    There will always be a "winner" in the shorting category. But when the winner/s are silent, I'm perplexed.

    So, maybe they're just banging keys on their Bloomsberg terminals and are too busy to comment? If I were a hedge fund, I'd announce involvement, then cover the short positions. I just don't get what they are thinking.
    Aug 16 08:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mitek One Billion Potential Users By 2014 And 33% Of The Float Short [View article]
    Yes, this heavy shorting of SKUL and this have similar characteristics and I'm just puzzled by the extreme asymmetry.
    And, another puzzling aspect is that these positions aren't accompanied by someone publicly pushing their short positions like I would expect short sellers to do.
    So, I'm wondering if there is something we can conclude about large short positions in small companies- when accompanied by a blackout of information on the strategy- is this some kind of program trading approach or what? I have a feeling I'm the patsy at the table here and yet I can't see how they expect to profit.
    Aug 15 08:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Google Seeks Global Domination [View article]
    Another thoughtful article, thank you Dana. As you know, Apple recently let go of Google Maps. How long, I wonder, until Apple lets go of Google Search? I understand there would be antitrust issues if done now, as there were for Microsoft, but I assume soon there will be Apple TV, then ubiquitous independent visual displays that will be available in coffee shops and then everywhere with micropayments for use, then perhaps autonomous mobile Siri presences. As computational cost decreases, your personal digital companion will know you best, will have seen what you see, feel what you feel, and will take care of search for you. I can’t help but believe Goog is feeling the existential threat in falling behind in mobile.
    I’m holding Apple, you Apple and Google; maybe we’ll have this discussion again in five years.
    You do a great job and I appreciate your journalism.
    Aug 14 07:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mitek One Billion Potential Users By 2014 And 33% Of The Float Short [View article]
    Tom, do you have a sense of who the shorts are? It’s strange; I don’t see the lawsuit as substantive given the number of patents already granted and (as you point out) the sales momentum at the banks.
    Seems that the shorting started to occur at the time of the suit. However, simply on the basis of “more cockroaches”, I would think the shorts would be frightened off by the huge number of other shorts on their side of the boat.
    With a small company like this, I wonder if there is some larger buyer out there with a strategic plan for driving the stock down.
    Aug 14 11:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mitek One Billion Potential Users By 2014 And 33% Of The Float Short [View article]
    Tom, thanks for the reply. I think you’re doing a great job as an analyst. I acted on SKUL which started with your articles. Thanks for the work, regardless of how it turns out.

    Re:Mitek, the list of banks you provided is impressive. But, as you say, it’s a big market. I stlll don’t have a feel for whether Mitek will benefit from or be squashed by mobile banking

    Do you see this company being acquired? What’s your sense of where this company could be in ten years?
    Aug 12 10:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mitek One Billion Potential Users By 2014 And 33% Of The Float Short [View article]
    People will be taking pictures of SKU bar codes in the store and will have open checkout, where they will be directly billed like in an Apple store. So, I presume the cash registers and checkout people- will disappear.

    Will Mitek have any advantage in expanding into those offerings? I presume Apple is already doing it or is actively partnering for this, as is Android. Will Mitek benefit, or be squashed, by this development?
    Aug 9 07:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire Hathaway: How To Close The Valuation Gap [View article]
    You can actually close this gap for yourself by shorting the large companies in the stock portfolio, and buying Berkshire. That would provide returns on the wholly-owned subsidiaries which are currently selling at maybe 5X earnings depending on how you figure (I start with 120K for BRKA, take out investments at about 100K minus maybe 20K for cash holding in insurance which leaves 40K) then divide 40K by earnings of subsidiaries which are about 8K now and rising. That gives you a 5X multiple on the railroad, Iscar, MidAmerican Energy, Lubrizol...

    Of course, you would be in the position of shorting IBM and Coke and the like and it won’t always be fun.

    However, if this strategy caught on, the gap would close. Another way to do this would be to engineer a “tracking stock” on BRKA subsidiary earnings; maybe you can do that and sell it.

    May 11 12:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment