Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
  • Waiting For The Correction That Might Never Occur  [View article]
    "Waiting For The Correction That Might Never Occur."

    There always is another correction coming. Always. The question for people who like to believe they can outsmart the market is when. I'm not one of those people, so I have no idea. However, I do agree with many of the general points in the article. Personally, I don't think it is ever a good idea (Monday morning quarterbacking aside) to be all in or all out. There are times to increase cash and proportions of more defensive holdings, and my best guess is that includes now.
    Apr 23, 2014. 08:10 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Damn Thin Line That GM Must Walk  [View article]
    GM certainly seems undervalued, and its business most likely won't be crippled by its bad recent PR (which is deserved). So I'm not sure they are walking on a razor's edge.

    The bottom line to me is that while they sell crappy cars, they sell them for a few thousand less than comparable models (in size, etc., not in quality) from some other makers. And so far consumers have proven they will buy cars with only perhaps half the longevity of other alternatives if they can save a few thousand up front. I don't see that changing, even with the recalls.

    Now, if some investor has a problem with incompetence or sliminess or anything else (the yuck factor), that's a different issue. Each investor has to square all of his investments with his or her own conscience.
    Apr 22, 2014. 08:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The General Electric Evolution Continues  [View article]
    GE is getting out of financial services?!!? Sorry, just kidding. Nicely written summary.
    Apr 18, 2014. 12:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Citigroup higher after beating estimates  [View news story]
    Shouldn't look at one day's price action in a vacuum. C shares have gotten hammered recently, and was priced for worse earnings.
    Apr 14, 2014. 08:34 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Precious Metals And Junior Miners Preparing For War?  [View article]
    I'm not sure Russia has the clout to hurt us economically. China could, but I don't think they'd want to. They are in transition and looking for their own middle class to become more vibrant consumers (though perhaps not to the degree of American middle class in past decades). But they still recognize the value of trade with and specifically export to the U.S.

    I think China and Germany both view one another as an economic partner of growing importance. Both nations strike me as more pragmatic than, say, Russia, doing whatever it is doing in Ukraine (rebuilding old kingdoms, etc.). China and Germany have a more sophisticated view of power via economic influence rather than military or even economic conflict. Just my two cents.
    Apr 11, 2014. 10:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Daily State Of The Markets: A Plan For The Next Big, Bad Bear  [View article]
    I have been following a similar but in a way opposite approach with my 401(k) for a while. It has worked out fairly well so far, though I started it in 2010 and thus haven't had to deal with anything like the 2008-9 drop.

    It's more contrarian than trend following - started with an S&P index fund and built up some cash (short-term bond fund), and I toggle between them based on rules I've written for myself. If the index NAV goes up three consecutive months, I move 5 percent (or more, depending on percentage of combined NAV rises) out of the index and into cash. If it goes down one month, I move 5 percent or more from cash into the index. It's kind of dollar cost averaging on a small dose of steroids.

    Like I said, I haven't had to deal with a big move down as yet, and given that we're due for one... I've spent some time thinking about this. I may look at adopting a piece of the moving average approach for when the S&P is down three consecutive months, and possibly shift the contribution ratio to half and half as well from the current 75 percent to index and 25 percent to cash.
    Apr 8, 2014. 01:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 8th Deadly Sin: Chasing Yield  [View article]
    Cal, I don't really care if anyone takes my advice seriously or not, but I will add that I'd never take investing advice from anyone who can't understand what I'm saying here. Good luck to you.

    Income Surfer, yes, the price war is the more immediate concern. The longer term concern in my view is the growing cost of those services, of which this current price war is something of a blip on the chart. Consider the latest T offer - a whole family using all the digital data it can in 24 hour days, for something like $160 a month. And that's touted as a great deal, presumably meaning there are families out there now paying more. Yet the middle class budget crunch continues to tighten. There is a risk that middle class families will begin to view these smartphones as the digital toys they are, and thus relegate them to a lower level of their own budgets; from necessity to luxury.

    Plus, it seems the trend is clear for research that points to growing dangers of over-digitized younger users. The Washington Post just today has a new article on how these devices are changing our brain functionality. I can see some possibility of a parent backlash against the toys, as well as against over-digitized elementary education in the coming years. There's some concerning things associated with all this, like a flat-out inability to comprehend literary complexities. These are the same complexities that previous generations handled with little problem. (Not just kids, either - the researcher highlighted in that article herself believes she has been impacted by this degeneration.) If such a backlash happens, smartphones would be among the devices they will be looking to limit or avoid altogether for their children.
    Apr 7, 2014. 11:42 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 8th Deadly Sin: Chasing Yield  [View article]
    There is no such thing as the "telecom" sector anymore. Now, the former telecom companies are just another part of the growing "kids' worthless gadget" sector.

    Of course, despite that official sector title, "worthless" does not necessarily mean without any possibility of significant gains for investors and traders. It just means worthless in the sense that these companies sell products without any social worth (and actually responsible for a fair amount of social and youth developmental harm, according to a growing body of research).

    One aspect of the kids' worthless gadget sector is volatility and a moat that is only as deep and wide as the gadget maker's ability to entice worthless gadget buyers with its next product. This is a much higher risk endeavor than the old business model of maintaining phone lines and bill an ever-growing number of customers.

    For the former telecoms, that aspect is a step removed, because while they sell worthless gadgets and provide the usage infrastructure they don't make the gadgets themselves. But you have the potential for similar volatility and risk. Consider what would happen to T and VZ, for instance, if the trend toward cutting back on personal expenses was extended to kids' worthless gadgets.
    Apr 7, 2014. 10:27 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Saying Goodbye To Coca-Cola, Time To Move On  [View article]
    "...however I suspect most don't realize this [that KO isn't the same company it was years ago]."

    That's a rather arrogant stance. So the only people who continue to hold KO are those who just are too dense to see your wisdom?

    There isn't much you discussed in this article, if anything, that a lot of long-term dividend growth investors haven't heard before. It isn't that we don't understand your points, some of which are valid concerns; it's just that we've seen people make similar arguments before, and yet the company keeps increasing that dividend without the absolutely undeniable signs of lacking dividend growth sustainability.

    In other words, you may well catch a faster rising stock with the money you pull out of KO. Best of luck to you. Dividend growth isn't about that - which isn't to say it's a better approach. Just different. I'll admit your potential upside is higher, but very few elevator riders come close to achieving potential upsides.
    Apr 2, 2014. 12:47 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Saying Goodbye To Coca-Cola, Time To Move On  [View article]
    If KO is part of your dividend growth strategy, then the only reason to sell is when the company fails to raise dividends or when the yield gets so high as to look unsustainable (meaning KO has stubbornly clung to its aristocrat status despite investors losing their belief in the company and not buying up shares in pace with the dividend increases). Well, there could be other reasons, but most of us 'dumb money' folks aren't going to know about them until they impact the stock.

    If you are just moving your money around looking for the next share-price elevator up, then selling KO at other times could make sense. But the approach is tougher because basically you have to be smarter than the market to make it work. With dividend growth, you only have to be more disciplined than the market, which is easier for some of us.
    Mar 31, 2014. 02:32 PM | 25 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Citigroup: Compelling Valuation Is Too Good To Ignore  [View article]
    It was opinion, but maybe opinion based on educated guess. Ted knows that big banks (maybe all banks) have a reputation for accounting tricks with regard to liabilities and risk assessment of tangible assets (which when a risk event happens can reduce those assets more than investors might have anticipated). So he's asking whether we know that C's TBVPS really is north of $55, and bottom line is we only have the company's accounting to go on, as well as the new fact that federal analysts found something on which they based differing conclusions than those held by the bank. None of this matters (from the bank's perspective; not the C share holder's perspective) unless a risk event happens. That was the point of the stress tests after all.
    Mar 27, 2014. 08:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Straight Talk On Gold - You May Not Want To Hear It  [View article]
    I'd take all the gold over all the farmland, etc., just from the perspective the gold would be easier to manage. Either way, you'll never want for anything material. But I'd rather maintain a stadium-sized vault than a nation-sized vast expanse of corn and barley fields. Less headaches.
    Mar 25, 2014. 08:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Big Pharma lobbies Australia to extend poppy growing  [View news story]
    And you know that how exactly? Lol, just kidding.
    Mar 12, 2014. 08:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big Pharma lobbies Australia to extend poppy growing  [View news story]
    The U.S. military is destroying poppy fields in Afghanistan. Maybe they ought to harvest instead of burn. They could funnel the product to big pharma, who presumably won't make it into Heroin, and return some proceeds to the local farmers who might appreciate something rather than just a scorched field.
    Mar 11, 2014. 09:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Citigroup Looks Now As Compared To Its Peers  [View article]
    A stock that's down for fundamental reasons can stay down a long time but that seems to happen less with a stock that's down just because people don't like that it's down. In fact, when you get that kind of non-fundamental negative sentiment, that's a cue for contrarians.

    Is C down for no good fundamental reasons? No, of course not - the danged recession five years ago nearly killed it. But the question seems to be whether current share price reflects its recovering fundamentals - doesn't seem like it to me. It looks a lot like the situation with GE, where once upon a time it was loved, then it was completely hated and in January of this year it became loved again. I wonder if C's "January" will come this year - maybe when they resume paying a more real dividend.
    Feb 28, 2014. 08:32 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment