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  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 08:32 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Does Coke Even Know That These Are The Good Years - And The Worst Is Yet To Come? [View article]
    I took that as sarcasm, and if it wasn't meant to be sarcastic perhaps it should have been. Actually I was really put off by the headline and in fairness to this author I'm not sure they write their own headlines here. I obviously have no problem with newby analysts writing what they do (or I wouldn't come here and read this stuff), but when it seems to come from a point of view of arrogance in which the analyst writes as though he or she knows the company's business better than does the company, it starts sounding a little pretentious.
    Feb 20 11:19 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Halliburton: A Few Reasons Why I'm Staying Long [View article]
    Ding, ding, we have a winner. Same rationale for me.
    Jan 15 07:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Have You Been Wrong About Gold And Silver? [View article]
    Avi, appreciate the real-time update. How likely are we looking here?
    Jan 14 02:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Most Expensive Free Advice: 2014 Edition [View article]
    Market strategist predictions average a small S&P decline for the year? Not doubting you, but... you're kidding, right? The analyst consensus of gains albeit smaller than 2013 is all I've seen in print (which I guess was your point).

    And who the heck are these market strategists?

    I guess the one thing I know for sure is things can't continue as they are forever. On the U.S. depressive side, that includes our rising debt/GNP, middle class squeeze exacerbated by rising health care costs (before and after Obamacare), hidden inflation from everyone selling anything cutting back on services to avoid any and all expenses not absolutely necessary for business, etc., etc. And that doesn't even get into resource depletion and all that Al Gore stuff, which, while often providing good punch lines, at some point will present real problems (post-peak oil, falling water tables, and all that).

    What I don't know is the timetable for anything, and it seems no one else does either. So for growing net worth, stocks in the near-term seem to be one of the better games in town. Now, I'm hearing that obscure 'market strategists' are concluding that game is on hold for a year?
    Jan 9 08:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • PMI rises to 11 month high at 55.0, beats consensus- [View news story]
    Good, that ought to keep the bubble inflating a little more...
    Jan 2 09:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Strategic Shift In My Dividend Portfolio [View article]
    The same fear could be applied to fast food and tobacco stocks. Like most people, I tend to assume most people are like me, whether that's an accurate perception or not. When it comes to health concerns, I do watch the fast food fairly consciously. And I try not to drink too much soda. But of the two, I'm more conscious of how much fast food I avoid.

    Having just survived another Christmas with Coca Cola on the table (yes, I'm a victim of one great marketing campaign, but Coke is a Christmas beverage), I'm pretty sure my table wasn't alone.

    Bottom line is if people did everything they were supposed to do to better ensure good health, the investing landscape would be quite a bit different. People can change, but they rarely do. So I'm guessing that one part of the investing landscape remains intact.

    Agree with the KO buy, but wondering how the author made so much with REITs (I thought they were fairly beaten up with concerns over rising interest rates) and which utilities he sold.
    Dec 26 11:11 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment