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  • A Once In A Generation Change For Stocks  [View article]

    This will be my last comment on this subject. Firstly, I'm a fairly newer user of SA, and I don't comment much. I'll get that bio updated ASAP (sarcasm). If you must know, I'm in the top 5% of income and top 25% of net worth. I'm a son of the south, and I'm not a liberal. Being the grandson of a sharecropper and raised Christian, I was taught to care about those less fortunate than me. It's strange to me that someone from a similar background would have such a different perspective. I know I worked hard, but I also understand that I'm very fortunate. If a few key things swung differently I wouldn't be where I am now. But seriously, how does a bio on me or my investing philosophy speak to this discussion? It doesn't, and I don't see a name in your bio either.

    On to my point, If you seriously believe that everyone has access to THE SAME LEVEL of education and health care, or that social welfare is designed to help people out of poverty then I'd encourage you to broaden your perspective. Also, let's throw in equal access to the banking system and credit to the list, as this is a HUGE factor. The simple fact that there are millions of working poor living in this country doesn't square with your supposed "facts". To your example, putting away $25 a month for 45 years at 6% historical return gets me around $100k to retire on. You have refuted nothing I've said, and you've obviously completely missed my point about anecdotes vs. data by continuing to insist on using them to make your point. I'm not sure how you fail to see that talking about "everyone you know" isn't relevant. I had hoped to have a discussion about what we should be doing about the problem, but if you can't agree that someone born into poverty doesn't have the same opportunity as someone born with a trust fund, or event born into the middle class then I'm wasting my time. I'm not denying that some people are probably poor because they are lazy, but if you can't concede that the main cause of poverty isn't laziness then I guess I'll just say have a nice life in your bubble.
    Nov 1, 2014. 02:43 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Once In A Generation Change For Stocks  [View article]
    I guess I spoke too soon about keeping it civil. I'm not speaking about either of us personally, except that I personally find your comments unhelpful. I'm certainly not saying it's impossible to move up, but blanket statements like "equal opportunity already exists" are not supported by the reality. This is what drove my first comment: Blaming the problem 100% on people choosing not to work hard is just silly. Plenty of people out there are working hard, and still not able to get ahead. I don't think that statement should be controversial or disputed.
    Oct 31, 2014. 03:16 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Once In A Generation Change For Stocks  [View article]
    I don't see how's she's going to do anything about it either, and I agree with the general concensus that harming the markets harms everyone. It's a good thing that we are discussing it though in my mind. Hopefully we can keep it civil.
    Oct 31, 2014. 02:45 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Once In A Generation Change For Stocks  [View article]
    I think anecdotes are great tools for driving emotional responses, agendas, changes, and identifying personally with others. My opinion is that anecdotes are probably easier to manipulate (e.g. make up or "fluff" up), and be used manipulatively by others with an agenda than data. I think the danger that you point out is there, but it's more about what people write about in studies (For example: implying causality when data only show correlation), or what people choose to summarize and leave out when they present data. If you can learn to be on the lookout for these things the actual data becomes more useful in my opinion.
    Oct 31, 2014. 02:39 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Once In A Generation Change For Stocks  [View article]
    Great point. It's important to specify income vs. wealth, and look at it over time. Unfortunately, when you do, the data show that wealth inequality is even more extreme than income inequality. It's certainly not a part of the American Dream to end up poor. I'd be interested to see some studies on American's perceptions vs. reality if you know of any.
    Oct 31, 2014. 02:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Once In A Generation Change For Stocks  [View article]
    The assertion that "equal opportunity exists" flies in the face of the actual data the exists on social mobility in America. Those that believe this are sadly misinformed. It pains me to see so many rehashed, tired arguments on these boards blaming poor people that smack of the defunct welfare queen myths we've been hearing since the 1980s.

    In general, American's views on social mobility have long been more optimistic than the reality that we just aren't a very upwardly mobile society. Sure, we love our anecdotes, but to often these fail where data would succeed in showing us the bigger picture. Unfortunately, anecdotes tend to become conventional wisdom, and we end up with a huge swath of our society that is misinformed and fails to demand that their true economic interests be represented by their political leaders.

    No matter your political persuasion income inequality as a symptom of low social mobility should be a concern to anyone out there who still believes in the existence of the American Dream.
    Oct 30, 2014. 01:23 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Key Factors That Will Cause SolarCity Earnings To Disappoint  [View article]
    Let's be fair here. No country is currently "relying" on this technology for any significant portion of their power generation. I'm not saying this isn't going to happen. In fact, this is now on my rader for more research, so thank you for that. However, to say home fuel cells will replace solar is premature when you consider that so many governments are increasing PV targets. Japan itself has a 10% target for PV which isn't changing because of fuel cells. Furthermore, adoption of renewable sources globally is growing rapidly leaving room for many winners in my opinion. To say this information should be discounting the current stock prices of any solar companies today is a stretch. You have some valid points in your article, but I think you need to reevaluate this particular assertion.
    Jul 29, 2014. 11:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Introduction To Investing In Arabian Gulf Stock Markets  [View article]
    I think he's talking about this: http://bit.ly/1c4IQqy. Excerpt: "Google had previously put both Persian Gulf and Arabian Gulf on its Google Maps. After May 2012, it removed both names from the body of water stating that it does not name every place in the world and that it did not want to take a political stance."
    Jul 28, 2014. 05:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Tesla Reasons To Buy SolarCity  [View article]
    What I was implying was that as an individual investor, I'm looking for relevant information about publicly traded companies. So unless you can disclose the company your work for, so that I can analyze whether it is a viable competitor, I find that comments about your own company not very useful. I guess what I haven't seen is a compelling argument that SCTY is poised to lose market share. I congratulate you that your firm is succeeding, but I don’t feel this is relevant to SCTY’s success. When the entire pie is getting bigger, doesn't this bode well for all players in an industry?
    Jul 28, 2014. 03:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Key Factors That Will Cause SolarCity Earnings To Disappoint  [View article]
    So....one anecdote from 6 years ago? Any updates or projections on widespread adoption? I agree in the long run we don't know what energy alternatives will exist, but in the long run aren't we all dead? It seems to me that solar has become one of the best bets for alternative energy technology for the forseable future. Not necessarily disagreeing on your specific comments on SCTY, but I think you reach a bit when you support your thesis with speculation as to what technologies will exist in 20 years.
    Jul 28, 2014. 02:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Tesla Reasons To Buy SolarCity  [View article]
    That sounds great! Where can I buy stock in your company? Oh wait...I can't.
    Jun 13, 2014. 11:53 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Strategy: ETF Portfolio Versus The Stock Only Portfolio; Our First Update  [View article]
    I don't get how this is an "Apples to Apples" comparision. For example, VYM alone holds 378 individual stocks. In addition VYM holds WFC, JPM, and VZ in it's top ten, and these aren't in your BTDP portfolio at all. Also why would you need five different dividend ETFs with so many overlaping holdings? Couldn't you pick just one? I'm writing from the perspective of someone who is averaging in smaller amounts on a quarterly basis, and looking to minimize transaction costs. Not meaning to be critical, but just don't see how these portfolios really compare the same thing. If you truly held the exact stocks as the ETFs wouldn't the performance be exaclty the same except for transaction costs and management fees?
    Apr 3, 2014. 12:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 'You Don't Just Give Up On An Asset Class, Markets Don't Work That Way'  [View article]
    Thanks for the article. Could you elabotate more on some of your "safe neighborhood" calls ETFwise?
    Feb 10, 2014. 06:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Credit-card firms angle for new business with 0% teasers  [View news story]
    Not sure what "slipping "0%" by regulators, while charging 3%." means. Although the terms may my longer than average, issuers have been doing these types of offers for years. It's always seemed to me to be properly disclosed of you actually read the T&C.
    Aug 28, 2013. 09:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BP sues EPA over ban on new government orders  [View news story]
    Yeah...the dfference is when you plead guilty, you know you are going to be found gulity.

    Also, if you read the entire Wikipedia entry you cite: "Transocean agreed to pay US$ 1.4 billion for violations of the US Clear Water Act", so they were held responsible to some extent as well. The blame isn't mutually exclusive, and there is plenty to go around. How does criticising Obama for failures after the fact abscond BP's responsibility?

    To say BP had no influence over what was happening on that well is naive. I'd point you to the testimony around the BP "company men" and the "skirmish" over how to close the well: http://on.wsj.com/1bx7akc
    Aug 14, 2013. 08:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment