Seeking Alpha

D_Virginia

D_Virginia
Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View D_Virginia's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Paul Ryan: Ideas for reducing poverty [View news story]
    > Isn't it a shame how the democrats block school choice for parents
    > every time it comes up?

    It might be, if school choice were meaningfully correlated to performance. (Hint: it's not.)

    In particular, these magnet schools make for poor case studies because they all suffer from extreme selection bias: most of the students applying already have parents that care a lot about their futures, which is a huge factor, and on top of that many of these schools base their acceptance on test scores.

    http://bit.ly/1aAIniW

    So they get the smarter kids from the more supportive environments, and then claim victory over regular public schools that have to take everyone based residency.


    > The link does not say if the teachers are unionized. I'll bet
    > anything they are not.

    Dead wrong as usual old buddy, the teachers union there is the American Federation of Teachers. Check your baseless, incorrect assumptions at the door please.

    http://bit.ly/1aAIniY

    I'll take your "anything" now, thank you. :-)
    Jan 26 03:39 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    You all speak as if anarchy and savagery were the only options.

    Civilized societies can indeed create environments where life is "fair".

    However, even the most civilized society is not necessarily "easy".
    Dec 30 09:46 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    > Think, then write.

    You're new here so you might not know, but that's not what most commenters on SA do. It's kind of a therapeutic for them to just post without facts. :-)
    Dec 30 09:32 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    Not enough early on, I'll grant you that, but 5 years from now? 10 years from now? Most of them.

    Under republican plans...maybe a couple million, tops.
    Dec 24 11:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    No, it's the goal of every scumbag business (i.e., most financial firms).

    An ethical businesses' goal is to create value for their customers, and be compensated fairly for it.

    But allow me to quote from the Ethics Manual at Goldman Sachs:

    "LOL"
    Dec 24 11:07 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    There are indeed many commonalities between the gambling industry and the financial industry -- right down to the cocaine and hookers...
    Dec 24 10:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    I'll see your editorial and I'll raise you a fact check:
    http://bit.ly/1cvBf7h

    The republicans *have* made many healthcare proposals, but none of them would do much good, at least not for the tens of millions of uninsured.
    Dec 24 10:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    > I also, think it can more than hold its own against Walmart in the
    > next 10 years.

    And your basis for this is...?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm rooting for them, I'm looking for that 3% yield for an entry point too.

    But over the very long term, with prices rising and wages stagnating or falling, the middle class shrinking, the lower class growing, etc, etc, I worry that price sensitivity will win the day, and that says Walmart, not Target.
    Dec 24 08:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    You know, some comment sites have an "ignore" feature which can hide the comments of specific users. Seeking Alpha should look into that.

    Wyo, you'd be #1 on my list, old buddy! :-)
    Dec 24 07:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    > If I make money, I create something that is valuable ('value') to
    > me.

    But you didn't create it. You exchanged goods or services for it.

    You're also only looking at one side of the equation: getting money. What about the other side? When you *give* money, do you not expect that you get equivalent value in return?

    > 'Value' can be entirely in the eye of the beholder.

    Absolutely.

    A strictly pragmatic view might argue that entertainment, for example, is utterly impractical and therefore not valuable -- yet each individual that buys a ticket to a game or a show, gets some enjoyment out of it, and thus there is value for the money they have spent. And the provider of that entertainment has created value, and therefore should get money for the value he has created.

    The transaction makes sense. Someone provides a product or service, and someone else pays them money for it.

    However, short-term stock trading exists outside the real world of supply, demand, and value. It is simply making a prediction on the ebbs and flows of real value transactions, and yet it can yield far more money than many real value transactions combined. You get lots of money without adding much value -- the financial industry's wet dream!

    Derivatives traders, are even further removed from concrete real value transactions, and yet can make (or lose) even more money.

    The financial industry specializes in decoupling money from value, while real industries rely on that coupling.
    Dec 24 07:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    Are Bitcoins secure?

    Ask a Bloomberg TV host who tried to demonstrate using them as gifts, only to have them promptly stolen -- hilarious:

    http://read.bi/1e8erHJ
    Dec 24 07:25 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    > Target's legal problems start to build up following data breach.

    These kinds of situations don't tend to hurt companies' stock prices very much in the long run, but can provide some near-term dips, if anyone is looking to buy TGT.

    For those of the dividend growth investing persuasion, it offers nearly 20% dividend growth rate over the last 10 years, according to David Fish's dividend champions list (http://bit.ly/rABTPA), and it is nearing a 3% yield -- not a bad holding on paper.

    However, can it compete with Walmart over the next 10 years?
    Dec 24 07:17 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    There are even more flaws in your reasoning, good sir.

    You say:

    > Therefore it does not matter what the timeline of the purchasers
    > holding period is.

    But then:

    > Good traders generally can make the same return month after
    > month in bullish, bearish, or neutral conditions.
    ...
    > This long horizon vastly increases risk of ruin.

    So which is it? Does the timeline matter or doesn't it?

    As a trader, you almost certainly believe that it does. Get in at the right time, and get out at the right time -- to maximize profit.

    However, the bigger issue is that you, like at least 10 other commenters plus the SA editors, are confusing "money" with "value".

    Trading can absolutely make a lot of money. No doubt about it. You buy or short right before earnings or news, then sell or cover on the pop or drop -- make it rain! Woohoo!

    Yet what value did you add? In what way is the world a better place because of the actions that made you that money?

    When someone makes a useful product, for example, someone else pays them money for it, then they go do useful things with that product. Value is added!

    But making a trade...maybe you narrow the spread a bit, but that's the extent of your contribution.

    You see, you are probably confusing a few factors, as many people do. Specifically work, risk, and cleverness -- you think that doing those things automatically means you add value, but you are incorrect.

    Work: you think that just because you do a lot of work, you are necessarily adding a lot of value. You are incorrect. Digging a huge hole and filling it in again is a lot of work, but does it add a lot of value? No, it does not. So it goes with the work done researching your trade.

    Risk: you think that just because you take a lot of risk, you are necessarily adding a lot of value. You are incorrect. Sticking your head in a tiger's mouth is tremendously risky, but does it add proportionately tremendous value? No, it does not. So it goes with risking your capital on a trade.

    Cleverness: you think that just because do you something really clever, you are necessarily adding a lot of value. You are incorrect. The Segway personal transporter (http://bit.ly/19mMVJd) was incredibly clever, a true marvel in its day, but does it add a lot of value? No it does not. (It is an intriguing case: a brilliant answer to a question that no one was asking, or has asked since.) So it goes with a clever trade.

    Nor does a combination of these factors necessarily add value. You can dig a huge hole and fill it in again, with your head in a tiger's mouth, while inventing the next Segway -- yet this still doesn't add much value, except perhaps some entertainment, especially the part with tiger. ;-)

    If anything, it is quality human capability being wasted on value-less activities.

    So it is with trading. Lots of very clever, hard-working people, who are willing to take risks, are just running on financial hamster wheels, making lots of money, but adding very little value to the world.
    Dec 23 10:03 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    > Staying sharp during Christmas week. While Christmas week
    > often tends to get written off as a non-event for the stock
    > market, says SA author Quoth the Raven, it is open for
    > business for most days and investors may want to pay attention
    > to what is due to take place

    Terminology tip: People who can't step away from their portfolios for even a holiday week are *not* investors.

    They are traders.

    Investors add real value by allocating capital to real businesses that add real value in the real world, and by leaving that capital there long enough for those real businesses to do real things in the real world to really add that real value.

    Traders provide a bit of liquidity to the market, which has some value, but for the most part they just gamble on short-term moves, sometimes reaping significant profits in spite of not adding much value.
    Dec 23 07:54 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    > The global probe into forex manipulation has reportedly
    > discovered electronic chat-room messages
    ...
    > Major banks have suspended traders as part of the probe,
    > including UBS (UBS), Barclays (BCS), JPMorgan (JPM) and
    > Citigroup (C).

    You'll note that you don't see GS here -- because they're the smartest guys in the room: they use the phone for their collusion.

    http://bloom.bg/J1om8q

    From the link:
    "Banks are clamping down on traders’ use of chat rooms after regulators used them as evidence in their investigations into the manipulation of benchmark interest rates and foreign-exchange rates. "

    Note that didn't say "Banks are clamping down on *collusion*", just on collusion via the ways that they have been caught.

    Feel free to write your congressman and suggest that they draft legislation legalizing the punching of investment bankers in the face. I think such legislation would do the world a lot of good.
    Dec 20 08:14 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
2,280 Comments
7,076 Likes