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  • The ConocoPhillips Poster Child  [View article]
    Excellent call for accountability. The lone guy at the top pitching everyone else over the side, and getting egregious, multi-generational wealth in return.

    As a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist, I still call this a total abuse of the system at everyone's expense.

    Stack the board with cronies, vote yourself a huge package, pull the levers to invert or take on massive debt to buy back shares.

    I really, really hate it, and won't be investing in companies that do it.
    Feb 11, 2016. 09:42 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Frontline: Cash Is Trash Unless You Invest It To Produce More Income  [View article]
    There's another element here. I've been rolling much of my portfolio to cash because I've seen revenues/earnings coming down from previous peaks.

    As mostly a fundamental investor, I'm going to cash because I don't like the earnings declines, revenue shortfalls, and balance sheet manipulations via stock buybacks.

    It may take some time, but I expect better environments to invest in than the present.
    Feb 8, 2016. 01:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • FunkyTown - Negative Interest Rates And Why They Don't Work  [View article]
    I think there's an enormous set of complications that could arise due to negative rates.

    For one thing, deflation could actually set in as the super-low interest rates ignite a massive carry trade as hedge funds borrow in the negative currency and invest in alternative, higher-yielding currencies.

    Another possibility is implosion of pension funds due to colossal failure to meet targeted return assumptions.

    Higher taxes could easily result (say in Illinois where pensions are already in a world of hurt).

    If the central bankers really and truly want to get things going, they should just print up a check for $10,000 and send it to every U.S. citizen. There'd be some who would save or repay debt, but a majority would blow it in the first six months, and some genuine if temporary demand would ensue.

    And a lot of parties!
    Feb 1, 2016. 02:30 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Leading Indicators Suggesting Moderate Growth Coming?  [View instapost]
    Read your post every week, Steve.
    Jan 23, 2016. 11:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Real Reason Behind This Selloff  [View article]
    Excellent commentary, MFITZ. Following you; you should write some articles.
    Jan 20, 2016. 09:29 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett Berkshire Buyback Bound?  [View article]
    If we look at Roderik's profile, he's from Holland. I would extend him some grace considering English is likely a second language.

    Still an acerbically witty comment, though, Chris.
    Jan 14, 2016. 04:32 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett Likes Berkshire; Should You?  [View article]
    I would say that the implication WB would purchase shares @ 1.2X book has to be one of the most effective verbal 'puts' on a stock ever, whether or not he ever follows through.
    Jan 14, 2016. 04:30 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Learning From 5 Component Investing  [View article]
    That's pretty complicated, and as you mention, doesn't include even the other internal factors such as balance sheet issues.

    KO has grown their debt quite substantially over the past 5 years.

    The PE expansion isn't necessarily linked mechanically to the internal factors; it can be related to falling interest rates, financial repression by the Fed, etc.
    Jan 12, 2016. 02:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Hate To Say It, But I Sold Half Of My Coca-Cola  [View article]
    It's eye-opening that KO increased debt from 2010 to now by $13B and the FCF only went up by $1.3B/yr.

    They didn't even retire that many shares during that timeframe, either.
    Jan 4, 2016. 10:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Worst Ideas For 2016  [View article]
    I'm already retired and sipping off-brand cola in front of a picture of a beach in my double-wide mobile home.

    Thanks Cramer!
    Dec 29, 2015. 03:02 PM | 49 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Worst Ideas For 2016  [View article]
    I already had that idea, about a year ago. It turned out sooooo wonderful in helping me harvest lots of tax savings via loss carry-forwards.

    Always remember to buy high and sell low for the tax savings!
    Dec 29, 2015. 02:57 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Conversation With IBM  [View article]
    I recently dealt with a large governmental organization who moved to AWS. The way it worked, the state IT department evaluated a variety of providers of cloud hosting. Once they decided AWS was the platform of choice, the mandate came down to the various application management teams.

    The teams then reached out to their own consulting bases for help moving to AWS.

    My firm moved the SAP environments to AWS from the inhouse servers.

    I can see IBM having a play in that, but there is stiff competition. We did it for $90/hr, which is way cheaper than most companies. There was around $45K of work involved--a nice little project for us but a tiny, tiny amount for IBM (that would be about 2 months of IBM billing for 1 junior consultant).

    I don't see IBM making a lot of hay off this idea. Infosys is a big player in this space, and they're cheaper than we are.
    Dec 29, 2015. 09:41 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Strategy: It Is Time For A Break, For Real  [View article]
    Best wishes on your recovery! Thank you for all the great writing.
    Dec 21, 2015. 12:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • NYSE Crackdown On... You  [View article]
    Don't these two different kinds of orders nullify each other? I can't see how there's any benefit to forbidding their usage.

    It's an opportunity to provide that service, however. Profit awaits a deep pocketed entrepreneur.
    Nov 23, 2015. 11:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Must Read Article (Not Mine): "Poking At The Beehive"  [View instapost]
    Thanks for the post. The negative interest rate regime seems destined to end poorly. But the problems all seem to be irrelevant to monetary policy (low demand, baby-boomer demographics, huge student debt overhang, large federal deficits, etc.)
    Nov 21, 2015. 10:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment