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  • This Is One Heck Of A Great Bond ETF [View article]
    I agree with Darren McCammon , when he says:

    "Straight bonds simply are not a good deal right now unless you have a whole lot of confidence that interest rates will only stay the same or go down over your holding period."

    Choosing the best bond fund right now is like choosing the best deck chair on the Titanic.
    Oct 7, 2015. 03:13 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • M&A Daily: Is Donald Trump Wrong? [View article]
    Yahoo is clearly anti-Trump (to judge from the bias in each headline). Now Chris DeMuth Jr. is too.

    I am no fan of Trump, but I assess his policies on their merits, not on my dislike for the man's bombast. Only personal dislike of Trump could impel the author to dismiss a $1-2 billion tax loophole as beneath consideration. Reform of the tax code begins with the first reform, and ends with the last one. Each reform is in itself a minor piece of the puzzle, but each piece is essential.

    And why does the author label Trump's "attack" on hedge fund managers as "perfidious"? Has Trump broken some covenant with them? Was he formerly a hedge fund manager, and has now (honourably, in my opinion) broken ranks?

    Unless the author can justify such a negative word, his word choice reveals a bias that is inappropriate in Seeking Alpha articles.
    Sep 24, 2015. 12:32 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Has The Fed Assumed A Third Mandate? [View article]
    This is a great article.

    If I may risk an oversimplification, one conclusion is that the end-of-week plunge was not warranted by any new available to the market.

    So, then, why the plunge? Is the market made up of silly investors who sell for no reason? Or is it the result of high-frequency trading?

    Anyone have an explanation?
    Sep 20, 2015. 12:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Coming Unglued Now In Canada? [View article]
    I'd say the house prices have indeed been driven up by outside (mainly Chinese ) money. My point is that if the tap is turned off, or at least turned down by economic problems in China, it won't trigger an exodus of Chinese capital from Canada (mainly B.C.), and so won't depress prices. Prices would then level off or decline slightly, not plummet.
    Sep 9, 2015. 10:07 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market Meltdown: History Tells Us What To Expect [View article]
    Mike Cintolo:

    "... our timing indicators (and the broad market) will flip to positive, that's when we begin a new buying spree. "

    Would you explain your "timing indicators", please? Having a shrewd idea of when the market 'flips to positive' is a key determination.
    Sep 8, 2015. 10:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Coming Unglued Now In Canada? [View article]
    I don't follow the argument that if Chinese money stops flowing into Canada (especially the Vancouver housing market), housing prices will plummet.

    Chinese house purchases seem to be designed to establish a foothold in Canada for the family. The scions stay in China to work or run businesses, while the family establishes a life in Canada. If there is a recession in China, the inflow of money may abate, but should not affect Chinese families already here. Apparently leverage rates in China have declined significantly, so a China recession presumably would not trigger a massive return of Chinese capital to China, and a massive selling spree of B.C. houses. Therefore, house prices will level off, not plummet.
    Sep 8, 2015. 10:26 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market Meltdown: History Tells Us What To Expect [View article]

    How do you tell the difference between (A) a true Bear market and (B) a mere correction with a V bottom? In (A), you want to go to cash after the relief rally is over. But in (B) you want to stay invested, or buy soon after the V bottom.

    Seems simple to do in concept, but the vicissitudes of the market make a V bottom difficult to identify, except in hindsight. That is, how long do you wait before you decide whether the "crash" was a short-term thing or a Bear market leading to further declines?
    Sep 6, 2015. 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Is Not A Retest - It's A Live Bear [View article]

    "Eventually" we will all be dead. Eventually the world WILL end. But we investors need predictions that will occur within our lifetimes, and preferably next week.
    Sep 6, 2015. 10:28 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Is Not A Retest - It's A Live Bear [View article]

    When you say you are going to sell some puts, I assume you want them to expire (you keep the premiums), which means you expect the underlying assets to rise. Is that correct?

    If so, this seems at odds with the assertion that "he (Harry Browne) felt the deflationary spiral would be most likely." Deflation usually causes market to decline, no? In this case, should you not be BUYING puts (selling them later for a profit as the underlying assets decline), not selling puts?
    Sep 5, 2015. 02:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Get Ready For The Second Round Of The Market Downturn [View article]
    I love prognostications about the next market direction, but really, if it were that clear we'd all be buyers (no sellers) or sellers (no buyers), and there would be no transactions. This we all know.

    Analyses of Bear markets show that there is an initial plunge, then a relief rally, then more plunges punctuated by relief rallies. How to tell the difference between a mere correction (e.g. October 2011) so we can get back into the market, and a real Bear so we can stay out?

    If anyone knows the answer, tell me and I'll toast you over the bows of our yachts in the Caribbean.

    So why do we spend time pondering the timing of the next Bear? Because we cherish the notion that THIS TIME we will be nimble and prescient enough to avoid the worst of the next Bear. Faint hope. Many -- the author of this article included -- have been prepared for the next Bear for years --at a considerable cost (investment profits lost). But sooner or later they will be right, and we keep our fingers poised over the sell button.

    No use scanning for catalysts; they are different each time, and often they are off-radar black swans like the Lehman collapse. Who knew? Maybe this time it is private debt, and one commenter suggests. Who knows?

    Nonetheless, when we do finally sell (the timing will be different for each of us), what do we do with our cash? The author recommends various "alternative" investments, like gold (GLD). But as a safe haven GLD is a fickle friend.
    In the Bear of Oct 2007 - March 2009, the S&P 500 (SPY) fell 50% while gold (GLD) rose 20%. Now, 20% is certainly better than -50%, but the path of GLD was a volatile series of head fakes. Would we have held on? There was a three-month period (March 2007 - June 2008) when SPY rose 3% while GLD fell 12%. Would each of us have stayed the course, or would we have sold GLD into SPY and got whipsawed? I am one of the latter.

    We need better alternatives for the next Bear. This -- and not futile predictions about the next Bear -- is a useful area for further research.
    Aug 29, 2015. 02:14 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Get Ready For The Second Round Of The Market Downturn [View article]

    You say "The market canary is the VIX; when it rises above 40 and vacillates toward 60 or 80, we'll know the explosion is near. " I wonder if you would clear up my confusion about the VIX.

    The VIX is the cumulative result of investors' assessment of volatility, is it not? If so, it reflects expectations, but is not a cause of market direction. Stated differently, a VIX of (say) 60+ shows that investors expect severe changes in market price, but the 60+ does not (cannot) determine the market itself.
    Aug 29, 2015. 02:09 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed Spent $23 Billion In 3 Days, But Still Had A Hard Time Pushing Up Stocks [View article]
    "Then, you can get back in, or choose an alternative investment that will benefit more from the loss of Federal Reserve credibility."

    To summarize your points, and to ask two questions ...

    The FED will engineer further stock-price increases, providing an opportunity to sell. But the FED will ultimately run out of money and stocks will decline severely.

    Gold will (finally) fulfill its promise as a safe haven.

    Then, we should seek "alternative investments".

    Question 1: Where do you get your information about reverse TOMOs?
    Question 2: What type of "reverse investments" do you have in mind. please?
    Aug 28, 2015. 09:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now - Or Is It Too Late? [View article]
    We investors have been hearing from many pundits for several years that the market is due for a correction. If we had heeded those predictions back then (let's say two years), we would have bought a lot of puts, at a considerable cost. And those puts would in the main have expired worthless.

    The question for me is, how much of a market correction would be required today to make current puts produce enough profits to offset the net losses on puts over the previous two years?

    Do you ever do this type of calculation?
    Aug 23, 2015. 10:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 47% Upside To Pinnacle [View article]

    When you recommended LRE, energy prices had been declining for some time. Yet you thought LRE would rise during August in spite of energy's decline. So, there must have been an additional factor that undercut LRE, no? Were you expecting a resurgence in energy prices? (I must admit I don't recall the details of your article, so don't recall your expectations for energy prices.)
    Aug 22, 2015. 02:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Currency Observations From A 'European Vacation' [View article]

    I agree with all you say about cultural diversity. You correctly say that it is inaccurate to try to understand a European country's lifestyle and culture when looking with American eyes.

    However, this article was about investing, and the rules of financial analysis are identical no matter what the country. For investors thinking of Europe, a sky-high PE ratio is a warning sign just the same as in America.

    It is valid to say that Europeans are less reliant on cars than Americans are, but how does this help the investor decide whether to buy shares in BMW or Ford? In my view it doesn't. PE ratios and book value DO help, and these measures apply equally on either side of the Atlantic.

    This leads me back to my original comment (one of two): how does hanging out in a German bar or restaurant help one decide where to invest? In my view it doesn't.
    Aug 22, 2015. 01:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment