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  • Is The Dollar Back? If So, For How Long? Is the Answer Energy Dependent?  [View article]
    Yesterday, consumer sales announced, up 1%. Today, CPI announced at +0.7% vs. +0.5% expected, 0.0% prior. Core CPI +0.2% vs. +0.2% expected, +0.3% prior.

    Would like to know the percentage of the population that had an income increase of .7% last month.
    Mar 15, 2013. 09:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Last Year I Said Sell -- Buy Now?  [View article]
    On Feb23rd, 2012 the author wrote a SA article entitled, "Shun Google Until Management Is Replaced." On Feb 22nd, GOOG was 607.94. Yesterday, GOOG closed at 827.61.

    Listen if you like but I would hardly consider that kind of miss slight or credit the author with omniscience.
    Mar 13, 2013. 09:09 AM | 30 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Comcast Is Entering The Wonderful World Of Disney  [View article]
    Good luck Comcast. After upgrading two years ago to the triple play, our contract is up and we are going off Comcast completely. Here's how:

    1) Mohu buillds an outdoor antenna that costs around $170 called the Sky. This antenna is omnidirectional with a 60 mile range. The nearest broadcast antennas in our areas are 40 miles distant. Two are north and one is directly south. All three cities come in crystal clear with this little marvel. It feeds my 8 TV outlets through a $40 distribution amp. Antenna is in the attic connected to the distribution amp in the basement. Crystal clear 1080i signal that is better than the compressed Comcast signal and has given us 44 broadcast channels.

    2) Internet service is ATT dsl, the only service we need, hooked to our wireless router. iPhones, Xbox and laptops all connect wirelessly via DSL. You could also use Comcast.

    3) For TV, we are combining the 44 broadcast stations with Apple TV which gives us hulu streaming via our internet connection. We love hulu's content and the best part is that it is always available when we want (for a change). You could add netflix, or MLB, as well as others, depending on your interests. Apple TV is a one time purchase of $99 and hulu is around $8 per month.

    4) Our land line is going as well. Verizon offers a great new package of iPhones that includes unlimited calling, messaging, etc. Verizon covers our somewhat remote geographies perfectly. When the ATT contract ends in July, we'll be able to cut our bill, expand our service area and upgrade our services.

    5) Still looking at a DVR. TIVO is one alternative but they have a crazy expensive fee of $15 per month for a program guide.

    Overall, we'll save over $225 per month and recover our initial investment in the first two months. Comcast and Verizon need to change their model which is probably why they have to go the NBC route. Their sweet monopoly revenue stream appears in jeopardy.
    Mar 6, 2013. 08:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Zero Growth ... Really?  [View article]
    Had a Samsung Blackjack which was a poor attempt at a Blackberry. Crashed repeatedly and keyboard broke after 1 year of light use. Switched to Blackberry. Hard to use for anything but Email and screen was pathetic. Switched to 4S after using non-tech wife's 4. Both work elegantly, never crash and play our itunes and photos easily through a newly acquired Apple TV.

    My 88 year old mother has used year iPad every day for over a year now with out a hitch. Her stroller seat has a "trunk" she uses to push it around with her. My 11 year old grand daughters, cousins and friends all use iPod Touches and Mom and Dad both love their iPhones.

    I am a newly reformed and converted, decades long MSFT bigot. Samsung has a nice product for anyone other than an iphone user. Time will tell if they can challenge. I believe probability is under 30%. Probably wind up with the low price, low margin market.
    Mar 5, 2013. 05:21 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple, Samsung And Irrational Pessimism  [View article]
    With decades in the computer industry, and experienced in the lie of "user friendly," I grudgingly purchased my non-tech wife an iPod several years ago. She freaked until she started using it and hasn't put it down in five years, except to upgrade. After my own personal frustration with a Samsung Blackjack and RIM Blackberry, I grudgingly bought my still non-tech wife an iPhone 4. She never puts it down and, unlike both my Blackjack and Blackberry and laptops, it never freezes, breaks or crashes. I dumped my Blackberry for a 4S as soon as I could and after a year and a half will swear the 4S is the best electronic product I have ever owned in my several decades of computer ownership.

    We also both own Kindle's, one because it was free and one was a gift. They're okay. And cheap. But not exciting. iTunes store is better than Amazon and so is their cloud. So here is my conclusion. AAPL is not going bankrupt, obsolete or to be outdone by any of the current players, most which have just now caught up to where AAPL was several years ago. Apple's gear is amazing, bulletproof, easy to use and has the most loyal customer base that I have ever seen, including a huge number of kids under 10 and seniors, including my 88 year old mother.

    I recently added Apple TV. While the content is not yet up to par without hulu and MLB, etc, the user interface, size and reliability is outstanding and we have determined that with a mohu outdoor antenna we can cut the cord to Verizon TV at one home and Comcast at the other. Apple may wind up being a strong player in this market, either alone or with one or both of these players.

    I am a student of valuation models and know their weaknesses and strengths. But more important than the technicals or fundamentals is product. Good product sells good. Add that to loyal customers and they will easily surf a wave, and command a premium, for the next decade.

    Signed,
    A reformed and humbled MSFT/INTC bigot.
    Mar 4, 2013. 10:47 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 20 Signs The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble In The Months Ahead  [View article]
    Let me agree and disagree. We are bigger than Finland. I saw a comparison of the US to Iceland the other day. Really? We could model the US after a country with a pop. of 300,000 and a GDP of 12B? We have population demographics and geography very different from Norway or Belgium. Some of our States or suburban might be a better and have a more favorable comparison.

    For decades its been thought that education could solve the poverty divide in the US. It hasn't. Throwing money at the problem seems to actually have made things worse. The BS isn't in the action, its in the poor execution. Some of it, like an open border, even intentional.
    Feb 24, 2013. 05:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 20 Signs The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble In The Months Ahead  [View article]
    "What a lot of people that complain about Government spending don't realize is that GDP also includes Government spending. When Government spending decreased so does the GDP."

    Textbooks claim the formula for GDP includes +G. Should the assumption be made that if the G doesn't confiscate our money via taxes, we couldn't just flip the spending to consumer consumption, and in the process place it into the economy more efficiently and effectively?

    I suspect a lot of that +G was considered additive to GDP when spending was only on productive resources such as interstates, ports and bridges or for the common defense. Now it is spending just for spending sake. Lining the pockets of friends, family and donors is not beneficial for the community as a whole nor I suspect does it increase GDP. I'm sick of politicians claiming a moral or economic imperative to spend on such shenanigans. Its not +G, its theft.
    Feb 24, 2013. 05:34 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Is Not Worth $460  [View article]
    Ahhh, inflation?
    Feb 20, 2013. 08:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Is Not Worth $460  [View article]
    With decades in the computer industry, and experienced in the lie of "user friendly, I grudgingly purchased my non-tech wife an iPod. She freaked until she started using it and hasn't put it down in five years, except to upgrade. After my own personal frustration with a Samsung Blackjack and RIM Blackberry, I grudgingly bought my still non-tech wife an iPhone 3G. She never puts it down and, unlike both my Blackjack and Blackberry and laptops, it never freezes, breaks or crashes. I dumped my Blackberry for a 4S as soon as I could and after a year and a half will swear the 4S is the best electronic product I have ever owned in my several decades of computer ownership.

    We also both own Kindle's, one because it was free and one was a gift. They're okay. And cheap. But not exciting. iTunes store is better than Amazon and so is the cloud. So here is my conclusion. AAPL is not going bankrupt, obsolete or to be outdone by any of the players mentioned in these comments. Apple's gear is amazing, bulletproof, easy to use and has the most loyal customer base, including a huge number of kids under 10, that I have ever seen.

    I am a student of valuation models and know their weaknesses and strengths. But more important than the technicals or fundamentals is product. Good product sells good. Add that to loyal customers and they will easily surf a wave, and command a premium, for the next decade.

    Signed,
    A reformed and humbled MSFT/INTC bigot.

    PS. Just ordered Apple TV today. I hope they crush my cable (Crapcast) company.
    Feb 20, 2013. 01:17 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Become A Millionaire Without Really Trying  [View article]
    "Real estate that is now extremely valued was out of reach to minorities and stocks with even small capital amounts was also unheard of."

    Thanks for encouraging others to invest. However, being white and inheriting wealth may not be as common as you suggest. Personally, both sides of our family were poor immigrants, and rather than leaving real estate wealth, the costs of a long life and dementia consumed the little savings and assets they accumulated.

    Their real gift was motivation and hard work. Before you conclude where I am going, I would not begin to assume a particular color is lazy or on the dole since I have many relatives and acquaintances that ignore the model of previous generations. Also, I have worked alongside people of many shades who modeled far greater frugality, effort and intelligence than my family.

    So, to your prescription, I would add:
    1) Work. I was encouraged to get a job in fourth grade and learned how to treat customers, how to persevere daily through a miserable climate and the value of money.
    2) Save. Early savings entirely paid for a private high school. Work paid for college through grad school. Which leads to-
    3) Educate. College is not for everyone but education is. Do what you love and seek to be the best educated at doing it. And, no matter the career, understand finance. Not high finance. Rather, budgeting, investing and compound interest should become as natural as breathing.
    4) Motivate. Immigrants can easily feel victimized because of language, culture and competition. Goal setting and perseverance must always triumph over excuses or failures. Always.
    5) Think critically. Question others, whether teacher, politician or friend. Most importantly, question and challenge you own assumptions. You are usually "right" only half the time.

    The alternative to the above is to be lucky. Choosing wealthy privileged parents, winning Powerball or blindly picking the right stock are alternatives. I have never been good at any. But, I am the first to thank those that came before me, not for wealth, but for their wisdom. It sounds like we share that in common.
    Feb 16, 2013. 09:17 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Congress Could Fix Its Budget Woes, Permanently  [View article]
    Step A :Recycling dollars is the funnest recycling.

    Step B: Purchase commodities (oil) with recycled dollars.

    Step C: Print and sell Treasuries.

    Repeat loop. Infinitely?
    Feb 14, 2013. 03:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Congress Could Fix Its Budget Woes, Permanently  [View article]
    Ernie,

    Wrote a comment above about Iceland. It has been done on a State level in the US. Indiana, Texas, North Dakota come to mind. At one time, California had such intimacy. The Feds have no hope of such local control nor should they.
    Feb 14, 2013. 02:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Congress Could Fix Its Budget Woes, Permanently  [View article]
    Come to Illinois! That's exactly what we have. Tolls AND bad roads. And, the last two former Governors in Federal prison!
    Feb 14, 2013. 02:25 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Congress Could Fix Its Budget Woes, Permanently  [View article]
    Right on Paul. Thanks for saving me the typing. All these perfect prescriptions, based on perfect assumptions, require perfectly motivated citizens making perfectly productive decisions.

    In reality, the drifter will drift, the alcoholic will imbibe and the glutton will eat, only to a greater extent than possible if not enabled. Exhibit A are the almost universal disasters that befall lottery winners and their friends and families. If this theory were true, we might have already seen some perfect productivity from that group.

    But more troubling is the use of Iceland, not only as a prescription for the US but the entire globe! Even more ridiculous than people constantly offering Norway or Finland as our suggested model. Iceland, population 321,857, is exactly 1000 smaller than the USA. Their total GDP at $13B would make them smaller than over two hundred of the Fortune 500, smaller than Kellogg food.

    But beyond geography, population diversity, and countless other issues is the sheer magnitude of variables that are not only different but uncontrollable! Iceland!! LOL!!!!!!!!

    Recently a group of lawyers at the Federal, State and municipal level conspired to make my brand new dishwasher unusable. The Feds legislated strict water and energy consumption, the State then outlawed phosphates entirely and the local municipality, water softeners. It doesn't work. Ever. And won't.

    I use contraband phosphates. Soon, we will all be criminals and the lawyers that caused this will be representing us at our trials.
    Feb 14, 2013. 11:20 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Stocks To Buy, 1 Stock Going Nowhere, What's Next For The Market  [View article]
    Right on. Old enough to remember housing in the 70's. Decided against buying our first home for $18,000 in 70 and three years later paying $32,000 for less house. Everybody bragged about how much money they made! Of course they complained about the cost of everything else from food and gas to autos.

    Forty years later and people still don't understand the hidden tax of inflation. In fact, they may be dumber. Also, differences this time is jobs are absent and credit scores for many young people are garbage. And, those are big differences.
    Feb 13, 2013. 09:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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