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Dialectical Materialist

Dialectical Materialist
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  • Don't Overweight Your Portfolio With Apple [View article]
    I'm not sure it's fair to compare the buy and hold return of a stock with the return of a trading strategy. One could demonstrate a trading strategy with AAPL that would make its buy and hold returns pale by comparison.

    I'd buy the diversification argument more if the idea was to set aside some gains in a stable/dividend stock from another sector. But if you are going to employ a "high alpha strategy" you may as well stick with AAPL and enjoy the ride. Sell some on gains in order to add on pullbacks, trade around your core holding, and voila. No need to get into sectors or strategies you have no experience with just for the sake of saying you're diversified.

    And finally, the notion that share price growth would equal earnings growth sounds logical unless you remember that Apple piles on cash each quarter. Right now it is to the tune of 12-16 Billion per quarter. If this also tracked earnings growth, your modest 25% example would mean in two years they are adding something like $90B a year to the coffers. Suddenly the notion that the stock price would track the earnings growth doesn't make as much sense...
    Feb 27 01:50 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple On The Verge Of A 2008-Style Crash? [View article]
    I think the real point is to look at what AAPL did after it was beaten down for reasons that had to do with the market and not the company. If we do get a repeat of 2008, the logic states that everyone should aggressively pile into AAPL at unbelievably low prices and watch the stock triple from there.

    And if there is another global liquidity crunch, I would love to be able to find the folks who wanted Apple to dump its cash and borrow at today's "low rates" in order to unlock "shareholder value". If things go south in a hurry in a repeat of 2008, won't it be nice knowing that Apple did not follow this sage advice and instead has an $80B war chest with nearly $20B in actual cash. There is no protection from the evils of a global liquidity crunch like cold hard cash. If AAPL falls like it did in 2008 it will be because people are panicking. Folks who understand how strong Apple's balance sheet is will simply buy the stock on sale and watch it zoom back up when the storm passes.

    Having said that, I don't think we'll see another buying opportunity like we saw in winter 2009.
    Nov 25 02:49 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QC#185, June 20, 2011 [View instapost]
    Yes and no, Moon. I don't like SIRI as a stock pick. But I don't exercise my right to have an opinion by posting repeatedly about how much I think the SIRI threads are a bunch of cheerleading crazies who think hope is an investment strategy. If I posted that opinion once, it might be excusable, but I chose instead to simply avoid those areas. They are easy to spot and just as easy to avoid. I simply post on other articles. Anyone who has a problem with the quick chats for whatever reason certainly has a right to voice an opinion. But it would make more sense to simply not read the QC's in the first place.

    Couple that notion with the plain fact that the tone and word choice used to make the point ad nauseum is rude and abusive (on several occasions abusive enough to have the comment deleted by the powers that be), and you have a clear case of someone who is agitating for the sake of agitating. If the question were whether his opinion, voiced once or twice in a respectful fashion had "ruffled feathers" than I would agree with you. The online world is big and we all deserve to have a say.

    But when the question is "if you hate it so much why are you still here?" and "why do you continue to post personal attacks against the members of this community when you could just as easily find like minded folks to converse with" then that is different.

    I am un-checking all the follow threads on any of these instablogs, so sadly I will not get to read what you have to say about this, if anything. I am doing the adult thing and simply avoiding the place that has been made so obnoxious by this puerile assault.

    As for whether the activity of the QC's amounted to "back patting", there is no doubt that this was part of it. There was support, pain sharing, medical stories, loss of loved ones, pet surgeries, sports chat, and general gossip and well wishing to boot. Forgive me if I do not think these are such horrible things in our increasingly alienated, disconnected, and contentious world.

    The idea that someone could be so personally incensed and emotionally broken that he could not stand to witness such a group of online friends having a good time without making it a personal crusade to destroy it is nothing less than shocking to me. I guess I am not as cynical as I thought.

    I am surprised that you would defend this constant nattering and negativism without seeing it for what it is. I am equally surprised that Seeking Alpha has not realized the long term damage that will be done to its brand if it allows this kind of Yahoo message board pissing contest to flourish anywhere on its site. For the QC's had many flaws, but the overarching principle was respect for others' points of view.

    I VOTED FOR OBAMA and I have not once taken issue with anyone calling him Voldemort. Nor has anyone ever slammed me for any liberal bias I may have exhibited in my views about Israel or economic policy. I doubt there is any other environment where I would have been allowed to understand where others are coming from so efficiently and without malice as the QC's.

    I have learned a lot about where a lot of other people are coming from. I have been sad to see this social experiment coming to an end. Sure maybe it "belonged" somewhere else, but it wasn't somewhere else, it was here. And the people here were not hurting anyone. How you can defend the constant scab picking by someone who has 311 comments of almost all ad hominem attacks and not so subtle jibes at other members of this tiny community as being simply "an opinion" is beyond me.

    I will probably cut and paste this comment into a message for the folks at Seeking Alpha. They deserve to see why they may be losing a previously enthused investor and commenter. I am not afraid of opinions. But I am too busy for nonsense.

    "You're so stupid"/"No I'm not you are" I can find anywhere on the web. Without defining and defending its editorial policy, SA is merely relying on the quality of its posters to support its brand. And when this quality can be brought to the least common denominator so quickly by one or two people with agendas and time on their hands, it does not bode well for this once awesome resource. It is not a problem unique to SA, but until recently it seemed to have escaped the fungus of hostility that has killed so many online environments.
    Jul 7 01:47 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QC#185, June 20, 2011 [View instapost]
    Don't under estimate your own power to be disruptive. People tried talking nice to you, they tried ignoring you, they tried reporting you. Your single minded "crusade" is as pathetic as it was relentless.

    Here's a "dose of reality":
    If this were an actual dining hall you would have been dealt with physically by now -- either removed by management or dealt with more summarily by other party members.

    I think civility should be the first, second and third choice when dealing with online disruptions. But you seem not to be interested in anything other than drawing attention to yourself. Give it a rest. Your point has been made at least 200 times. If you're as smart as you think you are, go make your fortune. Be kind enough to allow the rest of us to enjoy some polite conversation.

    You have singlehandedly sucked the air out of the room. Put a notch on your keyboard and go haunt Yahoo for a while, I beg you.
    Jun 24 02:51 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Silver - Prepare for the Flood [View article]
    DaleH, You may have read the facts and drawn conclusions about 1980 and what happened, but it was, if I'm not mistaken 5 years before you were born. If you think the current level of enthusiasm (or hysteria if you prefer) matches the 1979 level, it is because your reading material did not accurately capture that period for you. If you went back in time to 1979 you'd realize, that in terms of market hysteria "you ain't seen nothin' yet". The current mood around silver is more closely related to the warm-up in the market in 1979. Why do I think so? Well,for one, there are too many people calling this top. Too many people warning about the bubble. Too many people decrying that it is "1980 all over again". This disqualifies it from being the hyped market frenzy of 1979. Just wait. If silver bounces off of a low of $30 or $35 and resumes its climb above $50 and heads north of $70. THEN we'll start seeing some real craziness. What we have is the opening act.

    You say fear is subsiding. In one week? That is a pretty bold claim. And what if there is a revenge attack? What would that do to your model? But the reality is most of the anxiety related to silver is economic anxiety, and that has not come close to subsiding. I am one of those who think we will get through this somehow someday, but many folks do not share my opinion and the general mood is "still scared, thank you very much".

    Similarly I think you have pronounced the death of inflation prematurely. Whereas your comment suggests "wow that was some bubble", my gut feeling is that we still have time to get a drink in the lobby before the main act hits the stage.
    May 7 12:18 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Economic Pessimism Jumps [View article]
    Investigate debt currency. Raising the debt cieling is a functional requirement of our monetary system. If we wanted to talk about the evils of fiat currency, the Federal Reserve Note, and how we could replace it, I'm right there with you. But the system we have in place now requires that we borrow more and more and expand the money supply further and further. Bad system. But it is the one we have. And collapsing the system might be an effective way to change it, but those in power have no intention of collapsing the system. The debt cieling will be raised. We will continue on with spiralling deficits. We will print more money. Inflation will continue to be the invisible tax on the common man. This is as simply as I can put it.

    There are those who think we can keep the system we have and simply run it more responsibly. That is a little like the drunk who thinks he needs to "drink responsibly". It doesn't work. The track we are on is a systemic requirement of the rules of our economy. We can't tweak it or act responsibly. We need to overhaul it.

    But here's the thing. If we collapse our society in the meantime, we can say goodbye to the free market. Revolution is what you get when you have 40% unemployment and rampant hunger while a few very rich folks build higher gates and add more security. We may need a revolution to get the degree of change we need, but there is no guarantee what we would get on the other side would not be worse than what we have now.

    I'm aware I may sound like a cazy person. That is the risk of trying to explain complex issues very simply.
    Apr 22 03:14 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Playbook: What the Reviewers Are Saying [View article]
    "RIM has very carefully thought out this linkage, but you have to remember, these are adult devices without all the waving clowns or dancing cartoons telling you what to do next."

    Now you're thinking of Microsoft. Anyone remember "Clippy"? The Jar-Jar Binks of help avatars, always annoying you with "suggestions" and "tips".

    Regarding your assertion that iPhones and iPads can not "sync", I think we will see some interesting plans for Apple's data center that will address this issue. But I don't think the real solution is to force the user of the tablet to tether to the other device just to get email, as is RIM's take with the Playbook. I'll take syncing issues over having to have both devices with me at all times.
    Apr 15 07:55 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OG's Quick Chat # 103 - 9/23/2010 [View instapost]
    It's a sign of the times that $9B seems a manageable, almost quaint number. It's not, of course, but it doesn't have the shock value it used to now that we see hundreds of billions being thrown around and even read about things in terms of Trillions these days.
    Sep 25 10:18 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Market Has Reached Its Important Top [View article]
    Hey Robj11, I would add to Fred's comments that you can set up a two or three pronged strategy in order to be ready for one of several likely scenarios. For example, I tend to have money that just sits in a few stocks that I like (AAPL for example). This money just sits there as the market bounces up and down. I may trim or add along the way (taking profits is never a bad idea), but I make sure that I keep a base position. Then I trade other stocks as they go up and down (MOS), (KBH) and (V) to name a few. And finally I keep a decent and varying portion of the portfolio in cash so that if things do go south in a hurry I have money to buy at new lows.

    I'm not saying my style is the magical formula, and the money I have on the sidelines does not see that 25% run up you spoke of. But it allows me to feel okay with market gyrations and never feel boxed in to an uncomfortable situation. Yes, if the market tanks my stocks -- especially my "trades" -- will lose some money. But I should be able to recover this money easily by getting in at new lows with the dry powder I saved.

    Note that all of this is without options or other complicated mechanisms. This means it is good for a novice, like myself. Yes, there are many many people who will do better than me in the market. so don't misread what I am saying. I am simply describing a strategy of "keeping your options open" that can work pretty well in these turbulent times.
    Sep 20 08:10 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Silver Now Take the Lead? [View article]
    You forgot "bourbon"
    Sep 18 12:08 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OG's Quick Chat # 100 - 9/13/2010 [View instapost]
    It scares me to think anyone might believe they actually expanded health care and reformed Wall Street. On paper they may have expanded health care, but by driving costs up and not down over the long run, they will have squeezed access to health care in a way that will only end very badly for those who can't afford to take matters in their own hands.
    Sep 14 03:05 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft: NYT Article Misleads Investors [View article]
    You are right that you shouldn't get your investment advice from mainstream media. On the other hand, if you were trying to build a case for MSFT as an investment, you did not do that. If you weren't trying to make the case that MSFT is a good investment than a mainstream media piece that implied it may not be is of no consequence. The fact is that MSFT has just been off base for a long time about what consumers want. Even every revision of their flagship office product makes it more cluttered and less intuitive. They are the gang that can't shoot straight when it comes to consumer product development. Money you might invest in MSFT would be better spent on GOOG or AAPL. These companies are in stiff competition with each other and it's not pretty at times, but at least each company has a vision. Both stand to out perform MSFT in the next few years.
    Jul 5 01:18 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The New iPhone 4: What It Means for Apple and AT&T [View article]
    Yeah, all this innovation and improvement is really.. what? Annoying? Out of line? Confusing?

    Apple is a cutting edge consumer product company. If they don't keep upping the ante, they will have their lunch eaten by any one of a dozen tech companies chasing them hard. What would you have Jobs say, "this is our new phone, but it's really nothing special and I don't know why we made it"?
    Jun 8 12:30 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time to Be a Contrarian [View article]
    D.O. Economist. Much of what you said was true last summer. So true that I sold out of most of my springtime gains in June and proceeded to watch the market get away from me like a child's lost helium balloon. Things are no doubt bad. But if what you describe causes a sudden drop in equities of the 20-30% variety, there will be a bunch of people falling over themselves to buy back the bargains they missed in March of '09. Unless you are describing a death blow to the world economy, there will be a calm after this storm and folks who load up on bargains will make a killing -- like some did in '09. If what you are describing IS a deathblow to the world economy, then it won't matter who bought GE or F or AAPL at what level because it just won't matter. It would be like betting on the losing team in a basketball game where the roof collapses due to an earthquake. Who will be able to separate the winners and losers?

    Things are ugly. No doubt about that. But many businesses will still be here in five years and if their stocks fall 20 or 30 percent (or more) then it will be time to load up to the gills. And because I think this way, I suspect many people think this way, and bargain shoppers will be buying in at 5% down, 10% down, 15% down, etc. In other words, the very desire to get in on a bargain will prevent the drop that would make the real bargains. But I'm not even a dropout economist, so what do I know? Time will tell.
    Jun 5 08:50 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QUICK CHAT #54 -Start Friday 5/21/10 [View instapost]
    I have a few employees in their late 60's and 70's and many (too many) employees in their 20's. All the older employees lament that the young employees don't take work seriously, but to me it goes beyond that... they seem to exude a self centered detachment from anything that isn't about how they feel at that moment. They can't plan ahead, expect the world to revolve around their schedules, don't see why they should do anything that does not provide immediate benefit for themselves, and don't comprehend why they don't need to know why every rule that applies to them is in place. They feel they know more than anyone else and don't stop to consider that systems which are in place might have been put into place by someone with more experience than them.

    It's not just about being young and not enjoying work. When I was younger. my friends and co-workers used to party heavily. But we went to work and did our jobs also. Today's youth don't think rules apply. I agree it might be what they've learned from watching the world as they grew up. Having everyone hover over them like they were all little messiahs must not have helped either...
    May 22 02:08 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment