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  • The Real Reasons Why Warren Buffett Is Rich! [View article]
    The keys to Buffett's success?
    1) access to very cheap capital (insurance float)
    2) concentrated portfolio
    3) having conviction to buy when there is panic (not being afraid of 50% drops). Check out Shelby Davis
    4) staying within one's sphere of competence
    5) etc
    Aug 11, 2014. 12:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can The Regulators Afford Missing Herbalife? [View article]
    7"but the appearance of a pyramid type scheme is so persuasive here that it just has to be looked into"

    I agree that an FYI investigation is a good thing to clear things up. But until a decision is made what do you think about all the public bashing of a company that employs thousands of people? Many shorts have focused ONLY on the supposed failures. How about those who actually succeeded in the company? Undoubtedly there are success stories of distributors doing well and contributing to society. I have NO problem with the FTC doing something if HLF is deemed to be a pyramid. However, we must keep in kind that the extremely negative perception paid for by a short seller may be far different from the truth. Let the FTC do its thing without the circus-like atmosphere. It appears to me many shorts dont really care about the ultimate FTC decision.
    That brings up an interesting question for shorts. If HLF is deemed to be legal by the FTC, would you still want it shut down? As a long, i have no problem with the FTC taking action if it is illegal.
    Aug 3, 2014. 11:57 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AbbVie Shareholders Prevail [View article]
    A few years ago there was so much anxiety about ABT splitting into ABT and ABBV. I'm sure many sold ABBV because of the reliance on Humira etc.

    Now that some time has past, looking at the total returns since 1/2/13 (since the split)

    S and P 500- 36%
    ABT and ABBV (if both were held and not sold) - 47%

    The increase in dividend since the split ABT and ABBV (total)- 18%.
    Aug 3, 2014. 12:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Herbalife Recklessly Leveraged On China? [View article]
    Mr Raven stated "MLM companies are illegal in China" . This statement actually proves an important point about HLF. The rules regulating direct selling companies in China are more strict, monitored and actually enforced. Recently they have been tightening up. It appears you really need legitimate/real customers/end users to not get arrested by the government. Your business has to be a legitimate business Recently, the government seems to be clamping down even more. Which begs the question?

    1) why did hlf get approval to do business in more provinces not too long ago?
    2) why did they get approval to build a factory
    3) despite the very tight measures, why is the HLF business in China still growing?

    Is it possible that in China ,HLF is actually a legitimate business selling a real product with real end users?
    Aug 2, 2014. 01:38 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Herbalife Recklessly Leveraged On China? [View article]
    Mr Raven stated that they use the "same type of MLM business". This statment does not give me much confidence in his analysis of MLMs and Hlf in particular.

    Several years ago, the Chinese government shut down over 600 pyramid schemes over a 1 month period and made arrests in 14 provinces. If they think you are an illegal pyramid, they will shut you down. Why is it that hlf is still operating under the watchful eye of the Chinese gov and is in fact building a factory?
    Aug 1, 2014. 03:26 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife: Is The Top In On America Sales? [View article]
    Imagine this scenario. Lets say you are the CEO of MCdonalds. And lets say you a have someone wage a negative compaign saying that the meat in Mcdonalds is tainted (may or may not be true). This has been going on for the past 2 years...on the internet, news get a senator, you announce it to the world, you demand the FDA investigate even though the claims have yet to be proven. So the average person on the street sees all these headlines and without much thought says, yes the meat is tainted. I wonder what would happen to sales? The company must be fradulent and in danger of collapse. Perception is extremely important...however, perception can be very different from the truth.
    Given all the negative publicity, i think it is remarkable how HLF has held up financially. Just look at other companies reporting earnings. Based on one quarter's earnings, half the public companies reporting must be fradulent and are in danger of total collapse.

    It sure would be nice if people would allow the FTC to do its thing and render a decision without the constant bashing of the company. What if the FTC and the regulatory agencies totally clear the company of any wrongdoing? Or is that even a remote possibility?
    Jul 30, 2014. 12:50 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • HLF: ON THE SUBJECT OF "RETAIL SALES"... [View instapost]
    Old Analyst
    I don't know why more of your articles are not posted on SA. Your articles and comments are very well thought put.
    There is very good evidence that the vast majority of hlf products end up consumed by a willing end user.
    Jul 29, 2014. 10:47 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife: Buy The Drop [View article]
    Yes. If you carefully look under the hood, hlf's performance was actually not too bad. How many
    companies can grow their top line by 7% in this economic environment in spite of the repeated attacks. The SGandA, higher tax rate and interest payments were significantly higher than last year. The higher interest payment is balanced by the 30 million saved on dividends. People who view today's earnings as confirmation of a pyramid scheme need to only look at Tupper
    earnings today, which in my opinion reported worse results. TUP by the way is not handicapped by the constant negative publicity. Interestingly, it's a company cited by Matt as being a legitimate company
    Jul 29, 2014. 12:57 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife ups EPS guidance despite lower revenue growth forecast after Q2 results [View news story]

    Take a look at TUP"s earnings report today, a company Matt Stewart views as a legitimate company.. Pretty ugly...quarterly profit fell 38%, EPS guidance was lowered. Negative net sales.
    When one compares HLF to TUP, it is remarkable how HLF has done the past quarter when one considers the negative publicity constantly surrounding it. HLF actually grew sales which TUP failed to do even without the weight of bad publicity. Sales is the raw fuel that ultimately powers earnings.
    Jul 28, 2014. 10:44 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Has Herbalife Kept The Game Going For So Long? [View article]
    6) Dr V had access to hlfs data.
    Jul 27, 2014. 10:57 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Has Herbalife Kept The Game Going For So Long? [View article]
    Some points to consider
    1) At the time the study was done, the controversy surrounding hlf was very intense. Im pretty sure Dr. V knew very well what was at stake.
    2) His study was done from the point of view of the FTC...not from the point of view of an investor, SEC,
    activist etc. He knew exactly what the FTC would be looking for
    3)He designed the study. Being a statisician, he probably understands the power and complexities of numbers
    4)His expertise is in the area of cosumer products and retail. Akman's track record shows that he has a very poor grasp of the cunsumer/retail sector.
    5) Now with these points in mind, who's analysis would you choose? Akman's or Dr V's.
    Jul 27, 2014. 10:53 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Has Herbalife Kept The Game Going For So Long? [View article]
    Many months ago, I believe Mr. Raven indirectly asked to join Ackman's team. I think one of the reasons he has been so busying writing articles against HLF was to somehow make a name for himself and hopefully to get a job at a big hedge fund, thereby going from the bottom of the pyramid to the top with his keyboard.

    I don't think Ackman has any more bullets in his gun to shoot down HLF. Any future presentations will lack the wow factor now. That is a good thing because there will be less noise and the FTC can do their thing without any distraction. (i.e. Ackman telling Price Water House how to do accounting....kind of like a plumber telling a surgeon how to take out an appendix).

    On the topic of HLF, a significant piece of information was the study carried out by Walter Vandaele. He had access to HLF's data base, he participated in the design and analysis of the study. Keep in mind, he was an advisor to the FTC. His expertise is in the area of business, finance commerce and statistics. He lives and breathes this stuff.
    In the HLF debate, if you strip away all the noise, emotions etc, it all boils down to the Lieberman/Nielsen and now Walter Vandaele's analysis of HLF. In my mind, they are all the information you need to come to a logical conclusion.
    The problem is when you are bombarded with so many articles and headlines, the average person on the street or an investor first looking into HLF will automatically assume HLF is an illegal pyramid....that is the path of least resistance in coming up with an opinion on HLF.
    Again, I think it is a good thing that the FTC is looking into HLF to clarify once and for all this HLF issue.

    Btw, I actually have your book The Art of Investing.
    If you haven't, you should read the Outsiders (which profiles Stiritz) and Billion Dollar Mistake which profiles how Ackman lost a ton of money on Target.
    Jul 26, 2014. 06:40 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Do Day Traders Evidence Skill? [View article]
    The term trader covers a lot of ground. They can be scalpers, swing traders, momentum traders etc.
    I agree. Very few make big money as traders. But the ones that do often make very big money.
    Jun 13, 2014. 11:11 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife: Advantage Ackman? [View article]
    Im usually not a fan of buybacks bc
    1) companies tend to buy shares when they are overvalued.
    2) they don't keep their word and actually never end up buying.

    However, in HLF's case, they are buying massive amount of stock at prices that are under intrinsic value. Meanwhile, the float is shrinking and the air is getting thinner.

    On another note, everyone is fixated on Venezuela. But i read recently that Amway, HLF , Mary Kay etc are lobbying the Chinese government to ease up on direct selling rules. The rules for direct selling in China are different from the US. Obviously, they are monitored more closely and very strict. They will shut you down if you are a pyramid scheme as evidenced by THOUSANDS that have been shut down already. Despite all the restrictions, HLF's sales have almost DOUBLED within the past year. What does that say? At the rate they're growing, future sales, earnings and cash flow growth shouldn't be a problem....more money to buy back shares.
    BTW NUS has been allowed to operate normally again after, I'm assuming a thorough investigation by the government. What does that say about the future of HLF in China?
    May 1, 2014. 04:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Concerning The Performance Of Individual Investors [View article]

    Good one!
    May 1, 2014. 11:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment