Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View Aquater's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Contrarian And Momentum Investing - Part 2 [View article]
    Yet another good solid article by the author in this series. Excellent and very useful work. Would it be desirable to add RFG and RWK to the mid-cap alternative ETFs list and see how they would perform relative to Treasuries? These are fundamentally modified mid-cap indexes and have a history of outperforming MDY over the long term.
    Aug 16 04:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sell Discipline: The Time To Take A Donut Is When They're Passed [View article]
    Article looks good at the beginning but then it devolves into sheer and pointless repetition, saying nothing of useful substance. Half way through it is just boring and holding some kind of suspense or black box. Then one wants to quit reading the piece. Just a waste of time. As a reader pointed out it is probably just a commercial without disclosure. Of course disclosure would make people not to read at all. The end result is deception. Sorry!
    Aug 13 08:02 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding The Schizophrenic Fed's Risk-On/Risk-Off Messages [View article]
    Good analysis as is usual with Joseph. It seems, though, that some attention needs to be paid to international situation in deciphering bonds mystery. China has a huge credit bubble on hand and needs to inject cash into domestic arena. Won't they need to sell from their huge pile of U.S. bonds for that? So, the clue may not be some mysterious counter-intuitive conundrum in the bond market. As and when the Chinese are done raising enough cash to inject in their own banking system, especially, countering their so-called shadow lending, bonds may resume their usual safe haven status. Or, am I drastically wrong somewhere here?
    Jun 30 12:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Similarities To The Market Peak In 1973 [View article]
    Some shallow negative comments on an article with sound thinking. Of course you can discover lot of dissimilarities from 1973 in today's world. You also can find how two hair differ, just because they are growing from different places in the scalp. Sy points out clearly that there are differences. The point of comparison is in cyclical market top within a secular bear market. The sentiment conditions, not to mention insider selling, margin situation and other indicators, are horrifically similar. Even so one can argue that it is not a secular bear market, but that case cannot be made by looking superficially at some dissimilarities. Sorry, I forgot I am totally dissimilar from yesterday because I ate different food today, not to speak of different clothes I am wearing!
    Oil embargo did not stop OXY from rising even as entire energy sector licked dust in 73-74 bear. Moreover, nifty fifty came down to the earth too: Polaroid which was everybody's darling and had nothing to do with energy too came down from 140 to just 14. Most stocks and sectors do poorly in bear market but that does not mean that the same stocks and sectors have to do poorly in every bear market. So, contrasting oil embargo and Bakken boom is pointless and irrelevant. A more intelligent contrast would be between small cap in 73 and now. Even though small cap was in decline since 1968, the bear made it to perform horribly by the end of 1974. Currently I do not see small cap or even advance-decline line showing promise of poor performance. But we'll see what happens. What I get out of Sy's thoughtful insight is that this is a time for caution for equities and certainly not for foolhardy embrace of stocks. But if you want to embrace stocks wholeheartedly now, that of course what makes a market. We will find out as time will tell.
    Jun 22 01:55 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • World Markets Weekend Update: The Worst Week Of 2013 [View article]
    Yes, good clear analysis. Doug demonstrates the US market levitation quite well. Maybe we have become the stock market safe haven, attracting money from all over the globe, for our own retail investor is still not buying us. How long can this last is anybody's guess, particularly in light of heavy insider selling, huge bullish sentiment levels and record margin debt, not to speak of deteriorating economic reports, corporate earnings and, specially, revenue numbers.
    Jun 10 01:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • iM-Best10: A Portfolio Management System For High Returns [View article]
    Very impressive numbers supporting a remarkable performance. Thanks for sharing. This is worth further exploration and refinement, if such is possible.
    Jun 7 01:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Bear's Best Effort At Making A Case For The Bulls [View article]
    Very well articulated systematic case ultimately showing the poverty of the bull case. Thank you, JS, for sharing your wisdom and thoughtfulness.
    May 27 02:16 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words [View article]
    Logical Thought has made an excellent point, specially about our horrid household debt situation and Fed's neglect of it. On the earnings peaking, last quarter's figures showed poor revenue gain. So, many infer that further gains in earnings cannot simply come from continued layoffs and other cost cutting. Stock market is notorious for discounting the earnings picture months in advance. By the time everybody knows that earnings have peaked and are going down, half the correction or bear market is already over. Even recessions are officially declared after they are over. It was not until 2009 that we were told that recession started in 2007 Q4, at which time everybody was laughing at the idea of an onset of recession. So, if we keep looking for fundamentals to tell us when to get out of the market, we would be awfully late. Stocks are not a part of leading indicators for no reason.
    May 26 12:39 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words [View article]
    Both Logical Thought and stel1 raise good points. My general response is that, since early 2009 Fed has come to the rescue of the market whenever market showed it was in trouble. Fed came up with one stimulus or the other: QE, QE2, Twist, whatever. Now it is on near perpetuity of 85B a month. Economic reports have been discouraging lately. Market has ignored them. Corporate earnings are peaking too and many key corporations have issued warnings. Europe is officially in recession and China is slowing. We in the US are the last great hope globally. But if our economy gives in, despite the continuing dose of 85B every month, what then? What is left in Fed's arsenal? Will it go to 100B or 200B? Japan is going overboard and yet there central bank's mammoth printing press seems to be in trouble. If economies can be made to really grow by just printing money, we will be rewriting history. But even then, as I pointed out, I am not going to jump the gun. I will maintain an equity exposure until SPY ten day ema goes under its twenty day ema.
    Also it is interesting to think who are the big buyers of US stocks, if not the retail investors. Could it be the Europeans who are scared by Cyprus with its near run on the banks? How long is the debt can kicked down the road by Greece going to stay out of the way? China too is slowing. BOJ is showing desperation with its huge money printing project. Things have not worked there now for more than fifteen years. Following their policies are going to work for us? In any case, there is no reason to abandon stocks until they roll over. Fed has not been able to keep them from rolling over, which they have done in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Let us see if they fail to roll over ever in the future just because we have embraced Uncle Ben.
    May 26 12:30 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Investors Gravitating To Cheaper iShares 'Core' ETFs [View article]
    Very useful information here, Tom. Thanks for sharing. In the old glitter of SPY, EFA and EEM I would have missed the attractive qualities of IVV, IEFA and IEMG.
    May 25 08:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words [View article]
    The article is very wisely written and presented. The comments are less so. The amazing, incredulous and thinly veiled denials of what is obvious in the picture presented above are all the proof, if any, you need to show that we are close to a market top. Bubbles are not the only way tops are made. Many major tops just indicate cyclical bull market exhaustion points which come much more often than bubbles which come only once in a while. It is amusing, therefore, to find people saying everything is all right because there is no bubble. Even Alan Greenspan always denied seeing a "bubble" in the stock market even as he saw irrational exuberance. A bubble, by definition, is what the majority who is caught up in it won't see. If the Dow hits 20,000 in a few weeks and I say I don't see a bubble because it has not hit 40,000, I am like an addict who is in denial. If seeing the above picture it does not occur to you that it may be wiser to be cautious, you are asking for what may come to you.
    May 25 07:23 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retail Stock Investors: We Won't Get Fooled Again [View article]
    Whatever the reason, retail investors are not buying into the eternal buy-mantra of the Wall Street establishment. But somebody is buying big which is evident from the stock market behavior of the last several months. Again, whatever the reason, retail investors are still buying bonds. But someone is selling big which is evident from the market behavior of the same last several months. Eric's well analyzed data show this clearly.
    A major area where selling is occurring in a way bigger than in bonds is the natural resources: oil, precious metals and the like. Markets make their motions but do not point finger to anybody or any group. So, investors are left to gather what evidence they can and make their bets. The comments above on Eric's soundly written article show clearly that bets are being made on different sides and all sides can bring their reasoning to their defense. Indeed that's what makes a market.
    So, how am I leaning? I am leaning toward caution. As Eric points out wisely, it is no time to abandon any of the major asset types. He is also thoughtful in saying that the areas of stocks to which one should be exposed are the defensive, low volatility segments. I would have liked to see him commit himself to specific proportions of those areas. Or, at least broad ranges.
    If one accepts, as I do, that, given everything, the best long term investment portfolio is the so-called "Permanent Portfolio" equally distributed over stocks, bonds, natural resources and money markets, I would suggest this is the time to be somewhat underweight stocks and somewhat overweight money markets. Keep some powder dry, to use to buy whatever corrects first and more heavily.
    I will let the markets speak. Stocks do seem overbought but they have not rolled over. Couple of months ago they were on the verge of rolling over, but they did not. If they do in the coming weeks I won't keep dogmatically asking for proof of this or that group selling or buying. I will just reduce my exposure.
    How do you know that market has rolled over? A simple way is to see whether ten day exponential moving average is above or below twenty day exponential moving average. SPY ten day is still clearly above twenty day. Until it goes under, and nobody knows when it will do that, at least a defensive exposure to stocks is appropriate. When it goes under, I won't want to be caught with a large exposure. Is this a fail safe strategy? Not at all. So, don't blame me if it does not work out this or any other time. But if it does not work some times, that is the price you pay for it as an insurance. Not to have this insurance and to simply hope dogmatically that whatever position I have should work out is foolhardy. Yes, in my four decades of investing I have succumbed to these bouts of dogmatism. Hopefully, others do not have to learn the hard way.
    May 25 06:30 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Most Nagging Question About Stocks [View article]
    Lou may be right. Time will tell. But many of these so-called bear market warning signs seem like lagging indicators or looking into the rear mirror with perfect 20/20 hindsight.
    Market looks forward and exactly therefore difficult to guage, making such simple laggers not very useful. Yet, who knows? Again, we will see what happens. Some historical support would help build Lou's case. What is the exact record of each of these indicators through the past peaks and valleys in real time? How do they overcome market's discounting mechanism that frustrates virtually everyone? I find a list of simple laggers interesting at best but not to be a reliable tool for prognosis in real time until proved otherwise. I am ready to be persuaded otherwise. But then I'd like to see the detailed record of the past in corroboration of this simple claim. Also, there may not be a bear market but if market corrects 19%, falling short of the standard 20% needed for an official bear market, it may absolve you, saying, oh, it was not a bear market after all.
    All said and done, I would rely more on time tested forward looking indicators of which market itself is one notable indicator of the economy. Relying, for example, decline in earnings, is historically too late. By the time Tom, Dick and Harry know that earnings are declining, bear market may even be over, fooling them easily. Those who know and are able to move the market sell in advance and not wait till everybody knows that earnings have gone down. Any way, if such list helps you, go ahead.
    May 18 03:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's Now Safe To Sell [View article]
    Very pithy and insightful article, pinpointing what ails the economy and how it is ignored by the establishment buy side and the media. Indeed the complacency looks scary. For how long - that has to be seen. Hopefully, the outcome may stay relatively benign, although that would be an economic miracle. Stay defensive.
    May 16 02:28 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alan Abelson Died: Lives On Through A Generation He Defined [View article]
    Alan Abelson was a very able financial journalist from a deep philosophical perspective too. This piece by James is a great tribute to Alan's genius. I personally was enchanted by Alan's style and substance. His logic was often strong but suppressed under a humorous hood. He brought intellectuality alive to a dreary subject like reporting on finance. His views had a bite that drew blood but at the same time had a grain of truth that eluded the drier heavy-set pens with pomposity. He had simplicity and a unique openness that so many lacked. He made explicit how the bear case is always more logical and prudent. Alan showed by implication how the bull case rested on little more than hope and hype. Or, to put it another way, if you pursue and apply logic ruthlessly you would likely end up a bear. And if you let yourself be driven by little more than hope and its attendant hoopla, you would end up a perma-bull like Louis Rukeyser. Alan Abelson will be missed for what wisdom we all extracted and imbibed in our lives from his inimitable pen that never failed to bring a smile to our faces. May his soul rest in peace.
    May 14 01:00 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment