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  • Show Me The Money: The Perils Of REIT ETF Investing [View article]
    One thing going for ETFs and mutual funds is that they can be BORING compared to owning individual stocks. I submit that BORING is good when it comes to long-term investing because usually the best thing to do with your investments is NOTHING. If you can buy and hold and not panic about some bad news regarding a company you're holding you are probably going to do well long-term. Of course, it can be more fun to own individual companies, watching your holdings soar or sink can definitely have some entertainment value.
    Aug 4 12:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cohen & Steers: The King Of REITs Poised To Provide Investors 42% Annualized Returns [View article]
    True, VNQ only has a 9+ year track record and the yield is lower. But when it comes to fund investing, I prefer to look forward rather than backward. It is an old story, on average, unmanaged funds outperform managed funds. It is not surprising that both VNQ and ICF hold many of the same companies, I don't view the differences to be worth of the extra management cost. If I wanted a higher yield from real estate I would probably be looking at 0, the idea of monthly dividends is appealing but not necessary for me. To me, the diversification of real estate means more than the yield, but not everyone feels that way. When investing through an employer's plan, you select from the available options. I'm glad I could get out, transferring my 401k to an IRA offers lots more options, including conversion to a Roth. I was so unhappy with the fees of the Cohen fund, I got out within 24 hours of the opportunity becoming available. Let someone else pay for their managers' $4,000 suits.
    May 17 03:46 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cohen & Steers: The King Of REITs Poised To Provide Investors 42% Annualized Returns [View article]
    I was excited to be able to dump my real estate shares managed by Cohen and paying their fat fees due to a retirement plan distribution. I just took the proceeds and bought VNQ and now I have essentially the same exposure but am paying 90% less in fees. Nuts to them.
    May 16 11:50 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney: Have The Bulls Won? [View article]
    In my view, JCP is not a viable business until margins get into the low 40s. Perhaps JCP is a fun speculative play, but as an investment, there are so many great businesses out there which are far superior. I remain unconvinced.
    May 16 11:01 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hewlett-Packard: How Much Do You Spend On Cartridges? [View article]
    I find it disturbing to read of poor customer service being delivered by any company, and especially from one in which I own a few shares. Customers should always come first.
    Ummm . . . maybe I'm the only one, but after using my HP printer extensively for a couple years it developed a problem and I decided to replace it. I didn't think getting service would be a viable option due to the fact that service is not cost-effective when you can get a replacement for so little money. I actually went onto ebay and bought the same multi-function printer slightly used, same model number, same functions. It cost me $79 and came with free shipping and ink cartridges. (One problem with switching printer models, you likely can't use whatever ink you have on hand in the new printer, so if you have a stash of cartridges you could be at a considerable loss.) I wonder what a repair of my old unit would have cost?
    I'm grateful my wife didn't make me buy a Kodak printer three years ago, I was not enthusiastic about Kodak's prospects of being in the inkjet printer business given such formidable competition.
    I love HP. Still have my HP12C financial calculator I bought in 1981 and it works great. I think I would buy HP anything. If HP made a car, I would want to drive it. If HP made a whisky, I would want to drink it. If HP made a teevee, I would want to watch it. If HP . . .
    Apr 14 11:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Home Depot Earnings Preview: 15X Cash-Flow Valuation And How Long Can Share Repos Last? [View article]
    I agree, I don't believe HD is an undervalued bargain in the 70s. However, I think it's a great company and a great long-term investment. It seems like most investors want to see growth, build and open more stores. But with the financial crisis, those plans were taken off the table. Now that the worst seems to be in the past, I admire HD in that it doesn't seem to feel forced to open a large number of new stores to chase growth. When you force the issue, you risk opening marginally profitable stores in less-than-ideal locations. I'm glad HD doesn't seem to be doing that, at least not lately (we won't talk about the adventure in China.) Home Depot, with their brute force, has driven many of their competitors into the ground. I don't see them eager to come back to life, either. Would YOU want to compete with Home Depot? Besides, opening new home improvement stores can be tougher than years ago, cities are revolting at the thought of having so many day laborers hanging around the neighborhood. When home improvement sales trend higher in the future, Home Depot is already well positioned to benefit. I'm anticipating a steady and increasing regular quarterly dividend.
    Feb 18 11:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wait Until 70 For Social Security [View article]
    I agree, wait until age 70, and keep working as long as you can, and if you hate your job, quit, and find something you love to do and stay with it. I don't ever want to retire. I guess I am nuts.
    Oct 28 10:39 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Dilutes By 30%, Avoid At All Costs [View article]
    I wonder who wants to buy the new shares that will be issued? Will they be looking for a greater fool?
    Sep 27 12:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Is Dead Money, Get Out While You Can [View article]
    I agree with you if you have the vision of how the company can be successful. But that's the problem with JCP, there is no road to success that I can believe. Sometimes, you just see a company that is just on the road to oblivion. Kodak going from cameras and photo processing to . . . making inkjet printers? From $80 a share to zero. I don't see a good outcome for Sears, either. Good luck, maybe I am reading it wrong.
    Sep 23 12:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Is Dead Money, Get Out While You Can [View article]
    Sure, JCP could borrow more against real estate or raise cash by selling more shares. But that works to solve a short-term cash problem. The real problem, the long-term problem, is that not enough people want to shop at JCP anymore. There has been no conclusive evidence that this is going to change before they run completely out of cash, no matter how many financing moves they make. No wonder people are driving up the shares of Costco, people want to shop there, it is like a before-Christmas sale every day in that place. And retail is so competitive. JCP has got to take customers from the other retailers who are executing at a higher standard. Do you believe they can do it? There is no evidence to support they can. If you hang on to your JCP shares, you will eventually get wiped out, and the lienholders will wind up with the scraps. Get out. Get out. GET OUT!
    Sep 22 11:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kyle Bass bets on J.C. Penney [View news story]
    Sep 3 01:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Plan For Your Retirement Income [View article]
    I would agree with the comment by curreyr, I would take a look at the backdoor Roth IRA, for a couple reasons. First, tax diversification, I think you are going to have one heck of a large tax liability in retirement as eventually you will be forced to take taxable distributions, at least that is my understanding (anyone, please correct me if I am wrong about this.) Second, I think you are correct that the probability is high that you will be deprived of some Social Security benefits, but not because SS will no longer exist, but because means-testing will become more of an issue. As you know, the Roth would exclude some income from taxation in retirement and is not subject to forced distributions.
    Aug 30 12:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Ackman selling entire J.C. Penney stake [View news story]
    Timing is everything. Maybe Mr. Ackman could wait a couple years and buy the whole company at 13 cents a share and try again.
    Aug 26 05:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney - No Screaming Buy, Even If The Company Will Survive [View article]
    So on every dollar of revenue, JCP is losing 14.8 cents. That is just staggering. And gross margin in the . . . twenties? (If we round up, we could say 30%.) It is difficult to overstate how terrible that is. The mall is an expensive place to be and that is why you see a lot of jewelry stores, shoe stores, etc., they have high margins. For comparison, looks like Macy's gross margin is just a hair above 40%. JCP certainly has a long way to go, and that is just to get to a profit of zero. In the vast universe of possible investments, I would think there must be a better choice than JCP.
    Aug 21 07:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrarian Investing Is Not Necessary To Beat The S&P 500 [View article]
    Yes, I considered BAC when it dipped to $4.92 a share. But I saw the bargain price and took a pass. I could not get past the saying "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." One takeaway from the financial crisis and afterward is that not only do investors find it difficult to evaluate the risks of banks, but the bankers themselves can't get a handle on the risks. BAC could blow up in your face and you would not see it coming. So, maybe a more understandable investment would be more appropriate if you want to hold it for a decade or more. Your article mentions several. Thanks.
    Jul 13 10:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment