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  • 2 Things I Hate About American Capital Agency [View article]
    Met.B is well past its call date of 2012. I have owned it in a taxable account since 2009. I am a little surprised that it hasn't been called, but apparently the market thinks that it won't be called soon since it is priced at $26+ per share with a par of 25. By buying it now I'm taking a chance with my eyes open. At worst I'll get $25 per share if it would be called.
    May 22, 2015. 10:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2 Things I Hate About American Capital Agency [View article]
    I sold half of the AGNC in my IRA recently. AGNC is now just under 4% of my portfolio. I replaced it with Met Life Preferred B. The dividend yield of the Met Life is 6.26% vs 11.51% for AGNC. But as a very senior citizen I don't feel comfortable with excess risk. The preferreds are subject to interest rate risk too but there's no leverage factor to worry about.
    May 21, 2015. 11:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Faster, Longer, And Still Fatty: McDonald's New Menu [View article]
    When you relate that MCD is mobbed, Dunkin Donuts has a few customers and the others are empty I am very encouraged as a MCD shareholder. Yes, they didn't get your 4 bucks. They were too busy serving the crowd.
    As Yogi Berra is to have said about some other restaurant, "Nobody goes there anymore. They're too crowded."
    May 19, 2015. 08:15 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Where In The QE Have We Seen This Before? [View article]
    Watermellon 56
    When bonds yield is low investors seeking better returns tend to sell bonds and buy equities. As you know, most dividend champion stocks offer better yields than sovereign bonds and investors respond quite rationally by reducing their bond holdings and increasing their equities, thus driving up the prices of equities. Law of supply and demand.
    This is Economics 101.
    May 8, 2015. 03:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • McDonald's Turnaround Plan Fails To Convince Us [View article]
    At your target price of $74 to $82 MCD would yield 4.15% to 4.59% assuming the dividend stays the same. Since the dividend is well covered I don't think it likely that it would be reduced any time soon. The odds are that the dividend will continue to increase.
    At $72 to $84 it would be a strong buy for any dividend investor.
    May 7, 2015. 11:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • McDonald's to test kale and breakfast bowls [View news story]
    Kale and spinach sounds like a good idea for Californians. Here in the fat belt of Western Pennsylvania they probably wouldn't sell unless they were battered and deep fried.
    But consider - A Big Mac in India is vegetarian. A Big Mac in Paris has a different "special sauce" created to appeal to the French palate. And, in France they sell wine, because the French don't want a meal without it.
    Catering to the local tastes is something MCD does already. Expanding and capitalizing on localizing the menus may be a very productive initiative.
    May 6, 2015. 05:38 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • McDonald's unveils turnaround plan [View news story]
    I have owned MCD for a long time. However, I was dumb enough to sell it a few times and then buy back at a higher price.
    Ten years ago it sold for around $20. Today it is near $100. Dividends continued uninterrupted all those ten years - and if I'm not mistaken they rose every year.
    I now plan to hold long term.
    Their food is what it is - fat and salt.
    An old friend of mine with more money than most people can imagine absolutely loves their cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes. To him they are the ultimate comfort food. He can't get around too well any more so he has them brought in.
    There are millions of folks around the world who are like him in their food tastes.
    May 4, 2015. 01:55 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • McDonald's unveils turnaround plan [View news story]
    What is the market's long term horizon? Two minutes? Two days?
    Is there anything MCD could have announced that would have pleased Mr. Market?
    May 4, 2015. 09:25 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cries Of Despair Induced By Wednesday's Disappointing First-Quarter U.S. GDP Growth Report [View article]
    The cost of instruction (Faculty salaries primarily) has not risen at nearly the same rate as the cost of administration. (Administrative salaries primarily.)
    Here's an idea. Why not make state aid to public colleges and schools contingent on the increases in the cost of instruction: rather than on the total cost of operating the schools? Increases in funding would be dependent on increases in faculty salaries, lab equipment and other items that would directly affect education. Administrative cost beyond a reasonable percentage would not be covered. Neither would grandiose stadiums, luxury student apartments, fancy field houses and the like that have little or nothing to do with education.
    May 3, 2015. 02:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cries Of Despair Induced By Wednesday's Disappointing First-Quarter U.S. GDP Growth Report [View article]
    When I graduated from a well know private college in 1952 it cost about $1,000 per year. When my granddaughter graduated from the same college in 2011 it cost over $50,000 per year.
    When I bought my first car in 1950, a Plymouth, it cost about $2,000. A standard brand car like a Chevy Malibou today costs about $25,000. Todays' car is a much better vehicle than one in 1950 in every way. The college education is essentially no better than in 1950, but it costs 50 times as much while the car costs only about 12 times as much.
    The cost of education has gotten out of sync with the ability of people to pay.
    One of the sensible things government could do would be to devote more resources to funding education for all and less to foreign military adventures. The cost of good college and technical schools should not out of the reach of ordinary citizens.
    May 2, 2015. 10:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Cries Of Despair Induced By Wednesday's Disappointing First-Quarter U.S. GDP Growth Report [View article]
    James Hanshaw.
    Your idea is so sensible that it will never be implemented.
    May 1, 2015. 02:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BCE off slightly after Q1 beats on top and bottom lines [View news story]
    I suppose if their report had been worse the price would have gone up???
    Apr 30, 2015. 02:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Sustained Negative Interest Rates Lead To Bank Deposit Outflows? [View article]
    David de los Angeles
    Your bobsled analogy is perfect.
    Also the "Magical Mystery Fed". So many poorly informed Americans seem to think that our central bankers operate in a vacuum - without taking into account the world economy and the actions of all the other central bankers.
    Apr 29, 2015. 10:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Sustained Negative Interest Rates Lead To Bank Deposit Outflows? [View article]
    The law of supply and demand has never been repealed.
    There is more money in the world at present than demand for it. Therefore, banks are not interested in bidding for more of it. When borrowers are scarce and reluctant, bankers compete with each other by lowering the rates they charge. If banks have more funds than can be profitable employed in lending or investment it is not in their interest to bid for more by offering depositors attractive rates. There are obvious costs for banks to hold funds. U.S. banks pay FDIC insurance on their deposits and there are the embedded costs of simply operating the organization. Many banks have effectively been employing negative interest by imposing various fees on small accounts.
    In my view, central bankers are not creating a low or negative rate environment. They are simply reacting to it.
    Until world trade improves and there is more demand for money, low or negative interest rates will prevail regardless of what central bankers do. How long that may be is anyone's guess.
    Apr 28, 2015. 11:09 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Franchisees unsettled with new plans at McDonald's [View news story]
    A system similar to the Create Your Taste kiosk ordering system has been in use for over ten years by the Sheetz chain in Pennsylvania. It is extremely successful. Sheetz has gas stations all over the state with convenience store/restaurants attached. They offer fresh, made to order food and their model is so successful that they are now starting to open stand alone restaurants.
    The customers they serve are very much like the core MCD customer; working people looking for fast, tasty food at a modest price.
    I think MCD franchisees will be pleasantly surprised if they invest in the kiosks, based on what I see in Sheetz.
    Apr 15, 2015. 03:55 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment