Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View marpy's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Nikkei Retreats From 15-Year High [View article]
    The easy fix for radon is to vent it as they have been doing for quite some time in homes where its been a problem. Some areas just more prone to radon gas than other areas and where this is the case, the solution is to vent it. This is not to say that fracking does not contribute to it but to say that there is a known solution to the problem.
    Apr 10, 2015. 09:14 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lumber Liquidators, Formaldehyde And Asbestos [View article]
    When buying anything from a Chinese manufacturer its buyer beware as very tight monitoring and controls are required if you really want to know what you are getting. Rules are minimal and just about anything goes over their.
    Apr 9, 2015. 03:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Reuters news chief exits for chairman job at Euromoney [View news story]
    Smith is the top guy at TRI and comes from the Thomson side of the business. My understanding is that he is results oriented, focused on customer service and delivery of a good product and was put in charge after the combined company stumbled badly. As part of the house cleaning after he got the top job, a lot of the Reuters brass was shown the exit and the company has now come a long way in turning things around. With the news side of the business not doing so hot, perhaps some one saw the writing on the wall and decided to move along. My leaning is that this will be positive for Reuters. - JMO
    Apr 9, 2015. 03:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stalled pipeline projects threaten Canada‚Äôs economic future, banker warns [View news story]
    Canada's left coast is indeed a problem when it comes to any resource development and yet they all consume oil and gas and power generated from burning coal. They have this thing about their pristine shore line as well. Beautiful it is but I am not so sure about pristine as the reality is that a lot of what China and that part of the world dumps into the pacific makes its way across to BC (there is all sorts of evidence as it does show up in the BC waters). The provinces do a lot of politicking and shooting each other in the foot and they really do need to stop.
    Apr 9, 2015. 03:40 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I'll Wait And See With Turquoise Hill And Oyu Tolgoi [View article]
    Based on all the different factions that make up the GOM and the strong resource nationalists/ anti foriegner types that control some of these factions, Prime Minister Saikhanbileg has a ways to go before he can deliver anything. IMO chances of a deal in the near future are better than they have ever been as Saikhanbileg seems to understand the need for foriegn investment in Mongolia and what needs to happen for foriegn investment to again start flowing into Mongolia. He has also struck a positive cord with the people through his communicating with them on social media and television.
    If he fails to deliver this time, then IMO we will not see anything positive till after the up coming election which is a little over a year away. I suspect that the inward looking resource nationalists may be in for a big negative surprise as the people have over the past elections been promised a lot by them and have had zero delivery on those promises and economic hardship has been the reality for many of them.
    When will we really have something of substance here - it will absolutely been when Rio Tinto tells us that we do. ;-)

    Excellent coverage Gary! :-)
    Apr 9, 2015. 10:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Costco lower after March sales report [View news story]
    Not surprising as although they still have a lot of well priced merchandise, a lot of stores in groceries for example have no problem beating them with sales promotions. I also noticed that starting some years a go, they quit carrying certain bulk items that the consumer may have liked but that they could replace with higher margin upscale items that were not as much of a good deal for consumers. A lot of the increased profits in recent years has not been through what I call real growth but has come through tightening rules like return policies and selective availability of product in the favor of the company over the shopper. Well these are one time gains that can't be counted on to drive growth every year and consumers do catch on to these tricks and act accordingly.
    Apr 9, 2015. 10:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EIA Petroleum Inventories [View news story]
    Tell us Gary - are you a "closet green"?? Whats your problem with Canada anyway Gary???? They have been Americas closest ally and energy partner for decades and supported America on many fronts and continue to do so. Yet all the Obama administration seems to do is slap Canada in the face. Even American business leaders Like Buffet and others have come out and said that Canadian oil was good for the American economy and Obama should not be thumbing his nose at Canada. I guess you like buying oil from Americas enemies like Venezuela and Those in the Middle East better than from traditional friends and allies.

    Come clean Gary, tell us what your real agenda is????
    Apr 8, 2015. 01:56 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EIA Petroleum Inventories [View news story]
    Yes - Saudis and OPEC have actually increased shipments to America. Part of their game plan to keep prices low till they see enough production taken off line. As they are the low cost producers with the big bank accounts, it is only a matter of time before high cost production drops accordingly.

    Apr 8, 2015. 01:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mongolia Approves Oyu Tolgoi Expansion: Rio Tinto Impacted? [View article]
    The new prime minister has set a very good direction for Mongolia and if Mongolia stays on that course then it should be very prosperous for all involved including the people of Mongolia. The problem is that it seems that many in the government of Mongolia do not for one reason or another want to take the steps that would allow Mongolia to move forward and prosper.
    In order for any business relationship to last , it must provide benefits to all the stake holders people, investor and government. Most Western corporations know this and so that is what they try to accomplish in developing business relationships. if the GOM does not get it right this time, Mongolia will be having a new election in a little over a year and hopefully the people will choose the proper leaders that will move the country forward.
    Apr 8, 2015. 01:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mongolia Approves Oyu Tolgoi Expansion: Rio Tinto Impacted? [View article]
    Yes 100% as the GOM has had a history of saying one thing while doing the exact opposite a short time later. Currently most foriegn investment in Mongolia has been sidelined as a result of the actions of the GOM and Rio Tinto is really the Canary in the coal mine. If a company with the size and experience of Rio Tinto and a huge world class deposit like they have can not get a fair shake in Mongolia then the others do not have much of a chance.
    Also when you look at the experiences of companies like Khan Resources and South Gobi Resources which were very negative to say the least, you realize just how treacherous a place it can be for foriegn businesses.
    The PM is trying to push Mongolia in the proper direction but their are still many obstacles in the way and the best gauge for determining if these obstacles are really being delt with is Rio Tinto's Responses and actions.
    Apr 8, 2015. 01:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Shell Agrees To Buy BG Group For $69.6B [View article]
    The biggest problem with America starts with the current White House and those running it who are to busy with ideologies as B.S. Legacies to really do anything to look after the American people and their historic allies.
    On dollar stores, Dallarama up in Canada is doing a gangbusters business and the stock has done extremely well. they have moved from dollar merchandise to anything up to $3 and that has worked out well for them - boosting sales and margins. They have virtually no competition from any other large chain dollar stores and the retail players like Walmart do not even try to compete with them. Actually a lot of the new jobs in Canada are Walmart type jobs and so you could say that Walmart is providing a lot of Customers for Dollarama. ;-)
    Apr 8, 2015. 12:54 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mongolia Approves Oyu Tolgoi Expansion: Rio Tinto Impacted? [View article]
    Although we have what could be a very positive step here, history tells us that in Mongolia, not all is always what it seems to be. The GOM has been known to change its mind on a dime as well as make all sorts of comments and promises that go no where. Their are also some heavy duty resource nationalists in the GOM that are dead set against this project and foreigners in general and will never change their stripes including the current government speaker . While the new PM has done a good job of countering these negative elements to date as he wants to move Mongolia forward and into the modern world and knows that lots of foriegn investment will be required to do so, this bunch is pretty entrenched and not going anywhere. Mongolia's thorn in the side of progress is still a threat. We also have an election in Mongolia which is a little over a year away which could change things considerably as this has historically meant the promoting of nationalist views and promises of windfall giveaways as a means of attracting votes. The current PM though with his approach of talking directly to the people through social media and television has become quit popular and may trump the B.S. as a lot of the people have caught on to the hollow promises that are never delivered. So in lite of the above:
    The better way for one to get a sense of which direction things in Mongolia are going in are to watch the actions and news releases that come from Rio Tinto. So far what we have is a visit from Sam Walsh to Mongolia the Weekend before last where he met the PM as well as visited the mine and more or less stated that Rio Tinto's line in the sand had been drawn and was not moving much (he referred to the remaining big issues as "deal breakers". For sure, their were private discussions not reported about what could or could not be done as well. This is now followed by statements coming from the GOM that a deal with Rio Tinto on OT has been worked out and will be signed soon.
    The question is - how much substance do we really have here?? The answer is that when RIO Tinto responds then we will know whether we have more Mongolian hot air or we really do have something of substance that will move Mongolia and their major mining assets forward. ;-)
    Apr 7, 2015. 03:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Should You Be Mostly Cash Like Mohamed El-Erian? [View article]
    Good points wecoyote. Its a matter of finding what works for you, continually refining it and sticking with it.
    Apr 7, 2015. 09:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should You Be Mostly Cash Like Mohamed El-Erian? [View article]
    If someone has found something that works for them, then it is best to stick with that method. Its as simple as different things work for different people. One needs to look at where one has an advantages and disadvantages and realize and use these advantages while minimizing the disadvantages.

    Really it boils down to - if its working, keep doing it and if its not you need to look at something else.

    As to the Question - Are their problems ahead, my answer is that one has to go with what one has absorbed following the market and ones gut. My experience tells me that being early is better than being late and that goes mostly for getting out of a market but also applies for getting back in after a crash.

    Apr 7, 2015. 09:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should You Be Mostly Cash Like Mohamed El-Erian? [View article]
    Actually, you can do quite well with periods of no diversification or minimal diversification and that is the beauty of managing your own portfolio - you can do this easily without some adviser babbling on about the rules of investing. I have used my own rules below to do quite well over time.
    The first and most important rule of investing is that the goal should be to never loose any money - yes hard if not impossible to do but as long as it is your number one rule it will keep you focused and on your toes.
    The next rule of investing is that if its to good to be true, it usually is and so stay away or time to go home. Home = cash or equivalents)
    The next rule of investing is that you should always deal from a position strength - this means no margin that you can not easily cover and no selling options on your securities. The problem here is that these will kill your up side or your flexibility and in some cases both. Strength means that you are in charge and absolutely no one else can impact that.
    The next rule is that the best things in life really are simple and investing is no exception. Words like opaque and complex are just the snake oil salesman's way to sucker bag holders (as history keeps proving)
    My last rule of investing is that you have to fully understand what you are buying and why and that as long as what you bought continues to meat that criteria then you should hang on to it.

    I will not get into a lot of other details but will say that I have done well following the above rules including being totally in cash through 2008.( I was following 2 of my rules - to good to be true and keep it simple. )

    I have been everywhere on the map from 100% bonds to all cash or equivalents to 100% stocks ( this for me means about 70% stocks as always being in a position of strength means you need a minimum of 30% cash so that you can take advantage of opportunities) and i have had periods of being in between any of the above as I have shifted things around.

    To someone like myself, diversification is for those who do not have a clue as it generally means that you hope you will make more someplace else than in your loosing areas. As for being in cash or equivalents for a year or 2, well 1 or 2% return is better than a 30 - 50% hair cut - look at 2008.

    Going forward, I have been parking a lot of what I sell in cash as I see more problems than anything else going forward for the next while. Not so much in America but more so in Canada where the real estate bubble keeps expanding and the low oil prices are having an impact.
    Will I miss some opportunities? possibly but far more important is that I will have not lost any principle in a period I consider uncertain.

    JMO or 2 cents
    Apr 6, 2015. 03:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment