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  • Ashford Hospitality Trust: A Strong Yield Play In Lodging [View article]
    The other thing to remember is AHT sold 8 million shares at $10.70 back in April.

    I think this was to fund the expected spinout of the property management business, but still, AHT obviously doesn't think selling shares at $10.70 is a bad thing and now the stock is higher.

    They have been quite astute buyers and sellers of stock and bought cheap back in the financial crisis, so the fact that they sold here is worth paying attention to.

    I am long AHT and the AHP which was spunout to me and think the cycle has legs, but don't think that I would buy more at the current price.
    Aug 27 07:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In Insurance [View article]
    I think if we see interest rates start to rise, you will see more attention on the life insurance space as a way to play this and, after people look past the PRU's and MET's of the world, AEG will rate very highly from a value perspective.
    Jul 9 01:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In Insurance [View article]
    A lot of European companies allow dividends to be paid with stock. It helps avoid taxes and they generally repurchase the issued shares so the total shares outstanding does not change.
    Jul 9 11:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • National Security Group: After Years Of Difficulty, This Insurer Is Turning The Corner [View article]
    I have worked personally with the claims department at NSEC and they understand their business very well and how to control costs. Unfortunately, as you write, they had a series of bad events hit them on a much more regular basis than should be expected over the last several years.

    I have decided not to invest as I question the ability of a small insurer like NSEC to compete against much larger competitors with the high technology investment required in financial services these days. But they do have a good niche (sub $100K houses and mobile homes) that a lot of the guys like State Farm interested in.

    I hope they do well.
    Apr 14 08:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weight Watchers: Excellent Business At A Fire Sale Price [View article]
    The other problem WTW has is their paid internet experience is worse than the one provided by free apps like myfitnesspal.

    WTW should have been ahead of fhe curve on this and weren't. Not a sign of strong management.
    Mar 30 08:31 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett Says To Disregard Macro Opinions? [View instapost]
    I think that Buffet is mostly correct about ignoring the macro, but you are right that in 2008 it did matter. I suspect that now we have gone through this (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime scenario, that it will be off the radar for another 70 years.

    The other nuance to Buffet is that he says to ignore the macro, but he kind of gets a read through on the macro by judging individual company stock prices and business prospects.
    Mar 2 08:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Note To John Hussman [View instapost]
    Good for you. I think it will mainly just be some weekend hiking around Ontario for me this year. We are also planning on going to Lake Placid this summer and doing day hikes - I hear they have a great variety of trails with nice views.

    Good luck with you hike - don't forget to keep eating ice cream before you go!
    Feb 28 11:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Note To John Hussman [View instapost]
    Here is one well-written article which you may not have seen which talks about why CAPE may have changed permanently:
    Feb 28 09:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Note To John Hussman [View instapost]
    Hussman and a lot of the perma-bears have gotten way too hung up on the Schiller CAPE and it didn't work this time. Many articles have been written to suggest why, but reality is that it hasn't. Hussman's Strategic Growth flagship fund is now back under its IPO price after 13 years.

    Hussman also seems to cherrypick stats to support his position (a thing almost everyone does), but he seems to be blind to the stats supporting the bullish view.

    Too bad, because he seems like a nice person, but really not worth reading for a few years now.
    Feb 27 09:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Credit Suisse: A Rogue Bank [View article]
    AGO's claim against CS revived:
    Feb 27 02:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Allot, Procera keep rising after net neutrality verdict; will others benefit? [View news story]
    Canadian company Sandvine (SVC.TO) is probably the market leader in this space and showing strong revenue and profit growth.

    "As a result of our success, Infonetics Research once again named Sandvine as the leader in our market."
    Jan 15 01:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Have Index Funds Become Too Popular? [View article]

    I am thinking more of the broad market ETF's like SPY. As money flowed into SPY in the late 1990's, S&P large caps became overvalued and buyers of SPY were buying high.

    High prices created more demand which caused ETF inflows which bought at higher prices which created more demand, etc.

    In the same manner than mutual fund investors tend to get lower returns than the fund's average return (because of their poor market timing), I would wonder how the average SPY investor or GLD investor did compared to the ETF's stated return.
    Dec 27 11:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Have Index Funds Become Too Popular? [View article]

    One of the problems with ETF investing is that they tend to be momentum following investments. So as stocks or certain segments become popular, they go up in price attracting more money, which then forces the ETF to buy at higher prices.

    I would be interested in seeing how the actual individual investor did using ETF investing as opposed to actual investors. A good recent example would be to see how GLD investors actually made out compared to owners of gold. I wonder if the ETF investors did not do worse because of the momentum orientation of the ETF.
    Dec 27 10:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Have Index Funds Become Too Popular? [View article]
    It would be logical that if a lot of money is going into index funds, that the demand for the stocks in these funds would increase relative to the stocks not in index funds and therefore increase the relative valuation and price of these stocks.

    If you instead invest in stocks which are not in index funds, they will be cheaper and therefore, over time as the value of a stock moves towards the intrinsic value of the business, you will outperform the broad indexes.

    You have to do more work and individual research when buying these stocks, but it certainly seems like the best area for looking for outperformance in the current market environment.
    Dec 27 09:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • IBI Group: Cheap Debt That's Covered By Current Assets [View article]
    Probably best to spread out your purchases across all 3 debentures to get multiple chnances to win.

    Realistically, if any debentures get paid out with shares, current shareholders get crushed, so they have the most risk. The EV or the company will become the outstanding debt amount and equity becomes very small.
    Nov 9 02:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment