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  • My Must-Own 17% Dividend Yield Equity  [View article]
    If nothing else I'm getting an education about a wider world. I had to look up "crack spreads" (http://bit.ly/RvkxLI) - no drugs were involved. And also this from the SEC (http://bit.ly/WD8kBm) so I have some vague idea what the buzz is all about.

    This one isn't for me right now. If they are more efficient than their competitors, I would expect future predicted $$$ to trend higher, not lower. Maybe in time they will and I'll take another look? And I don't like investing in new stuff, except, shorting over hyped stuff I do somewhat understand, like CRM. Also, self made projections w/o a track record worry me - and yes, that worry may cause me to miss a few opportunities.

    I do think Todd mentioned the risk very clearly in his article and followup comments. This is a one trick pony, if that trick is really good, it could go way up.
    Dec 3, 2012. 12:09 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Must-Own 17% Dividend Yield Equity  [View article]
    Thanks for replying.

    I do understand that this company is small and has all its eggs, more or less, in one basket. I trade basic options, play casual poker and am married; so I understand the basics of risk.

    Nevertheless, I'm still staring at 4 data points that look like they would make a damn nice linear regression. "$92.7m, $73.3m, $57.1m and $22.8m . . . On top of that, lets just say I don't have a lot of trust in most "experts" in the industry and that has served me well. This is setting off my "pump and dump" Spidey senses.

    We are still looking at a more or less consistent 20m drop in revenue each period (at least they are honest) with the 5th (extrapolated) period at or near 0 and all the rest increasingly negative. I'm certain I could offer the same "returns" and retire quite nicely should anyone care to send a large check. . .

    Or it could also be that I'm not understanding something correctly. Or that those 4 data points randomly happen to be declining $20m per period in a near linear manner. . . I don't know, but so far this one isn't a bet I'd be willing to take.


    PS: Correlation (time vs $) : -0.9850 That's pretty damn tight. . . and also negative. While causation can not be assigned I wouldn't risk MY money on this w/o new information.
    Dec 2, 2012. 08:17 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fracking, Climate Change And What Gets Lost In The Shuffle  [View article]
    Being on the same earth, which we have only one of, which has only one atmosphere. . .
    Dec 2, 2012. 07:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fracking, Climate Change And What Gets Lost In The Shuffle  [View article]
    "The Hawaii islands are active volcanoes. These volcanoes emit large amount of CO2 even as they may not be actively erupting. As we are talking about merely ppm's of CO concentration, the volcano emission is a huge factor in data bias. The long term trend could mean that the activity in Hawaii volcanoes are increasing during the decades. Nothing more and nothing less." - Mark

    Lets not switch topics now. Care to explain how the inactive volcanoes in Hawaii emit a slow and steady amount of CO2 upwind and high up and also in a predictable sine wave pattern? And how that is detected world wide? Pssst - that small, predictable variation you are so concerned about could be due to seasonal differences in plant production.

    "2. The seasonal variation, low in October and high in April, probably indicate variation of tourists activity. In the spring time, there are more tourists are there are more human activity, including cooking and vehicle movements, so there is more CO2 locally. In October, as the summer draws to an end, there are much less tourists. So that is a low." - Mark

    I'm still waiting for your full explanation of how tourists effect CO2 levels in Hawaii and also in places where few people vacation, such as Alert, Canada. Aliens? The creator made it that way? A trick of the Devil? By the way, if tourists did cause this, and it is detectable world wide, then I guess you agree with me that the problem is MAN MADE.

    "The earth itself could NOT produce this kind of seasonal variation. At any given location, the plantation and animals may vary from season to season. But one hemisphere is summer and another is in the winter. At any give time, looking at space, the earth receives the same amount of sunshine. So globally the CO2 should not have large seasonal variations. Especially the air circulates fast, so it pretty much averages over all the areas quickly. There is no way that the seasonal variation is global. It's purely a local variation."
    - Mark

    Well I guess we have progress on this point. You seem to now acknowledge that the earth has two hemispheres and that the land mass and plants that grow on them are not equally divided between the two. . .

    Sometimes I wonder if there is any hope, at all, for the human race. Right now would be one of those times.

    Dr. James B. Wood, Marine Biologist
    Pro Business and Pro Environment
    Dec 2, 2012. 07:46 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fracking, Climate Change And What Gets Lost In The Shuffle  [View article]
    Forgetting climate change for a second - lets look at this logically. If I look at the average temperatures over the last 50 years here in sunny south Florida I may "discover" that despite the southern latitude, there is a large seasonal difference between summer and winter. I may also "discover" that this variation is predictable and can be used to model future variations between the seasons.

    One could conclude either that:

    1) The data is BIASED and should be ignored.


    2) That winter is indeed cooler than summer, that this is predictable, and that this information could be used to make simple or complex models that predict that future winters will likely also be cooler than future summers.

    Back to climate change:

    How about those Volcanoes?

    1) Mauna Loa is not an active volcano
    2) Keeling made measurements on both the incoming trade winds off the ocean breeze and also above the thermal inversion layer. Yup, in 1960 Keeling already though about Mauna Loa and mitgated/eliminated the effects.
    3) Many other places, some without volcanoes. also not measure CO2 and get consistent results.
    4) Volcanoes do not slowly and regularly release gasses on a seasonal basis.

    Tourists eh? Really?

    Here we have the CO2 data from damn near the north pole - somewhere I certainly don't want to visit:

    By your logic, more people visit Alert, Canada than Hawaii!
    This is the the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world! Who knew tourism was booming there!

    How about those plants?

    Yes, the planet can, and does, produce this variation. The planet is not one big homogeneous lump, there are continents. These continents are not equally distributed between the two hemispheres. . . Plants grow on them. . . Kreb's cycle, etc.

    More data? Really? You do know that smoking is bad for you right? Here is what 220 seconds of google seaching can find: http://1.usa.gov/SptGCp
    Check out the graphs. Note that a lot of places that measure C02 are far from large populations and are getting samples from incoming sea breezes. Note the consistency between the results. Notice that the season effect is larger in the N hemisphere where there is more land and plants.
    Dec 2, 2012. 10:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Must-Own 17% Dividend Yield Equity  [View article]
    This is a new sort of investment to consider. The link provided lists upcoming distributions as: "$92.7m payout in the September quarter, followed by $73.3m, $57.1m and $22.8m through June 30, 2013." Add that all up and it looks damn good. Look at the consistently declining trend and it does not. . . the next 4 would be $3m, -$17m, -$31m and -$53m. . .

    I'm not as worried about the variable risk as I am paying $100 to get $20.

    Dec 2, 2012. 09:41 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coal Stocks Look Ready To Run  [View article]
    Would you also find it difficult to believe that 1 in 10 homeowners would lose their homes due to MBS fraud?

    I wouldn't call that one a conspiracy either - I'd call it greed. I'm quite sure that this "substance" is found in other industries too.

    Anyway, trust is not in abundant supply with such industry estimates, valuations, ratings, etc.
    Dec 1, 2012. 11:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • GDP Thursday: Fiscal Cliff Progress Good For 200 Points Ahead Of GDP  [View article]
    So? The other guy has his money offshore and pays 14% or less in taxes. Whomever is President is going to take occasional vacations and need security - that is simply the cost of doing business. So what is your point? If you are truly trying to make a point about the debt, then lets look at our history of near perpetual distant foreign warmongering from Vietnam to Iraq, our success rate in establishing foreign democracies and NOT petty stuff like the relatively insignificant and justifiable costs associated with protecting the President, whomever he/she is.

    Nov 30, 2012. 03:45 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fracking, Climate Change And What Gets Lost In The Shuffle  [View article]
    Have you ever tried to heard cats? Scientists are worse; I should know, I am one of them.

    When a large number of scientists agree on, well anything, the world should pay attention instead of sticking it’s head in the sand. Most of the opposition has a skin in the game; usually in big oil.

    Yes, large complex models are “scary” and yes they are based on assumptions. But guess what, such algorhythms are alive and well and even better developed in the business world. We have heard of high frequency trading. Those models are also imperfect, based on assumptions and often hard to understand. And they also seem to consistently beat the odds. Just because I as a scientist don’t understand these business models does not mean I should pretend they don’t exist or don’t produce results that are better than average. Also, I’ve read some articles on these as well as high frequency trading – to me, that is not “research”, it is reading. Your mileage may vary.

    Here is the straight skinny: the earth is our life support system – it provides the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. There are 7 billion of us and we are polluting it. Some industries, like the insurance industry, priced in the increasing chances of severe storms some time ago. It is possible to be pro-business and pro-environment but this involves long term thinking that isn’t so common these days.

    I’m sorry but volcanos, aliens and natural cycles do not explain the Keeling curve.

    Natural gas may help get us off oil. It is a stopgap solution.

    Have you ever ran your “house” 100% off of photovoltaics? I have, the house being a sailboat. In practical terms, as long as you don’t run anything with a compressor, like say a refrigerator or air conditioning, 3 big panels could do the job on sunny days and were much much better than running the engine just to charge the battery. But the cost per output of pv cells is still much to high to be a solution to the world’s energy needs anytime soon. For remote off the grid applications, or govt subsidized projects, they can be a great solution. PV is part of the solution, but a small part.

    Ag is used for a lot of other things as well. And it is the “poor mans gold”. Plus it cannot be printed. So in the end, we may wind up at the same party.
    Nov 29, 2012. 03:56 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Strategy: You Want The Truth? You Can't Handle The Truth!  [View article]
    How about less distant foreign wars? From Vietnam to Iraq, these costs are huge and cost more than just dollars. It's not like we have a great 40 year track record of setting up Western Style Democracies around the world. It is like we spend more than the next 17 countries combined. Can we please balance the right's blah blah blah about entitlements with a hard look at what we spend on the military industrial complex? And our RIO for that huge cost?

    "It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world." Thomas Jefferson

    Anyway, great article. I'll keep my eyes open for dips.
    Nov 28, 2012. 09:05 PM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 7.8T reasons dividend tax increases won’t crush stocks: That's the estimated value of all equity assets held by retirement investors that are not tax sensitive. Though it seems counterintuitive, Lucas Kawa thinks an increase on dividend tax rates might actually benefit the millions who hold high-yield dividend stocks in their IRAs and are able to buy into a potential sell without being impacted by the rising tax rate.  [View news story]
    Lets not forget the nearly 4 decades, from Vietnam to Iraq, of distant foreign war that got us where we are today. What is the return on that investment? How many successful Western Style Democracies have we set up in the last 4 decades? I hear a lot about cutting social programs from the right. Frankly, I find it hard to be a fiscal conservative and miss the dismal return on investment and huge cost of our near continuous war mongering. Obama, or whomever is in office, is going to have to pay for this or, take the politically more popular solution, just keep kicking the can down the road (until we eventually destroy ourselves from within). Lets not stop investing in ourselves: fixing pot holes, investing in education, healthcare, etc just so we can keep spending more than the next 17 countries combined on our military industrial complex. And yeah, the sky isn't falling. But if you really care about debt, look first toward the costs, in both lives and dollars, of our 4 decades of warmongering.
    Nov 25, 2012. 08:51 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Microsoft On 20% Pullback: Dividend Grower With Moderate Growth  [View article]
    The discipline of this approach is appealing. Your rules keep you from pulling the trigger to early. Who can argue with the math – pay less for the same thing that compounds over time and you will do better. However, as a scientist, I question things. So:

    Why use a % off the highest yearly price? The highest price in the past year is an outlier. Wouldn’t you be consistently better off buying X% below the average or median price? If you buy at X% off the average price, you know that you are getting a better deal than was available on most days. If you buy at 20% off the top price, which could have spiked really high at some point, you wouldn’t necessarily be paying below average and the % off compared to the avg would be different each time you use this strategy.

    One drawback to what I’ve suggested is that the highest price is easier to find. . .
    Nov 24, 2012. 10:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Tesla's Performance Live Up To Its CEO's Hype?  [View article]
    "there is no such thing as man-made global warming"

    What do scientists know anyway? It's not like the ice caps are melting or we are seeing more super storms or some countries are starting to lose land.

    You know the truth - the earth is. . . 4000 years old, flat, fossils are "tricks of the devil", was put here to be fully exploited and the sun revolves around the earth centered on the Holy See. To question such truths with hard scientific evidence is blasphemy.

    This could have been a good article. Ironically, you may actually be right about Tesla DESPITE the Tea Party "logic". New tech is tricky and risky.
    Nov 21, 2012. 02:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Grand Bargain: Are Fiscal Spending Cuts And Revenue Increases Both Needed? Part 1  [View article]
    Something is wrong here:

    "As another point of reference, average outlays as a percent of GDP during the Reagan and Bush Administrations between were 20.8% with a high of 23.5% (1983) and a low of 21.2% (1989)."

    The avg can not be lower than the low. . . Mathematically impossible.
    Nov 10, 2012. 11:00 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is A Stock Market Drop Imminent?  [View article]
    Whomever is NOT bailed out. . .
    Oct 23, 2012. 01:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment