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  • ECB pledges to boost bond buying; euro drops [View news story]
    Probably just less trading due to people being on vacation.
    May 19, 2015. 06:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Johnson & Johnson beats by $0.02, beats on revenue [View news story]
    Agreed, doctorx. GAAP figures are often far enough detached from reality as they are, without management making further arbitrary adjustments. Ease of comparability and removal of bias are two of the reasons that accounting standards exist.
    Apr 14, 2015. 09:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Look At Accenture's Explosive Dividend Growth [View article]
    Good article, good company. Your focus on FCF is commendable.
    Apr 14, 2015. 07:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Coca-Cola's Long-Term Future In Doubt? [View article]
    Occasionally, KO will buy out certain bottlers, make some necessary capital injections and spruce up the bottler in general and then it sell off again as soon as Atlanta is satisfied that it's in good shape.
    Oct 22, 2014. 03:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BHP Billiton announces demerger [View news story]
    WSJ point out some issues: (no buyback announced and shares of the spin-off entity trading in Sydney rather than London)

    Edit: More colour from Forbes:
    Aug 19, 2014. 06:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • S&P cuts outlooks to negative at Canada‚Äôs six biggest banks [View news story]
    The amount of people who refuse to read beyond the headline is shocking.
    Aug 9, 2014. 06:02 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Tax Bill Is About To Get Much, Much Bigger [View article]
    Regardless of the fact that taxation issues affect far more than just the tech sector, many, many multinationals have their EMEA headquarters in Ireland and/or provide significant employment in Ireland. A simple google search would reveal this.
    Jun 26, 2014. 06:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Heard during McDonald's conference presentation [View news story]
    Between 2014 and 2016.

    "(MCD) expects to return $18 to $20 billion to shareholders between 2014 and 2016 through a combination of dividends and share repurchases, representing a 10% to 20% increase over the amount of cash returned between 2011 and 2013"
    May 28, 2014. 01:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Diversifying The Perfect Retirement Portfolio - Here's How: Part 3 [View article]
    I may be wrong, but I'm guessing that it's looking at things on a risk-adjusted returns basis. For every stock over 30 in your portfolio, you move closer to attaining average returns, but you're assuming more risk than, say, holding SPY, because you hold fewer stocks than SPY.

    So, if you hold more than 30 stocks, you move closer to average market returns, but with potential for greater losses, should one of your holdings go to zero (2% loss if you hold 50 stocks, rather than 0.2% if you hold SPY). I'd be interested to hear Mr. Carnivale's answer to your question, though. His comments regarding the issue of capital preservation versus maximum total return seem to me to be the crux of the matter. Buying the entire market should reduce certain aspects of risk, with the consequence of average total return.

    Thanks for your tireless work, Mr. Fish and thank you for yet another excellent article, Mr. Carnivale.
    May 5, 2014. 04:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Real Reason Why Moats Matter - It May Surprise You [View article]
    Thanks for the clarification, Brian. Is there any publicly available information as to how Valuentum chooses a DCF discount rate when valuing a business? I'm interested in the degree to which the possession of a moat might affect the chosen discount rate.
    Apr 29, 2014. 03:46 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Real Reason Why Moats Matter - It May Surprise You [View article]
    Thanks for an interesting article.

    I think it all boils down to risk tolerance. Some investors are risk-averse and would prefer an 80% probability that earnings will increase by 5-8% per year, while some investors are more aggressive and are willing to accept a 40% probability that earnings will increase by 20% per year. The market might price both firms correctly according to their fundamentals, but predicting future cash flows (or predicting anything, for that matter) is always an uncertain endeavour at best.
    I would say that having a viable moat just increases the probability of those predicted cash flows materialising, particularly over the long-term.
    Apr 29, 2014. 11:53 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Use Norway Sovereign Fund's Top Holdings To Your Own Advantage [View article]
    I don't think those 17 are the largest equity holdings, my friend. These are the values of their largest holdings (in NOK) as of December 31, 2013:

    Nestle SA - 39,267,625,731
    Royal Dutch Shell PLC - 28,957,454,130
    Novartis AG - 26,077,891,039
    HSBC Holdings PLC - 24,967,562,747
    Vodafone Group PLC - 24,612,905,642

    Here are those U.S. holdings:

    BlackRock Inc - 22,717,177,382
    Apple Inc Technology - 21,075,125,817
    Exxon Mobil Corp - 18,099,672,583
    Microsoft Corp - 13,475,983,068
    Google Inc Technology - 12,776,453,716
    General Electric Co - 12,048,115,367
    Chevron Corp - 11,291,586,182
    Johnson & Johnson - 10,670,185,323
    Wells Fargo & Co - 10,479,937,244
    Comcast Corp - 10,042,283,754
    Procter & Gamble Co/The - 9,442,447,579
    Pfizer Inc - 9,128,750,578
    JPMorgan Chase & Co - 8,990,252,752
    IBM Corp - 8,820,431,013
    Aflac Inc - 8,582,118,308
    Coca-Cola Co/The - 7,822,975,227
    Oracle Corp - 7,721,491,452
    Apr 9, 2014. 04:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Use Norway Sovereign Fund's Top Holdings To Your Own Advantage [View article]
    According to

    Largest equity investments
    - Nestle .CH
    - Royal Dutch Shell Plc .UK
    - Novartis .CH
    - HSBC Holdings Plc .UK
    - VodaFone Group Plc .UK
    Apr 8, 2014. 12:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Demise Of Social Networks [View article]
    Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't understand why people assume that the purchase of Whatsapp will add Facebook users in a significant manner.

    If you use Whatsapp, you have phone that is connected to the internet, whether it be via a wireless network, or a data connection with your chosen network.
    If you have an internet connection, you will be aware of Facebook and either use it, or you have chosen not to use it.

    Unless Facebook decide to show ads on Whatsapp, I don't see the audience to which they can advertise increasing from the purchase. In the Venn diagram of FB users and Whatsapp users, I imagine the Whatsapp users to be a small circle engulfed in the mass of FB, but I could be wrong.
    Feb 26, 2014. 07:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Dividends Are Irrelevant [View article]
    By deciding to pay a dividend, management is realising the limitations of both the management team and the firm (for which it should be lauded) and making a decision with the best interests of shareholders in mind.

    Advocates of profit retention will point to Warren Buffet and theoretical models showing that paying a dividend reduces the value of a company. I don't disagree with theoretical models, but they are not always entirely applicable in the real world.
    Buffet is an anomaly. BRK can operate as a diversified conglomerate and continue to increase book value because Buffet is of the best allocators of capital of all time and is recognised as such. However, if the management of PG, CL, KO or XOM decided to stray from their core competencies and start allocating capital to purchasing railways or candy manufacturers, I daresay the market would punish them for it, and justifiably so.

    The payment of a dividend is an attempt by management to allocate capital in the most efficient manner, once other options have been examined and discarded.
    Feb 20, 2014. 06:44 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment