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  • When Saving Is As Easy As This, Retirement Gets Harder [View article]
    I appreciate the duration of the article, but the basic question 'where is the yield for our retirement?' is only taking into account one side of the equation. Sure, yields are lower on bank deposits, but the cost of living hasn't gone up enormously either..... Unfortunately, for older retirees, the largest price increases directly relate to quite possibly their largest cash outlay..... Healthcare costs.

    It really is the worst case scenario. Inflation is non-existent across the board, but in the one sector that matters for older people, it's enormous. Yet, traditional outlets for yield aren't correlated to that one sector because everything else hasn't moved much in price.

    I have a lot of older friends, but unfortunately for them it's a great time to be young. Stocks might go sideways for awhile and the risk/reward scenario isn't great, but young people won't need the money for awhile. Older folks might need the money soon and that, quite possibly, negates the advantage they have in stock yields. Bonds are not priced attractively at all.

    All I can say to those out there right who are older is, good luck.
    Oct 2, 2015. 12:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index [View news story]
    Exactly right Jason.

    It's really easy to see too if people would just wander outside. Prices on items at Wal-Mart haven't moved much in 5 years. It costs the same for me to play golf, just about everywhere. The biggest price increases for average families over the last 10 years have been related to healthcare. And that will go up until all players within the system have their value propositions aligned or everyone runs out of money. Aside from additional discretionary spending related to electronics (iPads, iPhones, bigger TV's, etc) everyday items haven't really moved much.

    There have been real estate price increases in certain areas of the country, most notably in high priced areas. But in 'flyover country' and everywhere besides the west coast/huge cities it's tough to see inflation taking hold. Going forward, I don't see any enormous price movements in the near term. If anything, I would expect most prices to go lower as corporate earnings run the course of their expansion and/or margins return to historical norms. For people who have experienced enormous gains over the last 5 years in equities, a return to sideways returns might prompt a 'tightening of the belt' if you will.

    Forecasts about the un-forecastable aren't helpful, but when speaking about inflation I don't see many scenarios where something changes soon. The average person isn't making more money........ This isn't a doomsday scenario by any means, the economy is healthy. But it doesn't mean we're off to the races from here either. The race started in 2009.

    Good luck!
    Sep 29, 2015. 12:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Netflix preps for first theatrical film release [View news story]
    Watch blood diamond
    Sep 8, 2015. 10:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Alternative To Cash For A Risk-Averse Investor [View article]
    Andrew is right, but going long PCP is an easy way to make 2 or 3%.... All the other stuff seems like a lot of effort.

    Good luck!
    Sep 2, 2015. 04:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Apple plans to unveil iPad Pro, iPad Mini 4 at iPhone event [View news story]
    Even if the answer were yes, it is, you wouldn't believe it. They even made a commercial about it.......

    It will be interesting to see where Apple goes from here as they start adopting more of the MS/Samsung features. In the end consumers will benefit. But, we have to be getting close to a top in 'capability' with these phones if Apple has finally thrown in the towel and determined using these things is important. They even decided to go with a Stylus on the iPad Pro (cue the Steve Jobs stylus quote)......

    It will be interesting to see what the next 5 years of iPhone operating results look like. We might finally be at the point in time where severe margin compression starts to take place.

    Good luck!
    Sep 2, 2015. 03:16 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Long-Term Favorites In This Market [View article]
    Bingo, looking around I saw the same thing.... Good companies, trading below or around BV, decent balance sheets. As usual you get the typical crowds who loved it high and hate it low. Stocks go up and they go down. Seems simple, but people don't capitalize on it....

    Oil stocks are down right now. These companies will be around in 10 years. If you're investing in individual stocks, picking out names that should emerge as winners over the rest is the whole point. Figure out what something is worth and buy it at a certain price below that. Doesn't matter what the market is doing......

    The guy commenting below you just doesn't get it......

    Good luck!
    Aug 27, 2015. 08:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • M&A Daily: Free Dan Loeb! [View article]
    BHI up nicely this week. If people are squirrely about the transaction closing, no shame in taking the 10-15% from Monday and running.

    Good luck!
    Aug 27, 2015. 03:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Low Can This Market Go? [View article]
    Exactly right..... A bunch of words and articles lately on where the market is going. Who cares? Look at 100 companies and start trying to figure out what is overvalued and undervalued........

    As always, there are pockets of undervalued securities. However, as you mentioned Rudolf, there are far more names trading above historical levels. Some of these names may, or may not, be facing slowing growth and/or declining margins. In my eyes plenty of them are overvalued.

    Let's face it, after a straight line up over 6 years with a small blip in 2011, the market probably deserves to go down for awhile. There are plenty of stocks that are not particularly attractive. Plenty of TSLA's out there that are ripe for significant declines. Lots of KO's with huge multiples and average, at best, prospects. Plenty of stressed balance sheets and weak dividend coverage in the energy sector, like CVX.

    I always try to read The Intelligent Investor whenever markets around the world start going haywire. Got through the important stuff last week, before the carnage (I guessed right on significant declines here). It's easy to forget the basic concepts.... At the end of the day, let's start putting those CFA designations to work by doing some analysis on specific companies................ Everyone will be much better off.

    Good luck!
    Aug 25, 2015. 04:53 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • IBM's 21st Century Transition Is Failing [View article]
    No optionsexpert, he's not God, nor is he always right.

    What he does understand though is that IBM isn't going away tomorrow. The enormous cash flow probably won't decline 50% next year either. And as much as the author wishes to write about the culture of IBM, it's virtually impossible to get any reality out of any of it. Why? Because this monster employs 400,000 people. Cherry-picking opinions from a few hundred probably doesn't give anyone an accurate description of what's going on inside the company. I appreciate his time and attempts to help the public understand the company, but it's one data point. The reality is every company has its ups and downs and there's a million reasons why.....

    By the way, if I took the opinions of every retired 60+ year old person about a place they worked for 30 years what do you think those opinions would look like? Would they say things like, 'things aren't the same as they used to be', 'back in my day....' and 'remember when....'. The author does a good job not emphasizing that mindset, but it's there.

    At the end of the day, this company will continue on its trajectory. They will probably report sales declines going forward. They won't grow 20% a year from here. But, it's really impressive to watch huge, bloated corporate dinosaurs that never go extinct. Situations in the past that speak to 'meeting payroll' don't seem relevant for a company currently generating between $10 and $15b of Free Cash every year over the last 3 years.

    I saw similar opinions a few years ago when CSCO was 'dying'. 'The culture sucks, I worked there all my life, I'm still selling their gear and they don't do anything well' and on and on. Read the posts from 2011 to 2012. CSCO has tried to acquire their way out of sales declines (doing a far worse job than IBM has done), meanwhile squandering significant sums of money. At the end of the day the stock doubled from where I bought it (then I sold) even though the enormous acquisitions were terrible and they barely offset significant sales declines in their primary business (somewhere between $25 and $30b in acquisitions in 4 years with $3b in overall revenue increases).

    You know why? Because at some point these companies get too cheap. And the world isn't ending tomorrow there. Whether or not IBM as a stock (which is all anyone cares about here) does well from here relies more on the quantitative side than the qualitative side. No one can say for sure if we're there yet, but we're certainly closer than we were at $215 in 2013.

    Today, we have a $140b company that is extremely conservatively financed, has enormous financial resources, expected to do about $10b in FCF this year and paying that out to owners in the form of dividends and buybacks. If they decide to pay out 100% of FCF this year, you make roughly 7% as an owner pre-tax. In years past they have paid out all their OCF and financed CAPEX with debt (or paid CAPEX with FCF and returned money via debt, although it's the same thing) resulting in returns above Free Cash Flow (120-130%). Obviously this has weakened the financial position, so it stands to reason this could impact future distributions over time. A counter argument would be, IBM will be around for another 50 years and they are taking advantage of low rates (both interest and tax) to distribute money to owners.

    IBM is a stock selling for a certain price with a bunch of financials supporting that price. IBM as a business has a million things going on. The most important question is, can I make money based on the current price? That certainly relies more on the current quotation than whether or not they're listening to certain people within the company...... That stuff is important, just not as much as everyone thinks.

    Good luck!
    Aug 25, 2015. 03:33 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • M&A Daily: Free Dan Loeb! [View article]
    Looked at BHI in January but didn't do anything. Touched down under $45 yesterday....... I don't think someone could do bad even with BHI @ $48 today, soon to be 1.12 HAL @ $35 and $19 ($58 and change). I think HAL will be around for awhile and probably worth more down the road, so if someone wanted to hold that instead of selling after the merger......... they get in pretty cheap. If not you don't do too bad.

    Good luck!
    Aug 25, 2015. 01:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • At the open [View news story]
    Yea, great prices there. Been eyeing XOM for awhile, thought of buying Friday but waiting till Monday was the right move. I don't see how investors can lose with the price where it is now. Just about every oil company has to go bankrupt before XOM cuts the dividend or endures some significant financial deterioration.

    XOM probably goes lower from here, but you're getting 4+% a year to wait. And nothing from treasuries or high-quality corporates (searched a few dozen last night)...... I mean, compare a company like CVX with XOM right now, there's almost no comparison.

    After the recovery today, there's really no reason to be a hero and buy hand over fist. However, there is plenty of good value out there and sometimes it's right in front of your face (XOM/IBM).

    Good luck!
    Aug 24, 2015. 01:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • At the open [View news story]
    Tried to get in on CVS and some others, couldn't buy when it was down over 20%.... Still can't get in to my wells fargo account lol. Bought some MSM and FAST here, knowing they'll go down over time. Even XOM and IBM look very attractive. Been raising cash for a long time now.... Sitting pretty with a few hundred thousand ready to roll.

    Good luck!
    Aug 24, 2015. 09:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • At the close [View news story]
    That's a good post dude.

    Good luck!
    Aug 20, 2015. 05:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: You Are Funding Elon Musk's Iron Man Lifestyle [View article]
    My favorite 2 words in investing................

    Map Collection

    Good luck!
    Aug 19, 2015. 10:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NYT delivers harsh expose on Amazon's workplace culture; Bezos responds [View news story]
    Guy with the early 20's friends making over $100k..... I'd do a little math there. If a guy works 60-70hr weeks and brings in $100k, he's making the same as I am and working 50% more. So, explain how working 3000 to 3500 hrs a year and making $100k is doing well? Dude could work 2 manager jobs at Abercrombie and Victoria's Secret and pull the same salary with probably less hours. Plus he gets to pork half the patrons after 'sizing them up' in the fitting rooms.

    People rave about these salaries without ever understanding 'what they're truly making'. My buddy starts at Uber soon and told me he gets a free dinner and an uber ride home every day..... You just gotta stay till 8pm to get the food and 10pm for the ride. Then they have socials at 'certain times', no doubt after a quick 10-12hr stint.

    Sounds like a blast........ Meanwhile I'll have a blast. With the driver about 340 at 3pm on a Thursday before knocking a 6 iron close on a par 5. That's right before 3 putting from 12 feet though (what a joke).

    Good luck!
    Aug 18, 2015. 10:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment