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Saint Mark

Saint Mark
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  • Tax On Dividend-Paying Stocks Rising To 74% [View article]
    Look, this is simply the ebb and flow of democracy in action. The pendulum swings too far in both directions and is then over corrected. I vividly recall the Clinton years inwhich the economy flourished under higher taxes. I would point out that each succeeding tax CUT resulted in a further degradation of our economic condition.

    I am one of the 2% who are squarely in the crosshairs of Obama's tax increases, yet I voted for him. Why? Because the society I live in is more important to me than my personal wealth. As an independent businessman I have have survived and even increased my wealth under a variety of political and economic circumstances. We are about to go through some pain but it isn't the end of the world. Smart people figure out how to position themselves for success.
    Dec 2 11:42 AM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft And Intel Are Getting Desperate [View article]
    I have a unique situation........I have a Surface, an I-pad, and an I-pad mini. All three are good machines for different functions. The I-pad is great for games, movies, and web surfing. The Mini is extremely lightweight and small. The camera function is terrific and because of its light weight it's easy to maneuver. But for serious computing nothing beats the Surface with w8. I crunch numbers, do presentations, store vital files, and share data with ease. If I had to choose one it would be the Surface, hands down.
    Oct 18 11:37 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The JPMorgan Apologists Of CNBC [View article]

    Like you, I shared a similar view of Dimon and CNBC. But over time my opinion has evolved. Taking the acquisitions out of the equation, there is still significant wrong doing within the bank. At the end of the day, it happened on Dimon's watch and he is accountable - to shareholders, customers, tax payers, and the law.

    I finally sold my shares when the details of the London trades became public. Banks need internal controls and, more importantly, they need ethical leaders who know that losses of billions of dollars is not a "........a tempest in a teapot". Coziness with the financial press and a coterie of elected officials should not protect a firm, or it's executives, when they cause the kind of damage that was inflicted on the markets by JPM.
    Sep 29 05:30 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividends Provide A Return Bonus [View article]

    As a relatively new and unsophisticated investor I appreciate Chuck's article. The subsequent debate, however, makes my head hurt.

    It seems to me that the debate is moot........looking at charts of dividend paying stocks vs. non dividend payng stocks shows that those that dole out a portion of their profits to shareholders generally outperform those that don't - and over most reasonable time frames. Maybe I'm way too simple, but this is generally all I care about.

    Thanks for the discourse; it all adds to my education, and I appreciate everyone's POV.
    Aug 22 11:03 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Starbucks Is Vulnerable To Robotic Baristas, Capsules [View article]
    With all due respect, the author misses several points. First, the brand stands on its own. When using my Keurig, it's Starbucks K-cups. Second, food isn't even mentioned and Starbucks has made major investments to upgrade their quality and selection. Third, Starbucks hands down has the best management of any of the fast casual chains. Howard Shultze is charismatic and visionary - and he has built a team of like minded managers who are committed to making (and keeping) Starbucks the premier brand around the world.

    I am a long term shareholder who has seen numerous threats come and go. Starbucks endures because of brand, quality, visionary management, and good corporate citizenship.
    Oct 22 08:56 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft Could Outstrip Apple's Market Value In The Next Year Or Two [View article]
    I bought a Surface Pro about six months ago. I also have an IPad and a brand new mini. The AAPL devices are entertaining and fun; the Surface Pro is a serious business machine that provides terrific flexibility. Windows 8 took a day or two to master - it's not nearly as intuitive as the AAPL products. But having cut my teeth in a Windows environment, I find 8 to have far more crunching power for my business, and it's convenient to work with programs I have used for many years.

    Two downsides to the Surface Pro - the charging cable is a pain (what's wrong with just being able to "plug in"), and there is a dearth of apps. All in all, I was impressed enough with my MSFT experience that I opened a 1000 share position about three months
    Oct 5 10:02 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reasons To Keep Intel In Your Stock Portfolio [View article]
    Two years ago this would have been a provocative article. Today it's simply a rehash of what we already know, and it's already baked into the price. Intel's new products hitting in H2 will drive this stock higher.
    May 18 12:23 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Brookfield: A Wealth Creation Machine [View article]
    I am a long time holder of BIP and very pleased with the results. As I see it, their principal risk is from assets held in emerging markets - which often have less stable governments. BIP should hold up well to inflation and interest rate risk. It is heavily dependent on natural resources, which tend to be effective inflation hedges, and to inflation resistant investments like toll roads and power grids. Even in inflationary times people do not curtail their driving or reduce electricity consumption, and tolls for both are frequently adjusted to keep up with other rising prices.

    I have dabbled in BAM from time to time but avoided it for the past few years. Their structure is complex and seems to opaque; things I can't clearly understand usually turn out to be bad investments for me.
    Feb 26 12:23 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Team Alpha Portfolio: Selling A Stock When Serious Questions Arise [View article]
    So help me understand...........I bought Line shortly after they went public (think it was '06). They have used the same hedging strategy and the same accounting rules since day one. They produce audited financials each year and are the subject of intense research by a bevy of skilled analysts. Their distributions and price have grown handsomely over the past seven years and they are clearly no Enron or Worldcom. David Linn is one of the savviest guys in the oil patch and, to my knowledge, is widely respected and trusted.

    My question is, Why Now? None of this is new..........
    Feb 18 02:17 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Couple Of Better Dividend Growth ETFs? [View article]

    Thanks for your article, although the timing was painful. I just went through all of the same research over the past week. Had I only known that a far more experienced investor was going to publish......

    I have opened a small position in SDIV. I really like the diversification and appreciate the monthly payouts. Just wondering if I am missing something from the comment above about preferring quarterly dvidends. Can someone enlighten me?

    Terrific article. I will be following your work.
    Oct 25 12:54 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Be Afraid To Put MLPs In Your IRA [View article]
    I have had a fairly large MLP position in one of my IRAs for several years. Schwab's advice to me mirrors the author's. I provide my K-1s to Schwab and they file the required documents with the IRS for no charge. On the rare occasion that I have had to pay UBTI tax I am notified about a month before the money is removed from my account; there is ample time to ensure that I have cash available. One cautionary note.........if there is insufficient cash in the account shares are liquidated to cover the deficit.
    Sep 23 05:36 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Realty Capital Properties: Rapid Growth At A Cheap Price [View article]
    I sold my ARCP some time ago. I also sold my DRI more than a year ago. The reason? The huge drag RL placed upon their earnings. Although no longer a shareholder in either company, has anyone looked at the credit quality of RL? If their new owners cannot effect a rapid turnaroundARCP may wind up holding a huge inventory of tenantless fish houses.
    May 24 11:16 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Linn Energy Just Can't Catch A Break [View article]
    I spent many years long Linn and was richly rewarded. Two years ago I sold my position. Nothing had changed with the thesis - Linn has always been plagued by doubters - but at the mid-sixty mark my risk profile had to be adjusted. If you're young and have time to recoup, I'd stay long. At my age it was time to find a less risky income source.
    Mar 24 10:10 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Select Comfort: 70% Upside Ahead [View article]
    I have used Select Comfort bedding for more than 20 years and will tell anyone who listens that it is absolutely the best of breed. Unfortunately, therein lies the problem.......the only time we replaced our mattress was when we moved to a new residence and bought a new size. The mattress has a lifetime warranty and they never wear out.

    Customers truly do become customers for life. Product Development needs to come up add-ons that enhance the product for those who have owned mattresses for years.
    Feb 16 12:08 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reconsidering Starbucks Stock And Howard Schultz [View article]
    With all due respect, Howard Schultz is one of America's premier CEOs. He has vision, charisma, and political clout combined with a strong understanding of contemporary culture. The fact that you only recently realized the operating efficiency of Starbucks says it all. Since Schultz's return the company has been executing at an extraordinary level. I sold my SBUX near its high and am hoping for a sub - $70 entry point soon.
    Feb 5 05:36 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment