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  • Visa: Puzzling Action On Visa Europe [View article]
    IMO... What Visa is looking at is the real potential of Europe. Europe, behind the US (Canada) in the use of credit cards. Unsecured credit is not as widely used there. Secondly Greece is teaching them that uncollected taxes can ruin a democracy. Encouraging use of electronic payments forces transactions out into the open.
    May 18, 2015. 08:56 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Combine A Bulldog With A Shih Tzu, And You Get Freshpet [View article]
    You sound like someone who has a very realistic view of this issue. The Petsmart trip is an example of what I meant about the retailers 'not selling' the product. We encounter this too and its based not in fact but in the opinions of uninformed retail sales people. Who for the most part do not want to be informed despite what the company ownership portends to suppliers.

    There is also a bigger story here about how products are taken to market and who the real 'sellers' are. Retailers have pushed so much of the marketing and distribution costs back on to manufacturers that they no longer really care about product support and 'selling'. They have moved their money making to manufacturer rebates and selling shelf space with little or no loyalty to market development. This is why online sales are growing at the pace it is. Why would a manufacturer continue to support distributors and retailers who are not interested in actually 'selling' their product.

    Case in point Apple, Sleep Number Beds, and I am sure their are more...

    Continue the good work...
    Apr 8, 2015. 01:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Combine A Bulldog With A Shih Tzu, And You Get Freshpet [View article]
    As a small time pet food manufacturer, for 15 years, making a 'raw food diet' and having to compete with Freshpet and others in the same market space I would say this article is exactly right. There many versions of this same story out there and they all have come and gone over the years because of one undeniable fact the cost of supplying the freezers cannot be justified, in sell through, over a short enough period. That said they do however use the massive market penetration based on filling those freezers as justification for further growth.

    The reasons for failure are really quite simple: 1) the higher price point collapses customer potential (price point acceptability is not a bell curve) 2) The retailers will gladly accept free store amenities when the impetus to sell the product is all put back on to the supplier and they don't have to 'market' or 'sell' the product (which they don't) 3) The sales focus is put entirely on getting the fridges into the stores instead of selling to the guy feeding his dog (because that is how the sales force gets paid)

    We have never supplied freezers to retailers and instead chose to work with them to develop a solid profit centre based on their choice of freezer. The spent our time with the people feeding the dogs and working on lowering product/distribution costs. Maybe not selling the volumes Freshpet are but then we are also comfortably profitable without all the 'fairytale financing'.
    Apr 7, 2015. 10:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Alpha Readers Forum [View instapost]
    Chris... small time investor here... that said your sight has helped me a lot (thank you). Will continue to use it regardless. Seems like all the better financial reporting sites are coming up with a similar plan that is probably valid given the potential.

    What would be good, but might take a coding level you do not have access too, that showed a heater bar indicator on the article in the listing - showing plus or minus the premise of the article when displayed based on current value vs value at time of upload. So an article that is saying short a stock where the stock is falling would show as a plus and an article that says go long a stock that is rising would also show plus. (adding a letter code like L -long C- contrarian might help too)

    The writer might have to choose the level and direction to make it work; but it would help to some degree in sorting through the information. That won't help help the information timing issue but the ones that begin to 'glow' might be worth a second look, or stop people looking at the really 'cold' articles...IMO
    Mar 25, 2015. 10:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • USD/CAD - Loonie Bears Looking For Value On Dips [View article]
    I would agree with you except that's not the Canadian way... once the turn comes the government of the day (or a newly elected one) will start spending borrowed money. Just look at Ontario's finances for a comparison. Given the population disparity leaning to central Canada the voting tends that way. Things might be different this time but rarely are.
    Mar 13, 2015. 08:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • USD/CAD - Loonie Bears Looking For Value On Dips [View article]
    To be honest the history of Canada's dollar/oil relationship as I remember it, means that we are headed for 'stagflation'. Declining dollar due to a fall in the trade account to negative, drives price inflation with continued rise in unemployment. Forcing Canadian interest rates to rise to defend the CAD. Spiraling the CAD to the 1.42 level before the wage differences start to stabilize with the US productivity/wages.

    Never ever seen Canadian manufacturing raise the CAD to parity... it only happens with a commodity spike... trying to figure the best way to go long USD ... forex ETF's (UUP or similar) or stay in US equities...
    Mar 12, 2015. 10:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The End Of The Department Store [View article]
    They have no one to blame but themselves... when they started pushing all their costs down to the manufacturer's all that was left to sell was price...
    Feb 20, 2015. 01:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon Mobil: There Will Be Blood [View article]
    I agree... there is another leg down on the price of oil coming when the refineries convert over to summer fuels... that will be the buy in point for any oil production company left standing with profits...
    Jan 31, 2015. 10:36 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian lenders give more ground as Barclays downgrades [View news story]
    Yup... Own them all already and getting ready to buy more... picking an entry point now...
    Jan 30, 2015. 10:57 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boies poised for upset in AIG bailout trial? [View news story]
    ... as the insurer AIG was supposed to be the stop gap preventing the collapse; instead they chose to feed it and collect higher premiums... they should pay a higher interest rate because the loans were at a premium risk to the banks who had AIG insure the liabilities...people don't realize that those assets the mortgages were against didn't pass to AIG only the worthless bonds that financed them...
    Nov 3, 2014. 11:40 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Forget Keystone - Canada moves toward oil route around Obama [View news story]
    They are not only 'thumbing their nose at Keystone' they are also taking swat at British Columbia and Alaska who were both given an opportunity to load this product... as for Quebec they are really not in a position economically to stand in the way.... and most of the pipe already is in the ground and was handling nat gas...
    Oct 8, 2014. 07:52 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Russia may let China have share in Siberian energy project [View news story]
    Russia's problem is that it does not have an open and free speaking populous and views every other country the same way. That is why you see their politicians making some pretty stupid comments. Like this

    China isn't stupid about this situation or the Ukraine. In fact they are far better at control than the Russians. Just look at the new anti-corruption laws they are parading around and threatening western countries.
    Sep 2, 2014. 12:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Even The Council On Foreign Relations Is Saying It: Time To Rain Money On Main Street [View article]
    Two things that would do this without costing the gov anything... government funded basic health care and a VAT (value added tax)...

    The healthcare could be a direct payment to the insurance companies based on a means test of income and prorated for phase out beyond 100K personal (not family) income.

    The VAT applied to EVERYTHING would catch a large portion of the underground economy as well as gain tax revenue from those not currently paying taxes on spending AT ALL LEVELS...

    Just think if you could get rid of the stresses attached to health insurance and know that your spending is helping everyone including you...
    Sep 2, 2014. 12:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Overreaction to Walgreen staying in Chicago? [View news story]
    ... has anyone figured out what the real tax implications are for not doing the inversion? While it might be profitable to do the inversion tax wise is really worth $10.00 a share???
    Aug 6, 2014. 12:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE's Synchrony Financial prices IPO at low end of range [View news story]
    This is a kind of alternate share buy back plan... the set up (I believe) is this... SPY is set up as a wholly owned company by GE... GE sells part of the shares into the open market retaining the majority but getting a price set... then next year offer up a share swap from GE to SPY for those GE investors who want to own the financial and not the industrial...

    Shares of GE are depleted (bought back) as the conversion takes place...

    Going long on both GE and SPY for different reasons...
    Jul 31, 2014. 11:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment