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  • Vanguard ETF Vs. Index Fund [View article]
    Scott: The author makes that statement but the numbers he provided tell me a different story. Why give us tax efficiency numbers and then tell us what seems like a large benefit for the ETF is an edge for the index fund? And why tell us the ETF has lower expenses but bid/ask spread more than offsets them--which of course depends on how big the bid/ask spread is on your trades, how many times you buy and how long you hold. I would suggest that if you are a buy and hold investor that the difference in expenses will soon pay for any minor bid/ask spread (and all bonus for the ETF after that) and the tax savings will be there every year as long as you own the ETF (assuming it is in a taxable account). Not to mention the flexibility of being able to trade without waiting to after the market closes. If there is a case for the index fund I don't think the author has come close to making it.
    Feb 25, 2015. 01:29 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vanguard ETF Vs. Index Fund [View article]
    I must be missing something. It looks like the ETF has the better tax efficiency (.48 to .61) and the lower expense (.15 to .18) so other than the bid/ask spread which you don't quantify, why are you selecting the index fund?
    Feb 24, 2015. 03:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Stock Picker Establishing An ETF Portfolio: My Plans For A Roth IRA [View article]
    Joseph: You better talk to Vanguard (or better yet any tax accountant) and they will tell you it does matter. It is you (not Vanguard) doing your taxes (see line 48 of 1040) that will generate a foreign tax credit in a taxable account. If the foreign etf is in a taxable account your 1099div will show the foreign tax paid by Vanguard related to your portion of the etf and you will get it returned as a credit. If the etf is in a roth account you will not qualify for the credit (no 1099div will be issued)--Vanguard will have paid the foreign tax (thus reducing your returns) but will be unable to pass it to you. You might as well learn how taxes impact your investments early on.
    Feb 11, 2015. 09:10 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Stock Picker Establishing An ETF Portfolio: My Plans For A Roth IRA [View article]
    Joseph: Here's another way of looking at it. If you are getting a tax refund you aren't a "lucky soul"--instead you have been giving Uncle an interest free loan. Suggest you think it through and try to maximize what you owe in taxes come April 15, without paying a penalty. That way you have been getting the free loan. As to placing foreign based etfs in your Roth--same problem-- foreign governments are withholding taxes on the dividends on stocks in those etfs--if they are in a taxable account you can get those taxes back (avoiding double taxation). If you place them in the ROTH you are screwed. The purpose of a Roth is to avoid taxes and you have done the opposite. There are two things you, as an investor can control--taxes and expenses.
    Feb 10, 2015. 07:02 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Selling Stocks Is Like Football: Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes On Portfolio Management [View article]
    Three things can happen when you run the ball. You can fumble (bad); stopped for no gain or even a loss (bad) and a gain. Sounds like the odds are no better than passing. If that one yard pass hadn't been intercepted it would have gone unnoticed as far as flawed strategy goes.
    Feb 7, 2015. 11:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tiger Woods And Investment Gurus Lose Their 'Touch', Question: Do They Ever Get It Back? [View article]
    Elliott: Maybe it is just a wording issue but you make it sound like you think Peter Lynch "lost his touch". From what I know and what your figures show, he is one of the few who went out on top--at a fairly young age as I remember. Many great investors lose their touch when they either get old or they buy 150 foot yachts. Most golfers lose their touch when they get too old to compete. Was sad to see Ben Crenshaw in the opening "old farts" tourney two weeks ago shoot three rounds of 85 and I think he lost by 50 strokes. Makes you wonder why he is still out there and the same is true of many old mutual fund managers.
    Feb 4, 2015. 03:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Closed End Funds: Where Does That Discount Go? [View article]
    Looking at performance numbers on Morningstar, the total return for ADX has underperformed the S&P 500 for 3, 5, 10 and 15 years. Regardless of the size of the discount and large distribution there doesn't seem to be a reason to own this fund--unless a case can be made that there is less risk when compared to the S&P 500. Just looks like an average fund with high expenses and those expenses are difficult to overcome.
    Jan 30, 2015. 03:50 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Oil Sector Stock I Dream About Owning One Day [View article]
    Sherlock: You might be right about CLB but am pretty sure you are wrong about your phrase "once and a while"--think you mean "once in a while". Think about it smart guy.
    Jan 28, 2015. 07:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Picking Stocks, It's Good To Be Lucky. [View article]
    Robert: Here are my picks.

    You can use my sign in name.

    Good luck with the contest.
    Jan 23, 2015. 01:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Picking Stocks, It's Good To Be Lucky. [View article]
    Robert: Sending a message is no longer easy at SA (they want a photo and bio). What would you think of me just including my 20 picks in a comment to this article?
    Jan 22, 2015. 11:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Gilead Fires Back [View article]
    Lurker: I'm not following your logic. Anything is "conceivable" but why is it likely that Gilead will generate more revenue with lower prices and competition? Are you suggesting that insurance companies were going to disallow the use of sovaldi/harvoni in great numbers even though everything I have read says that the long term cost of not treating HEP C (liver transplants and long hospital stays) is greater than the cost of the Gilead drugs? And bringing the sales forward (not sure how that is going to happen) from future years--that might help 2015/16 sales but how can it do anything for the stock?

    Compare the situation today with six months ago--pre ABBEV approval, and it seems like both revenue and income will be less--maybe by a large amount, so unless the market was pricing in ABBEV success or the stock was just totally mispriced six months ago then it seems clear to me that the "future is not what it used to be".
    Jan 11, 2015. 08:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gilead Fires Back [View article]
    1330262: I agree with much of what you say about Gilead and their past record and I hope you are correct about the future since I still hold 60% of my GILD. However, a price war is never good for producers. It's great for consumers--think potash over the last few years and oil now. If GILD can maintain their market share at 75% of HEP C they will do it at the cost of a dramatic reduction in margin. I am guessing that there is nothing suicidal about the ABBV price war--that was the only way they have of competing and I am guessing they will make more money in a price war than they would have without it. I am thinking that if the price war continues ABBV will gain market share but in any case GILD loses--as compared to the outlook of 6 months ago. And again I will suggest if a third or fourth competitor arrives in the next year or so then I will be wishing I had sold the rest of my GILD.
    Jan 9, 2015. 10:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gilead Fires Back [View article]
    13302632: You put a lot of value on a 75% market share. The ABBV competition was approved by the FDA three weeks ago. Not sure how long it takes to get the production line in place and the distribution going but the past market share number for Gilead would seem to be meaningless until that happens and then all the price competition takes place. The $125-150 share price forecast for GILD has been talked about for 6 months, even before ABBV was approved. I am thinking there is a lot of wishful thinking going on. If ABBV decides to compete down to $30 or $40K what will happen to the GILD share price? Why would ABBV accept a minor market share if they are willing to drop the price?
    Jan 8, 2015. 07:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gilead Fires Back [View article]
    Looks like a price war to me and I don't see how that can be positive for GILD, at least compared to the situation of 6 months ago. Typically when there is a blockbuster drug you would expect a decent period of dominating the market--GILD has had less than a year. So how is it that a competitor appears so quickly and if two biotechs have arrived at market for this disease, how many others are close to the same for Hep C? I am thinking that DoctorX is right and maybe biotech is a dangerous game for small investors. It seemed strange to me last year how low the forward PE was for this stock--maybe the smart money knew what was going to happen. I know that Vanguard Health fund had a very low holding of GILD last year (and currently) and they have the record that suggests they are the smart money.
    Jan 8, 2015. 01:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Of Course Year-End Targets Are Always Wrong [View article]
    For many small investors it probably comes down to the amount of conflict of interest the blogger/pundit/strategist has to deal with. If the blogger isn't trying to sell us something maybe his forecast just might have some value. If the forecast is coming from the Henry Blodget's of the world then why should anyone pay any attention. You said it yourself, the strategists will be fired in a minute if they give the wrong (honest) forecast. So strategists aren't being demonized for making forecasts or even making wrong forecasts--they are being laughed at for playing the conflict of interest game. I look at Jeremy Grantham, Bob Rodriguez or Warren Buffett and say they seem to ignore/override the conflicts and give us honest opinions so I will consider their forecasts.
    Jan 5, 2015. 10:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment