March 31, 2006
More GM blunders- this time the usual shit
GM and Ford - the blunders continue
Cache is king - and the Motley Fools
Inktomi was probably a great deal for Yahoo if Akamai's price is for real.
I first bought Akamai at $15 after looking deeper into the Apple story and iTunes in particular. It seemed simple enough - their cacheing software sped up the net. Today I am also hungry for ideas that will speed the move to voice recognition and solve language barriers - but I digress.
I further read the good research on the Motley Fool. I mean I loved Apple at the time (2 years ago already). The Motley Fool "rules" - that price does not matter for "Rule Breakers" and that community is valuable - have been fanatstic for them. Of course, they have had some serious flameouts as well - but that goes with the territory they are writing about.
I have no idea what AKAMAI is worth, but the customer list is growing and until Apple changes partners, this little baby still has legs. Video only increase the importance for now.
This may be a little different than the hardware component makers like Sigmatel, Synaptics and Portal Player where margin compression and vendor changes fluctuate daily. The hardware component stcoks have great runs and than get cut in half. This happened to me in Synaptics - the cool iPod click wheel supplier.
The Motley Fool group had Akamai right. They still have it.
To me, the Motley Fool is the first internet community. They have survived a boom, bubble and boom. Congrats to them and I think AOL who owns them. The Gardner brother's are geniuses. They have kept their unique coolness through the unhip bubble. They deserve more praise than MySpace or any other community on the web.
If there is a space for more retards and bastards - look no further than stock chat rooms. The Motley Fool has harnessed all that is good about community, research and chat - creating real value for their readers.
Another reason CNBC and GE should be ashamed. They remain whores. They have never initiated anything of value other than to the mother ship. Oh sorry - they have Cramer. But they have hired him, fired him for allegedly being a front-runner and hired him back because he yells and acts like a clown. Should'nt he be on Nickelodeon.
According to Chartereuse, Motley Fool's continued success makes sense, not Cramer's. Interesting read though
I own the water stock ETF - symbol PHO. It has done well. Seems like a trend in vogue these days and should keep going.
Today, Bill Cara talks a little on the subject. Enjoy the commentary
How do people juggle the blogging
The people on my sidebar amaze me. I hope that I can have as much fun doing this 6 months for now because it sure is costing me!
This is a trend that just goes and goes.
The Ambien is the only thing that has worked for me. I had my tonsils out at the end of last year and although the wife says my snoring is down, it has not helped me sleep any better. Talk about a painful adult surgery. It is just starting to feel better in the throat. I have not caught a throat infection which is the additional benefit which I hope continues.
The masks are just not a possible solution for me with the travel and the comfort.
Ambien is all I have. It can't be just me judging from the price action of these leaders.
Too bad I keep eating at 3 am - NOT! I notice that stupid story has died down quick. It was not a story as I thought.
The story is FAT Americans.
March 30, 2006
GM more details
Bill Cara has a great post with more of the juice on the subject - see here
PS - linking is cool
Oil and Gold revisited
Selling some - PTEN, GLD, NEM, PAAS and sold a little GOOG and a piece of NUAN from the high PE side.
Out for the day to look at some cool companies.
One that techcrunch reviewed was www.trustedid.com - I signed up before reading the comments and boy did I feel stupid. I have never seen such nasty stuff. Meanwhile, I think the identity theft area has a great revenue model so am looking at a local competitor - www.lifelock.com - any insights would be appreciated.
Tivo showing a pulse
Time to buy Oakley?
I was ridiculed and never questioned so much on a trend that I saw coming - wireless sunglasses and the general coolness of their stores. PUTZ!
I liked that nobody believed. I used their products, liked the retail concept and saw an opportunity. After a quick run from 15-19 it has languished. The stores are just too hip for me. I own everything already. The new spring stuff is weak in my opinion.
The stores are too dark and the glasses are not displayed in a user friendly way. I kept asking to display the Apple way.
I think what is missing from the concept is a CEO who cares about creating any kind of reasonable medium term value for shareholders.
I loved that he owned so much stock - problem is, he has no intention of selling it and does not care where his stock goes. He is buying more though.
I will wake up one morning to find that stock up 50-100 percent but have moved on to my other faves. I just hope it does not happen tomorrow.
Silver - The New Bling Bling?
He remembers the last time he pounded the table - I was correct - it was silver.
It was 2003. It is amazing that I remembered, because he just made such a compelling POUND THE TABLE - CALL:
"Silver at $5.40 is the best chart we have ever seen on an ax-ante basis (without the benefit of future knowledge). It is a career maker - though we are not sure what that means."
Unlike me, he never is full of himself so this self love is rare.
More importantly though - he goes on to say that many others are now bullish, so I interpret that as I posted in my "hogs get slaughtered" post from last night.
He loves the trend and remains long-term bulllish.
March 29, 2006
Pigs get fat - hogs get slaughtered
The silver ETF is likely to start trading any day now. Citibank gets on the gold and metal bandwagon.
I mean I can barely move my elbows without blackberry induced pain.
I think language shrinking, mobility, globalization in general and advances in technology make this whole area a major trend. I know IBM is in the space big as is Microsoft. I need more NUAN plays.
Google files a shelf stock deal
Someone is getting screwed by the big brokers - AGAIN.
Charting the markets
I think the best general technician on the street is Lehman's young Degraaf who I read daily. He's concise and very broad.
HE RARELY POUNDS THE TABLE!
Today he is TABLE pounding Japan. He has been bullish for one year and correct. He loved Silver a year ago and pounded the table. He is not worth betting against on Japan. I was with him on Japan - using EWJ and Honda and now a little Sony and I am with him on his silver call. Despite a 15th raise by the fed, the Japanese market closed defiantly strong last night. The tape rarely lies and you get run over when you stand in front of the tape and take a pounding.
I quote- " ..much of the enthusiasm that had built up at years end (a major bull run) has dissipated, and we are table punders on Nikeei exposure."
Pounding the table - from a brokerage firm. Ballsy!
Google - and by the way - Inflation
The good news is - I have no shorts and many longs and the market is seriously rocking. It just may stay good until the summer. That would be nice!
I get 20 emails a month warning me of the coming real estate crash. Part of that is the commercial lending business I am involved with and the worries of the principal. Now he is smart.
The fancy bubble talk has been in vogue since the end of the stock market bubble. If and when a crash occurs we move on to the next worry. Best advice - turn off the tv and take in some of the great opportunities in your own backyard.
It is 80 degrees and sunny in Phoenix today. Prices are not affordable for most people in reasonably nice neighborhoods. Developers are creating high rise condos in a city that people moved to for the SPACE. They are selling them at 600 plus per foot.
Good for them. Who would'nt want to live here. For that matter, my smart friends at Lumature live and retail in the center of the hottest space in Sxottsdale-Kierland.
Their old store, which they sold to buy the new land less than 10 miles away, has not appreciated at all despite the massive growth in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Stop worrying about a bubble. It is very location specific.
What is for real is inflation. Food, fuel, cost of buiulding, health care etc.
This government printing of money is what FRED WILSON -in his cliche of the week this morning - is a rising tide lifting ALL BOATS. That is the tide to watch. It is easy right now because fed policy is making it that way and certain demographics are at play. Enjoy the ride, just have a plan for stepping off.
March 28, 2006
60 minutes - Could reporters look any older.
I don't mind the puff piece they did on Tiger. If anyone deserves it, he does. It is not news that he is one of the best role models for athletes - globally.
The shiiite piece before was more typical of this badly aging group. They chose a topic on which they have no real knowledge- stock market manipulation. A large Biotech (Biovail) accusing a small Phoenix firm of colluding with a hedge fund to drive down it's stock price. I have met with Carr Bettis of the firm in question. He is smart, open and successful. Everyone in the business has conflicts but it sounds like he is getting a raw deal from some disgruntled employees and an unfocused CEO at Biovail. Note to Leslie - she misses a 100 great stock manipulation stories chasing this one.
Take alook at Biovail's latest earning reports and you get the real reason the stock is down, not from these guys in the desert. By the way, while the CEO persists with this battle, his stock and the shareholders he says he is defending are not likely to move higher. I will check back in on this story.
Talk about useless filler to make room for the Tiger piece. I would rather watch Tiger hit balls off Andy Rooney's wrinkled ass for that 20 minutes. It is why I tuned in. They owe me.
Bloggers are starting to act like regular media
That is discouraging.
Note to self - float golfnow.com rumor that the board turned down $1 billion from Titleist (Fortune Brands).
Anyone who can help with this promotion can have 10 percent of my proceeds. That is a good deal. Please call me now.
Who needs Internet when there is JUICE
It hit an all-time high in October 2003 at $2 and has not breached any sell rules in the systems I use. That is a 60 bagger in less than three years and they don't even PROVIDE SEARCH.
Odds are it will not end well for the stock. But that is what a trailing stop is for and proper position sizing in your portfolio to account for each stock's volatility. You can't predict the top but if you use sound money management, winners like this happen and longer-term profits are realized in long-term, mechanical systems.
By the way - what the hell are they putting in that juice? Warrants? Cash?
Rates scaring me
I think as I mentioned yesterday, Citibank's upgrade brought a short-term top to gold stocks so am not adding - holding though as gold stocks seem great to me.
Holding my oil stocks and looking to add into weakness.
Homebuilders look dead - that has been a while now since they had pep.
March 27, 2006
Britannica - no longer if anymore, but WHEN
One of my first jobs in High School was selling Britannica - 1986 - big OY. I never got the good "Glengary" leads, my mentor Check Chan (you don't forget this stuff) got them. He was a Britannica legend in Toronto. He taught me much about sales. There were endless summer days spent at malls with a Brittanica booth trying to set up appointments - offering a free desk reference set - if they would let me into their home to pitch the Brittanica books - really just a payment plan.
Believe me, it actually worked.
The biggest objection from the "smart asses" at the time was that they could get it on CD's. FREAKIN CD's.
Check would just mumble something in Chinese - man I learned a lot of Chinese words for PUTZ - and generally argue. Who knew that the granola's were right. What Google does not do, Wikipedia will finish. If not now, real soon.
I hope my buddy Check Chan is moving on.
Enjoying one of those rare good months
Gold, Oil, GPS, alternative energy (BLDP), NUAN in voice, Japan, Malaysia, RIMM, GOOG...
The dogs - Apple, Lojack
The market spoke a few weeks back and the upside has been big for my stocks. No idea if it continues but my stops are moving higher and I have taken some profits.
Lately I have been in some Ballard (BLDP) long running fuel cell play (likely a Scam). A real smart friend owns it and alternative energy sounds pretty hip. Good enough for this idiot! A better play may be the alternative energy ETF - PBW - recently public and an owner of many alternative energy stocks. I read about it in a Motley Fool newsletter - which by the way - is a great read for the fringe - aggressive moodset of the market. From my gauge - froth seems high.
In the major dog watch department continnues to sit the old Nasdaq leaders (except Qualcomm) and Time Warner. ROOOOF ROOOOF on Time Warner. This is the one that just baffles me. Just do something already so I can remove it from my screen.
Honda vs. GM
Pull up the charts. HMC and GM. My email subscribers know that I was bullish on Japan a year ago and Honda was one of the plays I was recommending. Today, Honda is hitting all-time highs.
GM, like much of the United States, has been sold offshore and it will likely get worse before and if can get better. It probably won't get better, because the product SUCKS. Plain and simple.
I just sold my Honda Element for a Honda Pilot. I love my Honda's. My wife drives a Pilot as well. I just drive too much with the kids to keep driving the smaller Element.
The problems are GM specific as they are for Ford and Northern Telecom, Lucent, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, America WORST (US HAIR). The car business has never been BETTER if you are Honda or Toyota.
Hard to believe that GM (and Ford) can suck that badly in a bull market for cars and with the money supply so out of control. Wait till you see some real tightening. New Nasdaq symbol for Ford and GM when they merge - ZERO.
Pseudo Venture - Golfnow.com burgeoning community
I am also a reader of the web 2.0 stuff - www.techcrunch.com and www.mashable.com etc...
My Space's rage in valuation is coming from community.
I am so excited about the community we are creating at golfnow.com
We have started organizing tournaments for our users in Phoenix, Tuscon, Sacramento and San Francisco. They have all sold out and we are getting to know who our customer really is and what they care about - golf and value and convenience. The win/win for course and consumers is evidenced by our 99 percent course retention rate (no contract) and over 900 public courses on the network.
We are trying all the fancy community features like Craigslist, Indeed.com (the coolest) and eventful.com but I still think it comes down to transactions for a long-term model and we keep proving it out day by day, round by round, transaction by transaction.
I would love to hear other ideas for creating a community - go check out golfnow.com and let me know.
Definition of stock propping
Should be and may end up much lower. I have lost on many trades to the short side - one of the reasons I stopped doing that!
Telecom Stocks rocking
I will be looking to own this soon as I found out whats in it or look for some all-time highs in this area. I own TTMI and ARRS SIGM and RVSN, RIMM, QCOM - disclosure time.
Comments not showing up
Comments - Thanks AND Tim Horton's
I guess there are a lot of people who read Fred Wilson's cool blog, besides me.
One question was regarding Wendy's being a buy as it still owns 20 percent of Tim Horton's.
It depends on your strategy and money management as always. I have mentioned before that I am a trend follower and prefer to buy all-time highs. I will be posting a research paper link from my friends at Blackstar on the project. From this model, Wendy's has been a buy from the early 40's and the stop would be a close below $56.06 - changing daily. That is just one model and method and I will be happy to refer people to the good fellows at Blacjstar for more on that strategy.
Other than a few trends that I believe in (an d buy on weakness to a point) - Shipping, shrinking world, information technology (voice recognition, internet etc..), GPS, Apple, RIMM, Commodities I do not have time to really review stocks other than through the Blackstar model. I will hopefully have linkbacks soon to all my fave ideas and topics for readers.
In hindsight, Wendy's has been in favor and on a lot of buy lists for the last 20 points, well before the actual IPO.
Just coming back from Vegas, I believe in Fat America and therefore donuts are a buy! :)
I have played golf at the founder - Ron Joyce's - course in PEI and to be sure, he has done well. Rides on his yacht and a private jet runway for his guests were some of the treats I enjoyed. It is a Canadian insy=titution for sure and as Cramer likes to say - a big REGIONAL (Canada is less of a market than California) to National play. OY - I just quoted Cramer.
Today for example, I am sure the Blackstar fund will add CLZR and TXCO MDG and other metal stocks again - wow - if not added this morning as well as other new all-time highs. In the end, buying and selling stocks will work with a good, even simple, money management strategy.
It is the comments that are most important for this blog to gather direction and ideas. Kepp them coming vi email or in the comment section.
Citibank ups Gold Stocks
Like their late call for Apple, right call, a little late and I have yet to read the full report. There will be better prices to enter than this morning. Apple is down 10 percent since their buy call a few weeks back as well.
March 26, 2006
Someone please explain how to do links
March 25, 2006
Bush keeps getting creepier
I was reading Brad Feld's excellent venture blog and he had this post about Bush getting in the way of an Israeli-US tech merger (www.feld.com/blog):
Our Government Thinks Open Source Isn't Safe in Foreign Hands
Check Point and Sourcefire announced the cancellation of their deal on Thursday. This was a very nice deal for Sourcefire and its investors, as Check Point was paying $225 million for the company. Sourcefire had raised a total of about $33 million so the early investors, including Sierra Ventures, probably made about 15x, NEA which was a round 2 investor probably made about 10x, and Sequoia – which was a round 3 investor, probably made about 3x.
"... If an Israeli-based company can’t buy a US-based security startup, why would the US government let a China-based company do this? As a VC or an entrepreneur, if you take this out to it’s logical conclusion, you get unhappy really fast.
I’m offended because – as a jewish American and an investor in high tech companies – the notion that our government is willing to block the sale of an entrepreneurial company to an Israeli company because the Israeli company is a threat to US security makes me want to vomit. This is the same government that recently decided to share civilian nuclear technology with India. Now, I’m not tied up in the politics of it all, nor do I want to be, but when I step back and look at it from an entrepreneurial perspective, and think about all of the Israeli security technologies that have made their way into US products (and - in a number of cases – become meaningful US-based companies), I just feel like someone in Washington needs a major history lesson."
By the way...
Soprano's - great first episode, lousy second. My wife called the ending with Tony's kid. That is as rare as her finding her car in the mall without the aid of a golf cart attendant!
HBO - Utah show - freaky but ok. That guy is a stud!
Bill Maher - how about a new guest. Richard Belzer is an asshole. How is he working at all. That show, once pretty good is soooo old and tired. The Republican dude in the bow ties is now good compared to this drivel.
Phoenix Suns - The title.
Downtown Phoenix - a buy! But you need to own and carry a Taser.
www.iggyart.com - Jenny is a great local Artist that we can't stop buying.
Malaysia - an Asia play with lots more letters?
A little stronger and it is clear sailing to $14.
How about Silver by the way. I remember this pig of a metal down at $5 - forever. How about being a teenager soon. Wow.
The new high list seems as long as I can ever remember - at least on my screen of transports, industrials, oil, metals, and scattered tech. Probably a crash coming.
March 24, 2006
Thank you www.crossingwallstreet.com:
An Avian Flu Index
You know you're a professional investor when you look for a profit opportunity from anything.
Here's an Avian Flu Index from TrendMacro (via Luskin).
These companies make vaccines, anti-virals and other products likely to be in big demand if the avian flu turns deadly, investment research firm TrendMacro says.
Shit squared - telecom style!
The four should merge and take on the Nasdaq symbol "SHIT".
I need to find a bathroom quick. Oops!
Apple - feel the negativity
Now it's here so I need to have a plan. It is hard to buy weakness, even a stock that has been good to you.
This stock will come back because they own MP3 and digital music.
.Mac is big. BIG!
Apple retail is BIG. REAL REAL BIG.
Biggest of all is yet to come. The switch to Mac Computers in a big way. I am no industry expert I just know that once you try, you are done. It's over. The worries of using two systems goes away. It is like the files you worry about in your garage and hold on to thinking you will need them. You don't.
Once the Mac goes tablet it is probably really over.
So, I am sure it will be bumpy and I guess I am waiting for the MISS. They are due. That would be the big entry and the GIFT.
Maybe the worry of the miss is all we get so you have to nibble here in some fashion.
Free Food - now we are talking
Gold - OY!
Ones that look great and I own - MDG, PAAS, IVN, GFI, CEF and GLD
My dogs - RIC, NEM
My complete gold and silver watchlist also includes - HMY, CDE, BVN, LIHRY, GOLD, GG, PMPIX (leveraged funds for degenerates), SWC, AEM, GLG, SSRI, AAUK, AUY, SLW, SWC
The US dollar is likely to get smoked this year - just smoked. I prefer the gold play as the dollar trade is crowded.
I dont think anyone owns a gold stock yet?
GPS - booking some profits
Lojack is still my favorite company in the space because of its entrenchment with the police for recovery.
I do not like their lazy ass sales and marketing strategy which will come back to bite them if they do not roll out some new ideas and more aggressive sales campaigns. If they execute, this is a whopper of a company and will be bought out much much higher for sure.
March 23, 2006
Oh so Google
So Google gets added to the S&P so my buy (reported on the blog - as a stupid and lazy purchase - but a purchase nonetheless) at 338 is looking good with the stock at 372 (still only a 10 percent move).
Actions like this addition always get me wondering who profited the most and why now? It is such a scam on Wall Street.
Even Cramer gave up on this yesterday - as usual - a PUTZ.
PS - "The Search" is just such a great book (about Google and the search explosion). Must read.
Ambien, sweet sweet Ambien!
Where do these reporters get this crap.
I have taken Ambien for 6 years. Addictive, yes - Harmful - NO (so far). I am the same weight, I sleep great, I have NO hangover, my dosage is the same as when I started.
Nobody is sleepwalking and eating. NOBODY! I talk about Ambien everyday. I hear people say they are scared to start or that it did not work for them.
I dont like being addicted to anything (the crack period was a little fun), but I need to sleep. I love sleep.
If you drive a car after you take one, you are an asshole. I know, I have done it. It is a funny story for a later date because I did not hurt anybody, but I would never do it again!
The good news - it looks like I finally have an excuse for sleeping with strangers! Look out Ambien if I get caught. You are liable. :)
I am glad I am a thousandairre. Not the same worries as Mr. Buffett.
Speaking of Buffetts, the Vegas Buffett's are in full stealth bull mode. You have to be bullish on FAT AMERICA and TOBACCO after spending four days in Vegas. Not a great place to gain confidence in our ability to manage our lives and wealth.
Fun but YUCK!
Lot's of negative headlines as you would expect. The French, the DRM issues, blah blah...
I like the company for it's dominance for now in music, and early video. The retail stores continue to hop and the products are still the best on the market.
Now that the stock is broken, and momentum is out, people look at the value and see an expensive stock which feeds on itself and unless there is good news on the horizon, the stock will struggle.
I believe there is no better positioned tech company now that combines media, fashion and technology so I like the weakness on this stock.
March 22, 2006
Paypal Goes Mobile - COOL! Great news for Fedex
The premise would be you sign up an account for your cell phone and ads will have a text code that you can text and pay using your phone and a paypal account.
It is another reason that you have to own Ebay if you believe in the internet. It has been a dog for a while now and due for some positive action.
As a shareholder - about time.
THE BIG WINNER AGAIN ARE THE SHIPPERS. More commerce.
The big wild card in all things internet continues to be the government. How will they deal with Google information and how will the MySpace naysayers.
March 21, 2006
It will be interesting to see the traction it gets as this is one of Yahoo's dominant areas. Most news stuff still links to yahoo quotes.
This is one piece of the long war over eyeballs that Google has declared. Ambitious for sure.
March 20, 2006
If I could golf with three living people
2. Clinton - I need to see first hand how he cheats by nature.
3. Jim Carey - Could he impersonate a great golfer like Tiger?
Inspired by watching Sir Charles Barkley talk about his golf game with Jordan and Tiger. He is a great interview - still. Good for him. I like him.
Back to the vacation. As the water pured into the tub this morning, my 7 year old son was just chirping about this being the most rocking place, his favorite place ever. Ringing bells, Circus Circus, Mystere, room service, 20th story room, lights, action, treat stores full of candy......and those are just my new favorite things. He is digging the chicks!
I have grown to be bored of this place coming endlessly for one nighters of 40 year old birthdays and busy tradeshows. I do not gamble anymore and hate crowds. A loser.
But for a once in a while family vacation - especially 6-10 year olds - can't wait to come back! I have seen it in a new light.
This place has Disney hands down beaten for FAMILY fun.
March 18, 2006
Spiderman and Google
What is the debate about in the bogging world. Knowledge is power. They win!
P.S. Therefore, for men, Google is the ultimate chick magnet - as Tony Montana say's, "Once you get the power, THAN you get the women!"
P.S.S John Battelle's book on Search is a great read for the average person fascinated by the internet, Search, and Google.
March 16, 2006
Intel - Bow wow - Part Three
What does this have to do with Intel - a chip company? A few days ago their venture arm - Intel ventures, invested in Six Apart a blogging SOFTWARE company. Ugh!
What the f^$^%(ck does Intel need a venture department. If I was a shareholder, I would be buying them for their dominance in semiconductors not their venture arm. If I want a public venture company I could buy the biggest doggggg CMGI. Another reason why AMD is kicking Intel's ass.
This lack of corporate focus is one of the real ugly leftovers from the bubble and the fact that they have not spun this venture department off first, is a further reason for the crappy stock action.
Maybe they should buy Frito Lay next - are'nt they a chip company? Talk about a company that's management has become Putz's.
Intel - Bow wow!!! Part DEUX
Let's say you have worked at Intel since 1997 - the stock today is the same price. You are 9 years in and pretty much screwed if you have not been carefully excersising and selling options. This is the finest chipmaker....yada blah.... Big deal to anyone less than a 12 year veteran.
Now the 12 year veterans are leaving, to run the spinoffs from around the globe and the newbies have headhunters and are thinking of starting their own business (at least their is upside). Oh yeah, and the start-ups are being created on Intel time. The ol' triple LINDY!
In a global marketplace I have to assume that Intel won't be able to compete at it's size for the talent it needs across al the semiconductor markets they are battling.
This will not end well. This is where private equity vultures will feast. Look for major Intel spinoffs as the stock price lags and major defections of talent if it does not do so quickly. Or a flatliner stock.
I expect CNBC and your local stockbroker to pitching this hard to you over the next few months. Turn off the TV and Hang up (after you fire him of course)!
Intel - Bow wow!!!
I have lots of friends that have just seen their options become worthless while working there. Talk about a brain drain that will be underway at this company as we go forward.
Lot's of brokers still peddling this dead stock. Putz's
In the meantime, lot's of new highs in other areas as the whole semiconducter space suffers at the hands of Intel.
Who wants to marry a private equity graduate?
Twin Peaks and Contrarian Private Equity Indicators
I've written various times here on the current excessive ardor among MBAs and the like for private equity and venture capital, despite the relatively small number of jobs. There are some particularly choice examples in a New York Sun piece today on the hunger for private equity:
Harvard's Venture Capital and Private Equity course has 192 slots, but 400 students applied (half the Harvard class)
"Almost 75% of HBS students want to do private equity or venture capital", said one student
700 of Wharton's 1,600 students are members of the private equity club
600 of Columbia's 2000 students are members of its club
As one Columbia professor says at the end of the piece, surges of MBA interest in anything generally indicate a market top. It happened in investment banking in 1987, in real estate in the early 1970s, in dot-coms in the late 1990s, and, after a private equity mini-peak in 2000, and to paraphrase the giant in Twin Peaks, it's happening again.
Qualcomm - old bubble leader looking good
March 15, 2006
Internet and Railroads - lot's in common
Best performing index today was railroads - up approximately 5 percent. Imagine Google, Yahoo and Ebay 80 years from now jumping 5 percent in one day.
It is a simplistic view, but information delivery over broadband has a lot less moving parts than railroads.
Don't think too much. If you want, buy HHH which is an internet ETF. Internet connects people. MySpace at $600 million last year -probably three nude programmers in a room. That's a lot easier way to run a $600 million business than a railroad. What do you think the leading social network will be worth in 80 years?
I like Taser - I reallly like Taser
If the gun lobbyists did not own the government, we would all own Taser's. I would love to Taser a few hundred of my closest friends, not just my enemies.
By the way, if Taser catches fire, I think it will and I own a little, I also think that adult diapers will take off and heart companies.
Long Taser, Adult Diapers and Heart stocks. Other Taser beneficiaries would be much appreciated in the comments or email. the best one gets a free round of golf at any course on golfnow.com.
The Markets have spoken -FOR NOW!
I said a big trade was coming, just could not predict. If I was a betting man, I would have said DOWN. Today we are closing at 4 plus year highs on most stock indexes. The move was up. That is why I do not gamble or read charts anymore. You zig when you should zag.
My good friends Eric and Cole have a smart strategy that they built into a hedge fund called Blackstar. Full disclosure - my hedge fund has some money with them. The strategy calls for buying stocks as they CLOSE at ALL-TIME highs with a simple and effective money management overlay. If you want to own strength, global strength, which makes sense in ANY portfolio, why not buy the strongest stocks (price) - ALL OF THEM. When you have a percentage of your portfolio in the strongest (price) stocks, all the time, you do not have to gamble and time the market. It is a great diversifier in that your broker and your own human nature hand you a portfolio of losers over time that you HOPE will bounce back.
Despite the fact that I love this allocation idea, I still like to talk and write about the markets. After all, I am still OFF! After I wrote the Fedex piece, the market started telegraphing the up move the last few days. As I posted, I bought a bunch of gold and oil stocks and nibbled at GOOG, NVT, RIMM. RIMM is up 6 and GOOG up 10 since I posted, it was up 17 at one point. I hope that you made a little money.
The added money supply and reflation works its way into the market in the form of higher stock prices. It is a dangerous trade-off as it will eventually get pulled and will get ugly. It is something the Fed has pulled off nicely the last 4 years though for those that have been in the trade to the long side.
RIMM is setting up as the real big winner of a renewed tech run. One thing I know for sure, it will be a volatile one.
I don't trade daily anymore and I am thankful to Eric and Cole, and countless others, and most importantly all the mistakes I have made that helped me realize that active trading was a waste of time. Catching a good trend is not necessarily easier, but something I have a knack and passion for and hope to continue to write about.
Some old faves hitting highs today include fedex, RIMM, AKAM, and Chipotles. Nuance (speech and voice recognition), a stocks and area of software I own had a nice write-up in Investors Business Daily yesterday as well.
March 14, 2006
.Mac - The next big thing for Apple
Apple is, whether Buffet knows it or not, the perfect technology stock. Fashion, design, great retail, great brand and now with .Mac, a long-term recurring revenue model.
In the Windows world, there are at least 20 companies vying for your storage business. Once you buy a Mac, there is one choice for your storage needs - a .Mac account. Photos, music, movies, blogging = STORAGE NEEDS = $$$$$$$$ for Apple.
It costs $99 per year, but that is cheap. Assuming the world slowly moves to an Apple computer in every living room - $99 per household adds up.
The stock was upgraded today from some putz at Citibank - but no real model built in for .Mac. So, he is late to the party and right - just for the wrong long-term reasons.
I know I am right about this, just from following the blogging world. One of the most highly blogged tech areas is online storage. Leading the way is a Mark Cuban backed upstart - Box.net. The young guns (early 20's) running this little company are as sharp as any veteran, but they are swimming in a pool of sharks. Google, Microsoft, and countless well funded start-ups. I know one of the founders and I expect (hope) Yahoo or someone to buy them soon for a lot of money. Dell, HP, Gateway have all missed the boat on the hardware side. They should have had this solution built-in to their marketing and service years ago. Apple did, does and is set to dominate their market with .Mac. I am a subscriber and love it!!!!!!
Northwest Airlines - Congratulations
I would pay $100 to know who I was sitting next to or who to avoid. After a long day of meetings, I don't want to be next to a grossly overweight guy loaded up on taco bell, in a middle seat. Frankly, I don't want to sit near me most of the time!
This is yield management in full gear.
If 30 business travellers will pay as much as 200 discount fare travellers for certain flights, let them. Northwest can save money on service, food and fuel. Further, travelling prices were too low for too long. Those days are over - that is for certain!
NVT, RIMM - a smidgen of Goog
Google, broken down in the 330's was more out of lack of patience than anuthing. Reading that Microsoft post got me all excited about the next 14 years of Google.
I love GPS and NVT was mentioned to me by a smart fellow. Valuation is silly but they are in a great mapping position as GPS flirts with mainstream.
RIMM - not much to say here other than my favorite product - EVER. With the suit settled and new orders coming from customers that have been waiting on the fence until a patent ruling was reached, this grossly expensive stock could easily continue higher. Testing the waters again today with a fractioonal position.
Gold and Oil
Oil is still my favorite for dips.
GW and PTEN were good adds a few days back. I like them because the stops are now set at last weeks lows on a closing basis. Good long-term upside in oil still from the last week prices.
I hope to continue to be this accurate on the buys and sells. Not likley though.
March 13, 2006
Microsoft - 20 years old. Wow!
It was 20 Years Ago Today
Microsoft went public. Believe it or not, you couldn’t even use margin to buy Nasdaq stocks back then.
Bill Gates initially didn’t want to go public and he held it off as long as he could. The problem he had was that many of his employees were worth tons of money on paper, but they had no way to sell their shares. Could you imagine employees striking unless the company goes public? How would Marx have explained that one?
Since the company didn’t need to raise much money, the offering was pretty small. They floated about 3 million shares priced at $21 a share. The IPO was a big hit and MSFT closed trading on March 13, 1986 at $28 a share.
The stock didn’t do much for the first six months.
However, things started to move and since then, MSFT has split nine times, seven 2-for-1's and two 3-for-2's. That comes to 288-for-1. So that $21 offering was worth 7.29 cents.
The stock reached its all-time high close on December 27, 1999 at $59.56 (split adjusted). (On December 30, the stock reached an intraday high of $59.97.) Basically, the stock gained an average of 1% a week for 14 years.
Microsoft fell back to $20 a share, and has been remarkably flat for the past few years. The stock has bounced between $22 and $30 for the most of the last four years.
The company started paying a dividend three years ago. Also, there was the gigantic $32 billion special dividend that the company paid out in late 2004. That payment was close to the $38 billion that the government paid out in tax rebates in the summer of 2001.
Drug Stocks - Interpret the News
That said, an interesting Drug buy in Germany. I like drugs. I take them everyday:
Anxiety - check
Flinstone Vitamins and Fruity Pebbles - Sugar Fix - checkeroo
Ambien - major check
Cholesterol - important but off them
Viagra - matter of time!
The merger could be another sign that a bottom is at hand for drug stocks. They are hated, rates are rising, they are generally safe in a bad market, and the litigators have never had it so easy.
I will look into PPH - the drug stock ETF tomorrow. Chart looks horrible so not for me, but for you readers that like trying to pick bottoms, it may be worth fishing.
Core Competency - Focus!
The latest victim is Google. The pressure eof meeting wall Street's expectations is huge and problematic, even for a company that does not give guidance.
Let us review:
Search - awesome!!
Payments, content, selling books, selling music and movies, on-line word processing etc... QUAGMIRE!!!!!!!
Google is now witnessing the ugliness of Wall Street. Sideways for the stock at this point wold be a win, until at least they regain their focus.
The Canadian dollar has been a huge winner the last 3 years, running from 62 cents to near 90 on the US dollar. Canadians can't believe it, they don't believe it! I like that. That means they have been buying UNHEDGED all kinds of assets in the US - forever - condos, homes, stocks, bonds. They are like deers in the headlights as their US dollar investments have declined 40-50 percent, just on the CONVERSION. That is real money.
Until US monetary policy changes, the Canadian dollar is headed - HIGHER - likely past par. Canadians will bring their money home again - at the wrong time which means not anytime soon.
Yes, the strong Canadian dollar hurst the Canadian travel industry as Americans don't get the great deal they once did, but Canadians never wanted us there in the first place and we could care less about travel, we are interested in bonds, real estate and other hard assets. E-mail me if you want the name of brokers. If you are interested in diversifying, Canada is a rather simple way to do it.
Another interesting plus may be the new US Foriegn minister Michael Wilson. as Bill Cara notes today:
"Michael Wilson, Canada's new Ambassador to the United States, was received by the President today. I have met Michael Wilson privately, and I think the world of him. He's going to do a fine job because he understands politics and negotiating political/economic agreements, and is an expert at capital markets. He is friendly to America, and will be the best ally since former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who Michael Wilson once served as Minister of Finance, perhaps Canada's best ever."
March 10, 2006
I guess it was a bubble!
The Nasdaq first broke 5,000. The index reached its highest close on March 10, 2000 at 5048.62. Ah, good times those were.
Thirty-one months later, the Nasdaq closed at 1114.41, a loss of 77.9%.
It’s roughly doubled since then, although the Nasdaq is still over 55% off its high.
Assuming the average long-term growth rate of stocks, the Nasdaq should make a new high around May 2014.
From - www.crossingwallstreet.com
This is what you get when you combine the brains of an Ebay founder and an Eloan founder.
Check it out and watch this idea grow. Global banking and lending at the individual level.
If yo like this stuff, you must stay in touch by reading sites like feld.com/blog, techcrunch.com and mashable.com - and of course ME!!!
Google- the next Microsoft?
Not that you won't make money if Google continues to execute on search, but it is time to expand your internet horizon.
Why the internet is UNDERvalued
Again, like the railroads which connect towns and cities, the internet is global and web 2.0 is making it person to person.
You think railroads are borrrrring - check out their stock prices the last few years - 80? plus years after they began connecting people and places.
I love finding other writers that can summarize my thinking better than me. This today from www.chartreuse.wordpress.com:
...So business flocked online and websites were thrown up all over the place and business models were based on the fact that they had audiences watching them.Web 2.0 is different. It’s upside down. It’s Army of One. It’s power to the people. It’s the human algorithm.Now audiences create the content, they categorize it, and they tell you how they really feel about it.
That’s the difference. And it’s huge.
Tagging. Blogging. Social-Networks. All do the same thing.They allow the audience to segment and classify themselves in a million ways.They give the audience power.
In the Web 2.0 world financial power lies in all the information that consumers are giving you by you giving up the wheel.
...Look at Google.
Look at Overture (now Yahoo Search Marketing).
These are the most profitable advertising business models around, because consumers tell advertisers what they’re looking for first, rather than advertisers telling consumers what they should buy and hoping for the best.The audience is running the entire thing.The internet is the largest direct marketing platform on the planet and now the audience can tell you exactly what it wants.Who needs a sustainable business model when you have audience? Get it?
Wow - Great stuff. Really great stuff. Information to make you money if you take it in and think about how young the internet really is. The information revolution is a goldmine in pure hypergrowth.
Money Supply -just awash in dollars!!!
Gold down to low 530's
March 07, 2006
Bought a few gold shares and that is about all. Some stocks of mine are getting close to their long-term stops. Never fun.
I would not be surprised to see a big down day. Homebuilders look completely finished. Wall Street has done another fantastic job promoting these and selling every last share to the small investot the last few years. Some of the these stocks are back to 2004 levels today.
I imagine gold stocks and oil stocks have a few good years as they are underowned and have a long process before they are distributed to the masses.
The most confusing stock is Fedex. Love the company, but if the markets are topping and the price of oil is still high and the consumer is stretched, how come this stock makes all-time highs. When it is this difficult, it is best to watch from the sidelines.
A trade is developing though, a big one.
Gold - another reason to buy weakness
With securitization, gold is now money, and the Little People can take that to the bank. It’s the gospel truth.
Do not let people talk you into believing the USD is a better holding that a gold ETF.
A simple truth indeed.
March 06, 2006
Stand-Up Comedy - GUTS or INSANE?
I love to see comics kill. Loved it when I was 10 and heard Gary Shandling make me almost pee with laughter on his Johnny Carson debut. Loved it tonight watching Letterman.
It's the feeling I get when watching Tiger Woods even though he never bombs.
I have BOMBED, really BOMBED. My best friends and mother were witnesses along with 300 other people for my biggest and last bomb. You never forget that stuff. Ever. Thankfully I forget the jokes (generous use of the word). I don't forget that the next few comics just killed (probably Mike Myers and Jim Carey) - making fun of ME!!!!
I just saw this Frank Caliendo kill it on Letterman. You rarely kill it on Letterman. Love that. He's a MadTV cast member which I could quickly look up thanks to a wireless home and Google (Note to self - buy Google weakness). I guess Mad TV needs to be watched. Hope some old episodes are on iTunes:)!
At $46 I would buy more.
Let the panic begin about their costs and this and that and blah and yada and sell and Cramer and ...... If you believe in Gold (I do), buying a leader like Newmont down 20 plus percent in a short amount of time is how you make money.
NOTE TO SELF - step up to the plate!
Apple - Human!
A few more and I would get worried.
Why TV is dead dead dead dead dead dead
I love Apple, it is well chronicled. Apple is a hardware company. They are not a music company. Yet, they kicked every music media company in the ASS and they do it in their spare time. TV is next.
Arctic Monkey's is a new band from Liverpool. You can get totally immersed in the band and never pay the labels a dime. Talk about a wake up call. Too bad the music companies push snooze every time they get one.
Get ready for video. Apple, Google (terrible), YouTube and programming like rocketboom. I have talked about the genius of video blog www.rocketboom. Their 200,000 daily audience is created with a tiny tiny miniscule fraction of what a network spends to get a 200,000 audience for a show. Oh - and I can watch it whenever I want - FREEEEEEE - NO COMMERCIALS TOOOOOO
www.chartreuse.wordpress.com has some great writing on the subject. Add to www.billcara.com for stocks and www.techcrunch.com for contemporary look at new internet companies (fluffy but fun)
www.feld.com/blog for venture capital.
Tiger Defends Doral - Yawn!
By the way, it is time for Johnny Miller to eat some crow. His book on golf a little while back declared Tiger peaked during his one career slump. He said that all the golf so early meant he had peaked professionally at a younger age than most. WRONG!
I like Johnny as an announcer. Otherwise - what a shameless sellout.
I saw him doing those Ford commercials (with those clown's Penn and Teller) with his requisite Callaway logo's everywhere. Pleeeease! Talk about a guy who really needs to look at his own image before criticizing anyone - let alone Tiger. He looks like a fat Callaway logo himself.
Anyways, Tiger rules. I hope there is never another slump or that someone comes along with the same positive energy as him.
Gold in dem der hills
He is qualified on the subject and writes a great financial blog.
Needless to say, he will be writing in detail about the conference and any gems (no pun intended) that he may find.
March 05, 2006
BIG FAT MEGA MERGERS - a trend that is early - still!
I think that as long as mergers remain in vogue, a floor remains under any big US market selloffs and a weak US Dollar will facilitate the length and strength of this trend.
AT&T's buyout announcement of Bellsouth is a biggie, but I expect biggerand sexier one's still.
The merger - maybe not shit squared (America West/US Air), but "pretty boring" squared.
myyearbook.com and facebook.com
After I posted, I was concerned that I was writing it off to quick. Tonight, I read from tech and internet guru and writer Om Malik that myyearbook.com is waaaaay better than myspace.com
Two weeks ago I went for a tour of facebook.com, the preferred social site of college students. As Om Malik suggests, they could merge and pose a formidable rival to myspace.com.
Too cool and too popular on the internet is like running a hot local night club. Tough to saty coolest for long.
Thank-you myyearbook.com and facebook.com for MAYBE bailing me out.
Albert Brooks - "Defending your Life"
Classsssssssic. A must own movie for the collection.
Apple - buy Blackberry and Verizon
Another huge opportunity missed by me. I used the product, praised its addiction and preached the unconverted NOTE TO SELF - I STILL DO!!!!. Talk about a free sales force. Millions just like me. I passed on the stock at $5 because of the Wall Street Journal writing about all the patent litigation risks. In hindsight, a bigger gift - mainstream media bagging on a great PRODUCT. Of course they continue to do this - witness the neverending story of Apple ipod's doom as Apple's stock doubles and doubles again.
Valuation? How do you value a company that could raise it prices 100 percent and get people to pay - at least until someone else gets it right. By the way - not happening anytime soon (95 percent of camera-phone customers don't buy a data plan, it shows that Microsoft and others haven't cracked the code) .The TV commercials I could create for them alone, would be award winners and hysterical. There are two blackberry users, those converted and those yet to try it (they will) and they will convert.
If Apple bought Blackberry and Verizon purchase, the whole game could be over.
Up $14 on settlement news and probably a strong buy. Getting close to the missed opportunity I passed up on raw land in Arizona.
Money Management - Lindzon rule number 1 for so many reasons.
A very broad rule, but one to consider for all your investments and more importantly for THOSE PEOPLE you CHOOSE to manage your assets.
My biggest investment mistake - The Lindzon - "Cliff Claven" award
With that in mind, my biggest mistake is not an error of commission, but one of ommission (non commission).
I was late to one of the great trends of all time - hard assets rule! Especially those of the limited variety.
I was smart enough to move to the Arizona desert 20 years ago. I went to school in Tempe, Arizona (oh my god the growth today is staggering), more school in the outskirt city of Glendale (I forgive myself of this one) and have worked in the heart of the city for nearly 20 years (I am such a putz!)
I liked the desert, the sun, the total quality of life. I knew this when I was 12, the first time I came. So why have I not invested every penny in the dirt of this great state. I mean talk about the whopper of all mistakes.
Trust your instinct. I hope my children read this blog someday in case I forget to teach them this one great rule. Use your senses - your eyes, your ears and your intuition. Block the noise when everybody yells overboard!. There is always a deal to be had, even in the middle of a "bubble".
Ten Rules for Investing - Lindzon style
1. Commission costs, even in the internet age of commission deflation, are a killer. Trade less!
2. Buy great brands on sale
3. When hunting for winners, like great brands, the less moving parts the better
4. Money management, the silent killer and the hardest one to put into action.
5. Have a catalyst - if the catalyst remains, stay with it.
6. Focus on trends - they don't have to be mainstream
7. You can't buy at the bottom or sell at the top - so don't try!
8. Avoid using leverage for the long haul, but use it for sprints.
9. Leverage your knowledge with your investments. Keep it simple.
10. Don't let one position put you out of the game. There is never a shortage of opportunity, just cash to start over when you need it!
I have decided on 10 rules because it is a nice round number and 10 seems like an amount you could post somewhere or remember. I will constantly refine the rules but try and keep at 10. I already see overlap but just want to post and refine over time. Over the next few weeks I hope to review my big winners and losers over the years as they apply to these rules and see why I am not retired yet from my winners and why my losses have hurt more than they should.
Google - the perfect brand - SO FAR!
Google offers the perfect example. The media hates them, their competition hates them, the government now hates them (the tricky one). Guess what though? The customer loves them. They are the perfect brand - so far.
When Microsoft was king of the hill (stock performance), customers lived to complain. What is the worst thing you can say about Google. It works. They probably don't need an 800 number.
As an internet site operator, I am not fond of adsense. I think it works for Google for sure. I have seen our commission checks and I think they will never cover the cost of the blocking you will need to do keeping competitors from attacking your site with text ads. I have said it before, it pisses me off! Combined with bad economics and you have a potential problem.
When investing, it pays to buy great brands on sale. For those idiots wasting all their energy shorting Google stock and writing about their inevitable slip-ups, use weakness as an opportunity to buy as the institutions and big money are doing.
Nike, Apple, Fedex, Yahoo and Google - brands worth buying on sale.
The less moving parts the better would be my rule number two.
March 03, 2006
Sliver of Silver
CEF, SIL, SLW, PAAS are the leading stocks to own if you believe. I don't chase them but own a few and am hoping for a serious pullback in the stocks. The metal looks to $20 bucks over time.
March 02, 2006
Why Yahoo is smart, very smart
The most excellent blogger Fred Wilson who is a daily read, posts the following:
Saul Hansell has a story in today's New York Times about Lloyd Braun's new strategy at Yahoo!Media Group. Lloyd is backing away from long form video and focusing on user generated content and "content acquired by other media companies".
Lloyd is quoted as saying:
"I didn't fully appreciate what success in this medium is really going to look like," he said. "This is not about creating one-off hits like in my old business. That is not going to create a sustainable competitive advantage over the long term."
Frankly this is a good thing. Nobody really knows what "this medium is going to look like". So weaving and bobbing is what is required right now.
But I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that I saw this coming last September when I posted about another article in the NY Times about Lloyd Braun. At that time, Lloyd was promoting this strategy:
"more immersive," "more engaging," and most of all, more "original programming"
I said in my original post:
My initial reaction was, "that's not going to work". Original programming isn't really what the Internet is all about
Lloyd's challenge, and the challenge of anyone coming from the traditional content world, is to forget what they learned about original programming. That's not where its at on the Internet.
The challenge is all about how to take the work of the masses and assemble it into compelling content. The company that figures that out will do very well.
It's good to see that Lloyd and his colleagues at Yahoo! are figuring that out quickly before they throw lots of time, energy, and money down a rat hole.
Internet - especially yield management
GPS GPS GPS - Garmin and Trimble hitting all time highs again
Gold and Oil - looking for selloffs and than tune out the noise
Fiscal Policy remains extremely wreckless and inflation is "everywhere I WANT to be".
The problem with the fourth trend is that my favorite ideas - Internet and GPS - become even more volatile as this policy of inflation continues. It's never perfect.
...Rates head higher
...Gilligan and the SKIPper were gay lovers
...The web and Google were UNDERvalued
...Peak Oil Theory is a crock of shittttt
...There was a parallel universe with lots more land (the only real stretch here)
The point here is that I notice the following:
Rates are still drifting higher
Fiscal policy sucks
Gold is flying and the Canadian dollar is 12 cents from PAR
Bush is starting to really look like a dangerous, tired freak and Saturday Night Live could not write comedy this good on a daily basis
Shanghai skyscrapers by the hundreds are being built WITHOUT tenants
Real Estate developers and oil speculators are starting to get cocky and drink their own kool-aid (6 star hotels!!!!)
It may be time to rethink the obvious. I am.
I was sleeping within 10 minutes, at least that's what the kids in the chorus say - that I SUPPOSEDLY tripped.
40 years of age. Can't sleep when I want to, only when I should'nt be!!!
Would love to write more, but I need to trim my nose and ear hair that seems to have grown back from yesterday - EGAD!!!!