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September 19, 2013 06:45 pmRoss No Comments »

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SeeItMarket Content

October 09, 2012 08:46 amRoss No Comments »

As a number of you have recently requested – here are the links to content I have written for investing and economics website SeeItMarket:

15 Investing Lessons Learned from Playing Fantasy Football

Investors: Why Your Past May Hold the Keys to Future Success

Investors Beware: Dividend Stocks Becoming a Crowded Trade

You can also find these articles here on popular investing site Minyanville. I look forward to sharing new postings with you as well.

Thank you,

Ross

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Writing as a Guest Contributor

July 30, 2012 07:48 amRoss No Comments »

Recently I started writing as a guest contributor for financial website See It Market. The site includes an eclectic group of writers blogging about a wide range of investing, economic, and personal finance topics. This is a great opportunity to share with such a talented group of individuals, and I am honored to have been asked. 

My first post centered on the recent popularity of dividend investing. You can find it on their site here.

The article also appeared on Minyanville, one of my all-time favorite investing websites.  In addition, the post appeared on popular investing site Business Insider.

I look forward to sharing additional writings with you in the future.

Ross

 

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If Interest Rates Rise

July 12, 2012 10:02 pmRoss No Comments »

This is NOT the upteenth post or article you’ve seen saying how interest rates can’t go any lower and just have to go higher. In no way whatsover am I calling for that, nor have I.

Simply, I am stating the following: This week the United States Government issued a new 10-year Treasury Bond and the auction priced at record low 1.459%. Fact: debt purchasers just bought bonds that will pay them a record low 1.459% for 10 years from a country that according to the National Debt Clock has just under $16 trillion in debt.

On the very same day, the Money Fund reported that US money market fund assets rose by $24.52 billion to $2.262 trillion (note the T). The report also noted that the average yield on a taxable money market fund is 0.03%.

Going back to ”if interest rates rise….” Let’s use some logic. If investors are pouring money into money market funds at 0.03% and parking that kind of money longer-term into them, what will be the demand for them if interest rates were to rise? Any substantial rise in interest rates is an enormous risk that stock investors need to keep on their radar screen as rising rates would likely be met with overly eager investors and institutions ready to pounce on higher returns.

Ross

 

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Watch What They Do Not What They Say

July 11, 2012 12:20 pmRoss No Comments »

Earlier this week I was listening to CNBC via Sirius Radio while driving. First of all, I know many traders keep CNBC muted – listening but with no video is a whole different dynamic.

An analyst was on pre-viewing earnings season. To paraphrase him, “…what’s important here is not what companies actually report. What’s important is their company guidance going forward.” When you’re eyes are hyptonitized with flashing news alerts, scrolling tickers, yelling anchors and corporate logos galore, these types of comments just sort of bounce off you. All I had was pure verbal, and it nearly startled me off the road. Really? Did he just say that?

Yeah, I understand the bit about forward earnings being more important and how reported earnings have already occurred and should be reflected in the current share price, et al. Let me rephrase his comments in the form of the cynical investing public who have been duped more way ’til Sunday over the past few years: “sure, let’s hear the company storyteller spin a yarn for next quarter and lets just ignore the numbers the company just reported. Come to think of it, we probably should take  actual reported earnings with a grain of salt but that’s another topic.”

My take:  if reported earnings aren’t important, but guidance going forward is, haven’t we just entered the twilight zone of investing where we are subject to perpetual storytelling and quarterly hopefullness. If we don’t look at actual (and factual) earnings that companies have reported, perhaps in bad situations they really don’t exist. I get it now.

Ross

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Update

July 11, 2012 10:30 amRoss No Comments »

I hope to be much more frequent in postings. There are some recent business projects that I have focused my attention and energy with, but am planning to write much more content, be more consistent and provide something of value on a daily basis. This will be easier said than done. Postings will vary in style, scope and size but hopefully the consistency will improve as the other projects that have been demanding time recede.

Thank you,

Ross

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Venus Crossing the Sun

May 01, 2012 01:14 pmRoss No Comments »

A few days back I came across a fascinating article regarding Venus passing across the Sun – an event we will likely never have the opportunity to see again. Tune in June 5-6.

The effect on astronomy (and science) from the two crossings that occurred in the 1760′s was incredibly significant, but what struck me were the calculations of the Sun’s distance from earth after the 1769 crossing. As the article mentions, astronomers estimated the distance to be somewhere between 92.9 million and 96.9 million miles. Today, we figure it to be 92.960 million miles.

Look at your iPad, your Macbook Air, your Kindle, your smartphone, et al. Think of how mesmerized we all are with today’s technological advancements. Can you imagine living in 1769 with the tools of the day and trying to calculate the distance between our home planet and the sun. Humbling.

Ross

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Voting a Proxy? Reading an Annual Report?

April 29, 2012 10:30 pmRoss No Comments »

It’s that time of year again – the annual season of investors digging into annual reports, perusing through 10-Ks, and then voting company proxies. As you read an annual reports, dig into a 10-k, or vote a proxy, you may want to remember how this CEO’s letter to shareholders ended:

Who We Are
This annual report focuses on our global opportunities. In seeking to take advantage of those opportunities, we must continue to leverage our operating principles and culture. We must always remember how important our culture and principles have been in getting us to where we are today.

The Firm remains fully committed to its operating principles:

Delivering the entire Firm to our clients;
Doing the right thing;
Demonstrating a commitment to excellence;
Promoting and demonstrating teamwork;
Ensuring our organization is a true meritocracy;
Respecting each other;
Demonstrating smart risk management ;
Preserving and strengthening the culture;
Giving back to the community;
Acting always with an ownership mentality;
Building and protecting our brand; and
Maximizing shareholder value.
We continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards by always staying mindful of these principles and meeting the goals we set for ourselves. When we do all of this, the results follow.

The opportunities for our clients are limitless. We greatly value our 26,000 employees’ dedication to the Firm and are deeply grateful to our clients and shareholders for their continued trust.

The above was taken from an annual report circa 2006.

Signed,

Richard S. Fuld Jr

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Lehman Brothers Inc.

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Thinking Outside the Dropbox

April 28, 2012 04:52 pmRoss No Comments »

Two companies and technologies that I delved into this week I thought I would pass along:

Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com/)  is something you should explore - hopefully, I am not exposing my technology IQ as this is already very popular , but there are numerous uses for this file-sharing company. Perhaps one of the most useful tech app’s I’ve come across.

Square is another interesting company https://squareup.com/ for those with a smartphone and a need to accept credit cards. Sign up, they’ll send you a card reader, and you can start accepting plastic via your iphone, ipad or whatever your preference. Unreal the potential applications – Shouldn’t be long before kids in the neighborhood will be swiping your Visa for a dozen nightcrawlers. Who said innovation was dead?

Some things I’m reading this weekend:

Looking Back on the Limits of Growth ~ Smithsonian Magazine

When wil this Low-Innovation Internet Era End? ~ Harvard Business Review

College Affordability – The Debate Over Student Loan Interest is Nothing but a Sideshow ~ The Atlantic

The New Yorker ~ Is Stanford too Close to Silicon Valley?

 How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Global Taxes ~ New York Times

Have a great weekend.

Ross

 

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Inflation or Deflation? Debate from the Cheap Seat

April 27, 2012 06:21 amRoss No Comments »

So I’m going through some old things and I find this:

The Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Tigers 3-2 that Sunday. Fielder was playing first base (Cecil, not Prince yet), and Rob Deer hit a home run (for Detroit).

Look at that price! $4.00 to take in a game from County Stadium’s Bleachers! The Brew Crew is off this August 23, but the closest home game is Aug 22 against the Chicago Cubs, where it’ll cost you $30 for a bleacher seat. $4 to $30? 10.6% annual inflation rate. Folks, this ticket wasn’t from seeing Christy Mathewson pitch at the Polo Grounds. This was only 20 years ago! Put another way, if the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased at the same exact rate, today’s market would be sitting just north of 22,000!

That is, if you compare face value to face value. Interestingly, this ticket includes sales tax and probably did not come with a processing fee, a facility charge, or some other special-use charge. For those who may argue the product on the field was considerably better, you may be subject to the recency effect, given the Brewers division winning season and playoff success last year. Fact is, the ’92 product was the 5th best team in franchise history, sported 2 Hall of Fame players, and a Rookie of the Year.

Trends continue until they don’t anymore, and challenges must exist for institutions that have seen these type of price increases over the past couple decades. Coupled with stagnant personal incomes, I can’t imagine this is not on the radar screen of most MLB franchises. Inflation or Deflation? Maybe it matters which direction you look.

Ross

 

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