Monday, February 28, 2005

Is it art or just some orange shower curtains in the park?...mother love and trucks..

February 22, 2004


Is it art or just some orange shower curtains in the park? I think the jury is still out. Artist or grifter ,I think the jury is still out. Sorry this email was delayed but Paris Hilton’s T-Mobile Sidekick was hacked this weekend and my phone lines have simply been flooded with nonstop calls .The US has pulled it ambassador from Syria and Tehran and Damascus have made a non-aggression pact if this was 1939 you would think we were going to war. Meanwhile Jose Canseco’s tell all book suggest many major leaguers were juiced up like the stock market of the same era. Following the lead of the NBA, the SEC is now limiting the amount of drinking and profanity brokerage clients and Investment Representatives can use. Kofii Annan claims in a recent wall street journal editorial that even though the UN is the center of the oil for food scandal, a child sex slave scandal in the Congo, part and parcel to the genocide in Darfor, a sexual harassment scandal in New York involving top UN officials and $1.2 billion in cost over runs for the UN headquarters in Turtle bay the UN is still relevant in it mission, now there’s an optimist.

President Bush pursued his “charm” tour in Europe, and managed to dislocate 92 Lufthansa flights, stranding thousands of passengers, but all in all a good time and Foi gras was had by all. Give it to me straight you thought Slovakia was a Greek pastry, didn’t you? Did he build bridges or just let them eat cake? Yea that’s what I thought too da, da, da. The president criticized Russia’s recent moves to tyranny and Vladimir Puntin criticized the firing of 3 CBS executives, after all in Russia when you commit felonies they make you President.

Back home the market played like an old country song singing a tune of “mother love and trucks”. Mother being anything involving energy, love being anything involving chemicals and trucks anything involving transportation and of coarse Technology continues to stumble. The US Congress continues to debate weather it is better for them to keep stealing your money through the present “ponzi” inspired social security system and its fictitious social security “trust fund” or fess up admit the fraud and raise your taxes to pay for it. If you are interested in social security check out this sight . Speaking of retirement savings, there are many opportunities for the small investor to put away money for old age no reason to depend on social security. If you are a bit gun shy of the stock market there are many short term bond funds that offer fairly stable conservative long term returns .No ,they will not perform like an internet IPO in 1999,but they beat the meager returns offered by most bank money markets.


Sunday, February 20, 2005

Lobsters may feel no pain...

February 15, 2005


Lobsters may feel no pain, but investors sometimes do. I have been asked often recently, is it really worth investing when the market has been so uninspiring the last 4 years? After all I could invest in real-estate and am certain to get rich. Certain…., as certain as the millionaires, as certain as an English major getting paid ½ million dollars a year in stock options in 1999, as certain as that local start up is going to be the next Microsoft? Real-estate always goes up, right? Hummm guess you didn’t buy in 1987. Guess you didn’t buy a ski condo in Vermont either? Seems the same people buying’s in the fall of 1999 are involved in real-estate speculation right now. Don’t hear Warren Buffet talking much about real-estate?

Every month do you know what your house is worth or do you think you know what your house is worth? Have you ever spent money on a new roof, a new floor a washer or dryer? Real-estate has those ups and downs just like your stock portfolio it is just not so readily obvious. Modern technology has given you minute by minute updates on your stocks and bonds, but alas not yet on your real-estate. Because you have a snowy winter and have to shovel a drive way more often than last year does it mean that it will always snow this much? You simply know that if you take care spring will come.

My point being the stock portfolios, like houses often need maintenance and things don’t always go your way, but short term ups and downs hardly affect a long term investment plan. The simple fact is the power is in the plan, buy a house pay off the mortgage, open and IRA make yearly deposits, or max out your 401k .Yes there will be volatility, ups and downs, day to day and month to month thru snow days and leaky roofs but long run the power is in taking the action and follow through on the plan.


Monday, February 14, 2005

2.57 trillion is just not enough

February 7th 2005


2.57 trillion dollars now that’s a lot of money. No matter how you slice it is just a whole lot of money. Even though we are spending too much, we are not spending enough. Even though we have a deficit we can’t make any cuts: I know I can’t figure it out either. Only in Washington is a smaller increase in spending considered a spending cut. Only in Washington is the largest government budget in US history not enough. A recent New York State Quinnipiac Poll stated that 64% of New Yorkers trust Hillary Clinton, no wonder the Governor has proposed selling the Tapanzee Bridge I think the State will find many willing buyers. Apparently the Iraqi’s have picked up on this democracy thing better than we thought the first election in 5000 years and there are already accusations of ballot box tampering .The Bush administration has sent observers from Dade County and a special envoy from Chicago, Bill Daley.

The companies in the S&P 500 had the biggest earning increases in more than a decade. While the twin deficits of trade and budget which have so captivated the main stream media seem to be subsiding .Valentines day 2005 gives us more of corporate America seeking partnerships. There are mergers, mergers every where .This whole market has a 1980’sish sort of feel. The over capacity generated with the tech bubble 1990’s is getting soaked up through mergers and acquisitions. I don’t think you will see the reemergence of the LBO as a major tool, but the days of the “nice guy” 1990’s are giving away to the “kick but and take names” attitude of the 1980’s. It looks to me like software and telecom are the main targets.

This week brings us another big lesson for individual investors: beware of the over hyped CEO, Carly Fiona has resigned as the CEO of Hewitt Packard .The super star status of a CEO is often a harbinger of doom for stock holders and Carly was no different, pursuing a skeptical strategy with poor execution. If your CEO is busy showing up on “Opera” or decorating the covers of various magazines, it means they are not putting in the time to run the business. Carly is not the first and I am sure she wont be the last, “rock star” status just doesn’t seem to deliver return to the shareholders.

I am so glad Paul McCartney keep to his word and kept his clothes on for the Super Bowl half time show. A naked 62 year old was not something I was looking forward seeing.


Monday, February 07, 2005

This is a vote for the future, for the children, for the rule of law, for humanity, for love.......................1982

February 2, 2005

Let the counting begin, on this day the Iraqi people gave the blue finger to the terrorist and their allies in the mainstream media and the US congress. This axis against democracy was resoundly defeated and rejected. The issue now is not weather the Shites in Iran will influence Iraq but weather the Shites in Iraq will influence Iran and the rest of the mid east .Next time you hear complaints by US voters of long lines at polling places, just think how the Iraqi people braved gunfire, violence, beheadings, car bombs, media antagonism and acts of barbarity, to pursue their right of self determination.

Meanwhile the ground hog did not see his shadow, humm looks like six more weeks of winter or maybe it is six more weeks of market volatility. I am sure some Wall Street analysis’s is running the numbers as we speak. Like the January barometer, I spoke about in last week’s email which is signaling a down market. Well maybe not, just remember 1982, and the beginning of the great bull market, it bears repeating because there seems to be a very strong corollary between then and now. Remember a “stupid cowboy” named Ronald Reagan waged the cold war to win, cut taxes, deregulated, fought unions, moved for freer trade, pushed the Lauffer curve, ran budget and trade deficits, rebuilt the military, pursued star wars technology, and of coarse again he was” just a stupid movie star cowboy and going to start a nuclear war”. Sounds so familiar and perhaps it sounds so familiar to the stock market as well. Meanwhile we won the cold war, tax cuts created a huge economic boom, the DOW rallied from under 1000 to 12,000 in 18 years.

By the way if the Social Security System is so great how come members of the US Congress do not participate in the plan? Any ways don’t forget for 2005 your IRA contributions have been increased from $3000 to $4000 and it is not too late to make your 2004 contribution you have until April 15th. If you have not done so 2004 and 2005 contributions can be made this year; you only need to make two separate deposits. This could give some investors a jump start of $7000 toward their retirement funding.


Sorry Eagles, wait till next year…..