bullish on who will be Time’s Person of the Year 2013

Drones (or "The Drone") (as of 2012 NOV 10) 

bullish on who will be Time’s Person of the Year 2012 

actual result: Barack Obama

Xi Jinping (as of 2012 SEP 16); Aung San Suu Kyi (as of 2012 APR 3); Bo Xilai (as of 2012 MAR 24) 


 

Friday
Nov162012

Why file Twinkies under "bullish"?  There are actually many questions concerning the status of the Twinkie and its relatives on the Hostess family tree.  Why did the company file to be liquidated today?  Why couldn't the company come to an agreement with the baker's union?  Why did CNBC need to go and buy Twinkies and other Hostess cake products to serve as props on the news desk shortly after CNBC anchor Becky Quick read the breaking headline about the Twinkie decision this morning on Squawk on the Street?  Why did I buy a box of Twinkies from Target (TGT) this morning (see picture below), even though I probably haven't had a Twinkie in the last 15 - 20 years?  Why, for that matter, were boxes of Hostess products being arranged in stacks at the Target checkout lanes while I was waiting on line?  Why hasn't private equity been able to save Hostess?  What does Mitt Romney think?  Mitt who?  Why did Obama let this happen?  Will a Chinese state owned enterprise acquire Hostess (or will conservatives block the sale on national security grounds)?  Does this somehow portend a similar state of hopelessness where Washington lets American go over the so-called "fiscal cliff"?  How many members of Congress eat Twinkies?  Why are there less calories in one Twinkie than any one of the diet bars that I regularly eat? If Twinkies supposedly last for long periods of time, why is the sell-by date on the box I purchased today December 5, 2012?  Because these are such weighty matters, I would not want to rush to answer such questions without due consideration and thought.  However, as far as bullishness/bearishness goes, this Twinkie blog entry comes under the heading "bullish" for the following reasons: (1) everyone's talking Twinkies (seemingly a hotter news topic now than the effects of Hurricane Sandy), (2) things cannot get any worse for the Twinkie (an asset that is surely worth more today than it was yesterday), and (3) at least someone will probably be able to sell a t-shirt or two as a result of these events.

 

 

Wednesday
Oct242012

This morning's pre-market trade: 10/24/12  8:09 AM EDT  Buy 500 FB Executed @ $23.205.  Some stocks recover quickly after shooting down one day due to overreaction to bad news. Because Facebook (FB) is such a big stock, it has taken longer to snap back from an exaggerated price move, but this morning the market clicked, which is the sound made by FB's v-shape turn.  $40 by Christmas.  The stocks of makers of pads & tablets couldn't be less enticing.  That said, these devices sell, and will be making appearances through the holidays...and all of them have (the increasingly device-integrated) Facebook.  Separately, we’ll probably buy Renren Inc. (RENN) near the open.

Thursday
Sep062012

Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGV:MK) got my attention on August 21 in a WSJ article "Hot Port for IPOs: Malaysia" for a couple of reasons.  First, the Felda story was newsworthy  (Felda being the second biggest IPO of the year behind Facebook) and not a general yawner about developing markets or the BRICs (such as the Barrons cover story a week earlier identifying the top 10 companies in China, which would have been a great cover story--were it published about 10 years ago).  Mostly, Felda got my attention because of its land.  It owns plantations (currently 880,000 acres of palm plantations in Malaysia) and looks to acquire more.  This site's blog post on August 6 suggested it is bearish in general if people are worrying about food, but here I would suggest that it is worth investigating whether or not it is bullish specifically for a company (i.e., Felda) to have a mission of owning land for producing things that can grow from it including oil palm, soybean, canola and sugar products (as well as rubber plantation products and Oleochemicals).
Thursday
Sep062012

Score one (a weak one, but one nonetheless) for bullishness today as the WSJ in its article "Card Giants Lead Rush to Myanmar" states that Myanmar is arguably "the world's sexiest new frontier market". The term "sexiest" and its use are bullish, so credit should go to any journalist who brings (or attempts to bring) sexy back by finding the opportunity to insert such a superlative into an article.  Per the chart below, which contains the results of a search run on Google Trends a moment ago, the average worldwide traffic for the term "sexiest" peaked in 2010. The chart suggests that this year is looking sexier (i.e., showing higher rates of traffic for the term "sexiest") than last year.  That said, Myanmar is small, and its going to take a lot more sexy to bring bullish back.

 

Wednesday
Aug152012

Last week I bought a computer monitor for my home office.  It's huge at 23". It's a super thin IPS-LED display with a fast refresh time, high brightness and contrast, and digital and analog connections.  Why is this product with its specifications particularly bullish? It's not on its own, but the fact that it was purchased as a replacement for a reasonably-spec'd 19" LCD screen that I have had for a number of years and continues to be in working order is.  While I have reasons to rationalize my purchase the fact is that it is an anecdotal example of latent consumer confidence.  What upgrades or improvements have you purchased recently? Chances are it’s a purchase that you might have been able to put off a little longer but didn't (assuming you come within the data reported in an article in the WSJ today, which states that "Consumers started the third quarter with a bang" in respect of data that indicates US retail sales in July rose by the largest amount in 5 months). 
Monday
Aug062012

Colleges see higher demand for degrees in agriculture.  Nothing against food.  We've gotta eat, but there's just nothing bullish about having to eat. On the other hand, if one thinks that having to eat is going to be preoccupying people's minds more than normal in the future, one just may want to be long food (or the building blocks thereof).

Tuesday
May152012

Perhaps it's a bearish signal (which I state only partially tongue-in-cheek) when a guy like me, via a budget broker, has access to opportunities (i.e., high profile IPOs) formerly reserved for big Wall Street players.  I'm not saying its bearish for the forthcoming Facebook (FB) shares (for which we have already placed our conditional orders), but it represents a further leveling of a playing field of sorts, which is not inconsistent with a possibly continued diminishment of the grandeur of a money making machine that used to be reserved for denizens of the Street and friends.  This fact of access feels bearish in a big (I should probably say "macro") sense, perhaps for the markets, or maybe just for IPOs.  That said, the only question in my mind, is whether or not we flip on Friday, or do the "right" thing and hold on to the shares (with the possibility of getting a look at another interesting offering in the future).  Of course, entertaining such a question, which is based purely in greed is a bullish indicator in itself (and so is the use of the word "flip").
 

 

Thursday
Apr192012

The price of mangosteens is $19 for a 2lb bag in Chinatown or $95.48 for a similar size from Amazon (that's $29.99 + $65.49 shipping). We bought a 2lb bag in Chinatown today, although we had to think twice about buying them when we heard the price (of which we were borderline incredulous, but nonetheless stayed interested when seeing the woman behind the cart glowingly confirm with a big smile that the price was $19).  We felt pretty good about our purchase after we got home and discovered that what we paid was almost 80% cheaper than on Amazon.  And the taste? Without describing it and risking not doing it justice (think of trying to be hyperbolic but failing even to achieve exaggeration), I will only state that one can not help but promptly smile upon placing a piece of this fruit in one's mouth.  More mangosteen background is available at mangosteen.com, a site which is also mentioned in a NY Times article that describes the efforts of a Connecticut investor to bring the fruits to market here (see also past coverage of mini mangosteen mania mentioned in NPR).  The weblink for the distributor on the label of the bag we purchased is www.pok-expfruits.com, but based on some of the stories on the web, its hard to know whether or not our bag of fruit came in via Canada, Puerto Rico or some other path.  Either way, I believe that we'll be smiling when we have more tomorrow (or sooner). 
 
Here's a picture of the label:
A picture of us smiling (you would be smiling too if you just had a fresh mangosteen, and we just ate four):
A picture of a couple more from our bag:
Tuesday
Apr172012

Monday
Apr162012

My 'Merican V8.

Sunday
Apr152012

Saturday
Apr142012

Saturday
Apr142012

Wednesday
Apr112012

Bloomberg reported today that Bain & Co. sees diamond demand outpacing supply through 2020, and on March 6, 2012, IndexIQ Advisors LLC filed a prospectus for its IQ PHYSICAL DIAMOND TRUST, which would potentially provide investors with exchange-traded access to exposure to the diamond markets. Perhaps the gemstones will go up in value, and perhaps an exchange traded grantor trust in diamonds is a good vehicle for the retail investor to speculate on such possibility (except for a fungibility issue mentioned at Index Universe and the 28% capital gains on collectibles tax issue mentioned on p44 of the prospectus (see also article here)), but as talk about more obscure investment options bubbles up on the blogosphere, I can’t help but think that it might have something to do with bullishness taking a breather in more traditional investments.

Wednesday
Apr112012

"Soft serve" beer from Kirin.  Now if someone could just make it calorie free (but keep the good parts).

 

Tuesday
Apr102012

CNET reports that, according to Jumptap, a mobile advertising and research firm, users of Words With Friends are likely to have higher salaries than users of Angry Birds (see graphic here). Angry Birds users are also more likely to be Republican and more likely to be using tablets.  Is the takeaway that Republicans put more resources into tablets, but actually have less money to buy them?  Perhaps by extrapolation, readers of books (on tablets, of course) are more likely to be wealthy bleeding-heart liberals (not that there is anything wrong with that)?  

Tuesday
Apr102012

Can't help but wonder if there is not a Freudian slip in the headline for this story about Chesapeake (CHK) striking three deals.

Tuesday
Apr102012

"If you want to be good at these jobs, you have to be willing to lose these jobs." --U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, a few minutes ago on CNBC.
Monday
Apr092012

Obvious cases.  The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is a tablet that has split screen functionality to enable one to see 2 running applications at a time, in certain cases.  For a long time, I have needed the ability to take notes in one app and view another app at the same time without switching back and forth.  It frustrated me that smartphone case makers didn't make a case to hold 2 devices, so I had to make my own, as shown in the photo below (which is merely a combination of an iPhone, iPod touch, a case logic camera case, 2 plastic i-device cases, and Velcro).  

It should be noted that Cocoon Innovations makes GRID-IT! organization systems which (if being pocket-sized is not a requirement) are suitable for people with multiple devices.  

Monday
Apr092012


Prototypes, concepts and enthusiasts are nice, but...they have nothing on real business, like Facebook (reserved ticker FB). Some stuff in the news recently about cars that fly and run on alternative fuels: flying cars (the Terrafugia Transition & PAL-V ONE), a Delorean, the Fisker Karma, and a story on CNBC this morning about how enthusiasts are converting cars from gasoline to natural gas. I feel like I heard similar stories when I was in grammar school.  What's next--jetpacks, cars in suitcases?