Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ten Ways American Election Issues Could Influence Your Investment Decisions

America is still a safe haven for parking money in comparison to most countries of the world. Amid the media frenzy of the upcoming general election on November 8, 2016, certain issues have emerged and sharply divide the Democrats led by the front-runner Hillary Clinton, from the Republicans led by Donald Trump.

This blog has not in the past shown favoritism of one candidate over another, or even mentioned an election. This election is different, and invites comparison of the top two candidates whose views are incredibly polarized and easily discerned.

Here are the issues that might influence your stocks and investments one way or another:

1. Women's Issues: Women don't want to be bullied, have their concerns minimized, or be accused of insincerities and untruths when secret histories with the candidates are revealed in the media. It's just common sense.The Republican Party deserves to lose the votes of females, same sex couples, all races other than white, and nationalities other than those born in America. They have alienated young voters as well, possibly for all time.

2. Social issues like abortion and women's reproductive rights:  the candidates differ. Again, on social welfare programs, same sex marriage and adoption of children by same sex couples, the candidates differ; Trump doesn't support any of the preceding issues. Women's equal pay for equal work to men is supported by Hillary, not Donald. Both support paid sick leave.

3. Education: Hillary supports Common Core, while Donald prefers local education (naturally, as this is where his support lies). Hillary wants to lower education loan rates, while Donald  doesn't agree. Hillary supports in-state college rates to illegal immigrants, while Donald does not. When the world wonders how a candidate ascended when any one of his views might have disqualified him but didn't, education can be considered the cause from a worldwide perspective. 

4. Healthcare: We need more sanity on this topic. Republicans are using scare tactics, warning of high prices in all sectors, from pharmaceuticals and biotech to medical delivery, without offering a reasonable alternative plan for the health and caregiving communities. Both want to increase Medicaid funding, legalize medical marijuana, and regulate the price of life-saving drugs. Hillary wants to regulate prices of all drugs, and offer healthcare to illegal immigrants; Donald would withhold health services on the basis of immigration status.

5. International Relations: On this topic, Hillary is the clear winner, being a former chief diplomat as Secretary of State. Donald, with his "build a wall that Mexico will pay for" xenophobia, hasn't a clue what is best for Americans. Republicans are spouting incendiary puff pieces of hot air in asserting that merely saying a phrase like "Islamic Terrorists" will defeat ISIS and looking at Putin in a predatory fashion will guarantee supremacy. 

6. Guns: Hillary is a voice of calm and reason, and is against the gun violence that is ruining the peace of inner cities in America. Let's turn away from the National Rifle Association that is backing the Republican candidate and work for peace. Hillary wants psychological testing, background checks, to close sales loop holes, and training for gun owners; Trump does not.

7. Science:
--GMOs--Both believe foods should not be marked, children should be vaccinated, and both support the use of nuclear energy.
--Space travel--Hillary thinks the U.S. should fund space travel. Donald believes that space travel should be left entirely to private companies. 

8. Climate change: Republicans say it is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, and this does nothing to improve Sino-American relationships. Hillary believes windpower should be supported by the government, while Donald believes it's unfounded.

9. Taxation: Republicans continue to spout rhetoric about offering lower taxes.With the ongoing national need, however, for stronger education and police forces, it's unlikely they can go lower. They are already lower in the U.S. than in most countries. Interest rates are determined by the nonpartisan Federal Reserve led by Janet Yellen. Hillary believes candidates should have to submit tax returns, and that photo IDs disadvantage certain voters. Donald has not shown his tax returns, doesn't support the idea, and requires voters to use photo IDs.

10. Oil: Hillary believes alternative energy production should be incentivized, while Donald supports expanded offshore oil drilling. Both support fracking.

On the topic of beauty pageants, however, Donald has the lead. 

More cooperation is my hope after the upcoming election, and early voting has already begun. Vote for the cautious candidate, not the flip-flopper. Vote Hillary, even if not in agreement on every issue. Some compromises must be made in life. More information on where the candidates stand on various issues can be found here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Jim Cramer's Ten Stock Picks for 2015: How did they do?

Just can't let the end of the year pass without taking advantage of the opportunity to critique Jim Cramer's stock picks. Here are the one year numbers and it's not looking great. 

                                                                              12/31/2014          12/31/2015          Percent Change

INTEL (INTC) in U.S.D.                                      $36.29                 $34.45                        -5.07%

UNITED HEALTHCARE (UNH) in U.S.D.        101.09                  117.64                     +16.37%

HOME DEPOT (HD) in U.S.D.                            104.97                  132.25                     +25.98%

CISCO (CSCO) in U.S.D.                                       27.81                    27.15                        -2.37%

TRAVELERS (TRV) in U.S.D.                            105.85                  112.86                       +6.62%

DUPONT (DD) in U.S.D.                                       73.94                    66.00                      -10.73%

MERCK (MRK) in U.S.D.                                      56.79                    52.82                        -6.99%

GOLDMAN SACHS (GS) in U.S.D.                    193.83                  180.23                        -7.01%

AMERICAN EXPRESS (AXP) in U.S.D.              93.04                    69.55                      -25.24%

UNITED TECHNOLOGIES (UTX) in U.S.D.     115.00                    96.07                      -16.46%

By the way, to find the percent change above (myself) this is the formula:

the smaller number was subtracted from the larger number (the result is X)

and X was divided by the first number from a year ago (Y) then the answer was multiplied by 100.

---- x 100

So, the final result of Mr. Cramer's year-long stock picks if the pluses and minuses are averaged is (drumroll, please):  -2.49%.

Many stocks endured severe bruisings. Sadly, not one did spectacularly well, but all balanced out in the end.

Now it could have been worse in a tough year but it could have been better. As Albert Einstein said, "The person who never made a mistake never tried anything new" and investing is always a "new" adventure, isn't it?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Jim Cramer's Stock Picks: End of Third Quarter, 2015

Let's take another look at Jim Cramer's 2015 ten stock picks now at the end of the third quarter, current stock price and percent change year-to-date.

INTEL (INTC) U.S.D. $30.51     -14.00%

UNITED HEALTHCARE (UNH) U.S.D. $118.83     +18.95

HOME DEPOT (HD) U.S.D. $117.81     +13.99%

CISCO (CSCO) U.S.D. $25.76     -4.57

TRAVELERS (TRV) U.S.D. $100.03     -3.83%

DUPONT (DD) U.S.D. $49.26     -28.44%

MERCK (MRK) U.S.D. $50.14     -9.55%

GOLDMAN SACHS (GS) U.S.D. $177.01     -7.79%

AMERICAN EXPRESS (AXP) U.S.D. $74.41     -19.22

UNITED TECHNOLOGIES (UTX) U.S.D. $89.77     -20.57%

Not certain whether or not he still owns all of them, sorry. In general, it's being mostly a down year for Mr. Cramer as far as these stocks are concerned.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Akamai: Backbone of the Internet

It's high time for me to put in a good word for Akamai Technologies (AKAM:Nsdq). Akamai's business services a serious and vital necessity of life on the internet today. This is a company without which we wouldn't have streaming video content or be able to have seamless internet service. It hosts the infrastructural network architecture and security backbone of the internet; the product it delivers is better than television, and might in the future actually deliver streaming content online from networks, called "over the top" or OTT.

It's a company with great potential that has a history of rolling out streaming services on the internet, delivering a fast user experience, and making the internet better for everyone. It delivers higher quality, lower cost, and better performance than its weak competitors, doesn't face fast-lane regulatory scrutiny for this reason, and has strong propspects for the future. Scale, cost, and quality are important to the company, according to the founding CEO Tom Leighton.

With strong leadership, proven history of technical and corporate expertise, and an elite work force, Akamai rolled out streaming video beginnning in the late nineties and 2000s. It owns important servers and key patents many other companies would kill to have and the product it delivers offers consumers greater detail than television.

Akamai has lots of unique agreements with other companies, posts huge goodwill numbers, and hosts fake versions of many government websites to safeguard national security. For example, if Sony had been a customer of Akamai, it couldn't have been hacked by the North Koreans.

Akamai's stock price flew up to around $400 in 2001, and made a sharp drop when it was caught in the tailwind of the down draft that plunged most tech stocks off the cliff, but it didn't deserve to fall in tandem and shouldn't have. Isn't it time for common sense and basic know-how to prevail and return to tech valuations?

My point is that Akamai is worth much more than facebook, which is a stock that can be duplicated in many foreign countries such as China and Russia, whereas Akamai is unique. While facebook may be a leader in personal communications, arguably as pioneering as a magazine in its own way, facebook is a website that not everyone likes or uses, and for all its lofty valuation does have competition from mainstream and internet news services: Skype, Twitter, Pinterest, Craigslist, reddit, Instagram, Snapchat, and other constantly proliferating and mutating website services competing for everyone's attention.

Facebook, for example, isn't as integral or essential to the backbone of the internet as Akamai is, so why isn't Akamai valued a lot higher? By the way, I'm also a huge fan of facebook, as I am of many of its social media competitors. But in my mind Akamai is unique. There's nothing else anything like this company with the name that means witty or intelligent in Hawaiian. Without it, facebook and all the others might not exist. Everyone uses Akamai, like they use electricity and water. For more about Akamai, this video and this older one show founding CEO Tom Leighton, who was on CNBC yesterday.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Another reckoning of Jim Cramer's Stock Picks

Here are Jim Cramer's Ten Stock Picks for 2015 at the half year mark on July 7, 2015. I also checked them at the end of the first quarter here.

INTEL (INTC) U.S.D. $29.90 -16.42%

UNITED HEALTHCARE (UNH) U.S.D. $120.70 +20.31%

HOME DEPOT (HD) U.S.D. $112.40 +8.20%

CISCO (CSCO) U.S.D. $27.36 +0.55%

TRAVELERS (TRV) U.S.D. $100.03 -4.43%

DUPONT (DD) U.S.D. $59.10 -14.75%

MERCK (MRK) U.S.D. $57.99 +3.72%

GOLDMAN SACHS (GS) U.S.D. $208.21 +8.09%

AMERICAN EXPRESS (AXP) U.S.D. $77.55 -15.81%


Jim's average for the first half of the year is about -1.37%, proving for us even the mighty aren't infallible. But we all knew that.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Two Amazing Five Year Charts: RAD and RHT

My question is, where will they go next?

Charts courtesy: Seeking Alpha

Rite Aid Corporation (RAD)

4:00 PM, 06/18
Rite Aid Corporation stock chart
52wk high:9.07
52wk low:4.42
PE (ttm):4.20
Div Rate:N/A
Market Cap:$8.51b

Red Hat, Inc. (RHT)

4:00 PM, 06/18
Red Hat, Inc. stock chart
52wk high:79.35
52wk low:52.16
PE (ttm):82.40
Div Rate:N/A
Market Cap:$14.39b

Monday, June 1, 2015

Top Stocks Year-To-Date

The winning stock year to date is Voltari, but with a chart like this would you buy it? It all depends when you buy and sell.

Two screeners of top American stocks so far this year above 200%, mostly related to the biotech, healthcare, medicine sector vary with their results. The column I'm watching is YTD. Aoxing Pharmaceutical Company (AXN) is headquartered in Jersey City, NJ, in the first chart. Armco Metal Holdings (AMCO) is associated with China, and REPH is Recro Pharmaceuticals.

Total: 6233 #1
No.TickerPerf WeekPerf MonthPerf QuartPerf HalfPerf YearPerf YTDVolatility WVolatility MRecomAvg VolumeRel VolumePriceChangeVolume

1. VLTCVoltari Corp6.38-0.18-2.74%+866.67%14:22   
2. EGRXEagle Pharmaceuticals Inc.73.13+0.50+0.69%+373.16%14:22   
3. ANTHAnthera Pharmaceuticals5.89+0.31+5.56%+272.15%14:22   
4. ASTAsterias Biotherapeutics Inc.11.61+0.39+3.48%+258.02%14:22   
5. ERNErin Energy Corp.7.85-0.04-0.51%+253.60%14:22   
6. ADXSAdvaxis Inc27.28+2.12+8.43%+240.52%14:22   
7. DRRXDurect Corp2.67+0.07+2.69%+237.97%14:22   
8. CRMDCormedix Inc6.42+0.33+5.42%+236.13%14:21   
9. GLPGGalapagos Nv Sp ADR58.77+1.84+3.23%+217.59%14:21