Others in the guitar world aren't so upbeat. Attorney Ronald Bienstock says the Gibson raids have aroused the guitar builders he represents because the Lacey Act is retroactive. He says they're worried they might be forced to prove the provenance of wood they acquired decades ago.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Disclosure: None. This is not advice of any kind. This is not a recommendation of any kind. I have received nothing to write/post these notes. Always do a ton of your own research in regard to anything that I say, do, write, or so much as even think about.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The Internet has had a dual effect on the level of connectedness I feel with the people I know in my offline life. On one hand, the basic communication tools now available make distance almost a non-issue. My conversation with Mordy that led to this post took place over instant messenger where we communicate nearly every day – far more often than we ever did before the Internet, even though back then, we were only separated by a few blocks, not a few thousand miles.
On the other hand, when I am actually with my friends and family, I find myself (and increasingly, my companions) distracted by a smartphone that's either the object of my gaze or being fingered in my front pocket....
The only time I really experience any self-reflection these days is when my computer sleeps and my screen goes dark.....
That's the Internet's reverse placebo effect: you feel as though you were missing something important before you signed up for the latest service. It's a drug for an ailment you never had...
It was fun while it lasted, but it looks as though the gold trade is finally unwinding. The precious metal booked a record high close just two days ago, settling at $1,891.90 an ounce on Monday. Today it took a fast and furious 5.6% dive to close at $1,757.30/oz; it's biggest single-day drop since March 2008.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
"Well most of them are. But in the end our price is figured relative to everything else so the whole stock market goes down 50 percent we ought to go down a lot because you can buy other things cheaper. I’ve had three times in my lifetime since I took over Berkshire when Berkshire stock’s gone down 50 percent. In 1974 it went from $90 to $40. Did I feel badly? No, I loved it! I bought more stock. So I don’t judge how Berkshire is doing by its market price, I judge it by how our businesses are doing....I think if your stock is undervalued, significantly undervalued, management should look at that as an alternative to every other activity. That used to be the way people bought back stocks, but in recent years, companies have bought back stocks at high prices. They’ve done it because they like supporting the stock…"
Friday, August 5, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
This is what I call the Specialist’s Dilemma. The stronger your competitive position, the more vulnerable you are to eventually being disrupted and replaced.
Let me explain further. Out of the universe of companies that have strong competitive moats, many of them have advantages originating from the niches they occupy. (Which can lead to barriers like economies of scale, brand attachment driven by habit, and being ahead on the learning curve.) These advantages are durable only as long as the niche itself remains viable. In other words, the more specialized a company’s dominance is, the stronger its advantages are — but the higher the odds of the niche itself eventually disappearing. Not disappearing due to competitors within the industry, but due to the niche being completely destroyed and replaced by something else. The timing of when this happens partially depends on the “clockspeed” of innovation within the industry (more on that in my last post).
Monday, August 1, 2011
“If you buy a stock at a sufficiently low price, there will usually be some hiccup in the fortunes of the business that gives you a chance to unload at a decent profit, even though the long-term performance of the business may be terrible. I call this the ”cigar butt” approach to investing. A cigar butt found on the street that has only one puff left in it may not offer much of a smoke, but the “bargain purchase” will make that puff all profit.”
Pursuant to the approval of the board of directors, the Company’s management believes that it is in the best interests of the Corporation to implement a program to purchase (“Purchase Program”), as investments, real estate with the Company’s surplus cash flows. Any real estate purchased pursuant to the Purchase Program will be held as investment until such time or times as the Board of Directors, in its discretion, may deem advisable to sell or otherwise dispose of the property.The current real estate market presents the unique opportunity to acquire properties at deep discounts from assessments with the potential for substantial profits. Management evaluates property as it becomes available with respect to the market value versus what it can be acquired for, in addition to other conditions that could affect the resale value. Renovations are made as needed to maximize the market appeal and value prior to listing for sale.Management believes that there is sustainable cash flow potential for the near future in real estate and is actively pursuing the program. As of the balance sheet date, December 31, 2010, the Company has invested approximately $515,000 in surplus funds and is continuing the investing process. Management has determined that the Purchase Program will not impair the Company’s capital, cash flows or operations.