April, 2012

"I've actually bought items from Best Buy, ordered the same items from Amazon while walking to my car and then returned the ones i bought from Best Buy once the Amazon order arrived, thus gratifying both "immediate gratification" and price satisfaction at the same time. I hope my local Best Buy sticks around for a while. They're convenient for sure."    ~ Tyler

"That's why my friends and I refer to Best Buy as "Amazon's Showroom"  ~ Ryan

~ In reference to a recent article profiling the recent mis-steps by Best Buy

The Professional Opinion

None this month - taking a subscription vacation.

Buy Recommendations

From the Compost Bin:  According to Suze, another Doomsday Prophet,  buy no more than 15% gold, buy TIPS, ETFs and Dividend paying stocks.

 Elephant Seals
Elephant seals near San Simeon, CA.

Personal Portfolio

Best Buy?......

Not so much anymore.  I've been exasperated more times than not and ended up buying nothing.

The kicker was when an associate had to look up product details for me on Amazon because the Best Buy site was lacking.  Sort of begs the question about buying anything from Best Buy in the first place, doesn't it.

I do like to contribute to the local economy but sometimes enough is enough.

Personal Portfolio

Stock Valuations

The question many people have, is who is doing all the trading?  


Outflows from equity mutual funds continue at a good clip and trading volume is down about 20% for the year so far and something like 40% overall.

Must be a result of all those people getting suckered into fixed index annuities.

Personal Portfolio -  A Speculative Case for Electronic Arts (EA)?

Electronic Arts

At first glance one might think that I am scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with this one and it's one I've held a couple token shares in for years.
For this reason I've kept it on my radar screen through thick and thin.


EA certainly has been pumping out the news lately.  It was the Command & Conquer article that got my attention.  I still play their games.

Stock Valuations

I don't normally pay a lot of attention to analysts but the numbers for EA  got my attention.  

The stock this last week was trading at  52 week lows so I decided to email my tech-savvy sister  for an opinion on the company.

Her response: 'Yes I’d buy it—what EA is doing really well is moving into digital world…it’s a big ship to turn but they have great console titles, and have begun the move to digital--- they own PopCap etc! Well managed company—go for it!'


This management discussion snippet is very recent, from early March and backs up other items I've read.

The full transcript is here.


However,  I have traded this several times in the past and either came out on the losing end or barely broke even.  


The numbers are not impressive at all and investing in EA to me is not investing, but a speculation.

However,  I seem to remember a guy by the name of Steve Jobs  who came back to successfully turn a company named Apple around and that worked out ok.

Perhpaps John Riccitiello can do the same for EA.

I decided a 2.5% position at the starting price of $16.60 a share was worth the gamble.

An Expanded Positoin in Leisure



Living in Nevada, this to me is a big deal, especially the bond sale at those preferable rates.  I figure this is worth 2% of the portfolio.


Number two on the list is a position in Wynn Resorts for another 2% of the portfolio.  While MGM is more speculative,  Wynn is one of the 'Best of Breeds."



I've owned IGT since I went on a buying spree after the market crash, dollar cost averaging into the stock in the following years.
My overall return to date is about 33%, including dividends.  That's not bad and, it's now worth about 1.5% of the portfolio.
I think things are looking up for IGT and apparently others do as well.

So, buying a 5.5% stake in leisure at these prices is what Bob would say as 'attractive for purchase' in my opinion.

I'd say the odds doing well with these three stocks are considerably better than if you sunk your money into 10 year TIPS, which are actually sport a negative yield.



I must admit I will be posting the numbers with a certain amount of glee to the 'Prophet Watch.'

A Rather Humorous Exchange:

Patsy Adams:

You know, as I think most people discovered by reading these comments,  there is another subspecies of lesser human discovered in the US  recently -  Homo-Republicus.

Almost identical to homo-sapiens, the Homo-Republicus differs mainly in it's psychological traits, namely an acute inability to relate to creatures around it (especially homo-sapiens).

They have a severely diminished intellect and a severe tendency to lose touch with reality including but not limited to: believing in nonexistent higher 'powers' which can lead to incredible acts of fear-based violence and severe paranoia.

They possess self-damaging behaviors including but not limited to: poor diet and heavy consumption of harmful chemicals for the sake of intoxication.

Homo-Republicus has a pathological need to fit to the same standard as other members of their species, and an incredibly strong desire to regulate the behaviors of those around them (in particular homo-sapiens who they hate above all other groups).

They possess a pathological hatred for females in particular.

Female homo-sapiens generally show a strong unwillingness to mate with male homo-republicus even to the point of preferring to copulate with females of their own species instead.


All that just to tell us that you're a lesbian?

Patsy Adams


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Steven Dolen:

Patsy Adams - What an incredible lack of class.

Amanda Rollins:

Classless and Clueless


What we have here is CNBC's
 prophet, seer, revelator - and major PITA.    Detailed Opinion Here

Financial Analyst - NOT

Soothsayer - NOT

Bearer of Practical Financial Advice - Occasional

Man's Worst Nightmare - Maybe......

Having to listen to annuity pitches interspersed with vitamin infomercials  could be worse.

Let's  keep track of just  how well this PITA's  'predictions' pan out for the rest of the year.

2012 Predicted Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Gold $2,000.00 1736.7 1716.28 1671.9
Recession  60% Chance Nope! Nope! Nope!
TIPS Current 5yr Yield Home Run - Maybe 0.95% 0.90% -.126%


One of the many zebras on the Hears properties  in San Simeon, California