The Deipnosophist

Where the science of investing becomes an art of living

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Location: Summerlin, Nevada, United States

A private investor for 20+ years, I manage private portfolios and write about investing. You can read my market musings on three different sites: 1) The Deipnosophist, dedicated to teaching the market's processes and mechanics; 2) Investment Poetry, a subscription site dedicated to real time investment recommendations; and 3) Seeking Alpha, a combination of the other two sites with a mix of reprints from this site and all-original content. See you here, there, or the other site!

29 April 2008

The customer always comes first

I have remarked about Going Private (permanent link in sidebar), but today's post takes the cake and the icing; loaded, as it is, with intelligence, insights, understanding, and wisdom. And all to share the writer's bullish perception of Apple/AAPL.

As you know, I have been bullish on Apple/AAPL for several years; Apple/AAPL has been a Core Opportunity for almost as long. No surprise, then, that I agree with Ms Private Equity.

"I admit, grudgingly, to owing an iPhone. I bought it in time (that is to say foolish - early enough) to have Mr. Jobs give me one of those $100 "Sorry I screwed you on the price" rebates. I also have to admit to owning a top of the line 15" MacBook Pro (I bought after the latest upgrades - watching a colleague run Excel on a Windows XP instance isolated from the rest of his system and displayed in a window on his OS X desktop was the last straw). Before that, I had two white, Intel MacBooks. This is unusual, because three and a half years ago, I never would have bought Apple. This last, that new Apple owners almost find themselves surprised to own an Apple, seems a common trait among the, admittedly small, sample of Apple owners I have encountered. I've watched four or five people who swore they would never own an iPhone give in, buy them and proclaim, in such similar tones one wonders if The Amazing Alexander works for Apple now ("I loved it. It's much better than PC. I am going to buy it again, and again and again..."), that it is the best phone they have ever owned. And this is where I began to wonder, why the near epiphany in reaction? Now I think I know.

Why this reluctantly amazed reaction among iPhone buyers?

Because the definition of "phone" created by hardware and network providers today is so limited.

Why have so many Macintosh buyers had the same reaction?

Because the conventional definition of "laptop" or "operating system" or "computer" created by hardware and software providers today is so limited. Because these companies hate consumers, hate their desires, hate their needs and, consequently, make sure that the conventional definition of, e.g., "laptop," or "phone" is very limited.

Why is this? I blame Michael Eugene Porter..."
This essay merits your attention on many levels, irrespective of whether you already are long Apple/AAPL, or bullish or bearish on the company or its shares (but with no position). The writer's irreverent wit, there for all to enjoy in this commentary, help make it the special treat that it is. That rare ability, to be both edifying and entertaining, and concurrently, makes Private Equity a must-read for all serious investors. And, of course, there are those insights!

Full Disclosure: Long Apple/AAPL.
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist

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22 April 2008

"Misery" seeks solution, not company!

Spring 2008 must be the worst allergy season in many years, as everbody I know who suffers from allergies (allergic rhinitis) suffers especially bad this year. I, too, suffer from seasonal allergies, and this Spring (the past ~6 weeks) is the first attack in 4 years sufficiently severe to fell me, so the allergans must be bad.

Unlike everyone else, however, I am a big baby; I especially detest the loss of productivity as my nostrils and eyes open wide and the water cascades without pause, my face swells up and my right eye swells shut, and ...

But the symptoms are universal; it is the remedy that interests me. I have tried seemingly everything, from allopathic to homeopathic; drugs such as Zyrtec and Claritin (both drowsy and non-drowsy formulations), etc, nasal steroids such as Veramyst and Astelin, to the little genie pot to open and clear my nostrils, etc. None work (for me).

I want relief now, so that I can stop my whining, and resume my work. Please share the remedy that works for you, no matter how far-fetched. (I will try anything!)
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist


The market rally... or is it only a handful of sectors?

"The Energy and Materials Rally" is yet another interesting insight from Bill Luby, as he shows once again that charting is only a sub-set of technical analysis...

"... the leading sectors over the past month – energy (XLE) and materials (XLB) – are not the sectors that typically are able to lead a sustainable rally..."

Bill's site, Vix And More, (for which a permanent link is in the blogroll) is well worth the time for all serious investors.
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist

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18 April 2008

An Unintended Caesura

Although my absence from blogging passed with nary a comment, I recognize you love me; you really do. Yes, I could offer the usual whines that (my) life interfered with sharing my comments and perceptions re the markets, but will not. (Though true.)

Investment opportunities abound, as always. For example, I shared with you ~4 or 5 weeks ago that I would purchase Google/GOOG at $420; I hope you purchased then as well. Especially in light of yesterday's earnings 'surprise' -- that catches in its net one well-known money manager and newsletter writer who, only days ago, made the wrong recommendation, "sell" -- and today's rapid ramp up in its share price.

btw, allow me to reify a plug for Rob Hanna's market insights (Quantifiable Edges); I appreciate his methodology and perception of the markets. Note, for example, Rob's comments from just this morning...

"... traders focus too much on pattern recognition and therefore only look at price ... Looking at price and price-based indicators is like looking at the Grand Canyon on a black and white TV. You can see it, but throw in volume and maybe you’ll get some color. Breadth could get you HD. Sentiment gives you surround sound. Add some intermarket analysis like Dr. Steenbarger employs and some historical studies like I prefer and you might actually get to view it for real..."

Hmm, ain't that the truth?

While I consider possible topics for future posts, please ask whatever is on your mind. All questions welcome, and on any topic, especially as your questions should help inspire my creative juices.

Full Disclosure: Long Google/GOOG
David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist

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