Charlie Wagner

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  • Will You Take a Risk to be Two Years Ahead of Competition?

    By Charlie Wagner - August 15, 2013

    The worst recession of the past half-century is in full swing. Construction is nearly non-existent, and as a result contractors, equipment and materials are a bargain.  Do you hunker down and wait for the light to appear just in case, or screw up your courage and make your biggest bet ever on new facilities and capabilities? 

    The ordinary logic might be wrong

    Most of us pick "wait" because it is more »

  • Pick Your Winner in August Home Improvement Sweepstakes

    By Charlie Wagner - August 12, 2013 | Tickers: HD, LOW, SHLD

    The next few weeks will bring three important data points for Home Improvement retailers, and their investors.  You may be able to pick a winner for the remainder of the year by the end of August.

    Big Two Results

    Later in August, both Home Depot (NYSE: HD) -August 20 and Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) -August 21, report second quarter (Q2) results.  This will be fascinating because of recent macro trends more »

  • Would you be clever enough to build in rough times?

    By Charlie Wagner - August 2, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, INTC, SSNLF, TSM

    The worst recession of the past half-century is in full swing.  Construction is nearly non-existent and therefore contractors, equipment and materials are a bargain.  Do you a) hunker down and wait for the light to appear, just in case? or b) screw up your courage and make your biggest bet ever on new facilities and capabilities? 

    The Ordinary Logic might be wrong

    Most of us pick a) definitely the less more »

  • The Automaker's Recovery

    By Charlie Wagner - July 31, 2013 | Tickers: F, GM

    For several years now, unloved, reviled, castigated, the automakers languished, were bailed out (save one) and largely shoved out of portfolios.  The past year has signaled recovery for some, and a concerted attack on their serious problems.  One stands out as a soon to be loved, well managed and led, money-making machine.  It is actually getting its elephant (gargantuan business) to dance!

    Most problems remaining get focus


    After a struggle more »

  • Lowe's buys trouble (OSH) or grabs a bargain?

    By Charlie Wagner - July 9, 2013 | Tickers: HD, LOW

    On paper it looked brilliant.  Sears CEO "Fast Eddie" Lampert loads up Orchards Supply and Hardware (former symbol OSH)  with debt, spins it out at $25/share and sends them off to make good.  Only thing is, a little over a year into this adventure, Orchards is losing sales, losing share price, while Fast Eddie dumps stock, resulting in my first blog of April 17, 2013 predicting OSH was well more »

  • Home Improvement Retail RIP

    By Charlie Wagner - April 19, 2013 | Tickers: HD, LOW, OSHWQ

    Running on empty? Osh...

    Ever pressed the limit of your gas supply and lost? Then you know just how Orchard Supply and Hardware (NASDAQOTH: OSHWQ) must be feeling right about now. Curiously appropriate symbol, that. Here we are at the start of Home Improvement Retail's best season, and Orchard, desperate for cash and sales, appears to be running out of everything except merchandise. Dwindling cash, out of time, out more »

  • Home Improvement Retail RIP

    By Charlie Wagner - April 15, 2013 | Tickers: HD, LOW, OSHWQ

    Ever pressed the limit of your gas supply and lost?   Then you know just how Orchard Supply and Hardware (NASDAQOTH: OSHWQ) must be feeling right about now.  Curiously appropriate symbol, that.  Here we are at the start of Home Improvement Retail's best season, and OSH desperate for cash and sales appears to be running out of everything except merchandise.  Dwindling cash, out of time, out of sales, out of more »

  • 3 Signs of a Looming Bondvalanche

    By Charlie Wagner - March 11, 2013 | Tickers: AGG, BND

    When spring comes to my part of the world, specific and unusual conditions will occasionally prompt avalanche warnings. An extra layer of heavy, wet snow can cause already fragile cornices to suddenly collapse, triggering an avalanche. On occasion, a few small collapses will signal that conditions are ripe for even bigger and worse results. I see a similar pattern in the abrupt decline of Ishares Trust Lehman US Bond Fund more »

  • Wait...did I just hear a Bear? Shhh.. Patience, then the Bear is our friend.

    By Charlie Wagner - February 26, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, AAPL, EBIX, F

    As the market appears to stall out and some of my target stocks move closer to rational buy zones, I hear growling and thrashing out in those woods.  I like to think of stalking fat lunkers in what used to be a crowded stream in Bear Country as my analogy for this market.  It amuses me to picture some unwary fisherman angling for 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) just as the more »

  • Ebix, Enron, Ethereal and Exposed

    By Charlie Wagner - February 22, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, EBIX, F, INTC

    I look for stampedes these days.   After a profitable post-stampede watch and wait session with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) followed by a near miss recently as APPL stopped short of my $440/sh limit, I saw another with Ebix (NASDAQ: EBIX) just recently.  This market, still in Bear Country in my view, seems tailor made for individual stock panics driven by at best nothing, and at worst goofy reverse logic.  APPLE more »

  • Could Big Dumb Money Equal Profitable Post-Panic Rebounds?

    By Charlie Wagner - February 4, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, AAPL, DLB, TPX, BA

    A few days into my experiment with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and I am watching with rapt fascination.  Fits my theory well.   Could this classic panic behavior be explained by part of the nervous Apple flock flushing followed by instant transactions from Big Dumb Money (BDM) as postulated by David Gardner?  I just happened to come across the December 2012 Stock Advisor paper newsletter today.  Pure serendipity, but there I was more »

  • Secular Bear Fishing: a sporting proposition

    By Charlie Wagner - February 1, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, AAPL, GLW, F, PG

    Someday we will look backwards and discover the secular Bear that has been stalking us has retreated, all the analysts will smile and say "I knew it"  when it does no good at all.  Until then, it's best for me to presume the secular Bear is NOT in retreat, he's just off fishing....for MY stocks!  Key clues we are out of Bear reach I have yet to more »

  • STAMPEDE! Translates as Opportunity in This Market

    By Charlie Wagner - January 26, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, AAPL, INTC, PWER.DL

    The recent plunge, maybe panic in Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) gave me a window to the psychology of this market -- I hope.

    Apple is not a normal investment or even curiosity for me. I don't like Apple, I don't use their products and I am not a consumer products or retail technology investor. Furthermore, I ought to be selling equities not buying, so I violated several of my personal more »

  • B is for Bond, Buzzard, Bernanke

    By Charlie Wagner - January 22, 2013 | Tickers: CSP, AGG, PTTAX, BND


  • Excelon Means Excitement or Exercise Caution?

    By Charlie Wagner - January 21, 2013 | Tickers: EXC, POR, PPL

    As Excelon (NYSE: EXC) neared its 52 week low, a family member asked for my opinion.   As an investment it certainly looked exciting- a P/E of 15, a yield of over 7%!! On the back of a steady decline to yearly low.. urk.. what does the market know about this obviously great investment?  I don't follow this stock, but a quick look at some news and some numbers more »

  • Long Term Value, Less Noise: F and GLW

    By Charlie Wagner - January 13, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, GLW, FB, F

    Nate Silver implies our worst wounds are self-inflicted, because we fail to cut through the noise.  Just recognizing that fact is helpful.  Some kind of noise reduction system for investing might be better for the long term investor.  A good look at Ford (NYSE: F) and Corning (NYSE: GLW) may peer through the noise, sharpen your thinking and start building your own system.  Examining shorter term heroes and villains like more »

  • For US Automakers, Where Does Broken Trust Go?

    By Charlie Wagner - January 8, 2013 | Tickers: BP, FIATY.PK, F, GM, LPX

    Loss of Customer, Investor and Public Trust results in serious damage.  A long term grudge can be fatal.

  • Equities at a Discount, or Market Valuation of Managed Funds?

    By Charlie Wagner - December 21, 2012 | Tickers: GDL, TY

    Closed end funds tend to trade at discounts to their Net Asset Value (NAV) in recent years.  I've not only wondered why that is, but if it portends a discount bargain for equities. Or could it be a generic proxy market valuation for managed funds.  I and my family have long held and traded an ancient closed end fund - TriContinental (NYSE: TY) - I mean for decades, since the 50 more »