mark cabaniss

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  • Being Smart May Be Stupid. Go Passive Instead.

    By mark cabaniss - January 21, 2013 | Tickers: T, VOD, VOD

    "Buy what you know," said the great Fidelity Magellan Fund Manager Peter Lynch, reinforcing the confidence of millions of investors to follow their own instincts and invest in companies whose products they personally knew were good.  Obviously, if you were one of those investors who, like my former wife, bought Apple (NASDAQ:  APPL)  because you liked your iPod, you did very well.  And if you bought Apple because you liked more »

  • Optimist or Pessimist? Silver or Gold?

    By mark cabaniss - January 4, 2013 | Tickers: SLV, GLD

    Gold and silver are both lower as I write this, Thursday January 3, with the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (NYSEMKT: GLD) gold physical trust with a move down of $1.97 to $161.00 (-1.21%) and the iShares Silver Trust ETF (NYSEMKT: SLV) silver physical trust moving down $.74 to $28.95 (-2.48%.)  The catalyst for today's move was the release of the minutes from the mid-December more »

  • Changing Tablet Market Hurts Amazon the Most

    By mark cabaniss - November 21, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, HPQ, INTC, MSFT

    Be Careful What You Wish For -- You Might Get It!

    One of the biggest themes of the tech world these days is the rise of the tablet, and the corresponding death of the PC.  As PC sales stagnate, shares of the PC big three, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and  Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) have fallen: 

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    And as tablet sales increase, expectations for (NASDAQ: AMZN) get higher and more »

  • Faith-Based Investing With Amazon

    By mark cabaniss - November 14, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL

    Try this experiment. Buy 10 lottery tickets. Then tell your spouse you "invested" $10 in the lottery. They might say, smiling, (maybe), "that's gambling, not investing."

    Despite reporting a loss three weeks ago, the stock of (NASDAQ: AMZN) has remained high.  But Apple, (NASDAQ: AAPL) though profitable, has stumbed since reporting a tiny earnings miss.  What gives?  I think the explanation is counter-intuitive: Apple is being punished more »

  • Ask Boris: Hey Boris, Should I Buy Gold?

    By mark cabaniss - September 27, 2012 | Tickers: ABX, CDE, NEM, GLD

    "So hey Boris -- should I buy gold?" 

    Yes.  You should buy gold.  But not to make money.  To keep money.

    "But Boris -- I want to make money.  That is why I invest -- to make money."

    Not always.  Sometimes you invest just for safety -- to keep what you have, if possible.  As I talked about in my last column, the world grows more unstable.  Moreover, here in the United States, we more »

  • This CEO is Nuts, and I can Prove It!

    By mark cabaniss - September 20, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, GOOG, WMT

     I can prove it because, although I've never met Mr. Bezos, nor heard nor seen a recording of him speaking, I do have his printed words right in front of me, and although Mr. Bezos is the CEO of (NASDAQ: AMZN) his words are not those of a man who is thinking clearly.  Following the press conference for the launch of the new Kindles last week, Mr more »

  • Defensive Investing for Times of War

    By mark cabaniss - September 19, 2012 | Tickers: HES, SLV, MRO, GLD

    Taking a look around the world, I think it is fair to say that things are becoming  less stable.  Without making any political arguments, or predictions, but considering only possible investing implications, it may be a useful time to contemplate the possibility of war, and the possible consequences of war.

    The most obvious place to consider is the mideast, and the possible impact of yet another war on oil prices more »

  • Amazon, Apple, Google. And Porno, porno, porno, porno.

    By mark cabaniss - September 13, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, GOOG


    While thinking about the growing escalation of the tablet wars between Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), I began more »

  • Smoking that Good Ol' Amazon Hopium

    By mark cabaniss - September 7, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, GOOG, NFLX | Editor's Choice

    There are many reasons to like (NASDAQ: AMZN) the company, but Amazon the stock is increasingly problematic, unless you are a trader.  If you are a trader and have made money buying Amazon low and selling it high, then great for you!  But if you are an investor rather than a trader, you might want to consider the recent price strength as an excellent opportunity to put in more »

  • Muppet Emptor: More Pabulum for Salesforce Muppets

    By mark cabaniss - August 24, 2012 | Tickers: FB, GMCR, NFLX, CRM

    Muppets, those lovable, furry li'l creatures who unwittingly buy all the crud recommended by Wall Street sharpies, might, if they were to think of it, wonder about the wisdom of buying all the crud recommended by said sharpies.  How is it that the muppets do not wonder if it is wise to buy various analyst recommended-stocks like Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), which closed at $34.03 the day of it more »

  • Socially Responsible Investing and McDonald's

    By mark cabaniss - August 21, 2012 | Tickers: AVAV, CEDCQ, ABV, MCD, PM

    Once, a long time ago, lured by the big dividend, I bought a hundred shares of stock in Philip Morris (NYSE: PM). But it was only a few weeks before I began to feel uncomfortable owning the stock -- I didn't really want to make money off other people's deaths, did I?  I sold it. 

    I have never looked back, even though I know that holding the stock and more »

  • Materiality for Muppets. Salesforce Muppets.

    By mark cabaniss - August 21, 2012 | Tickers: MSFT, ORCL, CRM

    Are you a muppet?  One way to tell is whether you know Rule 10(b)-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Another way to tell is whether you are an investor or a stockbroker.  "Muppet" is today's Wall Street slang for gullible clients, who still have some money, the kind you can offload piles of toxic securities onto, just before those securities blow up.  Things like the more »

  • Will Salesforce Ever Make a Profit? (Hint: The long answer is "Maybe.")

    By mark cabaniss - August 13, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, MSFT, CRM | Editor's Choice

    ​And The short answer is "No."  To understand why (NYSE: CRM) will never make a profit, (in this writer's opinion,) we need to consider two things:  i) the difference between GAAP numbers (which Salesforce downplays) and non-GAAP numbers (which Salesforce trumpets every conference call;) and ii) the reason why Salesforce has such a huge disparity between these two sets of numbers.  

    GAAP is an acronym meaning "Generally more »

  • Is Success Killing Amazon?

    By mark cabaniss - August 6, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, EBAY, MCD, SBUX

    It happens to all great companies.  They win.  The burger wars, the shoeshine wars, the detergent wars -- at some point, a company clearly emerges as the leader, and its competitors as also-rans.  And then, what?  What is left after victory?  For some, such as McDonald's, (NYSE: MCD) there is no acknowledgement of "victory," but only a single-minded focus on sustaining and improving profitability, as though the company was still more »

  • Amazon Earnings Call: A Study in Complacency

    By mark cabaniss - July 31, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN

    Confused by Friday's market reaction to's (NASDAQ: AMZN) Thursday post-bell earnings report?  Me too.  The company missed earnings, missed revenues, and guided down, possibly to a loss next quarter, and the stock ramped up 17 bucks on Friday. 

    Looking for clues, I read the transcript of the earnings call (available here).  I am still confused.  What I expected to find was a bunch of cheerleader analysts more »

  • Amazon: A Study in Herd Behavior

    By mark cabaniss - July 26, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, GOOG, WMT

    Back in the late 90s, the World's Greatest Investor/old fuddy duddy Warren Buffett was puzzled by the high-flying, profitless internet stocks.  If he were a business school professor, he remarked, he'd have one question on his final -- how do you place a valuation on these internet stocks?  Anyone who submitted an answer would get an "F."  His point was simple -- it is mathematically impossible to place a more »