Investing Column

Kim: How Amazon bullied its way into retail dominationRestricted Content

March 29, 2014
Mickey Kim
In a 2013 cover story, Fortune magazine described Amazon as a “brass-knuckled battler for every penny of competitive advantage.” As state treasurers can attest, that portrayal is both well-deserved and important to understanding the rise of Amazon.
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Skarbeck: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac roil big investment firmsRestricted Content

March 22, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
In 2012, Fannie and Freddie started making money as the housing market rebounded and losses in their mortgage portfolios reversed. By the end of this month, the firms will have returned $203 billion to taxpayers. In the meantime, several hedge funds began acquiring both the preferred shares and common stocks of Fannie and Freddie.
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Kim: Investors must play to win to reach long-term goalsRestricted Content

March 15, 2014
Mickey Kim
Whether an athletic contest or the “game” of investing, many factors determining whether we win or lose are beyond our control. However, we can control how we approach the game and respond as events unfold, which can be just as important.
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Skarbeck: Tactics have proliferated to gain edge in tradingRestricted Content

March 8, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
Critics are divided on whether Regulation NMS has achieved its stated purpose, or whether it has produced unintended consequences.
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Kim: Buffett's farmland buy illustrates valued lessonsRestricted Content

March 1, 2014
Mickey Kim
Warren Buffett's annual letter to shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway’s annual report always contains timeless advice, useful in good times and bad. He told of two non-stock investments he made decades ago. Though relatively small and insignificant to his net worth, they illustrate important concepts.
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Skarbeck: Trendy 'quant' hedge funds have run their courseRestricted Content

February 22, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
For those who feel they missed capitalizing on the bull market in stocks, consider that an elite fraternity of heralded money managers actually lost money for their clients over the past three years.
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Kim: Sports wagers illustrate concepts of investing

February 15, 2014
Mickey Kim
Sports betting wouldn’t be what it is today without an innovation by Charles K. McNeil. McNeil’s strong analytical ability enabled him to earn a living as a professional gambler, or “sharp.” His innovation was the “point spread.”
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Skarbeck: Analysts' quarterly focus can lead investors astrayRestricted Content

February 8, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
Wall Street analysts are notorious for their short-term attention spans. This leads to undue scrutiny of a company’s quarterly figures and can lead to poor decisions by investors.
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Kim: Lessons from global crisis painful but also valuableRestricted Content

February 1, 2014
Mickey Kim
Value investing can look foolish short term, but usually pays off long term.
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Skarbeck: Decline in listed stocks not likely to continueRestricted Content

January 25, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
The number of traded stocks has been shrinking, but as both the economy and stock market continue to recover, private equity firms will seek to list their holdings as IPOs and the number of publicly traded stocks may once again expand.
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Kim: Investors need not accept mediocrity of index fundsRestricted Content

January 18, 2014
Mickey Kim
We’re old school investment managers and think having the objective of underperforming the market by a little bit is the very definition of mediocrity. We reject the notion it’s foolish to even try to outperform.
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Skarbeck: Next wave of regulators needs to keep reformingRestricted Content

January 11, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
Since last year, there have been several personnel changes in key financial and regulatory positions in the federal government.
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Kim: ‘David and Goliath’ offers lessons for business, life          

January 4, 2014
Mickey Kim
At some point, you’re likely to face a competitor with vastly superior size, strength and resources. You’re the underdog, but if you’re willing to wage an unconventional battle, outwork your opponent and don’t fear social disapproval, victory can be yours.
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Skarbeck: Market has way of looking beyond today's headlinesRestricted Content

December 28, 2013
Ken Skarbeck
The stock market has a remarkably perceptive ability to see past inconsequential issues that sometimes dominate the investment environment and instead peer ahead into the future.
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KIM: New financial bet involves tickets to Super BowlRestricted Content

December 21, 2013
Mickey Kim
Do you think the Indianapolis Colts will play in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2? Would you love to join them, but don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars and multiples of face value on StubHub? You can purchase an option granting you the right to purchase a ticket to the Super Bowl at face value, if the Colts qualify.
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Skarbeck: There are no substitutes for buying assets cheaplyRestricted Content

December 14, 2013
Ken Skarbeck
The recent white paper issued by investment firm GMO’s James Montier ridicules some of the “innovations” that are popular in the investment field. His criticism addresses concepts like smart beta, risk parity, and real asset inflation hedges.
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Kim: Investors must sidestep unnecessary fund taxesRestricted Content

December 7, 2013
Mickey Kim
Mutual funds must conform to U.S. tax law to maintain their status, making this a tricky time of year for fund investors holding their shares in taxable accounts (i.e., not in 401(k) or IRA accounts).
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Skarbeck: Stocks still the best bet among investor choices

November 30, 2013
Ken Skarbeck
Many observers are raising warning flags that stocks are overvalued, and some even say a market bubble is forming. A review of the evidence, in our opinion, doesn’t support their alarm.
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Kim: Save your riskiest bets for play-money portfolio

November 23, 2013
Mickey Kim
Having a small “play money” portfolio can help fulfill your fantasy of making a quick killing without endangering your retirement funds.
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Skarbeck: Controversy dogs some public-pension programsRestricted Content

November 16, 2013
Ken Skarbeck
Heated talks are taking place in public-pension boardrooms across the country over issues like risk levels of investments and fees paid to fund managers.
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Kim: Give gifts toward college rather than an Xbox OneRestricted Content

November 9, 2013
Mickey Kim
An Indiana CollegeChoice 529 plan account is a gift that will last a lifetime, and, if you’re an Indiana resident, the state will pick up 20 percent of the cost.
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Skarbeck: Use these financial tables to figure retirement goalsRestricted Content

November 2, 2013
Ken Skarbeck
There are two key financial tables that can help you plan for retirement. They can be found on the Internet. With them you can input two simple factors—period invested and interest rate earned—and quickly see how your net worth is affected.
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Kim: Our failures pave way for a lifetime of successRestricted Content

October 26, 2013
Mickey Kim
Successful people's paths are often littered with failures. It isn't that they are immune to failure; it is how they react to and apply the lessons learned from their failures that ultimately leads to their success.
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Skarbeck: Firms with high ratios could take a tumbleRestricted Content

October 19, 2013
Ken Skarbeck
On occasion, it is interesting to study the stocks of businesses that are outliers on the bell curve of business valuation. For a value investor, that means looking at stocks selling at huge multiples above traditional valuation yardsticks.
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Kim: Rising confidence should lift stocks and economyRestricted Content

October 12, 2013
Mickey Kim
The primary impact of confidence on the economy is simple. If people think the economic future will be good, they’ll spend and invest. Thus, things will be good.
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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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