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  • batbeer2 commented on Nelson Hsu's article 05-26 14:15
    Is This the Smoking Gun That Retail Stocks Are Value Traps?
    I have written about retail stocks as investment ideas in the past on GuruFocus but to quote the great economist, John Maynard Keynes, "When the...
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    batbeer2 05-26 15:15
    • >> My point is that consumer sentiment shifts quickly.


      i'd argue that this applies to online retail too. Now it doesn't seem to matter because online formats have been taking market share from more traditional formats/formulas at a high rate.

      But at some point they will start killing each other. 
  • batbeer2 commented on Nelson Hsu's article 05-26 12:30
    Is This the Smoking Gun That Retail Stocks Are Value Traps?
    I have written about retail stocks as investment ideas in the past on GuruFocus but to quote the great economist, John Maynard Keynes, "When the...
    View all 2 comments
    batbeer2 05-26 13:30
    • Hi Nelson. You say:

      >> When you think ahead, online shopping will become more ubiquitous, young people will grow up believing that virtual shopping is the norm and physical shopping is the exception. Any way I think about it, I’m not seeing a lot of redeeming qualities for the physical store business model.

      Perhaps you may find it worth your while to visit a Primark store

      - I get the distinct impression that the average age at that store is lower than at Amazon.

      - In any case you cannot order online on their site. Guess they missed the memo about online retail being the future.

      How does that fact affect your opinion?


  • batbeer2 commented on Thomas Macpherson's article 05-25 22:09
    Asking the Right Questions
    “The battleground is no longer having access to information. That was yesteryear’s investing. Today’s investing in the 21st century is about...
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    batbeer2 05-25 23:09
    • Hi Thomas,

      You say:

      >> Asking questions that give you out-of-the-ordinary insights is far more art than science. Much like trying to figure out the best query on Google (how many times have you heard someone say “I’m a terrible searcher”?), investors need to really think about what they are trying to solve and then develop the best questions to obtain helpful insights.

      I say:


      I would add that thinking about the right questions beforehand is enormously helpful in making the actual research proces much more effective. With specific/smart questions in mind for a given company, it becomes much easier to read a stack of 10-ks.

      I would argue that it becomes fun to read a 10-k if you are asking the right questions. But that's me :o)

      Thanks for sharing.


  • batbeer2 commented on Holmes Osborne, CFA's article 05-24 23:20
    Dutch Online Broker Binckbank Faces Substantial Headwinds
    Binckbank (BINCK) is a Dutch-based online broker and bank. The stock has had an excellent dividend payout over the last few years but has faced...
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    batbeer2 05-25 00:20
    • Hi Holmes, thanks for sharing.

      You say:

      >> A foundation holds what management calls “Priority Shares” to thwart a hostile takeover. This should be considered before buying shares. I don’t like European anti-takeover measures, and it can dampen demand for shares.

      Bear in mind that Sweden is not Switserland and Italy is not Ireland. Talking about "European anti-takeover measures" is even less meaningful than talking about "American anti-takeover measures".

      Specifically, for the Netherlands, most publicly-traded companies have a simialr foundation with "priority shares".

      1) Legally, the goal of the foundation is not to fend off hostile takeovers. In practice, I can not remember this structure ever being used to that end. On the other hand, I have seen many cases where the structure was used to protect the rights of minority shareholders.

      2) TNT Express, Ten Cate, Océ, Versatel.... all had similar structures and all have been acquired. The foundation was never a problem for their acquirers.

      In short, it is fair to say that Dutch companies are fairly strightforward to acquire. The Dutch market, including the stock market, is extremely open. The Amsterdam Exchange was founded in 1603. It is considered by some to be the oldest stock market. While this is debatable, there is no question that the exchange established new standards for the freedom of transation. I would argue it still does.

      Meanwhile in America, Bartholomew Gosnold was trying to map a place now known as Cape Cod. He stumbled on an island which he subsequently named after his daughter Martha. 

      As for BINCK.... I would not touch that with a ten foot pole. Their service is very limited and their costs are high. Also, they expanded aggressively in Belgium and that country has now introduced a  "speculation tax". That is not good for transaction volumes which is where BINCK gets much of its revenue.

      Just some thoughts, thanks for sharing.


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