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Rach 3 and I

in FP: Latest/Life

Except for a second-place trophy in chess (I think it was in second grade), I never won anything. Until a few weeks ago. Michael Peltz, managing editor of Institutional Investor magazine, submitted two of my articles for Azbee Awards. I didn’t even know what they were, but it turns out they’re an award given out…

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Our Trip to Santa Fe

in FP: Latest/Life

As I get older, I find welcome recurrences popping up in my life; or as Tevya the Milkman from Fiddler on the Roof would put it, my life is turning into a series of traditions. In February each year I go to a conference in Florida, then in early May there is Buffett’s Omaha shindig,…

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The Apple Brand

in FP: Latest/Stock Analysis

I want to make a quick comment about the Apple brand. Apple’s research and development expense was up 27% last quarter. Annualized, it is running at $5.7 billion. Let me put that in the right context. In 2007, when Apple came out with its first iPhone, the company’s R&D expense was at $782 million. Other…

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Practitioners, Prognosticators and Portfolio Pain

in FP: Latest/The Process

“Asphyxiation is a condition in which the body doesn’t receive enough oxygen.” That’s how I started my last column, in which I explained how the recent U.S. equity market highs have been creating “altitude sickness,” or value asphyxiation, for investors. If you look down from 30,000 feet, the market is trading at a significant premium…

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Qualcomm’s Competitive Advantages Are Too Numerous to Ignore

in FP: Latest/Stock Analysis

Asphyxiation is a condition in which the body doesn’t receive enough oxygen. A common side effect of asphyxiation is death. Before then, of course, there are hallucinations; we start seeing things that don’t exist. When the market is making new highs, valuations are high, and you get altitude sickness. It is typical to suffer from…

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Nelson Mandela

in Else/FP: Latest/Macro

Nelson Mandela’s passing last week made me want to share some thoughts about him. I visited South Africa twice over the last five years. I fell in love with that country, especially with Cape Town, which looks very similar to Santa Barbara – ocean, vineyards, and mountains (here are pictures from this trip). I wrote about…

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Why Investors Hate Apple — and Are Dead Wrong

in FP: Latest/Stock Analysis

 In this article I don’t discuss Apple’s valuation, balance sheet, or financials.  I covered these topics in great detail in these articles a few months ago (Part 1: Psychology and Part 2: Value of Ecosystem).  Nothing has really changed since, except that Apple announced an enormous share buyback.  This article focuses on Apple’s products, innovation,…

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Microsoft Hell

in FP: Latest/Stock Analysis

As a value investor I used to spend a great deal of time in Microsoft hell – on one hand there was the company with enormous cash flows, an incredible return on capital, a huge moat, a cash-rich balance sheet, and trading at single-digit multiples (if you adjust for cash).  But on the other hand…

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