It would be great if 2005 were a positive year for US equities. I would certainly make more money than in a bearish environment. As far as for shorting financials, I was just commenting on a vulnerable sector. Personally, I am far too conservative (cowardly maybe) to be a short-seller. The potential downside on a long position is -100%, while the potential losses from a short position are theoretically unlimited, although all shorts cover in the real world.
Regarding JOE, this company is still undervalued, just not to the extent that it was in the past. I have owned JOE since 1991, along with some other "land banks", that I add to from time to time. I believe that the management is both honest and shareholder friendly. The company possesses a unique and non-reproducible asset base, which I think of as a very long-term call option on the future of Florida. In my biased opinion, the Panhandle is the best part of the state and in the past few years, it appears that others are beginning to share that view. JOE will avoid making the mistakes that were made in much of south Florida, thus adding to the alure of their developments. DynamiteMike: I don't believe in putting all of my eggs in any basket, but every portfolio should have some real estate exposure. With REITs trading at historically high price/FFO ratios and consequently low dividend yields, the REOCs look better for a real estate investment. I suggest reading the last report for the Third Avenue Real Estate Fund, which hold a lot of JOE stock. In fact, you can get some great investment ideas from the smart folks at Third Avenue, by reading their reports and researching their picks. Marty Whitman and his team have an excellent long-term record. They are "deep value" investors who try to buy dollar bills for 50 to 60 cents, so you can understand their interest in JOE.