Apple rose to the top by making computing an equal opportunity, accessible system available to America's previously excluded citizens, young and old. But at present its hard to reconcile the justaposition of images from Baltimore and ISIS with those of a $10,000 Watch or with a pair of Beats headphones (and the 3 billion spent on them by Apple--which has paid back how much?). If the company continues to convey messages of wasteful self-indulgence and privileges available to the "Elite 1%", it must be prepared for the consequences of reinventing itself.
I'm probably the last to catch on, but when I scrolled down the endless list of headlines at Yahoo Finance yesterday, the light of truth hit me. Could the fact that 80-90% of the "headline stories" on Yahoo Finance, for example, were about stocks in my Yahoo portfolios be more than coincidence? Is it possible that, even when it comes to headlines, the individual surfer is continually being profiled and targeted based on explicit and indirect (surfing habits, mouse clicks, etc.) through Headlines that reflect his tastes and interests? (If so, is the service traded on the NY stock exchange?)
Seriously, how you can have any trust in "the news" if information is little more than an extension of what you already know and purchase? What hope is there for a better informed public (and the body politic) if we, with our "inalienable rights to truth, liberty and justice," are actually little more than consumer impulses continually under surveillance and guidance by the lords of commerce?
Parnassus has slipped from a 5 to a 4-star fund in my broker's ratings--which may be to the fund's liking since being a winner in the 2015 market environment would require some bold if not reckless decisions--the kind that result in portfolio managers having their heads handed back to them. (I finally decided I couldn't "afford" to own shares in Heebner's wildly volatile but not inexpensive fund). Parnassus gives you reasonable fees (for an active fund) and a conservative management team that on a good year might do better than the S&P500 and, on a bad one, won't be abysmally below it. Still, it seems like it's been a long winter since the fund has been able to match, let alone beat, the S&P500 (Nov. '13, according to Yahoo's chart).
The fund neither swings blindly, acting on impulse, nor adheres to a rigid, inflexible formula that presumably can't lose (e.g. the Permanent Fund). So a shareholder can look at a few of their portfolio choices and compare them with his own. When it comes to the field of technology or electronics, Motorola takes me back to the 1950s when the company competed with Crosley, Admiral, and DuMont in answering the demand for TV sets in American homes. Long-shot or not, the returns from this, Parnassus' biggest holding, haven't reflected a company that's reinvented itself.. To anyone who remembers the days when JBL and Harman-Kardon ranked higher than a Johnny-Come-Lately earphone manufacturer like "Beats" (which Apple wasted 3 billion to acquire), Harman Industries would appear to be a worthwhile bet in the future of the theater-quality audio that is increasingly becoming standard equipment in new automobiles. As for energy, so far lowly Cheniere (LNG) has beat every competitor--partly because rumor can fuel expectations and price to a greater degree than mundane statistics. Google and Qualcom--can either return to the glory days when people bought computers? If not, they're good investments, if you don't mind moving sideways.
I did well in kMP for 5-6 years. Then nothing. So I'm reluctant to get back in to KM (plus any letter that fits here). I've looked at WPZ, MWE, ETP. But looking at Yahoo's chart beyond a single year, I find no reason to consider anything other than these two: EPD and MMP. MMP's chart is a strong, runaway gold medalist with its gradual but sustained and certain ascent. EPD is closest to MMP, but the chart troubles me because of some erratic, freakish vertical "leaps" that raise a suspicion of a rise based not on earnings but stock manipulation (like Apple's 7 for 1 split). Is EPD really in the same league as MMP--or is its position as a high flyer on the charts misleading?
RE: the long-time Mylan investor who chooses to resell Mylan shares he finds he's forcibly sold because of the inversion? Is the new tax basis $57.33 (the price of Mylan shares at the end of Feb. 27). Is it true the whole deal may still be overturned by retroactive legislation?
Will they see ANY proceeds? Was March 11 the last chance for an individual shareholder to sell his Mylan stake at his own initiative, thereby realizing enough gain to pay the taxes on the sale? (If so, selling those shares now, or after March 12, would appear to be a "Lose-Lose"--a doubling of the taxes owed on shares that have appreciated in value. What's "excessive" to a multi-billion dollar company is "exorbitant" in the eyes of the individual shareholder!!!
If you look at the chart of this company's stock, it's clear that it would be foolishly premature to get out now. The time to sell is when the stock price falls to $72 (11/7/14). Even then, if the company shows a good strategy, organization coherence, and favorable activity (apart from passing phase trials), it could still be attractive to a White Night (Celgene? Pfizer? Merck?). If you don't believe in waiting around for a buy-out, it's probably time to unload before the stock drops below $70.
Mylan has a slumped somewhat during the past 12 months, as it has remained 5-6 basis points beneath the S&P500. But for those who hung on, the stock has begun to return to winning form this month. And buy-out or not, the company has products that could lead its stock price into triple-digit territory.
Buprenorphine (the main ingredient of Subutex) has begun to see widespread use only in the past 5 years, as the medical establishment has seen that the drug's potential for treating addiction, depression and pain is significantly greater than the potential for abuse. Moreover, the drug can be seen as an adjunct, rather than a threat, to the psychiatric-counseling professional community that intially moved slowly to approve its use. For many patients it has proven superior to methadone treatment for heroin addiction. And for the millions of patients who in the 1990s were prescribed tramadol as a "safe opioid" for pain (prior to its reclassification as an addictive drug), buprenorphine offers a more manageable option if not (at least to some of us) freedom from years of dependence.
For those suffering from refactory, full or partial opioid dependence, a generic, affordable version of buprenorpine could offer relief and hope that has long beyond their means.
That doesn't answer the question of where that leaves the Mylan investor. I knew some deal had been made when I saw my Mylan shares listed under "Realized Gains." But then I went to my "Unrealized Gains" and saw the same number of Mylan shares listed there as well. In any case it's nice to know I have the rest of the year to reduce my income for 2015.
I'm trying to figure out what's going on with this company from an investor's viewpoint. What I'm finding is internet pieces from the financial press saying the deal may come close to doubling your position--providing "retroactive litigation" doesn't pre-empt it from going thru and, it it does, capital gains taxes don't slice and dice it to ribbons for the average investor. Also, some sources , including Forbes and Mark Cuban, are calling it unpatriotic and irresponsible. Does anyone know what's going on? Are Mylan shareholders benefactors or pawns? What are the odds against the chess players (the corporate brass) getting their way (Is it really true that if a single filer shows income of less than $30,000, he owe no capital gains tax? (Shouldn't be hard to forfeit your salary for a year and live on frozen pizza.)
Berkowitz is bright and hard working, reminiscent of Jimmy Carter, who was faulted for trying to "micro manage" everything when he held Office. It soon became clear that the public, including average investors, preferred the charismatic reductiveness of Reagan. All of Berkowitz's explanations and finger-pointing with regard to illegal and unjust practices at Fannie and Freddie-- however accurate and noble (the truth will prevail! some day)--can't conceal the fund's failure to participate in the exceptional bull market run beginning in 2009 and, by the end of 2014, doubling the value of the S&P500.
As the poet Milton wrote, "they also serve who only stand and wait." It's good to know that you're right and that the truth is on your side. But you'd be a fool not to deploy a few extra soldiers, pro-actively tuning in on the opportunities like those represented by Apple, Home Depot, Cheniere Energy, and Agios (a biotech)..