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Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd. Message Board

syzygyzys 29 posts  |  Last Activity: Jul 29, 2015 2:40 PM Member since: Nov 11, 2002
  • Reply to


    by staggman99 Jul 22, 2015 8:38 PM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 29, 2015 2:40 PM Flag

    Although I said I expected FRO to go bankrupt, I never said when. If you pin me down, I'd say about a year after JF dies. I have owned FRO in the past and it has done well for me, but I'm afraid the complex company structure JF seems to favor combined with a weak market that right now seems propped up on floating storage seems to me a bad bet. It may make a good trade, but I don't like it as an investment.

    Then again, I fully expect GDP to go bankrupt, probably even sooner than FRO, and I bought their bonds less than a year ago and plan to hold them to maturity. bankruptcies can be profitable.

  • Reply to

    OT: Huff - Options

    by dividendhunter Jul 17, 2015 2:10 PM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 17, 2015 5:39 PM Flag

    Since the beginning of time, airlines have not been a good long term investment.

  • Reply to

    Should we be worried?

    by jkprice Jul 17, 2015 5:16 PM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 17, 2015 5:35 PM Flag

    NASDAQ has been outperforming the S&P for a while now, but only modestly so. In the last two weeks, the divergence has widened. If the next month is like the last two weeks, then yes, worry.

    Gold seems very unloved right now, including by me. Probably time to wade in. I like the streamers, like SAND.

  • syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 15, 2015 9:23 AM Flag

    I disagree. Large scale renewable projects have not worked particularly well, that could change, but I would wait until it does before investing there.

    In my opinion, the electric utilities that will do the best in the present environment are the ones who convince the PUCs to let them charge premium prices for distribution, load balancing, and signal cleanup - things where they have a built in advantage - and deprecate the price of the power itself. Discovering which utilities these are would take real research - like talking to PUC staff all around the country to see what kinds of pricing models they are working on. You can't do it by browsing the internet. If anyone knows of a research report from a wire house that does this, please let us know.

  • Reply to

    One Question Only

    by lorcan458 Jul 14, 2015 11:01 PM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 15, 2015 8:50 AM Flag

    I have no special knowledge of this stock at all, but often in closely held, small companies like this a lot of shorts represent insiders who can't actually sell their shares but want to reduce their commitment. It may not be entirely legal, but it is pretty common.

  • syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 14, 2015 11:13 AM Flag

    And none of these companies are using coal. Few could if they wanted to, without rail access. While some will use natural gas for at least some of their power, this is one more corner of the energy industry that is switching to renewables. I still own some oil/natural gas stocks, but I won't be buying any more, probably forever.

  • Reply to

    Buffett gets real about solar

    by strat58cat Jul 8, 2015 3:50 PM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 8, 2015 7:03 PM Flag

    BNSF is a huge investment in fossil fuels.

  • Reply to

    O/T Aljazeera Reports a"NO" Vote

    by wingnut90266 Jul 5, 2015 5:08 PM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 7, 2015 4:24 PM Flag

    Buy an old smartphone. Don't put any of your personal data on it, except a bitcoin wallet, secure it with a good passphrase, and use that.

  • Reply to

    O/T Aljazeera Reports a"NO" Vote

    by wingnut90266 Jul 5, 2015 5:08 PM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 6, 2015 8:14 AM Flag

    Dividends and a dropping market have pushed me over my 40% cash threshold again, so I am recycling a little into VGK. Short term I am quite confident that it will go down, but it is probably the right time to accumulate.

  • syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 2, 2015 7:53 AM Flag

    Would that it were true that you could always just listen to Cramer and do the opposite. Unfortunately, he is not that consistent. The long term future for railroads in the US is fascinating. I predict a decline in their business, but it doesn't mean that well managed ones have to have a decline in returns to shareholders. STX is an example of a company that has seen its business decline for a long time, but manages to return money to shareholders.

    Coal is simply not a growth industry. Anyone who wants to argue that is welcome to argue it with someone else. All you have to do is look at new coal fired power plants in the US, or new coal prospects developed away from existing infrastructure. Of course, it could come back, but I don't see it happening. There is a lot of risk capital going into energy generation and storage right now, and coal is not a part of it. Railroads do have healthy business segments - intermodal, for example. But that is a much more competitive business than coal, where usually the railroad is a monopoly - one railroad owns the only line into the mine, and the same one or another one owns the only line running near the power plant. As coal declines, so will the railroad's main profit center.

    Of course, not having to build new lines is a double edged sword. It means not growing the business, but it also means they might actually experience real, positive cash flow. That would surprise a lot of people.

    I wouldn't want to own a railroad unless I bought it in the utter depths of a recession. But it is definitely a place where you could make some money.

  • Reply to


    by staggman99 Jun 29, 2015 1:01 PM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 1, 2015 10:58 AM Flag

    Yes, it's a perennially mismanaged company, but agricultural assets in the southern hemisphere could be very valuable under the right (or wrong) conditions. I don't own it, but I have watched it for years. Seems like it belongs in any doomsday portfolio, along with gold and bitcoins.

  • Reply to


    by staggman99 Jun 29, 2015 1:01 PM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys Jul 1, 2015 7:32 AM Flag

    Stagg, what do you think of CRESY?

  • Reply to

    OT. SNR

    by jerseyvinny2 Jun 30, 2015 12:31 PM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys Jun 30, 2015 4:32 PM Flag

    I haven't done well with externally managed reits so I usually avoid them. It seems to me that the managers always do better than what they manage.

  • syzygyzys syzygyzys Jun 11, 2015 6:41 AM Flag

    Rocket, a little over a year ago you came over to the BRK board to recommend SHLD. You specifically said you had your entire net worth in it. So where are you getting the money to buy the reit? Did you sell some SHLD?

  • Reply to

    FRO takeover

    by golob.chad Jun 3, 2015 9:28 AM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys Jun 3, 2015 11:49 AM Flag

    I don't know anything about Norwegian takeover rules, but FRO is incorporated in Bermuda and also has its headquarters there. I expect the reason they do that is to escape as many taxes and rules as possible.

  • Reply to


    by williamlebotschy May 28, 2015 8:59 AM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys May 29, 2015 1:25 PM Flag

    Fair enough. Since I don't own a shipping stock now, I should probably read more and write less. I think most of these companies are good long term investments, I just mistrust the industry right now.

  • Reply to


    by williamlebotschy May 28, 2015 8:59 AM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys May 29, 2015 7:13 AM Flag

    Yes, I know that. But VLCC charter rates could be held up by storage contracts, with little need for shuttle tankers.

    My point is, if some offshore platforms are shut down, the shuttle tanker market will feel it first, while the open sea vessels are still collecting charter fees.

  • syzygyzys syzygyzys May 28, 2015 7:28 PM Flag

    Sears and Walmart don't really compete with one another very much. Walmart is big into food, Sears not at all. Sears tools and appliances compete somewhat with Sam's club, but Walmart isn't what is running Sears out of business.

    Kmart, on the other hand, lost the battle to Walmart about 40 years ago. Walmart might hire a few of those employees and even buy a store or two, but not many.

    I have seen a lot of Kmarts go out of business, and Walmart never moved in. Usually they were located not far away already, which is probably why the Kmart went out of business in the first place.

  • Reply to


    by williamlebotschy May 28, 2015 8:59 AM
    syzygyzys syzygyzys May 28, 2015 4:16 PM Flag

    Seems like shuttle tankers could be one segment that gets hurt if a lot of tankers are used for floating storage.

  • syzygyzys syzygyzys May 26, 2015 7:33 AM Flag

    While I wouldn't couch it quite the same way you do, Jad, I have a similar take. The "moat" gives companies a great opportunity to make money with very limited competition, or competition that is hamstrung in one way or another. This sounds good for investors, and it is, at least in the short run, but it can have deleterious consequences in the long run, as complacency sets in. There are some pretty remarkable of companies with nice moats just blowing it completely - usually smaller companies, though, like Iroquois Brands, with the larger ones just slowly losing their advantage. And that is the problem. You have to get rid of them eventually. Many moats in the BRK stable have disappeared, but the companies are often still there. The most obvious example to me is GEICO, which is essentially a commodity business now.

    I think their is a lot of complacency surrounding BRK. "Just leave it to Warren, he's the smartest guy in the room and he always does fine", and internally, they look a little complacent as well. Nothing can bite you harder than complacency.

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