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2012 Stock Pick of the Year

UPS plane

Feed Me! Nom! Nom! Nom!


Again, my friends, I must apologize for my scarceness on these pages.  I know there are times when many of you may plead for my acquittal from this site, as there are times (due to my acute boredom and incipient ADD) I am here commenting like an Algonquin Round Table wag at the height of the Flapper Era.  You must get sick of that.

But if December is always a rough month in my business, then the last week of December is often the grande chancre (sic) beyond all imaginings.   It’s been ever thus, and it doesn’t matter if I take the week off from work or not (and I do, in the grand tradition of my own bosses past, thereby leveraging my subordinates and allowing me some time with the family), as the former “filter” I thought I had constructed has fallen, by steps, to the technological immediacy of first voicemail, then e-mail, and finally (shudder) Skype.  And to think, this is not even a “capital gains lock-in” year.  Oy.

To make matter worse, this has also been the traditional week when Mrs. Gint gets together with her Wyrd Sisters and our aggregate families (10 children in all) here in town.  So between entertaining between 18-20 people (depending on when grandparents and great aunts/uncles/cousins arrive) a day/night, and juggling three live deals and one dying one via electronic media, I end up neglecting you, dear reader.  Again, I beg your pardon.


For those of you who were thinking that “The Stock of 2012” would be of the “precious” bent, well, good for you.  Valuations are at 52 week minimums about now for most of my favourites and if you are a loyal subscriber to The PPT, you know that most are also reading “oversold!” in a big way as well.

(Aside: You are crazy if you are not taking advantage of this end of year special for The PPT, as the overall market hybrid alone has been knocking the cover off the ball for those using the patented “Fly Step-in Methodology” for entrance and exit).

Well, yes, this is a good time to be accumulating SLW, EXK and AG, and GDXJ for the new year, if only for an oversold bounce (if you are feeling chicken).

But this year’s Pick of the Year is going to be something  you can put away for a longer to near terminal hold.  It’s the tightest ship in the shipping bidness (sic)– United Parcel Service (UPS).  I am biased, as I’m a long time holder of this King of the Transports (and the $TRAN weekly is looking very smart here, btw), but I think that 2012 may be the year that UPS finally “breaks through.”

Fundamentals are not my bag, so I won’t belabor them, but it is important to note that UPS is the market leader in package transport, with over 15 million pieces moved a year (over double that of rival FDX).  What’s more, despite its unionized work force (Teamsters and Independent Pilots Union), UPS manages to eke out considerably better margins (about 350 basis points better) than the flashy FedEx purple people, most likely due to its entrenched market presence and it’s flexibility in trucking delivery (for example, UPS delivers 1-day, 2-day and regular business deliveries all from the same vehicle route, while FedEx uses wholly different carriers for the different delivery times).

Of course UPS also offers a fatter dividend.  At 2.80% at current market prices (and I’d like to buy it closer to 3.0% anyway), it is about 220 basis points better than rival FDX.  UPS is a cash cow, with $3.5 billions in free cash to either reinvest in new planes and trucks or to mail back to shareholders.  UPS also uses that cash to buy back shares, which is of course accretive to overall value.

But UPS is also a great hold for the future, as  well.   Any good wife will tell you… the wave of the future is internet delivery of just about everything.  And if you love AMZN, God bless, they are a great company, but by no means impregnable from a barriers to entry standpoint.  Now, how would you like to try to start up a rival package delivery service that will meet up to Amazon’s exacting demands (not to mention your mother in law’s)?

See where I’m going with this?

Last but not least, from a technical standpoint, UPS is again nearing all time highs, which it will eventually have to surmount.   Like one of my better gold picks this year– AUY–, UPS has been attempting to break that “lid” at $75 for while now.   If earl prices remain somewhat accomodating, then I think this may be our year.   Note my weekly, which shows the formation that marks the $TRAN itself… a 13-week/34-week EMA crossover (the weekly “golden cross”) and an attempt at breaking to new highs:

And my daily chart shows where I’d like to enter… at the 20-day EMA, if possible:


And that is all for now, boys and girls.  I will be back with some predictions for 2012… I hope before the dawning of that auspicious, and seemingly most pre-benighted year.

Best to you all.


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This Should Be Interesting…

sherlock homeboy

Options expiry week always makes for fun times in the already-volatile precious metal markets, and this week was no exception.  In fact, I’m thinking of just posting pictures of Care Bears and soothing contra-alto laden Carpenter’s videos during these weeks in the future.   I think that policy would be much better for our collective gastro-intestinal health.

I guess we should have been even more wary this week, as the POG and it’s idiot sister, the POS, were both due for cycle lows on top of their collective miners’ options’ expiry.    That combination made for some sickening drops this week, and now, I contend, for some very attractive purchase prices.

When was the last time you were able to buy SLW under $30.00?  Howabout ANV under $30??  Oh, sorry, that was yesterday.  You snooze, you lose.  SSRI looks like a nice pinch right now, if you’re looking for a cherry.   EXK and AG in that order, remain the best of the silver surfers, however.

For those wading back in, the ETFs would be the order of the day… I like them in this order — GDXJ, SIL, GDX, and for the brave of heart — NUGT (real small now!).

I made mention earlier in the week that I want to see the price of gold ($GOLD) hold that 34-week EMA.   It will be interesting to see if it does get back there today…as that’s $50 north of current prices at $1642.80.  There is precedence for closing very briefly below there on a weekly basis — way back in April of 2009, when we were just crawling out of the muck.  Could this be a similar situation?   Let’s see how we close today.

Best to you all.



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The Battle Endures

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvz8tg4MVpA&feature=related 450 300] [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8YCd9-Xtc8&feature=endscreen&NR=1 450 300]


We talked today, so you know what I was doing this afternoon.  I liked the way the miners and even the silvers hung in there today despite the savage sell-off in the morning at the POG/POS level.  It convinced me to add another 10% or so to my 60% position.   I added SLW, AG, and GDX (two silvers and a gold).

To some extent I’m justifying my “Hang on, Sloopy” act over the last week or so, and I have to admit I was surprised to see that sudden cut below $1600 on the POG today.  However, when I noted that the $HUI was bouncing off long time support even as the price of gold (and silver, yeesh!) was still plummeting, I was pretty sure we were not far from the final washout.  That’s what I’m betting on now and for the remainder of the week.

If tomorrow we see a continued bounce (off of the $500 floor) in $HUI, then I will add more to the above and perhaps go have a sandwich in a park with some homeless people for the next couple of days.

It beats Christmas shopping.


I mentioned I was going to say a word on that execrable and stupid Henry Blodget piece from the other day, the one in his Business Insider blog extolling this new bizarre left wing theory stating that it’s not entrepreneurs after all who create jobs but the  concept of  “demand.”

Suffice it to say, I’m shocked that such a jejune theory could be promulgated by a guy who at one time was actually hired to analyze stocks for a major Wall Street firm (albeit a guy who has since been banned from ever working on that side of the game forever).

Saying “Demand” causes job growth is a little like saying “oxygen” causes job growth, in the sense that if there were no oxygen, we’d be too busy gasping for air to bother to create jobs.

The whole idea is intentionally denigrating in the tradition of the political Left in that it implies that there is no credit due to entrepreneurs for having an idea, risking capital, and pouring hard work into a new enterprise.  Blodget’s crazy claim is that all those factors don’t matter, because — get this — if there weren’t the cash and the desire (which equal “demand” to him) to buy the product or service, their would be no revenues and therefore, no jobs.

In Blodget’s world, the chickens are slave to the egg!  But is that really the case? That without a consumer “demand” present, we’d have no production economy?  Well let’s go back to a hypothetical pre-history to find out:

On a primitive island, where most sustenance is derived from the indigenous banana trees, people traditionally spend most of their day searching about for banana trees which they can climb and then painstakingly harvest bananas by hand.  Local smart guy Oog rigs a scaffolding platform one day out of bamboo and cane rushes and finds he can harvest four times as many bananas as the typical islander can using the old method.  Oog soon finds he has a surplus of bananas, which he finds he can trade for other foods, clothing and perhaps a concubine or two.

Soon Oog realizes that he can make the scaffolding platforms for other islanders, which he does, in exchange for more trade items, and perhaps a plot of land for a new house.   This distribution leads to a massive increase in productivity on the island, which leaves the other islanders with more time (ah the essential commodity!) to commit to other useful tasks, perhaps in seeking alternate foods (the local javelina look tasty, but they were hard to catch and bananas took less time to harvest).

In the meantime, Oog has hired a couple of young men to help him construct his scaffolds and to develop a sharp new projectile or two to help with the javelina hunting ideas he’s been working on.  He pays them in a portion of the goods he obtains in trade for his invention.  They in turn have excess goods with which to trade their fellow islanders, who now have time to continue developing this micro-economy outside the initial “firm” of Mr. Oog’s.  A cycle of job creation has begun.

Now in the above case, “demand” is nothing more than common sense.  Mr. Oog, through his ingenuity, has devised a time saving device for his fellow islanders, and they quite sensibly recognize the value in “purchasing” an item like that to free up their own lives for other activities.   What they pay for the device is irrelevant, as Mr. Oog can take many forms of specie — from trade goods to service — in exchange for his invention, were it mutually beneficial for him to do so.  Blodgett’s “demand” is a red herring.

In the same way so is his insistence that no one would buy Steve Jobs wonderful iPhone were it not for “demand” from the mindless consumer masses in the form of desire and cash.  But don’t the last three years put the lie to such inanity?  In some of the worst economic times in modern history, iPhones have sold faster than Carl Lewis on crank.   That’s because consumers saw the value in an entrepreneur’s idea, risk and execution– not because they just happened to have a few extra hundred bucks they weren’t using.

To act like an economic system is not one of choices and decisions which lead to rewards and penalties is to perpetrate an invidious lie that would suggest we are all powerless as individuals.   I can imagine only one purpose for promulgating such nonsense, and call me cynical, but it’s a dark one, ending in death and slavery for all but the very few.

Best to you all.






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You’re Doing It Wrong

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6MMW-NJmt8&feature=related 450 300]

Sublime Christmas Beauty


Mid-month Christmas ruminations…

I’ve always been a big fan of the Christmas season*, even if that appreciation has morphed from that typical childhood manic Santa-Greed, to that middling “purchasing for others” egotistic patronage phase, and finally now onto the “enjoying the little ones’ joy” segment.  For what it’s worth, this last bit has been the best.  You wish they could stay small forever, but even into their teens, the kids are a treat on Christmas morning and throughout the holiday season.

But as I’ve gotten older I’ve also realized that Christmas is about more than rejoicing with my immediate family and friends, it’s about attending to one’s community as well.  I like to think of the season as a kernel to build upon for the new year — and as a reminder of what the heck we’re doing here in the first place.

Christmas is a gentle ego aide —  that helps me remember we are not here to build wealth or careers or even organizations — or at least we are not here to strive for those goals for their own sake.  We are here to serve one another, to serve the least and even the greatest if that is the call.

I was therefore dismayed to hear an older gentlemen (50’s) the other day say he “was just about Christmas’ed out,” (this was December 10th).  I first thought to myself, “how cynical,” but then upon further reflection I realized this was probably an indication of seasonal depression, most likely caused by a prematurely arrested Concept of Christmas.   If one saw each Christmas as a wholly commercial exercise, bracketed by obligatory holiday parties and regimented relational visits, I could see that getting rather tiresome as one approached a half century on this planet.

But instead, if one could see Christmas as a challenge… or even as an annual quest to find the right person, group or community to serve for the season, and perhaps even for the new year, then Christmas becomes something else, something even more wonderful than the joyous mornings of our wrapping paper youth.   And I’m not just talking about the quotidian forms of charity, although those are certainly important and necessary.  I’m talking about reaching out to that Bob Cratchit in your life if  you are a boss, or that Ebenezer Scrooge if you are an employee.

Someone needs you, right now.   What better time to take that excuse to reach out, and to offer a hand — even anonymously– to those in need of a friend or a patron? Take this Season and make it special, and carry that extra joy with you into the new year and onto the next.    I promise you will never be “Christmased out” again.


*(Please be assured that when I mention “Christmas” as the season, I recognize that the December Holiday Period is a time of joy and familial reflection for many cultures and faiths, just as the New Year is a time for renewal for us all.  I believe the prescription mentioned above is a fitting one for all men and women of good will, not matter their affiliation, or lack thereof. )


As of this writing, the dollar is rallying again, and flirting with that $79-$80 range that has been been our “top” since last January.   All I can do is wait and see if Santa is going to be good to the little PM trader girls and boys.  If we breach our late November highs, then I will be shaving down to more cash, but until then, I will be eating samiches (sic), and thinking about bell ringing.

My best to you all.


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Hope for Europe?

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Europe is not lost if there are guys like this still fighting the Euro Movement

No, not that kind of “hope,” — not the kind that comes with all kinds of government takeovers of your private person and property. Not the kind we’ve been enduring for three plus years, and two before that in the joint houses of Congress. Is there anyone out there who still supports further meddling with businesses, with your healthcare, with your very livelihood? Is there anyone out there who still thinks they’re being helped by your friendly friend from D.C.?

Even you poor people? Are things looking up?

Minorities? Has your lot improved? Environmentalists? Peaceniks? Feeling better about things?

How about you, union guys? Is it a brave new world out there? How are dues coming? Membership?

Farmers? Miners? Small manufacturers? Hey — even you, the guy who had the great idea about converting biomass into usable fuel. I’m sorry, what’s that? Your project was beaten out by a stampede of better-lobbied inferior competition?

And you, the Wall Street smart guys, with your Ivy League degrees, and your Alden loafers, I turn to you last, as I know you best.

Look around you. Where’s that guy you used to play squash with? What happened to the Asset Backed Debt department this year? How come you have to make do with one shared pool secretary instead of Helda working on your shit alone?  Glad you wrote that check four years ago to the good looking guy with the nice smile and the airy aphorisms that really didn’t have much of a point?  Was that little bit of feel good– that cocktail party affirmation– was it worth it?

Has it been worth it, people?

I think I know the answer, but I don’t want this to be about “I told you so.” I would rather turn it into an educational opportunity, if I might. I believe that if most intelligent people read Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, they would think very seriously about not only how this country works in very easy to grasp economic terms, but how it has grown to become the most free and strongest on earth. I highly recommend this tome (or the 4th edition, out recently) even for those of you who have no interest whatsoever in math or economics.  Professor Sowell breaks it down in very easily understood terminology.  You won’t be disappointed.

And after finishing that “good meal,” I don’t think they’d fall for the next guy with the cute smile and demagogic one-liners.  That’s just my take.


Nothing has changed in my recent investment approach.  I continue to be long silver and gold names that I’ve detailed here already.  I continue to hold because of quotidian reasons like “seasonality” and the tendency of Santa Bernank to want everyone to have a holly jolly Christmas, as I’m sure you will agree.

On EXK! On RGLD! On SLW and AG!

Come GDX! Come EGO! Come AVL and IVN! Dash away! Dash away! Dash Away All!


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Just Shaddap

Giants Pack

The Giants let another one slip between their fingers, to the hated Cheeseheads, no less, despite giving them quite the scare for perhaps the first time this season.   Moral victories, however, count for scheissola in this part of the season.  

That said, at least the Crackboys also lost — inexplicably — to the Arizona Cardinals, who I believe are working with a tenth string QB out of Mail-it-In State.    We play them next week and then again two weeks after that and if we can’t beat those sad sacks, well — it’s time for head coach Tom Coughlin and his trusty offensive coordinator Captain Kangaroo Gilbride, to pack their bags and just GO.

But I don’t want to hear a damn word from any of ye’s (sic) about the Giants’ recent four game collapse.  I especially don’t want to hear about how great the Pack, or that long haired narcissist Clay Matthews are.   What the hell is wrong with this guy anyway?  He’s like a woman with that shit.  Why is it so damn greasy the whole game?  Does he throw a bunch of conditioner in there so it’s nice and greezy (sic), so no one can grab him by it? 

Just get a haircut, Laughing Boy.


Right now the dollar is struggling to re-assert itself despite it’s being leveraged against every shit currency in the free world.  Despite all that, currency traders are wising up and beginning to bid the “savings plays” up again, chief among them the yen.    So, even as the dipshits at  S&P do the Fed’s bidding by trying to scare the German’s pants brown, the dollar still struggles to even achieve today’s earlier highs

Curious, no?

You won’t see me running about, flibberty-gibbet style, sorry.  I just don’t have the time for it.   I’ll stay in the gold and silver plays I limned for you last week, thanks very much.  I still own some GSVC as well, btw, and even some WNR (the calls I wrote against them twice have all expired, too).  

I really hate to say “I’m with Teahouse,” but at least it’s not like I’m sitting on the fans’ side at Foxboro or going door to door for Ketchup Usurper John Kerry, right?

My best to you all.



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