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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Incremental Apple iPhone 3GS Leads Video Revolution

Doubled Money in a Down Market!

Since 12/31/98 "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is UP 104% (over a double!) vs. the S&P500 DOWN 11% vs. NASDAQ down 17% vs. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) ONLY up 24% (All through 6/21/09)
(More Info & FREE Sample Issue)

Apple (Charts of AAPL Stock) launched the iPhone 3GS Friday. Customers lined up outside stores to get this new version of Apple's popular smart phone. Most lines were shorter than the initial launch of the iPhone, but many locations around the US reported selling out. I tried this phone out earlier today.

The "S" in iPhone 3G S stands for speed. Apple promises the new phone is faster than the first two versions. The 3G-S comes in two versions with a required 2-year contract with AT&T.:

  1. one with 16 gigabytes of memory for $199 and
  2. one with 32 gigabytes for $299,

Apple and AT&T say user applications should open faster and internet pages should load more quickly with the increased memory and the new software.

The new phone has:

  • Improved speed, "up to 2x" faster.
    • It still felt too slow to me compared to other smart phones I've tested, especially loading this blog. Perhaps this was AT&T's fault for poor coverage. My regular cell phone on AT&T's Cingular network often has trouble getting an open line at this location.
  • an upgraded 3-Megapixel camera with built-in autofocus
    • We took a picture in difficult lighting and emailed it over the internet this AM. It was so easy to do it blew me way. The camera automatically reduced the resolution of the photo so it looked good on the receiving end with only a 91KB file size!
  • The ability to capture and edit VGA video in either portrait or landscape mode.
    • We shot a short video documenting us testing smoke detectors in all rooms of a house we are selling to show we meet CA law. The camera had no trouble adjusting to lighting in dim hallways to bright bedrooms. Amazing performance for secondary feature.
  • Voice control for contacts and music.
  • A built-in digital compass that can automatically reorient maps to match the direction you’re facing.
    • Valuable if it allows you to not have to own a separate GPS device.
  • Cut, copy and paste between applications. Upload them to the web also.
  • Keyboard operates in landscape mode for larger key pads as well as original portrait mode.
    • A nice upgrade but some of us are still used to real keypads.
  • Internet Tethering. You can share the 3G connection on your iPhone with your Mac notebook or PC laptop. This feature is currently not available in the US.
    • I'd buy the phone if it gave me the same speed as my hard wired DSL connection for the added price of what I pay for DSL. That would allow dropping DSL at no extra cost. Perhaps AT&T will have tiers with $30 data plan the slow, low bandwidth version and charge more for internet tethering and nearly unlimitted use. Of course, someone will abuse it watching videos so I don't think I'll replace my DSL land line anytime soon.

I heard radio interviews with people at Apple stores. Many said they wanted the phone so they can take, edit and upload videos to the internet like this powerful video from Iran:

Powerful Video Poem from the Rooftops of Iran
People are paying a premium to have a voice. To be heard. Sometimes, as the video from Iran shows, what they say, despite amateur production, is quite moving and powerful.

Revolution is in the air and Apple's new iPhone 3GS makes it easier to be a revolutionary!

Charts of Apple Stock Price

Disclaimers: None. I have no position in Apple or AT&T stock. I prefer to invest in those who will help them deliver better service so web pages and videos don't take so long to load compared to DSL over land lines.

Doubled Money in a Down Market!

Since 12/31/98 "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is UP 104% (over a double!) vs. the S&P500 DOWN 11% vs. NASDAQ down 17% vs. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) ONLY up 24% (All through 6/21/09)

As of June 21, 2009, "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is up 5.0% YTD
vs. DJIA DOWN 2.7%
(More Info & FREE Sample Issue)

Read or Post Comments

Video Poem from the Rooftops of Iran - June 19th, 2009

Doubled Money in a Down Market!

Since 12/31/98 "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is
UP 104% (over a double!) vs. the S&P500 DOWN 11% vs. NASDAQ down 17% vs. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) ONLY up 24% (All through 6/21/09)
(More Info & FREE Sample Issue)

I found this very powerful, peaceful video from Iran quite moving.

This is a subtitled version of "INJA KOJAST INJA IRAN AST SARZAMINE MANO."

The June 19th video shows the night in Iran with a woman speaking about the state of her country while filming the rooftop. You can hear people shouting of "Allah-o Akbar" over and over and over in Iran.
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We are seeing a whole new way the internet is changing the World.

Apple (Charts of AAPL Stock) launched the iPhone 3G S Friday. Customers lined up outside stores to get this new version of Apples popular smart phone. Many locations around the US reported selling out.

See article: Incremental Apple iPhone 3GS Leads Video Revolution

The new phone has an upgraded camera and the ability to capture and edit video.

I heard radio interviews with people at Apple stores. Many said they wanted the iPhone 3GS so they can take, edit and upload videos to the internet.

People are paying a premium to have a voice. To be heard. Sometimes, as the video from Iran shows, what they say, despite amateur production, is quite moving and powerful.

Revolution is in the air.

Charts of Apple Stock Price

Doubled Money in a Down Market!

Since 12/31/98 "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is UP 104% (over a double!) vs. the S&P500 DOWN 11% vs. NASDAQ down 17% vs. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) ONLY up 24% (All through 6/21/09)
(More Info & FREE Sample Issue)

Read or Post Comments

Friday, June 12, 2009

30-Year U.S. Treasury Auction Results

Yesterday (Thursday June 11, 2009) the US Treasury department said it received bids totaling more than $29 billion for the $11 billion worth of 30-year notes sold. The bid-to-cover ratio, a gauge of demand, was 2.68, the highest since May 2008 and well above the average of 2.39 in the previous three 30-year reopening auctions according to Reuters.

30-Yr U.S. Treasury auction summary:
  • $29.6 billion Tendered
  • $11.1 billion Accepted
  • CUSIP Number 912810QB7
  • Series: Bonds of May 2039
  • Interest Rate 4-1/48%
  • High Yield: 4.72%
  • Median Yield: 4.684%
  • Low Yield: 4.599%
  • Issue Date: June 15, 2009
  • Maturity Date: May 15, 2039
For more details, see:

30-YEAR TREASURY BOND
(
Historical Quotes for: ^TYX)
Click for 1-Day Graph
Click for 5-day graph
Click for Yahoo! 30-Yr Quotes

Related ETFs:
  • iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Treasury Bond - SHY
  • iShares Barclays 3-7 Year Treasury Bond - IEI
  • iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury - IEF
  • iShares Barclays 10-20 Year Treasury Bond - TLH
  • iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond - TLT
ISHARES LEHMAN 20-yr+
(Historical Quotes for: TLT)


Click for 1-Day Graph
Click for 5-day graph
Click for Yahoo! 1-Yr Quotes

==> Very Best CD Rates with FDIC <==

Thursday, June 11, 2009

OIL ETF Disappoints Oil Investors

The exchange traded fund (ETF) for oil, "iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index (OIL ETF Charts), " is a huge disappointment for Oil Investors who wanted a fund that mirrored the price of oil without having to buy oil futures.
Since the start of 2009, the price of oil has surged 60% while the OIL ETF is essentially flat at only up about 4%!

click chart courtesy of stockcharts.com for full size image

On the chart,
  • WTIC is "West Texas Intermediate Crude - Continuous Contract"
  • OIL is "iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index"
Over the life of the fund, OIL has underperformed the price of oil considerably.

click chart courtesy of stockcharts.com for full size image

According to etfconnect.com, the "iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN (OIL)"
The Fund is a sub index of the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index. The Index reflects the returns that are potentially available through an unleveraged investment in the West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures contract.
Not only does OIL under perform the price of oil, but investors had to pay an expense ratio of 0.75% a year do do so.

Unless you are an investment professional, I do not recommend investing in oil via the futures market. The leverage in futures can quickly wipe you out. With the recent data comparing the OIL ETF with the price of oil, I won't be recommending that as an investment in the price of oil either.

More Information:

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Jim Cramer DOW 6500 Bottom Call Myth

On June 1, 2009 Jim Cramer gave a summary on his show of what he saw to call a bottom on the stock market at DOW 6500 by saying "the worst is over, the downside was over and the time was ripe to buy."

Don Harrold says Cramer is "perpetuating the myth" (aka lying.) This is an excellent video by Don Harrold showing how bearish Jim Cramer was at the bottom of the bear market. Below this video, I show the closing prices for the DOW as it fell from the 7000s to 6,594.44 on March 5 then back to the 7,000s by March 12, 2009. I also show the date in chart format.

For those of us who were buying when the market bottomed, this "perpetuating the myth" of something Cramer did not do is upsetting.
What do you think? Is Jim truthful or is his show just another version of "The Simpsons" but with an investment theme?
======================================================================================
He thought the DOW could go down another 15% to 5300 before it would bottom.

To Jim Cramer's credit, he did turn bullish soon after the market bottomed, but how many did he scare out with his bearish commentary at and near the very bottom?

I like Jim Cramer's show for entertainment and good investing ideas, but if his investment record was good, then don't you think he would publish his long term record by year like I do?
DOW Closing Prices near around the bottom.

DateClose
13-Mar-097,223.98
12-Mar-097,170.06
11-Mar-096,930.40
10-Mar-096,926.49
9-Mar-096,547.05
6-Mar-096,626.94
5-Mar-096,594.44
4-Mar-096,875.84
3-Mar-096,726.02
2-Mar-096,763.29
27-Feb-097,062.93

click chart courtesy of stockcharts.com to see full size image

HURRY! Subscribe NOW and get the June 2009 Issue of "Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Newsletter" for FREE! !

Doubled Money in a Down Market!

Since 12/31/98 "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is
UP 113% (over a double!) vs. the S&P500 DOWN 9% vs. NASDAQ down 16% vs. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) up 28% (All through 6/4/09)

As of June 4, 2009, "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is up 10% YTD
vs. DJIA DOWN 0.3%
(More Info & FREE Sample Issue)

Friday, June 05, 2009

New Product Names from GM, also know as "Government Motors"

I am starting a list of the new product names from GM, also known as "Government Motors."
  • GMC Ferdrali SUV (CNBC)
  • Chevy Bailout Wagon (CNBC)
  • Buick LaTaxpayer (CNBC)
  • Cadillac CPR Hybrid (CNBC)
  • Corvette TP7 (Me. C7 is next in series, so replace C for "Corvette" with TP for "Tax Payer" or "Toilet Paper" in honor of how the whole thing stinks.)
Please post your ideas in the comments section HERE.

Also, would it be fair for tax payers to offer tax incentives to buy GM cars since we will make more money with higher sales volume at Government Motors? If so, then Ford, Toyota and other companies without government ownership and taxpayer financed incentives will have a tough time competing.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Vanguard Treasury Money Market Funds to Merge After Closing to New Accounts

To preserve competitive yields in its money market funds, Vanguard will merge its Vanguard Admiral Treasury Money Market Fund (VUSXX) and Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund (VMPXX).
To protect current shareholders from dilution of yield that comes from new deposits, Vanguard also closed its "Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund" on June 2. The decision to close the fund was made "to protect the interests of current fund shareholders by limiting the fund's need to purchase new short-term federal agency securities that offer negligible yields."
The merger of Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund, which has an expense ratio of 0.28%, into Admiral Treasury Money Market Fund, with its lower expense ratio of 0.15%, will reduce expenses for Treasury fund shareholders. After the merger, the fund is expected to maintain its expense ratio of 0.15%. Additionally, reducing new cash flow into the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund may slow the decline of that fund's yield.
For similar reasons, Vanguard Admiral Treasury Money Market Fund and Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund were closed to new accounts on January 26, 2009.

Vanguard Admiral Treasury Money Market Fund (VUSXX)
Closed to new investors
Category = Taxable Money Market
Expense ratio as of 12/29/2008 = 0.15%
SEC yield as of 06/03/2009 = 0.18%
Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund (VMPXX)
Closed to new investors
Category = Taxable Money Market
Expense ratio as of 12/29/2008 = 0.28%
SEC yield as of 06/03/2009 = 0.05%
Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX)
Closed to new investors
Category = Taxable Money Market
Expense ratio as of 12/29/2008 = 0.28%
SEC yield as of 06/03/2009 = 0.34%
If you have less than a few million dollars to invest, I would look to invest in 6 month to 2 year CDs to get much better yield with FDIC and NCUA protection spread between several banks and credit unions.

For example, the 1-year US Treasury note is only paying 0.46% but you can get a 1-year CD at Ally Bank (formerly GMAC Bank) that pays 2.80%.

See "Very Best CD Rate Survey" to get an idea what the best CD rates are for terms from 6 months to 10 years.

More Information:

Charts for Vanguard Equity Index Funds:
Charts for Vanguard Fixed Income Funds:
Money Market Fund Pages at Vanguard:
Read the full story: With yields at record lows, Vanguard announces changes to three money market funds

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Antigenics Surges on Oncophage Kidney Cancer Survival Data

One of my "explore portfolio" stocks, Antigenics Inc., (AGEN Charts) surged recently on positive survival data for its cancer drug Oncophage® (vitespen).

As of today's close at $1.53, AGEN is up 219% YTD.
Click chart courtesy of stockcharts.com for full size image

HURRY! Subscribe NOW and get the June 2009 Issue of "Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Newsletter" for FREE! !

Interim survival data showed that patients with kidney cancer at intermediate risk of disease recurrence demonstrated an approximately 46% lower risk of death when treated with Oncophage® compared to the control group. Press Release

Adding to the good news, survival comes without significant "toxicities"
“Demonstration of an overall survival benefit remains the gold standard, and these interim results show that Oncophage has a real promise of improving survival in patients with earlier-stage disease for whom current prognosis remains poor,” said Dr. Wood. “Based on these results, Oncophage offers these patients a potential treatment that extends survival without significant toxicities.”
About Oncophage:
In April 2008, Oncophage was approved in Russia for the adjuvant treatment of kidney cancer patients at intermediate-risk for disease recurrence. Pre-commercial launch activities are ongoing. In October 2008, Antigenics submitted a marketing authorization application to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) requesting conditional approval for Oncophage in earlier-stage, localized renal cell carcinoma.

Derived from each individual’s tumor, Oncophage contains the ‘antigenic fingerprint’ of the patient’s particular cancer and is designed to reprogram the body’s immune system to target only cancer cells bearing this fingerprint. Oncophage is intended to leave healthy tissue unaffected and limit the debilitating side effects typically associated with traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Oncophage has been studied in Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of kidney cancer and metastatic melanoma and is currently being investigated in a Phase 2 trial in recurrent glioma.

Oncophage received fast track and orphan drug designations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for both kidney cancer and metastatic melanoma as well as orphan drug designation from the EMEA for kidney cancer. In 2009, Oncophage also received orphan drug designations from the FDA and EMEA for glioma.

In April 2009, the World Vaccine Congress named Oncophage as the best therapeutic vaccine.
Even if you do not own the stock, you have to hope the company is successful as the treatment has the potential to work with almost all cancers.

Disclaimer:
I own and cover AGEN in "Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Letter" with my last buy below the current price as of this writing. I may sell or buy more shares without notice here but I will update my subscribers of any changes.

HURRY! Subscribe NOW and get the June 2009 Issue of "Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Newsletter" for FREE! !

Doubled Money in a Down Market!

Since 12/31/98 "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is
UP 113% (over a double!) vs. the S&P500 DOWN 9% vs. NASDAQ down 16% vs. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) up 28% (All through 6/4/09)

As of June 4, 2009, "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is up 10% YTD
vs. DJIA DOWN 0.3%
(More Info & FREE Sample Issue)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Cisco and Travelers Join the DOW; GM and Citibank Are Out

Cisco Systems (CSCO Charts) and Travelers Co. (TRV) will be the added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA Charts) effective June 8, 2009. Cisco and TRV will replace bankrupt Government Motors (GM) and disgraced Citibank (C).

GM has been in the DJIA index since August 1925.

Followers (New)