Joshua M Brown

Barron's Buzz: December 28th, 2008

Quick thoughts on this week’s Barron’s… Cover story on Mark Hurd and the profitability of Hewlett Packard…Yawn.  As they say on the Dealbreaker message boards, “too printery, didn’t read”. House of Cards story about credit card companies and their exposure to…to…zzzzzzz, oops, fell asleep again!  Not much new in Sandra Ward’s article, but worth a…

Rolling Over a 401k to an IRA

Transferring your 401k allows you the option of never having to take physical custody of your funds as they move between your 401k and your new IRA account. This does not get reported to the IRS, so if you transfer it to a broker or firm you aren’t happy with, don’t worry, you still have the ability to move it again within the same calendar year without restriction. This method will allow you to move your securities over (more on this below).

With a Rollover, however, you’ll be getting a check from your 401k sponsor after you request liquidation. You will then have the responsibility to deposit this amount into a rollover IRA account within a a certain amount of time (discussed below). You can only do one rollover a year, so be prepared with a destination you can live with for a little while.

Who Else Could Become a Bank Holding Company?

General Motor’s GMAC unit had recieved approval to become a bank holding company…
But here’s the more interesting question…who else could/should apply to become a bank holding company? Below is my not-so-serious list of candidates as more companies and industries look for shelter in this, our Greatest Depression.

Fun With Math: Williams-Sonoma (WSM)

Based on it’s current stock price of around 8 bucks, WSM has an Enterprise Value (stock market capitalization plus all outstanding debt, minus cash) of about $840 million. We thought it might fun to figure out what else could be bought for the same price as the entire Williams-Sonoma chain (which includes Pottery Barn).

Barron's Buzz: December 20th, 2008

Quick thoughts on this week’s Barron’s… Kopin Tan killed it with massive 2009 outlook-y article…Brady Bunch-style grouping of Chief Market Strategist types from both buy-side and sell-side with their ’09 S&P earnings estimates and targets.  Didn’t see Abby Joseph Cohen in there…that’s refreshing.  Nice to see some non-bulge bracket people, Jason Trennert from Strategas grabs…

Weigh Anchor: Mark Haines

Mark Haines is the best in business. He comes off as completely natural and unpretentious, but can bring the gravitas when the situation calls for it.

Pick Sectors, Not Stocks

These are the days when you either need to have a 20 year time frame or a 20 minute time frame, and either can be extremely profitable. In either case, owning the sector is going to give you all you need in terms of volatility, so leave the stock picking to the masochists.

Bernard Madoff's Amazon.com Prison Reading Wishlist

Bernard Madoff’s Prison Reading List                                     Total Items: 7 Page 1 of 1   Crime and Punishment (Enriched Classics)   by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Author), et al. Avg customer review:  (465) In Stock Price: $7.95 35 used & new…

Read This Book: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

When people who are starting to get involved in the markets, whether as professionals or investors, ask me what books I suggest they read, this is the first one I always mention.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is a quasi-biography of trader Jesse Livermore, who went from early 1900’s bucket shop speculator to master trader, having won and lost large fortunes along the way in everything from stocks to cotton futures.