Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cramer's Report Card

I haven't beat up on ole Jim Cramer for awhile, so let's take a quick look-see at his year-to-date progress in his public portfolio. Remember from past pieces, I like to look at what he does, not what he says, to evaluate his worth as a stock picker. His public (for subscription) Action Alerts PLUS portfolio is the closest he comes to a real time track record to gauge his stock picking abilities, or lack thereof.

Year to date, the S&P 500 index is up about 12% and the Russell 2000 index is up a little over 16%. For the same period, Jim Cramer's Action Alerts Plus portfolio is up 3.89%.

That means that the charities that Cramer donates his profits from the portfolio to would have had about an additional $250,000 if Jim had put the portfolio in an S&P index fund at the beginning of the year, or about an additional $360,000 if he had put the money into a Russell 2000 index fund.

So let's give Jimbo a grade for his performance. He didn't lose money in bull market, so we really can't fail him. But he couldn't beat the most mundane of all indexes, the S&P 500, so we can't give him much of a grade above "C". That's leaves a "C" or a "D". Normally, class participation counts, and with Cramer all over the TV and radio, he certainly is in our face enough with his stock opinions to make a case for extra credit for effort.

But, there's the rub. The first rule of medicine and the first rule of investing are the same, First, do no harm. One who bellows his opinions in such a ubiquitous persona owes a duty to the public to first, do no harm. It's one thing to short change a charitable trust by poor performance, quite another to lure an unsuspecting public into a false sense of competency.

Cramer get's a "D", passing, but barely so, Mr. Harvard Hedge Fund Honcho.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Two New Ideas


Applied NeuroSolutions - A very small cap biotechnology company which today announced a deal with Lilly to develop therapeutics to treat Alzheimer's. This $38MM company is trading on the Bulletin Board for about 40 cents. This is a pretty nice deal for such a small company and may provide a speculative opportunity not unlike NNVC at 10 cents a share.


International Royalty Corporation is a diversified mine royalty company with royalty interests in nickel, copper, zinc, gold, diamonds, coal and uranium. Royalty companies are generally less risky then operating companies, so you get exposure to the sector without a lot of the risk. IRC's profit margins are among the highest in the industry, but that is not yet reflected in the multiples of future earnings inherent in the stock's price. According to J. Taylor who follows ROY, the company's stock price, if comparable to other royalty companies, should be 2X to 3X it's current price. This is both an inflation play, a precious and industrial metals play, an uranium play and a value play.

I have positions in both these ideas.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Three Quick Picks

(1) LNOP is busting out, +10% this morning; too late? See Quick Pick #3.

(2) URRE is a Bulletin Board Uranium stock; the COO bought 50,000 shares on the open market a week ago......Heads Up.

(3) David Gordon has an excellent Blog today on Entelechy (the realization of potential): "And that is the secret. Focus your attention on the investment opportunities, not the general markets." Read it!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Remembering Bo Schembechler

I was a sophomore at the University of Michigan when Bo Schembechler replaced Bump Eliot as head football coach. The closest I ever got to Bo was Astronomy 101. You see back then, in order to graduate with a BA, you needed things like science, math and foreign language credits. The toughest of these was science and we had an Astronomy 101 Professor named Doc Losh. She was a crusty old critter, but loved Michigan football. The rumor, and as it turned out reality, was that her grading scheme was "A" for Athletes, "B" for Boys, and normal grades according to merit for everyone else.

Accordingly, the entire Michigan football team took Astronomy 101 from Doc Losh, along with yours truly. I got a B.

Below are some memories of students who actually met the man.



Remembering Bo
Stories from lives the longtime Michigan coach touched

The first time I was ever in Michigan Stadium, I was carrying a bass drum as part of Band Day. We had to try to fill the stadium with high school kids wearing band uniforms to make it look filled. And all that changed in 1969, and it changed because of a guy named Bo.

I've heard a lot of people pontificate about what their view of Michigan tradition is, but Bo is the Michigan tradition. The reason we're able to fight over how big the stadium should be and how many people we can pack in it is all about Coach Bo Schembechler. I had dinner with him last night, and we met with the team twice this week, and he's still coaching. I don't know what's going on right now and where he is, but I'm sure he's still coaching.

David Brandon
David Brandon played football for Michigan under Schembechler. He is CEO of Domino's Pizza and a member of the University Board of Regents. He made these remarks at yesterday's meeting of the Board of Regents, shortly after hearing that Schembechler had collapsed.

When I was in fourth grade, few things were more important to me than Michigan football. Although Bo Schembechler coached well before I was actively following football, the legacy he left at Michigan was undeniable.

When I was 10, his book "Michigan Memories" came out, and he went on a book-signing tour that made a stop in my hometown. I was ecstatic to find out that this coaching legend would grace my humble town with his presence. Unfortunately, his tour stopped at our Barnes & Noble on a Wednesday.

Much to my surprise, my dad let me skip school to go. After more than an hour, I timidly made my way to the table where he sat. A wave a terror hit me as I became star-struck by the man before me.

He could see I was nervous. He shook my hand and boldly said, "You look a little young to not be in school. Hopefully this is a one-time thing?"

I laughed and promised him I wouldn't miss any more school - unless Lloyd Carr decided to come to town. Bo grabbed my shoulder and smiled, asking my dad if he wanted to get a picture of his son with the old coach. In that second, I could honestly envision myself as a grandson of Bo.

Although my time with Bo was short, I can tell you he has one of the most vivid and caring personalities I have ever encountered. Bo Schembechler, you'll be missed.

Andy Reid
Reid is an LSA freshman and a Daily sports writer.

Although we knew Bo had cheated death for years, we all seemed to think he'd live forever. So, as I write this, I'm still a little stunned.

Bo was the greatest man I ever met. He had more energy, more passion, more heart than anyone I have ever known. He had tremendous pride, but little ego; he hated talking about himself, and loved talking about you. He was inspiring just to be around.

Of course, he'll be remembered for restoring Michigan's tradition. When Bo took the job at Michigan in 1969, the Athletic Department was deep in the red. They didn't have much back then, and they had to get dressed on the second floor of Yost Field House. They sat in rusty, folding chairs and hung their clothes on bent bolts in the wall.

Bo's assistants started complaining. "What the hell is this?" they said. "We had better stuff at Miami!" Bo cut that off right away. "No, we didn't," he said. "See this chair? Fielding Yost sat in this chair. See this spike? Fielding Yost hung his hat on this spike. And you're telling me we had better stuff at Miami? No, men, we didn't. We have tradition here, Michigan tradition, and that's something no one else has!"

Thanks to Bo, that tradition is the best in the nation.

As for me, I have lost a great friend, someone I will never, ever forget. Amazingly, thousands of people can say the same. He was that big.

John U. Bacon
Bacon is finishing a book he wrote with Bo Schembechler, "Bo's Lasting Lessons: Schembechler Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership," due out by Warner Books in August of 2007.

The first day in class, our professor stood up and said we had a special guest, a friend of the public policy program: Bo Schembechler. I turned around in amazement; it was an honor to be in the same classroom as him.

The first time I really approached him was the first time he was in class after he was hospitalized. I asked how he was doing, and he told me about his new pacemaker and told me how he was going to start taking it easier.

This past Tuesday was his last lecture, and I sat next to his wife. I asked if he was going to the game, and he said he would be watching from home.

When I heard the news today, I didn't feel like I lost Bo Schembechler, the legend. I really thought that I had lost a friend.

Kyle Grubman
Grubman is a Kinesiology student enrolled in Public Policy 201, which Schembechler had been attending this semester.

During one our first winter workouts after Bo came to Michigan, he delivered an edict: no mustaches. This was at a time when there was social unrest on college campuses around the country. It was at the height of Afros, goatees, mutton-chop sideburns and, of course, mustaches. Bo said if we were worried about the way we looked, we'd be too vain to play as a team.

Now, once the mandate was delivered, I was trying to figure out how I was going to keep my mustache. I had been growing this thing since high school, and it had just started to darken enough so you could see it. So the next day I went to Bo's office to plead my case. "Bo," I said, "I have to bring something to your attention."

Bo said, "Yeah, what's that?"

"It's a black man's heritage to have a mustache, and you can't ask us to deny our heritage, especially after all the indignities we've endured from slavery right up until today. Bo, you will not find a black man anywhere today that doesn't have one."

Bo didn't say anything but just stared at me for a minute, trying to figure out if I was serious or not. And finally, he said, "Get the (expletive) out of my office." At that point I didn't know if he bought my story or not.

The next day at practice he called the team together and started out by saying, "It has been brought to my attention that it's a black man's heritage to have a mustache, but you white guys don't have any heritage, and I want all mustaches, goatees and mutton-chop sideburns shaved off."

It would be 20 years before I told him the truth.

Jim Betts
Betts played quarterback and safety under Schembechler in 1969 and 1970.

The first time I sat with Bo, in 1998, he asked me what I thought of how messy his office was, filled floor to ceiling in trophies and papers. The last time I sat with Bo, in the Michigan Stadium press box two weeks ago, he asked me to feel his new pacemaker - "this thing they're making me wear" - and to get him an apple cider. I gladly complied with both.

By the time I met Bo, the fire-breathing coach was gone, given way to a more realistic life.

But he was all human, all the time. The stories remained, and in his office, he'd get three or four calls from former players in just an hour. He'd pick up the phone and start talking - then realize you were still sitting there, make a joke and start up with you again.

He just loved making people happy, because that made him happy.

When I touched that pacemaker, I literally could feel what made him tick.

And I can't imagine anything will ever feel like that again.

Mark Snyder
Snyder is a sports writer for the Detroit Free Press and a former Daily sports writer.

For members of the Michigan Marching Band, the return to Ann Arbor in the fall is accompanied by a grueling two weeks of nonstop rehearsals known as "band week." By the end of band week my freshman year, we were exhausted physically and mentally.

On the last night, our drum major led us to the outer entrance of the tunnel. Surviving band week had earned us the privilege of running through the tunnel for the first time. When we reached the end of the tunnel, the returning members greeted us with "The Victors."

Once we had joined the rest of the band, band director Jamie Nix announced that he had one more surprise for us. As he said this, Bo Schembechler walked out of the tunnel.

Bo spoke to us about how important the band is to Michigan football. He told us how much he appreciated the band during his coaching career at Michigan. Bo told us how much pride we should have for being able to play "The Victors" and wear our maize and blue uniforms.

I'll never forget the night that Bo Schembechler taught me what it means to be a Michigan Wolverine.

Katie Garlinghouse
Garlinghouse is a Daily editorial cartoonist and a member of the Michigan Marching Band.

Bo Schembechler was the most intimidating guy any young sports writer ever met. If you asked him a stupid question, you got treated like one of his players; you did not want to commit the sin of being unprepared.

That said, Bo was about a lot more than football. In 1983, at the press lunch after the Ohio State game, Bo was relaxed and animated. He broke out a fistful of cigars and started offering them around the room.

I'm thinking, "I'll get one for my Dad. He'll think that's cool."

But when the guy to my right - a Daily writer Bo didn't much like - got ripped for his age and audacity, I kept my mouth shut and passed on the stogie.

My father had come to his first college football game that season - I wrote a column in the Daily titled "Michigan fans, please make room for Daddy" - but days after OSU, he had his second heart attack. In the hospital, he saw Bo on the Donohue show and called to say how impressed he was.

On my return to Ann Arbor, I dropped Bo a note, rehashing the whole story and asking if he'd send my dad a cigar. I expected nothing; Bo never seemed to like Daily sports writers, and he certainly didn't owe us any favors.

A week later, I'm entering the athletic office for an interview, just as Bo is walking out. He grabs my hand, claps my shoulder and says, "Jaffer, I just sent your old man one of my best five-dollar cigars."

There was a handwritten note, too.

But what truly stands out with me is what happened next, because every time I ran into Bo - and we did cross paths a few times - he always asked first about my dad.

Chuck Jaffe
Jaffe is a senior columnist for and was a Daily senior
sports editor in 1984.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Buying Breakouts

AMAG is up 25% today on some good news, but I have been in AMAG for several weeks and am up 40%+ from entry. Same for CHTR, I'm up 50% in three weeks. FTGX is up 15% in four weeks. What do all of these monster gains have in common?

There were all recommendations from

Here's the deal, it's two weeks free, then $159/year after that. Worth it? Those breakouts above weren't just some of the picks, they were each intra-day breakout pick I was sent since subscribing six weeks ago, except for the two latest picks which came this week and which I am not identifying because they are still fresh picks for paying subscribers.

I don't recommend pay sites very often, but this is one of the exceptions and exceptional it is.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

FRG - update

FRG was our favorite of the Dines uranium picks, because it was the only one buyable on a domestic exchange. It's up big today, over 12%, on news of a new uranium find.

This one may be just beginning it's ascent.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Next Gilder Ten-Bagger?

LanOptics (Nasdaq LNOP) $13.20



Monday, November 13, 2006

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Jim Dines and Uranium Picks

Jim Dines was on PBS last night, the Nightly Business Report, touting his favorite uranium stocks. Since Dines went public with four picks, its clearly ok to finally name names here. Better yet, I'll let Dines do it; here is a link to his appearance last night:

Jim Dines on Nightly Business Report, Nov. 3, 2006

The stocks Dines identified are:

Fronteer Development FRG
Laramide Resources LAM.TO
Mega Uranium MGA.TO
Pinetree Capital PNP.TO

Only FRG is traded on a domestic exchange, so that is the easiest selection to trade. The others are International Equities, require phone calls to brokers and are a bit more cumbersome to follow on a daily basis. Accordingly, so far I only own FRG, but I own a bunch of it and from much lower prices. But according to Dines (his latest newsletter hit last night) this bull market in Uranium and Uranium Stocks is still early and fortunes will be made in this sector in the years ahead.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Paradigm - update

I received this email from Robert Taylor today and want to pass it on to everyone. His system has been short all week.

Dear Taylortrend subscribers,

The interactive forum is now open to the public. You will find the login slightly different but self-explanatory. Hopefully many more individuals will join in and pick up some insights from our members about trading the Xyber9 market forecasts.

I have also decided to open the Xyber9 market forecasts up to the public. I feel that my discovery should be enjoyed by all.

My intent is to bring attention to my book Paradigm and the essay The Taylor Effect and the Technical Appendix. If I get enough scientists in other non related scientific fields to look at gravitational fluctuations as a guideline or better said, a main driver of human behavior, then the paradigm will truly begin.

My main goal is to open the minds of specialists in many different scientific fields, for instance, geophysics, geyser activity, ice flows in the North Atlantic, hurricane frequencies, rain and drought cycles, personal fitness, criminal behavior patterns, psychology and medical science just to name a few.

I appreciate all your comments and continued support for my program. Please login into the Interactive Forum if you have any questions about trading the Xyber9 market forecasts or have answers for the less experienced investor/trader.

I will be posting in the website soon a real time trading chart which will display a trading account I opened on October the 20th. This trading account will incorporate my tax deferred hedge strategy, which is always long the Spiders (symbol SPY) and short the S&P500 E-minis for the weekly down trends only. The securities account is a standard brokerage account. The futures account is set up in an IRA futures account. I will be providing my trading intentions for this account one week in advance of any actions I will be taking in the weekly forecasts updates. You might find this real time trading exercise worth watching. We will be providing more information about this trading account as soon as the webmaster has the page ready to open.

Again, thank you for your continued interest and support.

Best regards,
Robert Taylor

Thursday, November 02, 2006

4:30 am PDT

What a month ahead of us, before the Thanksgiving break we have three weeks of trading, birthdays for Ilene and my brother Bob, an election, the anniversary of JFK's murder and full calendar of snow and cold in eastern Washington. So I sit here, with Imus on in the corner, getting ready for another trading day, wondering about my Dad, who's heart gave out three weeks after the great crash of 1987 and for whom I will light a yarzeit candle tonight at sunset, and tell him how much I miss him after all these years.