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Talking stocks, trading, and investing in general - Page 701

post #10501 of 11163
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramuman View Post

It's not as they enabled it.
Basis?
post #10502 of 11163
^^^
Really. I thought they were paying people to be assholes and firing people who weren't asshole enough.

On a contrary note, an excellent value manager I employ just increased his exposure to WFC a small bit.
post #10503 of 11163
haha, the news feed for the Google Finance page is always hilariously random and jacked up.

Just now, with the market closing up 160ish, here's the current top headline (they rotate with some frequency):

Deutsche Bank woes keep stocks on steep slide
Reuters - 18 hours ago
Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 30, 2016.
post #10504 of 11163
Well a lot of companies pay people to be assholes to other people. IBs, VC firms, and the hedge funds are awesome at it.

In WFC's case, I doubt execs paid the underlings to steal from their own company - bear in mind they are legally responsible for customer assets.

I'm only going on intuition, not insider info.
post #10505 of 11163
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramuman View Post


In WFC's case, I doubt execs paid the underlings to steal from their own company - bear in mind they are legally responsible for customer assets.
I'm not sure that's really an accurate way to characterize it, but more to the point I don't understand what your intuition is rooted in. An assumption that executives/managers are generally more honest than line-level employees?

I've represented many sales organizations over the years. Sales managers and execs who get compensated on the performance of folks who report to them can often be super resistant to anyone asking too many questions about how their star performers are generating such unbelievably great results. At the very least, taking a head-in-the-sand, don't ask don't tell policy when there are red flags all over the place is not uncommon. Nor would you expect it to be, given the financial incentives at play.
post #10506 of 11163
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post

I'm not sure that's really an accurate way to characterize it, but more to the point I don't understand what your intuition is rooted in. An assumption that executives/managers are generally more honest than line-level employees?

crackup[1].gif

Most people are pieces of shit unless their being observed.
post #10507 of 11163
First I will admit I don't know all the facts in the WF scandal, but based on what I do know both in general and about antics I've heard from people over the years I've known at WF, it's hard to feel sorry for the executives.

Friend of a friend was involved in a lawsuit against Wells (mentioned in this article) years ago where Wells fired some bankers for insubordination because they didn't want to engage in this fraudulent behavior. I have a hard time seeing how this sort of thing gets buried inside a legal department without someone reporting it up the chain. I think it's more likely that WF knew there was a risk but decided it was worth the risk. Now that it blows up in their face, they fire all the rank and file who were forced to execute this plan, and by the way had any of said rank and file refused to engage in this activity, they would have been fired for insubordination. Talk about damned if you do, damned if you don't.
post #10508 of 11163
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post


I'm not sure that's really an accurate way to characterize it, but more to the point I don't understand what your intuition is rooted in. An assumption that executives/managers are generally more honest than line-level employees?

I've represented many sales organizations over the years. Sales managers and execs who get compensated on the performance of folks who report to them can often be super resistant to anyone asking too many questions about how their star performers are generating such unbelievably great results. At the very least, taking a head-in-the-sand, don't ask don't tell policy when there are red flags all over the place is not uncommon. Nor would you expect it to be, given the financial incentives at play.

Past a level where their performance is based on opening accounts, there was no incentive for executives to want the behavior to happen. Honesty doesn't have to come into play. 

post #10509 of 11163
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchapiro View Post

Past a level where their performance is based on opening accounts, there was no incentive for executives to want the behavior to happen. Honesty doesn't have to come into play. 

Systems of unethical behavior don't just appear on a middle rung and flourish downwards. It's why you don't find nation states that are rotten at the top and ethical below, or the reverse. Nation states, like large corporations, find common understanding and cultivation of beliefs when enclosed. Wells Fargo employee's behavior at this order of magnitude can only point to a organization that reflects the same characteristics at the top that it does at the bottom, meaning in essence it's impossible for that many people to be involved and it go unnoticed above. Therefore the incentives become irrelevant because it's just an accepted way of doing business in their culture.

You might even say you need to burn the village to save it.
post #10510 of 11163
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchapiro View Post

Past a level where their performance is based on opening accounts, there was no incentive for executives to want the behavior to happen. Honesty doesn't have to come into play. 
I'm not entirely sure what this means. That at a certain point up the corporate ladder the success or failure of the cross-selling initiative was so insignificant that it would have been a matter of indifference?
I have no idea what various individual executives knew, didn't know, or should have known. My comments were in direct response to the assertion/assumption stated as fact that only "underlings" were involved because it's somehow unimaginable that managers or executives might have encouraged the misconduct. That's neither sensible not consistent with my anecdotal experience.
post #10511 of 11163
So I think, as usual, certain posters are conflating what is happening at WF with all events and all companies. If upper management was complicit, knew what was happening, or figured something was up but looked the other way, they certainly deserve some kind of punishment. However, the thought upper management should always be jailed for whatever low level employees do is ludicrous. An emergency room nurse steals a patient's wallet. Should the hospital administrator bear the same punishment as the nurse? Heck, in a properly functioning hospital the administrator is not even going to know about it as the ED supervisor is going to report it to the police and fire the nurse.
post #10512 of 11163
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post

I'm not sure that's really an accurate way to characterize it, but more to the point I don't understand what your intuition is rooted in. An assumption that executives/managers are generally more honest than line-level employees?

I've represented many sales organizations over the years. Sales managers and execs who get compensated on the performance of folks who report to them can often be super resistant to anyone asking too many questions about how their star performers are generating such unbelievably great results. At the very least, taking a head-in-the-sand, don't ask don't tell policy when there are red flags all over the place is not uncommon. Nor would you expect it to be, given the financial incentives at play.

I should clarify. Not at all that they're more honest. And the don't ask don't tell approach is well, knowledge of it does matter.

I meant that if you hold the executives responsible, then so should everyone who committed those acts directly. I didn't mean to imply the execs should be absolved of responsibility, simply that the line level employees fully knew what they were doing.

When I was in management consulting, I could have easily fed my friends information and gotten a kick back indirectly, but I knew that would be wrong. That would fall on me even if the partners turned the other cheek.

We're not talking about 16 years working their first job at McDonalds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

So I think, as usual, certain posters are conflating what is happening at WF with all events and all companies. If upper management was complicit, knew what was happening, or figured something was up but looked the other way, they certainly deserve some kind of punishment. However, the thought upper management should always be jailed for whatever low level employees do is ludicrous. An emergency room nurse steals a patient's wallet. Should the hospital administrator bear the same punishment as the nurse? Heck, in a properly functioning hospital the administrator is not even going to know about it as the ED supervisor is going to report it to the police and fire the nurse.

Exactly my thoughts.
post #10513 of 11163
Was recently re-reading back through the discussion from a month or two ago when we were talking about chasing a dog and buying the dips etc. I'm not really a pro here, just a dumb guy trying to make a buck. So I did think about what you guys have said since I've only been at this a couple of years and don't have a winning record yet. That being said, while I'm not a professional trader, I'm still a "trader", so I'm looking for ups and downs. I don't really know much or care about these companies. And my strategy has been to buy when there's an overeaction and sell when it recovers and then keep a little if it goes higher. But ultimately my goal is to get in and get OUT asap with a win. I have bought into things that went down for good reason and never really recovered... there was VRX, CMG, MNKD, etc. On most I managed to make a little or break even or in some cases lose a little. I've learned not to chase things like say VRX that have real issues. And companies like TWTR were always just speculation plays. I don't believe in the company per se but they went from 14-15 a share to 20+ and may hit 25-30 with buyout speculation. That being said, I HAVE backed way down... Instead now I'm buying into good companies in bad markets and I'm keeping my downs to like 5-10% with a +20% upsides. There are still stocks that I just buy and sell over and over again like say TSLA or NFLX because they move around a lot. I don't dig into details, I don't know and don't care. These are quick little trades and I make a 5-10% gain over a week or two with a few hundred dollars in and out in and out.

So I wanted to take some time to think about and process what you guys said and I've done that now. I understand that I look like a cowboy and I do know that I'm taking incredible risk... but at the same time my intentions are different than yours, so I'm looking for quick trades not long term buys, I don't need to know the details and do analysis for that, and I'm fairly young and dumb and need to make money asap and in future will be more conservative. That being said, I have understood what you guys have said and have started changing my strategy. I'm not at least 30-40% cash and working on pulling myself further and further out of the market and back into cash with the plan to put probably 80% of my portfolio into standard etf's and use just 20% (instead of 100%) of the money for this fun little playing around. I'm now sticking to a few industries I know better and a few companies I know and making more calculated risks. I'm more consistently making money and probably nearly at breakeven overall from the past 2 years. In my defense, the past 2 years have had had oil go from $100 to $40, Greece nearly(?) default, Britain exit the EU, Clinton scaring the biotech industry, no real new releases from AAPL or tech breakthroughs, airlines not doing well, etc... so I'm hanging in there and learning too and I think getting better but I'm also pulling way out to minimize my risk. It's been fun but I've had enough. So it'll be back to CAN/USA/International equity ETF's and some REITS for the most part with cash on the side and a bit of stock play to scratch that itch.




Some recent updates...

Media:
NFLX up about 4.5% today. Just sold about half my position. Was holding a lot at 99, then the last report and it dropped to 85 or so and I doubled down, and just sold that portion now at 99 and 103. Will sell half of the original position at 110 and the rest at 115 then I'm out.

So DIS... what's up. They seem to be well diversified, doing quite well, and yet their stock has been in a total funk. Can't get out of the 90-100 range. I'm adding more and more in the low 90's and it's becoming a fairly large position for me. I think they'll be fine long term but this one might take a while. I'm hoping the fear that they might buy TWTR is bringing them down and if they don't go ahead and do it then it'll come back up.

I feel like FB is going to keep going and pass that 130 mark. I previously sold it around 115-116 I think and was hoping it would come back down to low 100's and I was going to buy back in. I think if it hits 115-120 I'll start nibbling again since it's shown it can stay in the 120-130 range and I think they have some big new things coming (international growth, better ads, return of the marketplace, etc)

Biotech:
Have been loading up on GILD recently. Has a small decent dividend, plenty of cash to buy a few companies, and is a pretty good company in an industry that overall is down... now true they're going to have a lot less revenue from some drug lines but they've got stuff in the pipeline no doubt and seem to be waiting for the right company(s) to buy... I'm about 5-6% down at this point but potentially have 20-20% upside so it' risky, but I think reasonably fair risk. This is my biggest holding now by far and it's a longer term one. I'm set to sell everything I've bought in the low 80's and high 70's around 87-90 and then will sell everything else around 100 if it can get there longer term.

Also in healthcare I've started buying up BMY. Not a huge amount but opened a position and added a few times. If it goes lower I'll still be adding more. Again, I'm ok with being down 5-10% for 2-3 months if in 6-12 months I could be up +20%.

Was holding a lot of IBB and bought it all the way down and have been trimming it on the way up now. Sold off some at 301 and was planning to sell the rest at 310 but now that it's back down below 290, I'll add a few closer to 280 but otherwise if it hits 300 again I'll just cut it and take some winnings and move on. Could go back to that 310-325 range but I only have a small position at this point and am happy to take a 10% gain more or less and move on to something else.
Edited by Master-Classter - 10/3/16 at 9:27am
post #10514 of 11163

It has been fun watching your strategy MC.  I forget, do you use a program to help scan for possible trades or do you just look around?

 

Finishing up the 3rd quarter, we were up 1.6% and are up 4.2% on the year thus trailing the S&P by 1.4%.  The only change I made in the 3rd quarter was converting my Vanguard account from a standard fund account to a Brokerage account for access to the SPY ETF in my Roth IRA.  Previously my Roth did not hold any S&P so if I wanted to buy some I would have had to put in the $3,000 minimum or transfer from other holdings.  I will probably do the same to my wife's account as it still allows us access to Vanguard funds but also other assets as well.

post #10515 of 11163
Just looked at the overall portfolio return this weekend and we are at 11.2%. Not a jaw dropper compared to some of you guys but that's a nice raw dollar number on the total portfolio. Having substantial cash to deploy this January really helped as I bought a big chunk of VOO around $171 in Jan and then another chunk for just under $170 in March.

If I could get 11.2% every year I'd be a very happy camper.
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