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DigitalDisco (90.74)

Beginner's Luck



August 20, 2009 – Comments (3) | RELATED TICKERS: C , TMRK.DL , GERN

It's funny that I mention this because I initially started trying to buy Citi shares when they were at a dollar, but because of my sporadic transfers to my online brokerage account they were back to $3.10 before my money was available and I jumped in.  I still like my position but wish that I didn't know multiplication and division because they will haunt my investing nightmares for years to come (one week cost me roughly 300% of return, but who wants to triple their money anyway?).  Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the stock reverse-Plinko up to its nifty close at $4.48 today, but I worry about tomorrow.  I think that the 5.6% advantage that Citi had over the KBW index today is earned, but I find myself cringing at the idea of the stock being brow-beaten back to sub-$4 levels simply because of speculation that "they're not out of the woods yet."  Granted, they aren't, but management has their compasses out and are headed for the clearing like they were Bear Grylls.  A few recent successes (converting preferred shares to common; offloading some burdensome assets) have been big but overhype may continue to set back any actual sense of recovery.  Boom or bust is bad for Citi because 8.5% gains won't save them from short-term 8.5% losses, and my tiny portfolio would prefer steady, slow growth from C.


Turns out that I was right on Terremark, at least for now.  I'm not sure what spurred the 3% increase today, but after perusing their quarterly report from roughly a week ago I like this pick even more.  Too bad I still haven't completely figured out my CAPS picks yet because I would've liked the little boost I would've received.  Oh well, you win some and lose some.


Lastly, I just added Geron to my CAPS picks on a conservative three year expecation.  I say conservative because I really don't think it will take that long, but sometimes I listen to people who I assume know more than I do but really don't.  I'll be brief here to avoid an irrelevant diatribe; Geron was blessed with the FDA's first embryonic stem-cell trial.  This isn't something (I pray) that they would hand out lightly, especially since they have to be aware of the very large public concern regarding stem cell therapies of any kind.  My brain tells me that everybody here is preceeding with caution which is why I say cut loose a little, a la Mr. Buffett.  But then again I like the gamble...

3 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 20, 2009 at 10:06 PM, capf00l (< 20) wrote:

Money doesn’t grow on trees for most of America. We sit down at our kitchen tables and write out checks to the phone-company, electric company, credit card-company, mortgage-company, and auto finance company every month. We clip coupons and go to the grocery store every week to put food in the mouths of our children. This is what our parents did before us.

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#2) On August 27, 2009 at 12:17 AM, stemcellstocks (< 20) wrote:

I'm not sure I share your optimism regarding Geron.  The promise of embryonic stem cells to generate treatments in the foreseeable future is highly suspect.  Perhaps in the next 10 - 50 years, there will be therapuetic benefits derived from embryonic stem cells.

 For what it's worth, my position is non-ethical and purely based upon the past 10 years of scientific results.  

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#3) On August 28, 2009 at 12:52 AM, DigitalDisco (90.74) wrote:

Whether or not you agree with the ethical and moral questions posed by the author you should avoid information like this because it is skewed.  The debate between embryonic and adult stem cells is only dead in the sense that embryonic stem cells are more powerful and hold more potential as a therapy.  Embryonic stem cells can become anything in your body.  Adult stem cells already are something in your body, so that's what they are most easily used to replicate.  They can be reverse-engineered (for lack of a better term), but why reverse-engineer something when you have the original available?  Adult stem cells do potentially have advantages in transplant science but it's really a case of too-early-to-call-it.  Stem cell research is still in its infancy in many regards, but the limited amount that we know is incredibly promising.  The hardest part of obtaining knowledge on the topic is sorting out bias on moral and ethical grounds, like the author of the blog you sited was unable to do.


Now, one argument that he made that is entirely valid is that Geron has a long history of blowing smoke.  For all the hype that they've created for anything in the history of their company, they really haven't produced on the promises.  Why I like them is because I think that they have a promising idea that, if they get through the FDA trial, has massive value either to pursue on their own or sell to somebody else to deal with.  I am slightly worried about the FDA hold, but these things are not uncommon in trials and could realistically be anything from a concern over testing methodology/procedure to a likelihood to create ebola instead of cure spinal injuries.  We won't know until either the FDA or Geron break their silence (the FDA will do it first).

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