Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fed Chief Cuts Rate, but at Expense of Inflation

Luskin is a writer for Smart Money Magazine and an economist at a consulting firm. I've been following his writing and have even posted a few articles. He made some very good arguements about why the Federal Reserve should NOT have lowered interest rates last week. I agreed with him. The Fed obviously did not and this is his response. I'd point you to the graph that I posted that is also available with the story link. This graph shows total US Household Assets versus Liabilities and then shows how much of our liabilities are in sub-prime (and then how much is in trouble....very little).

Perhaps the graph can shed a little perspective on how overblown this SubPrime "crisis" really is.

There is no doubt that Real Estate will be in trouble for some time to come, but that is the nature of markets, they cycle.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF

Monday, September 17, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

TD Ameritrade SPAM Investigation

To Meridian Clients,

You will be receiving a letter in the mail soon and may hear on the news shortly (or already heard) that TDAmeritrade has discovered unauthorized code in their system that may have allowed for a hacker to obtain TDAmeritrade client e-mail addresses. Those addresses may have been subsequently used for SPAM purposes.

I wanted to address this issue head on and state for the record that I am very disappointed in TD Ameritrade. This is unacceptable and a breach of my and your trust. I have made it a practice NOT to submit e-mail address data to TDAmeritrade so it is unlikely any of you are affected. However, a few of my clients have elected electronic statements and thus have turned over their e-mail address to TDAmeritrade.

I've posted the letter from TDA here as well as a video message link to Joe Moglia, the CEO, here.

While I am very disappointed in this breach, I don't believe TDAmeritrade is the only company that this could happen to. I am however looking at my options for your accounts and will begin the process to determine whether or not I can still trust TDAmeritrade with my clients assets.

I think you will be impressed with how they responded to this crisis and I want to assure you that your assets where never at risk and never will be by hackers. TDAmeritrade has an Asset Protection Guarantee that protects your assets in case of these types of problems.

I apologize for this inconvenience and am available for any questions you might have.

Warm regards,

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tech Bubble Part II

BusinessWeek wrote a short article about the ongoing feud between discredited wall street analysts Henry Blodget and Mary Meeker. Evidently Blodget pointed out an error by Meeker that threw her calculations off by $4.3 billion.......chump change! Of course after Meeker corrected her error, she then changed her assumptions in order to make her analysis look better. If this isn't proof of Wall Street not being honest and not putting your best interest first.....I don't know what is.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF

Article below.

Blodget And Meeker Redux

In an echo of the tech bubble, once-iconic Internet analysts Henry Blodget and Mary Meeker are battling it out again over stock valuations. But this little rivalry involves estimates of how much Google (GOOG ) can make by overlaying ads on videos viewed at its popular YouTube site. In an Aug. 22 post to his Silicon Alley Insider blog, ex-Merrill Lynch (MER ) analyst Blodget, who is barred from Wall Street for hyping stocks that he privately dissed, argued that the ads could bring in as little as $12 million or as much as $360 million in gross annual revenues.

Then Meeker, the Morgan Stanley (MS ) analyst dubbed the "Queen of the Net" before her name became synonymous with the excesses of the bubble, quickly released estimates that the ads could bring in $4.8 billion over the coming year.

Blodget called out his former rival by noting that Meeker had made a critical math error: In estimating how much YouTube could make for every 1,000 video ads shown, Meeker's team neglected to divide by 1,000. By her math, Blodget mused, the YouTube revenue would amount to only $4.8 million.

Meeker, whose firm co-underwrote two of Google's stock offerings, promptly corrected her error. But first she revised upward some of her original assumptions to still argue that YouTube could bring in $504 million to $1.26 billion. Meeker was on vacation and unavailable to comment. Blodget declined comment, but on his blog he joked that Meeker's move was another example of the Wall Street practice of "backing into the numbers."

By Heather Green