Our community blogs

  1. As a child of the 60's I remember very clearly when America was "different", it was in my personal opinion, a better country when I was growing up than it is now. People had more respect, more tolerance and more compassion for their fellow man than they do now. Don't get me wrong, there were still plenty of problems, but they were not nearly as amplified as they are now in this 24/7 media world. As an example, lets take a look at the current firestorm over Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson and his comments in GQ magazine, which were basically quoted straight from the bible and were a general view shared by the Christian right. GLAAD was all over his words condemning them and condemning Phil Robertson himself. In my personal opinion, GLAAD has been given way too much influence over the majority it clearly does not represent. When I was a kid, tolerance for gay and lesbian people was not even thought about, and that was clearly wrong, its not for us to judge, but to love each other no matter what the difference, and let God be the judge when all is said and done. Even so, I have seen so many instances of hateful speech that were real, and not manufactured by GLAAD as I see this recent issue. GLAAD used to ask for tolerance, now they want EVERYONE to believe as they do at all costs or suffer the consequences, this is not a correct use of their "rights" in my opinion. Nor is the relatively recent trend to push the gay and lesbian agenda on television and other types of media. The rights of the many are supposed to outweigh the few, but we have become a nation where the rights of the few outweigh the many, or in other terms, the squeaky wheel is truly getting the attention.

    There was a time when the Al Sharpton's and Jesse Jackson's of the world were needed, that time was the 1960's and early 70's during the civil rights movement. As their importance dwindled, they became the problem rather than the solution. A couple of examples of this would be in Sharpton's case the Tawana Brawley fiasco, in which the supposed victim accused several white people, some of prominence of, a violent rape against her. The second incident I can clearly recall as a former New Yorker, was Jesse Jackson calling New Yorkers Hymies (a racial slur against Jews) and New York itself Himey town. Throughout both incidents, there was controlled outrage and it was localized, but in the end, both "Leaders" were let off the hook to resume their racial baiting agendas in my opinion. The fact that they were even a factor in both those situations says all I need to say about the NAACP and affirmative action in general in today's world; while they were necessary and useful platforms for people of color who were most definitely discriminated against at one time, they are dinosaur institutions which need to become extinct as well. GLAAD is itself becoming too big for what it once stood for, and should suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs at some point. In as much as they find Phil Robertson's comments offensive, they cannot change the contents of the bible and what it says. In any event, as people our job per the bible is to love our neighbor and all of humanity as we love ourselves without regard to their differences, and if we all did that, this world and this Nation, would be so much better off. Things have really gotten out of hand with regard to tolerance in the last few years, with celebrity's and reality stars such as Gilbert Gottfried, Paula Deen, and now Phil Robertson getting blasted and unjustly so in my opinion. We can't all think alike, but we can all accept each other for who we are, and accept that there are none among us who have not at one time or another made a mistake, hopefully learning from it as we go on. "Judge not lest ye be judged" easy to say, but apparently not so easy to do.

  2. blog-0422907001453990208.jpg

    The dangers of getting sucked into the hysteria surrounding the price of oil is that we might actually start beginning to be believe some of the forecasts being bandied around. A collapse to $10 oil? A rebound to $100 oil? We know about Saudi-Iranian tensions, a global slowdown, exports coming out of the US, the rise of shale, and so on. So where’s the price going to go next?

    The important thing to accept is that none of us really know. There are many great minds analyzing the current situation and a large slice of them will be wrong. The others will just be lucky.

    Back in 1999, The Economist put together a whole issue that talked about a structural shift in the oil price and that the black stuff would indeed be stuck at $10 for generations to come. The arguments were coherent, the pictures glossy and the die was set for a new normal. That was their conclusion. That conclusion was wrong.

    It didn’t take much more than a decade for us to see oil at $100 and a whole new chorus of forecasters talking about a new paradigm of structurally high prices. Clearly that didn’t last.

    So where does that leave us? No idea. As they say, forecasts tell us nothing about the future and everything about the forecaster. There are many "known knowns" (the rise of Iranian oil, for example) but probably more "unknown unknowns" to factor in. So don’t be surprised if we see more volatility, in either direction. The important thing is to avoid being caught betting too aggressively on the wrong side of the trade.

  3. Many months ago I started working on a way to give occasional discounted subscription rates here at KOAT. After many months of sorting out the system to support coupons, I am announcing our first ever Gold Membership Monthly Coupon Code.

    From now through February 14th, 2014, If you enter the code "RELMOR99" in the coupon entry when signing up for either a Monthly or Annual Gold Membership (look for "I have a coupon to use" on the bottom left of the confirm & pay page), you will receive a 25% discounted rate on your subscription.

    As we continue into another year we plan to offer many more great deals like this. Keep your eyes open for our next offering on unique KOAT Gifts in the Gift Shop around July.

    Thanks for your support,


    Source: January Gold Membership Promotion Code !

  4. blog-0095155001389077349.png

    By Relmor Demitrius

    If everyone reading this doesn't know what the Borg is, it is a Star Trek reference to an alien race that is an enemy to mankind. They are half robots, half organic lifeform, that only cares about the collective, not the individual. In covering Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) for over 6 years now, I have decided this is the most appropriate way to describe what John Malone is and what he stands for. The news of course is that Liberty wants to absorb Sirius XM into their portfolio, further capitalizing on leverage and cash for the parent company. A great move for Liberty stockholders. I'm sure there are other reasons as well, (tax reasons, etc.). So why do I label John Malone and Liberty Media the "borg". That is simple. They are an uncaring conglomerate out to assimilate you into their collective. And just like the borg in Start Trek, it is whether you like it or not.

    The offer to Sirius XM stockholders for conversion to an ETF is a literal joke. I don't really want to focus too much here on the offer, as it doesn't really warrant too much discussion or analyzing. I could explain to the average high schooler or even 5th grader in 5 minutes why this is a bad deal. The average adult wouldn't need five seconds. So why the offer? I think it is two fold.

    1. You never know. I think if the Borg can convince enough institutional holders that he can get them either a run on the SIRI stock or the new C shares, they will vote for it and get out much higher than here. You might get lucky and it passes.

    2. Start the negotiations at a low point. If this is the beginning of a long negotiating process, then you might as well low ball your first offer. 2 problems with that. You are undervaluing your own company, hence it's a extreme conflict of interest. A majority owner would only evaluate his own holding if he were trying to acquire it all or to sell it. So this isn't a bluff. Its a hard take over attempt, complete and utter. I have heard many investors saying this is a bluff. He's trying to support the price cause it will be a bad 4th quarter. Hog wash. Utter nonsense. You don't low ball your own shares if you aren't serious. The Borg here is very serious. This is also a nice way to gauge shareholder reaction too. I have yet to find one shareholder who likes the deal. Which is normal. Be like trying to find one person who hates sunshine or the laughter of a child. Sure you can find some, but they are weird, and not worth talking too and probably someone who should be avoided really at all costs.

    There is even a Borg apologizer on this website who said he wouldn't want non voting C shares. And this guy is literally in love with Malone. So even Malone lovers hate the deal. So why offer it? Cause the Borg has begun the assimulation process and will not stop until completed.

    All Sirius XM is to the Borg is another component in a means to a larger end. Based on Liberty's activities its chock full of risk and very unorganized. It appears he is trying to be a player, when he isn't. In fact, Liberty never could afford to buy the amount they own right now even. Even 2 years ago. Would have been impossible. Now the small guy is telling the big guy what to do. Give me your money, your future, and your lifeforce, and in return I will give you a back seat ride with no view of the screen. You are now gum on the bottom of the Borg's shoe. Vote this down wholeheartedly and never look bad. No reason to discuss or breakdown the deal, because the Borg's first play is a laser shot across Sirius XM's bough, and they never asked for a parlay. When you declare war on someone, no reason to discuss anything.

  5. IHS Vehicle Production Forecast

    October IHS forecast released to suppliers.

    Year . . . Vehicles . . % b/(w) Prev Fcst

    2013 . . . . 16.2 . . . -0.1%

    2014 . . . . 16.8 . . . +0.2%

    2015 . . . . 17.5 . . . +0.1%

    2016 . . . . 17.7 . . . -0.5%

    2017 . . . . 17.7 . . . -0.5%

    2018 . . . . 17.9 . . . -0.5%

    2019 . . . . 18.1 . . . -0.3%

    2020 . . . . 18.2 . . . -0.1%


    Now that the 2013 tax year is over halfway completed and the stock markets have seen historical highs, many investors have some large capital gains and/or large “paper” gains. The question that often arises is “How do I keep these capital gains in my pocket?” Well, due to the recent tax law changes, this answer isn’t so simple. Let’s examine how to keep the money you earned in your pocket and out of the government’s hands.

    What is a Capital Gain?

    A capital gain is the amount realized on the sale or exchange of a capital asset. Capital assets include personal property items such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, your personal residence, etc. The amount realized on the sale or exchange of a capital asset is equal to the proceeds received over the adjusted tax basis of the asset. The adjusted tax basis is, in general, equal to what you paid to acquire the asset. This amount can be increased or decreased upon certain events.

    How Much Tax Do I Pay on a Capital Gain?

    Because of the recent tax law changes from the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, this answer has become very complicated.

    The first order of business is to determine the holding period of the capital gain asset. If the asset was held for one year or less, the gain is considered short-term. Short-term capital gains are taxed at your ordinary tax rate. For example, if you fall into the 25% tax bracket, your short-term capital gain will be taxed at this rate as well.

    If the asset was held for over one year, the gain is considered long-term. Long-term capital gains are taxed at a preferential rate depending on the income tax bracket you fall into. Beginning in 2013, the long-term capital gains rates have increased to 20% for taxpayers in the highest income tax brackets as follows:

    • Married Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouse taxpayers over $450,000 of income
    • Single taxpayers over $400,000 of income
    • “Head of Household” taxpayers over $425,000 of income

    For taxpayers that are above the 15% tax bracket but below the highest tax bracket, the tax rate is 15%. For those in the 10% or 15% tax bracket, the tax rate is 0%.

    Are There Any New Taxes on Capital Gains Starting in 2013?

    The answer to this question is maybe. One of the provisions of the recently issued Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Act”) by the U.S. Supreme Court, was the institution of the Medicare Contribution Tax (“MCT”). The MCT imposes a tax of 3.8% on net investment income starting in 2013.

    Taxpayers will be subject to this tax if you have Net Investment Income (“NII”) and your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (“MAGI”) is over $250,000 for married filing jointly (MFJ) taxpayers or $200,000 for Single taxpayers. The 3.8% tax is calculated as the lesser of your NII or MAGI in excess of these limitations. NII includes the following types of income: capital gains, interest, dividends, annuities, rents, royalties, passive activities, and trading of financial instruments or commodities. Please note that certain deductions related to these types of investment income may reduce the amount taxed (i.e. investment interest expense, investment expenses, etc).

    So How Do I Go About Reducing My Taxes?

    That is a great question! Let’s go through some potential tax planning techniques you can implement to avoid these tax increases.

    • If you had large capital losses in the past when markets were at their lows, you may have been limited on the deductible loss amount you could take. It may make sense to consider selling certain highly, appreciated capital assets and realizing those “paper” gains in 2013.

    • If your 2013 income is below the 15% tax bracket, it would make sense to look at your portfolio and think about selling capital gain assets at an amount that would take you right up to the 15% tax bracket threshold. For 2013, the 15% tax brackets are $70,700 for MFJ and $35,350 for Single taxpayers.

    • If your income is slightly above the 15% tax bracket, then it may make sense to accelerate deductions into 2013 to move yourself into the 15% tax bracket. This strategy will need additional analysis to determine the impact of the Alternative Minimum Tax (“AMT”) however.

    • If your income is hovering around the MCT or the top tax bracket, consider accelerating deductions into 2013 or implementing other strategies, such as contributing money to your retirement plan (IRA, SEP IRA, etc) in 2013. Again, the AMT will need to be considered as part of this tax planning.

    • If you are married and one spouse has no other income but capital gains, it make sense to consider filing your 2013 taxes as married filing separately.

    • If you have already sold some investments for large gains, considered selling some of your “loser” stocks to offset these gains. If you implement this strategy and decide to rebuy the “loser” stock sold, the “Wash Sale” rules will need to be considered.

    • Consider gifting highly appreciated stock to your kids and have them sell the stock. Gift tax rules will apply and need to be considered before utilizing this strategy.

    If you are currently sitting on large capital gains and/or large “paper” gains, the time to act on maximizing your capital by limiting your tax bite is now! Please contact me at 610-363-5965 for a free consultation and discussion of your personal tax situation.

    Disclaimer: IRS Treasury Regulations require us to inform you that any tax advice contained in the body of this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the recipient for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

    Source: Tax Articles


    « Reply #1203 Today at 4:33pm »


    (5:01 PM) xxxx: http://www.overstock...257/static.html Mon, 5 Sep 2011 13:29:22 -0700 - aka vs. Goldman Sachs: A True David & Goliath Story

    (5:01 PM) xxxx: For six years has waged a war to expose Wall Street mischief. We did not go looking for a fight, but our company was attacked, and we learned we were not alone: the same manipulation-for-profit tools that Wall Street had deployed against us had also been deployed against

    (5:02 PM) xxxx: many American companies, harming job creation, innovation, and economic growth. We knew that if left unchecked and unexposed, Wall Street's games could ultimately damage U.S. capital markets.

    (5:02 PM)xxxx: So in 2005 and 2007 we filed two lawsuits. The first case was against a hedge fund (Rocker Partners) and hatchet-job-for-hire research team (Gradient Analytics), both with ties to Jim Cramer. The second case was against a group of eleven Wall Street prime brokers, culminating in Goldman Sachs.

    (5:03 PM) xxxx: The hedge fund in question (Rocker Partners) hired famed lawyer David Boies, and the prime brokers showed up with an army of the most prestigious law firms in America. Our lawyers were Dore Griffinger, Ellen Cirangle, Jonathan Sommer and Catherine Jackson of Stein & Lubin, a small but excellent San Francisco law firm.

    (5:03 PMxxxx: We won the hedge fund case against Gradient and Rocker, extracting an apology, a retraction and over $5 million in cash (it felt good to beat David Boies' firm). In our prime broker case, one of the Wall Street banks (Lehman Brothers) has gone under (two, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch were sold at fire sale prices), and another seven paid us millions to let them out.

    (5:03 PM) xxxx: That leads us to the main event this coming December, when will square off against Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch (and Merrill's parent, Bank of America) in a San Francisco courtroom.

    (5:04 PM) xxxx: Recently, in the prosecution of this case, we uncovered evidence of collusive action between Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and other Wall Street bad guys, in a scheme designed to fool regulators and profit illegally at the expense of

    (5:04 PM)xxxx: As a result of this discovery, in December 2010, we added a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act claim and requested treble damages under this RICO claim. We firmly believe the conduct of Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch were "racketeering" and "corrupt."

    (5:05 PM) xxxx: We are moving forward: trial is scheduled to commence this year, on December 5, 2011. At trial we will hold Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch accountable and expose a slew of illegal Wall Street practices to the public.

    (5:05 PM) xxxx: http://www.overstock...257/static.html Mon, 5 Sep 2011 13:29:22 -0700 - aka vs. Goldman Sachs: A True David & Goliath Story

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