Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ADD Isn't A Stock Symbol, It's How The Market Is Functioning

Attention Deficit Disorder describes the hyperactivity of children, adults, and the Market. Parents, teachers, psychologists, and bosses can deal with the former grouping, I'm affected by the Mr. Market. The inability of markets to concentrate on what is truly important is maddening, but often helpful. We are in such times.

Investors should care about earnings/cashflow and the prospects for future earnings/cashflow. Additionally, they should keep an eye on the market's earnings yield, the inverse of the P/E, in relation to available bond yields. Stocks should move when there is a likelihood of change in those variables. They shouldn't gyrate every nano second as unrelated news is announced. But that is the world we invest in today. A world dominated by children and supercomputers. It drives me crazy, but also offers opportunities in mispriced values.

The market has recovered nicely from its Greek worries selloff, lessening the number of bargain securities. One area remains. Solar. The solar companies, with the exception of First Solar, are being given away. The Chinese manufacturers are going to dominate the module business; they are not going to go away. Some may have accounting issues, others will merge, and they all may lose money for a quarter or two, but there will be winners and the market has killed them all. Choosing between them is difficult. I've chosen JASO, TSL,YGE to spread the risk, but they are all cheap at current prices. The ETF TAN gives good exposure to solar, but it has a big position in FSLR and that is the only solar stock that isn't being given away. Big Chinese solar is cheap, but not without risk. But, at some point the ADD boys and girls will like the sector again and prices will rise dramatically.

A safer solar play is Power-One, an American inverter and power management company. It also is very cheap and has a bright future, plus the safety of not being Chinese-whatever that means. The hyperactive crowd will find this one eventually also.

Time for golf, and like in golf, keep your head down and don't pay attention to the daily drivel. Watch for future earnings, earnings yields, interest rates and not much else. Act when the ADD camp is stupid.

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