Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dramatis Personae

For those confused by the sniping in some recent comment threads, this post may offer a partial explanation.

Dramatis Personae


- Dr. Paul Price aka Stockdoxc99: A retired dentist and stockbroker and prolific poster at GuruFocus and Seeking Alpha. Paul tends to invest in a broad portfolio of stocks he determines to be values based largely on historic earnings data and forward estimates from Value Line and other sources. He also constructs options strategies around various positions.

- William Spetrino, Jr., aka Billytickets: Former prolific poster on GuruFocus, blogger, and author of the book "Consume, Consume, Consume Some More: Spend More, Work Less". He tends to invest in a concentrated portfolio of large cap, blue chip consumer names (e.g., MO, KFT) and Berkshire Hathaway.

- Daniel Wahl aka DanielW: American ex-pat living in Vietnam, blogger and investor. Tends to invest in a fairly concentrated portfolio selected after in-depth fundamental research, and is willing to invest in companies before they are profitable based on an analysis of their assets and profit potential. A former poster on GuruFocus and Seeking Alpha.

Sources of Animosity


Between Daniel Wahl and Paul/Stockdoxc: Daniel Wahl once criticized Paul's understanding of risk, by pointing out that a stock's current price in relation to its previous highs and lows indicates nothing about the stock's prospects going forward. Paul then countered with criticisms of Daniel's understanding of risk. At the time, the investments Daniel had mentioned on GuruFocus, e.g., LEAPs on Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, were on a tear. Last year, when some of those investments began to decline (e.g., the zinc miner Strategic Resources) Paul became more zealous in his criticisms. Their dispute then got personal.

Between BillyTickets and Paul/Stockdoxc: I don't remember the origins of this one. Maybe one of the principals can explain.

Between Daniel Wahl and BillyTickets: There is no animosity that I am aware of between these two.

51 comments:

One who knows said...

Dave,

I believe that most, if not all, the posts here under the assorted "Billy Tickets" labels are not from him.

I doubt if he even visits this site.

Many of the posts ascribed to Paul Price, P.Price and stockdoc are posted by others and not him.

"Waniel Dahl" seems to be used by the real Paul Price when he seeks to be cute without using Daniel's true name to confuse people.

DaveinHackensack does not actually exist. "Dave" is a psuedonym used by Warren Buffett who would rather not have others know he likes to post to jack up the prices on his micro-cap "emerging" company stocks.

Dave's wife is a frustrated ex-hooker with a heart of gold. Before her retiemewnt she was worth every penny (according to Eliot Spitzer, anyway).

Anonymous said...

^You think you know... but you really have no clue.

The Shadow said...

The Shadow knows...

Dick Vermeil said...

They were...
who we thought they were.

Playoffs? You're talkin' about playoffs?

Anonymous said...

For those born after the 1930's, who may not have gotten the good doctor's reference to the Shadow.

The Shadow

One who thinks he knows said...

yeah true, the doctor is older than dirt.

The Dark Knight said...

I can explain Billy vs Stockdoc.

Billy is a Warren worshipper and has his investment strategies modelled around WEB "filters" - whatever the heck that is supposed to mean. Stockdoc is a Dreman follower who uses P/B, P/E, P/CF and sometimes lunar cycles and sheer ignorance wrapped in arrogance to pick stocks and then build exotic butterfly and 69 options positions around them.

Their spite started last year when Billy pointed out Stockdoc's pick of the year "SLM" ( aka "The best Stock in America" aka "I am in love-don't tell my wife" ) which went bust like firecrackers on July 4. Billy basically started taunting Price on his picks which primarily relied on past earning multiples and past points in the price chart ( are we talking about Fibonacci retracements or Elliot waves here?).

With every passing taunt Dr Price bacame restless, irritated, frustrated and finally animated with his pupils dilated with fury.

He started countering Tickets on some non issues like ...I forgot...Doesn't matter..

Oh yes.. his incessant marketing of the book "C C and C more)...

Tickets left Gurufocus and started a website where he created a sticky thread and an alias called BuffettClone and ripped Price apart every day to the extent that Price finally was left in tears 6 months later.

In another twist to the whole Drama, turns out that Billy's forum was full of aliases- some 120 of them who talked to each other like ghosts in the cemetery at 1 AM. So the forum collapsed and Price was happy again...

That is the gist of the story..Not sure where they stand now with regards to their fued..But my guess is they have not started sending Christmas cards to each other yet!

Paul Price said...

I couldn't have summarized it better- well done!

-Paul

Veritas said...

None of the comments on this thread labeled were actually written by Paul Price.

Only azzholes would continue posting under somebody else's name to deceive Dave's [if he actaully exists] readers.

Waniel Dahl said...

My new blogs are kewl. I now get to talk about Hollywood movies and real Gurus' buys and sells without the chance that I can ever be wrong like I was last year.

I should have thought of this sooner.

Paul Price said...

Veritas and WanielDahl

Stop posting these comments to make people believe that it is me who is writing that c.r.a.p. So sick of these imposters!

Dave (If you exist) please save my azz from these cruel people.

-Paul

Waniel Dahl said...

I'm able to live off my investments. Even though they all crash and don't pay dividends.

That makes me a super-guru.

Shout out to Mom and Dad for making this all possible.

B.Tickets said...

Looks like I have to start another website after my forum just to help internet assclown Paul Price.

Writings on an Internet Assclown

Paul Price said...

The Dark Knight,

It was not SLM that Billy was harping on, but it was Countrywide (CFC) which I thought would do so well that I wrote tons of puts on it. But that azzhul Mozilo screwed up ruining my hard earned reputation in the process.

CFC and not SLM , get your facts straight.

-Paul

Paul Price said...

Here is the thread on Guru Focus where I exposed Daniel, PhotoChannel - PNWIF - Higher Sales/Bigger Losses. Hackensack -- too bad you didn't dump your shares in that money losing dog when I wrote that.

Dave's Wife said...

I must have a heart of gold to put up with all the money Dave loses on his micro cap stocks.

Jim Rogers said...

Hey Paul, tell us the real story about the guy who whipped your azz so hard during your conference call that you dropped the line and ran, let all of us hear the full story ( Though I know the whole deal)

Anonymous said...

Jim Rogers...If you know the deal, then tell it. Details.

Paul Price said...

There are no details because it never happened. I don't have conference calls. I just invest my own money and write about it on the internet.

Jim Rogers said...

Well, he doesn't have any conference calls "now". Even references to his conference calls have been removed from his bio on Gurufocus and seeking alpha. He took great pains to remove that from the websites. Wish he had shown half this smartness in picking stocks :)

Paul Price said...

Am I going to get exposed here? I am not a politician. Please leave me alone.

Anonymous said...

Expose the Price as the scamster he is! What conference call, and when? Is there a recording?

You can find a picture of him here: http://www.ucfsd.org/board/

He's the old one.

Holy Cow! said...

Old guy - Is that Price?

I feel like throwing up imagining this grandpa spending every waking day verbally abusing 20 year old guys online...Tough life!

BillyTickets said...

I like talking to myself.

My forum will never die as long as I'm alive!

Anonymous said...

The old one is indeed Price. It is very sad.

Gary Glitter said...

Hey Daniel! Good to see you're finally making friends. Can you come bust me out man? You know we had a lot of good times down here; its not fair that they only caught me!

Tell your mom I said hi and ask her if she can send me a few bucks too. I'll pay her back as only Gary Glitter can, baby.

- Dad

DaveinHackensack said...

That's it everyone, let it all out. Next time anyone starts sniping in a comment thread, I'm just going to refer you to this comment thread. Let's see if we can contain the nonsense to this thread and have more profitable discussions in every other thread.

Jim Rogers said...

Price looks real old, i mean like REAL old. How old is he? 75?
Looks like his bio is fake too...

Either ways, I will be nice to him going forward. He reminds me of my late great grandfather.

The Dark Knight said...

There's nothing wrong with being old, it happens to the best of us. It does explain why the Doc leaves comments at dawn on weekends. The prostate gets him up.

Who has the skinny on this conference call business? Why would the Doc even have a conference call when he doesn't run a fund? Was he charging for this? Inquiring minds want to know.

For those not old enough to get the Doc's Gary Glitter reference, here is the wikipedia page on him. Looks to be some old pop star who was arrested for molesting little girls in Vietnam.

Christine Price said...

Hello everyone!

I'm a desperate housewife with a boring husband who spends all his time on the internet and not paying me any attention. I'm looking for a young, rich stud like Daniel Wahl to show me a good time. I used to have to go my son's frat parties at Penn State for a night on the town, but I got too drunk at a few of those and had some experiences that those dumb jocks are not letting my son live down! So he doesn't let me come up there any more.

Well, Daniel, or any other young stud, you can find me on twin turns lane if you ever want some fine wine...you know the rest. ;)

Jim Rogers said...

whoa..hackensack's blog is turning it on, may be you need to censor this thread later !

Price asked for it though, getting a taste of his own medicine back :)

Daniel said...

Just for the record: I did not write any of the posts above--nor is Dave's assessment of when Price began personally attacking me correct.

That said, I have so little respect for Price that it's a waste of my time to think about him. Thus, neither animosity nor anger can describe my feelings towards him. He is a non-entity.

I quit visiting this site a while ago, and came back recently--only to see this. Price's words speak for themselves, but it also reflects poorly in my judgement on the site itself (for allowing such slander to be printed).

Dave: please ask yourself who and what kind of behaviour you encourage by your stance. Ask yourself what kind of feedback you would like to get, and what kind of people you'd like to attract to your site. Then look at what you have now.

P. Price said...

Just for the record...

I did not write any of the postngs listed here under my name either.

While some of these are funny, you all should know that I am not thew author of the commments attributed to me.

Even my wife's name was incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah yeah

You guys disclaimer yourselves all you want. It's so transparent though.

DaveinHackensack said...

Daniel,

"nor is Dave's assessment of when Price began personally attacking me correct."

Then feel free to correct me here.

"Dave: please ask yourself who and what kind of behaviour you encourage by your stance. Ask yourself what kind of feedback you would like to get, and what kind of people you'd like to attract to your site. Then look at what you have now."

I hope you won't take this as an "attack", because it isn't intended as one, but perhaps you ought to ask yourself a similar question. I'm aware of the pros and cons of my liberal approach to allowing comments. The pros are that I get a handful of good comments, including ones that are justifiably critical or questioning of me. The cons are that I get a larger number of puerile comments. That's the price I pay for the handful of good comments I get.

By contrast, month-to-date, the only comments on your The Guru Five blog are from me and you, and there are no comments on your Systemically Important blog. If you'd rather err on the side of censoring your comment threads, even if it discourages participation, that's your choice, and I respect it. I've made a different one.

Stalker 1 said...

Well said, Dave.

The Guru Five has as much relevance as the Dave Clark Five and Sytemically Improtant could better be named Systemically UN-important.

That's why no one bothers to comment.

DaveinHackensack said...

Actually, I think Daniel may be onto something with his idea of a narrow focus on five gurus. One of the frequent criticisms of GuruFocus is that it includes a lot of gurus it perhaps shouldn't (e.g., Mohnish Pabrai, Bill Miller).

Anonymous said...

You are still there typing Dr Price?

May be you should go back and check what Christine is doing right now!

Daniel said...

Dave:

I don't take that as an attack--what I said to you definitely applies to me as well.

That said, if you want to do a comparison between blogs where comments are moderated and one where they're not, it's only fair to compare two blogs that have actually been online around the same amount of time. Right?

Compare the comments you get now with those I got on my old blog and you'll see one difference--the absence of (a ton of) mean-spirited nonsense (which actually discourages valuable commentators).

You're right the new blogs have only a few comments. Part of that is that they're new, don't have a large following, and with Systemically Important in particular, require more work than just an off-the-cuff opinion.

But I'd rather have no comments for the lives of those blogs than 40 like the ones in this thread.

Anonymous said...

Oh stop being a big baby.

The Scorpian said...

He can't.

That's his nature.

Anonymous said...

Stockdoc, why are you still here?

Do you ever check on Christine?

Daniel said...

Just saw that you asked me to correct you here. So here it is:

I responded to Price's view of risk as you stated--by pointing out that "downside" does not equate with "previous lows" for a stock, and so on.

I did that mostly on his restaurant stock picks and on SLM.

Price responded from the start by attacking me--not my understanding of risk. That is when the dispute between us "got personal"--and the animosity then, as now, was pretty much one way.

I responded after many, many ad hominem attacks (which began in full force after I pointed out that Price deleted his post on SLM)with I think two posts on the nature of Price as a person.

But then I left GF for good, rather than waste more time on nonsense conversations--in an atmosphere much like the one in this thread.

After I left GF, Price started to make a ton of posts (thinking I wasn't going to bother defending myself and knowing that GF wasn't going to moderate him--which they hadn't done yet).

And long after Price was obsessed with trying to make me look bad (along with everyone else) in order to make himself look good, my own portfolio started to do badly.

But I had already stated my opinion on him long before that--and moved on.

Stockdoc said...

Daniel,

Face facts. You mazdce YOURSELF look bad by picking micro-cap, money losing stocks like SRZ and stubbornly insisting they would turn out well even as their fundamentals obviously deteriorated.

Allen Vanguard, SRZ, PNWIF, EMF, HEM and even POT (which did really well before a stunning 70% collaspe) performed horribly even comparted to a terrible market.

Your highly-concentrated portfolio bias means each of those failures had to take a major toll on the net worth of anybody that listened to your advice.

You had the gall to defend your selection of SRZ ["the process was correct"] even after it stopped operations and its shares were delisted.

You now refuse to give any advice that can be measured by not speaking out about any individual stocks.

That's good news for all who read your blogs. They won't lose any more money following your picks.

Most of your selections had little to no information available from any of the major sources such as S&P, Value Line, Morningstar etc. You seemed to go out of your way to find obscure companies where the only sources for data were the companies themselves or from PAID shills.

Stick to harmless commentary about Hollywood where you can do no further harm.

Your friend,

Paul

P.S. You're still invited over for Easter dinner. RSVP please.

Jim Rogers said...

Daniel the "Young Stud" and Paul Price the "Old Fart"

Can we lay this off for a while for the sake of the rest of us

Wilson Pickett said...

Almost all of Daniel Wahl's picks had something in common: they were all VIC write-ups.

Anonymous said...

It's because he doesn't think for himself.

DaveinHackensack said...

Daniel,

"That said, if you want to do a comparison between blogs where comments are moderated and one where they're not, it's only fair to compare two blogs that have actually been online around the same amount of time. Right?"

Right, that's a good point.

"Compare the comments you get now with those I got on my old blog and you'll see one difference--the absence of (a ton of) mean-spirited nonsense (which actually discourages valuable commentators)."

Speaking only for myself, your defensiveness on that blog toward the end discouraged me from commenting to some extent. After your response to a relatively innocuous question I asked about EPM, I felt a little like I was walking on egg shells, and refrained from making some other comments.

"...Systemically Important in particular, require more work than just an off-the-cuff opinion."

Are you referring to the posts on that blog, or the comments?

"But I'd rather have no comments for the lives of those blogs than 40 like the ones in this thread."

I'm not thrilled with the bulk of these comments, but you know my position on moderation.

"Just saw that you asked me to correct you here. So here it is:"

Thank you for that correction.

DaveinHackensack said...

"Almost all of Daniel Wahl's picks had something in common: they were all VIC write-ups."

I don't think this was the case. Allen Vanguard, and Strategic Resources, for example, weren't VIC picks, as far as I can tell.

"It's because he doesn't think for himself."

That's not fair or accurate.

Daniel said...

Actually, SRZ was written-up on VIC also Dave. But I was familiar with it anyway--thanks to involvement in both FNX and Dynatec.

Most of my ideas do and have come from the value investing community though--and if it's in value investors letters, at conferences or in their portfolios, it'll be on VIC.

I honestly don't know of a better free resource online than that site--though most of the same content is available in greater detail with a subscription to Value Investor Insight.

Anybody who has read anything I've written on PotashCorp or Strategic Resources or Hemisphere GPS though knows that I knew those companies myself--and wasn't parroting the conclusions of someone else. Thanks for pointing that out.

That said, responding to a different topic, for the passersby: I definitely made mistakes in 2008 with regards to investments. And, especially from last summer, I've lost a lot of money.

There's a good way to respond to losing a lot of money and a bad way.

I have chosen to write out for myself my errors, so that I'm less likely to repeat them; to continue learning by watching what truly great investors are thinking and doing; and to focus on learning more about each company I invest in (from a more experienced point of view).

Daniel said...

Two more comments for Dave:

1. I don't remember the EPM exchange but I apologize if I came across as defensive or was actually so.

2. With regards to Systemically Important my point was that it is harder to come up with for instance two good analogies that are either humorous or insightful on a particular topic than to state one's opinion about a Company or ask a question on it.

In any case, though I would love to have a lot of relevant comments, I enjoyed writing those posts enough that I feel "paid" already.

Comments, if they come, will show up as a percentage of traffic. And if The Guru Five keeps the percentage and quality of comments to traffic steady, I'll be very happy.