February 13, 2013 
In This Issue
Show Me the Money, Apple!
A Visit With One Of My Heroes
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Gary Miller is in his 38th year of providing financial guidance to individuals and pension plans. He is a Registered Investment Advisor and a Certified Financial Planner ™ Practitioner. Gary holds a Certificate in Personal Financial Planning from the University of California, Irvine and has served as a Board Member of the Financial Planning Association, Orange County Chapter.



The year 2013 is off to a promising start on almost every level: unemployment rates are falling, the US and international stock markets are looking healthy, and interest rates are rising - yes that's a healthy sign! The 10 year US treasury bond has broken above the 2% level where only a few months ago it was under 1.50%. While this may mean an uptick in mortgage interest rates, there appears to be enough strength and momentum in the housing market that any increase in mortgage rates of perhaps half a percent should not materially slow things down. Interest rates have been at depression levels for some three to four years now and the fact that they are ticking upward suggests anticipation of continued economic growth, and a bit of an increase in inflation as well. Below are some recent thoughts that I would like to share with you.
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Gary Miller.......gary@trustedfinancial.com
Show Me the Money, Apple! 

On Thursday, February 7, David Einhorn, the widely followed hedge fund manager, initiated a campaign to defeat Proposal #2 in Apple Incorporated's (AAPL) current proxy statement, to be voted upon February 27.  The proposal, while containing some attractive provisions, also requires the Board to seek shareholder approval before issuing preferred stock.  It is unusual for a Board to initiate limits on its ability to act, but particularly curious in light of a recent proposal  by Mr. Einhorn to have the company do just that: issue preferred stock!  Einhorn, who is a relentless critic of bad corporate management, is unhappy with the fact that Apple is sitting on a cash hoard of about $137 billion. Although the company resumed paying a dividend last year, after a 16 year hiatus, the $2.65/year payout is only a fraction of the $50.00 per share Apple, Inc. is expected to earn in the current year. And so the cash continues to pile up.


Einhorn's solution is to enhance shareholder value by creating an equity claim on more of Apple's assets through the issuance of preferred stock. He believes that higher dividends on common do not necessarily translate into a higher stock price.  I'm not sure I agree with the rationale, but the concept of issuing preferred stock may be designed to appeal to management, who jealously guard their cash, as if the next Depression were about to strike.


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A Visit With One Of My Heroes


A day I'll always remember! In gleaming San Diego for three days, I've been attending the TD Ameritrade National conference. 


The day began with a meaningful presentation from two Washington Insiders I admire: Eskine Bowles and Alan Simpson of the eponymous Simpson-Bowles Commission, organized by President Obama to recommend ways to balance our Federal budget, then essentially ignored by him. While Mr. Bowles , a Democratic functionary in the Clinton administration, is clearly frustrated, former Senator Simpson (Republican, Wyoming) seems to take a philosophical view of the way politics is done in Washington. 


Their most blistering criticism was aimed at AARP (Simpson shifted into a high pitched voice, mocking their pretended horror at the idea of raising the Social Security eligibility age to 68 by 2050). Next in line for targeting was the fat in our military budget, which exceeds that of Russia, China and all the other NATO nations combined. Last, but not least, Grover Norquist was depicted as a bete noir for Repubicans who know tax revenues must go up to cover the social welfare bill but see voting for this as political suicide.

Later in the day, I encountered Senator Simpson alone near the elevators and had the pleasure of shaking his hand and telling him he is one of my heroes. At 81, he still towers over everyone in a room, standing about 6 feet 5 inches. I discovered his private persona to be just as Wyoming direct as his public presence, only his language is saltier!




I hope this newsletter has been helpful.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call: 

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Gary Miller