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To: QwikSand who wrote (60065)4/5/2004 4:13:40 PM
From: im a survivor
   of 64864
 
///Any financial experts out there...have just a couple days to make a choice and looking for opinions...please excuse my lousy spelling <g>

OK, my wifes work has decided to offer an alternative to her current pension plan ( obviously, different plan then her 401k)...her current plan is basically a guaranteed amount based on a formula they use based on age, final salary and years of service...this is a guaranteed amount based on the formula when she retires..The plan is managed by her company and funded by her company so no investement decisions are needed on our part......the negatives to the current plan as I see it are this : When she retires, she cannot get money in a lump sum...it is payed in monthly installements, so technically it really isn't 'guaranteed', unless she outlives the amount she is due...and there are certainly positives and negatives versus getting a lump sum which you are guaranteed versus a monthly payment that will require you to live a looong time if you are actually going to collect the full amount due....the 2nd negative is the current plan only pays half her benefits to the beneficiary should she pass away. The new plan they are offering would freeze her current benefits which she would be guaranteed and then it works like this...each year, her company pays into her pension an amount based on another formula that is based on salary, age, and years of service, so each year, she gets a higher % from her company.....In this new plan, she can get her full amount due in a lump sum instead of a montly payment, thereby assuring she gets the full amount due...and 100% is payable to her beneficiary if she dies...the negative in the new plan is it is not managed by her company and guaranteed......it would be left up to us to manage and the money would be put into the same things that her 401k offers, which is obviously the equities market, via mutual funds...My concern is I have no clue as to what the market will do over the next 10 - 25 years and god forbid it tanks and we pull a japan with 20 years of misery, obviously her pension would be killed...now, part of me says my wife is only 33 ( I am 40) and has plenty of time to allow the markets to give a decent return, but I just dont know if we can count on history to repeat itself....history says over any 20 year period, the best place for your money is equities...but just because that was past precedent does not mean the same will be true....In other words....who knows what the market is going to do over the next 10 - 25 years...not me..not anybody...If her current plan offered a lump sum payout, it would be a no brainer and I would go with the current guaranteed plan...and if the market goes up, then we will have made the wrong choice ( I think we need an 8.5% annual return for the new plan to outperform the current plan), but at least we know it is guaranteed...in the new plan, we would be hoping and risking everything on the fact that equities will pay off over the next 10 - 20 years or so...8.5% annual return and we come out ahead....lower then that and we come out behind.....So, I prefer the original plan which is managed by her company and guaranteed, but then again, it really isn't guaranteed as it is payed in monthly instalments rather then a lump sum. The new plan, we will have to manage ourself and hope the market at least gives us 8.5% annualy...if so, it is the better plan as we can get a lump sum payment and 100% payable to beneficiary in case of death....but, again, it boils down to whether the market performs...if it does, the new plan is the way to go......if not, we are better with the guaranteed money, even though we cannot get a lump sum and have to settle for monthly payments, in which case we probably wont ever see the full amount due.....anyway, have just a couple days to decide what to do, and I keep flip flopping back and forth...one minute I like the guaranteed plan, even though I dont want monthly payments..the next minute, I think I will regret staying with the new plan if the market goes up...if the market goes up 8.5% a year, we come out much better and can collect full amount immediatley, rather then monthly payments...and if it goes up more then 8.5% we will really miss out on some bucks as the new plan will dwarf the current plan if we get more then 8.5% a year...But, if the market does not give us 8.5% annual average over time we could be screwed...Any suggestions? All opinions welcome....

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To: Charles Tutt who wrote (60069)4/5/2004 4:52:14 PM
From: Lizzie Tudor
   of 64864
 
no meaningful links, thats the problem I am having along with everyone else it looks like. I don't know what Sun's actual strategy with msft is. I have no problem with Sun working with msft, to me this is similar to apples acceptance of IBM years ago... but are they intending to go up against Linux or not? Attacking Linux is a losing strategy imho. And red hat stock didn't notice this partnership either.

Sun, Microsoft Settle; Take Aim at Linux

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Computer industry titans Sun Microsystems Inc. (NasdaqNM:SUNW - News) and Microsoft Corp. (NasdaqNM:MSFT - News) on Friday settled their bitter antitrust battles, letting the former rivals form a common front against the increasingly popular Linux operating system.

Both companies face stiff competition from upstart Linux in the market for server software used on networked computers because Linux can be copied and modified freely.

"Sun and Microsoft have a common enemy: Linux," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group in San Jose, California. "They are seeing each other as less of a threat and, together, facing a common threat."

biz.yahoo.com

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To: QwikSand who wrote (60067)4/5/2004 4:55:52 PM
From: Lizzie Tudor
   of 64864
 
anything that perpetuates a market shift of any kind I am calling innovative. Cost cutting has spurred innovation and platform shifts before, cost was pretty much the sole reason to move from IBM to unix + oracle 10 years ago. But beyond that Linux at least has an enterprise quality platform to offer the user as opposed to msft's intentional monopoly apps+OS monolith which lets the viruses in.

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To: Lizzie Tudor who wrote (60072)4/5/2004 5:20:09 PM
From: Charles Tutt
   of 64864
 
Does anybody know Rob Enderle's credentials? I don't.

Charles Tutt (SM)

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To: cfimx who wrote (60068)4/5/2004 6:28:43 PM
From: E_K_S
   of 64864
 
We may have trouble with Schwartz. It's not a very good track record.
(http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=15150)
From the article:"...As for the newly empowered Schwartz, he appears to have some excess baggage of his own. He is a former McKinsey consultant who, while attempting to serve as Sun’s chief strategy officer, oversaw a string of disastrous acquisitions that cost Sun millions; then he borrowed $4M USD from Sun to meet margin obligations, according to SEC filings. This is the person tasked with raising the Titanic in Mountain View? Oh well... we do live in interesting times!..."

EKS

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To: E_K_S who wrote (60075)4/5/2004 6:34:12 PM
From: cfimx
   of 64864
 
the guy is PURE salesman...

and no my first name is not ANDY:

LATEST NEWS
8:41 AM PDT Monday
Sun's moves not enough says analyst
Robert Mullins
Sun Microsystem Inc.'s attempts to right itself fail to impress one key industry analyst.

Andrew Neff, of Bear Stearns, on Monday said he is sticking with his "underperform" rating for Sun, of Santa Clara, in the wake of its settlement of a long-standing lawsuit against Microsoft Corp., and the announced reduction of its workforce by 3,300 positions to approach profitability.

"While we're encouraged by Sun's restructuring moves to reduce its cost burden ... its actions today don't address the heart of the issue," Mr. Neff states in a research note to investors. "That is, Sun's growth challenges and margin pressures from growing encroachment of lower-cost solutions.

Sun makes servers and high-end computer workstations used by businesses and other large enterprises. But it is being undercut by less expensive models from such companies as Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, and Dell Inc., of Round Rock, Texas.

While Sun's announced workforce reduction of 9 percent, or 3,300 positions, will help bring costs more in line with revenue, Sun will continue to have problems, Mr. Neff states.

"Sun's actions remind us of Compaq/Digital in their later days, [with] serial restructurings but no material changes in the company's fundamental model. If history is a guide, Sun could follow the path of those companies with further disappointments leading to an eventual acquisition," he writes.

Digital Equipment Co. was acquired by Compaq Computer Co., which was later acquired by HP.

Sun last Friday also announced a $1.9 billion settlement with Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., of a long-standing suit over Sun's allegations that Microsoft unfairly blocked programs written in Sun's Java programing language from the Windows operating system.

Bear Stearns is lowering its Sun estimates for the quarter ended March 30 to a loss of 7 cents a share on revenue of $2.65 billion, versus its previous estimate of a loss of only 1 cent on revenue of $2.97 billion.

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To: im a survivor who wrote (60071)4/5/2004 6:56:35 PM
From: Robert
   of 64864
 
You are better off kepping with the current plan. Look
at it from the perspective of the employer, who obviously
has had the benefit of expensive actuaries and accountants:

1) No employer would voluntarily offer you something better
than what you have as it would cost them more overall.
2) The new plan is worst for the "average" employee. Unless
you know for sure that you are not "average" (ie you
intend or know for sure to die prematurely) it is not
worth it.

Hope this helps.

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To: cfimx who wrote (60076)4/5/2004 7:26:33 PM
From: cfimx
   of 64864
 
The Register » Software »
Sun's Java prince refuses Redmond relocation
By Ashlee Vance in Chicago
Published Monday 5th April 2004 01:32 GMT
Exclusive The first major fallout from Sun's capitulation to Microsoft has occurred with vice president and Java defender Rich Green quitting Sun in "disgust," The Register has confirmed.

Green, Sun's vice president of developer platforms and the major public voice for Java, left the company on the same day that Sun announced it had declined to pursue lawsuits against Microsoft, according to sources. During the US Microsoft antitrust trial, Green was one of Sun's key witnesses, arguing that Microsoft tried to undermine Java by shipping an incompatible version of the JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

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To: E_K_S who wrote (60075)4/5/2004 8:20:55 PM
From: QwikSand
   of 64864
 
Oh man, a McKinsey consultant. Miséricorde. I thought his schmooze veneer was a bit too slick...guess that impression was right. That's more than a little scary.

Rich Green's resignation in disgust may be an indication that JDS and co. are in trouble. It's too bad. During the Jackson DOJ/MSFT trial he did a fine job as an advocate for Sun under cross examination by MSFT's lawyers.

--QS

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To: cfimx who wrote (60078)4/5/2004 8:37:04 PM
From: High-Tech East
   of 64864
 
Hi twister/Mike/room222 and all you other old friends.

We are 18 months in Happy Valley, and just started teaching a course I developed in personal investing. My biggest examples of success and failure are SUNW and Abiomed ... but you knew that already Mike, didn't you? My new effort is called "Progressive Investing Strategies." One of my students wants to add Seminar to the end so it will be PISS ... <g>

Life is good ... we love it here!

You might look at Laserscope [LSCP] that I started buying last September, and have traded in and out 8 times for excellent gains - it is a double for me now.

I am flat on LSCP right now having sold at 24.75 recently. My next buy-in point is around 22. It closed today at 25.59. It is thinly traded, but a great medical device technology story.

The only thing that bothers me about them, and it may become a serious issue, is that they will lose 50% of their net income if they are forced to expense employee stock options. That could be very ugly. That is becoming an important part of due diligence. Some people believe that the FASB will make their recommendation soon.

I hope you are all happy and healthy.

Ken Wilson

edit ... just updated my profile

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