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Glad to see there are at least a handful of folks that still have this board on their favorites. Available time can be a challenge these days, but I'd like to see if I can get some discussion going. I've been having an ongoing discussion with someone I came into contact with through a mutual friend about the energy sector and am really enjoying it. The discussion made me think it might be a good time to get things going here again, too.

As for energy, I never thought that would be my area of focus, but with all that's been going on, I'm finding it a great sector to get to know and understand better. I've been surprised to find that there are some companies in this industry that I think have competitive advantages and can successfully navigate the waters of the commodity markets that impact them.

My approach is value-based, and I use my accounting background as an important element of my analysis. I incorporate some off-balance sheet items when looking at debt and also include some measures aimed at uncovering earnings management. I recently read Business Fairy Tales by Cecil Jackson and found it to be one of the best books I've read on this topic. The thing I liked the most was that the book discussed ways to uncover the manipulation, which most books don't touch on. Many of these were already in my toolbox, but there were a few new ones, too. I've only been in my current role for eight months, so I haven't finished incorporating everything into my analysis.

I work for Argus Research, so you can see my reports on Schwab and Fidelity. Right now I'm able to work out of my house, which provides a lot of advantages when you have a family with four children -- it gives me the chance to be more involved in their activities.

To the extent I can I'd like to open up discussion here to the energy sector, accounting-related issues, value investing and, of course, the principles of Philip Fisher.

That's about all for now.

Phil
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