What a Week

I love extrapolations and projections, so based on this past week, I’m getting ready for a great 2012.

Even though this was a holiday shortened trading week, I definitely got my fill of thrills.

I’m not exactly certain how I should categorize the kidney stone that helped to welcome in the New Year. I guess that not all thrills are positive ones, but at the very least it didn’t cause me to miss anything other than some pain free stretches of time. It also seemed odd sitting in my usual perch on the La-Z-Boy without being able to extend the leg rests.

At that point, it’s just a chair, so what’s the point of a La-Z-Boy?

Rectal ExamThe unexpected probing was also an unwanted thrill, but this time the prober did not at all look like Woody Allen and had no sense of humor about him.

Slam, bam, than you man and that was it. No dinner, no drinks and certainly no conversation.

What I found somewhat unusual was not paying in cash to have my asets handled so unemotionally.

Sort of like the relationship with your stockbroker.

I suppose that the kidney stone is something that I’d prefer not to extrapolate. The thought of giving birth to a 7 pound bundle of crystal by years’ end isn’t as appealing as it may sound.

But how could you not love a week when inserted between every verbal comma was mention of the Hungarian currency, the Forint? With all of the discussion of how trivial the Greek economy is in the big picture, imagine where Hungary sits.

Actually it represents about 0.8% of the EU’s annual gross domestic product while representing 2% of its population. In contrast, its one time partner in two wars, Germany, has about 20% of the GDP and 16% of the population.

The Greeks, who have been maligned for their sloth and lack of industriousness, actually have a per capita GDP that’s 40% greater than that of my hometown, Hungary.

But maybe that metric is as meaningless as the retail shopping metric that I proposed to Telsey and Associates.

In hindsight, no pun intended, the use of aerial views of mall bathrooms and the quantittaive analysis of the number of toilet paper plies utilized, giving a Shoppers Hygiene Instore Tracker, was not adequately validated. Who knew that people would be offended to learn that the personal posterior hygiene of a Walmart shopper was less than that of a Nordstrom shopper.

Although closely related to the Forint in my lexicon, my next thrill came from a mention received in a Forbes magazine article by Eric Jackson. The article “Crowd Sourcing the Top 2012 Market and Stock Tips’” was a snapshot comparison of 2012 predictions solicited on Twitter. Apparantly, some of the Twitter users have a version that allows for 2000 space messages, but I was still thrilled to have the opportunity to put my 140 spaces in and to be included among a list of pretty well known people, who may be wondering why security let me through.

And the hors d’oeurves? Excellent. Worth crashing the party.

With all thrills, there has to be the eventual period of descent. That’s the roller coaster ride we are on all of last year.

For me, that descending part of the roller coaster ride was Netflix. After the speculation that a newly led Yahoo! might be a buyer of Netflix, its shares went soaring more than 29% over 3 days, never even beginning to question the insanity.

Of course, I had sold $72.50 call options and seeing shares go from $71 to $86 took a little bit out of my otherwise unbridled joy. Hence, the rant earlier this week.

The particular lot that was assigned was bought at $72.03 on December 27th. That lot, had actually replaced a previous one that was assigned at $72.50 the previous Friday, which had been purchased for $66.16 on December 5th.

So in addition to the $6.81 per share capital gains on that inital lot, the options premiums received during the 5 weekly cycles contributed an extra $5.14 per share.

Still a long way away from $86 though, but the reason it’s easy to say “never have regrets” is that these kind of opportunities always come back. It’s not likely that Netflix is headed back to its original heights.

The laws of physics just won’t allow that to happen.

Now, I do understand some of the physics behind roller coasters, drops, velocity and acceleration, although I choose to not even attempt to understand the application of differential calculus to the process of options trading. But from a pure respecting the laws of physics point of view, following the fall with the Netflix experience, there should have been no way to get to a point that was higher than where I had originally soared, but if the mind obeyed the laws of physics there would never be any fantasies.

There’s a reason the saying “it’s all downhill from here'” exists.

All during the week, the hosts of “Street Signs” on CNBC had been asking viewers to send in their recommendations for the 2012 “Word of the Year'” as it was time to replace “Hopium” the 2011 word.

I spent a good part of 2011 watching Street Signs in 2011 and especially liked the decision to pair Brian Sullivan, Mandy Drury and Herb Greenberg, but to tell the truth, I don’t recall how “Hopium” crept in to become the rage of the 2 PM hour.

I don’t know if there were many other entries besides my own. Among my losing submissions were “shopandippity” and Eusaster.” 

I won’t even bother giving definitions for those losers.

But at the end of Friday’s show, with requisite drumroll, they announced their word of the year, “Eurosis.”

My word.

Whoever said after the competition results were in “there are really no losers” was a loser. And since Eurosis is sort of lame, you can only imagine what the rest must have been like.

Since it was the winner, I’ll give the official definition. 

Eurosis. The fear of European Union monetary policy and its effects on American interests. It’s a less severe form of “Sarkozis,” which is a fear of monetary policy decisions promulgated by the President of France.

I like “Hopium” better.

Still, as they say, a win is a win, regardless of how sloppy.

The tradng week ended with the kidney stone still in place but without the intense pain. From my perspective, it’s as if the roller coaster’s end of the ride was at a different and higher station.

I know that the kind of extrapolating that I’d like to do isn’t possible. Not that the laws of physics control the markets, but greed and fear have every bit as much to do with market movements, as real data do.

This week starts quarterly earnings reporting.

What I have extrapolated, based on the past quarter is that I will no longer try to play a stock right before earnings.

Again, no physical laws involved, just a simple case of “fool me once.”

What a week.

As Sunday is the traditional start of the week, at least for my purposes, this new week has gotten off to another nice start.

Today, I drove my son to New York and dropped him off at JFK airport, as he goes on a trip to Israel, as part of a great program called “Birthright.”

A few days ago I didn’t think that I’d be able to make that 9 hour round-trip drive, due to the kidney stone. Hard to believe that an errant finger could have jostled it free, especially from the other end, but whatever, I was grateful for the opportunity.

Part of the reason that I’d wanted to drive him was to stop at a Kosher-style restaurant, Harold’s Deli, that was featured on the Food Channel show “Man Against Food.”

A big part.

We had a great time trying to stuff ourselves and barely being able to make a dent in the plated offerings.

I got back home just in time to eat some of the doggie bag remainders, still leaving plenty for tomorrow.

Happiness was one last fat filled meal before tomorrow’s procedure and more jostling of personal assets.

Luckily, the procedures aren’t scheduled until the early afternoon.

I say luckily, because Monday starts with me needing to find a home for about 25% of my portfolio, so there’ll be some more jostling of assets going on.

Yes there’ll be cash involved, but at least there will also be that missing emotional attachment.

Ah, it feels so good to have those assets moved around.


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Today’s Trades Security Type Action Type
January 6, 2012 FCX Option Expired Weekly
January 6, 2012 MOS Option BTC Weekly
January 6, 2012 MOS Option Assigned Weekly
January 6, 2012 AXP Option Assigned Weekly
January 6, 2012 CAT Option Weekly Assigned
January 6, 2012 AA Option Assigned Weekly
January 6, 2012 GMCR Option Expired Weekly
January 6, 2012 NFLX Option Assigned Weekly
January 6, 2012 AMZN Option Expired Weekly
January 6, 2012 BP Option Expired Weekly
January 6, 2012 CAT Option Assigned Weekly