Case of the Mondays

I spent more than my usual share of time this weekend re-watching old movies on Comedy Central.
If you read yesterday’s blog, “Market Crashers,” you’d already know one of the movies. Despite what your mother may have said about how TV will kill your brain cells, I find it useful for creative inspiration. Besides, that’s much easier than having to actually interact with anyone.
Although I have no doubt that I am beginning to lose some of those brain cells, I’ll never pin it on my viewing habits. One of the really great things about starting to lose some of those brain cells is that regardless of how many times you see a movie or a show, somehow it still manages to surprise. I’m sure that I’ve written that before, but even then, it’s still funny, in a poignant sort of way, to me.
See what I mean.
That was also the case watching the cult classic “Ofice Space,” on Comedy Central, the cable station where commercial failures go for new life.
It probably works out that way because it’s really hard to smoke weed in the movie theater during the first run of movies that go on to become cult classics. It’s also hard to make it to the theater if you started smoking weed beforehand, thinking that the weed is way overpriced at the concession stand.
The cult, in case you didn’t know, smokes lots of weed. There’s no other plausible explanation for why the mere mention of “TPS Reports” elicits spasms of laughter.
As opposed to much of the world, and definitely the downtrodden characters in “Office Space,” I always look forward to Mondays. In fact, even when I was a contributing member of society, I had nothing against Mondays.
These days, the only Mondays that I don’t care for are the Federal holidays, with all due respect to dead Presidents, laborers and others deserving of retail sales events. It’s all simply because the stock markets are closed.
Otherwise, Mondays are like a re-birth.
Interestingly, yet totally coincidentally, that blog on “Re-birth” starts off with a comment about short term memory lapses, too, which just confirms that if anything, I am a creature of habit and in possession of only a limited ability to spin new lines of thought.
But that doesn’t matter, unless you’re married to me and have to hear the same stories ad nauseum.
Each Monday has the potential to offer a re-birth in the sense that I’m likely to have cash in hand after calls are assigned or puts that I had sold end up expiring.
Over the past month I’ve acted very much out of character by not immediately spending all of the cash within minutes, just like a little kid on a shopping spree. Holding onto the cash, looking for just the right values, put me outside of my comfort zone. So did selling all of those put options, but sometimes you just have to do what needs to be done to feed the beast.
And mine is pretty voracious, but the more it’s fed, the longer I can stay away from interacting with outside elements of society and do such mundane things like paying my mortgage.
As today’s re-birth hit, I had the rare opportunity to put into action essentially the entire strategy that I had laid out over the weekend. That doesn’t happen too often.
I actually marvel at and have a bit of jealousy of people like Douglas Busch, publisher of who is able to make consistent use of his strategies.
If you haven’t seen his newly re-designed website at its new home, you should take a look.
On the site he lays out daily investment strategies and has the goods to back it up. He also does realtime updates on Twitter and is very transparent.
Among the things that make me jealous are his ability to make sense out of charts, which is a good thing, given the name of his site. The fact that he has the self-confidence to use his real likeness on his site is also admirable.
But for me, charts are like “stock porn.”
They’re enticing, but after a while, it all looks the same and then has a hard time holding my interest. I’ve even thought about trying some stock on stock action or maybe some exotic derivatives, but it always ends up with a return to my “Old Reliables.”
Maybe it’s “LowT?”
The fact that I was able to execute my strategy was in itself unusual, because most of the time it seems that whatever well made plans I’d arranged for the new week’s investment strategies are scuttled within minutes of the market’s opening bell. There’s nothing like reality to bring me back to the realization that I know nothing.
Yet, that doesn’t stop me from trying to spread the “Gospel of Hedge.”
I’m not really certain why I bother. What I really wonder is whether I would ever have the nerve to pull of the classic “Costanza Strategy,” and actually do the direct opposite of what I believed to be prudent.
Besides following through on what I continue to believe were well thought out strategies, what made the morning unusual was that I strayed outside of my comfort zone much more than usual, by picking up shares of Jeremy Lin fired-up Cablevision and the SPDR Energy sector ETF.
Still, I found solace in reclaiming shares old “Old Reliables” denizens Mosaic, Morgan Stanley and Freeport McMoran, although I could have waited a bit longer before making the purchases, as the market went down about 50 points after I got my trades off.
Again, another example of pre-mature speculation.
As the afternoon wore on the losses slowly eroded, but it was really my inappropriately large holding in ProShares UltraShort Silver, that were keeping me ahead of the losses in exisiting shares of Freeport McMoran, Rio Tinto and others.
As much as I liked seeing silver fall, I still have a long way to go to get the underlying shares to a break-even point, although the option premiums since this past July have been great.
Only one problem, though, in that the past two months, most of my shares have been unhedged and that beast is beginning to take note.
The other problem is that silver is falling in face of a weakened dollar today, which now goes against the correlation I thought that I had just learned.
As excited as I am when I’m actually able to remember something, I’m even more excited when I think that I’ve learned something new.
Then when it turns out that what I’ve learned may not be all that accurate, good luck geting rid of that little chunk of worthless knowledge.
In the meantime, I don’t care.
That probably explains why I’m at peace with not having much of a scientific basis in what I do, despite a professional career that was dependent on that kind of basis.
What I do know, and I know this with great certainty, is that next week someone, somewhere in the world be be going through a “case of the Mondays.”
But not here and not me.
Unless of course those wild and crazy Iranians or Israelis need to clear out their nuclear arsenal to make space for new retail offerings in time for the next upcoming Federal holiday instigated sale.
In that case, I don’t think that even Jeremy Lin is going to help those shares of Cablevision.