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Szelhamos Rules

James Altucher

Weekend Update March 24, 2012


Weekend Update March 24, 2012It's really amazing that this past week marked the single worst one of 2012.

With now nearly 25% of the year having passed, we can look back and say that a 0.5% drop is the largest we have had. Hard to believe, given where we had come from.

Reminds me of the comment a neighbor made when we bought our new long haired miniature dachshund home for the first time.

"I have poops that are bigger than that thing."

That's what I imagine 2011 saying to 2012.

You call that volatility? I'll show you volatility.

The two big stories of the week were undoubtedly the debacles surrounding the IPO of the BATS Exchange and plunge in Credit Suisse's leveraged VIX product, TVIX.

In the case of the TVIX Exchange Traded Note, there is nothing but misunderstanding regarding pricing and the risk. The details regarding the general misperceptions around TVIX is really well adressed by Kid Dynamite, who is part of the StockTwits family of bloggers, that includes The Reformed Broker and James Altucher.

Not a bad bunch, despite the fact that Phil Pearlman, one of the founders of Stock Twits hasn't added me as a blogger.

Tell Phil.

Of course the fact that Credit Suisse stopped adding new shares about a month ago was viewed as problematic and was quickly remedied on Friday, after Thursday's 40% loss.

Small consolation for that coincidence.

In the meantime, the BATS IPO was cancelled at the end of the day after some spectacular systems failures of its servers, including those that traded shares of Apple and BATS, itself.

IPO's don't get cancelled very often.

Interestingly, one of the most frequent Google searches bringing people to this site is for "Dennis Barnhardt" who was the CEO of Eagle Computer.  He died in a car crash on the morning of the IPO nearly 30 years ago and the IPO was cancelled, as he was Eagle Computer. At the time, Eagle Computer, was seen as the hot-shot rival to IBM back in the early days of the PC. It never recovered, even though the IPO was eventually re-engineered and Eagle eventually disappeared.

The most frequent search hit, however, comes frm Saudi Arabian searches for "Wife's Bra." I don't have any other point to make about that particular factoid.

Okay. Enough about everyone else's problems.

How about me?

Well, for one, I picked a bad week to get back into the volatility game, having last played with shares of  the VIXY ETF back in July 2011, when it had hit its lows.

That was a time when volatility was still alive, just resting a bit.

This time around, with both the VIXY and its ETN cousin VXX at lows, I went in again in anticipation both of a decline in the markets and increasing volatility.

Did you know that low get get lower?

Despite a few promising days, the markets regained most of the early day losses through the week and whatever gains were made in the VXX were lost and then some.

And then some more.

And more,

At least its comforting to know that the volatility index  itself was volatile.

That has to be worth something.

Starting Monday, I'll have about 25% of my shares that will need to be replaced, having lost shares of MolyCorp, Mosaic and Morgan Stanley.

I'm sensing a pattern.

I will also be adding shares of the very same VXX and British Petroleum subsequent to put assignment.

As the week is ready yo begin, I always scour for upcoming dividends and see that one of my favorites, that I haven't owned in about two months, will be going ex-dividend on March 28th.

So I may purchase shares of Dow Chemical before that date.

Along with its sort of cousin, DuPont, Dow was a mainstay of my portfolio for its combination of option premiums, share capital gains and dividends and really helped my portfolio recover value from the 2009 lows.

But it's fallen out of favor with me a bit because it doesn't offer weekly options.

To demonstrate how a "Double Dip DIvidend" play in Dow Chemical might work, consider that at its closing price on Friday of $35.02 it was offering an April 2012 expiration bid premium of $0.77 for the $35 strike.

Add the dividend of $0.25 per share and then if your shares are assigned, your ROI is 2.8% for a 4 week holding period, less trading expenses.

Back when volatility was king, the ROI would have been greater. I typically look for monthly ROI of 2-4% on each holding, but get the lower end these days.

For those who will deride my analysis and say that the option premium already takes into account the upcoming dividend, I can only say that we live in an imperfect world and that includes spasms of imperfect pricing, as well. I don't really see much difference in option pricing for similar comapnies that aren't subject to a dividend payment during the term of the contract.

But what do I know?

Mind you, all of the above that assumes a few things. You can re-read the previous paragraphs to figure out what those assumptions are. If you can't, you shouldn't try to do any of what I'm doing, although I will be mulching later in the day.

When it comes to trying to Double Dip Dividends, I like to purchase shares that when you subtract the dividend payment would end up right near, above or below, the strike price.

Those situations are much less likely to have someone exercise their options for purposes of capturing a dividend.

Options palyers could care less about paltry dividends. They want the big payday, while I want the crumbs to add up and make a full loaf. They certainly don't want to lay out the money to buy the shares.

A couple of caveats. You're more likely to be assigned if your shares are well within the money after you subtract out the dividend payment. Additonally, the closer the dividend date is to the expiration of the contract, the more likley your shares will be assigned if they're still in the money after subtracting the dividend.

In this case, expiration date isn't for another 4 weeks. If you were to buy Dow at $35.02 and sell a $35 call option, unless shares had a tremendous rise by the close of trading on March 27th, you're likely to capture the dividend in addition to the option premium.

Again, re-read, for full understanding of the word "if." It's not like I'm Bill Clinton, "if" means "if."

Speaking of volatility, thanks to the return of volatility in the precious metals, I outperformed markets for the third week in a row.

That might sound good, but I conveniently don't mention the fact that I'm still underperforming the S&P over the year and that too, is largely related to the lack of volatility, in that the price of my shares of the ProShares UltraShort Silver ETF have gone basically in one direction, as silver has appreciated in value.

Down.

But some nice volatility has returned to silver prices, so I've again sold puts as the price of silver takes a large drop and then sold calls when it has taken a large enough rise in price.

Some day I'll do an analysis similar to that recently done for Green Mountain Coffee Roaster shares that shows the ROI on the ProShares UltraSHort Silver ETF, owing to its great option premiums, despite the fact that I currently have a capital loss on shares.

I'll save that for some other Weekend Update.

In the meantime, the decision to purchase shares of the iShares Silver ETF, as a hedge against the hedge, is still under probation. I did make some small option premium income on both the call and put side, as the shares lost some value. I'm hoping to do both of the same again this week.

I'm also hoping they find Amelia Earhart.

Anyway, for Monday, I'm also looking at the possibility of re-purchasing my Mosaic shares if it gravitates near the $57.50 strike. I'm a rpeeat offender when it comes to buying shares of Mosaic, selling calls, having them assigned and then rebuying shares and starting the process over and over again.

Sometimes I may go a week or two between owning shares and that's sad for me, but I'm not proud.

I may also buy back shares of the ProShares Energy ETF that I lost last week at $74.50, but not after capturing the dividend, picking up a capital gain and an option premium. That's the Triple Threat kind of stock that you just have to love.

On top of that, its close on Friday was $72.23 and that was up about $0.80 for the Friday session.

Although I'll be losing my MolyCorp shares, I'll be looking for any opportunity to re-purchase those, as well, if it approaches $28. It has been another great one for which to sell calls or puts, depending on the stock's price movement.

Big drop for no real reason other than fears of macro-economic news? Sell puts.

Big rise, for whatever reason? Sell calls.

But once again, what do I know?

 



 

 

Check out Recent PortfolioTransactions and Transaction Performance 

 

Recent Trades Security Type Action Type
March 24, 2012 CHK Call Expired Weekly
March 24, 2012 FCX Call Expired Crumbs
March 24, 2012 GMCR Call Expired Weekly
March 24, 2012 MCP Put Expired Weekly
March 24, 2012 MS Put Expired Weekly
March 24, 2012 SLV Put Expired Weekly
March 24, 2012 VXX Call Expired Weekly
March 24, 2012 BP Put Assigned Weekly
March 24, 2012 MCP Call Assigned Weekly
March 24, 2012 MOS Call Assigned Weekly
March 24, 2012 MS Call Assigned Weekly
March 24, 2012 VXX Put Assigned Weekly
March 23, 2012 ZSL Put STO Monthly
March 23, 2012 FCX Call STO Crumbs
March 22, 2012 ZSL Call STO Weekly
March 21, 2012 GMCR Call STO Weekly
March 20, 2012 MS Put STO Weekly
March 20, 2012 ZSL Call STO Monthly
March 20, 2012 MCP Put STO Weekly
March 20, 2012 BP Put STO Weekly
March 20, 2012 SLV Put STO Weekly
March 19, 2012 VXX Call BTC Weekly
March 19, 2012 CVC Call STO Monthly
March 19, 2012 MOS Call STO Weekly
March 19, 2012 MOS Stock Added
March 19, 2012 MS Call STO Weekly
March 19, 2012 KSS Call STO Monthly
March 19, 2012 KSS Stock Buy
March 19, 2012 KSS Put STO Monthly
March 19, 2012 VXX Put STO Weekly
March 19, 2012 VXX Call STO Weekly
March 19, 2012 VXX Stock Buy
March 19, 2012 MCP Call STO Weekly
March 19, 2012 CHK Call STO Weekly
March 19, 2012 ZSL Put STO Monthly
March 19, 2012 AFL Call STO Monthly
       




  



 

 













































Stunning Reversals


I've never made any secret of the fact that I don't read very much.

My daily ritual of reading DIlbert and The New York Times Obituaries was recently complemented with James Altucher's blog. I actually thought long and hard about whether to refer to it as being in "complement" to or in "supplement" of my daily activities and realized that there really wasn't a word to convey both impacts.

I've linked to it a couple of times and bored readers of this blog have clicked on that link, which has also activated a small hidden webcam near their laptops, in addition to any resident webcams you they already have.

I like my fuzzy clandestine streaming to be in 3-D.

For those who read this blog on a regular basis it doesn't come as a surprise that I don't read much. In fact, there's really not a strong body of evidence that I even read my own blog, much less proof-read it.

And forget about reading for the sake of getting my information right.

OxymoronsWhen I was younger, I was horrified to find some ham in our refrigerator since it's not Kosher, as you may be aware.

My mother, in response to my pointing this out to her, said "if it tastes good, it's Kosher."

What a great philosophy.

I use that philosophy with my supportive facts. If I believe them to be true and accurate, then they're true and accurate.

A "Kosher pig" is an example of an "oxymoron" until some moron ruined it about a decade ago with the discovery of a species of pig in some god-foresaken rainforest that might just satisfy all of the criteria necessary to be considered Kosher.

I wrote about Oxymorons a few months ago, but with an emphasis on the "moron." The thought was rekindled a few days ago reading one of Altucher's blog entries.

He was asking whether there could really be anything such as an amicable divorce.

In a world of delusion there probably exists such an entity, but then again delusion and the real world are themselves mutually exclusive.

In the real world you end up in "divorce court," which, wouldn't you know it, is itself an oxymoron. Just for fun, see if you can find all of the highlighted and hidden oxymorons in today's blog'

Today, I watched what was called by many a "stunning reversal" in the price of silver.

In fact, they were correct as silver one upped gold and not only cut its earlier steep losses, but ultimately had a nice gain at the end of the day.

One of the things that I've come to like are "tag clouds."

For someone who doesn't like to read, tag clouds are just great, unless you get bogged down by the concrete concept of tagging a cloud. Or having physical contact with an etheral concept.

Thinking too much isn't an oxymoron, it's just an impediment sometimes.

Through the tag cloud by simple virtue of font size, boldness or color, you can immediately know what's important to the author. You may not know whether it's love or hate, but at least you know about the intensity of the apathy.

In my case, the tag cloud lets you know that I have some recent passion about silver, more specifically in the prospects of silver prices doing poorly, as I own the leveraged silver ETF that appreciates in value as silver prices drop.

Before I owned the shares my interest in silver was neglible, other than as an historically important treatment for gonorrhea and vampires, as well as syphilitic vampires. You would have known that as the words silver, gonorrhea, syphilitic and vampires never appeared in the blog's tag cloud.

During the course of the day as the Dow closed up 135, at its high for the day, the ProShares UltraShort Silver ETF closed down $2 from its intra-day high. That drop represented about a 12% move, which was of course exaggerated compared to the actual movement of the underlying metal, due to the leverage.

Think of leverage as being a financial tag cloud, only in reverse. The less you put on the line, the bigger the potential risk or reward.

In that way, think of Jon Corzine as being about 13 times larger than the most leveraged ETF currently approved for trading. The difference being that the leveraged ETF is typically highly sector focused and doesn't require much in the way of thought process.

Math? Yes.

Thought?

Well as Dennis Gartman might say. Thought on and thought off.

Moron.

On the other hand, under Corzine the focus was placed on an aspect of finance for which resident expertise at MF Global Financial was missing. Yes, that's right. Your local MF Global Financial knew nothing of international currencies and swaps.

Moron.

Actually, to be totally fair, both are exceptionally intelligent morons, based on my archival research.

"Stunning reversal" doesn't really qualify as an oxymoron in the classic sense, although there are many variety of "Oxymora," but just like doing a treatise on what makes something funny is immediately not funny, so too is an encyclopedic look at Oxymora less than intellectually amusing.

No one should ever be surprised by "stunning reversals."

Have you ever been to a 25 year high school reunion? Just look at the gut of the guy that was on an athletic scholarship.

Have you ever looked at every stock chart ever?

Unlike last month and the one before that, so far during this entirely unsatisfying January options cycle, I haven't had the opportunity to benefit from the recurrent big spikes in silver prices.

In those months, just as today, the stunning reversals were predictable. What was certainly unpredictable was the inability of thr talking heads to portend the past.

And so here we are, about to enter the last trading day of 2011 and very possibly having survived the single most roller coaster year ever in trading.

True, we didn't have a "flash crash" nor did we have any memorable declines or rises, but that's only because there were so many.

And just like a roller coaster you end up exactly where you started, just feeling a bit more queasy for having been intimately involved in the sausage making process.

But man, is that sausage "damned good" or what?

 

 

 

Check out Recent PortfolioTransactions

 

Re-invention


 

Years ago I remember hearing a factoid that suggested the average person changed careers 3 to 4 times in a lifetime.

Not jobs, but careers.

I have absolutely no interest in trying to track the source of that tidbit down, nor do I care whether it's really true or not. I've always believed that it was and for the longest time marvelled at how that could ever be possible.

The problem, with me, that is, was that I was looking at it with my own perspective. After all why kind of career change does a Dentist make? Sure some go on to specialize, as if that's really a change.

The Bronx ZooIn the past, I'd thought of pursuing a Law degree on an MBA, but the likelihood would be taht armed with either of those, I'd probably still be involved in some aspect of healthcare, so it wouldn't be much of a change.

In my own sort of smug way I could envision a guy pumping gas in New Jersey switching careers and perhaps instead loading funny shipments with funny sounding names in an IKEA dock,

Now that's a career change.

The other day, as I do just about everyday after first checking the futures, the New York Times Obituary pages and Dilbert, I read James Altucher's blog.

I've mentioned and referred to him a number of imes before, so I won't do it all over again, except to say that his recent blog "My Lawyer is Dead" struck me with a single line:

"....this is what I do. It's too late for me to do anything else."

I don't know how old the professionally unhappy attorney was at the time of that comment, but Altucher readers know that by age 49 he was gone.

As in "dead."

I don't really believe in coincidences, but all last week, one of my new favorite financial news shows, Bloomberg Rewind, hosted by Matt Miller had been featuring ex-Wall Street professionals who had left The Sreet behind, voluntarily or otherwise, in order to re-invent themselves.

The series was called "Life After Wall Street."

One such story featured an individual that opened up a doggie day care center in Westchester County, New York. One of our best friends, who was also in healthcare did just that about 20 years ago, again coincidentally enough, in Westchester.

There must be something about high powered types living in Westchester, many of whom are probably employed on Wall Street, that engenders guilt about leaving the family pet at home while they and their 1% friends are at play or work.

That's why I had to leave. And once we did, we got our first dog and left him at home all the time. Otherwise, the dog sitters would have been a total waste.

Our friend subsequently sold the business as it became incredibly busy and less joyful for her, albeit highly profitable.

The grass was green, as were the books but there had to be something else to life.

Time for yet another career change in her case she decided to pursue a lifelong dream of being a docent at the famed Brox Zoo and giving guided tours to school aged children.

She reached that dream and has never been happier.

Maybe we should follow the routine outlined in that classic holiday movie "It's a Wonderful Life" and just chime the bells each time a career is changed.

But the segment that really caught my interest happened to be on the same day as Altucher's poignant blog.

Appearing were Rob Symington and Mike Howe, two of the three principals behindf "Escape the City." Actually, it's altogether possible that one of those two was actually Dom Jackman, but as a typical male, I really wasn't paying that much attention, given that those resources are limited.

What attentive resources I do still retain were just enough for me to learn that Escape the City is an organization formed on the basis of a simple thought "Surely there is more to life than this."

Where have I heard that before?

That can also be in the form of a question.

Somewhat maddingly, the site uses the same spelling rules as does my Smartphone's auto-spell, yet I still was impressed with their organisation, although I still dislike being referred to as a Paediatric Dentist, even if in the past tense.

Anyway, "Escape the City" is designed with helping people rediscover their humanity. Re-inventing themselves or just doing something completely different with whatever tools and talents they have developed in the corporate world.

Their past lives.

What I especially liked was a Tweet that I received in response to one that I sent following their appearance on Bloomberg Rewind:

In response to "Sigh. If I only had skills, motivation and life expectancy I'd sign up. Great concept to restore man's humanity, "  I received  "he he. I'm handing out free slaps to anyone who says they're too old to make a change."

And then there was this poor 49 year old lawyer. He could have used one of those slaps.

About 15 years ago a very vibrant and successful guy, who was about 20 years older than me, but infinitely more alive, told me that you have to re-invent yourself every 10 years.

Chinese publicly traded companies do it all the time through reverse mergers. Why can't we learn from them?

Hard to understand, but who knows if that life lesson could have helped an unhappy attorney who felt trapped and who wrongly believed that it was too late to change.

I re-invented myself about 9 years ago to a lesser extent and then again, this time fully, 3 years ago. Despite a successful career it wasn't necessarily what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my productive life.

I've never looked back. I'm 57 now and eagerly looking forward to the next re-invention, even though I haven't the slightest clue of where that road will begin or take me.

What I've come to realize (realise) is that you become empowered as coming to the correct observation that you're a better steward of your destiny than your job, employer or career will ever be.

Now what kind of a financial blog would this be if I didn't extend that lesson to stocks?

This segue is easy. It's as easy as the difference between investing and trading.

It's as easy as the difference between buy and hold and anything but buy and hold.

I never really thought about it, but my personal re-invention was done on the back of a philosophy that continually re-invented a stock portfolio. One that did away with any kind of emotional attachment to a stock or the thought that my activities had to be done a certain way, because that was the way it had always been done.

Yes, I'll take a capital loss on shares that I held for a week just becasue it gave me a great option premium for having sold calls to someone who may or may not hate what they're doing, knowing that the odds of a successful call option purchasing strategy are small.

To quote my Tweeting friend from Escape the City. "he he."

On Monday, we begin the first options cycle for 2012.

I will have lost a small portion of my ProShares UltraShort Silver ETF shares, half of my Dow Chemical and all of my Sallie Mae shares. Actually, as far as most months and weeks go, the re-invention will be somewhat lessened this Monday, but not by my choice.

It was an efficient market that now tells me what to do.

The shares that I'll be losing were good to me and as with each cycle and facing assignment, I feel that I've learned something, gained more skills and am altogether happy with the experience.

But it's time to move on.

Like the old saying "you got to leave the dance with the one what brung you there," I'm certain that I'll return to ownership of all of those someday, but with cash in my account and just a little more experience to boot, it's time to restore just a bit more of the humanity and move on to something else.

I registered with Escape the CIty but then realized that I really don't have any skills or talents that anyone else would want.

Then I also remembered that I enjoy not working, although Sugar Momma worries that the sloth, as it sets in, will never retreat.

It's entirely possible that for me, re-invention has led me to a dead end, but at that dead end I may have found the "more" that there is to life.

The humanity. The freedom from a prescribed track.

Altucher and the crew at Escape the City have it right. There is more to life.

Re-invent yourself now. 49 is just right around the corner or maybe even a couple of blocks back.


 

Rational or Emotional?


EmotionsIt's so hard to balance the emotional side from the rational side in all aspects of life.

Although I often write and talk about setting aside human tendencies like fear, greed and envy when it comes to investing, it's so much easier to say than it is to practice.

Life itself is no different.

The other day I posted a comment on James Altucher's blog. If you haven't read the Altucher Confidential, you really should take a look. He writes in an entertaining way and addresses universal emotions and trials by recounting his own life experiences.

However, in response to the comment, I received a reply that was interesting, to say the least and was the impetus for today's theme.

My initial comment was in response to Altucher's recommendation to author wannabes to consider the route of self-publishing.

Once, self-publishing was only for the wealthy, those not minding to waste their money and the delusional.

These days, it's a reasonable way to put out a product. Success is limited only by marketing efforts and ingenuity.

Speaking of which, take a look at an 11 year old's contibution to the theatrical marketing efforts of Option to Profit. We're still open to suggestions as to who to cast as the protagonist in the film version.

Obviously, having gone that route and increasingly happy with the results, I responded with my own experiences and as is often the case, in an attempt to increase readership of this blog and to spur book sales, I left a link to this site.

Thank you, James.

The response to my comment was:

"Hey AcsMan, just some constructive criticism for your blog. I tried to look around but I couldn't stand it as it was just too full of google ads and irrelevant tag clouds..."

My initial reaction was, "it's TheAcsMan. Only my parents call me AcsMan."

Given that I am a dyed in the wool capitalist, I do use pay per click ads on my blog, but there's only a single such ad on the home page and two ads on subsequent pages.

Not overly obtrusive or greedy.

Ever since using the ads as a source of revenue, the little waif that I'd taken in for humanitarian purposes, in addition to cheap labor, now gets two helpings of gruel daily.

What caught my attention though was the juxtaposition of the rational offer of constructive criticism together with the emotional comment  "...I couldn't stand it..."

There was an imbalance in those thoughts that offended the rational portion of my brain and initially made me disinclined to even consider the overall message.

The emotional part of my brain doesn't take kindly even to constructive criticism, but the essence of the unsolicited observation was correct.

In addition to the Google pay per click ads, a contextual text ad program was loaded a few days prior.

That revenue tool places annoying green underlines all over the text with links to largely irrelevant ads.

He was right. I couldn't stand it either, but saying so sounded so much more refined coming from me.

It did look cheesey and was very distracting.

My words. Not his.

So the rational part of me removed those links, depite their proven ability to generate revenue and now Little Timmy will die.

As it turned out, the criticism was constructive and I've made the bearer an unpaid design consultant. Had the ads remained, I probably would have paid very handsomely.

But that core concept of rational versus emotional carried through to the first trading day of the week.

As writing today's post, I came across a Tweet from one of my favorites, SellPuts. I've mentioned him before. He fits into the category of people that Tweet, yet I have no clue of what is being said, as I know knothing of fundamental chart analysis.

But SellPuts is entertaining and impassioned. I would guess that if you knew anything about technical analysis he would really be worth following, not only on Twitter, but on his website, as well.

Anyway, his 140 space or less piece of rational wisdom was "trade what you see not what you think."

Perfectly said, although his usual stuff has more emotion attached.

Last week defied rational thought.

This week opened the same, although the rally faded by mid afternoon, as it did on Friday

I was faced with a bundle of cash sitting in my account as 30% of my portfolio was assigned following irrational moves in such holdings as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Caterpillar and others.

Normally, I can't sit for more than a few minutes with the cash burning in my pockets.

Despite knowing better I tend to be like a drunken sailor on shore leave and buy everything in sight, even in the face of a rally.

That's not rational. I know it. I know that there's a need to "Exercise Restraint to Prevent Premature Speculation," but again. like all things emotional, it's harder to do than to say.

Today, though, the rational side seemed to be in place and functioning much better than the portion of me that would be afraid of letting a rally slip away from me.

Remember the dangers of falling prey to the FOMO?"

But I was restrained.

I also tried to defer to my rational side in thinking that despite more talk about a melt up, it wasn't going to happen this week.

So instead of furtively squandering the money, I sold calls a bit more deep in the money than usual in order to lock up some nice premiums, in anticipation of a fade in the underlying stocks.

The same anticipation that proved to be wrong last week.

Now part of that, though, was based a little on envy, since last month was my best ever for generating options premium income and thus far, after 2 weeks, the December cycle is middling.

Envy is a lot like FOMO, but I was really envious of November's options premiums.

Along the way, I did find the time to buy shares or add to existing positions, but even those saw me sell deeper in the money calls than usual.

I picked up additional shares of Netflix, Mosaic, Sallie Mae and ProShares UltraSilver ETF and quickly sold calls.

I also opened up a sizeable position in Alcoa, despite today's negative analyst comments and sold a combination of weekly calls and December 2011 calls. The prospect of a 2% premium for a single week appealed to both the emotional and rational brains.

The truly irrational side of me bought shares in Focus Media, to complement the puts that I had previously sold, as Muddy Waters does nothing to erase doubts about its recent activities.

And of course I sold the calls.

Despite the restraint, there still turned out to be too many trades to recount them all, as if you really cared. But if you do, just go to the Portfolio Transaction page.

Going into the last hour of the trading day, the market's gains were mostly gone and I still had spending money.

Best of all, silver was beginning to look as if it was ready to give up the Ghost, having turned its early day gain around to a substanial loss.

That followed a disappointing week when silver did nothing but climb and I watched my short leveraged ETF fall.

Even worse, I'd prematurely bought back my calls, thereby returning a portion of the rich premiums.

I decided to be a spectator for the final hour.

At that point actual news began filtering in and was ultimately responsible for the reversal of the market's fortune. WIth all of the component Euro nations being put on credit watch by Standard and Poors, there was less joy in Mudville, but more joy on my La-Z-Boy.

It wasn't quite like seeing a roadside deer, but I was happy to relax after churning out 24 trades for the day.

What makes me especially happy, if I can delay jury duty for yet another day, is that there may be some bargains to be had tomorrow and I still have cash.

That almost never happens.

The emotional side of me is chomping at the bit at the prospect of actually timing it like that.

The rational side is beginning to warm to the emotions of the moment and is likely to cede all control if the market takes a breather and then some tomorrow

Hell, we may even be able to make .enough to feed Timmy anyway.

Screw those obnoxious green underlined words. We didn't need them anyway.

And from both sides of my brain, a special thank you to DannyBoy990. 

 

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