Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mortgage assistance plan

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring fever

I am not sure if I'll need them all but I went ahead and ordered 20 queens for expected delivery April 6th. I thought about packages but they are nearly $100 each.


I've kept bees for maybe 8 years now. Last year I got real lazy, my back was sore, and I was following the market a lot more. I sold the bulk of my hives and kept some. More than 50% of what I had alive has died. Overall my low chemical methods have had 50% winter kill but this winter it was likely more from a lazy beekeeper not feeding enough. I've got maybe 10 hives alive now. I do not want to get large again but would prefer to grow some as able and sell off some hives each year to sell off what equipment I have (enough for 100). Just feeding the bees today my back is quite sore, lifting patients at work does not trouble me this much. So I plan to chronicle my casual reexpansion here. The following pic is from on of the hives today. In general I am happy with what is alive now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Free Money!

Market whipsaw

The volatility in the market is amazing these days. I imagine that skilled daytraders can make a killing but for the average Joe it is too much. Three percent movement is just insane either way you take it. Without standards to go by, one can't help but be whipsawed around.

I have some beliefs regarding fundamentals. There are too many unknowns. Deleveraging of these new banks (trading firms that used to be like 30:1 and now might have 10:1 limit) might still be going on. I have no idea about the "banks gotta lend money" again story but it sounds like bunk to me. I do not know anyone trying to borrow that has been refused. Maybe this is just about loaning money to the Circuit Citys of the world to prop them up? Hiring has not started. Capital resources are being deployed absent free market ideals, this will slow recovery. While this is not well written, there is too much that is bad for this to be a time to enter the market.

What if we have seen the bottom? Picture an army about to battle hand to hand. Do you want to be the first one charging? Not me but neither do I want to be last. The first might get all the glory or cash, but they are more likely to be slaughtered.

How can we know it is safe to enter? I will look for several things. IBD should call rally mode. Market should start moving higher and make higher highs. Large volume should come in. There should be solid market leadership (this is something I have concerns about properly spotting). And the shorter term averages should be trading above the longer term ones. More on this here:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My retirement account proposal

Did anyone get a phone call from a broker or advisor warning them of this market mess? Have the biggest and brightest on TV and DC told us that the fan was gunked up? No, no, no.

The deleveraging process appears to continue helped out by Geithner imprecision, election year market cycle, and horrible fundamentals. And yet still the message to buy now, hold onto your mutual funds message remains. They are all wrong.

What freedom does the common man have in this? My guess is that most of us have our retirement funds in an employer sponsored plan that limits choices and exchanges. This offers us little choice. In the case of my employer the selections have been chosen by a consulting firm. The only way to solve this is to change or quit current employer and roll funds over to a self directed account, wherein tens of thousands of choices are available. The collective voices all seem to force us to hold, after all it only took 14 years to recover to pre great depression levels, not bad is it?

It is time for a change. I want all employer sponsored plans to offer a brokerage account option. It is my money, let me do with it as I wish.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Stock Newsletters

IBD today has an article about a service from ZepInvest, they resell investment newsletter info. Pay them $600, get access to 85 newsletters. They offer some time for free as do many. What do you think of this?

TMI! If I do not have a game plan with how I am going to trade, how the flip will I come up with anything worthwhile reading over 85 newsletters? Too much data to sort through.

Having said that, I do think that I have learned from looking at some services and think I will share my thoughts on what I have seen.

Motley Fool book was one of my first, NFLX trade came from them. Good tips, good community, poor timing of things as they relate to technical analysis. My guess is they have some winners like everyone. I do not think I ever paid them.

Dan Zanger: perhaps a great trader. 4 nights a week get email of pics with analysis of them and the general market. Includes a chat room real time with hundreds of others. I have twice subscribed for long periods. Suggested reading resources are top notch. Current market not good. Tough to tell if there is any front running, can't judge performance of traders in chat. I finally stopped this one the 2nd time realizing that it was still too much info for me, I wanted to trade and took too many on the fly. Give this one a whirl for free newsletter, then decide for yourself.

Breakout watch. Similar to above in service, with real time email alerts (TMI again). Perhaps some good picks, generally thin issues. Sign up for this one once and you will get weekly commentary sent on the weekend.

I currently get Gilmo report. He wrote short sale book for IBD, used to work for them. I think he managed some money on his own. Cheaper than Zanger, no real time interference, much better market commentary, tells you what he owns from current newsletter. You have to go to his site to pick up info which is released just twice a week. For now more my pace.

I also get the IBD paper, follow big picture like a nut. Overall I think that the winning trades from advisory services made me a lazy inefficient overconfident trader.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What I've been doing with money

In a way this is a movie review post. Watch the movie Kenny, great humor. I got it through netflix. Interesting story on the origin of the word shit. Kenny says it stands for how they would try and move some excrement on the high seas "Store High In Transit" is how the boxes were marked. The financial markets have been turbulent worthy of storing nest eggs high also.

My first trade as an adult was for a 30% return on netflix. I keep this one on my long watchlist. A fundamental and new story is there, numbers are good, demand has been good, sponsorship good. The only problem is overall market direction. Anything that has tried to lead in the past months has fallen, like education stocks this week. If it moves in a good market, especially above 40.9 old high, I might be a buyer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spy chart

THis is the chart mentioned in previous post

Talking Heads

Everyone and anyone that offers financial advice, writes a column, talks on TV, or sells some service ought to have full disclosure statements that detail relationships to financial things and most important, show the rates of returns of any investment vehicles they are involved in.

This past weekend the local paper had an article by a finance guy. He talked the same old mess heard for weeks if not longer now as to how now was the time to be buying stocks. NPR also had some people on saying the same thing.

This as the market tanked about 4% yesterday. Fine advice indeed.

I have followed the markets and my money for over two years now. I have come to understand the big picture a clearer now. The market and the economy moves in cycles. We are currently in a period of contraction and it is not a time to be owning much in the way of stocks or mutual funds. What money I have control over is in cash or cash equivalents awaiting a new bull market.

Only price pays. Nothing else. Ignore the talking idiots, it does not matter what the say. Some simple math can show how to see long term view of the market. Take a look at the chart. Note that the long term 200 day average is around 110 right now and the shorter term averages are much less, this means bad market. Stay away from stocks.

I am saving as much money as I can. 401K contributions, Roth IRA are all maxed out. I'll save more money in non retirement accounts also. But I will wait for this mess to change. I hope you can do the same.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009