Sunday, November 29, 2009

Book Review

I've recently finished Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright Sided How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking and Undermined America. An interesting book, full of humor and insight into the buildup of the positive thinking industry. It shows some of the poppycock being brought forward in the workplace, born many years ago out of mysticism. From there it jumps to positive thinking being the downfall of the economy of late. It also seriously rips into many modern day religious leaders. I was left more of a cynic. The main fault of the book, and with the positive thinkers is failing to recognize that faith without works is dead. Wait for the library version, worth a read.

For traders, a worthy read to recognize that the road to hell might be paved with your own good intentions.

For myself, the things I think about I tend to work towards. I am working on my three million!

As sweet as honey

I was coming home from my parents Saturday and passed by a couple of guys doing something interesting behind a hedgerow. We turned around and met a very interesting man in the midst of grinding sugar cane that he grew. His press is a Goldens from 1909, converted to run on an engine instead of the four legged power source it originally had. He ground a few stalks in front of us, then gave a simple tour of how the stalks were harvested. He then helped us cut a piece to eat, it was delicious and juicy, nothing like the dried up stuff I see irregularly at the grocers. He gave us a very heavy 3-4 foot section of Jamaican Blue Ribbon so we could enjoy it at home, instead of that we planted it. Perhaps in the future we will make some of our own molasses.

I went back and saw him again today, he estimated 15 gallon of juice harvest and he was boiling it down to use in BBQ sauce and pancake syrup. He hopes to grow several acres of the stuff in the future.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


There is no way of telling what world events will change the dynamics of the stock market. 9/11 shocked the world but markets recovered. Bank of Dubai problems will pass also. This is a buying opportunity!

Here is the thing with Dubai: After catching overseas market action and news at work, I come home and tell my wife about the bloodletting going on. It came as no surprise to her. She said she has been reading about problems in Dubai for quite a while. So if someone that does not follow the market knew about issues, the big money likely knew also.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Been busy

I sense I have missed some oppourtunities by not strictly adhering to a scanning routine and by not adhering to some criteria for buying into leading issues. Many of the ETFs I have recently owned have bounced back nicely, I expect they will continue to do well. There has just been a lot going on around here and I am distracted. Easier to miss opportunities than to miss money!

It is also difficult to solely be a systematic trader. A systematic trader has discipline to trade using fairly firm rules for entry and exit, I did okay with it. A discretionary trader makes judgements on what to trade. I expect I will end up blending these two in some fashion. What I fear is constantly changing what I do. Going with whims and emotions is a poor way to go about this.

I have an internal debate going on with regards to stocks vs ETFs. I have had my arse handed to me time after time with stocks in this market but they can offer the best chance of good exponential growth. They also suffer big drops when I buy them (perhaps at the wrong time?). ETFs cut back on this some but suffer just as much as the overall markets.

So I am dipping my toes back into stocks, trying to be a little smarter about buying them. Most of what I have owned has come back above my buy prices: GMCR NFLX AAPL CNO BIDU. I've have been a weak holder. Smarter buying for me is now not chasing price up, if my IBD emotional training has me wanting to buy, maybe now I just put it on my watch list and buy when "they" sell in a panic. If I'd have kept BIDU from when I had it I'd have a 20% gain right now. One of things I will do is concentrate on the stocks that have the best potential for monster runs.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Two simple thoughts

1. I took a night out last night, went to a nice bookstore, perused investing section hoping for a Nison or Bollinger book. I did come across a book on 401Ks, and the problems with them and the deceptions heaped upon long term investors in these vehicles. I did not buy it, now wish I had. I suspect I could better manage my 401K by putting new contributions in money market, then choosing specific buy days on overall market pullbacks. Doing this might yield a few extra percent on the money.

2. Reading the Miller blog and reflecting on trading public expectations and emotions have me wanting a new book to be written. A lot of the moves in the market are based upon emotional reactions of those involved, I'd like to have an increased awareness of those in the market. An awareness of this is what could set apart traders from the crowd.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I've got a headache from staring at screen all day, this happens a lot. It would be nice to know that someone made some money off that EWZ, but I do not want to get into that habit, cause then I'd have to know when they lost. But, I nailed it there.

I've only made it through two months of the blog, good stuff.

Don Miller Trading Journal

I am really not following the market much today. I am feeling some gratitude for the above (click blog title) blogger. Continuing to recognize his knowledge, I am rereading his entire blog from the start and creating a clipboard document of truisms and pointers that I'd hope to preserve for later use should his blog go away.

Pullback in EWZ now at 75.8 seems buyable.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Recent trades

Recent lack of good discipline on my end. I've been long two issues I've watched for a while. One whole account is in NFLX, pattern looks nice, up out of flag like consolidation. Bought this last week. I also bought CNO, then broke some rules and added down low. Additionally I bought this all in with 3 accounts. So much for turtle trend trading with risk and size management. I sold CNO today, would have held if it had busted up higher, but todays gains on busted rules were enough for me. My average entry was 5.161, got out 5.32-5.33. With the number of shares I was holding, market shaking that is expected Tuesday could hurt.

Bollinger band comments in last post hinted that perhaps we were near the bottom of the bands with good low risk entry. The next trading day SPY closed 104.32, now above 109! Note to self! With the modest volatility we've had of late, it looks like exiting near high of bands and buying at bottom would have made nice money.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


High volume distribution noted in leaders, everyone in the market knows it. Some indices made lower lows, bull run in trouble. Time will allow new market forces to evolve as selling subsides. I am glad to be in ETFs. Some could argue we are oversold and due to go back higher. I wonder where the SPY is with regards to bollinger bands?