a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

Just read today’s NY Post story “Zuckers”. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/zuck_laughin_in_their_faces_YuKorcZA7fIl8DKPLksIhK

Honestly, the IPO did what it should do. How many times have I heard “it’s not fair that only insiders get the shares at such a low price before the huge pop when it IPOs.”? Or some such statements. This one didn’t pop 50% or 100%. That’s actually a good thing for the retail investor. The same ones who constantly complain that only the “big boys” on Wall Street make any money. Now you can follow the stock and decide on a good entry point if you are so inclined. Or were able to buy on the day of IPO at basically the same price.

The idea is you are buying the IPO stock to INVEST in the company. Do you think Facebook execs or bankers wanted a bunch of day traders scalping the stock all day? The point of an IPO is to generate cash for the company. Not you pal. So when it opens up 50%, that is money the company left on the table. And a poorly priced IPO. This is not 1998-1999. We don’t want that tech IPO bubble.

Should FB have left it at $34? Probably. But they looked at the interest and raised the price based on that. You can look for all sorts of nefarious, greedy banker (or Zuckerberg) motives but the fact is – that’s what you do. That’s your job as a banker working for the company. Get the best price for the company.

And the main street investors who are getting “cheated”? I’m sorry but comments like…

Retired nurse Teresa Ryan, who lives in Tudor City, bought 4,920 shares at $40.50, noting she made a killing on Apple stock. “I’m very psychic when it comes to stocks, I really am,” said Ryan. “I have no retirement, I have no pension, so I try to make money on the market.”

Queens chauffeur Thomas Gardner, whose home was just foreclosed on, could only afford $89 for two shares, which he hoped would eventually send his 9/11-born son to St. John’s University. “This is a good start,” Thomas said, beaming as he came out of a Midtown Charles Schwab office. “Everybody is hoping for something, so I’m jumping on this wagon. I have a good feeling.”

…are indicative of the hype built up by the media, which was off the charts. I mean seriously. You cannot blame Wall Street bankers or Facebook for the non-stop 24/7 coverage not only by the financial news stations (looking at you CNBC) but also just the normal news. Heard comments on the news like ” I wanted to sell it this morning and make enough to buy a car.” Umm. Yeah.

Will the same bankers have to prop the price up like it seems they did at day’s end Friday? Perhaps. That’s also their job. But to be fair to FB and the bankers, this was a crap time to come out to market. And everyone hoping the Facebook IPO would cure all the market woes were sniffing glue.

I’m willing to bet it goes down but that it will recover and go up from it’s IPO price. In fact, I did bet that. I bought 100 little shares for my 401k. At $38.25. Didn’t get the IPO price, but close enough. Do I think it might go down a few points? Sure. Do I think it will go to $20? No. But I was willing to chance the 100 shares and let it sit in my 401k. Not in my trading account. And if it goes down under $30 – would probably add.

If you believe in the company’s ability to grow and be worth more, buy the stock on the day of the IPO (when it reacts like this and not +50%) and let it sit there and grow and not worry about it’s daily price movements. You are an investor.

But if your sole intention is to flip shares for easy cash, and the price movement doesn’t go your way, that’s on you. That’s like blaming the dice roller you follow on at the craps table when you put all your chips on his/her rolls when he/she rolls snake eyes. Dude – you’re not only not rolling, you didn’t even get to blow on the dice. So you are gambling. Pure and simple. Quite your whining, take your lumps and walk away.

So waaaay back in April 2012, Herbalife $HLF was trading in the 70s after a great run-up since December (really been on a nice trend up for years.) Now, I don’t know anything about Herballife other than they sell vitamins or supplements or something and they have large building in SoCal that I see when I am down there. But I recall it has been around for quite some time and I have never heard anything bad about it.

Then on their latest earning conference call, David Einhorn asked some questions. And the stock tanks 20-25 points instantly because everyone thinks he is short it. Then it turns out, apparently, that he is actually NOT short the stock but a different stock completely unrelated to HLF based on his presentation at the Ira Sohn Investment Conference yesterday. The stock went up following his presentation, but not nearly as much as it got driven down. Driven down not on fundamentals. But on innuendo.

I don’t like to short stocks. Which is funny because I “grew up” in the stock market working for a very big bear. But they looked for companies that were involved in funny business. And found quite a few with “creative accounting”. But the idea of shorting companies simply because they are down that day (see assclowns that shorted airline companies after 9/11) is not for me. I know things run up for no reason and taking advantage of the downturn is logical. But as a generally positive person, unless contemplating humanity that is, I like to look for things going up, not down.

I’m not supporting HLF. And they might have questionable multi-level marketing schemes. Like I said, I know nothing about them. But I find it gross that a company’s stock price can be basically manipulated that much to the downside based on innuendo and rumor due to a well-known short seller simply asking questions on their conference call. Also, see Bear Stearns.

Not OK.

Every time I listen to CNBC’s American Greed on my drive home I can’t help but be just as annoyed and irritated with the “victims” as with the criminals.

I’m not saying the thieves were right. I’m not saying it doesn’t suck to have your money stolen. BUT, the bulk of these people were clearly quite lucky to ever have come in contact with the money they lost to begin with.

As an example, tonight’s victims were of to a guy who offered (phony) bridge loans. He lived in Hawaii and convinced people that he barely knew to loan him tons of money to supposedly make bridge loans. And of course, you got tons of interest on the money you lent him to do this. But then you didn’t. And then your money was gone. 1 woman said she took out 3 high-interest mortgages on her home on Kauai to loan/invest with him.


So then this guy declares bankruptcy in Hawaii and is being investigated by the FBI. So he leaves his $4 million mansion and moves to Seattle and is living in a rented single room. And gets a job at a mortgage broker. Of course. Then he convinces another guy renting a room in the same place to give him his kid’s college fund ($30k) to “invest” in bridge loans. And apparently more people, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, also invest with him. Just in Seattle. Many millions in Hawaii. And just while he has been in Seattle for a short time. And living in a rented room while working at a mortgage broker office. Clearly a trusted investment professional.


The woman from Kauai, the one who took out 3 mortgages on her home, and was forced to sell her home and move in with family in Maine, had the nerve to say “This could happen to anyone. I am an educated woman.” No. No, you can be 100% sure it would not happen to me. You thought you were getting a quick and easy way to money that you didn’t actually have to work for. Be honest. Great if it can happen but winning double 00s in Vegas is fun too. But you can’t blame anyone when you go bust. So not much sympathy coming from over here.

Fool. Money. Lucky to have ever met.

Watching CNBC this morning and they start talking about a company/stock – HK. It’s a US gas/oil exploration company (I only knew that by searching for them.) The stock was up $0.33 on the day as they talked about it and I was looking at what the heck they do. Sure enough, starts jumping up and up once they were done to + $0.75 (this isn’t AAPL, it’s a $10 stock so that’s a decent jump.) Made me laugh to see that happen…again.

When I worked at a hedge fund and sat right outside the trading room, I would listen to CNBC all day. This was during the internet stock craziness and it was pretty much 100% guaranteed the minute CNBC mentioned a stock, the sucker would launch. I had access to instant execution on trades so I would buy and sell small lots in my account. This is basically how I paid for my wedding/Hawaii elopement & reception. That and some options trading.

I remember calling a friend and asking if she wanted me to trade her account on a stock I was getting into that day AS they were talking about it on CNBC. She was stressed but did it. We both had a great day.  She went into trading soon after that and ended up being a trader for a fund. She just left that to work on a stock newsletter. Good times. The stories she and I have about our old jobs would put the Nanny Diaries &  Devil Wears Prada to shame. But we’ll never tell :)

Good to see the CNBC effect is still in place. The sheep are still there and you can profit from it (just like in ZNGA!)


And we wonder why the term “tech bubble” is being thrown around. Well, at least they haven’t IPOed yet…

“Messrs. McKinney and Stansberry also call their business strategy cliché because they are focused on “building a great site” and aren’t sure how they are going to make money.”


(p.s. I still do not get the allure of Pinterest….)

“MF Global Holdings Ltd. acknowledged to federal regulators that money had been diverted out of customer accounts in violation of futures rules and law, according to a federal official.

The Wall Street brokerage, which filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, acknowledged the shortfall amid mounting questions from regulators as they went through the firm’s books while trying to facilitate a sale to Interactive Brokers Group Inc., the official said. Regulators still don’t know where the customer funds went, who directed the move or how widespread the practice was, the official said.”


What a dumbass.

As someone who worked at a hedge fund, and handled portfolio accounting for some of the funds, you NEVER touch the client’s money. Not to save another client. Not to save yourself.  This is so, so dumb and such perfect fodder for the Occupy losers. Gah.

I guess he got so used to spending other people’s money as a politician, he forgot it really wasn’t his.

Dumb ass.

But then there is this theory too:


Why I buy physical gold and silver.  More hoarding commencing…


…if only Washington was as smart (hahahahaha…I crack myself up – as if THAT would ever be true.)

I need to buy the Duck Tales series and see if Uncle Scrooge has any other good tidbits…besides swimming in his gold that is :)

So…what do you think the odds are that I *won’t* pre-order this ASAP?

Cool Star Wars collectible …check
Han Solo and Chewbacca…check
Nifty Millennium Falcon case…check
Double purpose = actual 1oz silver coins….check

Sonofa…(altho  that’s actually Indy’s line…)

Silver Han and Chewie

I wish the shipping wasn’t so high. But put out by the New Zealand mint (ya know US Mint…really? Are you asleep at the coin press???) so have to bite the silver bullet on shipping if I want them…contemplating…

In fairness to to buying them, they would fit in 2 important buckets of mine: Star Wars collectibles AND silver coins :)


After laundering my iPhone 4 last weekend (doh…also duh), I took it to a phone repair place recommended by a friend. They said they fix 9 out of 10 water damaged phones. I said it was submerged for a good 3-5 minutes. The woman said bring it in – it was worth trying. True, so I did. After 2 days of working on it, they did get it to turn on which is pretty amazing but said the damage was to the main board which is not replaceable so it was D.E.D. Damn.

The same friend suggested I take it to an Apple store and see if they offer me a deal on a replacement. Honestly, I didn’t want to spend anymore time on this and just wanted to find a phone replacement ASAP and not think about it anymore. I plan on getting the iPhone 5 when it comes out in 2 months so whatever. He said just try. OK, maybe I will I thought.

Decided to run over there today so that if they said “that will be $500 please”, I still had tomorrow to figure things out before the weekend, in case I decided to go up to Tahoe tomorrow night. As usual, the store was packed. I found the 1 rep not already helping someone and when he asked how he could help me, I told him about my drowned phone. He checked it out and agreed – yeah pretty obvious water damage. He said he could make an appointment with me for the The Genius Bar and maybe they could help me out with a replacement. I overheard the salesgirl behind me telling her customer that there were no appointments open until 5pm. I asked him if she had been talking about for the Genius Bar and he responded yes. He offered to make me an appointment for 4pm at a different location if that would help. I did my best dejected and pouty face. He said “Do you want me to see if they can get you in now?” YES – that would be so awesome of you! Off he went and I followed. He went to the back and came out and waved me over and handed me off to A Genius…at the Bar.

I explained that my phone was dead from water damage. The Genius asked if from ocean, pool, shower? I said washing machine. He responded “Wow – new one for me.” Yay I said – glad to help :) Then he took my info and started looking up my number in their system. Turns out I was still under warranty (YAY) but water damage is specifically excluded (BOO). But then he said he could help me out anyway with a replacement. WHAT??? No charge. HUH????

He took my phone, transferred the number and handed me my new phone. And asked if there was anything else he could do. Umm…no. You just made my day so we are all good here :)

I’m sure Apple knows they can lose customers at any time to Android phone buyers. So they treat customers well to keep them. Smart (Genius really…get it? Genius?) business move. And I’m sure they looked to see when I was due for my 2-year renewal with AT&T so how long would it be till I upgraded/bought a new phone from them, or if I spent hundreds of dollars now on a replacement phone what were the odds I’d do it again in 2 months for the iPhone 5. Plus we know they have $10gazillion in cash just sitting around burning a hole in their pocket ($10gazillion more than the US government does as the news stories pointed out last week) so keeping customers satisfied with some refurbished (I assume anyway) phones is a cheap way to keep existing customers happy so they spend more money with you!

So I have to say a BIG thank you to Apple and their staff for turning a pain in the butt yuck issue into an easy and very satisfying (and quick!) visit!

I will definitely buy my iPhone 5 when it comes out now! Oh – and will definitely add more AAPL stock to my portfolio! :)

It’s pretty gross that Congress takes a month off (yeah, yeah they are going to visit their constituents. Uh-huh.) The President (and God knows how big of an entourage) is going to Martha’s Vineyard. The EU leaders (as well as most workers in EU) get all of August off as well. At least the British Prime Minister acted like a leader and came back to deal with the scum-sucking, pieces of crap rioters who all should just be shot and dealt with that way.

But no. The average American is lucky to get to Disneyland for the weekend or take a few days off to spend with their kids on their summer vacations from the pathetic institution of public schools. But our leaders get to take the summer off while our markets tumble, our economy continues to falter, we have high unemployment and we continue to fight wars in Afghanistan and Libya (this has been a long few days for our troops helping the UN there.)

But right…I forgot. This is all George Bush’s fault. Or the fat cats on Wall Street. Or the private jet owners. Finger-pointing = done. Time to hit the beach….