a99kitten's Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

End of the quarter….how the heck are we 1/4 of the way through 2013 already???

I just did a quick calculation and for Q1 2013 I am up +14% in my trading account. I say not too shabby at all. Now keep in mind my trading account is small as I consider it more of my “gambling” account. Not like I’m making 14% off of a $100mm account. That would be cool though :) It’s also been during a crazy bull market run so who knows where that goes. Although I am more concerned about my conservative buy and hold 401k in that scenario.

My biggest win for the quarter was my decision to buy LNKD before earnings. Second biggest win was buying some NFLX options as it was on its first tear after it reported earnings. I *wish* I bought them before earnings!! Also did very well with RIMM (pre BBRY), RDN, UA, DNKN and FB.

Biggest loser *by far* was CALL. But I’ve learned my lesson there. Other losers were MOS, CRUS and WFM (lesson to NOT play ER.)

Besides my few gut calls or lucky ER plays, I am still basically following trades in the 12631 trading room made by chessNwine and a few by RaginCajun. I have way, way more winners than losers by doing this. As I said at the end of 2012, I will keep this successful action up.

I still have been a giant pile of fail in learning more about technical trading. Really is voodoo to me :) But I am pretty good at listening to my gut. And finding smart people to follow who practice this form of voodoo :) The trading room at iBC is full of them.

April 15th is my 1-year anniversary of leaving my “regular” job to work from home part-time while spending more time trading (best decision EVER.) I forget my actual 1 year anniversary date with iBC and 12631 but it’s right around the 15th. But you can be sure I will be renewing.

Yesterday I went over my trading account portfolio for the year. Up 21% for 2012. I’ll take that. I also put some long-term ideas into my 401k that Chess had profiled in his blog posts but I did not count those in the 21% (if I did, I would be up more as they are up nicely as well :) )

I left my full-time job in April (YAY! I liked you guys but YAY!!!) and have been working from home on a part-time basis since then. So after I left work, I also signed up for a premium trading service (had never done that before.) I had been following chessNwine and TheFly on twitter since mid-2011 but with my work schedule I didn’t have a lot of extra time to devote to trading other than my “gut” feelings (which is how I typically trade AND gamble :).) But I knew that once I left my job, and could devote some more time to trading, I wanted to try out their premium service(s).

I keep a chunk of my money in more conservative investments. And physical gold/silver in my quest to become Scrooge McDuck. And Star Wars collectibles (doh!) But I wanted to use my trading account as a learning tool. Also, my shopping fund. So I signed up in April 2012 and while I still don’t spend enough time on it (I need to do MOAR studying!), I have done pretty OK following on trades discussed in the 12631 trading room.

I’m usually pretty quiet in the trading room and don’t post much. LURKER! But it’s a pretty great group of guys (I say guys because I don’t see many names that indicate there are other girls but maybe they are quiet like me) and I am VERY glad that I signed up.

I typically just follow on Chess’ trades but also some of RaginCajun and The Fly’s. And also a few based on other traders in the room mentioning them or me finding them. But mostly – follower. I hope to be more of a contributor to the room this year but will still follow on the trades because #1 Rule: Don’t change successful actions!

So a big thank you to Chess, RC and The Fly for creating fantastic content, great products and a fun, interactive place for traders. Oh yeah…and profitable trades :)

Go here if you want join in the fun: http://ibankcoin.com/

Yesterday Maria Bartiromo interviewed the CEO of Morgan Stanley on CNBC – mostly about the Facebook IPO. One of the questions was about the people who bought it at the IPO price $38 but who were now down on it. His response was a fair one – those people that bought into the IPO hoping for the quick pop to make money off it were being naive or not buying it for the right reasons. I’m sure he meant they were being greedy day-trading bastards but used naive instead. And he went on to explain you want to see the buyers getting in on IPOs being long-term investors who believe in the long term outlook and value of the company. Which I agree with. I ranted…errr…blogged…about the people whining about their lack of lotto-style riches the Saturday after the IPO.

So now on Friday afternoon Maria plays that clip with his answer and then says something like “he had less than sympathetic words for people taking a bath on Facebook.”

Really Maria? Is THAT what he said? No…notsomuch.


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 :)