Monday, April 16, 2018

Economically Speaking - Part 1

There has been a lot going on lately and for the benefit of my and hopefully you, I'm going to get my thoughts down. It's like bumper cars in my brain right now and I hope to get this sh..tuff more organized. Almost daily, something new will come to the foreground command my attention. I wake and wonder what I will unintentionally focus on today. Will it be: trade wars, war wars, unemployment, interest rates, inflation, the yield curve, quantitative easing, GDP growth, cryptocurrency being get the picture.

In no particular order, here are my own opinions on the things we have been hearing. As always, from an Uninformed Investors point of view.

I've decided to make this a multi part post. It would be too long to put it all here and I did not use my time wisely and the things I wrote about earnings pertain to events today [4/16] that should be posted today. So, Part 1!

Yield Curve

The spread between the short term and the long term yields are thinning. At this point it isn't any cause for concern, more so just something I'm keeping in the back of my mind. Why is this important? Every recession has been preceded by a negative spread between the 10 year treasury and 2 year treasury yields. The average time is about 18 months, or a year an a half.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

'Reminiscences of a Stock Operator' Is A Welcomed Change

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
Written by: Edwin Lefevre
Foreword by: Tim Price

This was an all around phenomenal book to read. Recently I have been focusing on reading non-fiction and that can get so, so boring. I actually started listening to Hamilton on tape for my drive to and from work and, though very interesting, very boring. Between the hum-drum ebb and flow of my 9-5, this was a welcomed change.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is a fictional representation of the life of Jesse Lauriston Livermore, a stock trader in the early 1900's. Using the pseudonym Jesse Livingston, author Lefevre dives into the experiences had by Livermore himself. It begins in a bucket shop in New England and ends up on Wall Street. What really pulls readers in (me) are the gains and losses. Growing the few dollars he started with into over $10 thousand, losing it all. Making a few million, then soon finding himself in massive debt. Figuring out what he'd done wrong and making that million back - and more.

That part is true.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The February Budget

Having a budget is one of the most important aspects of personal finance. Whether a natural born spender, saver, or anywhere in between, knowing where your money is going is of almighty importance.

I took the time to catalog and write down everything I spent money on in the month of February. I would consider myself a natural born saver, so some may find this boring. I bring a lunch to work from home essentially every day. Dinner is home cooked almost every day. I also 23 and don't have to pay for health insurance yet. Shout out ma and pa.

My girlfriend has been reading what are called, "Money Diaries" from Refinery 29 and I am amazed at the lack of saving or general knowledge of basic personal finance. I understand being young and being free and traveling and doing what you want, but at some point ya gotta think about your future. If you are turning 30 and have saved nothing, or put nothing towards retirement, you are far behind.

Math Example!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques, Brought to you by Steve Nison

Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques:
A Contemporary Guide to the Ancient Investment Techniques of the Far East
Written by: Steve Nison
Published in 1991

Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques: A Contemporary Guide to the Ancient Investment Techniques of the Far East

This book reads like a textbook.

If there was one thing I would have wanted to know before getting this book, it would be that. It reads very much like a textbook as opposed to a typical "book". Is that a bad thing? That's up for the reader to decide on their own. The last book I reviewed, "The Most Important Thing," read more like a book. Reading it in the morning before work or at night before bed was ideal. This book was very different for me.

Now that I write it, that point seems very obvious. A book explaining technical analysis is inherently going to be more in depth and 'technical', for lack of a better word, than a book targeted towards developing an investment philosophy about value investing.

Does that mean I didn't like this book?   Absolutely not.
Does that mean this book wasn't helpful in it's own right? Abso-freaking-lutely not.

Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques has been one of the most educational and helpful books I have read about investing. Clearly this will only pique the interest of the technical, chart reading investor. Very much the opposite of someone who likens Buffett to a god, or claims Graham wrote the bible of value investing. Nothing against either of those men. Their success and genius is something to admire and strive for, but I think their view on this book, and these types of books, is going to be poor.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Howard Marks is Going to Live In Your Brain After Reading 'The Most Important Thing'

Earlier this week I started - and finished - 'The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor' by Howard Marks

For the second time.

I have been living in the realm of investments lately and this piece of non-fiction lands in the center ring. Based strictly on the title, it reads like it would be one of those, "do this to get rich," or "how to get rich, quick." This book is as far from that category as you can imagine. The opening even states it is not meant to be a "guide" or a "hand-book" of sorts.

It is a composition and expansion on his memo's to investors. Second only the Buffett, the memo's, all of which are archived on the Oaktree website, are pure gold.

For those of you who don't know who Howard Marks is, you should. In 1995, Marks and 5 other partners founded Oaktree Capital Management where he remains the co-chairman. The focus of Oaktree (traded on the New York Stock Exchange under OAK) is on private equity, distressed debt, and high-yield bonds, among others. The public listing IPO'd for $43 dollars raised about $380 million for the firm. Though the stock today is trading at approximately the same level, it bolsters a strong, consistent dividend. 2017 returned roughly 7.00% alone just from dividends. But I digress.

Howard Marks specializes and firmly believes in value investing. (He has appeared many times on television, often talking about the current state of the markets. Typically seen on Bloomberg). It seems his investment philosophy is built around just that. Buffett himself heralded the book saying, "This is a rarity, a useful book." The book itself is created from the same guiding principals encompassing value investing, but goes in a different direction than most. There are no formula's. There is no math. There is no instruction on finding intrinsic value. There is only thoughtfulness.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

My Portfolio

It has been a mighty long time since I have updated everyone on the state of my portfolio. Now that I have
been more active and focusing much more on my options trading. I am trying to stick to my rule where if I see
a 20% gain, I sell to crystalize the profits. I don’t always stick to it – which has gotten me into some trouble –
but I am now more inclined to be mentally strong. Especially after my GE fiasco. You’ll see.

Without any further ado! Here is a breakdown of all the option trades I have made since my very first.
September through today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tuesday Thoughts

A few of my thoughts as the work day progressed. Hopefully this will, at the very least, make you google something. 

For the last year it has seemed like the equities market is over-bought, too high, due for a correction, blah blah blah. It has been on my radar, seemingly with many other people as well. As we sprint into 2018 with a vengeance the market seems higher than ever and due for a setback. But are we?
Even though the major markets RSI’s are above 80 and there seemingly hasn’t been a down day since the start, 2018 is a year poised for continued growth.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fourth Quarter Earnings

Two schools of thought.

1. "The new tax plan is going to lower the effective corporate rate and boost companies earnings. Repatriation will be big along with share buybacks, increased dividends, and other tools to increase EPS."
This was my first idea and I clung to it with vigor. I went in on depressed companies who would greatly benefit from this tax rate. GE in particular comes to mind. The first week of 2018 made me even more confident and I preached it like Joel Osteen.

2. "Remember, the first earnings report is going to be Q4. A number of companies are going to realize their tax bill will be much lower in 2018 and thus buy and expense as much as they can for the end of 2017. The beginning of the year is going to be poor."
My good friend, my much-smarter-than-me friend, pointed this out to me. The headlines are starting to show that the first earnings of 2018, which will be Q4 of 2017, are going to show a huge expense. GE is getting slammed, a few of the big banks say they are going to owe billions. The market looks poised to continue to increase but maybe earnings season number one will be slower than originally expected.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Friday Thoughts

Yield Curve
The yield curve has started flattening. When comparing January curve to December curve you can see a significant move towards horizontal. In some circles the yield curve is very impressionable.

     Why is the yield curve important and why is it [usually] sloping upward? Think about the Expectation Theory. For starters, yield is on the y-axis and maturity on the x-axis. Short term is inherently less risky meaning the interest you receive on bonds will be lower. When you start moving out - 10 years, 20 years, 30 years - the yield will increase to account for the risk of time. Most cases you'll see a fairly significant difference between the 10 year and the 30 year. Why, besides time risk?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Week of November 6th

Sunday - Since I forgot to say anything Friday, I'll start with my uninformed thoughts on the new Fed chair Jerome Powell. From what I heard, if you liked Yellen, then you'll like Powell. He seems to be a good continuation and has been Hawkish in 4 of the last 5 votes to raise rates. Meaning he voted to raise them. Which I think is a good thing. Especially when Janet had said that the Fed's goal is to return interest rates to normalcy. Looking at the big picture, normalcy is equal to about 3% or 4%.

If that is in fact the big-picture goal, then that type of mindset is important. There are signs pointing to a strengthening economy and there are signs pointing to an inflated, false high economy. If the thought is this is a strong and strengthening economy, then this is the prime time to raise interest rates. Inflation is still below the ideal levels - levels set forth by the Fed - which could be a reason for leaving them as is. But, in the event of another recession the go-to move will be to lower them again.
You can't lower them if there is nowhere else to go. I realize Germany went negative, but that shouldn't even be a thought. That just raises a whole crop of new issues.
 - The grey bars in the 'Fred' screenshot indicate recessions. Just by doing a quick once-over, you are able to see that, especially in the last 30 years, the reaction is to lower interest rates.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Week of October 30th

Monday & Tuesday & Wednesday - My portfolio is very sad now. My position in INFY is still pretty effed up from the spread. I was an idiot about CVS and it got worse. I checked this morning and saw it was down $192. Yes. At the end of the day though, it climbed to only down $169. #Nice. Except not at all.

That represents a fall of just about 50%. I am surprised it's only that bad. I didn't check all weekend after the tumultuous Friday and was expecting a fall near or around 70%/80%. Whew? CVS reports earnings in one week before market open and let me tell you, I am nervous. They have had a really rough year and even though they are expected to show growth I have a feeling it will be overshadowed by other things. Like their recent bid for insurer Aetna. At $200 dollars a share, for a total $66 billion+, they will likely have to take on debt and I don't think it is worthwhile. It looked like a retaliation move to the Amazon news the day prior. In two days, last Thursday and Friday, CVS fell a total of 9.81%. BRUTAL. Such an idiot.

I felt very ehh on Sunday, like poop on Monday, and came home with a fever yesterday. Which is why I am so delayed. Excuses, excuses I know. But, there they are.

More portfolio and actual market updates to come this week!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week of October 23rd

Monday & Tuesday
Monday = Good.
Tuesday = Bad.

Starting with the good. This actually goes back to Friday when CVS shot up to $76.49 from an open of $74.87. The big of a jump pushed my option position through the roof! If the roof is at 20%, then through the roof is accurate. Three consecutive up days and my CVS position gained back everything that was previously lost and then some. Monday was their ex-dividend date so the 50 cent fall wasn't actually a fall. Actually pushed my position up another 5% to a total gain of 28.60% (+$102.30). Monday was an even better day because my INFY position was almost at break-even! The stock popped almost two percent and my call saw a likewise jump in value.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Week of October the 16th

Monday the 16th
Work sucked. It was my first real bad day and it is going to be followed by two, maybe three more. I am almost losing my voice from talking so much. I had zero time to check any investments, or even how the market did today. My only bright spot was Cara Therapeutics. Was up 7% in the pre market, but only finished +3.29%. Better than the last two days of lower and lowerer.

As for my option contracts - both fell by dollars. The plural kind. When I have more time and energy and feedback about the day I will do a more rigorous update.