20110410

PERFECT TIMEQUAKES, EARTHQUAKES and GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWNS



One thing is certain. For a guy who is my age and of sound mind and body I am not right.

Right is that functional place between left over and passed on. Right is good. Right is the Bible. Right is the serpent going into the Garden of Eden. Right is perfect. That is what I am not.

This past year on March 11, 2011 Japan had a 9.0 earthquake. This past week I finished reading Kurt Vonnegut's Timequake. At the end of Chapter 3 Kurt Vonnegut writes: “All I had to do was deliver a message he (Andrei Sakhorov) had sent. This was it 'Don't give up on nuclear energy.' I spoke like a robot.”

The last time I read a Kurt Vonnegut book was in 1993 before last week. So be it.

Another thing is certain to me. I used to watch the news everyday until a few days after the Japanese earthquake. Libya was the topping on the cake. Most recently the shit-pile has been fed by the impending government shut-down or half-shutdown or what-the-fuck...

In 1995 I was at Fort Sill, OK I was just entering the Reception Battalion when our government did shut down. I was going to school there to become an Army soldier for the Virginia Army National Guard. I was in the 29th Infantry Division (Lt). I was also going to school there to become a forward observer.

There was a delay in my going to training. One week delay. We had to find things to do. The drill sergeant decided that I should cut the grass. I was shown the shed where a brand new Craftsman Lawnmower presented itself. It was a beautiful red and shiny mower. I checked the gas. We had fuel. I checked the oil. The reservoir was dry.

I said to the drill sergeant, “Do we have any oil?”

“Nope.” was his reply.

I looked at him with a respectful wordless “and?”

He said, “Just run the damn thing until it stops.”

I cut the grass all around the reception battalion and the mower never stopped until I parked it near the shed. I was finished. The mower did its job.

A week later I was in boot-camp.

You can't write about a fucked-up world until you have lived in it. Nothing is right or perfect. We just move about pretending that we have goals, task and achievements. Some of us are lucky enough to overcome obstacles and survive.

I was married to my first wife then. The reason I joined the Army National Guard was because we were having a baby and I wanted to have benefits so that the baby would have health-care. Now I am divorced and re-married. The last time I saw my daughter she was four. Now she is 15 years old. I think that that is a very crappy thing.

I have since made any number you could conjure of mistakes, misgivings and misanthropic toils. I hate losing. I hate it very much. I accept that I have lost a great pissing contest. Many of us have.

I am forty-one years old. I was twenty-five when I was at Fort-Sill, OK.

I could be very angry about a lot of things but I am not. Why should I be? What good does it do anyone? So much bad news is about the angry idiots who have power. With natural disaster there is not much we can do angry or of cool heels. Otherwise there is mindless contribution to the problems we face.

So I am not right. I am not perfect. I am just a guy who has access to some resources. I am a struggling blade of grass. I think I will go back to bed now and get close to my wife. She loves me. She has given me a daughter, a son, two granddaughters and a home and a healthy life. I can thank her ex-husband for the progeny. I do thank him. I can be thankful for so many of the great parts of life that have presented themselves to me.

Tonight some people will loose loved ones. Tonight someone will die. Tonight some drunk will kill. Tonight a soldier will die. Tonight a sea turtle will gulp oil and choke to death. Tonight a baby will fart. It's just like that.

20110305

Republican Senator Herb Bateman Taught Me This



In 1988 I was going to Thomas Nelson Community College or as we referred to it at the time Harvard by the Highway. I was 18 years old. I had a Mohawk. I was a member of the student council. I was a libertarian (read anarchist).

My best friend at the time was Raul. He was a Young Republican. Our mutual friend was Jim. He was a Young Democrat. We all met at a student government meeting. We had, as luck would find, all sat at the same table. We didn't say much to each other before the meeting. Once the meeting began everyone was asked who they were and who they represented.

Jim introduced himself: “I am Jim Meisner and I am with the Young Democrats.”

Next was Raul: “I am Raul Carvajal and I am with the Young Republicans.”

I was the last in line at the table beside Raul. I had to think quick. I was not there with anyone. I was a Punk in a band called the K-9s. I was an anarchist. I said: “Hello, my name is Alex Nuttall and I am with the Libertarian Party.” I figured Libertarian was the most acceptable title for an anarchist.

Immediately Jim, Raul and I became friends. Three geeks who liked politics. Albeit dynamic discussions we got along quite well sometimes.

I was closest to Raul. He was a great friend. We had some very important talks. He told me that he did a paper one year on anarchism. He knew I was really an anarchist. He said that anarchism was closest to the Republican ideal than most people realized. Raul also gave me a Buddhist book that I have always appreciated. He said, “Alex, I think you will really like Buddhism. It's not what other people say it is. Read about it.”

Jim and I were not so close. We locked horns like two mountain goats. One time he sent my 'zine a letter telling me that anarchism had legal repercussions. I thought it was the dumbest smart letter I had ever gotten. Jim was an excellent writer and an extremely smart man. I published the letter in my 'zine and shredded the logic as an epitaph to the letter. I thought I was very smart. I was an idiot who had access to a xerox machine.

As it happened Senator Herb Bateman1 came to our school for a political question and answer a few weeks later. This was sponsored by the Young Republicans. Rual said that I should attend and meet Mr. Bateman. After crying for 20 minutes on the uselessness of government and the evils of the Republican regime I said, “OK, I'll go.”

I went to the meeting and listened to the pansy arguments and postulates of the students who were there. The Young Republicans were there kissing Herb's ass. The Young Democrats were lamely debating the planks and platforms of Herb's policy and the Republican king known as Ronald Reagan. After being a good boy and listening for 20 minutes I started to put my two-cents in.

What about the legalization of Marijuana?” I asked. I was an avid reader of High Times magazine. I could care less about the subject. I never bought marijuana. (OK I did once, (twice, he is a compulsive liar –Ed.) but that's another story)

I went on and said that marijuana was less dangerous than alcohol. More people were (and still are) killed by the use of alcohol and cigarettes. Herb rebutted with the “Our Culture” argument and that marijuana may be acceptable by other cultures but in ours cigarettes and tobacco were. They were the necessary acceptable evils. Herb was a very smart man.

I then countered with homosexual rights. We did not yet have Don't Ask, Don't Tell2 for the military. I went on about the evil war machine of the United States. (I later joined the Army in 1995.) Herb came back with great arguments to counter. I was livid, but I felt like at least he was listening to me.

After the forum. The Young Democrats and the Young Republicans got up, shook hands, patted each other on the back, and handed out compliments to themselves for erudition. Everyone, except Raul, looked at me like I was Satan. That's when I learned one of the most valuable and humbling things in life. Herb Bateman walked up to me and extended his hand. I extended mine. He said, “Great job!” and smiled.

Herb Bateman died September 11, 2000. From that day that I debated him to his passing I always respected him. I even voted for him several times. When you meet a man or woman no matter what flag they are flying that impression of who they are will always be the dominant force. That's what Herb Bateman taught me. He looked at me as another man. 

Footnotes:



2. DADT Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed last December 2010.

20110304

Why I am not trading for a few months and investing in Self. $$



The Sell Off
I sold all my lowly shares of $PWAV.  That's Powerwave Technologies for those of you who have just stepped into the conversation.  I sold 30.  That's not a lot, but that was enough for me.
OgFOMK ArTS monkey business by R. Nuttall (c)

What's Next?
Something tugged at my intellectual heart-strings. If you know me, you will know that there is barely a line between my heart, head, and stomach.  This makes me a well rounded lucky fool.  So what happened was that I read my latest favorite personality Jim Altucher who I have a truck load of respect for.  What he pointedly made me think of was that I needed to invest in myself before I invest my money in anything else.

Now if you have a lot of disposable income it might be a good idea for you to find a broker that you trust and invest with him or her. You might do a trinity of two brokers (who don't know each other but you trust) and get an investing account for yourself. This way you can win if everyone plays fare, but if you have some unscrupulous character involved you might get a chance to win anyway.

So the what's next is that I am going to invest in an ereader.  I am thinking the Kindle because it is so inexpensive. It has WIFI, plays MP3's (Does it play ogg? It should.), it has a Web browser that is not too bad, it is small, long battery life, and some.  I played with one the other day in Best Buy.  I liked it.

The ereader is about me reading more. There are many great bloggs where investors and other pundits bleed knowledge. It wont substitute the experience but it can at least get me in the game with a chance. For those of you who say, "Book knowledge is no substitute for real life experience." I say, "bullshit".

There are plenty of people I have worked in the last 22 years in construction who still don't know their ass from their elbow.  They do the same crap over and over and they rely upon someone else to solve their problems or they coast by rote and make some progress but in the long run... waste time. On the other hand I have bought books on construction, read trade journals, taken classes and learned by rote. I make more money because of this. I am an expert. I can hold a conversation with the owner, architect and my fellow workers. I'd like to do the same with trading and stocks. I don't have time for rote.
Ye Olde Hardware (c) OgFOMK ArTS 2011

Right now I am using an old laptop. My old laptop is 10 times better than your new laptop because it runs Xubuntu, Ubuntu and Windows XP. It has WIFI (I installed it myself), it has a DVD/CDRW drive.... bla bla bla. BUT! It is a big clunky monster that has a 45 minute battery life.  It gets very hot. The power supply I have a heat sink on top of to keep it from melting. I love it.

That's is what is next.  Get a smaller piece of network hardware so I can read more.

GOALS
I still have my goals. They are like the Bob Dillon song "a changin'". I have been looking for a mentor kind of character. I need some kind of person who can give me the ear and the finger.  I have had some noted personalities in my life like this. They have been incredible and exactly what I needed at the time. Those relationships did not last.

CHANGES
A friend of mine, The Legendary Reverend Snatchmo, once said: "Alex changes his religion like some people change their underwear." I was inspired by the stories of Ramakrishna, so I decided I should learn the many too.
Cookie Monster, Siddhartha and Elmo with Mala by R. Nuttall (c) OgFOMK ArTS 2010

Today I am a Buddhist. Buddhism is pretty easy. I am responsible for everything, so I can't blame anyone. I can pray if I want because no Buddhist will ever tell me praying is stupid. I do have some responsibilities or precepts (prescribed behaviors). I follow at least one a day for a few minutes.

THE PORTFOLIO
My little portfolio now stands in that mystical area between ACH and Bank Account. I am keeping my trading account, but she will be empty for a few months. I was disappointed with my decisions and my lack of discipline.  I was not patient.  I was disillusioned. I was over confident. I was me.

What killed me was my constant buys and sells. I spent $75 in commission and that was a waste of money.  Better to go to a fake portfolio and track those results than to pretend I am big time.

I want to put a larger sum of money into one stock and leave it.  I don't know what to do. I just don't know what to do.
The Velvet Reverend Al (c) OgFOMK ArTS 2011

WRITING
I have been writing as a writer for 25 years. Out of all of the things I have done, this is what I am most proud of.  Once in 1992 I burned all of my notebooks.  This was a stack of 15.  I managed to later find digital copies of some of my work. It has always been about non-attachment.  Non-attachment was not about some enlightened point of view, but the fact that I knew I could lose any stability I had at any time.  This is the dumbest wisdom I have ever espoused. Sabotage is not sacrifice.

Today I am writing because it makes sense.  In the dynamic universe known as life writing is what gives us the ability to see the graffiti on the wall from the past triumphs and losses. Thank you Google for this blog we are about to receive.

20110220

Part V of the Neophyte Trader: Slacking off to round up



The Mask
In order to put you off the trail that I did absolutely no trading, investing, changing or seeding of my account I will discuss the last segment of this Neophyte Trading.

Here is a blog I read this morning that is useful for anyone who wants to trade and learn from a pro:



$PWAV Powerwave Technologies NASDAQ:PWAV
PWAV blew up this week hitting $4.13 now sitting at $3.73.  This is more valuable than when I sold it. I had 18 shares. I still think its a good pick but I am unable to invest anymore at this time.  Since I like the company I will continue to watch them. I hope they do well.


$ORCL Oracle Corporation NASDAQ:ORCL 
ORCL did a great job this week. It stands at $33.68.  This is the highest ($33.71) it has been in 10 years. I am happy with this. Since I have two little shares. It is good for me. I'd like to get more, but I have to wait.


$HAIN The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. NASDAQ:HAIN 
HAIN reached $31.25 and has dipped down to $30.88. If I was an investor with more cash and I liked this company I would see this as an opportunity to buy more stock. Allas I am tapped out, so I have to let  my two little shares do their thing.


PORTFOLIO PERFORMANCE
Using my favorite financial and trading tool Google Finance I can show you some facts, numbers and a pretty chart. Most importantly I can show it to me. Like I suggested last week: Useful Tools for Financial Management If you want to try trading use this or another tool and just punch in the numbers of what you want to invest and what companies you are interested in.  You can name your portfolio "Play Rich" or something fun and prepare yourself for a new game where you just might no care if you get social security or not.

GOALS:
Ultimately my goal is to make my money work for me. However I have had a "Come to Jesus" meeting with my wife and my debt is something I have to fix.  I have done quite a lot, but I have student loans (the Big expensive Pink Elephant in the Razzizle), credit card debt and we have a lovely mortgage.  A lot of it is progress, but I can not take credit for it. My wife is such a smart financial person. She said I could do the trading, but we need to pay down our debt too.  She is right.

So the goals are like this:

  1. I have to work another 20 years before I can consider the word "retire". I am 41
  2. In the next two years I have to pay down to zero $15000 of debt.
  3. After that we will pay ahead aggressively on our mortgage to reduce interest. We bought our house at the hight of the hosing housing bubble. The good news is that we bought a tiny townhouse and my wife secured a decent mortgage not an ARM.
  4. I will still invest but I have to make it at about $10 a week for seed cash.  This week I added nothing.
  5. I will buy bulk purchases of stocks at about $200 because the trade commission is killing my profit since I am buy such small purchases. The people who handle the real purchases deserve to get paid, but I also deserve to earn on my investment.

THE END GAME
The strategy has changed a bit.  My knowledge has increased.  I am excited.  I am proud that I have begun this. It would never be possible if it was not for the many folks who give up their wisdom and knowledge.  I appreciate those folks so much.  You can find them via: Twitter and Stocktwits.com.
I can not tell you how valuable twitter is. It is real time information.

Here is a great tool for learning investing: http://www.fool.com/how-to-invest/thirteen-steps/index.aspx? from the Motley Fool.


I hope that some of this has been helpful.  Thanks.

20110213

Useful Tools For Financial Management of Stocks Part IV of Neophyte Trader



A Death in the Family

This past week was a very emotional and stressful week. My Uncle Reed died. He wasn't one of those uncle's that you thought was boorish and full of complacent chaff. Uncle Reed was a man I knew for 41 years. He told me so many jokes.  He helped me to learn about fishing, hunting, and construction. When I became a vegetarian (1986) (footnote at bottom of post), he made vegetarian sandwiches for me when I visited. He helped me to be confident in spite of adversity. He also educated me about business. He owned his own business for 35 years. If you have never owned your own business, you don't know anything about business.

One time Reed was with my dad and I fishing back in 1984. I was 14 years old. We were drifting in the Chesapeake Bay. It was almost quiet. Water lapped against the boat gently. You could here the drag of a fishing reel once I while click-click-click as the weight of the lead bobbed on the bottom with bait on the hook. Wind was blowing. The sun was shining.

Reed screamed in his load raspy guttural voice: "Hey Alex do you beat'cher Meat?"

I looked at him and I felt my face turn beat red. The only other person with us was my father. He looked at me and Reed looked at me.  This was the great question my fourteen year old life had come to. I answered as dignified as I could, "no."

He came back quickly to me. He could see that I was a green boy with little self-esteem and no experience in life. He was ready to give me a lesson. He was the Zen master in disguise. "What's you last name?" He asked me.

"Nuttall" I answered.

He smiled. "See," he began in his great powerful voice, "your'e a God-Damned liar." That was Reed. He taught me many unforgettable lessons like that. That was the Nuttall Koan.

This Week's Stock Roundup


I sold my 18 shares of Powerwave $PWAV at $3.5 early Thursday morning. I wanted to free up some cash. I was off from my regular job due to a snow storm. I should have waited to sell when the stock jumped to 3.65.  That would have paid for some of the commission, but I had made up my mind just to let go as soon as possible so I could have a chance to buy another stock. Since I am a neophyte and my assets are small I have to wait 24 hours before I can make a new purchase. The trade has to settle.

Today $PWAV is valued at $3.55. It may jump up or it may not. I'm out.


My two shares in Oracle average in purchase value (my cost) 31.93. Oracle at Friday's close was $33.47.  I have gained $3.08 (1.54*2).

$HAIN (2 HAIN@$30.22)

The New addition to my portfolio is The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. I saw an interview with the CEO on the 7th on Mad Money with Jim Cramer.  I was eating a bag of their Red Hot Blues. I said to myself, "I have to buy this stock!" At close Friday my stock I purchased that morning for $30.22(2) was last trading for $30.31. I made $0.18 by the end of the day.  Most of the time I go to work with change in my pocket and come home with less. Of course the trade cost me $4.50 and to sell it it will cost me $4.50 so factor $9.00 to my original purchase (30.22*2=60.44) | (60.44+4.5(commission to buy)=64.94) | (64.94+4.5(commission to sell)=69.44) With this stock I need have my shares increase up to $34.72 to break even.


This was my first trade. I bought and sold 45 shares. in two days. I lost about $11.00.  When I bought $BGP it was: 0.92 I sold at 0.90.  Today Borders is valued at $0.25 . The NYSE has given Borders 6 months to reach $1.00 or it will be de-listed.

RULES, GOALS and the Zecco
  1. Every trade pays for the cost of the trade and sell!
As you know by reading: Part II of Neophyte Trading I am breaking rule/goal number one a lot. I still have to respect it and I have to make it my goal. I am not here to loose money.  I am not here to make Zecco.com a rich company. I love the service, but I am not a good customer if I just flounder about and eventually get frustrated and leave.  They have great customer service by the way. If you open an account tell them OgFOMK sent you.

Every trade pays for the cost of the trade and sell.  For this reason I have decided that I will change my trading philosophy. My idea before was to go after things I liked, I thought were interesting and I thought were cheap so I could watch those stocks miraculously jump up and make me rich. My wife has a great saying: "Were are never too rich to buy cheap things." That means that we will be poor if we buy cheap stuff. So my style now is: I go after things I like, are companies that are interesting, is a company I would by products from, and is recommended by financial people I trust and respect! For the time being I will engage in no more speculation.
  1. Every trade is a business I would buy from, have bought from (with a positive experience), and has been recommended by a trade guru I respect. e.g. Jim Cramer at CNBC @jimcramer (tweet)
So I have matured a little but no too much.

TOOLS

As promised I am going to introduce the tools I use and expand upon them a bit.
GNUCASH

GNUCASH


Gnucash is something that a small business can use and a person can use to track finance.  The project is nearly ten years old and the platform is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.

You can track your stock portfolios too.  Gnucash will even get quotes for you (not real-time, but enough for you to assess to value of your portfolio.  Everything in Gnucash is an account. You can also prepare professional invoices for clients.  This shows what is on your books for investors.

Because it is open source, you can use it on the three available platforms and you can tweek it to your business needs should you feel bold enough.

I have been using it for 6 years.

I use it for Invoicing clients, tracking stocks, tracking paypal transactions (and the mystery gutter between your bank account funding and the paypal transaction.) and tracking my 6 bank accounts and other stuff.  At tax time I can do reports that make sense to me and Uncle Sugar.

I will expand on this later. To put it in a Nutshell: I have paid for Quicken, and Quicken Business licenses i.e. Intuit and I use GnuCash.  Sooooo why not get GnuCash and manage money instead of a software license.  When you get rich you can contribute.

GOOGLE FINANCE
Google Finance.
Google Finance

Google of course is an information super search.  It also has financial tools that are well worth the account price.  Like many financial sites it allows you to track your own portfolio.  You can perform all of your own trade modelling here as well. You can make real or imagined deposits, purchases, sells and research.

If I had known about this tool 5 months ago when I stated this quest I could have made better modelling and learned about my style and decisions. Nothing beats putting your own money on the line, but training ain't bad either.



I use Google finance to track my portfolio because relevant news pops up according to my trade.  That is a great boon for me.

If you want to get started on trading.  I recommend this as an invaluable tool.  Give yourself an imaginary cash deposit and get to work!

The data in quotes is extremely fast too! That gives great real-time feedback.

YAHOO FINANCE
I have been a customer of yahoo since 1997. I have a love / hate relationship with yahoo. I have paid for yahoo services since 2003. Last year I left their hosting services with Ogfomk.com and I went to GoDaddy.  I still pay them for my email address once a year. (Disclosure)

Yahoo finance is also an excellent tool for learning about stocks.  The layout is simple and effective.  I can track my portfolio and I can play with scenarios of stocks.  Transactions are not as sophisticated as Google's but it is what I have played with for 7 years. 

If Yahoo would like to fire its current CEO and hire me I am available for 2 years at $299,997 a year!  What a bargain! I want stock options that equal my salary because I have a $10,000,000 goal to meet. I will make Yahoo at least double it's stock price. I will also make facebook nervous. I will bet I know more about Yahoo than Yahoo does. 


As you can see the interface is simple.  It is a good tool.  KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid).  The best part for me is that I enter the info and should I find myself in a strange place I can go online and track my stocks without having a boat load of personal information attached. I will admit that I always obscure information so that anyone who really wants to hurt me has to work very hard to do so. I also will say that once I reach $10,000 I will no longer keep this data this way.

Or maybe I will.

NASDAQ 
Nasdaq.com is an extremely useful and informative site. It is, however, running on the legacy OS known as Windows: Netcraft Nasdaq.com. Nasdaq runs like crap! It crashes.  It freezes. BUT! It is an extremely valuable tool for both NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) and NASDAQ stocks. Of course I am running chrome so my experience may be related to this. I however do not care that my experience should be better or worse for a browser. I digress. 

Nasdaq has a bounty of great tools for learning and communicating your stock ideas and tracking news. You can also track your portfolio here, but I warn you that it is best to use the above Yahoo or Google also because when Nasdaq freezes or locks up you will go crazy trying to find that data that you want.  Like a good research paper you should use many different sources. Nasdaq should just pay a team to make MySQL and Linux and then it can generate more revenue. Nasdaq call Oracle or RedHat for a free consultation today. 

I volunteer my services to Nasdaq.com now. I can bring a team in with the sharpest minds for $1.2 Million and have you up and running in 8 months. Since the NYSE is being bought by the Germans, you can smoke them like a cheap cigar and get some of their business too once they realize (the companies who trade NYSE) how cool and Linux you are.




THE END GAME

So the game has changed a bit for me. I am still enjoying the new trade. I absolutely love being able to say: "Oh yes I trade stocks also." I am proud to say my portfolio is worth: $127.56 I have two shares of $ORCL and two shares of $HAIN. When I reach my goal of $10,000 I will know that I can reach $10,000,000. You see in 1986 I started construction as a laborer making $3.15 an hour. I had very little skill just a mohawk and guitar habit. I couldn't hammer a nail to save my life. Now I can supervise multi-million dollar projects. I can build large banks, water-treatment facilities, bridges, tunnels, and anything with blue-prints. In 20 years I will be able to say how I started here.  So will you! We are here together. 

Uncle Reed, I will miss you. Thank you for giving me two cousins and an aunt I would take to battle any time.  You will be sorely missed. I wish we could have talked more about business.

20110206

$PWAV, $ORCL, Part III Trading Novice Exposure for Wealth Generation



This past week was particularly good for my new trade as a trader.

INVESTMENT:


01/03/2011 2:26 PMBought45 BGP@$0.92$-45.90Executed
01/04/2011 09:30 AMSold45 BGP@$0.90$35.99Executed
01/10/2011 09:30 AMBought1 ORCL@$30.85$-35.35Executed
01/20/2011 09:30 AMBought7 PWAV@$3.67$-30.19Executed
01/26/2011 09:30 AMBought7 PWAV@$3.43$-28.51Executed
02/02/2011 09:30 AMBought4 PWAV@$3.40$-18.10Executed


POWERWAVE TECHNOLOGIES:

In this past week I bought 4 more shares of Powerwave $PWAV.  Earnings came out on the 1st of February. I was pretty happy with this decision. The stock shot up to 3.75 a share.  My purchase of 18 shares averaged in value: $3.52.  That's a gain of 0.23 per share.  Since I don't have a lot of money to drop on anything I have to make my buys in stages based upon stocks that I am interested in and are affordable.

For $PWAV my total investment has been (4.5)*(3)=13.5 in Commission and (63.36) for the 18 shares. Total cost to me: 76.86  In order for me to break even I have to have a market value of $76.86 + (4.5) which would be my last trade commission if I sold it.  My shares need to gain up to $4.52 in order for them to pay for themselves.  


ORACLE CORPORATION:

My one little baby share $ORCL I purchased at 30.85 is now valued at $32.60.  That's a gain of $1.75.  We still have to factor the buy and sell so we are looking at (4.5)+(4.5)=9.0  In order for $ORCL to pay for itself it needs to be valued at $39.85.

THE GAME OF MULTIPLES:

I chose to go with Powerwave because I saw potential in a small international company that was inexpensive to buy.  My multiple purchases hurt me with commission costs, but in order to reach a position where I make money I have to have volume.  If I chose a different stock I might increase my spread and position value, but in order to cash in that value I would have to make multiple sales which you can see hurt my small investment opportunity.  The obverse of this is that if I never started to trade at all I would not have been able to even understand this much.  In reality my stock trades make more money than if I held that same amount static in a bank account.  

Multiple shares need to be held as they work together to increase value. Also for the long term multiples held there are dividends. I have yet to understand how that works but I will let you know when it does.

JIM CRAMER and MAD MONEY: 

If you asked me a year ago if I would be watching that dumb show Mad Money I would have laughed.  Now I watch it every weeknight.  I have my little notebook and I write down what companies I am interested and I listen to the erudition of Jim Cramer.  I am not just listening to his opinion.  He has the real CEOs from different companies tell their story.  

Since I don't have a lot of money to use for trading I use someone else's knowledge and I create "watch lists". I use Jim Cramer's experience and knowledge to highlight potential stocks I may want to purchase. It's an exciting time of the day. I always think that I can't believe I never did this before because I have been buying all of these companies' products for years!

BUSINESS IS BUSINESS:

As a punk rock dude in the late 1980s I was opposed to government, big business and that evil thing called money. I still worked. I made money. I bought stuff. I was a consumer. I was a sheep. It took me a long time to see things as they are and not how I wanted them to be. I realized that it wasn't even how I wanted things to be but how I perceived things should be. It's more complicated and should be blogged later.  The essence of realization was that I was not realizing what I could do. I was focused on what I could not do. I was miserable.

Business is a natural activity for human beings. Big business is also a natural temporary activity. It's a beast that gets started and can not be stopped easily. There are some businesses I will never like.  So I don't buy their products. They change or die. The common worker living in the US can buy stocks.  Some companies will fail some will succeed. Instead of being a mindless animal consumer you can participate in the economy by buying stocks in the businesses you do business with. Offset your utility cost by owning utility stock. Offset your McDonald's habit by owning McDonald's stock. (I hate McDonald's.  I won't even take a crap in McDonald's.)

Yesterday I saw a guy buy $50 worth of lottery tickets. I worked at a gas station in Richmond back in 1991. I saw postal workers come in every day as they left the post office across the street. Those workers would spend hundreds of dollars on the lottery. I bought $35 dollars of tickets myself.  After continual loss I decided that beer had a better return value.  What I never realized is that I could have used my disposable income to buy stocks.  Anytime I inquired about buying stocks I was always given the answer: "You have to have a lot of money in order to buy stocks."  "You have to have money to make money." 

Never let someone else's limited experience determine your own ability.

GOALS:

Last week I discussed my goals.  Goal number 1 is the most important. Every trade pays for the cost of the trade and sell! 

It's extremely important to have goals with any activity. I constantly refer to my favorite book by Brain Tracy: Goals. The journey can be rewarding, but the end result needs to be visualized in order to make it through hard times.  

My goal is to show how an ordinary person can make money trading stocks.  I fully intend to show anyone how I am doing it.

COMING SOON:


  1. Financial tools
  2. Useful websites
  3. More trades
PROMOTION:


Buy the way if you decided to start trading and you use Zecco https://www.zecco.com let them know that I sent you.  If you fund up to $500 with your starting account I think I will get $50 credited to mine. I will lavishly thank you.

Check out Stocktwits.com also for the best information, trade ideas and education. Tell them OgFOMK sent you. 

20110130

Oracle and Powerwave $ORCL and $PWAV



Last week I posted my humble beginnings as a trader. This will be my way of showing what happens right or wrong.

PWAV

Powerwave Technologies: $PWAV is currently at $3.46. I purchased 7 more  shares at $3.43 on the 26th of January 2011.  This makes my shares and average of $3.55 in cost for 14 shares. If we factor in the two trades at $4.5 each with a total of $9.00 in commission my total value is at a $-10.26 gain.  Ouch! Remember the first goal is to have the trade pay for itself. Since the current value is $3.46 I have in effect reduced my investment. I am still confident in my choice so I have a mental sell should the value drop further: I will sell if it reaches 3.18 or 3.20.  

With a little kind help I have gathered some input on my trade: The ArmoTrader has charted $PWAV on Stocktwits' Chart.ly.  I also have checked into another trader: TheConfidentInvestor who has given this stock a "poor" rating.  His position is clear: He is not confident that this stock is a good place for your money. It is speculative. 

For a small investor who is looking to make money you need to speculate in order to increase the value of your money. I imagine that I am a little VC (Venture Capitalist). I want to make my money work for me so I go after businesses that I think are interesting. This also means that I do not know the end result. I can guess.

ORCL

Oracle Corporation: $ORCL is current at $32.00 I purchased my one skinner lowly share at $30.85.  I am still up, but we have to factor in the trade commission of $4.5 so I am at a $ -3.55 gain. Here I am feeling a bit better because Oracle is a strong company. I do have a sell number if this takes a turn for the worst.  My stop is $27.00.  

Again I have obtained some input from TheArmoTrader: his chart regarding $ORCL. It's great to have feedback for your investments. If you don't share your position then you can not learn anything. This information is not TheArmoTrader's absolute gospel, but it is his share of experience and erudition. By discussing and sharing we can overcome the massive obstacle known as self.

GOALS


  1. Every trade pays for the cost of the trade and sell!
  2. I make $200 in profit and I subtract 1/4 to reduce it to $150.  The balance goes into a static savings.
  3. I make with my $150 up to $400 and I subtract 1/4 to reduce it to $300.  The balance goes into a static savings.
  4. I make with my $300 up to $600 and I subtract 1/4 to reduce it to $400. The balance goes into a static savings.
  5. I make with my $400 up to $800 and I subtract 1/4 to reduce it to $600. The balance goes into a static savings where it has now the value of $1500.
  6. I make with my $600 up to $1200 and I subtract 1/4 to reduce to $900. The balance goes into a static savings.
  7. I hit the $1000 mark with my trades and I now allow the trades to pay for themselves.
  8. Every week I take from regular earnings $20 to $30 to seed my investments.  This positive cash flow will be sufficient until I reach $1000 after my last subtraction.
You get the picture.  Have worked now full-time since 1987 that's 24 years.  24(years)*52(weeks)=1248(weeks)  1248(weeks)*$20=$24,960 That's a lot of money! I wish I could say that that is all I have wasted on crap I did not need, but I am sure that $24,960 is a remote figure to the real waste.  I was basically a conduit for money.  I moved money from one spot to another and I worked hard doing it. 

Thank you for your eyeballs and have a great week.  Till next time. Remember this: Never let someone else's experience limit your ability.



20110126

Healthcare as a Tax Deduction



Let's consider this: I have barely had healthcare since I left college in 1988. For most of my adult life (I am soon to be 41) I have not had any health insurance. Sometimes I have had a job with it.  Most of the time I have had a job without. I was excited when lawmakers were considering healthcare for the masses. Now I understand that it is something idiots like me don't need and can live without. Self insurance is what we really need.  OK.

I would now like to see no healthcare bill. Just can it. What I would like to see is a general tax deduction of healthcare. 

Here is how it will work:


  1. If you buy health insurance it is 100% tax deductible.  You still have to pay for it out of your pocket, so you need to go to work. If you know that you will be reimbursed for your health insurance you can get a policy that  meets your needs based on the deductible you want to leverage risk against.
  2. Your deductible is tax deductible too. You know that if you have to pay for an out of pocket expense you will be reimbursed so you will spend what you need to get healthy and back into the game.
  3. If you join a health club like the YMCA or take yoga classes or sports or whatever keeps you mentally and physically active, then it is also 100% tax deductible. You still have to come up with the money in order to do what you want to do.
  4. If you are dirt cheap poor and you just buy the very basic things you need to be healthy: cough medicine, aspirin, that visit to the local medical-health doctor-mart for that insane illness that appeared unexpectedly and you have to pay $100 to $300 on your credit card or you get a payday loan to live, etc.... that will also be %100 deductible when you do your taxes at the end of the year. It does not matter that you only spent $1 or $10,000.  You will get this money back or you will not have to pay it in the first place when you file your taxes.
  5. This KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) tax deduction will make it so that ordinary working class and affluent people will have the ability to stay healthy, work and have better lives.
  6. Businesses who pay for the health care of an employee or subsidize an insurance policy will find that what they spend is %100 tax deductible too.
  7. Any person who helps another person or pays for a service will also find this %100 tax deduction. Now the local town doctor can accept chickens, hogs, corn or a tax deduction for his or her service!  If a doctor donates a service it can be tax deductible. If a doctor or hospital can not collect debt by reasonable means it is deductible too. (I can see where this might go wrong, but all channels are still open and the revenuer can chase what he or she wants anyway.)

We don't need mandatory health care.  We don't need hidden government costs to further fleece the regular or affluent worker. We just need a simple way to provide a better capitol value experience for those who contribute to the capitol and growth of the united states.

How would this get maintained?  Simple.  It's tacked onto the existing monolith know as the IRS. Any business who was preparing for the new healthcare law and no does not know what to do can keep all of the work they have put together and get rid of it or keep it.  It is tax deductible too.

Consider this argument I am posing.  There are plenty of smart people out in this world who can see the benefit of such a plan.  This may also eliminate a lot of older tax deductions that are clouded in mystery where only the best liars lawyers can negotiate the principle and the chaff. 

Lastly I think that income tax should be this simple formula: (Cost to get money)-(cost of living)=(Disposable Income).  (Disposable Income)*(Decimal (Percent) of the great mystery number from Uncle Sugar)=(tax owed).  Everyone has to pay something.  Maybe the Fed can say each dollar cost this much to use. If you hold this many dollars it cost this much (of your disposable income!).  Once the money has gone through your fingers then it can not be taxed again until you use it to make more money (Hence it is a cost of making more money in the first place).

If you survived the above rambling then I wish you the very best in life, love and happiness.

Cheers.

20110123

Ubuntu, Gwibber, Twitter, Stocktwits, Zecco and Investing



Redhat $RHT and Linux

In 1999 Redhat became an IPO. I had begun using Linux by reading books with distribution CDs at about this same time. When Redhat $RHT became an IPO millionaires were made.  At it's hight December 1999 RHT was near $137 a share. At it's lowest September 14, 2001 RHT fetched $3.14 a share. I didn't know much about stocks, but I knew Redhat was good.  Why?  Because it was a market for Linux.  Redhat was an customer based software educator business.  

Redhat was training businesses to fend for themselves in software. Software that allowed you to do anything. You did not need to have a proprietary license.  You just needed to have trained people (which you had to have anyway). The remarkable thing was that what was under the hood was a fully and actively developed technology that your people could adapt without legal recourse. It was Open Source.

So Redhat's stock was devalued.  Big deal.  Redhat kept moving with Linux. Linux is everywhere. Your Android phone is a Linux kernel device. Your Apple phone is a Unix/BSD kernel based device.  Linux gave Apple Unix.  Unix made sense for Apple because they wanted to ride the wave too. Linux was created as an open Unix. If you squint your eyes the "L" and the "i" will become a "U".  The previous sentence was rubbish.

November 21, 2008

After puttering along RHT was valued $8.56 on this date.  For 9 years I read stock quotes in the newspaper like some read Astrology.  I thought to myself as I always thought.  "I want to buy this stock." From this date to the present RHT has continued to rise. I was not directly using Redhat because I found that there were other distributions that were friendly to folks like me.

On the other hand I kept paying attention to Redhat and it's customers. I was not a paying customer using Redhat Linux, but I was still in the game and all of us who use Linux benefit from the testing and use by end-users. Bleeding edge is what my friend Scott told me one time.  

So I wanted to buy Redhat but I was using Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a commercial venture that remains free.  The set up of Ubuntu is extremely easy and full featured. It's not a money maker directly, but it has a hell of a lot of advantages and mystical properties. 

Ubuntu Linux, Gwibber, and the Invest 2.30.0 Applet

For about 4 years now I have had steady use of the Ubuntu desktop.  Like other distributions before she always came with a lot of software I had no idea how to use or what it was for.  One product that came out about a year ago was Gwibber. Like many great products I have come to love it was an enigma. I thought: "Gee micro-blogging, what's that." So I got a twitter account and Gwibber did not work.  This is normal on the bleeding edge. I tried everything under the sun, but I could not get it to work.  So I was stuck with a Twitter account.  I started to use it.

6 Months later Canonical released an updated version (as they do on a regular schedule) of Ubuntu and Gwibber was working.  This is normal too.  If you have a broken thing in Linux, eventually someone or you will fix it.

Another tool I found was a little widget that sits on my Gnome desktop.  Gnome is the GUI I use with my Ubuntu distribution. The tool I found was Invest 2.30.0.  This little tool allows you to see stock quotes.  It also allows you to put a value in and track it!  So I started buying virtual stocks about 9 months ago.  I also picked Redhat and put fake money on it.  I was earning.  I thought to myself: "Self, you need to tweet about this.

Twitter, Stocktwits and Zecco

I started to tweet about Redhat. I knew I knew something. I just didn't know what I knew.  I tried to qualifying my statements by linking to smarter resources.  Enter Stocktwits.

Somehow my Redhat rants were observe by the folks at Stocktwits.  Someone contacted me via twitter and asked me to join.  I looked into the stocktwits website and I was impressed. So I joined.  My Bio says "I know nothing about stocks. I do know technology."

As I was plowing through stocktwits.com I noticed the Zecco.com adds. From stocktwits, if I had an account, I could trade based on my interest in a stock.  All of this fell into place.  I could trade.  I could learn how to trade. 

So now I am trading. I started with $50 dollars.  Then I added another $25.  My holdings are pretty small.  Very small. But there were times in my life that $50 meant eating for a week.  

So here is my progress:

I bought $BGP (Borders Books) on a whim that it would be a cheap victory for me for 45 shares @ $0.92.  I sat on it for a day and got nervous because I was not liking what I was reading about the company.  So I sold it the next day. 45 @ $.90.  I also had to pay for each trade $4.5 each time. So I turned $50 into $41.0.

I am still in the game.

I next decided that after looking at my Oracle Subscription to buy ORCL @ 30.85.  Just 1 share.
Again I had to pay my trade commission of $4.5, so my $41.0 turned into $34.95.  But alas my little ORCL is actually making money.  It was Redhat's only sensible competitor.  ORCL has Linux too.  They also have MySQL, JAVA, Open Office and Oracle's own products.  Oracle also has a loyal following and is intensely training based and customer aware.  They also hired Mark Hurd who was fired from HP.  You got to love that!  At this time ORCL is 32.51.  It will soon pay for its trade.

That is the most important thing I have learned is that I have to have my trade paid for.  Lucky for me my little Invest 2.10.0 applet allows me to put what my commission was and I can see if I am in the hole or not very quickly.

After being happy with my Oracle trade I decided to go after a company that I stumbled upon and decided that I liked.  February 1, 2011 they will announce quarterly earnings.  I bought 7 PWAV@$3.67.  I paid the highest price.  If you have to work during the day away from a computer, then the risk is 100% there.  No big deal.  I chose the stock because the company on paper looks lean and mean.  PWAV is $3.56 now.  She is bumping about.  I am going to sit on it and if it goes to $2.00 I will sell it.  I think it will go to $5.00 or even $10.00.  Let's say that I am a guesser.  

Investing:

A friend of mine said that investing is like gambling.  When I heard that I wanted to say something nasty.  I didn't.  He owned a hell of a lot more stock than I did.  I hate that kind of thinking.  I don't understand it. Never let someone else experience limit your own ability.  Before I sold my BGP back I read this: 5 Stock Market Myths from the Nasdaq.com website.  I decided that my stock just might not make it back up.  I also decided that I was right to think of stocks as investing and not gambling. If you are a nihilist, then the stock market is gambling.

So this is my little rant.  I am very proud of myself for starting to trade for real.  My total holdings are valued now at $57.29  That is a $75 dollars, (4 trades at -$18) if you do the math I am actually up $.29!  The trade commissions are necessary so it is the expense needed to do the job.  It's my hammer and nails.

I have no formal training as an investor.  I know nothing. Of course that is what OgFOMK ArTS has always been about. Do it yourself. Thankfully we live in a time where if you don't get overwhelmed you can learn a lot from a lot of people. I have noticed this too:  This is very important! People who really make money are happy to let you know how they do it. 

Eventually I will purchase some RHT.  I like it.  Small investing to big investing.  My goal is to make $1000 a day in trading.  I plan on doing $100,000 a year and in five $10,000,000.  Why?  Why not.  Most of us are conduits for disposable income.  Look at it all and say: "Now I am an investor."