Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Technical Opinion

This feels like the run from 160 to 475, a move of 296%, extending from March of 2005 to the end of that year.

This run started at 480, where the first one left off. 296% more of 480 is 1420. The extrapolation is foolish, but the result seems inevitable.

Riding the Tiger's Back

New York 4 pm Close: 707

Something's happening here

Something unusual is happening. This thing is going much, much higher. Parabolic, like the Great Rainbow. Don't fear the Great Rainbow.

The spirit is in GOOG. It's a time of great joy for shareowners. But we must also remember those who are not shareowners and keep them in our thoughts. We must not laugh at them too much.

And don't regret the false prophets who follow in our wake. Foul of mouth and bad of spelling, they are the wind at our backs.

They will tell you that the end is near; that there is a down for every up. Don't believe them.

They will say: "SELL THAT BLOATED PIG!!!" Ignore them.

Just remember, when you ride the back of the tiger, the worst thing you can do is get off.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ma Google

Today GOOG popped for a buck-fifty-four! Closing price: 694.77

It's all about the GPhone... Or is it?

Google to Carriers: Tear down those walls!

Carriers: Huh?

Google: Give the phone service away free and we'll guarantee you a nice living from the ad revenue.

Carriers: Huh??

Google: If that doesn't suit, we will buy up enough wireless bandwith to beat you.

I just hope nobody's expecting a whiz-bang whirlygig like the IPhone. There's a lot of hot money, I'm afraid, expecting just that. When Google comes out waving the specification for taking over the world, I'm afraid the hot money might be disappointed. And they don't handle disappointment well. Be there. And be ready.

Monday, October 29, 2007

GOOG in the Briar Patch

Today, GOOG closed at 679.23.

For an all-time high, it was a modest move, without vigor. The whole market seemed tired, today, despite the positive close. Opposing forces clashed, but without passionate intensity. The Fed looms, like an ancient castle wrapped in mist.

I have been of two minds about GOOG's near-term chances: in one, the stock was mispriced all last year and is now making up for lost time, seeking a new level; in the other, it has clearly run out of gas and is due for a swoon - temporary, of course.

If it swoons, how far will it likely go? When it went through 200 for the first time, it backed off, fooled around, and then dithered its way back to 160. Not on any news, just simple exhaustion. A move like that today, from 679, would take us back to Ol' Virginny: the 540's. Even if it runs to 700 before the inevitable pull-back, a 20% correction would achieve the 560's.

Of course, I wouldn't mind if it did. It would give me a chance to re-establish my full position, plus a few more shares for my trouble.

But it may never get there. If my first theory is correct, then the next stop is 750 and beyond, and my hope to repurchase my sold shares will be dashed. In that event, GOOG may never see 650 again. Of course, that's a briar patch of a whole different color.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Life Beyond GOOG

Sunday is a time for changing your evil ways. And so I'm thinking, what could I be doing differently? How could I improve my life?

Lately, I've been obsessed with the Google message board. I'm in it all the time, even on the weekend. Throwing back cans of Red Bull. From what I can tell, I'm not the only one.

After a while, you start believing the world is like the Google message board - full of foul-mouthed, bad spellers. You get the shakes. You start thinking, there's got to be a better way to live than this.

Well, brother, there is, and I'm here to tell you about it.

In desperation, I decided to check out another message board. Something I didn't own, so I wouldn't agonize about everything I read there. Something that would pacify my mind.

I went to the message board for WTR.

Immediately, a soothing feeling came over me. On this whole board, there are just 1,609 postings, compared to 421,437 on the GOOG board. There are just 12 messages for the whole month of October! Now, that's a pace I can manage.

And the postings themselves are courteous and polite. Recent threads include:

> "Sorry for a basic question, but..."

> "After reading the board..."

> "California Snowpack Lowest in 20 Years"

Which is not to say that the board is without vinegar:

> "Good earnings? Serious question about WTR"

> "Who said bottled water is out of style?"

I read all the messages back to August and not once did I see one called, "SELL THIS BLOATED PIG!!!" By the time I got through, I was rolling along, singing a song. And I knew a whole lot more about water.

GOOG is a great stock, but if the message board has been getting you down, take my advice and switch to WTR.

You'll thank me for it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Google Splits!

From The Center for Confounded Rumors comes this little tidbit:

Google is planning to announce a 1-for-100 stock split soon. That's 1-for-100, as in negative. This will cause the price of a share of Google to be recast as $67,460, as of Friday's close.

A spokesman for the company reportedly said, "That'll show 'em."

In a related action, the name of the company will be changed to Google Hathaway.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Terrorists Target Missile Strikes with Google Earth

News agencies are reporting the following:

"Members of Palestine’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a group aligned with the Fatah political party, has admitted to using Google Earth for mapping targets for rocket strikes."

Read the full story here:

Sources say that Google has offered to buy the Earth and take it private.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

No Joke: GPhone

Take a look at this scuttlebutt about the GPhone from inside the software development industry:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Stephen Hawking Theory of Investing

The Market is a black hole. That much is clear.

You put your money in and it never comes out - right?

Au contraire! The Stephen Hawking Theory of Investing maintains that black holes are leaky toilets. Stuff is coming out of them all the time.

It might be your money, multiplied by the speed of light. Or it might be an umbrella.

Watch out for the umbrella.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Post-Traumatic Sell Syndrome

I am a battle-weary veteran of the campaigns of 2000-2002 for the conquest of Bubbleonia. I bought JDSU for a hundo and sold it for a one-do. Don't make me tell you any more, it will make you cry.

I have since been rehabilitated back into normal markets, but the psychological scars remain, evidenced by an overwhelming urge to sell. Last year I sold AAPL for 67. I sold GS for 147. And I sold GOOG for 366.

I thought I was getting better, but last week I sold more GOOG for 650. I told myself it was good money management, but it hurts so much...

I just want to be a normal, rich person.

Enough with Nattering!

I have been a Nattering Nabob of Negativity. An Agnew of Defeat. All because of 48 pitiful shares of GOOG that I sold in the interest of good money management.

Clearly, GOOG is going higher. I am glad I still have skin in the game. Just not as much skin as I used to have.

GOOG 661.25 open

McNealy Sunset

IBM didn't get it - they gave the software away free, because they thought it had no value. Olsen didn't get it. They were all hardware guys.

McNealy said, "The Internet is the computer," but he didn't get it either. He likened the Internet to the machine. He should have said, "The Internet is the Operating System." It's the software, stupid, not the hardware.

Gates got it and then lost it. He got trapped inside the box.

Page and Brin get it. Software. Running on the Internet from thousands of boxcars, filled with cheap PC's.

But Page and Brin stole one page from Gates' book: Gates catered to programmers, empowering them with great tools, and they developed the applications that locked everybody into Windows.

Page and Brin are doing the same thing in a more general way: empowering all content writers of every stripe, tieing us all into the Internet that is Google.

Extra credit:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Google and Greyhound

12:00 PM

GOOG 647

I may be an apprentice investor, but I know something about software. That's why I own as much Google as I can stand.

Check this out:

There are only so many ways that things can be configured. In 1995, Larry DeBoever was pointing out in private seminars where all the PC madness would end up - back at the mainframe.

My takeaway is that, with a hundred years of hindsight, we can see that the personal automobile was a mistake. It has led us down the path to your friendly auto mechanic, highway fatalities, dependence on foreign oil, pollution and global warming. All so we can pick up our kids at school every day.

The Personal Computer is also a mistake. It has given us the Geek Squad, personal head crashes, spam, porn in your home, identity theft and global warming.

But we will not make the same mistake twice. Google will show us the way.

Then they can fix the car thing.

Buzzard's View

10:00 AM

The most important thing I have learned is patience. The most important thing to do, most of the time, is nothing.

Google opened at 638 something. No matter - the question is, what will it do when it reaches 658 again. We're looking for a short-term top. And I'm watching the tape. I should be watching "Gilligan's Island". Instead of endlessly circling, searching for carrion.

The Hobbesian Theory of Investing

Today may be an interesting day.

8:50 AM

The Global Recession thesis is in play. Kernan is buying canned goods. The crisis will deepen this afternoon; rolling panic will set in, with capitulation taking place in the wee hours of the night. It will all be over by tomorrow afternoon. Nasty, brutish and short.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Google Guilt

It's Sunday - a time for acknowledging one's misdeeds and repenting of them.

I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry that I sold 48 shares of Google last week. I'm a long distance runner in Google. I had no business selling even a little of it. Google will never go down low enough for me to buy them back, without seeming like a total fool. Now, when I calculate my net worth, it will always be $48 less than it could have been.

But they told me to do it - they said it was the smart thing to do. And I believed them. I had seen the other side, and it wasn't pretty: I rode Broadcom to a double, and then rode it all the way back down to a crushing loss. They said, don't be a chump - sell into strength.

So that's what I did. And now I'm sorry. I will never sell another share of Google. I promise. Unless it goes down and I can get back in under 600.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Desperately Seeking Slumber

Last night, I laid down my head, happy that the market, for once, had fallen into line with my particular investment style - cash and Google.

But the weekend is no time to rest on one's laurel - an expectation must be formulated about the week to come. Whither Google? Whither cash?

Will $658.49 become the near term high or will GOOG power through to greater highs? If the broad market continues to sell off, it will be hard for GOOG to keep going. But if it powers through, there will still be a limit to its hubris around 675 to 700, I'm thinking. So if it gets there in the next week or so, I will trim a bit more.

If the market correction continues, it could take GOOG down with it to a buyable range. On the cash side, I will be looking desperately for an entry point. Are we setting up for a test of the summer lows? It might not go that far. "Global Recession" is the key - we need a little panic overseas.

Because if the market snaps back and Google stalls, I'm out the window.

At dawn, I was still looking up at the ceiling, considering my options.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Nearly Perfect Day

Is it a foolish consistency, or a foolish inconsistency, that is the hobgoblin of small (big?) minds? I'm never sure.

Anyway, I changed my mind, today. I sold 48 shares of GOOG for 650 even. I hope someday to buy them back, under 550. A brief drawdown in a good cause is not a bad thing.

I decided to sell, because I saw a change in the character of the market. With my long years of experience in the business, I detected a declining trend in the averages which accelerated as the day wore on. There was talk of global recession. Nobody knows what's holding some of these markets up. We ought to be able to work up a bear case for Google from that: Google sells to the world. And now the world is a bad place to be.

Of course, if GOOG keeps chugging north, I'll be very sorry that I sold. Because, let it be known, I am a pig. Let's face it: we're all pigs. We just don't want to get slaughtered, that's all.

Niederhoffer said in The New Yorker that he had never had one completely satisfying day in his trading life. Not one day that was perfect.

For me, today was close. Google went up and my cash didn't go down.

The Calm After the Storm

Well, everything didn't go nuts the way it did after breaking 300, when it popped 15% in twenty minutes. But that's OK. In fact, that's good. If it had run to 700 overnight, I would have had to sell some, and I don't want to.

Initially, the stock sold off on the rumor that GOOG had laid off all its employees, confirming the bears' suspicions that it's nothing but a machine. But then it rallied on the news that Google was going to change its name to Hooray!

The stock frothed up to 658 something, but has now settled back comfortably at 649.74 at its last observed transit of my screen.

The other good news, today, is that the Dow is down 200 and the S&P is down 20.

At least, I didn't have to eat my beanie. I like that beanie.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Google Eve

It's Wednesday evening around seven-thirty in the east. And it's all getting ready to come down to a single point, tomorrow afternoon. It's the party of the year. It makes life interesting, without the fear of complete and utter devastation.

I can feel the drama without the fear. With GOOG, I've seen victory and defeat. But the victories have all been great victories and the defeats have, well, been victories. To me, tomorrow is a lead pipe cinch. If tomorrow isn't something wonderful, I will eat my programmer's beanie.

The Difference Between Reckless and Foolhardy

My wife was happy when I went to cash last month. She would be happy if I put it all under our mattress in small bills, as long as it wasn't too lumpy.

But I'm not happy. I'm thinking of desperate measures. I asked my wife, "What would you think if I put all our cash into Google?" She frowned.

Back in May, I heard a guy on the Stock Channel say, "We're advising our clients to buy as much Google as they can stand."

I liked that guy. He catalyzed me into action. I sold all our individual stocks and bought Google with the proceeds. That was a good decision. Then I sold everything else for cash.

I said to my wife, "If we put everything into Google, the overwhelming probability is that we would get rich." She didn't say anything.

But I can't do it. Now I know how much Google I can stand.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Watching the River Flow

The problem with owning only one stock is, you don't have much to do all day. This morning it was down. Now, it's up.

Just for a little something to do, I checked the interest rate on my money market fund. Last month it was 5.11%. Now, it's 4.97%.

On TheStreetDotCom, Kass and Blackstein are going at it again. The only Google mention is from Meisler who talks about it going up $15-20 every day. So last week.

People disagreeing everywhere you look,
Makes you wanna stop and read a book.
Why only yesterday I saw somebody on the street
That was really shook...

Monday, October 15, 2007


I don't do homework. I don't care what Cramer says, I've never read a balance sheet and it wouldn't do me any good if I did. The fact is, that's what I pay Cramer for. And Willard. And Altucher. Actually, I've never paid Altucher anything, but I presume that somebody does. Or maybe he works for free. Altucher is a hell of a nice guy, besides being really smart. Now that Willard has moved to Africa, Altucher is the guy I listen to most.

But that's not homework. I hate homework. All I want is a story I can believe in. Right now, the only story I believe in is Google. At the moment, it's down 11, but that's fine. If it was down a hunnert for no good reason, I'd buy more. I love Google.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tau Zero

Google has a problem with round numbers: it gets stuck.

When I first started looking at the stock, it had just poked through 200 and then turned back. The poor fool who paid $201 was mortified. I watched it go back to 180 and bought some. It kept going down to 160 before turning back up. It got stuck at 200 again and dithered for a while longer. There was nothing special about 200. It was just a round number.

Later, it got stuck again at 300. And 400. And 500. At 600, there was only a slight hesitation before it blew through. The law of large numbers was beginning to overtake the round number effect:

200 to 300 is a 50% move; 300 to 400 is a 33% move; 400 to 500 is a 25% move. You get the idea. Now we're moving from 600 to 700 which is a 16 2/3% move, but people are still looking at it as a hundred points. But a hundred points isn't what it used to be.

At Google 3000, you'll move through a hundred points and the only thing you'll notice will be a slight ringing in your ears.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I need a live chicken

The weekend is a time for mature reflection - to consider the things done right and wrong in the past five days and apply the wisdom gleaned to the week ahead.

Google has had a mighty run. Next Thursday is earnings. What to do. Six weeks ago, I had reasoned if it was well over six hundred going into earnings, I would trim a third. That's the smart thing. But I'm not smart!

I think something else is going on. Google dawdled all last year. The numbers said 600, easy. Forget 600 - nobody could believe Google 500. The big number thing. Now, it's time to look at the situation again, and the analysts are saying 700, 800, 900... 3000, 5000. And everybody's worried because we're over 600. It's embarrassing. So I'm thinking this is like when the Dow went from four thousand to seven thousand overnight, and never looked back. I think that Google is being revaluated and we're going to see 750 soon and never look back. Fair value. Can you imagine where this stock would be right now if it were overvalued?

So, next week, I'm standing pat. I'm trimming nothing. But I wish I had a black cat bone with a heap of mojo on it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dumb Luck and Emotional Need

Today, work intervened - not much time to monitor the economy, the markets and Google from my desktop. Usually, I keep the Stock Channel running in one window, with the sound turned down. And I'm in and out of Cramer all day long. I can't believe how much smarter I am now than I used to be.

I used to be really dumb: in May, 1998, the market had gone up 30% a year for three years and I thought, this can't go on, so even though I had never heard of "Sell in May...", I sold in May. Everything. Then I went away - I didn't think about the market during June, July, August or September. In early October, I was shocked to learn how much everything had gone down. On October 9, I bought back in.

Now I fret about every turn of the market. I read tons of intelligent speculation. And so, with great precision, I sold everything again - the day before the Fed acted and set off the greatest bull market in history, if Kudlow can be believed.

Yesterday, Google ended down a fin and I was surprised to find that it took the bloom off my evening. I need Google every day in this time of shame and humiliation.

But today, all is well again. Up fifteen. GOOG is in its Engine, and all's right with the world.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Strategic Indecision

The decision to sell all my non-Google investments was not part of my original plan - it resulted from strategic indecision and rash action.

Last year, Altucher remarked in his blog that the Dow could go to 16,000 in a year. Thousands rebuked him for this opinion. I didn't. It became the linchpin of my hopes and expectations.

Then Ken Fisher stated on Kudlow one evening that the market, in his opinion, could advance 20-30% this year. This suited Kudlow who was already talking about Goldilocks every day. I made another mental note and bought more mutual funds.

Kudlow, a man of balance and fair play, had bears as well as bulls on his show, so they could yell at each other. He invited Gary Shilling and Nouriel Roubini. He had Kass and Ritholtz. When they spoke, the bulls laughed at them. They laughed back. Everybody was happy.

A couple of credit crunches later, nobody was laughing anymore. Even Kudlow was worried. I reconsidered. Then, on the day before the Fed met last month, I sold everything except my 311 shares of Google.

The next day, I was sorry. I asked myself, what would Cramer do? But I am no Cramer. I couldn't do it. Instead, I rationalized it as part of my Google-pure plan.

Today, Google is up another nine dollars in early trading. It is the only thing that I can be happy about. Thank God for Google.

Look up
Is that the moon we see?
Can't be
Looks like the sun to me
It's late...

At 3:30 PM, the market is sharply down and the stock with the goo-goo-googly size is down 12 points. I had forgotten that it could go down. Good thing I don't own anything else. (Who do I think I'm kidding? There's nobody even here to bluff.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Google Pure

The title of this blog is a misnomer. It is not about my opinions of Google. I have many opinions about Google, but you wouldn't be interested in any of them. This blog is about a long-distance runner in Google. It's about me.

I'm not young and I'm not rich. Four years ago, I retired, but returned, as a contractor, to my old job. My pension is secure and I can almost live on it, but my contract job gives me something I never had before - free cash flow.

I'd never been in business and I knew nothing about economics or markets. I decided to manage my own money.

In the spring of 2004, I added a brokerage account to my portfolio. I subscribed to Cramer. I started trading stocks. I had traded stocks briefly in the sixties, when I was in my twenties and lost $18,000 from excessive margin calls.

Now, I was older and wiser. I diversified. Some of the stocks I bought went up and some went down. Some of them went up and then went down. Like NYX. I don't own that anymore. In fact, I don't own anything anymore. Except Google.

I bought a hundred shares of Google in 2005. Actually, I bought 10 shares, and then I bought 20 more shares, and then I bought 170 shares, and then I sold 100 shares. From all these transactions, I booked a profit of about $200.

The 100 shares I had left cost $189.59 each. When they doubled, I quick sold 50 shares for $366. The stock never again fell below that price.

I held fast my 50 remaining shares. Every time Google went up a dollar, I was fifty dollars richer. I calculated my net worth constantly. I was pitiful.

I put the bulk of my money into mutual funds. I became conservative in my mind. But deep down I knew that I only had 50 shares of Google. And I knew it was wrong.

On May 24 of this year, everything came to a head: I sold all my individual stocks - msft, erts, adbe, stx, gern, jdsu and wtr. With the proceeds, I bought 261 additional shares of Google at an average price of $478. My net cost basis, including the original 50 shares, was $437.

But I didn't stop there: I sold all my mutual funds and put all the proceeds into a money market fund. I wanted to be Google pure.

Today, Google closed at $625.39 and added another five dollars in the after hours. A gPhone has been sighted. A sense of acceleration is in the air.