Saturday, December 31, 2011

Your indulgence is most appreciated


It's the time of year for new beginnings, etc.

I'm resolving to make more posts to The Google Opinion in the coming year, by making them briefer, with arguably less hilarity than in the past, but more informative in a monotonous kind of way.

I will start each post by giving the significant events of the day that have impacted my portfolio.  Things of interest mainly to me.

Then I will display a chart, showing the stocks I currently own with the percentage that each one contributes to my total level of poverty.

Again, something of interest mainly to me.

Happy New Year!

The Management  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Google Eve

Can it be Google Eve again? Time to go down again into the Google Bunker and hunker, waiting for the blast, tomorrow evening.

The buzz on GOOG, lately, has been subdued, but grudgingly constructive. The expectation is that Google will turn in another stellar quarter like their previous one, when the earnings blew out the blowout numbers. But that's the issue - if the result, this time, doesn't blow by even the highest of the analyst guesses, then disappointment will rain down.

As a dedicated GOOG watcher, I believe that Google's performance may equal last quarter, but not exceed it by enough to cause another seismic rendering of the earth like last time. In that event, GOOG the stock will likely dither for a while after hours and then settle for a pop of modest proportions.

Then, I believe, GOOG will work its way higher, retaking 600 and preparing for an assault on 700 in January. At that point, I will strive to sell half my long-term position.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Note from down in the flood

This year, as in 2007, I sold at the right time. And this year, as in 2008, I went back in way too soon. Now, I'm sitting here, at or near the bottom, with no ammunition left. I gotta work on my itchy trigger finger.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I look into the abyss and tremble not

On July 26, 2011, I sold 500 XOM at $84.4028.
On July 29, 2011, I bought 600 COP at $71.72 and 200 COP at $71.65.

At the close today, 95.8% of my assets are in equities, 4.2% in cash.

I am not afraid. My bottom line will be my scorecard.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hallelujah Land!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Google Eve

It's Google Eve, once again, and all I want to see before I cash out is GOOG at $742 - where it has never gone before. Of course, I'd love to see $800, but I may not get there with you. But that doesn't matter to me now - if $742 could be achieved, I would tell the conductor to let me off, it's Hallelujah Land!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On the art of selling high and buying low

Since Google entered its annual swoon, I have been beset with Spring doldrums. I feel like I'm lying out on some broken-down porch on Tobacco Road. Correction: I feel like a hound dog lying out on some broken-down porch. But it's only this blog that I have been neglecting - I can report that I have made a few propitious trades during this latest downturn.  I pass it on as an object lesson in selling something with the hope of buying it back lower, while scratching fleas at the same time.

Eschewing, as I do, play-by-play reporting, I present the tabular events, as they occurred, from which the careful reader can infer the action:

COP is the first oil I bought, and my biggest gainer. I had sold some in January at $67.05 - a little early, but with a decent profit. Then, struggling around $80, after tagging $81, COP seemed ripe for a sale. So, at the end of April, I sold another quarter-position at $79.25, and then fretted for several days, thinking I was too early again. Then the market changed and has been heady to the downside, ever since. I am waiting now to see where the market goes, before buying more COP.

(Closing Price)

I've had a nice run with OIH, although the big-numbered share price makes changes seem bigger than they are. Perhaps for the same reason, OIH seems very volatile with daily swings of $2 to $5 dollars. I originally bought OIH for $138.20, adding a little more at $161.85.  When the market turned sour, I dithered a few days and then sold out at $164.76.  Since then, I have been trading in and out of this stock on its way down, with nary a loss.  My anxiety lay in being out of the stock, when it turned around and roared up without me.  This, in fact, happened once, but a few days later, it tanked again and I scampered back aboard at $147.64.  This was about an hour before it finally went to ground around $143 and bounced.

(Closing Price)

Potash, I hardly knew you.  I acquired a small position in March at $54.86 and sold it, three weeks later, for $59.05.  I like the stock, long term, but I thought it was too late in the cycle.  I would like to buy it back if it goes lower from here.

I'm comfortable now with my style of trading around a few long-term positions.  So far, I've been lucky.  My anxiety now is centered around the fear of going back in, too soon.  However, the credible opinions I am hearing suggest that this will be a garden-variety selloff, followed by another leg up.  I'm set for that, having lowered the cost bases on my stocks by selling higher and buying back lower.  But if we keep heading for perdition, as many traders still secretly think and hope for, then it will be a long winter. The problem is, I've used up a lot of my kindling, already. Nevertheless, my confidence in my stocks is such that I'm willing to hold them. My objective is to have only profits on my Schedule D, each year.  It's a work in progress.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Google Day

I cannot move,
And my fingers are all in a knot

At 3:30 PM, with about an hour or so until the earnings are released, the expectations are for a huge quarter for Google, which means that the actual performance will have to be beyond huge to send the traders scurrying for cover.

The action in the stock is muted, so far today, in contrast to previous ramps into earnings.  After my catharsis on Google Eve, I am ready for anything.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Google Eve

And negativity won't see you through.

When it's new moon in April, Google Eve is a somber occasion, in memory of past Google Eves in this cruelest of all months which have not gone well with the analysts, hedgies and traders.  These denizens of the tradewinds have sought to find fault with stellar earnings and revenue.  Faced with a tsunami in stellar reports over the past six years, they seek to find the tiniest, slightest hairline crack in the moat.  And the stock gets hammered.

When it's Google Eve in April, then, we diehards hunker down and flinch in advance of the news.  We get all our flinching out, so that tomorrow we can stand resolute and unflinching when the mosquitoes hit the 'net.  By our presence and manner, we will show them that their negativity will not prevail.

Someday, GOOG will see $800 and beyond.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shut Down and Shut Up!

Something's happening here,
What it is ain't exactly clear

I used to work for the federal government.  In 1995, with all the other feds, I got shut down, and it was a pain in the neck, but not much more than that.  The perceived effect of the shutdown to the public, however, was horrific - all the things that people take for granted stopped working.  If the Tea Baggers want to show what it would be like without any government, they may get their chance tonight.  It may take that to shut them up for good.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


At 3 PM, GOOG is, once again, on sale - not much to talk about there.

It's a good day for divining the near future:  what's going to happen when everyone in the world has a device on which they can get everything? I'll tell you:  Apple, the sub-orbital missile, will fall to earth.  Google, on the other hand, will orbit the world.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Jobs Conundrum

I'd like to know what kind of email traffic has been going on between Steve Jobs and his lieutenants-in-charge.  I don't need to read the stuff, just let me know the frequencies - if it's over a hunnert per day, that's bad for Apple.  It means that Jobs is still running the company, because his subordinates can't do it.  On the other hand, if it's one or two a week, that may mean that Jobs is preparing to meet his Inventor, while the Company keeps on truckin'.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Whither Me

The market's on a tear.  The smart guys are on the sidelines, but I'm in it. I'm a genius. Me and Cramer.  I've got 75% of my assets in these five stocks:  GOOG, COP, OIH, C and ATPG, and they're all up big. But there's a reckoning coming.  QE will cease someday.  Maybe in June. Everybody knows about it.  Shall I get out in May? Sell everything, hunker down, wait?

But what if GOOG is still below $700?  Oil not at $110 yet.... C under $6.... ATPG under $25?  Why sell anything?  If the correction is 10%, I could at best catch only 5% of it.  Is it worth it to chase the correction and end up on the sidelines when the market burps and keeps going? I ask myself.

Maybe I should eschew market calls altogether, keep these stocks forever, sell a few shares when I need a little walking around money. Things look like hell now, but they are getting better.  Remember the words of that stock market sage, Steve Miller:  Time keeps on slipping... into the future!  And the past:  this is 1995, when the market gained 35% and then kept on doing it for the next five years.

Trade, or hold forever.  Which to do?

To me, the choice is not just a financial decision.  It's which way will be more fun.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Copping a Feel

One of my pastimes in retirement is watching the action of the stocks I own. Most days, I follow their movements, up and down, throughout each trading session. This gives me a feel for, and an intimacy with, their actions that no amount of chart-hugging can provide.

At any given time, I have an intuition about their intraday meanderings - at the open, during the midday stretch, and into the close - as well as their likely longer term movements - cyclical and secular, before and after earnings reports. I'm not always right, but neither am I often wrong.

I know, for example, that the market is in an uptrend, owing to a surprising recovery in the economy and Bernanke's quantitative easing; and that, against this background, GOOG, C, COP, OIH and ATPG are in solid upswings. Nothing to do but wait for the last half of 2011, when the easing eases and eventually ceases. That will be an inflection point.

I've watched GOOG the longest (six years), and my feel for it is visceral. In 2008-9, I rode it down, day by sickening day, to $270, passing levels I thought I would never see again; and, since the turn, I have ridden it back up, feeling in my gut the struggle between the traders, persistently selling it short as though this was still 2008, and the long-term buyers who can't believe their luck at still being able to buy this stock at these levels, given the spectacular performance of the company, quarter after quarter.

So, when I posted, last Saturday, that GOOG might just make a stand at $601, I based it on the fact that GOOG had just mounted a monumental struggle from the low $400's to over $600, and then had revisited the high $500's before breaching $600 again - I could feel it wanting to go higher. And so it has.

I think the way is clear for GOOG to make an assault on its all-time high of $741 this year, probably sooner rather than later. There will be pitched battles at $650, $675 and $700, but these will be little more than skirmishes with the short sellers.

My big decisions will be made at these milestones: I may lighten up a bit and try to trade for a few thou, but my gut tells me to keep my eyes on the prize. If, however, I find GOOG in the rarified air between $750 and $800, I will definitely take some shares off the table. If I don't, Cramer will revoke my subscription to RealMoney.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The 800 Dollar Gorilla

Anyone who doesn't sense the hand of that jokester, Yahweh, in the actions of equity traders has only to mark the recent fortunes of AAPL and GOOG, post-earnings. Both reports were stellar and both contained gotchas, regarding the leadership of the companies: Jobs is sick again, and Larry Page is replacing Eric Schmidt.

Both stocks tanked when the stories came out, but AAPL recovered quickly since, in the firmament of traders, Jobs is next to Godliness. GOOG, on the other hand, dithered around after hours, but then, the next day, sank like a stone because the stupid traders think that Larry and Sergey are a couple of goof balls - they envision Larry, instituting four days a week for employees' personal projects and one for the company; and they envision Sergey, breaking off relations with the entire world, because no country is pure enough for him. Never mind that the big analysts were unanimous in their praise of Page and Brin, taking over from Schmidt, and several, for the first time, issued price targets of $800 for the big gorilla. It's the stupid traders whom Yahweh selects for his jests.

So we have GOOG back at $612, and apparently heading lower, after I just said that we didn't need to see GOOG at $600, ever again. My bad. However, with Yahweh, it's never over - GOOG may well turn around at $601 and head straight for Hallelujah Land.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Google Eve

Google Eve beckons, once again. This time, the traditional wienie roast on Dover Beach has been canceled. All Googoptimists are encouraged to stay in their homes tonight and meditate on GOOG's fate tomorrow.

We're at a critical juncture. GOOG's story is good, the charts are aligned, GOOGtide is rising, but that's a perfect setup for a little joke from Jahweh, manifested through the actions of traders. We got a big bounce last time - is it too much to expect another one, this time? If GOOG is going to keep rising, we'll need the mother of all blowouts tomorrow night.

It's time for GOOG to grow up and surpass its all time high. We don't need to see $600. Ever again.