Friday, November 8, 2013

Twitter Day + One

So I now look at the details of yesterday's mistake: when I accidentally bought 300 options at market when I thought I was buying 300 shares of SDS at market.  

My loss of over $500 was the commissions!  On 300 option contracts on the November 8, 2013 (today) 33 puts on SDS.  The options are now quoted at $.60. They were $.14 when I bought and sold.

My commissions on the 300 SDS would have been zero.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Twitter Day -- But Unrelated

So I'm going along buying and selling.  Schwab's StreetSmart Edge is wonderfully set up for this...except THERE IS ONE BIG, BIG FLAW -- when you are on the tab, say, for SDS, or any stock, the tab may be on the OPTIONS page for that "stock."  (Actually SDS is not a stock but an index), NOT THE STOCK PAGE.  So you have the top of the page giving the stock price but the bottom part your curser is on some random option. 

After a successful morning trading, (up $178), having the urge to buy 300 SDS a half hour ago, I see that I was immediately down $750.  WHAAA??? Then I realized I had bought 300 SDS options that expire TOMORROW, AT MARKET --i.e. I got screwed.  I NEVER DO A MARKET ORDER ON OPTIONS.

Now, what does that mean?  SDS is a bet the general market will go down and SDS gives you twice the movement of the S&P 500.  It is the only way to do a negative bet in a stock account, other than buying puts.

A call option on SDS is that on steroids. The direction was correct, but NOT THAT FUCKING LEVERAGED OR LARGE A BET!

Shaking, I call Schwab and have to wait out the recorded crap.  I'm too nervous to get out of the trade myself.  Meanwhile each penny is a lot (for me) up or down. Let's see $.01 x 300 x 100.  Let's see, 300 x 100 is 30,000.  Times .01 = $300.  (Now that I've done it just now it doesn't seem so bad.)

Finally the rep answers and he does the trade.  But there has been little activity in this call strike.  Only 15 go off.  OH GOD, ONLY 285 TO GO. I tell him I can take over and wait it out on my own.  FINALLY there is an uptick and I "only" lose about $500.  SHEEEAT.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Big Day for Interpreting Cramer and P&G Yesterday

When Cramer starts a position in P&G and then loads up twice in one day, this is a big call.  It is a warning about the general market -- the closest he comes without saying so.  It has been years, really, since P&G served as the safety market.  It looks like this is the year, hopefully decade, for Cincinnati.  Everything is coming up roses for this town.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Two Dualing Gurus Cramer and Jimmy Rogers 

The eternal dilemma, whom to follow.  Cramer has been spectacularly successful with his model portfolio, which is not that easy to replicate, even with low or non-existent commissions/transaction costs.  

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Have I Turned the Corner?

The day Facebook announced its earnings and that it now was making money on ads on mobile, I recognized the trade of a lifetime.  So I even bought in the pre-market for myself and clients, even though FB was up 2 points already.  It worked wonderfully.

So Thursday night I heard Cramer's interview with the head of Salesforce, which had reported earnings that day.  The best presentation I have ever heard.  Again I bought for myself and clients in the pre-market and after CRM was up 2 points.   Another great trade, as CRM continued strong to the end.

Last week too Cramer identified COG as a natural gas play, building, or benefiting from building, a pipeline to New England, previously stuck with propane or heating oil for the residential market, I believe.  That's a theme I have been watching for 35 years, mainly with electricity.  So I bought COG.  It looks strong for a long time although I'm slightly under water after a couple of days..

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Addition by Subtraction

Addition by Subtraction. Genny read me the riot act when we returned from Canada: Clean off all the piles of papers on the dining room table. So I put them on our bed, a very temporary solution to be sure.

Then I set out to call Microsoft to reinstall my Office Home & Business 2013, which I had mistakenly erased while up in Canada. Without thinking. I had forgotten that all calls to the call center would lead to the ultimate question, What is the registration key to the original program?  After wrangling with Ashad and even me breaking down, he put me on hold and sympathetically brought in a third-party supervisor and they gave me a new registration key. Genny had watched my breakdown and had left the room and house.

Two hours later, having time to reflect after Microsoft had "taken control" of my computer and the program was reloaded by the Microsoft representative, my eyes fell on the remaining "Thriftway" bag on the table. Contained within it was all the papers from Micro Center from the day I first bought my two computers, including a box for each Microsoft Home & Office 2013 program for each computer. I knew at the time how important it was to segregate these documents. I knew then that "filing" or "shelving" might not do the trick. So I must have figured that keeping those items in a separate bag would be the best way to make them special for the inevitable occasion when I would have to reload the program.

But then I forgot about this "trick." The bag became meaningless.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mi Worple Familia (Circa August 13 2013)

Meet The Worples, (left to right "as the eyes have it"):  Becca, Boo, Kate, Doog, Emma, (close measurement on the eyes), Owen.  On the other hand, as the tails have it: Boo, Kate, Becca, Emma,  Doog, Owen. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Ogre

“The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one prize is beyond his reach:
The Ogre cannot master speech.

About a subjugated plain,
Among it's desperate and slain,
The Ogre stalks with hands on hips,
While drivel gushes from his lips.”

― W.H. Auden, Selected Poems
 — at Hungary, 1968.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Good Comment in Globe and Mail May 25 2013

Score: 5

Executive Guy

9:51 AM on May 25, 2013
I used to be a consultant for the largest national brokerage in Canada and let me tell you this, while there a handful of really good and diligent real estate estate agents, the vast majority are just horrible, un-ethical high school drop outs, working part-time, and making way too much money.

They do nothing you can't do on your own. In today's time, it makes no sense to pay 5% commission to someone to put your home on MLS and a for sale sign on the lawn.

The average home inside the city of Toronto is now around $800,000 X 5%= $40,000 plus HST. How much does your lawyer charge? About $1,000 for processing the deal and completing the transaction.

Here is my advise if you want to save some serious money:

1) Use the services of a company that will post your property on the public MLS, without charging you a commission, but instead a flat fee. There are quite a few already, like comfree, flatfeet, property guys, etc. do your research.

2) Use the free posting sites, like Craigslist and Kijiji. Free and simple to use.

3) Get a lawyer in advance of the transaction and explain that you will require his/her services in drafting up the agreement of purchase and sale. Please find a lawyer that knows and is familiar with real estate law and can advise you during the process as well.

Cost for real estate company, $500. Cost for Kijiji, $0. Cost for a real estate lawyer to advise and help you close the transaction, $2500. Total cost to sell your home, $3,000.

Selling it without a real estate agent and saving $40,000 in commissions, Priceless.

A.G. Lafley!!

A.G. (Where's the Second "f") Lafley!! This means there'll be a merger -- perhaps with CL or CLX.

It Was the Best of Times; It Was the Worst of Times

Friday, May 24, 2013


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cramer Last Night

Cramer, CNBC, whom I TIVO nightly (on days when Boo has not taken the remote out and chewed off its end after being picked up at the Long-Term Doggie and Remote Chewing Made Easy Park) was awesome last night on Mad Money, about how an already rich person (Powerball winner) should invest.  The trope is that a really rich person need not take a risk on common stocks and need only have a bond portfolio and no stocks, to live comfortably.

That comfortably rich person should Avoid Bonds Totally, Cramer says.  Instead,real estate trusts and other trusts like KMR (not sure this is the symbol, but it's Kinder Morgan) and the like. Because bonds -- any bonds -- will make you poor again.  Why KMR and the like?  High payouts, some equity risk, but without the bond risk. "The low interest rate environment is Bernanke's austerity program for the rich."

The transcript:

Lightning struck, not once, but twice to two people this weekend... hey, it's the good kind of lightning... the kind that puts hundreds of millions of dollars in people's pockets. And on a day where the averages backslid, with the Dow dropping 19 points... it's worth discussing what the heck the mysterious winner of the $590 million Powerball competition, and David Karp, the man who just got hundreds of millions of dollars for selling Tumblr to Yahoo, should do with their newfound money.Boy, they've come to the right place, because this is exactly what I used to do for people who made fortunes, at Goldman Sachs, and then at my own hedge fund, before I retired to do television and run my charitable trust. Oh, and for those of you who don't already have millions of dollars just yet, or maybe 1/100th of that just yet, you can learn some very important lessons from this too.

1. You only need to get rich once. Lower your risk.

2. Diversification across the whole span of asset classes. Own gold bars.

3. Have some high-end real estate and masterwork paintings, assets that have held up in hyper inflation, diversify both in domestic real estate as well as raw land.

4. Invest in U.S. Treasuries (20%), municipal bonds and corporate bonds, not in stocks, and not in bonds with any possible default risk whatsoever.
Alright, all of that is something I would normally do for someone who is super-rich. That's what I would have done in the '80s and '90s and even as recently as 2009. Oh, but these are not normal times now. Oh no, not for bonds. At the moment, if I were given this money, do you know that I wouldn't tell them to do any of these fixed-income alternatives that I just outlined. Now, I would probably put 50% in overnight cash. And that would be waiting for the Fed to blink, because all day all people ever talk about is, the Fed is going to blink. So I can't be oblivious to that. One day, the Fed will raise rates.Until then, these rates for all income- or fixed-rate instruments, or every part of the spectrum, are so low that they are indeed dangerous, and I don't want anyone to be buying them.So right now, if I were managing Powerball winners, or David Karp's newfound wealth, I would do what I know many rich people are actually doing; I would buy higher-yielding master limited partnerships, or MLPs... higher-yielding real estate investment trusts... and some of the better stocks of companies that are serial dividend raisers. Why these? Because the wealthy are backed into a corner. They're backed into a corner of these offerings by the Fed. And I've been thinking about it. You know what the Fed's really done here? They've created an austerity moment just for the rich. The Fed's essentially mandated that rich people will not be able to make money by stuffing their wealth into bonds anymore. In this environment, the rich have to risk something in order to stay ahead of inflation. That's Bernanke's plan.What's the first thing I would buy?...

1. Oil master-limited partnerships. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, KMP; and Enterprise Product Partners too, EPD, yielding 5.9% and 4.4%, respectively, getting a nice blend of 5% and change. Williams Partners, WPZ, at 6.5% yield.

2. Real estate investment trusts: Healthcare Trust of America, HCT, which yields 4.4%.

3. Classic dividend growers: Stocks like Johnson & Johnson and General Mills, two fabulous serial dividend raisers, of course.
Yep, I know, these certainly have risk. Equities have risk. But right now, the risk from owning these stocks is less than the risk you get from my traditional bond-heavy methods of investment for the wealthy that I detailed earlier.

Here's the bottom line...
▼   ▼   ▼   ▼   ▼

You only need to get rich once. But because of Fed-mandated bond austerity, we have no choice. The Powerball winner, and Mr. Karp of Tumblr... at the moment, you need dividends from stocks, not coupons from bonds. You need safety. And right now, the safety's more in higher-yielding stocks than it is in much lower-yielding bonds. Oh, and memo to everyone else watching: bonds are just as dangerous for you too.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tech Tips -- Don't Put Any Day-to-Day Files on Your C Drive

To keep your pc running cleaner and longer!  Md.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Answer to Joel

iphone+facebook=this comment:

Joel's Comment under Becca's photo of a bucolic Spanish landscape revealing itself as the sun rose on their Santiago pilgramage with fellow photographer friends from the U.S.

"Does some one 'work' in your family? All I see is a perpetual vacation slide across my computer-mind you, I'm not complaining about all the pleasure I've received! In between packing and unpacking suitcases, have a wonderful 'Happy Mother's Day'"!

The correct answer:  it was the African Safari that put things into orbit.  Genny paid for us, as best I can tell.  That comes from Genny being a generous human being having a top-paying job in a country with nothing to spend it on. "Us" being G-Paw and G-Maw.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

From John Pepper's Speech to Procter & Gamble Employees in 1994 -- See Link on Right

It is useful to remind ourselves how often people of high reputation can get things wrong.  Opinions about Stalin written in the years 1929-34, when he was in the process of liquidating ten million Russians as part of the collectivization of agriculture and farms, bear out the point.  H.G. Wells said he had “never met a man more candid, fair and honest…no one is afraid of him and everybody trusts him.”  Hewlett Johnson, Dean of Canterbury, described him as leading “his people down new and unfamiliar avenues of democracy.”
The American Ambassador, Josephine Davies, reported him as having “insisted on the liberalization of the constitution.  His brown eyes, exceedingly wise and gentle; a child would like to sit on his lap and a dog would sidle up to him.”  Emile Ludwig, the famous popular biographer, found him to be a man “to whose care I would readily confide the education of my children.”
No matter who says what, no matter how small the group that supports your point of view, never fail to follow the voice of your conscience.
JEP Journal – 1994 – Principles of Life_022012

Tech Tips -- The Spike From Hell

Because my f3 key is set primarily for brightness, on my new laptop, I must do control+FN+f3, not control+f3.  Then, at the end control+shift+FN+f3.  

It took a lot of thought and time and luck to find the answer.  It helped that I bought two computers on the same date and loaded them with identical programs.

More later

Finding all my original packaging for Microsoft Office 2013, which included information that led me to the telephone number of a real person in India who eventually, after I taught her what a spike was and convinced her that no, Microsoft wouldn't have taken it out in their latest version of Word, took control of my machine and she could do it the old-fashioned way:  control+f3.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Who Plays Bridge 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Circus House Circa

Life Goes On

Sissy's sister died. Genny is home from Manila for another week. I am rested. An industrial scanner was delivered for setup in my law practice out of my house. I will drive "stuff" down to Barefoot in a couple of hours for delivery by Chris to Becca and Doug in St. John. My two new computers with the mysterious Windows 8 are coming around. Shep broke his hand. Life goes on. What a beautiful life it is.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Electronic Filing

Everything can be filed electronically now for a trial lawyer. For Southern District of Ohio you must take a "test" and file a "dummy" case to show them you know how, before doing the real thing. That's for lawyers who haven't filed a case for a while, which I have not. With the ice on all pathways, and otherwise, it'll be worth it not to have to go downtown to the court to file real paper this morning.

Hot Air -- High School Basketball

Highlights @ Lakota East last night:

Middletown-Kings @ Lakota East: Middletown has two freshmen, identical twins, 5' 8," beautiful. Both good though not yet spectacular basketball players. 

Princeton-Hamilton @ Lakota East last night: Most unusual game. They (Princeton) couldn't stop No. 22 (going to Miami of Ohio up the road); (left my scorecard at Paul Bellet's after watching Duke-VTech on TV) and so went into a stall with 4 minutes left. There's no time clock. No. 22 scored 38 of Hamilton's 44 or so points. Princeton, heavily favored of course, was actually behind by one point in the 4th quarter. Best single performance I've seen live for high school since Chris Carter was wide receiver against Princeton at Barnitz, circa 1980's.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pictorial 8K of Procter!

My Gawd, take a look at the "pictorial" 8k filed by PROCTER this morning. They did this, I presume, because this was a power-point presentation at a conference at Boca Raton, Florida, this morning. Totally the right thing to do. 

Is this the 8k-of-the-future in our "instant" age? (On the other hand, I haven't been reading that many 8ks and maybe I'm just behind).

Sunday, February 17, 2013


So I've spent the last three weeks working with people in India who say they are cleaning my two PC's which have Windows XP.  I've paid $279 for a one-year protection through calling them when there's a problem.  I have gotten a refund, as nothing works.  On the desktop I have lost Microsoft Office and I actually got through to God (Microsoft) and they tried to reload, unsuccessfully.  So I am in dire shape and may have to make the jump to two new computers.  My legal cases require...something.  I've backed up everything but not yet read how to preserve the email lists and emails themselves.

But in the process I went through two or three days when I believed the one company was fraudulent. And of course they controlled my computer during the sessions.  So I started changing some passwords.  When I did this with my Schwab account they sent me a "token" which spits out a 6-digit random (?) number to type in when you try to log into your Schwab account -- which you type in right after your password (no space).

Actually, that additional speed bump is a good thing.  Like living 6 hours away from the casino rather than next door.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cramer's Summary -- Of Great Value

Not sure this link can be picked up by those who do not subscribe, but I think so.  Jim has done a wonderful job and I pay $400 per year for his updates each day. At this crucial time in the market this advice is gold for now and the near future.  He does not stay too long, so his daily updates are crucial too. 

From the Blog "My Best Time" -- Boy Can She Write!

Football is Dangerous

By now, everybody's enjoyed their favorite bowl game. As you know, I have a problem with football. Fortunately for football, nobody cares. I'm concerned about my young grandsons playing, I'm concerned about college players and I'm concerned about the pros.

It's a violent sport.

My husband, Ken, played football in high school and college. I will admit it made him a better person. But then, when he was in his fifties and needed abdominal surgery, there were big problems due to the massive amount of scar tissue in his belly.

It's a violent sport. But nobody wants to hear about it.

Then the "Shouts & Murmurs" column in the January 7th issue of "The New Yorker" confirmed my feelings. Jay Martel did a really funny parody of the top bowl games. Below I've shared just one of them because he's teasing a team I like. (Even though I have a problem with football!)

The...Catheter Cotton Bowl

This may be the marquee bowl game, with the undefeated Texas State College of the Pacific Homicidal Maniacs setting their sights on the No. 1- ranked Tallahassee University Khmer Rouge.

These two college programs consistently rise to the top of every major statistical category, including early-onset Alzheimer's, so expect a real donnybrook.

The media-day disclosure that every player on the Maniacs, except for the placekicker, sustained a concussion last week - even though no game was scheduled - sharply raised the level of anticipation for this clash. Look for the placekicker to get a concussion.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cramer: Do Something With That Mountain of Cash, Tim Cook of Apple

(c) 2013 F. Bruce Abel

Because of the immense importance of AAPL, last night's Cramer makes it clear that AAPL will not go up or be out of the doghouse until it announces that it's going to "do sommething with that mountain of cash."  $137 Billion.  This perforance last night was equivalent to Cramer's rant which caused Bernanke to do exactly what Cramer demanded.  Will Cook do the same? Until he does AAPL is dead in the water.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Natural Gas Guru: Art Scene of Russian Winter Followed by Scenes One Mile Away -- Behind Krogers

To those in warm climes, and you know who you are, Genny, here's from my blog a few years ago.  I love you.

Natural Gas Guru: Art Scene of Russian Winter Followed by Scenes One Mile Away -- Behind Krogers

Monday, January 7, 2013

Renewing Cramer

Time for renewing Cramer's expensive service.  $399/yr.  Say $35 per month. There are four or five submissions every day.  Its value is in keeping abreast of his current thinking while I also think about his overall portfolio, which is very successful for him.  Normally I do not read the emailed submissions, but I save them.

Being the beginning of the year, and having 30 days to decide, I'm considering renewing it.

For the past few years I also listen or read the transcript of Mad Money (intorduction section) every day.

What do I mean by "current thinking?"  Just looking at his portfolio does not tell you what is happening at the margins, i.e. which he is shedding, which he is adding to.  The service's emails do this.