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As the title of this post suggests, this article goes into my history as a Seeking Alpha writer, my current thoughts on previously recommended companies, and some successes I had along the way, but also what and how I have learned during my journey. It also discusses part of my thought process in regards to the reason I may have recommended a stock and suggestions pertaining to it. I always attempt to be as straight forward as possible and I hope to provide some value along the way.

Leveraged ETFs

These are really only trading tools because of the crazy volatility that can accompany these, along with the large downside risk. Obviously, with the bull ETFs in an up market and the longer the market is up, the longer many of these will be up, duh, but the market is not stable and due to how much one can lose quickly, these are only trades, in my opinion. Conversely, the bear ETFs go down longer, the longer the market goes down. Each has its own unique features and different sectors, which will react differently. Generally, it is best to sell on 10% to 20% gains, though sometimes these can be held longer. I think it is also smart to have a stop on them as well.

Direxion Daily Real Estate Bull 3X Shares (DRN)

Date Recommended:

01/19/2011: $56

Low since: $36.59 % decrease: 35%

High since: $83.89 % increase: 50%

Current: $46.21 % decrease: 17%

Direxion Daily Emerging Markets Bull 3X Shares (EDC)

Date Recommended:

01/19/2011: $202

Low since: $56 % decrease: 72%

High since: $227 % increase: 12%

Current: $85.80 % decrease: 58%

Direxion Daily China Bull 3X Shares (YINN)

Date Recommended:

01/19/2011: $51

Low since: $13.50 % decrease: 72%

High since: $59.50 % increase: 17%

Current: $20.23 % decrease: 60%

Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares (FAS)

Overall, financials are still somewhat of a mess, but appear to be in a better shape, although the stocks have had some recent volatility after a nice heavy run since 2009. This is still my favorite to trade and generally, when the market gets beaten up or even just the bank stocks, they tend to rebound. Within a couple of weeks recently FAS went up about 70%.

Date Recommended:

01/19/2011: $146

01/28/2011: $146

Low since: $42 % decrease: 71%

High since: $171 % increase: 17$

Current: $62.82 % decrease: 57%

Proshares Ultra Silver (AGQ)

Silver had an incredible run, but has since fallen fast and quick. Long term, I think silver could do well. I do not have much of an opinion on it at this point, but it was a great trade.

Date Recommended:

01/19/2011: $68

01/28/2011: $64

Here, it initially, just missed my buy-in target, but it shows why it is okay to slightly adjust when to buy or adjust the buy-target price, especially when there is a strong feeling about the company. Obviously, you do not want to chase, but adjusting a couple of percent should not have much effect.

Average Price per share: $66

Low since: $48 % decrease: 37.5%

High since: $191 % increase: 190%

Current: $59.3 % decrease: 10%

Mad Catz Interactive (MCZ)

I have had some great ups with this stock and some great downs with this stock. Not surprisingly, that is how the company's financials have been too, very inconsistent. While I like its business model overall and the relationships it has with companies such as Microsoft (MSFT) for the X-box, it does not have enough consistent big earners. While I thought after playing it well, it was going to start to gain consistency, for now the play will be when it has the equipment for another Rock band or another heavily popular game. This year's holiday season should be good for the company, but I will be surprised for it to match last year. The stock may be good for short-term plays until more consistency is built and right now it has been beaten up pretty badly and the stock is cheap overall. Down the road this could be a winner, but it has a lot to prove, more consistent and reliable revenue streams.

Date Recommended:

01/28/2011: $0.86

Recommendation:

For the short term, I like the upside. My plan would to buy below $.90 over the next two weeks and sell within a couple of days after their next earnings release.

Based on that, it would have been sold by an investor around $1.50 to $1.75, for a nice, quick double

Low since: $0.58 % decrease: 33%

High since: $2.30 % increase: 167%

Current: $0.59 % decrease: 33%

06/17/2011: $1.65

Low since: $0.58 % decrease: 65%

High since: $1.80 % increase: 9%

Current: $0.59 % decrease: 65%

American Capital Agency (AGNC)

In terms of the price per share moving, it really has not, and I expected a little more. I still feel this is an excellent long-term play since it is able to make acquisitions much more cheaply while rates are down and it should benefit from that in the future. Even so, for the time being, the dividend has remained stable and intact, yielding about 20% right now. Even without it moving and re-investing the dividend, that is about an annualized return of 22% in one year with little volatility.

Date Recommended:

01/06/2011: $29

01/28/2011: $29

Current Yield: 20%

Low since: $27 % decrease: 7%

High since: $31 % increase: 7%

Current: $28.38 % decrease: 2%

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)

I initially liked WWE as part of a long-term portfolio because of the steady success of the company and the dividend, which was then yielding above 10%. It has had some poor quarters and cut the dividend, although it is pretty good now, at about 5%. Still, I cannot trust it not being cut again and it there is no it is making any major changes to get the company back to where it was.

Shortly after I was bullish on it, I re-adjusted my thought, especially after those negatives mentioned above and stated that it was not worth owning unless it possibly got to $9 and I stated that target before it cut the dividend, so basically, I plan to stay away.

This is a great example in which an initial strategy needed to be changed. I was initially planning on buying once it got to $12, but due to actual negativity within the company, I adjusted my target. A current investor of WWE, with the current news, has the opportunity to adjust as well instead of being too attached, which can represent higher losses while a better opportunity is out there.

Date Recommended:

01/06/2011: $14

Date to Sell:

01/28/2011: $12

Loss of 14%

Biostar Pharmaceuticals (BSPM)

This is another U.S.-listed China small cap that I had high hopes for, but like the rest, it is not investable, except for maybe quick ins and outs. There are some reasons to be negative and concerned about legitimacy here, but that is a whole different discussion. Basically, it is pretty much past the point of stating this, it is best to stay away from these stocks as most investors do not carry the necessary tools to do the required research to determine legitimacy, and it appears as the legit are few and far between. But, it was great for a trade at the time and unfortunately the long-term plan, did not pan out.

Date Recommended:

01/28/2011: $2.50

I am going to invest in two increments - below $2.40, which it is currently at, and below $2.30 - or if it does not go below $2.30, I will buy at $2.45.

My other thought is to sell a portion of my position just after 2010 year end results, regardless of the stock price, which is what I am leaning toward.

The stock has a big drop from about $2.40 to $1.85, which provided an excellent opportunity because not too long after, earnings came out, raising the pps to about $3, a 62% gain. Right before is when a lot of the negativity started to set in more and I unfortunately realized it a little later than I should have, but this trade worked out.

Low since: $0.51 % decrease: 80%

High since: $3.18 % increase: 27%

Current: $0.64 % decrease: 74%

Miller Petroleum (MILL)

This is another one that I was very excited about and it was doing really well and even my recommendation looked good, so if anyone booked the decent profits they did well. To make it simple, it acquired a lot for a little, about a supposed $450 million worth of wells and such for, I believe around $5 million. Everything was looking good, it was starting to get things up and running, it just secured $100 million in financing, it upgraded its auditor to KPMG, then a negative report came out bashing the company and learning from the China experience, I knew the best thing to do was to sell and then figure out if the concerns were valid. I was able to still get out with a decent gain on the stock, luckily. And yes, the annual report was a mess and again, that is another topic of discussion, but it put out the 10-K without approval from the auditor, was then late and did finally put it out, but handled it poorly. The 10-K still has some things that draw concern, along with the initial piece. Suffice it to say, regardless of what comes of it, I will pass on it.

Date Recommended:

06/17/2011: $5.70

Low since: $2.20 % decrease: 61%

High since: $8.00 % increase: 40%

Current: $3.24 % decrease: 43%

China MediaExpress (OTCPK:CCME)

Last, and definitely the least, the U.S. Listed China small cap that had the faith lost, lost investors a ton of money, but it also taught a ton of lessons along the way, including myself. This was just a disaster and many of us investors thought we had it figured out, we thought we could explain everything away, we thought there is no way all these allegations could be correct and we thought there was so much proof, little did we know, especially myself. Many intelligent investors were fooled and let ignorance get in the way, but if anything, this truly showed me not to brush off any negativity and definitely do not get too attached to a stock.

I'm not even going to go into the highs and lows, but here is a list of my articles to look back. It was at $24 at one point and it is now trading at $0.24. It is pretty much a total loss. Of course, some could have gotten out before the halt or saved a little something and got out right after the halt, but overall, it was a disaster and again, the shorts won easily. I wrote more articles than I should have on the company and even thought at one point it was one of the world's best investments. It is not even horrible that many invested, but how much of one's portfolio one had invested in it could have been the killer. If someone only had 5% of a portfolio in it, alright, 5% total loss is not bad, but many had significantly higher, including me. I can say, the experience has made me a better and more disciplined investor and I will be much better in the end because of it.

Conclusion

Based on everything, my strategies, and my suggestions, there was definitely money to be made, even with some bad selections thrown in there and one that was a complete disaster. Every investor is different and sees things differently, sells at different points, buys at different points, etc. While there was a lot of risk in many of the stocks, I believe I put forth some quality strategies to limit some of them and going forward I hope to continue to learn and get better along the way. Now that the China small caps are out of my sight, the downside should be much less. I will continue to focus on all types of investment strategies, long, shorting, short-term, etc.

Seeking Alpha provides an excellent opportunity for investors to learn and share their quality information with others. I plan to continue to take advantage of the opportunity provided and share my ideas and recommendations and hopefully along the way, others will get something out of what I am putting out there too.

Source: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of My Seeking Alpha - Part ll