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George Acs  

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  • Life After Momentum Slows [View article]
    You're right. There's little news on the horizon except that soon the clock starts ticking again on a budget agreement.

    Of course, there's also another Employment Situation Report on 12/6 that may not be quite as cheery as this past Friday's.

    Also Cisco reports this week, Oracle reports 12/17 and then the whole process starts again around January 9
    Nov 10, 2013. 09:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Life After Momentum Slows [View article]
    I'm not someone who pays too much attention to technical analyses, nor assigns much value. As I mentioned in the article, they're fine for looking backward, but when it comes to prospective use, there are far too many false positive and false negatives.

    With Facebook below the 50 dma conventional wisdom would agree with your assessment.
    Nov 9, 2013. 05:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Life After Momentum Slows [View article]
    The put sale on TSLA would have worked last week, but other than being aware that TSLA was reporting earnings, the thought wasn't remotely on my radar screen. The last time I thought about TSLA as a possible earnings play was back when it was trading at about $35.

    Although given the steepness of its rise, I guess that was really that long ago.

    CVX has been a good LEAP play for quite a while. High dividend even at 2 strike levels above current price and good premium. Especially good for buy/hold investors.

    I've been waiting for Starbucks to give something back for a while, but its stock price just keeps being resilient. I haven't been able to convince myself to climb back aboard.
    Nov 9, 2013. 02:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Life After Momentum Slows [View article]
    I do agree that there have been a constellation of factors, certainly not just earnings. Besides, if accurate, sales were held back by battery supply issues. That's not a bad problem to have if you're selling a product that has some prestige and wow-factor associated with it. Customers are less likely to go elsewhere and more inclined to wait their turn.

    As far as fund managers chasing, there's no question that TSLA is under-owned by institutions. But you can interpret that as either indicating a void that needs to be filled or perhaps fund managers have had reason to stay away.
    Nov 9, 2013. 12:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Life After Momentum Slows [View article]
    Then you know.
    Nov 9, 2013. 12:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Life After Momentum Slows [View article]
    You're way ahead of me. I can't even find the dots sometimes.
    Nov 9, 2013. 12:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Life After Momentum Slows [View article]
    I was debating between CAT and DE for this week. I did have some shares of CAT assigned and still have a small position, but felt guilty for not having added any DE for the past few months.

    What I've been noticing for the past 4-6 months is that stocks aren't quite as quick to bounce back from disappointing earnings or other events, such as same store sales etc.. as they had been. It's made me a little more cautious about jumping in right away, as I used to plow forward, especially with put sales on bad news, but now I find myself waiting for some signs of stability
    Nov 9, 2013. 12:25 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook Before Earnings [View article]
    Yes. I was familiar with Feynman and had seen some of his videos in the past. I don't recall having seen that one, though. Thanks.

    The person that I was referring to wasn't a professor of mine, he was a colleague. It's just that he was that much better than everyone else in a defined set of circumstances.

    Interestingly, when I was a resident, one of the co-residents was the son of the individual that had discovered a syndrome that effects the blood. Upon his arrival to the hospital as a resident the number of diagnoses of that particular syndrome also skyrocketed, certainly in percentage terms, because it's a relatively rare disease, but also in absolute terms.

    The same bits of information, just somehow seeing it differently and then willing to commit an opinion. Those two have really stood out for me.
    Nov 7, 2013. 09:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unappreciated Until It's Gone [View article]
    Oh, so that's what you wanted to know. You should have said so.

    Following up on our earlier discussion about scientific methodology, I once worked with a great clinician, researcher and teacher. A particular cranio-facial syndrome was named after him, as he was the first to characterize the syndrome and was the foremost diagnostician, long before DNA testing was a tool.

    We used to see patients in clinic and he would be able to diagnose kids where we just didn't see the component signs that characterized the syndrome.

    We would ask him what the basis was for making the diagnosis (years later when DNA testing became routine his diagnoses were always confirmed), he'd simply look at us and say "it's a gestalt." He couldn't really explain how his mind put the pieces together, but he saw the wholeness of the presentation. It wasn't a defined application of scientific methodology, but it exceeded or at least equaled the validity of what else was readily available.

    We always thought that was a complete bullsh*t answer, but it was all he would ever give us and worst of all, he was always right. He saw subtleties and enough of them that in his mind it would confirm the diagnosis and subsequently lead to an appropriate course of action.

    I guess it's also like the definition of pornography. You know it when you see it even if you can't put it into words.
    Nov 6, 2013. 07:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unappreciated Until It's Gone [View article]
    The key is to have a stable of potential stocks spread across sectors especially in markets that tend to have a unidirectional move higher.

    You may have noticed that in a number of articles during the climb I referred to looking to add stocks from among those that had under-performed from a given time point.

    This particular market seems to be characterized by lots of rotation with sectors falling in and out of favor.

    In a flat or downward moving market it's very common to be able to buy back the same stock after assignment, often the very first day of trading after assignment. That's not as easy with a higher moving market. It was entirely serendipitous that I was able to repurchase my shares of MetLife today that were assigned early last night. I wasn't counting on it, but I was counting on finding a replacement from among a list of "go to" stocks.

    Those are past stocks that you have followed or owned and that had fallen out of favor. It may be their time again.

    Finally, if you've been investing for a while you know that markets like this don't come along very often. While it's hard keeping up in such markets, it typically calls for shorter term option contracts and seeking lots of dividend captures in addition to the premiums. In a down or a flat market you can be flat-lining yourself and still beat the index.
    Nov 6, 2013. 03:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook Before Earnings [View article]
    But you applied new properties to those items, such as suggesting that I had said that "earnings reports are of no value in moving a stock up or down." That can only be a mis-interpretation or a projection based on what you perceive to be a logical conclusion, such as being a bored academic.
    Nov 6, 2013. 02:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook Before Earnings [View article]
    Given the existence of extraordinarily low volatility and subsequently relatively low option premiums I continue to like my performance against the S&P 500 in the face of a 23% gain in the index YTD.

    The greatest success with any strategy is not leaping from strategy to strategy to chase a belief that may shift with the winds. Rather, a covered option strategy can be modified on the basis of strike prices, portion of shares covered and stock selection (taking advantage of clear sector rotations through the 12 months of the current rally) to reflect bearish or bullish sentiment.

    If that pattern continues, as you now believe it will, I'll continue being happy to pursue a covered option and won't find the need to close shorts and potentially be put at risk for reducing ROI for having done so in pursuit of the dream.
    Nov 6, 2013. 07:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook Before Earnings [View article]
    You make some errors in logic or perhaps interpretation. For example, agreeing that financial information is manipulated and self serving does not lead to the conclusion that they are of no value in moving a stock up or down.

    Simple observation could include the conclusion that earnings reports, flawed as they may be, do indeed move specific stocks.

    They clearly do move stocks, however, there is no validity toward using the data to predict in what direction or magnitude those moves will be. Perhaps the lack of predictable movement is related to the perceived validity of the data, or perhaps it is due to the elusiveness of defining human behaviors that may be fueled by fear or greed at any given moment.

    The observational information to which I refer is predominantly past share price. I tend to be agnostic to the events that may have historically moved a stock's price, although I do consider them prospectively. I simply accept that data for what it is; a reflection of the past that may offer some guidelines for near term action based on historical behavior and comparative behavior as measured against a standard.

    Within that broad guideline is a need to compare alternatives and attempt to assess comparative returns relative to comparative risks.
    Nov 5, 2013. 05:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unappreciated Until It's Gone [View article]
    I was a long term investor on the majority of my portfolio up until about 6 years ago.

    I was fortunate in having had an excellent broker, who had discretionary trading rights.

    While I never micro-managed I always kept daily track of performance and for years wondered why we didn't take profits more regularly as I watched the same shares go up and down over and over again. On a work related roll-over I decided to manage that portion myself, putting into practice what I had been at first simply observing and then methodically tracking, rather than rolling it into the buy and hold managed accounts

    When my broker unexpectedly passed away I decided to go my own way and implement the covered option strategy that I was using on a much smaller portion of my portfolio on it all.

    Its been through meltdown markets, up and down markets and higher markets with a predominantly short term holding period and little to no use for the details usually used in making investing decisions.

    It can work. Best of all, I remain blissfully unattached to any particular stock, although I designate some as "favorites," simply because of the frequency with which I've owned them. The real favorites are the ones that create out-sized cumulative returns through serial buying and selling (all also as part of a covered option strategy) without the need for a net gain in share price over time. See last week's article, "I Love Caterpillar" for an example
    Nov 4, 2013. 04:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Unappreciated Until It's Gone [View article]

    I've never fully embraced the idea that as an individual investor it's entirely important to know levels of detail.

    I have no doubt that as encyclopedic as I might become about a single company the return for that effort would be small, as I would not likely discover insights unknown to others, nor what it give me any advantage over others. Additionally, the time necessary to devote to such an accumulation, understanding and interpretation of data would likely create an opportunity cost in limiting time available for other investing pursuits.

    I follow about 75 stocks. It's probably unlikely that could be done if there was a need for great depth. What I refer to as "following" is very superficial, at best.

    Since I'm no longer a long term investor I really am only concerned with known events on the horizon and past nature of price movement.

    Instead, I rely on casual observations that over time accumulate and are registered somewhere in my brain. I then try to see or foresee patterns.

    Seems to work reasonably well and keeps me off the streets, although my La-Z-Boy is well worn.
    Nov 4, 2013. 01:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment