Jasper M's  Instablog

Jasper M
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Retired, 48, been making my own financial decision since I was 17. Every day, for the rest of my life, I will be a recovering Merrill Lynch customer. Proudest Financial Moments: Personal Best return on equity: 20/1, Leap Puts on Citi & GE, closed in late 2008 Personal best adjusted for time:... More
  • Current portfolio 2 comments
    Jun 12, 2011 9:25 PM | about stocks: SHY, SJB, VKL, UUP, FXE, CME, MCO, PRU, MGM, HOG, TWX, AAPL, AMZN, SHLD, EBAY, GE, GS, NFLX

       For some reason, I am moved to enumerate my holdings.
       To ease digestion, I will divy them up a bit into groups.

       Bond-ish stuff:
       My biggest single position is in SHY, a fund holding Treasuries 1-3 years to maturity. No way that's going to yield flashy returns, but it Is participating gently in the general Treasury rise, And pretty much locked in 1% interest on top, so I am content with that.
        (I have been playing with Treasuries awhile, for modest gains [see my post titled "Dances with Treasuries"], but I can't stomach holding anything longer than 3 years now.)
        This position is partially hedged with 100 shares of SJB (inverse junk bond fund), and I am also short 100 shares of VKL (high-ish yield muni bond fund).
         My thinking here is that any interest rate shocks are likely to fall proportionately Much harder on the high end of the spectrum.

         Currency plays: One sided here, as I am a screaming Bull on the $US.
        400 shares of UUP (no, not perfect, but best available)/ I also have 13 Jan '12 calls on UUP @ 23.
        Also short 50 shares of FXE.

         Other foreign plays: 300 shares of PIN. India is the market where I think I have seen the closest thing to a tradeable bottom. This is a long term position; I've been in it for close to two years.

         Old bets on Financials:
         Small short position in CME, and 100 shares short on MCO. These are OOOLD positions (CME dates from '06!), that I just see no reason to close.
        Short 200 shares of PRU, well underwater. Holding some out of the money puts on BRK which will probably go out worthless.
         These last are legacy positions I just never closed. Like Reggie Middleton, I underestimated just how much damage the Fed was willing to do to the future in order to save the financial sector from the consequences of their own mistakes. But there seem to be nowhere for them now but down, so I'll hold 'em a bit longer.

       Miscellaneous bear bets:
         Short 200 shares MGM (who can afford to gamble, in luxury, no less?)
         Short 100 shares HOG (overpriced recreational item)
         Short 100 shares TWX (book keeping smells fishy, and their business model is suspect)
         Small odd lots short on APPL (cult, living on laurels) & AMZN (industry leaders need better morals), mostly just to say I am.
         Holding Jan. '12 puts in SHLD @30, for a possible splat after Thanksgiving. Probably overpaid for those. 

         The looonng view:
        I am holding Leap Puts (Jan. '13) on EBAY, GE, GS, & NFLX. Interestingly, with the exception of EBAY, most of these are within 20% of when I bought them.

        I am currently holding no speculative positions in silver, and no gold at all.
       I am currently stalking GM, and any commercial real estate firm that is building without a signed lease.

       I invite comment, ridicule, whatever.

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Comments (2)
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  • Parker Bohn
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
    I don't make macro or interest rate calls, and am usually agnostic about market direction, so I can't comment on most of your ideas here.


    However, I would make a valuation-based case for SCIN over PIN. In the US, small-caps are (in aggregate) currently trading at a PE ratio about 25% higher than large caps. It is the reverse in India, where small-caps have fallen much further and are about 25% cheaper by PE than Indian large-caps.


    Disclosure: Long SCIN, as of 8-19-11. Theoretically a long-term holding.
    23 Aug 2011, 12:50 AM Reply Like
  • Jasper M
    , contributor
    Comments (1652) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » I prefer PIN because I think India is likely to have a legacy problem with corruption, favoritism, and bureaucracy for some time. The current large firms can be expected to have found strategies to handle such.
    I imagine this will die off, but I imagine I can't tell when, so I decided to stick with the large players for the long haul.
    28 Aug 2011, 09:09 PM Reply Like
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