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I could put on this bio my education, work experience, investment strategy, and a nice thin (if I can find one) picture of me in a suit looking *smart*. Sorry but that's not my intent here. Sure I invest, help family make financial decisions, and make a ton of mistakes along the way. But my time... More
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Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! CHAPTER 4......
  • Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! PORTFOLIO #7........ 130 comments
    Sep 13, 2013 6:10 PM



    What started out as a small group discussing anything related to investing has grown extremely educational over the last few months.

    We have Authors, Financial Advisors, Seasoned investors, Experts in specific fields, and just the average Joe pitching in...

    Folks.. we are growing and posters like it. If you are new to investing then this site is for you.

    Here is the current link to our BLOG CHAPTER !

    The chapters continue to advance so this may not be the latest one. Please just look at the bottom of the chapter for the next link !!

    As of now we have a small group of investors nervously playing a game. It is ONLY a game but as I have learned that if it is a competition and we do keep standings people take it seriously. I am happy to see this as I am learning while I lose money ( fiat of course, or monopoly money ) lol

    But as we progress we are changing rules to make it fairer and more competitive. I have been received messages from all with your ideas and it is your game as well. So please feel free to add whatever thoughts you have. I hope over time other will join as we are still at the beginning stages.

    I urge all to post on other articles and blogs what you like about our chapters and challenge in hopes others will either follow or join in the conversation. So keep posting when you trade why you trade for all to see the reasoning. Good luck to all !!

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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Comments (130)
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  • Author’s reply » New week and a ranking change that shook up a few people..


    Should be an interesting challenge!!
    13 Sep 2013, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • @ IT
    As another Texan once said: "How do you like me now" ?


    13 Sep 2013, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @COINS


    A BETTER question is "how do YOU like yourself now ?"


    Is it New Years Eve yet? lol
    16 Sep 2013, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @coins


    It is just a matter of time before your broke. I have no worries about you:)


    Gamblers never win !!


    I will have you beat by New Years !! Piece of cake>>
    13 Sep 2013, 07:12 PM Reply Like
  • " It is just a matter of time before your broke. I have no worries about you:)
    Gamblers never win !!
    I will have you beat by New Years !! Piece of cake>>"


    II Corinthians 10:12
    13 Sep 2013, 10:10 PM Reply Like
  • Please sell my (SRV) shares at the close Monday 9/16.
    (SRV) goes Ex dividend on Monday 9/16 for .225 per share.
    13 Sep 2013, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » " It is just a matter of time before your broke. I have no worries about you:)
    Gamblers never win !!
    I will have you beat by New Years !! Piece of cake>>"


    II Corinthians 10:12


    No, my bookie....1998
    13 Sep 2013, 10:23 PM Reply Like
  • From another discussion :
    "The game of speculation is the most uniformly fascinating game in the world. But it is not a game for the stupid, the mentally lazy, the person of inferior emotional balance, or the get-rich-quick adventurer. They will die poor "- by Jesse Livermore
    14 Sep 2013, 07:42 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » So who does Jessie like on Sunday's games?
    14 Sep 2013, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • The Broncos :) Peyton Manning !
    14 Sep 2013, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • IT, Maybe you can help me with something.On Thu. I sold 400 shares of my 500 shares of USLV, Then on Friday I added 500 shares of USLV .Shouldn't I have had 600 shares in the inventory Friday? Or the proceeds from a sale of 500 in my account? As it stands I have proceeds on Thur. morning sells for 400 shares and my account has only 500 shares in the current holdings.I believe that the 100 shares was deleted at some point by mistake. Please let me know what you or Steve think .I would appreciate it if you guys can review it.Thanks ,Curt
    14 Sep 2013, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » If it is a mistake I am sure JBT or FEAR will catch it now that you brought it up !!
    14 Sep 2013, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • I will be away from the keyboard early this coming week. I sent my instructions to IT.
    15 Sep 2013, 05:12 AM Reply Like
  • Dollar is going down as Summer's steps down from possible Fed chairman. Does that mean gold will be going up (as dollar goes down)?
    15 Sep 2013, 08:08 PM Reply Like
  • You can see what gold is doing right now right here.
    15 Sep 2013, 09:45 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks JW - good site. It's not up much let in the big picture, but sure is working on it...
    15 Sep 2013, 09:59 PM Reply Like
  • Sounds about right Curls.I hope you are correct,about Summers for sure.He would be a disaster by many people's standards,even Liberals like Bob Brinker.
    15 Sep 2013, 08:39 PM Reply Like
  • Summer's had put in a formal resignation from possible running.... Market currents has a link. That's all I know :). He did seem a poor choice for the job. Apparently futures are now soaring. Guess it's happy times for the markets again - till Tuesday/Wed.
    15 Sep 2013, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • Please sell 500 shares of USLV @ open
    16 Sep 2013, 06:52 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @COINS


    here's looking down at ya !! lol


    Getting nervous yet?
    16 Sep 2013, 07:26 PM Reply Like
  • Please add 1000 shares of (CSG) And 1000 shares of (COLE) and 1000 shares (WSR)
    16 Sep 2013, 07:20 AM Reply Like
  • @ Coins,


    Anything in particular you see in WSR? I ask because I own a bit in real life.
    16 Sep 2013, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • Just a shot in the dark because of the possible appointment for new Fed Chairman.


    Please add 500 shares of (USLV)
    17 Sep 2013, 07:54 AM Reply Like
  • I am adding as many shares of (CLX) as my meager cash will allow at the open.
    16 Sep 2013, 07:42 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Guys


    Here is the PM FOCAL sent me. I might as well post it now just in case I forget..


    At the open on Tuesday 9/17: Please buy as many shares of (AINV) as possible. This purchase should include the dividend cash I got from selling (SRV) on Monday at the close.


    Then on Wednesday 9/18, at the open, please post this:
    Please sell all my shares of (AINV) at the close.
    (AINV) goes Ex dividend on 9/18 at .20 per share
    16 Sep 2013, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • OK... more changes for me. I think I started the challenge with too many picks that i would more likely go with long term and this challenge is designed not only to learn but have fun trading without the worries :-)


    So, with that I will make some changes at the open on Tuesday…


    (CEF) 650 shares


    That, along with some cash lying around gives me $10k to reallocate so I will….


    (PSEC) 250 shares
    (SUNS) 170 shares
    (VGR) 250 shares


    I believe I have enough unused cash to do these but if not take off the necessary number of shares of (VGR) to fit my funds. Thanks.


    (CEF) I love CEF longterm but it is crawling right now and I still have metals in PSLV so time to dump CEF and try another.
    (PSEC) & (SUNS) Those are two business development companies that offer nice dividends and since this is something I am watching closely for my real life portfolio, I want to have a bunch in here so I am adding to those interests.
    (VGR) This is one that I just happened to find along the way. It has a dividend yield of 9.7% and the stock price seems to be steady enough. I am making every effort to learn about stocks with dividends since I plan on adding some to my "real life" portfolio over time and watching them in our challenge is a great way for me to better understand the impact (or not) they can have.
    Believe it or not, I have never owned a stock with dividends but it certainly appears tone a wise move so I am learning. Although my focus at this time leans toward the Business Development Company stocks, I welcome any suggestions on solid long term stocks with good dividends. I am very much long-term (7-12 years) within my real portfolio so I look for stocks I can hold and benefit from over several years. Thanks


    16 Sep 2013, 09:56 PM Reply Like
  • If you haven't already ,based on my earlier post ,please add 500 shares of (USLV) . I am having trouble posting.
    17 Sep 2013, 07:56 AM Reply Like
  • Since I'm (:Broke) ,please make that 380 share,since I can't afford all 500 shares. :)
    17 Sep 2013, 08:13 AM Reply Like
  • I am confused... There is a stock in my portfolio (AFOP) that split 2 for 1 but the portfolio shows a loss based on the reduction in the share price yet does not double the amount shares to reflect the split. Therefore it appears to be a big loss when it isn't. Shouldn't my 300 shares in (AFOP) become 600? Whats up with that?
    17 Sep 2013, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • We are not computers connected to market news and feeds, that's what's up with that. If you know a stock you hold is going to split, declare a div., etc., please let us know. It would be very helpful.
    17 Sep 2013, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @ROS


    These guys are helping us for free. I am not sure you knew that and they also have lives. That is why we have to let them know about when the ex dividend dates are, etc.


    Take a look at some of the prior posts as people leave detailed info. Hope this helps !


    17 Sep 2013, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • I had no clue the stock was going to split and have no idea how the spreadsheet handles it. I was just pointing out an error. No need to get all bent out of shape. "Whats up with that" is not a dis, just a casual inquiry. I am constantly amazed and grateful for the voluntary work being done in the challenge. I couldn't and I wouldn't do it myself so no disrespect at all.... just asking what was up with the numbers.
    17 Sep 2013, 03:25 PM Reply Like
  • No ill-will intended in by comment. :) You asked what's up, and I told you. Sorry if it sounded snarky. The spreadsheet is "dumb", for lack of a better word. The only real-time info it pulls from the internet is 20-minute delayed quotes.
    17 Sep 2013, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @JBT


    You mean the spreadsheet does not pick the winners for Sunday's games??
    17 Sep 2013, 05:46 PM Reply Like
  • Please sell my 300 shares of (AT) at today's closing price.
    17 Sep 2013, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • Ooops! Sorry that should have been 3000 shares of (AT).
    I would also li9ke to sell the 3000 shares of (BMRA) bought at .99.
    And, buy 2500 shares of (CLM) at today's closing price.
    17 Sep 2013, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @NOTRUB


    Your a minute late !! Sorry ... lol
    17 Sep 2013, 05:46 PM Reply Like
  • At the open on Thursday 9/19 please buy as many shares as possible of (INB). This should include dividend payments from the sale of (AINV) at the close of Wednesday 9/18.


    Please sell all shares of (INB) at the close of Thursday 9/19. INB goes Ex on 9/19 in the amount of .28 per share. Thank you.
    17 Sep 2013, 06:23 PM Reply Like
  • Please cancel the INB transaction.


    At the open on Thursday 9/19 please buy as many shares as possible of (CYS).


    Please sell all shares of (CYS) at the close Friday, 9/20. CYS goes Ex on 9/20 in the amount of .34 per share.
    17 Sep 2013, 07:45 PM Reply Like
  • As an informational heads-up, you cannot not buy a stock on its ex-div date and still collect the dividend. You have to own it the day BEFORE ex-div to qualify. I see you cancelled the trade, but something to keep in mind.
    18 Sep 2013, 07:43 AM Reply Like
  • Yes, thank you. I forgot about that rule when I wrote up my original trade before going into the hospital. I saw the note on the spreadsheet last night, and that is why I cancelled the trade on the chatline last night. Thanks again for the note.


    IT, you might want to include that rule in the investment game chapter heading if you think it's appropriate.
    18 Sep 2013, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • Adding a position:


    Tomorrow AM:


    Buy, 400 sh (NEA) Nuveen AMT-Free Municipal Income fund, a municipal bond CEF


    This may be a ST trade. Here is a perfect picture of a stock {CEF in this case} breaking out. Right at the very inflection point. Price of NEA is $12.30. Cleared the 50 day MA which is 12.19. This CEF has 39% leverage. It shows that the depressed bond market may be making a move. Here is the chart:;range=6m;compare=;ind...


    This is today's chart and Yahoo doesn't show todays close on the chart. The price, 12.30 is above the 50 DMA, 12.19 now. We'll see if this plays out.


    Won't it hurt to get your butts kicked by municipal bond funds? Ha, ha.
    17 Sep 2013, 07:06 PM Reply Like
  • JBT
    I was looking at the spreadsheet and it shows that I have a cash balance of $10,141.97. I believe this is incorrect. My journal shows a cash balance of $32,090 as of 9/17. Better look at your formulas.


    Since I have more cash than I thought I had when I placed that last trade for 400 of NEA, could you change the number of shares to 500? So:


    Buy 500 (NEA) tomorrow AM 9/18, (instead of 400) Thanks
    17 Sep 2013, 08:13 PM Reply Like
  • JW,


    $32,138 in your cash balance. There was a dividend paid. Fear may have fixed whatever other issue was causing the discrepancy.
    17 Sep 2013, 08:24 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I sent this message to buy at close yesterday. That message was not published. So I am sending this message today to buy b at the opening
    (TNA) at the opening with balance of my cash


    18 Sep 2013, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » At todays close please buy as many shares of (PSEC) as possible..


    No tapering was what I expected. They can't stop the morphine can they?
    18 Sep 2013, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • It's a joyous thing. :) So, this is what it feels like to be in the green... ;)
    18 Sep 2013, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @JBT


    Just enough time ABOVE water to take a deep breath I guess. Me headin the same way as well....:(


    Boy, this is depressing watching how quickly things change ....
    20 Sep 2013, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • If I had a cash balance, I would buy the heck out of this dip. More "fed uncertainty" mumbo jumbo...
    20 Sep 2013, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @JBT


    Factor in real inflation and no of us are in the green:)
    18 Sep 2013, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • You need to make 10% plus annual return to barely keep up with inflation.
    18 Sep 2013, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • Our mortgage is locked in with 2007 dollars. I'll worry about inflation after that's paid off. Inflate away until then. ;)
    18 Sep 2013, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I know I can not even bring up inflation of food or gas prices. . Your a Reman noodles type of guy that might ride a bike to the grocery store.. lol
    18 Sep 2013, 05:46 PM Reply Like
  • Nah, I drive a decent shape 2003 Taurus. Got the sale ad today for our local grocery store... Chuck roast $2.69/lb, baby! One dem is easy dinner for 3-4 nights. :)
    18 Sep 2013, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » JBT


    Your car is newer then mine ! Gotta love those sales. I never thought I would ever look at prices when I bought items. But that car accident of 7 years ago changed a ton of my ways ....


    Still can't eat spam though... lol


    I have to visit TENN some day and have you show me around. I hear the country would suit me just fine !! I am sure my timeshare has a place close by..
    18 Sep 2013, 07:14 PM Reply Like
  • Stop by anytime.


    P.S. Spam & eggs with some cheese on an english muffin = nummy.
    18 Sep 2013, 07:38 PM Reply Like
  • @ IT,


    I don't know. Assuming that you own PSEC in real life, the dividends are beating out inflation (for now, anyway).
    18 Sep 2013, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @USER


    What do you think REAL inflation rate is? I mean add in food, energy, fuel, etc.


    18 Sep 2013, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • Sell my 1000 shares of (CSG) and sell 450 shares of (USLV) at close today. THANKS ,Curt.
    18 Sep 2013, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @COINS


    You like this challenge huh? Playing with monopoly money is good practice.. Good trades !!
    18 Sep 2013, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • I could work for the government,I don't mind playing wit OPM (Other People's Money ) LOL
    ,Thanks. Oh and I think I will sell 400 shares of (SLV) also.
    18 Sep 2013, 03:29 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @COINS


    OK, now folks go look back and did anyone else notice that gold started to spike PRIOR to the announcement?


    Someone had the word early !! Humm.....
    18 Sep 2013, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • @IT,


    I'm paying about the same for gas that I was since Katrina - that was what, 2004 or 05?. Edible food is more expensive for sure. Energy costs are actually better this year due to a very mild summer where I live. Haven't really noticed a change in beer prices the last few years.


    One thing I've done for the last year is buy an I-bond with each paycheck. Not much, just $25 or so. It's linked to the CPI. Yesterday I checked out how much interest I've gotten. Then I compared that to the dividends I've received in my big-boy investments - preferreds, cefs, reits, annnnd psec.


    I think we'll agree that CPI is bs, but it's not gone above 2% over the last year. So let's call a real increase in living costs @ 10% (for simplicity's sake as I'm not an economist).


    PSEC is paying about 11.42% in dividends broken up into monthly payments, even at what I consider to be kind of an elevated price (relative to where I initially bought it). So you're doing a bit better than an increase in living expenses. If you'd owned it since the beginning of the year and had been dripping the dividends, you'd be receiving more money in dividends now than the first check you got from them. So better than a bit better than living expenses.


    Dad talks about how cheap bread and gas was back in the day. Then he mentions what his salary was in the sixties compared to when he retired. I am not a mathematician, but just going by pictures and what I remembered when I was a kid compared to the way he lives now, I think he beat out inflation and/or cost of living increases.


    One thing I know he did was to keep investing. Some of that may have been luck. He switched from stock funds to bonds in 2006 or 07. About the turn of the century he put money in Vanguard's REIT fund after he looked at MY statement from them and compared that fund's returns to his S&P 500 equivalent.


    We're (at least I am) peasants compared to those with power to actually change things. That's why I tune out a lot of "macro" stuff - I consider it most of it to be noise. Everybody said the fed's going to taper - they guessed wrong.


    What I and you and anybody else can do is develop and find strategies that can make you money over the long haul and hopefully rewards you with enough money that exceeds the lowered purchasing power of your dollar.


    So. My I-bond idea sucked and I will start redeeming them and purchase things that stoke my interest/dividend income above and beyond inflation.


    At the end of the day, what else can you do?
    18 Sep 2013, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @USER


    I AGREE with your comment however today we have plenty of people making LESS then they did 10 years ago. Plus most who do have benefits are paying through the nose to keep it.


    You might be one of the lucky ones, but I am in my mid 50's and the job search isn't a piece of cake to be honest. You asked at the end of the day what can you do?


    I added physical metals years ago and am quite happy I did. The stock market is on shaky ground and if your time frame is shorter to make it back you should become more conservative.


    Gold up almost $60 bucks in one day is actually a warning sign that most should heed ! I can care less what the stock market does as I moved out of it besides PSEC a year ago.


    I have to be safer today then maybe 10 years ago. Plus I honestly am worried that the FED is playing God yet is making it more like dancing with the Devil.


    To me, it isn't worth the risk of a huge correction one day. just look at our challenge and how people jump around after the FED talks. This isn't normal for a solid stock market !
    18 Sep 2013, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • @ IT,


    "You might be one of the lucky ones"


    I don't think I'm a lucky one. I'm 36. I just started seriously saving and investing about a year ago. To use a family-friendly phrase, I was a screw-up until I was in my late twenties. I've lost over a decade of investing/saving/compo...


    The good news is that I decided to switch careers before the GR and cashed out investments to pay for school. The bad news is that it was not enough and I have substantial student loans.


    "and the job search isn't a piece of cake to be honest"


    This is true. I graduated from nursing school in Dec. 2008. The job I was aiming for and had done my practicum hours on was given to a veteran nurse as many of the ones planning to retire found out they could not. I took what I could find and it took about nine months to find a job that had steady hours. It sucked. I stuck with it for two years to build up my resume and now have a job that sucks somewhat less. By the time I plan on retiring and before my heart gives out, I hope to have a job that I'm semi-happy with.


    It wasn't until last spring that Woman was able to find a full-time job. That's over four years since I graduated and she was looking for full time work much longer than that.


    "I added physical metals years ago and am quite happy I did. The stock market is on shaky ground and if your time frame is shorter to make it back you should become more conservative."


    I do not follow gold and silver. I bought some silver coins (two, I think) at about age 10 or so. I used to watch Lou Dobbs with Dad back in the day. I watched the ticker on the screen for silver. I took them back to the dealer probably less than a year later. I got less money for them than when I bought them even though the ticker had gone up. That said, I now have a few silver coins around.


    But from what I've read in passing, bouncing around from $2000 to $1100 (or whatever it is) and back for gold is more gut-wrenching than I could handle. Check out (MORL) - up 7.5% at the time of this writing. But it has dropped 15% or more in one day over the last few months. I only consider it a lotto ticket and frequently hope that it will go juuuust above my limit order so I can dump it.


    "To me, it isn't worth the risk of a huge correction one day. just look at our challenge and how people jump around after the FED talks. This isn't normal for a solid stock market ! "


    Well, that's a good reason for me to stick with the strategy that I originally said I was going to follow (and that I'm also following in real life). I have a clear parameter of when there's a danger zone and when to move to cash. I get to tune out whatever hysteria is brought up about the FED or whoever. And assuming that the market will eventually go up over time, this should work out pretty good.
    18 Sep 2013, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • IT I don't think the FED is any worse or better than decades ago. Remember back in the 1970s? I'm not sure what year it was, but mortgage rates went over 18%. Must have been late 70s early 80s because I do remember getting around 12% on my savings (or whatever it was - some kind of money market savings account). I do remember inflation being worse some of those years than it is now.


    Back in the mid 1980s the cost of houses started doubling, it was crazy in NJ. We were trying to buy a stinking townhouse, but the prices were going up $25,000 then $35,000 or more - and that was per week! Finally we bought a condo, for over 2 times what the seller paid less than 2 years before. We lived there for less than 2 years and bought a house, for $325,000. That was in 1988. Less than 2 years later, the house was worth about $240,000. I remember feeling physically ill, for years.....while the home prices dropped. We put every extra penny we had to pay that mortgage off. Talk about feeling trapped. Even put off starting a family for several years, because I didn't want to stop working.


    You know, I don't think times are that much different now. Perhaps even a little better for us. We had a couple of decades to save our pennies for future retirement, and times like now. My husband hasn't really made much money for almost 3 years. We are living on savings. He's working on a product, it's going okay although the payoff will still take at least another year. Thank God I got better at investing, it certainly has paid the bills & made our retirement accounts gain in value.


    I'll worry about the future by saving for it today. Meanwhile, make some hay while that cocaine dazed stock market takes off!
    18 Sep 2013, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @BSF


    Yes, I do remember back then but that is exactly my point. Back in the 80's we had high interest rates to actually slow down the economy and run away inflation. My first car loan after my marriage was about 16%. I would not buy a home back then and pay 18% . I rented.


    However don't you think were on the opposite side of that trade now? Nothing is jumpstarting this economy. We just had the FED mislead us for months hoping all of us would buy cars, buy houses, shop until we dropped to pick up the economy.


    Unfortunately it did not happen, unemployment and people dropping out of the workforce is the worst in 25 years. My daughter can't even get a job interview for full time work as a Teacher out of college 3 years ago either.


    Most schools in upstate NY are closing down buildings and laying off teachers . What is really sad is that once a teacher is laid off due to anything but performance they are entitled to be interviewed FIRST for the next 7 years !! That is in their contract.


    So the new blood that can relate to these new type of students are still dealing with teachers that are archaic and quite frankly had tenure never been allowed, should be fired years ago,


    I guess you get my point that I disagree the 80's and now are the same. People had jobs back then, they don't now.. This is going to end badly as the rest button MUST BE hit at some point!


    If they did not start now the clock is ticking as they will never start it in an election year.This Dec meeting is out of the question due to what Ben said and that fixed income traders are basically done for the year.


    So now you have 3 possible times if they want to start it when the FED has a meeting and their quarterly questions and answers period. The clock is ticking !!! No disrespect intended here but just look at our challenge and how some jumped way up the ladder.


    Did the companies fundamentals change that much in 24 hours? Or can we still throw a dart to pick a winner? I stated I got off the bus about a year ago and I am fine where I am right now. I don't like manipulation when everyone can see it clearly. I know it exists but when it is out in the open like this......


    Good Luck !
    18 Sep 2013, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • Back in the 1980s there were several years where getting a job was hard. My husband luckily graduated in December 1985 so he got a jump on it, many of his friends struggled to get jobs (Ph.D's in computer science, electrical engineering). I had a hard time too. After years of working in labs & with a degree in nutrition, I went back to school for computer programming. The first job I had was terrible - so bad, I actually quit! It was with a very small company & we were working in a basement. Later I got a job with a large corporation, but it took awhile. Then they closed down our office (couple of thousand people lost their jobs) back in the early 90s. So later, in order to find work & take care of my son, I became a realtor for 10 years. Strangely enough, it was the hardest job I ever did. And I made the most money (after going many years of not making much) at that job. Why did I waste all those years in college? Being a realtor didn't even require a high school diploma!


    Some areas of the country aren't doing as well as others. NJ is still bad. Back in my hometown in Iowa, they have fired teachers for years as the number of students in the area fell for decades. Some day, they many finally shutter my old high school. Less than a hundred are graduating these days, while back in 1976 we had close to 300 graduate.


    I never expected to get a good job back in Iowa, unless it would have been insurance or accounting related. Now the unemployment rate there is half what it is in NJ, but then the midwest in general has weathered this recession better than the East. Des Moines, Iowa has a great economy right now. But my home town is slowly dying. Most of the storefronts in the downtown have been empty for over 30 years. It's really sad. Small towns in rural areas are mostly disappearing.


    It may be time for your daughter to look for a job in an area that is growing. All over the country, the federal gov't shut down installations and moved jobs to Aberdeen, Maryland. That area is booming.


    Sad thing for me is after all these years in NJ those Iowa winters look less & less appealing. My dislike for NJ has not abated. Just got used to it after 27 some years!


    Good luck to your family & especially your daughter. Teaching is a great career, which unfortunately seems to give unfair advantage to older teachers. Not sure why tenure is even tolerated. How do you get rid of rotten teachers? Should be based on how well the students perform and how well the students rate the teachers.
    18 Sep 2013, 06:39 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @BSF


    Thanks for the well wishes.


    My daughter actually took advantage of the time away from full time work ( she is the full time sub from her high school) and is completing her Masters this semester in Information Technology just in case a full time teaching position does not open up for her this year.


    I have plenty of contacts in the school system as 25 years of a sports official has introduced me to plenty of influential people. However getting my daughter to meet them is tougher then I had thought. I am divorced from her mom for over 15 years now so it is hard for me to convince her she would not be wasting here time.


    But what else can a Dad do? My fellow officials were teachers years ago but are now Principals who only want to meet her to either guide her, or maybe hire her as a temp. But all I get are excuses why she can't. So I just give her the numbers and leave it up to her.


    Moving from NY down south for her would be hard as well. She isn't married yet but has been seeing the same guy for 5 years now. He has a successful business up here so would he leave that ?


    Plus I would love to relocate myself as my injuries don't do well in the cold. North Carolina seems fine, but I also have an older mom alive and my wife has both her older parents alive as well and they both don't get around too well. My wife takes them all over the place and we live an hour away.


    So tough choices ahead for all of us. Hoping good things eventually happen for my daughter so that I could move on in my life in 5 years or so. But who knows !!


    Be well and hope you Gmen start winning ....
    18 Sep 2013, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • IT, it is hard to be optimistic when you see how little control we have over anything. The way the market reacted today actually scared me.


    Investing for me is for the long long haul. Sadly I didn't get into dividend stocks until this year. So for User, I wish I had done more when I was his age. Then things would look a lot better in regards to my investing efforts. For years, we were locked into 401k accounts. In my husband's case, he lost about half of his 401k when Lucent imploded. Actually more. We had almost 4,000 shares that he refused to sell. By the time we sold, they had lost over $350,000 in value. If you add what he lost in his 401k and what we lost in other investments, I think you could say we lost at least a million dollars. One of the reasons I went to work as a realtor, to start making the money back.


    To give hope to those out there that have been where we were, or are just starting out, we continued to save & invest. I think I've made over half of it back, plus with our house paid off, we might even be today where we once were over a decade ago. It's been very difficult. The last 3 years, especially hard. Fortunately my son didn't want to go to college. The money I had saved for that has sustained us, plus other savings and with some good investment results the last few years. The years that I spent as a realtor helped a lot too.


    The best thing we ever did was always live below our means. I'm a great saver, too.


    It's a tough time to know what to do, we don't know if the economy will get better. Will the market keep going up, or will it blow up? Looking back at history, we have always managed to get through the tough times. Always.


    That faith keeps me invested in this market. I do have cash on hand in case there are opportunities. In addition, I keep at least 2 years of cash for living expenses - in cash - because you never know. If it were invested, what if I lost it? How would we pay bills until we could sell our house. What if everybody is trying to sell their house & we can't sell it for much? Yes these things worry me. So lots of cash saved up is my answer.


    However, being totally out of the market wouldn't work for me. So the retirement accounts are invested in good, solid blue chip companies that pay dividends. If the market crashes, those dividends will buy more shares. Will we ever retire? Hmmm don't know, so I try to enjoy every day as much as possible.


    In the next year, I'd like to sell our house & downsize. Use the money from the sale to invest in a small business. We will see how it goes. The best time to sell a house (in this area) is in the spring. Don't know how it will all work out, but somehow it will.


    Wish the best for everyone and that we have many years of happy investing results to come.
    18 Sep 2013, 07:10 PM Reply Like
  • IT, actually sounds like your daughter better marry that guy & quick! She sounds pretty smart. I'll tell you what, she should take over the accounting at his business. That's the way to do it, get on top to those financial strings the sooner the better!


    If I had only done that, no way would we have lost so much money. My brother was calling me for weeks, when Lucent started to drop from $70 (can't hardly remember how much that stinker stock got to - talk about manipulation! That Lucent CEO & you know who I am talking about should have gone to prison.) So eventually, I had to take over before we went bankrupt! Seriously, he doesn't dare to question me & what I'm doing with the money now. Thank God, things have gone all right ; ) well most of the time.


    Have you seen that commercial "don't tell mom" while the dad does fun stuff with the kids, and then mom even says "don't tell dad" when she takes the kids to sky dive? Well that's my philosophy. After it's all over, if I've made some money I might brag a little. Otherwise, hopefully he doesn't examine the tax returns to closely in regards to losses.


    IT you are a really great dad. Your daughter will do fine, don't worry. There's a great future ahead for her, and whoever marries her will be very lucky.


    You remind me of my grandfather, the one who started the family drugstore over 100 years ago. Well, he advised me to marry the son of the town junk man/recycler. They were the richest family in town. Years later, my grandfather & my husband got along great, and my husband adored my dad. Sadly they are gone now. My husband claims nobody in my family loves him any more! lol good memories. It says a lot that 2 small town guys who fought in WWI & WWII accepted my husband, who is from a foreign country, a foreign religion, and a foreign culture. What a country!


    ps those Gmen are really pathetic this year. Too bad, because the super bowl will be played in their stadium - without them most likely!
    18 Sep 2013, 07:33 PM Reply Like
  • Sell all shares of (TNA) at the opening today Thursday Sept 19
    With the money buy (NUGT) as many shares as you can
    This is going much higher
    Thanks a lot.
    Could you please ask somebody why they do not publish my comments.
    I have been recommending NUGT for the last 3 days. Finally my prediction came out to be valid.
    19 Sep 2013, 08:54 AM Reply Like
  • Blueskyforever,
    I admire you for what you have done.
    19 Sep 2013, 08:55 AM Reply Like
  • @ Dr. K


    You can PM one of us you're comments and we'll post them. I've found SA doesn't respond when I write to them. Very frustrating. This article may give you a way to reach them?


    What indicators are telling you (NUGT)'s going up? Are you seeing (TNA) not going up -- or just seeing (NUGT) as an even stronger bet?
    19 Sep 2013, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • thank you Dr. K!!
    21 Sep 2013, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • In the challenge my portfolio went up 10k in a couple weeks... thats 10%... that, to me is scary. I would like to pat myself on the back but I still can't figure out how this happened. The challenge is to have fun and learn. Instead it is making my head spin with confusion these past several days. Although mine went up, this kind of huge change so quickly is scary because it just as easily can happen in the wrong direction and that makes me nervous regarding my "real" portfolio. Trying to determine solid, good, long term investments is not as easy as using good old fashioned info and logic anymore.
    18 Sep 2013, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • (TNA) is a great stock but it is not moving as fast as (NUGT) Gold is followed by tons of people and when it goes up, it is a sight to behold.
    So many people have sold it short, they will cover their shorts in panic. Gold miners are way down from their highs. Gold will go to at least $1432 in this rally.
    19 Sep 2013, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • Dr. K, (NUGT) is sure to go up once the budget battle in DC gets going. Always a tug of war between (NUGT) and (DUST)
    21 Sep 2013, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • I'm noticing this post :). I'm not sure there'll be much panic over the budget battle. It's too many times that it's come close and they work a last minute deal... so most will assume they'll do it again??


    It's important to watch rates. If they start climbing, the Fed will come up with something through someone (some crisis) to re-trigger some down days with rates coming back down... Any thoughts on this beyond my vague ones?
    21 Sep 2013, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » ok I need some personal advice here.


    Today in our portfolio challenge I lost close to 10 cents per share in (PSEC). I BOUGHT it yesterday with the understanding from a rep at Schwab that when the stock goes ex dividend is when the price drops at the open to handle the dividend.


    Now today was the payout for that dividend yet the stock dropped almost the exact amount of that dividend. So is this a coincidence or is it expected to drop on the payout date??


    I am still in the learning stages and held off buying the shares until this rep said it was already accounted for. Had I waited until todays close I would have saved this loss. So being this is a learning challenge can some of you investors shed some light on this?


    I REALLY WOULD LIKE TO KNOW if I should have waited until today or is it really the ex dividend date ?? It will help me invest new monies in real life. I am confused if this was just a coincidence or something I should be aware of.


    THANKS IN ADVANCE as I am sure others do not know the answer to this . But some who invest in dividend stocks must have experienced this so I am leaning on you folks.


    Appreciate it as I am burning up inside ... lol I hate to make mistakes even in a game...But this would be great info if someone is willing to respond to this..
    19 Sep 2013, 07:06 PM Reply Like
  • It was on the ex-dividend date of August 28 that the dividend of 11 cents was subtracted at the open of trading.


    Today was the "pay date" - when the dividend is actually paid to the shareholder on record, BUT the dividend was subtracted from the stock price on Aug 28, the ex-dividend date.


    It was just a coincidence that it went down that amount today.


    I use Schwab too. To see this, pull up a regular Schwab chart. Click on the "Events" button. Choose "dividends." The chart will then show a little box with the letter "D" on the chart on the ex-dividend days. Position your mouse cursor over the Aug 28 "D" and it will show the information, ex date and pay date.


    You can do the same on a Yahoo chart which also has an "Events" button to display dividends.
    19 Sep 2013, 11:29 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @JW


    Thanks !!
    19 Sep 2013, 11:52 PM Reply Like
  • BSF & IT


    I read your long comments. I live in Iowa so I relate to BSF - though I am happy to say I have not lived in NJ.


    I agree, IT that the teachers union, (is it the NEA union?) is maybe worse than the other unions, like the labor unions.


    Your comments, touching on college education, immediately made me think of James Altucher's blogs, and the one against the American obsession with getting a college degree.


    I am reading his book "Choose Yourself" right now. Every one needs to learn to "choose yourself" - as opposed to following indoctrination of the "imperative of the College degree" - bachelors, MS, Phd, in order to package yourself as a desirable human asset, that hopefully some uncaring and detached HR person will notice and "choose" for a position in a corporation, out of 100 other human capital applicants.


    Our educational and employment system is a factory system that produces human assets to be deployed and later discarded by corporate interests. Spend a little time doing some free reading on Altucher's blog - It will catalyze your thinking process.


    IT - I think (and hope) your daughter finds what she wants to do - she may benefit from "Choose Yourself".
    19 Sep 2013, 10:55 PM Reply Like
  • Please sell 500 shares of (AUQ) for me at open this morning. Thanks
    20 Sep 2013, 07:50 AM Reply Like
  • Please sell all my RAD. Thank you! :-)
    20 Sep 2013, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » what happened to our nice looking spreadsheet? I hope no one did this on purpose..
    20 Sep 2013, 06:45 PM Reply Like
  • I don't want to look. Someone else can fix it.
    20 Sep 2013, 07:22 PM Reply Like
  • it looks ok now.
    20 Sep 2013, 07:32 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I think FEAR fixed it !!


    I would have no clue.... lol
    20 Sep 2013, 07:37 PM Reply Like
  • Looks like today's the payable date on the distribution for VTSMX. Vanguard's site lists $0.196 per share - the record date being 9/19, the reinvest date as 9/20 (with the reinvest price of $43.18) and the payable date as 9/23.


    Since this is a mutual fund, I'm not sure if we use the same rules for the distributions as we would a regular stock or etf, but anywho, please reinvest the dividends back into the fund (doesn't matter to me if Vanguard's dates are used or if we go by the portfolio rules for it).


    23 Sep 2013, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • Sell all of my WSR and Cole at open on Tue. Morning .Thanks
    23 Sep 2013, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • Hi all!


    Please do not un-hide columns/rows on the spreadsheet. They are there for computing stuff that does not display well. That's why they're hidden.


    23 Sep 2013, 11:34 PM Reply Like
  • Please buy 8,000 (NVAX) at the close today.


    I own this in my real portfolio, and added more this morning. They did a major offering this morning (dilution). Normally that means plunging share prices. But the offering was pulled off at yesterdays closing price. That's a signal of great strength. Here is a comment that kind of describes the situation:

    24 Sep 2013, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • @FPA


    That's an interesting assessment. With the markets down, it didn't look like it worked because of "environment." But if right, it should work on the next up day.


    Any guesses whether the market will be up tomorrow, after 4 (is that right?) down days?
    26 Sep 2013, 12:06 AM Reply Like
  • Hi Curls the market seems to be whip sawing a bit because of all the political jawboning on the debt ceiling. On NVAX, I am pretty confident on my reasoning, but I don't know about the timing. I added to my real portfolio because I consider it an investment with a longer time horizon. I bought it in the game on the chance it might pop.


    What I am actually waiting for on the game is for oil to drop to around 100... at that time I will go in with around 60% of my cash.


    I have been experimenting with timing on Ex dividend plays... I got my head handed to me on that one... I am more of a long term investor who is trying to learn to be a better trader. I am watching you guys closely...
    26 Sep 2013, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • Saw Focal's NVAX move. Looked into the stock and would also like to give it a try. At the close today please sell all 125 shares of (DLR) and take all available cash and purchase as many shares of (NVAX) as my funds will allow.


    26 Sep 2013, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • I just published an instablog that may be of interest to anyone with holdings in mREITs, BDCs and covers GLD and GDX too. Most of it is current as of 9/25 or today, 9/26. Some of these are my holdings.


    Two of these just went ex-dividend and I show how the dividend is subtracted from the opening price on the ex-div date. It would look like the stock took a big hit on that day, but most of the decline was the dividend subtracted.



    There is a link at the end to take you back to ITs Portfolio Challenge.
    27 Sep 2013, 12:00 AM Reply Like
  • Today (WIN) went ex-div - down big. Woe is me. Until I get my check (directly re-invested) in 2 weeks. ;)


    The investing game would be too easy if the stock price were not adjusted accordingly for the dividend paid.


    Such a simple concept is so mystifying to so many people...
    27 Sep 2013, 12:23 AM Reply Like
  • Thank you to F&G and JohnBTN for handling the portfolio spreadsheet. Wish I had your skills!
    27 Sep 2013, 10:24 AM Reply Like
  • Please buy (IVR) with all available cash at close today. (IVR) is trading at $15.60 right now. The dividend is $0.50 per quarter. I should be able to get 58 shares. Darn, just missed the dividend - it went ex-dividend 9/24. Alway a dollar short & a day late!
    27 Sep 2013, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • What you missed as a dividend, you should get back in appreciation or gain (I am hopeful)
    27 Sep 2013, 11:55 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Guys


    My records indicate that (PSEC) WENT EXDIVIDEND ON THE 26TH. Could you please buy as many shares at todays close of same with the dividends. The date of record is the 30th.



    Hopefully this site will help as I plan on just staying fully invested and not trading this for a while to learn how it moves. It list all the ex dates for the next 6 months I believe..


    Thanks !
    27 Sep 2013, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • Please use my cash balance to buy (BITA) at the closing price.


    Thank you!
    27 Sep 2013, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • At the open on Monday, please buy:
    350 (EPV)
    300 (DES2)
    300 (BX4)
    250 (XBRMIB)
    150 (SDS)


    These are shorts of Europe, Germany, France, Italy, and the US respectively. Why now? Both the Italian and Greek governments are in trouble and could fall. This is particularly the case in Italy.


    The resultant economic chaos should increase perceived risk. I added the US short because of the uproar over the budget in combination with exposure of US banks to Europe.
    28 Sep 2013, 07:57 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I know everyone was busy over the weekend but just wanted to remind someone to update my PSEC purchase with my dividend monies at the close of the market on Friday .


    Thanks !
    29 Sep 2013, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • IT, what was the dividend per share declared by PSEC?
    30 Sep 2013, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • Found it on Yahoo finance, PSEC dividend was .11 per share.
    30 Sep 2013, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Yup...Monthly !!
    30 Sep 2013, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • Looks like the Italy's government will not fall... so at the Open Tuesday (Oct 1) please sell:


    350 (EPV)
    300 (DES2)
    300 (BX4)
    250 (XBRMIB)


    That means I will only be exposed for one trading session (tonight) on the short.


    Difficult to make quick Euro plays because of the day delay. All the European exchanges (FTSE down 1.2%) were down since I made my call on Saturday, but because our market lags Europe, all of my shorts were after Europe closed on Monday. I will continue to hold the US short, (SDS).
    30 Sep 2013, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • Hi - my internet is down again for a while (thank you cable provider)... so I'll be mostly out of touch till I have access again...


    Happy trading to everyone!
    30 Sep 2013, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • JBT
    If I can still place an order (its 11:14 PM central) for tomorrow AM - I didn't remember when the cut-off was for morning buys.


    Buy 100 shares (SCHX) Schwab U.S. Large-Cap ETF on open.


    This is the Schwab ETF equivalent of the SP500. Going long a little in anticipation of a debt ceiling solution. The bear scenario with the ceiling & govt shutdown is too obvious and over-anticipated.
    1 Oct 2013, 12:20 AM Reply Like
  • And now we have the advantage of owing European stocks...
    Please cancel my sale of EPV, DES2, BX4, AND XBRMIB at tomorrows open.


    In addition, please add 500 SDS at the open 10/1


    The government started to shutdown, I think it will affect euro stocks...
    1 Oct 2013, 01:17 AM Reply Like
  • Euro markets are... up? Money coming out of US into Europe?
    I am going to reverse again... Please sell my EPV, DES2, and BX4.


    I will continue to hold XBRMIB. Please still add the 500 SDS.
    1 Oct 2013, 04:11 AM Reply Like
  • Please sell all of my CSCO at the close today.


    Thank you! :-)
    1 Oct 2013, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • Please sell XBRMIB at the close.
    Please sell 4,000 NVAX at the close.


    Also at the close, please buy an additional 500 shares of SDS
    1 Oct 2013, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • Hi Guys... I wanted to sell 4,000 shares of NVAX. That would leave me with 4,000 shares in my portfolio. Thanks.
    1 Oct 2013, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • Please put in 1000 shares of (USLV) for me at open ,Thanks
    2 Oct 2013, 07:43 AM Reply Like
  • Please sell 1000 shares of (USLV) at close today .Thanks.
    2 Oct 2013, 12:54 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » @COINS


    You becoming a day trader??? lol
    2 Oct 2013, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • just during Obama's govt. hostage crisis . When they are blackmailing U.S. Silver is a good place to put your money :)
    2 Oct 2013, 05:40 PM Reply Like
  • This shutdown is lasting too long. I'm watching's been down, it's now up, who knows where it goes tomorrow.


    Watch for bargains. But you know, later this month it's going to get ugly again. Budget buster & debt ceiling will spike volatility and who knows how long that fight will last. Keep some cash handy.
    2 Oct 2013, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • The new symbol for SAIC is NOW (LDOS) .Hope this helps.
    2 Oct 2013, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • Please sell 1150 shares (SDS) and buy 3000 shares of (SPXU) at the close. I am switching from a double to a triple short.
    2 Oct 2013, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • Is anyone else having trouble seeing the prices on the spreadsheet... For me, all of the google linked prices are showing as N/A... and quite often, I can't see the screen names of the other participants in the summary table... I have changed nothing in my setup.
    2 Oct 2013, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » FPA


    I just checked and I am good, although not happy with my investment.. But I had to log into google ..
    2 Oct 2013, 08:39 PM Reply Like
  • It's showing I am logged in.
    2 Oct 2013, 08:47 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » FPA


    I just logged back in and everything is fine. I don't get it . One time it was working , then not, now it is again!!
    2 Oct 2013, 09:28 PM Reply Like
  • That's exactly the same thing I am getting IT...
    2 Oct 2013, 09:34 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Now I am getting what you are. I am sure they will fix it !!
    2 Oct 2013, 09:17 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » MOVING ALONG TO A NEW CHAPTER !!

    2 Oct 2013, 09:21 PM Reply Like
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