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Bert J. Wilkison, of Chicago, IL, is the CEO and a Managing Member at Kinetic Investments, a subsidiary of Wilkison Financial, LLC. He is also an active pooled funds manager who enjoys stock picking, trading, ETF strategizing and finding long-term value plays ahead of the ever-evolving markets.... More
My company:
Wilkison Financial, LLC
  • $50K Challenge Update 18 comments
    Jan 13, 2012 1:53 PM | about stocks: JDAS, MBLX, XLE, KODK, HL, SHLD, BRCD, PMC, WBMD, AVNR, VXX, WBA, EXEL, TGT, TNA, FAS, AWK, VHC, THC
    Link to the $50K Challenge article:

    Total Initial Investment Amount: $50,735.50

    End of week target: $54,541

    Update Pic 1

    Update Pic 2

    Day 1: Not exactly the initial burst out of the gate that I was hoping for. Mondays are typically my busiest day of the week and I missed some good trading opportunities, but it is what it is. Down about $35.00.

    Expect things to pick up dramatically as I get more active
    throughout the remainder of the week.

    Let the bulls run (then give me some volatility)!

    Day 1

    Day 2: I have been having trouble posting my trades to my stock talks page. Here are all of my trades, thus far, today (10:00 AM CST).

    Day Two AM Trades

    Too many trades for the rest of the day to fit/list here, but below are the end of day results.

    End of Day 2

    A little bit better of a day (up about $1,108), but I am still a bit behind the pace necessary to hit my target number. As you can see, I have left myself positioned somewhat bearishly for Wednesday, as I expect a bit of an overall market pullback. TNA, EK, FAS, and WBMD were my winners on the day. I am hoping that TZA, FAZ, and VXX will give me a good boost to start the day tomorrow. Three days to go!

    Day 3: It's early (8:00 AM CST), but it is looking like my bearish positioning for today is going to pay off. I have three days to make $2,732.50 to meet my target. Let's see how it goes...

    Day 3

    A little better than yesterday, as I finished up about $1,492 on the day. Today's big winners were EK, HL, and FAZ. I had some minor missteps but, overall, my pattern recognition abilities won out again. Despite the slow start on Monday (understatement), I have managed to gain about $2,565 so far on the I am left with two trading days to gain another $1,240. I have left myself positioned bearishly for tomorrow. This may have been a mistake and, if so, I will have to do some fancy footwork early in tomorrow's session. I believe the financials have gotten ahead of themselves, and expect a pullback in that sector. We shall see what Thursday brings us.

    Day 4: When I woke up this morning I wasn't happy with the futures considering my FAZ, TZA and VXX holdings. Rather than panic and sell too early, I maintained my discipline, as I expected no rate changes in the EU and that retail and jobless claims data would be worse than I patiently awaited the economic data that came out about a 45 minutes ago and took the opportunity to minimize the damage heading into the regular session by unloading all three of the above tickers at a much better price than I would have been able to a couple of hours ago. So instead of heading into trading today down $500+, I will start the day down about $56.00. Also, holding HL overnight turned out to be a good move...XLE - not so much.

    Heading into day 4

    I plan to lean on TZA and TNA heavily today, and am currently looking for a couple of good equity trading vehicles to play with. Once again, we'll see ho it goes.

    Mid morning update: Up about $1,100. I think I'm done trading EK for the day, though I do have a buy order in at $0.68. Just can't nail the pattern down on that one today. On the other hand, HL has worked quite well. I believe the major indices will turn positive today, in time.

    Mid-morning snapshot:

    Mid-morning update - day 4

    Another good day. Up about $1,660:

    Day 4

    Big winners on the day: HL, TNA and PMC. Losers: EK, FAZ and TZA. I have achieved my objective, as the account is now at $54,900 which is about $359 above the $54,541 end of week target. Being that I have surpassed my objective, I must create a new one. I was once told by a very sharp man that if you fail to set new goals when old ones are achieved, you will find yourself stuck in a rut before too long. I have always said that a goal only becomes real when it is set in writing. I imagine goals as places you intend to get to. How can you expect to get anywhere if you don't know where you are going? As such, I intend to use the final trading day of the week and the challenge as an opportunity to achieve a 10% overall return for the week.

    Today, I saw a market that wants to move higher and have left myself positioned bullishly for tomorrow. I am anticipating a 100+ gain on the Dow. In fact, I am looking for 1%+ gains on all of the major U.S. indices. It would also be nice if XLE, and the energy sector bounces back after several day of getting hammered.

    I look forward to writing up the follow up piece to The $50,000 Challenge: 10 Picks For A 7.5% Return In One Week on Saturday.

    Enjoy your evenings and may the bulls run tomorrow!

    Day 5: Thanks a lot Dimon and the EU. Actually, I have no one to blame but myself for holding FAS and TNA overnight. On a positive note, I sold my EK position in the after hours session yesterday at $0.68 for a very meager profit (less than $70.00), and bought another big chunk this morning at $0.51. I will be trading it again today (hopefully successfully) to make up for the $526 I'm down so far this morning. It's going to take a lot more work than I thought to achieve my new 10% target, but I believe I can get it done. Otherwise, why even try, right? Happy trading everyone.

    Heading into day 5:

    Heading into day 5

    Here we go...

    Day 5 mid-morning update (10:00 AM CST): Had to sell all my TNA & FAS, both at a significant losses (TNA @ $49.49 & FAS @ 73.47), early in the session. Bought both back at lower prices and am making up for some of the losses. I also had to dump the rest of my XLE, INFY and PMC at losses. Bought some JDAS and I am having some decent success trading EK & MBLX. So far I am up $740 on the morning. Definitely a scramble, thus far. Stressful is the word of the day.

    Mid-morning snapshot:

    Mid-morning update

    Unfortunately I had to close all of my positions (some quite possibly at unnecessary losses) and finalize the challenge early. My son is ill and I have to pick him up from my mother-in-laws. Apparently he is inconsolable because they were supposed to go sledding and now he can't. (at least I'll get to start the long weekend early but, then again, I'll probably have to snowblow the driveway again). All that aside, I started on Monday morning with $50,735.50 and ended up today with $56,230.15. This means I met both my initial and secondary objectives, as I ended up 10.83% on the week. Again, I look forward to analyzing the week's efforts on this portfolio and writing up the follow up article tomorrow morning. Enjoy your weekends!

    End of Challenge Tally: + $5,494 (10.83%) 12:39 PM CST

    Day 5: FINAL

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Comments (18)
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  • Stock Junky
    , contributor
    Comments (44) | Send Message
    Sweet. Lets get this party started!
    Will be interesting to see how it goes.
    Good luck.
    Though I think you should have more financials on the list, they are leading this mkt at the moment, catching a bid again today
    9 Jan 2012, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • ejg80s
    , contributor
    Comments (106) | Send Message
    AVNR looking good today, good entry!
    10 Jan 2012, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • niajy
    , contributor
    Comments (27) | Send Message
    hope u ll reiterate ur challenge ...
    11 Jan 2012, 05:29 AM Reply Like
  • Kinetic Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (401) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Update heading into day 3.


    11 Jan 2012, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • Kinetic Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (401) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Mid-morning update - up about $1,100, so far.


    12 Jan 2012, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • ejg80s
    , contributor
    Comments (106) | Send Message
    Hope you are still riding AVNR!
    12 Jan 2012, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • Kinetic Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (401) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Day 4 wrap up. Up about $1,660.00. Objective accomplished! One trading day left to add some icing to the cake.


    12 Jan 2012, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • Kinetic Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (401) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Heading into day 5 (the grand finale) update. Not a good one...
    13 Jan 2012, 09:40 AM Reply Like
  • feudi
    , contributor
    Comments (35) | Send Message
    Congrats Bert! Dontcha just love capitalism?
    13 Jan 2012, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • Kinetic Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (401) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Thanks feudi, and he|| yes i do!


    13 Jan 2012, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • aspiring_beginner
    , contributor
    Comments (71) | Send Message
    Mr. Wilkison,


    Thank you VERY MUCH for not only accepting the "challenge", wherever it came from, but ESPECIALLY for sharing your results, in near real time. There are so many people all around who say "I did this and I did that", but most of their results are not verifiable, thus I count them as nearly meaningless.


    It appears to me that you reported your trades in near real time, and even made notification of some of your buying plans AHEAD of time. Almost nobody here at SA or anyplace else do that.


    I also see that you posted some screen shots of your Trading Platform, so that the results of almost everything you did are on the record. With the combination of the Times, Dates, and Prices, nearly everything you did is verifiable.


    I consider this to be a great service to the SA community, and your two articles contribute more quality to our overall discussion than a lot of articles and authors do.


    I am a beginner and have been trading on and off for about a year and a half. I trade TNA and TZA exclusively, nothing else. I have had a number of trades that made 5% to 17% in time periods ranging from 2 days to 3 weeks, but all of those successful trades were based on waiting for the specific Set Up that I look for in my specific methodology.


    That is a lot different (and a lot easier) than being locked into a specific 5 day period, with a stated % goal. Especially with the "limitations" you mentioned at the beginning of your original article.


    Congratulations on the accomplishment, and THANK YOU VERY MUCH for sharing it all with us. You contributed some real value to us this week, instead of so many who just breath hot air, and rarely acknowledge any mistake.


    January 13-2012
    5pm Central Time
    Minneapolis MN
    13 Jan 2012, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • Kinetic Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (401) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Thanks, aspiring_beginner. I am writing the follow up piece with some relatively in depth analysis right now (while watching some football). Hope it gets out tonight or tomorrow morning.




    14 Jan 2012, 05:58 PM Reply Like
  • akbandit
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
    Congratulations! This was interesting to follow all week. One question- you mentioned in the beginning that you made use of commission free trades. I'm wondering how many actual trades you made total, and how much that would have affected the outcome if they had incurred commissions?


    Hope your son is feeling better by now. Planning sledding with mine when school gets out (we have just a bit of snow here in Alaska, as you may have heard).
    13 Jan 2012, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • aspiring_beginner
    , contributor
    Comments (71) | Send Message


    I'll be waiting with baited breath to read your follow up article. I hope you will go into a lot of detail about what your thoughts were on various days, how you were feeling; optimistic, pessimistic, confident, scared, etc. What you were expecting to happen in the market for the day (I know you already discussed some of this), and how each day went, in more detail.


    If it is not too much for you to reveal, I think it would be interesting for a lot of us to know how many trades total you made each day, and the totals for the week. Not that I'm asking for any specifics, and not how many trades in any specific ticker necessarily, that's proprietary to you. I think it would be fascinating though to see how much activity is happening when you say you are "trading the hell out of EK", etc.




    Bert, I just read all the postings on this page:



    and I realize that it actually answers most of my questions above. Sorry. That'll teach me!


    Again, Thanks.


    By the Way, for all posters, both here and elsewhere in SA: PLEASE proof read your postings and comments before hitting the Publish button. Regardless whether you are posting comments to an article or posting a quick note on "stocktalks", please try to use such rudimentary concepts as sentences, periods, capital letters, grammar and even a little bit of correct spppelin, oop's, I mean SPELLING, occasionally. Nobody is perfect, and I make my share of typo's, and my grammar is not always great, I admit, but there are so many comments that get posted (not so much in the comments to the articles and stocktalks this week by Bert) that are so mangled in phrasing that the essence of what is being said is nearly impossible to discern. I'm not trying to sound preachy, I just think everybody would be better off if we didn't have postings like this:


    "where can I see you ek trade I cant find it"


    That one is actually a lot better than a lot of the comments and phrases I see around here (within SA).


    Again, not trying to sound preachy or superior, just kindly asking everyone to take the 5 or 10 seconds before hitting the button, to read it and see if the posting actually makes sense. We will all benefit.


    Hope your son gets over not being able to go sledding, and any other illness he may be having!


    5:15 pm Friday
    13 Jan 2012, 06:42 PM Reply Like
  • Kinetic Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (401) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Hi again, aspiring_beginner. I hope you won't be too disappointed that I didn't go into very much detail about my many EK and HL trades, but there isn't too much to it, really. I typically dedicate a set amount of time to actively trade one or two stocks that are being heavily traded. I buy and sell big chunks at fractions on the penny (i.e. buy 15k EK at $0.5112 and sell, sometimes seconds later, at $0.5199) during that time period, and move on when the action weakens.




    15 Jan 2012, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • Jfet
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
    At the start of this challenge I recommended Microsoft $29 Feb calls. I bought 20,000 of them last week for $0.32 and just sold them today for $0.49 which gave me a tad over 50% profit in five trading days after subracting the trading costs. I did this all in just two transactions, with a lot less stress :-)
    17 Jan 2012, 11:51 AM Reply Like
  • Kinetic Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (401) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Hi Jfet. I also regularly deal in options, sometimes for remarkable short-term gains. Options just weren't part of the challenge. (I banked some decent coin on the MS Feb calls, too...just outside of the challenge)




    17 Jan 2012, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • Jfet
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
    Boy do I look the fool for selling my 20,000 calls for only 0.49. They traded friday for over a buck.


    oh well...should have trusted my gut on Microsoft.
    21 Jan 2012, 02:00 AM Reply Like
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