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M Landman
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As a manager I am experienced in resource planning, financial statements analysis, budgeting, hedging foreign currency exposures, leveraging, extensive ratio analysis/forecasting, all financial metrics and Greeks, LBOs, M&As, corporate taxes, accounting, MACRS, annuities, liabilities... More
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  • Understanding Your Position

    It seems like common sense but understanding your position can be a very difficult and complicated issue.

    First and foremost is the importance of entry into a position. Again, seems simple but is far from it. There are plenty of investments out there and if you don't happen to get your ideal entry it's not the end of the world. Be patient and move on to the next potential position. Get your ideal entry, you'll thank yourself later.

    Know what entry you want and go for it. Deciding to buy a stock without doing your research is the worst way to enter a stock. Know what setup you are looking for and get cocky. Go for the perfect entry, chances are you will surprisingly get the entry in early trading when volatility is high or in a down day. Now I'm not saying to expect a huge discount, just realize that pulling the trigger and placing a market order is usually not the way to go. Place the limit order and be confident. If it doesn't hit move on.

    Know what return you are going for & know how much you are willing to lose. Set your goals and stick to it. Know when to let it ride and know when to take profits. Selling half when your up is always a great idea, especially in retrospect.

    Don't look at it all day everyday. Set your stops. Have non emotional reasons behind your actions. Know your intended duration and set your stops accordingly. Duration should directly correlate with your anticipated return and your stops.

    Understand your moving averages. Testing the a moving average can be very healthy and you need to know that a test isn't always a reason to get frantic. Know about the bearish signals (death cross). Know the bullish signals (golden cross). These will come in handy.

    Set rules. Personally, I have a new set of rules. Set your rules and stick to them!

    1. Don't play earnings.

    2. Know the technicals. (moving averages etc)

    3. Consider the fundamentals. (P/E growth, beta etc)

    4. What's the trend? -Do they always lower guidance? etc..

    5. Don't buy energy.

    6. Don't buy retail.

    7. Don't buy commodity based stocks.

    8. Don't buy ADRs.

    9. Don't buy biotech.

    10. Don't buy penny stocks.

    11. Don't rely on binary events (press release, phase 3 trial results etc.).

    12. Don't buy downtrend dogs. "Never try to catch a falling knife."

    13. Know the Macro environment and upcoming events. Consider the overall market. Bernanke is about to talk or Obama, China data on tap, Eurozone recession, S&P in downtrend. etc.

    14. Know the peers. Knowing the peers is a big one that often goes untouched. If you buy Yahoo the day before Google earnings your still playing earnings and in violation of rule #1.

    15. Know your earnings dates.

    16. Understand what the insider trading is telling you.

    17. Analyze the Income Statement and Balance Sheet. Looking solid? Red flags?

    18. Don't buy banks.

    [this is a work in progress]

    Aug 08 8:52 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Inflated Markets, Artificial Rates & Competitive Currency Devaluation In 2013

    Does anyone else question current global economic policy? Is the recent drop in gold prices the canary in the coalmine?

    This isn't 2008 and there is no "blood in the streets", so what ever happened to Laissez Faire? No doubt Milton Friedman is rolling in his grave.. The entire world has adopted Quantitative Easing as a cure all which is nothing short of bonkers.

    Ben Bernanke, Mario Draghi (of the ECB), Alexandre Tombini (Brazil's current federal reserve president) and Haruhiko Kuroda (of Japan) seem to be in a competition to see who can devalue their respective currency the fastest. With worldwide competitive devaluation underway, this won't end pretty.

    So where do we currently stand? Gold topped out at $1800 in October of last year in response to big Ben Bernanke's decision to go ahead with QE #3. Since that top, gold (and silver) have spiraled out of control and gold is now attempting to find support at $1200 (wow a 30% decline in Gold in half a year!). But wait, I thought printing money caused inflation and made gold go up as was the case since the bottom in markets in 2008. Since then, government intervention has boosted the markets with bond purchases to the tune of $85 billion per month. This action by big Ben and the federal reserve is no doubt experimental at best. Big money has strayed away from asset purchases such as U.S Treasuries and even metals and piled into stocks. This rally however is completely artificial and the markets are on edge. Any sign of future tapering in asset purchases by the federal reserve and the markets get spooked. So what is clever Ben to do? Well lets look back to 2007 when the world was on the precipice of a banking system failure/catastrophe created by none other than, you guessed it Mr. Bernanke. Well just before the ball dropped and banks were playing hot potato with bundled, toxic subprime mortgages Big Ben stepped aside let Mr. Hank Paulson deal with the mess. Let's not forget that Ben Bernanke specialized in creating real estate bubbles and popping those bubbles when getting his PHD in economics at Harvard. The real estate bubble was fueled by unconventional and often predatory loans. Complete deregulation occurred and while Johnny First-Time-Homebuyer was getting his first interest only, no doc, stated income mortgage, the deck was stacked against him. Rates sextupled in months and those interest only loan payments became impossible to pay..

    Well, in theory we are in the midst of another bubble. What's Big Ben's game-plan for the next few years when this mess is surely to surface and easy money in stocks dry up as smart money head for the exits? Well he is stepping down by year end. Perfect plan!

    Every continent has followed Ben's lead and the name of the game is keeping rates low in order to keep borrowing and economic activity sustained. In a zero interest rate environment however, the federal reserve hasn't got much power besides pray for the best and not use the word "taper" too much.

    So where we stand in the United States. Good economic data such as job growth and the markets get jittery and a selloff occurs. So what, we want bad economic data? No matter what the news (good or bad), gold goes down by the way. What is that indicative of? I'll tell you, underlying fear in the system. Either the economy falls apart and we see continued support from the federal reserve by means of billions printed and put into U.S bonds, OR the economy sees improvements and tapering in quantitative easing occurs and the markets freak out. Either way its gunna be a rocky ride, maybe not yet but soon. I'll be watching Big Ben and as he steps down I'll be buying TVIX.

    Disclosure: I am long CLSN, YHOO, PALL.

    Tags: TVIX, VXX, SPXU, Bernanke
    Jul 07 8:03 PM | Link | Comment!
  • ZNGA Calls

    ZNGA calls look just about ready for accumulation. Friday's Fiscal Cliff indecision selloff pushed tech down heavy and was able to force ZNGA below its 50 day Moving Average (see chart below); but unlike previous punctures below the 50 day SMA, a subsequent "freak out" selloff did not occur. On the contrary, serious support at $2.30 (another of the higher lows from the recent bottom) seemed to be established and reaffirmed with consolidation on the Christmas Eve half day. While recently cutting expenditures and re-establishing its partnership with Facebook, Zynga looks poised to turn a profit and see some decent valuation based on future earnings expectations. Currently, net cash for the company is around $1.5 billion and market cap at about $1.8 billion which makes most of ZNGA stock value in its cash which makes me think the stock is undervalued. The more time that goes by and no new lows are established for ZNGA, and no more upper management shake-ups occur, the better the possibility that ZNGA could break $3 and take a shot towards its December 2011 IPO price of $10. Its recently increased freedom from Facebook and escape from Facebook Currency will give Zynga the chance to make some cash especially as it steps into the online gaming realm in the U.K (Q1 2013) and as Nevada hopefully signs off on Zynga's gaming license. Either way, Zynga should continue to innovate in Silicon Valley despite its recent flight of talent and serious management shake-ups (Farmville 3? lol). As political indecision subsides and investors who were scared off by potential capital gains law changes push their inflated money back on the table in January, small caps will likely see a nice rally and ZNGA is along for the ride! Bernanke will continue to do his QE nonsense, and big money seeking risk exposure should help the "January effect". With all that said it looks like ZNGA should be able to pierce the 50 day MA again with a little hopeful excitement by traders and see a little resistance at the 20 day MA. That little pop to test the 20 however should give ZNGA call options a chance to bump up a bit. I am happy with 10% and the JUNE 22, $2.50 strike going for $.40 can offer that pretty easily and should be achievable this week. we'll see.. :) -Happy Trading!

    (click to enlarge)

    (click to enlarge)(click to enlarge)

    Disclosure: I am long ZNGA.

    Tags: ZNGA
    Dec 26 1:41 AM | Link | Comment!
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