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Was born, has lived a fairly good life, will one day cease
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  • Forget Stop Losses I Need Stop Gains.

    Forget stop losses I need stop gains. I can't tell you how many times I've been down on a stock and promised myself if I break even I'm out. problem with that is when you break even the stock is moving up and human nature and greed tell you to stick. AA & TAxi great recent examples of this phenomon in my portfolio.

    Same thing with certain cyclicals and/or spec plays. I'll buy in going, if it hits $____ i'm out with a nice profit before the downturn or honeymoon wears off. But when it hits $______ there I st not pulling the sell trigger only to ride the inevitable cycle back down or bad news from _____ that kills the spec play. DE & RMBS come to mind here.

    Stop losses are great for minimizing the amount of you lose but the whole idea behind investing is to make not lose money. I'd have made a lot more money in my investing lifetime if I could have set unchangeable stop gains and had them execute even against my will.

    Hey Chucky Schwab get on this would you?

    Toasty "help me help myself" 54

    Tags: AA, RMBS, TAXI, DE
    Jun 14 11:13 AM | Link | Comment!
  • The 1st Step In Due Diligence

    Everyone is so quick to say "Do your own Due Diligence" or "Due Diligence is the 1st step toward buying any stock" but so many people miss the first step of doing DD which is doing due diligence on yourself.

    Know thyself..had I paid attention in that one philosophy class I might remembber if it was Socrates or Aristotle or that other Aristotle who married Jackie Kennedy who said that but whichever greek it was he should teach an investment class.

    You'll never be a succesful investor unless you do DD on you.

    What is your risk tolerance?

    What are your financial assests?

    What are your financial liabilities?

    What personality assets do you have?

    What personality liabilites must you fight to keep from hurting your investments?

    What near term events can change these attributes?

    What long term goals do you have for your investments?

    What level of loss can you withstand?

    What amount of gain is enough?

    What is your timeframe?

    What areas of expertise might you be able to use to your advantage?

    What blind spots do you have in your knowledge and how can you mitigate them?

    (I'm sure I'm missing many key elements to proper self-DD)

    The answers seem basic until you really search deep in your psyche to understand if you can live playing penny stocks on margin to try to be a 23 year old millionaire or if you are risk averse and should think about never risking principle at all.

    Knowing the status of your "personal balance sheet" allows you the foundation upon which you can construct a plan that fits you best. Only after compelteing inward DD should you start doing outward DD on companies, mutual funds, bonds or savings account interest rates.

    The funny thing is so many people say stuff to me like "You invest in stocks what should I buy?" or "Where should I put my money?" even though I show no outward signs of financial success or acumen. It is enough that they have seen me checking my Yahoo portfolio and knowing that I don't stress over every paycheck to make them ready to listen and act on what I say. If I said dump thousands in "XYZ" because Blah blah blah some of the very smart people I know would do it.........and there are plenty of people out there and many in here at Seeking Alpha way too ready to exploit that mindset.

    Craziness! They should be asking- Where can I learn about the stock market? What books and websites should I use to educate myself? Is there a place I can make a fake portfolio to see how I would have done if I......etc. etc. These are people who have failed to do personal DD on even the most basic level and if the sheep keep bleating the wolves will not go hungry.

    Toasty "touch gloves and protect your investments at all times. Now come out trading" 54

    Aug 08 8:46 AM | Link | Comment!
  • The Only Way To Become A Fat Cat Is......

    Not to miss any meals. I like to think I'm not a nutjob. I think most people, even hardcore nutjobs, like to think this too. But here I go with a nutjob like anti-government rant....

    Ya ever notice that the government always gets their's case in point JPM & BAC. Now I'm not saying the big banks didn't do some truly egregious fraudulent lending. They flat out did. My wife was an underwriter of b & c credit rated loans and they would give anyone $'s with no proof of anything much to her teeth grinding chagrin. But I do find it even more egregious that instead of stepping in long ago when lay people were inventing terms like "liars loans" and "predatory lending" and the banks were on the TV and radio screaming about "No income verifcation" and doing what a government is mandated to do, Protect the people.....They swam around in ocean sized pools of real estate taxes and gorged on higher ratables since even a starter home like mine was now worth a small fortune on paper.........

    Then the bubble burst as all bubbles are wont to do.....

    And they raced to save the "Too big to fail banks" without putting any of the too fat to see their paws cats like ANGELO MOZILO from countrywide in jail.....So the taxpayer bailed out the billionaire crimminals..bad enough right?

    Now the same government that failed in its prime directive of protecting the consumer.....who by the way are also culpable for A. being so greedy they scooped up these loans without a thought of consequences and B. failed to bother to even understand the terms of the loans they were taking, often not even reading the documents.......but I digress, the government is now laying record billion dollar fines on the same institutions they begged to buy the countrywides of the world......Does this money go to pay off the struggling underwater mortgage holder???? I don't know but I sure don't get the sense that it is doing anything but helping the fat cats get more meow mix.

    I watched the same thing happen in the Rambus Anti-trust saga where the government actually incarcerated some of the Memory Makers executives for criminal collusion yet by failing to name Rdram as the reason for these activities the rambus shareholders got no benefit while the government actually assessed millions in fines....What becomes of that money??????? Worse yet the government actually dragged both sides to court, once losing when their star witness in the prosecution of the Memory Makers, a leading Micron executive Michael Sadler who testified against his brethren to avoid prosecution himself was called "A lying sack of shit" in an interview with the jury forewoman and losing in its FTC prosecution or persecution of Rambus by dropping its case without even an apology after spending more tax payer money on this case than any other case ever and forcing Rambus to endure millions of dollars of legal fees just to defend itself. Is that not a lose, lose, lose but the fat cats still win scenario?

    Maybe I'm just pissed because my local government is raising my parking fees 200% without any notice and now runs the risk of losing money to their new online service instead of just processing the damn renewals their own lazy selfs.......I don't know but it seems to me they play both sides and always end up with our money......

    They are fat cats and I am evidently .....

    Toasty "slow tasty mouse #" 54

    Disclosure: The author is long JPM, RMBS.

    Additional disclosure: I am short NJ local and state government as well as thinking of shorting the US Congress.

    Tags: JPM, BAC, RMBS
    Aug 07 10:52 AM | Link | Comment!
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