May 31, 2006

Guess the Convict?

Wow - just pulled this from George Bush's, I mean Dick Cheney - woops Kenneth Lay's website :



Dear Visitor:


Now that my trial has concluded, I would like to offer a few brief comments.

Certainly, we are surprised at the verdict against me. Perhaps it is more appropriate to say we are shocked, as this is not the outcome we expected.

I firmly believe that I am innocent of the charges against me, as I have said from day one. I still firmly believe that to this day. I will continue to work diligently with my legal team to prove this.

In spite of what has happened, I am still a very blessed man. I have a very warm, loving and Christian wife and family that supports me, as well as many, many loving and supportive friends. I’d like to thank all of the people who have shown their concern, support and kept our family in their prayers.

Most of all, my family and I believe that God is in control and, indeed, He does work all things for good for those who love the Lord. And we love our Lord.

Thank you.


Kenneth L. Lay


Let's be honest. The last paragraph is poorly constructed. Capital H after a comma, choppy sentence structure, starts a sentence with AND. PUT HIM AWAY!

Trend following is not limited to stock markets - how about the art market!

On Sunday I did a wrap up of what I saw that was cool on the web. My favorite idea was to buy a painting from "onethousandpaintings" . I am no marketer, I could not put my finger on it, but I do like Art and although this is not construed as Art by most, that did not bother me.

So far, I am correct.

I like this idea more and more and will cherish my ugly blue number 630 forever (I am selling it for $1,000).

For a great analysis of why this is working and accelerating you must read Brian's post at his copyblogger blog . Although he does not give me credit for beating famous blogs - BoingBoing and Seth Godin to the punch on this find and he is a depraved, creepy, Dallas fan - he is cool and I learned something.

Hank Paulson has made 70 trips to China. CNBC focuses on the key stuff!

Wow. Cool. In what capacity. Let me tell you;

To shake hands and cut deals for Goldman Sachs. When China cuts bait, those deals will look great for - Goldman Sachs

How many trips has he made to New Orleans, to Mexico- to a gas station and grocery store.

I don't trust a guy in charge with 700 million to lose of his own money, let alone his closest friends.

I smell varmint poontang- you know the rest.


Phoenix Suns - Ringtone. Why Robert Bruce is COOL.

In the spirit of me asking, Robert Bruce has risked the ire of his father - a devout Laker's fan - to offer us this fantastic Phoenix Sun's ring tone.

Play it LOUD, play it PROUD - LOAD IT HERE .

Microsoft - STAY AWAY!


I have been hearing so much about Microsoft being cheap. Every time I post about Apple (new store, new partner, new computer), I get 50 emails from readers saying - "Microsoft is so much cheaper, pays a dividend, yada, yada..."

Good news Microsoft fans, Microsoft is now offering their employees, free towels in the corporate showers and better food !

I think it is time I update the title of this blog:

Trends - Find them, ride them, get off, AND STAY OFF!

Microsoft's price trend ended in 2000. There has been no one entry point (based on price - or even product by that matter) to get back on.

Today, they are further away from that point - THAN EVER!

In the beginning, it made sense for Microsoft to react. They had a monopoly so why innovate. They have 30 cents of every dollar falling to the bottom line. Competitor's panicked, whined, sued and folded. Peck, peck, peck, peck.

Along comes Yahoo, Google, Apple - round 2 and those "clever" Chinese pirates.

For Microsoft, there has never been a worse time to be reactive, yet they have never had a more reactive leader than Ballmer.

In investing terms they call it a Value Trap.

I say there has never been a better reason than today to STAY OFF!


PS - I can change my mind - trends do reassert themselves. I just don't need to be the first brave soul to find it! I guarantee you that you WON'T be the first to find it either.

May 30, 2006

Mark Cuban - your buddies paid $500 plus to sit next to me and were treated to a NO-SHOW by NO-WITZKI!


Rough night for Mark Cuban tonight. I tried to get with him a few times early but was rebuffed. He would have gladly chatted but each time I got close I was a second to late.

By late third quarter he had his head down two rows a head of me and I did not have the heart to interrupt his misery. It was sad but made me feel warm.

Nowitzki just got taken out of this game with our scrappiness and energy tonight. He has a nasty temper and if he ever wants to be MVP, which will be NEVER, he needs to stay in EVERY GAME. He phoned in his performance tonight. Not impressed.

It would be nice to get offered a seat to game 5 Mr. Cuban. I will pay my way to your lovely (gag, fingers and toes crossed) city!

I check my email every 15 minutes until I reach $10 million in net worth, so let me know.

PS - Please Robert - do your voodoo and write a poem for my phone that captures my scrappy suns .

Mark Cuban is avoiding me!

I have enclosed my sincere invite to Mr. Cuban for he or a loved one, or Dallas VIP (ya right - Dallas VIP chuckle) to join me in my seats for Game 4. He has two hours left. Brian - get your private jet fueled from all that web traffic money as you are on deck.

In all fairness to Mark - it could be something I said here before the playoffs (what a putz I am) .

Dear Mr. Cuban:

In the pure spirit of networking and as a follow up to my recent post on the "Cold Email", I would like to offer you one of my seats for tonight's game. It is the fourth row, directly behind the Mavs bench.

You or your guest of choosing will be treated cordially, by me. In the spirit of sportsmanship, I will be happy to shake your hand before the game. Like you, I do not dare predict the outcome of games, but I can guarantee sheer joy at your expense if we win.

I can be reached at howard@lindzon.com or 602-315-8920. I have heard you check your email every 2 hours so I will allow you 4 to respond.

Regards,

Howard Lindzon
www.lindzon.blogspot.com

PS - I had deleted my original email from my crackleberry by mistake, but the letter was pretty close to this. This one may even have been more polite.

UPDATE - My son Max is the big winner as Mark has about 30 minutes to call. Looks like the big blow-off. I will go in search of writing a better "cold email" - suggestions appreciated to how it could have been written to get a proper response. My confidence is severly shaken :)

Gold Update

I am still holding 1/2 Gold stock positions that I purchased (what seems like ages ago), during the recent correction. Luckily, I was watching CNBC's Bob Pisani at the actual bottom moment - when he declared that the pro's were dumping . The stocks I purchased are up 10-15 percent in that timeframe. What a putz. I am sending him a thank-you as we speak.

Gold has been surging again today as well as oil. The world does not trust Bush and his administration. They have been voting with their gold and oil purchases. It is nothing personal for me. His Paulson offer today will do nothing to abate traders in these markets from changing their strategies.

The hypocrite trend continues for BUSH.

Our glorious President has said repeatedly that he is "about MAIN STREET - not WALL STREET"

With his announcement to make Goldman Sach's leader Henry Paulson new Treasury Secretary - could he be further from that goal. It is like he is not even trying to remember an old thought anymore.

I like Bill's funny post this morning on the subject with all the appropriate links .

AHHHH, the markets are open and the administration is jamming stuff down our throats. Business as ususal. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.

May 29, 2006

Apple and Nike - iNikes or the SwooshPod - Either way - "Just Crank It"


With the global markets in turmoil, I have spent the last week checking in on my favorite themes to see which ones I want to add on further weakness.

I keep coming back to the Apple theme.

Apple and Nike is all about the iPod, Apple and Steve Jobs. Nike has to build and market and distribute everything. Apple keeps selling Ipods and selling singles on iTunes. Not a knock on Nike because it is a smart partnership, but Apple is the huge winner here. Job's just took their brand to the next level in global distribution without sacrificing the cool factor. Let's face it, Nike has done an amazing job at staying cool through the years. Get ready for the TIGERPOD golf shoe.

Nike just landed as my new favorite for the Apple hostile takeover bid. They have the global reach, the money, the brand and the coolness to complete the Apple parlay of fashion and technology. This merger would be 1+1=4.

I am shocked that Warren Buffett has not made a huge investment here. It is a fashion and consumer staple company now. How is iTunes differnet than Gilette Razor Blades. For that matter, Berkshire is now number 2 in line for an Apple takeover. How about 5 free iTune downloads with your next Gillette sensor purchase (iSensor). Warren Buffett needs to get over his relationship with Microsoft's Gates and take the Apple plunge.

Back to Nike. Here are some cool shots of the Nike shoe and iPod .

This initial Nike/Apple announcement announcement did not excite me. BUT, for Apple it further removes another vulnerability - EYEWEAR.

I fully expect a Nike/Apple range of sunglasses to be announced in the next 3 months. Oakley's Razers awful attempt at distribution left an opening for Nike to own this NEW space and finally take Oakley on in the eyewear market. In fact, Nike should buy Oakley right away to speed things up. As you can see, the fashion possibilities are now endless.

Apple is a growth story for the next decade. Hope for dips at this point.

Next stop - Sirius and Howard Stern!

UPDATE - Get used to these stupid mainstream media stories about Apple tarnishing their image . THEY ARE WRONG!

Motorola Q - the Q is for question mark?


Having just been stopped out of my RIMM (Blackberry) stock position, I can't wait to try out the products of the companies that may make me stop out of RIMM, the product. Motorola and Nokia have the money and global reach to stick it to RIMM if their products really work.

The Motorola Q sure looks good enough for me to switch and has all the bells and whistles.

As Seinfeld says in one of his classic TV show lines:

"You know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to HOLLLLDDD the reservation."
For an early adapter like me, Motorola and Nokia will get me to take it, but whether I will HOLLDDD it remains to be seen.

Om Malik has a good post on the "Blackberry Killers" with lot's of comments from the nerds . That may help more than this avid consumer's viewpoint.

From "Cold calls" to "Cold emails" - Revisited


While watching my Sun's get thumped last night, at least I had a notion reinforced. The "Cold Call" is so 1980.

Mark Cuban was talking (SHOCKER) about how he checks his voice mail every 2 months, but his email every 2 years!

What people need to read and hear about is how to execute the perfect "Cold EMAIL". It is just as much an art as the Call. Much easier, but an art nonetheless. So, I have enclosed my favorite post related to the subject in the hope of encouraging you to keep up the networking process.

April 13, 2006

Great post today from Chartreuse. Got me thinking when he wrote:

Everything is in play.
No industry.
No company.
No country.
Is safe against one person with a brilliant idea and the gumption to get it done.
Everything is up for grabs.
Now even I'll admit that that is kinda scary.
But it's also cool.

Any PUTZ can change their life for the better with an internet connection - without the trauma of the cold call!

What made the movie "Wall Street" great (my top 5) was the "Gekko" call. The "Gekko" call was my fantasy, my twenty footer on the 72nd at Augusta to win.

The cold call is my "street cred". In the old days (1997), some balls, a phone, a good number, an idea and persistence could get a meeting - maybe a sale. Problem was - weeks could be spent in preparation for a call. One call. The energy put into the perfect call made it virtually impossible to focus on more than a handful of "whales" at any one time.

Today, you need a connection and the ability to think. Talk about cush! No thinking on your feet and lot's of editing. Now it's the guy on the receiving end of your blog comment that may make the cold call - to meet you! I feel like the old man who says:

"E-mail!! When I was starting out, we had to wear CLOTHES to work, and pick up a phone, and have a written address book that smudged, and sweet talk our way past secretaries and housewives - IF WE WERE LUCKY - and don't get me started with those 28k modem connections...."

My life has changed so much from the cold call. The first biggie came after I called some Investment Banker at Spencer Trask with my BOW WOW of a company MicroBase. We had Zip, we pretty much had cornered the market for Zip. That call set in motion a sale that got me out of credit card hell, a BMW and a chick (my wife).

Mark at Pro-Innovative was the next victim of the Lindzon cold call. That cold call put me on a wild ride selling Gripp's around the globe. We were rockstar's - only we partied with CARBS. Two soft, fat, QVC era entrepreneurs that ate their profits.

Lately, my time has been spent cold emailing in the internet golf space. Armed with Google and time, you can become learned on any industry - fast. The internet has given me the time and energy to do something else I love - making people laugh. Lately, if I can make tough business dudes laugh out loud whether it be on the phone, meetings, email, blogging etc...I have had a "good" day.

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of playing golf with an internet legend (in my books)- Scott Ingraham - founder of Rent.com Talk about "everything being in play" - Scott and his partner Alan Hunter took an old world, old money, highly fragmented market (apartment rentals) and turned it on it's head. Than they sold it to Ebay.

Scott and Alan were kind enough to spend the day with some GolfNow guys and lend some insight. I was after a good laugh.

In a tight match, I happened to casually mention to Brett (as he started his swing) - not to "squirt" the ball right. Of course, more trouble was "left" - right where he hit it.

Unfair - Yes
Poor Sportsmanship - Absolutely
Effective - Let's just say Brett won't forget. A rout ensued.

Nobody laughed louder than Scott. Worth more to me than cutting a deal. Made a perfect desert day, more perfect.

O.K. Back to the "cold emails".

May 28, 2006

Apple MacBooks - Computer candy for 8-year old girls and their Daddy's will PAY!


I bought the new white MacBook today. What a powerful little toy. I figured it would be perfect for my trips back and forth to Toronto - good battery life, easy to carry, small and loaded with what I need. Too bad my daughter stole it!

She has an eMac in her room, but seeing the size, screen, portability and having the home wireless, she had her first Eureka computer moment. Thank goodness my son sucks at spelling and loves playstation. Otherwise he would be complaining about the new, OLD eMac just transferred into his room.

When I showed her what she could do with the Photo Booth application and built in camera, she was off. She made me get her an e-mail account and set up a blog for her on iWeb. iWeb is easy to navigate and learn. It may not be for wannabe pro's, but that is not who Apple is chasing here. It's just another piece of the total web experience. Rachel's first day of blogging was a huge success.

By mid august, at $999, expect this machine to be flying off the shelves across the country for BACK TO SCHOOL. FLYING! The built in camera is such a sweet feature that Apple will make work - BIG! The camera and iWeb will complete iLife and will make BLOGS the topic of conversation (not just Technorati talk) in America by Christmas. Kids will have had these for three months by that time - VETERAN'S.

BY THE WAY - the fuss over the keyboard is what makes this such a great kid's laptop. IT IS A PECKER"S DREAM. ADD MOST BLOGGERS (ME included) TO THAT LIST AS WELL. IT IS PECKER HEAVEN.

BY BY THE WAY - I REALLY WANTED the BLACK MAC, but at $400 more than the basic white one, even I would have had buyer's remorse. I think it is a sexy laptop color, but may be priced just too far out of the market - FOR NOW. That little pricing issue will be resolved by the fourth quarter by the Jobster if need be. Methinks it will need to happen, but can't blame him for trying.


Note, Tag, d.e.lici.ous, RSS, Digg, Rediit, Flickr, YouTube, e-mail, Feedburner, Skype, Crackleberry, VOIP, Ping - TO SELF:

*****Dell's third quarter sales missing again - BAD!
*****Apple has a big third and fourth quarter in PC's.
*****Someone takes a hostile run at Apple. They better!

Weekend Linkage


The resurrection of Al Gore - a great read from Wired . More on the environmental topic in the New York Times and discussed from a venture point of view from Fred

Cool Maoxian saves me reading Barron's every weekend with his recap. Thanks dude.

Maoxian also caught this classic IRS behavior. God help us all.

CrowdSourcing - Wired has a great story on the phenomenon. I gotta believe this is a big term as Web 2.0 evolves into better business models - Web 3.5.abc anyone?
UPDATE - add this New York Times article on movie site IMDB to a successul foray in CrowdSourcing

Bessemer Ventures is making cool investments and David Cowan has a blog that covers their investment ideas.

Coolest web idea I have seen in a while for selling something that should have no value. I am buying one and so should you.

Websites as graphs - waaaaay cool.

John Gruber on the greatness of Apple and Microsoft's new fear factor.

May 27, 2006

GolfNow.com - coming to a city near you!

It is fun to see the progress the team has made over at GolfNow.com .

Our network is now supporting just shy of 1,000 public courses across the USA and Ireland.

The shift from a local areacode based strategy to the GolfNow.com national brand, continues to gain momentum. Our Alexa rating - which I only look at from a trend perspective - is rocking consistently upward . As we move into the Northeast over time, the numbers should really surge higher.

Jacksonville, Charotte, Lexington, Omaha Nebraska and Palm Springs are now part of the network of cities enjoying the GolfNow benefits. The courses are golfers remain extremely happy. It is fun to see a model grow with passionate users now enjoying a simple rewards program, weekly tournaments and membership programs. The community is something that has developed in a nice viral way. I am excited to see new features that we will be launching get traction with our golfers and courses.

Congrats to the team for growing and keeping the courses and the golfers happy.

Yelp.com

I have been searching for a cool tool for reviews. Last week I found it and even got to insert it into my blog with a simple cut and paste.

Yelp.com is the best total idea I have seen . There are many vertical markets it can deploy and I visualize lot's of opportunity for the application.

If I have people that I trust - I would love to know where they eat, vacation, hotel and play. IF management ever gets back to me - even Golf.

Check it out, sign up, start reviewing and ping me as a friend.

May 26, 2006

Enron - the Stepping Stone to CHINA


CNBCheese was commenting how about the Lay and Skilling sentence being the end of an era marred by sloppy accounting and dealmaking.

Good point - ass pukes.

Enron was a stepping stone. As the bankers see it, the one flaw in Enron was that it was too small. THEY COULD BE ALLOWED TO FAIL.

While the US has followed the delightful Lay, Skilling fall from grace and ensuing trial, the banker's have cooked up their COUP DE GRACE - CHINA with a splash of Russia and a hint of Brazil; or as the analysts at Van Eck described in a recent note to clients - CHINA, INC. (I will leave Russia and Brazil out of this for now).

I hate being cynical, I am a capitalist and entrepreneur. I believe in America the good. Always will. We get shit done - good and bad, mostly good. I only invest in America. If you can't find something to sell and make money off here, you probably won't do to well in China, Russia or Brazil.

I just don't trust big media, the big banks and big business for the last - forever. Too many conflicts to manage (to be polite). The little guy doesn't have to either. You ever see those little pilot fish swimming under sharks. Not a bad life. You know they get to do some trash talking. You can too. Just don't lose sight of the freak@#g shark.

Seeing the global meltdown the last two weeks will hopefully reming the individual investor that TRENDS DO END. You can play, but you can't play without strict personal rules. It can be fun or it can be fatal. CHOOSE FUN. If you properly managed the emerging market price trends, you made gobs of money despite this recent massacre. You have nothing to complain about. My stops were not actually violated but are close. If and when I get stopped out, it will still have been a good ride.

Some loose facts - There are 700 million Chineses that will be looking for work along the Chinese portal coast. For us math whizzes - THAT'S A LOT OF PEOPLE. Will all the businesses China is taking our money for work? - PLEASE. That is what you are being pitched based on today's prices. Of course, they could build more "see-through" buildings in Shanghai. You can see through them, but no one can see the sky for the pollution. That saves money on skyroofs though.

The Chinese cheat. It is their culture. They cheat on exams, they cheat in business. They view the acts of theft and cheating as BEING CLEVER. I have friends that have been going to China for school and business for 16 years. These are their words, not mine. Yes, of course, that is a bit of a generalization, but 90 percent software piracy? China, Inc. is cleverly taking your money to fund projects that will not all be successful.

The Chinese are proud as well. This has proved to be a wonderful part of their boom. It will likely mean many more boom's ahead for them as they taste wealth, BUT it will not be as smooth as the last 5 years. We had the roaring 20's - they were followed by the Great depression. I go back to my timeline post. Your investing life is a speck on this timeline . Enjoy some of your profits and don't be the last one on the inevitable train wreck ahead.

May 25, 2006

Sex-Air (Air 2.0 and climbing) - Fly our extremely friendly skies!


The airlines are thinking of this:

I am thinking of this:

Air Lingus to offer - Orgy and Missionary flights

Cram 12 in a row in our NEW butter and jello filled orgy section.
If you hate crowds, fly in our missionary seats with that special someone.

Have fun with 2,000 new naked friends on our new Lingus 969's. Get DOUBLE mile-high awards.


Note to self - Passionate users that are willing to pay. Bubble Proof!


PS - Don't even get me going on the domain extensions for this airline.

Web 2.0 bubble or Saudi stock investor? I'll take Web 2.0!


I despise bubble talk. I despise even more the former bubble babies using the term. Shut up!

If you sit in front of a computer all day drinking Jolt and looking at lame social networking ideas and than talk to the same 100 people on Technorati - yes - YOU SEE A BUBBLE. Have a party and talk about it some more - oh yeah, you do - I shamelessly attended one. Your 56,000 readers may be slightly affected. WOOO scary!

The entrepreneurs that pounded their chests at $1 billion valuations the first go around are now consultants or working for corporate internet brands in cities far away from San Francisco. But, they seem to be the loudest chirpers when talk of an internet billboard ad seen in San Francisco pops up.

"Oh dude, that's the bubble back again. It is gonna' end so bad."

Stop bitching and analyzing "THE BUBBLE" and take part in it. Quit your crappy sell-out job and make your investors back some money you blew when you thought your $2 billion dollar internet snot swapping BtoB/BtoC/Ecommerce/SupplyChain company was heading to $8 billion because you owned snotswappers.com.

The web 2.0 is just a rush of energy and silliness, NOT A BUBBLE. When it slows - IT WILL - 20,000 people that were not being paid anyways will stop being paid. Soap, Deodorant and Shampoo sales will rise, while Red Bull and Hansen's juice will see their stocks decline. Let me leap from a building now - the horror.

You want to talk BUBBLES - Read my last post . READ THIS AWESOME POST . READ SOMEONE OUTSIDE TECHNORATI'S TOP 100.

I think the bad web 2.0 companies will bring greater attention to models that really work in niches that have gone unrecognized. The sooner the better obviously, BUT, IT WILL HAPPEN.

At this stage in the cycle - investing in and starting beta companies for eyeballs is not a bubble - it's stupidity. Writing about them and thinking you are important is also a bubble. All you do is contribute to the real issue of this stage of the interent - ATTENTION . Fred has "the money tag-line" and writes about the ATTENTION CRISIS in this post . Web 2.0 is just noise in a long term internet trend ride to some serious dineros.

Rick Segal mentioned in a panel discussion I visited in Toronto that he looks for companies with passionate users that are willing to pay. How is that a bubble. That's just web and venture smart. Count me in on that - ALWAYS.

Greed knows no boundaries.


Saudi Markets are down 50 percent over the last few months. Let's visualize the Dow dropping over 5,000 points over 60 days.

Take a read of some of the related articles in this link and you will see the same behavior that precedes every crash .

Easy credit margin, massive public participation, stupid economic projects.

Some tough stains to get out of all the white sheets for sure.

LONG - Procter and Gamble, rope, toilet paper and ambien.

Kobe dunks on Nash - big woop.

Cool. Way to go. By the way, how is your summer Kobe. I love the title on this Video - Kobe is the MVP. Kobe dunking (obvious charge by the way which is part of the game as well) over Nash is like ME dunking over my son. A good idea for my first YouTube video by the way.

I am getting some fun flak over on the comments section at Chartreuse and my buddies in Dallas etc. I think Dallas is the worst 62 game winner in NBA history. Nowitzki can play for a German?, but he makes no one better. Look for him to start whining and bitching at his teammates early if they keep on struggling.

I love it when the markets make sense.

When I used to trade every day, I would yell at my screen and question my intelligence.

Now that I don't trade, I only have to question my intelligence. That is still a huge win.

A 10,000 foot view of the market is just so much more productive. You can listen, absorb and watch things develop. I have actually started to believe MORE in the way markets work. The further away you step, having just some knowledge, the more rational the markets become.

Today, I will take that Satelite view of Satellite stocks. The math just never made sense. It likely never will. Streaming technology may not make it in time, but neither will the car manufacturers. If they do make it, they better manage their cashflow better. Management has not shown an ability to do it in the past, so betting on a seminal thought change is gambling. From 10,000 feet, I am learning and hope you are seeing it in my writing and investing - you don't need to gamble and hope.

The market will always tempt you. Look at the Vonage train wreck of an IPO. Unless Vonage creates some new technology with the money it just raised, it will suffer the same slow death. It's stock will just be a faster victim of the markets based on it's own timing of existence.

It is all just one giant timeline that good management teams can slow down or speed up in the appropriate circumstances. Banker's and media just stand on the timeline and make predictions - they justify their existence saying they can predict the next 30 minutes and their research will slow it down for you. If you stand far enough away, it is plenty slow enough for you to manage on your own.

The Lucky Gap

I will call it good luck and sell my SPY and QQQQ calls into the higher gap open. A rare victory :)

I will look at some long ideas during the day.

Holding my Apple and Akamai trades for now.

May 24, 2006

NO respect for my SUNS - check the scoreboard though.

Great game 1. Mavs look deeper and bigger but we took back the home advantage. It already is a great series shaping up and this should go 7.

Who wants to come to the Finals with me!

Fred - We own the Heat!

GAME 1 - First half Nash and the Suns

Courtesy of my man Chartreuse - Too bad Nash and Nowitzki are such great friends, but the series could still get nasty .

Ooh-ooh,ooh-ooh-ooh...

Vonage IPO was a disaster .

How did they float this pig of a deal.

Oh yeah - the public!

A better name for the company and it's new shareholders - BONDAGE. At least the ad campaign could get funny.

UPDATE - Andy Kessler, writer, trader and smart tech dude had this post . Much more insight than me - though you don't need it on this horseshit deal. That 7 percent fee should be given to charity ot our soldiers.

More from BuyGoogle

Cool...


Even a broken clock...

Here is what we have at the close today:

US market averages closing near their highs of the day - special thanks to my cheerleading girls as we avoided the crash helmet for the day.

Some real carnage in highfliers.

Highest volumes in QQQQ and SPY that I have ever seen. Have not checked for certain, but it looks like a record.

Tomorrow could easily see more testing of the lows but am sticking with my bottom call overnight.




Long trades today - QQQQ, SPY, AAPL calls and AKAM stock

Rally or Crash?



While working out this morning - in an effort to do nothing related to the market - I was asked over and over about the market.

I repeat my theme - stock trends and themes that were working for 3-4 years are being smashed. Emerging markets, Internet, Biotechs, Homebuilders, Banks (close) and some energy and metals. That requires time to settle and heal and repair etc...

As a trade, I am sticking with my rally call now because no one else is. Ninety minutes to go and the lows made in the futures are being tested and whacked. NOTE MY CHEERLEADING MASCOTS WHEN I NEED A RALLY.

I bought some QQQQ CALLS AND SPY CALLS, SOME APPLE CALLS AND SOME AKAMAI.

Nothing of real size to make or break my year and I am ready to get out tonight.

These oversold conditions can lead to crashes and as patient as I have been, I would not risk too much here. (HENCE THE HELMET PHOTO FOR THOSE SCORING AT HOME)

Gold is being pounded today and I am underwater on my remaining gold positions. I am just sitting down and am not buying back what I released yesterday. Looks like another range down.

Hysterical and yet Sad.

From Bill Cara's website today - a reader sent in the following joke:

Subject: History of teaching math...

Last week I purchased a burger and fries at McDonalds for $3.58. The counter girl took my $4.00 and I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there holding the nickel and 3 pennies. While looking at the screen on her register, I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

Why do I tell you this?

Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:


Teaching Math In 1950

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?


Teaching Math In 1960

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?


Teaching Math In 1970

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?


Teaching Math In 1980

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.


Teaching Math In 1990

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living?

Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)


Teaching Math In 2005

Un ranchero vende una carretera de madera para $100. El cuesto de la produccion era $80. Cuantos tortillas se puede comprar?


My comment would be that math must have come easy to me so I am lucky I guess. I do not remember my parents ever helping me out yet I find my wife and I teaching our kids at home quite a bit. It seems like we are falling further behind while having more thrust on parents at a time when many households rely on dual incomes. No simple answers here except I am glad my wife is pulling the slack for me on homework.

By the way - what the f#@ck is the answer. My HP-C12 is out of batteries.

See you Crackleberry - bummer!

I can't believe I have to kick out my tiny piece of RIMM stock. The product remains one of my all-time faves.

In the end, management did a horrible job managing the lawsuit no matter what anyone says - the stock price says so. Years of litigation and such a high price are being priced in after the settlement.

The new Motorola Q and coming Nokia Phone look cool enough for me to try and they will chip away at Blackberry future sales and may get converts willing to try - like me.

They probably lost so much time and momentum fighting and the real money senses it and is fleeing.

The first sign of stock trouble came when it closed below the post settlemt price. It is now below the price when all the worry centered on them losing the lawsuit.

Punted and bummed.

If I was to comment on the markets...

The trader in me says last night we bottomed in the futures. They were extremely weak a couple hours after the close.

I am not trading much off my gut feel here but it would not surprise me to see a choppy but nice rally for a week or so.

Bra's are working. No bear market in bra's. Just ask Limited Brands (LTD) whose stock has hit all-time highs as the markets have corrected.

Shipping may be topping for now. I love FedEx but am watching it closely.

Lot's of broken emerging markets in this selloff. China may not work like others think. Russia will never work, despite the fact that Templeton's Russia fund has worked bigtime and India looks like it will need time to get legs again.

Good time to do other work.

Europe - EuYawn!

In a shrinking world - everytime I look at a flat map, I picture Europe just squeezed and getting smaller and smaller.

I know it's right in the middle, but you can fly across it now now and get to the important stuff - Asia, Australia and the America's. You want fighting - we got plenty of that in the Middle East and Africa, not those boring class wars in Europe.

When I look at the weak US Dollar, I understand the fundamentals at play. They are pathetic but WILL change.

But a strong Euro - PLEASE. Goldman and Merrill and Soros are going to leave that currency in the dust.

Think about the countries you are buying and know your ass is coming your way!

Last point - when you hear the cheerleaders of CNBC talk about how Europe markets are up so we can rally, or how they are down and things will be tough - DO THE OPPOSITE. One thing I left out in my "Honey you Shrunk the Trading World" post - you can disregard European (save Britain) markets when looking for trends and turns.

Last Last point - A Quid, Squibber (my term for the Pound) or Pound from good'ol Britain will always be O.K. with me.

May 23, 2006

Why Google still Wins for now. Stop your biiitching.

The whole freakin' tech blogosphere takes aim at Google as they launch new products to find the next great thing. With the launch of Google Video ads today, there will be three days biiitching about how lame Google is. At least Pete Cashmore offers ideas . Guess what - Google is probably listening.

They miss the BIG PICTURE. Google launches ideas, gets immediate feedback - no shipping, no packaging, no manufacturing. They are brains in a room. They will be wrong. Not as wrong as NEWCoke or Microsoft B(L)OB by the way!

They can have a much higher failure rate. All it does is solidify their old way of selling ads anyway while they probe.

When Dell has a bomb, they have design, manufacturing, printing, distribution, packaging and finally customer service costs.

Same for the old Microsoft way of packaged software goods.

Google - fires a brain and a marketing terd. By the sound of the blogosphere on Google Video Ads - two brainiacs were released this afternoon. They will miss the food from what I hear :)

Apple and Nike - joined at the bluetooth Shoe. Oakley and Sandisk lose again. UPDATE - Dell with a bad, bad idea.



Here is Apple's spin . I have no feel other than it is always good for Apple to partner and entrench.

Oakley so missed the boat here. Oakley, a brand which I love, is run by a man who shits on his shareholder's. As I have said before in this blog, he needs to be private. The stores should have been a homerun. Instead, they are a deathtrap as Gateway's were to Gateway. Hiding great products behind locked glass in a dark store is just plain stupid. Fred Wilson talked about how NOT to be abundant in this post . Jim Jannard (Oakley's leader) is showing how not to sell and make his products abundant based on the layout in Oakley stores. What a shame.

Oakley has great products and on that alone - should overcome and maybe thrive in the fashion/electronics brave new world. I have Oakley bluetooth and Oakley MP3 glasses. They are fantaspectacular (in honor of Don King - can't find the word in Wikipedia). The stores are the opposite - they are awfulorrible (Don King - no Wikipedia).

How about Oakley's genius idea to sell their glasses at Cingular stores. I don't think that can ever be forgiven. The complete annals of distribution stupidity for Oakley.

Sandisk has resorted to the shame and mockery angle to attract iPod users . Shame on them. They don't get it either. iPod is not unhip in the eyes of their owners. I am wayyyyy hip dude. I will leave final opinion on Sandisk's strategy up to Chartreuse as this site's marketing mind , unless he disagrees with me of course.

So, Apple seems to making smart alliances and their competitor's make silly one's. UPDATE - add Dell to the bad idea list for competing with Apple . UPDATE 2 - I just barfed when I read the concept in full.

Let's review - Fashion AND Technology with great distribution win this race. Apple is slamming it's competition hard on all three fronts.

Cheerleading - Great at a Sun's game, Useless in the markets



The Lindzon Blog official cheerleader dude! Expect to see his/her/face often.

Today's award goes to Squawk Box. It was a joke. The professional sellers just pounded the bids late in the day to put a dagger in this morning's hype. I called it as such this morning.

I sold some of my Gold options purchased the last few days - thanks to the big gap openings in the first hour.

With today's late day and after hour meltdown we are finally closer to a bottom and the mood will be sour tomorrow on Squawk- guaranteed. I covered a few more SPY puts after the close.

UPDATE - Jeff Matthews wrote a funny Panic piece as well . Typical stuff you here close to a bottom as the individuals get scared out.

So we rally - The Cheerleaders have their day.

The rally was not hard to call - I called it as proof!

The CNBC cheerleading was easier too call - that is the shame. Cheerleading helps institutions dump their stocks on the public - that I am sure of. This rally will be weak unless you own oils and metals.

I have been working the first hour from home the last few weeks, blogging and market watching.

I have had the sheer joy of watching CNBC. They have had the opportunity to really look at the mess that has unfolded - not to create panic, but to educate. NOT.

I wish we had another alternative - no tickers, no fidelity ads, REAL DISCUSSIONS.

May 22, 2006

Belly UP!


This kind of fast and relentless selling has only ONE SURE OUTCOME - hedge fund closures. I read of one tonight at Marketwatch .

I have been looking for some more real stock market content for the blogroll and I am happy with what I see and read at TraderMike .

I don't really use the features - too much noise, but I like their main daily commentary. It is well presented and he does a good job of pulling stock bloggers with RSS feeds.

Life is good - Sunsssssszzzzzzz win in sssszzzzeven

It was a perfect performance. The Clippers had the spirit ripped out of them late in the third quarter after an endless barrage of 3-pointers.

San Antonio would beat us pretty bad. With Dallas there is a bit of a psychological edge but Dallas is deep and big and fast and tough.

They have Mark Cuban. We have me. Edge to Cuban.

Shawn Marion is the wild card. If he is as confident and quick as tonight - we could upset Dallas.

The look on Cuban's face when Genoubli hit a 3-pointer made me feel sick for the guy. He cares so much. I am happy to have in here in Phoenix. I will be the guy trying to slip Ambien into his beer.

Pigs at the Trough!


Jeff Matthews say Merrill is outing certain tech companies they follow with suspicious option grants . Duh!

$287 million for a Google salesperson and $21 million in pay for Energy CEO's who are not out drilling or discovering - yes this has been going on for a while - but the headlines get buried when stocks are rising.

We need a salary cap. David Stern should run the NYSE.

A $287 million salesman at Google


OY! I was just relayed this message from Blair and immediately asked for a higher cut of sales. That cost me a Sun's ticket.

If I could just answer that damn equation Google has on the Tempe billboard I could at least get an interview at the place.

World is completely out of whack. That guy should be able to stop the polar ice caps from melting for that money.

A nailbiter at the close much like Game 7 tonight. GO SUNS!

The averages have rallied nicely off my PAIN post and they are being carried by Gold stocks - even better - thank goodness - poo poo - salt over my left shoulder.

At the rate of decline we were in, it was unsustainable and we SHOULD slow down at least to the downside from this point.

Definately some dislocation and scared moves made today buy some big people and scared investors.

Bought a bunch of different gold and silver stocks and calls but no energy stocks.

The last week is what makes me thankful for diversification and other business interests. The markets are just a tough, tough game that are made to look way too easy by TV personalities.

PAIN!

I am reminded of the funny fight scenes at the end of Batman when you would see the words fly across the screen - YIKES, BOINK, EGAD, OOH, WHAM.

I am seeing serious selling today even though the averages won't really show it.

Even after this rout, it is amazing to look at the runs that some stocks and Global ETF's have had.

Take Russia play TRF which is down 35 percent in MAY. Guess what - it is still up 600 percent since 2001.

I am quickly seeing many of the stocks that I have followed get stopped out of their long-term trends based on the models I use. They are not just slipping over the line, they are crashing through them.

To step up here is for the brave and degenerate gamblers. I will actually have to watch Kudlow and than Cramer.

I have wondewred what all those Cramer listeners would do after a serious correction. He has laid some hurt on people as has CNBC.

Patience and Panic

In a quick update to my recent post on Patience, it seems like I should have been following Asian headlines this weekend.

Bill Cara reports that they were all over and that emails from panicked Asian traders have been streaming in

I was only focused on US headlines and it is my mistake since I have also posted that Asia is now wagging our tail and you need to watch how the Asian markets close and Australian trading in gold stocks.

Patience for sure as panic creeps in. We will see it here before any real turn materializes.

Ethanol


I live in Phoenix. It is hot here. Very freakin hot. It is too early (May) too be this hot. This is not the place to be for global warming. Two people melted right in front of me this weekend and there was nothing I could do.

The last few months I have been pitched some Ethanol deals.

I should be being pitched swamp coolers, air conditioning, cheap golf rounds, dust bowls, Turqouise and land near the Palo Verde nuclear plant.

I know this - I have an ostrich turqouise farm at Palo Verde to look at today! GOLDMINE BABY!

The last week has seen a gigantic selloff in Corn, PEIX, and ADM - the three first Ethanol plays I ran to look at after those meetings.

Duh!

PS - As CNBC is now talking about the giant selloff, I may have to buy some soon.

May 21, 2006

Patience is a virtue.


I am pretty amazed that little was made of last weeks nasty global selloff. I expected some panic from the press.

The fact that we have NO MEDIA PANIC puts me squarely in the BE PATIENT camp. They will panic. The hysterical headlines will appear.

One of my favorite scenes ever was in "Braveheart"
where Mel Gibson and his ratpack Scottish warriors by his side. By each man’s feet laid giant spears, which would – if utilized at exactly the proper moment – let the onrushing and unwitting enemy Brits know that the Scots would no longer idly accept their fates as the oppressed. With the British bearing down on horseback, Wallace implored his men not to spring the spears prematurely. “Hold!” he bellowed. And then again, louder, “Hold!!!” And when the enemy was just yards away, he yelled one final time, “HOLD!!!” Finally, Wallace gave the command to raise the giant weapons, and a gruesome scene ensued.

No deaths are at stake in my world, but the same battle cry needs to be used in falling markets. You put your capital to work impatiently and a bludgeoning occurs

It is now time to watch and be patient. There is major damage, technically and psychologically in global markets.

If a real downturn has started your patience here will preserve capital. If the markets stabilize and challenge old highs, there will be plenty of opportunities and new trends. Now is a good time to watch the new high list. Actually, it always is!

This is why I do not watch the new low list .

May 20, 2006

Derivatives, Derivatives, Derivatives


DERIVATIVES are the banker's BLING!

The term is thrown around by the talking heads as if they actually understood them. They don't. Why bother? The explanation is not going to get ratings.

Let Wickipedia try and explain . Have some aspirin ready.

I have read extensively. Here is my layman explanation: A derivative is just a security the bankers have created at the request of individuals, corporations and governments to avoid or push off a tax event. They have become prevalent because they create gobs and gobs of transaction costs for the banks. The banks say it is a hedging instrument. Whatever!

You can't stop the beast - they create tons of cash for the banks and they have quarterly number's to meet. They won't stop and you can't stop them.

So what are the inevitable consequences?

I liked this explanation from Greg Silberman:

"There is a Raw ingredient that goes into every derivative contract. It’s the ‘Risk Free’ Treasury Note. Otherwise known as the Risk Free rate of return. ON BALANCE, over the last 20 years, every derivative written has, as its raw ingredient, an ever-declining risk free rate of return.

That’s now changing!

It is quite likely that the 20 year Bull market in Treasuries is now over and ON BALANCE rates will be heading higher over the next 20 years. This adds subtle but definite stress to the derivative mountain. As the whole structure becomes more expensive to maintain counterparties of questionable creditworthiness will start to DEFAULT (if that’s not happening already).

This Derivative thing is an absolute MONSTER.
It dwarfs almost everything else in Size and Impacts on every Financial market.
THERE IS NO WAY THAT THE CENTRAL BANKS WILL LET DERIVATIVES SINK THEIR GRAVY TRAIN. Whenever a "Derivative Problem" crops up, Central Banks FLOOD the system with liquidity and that means ever-expanding Money Supply.

In fact we have seen quite clearly that the markets, ALL markets, LOVE increased liquidity and have shown no signs of caving in because of it.

The catalyst which WILL cause Financial Markets to CRASH (and Gold to Soar) will be EXOGENOUS to the markets. It will cause an Upward re-rating of Inflation expectations in the Publics eye. And that my fellow readers will be courtesy of our Commander-In-Chief, Iran, Al Qaeda or every other Terrorist organization that will help expand the War in the Middle East later this year.

My experience in the City of London has convinced me that Derivatives will NOT be the catalyst for a Financial Collapse. But it will make one Infinitely more powerful!"

Here is the full post . A great read.

Horrible use of a GPS. Come on Philadelphia!


The City of Philadelphia has striking cabbies - here is why .

This seems like a real bad use of technology by local government. The precedent stinks. No greater good in action here.

Sweet to the CORE!


Only Apple is this original . Enjoy.

When you really think about it. The stats about Microsoft having 95 percent of the business market is not what's imprtant. I believe it is possible for 50 percent of those 95 percent of people using Microsoft powered machines at the office - to purchase an Apple computer at home for themselves and or their kids within 5 years.

May 19, 2006

K.I.S.S. not KISS



Last Friday my gut said this was a meltdown week ahead . I was interested in seeing the weekend headlines and as I reported Monday, they seemed way too calm given the late week selloff.

Rest assured the headlines this weekend will be filled with ghastly market predictions and warnings. The regular bulls will still be bulls and pounding the table because prices are now lower, but the media will be dialing up the perma bears and giving them their front page coverage. YAWN.

HYPE-PANIC, HYPE-PANIC

Now that we are in the PANIC cycle, all I am interested in doing is looking at my favorite ideas and deciding where I am willing to add more capital.

Apple, Adobe, GPS stocks, Gold, Oil, shipping and selected internet are themes I still believe in so I want to watch them in periods of panic to take advantage of long term positioning.

Apple - Stock is awful but business is good. Spectacular 5th Avenue store and perfect execution of business. Broken and I sold a little mid week. Now I am hoping for much lower prices to add.
Adobe - Video is my bet. Stock has been destroyed in recent weeks so I am close to adding.
GPS Stocks - "Dude, where's my car, phone, kids, underwear, paintings, wife."
Shipping - The world is shrinking
Gold - Still trending
Oil - Still trending
Internet - Inning one.

That said, I found some real interesting articles and a new blogger that are must weekend reads. In the Gold and Oil space, I really enjoyed reading Greg Silberman's blog this week and am adding him to the blogroll. Clear and focused with a depth of knowledge on themes that interest me. "War in October" and "Stagflation Here We Come" are awesome.

On the technology side, Fred Wilson gave a heads up on one of his favorite blogs . In the latest post, Fox News gets kudos for their acquisition strategy with an in-depth look of why they are right and I want to focus any internet investments in this area. Thank goodness GolfNow fits the model described or I would have to bury the article :) .

I love reading that YouTube now gets more traffic than BBC . As the argument rages over it's business model and competition, Michael Arrington at Tech Crunch reminds me that Adobe is the real benefactor of this explosion:

"Frankly, the online video space is getting so crazy that I put off a demo of the product from founders Rodrigo Sepulveda Schulz and Ivan Communod until the end of the conference. The real winner seems to be Adobe - its new Flash development platform is so robust that everyone seems to be developing their own video product, and most are basically variations on the same thing."

PS - Lips like that are always in a bull market - wooo

Telling it like it is...

I was doing some last minute reading and found this great piece by Jeff Matthews that covers so many good nuggets of information on stocks and the market.

He truly is a master thinker when it comes down to it. Shame he picked such a stressful way to make money. I would love to pick his brain and will be bugging him for an interview.

So,

1. When a CEO complains about short sellers - RUN, do whatever you can - but SELL and be done. EVEN SWITCH PHONE SERVICES :).

2. If you issue a price target for a stock in any public way - you are an asshole and more of a shameless promoter than you think. Keep it to yourself. Jeff is much more gentile about it but implies the same thing. It is like a carnival person yelling numbers. It is really one of my many beefs with the new Cramer. If he likes something fine - stop predicting and throwing around targets. Again - just read the great post.

Pisani rocks - IN REVERSE!

My last post marked a real good trade in Gold to the minute. I suck as a trader but PissANTi handed you the trade.

Gold, the metal itself has likely not bottomed but the stocks were so overdone and Pisani played backwards said : BUY GG CALLSSSSSSS.

Gold down 3 percents, but the stocks are now mainly green. I rarely day trade but I think we bounce around down here and am booking some profits and taking the kids to "Over the hedge"

Have a great weekend. By the way - I doubt the S&P holds much of the gains today as it just seems like fluff. I am still long a few puts.

Bob Pisani is a shill and useless. His reports need to be played in REVERSE.

Bob Pisani is reporting from the floor today that speculators are unwinding their metal trades. Ping to Piss Ant - shut the f@#ck up. YOU ARE AN ASS.

He needs to be absolutely bludgeoned for this coverage. He has experience according to his bio (LOL). His experience is that of the biiitch of the speculators.

How easy is it to be a floor speculator with endless capital.

30-40 percent down moves in some metal stocks the last 5 days and PissANTi has the nerve to reporth this crap.

THE SPECULATORS WERE UNWINDING LAST FRIDAY. YOU ARE SELLING TODAY.

THE SPECULATORS CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THEY GET BACK IN TODAY - and they are - THIS FAR BELOW LAST FRIDAY.

They should play PISANI in REVERSE. He would sound more like a reporter!

OK - NO MORE CNBC. I got the real trade of the day.

Gold stocks setting up. I am taking them in now.

At $680-$700 when I sold the rest of my gold and gold stock positions, I felt a little naked, but felt it was prudent. This morning Gold is back below $660, playing a little catch-up to the 30 plus percent declines in the gold stocks.

Then (Than?) I went and sold my Montreal Olympic coins and gold teeth and I was actually putting myself on the line. My dentist is a sucker. He has a thing for the gas - I have seen him. Rap artists around the globe were appalled.

Yesterday, Degraaf discusssed the gold vs. housing dilemma facing the Fed. It was a sweet train of thought that has helped me put together a likely scenario.

Here is my take of how it will play out. (please, I am not fully acting on this move, nor am I advising you to trade off my analysis. I am just thinking out loud).

Bush is really just a wimp and a coward. He is not interested in any real pain for his portfolio or close friends. He will flinch and try to force rates down again and help housing as much as he can. It is his best short-term shot at keeping the White House from being attacked from within during his remaining, horrifying term. It will be sooner, rather than later. Shit, the Chinese still have much to do before their 2008 Olympics and as our largest creditor should be able to force things to happen their way for a while still.

Gold - which this morning is down $20 to $660 will further fall to between $570-$630 depending on the rhetoric before fundamentals take over again.

I will schedule a dentist appointment and negotiate back my Olympic coins and refill my teeth. That will be the easiest part!

Gold Stocks - I look early having nibbled yesterday, will bottom before the metal - better be soon as the rate of decline has them at zero in 2 weeks. The bull market will reassert itself.

It's very plausible - until it isn't.


PS - Copper is limit down. My links to Bill Cara who I thought just nailed the call are looking perfect so far. I have no real opinions on copper right now as that has much different characteristics than Gold in the current environment.

May 18, 2006

My long-term stupidity trend continues...

I just love doing stupid things. The latest:

Switching phone services from Verizon to Cingular chasing a blackberry hardware upgrade. What the f@#ckkk was I thinking.

I am such an ass. How can this company be relevant when it costs $.59/minute to call Canada. Have they looked at a map. Stupid question.

I need to be beaten - BAD!


PS - I also got a lemon phone. Hit me! Again! Don't hold back! Thank-you sir - may I have another!

The trend is your friend. Good advice.


"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." Charles Darwin


Let's take this apart in a financial sense:

It is not the strongest - YOU DO NOT NEED THE MOST MONEY OR BIGGEST BALLS

Nor the most intelligent - YOU DO NOT NEED TO FIND TOPS OR BOTTOMS

Most responsive to change - DON"T BE A PIGHEADED, HOG and LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY


Darwin believed in Trend Following. If he was a money manager, he would have had a great long-term track record!

Bill Walton really sucks

I have never had an announcer make a game for me so I admit, I am a tough audience. I do love Sir Charles and TNT is quite bearable.

Bill Walton is butchering game 6 of the Suns/Clippers. He butchers every game. It hurts to look at him and it hurts to listen to him. It is one of the best series of basketball I can remember and ESPN would do all a service to offer to offer silence from the booth and the sound of the crowd.

Horrid, wishy/washy, whiny commentary.

The Fed's Dilemma - Gold or Housing

I read a piece of research today from one of MY most trusted sources of commentary - Lehman's DeGraaf.

In a nutshell - here are his thoughts on the current situation:

The fed has a dilemma and two charts explain it - Gold and Homebuilding. One (gold) is too hot, the other (housing) cold (could get real cold). The market has started to pinch the Fed, a harsh reminder that NO ONE (Fed Included) is bigger than economic laws (the sound ones). More tightening to rein in gold and housing is likely to cascade in our view. A pause to pacify the liquidity restarints in housing, and GOLD WILL BE $1,200 IN OUR VIEW.

As Fonzarelli used to say - Whoaaaaaaaa!

For a guy that has to write EVERY day, he is good. Sometimes he just nails the issue in a paragraph and he really bangs the table. I think he has pretty much nailed the current dilemma. I can tell he has strong conviction and he is not going out on the limb here people.

I recently posted that The Fed and the bankers had created a stew that is boiling and they are way over their heads. It has not been in their interest to tell you the truth, but now the markets are taking over.

Yuck.

Traders responding like FEMA - Time to let your gameplan work.


This is the fear and selloff I was expecting and just this morning posted that you need to follow gold and overseas markets more than ever . Don't be fooled by our futures anymore. I am now a little nervous. Today is a great day to read my market BLOGROLL.

I am taking a little confort in the fact that rates just collapsed today and that is a further sign of fear in the equity markets.

I am watching the bull market stocks - OIL, METALS, Russia (TRF), India etc.. drop 20-40 percent the last 4 trading days. This is where I am fishing. If Gold has indeed had it's climactic run, my stops are now very close so I like the risk/reward.

I started nibbling on gold stocks at the close and will be selling some puts for a trade tomorrow (do not follow my lead - this is not advice).

I have long ago posted that Biotech and selected other high beta stocks were breaking long uptrends. They are really underwater these days. No dollars go here for me.

Any breakout trend stock that I have recently purchased has been whacked back into its base. My list of ideas is so narrow that I only need to focus on GOLD, OIL and selected other leaders so I am excited and focused.

Money management will save me and it is very important now if you are probing. In fast markets you need a plan. Can't wing it or your hard earned gains disappear in a few bad trades.

Although the markets are down a fraction of yesterday, the price moves today in individual stocks played catch-up. I expect more of the same as we get closer to a trade.

For the record, I was stopped out of some Apple yesterday and the stock looks broken. Really, the stock does not look buyable though the Company continues to execute. This happens all the time and there is nothing I can do about it.

Adjusting the stock trend following system of my buddies Cole and Eric at Blackstar with my own tolerance for risk and satisfactory money management has helped me sidestep this mess in the money that I am managing. I know that Eric and Cole have been working on a futures hedging overlay and I am interested to see how that would have dampened the volatility and losses of this huge selloff.

I have reviewed the last 4 months of posts and have been pretty bullish until last Friday, so I feel good about the position and the course my blog is headed. My case study of creating this diary and posting my market thoughts has really helped me. The blogroll that I have tirelessly worked on is a moneymaking machine of brains and insight. I hope that it has brought a few laughs and lessons so far as well. Continued thanks for all the links the last few months.

Teachers and Teacher training - A growth industry.

The "Dummies" books and extensions have bilions in sales. Simple idea, well exceuted and deeply distributed.

A neat Web 2.0 idea that was mentioned in Rick Segal's panel discussion was Nuvvo - a slick site aimed at building curriculums and teaching schedules

As he mentioned it, I quickly pulled up the site and I like what I saw. In a perfect world, great curriculums could be shared and collaberated upon and new standards set.

I have spent the last few months working with a local teacher training company (global focus) called Power-Ed .

Teacher training is a big industry. We need new improved ways to engage our youth (K-12) at school. They are learning so much more outside class, especially new tools, and that knowledge needs to be leveraged in the classroom.

My gut says that the US establishment will fight this tooth and nail. The good news (my view) - the establishment is OLD!

Fortunately, our advantage at Power-Ed is the rest of the world is YOUNG when it comes to teaching methods. This is an area we can't afford to let Power-Ed exploit only overseas. Foreign countries are starved for the teacher accreditation that Power-Ed offers through it's relationship with CITA.

George Ward is considered the "Father of on-line universities" responsible for the build-out of Cisco's University. He has left Cisco after twelve years to build this Company with a talented management team.

I am glad to be involved in this early stage project that is moving fast. If you are interested in this area we are looking for talent on this project. Let me know.

Apple - a pillar of tech strength.


Apple is RUNNING ON ALL CYLINDERS - if you expect a tech turn, this is the stock to watch. If they continue to execute and the stock gets pummeled, that would be a tell that the market is in further trouble from these levels.

I am a consumer. I know why I love Apple products from the consumer side. I am not a techie and can't see the future of hardware or software.

The internet and blogging world allows me to do deeper research on the real future of Apple. There are many blogs dedicated strictly to Apple and their products. Pretty tame stuff overall.

BUT, I have been reading Michael Parekh for a while and he loves Apple. He was a partner at Goldman Sachs and focused on their internet division. He has some more depth into his Apple analysis and he agrees with me - a Trifecta!

I was reading a Wall Street Journal post about the success of Apple Stores - a little late fellas - and it sucked. Not worth linking. Michael took the analysis deeper and rewrote the lame article that captured the real reasons for success. He does it for free. Thanks Michael. I have added his link to the blogroll.

Here are a few other recent Apple posts by Michael here and here .

PS - I am a Job's fan. I don't listen to the critics. He has been magic so there is no reasonable argument against him. His magic AURA is being felt at Disney, at least in their doggedy dog stock price of late (since the PIXAR deal). Making that pig move is truly magic - Disney style!

The dot carb craze

We are so fat!

How fat Howard?

We are so fat that Burger King got public today. Sorry - the only joke here is on the shareholders. The only ones getting fat on this deal were the debtholders and private equity guys getting paid off.

New symbol - CARB

As bad as that is, the Kinger could have sold their shares to it's users at the drive through which is more than I can say for that stinker VONAGE that is on deck (maybe permanently)!

Crosscurrents or jetlag?

It seems that my wife though happy to see me - woke up and complained about the NATURAL GAS problem in our room last night.

Confused, I turned on CNBC and sure enough, NATURAL GAS inventories are at yearly highs.

She is one fire (no pun intended)! She may have found the secret leading indicator for NATURAL GAS inventories.

Honey you shrunk the trading world!

When I started my hedge fund in 1998, the trading world was gameable from the US market close. I woke up and read press releases from such pillars of US Capitalism for a feel of the trading day:

Egghead.com
Broadvision
Brocade
CMGI
SkyMall.com
AtHome.com

Tough life! I think I had to read the occassional newspaper and CNBC was important if you wanted the three second edge on the next 10 point move in Inktomi.

Most things have changed (Except CNBC's irrelevance) to make our markets more of a follower than a leader:

Blogs over Mainstream media
Boom in Commodities
Weak US Dollar
Nasdaq Bubble
ETF's (Exchange Traded Funds)

The culmination of the US gaming of markets came with the "front running " scandals.

This morning I am reading that India is down 7 percent overnight and Norway (commodity based) is down 5 percent.
Those are Dow 500-700 point moves. They are happening frequently from Russia to Japan as well.

They can't be ignored anymore. Their ETF's are held by individual investors around the world, including the US and therefore our markets will continue to react to these overnight moves,

Get used to first checking the morning price of:

The US Dollar
Gold (Australian Gold Stocks)
Interest Rates
Russia, Hang Seng, Nikkei, India

By the end of our trading day those moves have had an effect on our outcome.

Most important - get used to reading good finance blogs.

They are more important than the lousy S&P futures ticker on CNBC.

May 17, 2006

Assessing the carnage and licking my chops

"Say hello to my little friend."

No relevance to the rest of the post but let's admit it - this is one of the great lines of all time.

Selling causes quick damage. Four plus month of index gains are gone in a week. Nuff said.

Cash is actually your little friend right now. The big techs have been just KAKA for so long that it would take pure luck to call a bottom.

But, with the absolute crushing of the leading gold stocks the last 3 days - my eyes will be glued for long opportunities starting again tomorrow.

I won't buy my gold fillings back quite yet but the stocks are worth a scalp for the nimble starting tomorrow.

There have been few gold bulls for the last $300 rise but plenty of genius bears the last few days.

GG, AEM, GLG, LIHRY, PAAS and the rest of the miners will be on my watch list tomorrow as I look for a turn.

Speed to the downside in a runaway bull market offers good risk/reward if you can manage your risk properly.

Whoosh - There it is!

Last weekend I figured we would get something like today's bloodbath in the markets.

I also linked over to Bill Cara for a very detailed look at the ugliness and his bearish forecast.

Today was the BLOOD RED ugly day in the US markets.

I just landed and when I checked, I was not surprised .

I am not one to try and call bottoms but covered my gold puts and half of my S&P puts - unfortunately small positions - and will see where we settle come next week.

Tomorrow could be an UGGER! Not as bad as my grade 12 prom date, but bad.

May 16, 2006

Trends - remember where to look and keep it simple.

It is not rocket science finding trends.

Sure you can troll the malls and eat at every new restaurant and buy the latest clothes. You should.

Just arm yourself with some info before you head out and visit the companies, restaurants and stores of the stocks hitting all-time highs. You won't be early, but you won't be rummaging through the trash.

Watch the new high list and new low list if you want to spot trends. Keep it simple.

To keep it real simple, just check in on my blogroll once in a while.

If you want the highs without the fluff - read Maoxian.com .

Clear, concise, proven and a fun read.

Ebay - E OY!

What happened to you?

The stock has been broken since last summer. I remember.

But, the stock and the company are two separate things.

The Company seems broken right now.

Was it when Meg wanted to leave for Disney.

Did you pay too much for Rent.com? I got my money so I can safely say - what were you thinking?

Is it Google?

Is it Skype?

We know it's not PayPal.

Maybe - PROBABLY - it's just your main business.

You are the victim of E-FREE

We may look back at the "Web 2.0 bubble" (I think that is a misnomer by the way) and say that the real effect was to slay and or permanently scar some Web 1.0 juggernauts.

Apple says that "black is better"!

"The new MacBook is here - the new MacBook is here"

For an extra $200 you can get one in black. (NOTE TO PESSIMISTS - THIS IS CALLED PRICING POWER)

Only Apple can pull this off.

Steve - - "You had me at hello"

I may drop my old Apple laptop just to finally get a new one.

Oops!

The Blogroll challenge. A good week.

Some people just want to visit every baseball stadium to watch a game. I just want to meet and chat with the people in my blogroll.

This last week I got to spend some time with Bill Cara, Rick Segal and Fred Wilson. Awesome week. Learned a lot. Isn't that the point! I also said a quick hello to Steve Rubel from Micropersuasion. He ran into a testy Toronto audiience this morning that wasted a lot of time and upset me because I was there to hear from a smart guy. Big mistake Toronto.

Still can't figure out the difference between using THAN or THEN and forgot to ask Bill, Rick and Fred. At least I have a reason to keep calling them.

Been sharing some ideas with Charteruse lately so that is way cool as well.

I don't want to meet Kobe or Shaq - just Matthews, Maoxian and the Angry Aussie. Lot's more cold calls ahead for me.

YouTube

Just felt like saying it.

Off to watch the Suns.

Can't wait to spend the summer up here in Toronto with the family. Lot's going on.

YouTube

PS - YouTube

504 posts. Not as hard as I thought it would be.

I have not kept track, but Google blogger has done that for me.

Google should be acknowleding their content creators and linkers on certain feats.

It would be a nice customer relationship touch.

Maybe they do this but I have not found it. If there is, please let me know.

YouTube does this daily and it would be fun to have a chance at "15 minutes of fame."

YouTube - AOL enters the fray.

"It's such a bad idea and will never last so we decided to copy it." Chairman of AOL :)

For the first time, I have concerns about the clip culture being developed by YouTube. Why?

Kiss of Death, old media company AOL has copied YouTube . They can f@#ck up any internet business if you give them time.

US Markets wrapped in Kryptonite?

The last few trading days have seen big declines in foreign markets and metals.

The US indices looked ripe (my opinion only) for a big pullback but it has not happened. I am surprised but you can't underestimate the power of the American financial media and unless you have endless dollars, you can't be stubborn.

Lot's more data this week and the markets may still cave, but it looks like the US markets dodged a bullet for now.

Not so good for Russia and India and Japan the last week.

Seems like they need a Maria, a Cramer, a Pisani and a Kudlow.

May 15, 2006

AMERICAN CULTURE - Guns and Butter - Economics 101. Why YouTube.com can explain everything we do going forward - forever!

I want to squeeze YouTube into as many posts as I can the next few weeks and see if I can make every post relevant to it's growth, dominance, potential and sex appeal. For all the American bashing and negative chatter about jobs and growth and bla bla yada yada barf puke....remember YouTube.com. Our latest, perhaps GREATEST EVER way of unleashing hope, capitalism, entertainment on the world. No bombs included!

The first term I learned in Economics was Comparative Advantage. The old Guns and Butter story. Not to be confused with the old "banana in the tailpipe" theory preached by Eddie Murphy.

My first eureka moment before puberty. I believed in this theory the minute I heard it. It made sense to me. I loved Economics. I was "at one" with Economics. I had my calling!

Unfortunately, "Ceteris Paribus" is the second term I learned. Basically it said Guns and Butter theory was nice as long as you added "Ceteris Paribus" to the theory. Sounds like the lawyers and the media got a hold of the Guns and Butter research paper and wrote their first disclaimer. My hate for lawyers and media began the same day.

I loved economics because Guns and Butter made sense to me and Ceteris Paribus gave me reason to be cynical and make fun of the economists and lawyers.

The next 10 years of school were a breeze. I argued everything with that disclaimer. Who could argue with me. I was the "Ceteris Paribus" guy.

Tonight, I was reading Nicholas Carr. He is someone that I love to read daily and will now add to my blogroll. He is angry and smart and loves taking the other side of an argument. We need that view.

He had a great post today that made me think of Guns and Butter and Ceteris Paribus. Make sure you watch the YouTube video he links to. For those of you thinking that US kids are too caught up in the clip culture of YouTube - rest easy. There are young idiots around the world chasing the YouTube dream of fame.

Argue all you want about outsourcing and brain drain and all the other diarrhea that comes out of the talking heads on CNN and CNBC. You are missing the forest from the trees - or whatever the saying is.

YOU ARE missing the boom in American Culture. While the purists argue theft and trademarks and patents and cheating, they will miss the boom in American Culture being manufactured and distributed by Apple, Motorola, and Sony and Nokia and made relevant and more useful by the likes of iTunes and YouTube. I hope they never catch on.

Our last great export. It's catching steam. It is going to trend for a while. It is a phenomenon. Even the government may not be able to stop this freight train.

It may save the world if we can figure out broadband.

Huge margins. Huge leverage. Huge returns for those that stay the course.

Message to the government - stop dropping bombs from planes. DROP BROADBAND!

Eastern Conference hoops just plain sucks!

I hate the Spurs, but otherwise, the West is cool.

Watching a 73-72 game between the Pistons and the Cavaliers is like watching a boring game of cricket. Nobody scores (like me at summer camp)!

It's just sweaty guys leaning on each other. I get enough of that at the sauna in my health club!

Eastern conference should just play 3 on 3 or first team to 10.

Apple - don't believe the naysayers

All good trends need disbelievers. No one has more disbelievers than Apple. Thank goodness. The stock has climbed on the back of all those worriers.

You can't ignore the market risk and multiple risk in a high beta stock like Apple. I don't.

That said, what a completely misunderstood story this remains.

Thanks goodness for Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal. He has been a great cheerleader of the Apple story and about the only journalist to get the story correct.

It is the products stupid! Good piece today on the iPhone (has this story just been beaten to death) that links to the component (Microsoft) vs. the end-to end model (Apple) by Mossberg.

The phone just does not need to happen to make this stock go. The software is what matters in that war. iTunes wins.

The key to making big money here is to game the outcome of this new sourcing strategy war in PC's and electronics. That is not yet decided.

I have made my decision a while ago.

Canada's 2.0 Conference - No bubble here!

Polite, clean, well dressed, showered, organized. Pretty much what you get in Toronto, Canada. Born and raised here, I guess I should have expected nothing less.

I have lived in the States too long I guess.

I was hoping for chaos, coffee, laptops pitching deals and partnerships, a little B.O. from the group that would be less focused on sleep and hygiene and more on raw energy.

Evans, Ingram, Stu macdonald - all did a great job pulling off a nice event, but I was hoping for more action.

The MARS building is a beautiful place for an internet event, a place for venture capitalists to hoise operations.

The most interesting part for me was listening to Rocketboom founder Andrew Baron talk about his views on internet media. Not a fan of the show, but a fan of their style and distribution saavy. This model will be replicated over and over so I have a great interest here and am excited about the potential.

Early movers will make money but how much is that content really worth. They are only as good as their last few shows.

I think Sony, Adobe and Apple benefit the most as usual. I am long all three so not a complete waste of time.

Whoosh!

The US markets have held up well today but I think a big down move is in order to get some fear and energy back into the markets.

As I wrote last week and linked to others, the metal prices were unsustainable in the short-term. Today we are getting the big woosh down, but there could be much more since the run-up was so fast and prices generally fall faster than they rise.

I remain verfy bullish in gold and silver more than the other metals over the long term.

I will be selling the rest of my gold stock puts at the close and rethink everything from my hotel room tonight.

Metals - the selling materializes

I was surprised to see little panic in the headlines this weekend. The Asian markets continued to slide.

This morning, all the metals are down 3-5 percent.

I am covering most of my gold puts as the stocks will be down 15-20 percent from their highs set just 3 days ago.

I am 15-20 percent away from getting back in a seriously long Gold position, but may nibble if the selloff accelerates.

I am at a Mesh Up - Internet conference in Toronto until Wednesday. The Business media writers have gottent together to discuss new media, blogging and conversation about start-ups. It is good to see some friends and family and it is a good turn out.

I did have the pleaseure of chatting with Bill Cara over dinner last night. We discussed blogging and the media and the markets. Always fun to speak with Bill as he has a simple way of looking at the markets. He sees the copper prices as the trigger for a biug selloff that has started today.

May 14, 2006

XMSR and Sirius - Fork time?

I have long passed on the Satellite Radio stocks and just never thought the model would work as broadband and wifi play catch up.

I have also talked to long time Howard Stern fans that have not made the switch.

The argument for XMSR and Sirius is always that the auto manufacturers will be making the product standard.

OY!

As Tony Montana said - "YOU BOUGHT THAT LINE"

Here is a good article on Howard Stern's dilemma and the problems of sattelite that I linked to today from Chartreuse.