by stjeanluc - September 30th, 2016 7:32 pm
A thought from Jean-Luc:
Every day that goes by brings more shady deals from Trump's past – now Cuba, more stuff about his foundation, his taxes! No wonder he doesn't want to release his taxes either – who the heck knows is buried in there.
In the meantime, Trump gets up at 5:00 AM to tweet about Alicia Machado! What a despicable coward little man-child!
Atrios sums up my feelings:
I admit I find it hard to keep up the sense of humor about things these days. We laughed a lot during the Bush years, didn't we, my fellow pony aficionados. Trump should just make me laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh. But with Bush we could sorta pretend that people voted for him because they didn't quite see him for what he was. There's no doing that with Trump. Trump is Trump. He won't win, but a lot of people… a lot of people… are going to vote for him.
by stjeanluc - September 28th, 2016 12:52 pm
Good riddance – cleaned up a lot of frauds there:
In early 2009, the seven largest publicly traded college operators were worth a combined $51 billion. Today, they’ve been all but wiped out.
When Barack Obama took office, America’s seven largest publicly traded college operators were worth a combined $51 billion, with more than 815,000 students enrolled at campuses spread across the country. The schools were flooded with with people seeking shelter from the recession, returning to school to pick up new skills.
Almost eight years later, the industry has been decimated. The seven largest listed operators are worth just over $6 billion, and the most valuable company in the sector has spent the last two years desperately trying to become a non-profit. Two of the largest companies in 2009 are now bankrupt, and two more are in the process of being taken private.
That's one place where the free market only added ways to defraud desperate people and the government.
Watch this too:
by stjeanluc - September 13th, 2016 11:39 am
"When you let the free market take over, the little people get screwed and bankers get rich. Chile tried privatizing retirement plans and surprise, surprise, fund manager ate the profits… Pretty sure the results would be the same here…" ~ Jean-Luc
Among free-market fans, Chile's privatized pension plan has long been held up as a model for us to follow. The problem, as the Financial Times notes today, is that it's performed pretty dismally. Daniel Gross suggests that it was all well-intentioned, but for some reason just didn't work out:
underplayed story. It wasn't corrupt — just turned out to be something of a disaster. https://t.co/n20qXlv5Qs
— Daniel Gross (@grossdm) September 12, 2016
— Justin Elliott (@JustinElliott) September 12, 2016
by stjeanluc - July 27th, 2016 1:08 pm
Looks like we are down to about 10 companies for our consumer goods:
Just like banks, airlines and cable companies!
Explore the full-size version of the above graphic in all its glory.
If today’s infographic looks familiar, that’s because it originates from a well-circulated report that Oxfam International puts together to show consolidation in the mass consumer goods industry.
We are sharing it because we believe it is important for you to be aware of who is supplying the different brands and goods served on your dinner table.
by stjeanluc - July 14th, 2016 1:50 pm
Courtesy of Jean-Luc
We are getting much more energy efficient – no wonder Saudis are selling as much as they can! Who wants to be the one with trillions of dollars of oil in the ground unwanted:
by stjeanluc - June 24th, 2016 11:23 am
I have mixed feelings about Brexit today. Clearly the European institution need reforming. The addition of so many countries in the last 20 years has created a top heavy administration. The Euro adds more complexities to the equation as the ECB policies cannot fit every country's problem. On the other hand, a unified Europe has advantages as well – some countries have benefited from the integration.
For Britain, it's hard to say what the final price will be. My guess is that Scotland might now vote for independence as they supported staying in Europe overwhelmingly. Northern Ireland might be tempted to leave as well so possibly RIP UK in the long run. I was talking to some French people and they were saying that now there might be no incentive for France to stop immigrants from crossing over to the UK like they do now and simply allow for travel there and let the UK deal with them. The end game is not clear to anyone at the moment.
What bothers me the most was that some of the undertone of the Leave campaign had a certain xenophobic message that leaves a bad taste. I understand the frustration of people with the European structure but that undertone is what leads to the killing of the MP we saw there. Most of the congratulation messages coming in right now in Europe come from far right parties that also have that xenophobic undertone.
BTW, Trump seemed to be happy, but I wonder how he will feel if Scotland leaves the UK and applies to the EU again. His golf courses will be in the EU again!
by stjeanluc - March 4th, 2016 12:48 pm
Although we try to stay focused on finding and managing promising trade ideas, the comments in the comment section sometimes take a political turn (for access, try PSW — click here!). So today, Jean Luc writes,
The GOP debate last night was just unreal – are these people running to be president of the US or to lead a college fraternity! Comparing tool size? The only guy that looks semi-sane is Kasich. The other guys are just like 3 jackals right now.
And something else – if Trump is the candidate, that little Romney speech yesterday is probably already being made into a commercial. And all these little snippets from the debate will also make some nice ads! If you are a conservative, you have to be scared now.
Phil writes back,
I was expecting them to start throwing poop at each other – it was the only low they hadn't sunk to. Rubio and Trump were actually trading penis comments! Meanwhile, I almost fell off my chair when he talked about other people using "shameful" language. Bill Maher nailed it this weekend.
Maher's video is pretty hilarious, but I can't embed it. Click on:
"Something has certainly changed in American political discourse." ~ Bill Maher.
by stjeanluc - May 3rd, 2015 5:11 pm
Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
Since then, oil has hit a multi-year low at around $42.50 and is now approaching $60, still well below its highs of 2014 but probably closer to a breakeven price for American shale producers. In this post I want to see what ETF would have profited best from that rebound and also which one would have fared worse. Let's look at a couple of performance charts. First, the standard oil proxies based on the futures:
Oil (red) is up 40% since March 17 but what is interesting is how the pure oil ETFs are tracking that move. USO (blue) which is not leveraged is not tracking very well. In fact, it's up only about 27% or about 2/3 of the oil move. As expected, SCO (pink) is down, but clearly, the leveraging is not the 2x that you would expect as it's only down a bit less than 40%. And UCO (green), while the clear winner here, is only up 57% which is lower than the advertised 2x leverage factor. Once again, these future based ETF are victims of some decay.
Let's look at some ETFs not based on oil futures but who should benefit from an oil price rebound. In the next performance chart, we'll look at OIH and XLE.
by craigzooka - September 29th, 2013 10:56 pm
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the activity.
AEM – Agnico Eagle Mines Limited;
- On 9/10/2013 I sold 1x OCT 27.5 PUT for a credit of $150 to initiate a position.(member chat link)
BTU – Peabody Energy Corporation;
- The SEP 19 CALL I sold expired worthless.
VLO – Valero Energy Corporation;
- On 9/20/2013 I rolled the SEP 35 PUT to the OCT 34 PUT for a credit of $44.(member chat link)
FCX – Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc;
- On 9/10/2013 I bought back the SEP 29 PUT for a debit of $5.(member chat link)
X – United States Steel Corp;
- On 9/10/2013 I bought back the 2x SEP 17 PUT for a debit of $10 total ($5 for each PUT).(member chat link)
Here is a link to the spreadsheet we use to track the portfolio. LINK
by craigzooka - August 19th, 2013 12:18 am
Welcome to the third update of the IRA Portfolio. First, I am going to summarize the current state of the IRA Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during August expiration. In addition, I want to amend something I said when this portfolio began. I said we expect close to 20% annual returns. However, our returns are greatly dependent on the VIX. The higher the VIX the more our cost basis can be reduced on order entry. Unfortunately the VIX has been hovering around 14 which is historically low. So I am not going to make any predictions about the returns of this portfolio. Lets just do the best we can and see where we are after a year.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions we are up a grand total of $384.
Market Commentary – I still feel that the market is much to high and volatility much to low to commit a large portion of the portfolio. However, I do feel that our current exposure of about $5600 is way to low for a 100k portfolio. To remedy that I am going to be looking for places to put some additional money to work. I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work.
ABX – Barrick Gold Corporation
- On 8/9/2013 we closed out the AUG 16/11 PUT spread we sold. We closed it for a debit of $8.(member chat link)
AAPL – Apple Inc
- On 8/2/2013 we closed out the AUG 420/370 PUT spread we sold. We closed it for a debit of $5.(member chat link)
BTU – Peabody Energy Corporation
- On 6/9/2013 we closed out the AUG 16/11 PUT spread we sold. We closed it for a debit of $3.(member chat link)
FCX – Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc
- On 8/6/2013 we decided to add some FCX to the portfolio by selling the SEP 29/24 PUT spread for a credit of $88.(member chat link)