Whatever you may think about Cramer is secondary. Baruch’s main argument is that being a consistently successful non-professional investor requires enormous effort and is quite challenging. And the odds of finding good advice are far less then guessing the outcome of a coin toss. As an analogy, you need to learn to swim really well before jumping in with the sharks, and then, the even the best swimming skills only go so far. – Ilene
Baruch found himself commenting on Wall Street Cheat Sheet like ten days ago, on a post by Damien Hoffman, who seems to really dislike Jim Cramer. The post was about some investigation of TheStreet.com by the SEC, which Damien thought highly amusing, perhaps because he also runs a competing subscription-based financial edutainment site. Now, Baruch doesn’t pay attention to Jim Cramer on TV, but in fact quite likes him in print. He reads his posts on theStreet.com, and respects his track record as a hedge fund manager and pioneer econo-blogger. So Baruch felt a brief moment of annoyance about seeing someone he liked being unecessarily trashed, but soon his heart was filled with forgiveness and understanding again. We must not be too harsh; snark is Damien’s job, what he gets paid for. He is a financial blogger-journalist, and being cheeky about mainstream media figures is part of that David and Goliath thing blogging used to be all about.
Anyway, this post is only a bit about Jim Cramer and Damien Hoffman. The exchange got Baruch thinking about the differences between journalists/bloggers (or whatever you want to call them) and investors, and what it means to communicate about investments with the public. Baruch finds this terribly interesting, because of course as an amateur econo-blogger and a professional investor, he has a foot in both camps.
Some of Baruch’s best friends are, or have been, financial journalists and commentators, on blogs and print. Baruch in his time also attempted a bit of journalism, before he found his true calling (which isn’t blogging, by the way). Being a financial journalist is a good, interesting job, and very important to the proper functioning of a marketplace. Journalists can do things, find things out, and explain things the public and investors need to know in ways investment professionals can’t, at least without risking jail.
On August 26, 2009, Kass authoritatively proclaimed, “Markets top during times of enthusiasm. I believe that the markets are now overshooting to the upside and that the U.S. stock market has likely peaked for the year.”
Unless this time the greatest "contrarian long-term secular indicator of all time" no longer applies, this bear market is not finished. Although if you’re short, you’re ability to trade it may be. – Ilene
The end of investment fads tend to coincide with sharp changes in investor sentiment and long-term secular moves. No one has represented the excessively bullish & leveraged market of the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s more than Jim Cramer. He worked at the most highly leveraged hedge fund on Wall Street – Goldman Sachs. He took a dotcom firm public and promptly lost 95%+ for his shareholders at the peak of the market in 1999. He ran a super beta tech hedge fund in the leverage driven 80’s & 90’s (which I guarantee you underperformed the Nasdaq 100 on a risk adjusted basis), and he now runs the bullish of all TV bullish shows – “Mad Money”. The show basically begs small investors to be reckless with their hard earned cash. It borders on financial negligence in my opinion, but that’s for another discussion. No one has been a better icon of the excess of the 80’s and 90’s than Cramer himself.
Cramer is a powerful man. The mere mention of a stock can send shares soaring. (If investors are truly upset about the stock manipulation that Goldman Sachs and high frequency traders are accused of they should be extremely alarmed about Cramer’s show – no single person has manipulated more stock prices in the history of the stock market). When this phenomenon began several years ago I was dumbfounded. I asked myself: “who would buy these stocks in the after hours market at such a steep premium?” Late last year the trend had waned. The stocks Cramer recommended didn’t soar. Cramer’s power had declined. After all, he had called the bottom to the bear market on 3 separate occasions (all wrong), had recommended Bear Stearns just weeks before they went under, recommended Wachovia just days before they went under, top ticked the banks in a bet with Eric Bolling in what has to go down as one of the worst market calls of all time and even proclaimed in late September 2008 that “the bounce means the crash can’t happen”. His track record was…
I'm not certain how many interviews I've done over the last decade. Hundreds? I know it is a lot. There are some interviewers who can somehow tease out what you really have in you. Tom Keene at Bloomberg, for instance, forces you to bring your A game, at whatever level you play. He brings it out of you. You know that he is smarter than you will ever be and that you should really be asking him the questions. Except that you're not smart enough to ask the questions. I have to confess that every time I walk into the room with Tom I'm a little intimidated. I try never to show it, somewhat like the new kid on the block trying to put on a brave face, but inside I keep looking for the exit doors just in case I throw up all over myself. At the end of the...
According to RealtyTrac, foreclosures for homes worth $5 million or more are up 61% this year despite the fact that overall foreclosures are down 23%. The question is, does this merely represent hold...
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With just a tad more than three weeks left in the year it is time to start focusing on what 2014 will likely bring. Of course, what really happens over the next twelve months is likely to be far different than what is currently expected, but issuing prognostications, making conjectures and telling fortunes has always kept business brisk on Wall Street.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is once again the leader of tech headlines.
With investors support for an extra-large smartphone (an iPhone XL, perhaps?), news of a China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) deal and a report that President Obama can't use an iPhone due to security reasons, this week proved to be fairly exciting.
Sony (NYSE: SNE) also made some noise after announci...
BIG – Big Lots, Inc. – Shares in the largest U.S. broadline closeout retailer are down big today, with the stock dropping nearly 14% to $32.00, the lowest level since August 23rd., after Big Lots posted a wider than expected third-quarter loss of $0.18 a share on revenue that came in below the average analyst estimate for the metric.
December expiry options changing hands on Big Lots in the early going today indicate some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to sell down further during the next couple of weeks. Traders appear to have purc...
As the charts last week indicated might happen, the S&P 500 has fallen four straight days and failed to hold its breakout above 1800 while the Dow Jones Industrials lost 16,000. Only the NASDAQ is still holding on to its breakout above 4000. Although the Basic Materials sector was the leader on Wednesday, the Technology sector was strong, as well, and in fact Tech stocks have been the strongest over the past week and the past month.
As markets finally show a willingness to pullback somewhat from their torrid pace, the bears are trotting out every naysayer they can lay their hands on to scare investors away, including smart folks like Carl Icahn, who is “very cautious,” and Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller and his stock market “bubble” assertions. Sure, valuations are high on a historic...
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This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).
We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.
Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.
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These rallies are becoming familiar. In early July we saw a streak of 12 of 13 sessions in a row up, early September 11 of 12, and mid October 11 of 13 (current streak). It is a bit uncanny the similarities and how the escalator goes straight up in vertical ascent as we see indexes come out of mini corrections during QE. So we are about at the same stage where the last two began to tire, so it will be interesting if this is similar or if the current consensus of the market that there is nothing to worry about until next year as the Fed and D.C. are both off the table and this 3% annual growth rate in earnings we are now seeing in the S...
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 act...
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Come and get it! Read all about it! Biotechs, biotechs and more biotechs to buy buy buy for your portfolio! To date, almost 30 biotech companies have hit the market. Most of the time, there are fewer than 10-12!
For the last five years, biotechs have had issues obtaining offer prices above expectations. In 2013, that trend looks to be broken. According to BiotechNow, the offer prices are 4% above expectations! In addition, biotechs are going public with little more than a wing and a prayer (pre-clinical or Phase 1 data only). Really? What this means is that the drug or technology looks good in mice, rats, or dogs, etc, but there is no smidgen of evidence that it will work in humans. That's what is called an appitite for RISK!
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