Posts Tagged ‘bloggers’

Just say no to bonds

Baruch’s part two – not only are equities the asset class of the future, bonds can be taken out and shot for all the trouble they’ve caused. – Ilene 

Just say no to bonds

Cowboy aiming pistol

Courtesy of Ultimi Barbarorum

In these pages we have often defended equities against their naysayers in the great bonds vs stocks debate that seems to be currently raging. But defence is only half the job. It is time to go on the attack! Note well, dear reader, that I know very little about bonds, and I don’t want to know any more in case I have to change my views. However knowing very little about an asset class doesn’t stop bloggers from talking about it with authoriteh, especially if it is bond apologists harping on about equities. So I, Baruch, am going to give them a dose of their own medicine.

OK, so some of the stuff below is a bit tongue in cheek. But tell me if any of it is actually untrue:

1. Bonds are zero sum games. Baruch doesn’t get out of bed on an investment if he doesn’t think he can make 30%. Ex junk, about a 10-15% swing move is the best you can hope for with bonds. Bonds don’t really make you very much money; they shouldn’t. After all, the basic proposition is you lent whoever it was a certain sum of money, and they promised to pay it to you back. Except for the interest, and you can also forecast the nominal amount of that to the penny, they’re not ever going to pay you any more than that amount. The only way you can make any real bucks on a bond is after something has gone wrong, and the poor schmoe who bought it at par sells it to you and takes a loss. Then you hope it gets better again. This means that for the most part. . .

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: A Black Swan sits in the water as Nicolas Ivanoff of France competes during the Red Bull Air Race Training day on April 15, 2010 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race)

2. To make any real money off bonds you have to be levered up. Ironically, most bonds are quite illiquid, except of course for government paper. Illiquidity and leverage are amusing bed partners and when together can create incredibly spectacular blowups. This means that bonds’ susceptibility to Black Swan events is much much higher than you think. Positive Black Swan events won’t help you so much when you own bonds…
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No Stock Recommendations here; move along

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 

No Stock Recommendations here; move along

Jim Cramer Interviews NASCAR Drivers

Courtesy of Ultimi Barbarorum

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.

But in the end…
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Econobloggers need their crisis back

While Ultimi Barbarorum‘s Baruch would probably rather me argue a fine point in his sadly overall true post, I happen to agree with him. However, not be overly picky, he missed Phil’s Stock World in his list of bloggers who still care. Oh, and let’s not forget two of my favorites, JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN and Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis. (And all those others I’m missing.) - Ilene 

Econobloggers need their crisis back 

Angry man slapping head with hands

Courtesy of Ultimi Barbarorum

I think so, dear readers. With the advent of peace and plenty, as we move to the broad sunlit uplands of The Recovery, I fear some of the spice has gone out of the commentary on sites like this one, and its friends. Where people used to read econoblogs to actually understand a crisis that CNN and Fox News soundbites didn’t seem to encompass anymore, as the meltdown recedes into the past there’s now just a dull ennui.  And with that, the econoblogosphere is moving back to where it used to be, which is to cater to a niche, broader than most, but a niche nonetheless, with a circumscribed influence.

The high point of bloggy “power”, we shall probably find in retrospect, was when a number of bloggers were invited to the US Treasury department and fed some by all accounts delicious cookies, as well as being ferociously spun to by the Goldmans guys whose turn it was to be on sabbatical at the Treasury that when it came to financial reform and what had gone wrong in the banking sector they did in fact Get It, whatever It was.

Since then, of course, we have had Obama praise the bonuses to “savvy businessman” Lloyd Blankfein, who as we all know is doing god’s work;  mind-numbingly massive “trading” profits from all the big commercial, investment, commercial, investment banks at the same time as accepting government and Fed largesse*; an even more hideous clusterfuck over finance reform than exists over healthcare reform in the US; and this despite none of the proposals under discussion seeming likely to properly change anything worthwhile, other than maybe the Volcker prop trading rule and this last seems fairly dead in the water.

What really rankles this blogger is that the Great Spinozist Republic is being subverted again. Regulatory capture is one thing, the total inability of a political system to make any steps to reform itself when what is wrong…
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Blogger Backlash to the Backlash Begins

Blogger Backlash to the Backlash Begins

Let’s say that you’re a market commentator or financial blogger…

If earlier this year you predicted that unemployment would climb higher than 10% and that the market would be crushed, would you now be considered half-right or half-wrong by your followers? Will you be rewarded for nailing the unemployment number or hated for keeping readers out of the biggest market rebound of all time?

We’re starting to see the beginnings of the backlash against many financial bloggers, especially those of the gloom/ conspiratorial kind. Most of the hate is actually coming from other bloggers.

For all of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, we were being force fed troughs full of lies and obfuscation about what our true financial picture was and what was being done behind the scenes.  It was in this environment that many in the investor class turned to more, shall we say, alternative voices for a different take on the parade of financial meltdowns. 

Bloggers were no longer relaying the news, they were digging for the truth in the data and making the news.

Now, 7 months or so removed from the bottom for most financial assets, many are tired of the conspiracies, even if they contain some truth and even if they do constitute an incredibly unlevel playing field. The attitude is starting to shift more toward the traditional “Hey, I know these guys are stealing and screwing me and are pulling all the strings, but what the hell? I can make money in the market now, too, and what can I do about it anyway, might as well join the party.”

The Fly said recently that he hates these gloom bloggers, and if CNBC also hates financial bloggers, than by the transitive property, he must love CNBC.  He said it 20 times cooler than I could paraphrase, but I can totally relate to that notion

Sean O’Brien (Ex-Wirehouse), now writing at The Davian Letter, recently laid it out for the “tin foil hat and black helicopter crowd“:

It is with curious amusement that I have watched the explosion of the Govt/Fed/Vampire Squid conspiracy theory genre within the bloggeratti and the mainstream media. They all act as if they have just discovered something so secret and nefarious. They (and I


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Citizens On Patrol: The Blogosphere As Regulator

Bloggers also coin new words, for example, "embiggen." – Ilene

Citizens On Patrol: The Blogosphere As Regulator

Tonight we witnessed a watershed event in financial blogging, and it concerns The Case of Who Front-Ran the 3Com Takeover.

By now, the only people out there still trying to use options contracts to profit from inside information are the brain-dead and the citizens of non-extradition countries.  As is well known, I am a huge proponent of the financial blogosphere and this evening’s 3Com options bust just gave me goosebumps.

The story is this:

At 4pm, shares of telco equipment company 3Com (COMS) were halted followed by the announcement of an acquisition by Hewlett-Packard at a 40% premium.  The financial blogosphere sprang into action, immediately pointing out that today’s trading volume in 3Com’s options was triple its 4-week daily average.  Options are the weapon of choice for the inside information crook as they give you the most bang for your buck on a near-term jump in a stock.

OptionMonster.com’s Jon Najarian picked this 3Com options activity up, probably first, and posted the below via Twitter:

(click image to embiggen)

From OptionMonster.com

Najarian’s revelation was immediately followed by separate but equally incisive comments from some of the biggest and most influential market commentators out there.  None of this was coordinated by a producer at CNBC nor was it orchestrated by the editorial staff at the Wall Street Journal.

Rather, it was an organic meme that spread around the financial web by means of Twitter, WordPress, Blogspot and Typepad.

The mainstream media picked up on this insider trading angle only AFTER the bloggers nailed it, at least from what I’ve seen based on the times of the articles and posts.

Now we don’t know for sure whether or not illegal activity took place, but if it quacks like a duck…

Congratulations to Jon Najarian of OptionMonster.com, Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge, Andrew Ross Sorkin of DealBook and Karl Denninger of Market-Ticker.

UPDATE: Reader MarketAddict informs me that:

OptionRadar on StockTwits tweeted the unusual call volume during the day today:

http://twitter.com/OptionRadar/status/5623636484

Ladies and Gentlemen of the stock market, I give you your new citizen-regulators.

Here are the referenced links:

Najarian’s TwitPic (TwitPic)

1.5 Million in Blatant Insider Trading Activity (Zero Hedge)

Whispers About 3Com  (DealBook)

Blatant Insider Call Buying (Market-Ticker)

 


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Moronic Bloggers

Moronic Bloggers

Courtesy of Condor Options

Dear CNBC,

Your last best hope to sustain any measure of relevance is to ally yourselves with the smartest minds in the financial blogosphere and start opting for quality rather than volume. But we’ve gone over suggestions for improvement before, and you’d clearly rather create feature shows about the business of pornography. Fine. If you want to wane into a sputtering, swooshing, brightly-colored perpetual self-parody, go ahead. But there’s no need to telegraph your fear of obsolescence with displays like this: [skip ahead to 2:30 or so].
 

 

This isn’t an isolated incident – Dennis Kneale has generated some heat (and certainly not any light) with similar comments. But in fairness, maybe we bloggers are all “moronic” when it comes to the core competencies of a Kneale, a Gasparino, or a Caruso-Cabrera. I certainly don’t know the first thing about reading from a teleprompter, about parsing Goldman Sachs press releases as journalistic content, or about providing unenlightening extemporaneous verbiage without any embarrassment or shame.

Sincerely etc.,
Jared

P.S. “Tyler Durden – it’s probably not even his name!” 

 


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Phil's Favorites

Theresa May Brexit deal hammered in parliament, but be wary of prospects of a new 'consensus' approach

 

Theresa May Brexit deal hammered in parliament, but be wary of prospects of a new 'consensus' approach

Courtesy of Simon Usherwood, University of Surrey

Another day, another record. The 230 majority against the motion to approve Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement on the UK’s exit from the EU smashes pretty much any parliamentary record one cares to discover.

That May’s immediate response was to make time for the house to debate and vote on Labour’s motion of no-confidence in her the day after her loss was thus hardly a surprise: how else to respond to such a heavy blow against the central platform and policy of the government?

And yet the abiding impression o...



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Zero Hedge

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Courtesy of John Mauldin, MauldinEconomics.com

For a couple of years now, the economic narrative has shown a comparatively strong US against weakness in Europe and some of Asia (NOT China). The US, we are told, will stay on top. I agree with that, as far as it goes... but I’m not convinced the “top” will be so great.

Americans like to think we are insulated from the world. We have big oceans on either side of us. Geopolitically, they serve as buffers. But economically they connect us to other important markets that are critical to many US businesses. Problems in those markets are ultimately problems for the US, too.

Last week I gave you my ...



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Digital Currencies

Crypto-Bubble: Will Bitcoin Bottom In February Or Has It Already?

Courtesy of Michelle Jones via ValueWalk.com

The new year has been relatively good for the price of bitcoin after a spectacular collapse of the cryptocurrency bubble in 2018. It’s up notably since the middle of December and traded around the psychological level of $4,000... so is this a sign that the crypto market is about to recover?

Of course, it depends on who you ask, but one analyst discovered a pattern which might point to a bottom next month.

A year after the cryptocurrency bubble popped

CCN...



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ValueWalk

D.E. Shaw Investment Calls For Leadership Change At EQT

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Elliott Management has offered to acquire QEP Resources for approximately $2.1 billion, contending the oil and gas explorer’s turnaround efforts have done little to lift the company’s share price. The company responded and said that a thorough review of the proposition is imperative in order to properly act in the best interests of shareholders, “taking into account the company’s other alternatives and current market conditions.” The news came only a month after Travelport Worldwide agreed to sell itself to Siris Capital Group and Elliott’s private equity arm Evergreen Coast Capital for $4.4 billion in cash and two months after Athenahealth was bought by Veritas and Evergreen for $5.7 bi...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold & Silver Testing Important Breakout Levels!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Gold and Silver from a long-term perspective have created a series of lower highs over the past 8-years. Will 2019 bring a change to this trend? A big test is in play!

Gold since the lows in 2016 has created a series of higher lows, while Silver may have created a double bottom.

Gold & Silver are currently facing break attempts a (1) and (2). These falling resistance lines have disappointed metals bulls for the past few years.

The direction of Gold and Silver weeks and months from now should be highly influenced by what each does as they are attempting to break above important resistance levels.

To become a member of Kimbl...



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Insider Scoop

UBS Says Disney's Streaming Ambition Gives It A 'New Hope'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DIS Despite Some Risks, Analysts Still Expecting Double Digit Growth From Communications Services In Q4 ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's failure based on his personality, which was evident years ago. This article, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump became president, in July, 2016, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

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.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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