Friday, April 28, 2006

Cheap rhetoric..........

Does anyone really think these massive compensation packages doled out by compensation committees to senior management teams is the right thing?

These clowns, the vast majority, don't give a rats ass about the little common shareholder. They care about personal enrichment only.

Yup, you gotta believe.....................

At $750 for an ounce of gold every dentist and mortician who had been hoarding gold will bring it out of the safety deposit box. Agree or disagree?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A shining example of a Wall Street disconnect.........

Telecom gear company Arris Group (ARRS) said its first-quarter earnings increased about six-fold.

The company earned $20.7 million, or 19 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $3.4 million, or 4 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for items, earnings were $23 million, or 21 cents a share in the most recent quarter. On that basis, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting on 21 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

First-quarter revenue rose 53.3% from a year-ago period to $208.3 million.

The company expects to earn 20 cents a share to 23 cents a share in the second quarter, including two cents a share of amortization of intangibles and equity compensation expense, on revenue of $210 million to $220 million. Analysts are expecting earnings of 23 cents a share, on revenue of $198.4 million in the second quarter.

"The new, innovative and market leading products that ARRIS is now delivering for data, voice and video transport, help our customers in the growing competition between, cable, telco and satellite. As a result, I am very positive about the outlook for ARRIS in 2006 and beyond," the company said.

First-quarter gross profit rose 53.5% from a year-ago period to $56.5 million. However, gross margin remained flat at 27.1%. Operating income for the quarter rose more than three-fold to $19.6 million and operating margin increased 595 basis points to 9.4%.

Backlog at the end of the first quarter was $168.9 million compared with $166.5 million, a year ago.

The shares dropped $2.22 to $11.68.

Last nights IBD Meet-Up Group in Roswell.......

was interesting. Some great analysis provided by attendees and good questions for the group. The book that I mentioned is "Trading & Exchanges" by Larry Harris.

It is an excellent read for any serious investor who wants a better understanding of the financial markets. Especially stockbrokers. Very few stockbrokers know anything about trading markets successfully. Have you ever met a stockbroker who makes more money trading his own account (very few brokers even have a personal investment portfolio) than he does in commissions?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Carnage..............

The homebuilder stocks are just crushing the short sellers on that terrific new home sales number.

Toll, Centex, KB Home and Lennar -- pretty dramatic upside.

Never a dull moment.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

GOOGLE IMAGES..........

I get lots of calls every day. Lots.

Today somebody called me up and said to look at GOOGLE and click on IMAGES after typing in my name.

Just how do they make any money off of me though?

I typed in names of old friends, bosses and old girlfriends. Try it yourself.

Amazing.

Desire............

I had some tree work done this week in my yard. One of the workers was a young Mexican. He was having a hard time muscling some heavy logs with older workers.

I asked him in very poor Spanish how old he was. He replied, "sixteen".

I asked how he came to America. He replied, "running".

I asked how he got to Georgia. He replied, "coyote, one thousand four hundred dollars".

Casino gaming losers............

Gamblers are not rewarded for taking risk because they don't take risks.

They put money in machines and on tables with negative expectation returns.

They are certain to lose, when the odds and house "take" are figured in.

Certain. Absolutely certain.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A wonderful tribute from Dr. Brett Steenbarger

April 22, 2006

It was shortly after I had come to Kingstree Trading, LLC in Chicago, and I was working with firm owner Chuck McElveen to set up a training program for new traders. I rode the Pace bus each day to the Metra station, where an express train picked up Lisle passengers and deposited them in the Chicago Loop. Across from me on the Pace bus was a young man reading a book about trading. He explained to me that he had come to Chicago from Texas to pursue a trading career. I was struck by his maturity, despite his young years: He had not yet turned 20.

I didn't tell him that I was setting up a training program, but instead let him do most the talking. His name was Derek Buending, and it was clear he did not have an easy life. His sister had died in a car accident, and the loss had taken a toll on the family. I was impressed that Derek talked much more about his concern for his parents than for himself. Here, I thought, is a good human being.

In time I told Derek who I was, and he eventually applied for and received a position in the first internship class at Kingstree. He worked diligently, maintaining a daily journal and meeting with me religiously to review his performance and improve his results. He understood risk management, and he especially understood that he had to earn the right to trade size. It wasn't long after he graduated the training program that Derek earned that right.

Like many in his family, we encouraged Derek to pursue a college education, and he decided to return to Texas and go to school. He made it clear that he would return to Chicago to continue his trading. Unfortunately, Derek did not have the opportunity to complete his education or return to Chicago. He died following a tragic car crash.

Today his family held a memorial service for Derek in Naperville. My wife, Margie, and I were there, and Chuck came in from Chicago--a gesture that showed his respect for Derek and his concern for his employees. We met Derek's mother Ani, who displayed bravery and heart in dealing with the loss of a second child.

Derek understood that there are several keys to developing trader success:

Finding a market you love and that fascinates and challenges you;
Making use of mentorship wherever it can be found, from teachers, coaches, and senior traders;
Having the patience to allow yourself to develop on a learning curve, first by practice trading in simulation mode; then by trading small; and only later with size;
Tracking your results relentlessly to figure out what you're doing right (so that you can do more of it) and what you need to improve;
Realizing that markets change and that we are all students of markets who need to learn and relearn patterns of supply and demand.

Derek understood trader performance. I will never forget him, or his eager talk over the bus rides, recounting trades and what he did right and wrong. Long life is guaranteed to none of us. Let us all resolve to live life to its fullest, like Derek: as performers who make the most of who and what we are in our chosen pursuits.

Corporate scum.............

You can always hit the earnings target, just sell more of the business. It's not something you can say, 'I can't do that'. That's a management decision of whether you want to do that. -- Jeffrey Skilling in his Enron testimony reported by Fortune .

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Mugged......and firing back.........

On a muggy Saturday noon game in Cumming Georgia my youngest sons soccer team fell behind 4 to 0. Dad was miffed. I saw little hustle and desire.

At halftime, our Coach went to work. Somehow, some way, these 9 year-olds responded. My son, scored goals # 4 and # 6 on the way to defeating the opposition, 6 to 4.

Boo-boo's................

In the wake of an insider-trading scheme involving Merrill Lynch the co-presidents of the Merrill global-markets and investment banking group have warned employees to hew to high ethical standards.

You know things are bad when top executives have to send e-mail messages reminding employees to behave ethically.

Direct from the United States Senate........

According to resolutions passed by the Senate last month and the House early this month;

Some 10 milliion households don't use insured banks.

Some 75 million Americans "remain credit challenged and unbanked".

The personal savings rate last year was -0.5%, the first time the savings rate has been negative since 1933.

More than a third, 37% of workers said they are NOT saving for retirement.

Yes.....................

I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney than ride home from a BBQ in Ted Kennedy's Oldsmobile!

America..........think!!!!

After 100,000,000 babies (give or take millions) have been exterminated in China at birth I guess the U.S. Government can make a case for somebody speaking out against Chinese leadership. Too bad it was the wrong kind of case.

April 21, 2006 — The U.S. government has charged Wenyi Wang, a Chinese national who has lived in the United States for 20 years, with threatening Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday while he met with President Bush at the White House.

After waiting overnight in jail, Wang was formally charged with "knowingly and willfully intimidating, coercing, threatening or harassing … a foreign official performing his duties," a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Wang did not break the law when she yelled "Stop oppressing the Falun Gong" at Hu or even when she unfurled a red-and-yellow banner of the Falun Gong, a religious movement banned in China. Wang broke the law — crossing from First Amendment protected speech to criminality — according to government prosecutor Angela George, when she yelled "Your time is running out," to Hu, and later, when she screamed "Anything you have done will come back to you in this life."

Wang will face a preliminary hearing May 3. Until then, she was released on her own recognizance as long as she swore to go nowhere near the scene of her alleged crime — the White House.

Appearing on CNN Friday evening, Wang said she has lived in the United States for 20 years and has actively worked to become a U.S. citizen. She said her application for a visa to return to China to visit her dying father was denied last year.

Wang, 47, was trained in China as a medical doctor, holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Chicago, and recently completed her residency as a pathologist at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital.

During her arraignment Friday, Wang sat with impeccably straight posture and faced the judge for most of her hour-long arraignment. She wore the same black suit she was arrested in 30 hours before the hearing. She smiled several times and conferred with her court-appointed lawyer, David Bos.

Wang entered the event with a press pass from Epoch Times, a magazine sympathetic to the Falun Gong. At a press conference after the court hearing, Wang was greeted with a hero's welcome by about 75 Falun Gong supporters, who gathered around her with banners and clapped and cheered.

Then Wang read a prepared statement to reporters. "What I did was say just a few words at a moment in history. It was an act of conscience and an act of civil disobedience."

Pure Filth...............

The disconnect between Hollywood and America has never been more obvious than the filth espoused in the flick, Scary Movie 4.

Truly sickening.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fighters........

American Indians have participated with distinction in United States military actions for more than 200 years. Their courage, determination, and fighting spirit were recognized by American military leaders as early as the 18th century.

I think they [Indians] can be made of excellent use, as scouts and light troops. --Gen. George Washington, 1778

Many tribes were involved in the War of 1812, and Indians fought for both sides as auxiliary troops in the Civil War. Scouting the enemy was recognized as a particular skill of the Native American soldier. In 1866, the U.S. Army established its Indian Scouts to exploit this aptitude. The Scouts were active in the American West in the late 1800s and early 1900s, accompanying Gen. John J. Pershing's expedition to Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa in 1916. They were deactivated in 1947 when their last member retired from the Army in ceremonies at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. Native Americans from Indian Territory were also recruited by Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders and saw action in Cuba in the Spanish-American War in 1898. As the military entered the 20th century, American Indians had already made a substantial contribution through military service and were on the brink of playing an even larger role.

Contributions In Combat

It is estimated that more than 12,000 American Indians served in the United States military in World War I. Approximately 600 Oklahoma Indians, mostly Chotaw and Cherokee, were assigned to the 142nd Infantry of the 36th Texas-Oklahoma National Guard Division. The 142nd saw action in France and its soldiers were widely recognized for their contributions in battle. Four men from this unit were awarded the Croix de Guerre, while others received the Church War Cross for gallantry.

The outbreak of World War II brought American Indians warriors back to the battlefield in defense of their homeland. Although now eligible for the draft by virtue of the Snyder Act, which gave citizenship to American Indians in 1924, conscription alone does not account for the disproportionate number of Indians who joined the armed services. More than 44,000 American Indians, out of a total Native American population of less than 350,000, served with distinction between 1941 and 1945 in both European and Pacific theaters of war. Native American men and women on the home front also showed an intense desire to serve their country, and were an integral part of the war effort. More than 40,000 Indian people left their reservations to work in ordnance depots, factories, and other war industries. American Indians also invested more than $50 million in war bonds, and contributed generously to the Red Cross and the Army and Navy Relief societies.
Battle-experienced American Indian troops from World War II were joined by newly recruited Native Americans to fight Communist aggression during the Korean conflict. The Native American's strong sense of patriotism and courage emerged once again during the Vietnam era. More than 42,000 Native Americans, more than 90 percent of them volunteers, fought in Vietnam. Native American contributions in United States military combat continued in the 1980s and 1990s as they saw duty in Grenada, Panama, Somalia, and the Persian Gulf.

Wealth creation.............

In India, last year a record 2019 Mercedes Benz cars were sold.

Think about this.........

17% of the Chinese population makes less than $1 per day.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Time Frames..............

The players are either paid to invest or paid to trade.

Time frames are far shorter for those who are paid to trade.

Know the market, know the players and the time frames in which they trade.

William McGuire

The UnitedHealth CEO is really a hoot.

The guy has $1.6 billion in realized gains in his stock option grants and now wants to discontinue the grants for the rest of the company.

Talk about steller motivation.

I hope the SEC eats his options.

No chump change here............

NYSE member firms had revenue of $66.15 billion in the 4th Quarter of 2005.

Specialist firms had revenues of $241 million in the same quarter.

Not bad work for 90 days.

15,350

stockbrokers now at Merrill Lynch.

That is alot of salesman far more interested in their income than an investors financial outcome. And to think so many entrust their finances to salesman.

Honestly.........

the average American taxpayer works 116 days to pay his annual tax bill.

Taxes amount to 31.6% of the average Americans income.

Perhaps it is time for an overhaul of the tax code.

Is ANY politician listening?

from "Unknown"...........

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Super Powers...............

Does anyone else think that Iran will be a topic of discussion between US and Chinese leadership?

Maybe George will light up the desert. He's winding down, polls have him pinned down, what's to lose?

Earnings Season.............

I generally don't play a stock in front of its earnings report. I don't feel I have any extra edge. The charts are not of much help and it is essentially a coin flip. If I want the excitement of gambling on random outcomes, I may as well go to Las Vegas.

Tough .............

The two major political parties in America are in a tough spot. Neither party can "hard-line" this illegal immigration issue simply due to the great numbers of voters who can sway/swing the vote in 2006 and 2008. Isn't politics all about staying in power and not doing what should be done for the good of America?

The issues I wanted the current administration to deal with were tax reform, social security and immigration. Of course I sometimes dream that my vote really does count. When lobbyists are pouring over a billion dollars a day into the coffers of our elected politicians inside the Beltway I should know better.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Todays Taxes..............

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
Capital Gains Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Court Fines
(indirect taxes)
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax
(FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax Interest Expense
(tax on the money THEY paid tax on already)
Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges
(tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties
(tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Local Income Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Septic Permit Tax
Service Charge Taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Taxes-Truckers
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Road Toll Booth Taxes
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax
Telephone Federal Excise tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal , State and Local Surcharge Ttaxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-Recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Toll Bridge Taxes
Toll Tunnel Taxes
Traffic Fines(indirect taxation)
Trailer Registration Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

2,603 miles.................

were put on my SUV in the past 7 days across America. More to come after IRS matters are put to bed today. It is truly taxation without representation. Lobbyists spending a billion dollars a day inside the Beltway are hard to compete with.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Balance..................

It is counterproductive to be emotional about your trading results. Emotions are a distraction that can easily lead you astray. If you actively trade, you will have good days and bad days. You will have stocks that double and triple, and you will have ugly losers. As the old saying goes, "It's a marathon and not a sprint." So we need to stay focused on our long-term results and shrug off the short-term successes and failures.

Atlanta Braves - 2006

Opening night at Turner Field was rather a yawn. Traffic congestion per usual.

Horrific. The Sheriff's Department needs some instruction on directing traffic flow and the shuttle buses going against the grain of traffic was rather weird.

One still needs to rob Ft. Knox to feed a family althought we did snag a pizza for $21. If they called it "sold-out" it was a stretch. Half the stadium looked empty when we finally arrived in the third inning. Why they placated the south Fulton folks when the stadium is full of northsiders is again beyond simple economics 101.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

STOPS..............

One issue that all traders struggle with is where to set stops. And i repeat, all traders, I don't care who you are. Many investors expend a huge amount of energy trying to decide if the magic level for stops should be 6%, 8% or 10% or even higher. Like almost everything in life as in trading, there is no "one size fits all" answer to the question. What works best one day may produce abysmal results the next. A tight trailing stop may be great in steadily trending markets but result in constant losses in a choppy market. One approach is to vary the tightness of stops on the basis of two main parameters: market bias and time frame. If you are feeling bearish about the overall market, you may tend to keep stops tighter than if we are heading up. Also, the shorter the time frame for a trade, the tighter the stop.

I tend to focus more on technical levels rather than percentages when it comes to stops. My main concern is that the technical pattern that caused me to buy a stock in the first place is still in place. If the uptrend is broken or there is technical damage, I want to make sure my stop will have me taken out of the stock. One approach that has worked well is to use the nine-day simple moving average as a stop point. A breach of that level will often signal a slowing in relative strength.

Traders............

IF YOU DON’T TAKE A HARD LOOK AT RISK IT WILL TAKE YOU. IF YOU ARGUE WITH THE MARKET, YOU WILL LOSE. RESPECT THE MARKET, DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. IF A POSITION DOESN’T FEEL GOOD IMMEDIATELY, DON’T BE EMBARRASSED TO SELL YOUR POSITION WITHIN SECONDS AND GET OUT OF THE TRADE.

VAIL

The higher end ski resorts seem to be doing just fine. Snow is snow and you can't keep skiers with money away from great powder.

Vail is full of cranes, concrete and kooks.

The kooks are not doing any building. Or buying any buildings.

They only ski.

Isn't ILLEGAL illegal?

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

I'm about to plan a little trip with my family and
extended family this summer, and I would like to ask
you to assist me. I'm going to walk across the border
from the U.S. into Mexico, and I need to make a few
arrangements. I know you can help with this.

I plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas,
passports, immigration quotas and laws. I'm sure they
handle those things the same way you do here.

So, would you mind telling your buddy, President
Vicente Fox, that I'm on my way over? Please let him
know that I will be expecting the following:

1. Free medical care for my entire family.

2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all
services I might need, whether I use them or not.

3. All government forms need to be printed in English.

4. I want my kids to be taught by English-speaking
teachers.

5. Schools need to include classes on American culture
and history.

6. I want my kids to see the American flag flying on
the top of the flag pole at their school with the
Mexican flag flying lower down.

7. Please plan to feed my kids at school for both
breakfast and lunch.

8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I
can get easy access to government services.

9. I do not plan to have any car insurance, and I
won't make any effort to learn local traffic laws.

10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does
not get the memo from Pres. Fox to leave me alone,
please be sure that all police officers speak English.

11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my house top,
put flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic
celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints
or negative comments from the locals.

12. I would also like to have a nice job without
paying any taxes, and don't enforce any labor laws or
tax laws.

13. Please tell all the people in the country to be
extremely nice and never say a critical word about me,
or about the strain I might place on the economy.

I know this is an easy request because you already do
all these things for all the people who come to the
U.S. from Mexico. I am sure that Pres. Fox won't
mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.

Thank you so much for your kind help.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

First Quarter -- 2006

What a far cry from 2005! I am pleased the trading gods were cordial the past 90 days and didn't leave any residual skid marks over market participants. It was a nice surprise. Let's see what 2nd quarter brings.

Am off for Colorado to visit a client. Am looking forward to our first meeting in person.

Native American Advisors CHIPPEWA PARTNERS