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A week off...

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April 19, 2009 – Comments (3)

I took a week off of work for my children's Spring Break.  Wow, does that sound strange to me.  It doesn't seem like it was too long ago that I was taking time off for my own Spring Break and doing some really stupid things involving alcohol and strange women.  But that is a part of the past.  Now, I spend my time trying to grow older more slowly and wiser more quickly.  So what did I do this past week with my time off, besides play with my kids and pray for decent weather?  I watched the market, I read a lot of BLOG postings, I read a lot of internet articles, did some yard work, and of course spent time with my kids.

While watching the market, I was pleased to see the financial sector turning in decent numbers to start the earnings season.  Granted, decent numbers are all relative...which is a nice way of saying they didn't s _ _ ck as badly as they could have.  I also watched the continuation of the six week long bear/bull rally.  I call it a tweener as most can't seem to agree on whether or not the recent rise is a bear market rally just waiting for the wind to come out of its sails or if it is the beginning of a long awaited and oft prayed for bull market climb.  Regardless, I look at the recent climb in the market's value as an increase in my portfolio's value, and I am hawking the market for any signs of a major retreat so that I can exit with my profits and re-enter if necessary when the market either retests its lows from March or sets a new low.  Either way, am waiting to take advantage of either a continued climb, riding my winners longer than previously done...or cutting my losses on those winners should the market turn and I need to set new entry points.

I read a lot on TMF CAPS and saw a sudden increase in the number of BLOGS about the CAPS scoring and the sudden improvement in a number of players' ratings.  I myself am pleased with the fact that my numbers are showing improvement.  Since I play the game based on my own portfolio holdings, I am pleased to see that my picks for both the game and real life showed some major increases.  Before anyone decides to blast me for my portfolio choices or my methodology on CAPS, remember this is a game, and my choices are my own.  While you may not like them or may not think them wise, communicate constructively vice simply calling me an idiot.  I know I am a novice and am learning.  I also know that I take more risk than is perhaps wise for a novice, but my desire is to make relatively big gains with the little bit of money I have, and I believe that showing a 17% profit for the first quarter of the year, is a big improvement over where I stood last Fall.  So I am happy.  Heck, in the short time that I have been officially playing on CAPS my score has gone up considerably.  So, I am learning.  And while I am not gaming the system by choosing 200 stocks to go green as one might be able to do in this large rally, I am trying to make my choices a little less random.

As for the family life and what I did...well, lets just say, it was a nice break from the normal craziness that a family of five, like my own, goes through in a typical week.

I look forward to the coming week with some trepidation. I always hate returning to the office after a week off.  The chaos that awaits me is never fun.  I'm in the military and coming close to transferring from one command to another, and am nearing the turn over point with my relief.  That is always fun and sad at the same time.  I look forward to being jobless in my current command, but don't look forward to the wait for my transfer to my new command and the challenges it may hold.   Another reason for my trepidation is the coming onslaught of earnings.  With better than 140 companies due to report next week, the market is sure to undergo some serious mood swings depending on who spins the biggest tale out of what may be a lackluster set of numbers.  Of course, the bears will be pleased if things are negative and the market legs down...they will feel vindicated.  The bulls want the news to be positive so the current rally continues upward.  The consumers and public would simply like things to return to some semblance of normal and will probably see anything positive as a continuing sign of hope that the economy has bottomed and is turning around.  For this consumer...I'd just like the insanity to stop...in the case that it won't or isn't going to any time soon...I guess I'll just have to break out that white canvas jacket I've been saving for later in life...until next week...Fool on...

3 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 19, 2009 at 5:40 PM, TMFJake (76.05) wrote:

Welcome back!

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#2) On April 20, 2009 at 4:52 PM, MikeBobulinski (< 20) wrote:

Thank you TMFJake.

I don't normally respond to my own blogs, but today's market action created some more thoughts.  In order to prevent cluttering the boards with my random musings, I simply tack them on to this one.

My good fortune on CAPS must come at the expense of the poor fortune of many others.  I only rate maybe 20 picks (if you include those I have closed), and today I lost about 50 points towards my score (as might be expected given todays pullback)...BUT I was kind of amused that my player rating went up.  Since we are ranked or rated relative to each other, I can only surmise that my increase in rank must have come at the downfall of quite a few fellow fools.

Someone mentioned selling the news in a BLOG I read last week.  And today, I think, was one of those days.  Earnings weren't too bad. Economic news was nothing major.  There were two reported major "mergers"/acquisitions (Pepsi buying out some bottlers and Oracle buying Sun).  Given the fact that the economic environment already pretty much s _ _ ks, I would think that the market would cling to these tidbits of "good" news as a further excuse to continue the rally.  That is the Bull in me.  The Bear in me, says perhaps this is just a dip...perhaps this is the start of a downward slide towards retesting the lows or establishing new ones.  Either way, I was surprised to see such a negative reaction in the market today.  Guess folks are either waking up for a dream or decided to lock in some profits before things go...pick a direction... 

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#3) On April 20, 2009 at 4:52 PM, MikeBobulinski (< 20) wrote:

Thank you TMFJake.

I don't normally respond to my own blogs, but today's market action created some more thoughts.  In order to prevent cluttering the boards with my random musings, I simply tack them on to this one.

My good fortune on CAPS must come at the expense of the poor fortune of many others.  I only rate maybe 20 picks (if you include those I have closed), and today I lost about 50 points towards my score (as might be expected given todays pullback)...BUT I was kind of amused that my player rating went up.  Since we are ranked or rated relative to each other, I can only surmise that my increase in rank must have come at the downfall of quite a few fellow fools.

Someone mentioned selling the news in a BLOG I read last week.  And today, I think, was one of those days.  Earnings weren't too bad. Economic news was nothing major.  There were two reported major "mergers"/acquisitions (Pepsi buying out some bottlers and Oracle buying Sun).  Given the fact that the economic environment already pretty much s _ _ ks, I would think that the market would cling to these tidbits of "good" news as a further excuse to continue the rally.  That is the Bull in me.  The Bear in me, says perhaps this is just a dip...perhaps this is the start of a downward slide towards retesting the lows or establishing new ones.  Either way, I was surprised to see such a negative reaction in the market today.  Guess folks are either waking up for a dream or decided to lock in some profits before things go...pick a direction... 

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