Archive for February 2011

Ed’s Daily Summary for February 28th   3 comments

You may have noticed I didn’t do much posting today, but there really wasn’t much to report. Plus I was comfortable letting the portfolio ride today, and I think the results speak for themselves:

AGQ: 6.44 to $186.26 (3.58%, 28.99% overall)–bought at $144.40
ICLK: -0.04 to $5.64 (-0.70%, 6.21% overall)–bought at $5.31
INTC: -0.39 to $21.47 (-1.78%, 15.93% overall)–bought at $18.52
JUBAX: NA to $11.00 (NA%, 8.16% overall)–bought at $10.17
NYX: 0.00 to $37.00 (0.00%, 1.65% overall)–bought at $36.40
SLW: 2.04 to $42.67 (5.02%, 18.53% overall)–bought at $36.00
UBC: 0.07 to $22.32 (0.31%, -0.80% overall)–bought at $22.50
VZ: 0.95 to $36.92 (2.64%, 0.87% overall)–bought at $36.60

OVERALL: +1.17%

While that is a great way to end the month, my gut feeling is the rest of the week will be even better. See you in March!

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Posted February 28, 2011 by edmcgon in Portfolio

Ed’s Daily Notes for February 28th   26 comments

1. I found it humorous that Bernie Madoff called the government a ponzi scheme, and thought the Dodd-Frank bill was a “joke”. As I’ve been saying since before they passed the bill, all Dodd-Frank did was to further insulate our already too big to fail banks. If you don’t believe that to be the case, just follow the money, and look at who the top campaign contributors were in the last two elections: You’ll see a lot of names like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

2. It seems that fee-based registered investment advisors (RIA) have replaced stockbrokers for many investors. While this is quite logical for many investors who don’t have the time or knowledge to invest their own money, I find it intriguing that this trend has caused Vanguard to surpass Fidelity in assets handled, mostly due to Vanguard’s ultra-cheap ETFs. While I don’t have any issues with Vanguard’s ETFs, most of them are, to put it bluntly, rather vanilla. The fact that RIA’s like to invest there shows how vanilla most of them are, as RIA’s are trying to avoid as much investment risk as possible. If you don’t mind paying someone to make sure you don’t lose any money, then RIA’s are for you…

3. Wall Street isn’t worried about a potential U.S. government shutdown. At least we know they won’t be spending money if they shut down…

4. Speaking of spending money, economists are more worried about the U.S. budget deficit than anything else, including unemployment. Of course, all those economists are employed…

5. On the topic of economics (boy do I have the bridges going today!), we have a big economic week ahead:

Monday: January Personal Income and Spending, January PCE Core Prices
Tuesday: Auto and Truck Sales
Wednesday: February Challenger Job Cuts, February ADP Employment Change, Fed’s Beige Book
Thursday: Productivity and Labor Costs (Revised for the 4th quarter 2010)
Friday: February Payrolls, February Unemployment Rate

6. Gold and silver are up in early spot trading today. Expect that to continue as the dollar is tanking right now. There is a lot of Media chatter about the dollar no longer being the “safe haven” play. Be careful sitting on large cash positions. The time to be in cash is right before a crash. Any other time, and you are just sitting on a losing investment, as inflation eats away the value of your cash holdings.

Posted February 28, 2011 by edmcgon in Economy, Investing Education, Market Analysis

Open Thread   57 comments

I finished the day up 2%, which is a nice reward for doing my taxes!

Speaking of taxes, here is a rather cool version of the Beatles’ song “Taxman”, by Junior Parker:

Enjoy your open thread folks, and I’ll see you next week!

Posted February 25, 2011 by edmcgon in Open Thread, Portfolio

Update: NYSE Euronext (NYX)   Leave a comment

I have set my sell limit price on NYSE Euronext (NYX) at $39.00. I may lower it if we still don’t get any news on a buyout from Nasdaq, or any other exchange, next week.

Posted February 25, 2011 by edmcgon in Portfolio Moves

It’s Tax Day!   43 comments

Since it is only a month and a half away from April 15th (the only date in the U.S. that induces cringing), and since I am doing my taxes today, it is TAX DAY on ETS!

Here is the thread for all tax questions or tips you may have.

This year, I have decided to try Tax Act to prepare my taxes. As I go along, I will add some comments about my experience.

In the past, I have used both Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s tax software, as well as Turbo Tax’s online filing. (What can I say? I’m a tax software slut.) So I have plenty of experience with various tax preparation methods. I chose Tax Act this year because, well, it’s cheap! Although I have preferred Turbo Tax in the past, have you seen their prices lately?  If you buy the software at a store, plan to shell out $70+. The online fees aren’t much better. Tax Act is $14.95-17.95 (depending on which addition you get). At that price, it’s worth trying. Did I mention I’m cheap?

Anyway, time for me to start, although I’ve enjoyed the excuse for procrastination. Blogging has other benefits too…

Posted February 25, 2011 by edmcgon in Investing Education

Ed’s Daily Notes for February 25th   27 comments

1. Sorry for the delay in today’s notes. I only had time yesterday afternoon to get out my summary. i had to take my wife out to dinner last night, and then we went shopping. By the time I got home, I was exhausted! Anyway, when I got up this morning, it took awhile for me to go through all the comments from yesterday afternoon and last night, so if you left me a question, it’s answered now. Now on to today…

2. Upon further review (yes, I miss football)…the U.S. economy only grew by 2.8% in the 4th quarter of 2010, according to the second estimate of the GDP out this morning. In spite of this, stock futures are still up this morning, and seem to be going up higher before the open, even after this news. While this news is backward-looking, I wonder if the markets aren’t viewing this as, “The economy still stinks, the Federal Reserve keeps pumping…” While this is good for our stock investments, make no mistake, the stock market is an asset bubble in the making. The Federal Reserve is getting stuck in an economic beast of their own making: As long as they continue the stimulus, the markets will keep going up; as soon as the Fed stops, the markets will crash, potentially putting the U.S. economy back into another recession. Enjoy the bull market while you can, because it won’t last forever. 

3. I find it humorous that the U.S. government tries to provide incentives to the solar industry for people to install solar panels on their rooves, while local government building regulations add to the cost. The “money” quote from CNBC:

Current installed costs for solar photovoltaic, PV, systems-the typical flat solar panels seen on rooftops-is $5.50/watt in the U.S., but $3.50/watt in Germany.

If you need an example of how the U.S. is over-regulated, this is a great example. We can’t even do something right without tripping over our own regulations.

4. Oil is down, precious metals are up. As the Lone Ranger used to say, “Hiyo Silver!”

Posted February 25, 2011 by edmcgon in Blog stuff, Economy, Market Analysis

The market’s revenge: Ed’s Daily Summary for February 24th   28 comments

After the “better than the markets” days I have been having this week, the markets got their revenge on me today, when silver dropped over 4%.

AGQ: -16.56 to $165.98 (-9.07%, 14.94% overall)–bought at $144.40
ICLK: 0.27 to $5.82 (4.86%, 9.60% overall)–bought at $5.31
INTC: 0.14 to $21.29 (0.66%, 14.96% overall)–bought at $18.52
JUBAX: NA to $10.85 (NA%, 6.69% overall)–bought at $10.17
NYX: 0.22 to $37.02 (0.60%, 1.70% overall)–bought at $36.40
SLW: -2.29 to $38.63 (-5.60%, 7.31% overall)–bought at $36.00
UBC: 0.05 to $22.42 (0.22%, -0.36% overall)–bought at $22.50
VZ: -0.23 to $35.58 (-0.64%, -2.79% overall)–bought at $36.60

OVERALL: -1.70%

Posted February 24, 2011 by edmcgon in Portfolio