Most days it’s relatively easy to get inspiration from some ridiculous event that inappropriately effects our lives, or more importantly, my life.
On days that the market has a slow, steady and sustained rise, it’s a little harder to get incensed about anything, I suppose, however, that on those days, I could outsource the blog to the kind of person that leaves the movie theater after having seen Bambi and complains about how inappropriate and psychologically damaging it was for their child to be exposed to Bambi’s mother’s death.
There’s always a black lining if you’re willing to look for it or create it.
But I wasn’t about to outsource anything, it’s not like this blog is paying the bills.
By the time the market came to its close, despite the quietude, I ended up having made another 11 trades, again most of them being call options sales. But when I looked back I realized that there was a unifying theme throughout the day.
Some things just don’t go together.
Everyone knows about the standard oxymorons, like jumbo shrimp and superette. Please don’t take the image to the left as giving insight into my political leanings. It’s just there to illustrate the point that 50.1% of the 2000 electorate believed to be true. Even more in 2004.
Just in case you don’t get it, the operative word is not “left”.
Some other things are just a matter of taste and aren’t necessarily obvious.
To this day my Sugar Momma is revulsed by the thought of the vegetable quiche I made during our “courtship. At the time I didn’t know that she wasn’t a big fan of mushrooms, but there were plenty of onions, peppers and cucumbers to offset the funghi.
At the time, cucumbers seemed like a good idea to me, but now, in hindsight, her explanations of how they just don’t belong make a lot of sense.
She, on the other hand has thought nothing of adding broccoli to Chicken paprikas, a venerable Hungarian dish. Trust me, no Hungarian uses broccoli for anything, not even broccoli.
Then news came that the European Central Bank had decided that it would accept Greek collateral for the loans necessary to rescue the nation’s economy.
That was the initial stimulus for the initial market climb on top of an already good opening. For the likes of Bechtel and other international builders, like the bin Laden family, the prospects of erecting giant silos all across the European zone to store all of that feta was welcome news, as such large projects had dried up.
Then came news that threw cold water on the plan, as certain silo owners demurred on storing both feta cheese and lamb, as that was a clear violation of the Kosher laws. Meat and dairy do not go together.
What kind of an uncivilized animal drinks a tall cool glass of milk with a hamburger?
I’ll tell you what kind. The kind that would eat a cheeseburger.
But it didn’t end there.
There was more talk of Carl Icahn and his bid for Clorox. He now seemed to be bidding against himself to take control of the company. If anything, the last 25 years indicates that Carl Icahn doesn’tt belong in ownership of any publicly traded company.
Of course, there’s also Buy and Hold, although I do have some new found respect for the concept. Mostly because a well know proponent, Eddy Elfenbein of Crossing Wall Street, who in addition to having a great investment record, may be alternatively the funniest and most insightful financial Tweeter I’ve found.
As long as I’m the tangential subject of favorite Tweeters, for pure cynicism and brutally honest self-deprecation mixed with stock and market insights, I go to someone named “Dasan“
Okay, back to topic at hand.
Then there are those things that shouldn’t go together, but really should.
ï»¿Although I currently own neither of these, how appropriate and complete would a portfolio be if it had shares in Altria and Aetna? Talk about a natural hedge.
ï»¿But what really caught my attention yesterday morning was listening to Senator Kent Conrad (D – North Dakota).
As a member of the “Gang of Six” which was recently rejoined by Senator Tom Coburn (R – Oklahoma). He was giving a rare optimistic report of potential bipartisan compromise on the deficit ceiling.
What struck me was a common theme. It seems that the only voices of reason in Washington D.C. come from lame ducks or retired elected officials. Conrad has let it be known that he’s done. Have you heard Allan Simpson recently? All of a sudden, his barbed wit is a tool for mocking both sides.
Amazing, once re-election is out of the picture, these guys actually think in terms of what’s right, not just what’s right for re-election.
For me, it just confirms that the most useless thing is a machine whose only function is to create copies of itself, with those copies also just having that singular skill. That’s precisely what nationally elected officials are, particularly members of the House of Representatives.
Seems that elected officials don’t belong in elective office.
I know how to get the broccoli out of paprikas, but I’m not sure how to tget the elected guy out of elective office.
Term limits? Coup d’etat?
Both so un-American.
Being an American, I did find the time to trade, since I really didn’t ponder these issues too long.
My faith in Riverbed Technologies would have been rewarded had I been quick enough. After being up to about $32.50, the shares turned on a dime and closed down another $0.75, so I didn’t get to sell options.
I did however buy back the Bank of America puts that were expiring today at a nice 3 day profit of 3%.
I had thought about selling July 29, 2011 $10 puts instead, but wouldn’t you know it,, the bid and ask prices weren’t going together. As Bank of America kept rising in price, the ask of the $10 out of the money put kept rising, while the bid, more appropriately kept falling. The spread was huge.
The market doesn’t always price to perfection, nor apply the mathematical relationships that should determine the premium price.
One Twitter follower, actually a favorite of mine, suggested that instead of buying stocks and selling calls, I should just sell puts, as the end result was the same and incurred less trading commissions
To my sense of thinking I discounted the commissions, since in blocks of 1000+ shares and 10+ options contracts per trade, the cost was less tha $0.02/share. Additionally, I could double dip and get dividends, as well.
His resposne was that the dividend is factored into the premium price
I agree, at least on a theoretical basis. But theory, common sense and application of theory don’t always go hand in hand. It’s in the imperfection of the individual and the greed factor, that there are non-scripted opportunities.
Its own brand of oxymoronism.
Instead, I used the money to pick up shares of the ProShares VIX, which is really volatile and, therefore carries a nice options premium.
I also bought more of the ProShares Ultra Silver and sold those calls, as well.
The same with DuPont, Dow Chemical, Mosaic, Hasbro and Williams-Sonoma. Buy shares, then sell calls. Sometimes you buy them back and just sell them again.
Seems so natural doing things that do go together and living happily ever after in the forest.