Which Way is Up?

Over the years I’ve gotten a little more sophisticated in the kinds of trades that I make and obviously, the stakes have gotten higher, as well.

Like an addict, there’s a need to trade, a need to get a greater thrill and to wonder what’s coming next.

And then you die an inglorious death in the streets, with your feet ensheathed in Baggies, lucky only in the fact that you had enough plastic ties to secure your booties so that your trusted pet goldfish wouldn’t float away.

Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea of what excess can do and just how worthless the more expensive Zip-Loc is when it comes to securing the bag to your foot.

Do you remember that song “Want a New Drug”?

The problem is that when the drug does quit, you may not really be sure which way is up.

Not to cherry pick lines from songs, as there are billions available for any situation, but “You may ask yourself, how did I get here?”

It used to be very simple. There was a time when there was just wine. But even then, by the time the room stopped spinning, you rarely knew which way was up.

As I was writing the Option to Profit book, I received a call from a friend in California wanting to know if I had any stock recommendations. It was about 11 AM on the East Coast. She told me that her broker was drunk and she needed to get out of cash.

Being drunk is probably not a good way to make investing decisions, unless it’s for someone else’s money.

Seriously? Who cares if it’s other people’s money?

GAAs time went on, beer and wine begat hard liquor. For purposes of this piece, marijuana was the gateway to LSD, heroin and cocaine. I’m so hopelessly out of it, that I can’t really write with any level of expertise on more modern mind benders. Sure, Crack, crystal meth, PCP, ecstasy. Heard of ’em, but it ends there.

I never even had a Four Loko

Regardless of the drug, they all threw your balance off and altered the perception of reality.

Welcome to my world.

When beer and wine were all there was, so too were individual investors limited in the recreational and investing choices. For me, those are one and the same.

Back then, all you had to know was up and down. Your stock went up or you stock went down. End of story,

As I was getting ready this morning for another week of trading, I looked at my holdings and potential holdings and had to make an increasing and varied series of mental notes.

At least this Friday is the end of a monthly options cycle, so I don’thave to think about which one is a weekly and which is a monthly.

I don’t own many Freeport McMoRan shares at the moment as I’d like, having just lost some to assignment. I want those shares back. I’ve had them on and off, mostly on for the past 3 years, going from a pre-spli $22 to a post-split $52.50, but I don’t want to pay $55.

So I want that share price to go down. Simple enough.

But now, take Google, as another example. It was hit hard on Friday, down about $15 or so on the heals of a $30 run up.

But I still want it to go down because I sold $520 calls expiring this Friday. Granted I got good premiums last month and this month, but it would make me happy to be able to keep my shares and “…..go back Jack, do it again.”

That seems simple enough to keep track of, Google down. Down good.

Certainly, it’s also simple to keep track of the fact that I want Mosaic to go up, but knowing that its just gone up about $10 in the past week makes me less than optimistic for a rerun. But, if it gets near $72.50, I’ll be selling a call contract expiring this Friday and then hoping it stays right around there.

Again, simple enough, just a little bit woozy on that one.

Then there’s the Spreadtrum Communications deal. I had some puts expire this past Friday and I still have others due to expire this Friday. But, I also was just assigned some shares, so now I own shares, as well.

Now it’s getting a bit complicated, but as the room is slowing down, I think I want my shares to move up.

Yeah, that sounds right. I think I’ll try to sell $17 call options for this Friday and hope that Spreadtrum closes above $17, since I really don’t want to be holding a Chinese company of any kind for any amount of time.

But since I don’t like taking losses, I’ll see if I can’t make a go of it for a week.

On the other hand, the Sirius $2 puts I sold are expiring January 2012. I suppose that it would be good to see a nice price rise and then buy back the puts to close the position. But if it goes up too much, too fast, I’d feel like a fool for not having purchased the shares outright, even though I know that I would never buy a $2 stock.

Why not? I don’t know. Don’t make me think, I’m getting a headache.

Alright, what’s this I see. I also have shares in the Proshares Ultrashort Silver and have sold calls on it, as well.

Let me try to get this one straight. Man my head hurts. The price of silver goes down, and then the price of the ETF goes up. Oh, and its 2:1 leveraged as well.

My cost basis is $17.02 and received a $1.02 premium for the most recent $17 call sale. Friday’s close was at $16.86.

I have no idea of what I want.

Do I want silver to go up or down? Too much thinking involved. Way too complicated.. I may need something to bring me down off this bad trip.

I need some Rocky Road ice cream, maybe a little Chocolate Marshmellow.

But here’s the thing.

After the headache goes away, after the room stops spinning and once I know up from down, I just want to do it again.

Anytime the opportunity presents itself, it’s just time to do it again.

I’m sure before it’s time to cash in my literal and figurative chips the investing choices readily available to an individual investor like myself will increase even further.

Sooner or later it won’t matter. In a world where up is down and down is up, the Mad Hatter reigns.

I wonder if a yarmulke counts?




The First Time

Yesterday I saw a TV commercial featuring Roberta Flack.

The last time I had heard her name was about a 6 months ago and was in regard to a dispute over her residence in the famed Dakota building in New York. Allegations of racism, inconsistent application of the rules and a use of an un-approved shade of off-white in the main foyer were all factors in the flack.

No pun intended, but a quick Google search indicates that others are not apologetic for the use of that obvious disambiguation. I feel somewhat ashamed in sinking to that level, but I hate editing.

Like most commercials, either I wasn’t listening terribly well or the product’s message was incredibly well concealed, so I have no idea what she was pushing.

Maybe renter’s insurance, but that would just be a guess. I’m really not certain what it would be about Roberta Flack that would compell me to buy anything, but then I’m not an advertising genius, just a discerning consumer.

But I certainly remembered the background music of her hit song “The First Time Ever I Saw your Face”.

So many things flashed back to me as I focused on the song rather than the product.

John Wayne GacyThe other day after watching an episode of COPS, Sugar Momma and I discussed that often used remark “this certainly wasn’t his first time”, when referring to someone caught commiting a crime.

In reality, even career criminals must have had a first time crime. Even John Wayne Gacy, Michelle Bachmann’s home town hero must have had a first make-up session and a first ritual murder experience.

Just as someday Rep. Bachmann will correctly make her first historical reference.

But obviously we all have to start somewhere and then take it from there. Sometimes it’s the start of a lifelong love affair, other times it takes you nowhere and even the memories won’t bring you back.

First record album? Herman’s Hermits

First baseball game? Mets versus Cubs in the Polo Grounds

First broom job? Consuela.

First stock purchase? Raytheon

Some of those firsts you take on with great joy and elation. I played that Herman’s Hermit album until it was just a non-grooved flattened piece of vinyl. But now the wall poster is long gone and there’s not too much longing on my part for tickets to any Herman’s Hermits reunion that might be in the offing

Still a lifelong Mets fan though. There’s not much rational reason for being so, but so often your first isn’t based on logic or rational thought. It’s based on opportunity or the need to fill a void.

And the Broom? Bronzed and enshrined, even though Consuela was deported long ago.

The other day we found a video of my son’s first birthday celebration. He was sitting in a high chair and Szelhamos was allowed to give his first grandson a real birthday treat.

His first tastes of birthday cake and Coca Cola.

The looks on his face were really those of pure and unadulterated joy, as opposed to the broom job’s adulterated joy.

Other first time occasions you may enter with trepidation.

Who knew you could do such things with a broom?

Trepidation was definitely a mild way of putting my feelings on the prospects of entering that first stock trade. What made it even more difficult was that in the days before online brokerages and complete anonymity, you actually had to speak with someone to take and execute your order.

It was embarrassing being a stock virgin and now everyone at Fidelity knew.

While my first stock was Raytheon and I only held it for a few days, yet long enough to make about $1200, back in 1982 or so, I’ve never gone back to the Raytheon well.

After that first trade I felt like I was ready for anything, but not for Raytheon again.

Despite some moments back when the Patriot Missle System was getting rave and then not so rave reviews during Dessert Storm, I’ve always resisted the temptation of purchasing new Raytheon shares.

I guess I just want to preserve the memory of the Summer of ’82.

I don’t want to sully those great images by buying again and ending up with a loser.

P.S. Note to self. No reunions. Ever

I still remember the first time I sold a call option. It only took me about 20 years of convincing myself that it was a sound strategy. Trepidation turned into elation and more trades than I care to admit to.

I also remember the first time I sold a put option. Lots of trepidation, but I’ve been slowly adding that to my bag of tricks. At the moment, I’m on the hook to purchase many shares of Spreadtrum Communication, but the risk-reward seemed so good.

Too good to ignore.

At this point I don’t look for many firsts. In fact, I tend to keep my investments limited to a list of about 50 stocks or so, constantly repurchasing shares when proices return to more rational levels. In Option to Profit, I prefer to those  stocks as my Old Reliables.

Every now and then I introduce a new holding and even though I generally take baby steps, I still do so with trepidation.

I recently purchased shares of McCormick and Co. and the ProShares VIX and more nervously track those than much larger holdings. Even though that seems illogical, that kind of irrational behavior is just a part of human nature.

Today the market seemed to be propelled by the ADP jobs reports which caught everyone by surprise with 150,000 new private sector jobs having just been added. Although the official government tally is released tomorrow, ADP ruled the day with their report of many more jobs coming on line.

But it wasn’t too long ago that ADP released its report for public consumption for the very first time. Even though its concordance or correlation with the official numbers isn’t always as strong as you would like, it’s taken its rightful place among the continually released economic reports that drive the markets crazy.

While government reports are well established and the flaws in their methodologies well know, they still bring fear into the hearts of investors. A simple report can drive the markets in wild directions. If you’re on the losing end of that movement you rarely take solace at the subsequent month’s adjustments. The fact that those adjustments may completely nullify the very report that drove your stock holdings into the crapper is no comfort..

Somehow that doesn’t seem right.

But not everything that’s done for the first time has to seem right. It just has seem right at the time.

After all, why else would you consent to a broom job?







More than I Want to Know

In the past I’ve written about just how great the world is these days when you have ready access to data and facts.

The saying “the truth shall set you free” has universal application and no doubt is understood well by the leaders of closed societies. Just try opening a North Korean Facebook account and you’ll see.

That kind of easy access to information has changed the way that I think about insider trading. I no longer look at it as a crime. Instead I look at it with envy, wondering what I had done wrong to not have had the same doors opened up for me. After all, what kind of a moron can’t get his hands on “insider information” if they actually put their mind to it?

SausageYears ago Upton Sinclair made us realize that sometimes details are really not worth finding out about. No one really wants to know how sausage is made.

But do stay away from the kind of people who do want to know and don’t want the details spared.

Definitely stay away from the one’s who make it in their basement.

The free and steady flow of information can cut that way for most of us. We’re just better off not knowing and comfortable in our relative ignorance.

I’ve never watched that cable show that highlights the world’s most dirty jobs because I just don’t want to know about the details. I just prefer to believe that all of those portable toilets clean and disinfect themselves.

On a more cleanly note, but equally applicable is my recent stream of newfound knowledge. I’ve just started using an analytical program to track viewership on this site. I’d been using Google Analytics for years, but always felt that it was too complex to get the salient information and required too many steps to focus down on the data.

What I mean to say is that I was too lazy to really understand just how powerful the application really was and just wanted it spoon fed to me in easy to digst small portions that somehow would also contain all the nourishment necessary to sustain me for a lifetime.

Now that I use “GetClicky” I see all of the information displayed in very intuitive formats. They even place the lobster bib on for you and will partially digest the information for you before placing it in your brain.

Great, isn’t that what I wanted all along?

Yeah, until I saw that I was getting regular hits from the Department of Justice. I never would have delved deeply enough into Google’s reports to get that kind of information. It was out of sight and really out of mind.

Now it’s right there for me to see with barely a click’s worth of effort.

Did they not like my jokes. Should I have not said anything about Goldman Sachs or Raj Rajaratnam? Was it the insider trading thing? There’s just no way that they’re reading for the sake of reading, although they do seem to come back at the same time each day.

Not that I’m watching them.

I don’t know, but now I’m not convinced that I really want that level of information. I’m not the sort that worries unecessarily, but it’s very similar feeling that you have when you look in the rearview mirror and see a police car behind you.

Even when you know that you’d done nothing wrong, you still get nervous.

I always used to get a kick out of watching COPS every week and seeing just how often the apprehending policeman would ask a suspect why they were nervous.

About a year ago I actually asked a policeman about that phenomenon of being nervous under those circumstances. he laughed and said that when he’d be out of uniform if he had seen a police car in his rear view mirror he would get nervous as well. Just human nature, not because you have larceny in your heart or a stolen wallet in your pocket

So what I’m saying to the DOJ guys, enjoy reading, but stop following.

Not wanting to know too much about things has extended into my overall philsophy about stocks. I long ago gave up the false idea that I actually knew anything. In Option to Profit I plainly admit that I’ve been a lousy stock picker and marched out for all to view some of my biggest stinkers over the years.

I also admitted that sometimes I don’t even know what industry or service the company whose stock I own is involved with.

But I really don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to know the business or the specifics about fall trends or consumer electronic crazes.

I just like to focus on the cyclicality exhibited in the stock proces of many solid companies. The kind that are for the most part, household names or at the very least, not likely to fall off the face of the earth in a day or two.

I’ve often said that I have no clue what Riverbed Technology does, but it’s been one of my favorite and most rewarding plays for 3 or 4 years. Do I really know what factors cause Dow Chemical to go up and down in a tight range?

My son recently clued me in and now I find myself trying to integrate technology news that I hear with what may be the impact on Riverbed’s fortunes.

I don’t like doing that, but it’s also human nature to try and out-think the world with the information that’s at hand.

Sometimes I’ve known too much about a company or have gotten emotionally attached.

There was a time when the west coast chain “Jerry’s Famous Deli” was a publicly traded company. Great corned beef, but lousy stock. I knew exactly what it did, I saw its restaurants consistently packed, but I also conveniently overlooked the terrible cation in its stock, refusing to sell until it was all gone.

What we didn’t know about Crazy Eddie, the Best Buy with attitude,  of a couple of generations ago is what kept that ship afloat. Even their auditors were in the dark. I think KPMG survived.

These days, do we really want to know what’s going on with all of those Chinese stocks?

I don’t.

But neither do I want to own them. What I do want to do is make a habit of selling puts on these companies in the after-math of the inevitable bad accounting news.

I don’t think there’ll be any shortage of those. They may as well just write a template for the stories that are going to come at us fast and furious and just fill in the company names in the blank spaces.

I just sold even more Spreadtrum Communications puts today. Last month it was Harbin Energy. Sure, “Communications” and “Energy” tell me something, but I’d never heard of these companies prior to the latest rounds of breaking bad news.

Those little puppies, which incidentally may go into the production of sausage in some countries, have made more profit for me these past 4 weeks than my standard bearers, as volatility and options premiums have gone down for the likes of DuPont, Dow Chemical and others.

The premise with at least some of these stocks is that the initial round of bad news will drive the price down in a grossly unwarranted over-reaction. After that really large first drop, sell an out of the money put. As the stock price regains some of its loss, sell even more puts, but a higher prices.

If there are weekly options available for trading, all the better.

Of course, some of these companies will become Crazy Eddies of this generation. Make your profit and then move on awaiting the next opportunity.

I will never buy Harbin Energy or sell puts on it, ever again. The same will hold true with Spreadtrum.

But its cousins will be comiong to vist soon. I just don’t know their names or how exactly they got to the point of derision.

But I don’t care, it just feels so good to not own one and not know why I don’t even care..


The Times They are a Changin’

It was true nearly 40 years ago when Bob Dylan wrote and then sung those words as it is today. I don’t know if Suze Rotolo, Dylan’s late muse had a role in the song, but being a muse, I suppose she was somehow involved.

Muses must be truly wonders. Picaso was said to be a bore and boorish, a bad combination. Hemingway? Just an angry drunk.

Me? An aimless wanderer.

But it’s all about the muse bringing out the best an helping to presage the changes coming to the world’s societies, cultures and institutions.

It must have been a muse that inspired some quiet genius to open up a real honest to goodness Kosher Deli in Howard County, Maryland. In an area where 20 years ago the only semblance of a Jewish Community was the cow herd that may have been destined for ritual slaughter.

And the name? Pita and Rye. Absolutely inspired. Even I get the point.

Now that’s change you can believe in.

DylanThe Times they are a Changin’  was part of Dylan’s third album, the first composed solely of his own songs. Before he was a born again Christian, before he was a born again Jew, before he was a Zulu Warrior King, before he sold out his acoustic roots and before he started wearing Cowboy hats.

Cowboy hats? That never could have happened. Not Bob Dylan.

A muse-less Bob Dylan would, though.

All of those times were a changing too. A few weeks ago TIME magazine had a great pictoral timeline of Dylan’s changes over the years. Amazingly and thankfully, some of those periods have been virtually erased from human memory. 

Fortunately, the human mind is able to erase that which it deems insufferable. I don’t remember his disco period, either.

I suppose that the longer you’re around the more change you’re likely to see, but I doubt that the equivalent of Moore’s Law applies to the world’s events, that are changing at an ever quickening pace.

Imagine this, just a few short months ago you could read the New York Times online edition for free.

Now, everyone sing along “For the Times they are a chargin'”.

I don’t blame them. Although Moore’s Law may not apply, Maslow’s does. The Times needed to survive somehow, as the print media is looking increasingly endangered. Too bad there are so many ways to circumvent the Times’ subscription service. I still think that they should have micro-charges for each article you access, but they’ve never listened to me, so I rebel against the man and the plan.

Poor Rupert Murdoch. Not only does he have to let go of his MySpace property, once the darling of social media, now he also is standing in line waiting to be accused of hacking into a young murder victims cell phone answering service, and perhaps destroying evidence.

Imagine that. The very same Rupert Murdoch who inherited broadcast rights to the Simpsons actually stooping so low just to sell some pulp.

Not possible. Newspapermen have always maintained the highest standards.

Alhough society seems to be changing at an alarmingly fast rate, those that play in the markets should be pretty used to the whipsaws. After all long period of boring stock markets ended in 1982, all we have really known is changing times. One day to the next is often a different era.

Barely a week ago doom and gloom was everywhere. The market was breaking below certain support levels, there was talk about another double dip, QE 2 was about to end and there was no good economic news on the horizon.

And then a funny thing happened.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing happened, but yet everything changed.

Michael VIck and Dominique Strauss-Kahn rehabilitated and vindicated, for now anyway.

Casey Anthony not guilty of murder.

RIck Perry, Texas Governor, going from seccession proponent to presidential challenger.

Stocks decide to defy gravity.

Bernanke doing Rogaine commercials.

Would not have predicted any of those. Although the chorus of negative opinions should have made one take wonder. My personal Google AdSense indicator was telling me that overall sentiment was negative. As clicks on financial related ads decreased the market took notice. As a contrary indicator the market could do one thing only.

My personal stock divinator didn’t do terribly well last week, as I gambled on a downturn Thursday and Friday, by virtue of having sold many in the money call options expiring this past Friday.

But yesterday, I decided to go with the flow. You know that feeling that usually ends up with up making bad decisions. This time there was no alcohol involved. The only stimulant was a bunch of cash sitting in the accounts from stock assignments.

What was I going to do, let the bull get away?

And today was just a perfect day for getting back into the market. Mild up and down moves throughout the day. Plenty of opportunity to get fair purchase prices and plenty of opportunity to sell call contracts.

So I went on a shopping spree. I even bought shares in two stocks that I’d never owned before. McCormick & Co., and the ProShares VIX Short-term futures. Whenever I purchase shares for the very first time I under-represent them in the portfolios, which is what I did today. For a guy who was in a frisky and speculative mood today, I still sure am cautious.

No doubt some of those fine local McCormick spices will make their way to the kitchen and tabletops at Pita and Rye.

Those VIX shares are interesting. Even though they’re supposed to represent a 30 day average of the volatil.ity index, they sure do bounce around alot intraday, seemingly out of proportion to a single day’s impact on a 30 day average.

But you have to love that kind of motion and change.After all, what is volatility other than a measure of the propensity to change.

But something else came over me. Something else changed.

I decided to further my speculative streak. As if buying shares in two new stocks wasn’t enough, I added significantly to my short put positions in Spreadtrum, that Chinese company that took a big temporary hit when Muddy Waters released a public letter disclosing their short position

I now have sold $9 puts for July 15, as well as $15 puts for July 8 and $15.

The premiums were just wonderful and I think that when the other shoe does fall, those expiration dates will have passed.

I picked up more shares of Mosaic, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Home Depot, Sunoco and probably some other things as well, but I forget.

In all, I made 20 trades today, including options sales.

With all of the frenzy, for the first two days of this quarter I’ve already made about 12% of the number of trades last quarter.

That’s a kind of change I really welcome. The kind of change that brings us back to the good old days.




Best Friends Forever

What a day Friday turned out to be.

The ISM numbers came out at 10 AM and the market never looked back. The Michigan Consumer Sentiment numbers were basically chopped liver, but the ISM was prime cut.

But I ended up not being a very happy camper. My week at the Four Seasons was instead transformed into a downpour at KOA.

Before those numbers came out I was smugly tapping myself on the back, thanks to a collagen disorder that gives me ungodly elasticity, for a job well done.

Reminds me of that old joke, “Why does a dog lick its balls?”.

Like a young Zynga employee already counting his stock options profits, I was looking at successful sales of last minute call options and the prospects of still getting to keep my shares for another weekly cycle. Best of all, they would also be right at the strike prices of the week before.

Long story short. No more shares. No licking. No tap.

Not quite tapped out, because I still had a nice gain for the week in addition to my options premiums, but I definitely left more than I would have predicted on the table for someone else.

My personal trickle down. If the Federal Reserve wasn’t going to initiate QE 3, then who better to take it on as a personal project than me?

You’re welcome.

There really wasn’t any great news for the day. Granted the ISM numbers were surprising, but I was more surprised that it sustained a fifth day of rallies until the very close of trading. More significantly, it’s as if no one had ever heard of the concept of closing long positions ahead of a holiday weekend.

The presumption is that the rest of the world will stop its tightly wound spring out of respect for our 235th birthday.

With my Jeckyl and Hyde personna, now I’m hoping for a nice opening plunge on Tuesday so that I can get back in the game at some decent prices. I already have my eyes on Williams Sonoma, Deere, British Petroleum and more shares of Mosaic.

I’m also thinking of picking up shares in McCormick & Co. for the first time. I know that its just come off of its price high, but he stock goes ex-dividend on Thursday (2.25%) and has about another 1% options premium for barely a 2 week holding period.

We’ll see. Last week I was going to do the same with Riverbed Technology, but didn’t, as I watched it go from $32 to $39. I won’t complain, since I picked up shares of Halliburton instead.

But as Friday was winding down, the only real bits of news at first semed unrelated, but proved otherwise as the day progressed.

Vick and DSKThe villified, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Michael VIck were front and center.

Exiting from the courthouse this morning, Strauss-Kahn was all smiles as some dirt came out questioning the credibility of his accuser. The details were pretty extensive and seemed to show a pattern of less than honest behavior on her part.

Such a person could therefore never be the victim of rape.

The fact that she lied about being the victim of a gang rape in her native Guinea was probably not a factor in the decision to release Strauss Kahn from his house arrest. The fact that she was looking to cash in on the allegations and had already put out a DVD, “Raping to the Oldies” was a more central factor in the Manhattan DA’s decision.

It was fascinating to watch the accuser’s attorney stand outside the courthouse and detail the specific events that he claims proves his client’s accusations. I’m sure the people at CNBC were grimacing as the attorney very graphically detailed the genital-centric evidence. The stick figure crayon drawings with the wildly exaggerated breasts were probably poorly conceived, however.

Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys, on some other courthouse steps didn’t stop short of calling those details outright lies. They were, however, much more diplomatic that Raj Rajaratnam’s attorney, John Dowd, who gave a one finger salute to the CNBC interviewer. Granted, he was on the losing side of a court decision and was still upset about Dennis Kneale’s CNBC departure.

For now, though, ankle bracelet removed, Strauss-Kahn has been somewhat rehabilitated and if he ever gets his passport back may just go back to France and be a serious presidential contender.

After this victory, when asked by the camera crew what he had planned on doing, Strauss-Kahn said “I’m going to Euro-Disney and force myself on Minnie Mouse”.

MurrayNot far away, another kind of rehabilitation was taking place.

Nike, his one-time sponsor, re-signed Michael Vick to an endorsement deal. After removing his product from stores some 5 years ago, Nike decided that in light of the dog’s recanting their original stories of abuse, it was time to get Vick back into the fold.

That and the fact that Vick appears bankable, once again.

It also didn’t help their case when it was discovered that the dog’s had lied about previously being forced into dog fights in their native Pitbullonia, as part of their political amnesty application.

Look, I don’t blame Nike. I started a website Road to Vicktory as soon as the Eagles signed Vick to a contract. A bucks a buck. Even a fallen angel should be exploited if the opportunity is there.

To slightly soothe my guilt, I also put a picture of our beloved Golden Retriever, Murray,  on the site. It’s amazing how money can soothe those sort of things.

Sometimes I wish that I had taken a wrong path, likes today’s featured BFF’s. Rehabilitation can be so sweet and rewarding. Maybe Nike will sign Strauss Kahn to an endorsement deal, as well. You know, what athletic shoe would you prefer to wear to get the best traction when standing and thrusting on the edge of a bed while on a freshly waxed hardwood floor?

Well Nike, of course. For those times that you need to maintain your hard wood.


Instead, as I pound away for this blog before we set out for the fireworks show, there’s nothing market rattling coming along the way. It seems that tomorrow will just be another July 5th. The Asian markets all closed up in a big way, although the European markets were a bit more subdued.

For now, I’ll probably put my hopes for a downturn tomorrow on hold and wonder how it was that people knew not to lighten up on their holdings over the long weekend.

Maybe the bull is being rehabilitated, too.

It’s probably time to become BFF’s with it, before I miss the party.