Booga Booga

What’s in the Szelhamos Portfolio?


I don’t recall whether to credit comedian Robert Klein or David Steinberg for this one, but I still hold a grudge against Klein for participating in one of the worst Saturday Night Live skits on an episode that he hosted 30+ years ago.

The closing sketch, “Giant Lobsters Attack the Studio” was just the conclusion to that evening’s running “Attack of the Giant Lobsters” non-gag.

In fact, scratch “worst skit” and substitute “worst episode, ever”.

Don’t call me “petty” and don’t tell me that this is the season for forgiveness. It was truly a terrible thing that he did. In fact, the free marketplace bears me out on this  opinion, because Klein never professionally recovered from this horrible hit.

As a neighbor, back when we still lived in Westchester County, I couldn’t stand to be on the same side of the street. when he appeared. As far as everything else went, he was a funny, wonderful and warm person, but those attributes were trivial and still are.

So I’ll go with David Steinberg, who was among those comedic geniuses behind the Smothers Brothers Hour, including Steve Martin and Bob Einstein. Coincidentally enough, he and Robert Klein were part of The Second City troupe, together in the 60’s.

Booga BoogaBut the story went that when two people that have had extensive plastic surgery, nose jobs, braces, you name it, get together and have an incredibly hideous baby, it’s just God’s way of saying “Booga booga”.

The actual telling of the joke was much funnier than trying to write in down years later. Especially missing is the thumbs in the ear and outstretched fingers waving while saying “Booga Booga.”

You had to be there.

I know that here are a number of evangelical ministries that teach its disciples that “God wants you to be rich”, perhaps Joel Osteen, being the best known of those.

And what better way to find grace in God’s eyes than to enrich the coffers of Osteen’s church and therby Osteen himself.

I like that kind of theology. I think that everyone should be wealthy.

I also know that if wealth was to be equally distributed you would still have paupers within minutes of the distribution and some even wealthier citizens as a result.

Separating people from their money is just something deeply ingrained into our genome, but my Deity should be made of more heavenly stuff.

On this, one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar, it’s clear to me that my God doesn’t want me to be rich.

Allowing me to watch a market that at one point was up 180 points and yet seeing my own positions falling fast, is cruel and unusual.

It may be God’s way of saying “Booga booga” to me.

Message received. Especially when the market gains evaporated and my losses mounted. But at least he allowed me to stick around long enough to witness my oldest son’s 25th Birthday today.

That was a nice gift, but seriously what’s with the other stuff?

God may have done the same to Robert Klein for deifying those incredibly delicious, yet dietary forbidden crustaceans. Banished from paradise.

Heaping more cruelty on Robert Klein is the fact that his greatest achievement of the past 30 years was receiving an award for having been a Bronx native.

But I certainly won’t blame higher authority for today. Higher authority did not command me to be over-weight in Mosaic, Freeport McMoran and Rio TInto. In my defense, I thought that by so doing I was paying respect and offering testament to the fine natural wonders that we have been given.

Of course, leave it to those Deity-less Chinese to elect to use less of your wondrous bounty, for some inexplicable reason.

Can I have an Amen?

But still, it may have been higher authority that so cruelly reversed price direction in Halliburton, ProShares UltraShort Silver ETF, Transocean, as well as Mosaic and Freeport McMoran, before I had a chance to sell last minute call contracts.

But why?

In the sad case of Robert Klein, he was never asked back to host SNL. They haven’t even let him watch the episodes for the past 33 years. Even more painful is that this talented man has had to endure the likes of Steven and the fact that Seagal is more likely to be invited back than he.

I’m hopeful that mine is not a vengeful God. I’m hoping that despite today’s lack of participation in what was a rally, at least until 2 PM, was just an expression of displeasure with me that can be erased.

That’s what the “Day of Atonement” is all about and it arrives in just a few short days.

But it’s probably not too early to begin the process of cleansing and asking for forgiveness.

I vow to lighten up my dependence on natural resources. Forgive me.

As soon as the first opportunity to take profits come along.

I vow to keep finding opportunities to poke fun at Ministries that seek to take advantage of Believers, unless they include me in their profit sharing program. Forgive me.

I vow to not be greedy and hedge my positions as soon as I open them, eschewing greater capital gains in return for the safety providing by believing in my tenets of managing portfolios. Forgive me.

It’s comforting to have a list of Commandments to live by

Those are the basic values that shouldn’t be altered. The big nose, the crooked teeth, the need to hedge investments and things like that.

Once you get away from the formula that got you to the Promised Land be prepared for Booga Boogas to come at you from any direction.

The late hour fades on Wednesday and Thursday are worrisome and I’ve heard enough heads mention “climbing that wall of worry.”

But I have faith, blind faith that despite the hideously ugly offspring produced by superficially altered human beings, who have lost their ways, that they too can thrive if the rules are followed.

To traveling the pious path and to profits.

Or at least one of those two.

Knowing that an all knowing Supreme Being reads this blog, I wasn’t surprised to see the market bounce back in the final 30 minutes.

For me, still a loser of a day, but Booga Booga right back to ya.


Bouncy, Bouncy Bally

What’s in the Szelhamos Portfolio?


When I was younger, as kids, we were amazed by advances in technology.

OperationI can still remember when games like Hungry Hungry Hippo and Mousetrap came out. Those were just amazing. Who ever would have believed that a board game could have moving parts?

Easy Money, Careers, even Chutes and Ladders were consigned to the dust bin of gaming history.

Of course, then Operation hit the market. That blew us all away. Flashing lights and a buzzer, all hand controlled.

I can just picture a young Steve Jobs trying to figure out an even better hand held device to use in playing Operation.

Things were, I guess, a bit different back then.

Today came a much awaited new product introduction.

After it was all said and done, there really wasn’t any new technology unveiled. Just a new product line and lots of talk of synergistic markets.

And the cloud. There has to be discussion of cloud strategy.

But as he was making the product presentation, there was the faint thought that Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, was channeling just a little bit of Steve Jobs.

And that’s where the entire day was focused. Not just on the new Kindle line of products, the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire, but just who gets impacted by the New Kid on the Block, whose CD’s coincidentally enough are avaiable both through Amazon and the iTunes store.

Who knew that I could so subtly do product placement?

The comparisons to the iPad were obligatory and obvious, but as I watched, it reminded me of the prevailing arguments back in my day.

Back then, in New York, stickball was a popular game. But stickball, as practiced in Brooklyn, was very different from that game which we played in The Bronx.

All they really had in common was the stickball bat, usually a broom handle. The playing fields were different, but most importantly, the ball of choice was different.

You were either a “Spalding” Stalwart or a “Pensy Pinky” Proponent.

Obviously, no one was actually called either of those. Poetic license didn’t translate well onto the stickball field, unless you liked getting the crap beat out of you.

You could never get the Brooklyn Pinkies to agree with the Spalding Bronx fans.

Once, I went to visit my friend, Sidney, whose family had moved from The Bronx to Brooklyn. I couldn’t believe that he had turned on his stickball roots, insisting that we play with that mushy Pensy Pinky. It had no bounce. None, at all. To this day, I can still feel it in my hand, like a rotting cantelope.

And we now know how dangerous cantelopes can be, but at least they bounce better than bean sprouts.

You couldn’t even find a Brooklyn store that carried the Spalding, as distribution of the balls must have been under mob control.

Not tht the mob is involved here, but good luck trying to get one of the new Kindles. Talk about control. You’ll have to wait until November.

Or you could get one of those fine RIM Playbooks or H&P Tablets that are helping their companies achieve no lows, without a bounce anywhere on the horizon.

Although, to put a positive spin on things, I do plan to put together a new “Yesterday’s Technolgy ETF” and that should have some positive impact on RIMM and Hewlett Packard.

Of course, it’s still not clear to me how we’ll create the Yesterday’s Technology UltraShort ETF and what effect that may have on share price. We’re still deciding whether to use the Palo Alto Morning FIx or some byzantine algorithm.

Back when I was even younger and not quite up to the task of stickball, I can still remember playing with a Spalding and bouncing it on the sidewalk, while singing the nursery rhyme:

Bouncy, bouncy, bally.

I don’t remember the other lines, but I do remember that ball routinely bouncing over my head.

I used to love bouncing that ball, especially watching it soar so high, always recovering from its fall.

Maybe that explains why I enjoy the bounces in the markets and am always optimistic that if I can catch it after the bounce, the fun can start all over again.

Some bounces are better than others, though.

The bounce that I liked was one that let me resell those ProShares UltraShort Silver ETF’s that I bought back yesterday. I was able to do that because silver fell big today, just as it had gone up big yesterday, just after a series of big falls the days before.

Bouncy, bouncy. Buying the contracts back was just like catching it and selling it again was just like starting that whole bouncy process over again.

Then there’s the kind of bounce that if you’re not careful takes you right into oncoming traffic.

That was the bounce I didn’t like. The bounce took an up 100 market into one that closed down almost 200. All of the call contract sales I had been hoping to make just disappeared from view. Once the high of 100 points was hit, that ball may as well have been used for bowling, because there was no going up after that drop.

The news that ptresumably sent the market into a tailspin had nothing to do with an Apple – Amazon war, which may actually be much ado about nothing. The real losersare likely to be the usual suspects. See if you can guess.

Instead the suddenmarket drop was related to more fears that the EU may not be able to come to an agreement as quickly as we’d all like to help resolve the European banking crisis.

The rumors of good news and the rumors of bad news just keep alternating and playing our emotions. Just think of a crazed bouncing ball that somehow keeps escaping your grasp.

No matter. The joy is still there.

I don’t know if I’ll ever buy a new Kindle iPad Killer wannabe device. But somedays I’d like to take all of those  miracles of modern engineering and technology and see if they bounce. I hve just the concrete pad to try it on.

That would bring the fun right back equally in Brooklyn and The Bronx.



To learn how to put such a trading strategy into action consider purchasing the Option to Profit book

Hop SIng and Paw Blaze a New PathAmerican Tower ChartMake you Portfolio Work for You!

Invest like TheAcsMan

Option to Profit is available as either an eBook or 300+ paperback. Take a humorous look at a serious topic and learn how to make your portfolio finally go to work for you in bull and bear market environments.

See a sneak preview of Chapter 1.  hoco blogs

More about the book and purchase options. Scroll down and read the Szelhamos Rules blog, updated every weekday.

Find  OTP Book at Amazon, B&N or now you can also Order direct  from publisher. Use 10% Discount Code P4S2ZD8H



You Know what I Like

What’s in the Szelhamos Portfolio?


About a month ago, in honor of what would have been Buddy Holly’s 75th birthday a small tribute was paid in his honor in “What Buddy Holly Teaches Us“.

But Buddy Holly wasn’t alone on that fateful stormy night.

Some other time, we’ll get to RIchie Valens, once I get the translation module to function. But for now, I remember The Big Bopper and that great lead in line to his hit, Chantilly Lace”.

You don’t need Viagra to know what you like, but it does help you to remember why you liked it.

Obviously, I liked the 300 point gain.

I liked it less when 200 points of it evaporated in the last minutes of trading.

But still, 3 days in a row of gains is very likable and definitely reinforces for me why I like these big upward spikes in the morning.

More on that, later.

Since these days we’re all about rumor or absence of rumors, the late day drop came as the Financial Times reported that there was some discord among the EU members.

Yeah, I know. Hard to believe. But even more difficult to believe was the the discord all centered around which country’s Rosh Hashonah services the ECB commisioners should attend. There was not much support for Greece on that one.

Can’t say I blame them. The thought of feta based matzoh balls is repugnant to me.

We’ll see how that unforeseen little bump in the road works out. Sometimes being in a union means spending time with your partner’s loved ones.

When will Europe learn?

Since I’m not a very social person it’s not difficult to explain why I was such a late adopter of anything resembling Social Media.

I was so far removed from the scene, that I didn’t even know what Friendster was and couldn’t even bring myself to feign laughter at the jokes directed toward its status of being far removed from the scene.

But I like social media, even though my Google + circle is determined by just a single point.

Take that inviolable laws of Geometry.

Nigerian PrinceI’m still not very social, but I like the egalitraian nature of the network with which you can participate.

You can even choose not to have Nigerian Princes be part of your network.

Me? I would never turn a follower down.

Today I posted a query on StockTwits and Twitter regarding what I saw as a disconnect between Monday’s silver price action and the price of the UltraShort Silver ETF. Just a follow-up to the semi-rant in yesterday’s blog.

Bottom line, I spent more time in bilateral conversation with “Kid Dynamite” via 140 spaces at a time than I have with my Sugar Momma this past week.

The fact that she was on a fun filled trip to Chicago with her friend in birthday celebratory mode is not relevant.

I spend more time with the Kid. I p[icture him as being stooped over and quite elderly.

It was a combination of educational, philosophical, agreement, disagreement, interpretation and a mutually deep seated hatred of 16thy century colonialism.

At least that’s how I interpreted it, still upset with Europe’s role in unseating long established tribal governance, thereby resulting in a flood of poor and unemployed Nigerian Princes.

Regardless, it did introduce me to a new blog. I tend to like those written by people with an authoritative grasp on a topic, yet that write in a breezy and humorous fashion.

In my case, one out of three may even be a stretch.

Today though, despite the final 15 minutes, made it 3 out of 3.

By Meatloaf’s standards, that’s damn good.

Even though there’s still almost 4 weeks left in this option cycle and lots of opportunity for more upside, I took advantage of todays jump out of the box.

I was able to sell weekly calls on British Petroleum, JP Morgan Chase and PowerShares QQQ. I also sold some monthlies on Textron and Dow Chemical.

I was also trying to re-sell some Halliburton, Transocean and DuPont calls, but never got my prices. Too bad, because Transocean hit a rough patch late in the session when it got bitch slapped by the EPA.

I just love it when I can sell calls on my unholy troika of BP, Transocean and Halliburton. Maybe tomorrow.

As Kid Dynamite and I were exchanging Tweets and he was trying to school me, I bought back about 30% of my call options on ProShares UltraShort Silver, locking in a very nice 2 day profit, as silver recouped some of its losses.

Assuming that everything Kid Dynamite tried to transmit to my knowledge base was false, you’d be left wondering why the UltraShort ETF was down by 18%, whereas the SIlver ETF (SLV) was up by just 4.3%

2 to 1 correlation, my ass. At least they got the directions right today.

But for some bizarre reason I have a driving desire to know what time it is in London.

Apparently, it’s because I now know that the UltraShort Silver ETF share price is pegged to the morning “London Fix”

I miss the days when “London Fix” referred to what killed a punk rock drummer..

I still remember back about 30 years when the morning business report always started with the London Gold FIx. Back then I was young and foolish and thought that I would conquer the world one gold contract at a time.

Amazing how not much has changed.

In what can only be called an incredible coincidence, about a month ago, I mentioned the London Gold Market Fixing Ltd. Committee in “Did I Not get that Memo? ” and the blog entry also featured Eddie Murphy.

In case you’re wondering, I’m neither a transvestite, nor do I currently have a restraining order out against me.

Whatever, it’s still an issue of those colonizing bastards.

Financial Times. London Fix. They’re all wagging our tails, but then again, maybe that’s the Viagra.


To learn how to put such a trading strategy into action consider purchasing the Option to Profit book

Hop SIng and Paw Blaze a New PathAmerican Tower ChartMake you Portfolio Work for You!

Invest like TheAcsMan

Option to Profit is available as either an eBook or 300+ paperback. Take a humorous look at a serious topic and learn how to make your portfolio finally go to work for you in bull and bear market environments.

See a sneak preview of Chapter 1.  hoco blogs

More about the book and purchase options. Scroll down and read the Szelhamos Rules blog, updated every weekday.

Find  OTP Book at Amazon, B&N or now you can also Order direct  from publisher. Use 10% Discount Code P4S2ZD8H




What Does it All Mean

What’s in the Szelhamos Portfolio?


I’m not really sure what exacty happened on Monday, but I’m not about to complain. Not when the Dow goes up 275 points.

What's it all Mean?Here’s to anarchy. Sometimes it’s just pointless to try and figure out what it all means. Just go with. Remember the courtroom scene in Animal House? “Don’t stop him. He’s on a roll.”

The general theme today was one of disconnects. Sometimes my lack of understanding and sophisitcation is the source of perceived disconnects.

Not today.

The day started with the futures pointing toward a 100 point climb at the opening bell, probably based on the absence of a European meltdown over the weekend and an orderly start to their Monday morning markets.

So far, so good.

When the bell rang the S&P 500 just jack-rabbited out of the gate. But in the meantime, the Dow was barely up a single point. Not to overly simplify, but everything else being equal, there’s generally an 8 to 1 ratio between S&P 500 moves and the Dow. Obviously on days when a Dow component, such as Hewlett Packard crashes, that ratio is off, or if trading in a specific stock is delayed, the ratio may be temporarily imbalanced.

But today, there was no great standout in either direction. Just a 90 to 1 ratio.

You could tell that Jim Cramer and Melissa Lee, on the NYSE floor at the time were perplexed, but it took a while before anyone said anything about the seeming discrepancy. No one likes to look stupid or not in command of what’s going on around them.

Finally Cramer, who’s not terribly shy about opining, correctly ventured that something was wrong with the price reporting going into the calculation of the index.

Disconnect #1. But that was resolved within 15 minutes and before you knew it, the Dow Jones was up 90 points, putting it right in line with the S&P 500, which was about 11 points at the time.

Before trading, the morning started out with what I like to refer to as the “You’re paying me alot of money to give you good information based on solid research, so here’s the bad information” Disconnect.

Research firm, Sanford C.Bernstein, based on its in-depth and proprietary research, analysis and information came out and lowered its price target on poor Goldman Sachs to $185, down from about $230.

That’s a huge drop.

But still, it’s about double Goldman’s current price.

I should mention that in it’s own humble opinion the Sanford C. Bernstein Research firm, referring to itself in the third person, claims that “Sanford C. Bernstein is widely recognized as Wall Street’s premier sell-side research firm.”

If they can help me sell Goldman Sachs for $185 right now, they’re really everything they say they are.

That’s what I call sell side.

The next disconnect is an everyday kind of occurrence, the kind that is often referred to as the “What you talking about, Willis?” Disconnect.

That occurs when seemingly intelligent people look at the same information and come up with wildly different interpretations.

Today it was the announcement that the world’s greatest value investor, Warren Buffett, seems to believe that his own Berkshire Hathaway shares are inappropriately priced.

He proposed a large buyback of his Class A and B shares.

I owned the Baby Berkshire shares when the first appeared a couple of years ago. Held them through a couple of options cycles and picked up some decent premiums, but never found the reason to repurchase shares once they were assigned from me. That’s not typical for the way I manage my holdings. I like buying shares back, albeit at lower prices.

The controversy comes as one school of thought chimes in that Berkshire must be a roaring buy now that Buffett has put out the buyback plan and demonstrates confidence in his company, which itself is just a mirror of our own economy.

The other school thinks that this is a really bad sign, since it means that the famed value investor isn’t seeing any other good values out there.

Initially ignored were the two caveats. Shares would not be purchased at a price greater than 10% of Berkshire’s book value and no repurchases would take place if cash on hand fell below $20 billion.

Also overlooked was that the last time Buffett announced a buyback about 11 years ago, there was no buyback.

He did get shares to move up nicely today, though.

Corollary disconnect? Sure, some people can nuance the truth and not be called on the carpet for misleading others.

On the international scene much ado was made of the fact that the royal Housee of Saud, the ruling family of Saudi Arabia announced that women will be given the right to vote and run for elective office.

What they didn’t say was that there was still no way for them to get to the polling place, unless their husbands provided appoval and transportation.

Also, women can’t run for King.

Disconnect between expectations and reality. Have you seen that one before.

For me, the biggest disconnect was a very pragmatic one and has me as perplexed as those on the floor of the NYSE were at the opening bell.

For yet another day, gold and silver were brutalized. Gold had another of those $100 round trips today.

Remember when gold and silver were so easy to understand? Remember when they obeyed that inviolate 35 to 1 ratio?

No more. They more in opposte directions all the time and that ratio is a thing of the very distant past.

If you’ve been reading the blog, you know that I hold shares of the ProShares UltaShort Silver ETF (ZSL). The one that moves inversely to the price of silver and is leveraged to boot, at about 2 to 1.

A month ago, I started to wonder if the price of silver were to soar would the relationship between the Silver tracking ETF (SLV), which actually holds silver bullion,  and the UltraShort breakdown. Afterall, the price can’t get less than zero for the UltraShort, while the metal can keep soaring forever.

Funny thing. That didn’t happen.

Instead today, as silver fell, a reasonable personwould have expected ZSL to move in the opposte direction and by twice the amount.

Instead, there was a little  disconnect between SLV & ZSL pricing. By little, I mean big. SLV went down 0.7%, and ZSL went down 5.1%.

Wait that must be a typo. I must have meant that ZSL went up by 1.4%

If only it was that easy. Whatever happened to perfect pricing?

I posed the question on Twitter and one responded that it was related to the hike in margin requirements that was announced this past Friday.

Sounded good, until I check back to May 2011, the last time the margin requirement was increased. On that day the moves were big, but perfectly in line with the script. Silver fell big and ZSL climbed even bigger.

But the day’s trading had even more examples.

Eddy Elfenbein, of Crossing Wall Street, pointed out that at one point in the trading day the VIX, a measure of volatility that rises as the market falls, was rising, even as the S&P 500 was soaring.I don’t recall the precise text, but his usual tone is one of humor and fact, a nice, but rare combination.

Also known as a disconnect.

Of course you can have Disconnect #3 applied to that disconnect. All you need is to find an analyst who recognized the incongruity between a rising VIX and rising S&P and state that he believes that the VIX is a more reliable measure.

And you know, that wasn’t hard to do, because people will say anything to get air time, especally knowing that no on remembers anything said more than a fruit flies half-life ago.

“I’ll go with the VIX’, after which point the S&P nearly doubled and the VIX decided it was the mixed up one and finally corrected its course to close down nearly 5%.

Helping to restore my faith in correlation was the market’s action upon hearing news that the EU and ECB were diligently working on the European debt crisis.

Upon release of that news, the market showed the VIX who was Queen for a Day.

Of course, the market’s reaction to that news would indicate that the fact that they were working diligently on a solution, was in itself a surprise.

So what does this all mean?

To me it means that the individual investor is just as likely to read the market correctly as the guys from Bernstein. The difference is that the individual investor cares more and is more tentative in making decsions and taking actions, because for them, it’s not play money. It’s the real thing and it’s theirs.

Today I just took the opportunity to pick up more shares of Freeport McMoran and Halliburton. I also sold call contracts on some of my Freeport, Textron and Sallie Mae shares.

Then I used the premiums to pick up more Sallie Mae shares and promptly sold calls on those, as well.

That’s the real meaning of all of this, making Einstein’s observation that the greatest miracle in life is that of compounding.

Amidst the confusion and the lack of rational thought, some things are just universally true.




Twitter and Nepal


NepalI’m not really certain which Tweet it was, but I got my first website hit from Nepal, as a result of Twitter on Sunday.

For no meaningful reason I check my various sites analytic reports to see where visitors are coming from, how long they stay and whether they return to the site.

I don’t have great aspirations for selling tons of Option to Profit copies in Nepal, but I love seeing the website visits, especially when people linger and come back

Seeing the Nepalese flag icon appear on the analytic report was veryTweetdaeck Icon inspiring to me. In fact, in my completely incapable of detecting similarities in shapes portion of my mind, one of the Nepalese flag symbols looks just like the TweetDeck icon.

It’s that kind of difficulty in interpretaion of visual cues that excuses Eddie Murphy’s solicitation of LA transvestites.

Honest mistake.

Also explains the difficulty I have with those on-line IQ tests.

Back when I ran the original iteration of the Szelhamos Rules blog in 2007-8, I had a daily dedicated reader from Vietnam.

The very idea always amazed me. What was it that the reader could possibly find interesting enough to come back day after day. I felt a very tiny pang of guilt when on the first anniversary of the blog, I ceased its publication.

But not too big of a pang. My final blog re-directed readers to a new site called “Csokolj meg a seggem,” which was a Hungarian expression that was one of Szelhamos’ favorites. If you’re too lazy to try a translation program, you can visit the “Rebus Puzzle” page.

Now, in its second iteration, that Vietnamese reader hasn’t returned.

Is he still alive? Has his life changed? Maybe for the better? I’ll never know.

But now, in the second iteration, I also hold you, the dear reader in higher esteem.

Not high, just higher.

I also don’t know if the Nepalese reader will be back, but I’ll try to make the blog more Nepalese centric. More and more each day would be my aim, but don’t worry, I’m used to failed expectations.

It’s also amazing where inspiration can come from. Ultimately, if your eyes are open widely enough and you suspend rational thought processes, inspiration can come from anywhere.

Coming off a horrible week in the markets, with the worst weekly loss since late in 2008, I received inspiration from an unlikely source.


Back in 1978 or so, a friend had convinced me to buy a silver bar, just prior to what would become an incredible rise in price that eventually bought an ounce up to $50, back when the Hunt Brothers tried to corner the market.

That bar sits somewhere in the basement, I suppose, unseen for the past 30 years.

Following a brief time playing with commodity futures in the very early 80’s, I’ve completely ignored metals, not wishing to repeat some costly mistakes.

But for some reason, probably because I remembered the hysteria of 30 years ago, I was in disbelief of gold and silver prices. But that disbelief just kept getting discredited.

In fact, my oldest son took my advice and sold 3 of his five gold coins that he received as his collegfe graduation gift. The advice was a bit premature at about $1500 an ounce, but it’s hard to let a 70% profit ride on irrational pricing. Still, there was that pang of guilt again.

My disbelief finally manifested in buying those leveraged silver short ETF’s.

The first iteration of those were at about $17 and had 12% options premiums. I was assigned when silver went down to about $35 and the ETF went to $20 back in May or June.

Since then, as silver started its bizarre and unwarranted climb back, I’ve been slowly re-assembling the ETF holding. So much so, that very quietly it became nearly 10% of my portfolio. Given that I typically own about 20 stocks, a 10% share is a little out of proportion, especially since this one is more than a bit speculative.

And I don’t like to speculate.

Normally, I buy and sell shares of stocks with conviction and arrogance.

All at once.

That’s often not a good idea, but I like spending my money and limiting the number of different holdings to about 20.

But the short silver ETF was different. Everytime I got some extra options income, I just plowed it into more shares of the ETF. When I got some more Option to Profit royalties? Same thing, more ETF shares, as silver just kept rising.

So after this week, as the market and metals both plummeted, I am still breathing, thanks to the metals that I swore to eschew years ago. Although I didn’t take profits, instead selling enriched call options, it was like getting a big royalty payment.

I guess that being short, and leveraging to boot, is consistent with the earlier stance.

Come Monday, instead of being shell shocked, I’m ready to do battle, thanks to the anti-silver, almost like Kryptonite, except that anti-silver stopped evil.

Instead of writer’s block, I have inspiration from an unknown reader in Nepal.

Well, that’s all fine and good for yesterday, but we’ll just have to see what will bring inspiration in time for tomorrow’s blog.

Like an addict needing more and more to get the same effect, I may need something a lot more exotic than Nepal.

Maybe something like getting Paul Kedrosky or Jane Wells to follow me on Twitter, or even write a guest blog when I’m away.

But then what?

And that’s exactly the problem. That’s the human condition. Maybe if I went to Nepal and hiked up some lofty mountain to seek spiritual meaning, I might find some. I might find that inspiration comes from within and that we don’t need to enslave our souls by seeking inspiration outside of our souls.

Spirituality sounds great.


My guess is that upon meeting my spiritual mentor wannabe and being proposed the deeper benefits of meditation, I’ll be pleased to find that my specially chosen mantric phrase is “Csokolj meg a seggem”

Thank you Twitter.