There was a time when a singer named “Carly Simon” was very popular.
She rarely performed in concert because she reportedly wasn’t comfortable in the limelight.
Although she was very attractive, you couldn’t help but notice that she could fit a microphone into her mouth sideways. And to top it off, she must have been happy, because she was always flashing that incredibly wide smile, that may have actually been larger than most New York City studio apartments.
Her song, “You’re so Vain,” is still discussed by aging baby boomers who continue to wonder whether the song was about Bob Dylan, Warren Beatty or anyone else who may have been alive at the time.
These sort of things matter.
She was also part of the 70’s rock royalty, since she was married to James Taylor, the king of soft and non-threatening pop during that time period. He was the kind of singer that even your parents could like.
“You’ve Got a Friend,” was everybody’s faorite song for the 5 years or so that it seemed to be getting perpetual airplay.
I saw Carly SImon in concert, only because she and James Taylor were surprise participants in a Jackson Brown show a long time ago in Providence, a city so small, that I was able to find on street parking right near the venue.
Obviously, those sort of things matter, too.
She could probably avoid the glare of the concert hall, as she was part of the SImon-Schuster empire, sold lots of records and otherwise, had it all.
Not only did she have it all, but she was everywhere. Strange for someone who shunned the limelight. Her song “Anticipation” was the theme for an iconic TV commercial of a child waiting for the ketchup to come out of the Heinz bottle.
I don’t recall if the kid was patient or impatient, but I’m suffering through a great period of impatience.
Three days worth.
Peope anticipate all sorts of things. Many have strategies to deal with the anticipated event once it arrives, but few have strategies to deal with the situation if it doesn’t
You can include me in that latter group.
In general, I like to be prepared for all possibilities. And like everyone else in that generation, I wasn’t prepared for the Carly Simon and James Taylor divorce, nor the news of James Taylor’s deep depression, but most of us moved on.
But now I’ve been caught totally unprepared these past few days.
As opposed to Heinz ketchup, which took about 35 years to deal with the “problem” of slow moving ketchup, I don’t think I have that kind of time left.
That’s true for a number of reasons, predominantly the fact that I don’t have that kind of time left.
But just like that little kid, there’s a sense of urgency involved.
It took Heinz those 30+ years to come up with the dual ideas of a wide mouthed bottle and a squeeze bottle.
How genius were those, especially since in the era of “fast everything” a slow moving ketchup can no longer be marketed as a desirable property?
We want it fast and now.
I once had a girlfriend who worked in a restaurant. I’d often go at closing time to pick her up and would often see her doing the nightly ritual of re-filling the Heinz ketchup bottles with something from a big can that flowed alot faster.
Bastards. I’ll bet they even ripped the tags off of mattresses, but by now, I’m sure that some kind of statute of limitations must apply.
But still, a strategy, nonetheless, as the owner likely wanted to turn those tables around faster, rather than waiting for the expensive ketchup to start flowing.
So I’ve been sitting an anticipating some kind of a market move the past three days. With the money continuing to burn a hole in my pocket, I really preferred to see a nice little retracement, but each of the past three days has served only to tease.
Each day it looked as maybe sanity would finally kick in and perhaps give back some of the senseless and sustained gains.
And here I was, with no fallback strategy to deal with seemingly high prices and a genetic propensity to buy stocks when there’s fuel available.
I guess that buying a cheaper ketchup could have solved the anticipation problem so well defined a generation ago, but something was probably given up in that trade-off.
I suppose that I could make some kind of trade-off and look for “value” stocks, but I know exactly how that would work out. More trap than value.
Neither is sticking to my favorite stocks and buying high and selling low the kind of alternate strategy that can sustain you for a long time, but the thought has crossed my mind as the anticipated bargains just didn’t materialize.
Back in the heady days of 2011 the market bounces seemed to occur on a daily basis.
Funny how the memories of a ketchup bottle from 35 years ago seem more vivid and realistic than the volatility that we used to know.
And love, in my case.
I did succumb a bit yesterday to the need to do something, but ended the day with the conviction that today would be different.
As it would turn out, it wasn’t, other than the fact that my ProShares UltraShort Silver ETF didn’t suffer another bout of Bernanke burnout.
Silver actually went down in price as the dollar strengthened.
Or so they surmised.
And so it was more of the same.
I sold puts in Research in Motion, Focus Media and MolyCorp.
I also bought shares of RIMM and MolyCorp the day before during previous moments of weakness, uncertainty and crisis of faith.
Focus Media was actually a company that I started with by selling puts after one of the Muddy Waters related plunges.
Those put sales were very profitable as the market very quickly began to ignore Muddy Waters’ dire warnings and rapidly returned shares to its previous trading price and beyond. Ultimately, one lot was assigned and I owned shares and those too have been very profitable by virtue of selling in the money calls.
Rinse and repeat has been a good strategy with Focus Media, which I’m sure actually sells something or does something in China, or at least I think.
That’s why I like volatility, as long as there is a solid floor below to support a bounce.
Even RIMM probably has some kind of floor.
A Twitter follower asked me today if I was a fan of RIMM.
My 140 space or less response was that I was generally agnostic on all shares that I owned, looking only for opportunities to generate some premium via selling covered calls or puts.
With the opportunity to buy shares and sell weekly calls on them coming to an end, as Friday approaches, agnostic was definitely the way to go as I needed to “feed the beast.”. Besides, there’s plenty of time, I hope, for a deathbed conversion.
Again, it’s all a case of anticipation and being prepared for any of the likely or unlikely outcomes.
Who knows? In this case it’s possible that the ketchup will get sucked right back into the bottle.