Wow!!!!! That Sure Didn't Work Out Like I Wanted It To!! 

"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future."
Yogi Berra

"No one that ever lived has ever had enough power, prestige, or knowledge to overcome the basic condition of all life -- you win some and you lose some."
-- Ken Keyes, Jr.

Sometime things work out your way, sometimes they don't. Oh Well. I did a nice little finesse move; I looked at how long the market had gone without a correction, I listened to the Fed jawbone inflation, I saw the stock market start to break in the second week of May, and I sold. In May I got mostly out and in June/July I got back in. I sold high and bought back lower. Then the deadline for Iran to respond to the UN's ultimatum came up on the calender, and the Iran backed Hezbollah in Lebanon invaded Israel, killed eight Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two soldiers. And now the Israelis are exacting a price from Hezbollah to send a message that the withdrawal from Gaza and a retreat behind the Wall doesn't necessarily mean that it is open season on Israelis.

The Iran nuclear issue is now off the front pages and in the back of the paper on the lower half of page 12. What's up on the front page is expanding warfare in the Middle East threatening to spiral out of control and a possible threat to the world's oil supply at a time when prices are already at all time highs. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty and every quick trigger finger near the sell button is now leaning on it.
Politics looks dark. Economics don't look that bad. There haven't been much in the way of lowered earnings preannouncements. The economy may be cooling, but business as a whole still looks OK, if not really strong. However our particular business sector looks really strong. And we've got a nice contract. That's encouraging. And the Fed finally sounds like it may be near a pause, if only a temporary one. The Fed is also likely to see the Mid East situation as a headwind to continued economic expansion and may not want to pile on right now. So I have gone to cash with the maximum allowable under the rapid trading rules as of Friday and I'll let the rest ride. Maybe it'll work out. September of '04 was an incredibly right time to go all in in stocks. Now the risks are huge. Forty percent up, to thirty percent up, and back down to 25% up in a month. The Mid East riff came up too fast. These things have come up recently on Union meeting night and I've been a day or two late to move. I've fallen behind the Balanced Pooled Fund for the first time this year. But I'm feelin' OK about what I own right now. I'd rather have bought Friday than two weeks ago... but for the moment, I'm standing pat heading into an earnings season that may surprise to the upside. Let's see if it works.
Special Called Meeting going down in September. The Defined Benefit and the Defined Contribution Funds will be discussed at that meeting. I'm going to present some of the information I've developed and shown here as well as additional information regarding our Pension Funds. We will have representatives of the Fund managers available to answer to questions raised by the presentation. See ya there....
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