The Eye Of The Storm... Waiting For Your Dad To Get Home Like Your Mom Said You'd Hafta... Free On Bail... Seems Not So Bad At The Moment, But It's Lookin' Bad For The Future. I Think There Is Still Some Serious Shit Gonna Happen Soon Regardless of The Present Calm. What I'm Doin' 'bout It. 

Change hurts. It makes people insecure, confused and angry. People want things to be the same as they've always been, because that makes life easier.
--Richard Marcinko


CHARTZ AN' TABLE ZUP @ WWW.JOEFACER.COM



The GM/Ford/Chrysler debacle reverberates through our society. At the end of 2008, Prez Bush signed the Workers, Retirees, Employers Recovery Act of 2008. It was not because Workers, Retirees, and Employers could get something really good for almost nothing. It was because the fecal material hit the rapidly rotating oscillating rotary air mover.

Single employer pension plans were in large part, the sole responsibility of the employer to manage. They had good years and bad years in terms of money going into the plan and gains on the plan's investments. During bad years for the businesses, they wanted to be able keep some of the money that would have otherwise gone into the plan to make the current year's operating results look better. So rules were put in place that allowed them to project better investment gains for the plan in the future and project more contributions to the plan in the future so as to justifying cutting the current year's contributions to the plan.


Voila!!!


The companies books looked better businesswise and you were required to have more faith in the future pensionwise 'cuz you blew off takin' care of business this year. 'Course if and when you push too hard, and the company goes down in flames, the pension plan is really left in a huge hole. Like now. A lot of companies besides the car makers wanted short term relief last year. Last year's once in a lifetime crash (apparently "lifetime" means about 5 years) blew holes in everything financial and business and since the subprime thing was going to be contained to just one company or so, since the price of real estate only goes up, since the rest of the world would keep buying American stuff regardless of what happened here, since we were all safely diversified by being in stocks and bonds, tech and commodities, among different investment plans, since the government would keep everything afloat with the printing press, (pick your favorite discredited mantra) once things picked up by Summer of 09, everything would be kool. Pension funding would look good again and it would be back to business as usual.

It's not. Check out the links I've posted here in the past year.

Thursday I received a letter from a pension plan I'm a participant in. It went like this;

Federal Pension law divides pension plans into three categories;

Plans in the "Green Zone" are considered "Healthy". They are 80% or better funded and other conditions in the plan are supportive of the continued health and viability of the plan. All is cool and under control.

Plans in the "Yellow Zone" are "Endangered". They are less than 80% funded and there is nothing positive or supportive about the concept of "Endangered". By my understanding, Federal pension law prior to the Workers, Retirees, Employers Recovery Act of 2008 requires that the Trustees immediately improve the funding status of the plan. This can be done by adopting a higher level of funding (more money from the participants) or cutting the benefit accruals (less benefits allocated per dollar contributed).

Plans in the "Red Zone" are considered "Critical". They are funded at a level of 65% or less. Federal law requiring action in the case of "Critical" is not considered "Improvement", but "Rehabilitation".

If "Endangered" sounds bad, "Critical" sounds worse. Everybody like "Improvement". "Rehab" is pejorative. In both cases, there is a structure and benchmarks that must be met per a timetable to improve the pension plan's conditions until it is again sound.

The pension plan I'm a participant in was certified as "Green Zone" for the 2008 year. Their actuary has certified the plan a "Yellow Zone" plan for 2009.

The Workers, Retirees, Employers Recovery Act of 2008 allows the Trustees to "freeze" a plan's status at the 2008 level for the 2009 year, making this year's problem something that can be legally ignored. Like pinning the thermometer at 98.6. No fever, no problem. The pension fund can wait until 2010 to deal with the issue , if it doesn't go away on its own when you ignore it....

Unless the law is changed. To postpone doing what should be done immediately, which got GM to where it is now. Let's not go there until we get further down the page...

Anyway, the Trustees of the "Yellow Zone" pension plan intend to freeze the status and act on the shortfall in 2010.

In a mailing dated October 2008, I was informed by another pension plan's Trustees, my main pension plan that I participate in, that the 94% funding of the 2007 year was no longer current. It further stated that the situation had deteriorated to the point that additional contributions to the plan would likely have to be made in 2009. I'm gonna guess that the language suggests that the plan went "Yellow Zone" in 2008, possibly earlier than the first plan mentioned. A lot has happened since October 2008 and not much of it has been good. I think I'm ready to hear more specifics from the Trustees on the matter.



A "freeze" in the status of the plan is like a "moratorium" on foreclosures. If things are going to get clearly better immediately, no problem. It's a good thing. If they are not going to get better, there's nothing like letting the problem build some momentum. Kinda like the gazillion dollars of taxpayer money that was shoveled into Wall Street to keep Brokers like Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros and banks like Citibank and Indy Mac and government agencies Ginnie Mae and Freddie Mac and insurance companies like AIG afloat. Uunh... they are still afloat...aren't they??!!? I mean it's not like we poured taxpayer money in and they went belly up anyway, except taking a lot of taxpayer money down with them... Is it???!!??!!?

I feel like I and anyone else like me interested in their pension need some current information from the Trustees.

Now.

Do we have a problem? If we do, how big is it and how do we fix it and when do we start?

It's not like we can rely on anyone else...




$20 Billion Short


...GM’s pension system had a $20 billion shortfall as of Nov. 30, 2008, based on numbers the company provided the PBGC, said Jeffrey Speicher, a PBGC spokesman. (PBGC is the PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTEE CORP...jf) By law, the agency would be able to make up only $4 billion of that, he said.

“The rest would be lost,” Speicher said in an interview....

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... zS4bEfFmzs
http://www.1853chairman.com/2009/04/24/ ... ptcy-risk/



Of course, maybe the GM pension plan is in a lot better shape than it was in Nov 30 2008. Wanna bet that way? Just last week, the Trustee for GM's 401k announced that they had pretty much blown the GM stock from GM employees accounts...


April 25 (Bloomberg) -- State Street Bank and Trust Co., manager of a 401(k) investment fund for General Motors Corp. employees, has sold the majority of its shares in the automaker on concern that the stock could lose all value in a bankruptcy.

State Street sold 75 million shares, or about 12.4 percent of GM outstanding common stock, between March 31 and yesterday, Julie Gibson, a GM spokeswoman, said yesterday in an interview. It held most of those shares in a 401(k) fund for 29,800 employees and retirees. The fund is one of several options available in the GM employee-retirement savings plan.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... 9lbsWMauyw



DAMN!!! It's like we didn't go through this already with employees of ENRON buried under ENRON stock in their 401k's....

More "Buy and hold for the long run and look at the account no more than once a year"?
Prepare for some heart wrenching tales of misery. Again, rethink the ENRON retiree and 401a story.
Pay attention to your pension and 401k. Vigilance is the price of security.

Stay Tooned....



http://weblogs.newsday.com/news/opinion ... ong_1.html
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.portfolio.com/executives/200 ... e=2#page=2
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30429089/
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... zS4bEfFmzs
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30429089/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30440950/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30440734/
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home



http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/category/video/














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Well....That Didn't Turn Out As Nearly As Well As I Hoped It Would......  

"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.

Chartz and Table Zup @ www.joefacer.com


Here's the dilemma; Big Time Caution was big time right onna way down. At some point, that caution would have/ will need to be tempered with aggressiveness, and at some point, my typically overconfident insanely aggressive nature will would have/ will need to be unleashed. In a perfect world, I'd a' gone WFO to the long side on 3/9 to date. Lookie here...


Instead, I was a week late to the party, only partially there and I left at least a coupla weeks early. I got some, but not nearly as much as I'd have liked. On the one hand, that's a little whiney coming from a guy with over 50% returns in his 401a over the last five years. On the other hand, I'm in position to take advantage of some serious compounding of returns and I don't like to watch potential returns fade away into the distance after doing this much work.

So.... 20% to 40% gains is many years worth of very good returns. That happened in 6 weeks. Is the party over? Am I coming out of the kitchen just as the cops come in the front and the flash mob comes in through the back door?

There is a huge amount of institutional managed cash out there that exhibited a lot more caution than I did and managers could be hearing from clients asking "WTF am I paying you fees for when the market is up 50% and I'm not innit??" There's money available on the sidelines to chase the market higher. Will it? Will it chase before or after a correction? Or two? How long will the disconnect between the market and the economy last and how will it resolve? Is this the mother of all bull traps? How much risk is left in a market that's down 50%? Why is everybody getting jiggy over fewer than expected foreclosures when the administration has been beating "voluntary" moratoriums out of the mortgage holders. Why is the administration getting stiff armed on the PPIP? (Hint...'cuz the banks see an "end around" that works better)


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124016633014432579.html
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30293461/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/fo ... ts-ending/
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meltdown/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/su ... ales-fall/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/fo ... urnaround/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/fingering-aig/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/bo ... t-selling/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/ar ... reopening/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/st ... e-summers/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/gr ... r-suckers/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/fo ... igh-in-q1/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/se ... oversight/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/be ... t-rally-4/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/sa ... o-frannie/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/fm ... ve-public/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/ho ... chs-style/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/ho ... the-world/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/wo ... t-decline/


I changed my 401a allocation Friday. What was I thinking?



I was thinking of getting some exposure to the action, late or not, whatever direction it may be. It is DANGEROUS to chase stocks big time after a 25% or 50% move. That is not how the game is played. The last one in is invariably an innocent or a fool. Who'd we sell Rockefeller Center and Pebble Beach to at the top in the late 80's? The Japanese. We quoted the price in yen and it was cheap by Tokyo standards. Who bought PALM at $800 and Enron at $100 in 2000 and rode them down to a dollar or two in 2001? People who planned on selling when it doubled and then waited to get back to even... )Of course, we're not AT a top. And I'm neither an innocent or a fool. And stocks will at some time, go up.

That said.... If ya wanna find darkness and despair, ya can with lookin' too hard. Check out the last 6 weeks links. Eighteen percent unemployment in Elkhart ID. Don't look it as a high paid union worker legacy problem. Most of the RV and industrial shops that have gone down were non union. Jobs didn't go to where labor was cheaper... they ceased to exist. White collar GM employees (clerks and managers) facing losing pensions or reduced pensions. money out of the economy. Seniors scrabbling after Micky D's jobs in competition with the teeny boppers. Autos and real estate and financial and retail and muni and manufacturing jobs gone away. There has been a bounce the last month or so....but last year /first of this year the economy looked down into the abyss. Everyone slammed production and employment and orders down to less than maintenance levels. And like in the 80's, when we had 12% unemployment (apples and oranges, they've since jiggered the numbers) when you subtracted the unemployed from the employed, you still has people with jobs and income to buy with. So we've bounced. Sales and production have picked up and the loss of jobs have slowed. But the direction of the economy is still down. The economy can and will get worse, and there are still jobs and money to be lost and written down.

But the market discounts the present and buys the future. If investors think they see the bottom, or the slope lessening as we approach the bottom, they will look across the valley bottom to the upward slope of the other side. The market CAN go up as things get worse. Or not.

So I've taken a single step into the action. If there is still action to the upside, I'm there. If it shows legs, I can take a second step. If the market does a 100 MPH faceplant well below this years lows, I'm only a step away from the door, and 85% intact for the ride up off the real bottom whenever it happens.

Call it a calculated risk...and make no mistake, the emphasis is on risk.

Stay toooned.....











I think of myself as aggressive and focused and I've seen 145 MPH and still accelerating on my street bike running toward Turn One at Thunderhill, and I've run my race bike there even harder .... but DAMN, some of them old guys....hangin' on at 150 MPH through the measured mile after the bike has topped out on a very long run up!!!!!



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollie_Free















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I've Been Right Not To Trust The Markets For Well Over a Year. Every Bounce Has Betrayed The Believers. Ya Gotta Trust Sometime.... Is Time To Trust Now???  

There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.
-- Mark Twain

Chartz and Table Zup @ www.joefacer.com



My 401a performance has been SMOKIN'. At a time when 401a and 'k's have been bleedin' red, I made money on what I had in the account and last year's contributions dropped to the bottom line unmolested.

Kooool.

This year I've made three times the money I made last year in less than one month. Did I make it on a bounce and step aside at the right time? Or did I make it on the turn at the bottom and did I step off the train as it is finally leaving the station?

Damn good questions. I Gotta Think About That.... I'll do it in part right here. And then I'll.....

Stay tooned.











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First There Is A Mountain, Then There Is No Mountain, Then There Is. From Donovan to The Allman Bros. Who 'da Thunk?  

It is the markets’ job to reallocate money from the ignorant to the intelligent, from the lazy to the hard working and studious; from the naive to the educated, and from the speculator to the investor.
Barry Ritholtz


CHARTZ AND TABLE ZUP @ www.joefacer.com


The one great certainty about the market is that things will always change. When we lose sight of that fact and dig in our heels on a particular viewpoint or thesis, it can create tremendous stress as we deal with an environment that may not appreciate our great insight.
Reverend Shark



So maybe we had a bottom or the bottom or whatever and the markets bear market bounced into earnings. I reallocated 50% into stocks to take advantage of the better market conditions and earned some money for my retirement. Then I lightened my stock allocation into earnings season because the risk of holding into what was expected to be gawdawful earnings numbers was too high for my 401a account. I knew I was going to be out of stocks early to stay within the 401a rapid trading restrictions. So being out while the market goes up is part of the game. Sure enough, the market continues to go up. This is my 401a account and I don't like to chase the markets up. The rules of this game do not favor such. But, if I buy back in, would I be chasing the dregs to the drain and goin' down? Or would I be buying into a new long term bull market? Damn good question. It is something to worry about for the next coupla days. But I'll get an answer next week. A little uncertainty about booking profits ain't such a cross to bear. Nobody ever went broke bookin' profits... But a lot of people get their face torn off holding for the long run or waiting to get back to even. Twist the Wrist and ride on.

http://videos.streetfire.net/video/Wing ... 146752.htm


VERY IMPORTANT IF YOU HAVE A PENSION. IF YOU DON'T....WHY ARE YOU HERE?
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/pb ... rporation/



ANOTHER SMOKIN' LINK....
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 16Q4F5.DTL
Do a google search for "sean olender". it'll give you an interesting perspective on the above link....
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04032009/watch.html
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/summers/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/la ... b-part-ii/
http://www.economist.com/world/unitedst ... d=13414116
http://www.economist.com/opinion/displa ... d=13405314

Jeezus!!!
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washi ... investing/

Yet another smokin' link...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/busin ... f=business

http://business.theglobeandmail.com/ser ... Blogs/home

The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.
-- James Baldwin

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/opini ... 8s7M6l8OTA







Stay tooned....
















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Chaos And Entropy Abound. Planned Events Go Awry and Random Events Effect Change Far Beyond Rational Expectation: Finally!!!! Something I Can Work With...... 

One of the most difficult investing skills to master is being persistent and confident while not crossing the line to being stubborn and obstinate. It is a very fine line and you will never get it quite right now matter how hard you try.
Reverend Shark

Chartz and Table Zup @ www.joefacer.com

Stay Tooned....

Here's A Good Chart... A Variation Onna Double Top or Rounded Bottom....



Livin' Inna USA.... Somebody Get Me A CHEEZEBurger!!!!!



http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/pp ... more-22802
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/kr ... itization/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/wh ... ith-bonds/
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/st ... g_takeover
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/ne ... uary-2009/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/bu ... out-money/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/in ... d-housing/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/ho ... tion-work/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/in ... d-housing/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/gr ... s-amnesia/
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home

SUNDAY



More to come; But for now suffice it to say that investment risk is markedly less than in the recent past. Things have ALREADY gone to hell. We're half way to zero. We've seen a bottom and I reallocated 50% back to stocks. Check it out below in previous week's posts....

But then on Friday, I pretty much cut my exposure to stocks by 50% to 25% and put my money where I had been very wary of doing so, in MET Life. Here's what it looks like...



We've seen A bottom, but maybe not THE bottom. Earnings will be terrible. The economy is still going down... not as fast as it was, but down is still the direction. There is a bunch of mortgages being applied for.... but they are refi's. The stock of new houses and repos is still huge. The FED is pushing on a string. There are still jobs to be lost. Stimulus dollars to the state are being spent on subsidies to promote social issues and to paper over budget issues; job creation are still hanging fire. The Bad News on GM and Chrysler is gonna hit tomorrow (Monday) and it may not suit Wall St. (or me) This minute I'm more interested in keeping what I made than losing out on further gains. CHECK IT OUT.



The red line is what I've missed by being in cash and the green line is what I've made by being in stocks. CLICKIT!!!! There will be a time and place when I'm looking for more exposure to stocks. Here and now ain't it. I'm still concerned about MET LiFE's safety. But by now I'm willing to bet that the tax payers will back them up.... Stay tooned.....

Oh, yeah....There's two couples that I've been talkin' to that need to pull the trigger on the refi's. You know who you are!!!!!


MONDAY

AMAZING!!!!


I had no idea we could afford to do this....

http://money.cnn.com/news/specials/stor ... index.html


WEDNESDAY


Lookie Where We Came From....


I reallocated further toward a larger cash/smaller stock position today. The trend is still down, the economy is deteriorating more slowly but still deteriorating, the news is still equivocal, there are corporate and employment issues, and although we are getting closer to a bottom and a recovery..... there still is a substantial risk of revisiting recent lows. I've managed to avoid losing a huge percentage of the 401a. I'm gonna go with what has been working.

See how long and far we went down? I don't think we are going back up so fast that I won't be able to reallocate back to stocks in time to make a dollar.


THURSDAY





Look at the chart above. Smokin' upside move in a month. Now look at the same run up onna chart above that. Not so smokin'... What's wid dat? People are giddy over the move. "End of the Bear" an stuff... Or maybe not. Maybe things are still bad and getting worse and this was a bear market bounce. Too much of the move is non-rational in terms of the economy. More unemployment, more retrenching for the consumer, fewer bucks spent, more saved, less produced, less transparency with the relaxing of mark to market, the stimulus money not yet out to the public, and other stuff yet to come.

"Buy the dips and sell the rips"

Easier said than done. That was a BF dip we had goin' for the last year. Buyin' the "dip" too soon woulda ripped your face off and sellin' the "rip" after the long way down woulda left you still buried in a shallow grave.

Easier to buy the start of the rip and lock in some profits while you still have them or cut the losses quick if you were wrong about it beein' a rip.

Should I have held on? Dunno. We'll see. So many stocks up 10%-30% on no good economic news or objective improvement in business conditions. Not that it doesn't make me uneasy to be out of the market. Just not all THAT unesy.

So I'm out for now.









Stay tooned...







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Congress And The President Do Photo Ops And Sound Bites Over .001% Of The AIG Bailout Money While The Fed Goes Nuclear  

"It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense."
-- Mark Twain

Chartz And Table Zup @ www.joefacer.com

Stay Tooned...

THURSDAY



http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/hy ... zi-scheme/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/ne ... uary-2009/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/th ... he-needle/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/ro ... ll-street/

Come the weekend, I'll prolly share some thoughts. Yuh see, I got some, an' so......











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HOW DO I DO IT? "BRUTE FORCE AND DUMB CLUMSINESS." IT'S ON MY FAMILY CREST!! 

Our activity as investors is not to try to identify tops and bottoms - it is to constantly align our exposure to risk in proportion to the return that we can expect from that risk, given prevailing evidence.
-- John Hussman


CHARTZ AND TABLE ZUP ON WWW.JOEFACER.COM

Friday I moved a very significant portion of my 401a into the market. I have an overall plan and some criteria by which to decide alternate actions and reactions as circumstances and inclination require.



Coupla things about the table. I'm still 50% bonds/cash. This is NOT the bottom. I'm NOT all in on a secular bull move off the long term bottom. I've spread small amounts of money in every domestic stock fund available except one, VFINX. I'm not in VFINX because I don't like the rapid trading limitations for Vanguard funds. The reason I've used small amounts in a lot of funds is so that I can get back out in 2 days and stay within the rapid trading restrictions of all the funds. The reason I'm in every domestic fund including RWMFX, which I think is a real dawg, is that,

1) I want maximum exposure to the market without running afoul of the rapid trading restrictions and I'll take the added exposure in a dawggy fund, accepting lower returns for the ability to get out cleanly if it doesn't go the way I expect.

2) I believe the risks are too great in the foreign stock fund.


Here's a quick rundown of Three possibilities at play here;

1) We've got an oversold bounce. We've had a buncha days down in a row. Everyone who had the inclination and means to sell, did so. They got so far out there, that they got nervous and have stopped selling and covered their shorts or had nothing left to sell into short covering or the everyday buying that started the move up. If that is so, the move up is over/will be over within a day or two and I'll bail out and go back to cash for a small loss.

2) We've got a Bear market rally workin'. The bottom is STILL NOT IN. But we'll see a sustained upward move similar to the sustained downward move we just had, but taking us only part of the way back up. It'll be quick and vicious, and it'll end when we reach a technical resistance level, or we get a news item that affects investor psychology, or when fear and exhaustion overcomes greed. Rather than having the rug pulled out from under me immediately, as per #1 above, it'll happen later when I'm feeling good about finely making a dollar in stocks in the 401a. Between recognizing it's time to sell and actually getting out, I'll probably lose some money. That's how it works. and if it works out well I might make a coupla dollars and keep some of it too. Works fer me,Tweety bird.

3) I'm totally wrong and we start a new bull market and I never get my sell signal and I'm forced to go all in on stocks and make a lotta money being long stocks. That works for me too. But I don't see it.....

What I intend to try is not without risk. Then again, neither is buying, holding and not looking at my 401a but once a year. A day will come when the coast is clear to load up on stocks and stay that way. I just don't know when that'll be.....

Know What I Mean, Vern?

Stay Tooned....

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/fr ... 0-billion/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29708346/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/ne ... -insurers/
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/st ... tle-banks/
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/ha ... ottom-yet/
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/14/busin ... .html?_r=1
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home




WEDNESDAY



NOT HALF SHABBY


I've been allocated away from stocks for a long time. This week's reallocation is a huge change for me. I'm fairly confident that there has been "A" turn in the markets, but not necessarily "THE" turn. So I'm self directing my 401a as was intended to increase my exposure to stocks when the risk /reward is more favorable. Fifteen months ago the SPX was at 1500, with the risk/reward being some measure of appreciation upward as the reward and 100% down being the risk. Last week the risk down was still 100%.... but from 50+% down compared to 15 months ago... If you don't believe that the market can go to zero, ya gotta think that the risk/reward here is fairly righteous in your favor, especially compared to 2007.

Now I've gotta keep concentrating on avoiding losses and add working on making gains to the mix.



HOWEVER...


I posted the above after lookin' at charts. After catching up on my readin', it is clear that the FED did something very very good or very very bad today. There is emotion, incredulity, and anger everywhere and EVERYONE has an opinion. I'm workin' on mine. Rhere is NO DOUBT that this will affect the market big time. It's the direction that is so hard to figure out....Stay Tooned...


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BEAR MARKET RALLY 

I'M THINKING OF GOING LONG SOME STOCKS INTO THE WEEKEND. THIS IS CONCEIVED AS A RENTAL AND I'M DEFINITELY NOT GETTING MARRIED TO THE IDEA OF HOLDING STOCKS LONG TERM. BUT WE WENT STRAIGHT DOWN FOR A REALLY LONG TIME AND LOOKED LIKE WE WERE WAY OVERSOLD. AND SOME NUMBERS ON THE ECONOMY DON'T LOOK AS BAD (STILL GOING DOWN, BUT SLOWER) AND THE MOOD OF THE STREET SEEMS BETTER, WE'VE CONTINUED TO PERFORM ON THE UPSIDE AND THE ENTHUSIASM SEEMS TO BE CONTAGEOUS. SO WE MAY GET A TWO TO FOUR WEEK BEAR MARKET RALLY. IT'LL BE BRUTALLY SHARP AND SUDDEN AND TEMPORARY, IF IT HAPPENS, BUT A PIECE OF IT WOULD BE NICE TO CAPTURE.

OR WE MIGHT HAVE JUST A BOUNCE GOING, FIZZLING OUT WHEN EVERYONE DECIDES IT'S TOO RISKY TOO HOLD OVER THE WEEKEND, AND REALLY MELTING DOWN IF SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS OVER THE WEEKEND.

AND IF AGAINST ALL ODDS, THAT WAS THE BOTTOM, (FAT CHANCE) THERE WILL BE LOTS OF TIME TO GET IN AND A SLOW START WON'T MATTER.

EITHER WAY, I'M NOT INTENDING TO GET IN ANY DEEPER THAN I CAN CLEAR OUT IN A DAY OR THREE IF SOMETHING GOES SOUTH. I'LL DECIDE MID DAY....

AND YEAH I KNOW I'M SHOUTING, BUT THIS IS A BIG AND SUDDEN CHANGE AND I WANTED IT AND MY RESERVATIONS ABOUT THE CHANGE TO BE EMPHASISED.


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IS IT TOO LATE TO SELL? IT'S BEEN TIME TO SELL EVER SINCE 1/2008. IT WAS STILL TIME TO SELL LAST FRIDAY. IT'LL BE TOO LATE TO SELL EVENTUALLY. THEN EVENTUALLY, IT'LL BE TIME TO BUY. THOSE TIMES ARE GETTING CLOSER EVERY DAY AND THEY WILL GET HERE. PATIENCE, GRASSHOPPAH..... 

"The market is not a sofa, it is not a place to get comfortable."
Jim Cramer


CHARTZ AND TABLE ZUP ON WWW.JOEFACER.COM, (FUNDALARM material excluded. Stay tooned...)




More Stuff Onna Way... YOU KNOW THE DRILL!!!!!!


IT'S BEEN AN EVIL WICKED WEEK IN AN EVIL WICKED YEAR, AND IT'S JUST BARELY MARCH!! IT'S ESPECIALLY WICKED AND HURTFUL IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO TAKE UP CONTROL OF YOUR FUTURE AND FORTUNE IN YOUR OWN TWO HANDS.





A.I.G., Where Taxpayers’ Dollars Go to Die
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/busin ... f=business
http://www.economist.com/opinion/displa ... d=13237211
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29517442/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/cost-concerns/
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/busin ... f=business
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/your- ... f=business
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29553363/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29532976/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29582828/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29525238/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/bi ... nalty-box/
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29582822/
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2 ... stems-lie/
http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/07/news/co ... 2009030713
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/magaz ... ure-t.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/busin ... f=business
http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/c130f6 ... g-citibank

JEEZUS!!!!!
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/ba ... man-sachs/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/ib ... lout-cash/






Things are gawdawful. The financial markets, industries, employmees, employers, homeowners, merchants, international and national and local businesses and purt' near everyone else has taken a tremendous amount of financial and psychological damage. The drop in confidence, real estate and jobs has accelerated and has been unremitting. The typical "market working its way lower" ain't happening. It's more of a 'WHOOSH" with pauses as we hit stuff onna way down. The Fall/Winter bear market rally has brutally betrayed everyone who believed in it. Death Darkness Despair Devastation. Then things REALLY turned to shit. So what to do?

For the 401a, not much. Money in bonds is a comfort. Government securities are more comfortable. Assuming we don't end up in the dark ages or the Pleistocene, corporate bonds offer me possibly serious upside as well as cash flow inna meantime. I'm just about all bonds; mostly gov's but some corporates too. MET Life pays better and more consistently, but it is kinda scary. See below in some previous posts. There's damn little I'm afraid of, but there's a few things I'm respectful of, and the markets' ability to put you into poverty in an eyeblink is one of the things.

Eventually such stuff creates a market bottom; usually only after mentioning stocks or investing causes a fight or projectile vomiting from a complete stranger who overhears you. So I'm gonna wait for the market to prove itself to me before I get serious. Once things burn themselves out, if not down, we may get a bear market rally. There are more effective and nimble ways to play them than in a 401a account, and they are available to me..... Still....


MONDAY


I don't agree with 100% of this, but I do with most of it.

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/come-on-buffett/



This too shall pass.....




TUESDAY


http://www.newsweek.com/id/188565

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/ba ... -coverage/

http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/j ... bites.aspx


SMOKIN' UPSIDE DAY!!!! WE'RE ALL THE WAY BACK TO WHERE WE WERE LAST WEDNESDAY!!!


OF COURSE, LOOKED AT IN THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE YEAR TO DATE......



Steady as she goes... I'm looking at maybe putting some money to work if this turns out to have legs. We'll see....check back tonight or tomorrow....

GREAT TO LOOK AT.....





Stay tooned.







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Defined Benefit Pensions Plans In Trouble And Why Doin' The Smart Thing in my 401a Feels So Painful...  

Ninety percent of politics is deciding whom to blame.
-- Meg Greenfield

CHARTZ AND TABLE ZUP @ WWW.JOEFACER.COM

UPDATED CONSTANTLY....OR NOT. EDITS OF EXISTING POSTS NOT CALLED OUT.
LOOK FOR THE DAY OF THE WEEK FOR NEW ADDITIONS.


I talked this week with a friend who participates in the boilermakers' defined benefit pension plan . He said that he had received a letter recently from the pension fund announcing that all pensions were to be halved. This sounds like what would happen if the pension plan were to fall low enough in assets to trigger the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp (PGBC) guaranty. As I understand it, when a pension plan's assets vs their liabilities fall enough, the PBGC steps in and cuts pension payouts by a complex formula that ballparks as roughly a 50% cut. All non monetary benefits are canceled and the PBGC loans the pension plan funds to meet its obligations until the plan can be funded adequately with more contributions. I have not seen the letter, but I consider him to be a reliable sources given that what I got was a conversational summary of the letter.

I also talked to a friend who attended a recent meeting at the electricians local who said he was told that if things did not change for the better, that the defined benefit pension plan would fall below critical funding requirements by 2014, requiring default. His pension plan had reduced the pension credit paid for last year and he was told that it would be cut this year by an additional 40%.

I received the usual yearly legally required letter from my defined benefit pension plan last year and it was noted that additional contributions would be required this year to maintain funding. This is not surprising, given the chaos in the financial markets, but it would be a damn good thing to have enough details to be understand what the situation is and to be able to plan and react appropriately.




Last November was the point of maximum panic. The current hope for a recovery in the market has been the belief that November was THE LOW for this cycle. Now we are about to find out if this is true. We hit the low last week and we test the November low this week. The main difference this time is that it is not a "fire in the theater and only one exit" panic. It is more of a abandon all hope 'cuz not only is it REALLY REALLY bad, no matter how bad yesterday was, today's news just gets worse.


HANG ONNnnn!!!!!




http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/gdp-is/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/ne ... -down-482/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/at ... e-zombies/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content ... 205938.gif
http://www.npr.org/templates/player/med ... =101144610
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/wo ... get-worse/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29453718/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/un ... the-world/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/q4 ... m-and-wfc/
http://www.2000wave.com/gateway.asp
http://www.newsweek.com/id/186957
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29455792/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/de ... recession/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/golden-parachute/
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/magaz ... .html?_r=1
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/na ... ew-n-word/
http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/2009-02-25/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/bl ... rey-goose/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/me ... roit-7500/


http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/bu ... 43,00.html
http://papers.nber.org/papers/w14753
http://www.ogj.com/display_article/3547 ... ion-costs/
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/opini ... wanted=all
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/ser ... iness/home
http://www.shanghaidaily.com/sp/article ... 392677.htm
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1235776 ... od=testMod
http://www.economist.com/printedition/d ... D=13184655
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 89,00.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/magaz ... wanted=all
http://isthisthebottom.com/







As per the charts on my website, www.joefacer.com, My funds are virtually all in bonds or equivalents. AGAIN, Nothing Ventured, Nothing At Risk...

The US and European credit markets are totally stretched and weighed down with toxic assets. There is no motivation to loan and a lot of companies that may yet fail.

It is a world wide crisis with great risk to the political and financial integrity of European Union.

China is as awash with factories and unemployment as we are with debt and is as awash with capacity as we are with securities. They are as short customers as we are of good loan prospects and a lot farther away from creating domestic consumption than we are.

The European economic situation may engender geopolitical strife as national security may be threatened in a number of countries.

It looks more and more like GM and Chrysler may get prepackaged bankruptcies or something similar.

The stress test riff of the Fed looks like yet another case of too little/missing the point.

There are more shoes to drop as the 6% plus drop in GDP for '08's last quarter may accelerate. Insurance companies may be the next shoe.

So the Met Life GIC pays the best of my 401a options, is stuffed full of well rated bonds and securities, and would be the place I'd most like to put my money. But the bonds are well rated the same ratings agencies that rated the mortgage bonds that almost cratered the global financial markets. You've seen the stock chart for MET here in this blog. I listen to what the market says. Its the smart thing to do.

SO... I'm big time in bonds with virtually no stocks in my 401a. I'm leaving way too much money on the table as the bond funds bleed a little here and there. It hurts. And ordinarily I'd just go the the GIC for relief. But I just can't expose my savings to one company, non diversified risk. It's just that this time doin' the smart thing is also a little painful....

MONDAY





Blew right through the prior low.



LOOK OUT BELOW!!!!!!!!!


TUESDAY


GAWD WHAT A CRUMMY TWO DAYS!!!!

'NUFF SAID



THURSDAY

WAS IT TOO LATE TO SELL MONDAY?
NOPE. BETWEEN FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND THURSDAY AFTERNOON, I'D A LOST A PRETTY GOOD YEAR'S WORTH OF RETURNS IF I HAD STILL BEEN IN THE MARKET....



GAWD WHAT A CRUMMY 4 DAYS!!!!

WOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT HAVING MONEY IN MET LIFE? IF I HAD MONEY IN MET LIFE In THE FIRST PLACE? MORE THAN 'NUFF SAID...







Stay tooned...

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GHOST IN THE MACHINE.... 

"Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, 'Where have I gone wrong?' Then a voice says to me, 'This is going to take more than one night.'"
-- Charles M. Schulz

CHARTZ AND TABLE ZUP @ WWW.JOEFACER.COM

UPDATED CONSTANTLY....OR NOT.
LOOK FOR THE DAY OF THE WEEK FOR NEW ADDITIONS.



Learning to sell is a great exercise. It sets you up with the mindset that investing has two polarities in a number of parameters. Prices go up and down, Investing time is made up of today and all the tomorrows. You can buy and sell to increase or decrease your investment in any position. Time and price happen happen pretty much on their own. Buying and selling are up to you. Pretty kool..... Especially since I sold long ago and the chart below, while ugly beyond belief, will only be relevant when I buy back in. JEEZUS!!! THE CHART BELOW COVERS 35 DAYS!!!! OUCH!!!!!




MONDAY



JEEZUS!!! THE CHART BELOW COVERS 36 DAYS!!!! OUCH!!!!!



http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/while-rome-burns/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/while-rome-burns/
http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/j ... stone.aspx

Further, most investors rely on research that always touts winners. Where stock researchers might say there is nothing worth buying or holding during a terrible market, the most popular and relied-upon fund research doesn't work that way, because it's more a description than a recommendation. Thus, 10 percent of all funds in an asset class will get Morningstar's top five-star rating, regardless of market conditions. Another 22.5 percent get a four-star rating. And 20 percent of every peer group earns Lipper's top marks for total return, consistent return and preservation of capital.
Chuck Jaffe


The whole article is here.... Yup, You want 5 star funds that're down 10% YTD? Got a handfull available @ Morningstar......goin' DOWN!!!

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... mp;sc=1000
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... amp;sc=254




TUESDAY




Mark Manning at RealMoney.com points out that the S&P 500 closed below it's 2002 lows Monday. If you bought the low point after the dotcom crash, you're just went down on that investment. Which, by the way was the high in late '96/early '97. If you bought between early '97 and a week ago, with the exception of the 2002 low, and held "For the long run..."you're REALLY hurting. You took a lot of risk, made a lot of money, and lost it. Ya got zero, nada, bupkis. Smooth move; all pain, no gain. But then if you've been reading the COFGBLOG for any length of time and you've been pickin' up what I been layin' down, you know better than to believe in "Buy And Hold For The long Run...One decision stocks and funds, Look at your 401a once a year at the most. That shit's dumber than a box of rocks. Homie does not care to indulge in that recreational pastime.


Pre and Post Bernanke an' Obama speachifying
Bear market bounce and a coupla nice speaches. Do I wanna try and pick up a dollar or two Wed? Will the bounce last long enough to do so? PROLLY NAH. PRETTY WORDS, NO CHANGE IN WHAT'S IMPORTANT.

WEDNESDAY


Ya know, ya can talk grumpy all ya want to about Wall Street and the lying cheats and souless monsters of capitalism and the unbridled greed and stupidity and on and on about all that for as long as you want. But it's American business that is going to put people back to work once this crisis is over and the government is able to stop taxing us and cutting us checks right back. We're gonna have to come to terms with that. Let's have the fit and sturm and drang as necessary and then let's stop the theater. We need some new checks and balances installed and then we need to start the next cycle....


http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/tax-rebates/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/de ... semantics/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/no ... l-roubini/





Stay tooned.



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It Is Now Beginning To Dawn On All And Sundry That The Banks Are Toast. Do We Toss Them And Start Over Or Spend Our Children's Future Trying To Untoast Them. Can Fire Burn Backward? 

In general, your target is not to beat the market. It is to beat zero. As I have written for years, the investors who win in this market are the ones who take the least damage.
-- John Mauldin

Chartz and Table Zup @ www.joefacer.com

UPDATED CONSTANTLY....OR NOT.
LOOK FOR THE DAY OF THE WEEK FOR NEW ADDITIONS.



Stay Tooned. Long Weekend an' I'll have something to say toward the end of it. There's a ton o' "stuff" happening. It's all important. But when you get to the end of learning and thinking and planning, the 401a investor in me says "Cash Is King And Think Carefully About The Risk Of Even Thinking About Trying To Catch A Bear Market Rally". The Trader in me sez, "The Trend Is Down And You Can't Imagine Holding A Position Overnight. Roadracing Motorcycles Was An Excellent Preparation For Trading In This Environment."

I love reading Barry Ritholtz' THE BIG PICTURE blog. You can't live this stuff and not have strong opinions. You always know where Barry stands...

from the link below

Time Magazines "25 People To Blame For The Economic Crisis" ...
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/25 ... al-crisis/


A few strange issues with the list: Why is Bernie Madoff here? He is a common thief (perhaps uncommon thief given the amounts he claimed to have stolen) but he had nothing whatsoever to do with the Financial crisis afflicting the global economy. What journalist would add him to the list of causes of the crisis? (Strike that moron from your reading list).

The American Consumers are on the list, but not the irresponsible home buyers? Isn’t painting with an overly broad brush ? And Wen Jiabao, the premiere of China? How dare you buy our debt! Its all your fault!

Regular readers of this blog know I think former NAR chief economist David Lereah is a lying jackass, a festering hemorrhoid on the fields of both economics and real estate. But he was merely a lying cheerleader. As much as I detest his syphilitic-addled unfunctional brain, I cannot blame him for what happened.



http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home



I hate the thought that taxpayer money will go to redeem the bad financial decisions of banks and homebuyers who cheerfully made/took loans that were going to take 100% plus of the buyer's income in a matter of two years. I'm uncomfortable with the idea of trying to stand in the way of a flood, or tornado, or negate gravity; Did anyone really think that 10% a year housing appreciation would go on forever and not unwind at some point? Can we borrow enough money to support all the banks and real estate prices at their current level? Will we sell our souls to the treasury bond holders who finance this mess? How much will we have to pay to get somebody to gamble that we can fix this mess without devaluing the dollar? And who will have the money available to by US bonds? Check out the "Time For A Reality Check" link below. Do we saddle everyone who never had a mortgage or just paid off a 30 year mortgage or has 50% equity in their home with years of higher taxes to roll the dice that in the face of a huge economic contraction, the reworked, barely supportable or underwater mortgages don't default again? After mortgaging everyone's future to try prevent the Great Unwind, do we take a second mortgage if it doesn't work? I think we're gonna have our hands full keeping it together so that once the storm is past, we can start the next cycle again. I'm absolutely sure we can't avoid the body of the Great Unwind. I'm in that head space. I hope I'm wrong, but hope ain't no strategy...

I'm not real confident about any of this. The nation needs triage but the politicians ain't gonna tell you that anything is needed beyond first aid. I've got no confidence in the judgement displayed by either administration, so far. Do you?

Why the hell should I be the only one to lose sleep....here's some of what I'm readin'. There's some ticking time bombs in here......
http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/t ... check.aspx
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/20 ... -geography
http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-auto ... 0G20090213
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comm ... tdown.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/econ ... l-out.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comm ... tdown.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/books ... wanted=all
http://www.economist.com/finance/displa ... d=13110352
http://www.reuters.com/article/innovati ... Q120090214
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2 ... ank-on-it/
http://www.economist.com/specialreports ... d=13063298
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/45a7ebca-f712 ... fd2ac.html
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home


I can't figure out how to invest in this market and it sure seems like no one else can either. Until something changes, the 401a is gonna stay as per the tablez on my website. Nothing ventured everything safe.

TUESDAY



YA WANNA KNOW WHY TODAY LEFT THE MARKET A SMOKING PILE OF SLAG? READ THE LINKS ABOVE!



The market will lift permanently (longer than a day at a time) when things stop getting worse and we can see across the valley to the other side. Until then, we're just looking for a good washout of all the sellers and just a little visibility or some kinda short term relief so we can at least bounce and relieve some short term WAY oversold pressure. It doesn't seem to be happening. HANG ON!!!!!



I'm outa the MET Life GIC as of months ago. It's the highest returning option we have in the 401a and it hurts to be out. But the non-diversified single corporation event risk is huge. MET going the way of Bear Stearns or Lehman Bros is unimaginable. I can't see the the government not keeping them afloat with borrowed taxpayer money. The odds may be in MET's favor overall. But I'm not willing to risk the likely taxpayer money giveaway AND unlikely risk of a GIC default or discount.



http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home

And Bill King (The King Report http://www.mramseyking.com/thekingreport.html) commented as follows: “A cure should have something to do with the diagnosis. The classic argument for fiscal stimulus presumes that the central cause of our current economic problems is this: We, the people and our government, are not doing nearly enough borrowing and spending on consumer goods. The government must step in to force us all to borrow and spend more. This diagnosis is tragically comic once said aloud.”


THURSDAY


LOOK FOR THE INSURERS TO BE THE NEXT SHOE TO FALL....
I GOT A DOLLAR OR TWO IN THE GIC, NO MORE, AND
I'M THINKIN' ABOUT A POLICY LOAN ON MY LIFE INSURANCE. THAT'S A LOT OF SINGLE COMPANY RISK. WHO'S BIG ENOUGH TO INSURE THE INSURERS AND HOW SURE ARE YOU THAT THEY WILL PAY YOU OFF IF THEY GO BELLY UP?









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I Moved Some 401a Money Around. When You're Not Happy With Any Of The Choices, How Can You Be Happy With The Decision?  

The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is past the ocean is flat again.
— John Maynard Keynes



UPDATED CONSTANTLY....OR NOT.
LOOK FOR THE DAY OF THE WEEK FOR NEW ADDITIONS.
I'M INCAPABLE OF NOT EDITING AND REWRITING WHAT'S ALREADY POSTED IF I THINK I CAN SAY IT BETTER. SO IT GOES...

Chartz and Table Zup on www.joefacer.com



I'll get back witcha Saturday (it's Friday night) about my choices and why I moved some money even though I didn't think much of where it was to start with and where it ended up. The 401a site ain't updated and I gotta go....

Friday, (it's Saturday morning) I went off to the GAMH for the first time in a decade or so. Where I had seen Freddie Hubbard, Chick Correa, Jack DeJohnette, Brownie Terry and Sonnie McGhee, David Bromberg, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Tania Marie, Larry Coryell, Bob Segar, Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham, Pat Methany, and Maynard Ferguson, the ownership and management is now from "Slim's" and very much SOMA. Slim's is aka Boz Skaggs'. Culture shock. I saw Still Time, Kapakahi, and Forest Day. Gonna have to stop listening to my 8 tracks and check out what's happenin' in the here and now. There is some interesting music bein' made someplace other than the past.

Check out the tablez below. Before and after. This is very likely to change Monday. Or not.





Here's what led to the distribution among funds as of 1/31.....



Starting back in '07, stocks, represented by the S&P 500 Fund VFINX, started to crater. By Spring I had given up on stocks and gone all in to the Met Life GIC/Stable Value Fund. The promised return was above what the bond funds (RGVFX & RBFFX) were paying and MET Life was not Lehman Bros or Bear Stearns. That worked well until late in the Fall (Oct 08) when suddenly things went critical. Check out MET on the chart. The only thing that stands behind the GIC/SVF is MET's promise to return all of the money invested in the fund plus guaranteed interest. Met's assets and worth back up that promise and the stock price is a measure of the confidence in that ability. The market was rendering a judgement on MET's value and undercutting their ability to pay and I hadda respect that. So in the second week of October I went all in to the Am Funds Gov Securities Fund (RGVFX), strictly for safety. I got more than that... Check this out...



About two weeks after I got nervous, everybody else did and piled in after me, bidding up the price of bonds with Fed backing to below zero yield. Who bids up bonds to where they get less back than what they paid? Someone who holds checks for millions of dollars from moving money around and, given the current state of affairs, probably to meet redemptions. Someone who is afraid to give it to a broker or bank or hold a check from a broker or bank. They want/need cash on demand, no excuses. Anybody who was there first like I was, get the bonds he just bought into bid higher. I made up the losses from hanging around for 3 or 4 months in stocks in a coupla weeks of holdin' bonds. That trade started to unwind after Christmas. I wanted to keep most of what I made, so once I was sure of the trend, I moved some money to the AM Fundz general bond fund. I figured that with the new administration on the way and the debt market starting to show the very first signs of thawing, the RGVFX fund would continue to decline in yield and the corporate fund would start to bounce back. That left me with a RGVEX/RBFFX distribution of 'roun' 40%/50% for most of January.

Here's why I changed that Friday and have my money where the table above sez I do.

The markets are feeling queasy about the first days of the Obama administration. Three nominations to major posts with tax troubles and two withdrawn. If Geithner had been a later nomination, he'da gone down too. Too much wafflin' and back an' forth on the bank plan and a growing realization that too much time and money were wasted trying to get a clue and that the delay has made the problem REAL serious. There's a growing realization that we've borrowed and spent ourselves into oblivion and as much as we regret that the party has come to an end, we can't borrow more and relight the ashes. Things are worse than you think. Much worse. The Economic Stimulus package is gonna be hugely expensive and pretty ineffective. The numbers aren't there and there will prolly be at least one and maybe two more ES packages within the next 18 months. Earnings reports have been gawdawful and guidance for next quarter looks REALLY bad. Stocks have been going up but future earnings will be worse, so I don't trust that move. I think Geithner is from the same crowd and mindset (Hank Paulson) that figured that raiding the Treasury and exchanging trash for cash to prop up his contemporaries was an answer to the current debacle. So I want to position myself for a "sell the news" reaction sometime this upcoming week. I would prefer to miss a week or two of the big turn up if I'm totally out of touch as the price of avoiding a possible falling to new lows if I'm right.

What to do? What I did Friday.

Forget the MET Life GIC/SV for now. They look to be the strongest of the big life insurers, but... Put all my money in the hands of ONE company? With no explicit federal backup or something like the FDIC or SPIC? What kinda smart is that? Things gotta work and work out for a while before I trust.

RBFFX?
16% Government bonds
25% mortgage "bonds"
36% corporate bonds
16% foreign bonds
Money here is at risk.... But. One sixth of the fund is government or agency bonds. Can't do better than that. Thirty six percent is various corporate bonds. I can buy them at roughly a 20% discount to last year. And there is cash flow out of these. Dividends are suspended to keep paying bond coupons. I'm down wid dat. If things stop getting worse, we'll turn the corner. They don't have to get better. Once they stop deteriorating, investors will look to the future and bid these back up. Mortgage bonds? We'll see. I'm still paying my mortgage. I did real well in the 80's with bonds. We'll see... Cash flow for now and a possible stock like appreciation once things turn. If things go all Armageddonly, money in a bond fund will be one of my minor problems. Roll the dice.

RGVFX?
48% Gov paper
43% mortgages
I WANT AN ALL TREASURY FUND!!!! But this is the best I can do for now. Half federal paper and hopefully agency insured mortgages.

If the facts change, I'll change my allocationz. This is where I'm at tonight....

This week will be a circus/bar fight/three wolverines in a dryer. I expect to absorb a lot of info and maybe act on it. Or not. Stay tooned....


http://www.markfiore.com/wall_street_executive_air_0
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/jo ... ecessions/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/th ... ng-crisis/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/mo ... s-of-rmbs/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/la ... e-changes/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29084713/
http://www.newsweek.com/id/183718
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/wi ... y-recover/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/mo ... s-of-rmbs/
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... dj5yq_WnDI
http://www.economist.com/displaystory.c ... d=13057265
http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/id ... CQ20090207
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/07/busin ... ARKETWATCH
http://www.slate.com/id/2210619/
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/business/08split.html
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/st ... s-on-fire/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/it ... that-hard/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/%E ... n-january/
Monday
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/do ... g-america/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02153.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... id=artslot
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/na ... ble/video/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... ml?sub=new
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/mr ... the-truth/
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123420518851764681.html


Back to the planned US rescue packages, and specifically Bill King’s comments: “The main problem plaguing the US economy is too much debt has been accumulated on gratuitous spending and the papering over of declining US living standards. Solons espouse a monstrous surge in debt to fund even more consumer spending. The toxin is not the cure. Inducements to save and invest in production are the remedy. But the welfare state and its ruling class are trying a last grandiose socialist [Keynesian] binge in the hope of salvaging their realm.”

By Prieur du Plessis - February 8th, 2009
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/02/wo ... se-282009/


In other and unrelated news, I just had a pint of beer with Charlie at the Hawk and Dove, and Michael Phelps was on the television. Charlie and I are in agreement that all this business over Phelps smoking a little weed is stupid and that all the sponsors should have spent their outrage a few years ago when Phelps got caught driving drunk. Now that is something to be punished for. Smoking weed at a private party, while stupid, is almost harmless. A**holes driving drunk, by contrast, are what kills single mothers on their way home from working the night shift.

Posted by Abu Muqawama http://abumuqawama.blogspot.com/


MONDAY.
Standing aside and looking for direction. It's very much a news driven market and the news drives the reaction. I gotta guess the news and then guess the immediate action and then the follow up reaction. Blow off thoughts of the economy getting well without wringing out the excesses. The bull market ain't starting tomorrow. If it's an honest to gawd countertrend bull rally in a bear market, it'll have legs and I can climb on it once it is in motion, even given working with the trading restriction on a 401a. If it's a spike and/or whipsaw either direction from a three day bull market last week, and the resumption of the bear, standing aside (and cheeseis) is just alright with me. Stay tooned...

TUESDAY
From up above written Sunday....

I think Geithner is from the same crowd and mindset (Hank Paulson) that figured that raiding the Treasury and exchanging trash for cash to prop up his contemporaries was an answer to the current debacle.So I want to position myself for a "sell the news" reaction sometime this upcoming week. I would prefer to miss a week or two of the big turn up if I'm totally out of touch as the price of avoiding a possible falling to new lows if I'm right.


Cash is a good place to be if you can't go short. I was short in my trading account and cash in the 401a when Timmy Geithner announced his plan for the Treasury to save the financial sector. The Treasury plan is like an ice frying pan, toilet paper with holes in it, or a glass hammer. It's a plan because they say it is. It's a plan without details, magnitudes or direction. It is not real clear exactly how well it will work or exactly what they think they will accomplish with it. Or that it'll work at all....... The market hated it. Stay toonicious....

AN CLICKIT!!!!!!













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The Big Whoosh Down Is Yesterday's Story. The Death Of Hope Amid The Cold Dark Ruin And The Eventual Recovery Is The Future's Story. Watching Successive Rallys And Faceplants Is What We Do While We Wait...  

Our activity as investors is not to try to identify tops and bottoms - it is to constantly align our exposure to risk in proportion to the return that we can expect from that risk, given prevailing evidence.
-- John Hussman

Updated 2/2


Chartz and Table Zup @ www.joefacer.com
.....

Stay tooned for da usual blah blah blah...

I've got "How I Run My 401a Part 3" posted below in the previous week's entry....

Keep this in mind the next time someone in a position of authority tells you something about your money. It could very well be that what they say is true. Or not....

http://www.cnbc.com/id/28435645




TOO IMPORTANT TO BE A LINK!! PICTURE/1000 WORDS/YOU KNOW.....CLICKIT!!!!




TOO IMPORTANT TO BE A LINK!! PICTURE/1000 WORDS/YOU KNOW... BUT ITS TOO BIG TO POST AS A PICTURE....SO CLICKIT!!!!!!


http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/wh ... arys-boss/

LINKS


http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/bu ... -do-now-2/
http://us1.institutionalriskanalytics.c ... RAMain.asp
http://populardelusions.typepad.com/pop ... -week.html
http://www.thestreet.com/_rms/s/when-ca ... puc=aoljjc
http://www.thestreet.com/story/10459746 ... ation.html
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/np ... ets-worse/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/re ... -freefall/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/cr ... -to-jumbo/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/ne ... tumble-45/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/wh ... w-in-2006/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/q4 ... ince-1958/
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123336541474235541.html
http://dealbreaker.com/2009/01/no-more- ... ent-of.php
http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/ ... f=business
http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/ ... last-fall/
http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/beat ... led_math_a
http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2009/ ... reall.html
http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthrea ... genumber=1
http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2009/ ... nwind.html
http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2009/01 ... -reserves/
http://us1.institutionalriskanalytics.c ... RAMain.asp



It's been thoroughly miserable to try to invest.
Hell, it's been damn difficult to do anything but day trading.




Cash has been where it's at....




I'm thinkin' o' rearranging how much and where this Friday... Stay
Tooned...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home












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It Sure Seemed Easy Back In 2003 to 2007... Ride Each Market Advance Up And Be Sure Sell The Top And Catch The Next Wave. 

Bank failures are caused by depositors who don't deposit enough money to cover losses due to mismanagement.
-- Dan Quayle
UPDATED 1/27/09


Chartz and Table Zup @www.joefacer.com



Stay Tooned for "How I Run My 401a Part 3"



"How I Run My 401a Part One"
is here: http://joefacer.com/pblog/index.php?m=1 ... 107-195005
"How I Run My 401a Part Two"
is here: http://joefacer.com/pblog/comments.php? ... 205-215802

But first scope out this chart of the S&P 500 between 1990 and Today. CLICKIT!!!!


Note that the widely watched index went from 300 to 1500 in ten years, a huge gain. Then it lost half it's value. Then it had a similar cycle but over six years rather than ten. Yes the overall direction is up. So if you have 100 to 200 years to average everything out and you can cash out and retire on a spike up, the spikes up and down over that period don't mean much.


BUT IF YOU DON'T HAVE 100 YEARS TO AVERAGE OUT THE HUGE SPIKES IN BOTH DIRECTIONS AND YOU DON'T HAVE A CHOICE ABOUT WHEN YOU HAVE TO RETIRE, WELL THEN, THE HUGE SPIKES UP AND DOWN ARE INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT.


So you HAVE to keep track of what is happening in the economy and the market. "How I Run My 401a Part Three" is how I do it....



"How I Run My 401a Part Three"



I do a lot of reading. I'm pretty good at it. I'm also intellectually curious (I'm what in motorsports is known as a "gearhead".) It's great that things work and that I can use them. But I enjoy knowing why and how they work and how to tune and fix and improve them as much as I do using them. It happens a lot. When my wife and I did a recent tour of a functional/historical museum of Alaska gold mining/tourist stop/operating gold mine, I ran down the mine manager in the gift shop and got a glimpse of how the real business operates. I've taken my interest in Hi-Fi Stereo and gone into the business as a manufacturer and my interest in motorcycles and become a motojournalist. Since I'm old, going hard of hearing and arthritic, my pension and IRA's have become my center of interest and I'm now a part time stock trader and mutual fund investor. So I've followed through with the paradigm that I used to learn audio, manufacturing, mechanics, race craft and journalism; I read everything I could until I could make sense of what seemed to be important and what was a waste of time. Then I put it into practice to find out what works for me.

Here's what I'm doing, distilled for brevity;

I've keyed in on what Benjamin Graham said, "In the short run, the market is a voting machine. In the long run, the market is a weighing machine." Certain stocks/stocks in general become popular and people buy them, driving the price up and creating a trend. The trend becomes self reinforcing and continues longer than might be expected. As the trend continues, ultimately it comes to rely on the fundamental aspects of the business and the economy; the economics of the business that the stock is in and the economy that it operates in, be it local, national or international. The fundamentals continue to support the stock and the trend continues or the fundamentals fail to support the stock and the trend stops or reverses.

I try to buy and hold stocks and mutual funds that are going up and I sell stocks and funds that are going down. I use charts in part to do that because they tell me the two pieces of data that I absolutely understand as well as anyone ever could; Price and Time. Stocks/funds that have increasing price over time are what I look to accumulate.

I look for changes in the trend. Short term changes in price can be everyday volatility (noise) or the dynamics of a large market made up of individuals (noise). Short term changes in direction or rate of change can become long term changes in direction caused by changes in popularity (emotion) where the fundamentals don't support the stock price, or changes in the fundamentals where they used to but no longer support the stock price. Changes in the trend of sufficient duration to trade are of interest to the trader in me and longer term changes are of interest to the 401a investor in me.

Charts tell me what has happened and is currently happening. Reading gives me in detail information and speculation on what may be happening behind the scenes, what may already be but has yet to be recognized, and what may or may not happen in the future. This may tell me what to watch for or tell me something of the dynamics behind the charts. My reading provides the material to measure my level of confidence in the trends that I follow. I try to expose myself to as much opportunity to profit as I can, within the framework of avoiding losses of any significance. I am greatly inclined to sell to avoid losses. My reading gives me the intellectual framework to judge how great the risk of losses is.



DOES IT WORK?



Pretty much so far. Check out the Chartz and Tablez @ www.joefacer.com.


I post links to what I've read that may be of interest to others. Much of what I read is proprietary and I can't link to it. I subscribe to limited distribution sources and read about 10 to 20 times as much as I link to.

For the interested beginner I recommend
www.thestreet.com
www.marketwatch.com
http://money.cnn.com
and many of the sites I link to.

Let me get back to you about some books....

Here's some links....
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/space-walk/
http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/t ... and-4.aspx
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/calpers-bad-bets/
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123259465468105115.html
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/re ... s-fall-98/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/fu ... -a-cancer/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/ti ... f-america/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/no ... own-money/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/ma ... er-traded/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/08 ... e-heatmap/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/th ... llar-club/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/wh ... since-911/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/dr ... on-builds/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/th ... re-crisis/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/barrons-mea-culpa/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/fe ... -decaying/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/go ... chris-cox/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/th ... al-crises/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/tw ... digestion/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/na ... pitalists/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/ca ... ic-crises/

























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DOWNER; The Bailout Part 1 Was So Poorly Conceived And Executed That We May Not Have It Enough Money Left To Fix It All With Bailouts 2,3,4,5 an' 6,....UPPER; We Scrape Off Dubayuh In A Few Days..... We'll see how it goes on down the line..... 

"Speculators may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise. But the position is serious when enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation. When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done."
—John Maynard Keynes


Chartz and Table Zup @ www.joefacer.com.


UPDATED 1/20/09



NEW YEAR, SAME DIRECTION....DOWN








We know that the FED and The Treasury are gonna spend every dollar that they can borrow and print to save everyone. What if it is not enough?

Excerpted From Setting the Bull Trap By Bennet Sedacca



Link to the complete article; http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/j ... -trap.aspx

Ever since 1995, the Federal Reserve and other authorities have been assisting in the birth of the largest debt bubble in our nation's history. Money supply has grown exponentially, weak businesses have been formed and failed, the consumer is leveraged up to their eyeballs, regulation is poor, and savings have dried up. Further, the brokerage/investment banking industry has been pummeled beyond recognition; lifelines have been given to everyone from poorly run banks to poorly run auto manufacturers. Esoteric securities have been relocated from the balance sheets of reckless banks and brokers to the U.S. Treasury, FDIC and Federal Reserve. Investors worldwide watched $30 trillion of stock market equity disappear in the past year while home prices have cratered by better than 25%. What other goodies do we have?

* Unemployment on every front is rising.
* Tax receipts are down and State Governments are suffering.
* The debt market, except that artificially supported by the Government is closed.
* Earnings estimates for the S&P 500 are down 60% year-over-year.
* Stocks (using the Dow as a proxy) are at the same level they were 10 years ago.
* Industrial Production around the globe is imploding.

[From the Fed]
The focus of the Committee's policy going forward will be to support the functioning of financial markets and stimulate the economy through open market operations and other measures that sustain the size of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet at a high level. As previously announced, over the next few quarters the Federal Reserve will purchase large quantities of agency debt and mortgage-backed securities to provide support to the mortgage and housing markets, and it stands ready to expand its purchases of agency debt and mortgage-backed securities as conditions warrant. The Committee is also evaluating the potential benefits of purchasing longer-term Treasury securities. Early next year, the Federal Reserve will also implement the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility to facilitate the extension of credit to households and small businesses. The Federal Reserve will continue to consider ways of using its balance sheet to further support credit markets and economic activity.

If you read the paragraph from the FOMC statement highlighted in red and add to that all of the new programs and bailouts paid for by "We the People", it leads me to the following questions.

* Shouldn't the consumer, after decades of over-consumption, be allowed to digest the over-indebtedness and save, rather than be encouraged to take risk?
* Shouldn't companies, no matter what state they reside in from a political point of view, if run poorly, be allowed to fail or forced to restructure?
* Should taxpayer money be used to make up for the mishaps at financial institutions or should we allow them to wallow in their own mistakes?
* Shouldn't free markets be free?
* When did Socialism make its way to our shores?
* How do we choose who is bailed out and who loses?
* Shouldn't we place blame on the politicians, bureaucrats and other "decision makers" and put skilled people in place that know how to run the businesses?
* Shouldn't investors, led blindly down the primrose path of "buy and hold, diversify and don't open your brokerage statement except once every 10 years" be allowed to follow the Prudent Man Rule?

Again, there are many questions to be asked, many with answers that no one wants to put in print. When will people stand up like in the movie Network when Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch, screams, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore

Risk taking, in a laissez faire world should be replaced with risk aversion for a period of time. Consumers that over-consumed should be allowed to strengthen their balance sheets for the next cycle and increase their savings. Companies that have been kept afloat, bailed out, nationalized, stuck in conservatorship, have become part of my national portfolio whether I like it or not, unless it actually poses systemic risk (which I am not at all in favor of), should fail. Period. After all, where is MY bailout?

The picture above is of 30 year Fannie Mae 4 ½% mortgage pools. Note the recent 13% spike as the Fed announced that they would be buying Mortgage Backed Securities in order to stabilize the mortgage market. In a free market, these securities would be many points lower, but because there is an artificial bid (yep, with our money) investors are forced to look elsewhere toward risky assets.

Yes folks, cash is now officially trash. If you buy 1 month Treasury Bills, you are rewarded with a yield of a gigantic 0.02% per year. That's right, 2 basis points per year. I suppose people with more than enough money can keep it invested for an entire year and make nothing or they can succumb to the pressure of, "I can't make zero forever if I want to retire."

Now, imagine that you are a professional money manager that is paid 1% a year to invest other people's money. If you feel that being prudent is to sit in cash, and attempt to charge a fee, the math is simple—0.02% per year minus any reasonable fee is a negative return. This is forcing many people out on the risk spectrum at precisely the wrong moment, when risks are the highest ever.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMBZDwf9 ... re=related

Excerpted from

"Market Vertigo

by Cliff Draughn

http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/j ... rtigo.aspx

Whether it is financial services, autos, transportation, etc., the "top-down" approach of providing more and more taxpayer dollars to weak corporations is ill-advised. In my opinion, if you're using taxpayer dollars, then either nationalize the company or let it fail. And, if you nationalize the company then wipe out the bond holders and shareholders, replace the management and board, sell the good assets to qualified buyers, and then and only then, have the taxpayers eat the remaining deficit. With the current "bailout system" we are merely trying to sustain the status quo, which penalizes those banking institutions that did not make bad decisions while at the same time rewarding poorly managed institutions by handing them taxpayer money. Until you put the stimulus money back in the hands of the private sector (i.e., the individual) you're fighting today's housing/mortgage fires with a garden hose. The bailout funds need to be distributed to the homeowners, not the banking and lending institutions. Banks currently taking the government TARP money (our tax money) are adding it as capital to their balance sheets and then sitting on the funds in anticipation of further losses, rather than lending back into the system. Obama should follow the laws of nature: if you have a herd of animals and some become sick, get rid of the sick. Why continue sustaining the sick animals that will eventually die anyway and at the same time risk the entire herd? A prime example of propping up the status quo occurred in December of this year when Treasury Secretary Paulsen made the unilateral decision to guarantee $306 billion of CitiGroup's assets. The guarantee was in addition to the $25 billion Citi had already received in TARP funding. The $306 billion "guarantee" was not part of TARP and was extended without Congressional approval! $306 billion is equal to what our government spent in 2007 for the departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation combined. (The Economist)


It's not hard for even an old broken down pipefitter to figure out that Citibank is has been undergoing an unannounced liquidation since this article was posted....

More from Mr Draughn;

One of the great sucker plays since the bear began in 2000 has been the "buy and hold for the long term" mantra that has been chanted by the sages of Wall Street. Simply look at the returns: from 12/31/99 to 12/31/08, if you invested in an S&P 500 index and held for "the long term," then your total return during this time would have been -28.13%, or an annualized rate of -3.6% per year. Small caps were better, with a total return of 11.66% or 1.23% annualized. If you expect to make money in the equity markets in 2009 going forward, then you must be willing to "trade" the volatility while also maintaining a high proportion of income-producing assets.


CHEEZUS H. RICE!!!! (Condoleeza's father) IS THERE ANYONE STILL OUT THERE SO NUMB AS TO STILL BE IN THE BALANCED POOLED FUND? DO YOU STILL BELIEVE THAT THE REASON THAT YOU WERE TOLD NOT TO LOOK AT YOUR 401A STATEMENT FOR 10 YEARS WAS BECAUSE IT WAS BEST FOR YOU????















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Great Expectations Meets Reality TV. Kinda A Chicago/National Politics Thing... On Both The National And Local Level 

That money talks, I'll not deny,
I heard it once: It said, "Goodbye."

--Richard Armour

CHARTZ AND TABLE ZUP @ www.joefacer.com

Stay Tooned......






http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home

http://www.bls.gov/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/report-from-paris/

http://gregor.us/policy/the-obama-planf ... l-is-high/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/th ... s-of-tarp/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/oil-speculation/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/th ... tleblower/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/mi ... in-crisis/

I can't make it anymore clear than the last link...Talk to someone who stuck with a bad dentist or doctor for years or figured that all tax preparers or medicines (Or financial advisors. Think McMorgan....) were the same and interchangable. Years ago, when I hit my early 20's, I decided to change dentists because I didn't much care for the personality of my family dentist. I saw two new dentists 6 months apart. Each time they got their first look at my teeth, they both said the same thing, "Wow! Who did those fillings? That's beautiful work!" The third visit was back with the original dentist. I had all the experience with new dentists that I needed. Don't EVER settle with "prolly good enough" in terms of life, health, safety, or money. Ain't one of 'em good w/o the others. No Shit.

Time to do another installment of "How I Run My 401a" sometime in the next weekend or three. I got back to even in my investment gains last year and thus, every dollar of contribution dropped to the bottom line and not a penny was lost to making up for losses. Gonna try to do better this year.
Stay Tooned!!








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JANUARY 2ND; 2009. A DAY IN THE LIFE...... 

An optimist stays up to see the New Year in. A pessimist waits to make sure the old one leaves.
-- Bill Vaughan

I've gotta lotta spreadsheets/tables/charts/templates/macros an other stuff to update. Then and only then will I be able to say,

CHARTZ AND TABLE ZUP!!! on www.joefacer.com

So I did and I do....

UPDATED 10/5;


I declared victory in my RGVEX trade. I made 5% in two months. So I'm selling roughly half the position to lock in the profit, triggering the rapid trading bad juju. I'm locked out of being able to deposit anything over $5K back into the fund for 30 days.

I still want to stay in cash....corporate earning reports happen in January and unemployment reports and earning statements will prolly be bad enough to gag a maggot. So I'm going into the GIC, risking MET Life's solvency vs the Fed's/Congress/administrations intentions to bail every one out. I believe it is a good move. Or I could be wrong. Ya make yer very best guess based on data, analysis , and evaluation, and temper it with risk control and a plan B and C.



Stay Tooned





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HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!!!!! 

"There are three stages of a man's life: He believes in Santa Claus; he doesn't believe in Santa Claus; he is Santa Claus."

-- Author Unknown

“Buy-and-hold has been a jumbo money-loser this year,” argues (Barry) Ritholtz, the subject of a recent Barron’sQ&A (”A Leading Bear Turns Bullish, Sort Of,” Dec. 8). “You can’t just sit around and say, ‘Bear Stearns and AIG are great companies, and I’m a long-term investor.’ ”

Barron's



CHARTS AND TABLE ZUP @ WWW.JOEFACER.COM

I read ....a lot. You shouldn't have to. Barry Ritholtz covers so much in one place (The Big Picture) that I figure that this will get you most of the way across The Street while I'm still busy elsewhere... Here's a pull quote, typical of Barry layin' it down so it stays there.......

Office of Thrift Supervision: Asshat Central

By Barry Ritholtz - December 24th, 2008, 3:30AM

I am trying to figure out who is the biggest jerk in this story. It is a challenge, given the collection of utter clowns and ne’er-do-wells that run that office.

First, you have some moron who helped cost the taxpayers a hundred large ($100B) back in the 1980s. How this idiot ever ended up in a position of responsibility in any regulatory agency again is beyond my comprehension....




http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/ot ... t-central/
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... ZJOwI&
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/pi ... -treasury/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/ho ... g-off-106/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/ny ... ng-things/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/ji ... deflation/
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/26/world ... .html?_r=1
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/cl ... -comments/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/ch ... pudiation/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/ch ... deflation/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/re ... -the-fact/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/qu ... more-13509
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/se ... ince-2000/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/au ... ack-dolan/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/ba ... borrowing/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/re ... s-weekend/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/de ... complaint/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/au ... ack-dolan/




http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/ja ... f-meeting/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/ba ... l-bailout/

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Whered-th ... 90568.html

CLICKIT....


End o' da year. I'd REALLY like to break even, I could use the money. Check out the table above. (Do yer own using the template I got on my site....) AGAIN, ignore percentages when the numbers don't fit. I'm up from 2300% better than the Balanced Pooled Fund last week, to up 4600% plus even though I lost a few dollars last week. Gotta understand how to lie with numbers in order to determine when they are indeed, truthy. Here's what I see in the table....

Nummer one is that like the McMorgan years, contributions pre and tax deferred, are what make the nummers " Awright!" (to channel Janis J.) That is not insignificant, given that I've upped my contribution over the last few years and now have some coin in hand. The biggest return this year was from tax savings on contributions.

Nummer two is that unlike the McMorgan years, havin' the Internet an' all the sites like TheStreet.com,Stockcharts.com, joefacer.com and FundAlarm.com means that I have the tools to know when to step aside when a freight train o' misery is aimed right troo my 401a. The result is not half shabby. When pros are goin' down in flames, for the moment, I, (and those who're doing similar things), are up. Day and a half to go..... I think I'll get there to the end of the year in good shape...... then I'll work on next year.....

Nummer tree, there's more an' one way to cook a goose. (We did our Christmas geese w/ cornbread and sausage stuffin', hickory smoked.) Going to the GIC early woulda got me 4% at the end o' da year. I got there anyway with RGVEX. It's just that I dug myself a hole to climb outa, first. So, it's not all that difficult, I'm up a skosh, an' up a skosh and up 4% look the same compared to stayin in the Balance/Pooled Fund an bein' buried deep inna red......BUT IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU MANAGE YOUR SELF MANAGED RETIREMENT FUND, know what I mean, Vern?

Save de best fer last....
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/so ... -holidays/

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=kIjbMRU1EgU

http://themessthatgreenspanmade.blogspo ... mists.html


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Merry Christmas To All!! 

Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper.
-- Sir Francis Bacon

He that lives upon hope will die fasting.
-- Benjamin Franklin"

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."
-- Theodore Roosevelt




Charts and Table Zup @ www.joefacer.com


We were all given a huge opportunity when we gained control over part of our retirement savings with the advent of the 401a. Then we were lied to about how easy it would be and how much better we would be if we just left it in the hands of and to the judgement of others. We were left hoping it would work out OK. We were told patience was the best strategy, and we were told to fear doing anything since it might be wrong. We were left with the "Deer In The Headlight"(DIH) strategy to fall back on...


IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY.



You could do what I do instead. I stay informed of the big picture and time the market off the macro news, you know, the headlines. Oh. And I do peek around the corner of the curtain now and then to see what the man behind the curtain is REALLY doin'.

Check dis out....

CLICKIT!!!


This is my 401a account. If you check the charts on my website, you see that we've hit A bottom in stocks, but prolly not THE bottom. The bounce has been 10% and maybe there is some more to come. You'd think that'd help our returns. But the numbers on the table for the individual stock funds look really terrible regardless of the bounce.

My numbers on the other hand look pretty good. Coupla things of note. I'm showing a 17% TOTAL GAIN for the year and a .79% INVESTment GAIN. The 17% overall gain comes from me contributing near the max for most of the year. I'm old and I gotta save while I can still earn. AND, I save big time on the 401a tax break. I avoid the huge income tax hit. There is NO PLACE ELSE where I can make this much money this easily. Works for me. I have 17% more money at the end of the year than I had at the beginning of the year. Ignore the plus 2300% over the Balanced Pooled Fund. When the difference is this huge, a horrible loss versus a tiny gain, percentages are meaningless. Suffice it to say that it looks like I'll finish the year having not lost any money on my 401a investments and even having made a little on my investing.

The .79% investment gain comes in two parts. First, a small loss comes from staying in stocks too long early in the year, trying to find someplace where money was still being made. When I couldn't make money in stocks anywhere in the 401a, I cut my losses. That put me into the GIC in late spring, a hand full of percentage points in the red. I made a few dollars in the GIC during the summer and clawed back a point or two while things deteriorated all over the world. When things REALLY got bad, I became concerned about MET LIFE and its ability to pay on the GIC. I bailed on MET in early October and went to the FEDS in RGVEX. I got there first and bought in in the first weeks of October. In November, everyone else in the world woke up and followed me into Treasuries, driving up the prices beyond all reason or even imagination. That really worked well. I got back to positive for the year

I'VE MADE 4% IN 6 WEEKS!!! ON HALF TREASURIES AND HALF MORTGAGE BONDS!!!!

This is good.

I can use the money.

THIS IS ALSO VERY BAD!!!

This means smart money is paying $1.05 or $1.10 now to get a 99 cents back later in the year or next year. Either they are in a huge blind reasonless panic, making this a huge opportunity for me... Or, they see something awful beyond comprehension coming up over the horizon. Either the risk/reward of big money panicing is awesome and a godsend especially for this time of the year.... or maybe it's time to relearn how to grow and can food.

Bottom Line; The huge opportunity in the 401a is currently in place and it can be taken advantage of. I've averaged 11% a year return since we've gotten funds in the 401a worth investing in. I've kept my gains through a time period rivaling the depression for investors misery. While our defined benefit fund was stuck on the tracks watching losses come down the line at 100 MPH, destroying the value of the defined benefit pension fund, participants in the 401a could seek a safe haven for their defined contribution pension money. Pretty Kool....

Stay tooned.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90ELleCQvew


more to follow....









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Loyal Lifetime Union Member, Father/Grandfather, Taxpayer, Portfolio Manager, Voter, Blogger. Conflicting Loyalites Caused By An All Time Horrendous Godawful Mess. Oh Well. Equal Parts Of Leaving A Mark On The World And The World Leaving a Mark On Me...  

"Americans will always do the right thing -- after they have exhausted all other alternatives."
--Sir Winston Churchill



Chartz and Table Zup on www.joefacer.com...

CLICKIT!!!




http://online.barrons.com/article/SB122 ... azine_main

http://www.urbandigs.com/2008/08/peak_c ... _mean.html

Stay tooned. You Know The Drill!!!









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Juxtaposition A Descent Into Unemployment And Recession Hell For A Significant Portion Of The Country/World With The Holiday Cheer Of Those Still Well Off; So it Goes..... 

"Every banker knows that if he has to prove that he is worthy of credit, however good may be his argument, in fact, his credit is gone."
Walter Bagehot



Chartz and Table Zup at www.joefacer.com



UPDATED 12/9



Part One of How I Run My 401a is Here: http://joefacer.com/pblog/index.php?m=1 ... 107-195005

Let's see if I can lay down Part Two so it stays there....

HOW I RUN MY 401A
PART 2



In Part One, I dissed the American Funds Bond Fund of America. I noted in passing that I considered the Met Life Guaranteed Income Contract (GIC) and the American Fundz Government Securities Fund (RGVEX) to be better choices for me. Is this what I consider to be an unalloyed, no brainer, never look back, believe it bigtime recommendation without reservation or qualification?

GIMME A BREAK!!!!



GIC participants give MET Life a wad of money. In return, MET promises to give it back in part or in total on demand and to pay gains based on what they hold at a guaranteed predetermined annual rate. They earn the gains through investing and keep any earnings that exceed the guaranteed rate. The guarantee is their stated intention to do what they say. No More, No Less.

I like the GIC, in principal. The rate of return is attractive and automatic. If they hiccup, they dig into their wallet and make it good. In a normal environment, what's not to like? MET Life is a major player with a history and has economies of scale and is hopefully "Too Big To Fail". But the "Guarantee" is a promise, not insurance from someone with deeper pockets. In exceptional circumstances, the promise and the company can go away. So I carry the responsibility to make sure that they don't lose my money when I'm not looking. Speaking of not looking, here's what I don't not see when I DO look...


CLICKIT




I don't like what I see. Above is a chart of the Dow Jones Life Insurance index and MET Life. MET is in the toilet, so's the rest of the industry. These are pretty exceptional times. It does not appear that there is another company in the industry strong enough to buy out MET and if there were, there are other buyout choices all over the landscape. I don't care how much I like the casino; no matter how good the restaurants or how generous the tables or comps, if it is on fire, I'm out the door. The GIC is a portfolio of investments, probably diverse, prolly "best in class", prolly "good solid companies" and "safe, secure bonds" and maybe goin' down in flames. If it was just one portfolio and MET was going strong, I'd be more confident. But it is, it ain't, and I'm not. I could find out if the portfolio was all treasuries, but if MET Life went down what would happen to the GIC, treasuries or junk, whatever? If the portfolio was half stocks and half mortgage bonds, what then? I could hang around and figure it out, or.....I could bail out.

ADIOS



The GIC may be just fine. I really don't know. I just ain't gonna find out the hard way. I may put all my money back into the GIC in the near future. But that's another story that is being written even as I type. Stay tooned.

The bottom line is that ordinarily, I consider the GIC to be a good alternative to cash, better than bonds for return, and almost as secure ... but these ain't ordinary times. If we had a Federal money Market Fund available to the 401a, I'd be all in in a heartbeat. We should, but we don't. Talk to the Trustees about that.... So I'm elsewhere. And that's another story. Stay tooned.

So that leaves the American Funds Government Securities Fund (RGVEX). I went through some of what we're goin' troo before in the 80's. Chrysler was going belly up, real estate and Savings And Loans were going down in flames and Paul Volker, the same one who is Obama's advisor, had jacked up interest rates to where I was earning 18% in my money market fund and the Federal Government was paying me 12% to hold double tax free bonds. Money cost a fortune and the odds were good that the country would go broke because they couldn't afford to borrow any. I wanted a safe place to put my money. I found it in Franklin Funds Government Money Market Funds. They held T bills and notes and had an average maturity of under a week. An entity with a standing army, guns, tanks, submarines, the need to win elections and the right to tax and print money owed me short term money and was paying me good interest rates. It was far superior to having money buried in the back yard and every bit as safe.

Then we have RGVEX. it is a Government bond fund. Here's a year of chart showing a stock market index fund (VFINX), a corporate bond fund (RBFFX) and RGVEX, all available in the 401a.

CLICKIT!!!!

Here's what I find of interest at Morningstar regarding RGVEX
CLICKIT!!!!

and here's the link to the whole Morningstar page.
http://quicktake.morningstar.com/FundNe ... mbol=RGVEX

This is a far cry from my old Franklin Fund. It has almost as much in mortgage bonds as it does in treasuries and it has a little in corporate bonds, just to piss you off. This SUCKS!!



BUT



The FED sez that it will stand behind any and all bonds and bond like things like RMBS, CDO's and CMO's that it decides to and make it all good (except what it doesn't). And it will do so even if it has to create a huge pile of debt that will beggar our children and grandchildren.

Fair enuf.

It's not what I want. But I think that RGVEX and the FED look better than the MET GIC does here and now.... An' "Ya Can't Always Get What Ya Want. But If Ya Try Sometimes, Ya Get What Ya Need."

'Sides lookie here...

CLICKIT!!!!


The TLT has gone parabolic in the last 20 days. Two possibilities. People are bidding up the price of treasuries to where they are paying the face value of the bond AND some years of the interest that the bond will pay. This might mean since financial entities can't hold huge piles of cash in a back room and are scared to death that everything other than treasuries will probably become worthless, that they have to buy treasuries.

OR

The economy is going into such a deep hole without actually blowing up, that zero earnings will look mighty fine in two years compared to what stocks will do, even from these levels.



TUESDAY THE 9TH;

FOUR WEEK T BILLS YIELDING 0.00%
THREE MONTH T BILLS YIELD 0.005%

Smells like fear of a second leg down to me. HANG ON!!!!!!




What it means for me is that I've been in RGVEX for 40 days and I've made 3% in the last 20 days. I'd blow out of RGVEX and into the GIC to lock in the gain in a New York minute, except see above.



Never a dull moment. Stay tooned.









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REALLY NICE BEAR MARKET RALLY LAST WEEK.... On Declining Volume During An Inevitably Positive Post Election Season And End Of The Month... with no resolution, upside catalyst or even the wringing out of the last cycle's excess in sight. TRUST THIS RALLY AT YOUR PERIL... 

I really don't want to hear about "values." It is meaningless to me if the price action doesn't confirm the fact that something is cheap and people recognize that fact. If a stock really is a good value, then it should start trading up. I don't care what the analysis might be. A stock is not a good value if it doesn't increase in price.

James “Rev Shark” DePorre



UPDATED 12/4



Chartz and Table Zup... Check out my Website.

I'm under the weather..Bleagh. Stay tooned,
In the mean while, check it out....


http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/200809 ... _landscape

http://money.cnn.com/2008/11/30/news/co ... /index.htm

As of Wed last week, there were only 13 stocks in the S&P 500 that were up for the year.

The cost of the bailout to date is between $5 and $7 billion.
The cost of WW II adjusted for inflation was a little over $3.5 billion


PRETTY GOOD CALL IN THE HEADER. BEING ALL CASH PRETTY MUCH TOOK THE STING OUT OF 12/1 IN THE 401A. BEING WAY LEVERED AND DOUBLE SHORT MADE IT GOOD IN THE TRADING ACCT....THIS IS A REALLY GHASTLY 2/3RDS OF A QUARTER.

CLICKIT!!!!



NOW LET'S ADD IN MET LIFE AND YOU BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND WHY I'M IN THE GOV SECURITY FUND AND NOT THE GIC...

CLICKIT!!!!


EVERYONE WAS HOPING THAT 10/27 AND 11/12 WERE A DOUBLE BOTTOM AND THAT NOV 20TH WAS A SUCCESSFUL IF ABERRATIONAL TEST OF THE BOTTOM.

HANG ON....WE'RE MAYBE GONNA GET TO FIND OUT IF THAT WAS THE REAL BOTTOM WHEN WE SMASH AGAINST IT AND BOUNCE BACK... OR BLOW RIGHT THROUGH IT....

THE BOARD OF TRUST IS REPLACING THE CALAMOS FUND (CVGRX) AND THE LORD ABBETT MID CAP FUND (LAVLX). CHECK OUT THE FUND ALARM PAGE ON MY WEBSITE. LOOK UP THE FUNDZ AND SEE WHAT YA THINK....




http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/plan-what-plan/





It's just as good to be lucky as it is to be smart, but if you're smart, the luck follows along. My concerns about the MET LIFE GIC put me into the American Fundz Gov Securities fund (RGVEX) just before everyone either got religion as to how bad things were or got REALLY scared about how bad thing COULD get. Everyone started throwin' money at Treasury bills. Yields get driven way down on newly purchased bills but bills already held get really valuable. Call up a chart of TLT. In two months, the treasury bill part of RGVEX looks like it's paid almost a year's worth of MET LIFE GIC income. KOOL...

CLICKIT!!!!!


Yes, I'll protect my gains if they start to reverse. But I STILL have reservations about the GIC. I'm gonna hafta think about this......










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Bear Markets Scare Out The Timid And Wear Out The Tough. The Object Of The Exercise Is To Show Courage And Be Among The Last Still Standing With Plenty Of Capital To Participate In The Next Bull Market. The Rev Is Right. Getting Back To Even Is A Tremendous Waste Of Time And Resources. 

The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away.
-- Ronald Reagan



UPDATED ALL DAY EVERYWHERE 11/23
UPDATED THANKSGIVING (FORGOT TO INCLUDE ONE OF MY FAVORITE YOUTOOBZ)


http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/10/whassup/

Chartz and Table Zup @ www.joefacer.com.


I'm up over 600% Year To Date over the Balanced Pooled Fund and up over 2000% over the B/P Fund since the Trustees provided us with more than one fund to work with as of 9/04.

I was not expecting to do this well, but neither was it an accident. It was/is avoiding an all risk/no gain stupid dangerous market. One hundred fifty plus MPH toward Turn One is big time fun dangerous. I'm down wid' dat. Watching my hard earned retirement money go up in flames hoping it all comes back as fast as it went away is hoping a forest fire burns backward and leaves the forest untouched. That's big time stoopid dangerous.

You can't expect to succeed with a self directed plan unless you actually direct it..... And that doesn't mean flailing away at every twist and turn anymore than it means ignoring everything all the time because someone told you it was at all times and everywhere safe and easy and that trusting everything and everyone and doing nothing was the smart thing to do. Think of it as keeping track of the calender and playing the seasonal weather. I was almost all stocks all the time from 9/04 to 3/08. (A Financial Spring, Summer, and Fall) I've been GIC or gov and gov agency bonds since then.(Financial Winter) I'll be back to stocks when the current financial nuclear winter is over and it's springtime again. (Who knows when? I'll have to keep checking.) It's as simple as THIS:


CLICKIT!!!




Congratulations to those who followed along or did better on their own.


IN THE MEANTIME....

Some old favorites....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90ELleCQvew

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/fo ... ng-hitler/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KycZk1M7g24

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aS3jC_nKW4&NR=1

http://politicalhumor.about.com/gi/dyna ... en/805381/

http://politicalhumor.about.com/gi/dyna ... en/805381/

http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1788161

The Board of Trustees are dropping two fundz and replacing them w/ two other fundz. Calamos Growth(CVGRX) is being replaced by Blackrock US Opportunities(BMCIX).

My look at the two fundz on WWW.STOCKCHARTS.COM Perfect Charts shows BMCIX to be the far superior fund. But the Perfect Chart only goes back five years. Lets see what WWW.BIGCHARTS.COM sez.

CLICKIT!!!!




I use BIGCHARTS.COM when and because they offer me options unavailable on my preferred STOCKCHARTS.COM. (Links for both up above.) BIGCHARTS shows me that the picture is a lot less clear if you go back 10 years. Buy and holding in 1999 shows that CVGRX is the far superior fund from '99 up until '08. Buying in '04 and selling at the end of '07 shows that BMCIX is the far superior fund. Either of these fundz will/would've work/worked well with a reasonable investment and money management strategy. I'm ready w/ both.


IT DRIVES ME UP THE WALL WHEN SOMEONE ASKS ME ABOUT A ONE DECISION FUND FOR THEIR 401A. THE 401A IS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY IF YOU FUND IT AGGRESSIVELY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE TAX SAVINGS AND A HUGELY DANGEROUS THING TO IGNORE ONCE YOU HAVE ANY SORT OF MEANINGFUL BALANCE. YOU HAVE TO MANAGE YOUR 401A TO SOME DEGREE IF YOU WANT TO AVOID THE RISK OF MAJOR BIGTIME GRIEF. THIS YEAR DEMONSTRATES THAT CONCLUSIVELY.



Links

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/gl ... te-ratios/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/ev ... ost-money/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/br ... ica-dream/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/ho ... ome-owers/

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/busin ... .html?_r=1

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/re ... king-data/

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/catego ... out-watch/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/11 ... lout-plan/


HOW I RUN MY 401A TO RESUME AFTER THANKSGIVING.....









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TBA 

Losing less money is considered a big success on Wall Street. In the world of fund management, relative outperformance vs. a benchmark is the focus, but any individual who is struggling to only lose 30% or so vs. the 37% that the S&P 500 has lost is going to barely survive.

James “Rev Shark” DePorre




Chartz and Table Zup on www.joefacer.com.


Birthday, shutdown @ work and upcoming track day @ Laguna Seca. I'll post when I can.



UPDATED 11/20

LAST WEEKEND WAS A WEEKEND LIKE BACK WHEN I WAS RACIN'. EVERYTHING STOPS AND I PLAY KETCHUP FOR THE NEXT WEEK. I'VE GOTTEN THE LETTER FROM THE HALL ABOUT THE NEW FUNDZ AND THE CHANGES TO THE BALANCED POOLED FUND. IT'LL ALL BE ROLLED INTO "HOW I RUN MY 401a". RESUMING THIS UPCOMING WEEKEND....



Stay tooned for Part 2 of How I Run My 401a

Part 1 of How i Run My 401a is here... http://joefacer.com/pblog/index.php?m=1 ... 107-195005



I'm hearing more and more tales of major damage being done to retirement funds of friends, and brothers and sisters. THAT PISSES ME OFF!!!!! It didn't have to happen.... A buddy who I advised to go to cash in January said he talked with a buddy who lost a huge amount. He told me that, "After hearing how much he lost, I didn't have the heart to tell him I only lost about a thousand..."



CLICKIT!!!!!


CHECK OUT THE CHARTS ON MY SITE. IF YOU THOUGHT LAST QUARTER WAS BAD, BRACE YOURSELF FOR SOME SERIOUS SHIT. PASTE THE RESULTS ABOVE FOR THIS QUARTER ON YOUR LAST STATEMENT. IF YOUR STRATEGY IS "DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS", IT MAY BE TIME FOR A CHANGE.

CLICKIT!!!!

THE NUMBERS MAKE YOUR HEAD SPIN. THE BALANCED POOLED FUND HAS RETURNED ZERO FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS. READ IT AND WEEP SAYS IT ALL. WHO IS GOING TO EXPLAIN THIS TO YOU?


STAY TOONED.......









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The 1971 version of the Allman Bros Band...The sound board tapes from the F'mo East and West are incendiary. You owe it to yourself.... 

"The market is not a sofa, it is not a place to get comfortable."

Jim Cramer




Chartz and Table Zup on www.joefacer.com....

I've been pretty much reporting on what's happening lately. Lots of charts, links, and a table or two. My strategy of riding the market up and standing aside when the market cracked has been pretty successful. It was loaded and cocked back in late '07 and other than trying to pick up pennies in front of a steamroller with small positions until mid June, I was heavily in cash at the end of the first quarter. Charts and tables on my website tell the tale. It is AMAZING how well being cautious has worked out. Risk control is HUGE in a self directed plan.

But Now What? That's EASY!!!



HOW I MANAGE MY 401A



Check out the charts on my site. www.joefacer.com We had a huge earning opportunity from 9/04 until 10/07. During those three years the worst stock fund in the 401a made 11% a year and the best fund returned 30% a year. Since 11/07, all of them except the American Funds Government Securities Fund and the Met Life GIC have gone into the toilet. The economy and financial markets run in cycles. The overall direction is up. But there are pitfalls to be avoided along the way. No shit. So I want to be in the market when the direction is up and out when the direction is down. Furthermore, I want to be in the right places in the market. I'll take what the market gives. Will things be as good as the last time? Doesn't matter. Ya gotta play what yer dealt. we'll see....

What about "Buy And Hold". Is "Buy And Hold" dead?

"Buy And Hold" died for me in 1998. See http://joefacer.com/id18.html for how and why. If you have 40+ years before retirement and in blind faith don't wish to make the effort regardless of the risks , it may still be alive for you. Whatever.

What about "You Can't Time The Market."

That's just dumb. You look at the run up from '98 to '01 and the run up from '03 to '07 and read the papers (the thoughtful articles, not the cheerleaders) and you can't recognize the top? You can't recognize a time to be REALLY cautious? A buddy at work went all cash in December of this year at my recommendation. Earlier, he and his wife had looked at a house they wanted and got all the way to getting qualified for the loan. He looked at the loan and figured the payments were 80% of his take home pay and he walked away. "You Don't Need A Weatherman To See Which Way The Wind Blows." Shit like that ALWAYS goes bad at some point.

Wall Street earns money off your investments. They can't justify fees on cash. They will ALWAYS tell you to "Stay The Course." Furthermore, the big money funds are $100's or $1000's of millions of dollars. They can't turn on a dime. Buy and hold is what it looks like even when they are bailing as fast as they can. I used to be able to turn on a dime. The McMorgan era was so gawdawful that I never contributed over the minimum. I didn't put much in and McMorgan didn't earn me much. When we got the new funds, I could spread my money around a little and get in and out of the market in three days. Now I'm contributing the max and have made a lot on my investments in the 401a. Now it takes some thought, but all the way in and all the way out takes about a week or so at the minimum to about a month at the maximum. If the cat walks on the keyboard and I gotta unscramble the account from some horrible gawdawful allocation, the fix takes a coupla days to get in gear and a week to a month to undo, regardless. No biggie. THIS is what it means to be "In It For The Long Run". If you sell when you shouldn't have, BUY IT BACK! Held on a little too long? Sell it late. Was it a mistake? Fix it! Being wrong by being too cautious or too aggressive for a week or a month is meaningless in the long run. It is not a sin being wrong, positioned either too risky or too safely. Everybody makes mistakes. The sin is to stay wrong long enough to dig yourself a hole you'll never get out of...

So there are two things to be dealt with sometime in the future.

When Is The Right Time To Get Back In? And Where Do I Go?

Well, GM, Ford and Chrysler warn that they see themselves crashing into bankruptcy and taking the economy with them by the end of 2008/2009 GM/Ford Chrysler. So they want the US taxpayer to make $50 to $100 Billion dollars available to them to see if that helps them work things out. AIG has spent the original $85 billion of taxpayer money and is starting in on an additional $36 billion and either wants more or a change of terms so that they are eligible to borrow more. That is only two of the many major problems we face now and in the near future. This looks like it will take time for things to work out if they do work out at all. So I've got plenty of time to look for when to get in and time to write about where to get in.




....In The Meantime...Here

Smokin' synopsis of the election....


http://www.newsweek.com/id/167582

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/fa ... democrats/

Prescient


http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28784

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/89486

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/me ... year-high/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/un ... eremployed

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/no ... ober-2008/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/th ... s-is-over/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/ha ... residency/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/do ... reclosure/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/re ... fter-bush/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/th ... -of-times/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/ai ... ore-money/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/th ... -of-palin/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/th ... untaintop/

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11072008/watch.html

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/fo ... ng-hitler/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldne ... -tale.html

See ya here later this weekend...

LIKE NOW!!!

CLICK THESE IMAGES...



CLICKIT


You know how I feel about bonds if you read this... http://joefacer.com/id11.html . Enuf said. Check out the chart above if that AIN'T enuf. It shows the two bond funds available to the 401a. Ordinarily you'd invest in these bond funds for safety. Check out the charts on my site's chart pages for what the cost of safety was for investing in bonds between 2003 and late 2007. Your performance sucked. Look at the cost of safety after 9/21/2007. It either blew you out of the water or you did OK. Let's see why...

CLICKLIT!!!!


The first image is from MORNINGSTAR for which I have a link up above. It shows part of the RETURNS page for the RBFFX bond fund. The data shows that the fund did really well between 2003 and 2006 compared to the Lehman Bros Index and the category of similar bond funds. However returns in 2005 and 2007 were not as good. Returns in '08 have been disastrous. It is still kind of a respectable showing for a short time period. It is a respectable showing in terms of the category and in terms of realizing not as much gain in return for safety and low investor effort. Still if the safety is not there, especially if the market changes, then you can't make a real serious case for being in the fund even if you didn't want to go through the effort and risk of doing better with stocks. The RGVEX government bond fund and the MET LIFE GIC offered competitive returns in bonds or a cash like fund year over year and maybe more safety. We'll have to look at them next week.
CLICKIT!!!




Above is the MORNINGSTAR DATA INTERPRETER page for the RBFFX Fund. Morningstar looks at the fund from a different view point and puts on its analyst hat. Morningstar is not impressed. Rather than looking at the returns in individual years, it lumps the years together and looks at trailing returns versus other funds. The bad '07 and '08 returns ripped the guts out of the total picture. The safety was not there. The fund had 26% of it's (your) money in mortgages and 48% of the money in corporate bonds. When these sectors went down in flames so did the safety and your money. Returns were low and the risk was high. The worst of both worlds. Add in the "unusual securities" and "structured notes which are basically bonds" (HORSE EXHAUST) and this fund looks like trouble.

The bottom line is TANSTAAFL. There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. The word bonds does NOT mean safe and you can never look away from your money or it may go away. When things were good, I never saw the returns from this fund being good enough to make me want to put money in. There were stock funds and the GIC and RGVEX bond fund. Once things went bad, there was too much risk and big losses and only the thinnest illusion of safety in RBFFX. There are auto loans in there along with the mortgages. Check out the Morningstar Portfolio page.

So RBFFX ain't for me. Could that change? Yep. That's why I run the charts weekly for all the Funds and read many more articles than the links I post.

See ya at the hall.













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Ta DA!!!!!!! 

"Fear is an insidious virus. Given a breeding place in our minds it will eat away our spirit and block the forward path of our endeavors."

--James F. Bell


Chartz and Table Zup on
www.joefacer.com




HERE'S WHAT'S ON MY MIND...

I GOT THE FOLLOWING FROM THE HALL.
CLICKIT!!!!!


THE OTHER SHOE HAS FALLEN. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE 401A HAPPENED TO THE DEFINED BENEFIT (what many call the "real pension")




Here's what I see...

My pension has been poorly managed for over a decade. You know all about that by now. Compared to the better managed pensions of other unions in the area, I don't have nearly what I should have. Therefore it is important to maximize what I do have, and to above all, not put myself further behind than I am already. So I gotta plan to avoid or minimize anything negative that could affect the plan.

What's the worst that could happen? From the mailing from the hall, excerpted above, if the defined benefit pension plan fails, the PBGC will provide roughly a third of my former pension dollars less all other benefits than the monthly check. That's assuming that they are capable of doing so. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... w3FJ3Nhf1Q Note that Fed and the treasury are already supporting the housing market, insurers, providing currency swaps to foreign central banks, funds to prime brokers, public corporations, private corporations, insurance companies, investment banks, retail banks, foreign owned banks, individual borrowers, hedge funds, mortgage holders and who the hell knows who else until we read the morning news. If the government is considering floating GM (public corporation) and Chrysler/Cerberus (private company/hedge fund)big bucks to close down half the jobs and support all the pensions of both companies in a bid to avoid the bankruptcy of both parties, which it is, the PGBC is likely going to be under major stress in the near future from this and similar events. If we can't make our defined benefit pension plan work, we'd risk being just another pension plan in a long line of plans in trouble looking for our fraction of a share from the taxpayers through the Fed/Treasury/PGBC.

The health of our defined benefit plan comes FIRST!!! Stay tooned...

Second comes the 401a plan. The defined benefit plan may require more funding to meet what has already been promised us. Greater contributions without increased benefits is a real possibility for the defined benefit plan. However, any additional funds going into the 401a plan go straight to the individual account holder's pocket. In an environment where EVERYTHING is going down, ya start of with a substantial tax savings equal to a coupla VERY good years of investment appreciation. And you have room to maneuver to eliminate or minimize risk. I work with a number of individuals with very substantial balances who lost at most a thousand or two dollars this year because they practiced risk control as I suggested. Being insanely aggressive and an active trader myself, I'm down less than $4K along with keeping my substantial profits from the good years. I practice risk control too. But I do lean to he long side. I'm comfortable with a little more exposure to risk in order to expose myself to a lot more upside.
So...As part of that, I've upped my 401a contributions the final two notches to the max available...I think it's the smartest move possible.



Clickit!!!!!



The intention not to lose my money in a VERY dangerous investment environment has kept me leanin' toward cash for much of the year. The chart above of the progress of the investable funds in the 401a shows the good sense of that. Avoiding losses is good. But...

There was a very nice bounce at the end of the month. I left a 10% gain on the table. I'd prefer not to do that... This weekend I'm going to have to think about that. I'll prolly write about that here.....
Like now.




CLICKIT!!!





The bull market rolled over in November of '07. But we had a very nice bear market rally between mid March and May of '08. Everything was on the way to hell but the market went up 10%-15% anyway. Is the week long upturn of last week another of the same? Will it last long enough to play? How risky is it? Can it be played? How about rapid trading restrictions? Stay tooned...




CLICKIT!!!!



All the insurance companies are in the toilet. They are FINANCIAL companies. That has kept me out of the GIC for a coupla weeks. The RGVEX (treasuries and mortgage bonds)that I'm using instead is somewhat volatile and has cost me some bucks over the GIC. With the FED and the Treasury using the taxpayer to rescue the whole goddamned world, why not MET? The gov WILL support mortgages and treasuries. It MAY support MET. At some point this gets to be like the early/mid 80's. Either we're all going back to living in caves or we'll mostly make it through. At somepoint in the near future I MAY put some money back in the GIC on faith.......





My daughter in law won't open up her 401k. A buddy's wife logs on to her Schwab account every Saturday and screams, "STOP DOING THAT!!!" at the screen. You learn about risk control the hard way, if at all.


Clickit!!!!





'mazing!!!


http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/10/whassup/

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/ ... en/805381/

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/ ... in/805401/

http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/30/real_es ... tm?cnn=yes

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... oneta.html

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... ve-03.html

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... -da-z.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... w3FJ3Nhf1Q




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In The Last Ten Years We've had Two Once In A Lifetime Stock Market Crashes. Try Not To Think About It Too Hard. Your Brain Will Explode....  

"When the plane is going down and the oxygen masks have dropped and parts of the plane are peeling off as you plummet toward the earth, that’s not the time to pull out the little card in the seat in front of you and say, ‘Gee, where are the emergency exits?' Everybody should have an emergency plan. The time to make these decisions is not when people are running around with their hair on fire."

Barry Ritholtz



UPDATED 10/27;I'VE INCREASED MY 401A DEDUCTION TO THE MAX. IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.



CHARTZ AND Table Zup on www.joefacer.com




I got a lot to say. Not a surprise. See ya here later this weekend.

Like, say...... NOW!!!


http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... eaper.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/op ... amp;type=c
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2008/ ... ing_a.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/23/busin ... ref=slogin
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/23/busin ... ref=slogin
http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/24/news/ec ... 2008102416
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/enterta ... _or_w.html
http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2008/ ... _high.html
http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2008/ ... ewspe.html
http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... secur.html
http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/docum ... OME08.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37pal-PYTUQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WINDtlPXmmE



Things Got Ta Get Better Inna Little While...... Eric Clapton

Got Ta Make This Smokin' Heap O Cratered Crap Back Into A 401a Inna Little While........ Joe Facer



Clickit!!!!!






Ya gotta stand back in awe; We were told by liars or the clueless that the problem was contained and that all would work itself out in the short term, and after all, we were in it for "the long term".

I'll be 58 years old in a matter of weeks. Don't talk to me or anybody my age about getting back to even in "the long term". If I'd have stood there and taken the hits in the Balanced Pooled Fund, I'd have lost four years of investment income in 10 months. Make no mistake, The 401a WILL turn around someday and start to go back up. The only question is whether or not you want to start rebuilding your 401a from a crater in the basement or to continue on from where you stepped off the elevator on the way up. What makes it more complicated is that I see no reason to believe that we're gonna get growth and return rates equal to that of the bubble era we just went through. Maybe it'll take many of us six to eight years to undo the lost returns. Only to end up where we already were many years previously.

You have to understand that the 401a is a "self directed" plan. I can't for the life of me figure out why you were told that what that meant was the 401a was a "do nothing" plan.

Risk management is the key. That's why I stepped off of the elevator after it topped out.

THIS IS HUGE


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27368452/


I'm back to thinking that the MetLife GIC MAY be OK to invest in. The returns are better than treasuries and mortgage bonds and the safety MAYbe a toss up... The American Funds Gov is half mortgages.....not good. The GIC per the K and G website says that they pay off if it is not inconvenient to do so..... not good. WTF, the tax payers (us) are gonna cover it all.... not good. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I sense a theme....

When the world is running down
You make the best of what's still around.
The Police

Stay tooned.



See ya at the hall. Anybody gonna show up at the Nov 6th 401a meeting?







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Didja Ever Get The Feeling That They Lost A Page Of The Instructions, And Didn't Bother To Tell You? 

There is nothing that will benefit your portfolio more than avoiding losses when the market is acting poorly. If you can keep from incurring losses in your portfolio as the market falls, you avoid the very unproductive task of recouping losses once the market is more favorable.

James “Reverend Shark” DePorre



Chartz and Table Zup at www.joefacer.com


Stay Tooned for the usual to appear during the course of the weekend...



UPDATED 10/22



Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch....



http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... tones.html

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... air-t.html

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... .html#more

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7661955.stm

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/ ... ap/773781/

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... smith.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122428355436946301.html

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081019/mideast_ ... _step.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/busin ... ref=slogin

http://www.daveross.com/otherfeatures/c ... BLANKS.mp3

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/busin ... &scp=1

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home





P.S.

NO ONE'S RETIREMENT MONEY NEEDS TO BE OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE STOCK OR BOND MARKET SINCE THE FIRST OF THE YEAR WITH THE SOLE EXCEPTION OF TREASURY BONDS. THE ONLY TRADING SUCCESS I'VE HAD WITH MY TRADING ACCOUNT MONEY RECENTLY HAS BEEN WITH CRAZY FAST INSANELY AGGRESSIVE DAY TRADING WITH A HOLDING PERIOD OF MINUTES AND BIG TIME MARGIN. THIS KIND OF TRADING SCARES ME TO DEATH, AND I DON'T KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD FEAR.

OF COURSE THERE'S A LOT OF OTHER WORDS I'M NOT REAL CLEAR ON....

Do YOU feel lucky? DO YOU????

I'll let you know when I think the risk/reward ratio is sane enough to put MY retirement money out there. It's way too insane for me right now...Cash and government securities are the only thing I have a use for. But we WILL have to discuss insurance companies later this week....




The table below is the 401a plan fund's performance over the last three weeks and Year To Date

CLICKIT!!!!!





The Truth Hurts
CLICKIT!!!!







I'm deadly serious about them losing a page of the instructions and not telling you. Think about what you were told about how to manage your 401a...

HOW COULD YOU SAVE FOR YEARS AND NOT LOOK AT THE MONEY FOR A YEAR OR LONGER AT A TIME? HOW COULD YOU TRUST YOUR MONEY TO FLY YOU TO THE FUTURE ON AUTO PILOT? HOW COULD YOU BE SEDUCED BY PROMISES OF HOW EASY IT WAS ALL GOING TO BE?

Because you trusted what the "experts" said.

The alternatives are that the experts weren't smart enough to understand how the game is played and made a well intentioned but unbelievably damaging recommendation to you about how to manage your 401a plan. Or, that they had some other thing going that was a higher priority than your well being and financial future. Or that they really didn't understand what happened 2000 to 2003 with McMorgan and they did it to you again. Or did what happened, happen for a purpose?

This is a godawful set of choices to choose from, isn't it?

To them it was "OPM" "Other Peoples Money."

This needs to be fixed.....and only each individual can do the fixing by taking care of his own money.

A few members of the local went to cash before the crash happened. That was no accident. That was brothers and sisters taking their earnings, savings, and investments seriously.

It's not too late for many of us.




10/20
HOLY SHIT, CAN THIS BE RIGHT?



http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... en-on.html

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/ ... ts/698541/

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home


10/22
CLICKIT!!!!




You prolly thought your third quarter report was as bad as it gets. The chart above shows you what has happened during the last three weeks since the quarter closed. God forbid and I hope and pray that this doesn't shows up on your fourth quarter report. Hopefully the market turns up and repairs a significant part of the damage. But hope is not a strategy, you can't depend on it, and it ain't a part of what I do....

Early in 2005 I showed a small group of brothers and sisters how I intended to manage my 401a. Since then, on occasion I've shown other brothers and sisters the same things. I've had an open offer to do more of the same and I've run my 401a with an open hand on my website and on my blog since 2006. I feel good about the brothers and sisters who've taken advantage of what I've made available. And I feel bad about the ones who haven't. Pisses me off. There's not enough of the first and too many of the second.

Are You Mad As Hell And Are You Not Going To Take This It Anymore?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WINDtlPXmmE

Talk to me the next time you see me at the hall.









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Seen your 401a statement yet? 

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."
--Mary Pickford

UPDATED 10/16

I think that a very poor job was done explaining just what 401a participants were getting themselves into. I don't think that they were given the tools needed to manage their accounts. The risks weren't explained adequately nor was risk control explained at all.

We should talk. Spread the word... especially to those who are not aware of what I'm doing or are off line and can't access my website and blog.

Can you think of any reason to believe that what happened to your 401a didn't happen to your Defined Benefit ("real" pension)?


Clickit!!!!!!


Infuckincredible in a kinda ghastly way.....



Print this up and post this on the job....
See ya at the hall.

10/16
Enough of that.... I put a tiny amount into LRSCX for a coupla day.... drawing it back out and putting it back into the Gov Securities Fund today.... There will be rallys in the days and weeks and months ahead. With 401a money, I'm better off waiting.








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