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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I Feel Strongly About It Both Ways........ 

"The primary objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better."
-- Jim Rohn

Chartz and Table Zup on www.joefacer.com

UPDATED 10/13

CLICKIT!!!!


The Funds In The 401a

My Account





OUCH!!!!!



On the one hand, I've stayed informed and done the right things. The charts and tables tell the tale. I've played with an open hand and anybody who wanted to follow along could do so in almost real time. I've averaged just under 8% return over four years and I'm down a little over 5% this year in my investment gains. This is mostly 'cuz I tried to pick up pennies in front of a steamroller during the first half of the year and I'm also stuck with a minimum in the B/P Fund which is puking money. Overall, including contributions I'm up 9%+ in the 401a Year To Date. Look at the individual funds numbers. A modicum of caution makes me look like a genius. But that's compared to the brain dead "Just put the money in and don't even look at it more than once a year." strategy of total disregard and complete carelessness. So I wasn't really so much brilliant, as I was sensible. The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction is good, kinda. But I sure as hell ain't smug about it. Because on the other hand is the smoking ruin of many a brother's and sister's 401a account. That's just sad and takes all the thrill away.

But being ahead is not the same as winning by any means. There is always more to stay informed of and there are always more decisions to be made and always more opportunities to do the right or the wrong things. There's 401a money to be kept safe and more 401a money to be earned and put to work.

The past is over. Book it, move on, look back on it when ya feel like it, and put your head down, twist the wrist and ride on. Stay tooned for more posts including time permitting, how I do what I do, as the weekend progresses...

IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS FROM LAST WEEK...



IT'S NOT GETTING ANY BETTER....AND I'M NOT GETTING PAID ENOUGH TO STICK AROUND IN THE MET LIFE GIC. ALL OUT OF THE MET LIFE GIC AND ALL IN TO THE AMERICAN FUNDS GOV'MENT SECURITY FUND(RGVEX). THE TREASURIES THAT MAKE UP HALF OF RGVEX ARE GOOD AS IT GETS. THE GOV'MENT HAS SAID THEY'LL SUPPORT THE MORTGAGE AND AGENCY PAPER IN IT. I DON'T LIKE IT, BUT I CAN ACCEPT IT. MET LIFE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO NOT MAKE GOOD ON THE GIC IF THEY DECIDE NOT TO DO SO. IT'S ON THE K AND G WEBSITE. AND THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT IS NOT GOOD FOR THE GOV'MENT SUPPORTING THE UNINSURED PAPER OF A PUBLIC INSURANCE COMPANY IN FREEFALL. I BELIEVE MET LIFE'D TOSS THE GIC OVER THE SIDE BEFORE THEY DEFAULT ON THE POLICIES THEY'VE MADE. TOO MUCH STRESS IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS, AND MAKE NO MISTAKE; MET LIFE IS A FINANCIAL STOCK, AND MET LIFE WILL NOT PAY INTEREST ON THE GIC. WAY TOO MUCH STRESS AND WE CAN GET IN LINE WITH ALL THE OTHER CREDITORS FOR OUR PIECE OF THE CARCASS. FOUR PERCENT RETURN IS TOO LITTLE RETURN FOR TOO MUCH RISK OF LOSING A CHUNK OF IT AND ACCESS TO ALL OF IT FOR A TIME, SO READ THE TABLE ABOVE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I DID ABOUT IT... ....
DO I THINK MET LIFE IS GOING UNDER? PROLLY NOT. AGAIN, I'M NOT GETTIN' PAID ENOUGH TO RISK IT. WHEN THE RISK IS GREATLY REDUCED, "AHL BE BACH"




In the meantime, here's some links...



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

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... he--1.html

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... e-own.html

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

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

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

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

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

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... sh-ca.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/09/busin ... ref=slogin

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27113844/di ... enumber/5/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27113844/di ... number/13/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27113844/di ... number/15/

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

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 1396T5.DTL

kickass photos.....
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/1 ... cycle.html

kinda the ultimate "no shorts". Whaddya think I meant?
http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2008/ ... he_la.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABXPICWj ... ;eurl=http:

http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2008/ ... op_di.html

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008 ... RKETS.html

UPDATED 10/13/08



I like the prices. The market is a smoking crater but the market isn't going to zero. It just feels that way. Caution is the key word. Forget "Buy And Hold". Think "Buy And Profit". It's not day trading, it's position trading....

I think that given the recent freefall, at some point between now and the end of the year, the markets will be enough higher than they are today to allow me to sell for a profit... So...

I pretty much bought and held between 9/04 and 4/08. I refused to hold anything but cash or cash equivalents between 4/08 and now. Now it's time for something in between....

A tiny little 2% of my balance into the Lord Abbett Small Cap Value Fund today to test the waters. If it goes down significantly, I'll sell to minimize a loss. If it goes up, I'll prolly sell to realize a gain. We'll see how it goes....












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Ya Begin To Relate To All The Poor ENRON Employees Who Had Their Life Savings And Retirement Money In Company (ENRON) Stock...Everything, IRA's, 401's, And Homes GOIN" DOWN All At Once!!!...  


Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
-Thomas Jefferson



UPDATED 10/9


Chartz and Table Zup on www.joefacer.com

Whatcha Gotta Know Is I'm All Cash (GIC) In The 401a And Have Been For A While. Congratulations To The Guys Who Listened To Me And Went To Cash Early Last Year And Those Who Went Cash Between Oct And March While I Tried To Pick Up Pennies In Front Of A Steam Roller.

Stay Tooned....Stuff Will Appear This Weekend As Inclination And Circumstances Permit....




Irrelevant irreverence
http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... iffin.html


A look at the stock and bond funds available to the 401a for the last quarter...CLICKIT!



A look at the last day of the quarter and the subsequent action (in the elipse in the chart above)...CLICKIT!



It's about marking up the quarter as best can be done. As long as you realize that as bad as your quarterly statement looks,

IT'S WORSE....




Straight talk...


http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/10032008/watch2.html


Read "Haste makes waste by Lewitt...


http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article6532.html


more stuff;


http://www.safehaven.com/article-11458.htm


I hope it's still up when you CLICKIT!!!!!;



http://www.popeater.com/television/arti ... 1200611770

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27036808/

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=868490137


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




Here's what I want to do next:

In regard to investing my 401a money; NOTHING DOING....

Things are so crazy and hypervolatile that I do not believe that it makes sense to try to make money buying stocks or funds and either holding or selling them on an uptick unless you can open a position and close it in a few minutes to a few hours time. That is not how 401a investing works. So I'm uncomfortably in the MET Life GIC unless and until the Board of Trust can arrange a real cash money market fund for the 401a. Here's a glimpse of why I'm uncomfortable;

CLICKIT!!!!




Details explaining the chart are in last week's post.

So if I can't expect to make money, there's no point in doing much of anything which makes this a pretty dull blog. So maybe I'll write about the investing tools I like and how I use them to do what I do. Stay tooned.....



UPDATED 10/9

IT'S NOT GETTING ANY BETTER....AND I'M NOT GETTING PAID ENOUGH TO STICK AROUND IN MET LIFE. ALL OUT AND ALL IN TO THE AMERICAN FUNDS GOV'MENT SECURITY FUND. THE TREASURIES IN IT ARE GOOD. THE GOV'MENT HAS SAID THEY'LL SUPPORT THE MORTGAGE PAPER. THE ENVIRONMENT IS NOT GOOD FOR SUPPORTING THE UNINSURED PAPER OF AN INSURANCE COMPANY IN FREEFALL....



CLICKIT!!!!








"There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring."
Ernest Hemingway

Knowledge is power. Take the time. You are not powerless to protect your future.

See ya at the hall....







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One day I sat thinking, almost in despair; a hand fell on my shoulder and a voice said reassuringly, "Cheer up, things could get worse." So I cheered up and, sure enough, things got worse. -- James Hagerty  

The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced; and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.
- Cicero, 106-43 B.C.

Charts and Table Zup on my website. There's gonna be a lot more here a for the weekend is over, But in the meantime, here's the moments' major personal concern, followed by some links... which are of incredible value for understanding what is and is not coming down this weekend...


UPDATED 10/2

CHECK IT OUT!!!!

Brothers and Sisters,
I'M CONCERNED AND NOT HAPPY

My 401a allocation;


ALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GICALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GICALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GICALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC)ALL CASH(MET LIFE GIC




AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM!




From the K and G website;

The MetLife Stable Value Fund provides a guarantee of both principal and interest for participant-initiated withdrawals.
AND

Guarantees are subject to MetLife's financial strength and claims paying ability.



Met Life's health is a matter of concern to knowledgeable individuals... See last week's COFGBLOG entry.

I've gone to "all cash" and it has been a very good move for me; See the charts on my web site. But I don't really have an insured cash balance like I should have. What I have is basically a solemn assurance from Met Life about the GIC. A qualified promise to pay unless circumstances intervene.

Met life is an insurance company, like AIG was. Is it too big to fail, like AIG? I don't want to find out. AIG has already failed and been rescued by the government and provided with $85 Billion of taxpayer funds. The public is in no mood to keep handing out money and the risk is Met Life might be allowed to fail as Lehman Bros was allowed to fail between the Bear Stearns rescue and the AIG rescue.


I'M CONCERNED.


My family IRA's and my trading account are all cash. As such, the cash balance is held in my broker's money market fund sweep account, where it is SIPC (Security Investors Protection Corporation) insured. The money in the bank savings account is FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) insured. The Federal government has stepped up to insure all the taxable money market funds after the Reserve Funds family "broke the buck". But...
My 401a "cash" is not insured.
But, I do however have a promise worth what a promise is always worth about getting my money back.....
I need an option in the 401a that is insured NOW, and I think you do too.
Call a Trust Fund Trustee in the morning and say so. Ask for an insured money market or insured deposit cash option in the 401a as quickly as possible.

If you agree with me, pass this on to other brothers and sisters in the local and spread the word. This is very important to me and I think it should be to you and all our Brothers and Sisters too.

If you have any questions, email me or check out www.joefacer.com.

Fraternally yours,

Joe Facer

Here's those links...



http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=868490137

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... he--3.html

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... e-ide.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/27/busin ... ref=slogin

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... age-c.html
http://www.cnbc.com/id/26888701


Merkel always make a ton of sense and plays in a much tighter, less forgiving kind of arena. This carries a lot of credibility with me...


http://alephblog.com/2008/09/26/let-the ... ilout-die/

An alternative to papering over the problem with our money.....


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

Think about how close the FDIC might be to the edge...


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

http://debka.com/headline.php?hid=5613

Clickit!!!!!



"Careful. We don't want to learn from this."
--Calvin & Hobbes comic strip.



http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... street.pdf

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... age-c.html

UPDATED 9/29
ONE MORE DAY LEFT IN THE QUARTER, THANK GAWD!!!!!

CLICKIT!!!!



I HAVE NO PATIENCE WITH "YOU CAN'T TIME THE MARKET".
I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH "THE LONG RUN" TOO.
I CAN'T AFFORD TO LOOK AWAY.
I WORKED HARD FOR THE MONEY.
NOW I WORK HARD TO KEEP IT.
I'VE SAVED MYSELF A LOT OF "CATCH UP".
EXACTLY WHAT DID I MISS BY BEING OUT OF THE MARKET?
CLICKIT!!!!!


9/30 BETTER, BUT NOT GOOD.......

CLICKIT!!!!!



10/2 STILL IN A DOWNTREND... THIS LOOKS LIKE AN UNCONTROLLABLE HEMMORAGE OF FUNDS LEFT IN STOCKS. ONE DAY THIS STUFF WILL BE CHEAP AND BUYABLE. BUT NOT TODAY. PROLLY NOT TOMORROW EITHER. I'LL POST RIGHT HERE WHEN THINK IT'S TIME TO PULL THE TRIGGER ON REINVESTING OUT OF CASH AND INTO STOCKS....

CLICKIT!!!!!










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Not At All What It Appears To Be.... 

"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."
--Sir Winston Churchill

401A CHARTZ AND TABLE ZUP ON MY WEBSITE!



UPDATED 9/23.....




http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... ns-sh.html

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... ack-o.html

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... -exem.html

Excerpted from the previous link...



The losses incurred by Bear Stearns and other large broker-dealers were not caused by "rumors" or a "crisis of confidence," but rather by inadequate net capital and the lack of constraints on the incurring of debt.

--Lee Pickard, former director, SEC trading and markets division.

>

Is Financial Innovation just another word for excessive and reckless leverage?

Apparently so.

As we learn this morning via Julie Satow of the NY Sun, special exemptions from the SEC are in large part responsible for the huge build up in financial sector leverage over the past 4 years -- as well as the massive current unwind

Satow interviews the above quoted former SEC director, and he spits out the blunt truth: The current excess leverage now unwinding was the result of a purposeful SEC exemption given to five firms.

You read that right -- the events of the past year are not a mere accident, but are the results of a conscious and willful SEC decision to allow these firms to legally violate existing net capital rules that, in the past 30 years, had limited broker dealers debt-to-net capital ratio to 12-to-1.

Instead, the 2004 exemption -- given only to 5 firms -- allowed them to lever up 30 and even 40 to 1.

Who were the five that received this special exemption? You won't be surprised to learn that they were Goldman, Merrill, Lehman, Bear Stearns, and Morgan Stanley.

As Mr. Pickard points out that "The proof is in the pudding — three of the five broker-dealers have blown up."





ROUND TRIP.!!! CLICKIT!!!


THIS IS WHAT "THE BIGGEST TWO DAY GAIN SINCE 1929" LOOKS LIKE IF YOU ADD IN THE OTHER 3 DAYS OF THIS WEEK....



THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE IF YOU LOOK AT THE REST OF THE YEAR...
I DON'T FEEL LIKE I MADE A MISTAKE BEING IN CASH FOR MUCH OF THIS YEAR...INCLUDING THIS WEEK.



9/21



http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 131A52.DTL

http://www.nypost.com/seven/09212008/bu ... 130110.htm

http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/19/news/ec ... 2008091915

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13690.html
The Bailout Plan may give a hand to foreign banks.... Holy Shit!!!!

http://www.allposters.com/-sp/George-W- ... 46826_.htm

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



Google "Mauldin" and "dead men walking"

Read the article in light of it being written Aug 25th, a month ago.

I'm not happy.


In his "Limping But not Dead Men Walking Crowd", among others he has Morgan Stanley,Merrill Lynch, AIG, Prudential, and Met Life.

Since then, Morgan Stanley has petitioned to become a bank holding company so that they can get bailout money from the Fed, Merrill Lynch sold itself rather than go down in flames, and AIG has been seized by the government.

I've got my money in the 401a in "cash", which is the Met Life GIC (Guaranteed Investment Contract). "Guaranteed" as in Met Life promises to pay off, even if they go bankrupt and don't have any money... Make sense? It's "Cross my heart, PROMISED", not insured. Today, that sucks.

In the 80's, when things were REALLY bad also, I had my money in Franklin's Federal Money Market Fund. It held only federal securities and had an average maturity of under a week. THAT WAS SOLID.

The closest thing we have in the 401a is the American Funds US Government Securities. This is from Morningstar

http://quicktake.morningstar.com/FundNe ... mbol=RGVEX

here's an excerpt



Forty five percent mortgages. This is not even a money market fund which IS government guaranteed now.

I sure hope this works out.....


Yeah, it's more work watching your money than not...



But, is it really too much trouble?
It only took four months to lose how much?


Got this in an email....



SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP

DEAR AMERICAN:

I NEED TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.

I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS HAD CRISIS THAT HAS CAUSED THE NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 800 BILLION DOLLARS US. IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THIS TRANSFER, IT WOULD BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU.

I AM WORKING WITH MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY. AS A SENATOR, YOU MAY KNOW HIM AS THE LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT IN THE 1990S. THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE.

THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED A BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED.

PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO WALLSTREETBAILOUT@TREASURY.GOV SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER YOUR COMMISSION FOR THIS TRANSACTION. AFTER I RECEIVE THAT INFORMATION, I WILL RESPOND WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SAFEGUARDS THAT WILL BE USED TO PROTECT THE FUNDS.

YOURS FAITHFULLY MINISTER OF TREASURY PAULSON

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If the next coupla hours are successful, I'M GOIN' RACIN' AGAIN... 

The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.
--Napoleon Hill



UPDATED 9/17



Chartz and Table Zup on my site.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... mp;sc=1000

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 12T0T0.DTL

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02638.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26695078/

http://www.popeater.com/television/arti ... 1200555738

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


SUNDAY NIGHT: GOIN'DOWN IN FLAMES? GIC...THE PLACE TO BE...




CLICKIT!!!



Not a good two weeks... not convinced it's getting any better...


UPDATE 9/17 courtesy of STOCKCHARTS.COM
CLICKIT!!





DEFINITELY NOT GOOD!!!!!!!

CLICKIT!



HOLY SHIT...

CLICKIT!!




IN FUCKING CREDIBLE.....



The losses YTD and today are incredible.

Being all cash puts me at arms length. It's still an emotional experience. A lot of peoples' work and savings have been vaporized.

Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution, which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity.
-- Gary Ryan Blair

YOU CAN'T MAKE MONEY IN TODAY'S MARKETS. THE TIME TO MAKE MONEY WAS OVER THREE OF THE LAST FOUR YEARS. NOW IT'S TIME TO WORK ON KEEPING WHAT YOU MADE.

Don't be afraid of missing opportunities. Behind every failure is an opportunity somebody wishes they had missed.
Lily Tomlin

"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

NO ONE EVER WENT BROKE TAKING PROFITS.

IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO SELL.

YOUR FIRST SALE ON THE WAY DOWN IS YOUR BEST SALE.

IF TODAY'S SALE WAS A MISTAKE, BUY IT BACK TOMORROW.

A SALE IS AN INSURANCE POLICY AGAINST LOSS.

This emergency was decades in the making and 12 months from the first wisps of smoke to full blown firestorm. There was time to escape.

Nothing is safer or more effective than cash in a poor market.
Reverend Shark

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

"The art of investment is the art of selling. Buying is a lesser skill and holding requires no skill at all."
-- Harry Schultz

Life teaches hard lessons. This is one.

When the time comes to buy these stinking piles of crap, AND THERE WILL BE A TIME, they'll be cheap and I'll have cash.

THIS TOO SHALL PASS.


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


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Gonna post midweek.... 

The three great lies: "Of course I'll respect you in the morning,' 'The check is in the mail,' and "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you."
--Herschel Chicowitz



On Monday, rates for a 30 year fixed dropped from the mid six percent range to the mid/upper 5% range. Time to think about refi'ing....

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

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


"The art of investment is the art of selling. Buying is a lesser skill and holding requires no skill at all."
-- Harry Schultz

Holy Shit!!!!

Click the SOB to get a GOOD look...


RERFX which made me some money over the last few years is down 22% for the year. Calamos, which also made me some jack over the last few years is down 24%. CHECK OUT THE NON GOV BONDS!!!! DOWN OVER 6% YTD!!!! Balanced Pooled Fund down 7% plus. I can see why the 401a advisor says to look at this no more often than once a year. Kinda like he hopes it'll be back up to even then.

HEY!!
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


Scope out your losses for the year to date and figure out how much you have to lose and how much you can keep with a little effort.

I'm maxed out in cash. Have been. Shoulda been a coupla months sooner.... I can live with that. I earned it when I could and kept most of what I made....




More to follow.....


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You have $100's of millions of dollars in your Defined Benefit Fund and $10's to $100's of thousands of dollars in in your 401a. Who still thinks that headlines about billions of dollars lost in the financial markets isn't a kick in your crotch? 

It requires a great deal of boldness and a great deal of caution to make a great fortune, and when you have it, it requires 10 times as much skill to keep it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Chartz and Table Zup on the main site.



In the meantime...I've been adding links here during Sat and Sun. Check it out....

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/opini ... ef=opinion
Food for thought...

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article ... ml?cnn=yes
Just what we need, MORE real estate problems in Florida....

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

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/washbi ... fredd.html

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

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... -crat.html
houses and cars; a lot of money not changing hands equals jobs lost.

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... use-p.html
I'm a trend follower based on identifying trend changes as early as possible. All cash watching the current trend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOVXh4xM-Ww
Cramer was almost universally derided as a lunatic when he said what he did in 8/07. A week later the markets tipped over and have gone down since. Since then, Bear Stearns is toast as is Indy Mac and a slew of other mortgage originators and holders. So this weekend the Treasury (the US taxpayer) is effectively buying all the mortgages that Fannie and Freddie hold. Every godawful mortgage to every unqualified or felonious borrower made by a sleazy boiler room mortgage outfit or first line nationwide consumer bank will be backed by the US taxpayer. Or maybe not. The unwind will be huge and will matter big time....

http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/07/news/ec ... tm?cnn=yes
Sunday AM thoughts on the Fannie and Freddie riff.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
Sunday Evening thoughts on Freddie and Fannie..





CLICKIT!!! Good funds in a bad environment? Or is the total complacency of the McMorgan pension management era still in place?

Depends. A fund can be a stinking pile of crap even while it makes money, and the best fund in the sector can lose money. Prolly time to take a look and see which ones we are stuck with are which....And what about Fannie and Freddie? Stay tooned and see ya here Sunday Eve.
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Labor Day, Back to School For The Kidz, The End of Summer, The Next Leg Down In The Market and The 401a? That's what I expect. Here's why and what I'm gonna do... 

"The first step to making money is not losing it."
-- Ed Easterling

CHARTZ AND TABLE ZUP On The Main Site!!! I've revised a few of the chart set ups and I'm happier with them. You may not be, because of what they show. Check 'em out...

Three day weekend and ain't no excuse why I can't write some more here, since this is the weekend I decided I gotta do a top to bottom review of my retirement investing and trading. See ya here at the very end (Late Monday Evening) of the weekend. Stay Tooned



But in the mean time... Check it out!!!

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/o ... 48A50D6%7D

Here's an excerpt...

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Out of almost 2,100 diversified retail U.S. stock mutual funds that are open to new investors, just 17 have positive returns for both the past 12 months and year-to-date, according to investment researcher Morningstar Inc. Nancy Tooke runs three of them.



Explain why you are STILL invested in ANYTHING stocks. Oh... you see something that leads to a significant and long term turnaround for the economy and financial markets just around the corner. YEAH!!! Like maybe THIS...

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... al-ab.html

Excerpt;

What this country really needs is less tranparency in earnings reports, and more wiggle room for corporate reporting:....

We are governed by utter idiots . . .



If Barry wants to pick a fight w/ me, he'll have to start with something we disagree about.


More links excerpted from Barrys' Blog:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122005562753985195.htm

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... KBb0Y&

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... cks-d.html

http://econompicdata.blogspot.com/2008/ ... ction.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... 9fzl8&

http://www.slate.com/id/2198942/

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

http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/12/real_es ... 2008081208

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/08/ ... landscape/

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12997.html


Cell Genesys




If you bought and sold at the right time, say like you bought near the low of 2003 and sold near the high of 2004, that was a 245% swing. Not bad for a year's return. But if you bought and held, or weren't dialed in to the biotech industry with excellent industry and company specific sources, minute to minute information flow, and a day traders mentality and trading style, you could have had your head handed to you at any time. There are places where I WON'T go. You HAVE to have confidence and you have to a damn good reason to be confident to play where the volatility looks like that. Not me, not today, and not tomorrow either... Ya gotta know what your edge is... And working there for a year isn't it.


So look back to two years ago when those with big balances in their 401a's and big time exposures to stock were lovin' the up days and there was always a reason to be excited and interested in the markets. That was the easy part.

I'm STILL interested in the market and constantly reading and thinking about it. Not because it is easy and fun like it used to be, but because that's what constantly reminds me to focus now on keeping what I made then by avoiding risk. All cash all the time. There will come a time when the market will recognize that it finally understands the current mess and can look ahead and see the resolution clearly enough to discount it it once and for all. It may coincide with mention of stocks resulting in widespread projectile vomiting of the public at large. The very last optimist may have despaired of ever making a dollar in the market again and have flushed his portfolio and gone to cash, thus marking the bottom. Then we'll start another up cycle out of the darkest depths like we always do.

Ya gotta be watching to see it and take advantage of it..


And remember; It's Only Money. So for fun, here's something of interest about music.....

http://mixonline.com/classic-tracks/

Working....
Every so often, I figure it's time to lay something down so it stays there. It's usually something basic that illuminates the Why of what I do and why it's right. I usually grind it out here and post it to COFOG BLOG Essays on the main site later. I got the next riff in my head, When I get caught up on my post vacation stuff, it'll appear here.


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TRANSITIONING BACK TO REALITY..... SUCH AS IT IS.... 

"The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists."
-Joan Robinson,



Charts and Table Zup on the site. I'm back to where I wanna be in the 401a, 10% plus annual rate of return over the last 4 Years. I stayed way too long at the party, I had an almost 14% a year return going. I shoulda tapered off between August and January, but I'm new and self taught at this stuff. Still, ya go with what works and this works for me. I expect to do better when the current fires burn themselves out. The year to date has been a day traders' market and no place for a long term investor. If your investment time period was hours or days, ther was a LOT of money to be made. But I'm just a workin' stiff... Ninety five percent in cash in the 401a and hedged long/short out the wazoo in Ira's and my trading account tell the tale.


Check this out!!

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

``It's like an ongoing nightmare and no one is sure when we're going to wake up,'' said Thomson, a money manager in Glasgow at Resolution, which oversees $46 billion in bonds. ``Things are going to get worse before they get better.''

In a replay of the last four months of 2007, interest-rate derivatives imply that banks are becoming more hesitant to lend on speculation credit losses will increase as the global economic slowdown deepens. Binit Patel, an economist in London at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said in an Aug. 21 report that nations accounting for half of the world's economy face a recession.

The premium banks charge for lending short-term cash may approach the record levels set last year, based on trading in the forward markets, where financial instruments are sold for future delivery. Back then, concern about the health of the banking system led investors to shun all but the safest government debt, sparking the biggest end-of-year rally for Treasuries since 2000.

``These problems going into year-end are likely to be worse this time round because of the amount banks have to refinance in December,'' Thomson said, citing a figure of $88 billion. ``The suspicion is that banks are still hiding losses. The banking system relies on trust and at the minute there quite simply isn't any.''


Real estate is in the toilet. The originate to distribute model of mortgages, car and bike loans, and collateralized debt obligations (CDO's) is dead. Money is hard to create and/or borrow and the velocity is gonna be slow. The money roller coaster that has fueled the economy and the financial sector is in the corner S and D ing.What do YOU see that's gonna turn this situation around?

Check it out...CLICKIT!!!



Big interday swings, the individual stocks look like death even as the indexes look much less volatile. (There are advantages to diversifying...) A coupla months of "climbing a wall of fear" and then a coupla months of "sliding down the slope of hope". All to get back to the bottom, a long way from where we were last fall.

All cash all the time. I'll let you know when I make a move. Don't hold yer breath.....


And Finally....


Smart Investors Have to Wonder Who's Dumb Now: Michael R. Sesit


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


http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... -stat.html




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IT WAS ALL GOOD.... AND THEN I ERASED THIS FILE ..... 

There was this cruise tour of Alaska, and I was gone for a while, and it was great. Then there was this software update when I got back , and I deleted a file as per instructions and the COFGBLOG disappeared. Flat fuckin'

DISAPPEARED.
Gone.
TOAST.


I called the help desk. They said "UH OH...." An' the help desk called for help. The Unix witch doctors appeared, circled and chanted, and raised the COFGBLOG from the dead.

I'm BAACKKK!!!

STAY TOONED.....


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Drive On.... 

"Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries."
-- James A. Michener


Charts and Table Zup onna main site. Stuff to appear here later.

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MOTOGP @ LAGUNA SECA THIS WEEKEND; Time presses, a truncated post this week...... 

Don't worry about genius. Don't worry about being clever. Trust to hard work, perseverance and determination.
-- Sir Thomas Treves

Charts and Table Zup on my site...



Good week for headlines. Huge up day or two in the market. The government will back up everything and everybody. There's a mortgage rescue plan. There's a plan to kill all the short sellers and speculators. The price of oil falls precipitiously.

The worst is over!!!

NOT!!!

I see it differently.



Headlines about huge up days are about today and yesterday and earlier in the week. Lookie here...CLICKIT!!!



Looks to me like if you sold anything or everything somewhere between Halloween and mid June, you'd be ahead and maybe by miles. Even bonds look like crap. So far the reversal barely shows.

Yeah, the government has some plans. Plans to float the whole mortgage/credit mess on money taxed from you (out of your pocket) or printed from thin air (welcome to inflation; a more genteel and harder to trace picking of your pocket).

Speaking of speculators, Lookie here....CLICKIT!!!



This is a chart of a commodity index. The trend is obvious. So is the cause. The recent speculative spike as everyone rushed to the other side of the boat is obvious too. If you had a dollar and knew how, you HAD to be invested in the last part of the market to go up. Now what is not obvious is how much the demand destruction that high prices cause will deflate the high prices. I'm thinking that prices will sink back to or through the long term trend channel I've drawn. But the reasons and imperatives that created the channel exist even with the speculators slapped back. I think that back to the trend channel is probably where prices will ultimately go.

Finally, going short is what is keepin' this poor ol' pipefitter's meager savings working on funding his retirement. I just don't see myself as the cause of the pyramid scheme coming down when the last fool gets sucked in.



401a

All cash all the time. Credit card defaults and 401a distress caused by buying gas and groceries on short term credit is the next shoe to drop, joining higher prices and a further drop in the price of homes. We're in the third or fourth inning of the great credit unwind. Stocks and houses don't go from $100 to $1 in a straight line. Look up ENRON. All cash all the time until I see a reason to change.

IRA's & trading account

I got my nose bloodied by the spike up Tuesday because I was big time short. I did NOT cover my shorts; Wednesday I hedged them with the same amount of longs. The last coupla days I've broke even regardless of the market movement. I expect to dump the longs if/when the market resumes the previous trend down. Ya can't catch interday reversals when you are at work. Ya ride the trend as you see it. See the first chart. If the trend changes I'll go to the long side and put some 401a money to work. First I'll have to see it. Then I'll have to believe it.


I just started to check out this link;
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008 ... -trap.html

The key part is the interactive graphic. No game goes on forever, no tree grows to the sky. Like it or not, like Montana and California, the economy still has a fire ecology. Out of the ashes comes regrowth.

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... -plan.html

[
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"Lower Than Whale Shit" "A Churnin' Urn Of Burnin' Funk" "Hammered Dawg Shit" "A Smoking Crater of Smashed Hopes and Ground up Dreams" "A Soon To Be Over, Slight But Not Totally Unexpected Temporary Pricing Correction"..... These are the entries for the best description of the current financial, credit and housing markets... 

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



Charts and Table Zup on my site.

Think about Fannie Mae, Bank of America, Lehman Bros, and Merrill Lynch. Good solid American companies you can trust to put in your retirement portfolio and look away from for a year or two at a time.

CLICKIT!




STAY TOONED...


Fer Stuff Like This...Click onna charts....

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

In case ya ain't sure, I'm still cash in the 401a and hedged and levered short in the IRAs and trading account. I trailed the B/P Fund pretty significantly when i tried to get a few last dollars outa a too late/too little attempt to ride the post March bounce. Being all in in the GIC for the lsst month has healed some o' that hurt.

Fanny and Freddie and Indy Mac bank.

Let's look at a banking index. CLICKIT!!



It's prolly gonnna get worse. How much and for how long?

There's the issue...



7/15/08

Everyday, In Every Way, A Little More Worser....CLICKIT!!!!










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My Folk Retired In The 80's. My Dad's Pension Had A Cost Of Living Adjustment. Their Savings Were Invested in CD's Paying 10+% And Rental Real Estate. They Did OK. My Pension Does Not Have a COL Adjustment, But I've Got A Plan...  

For purposes of action, nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.
-- Henri Frederic Ameil

Charts and Table Zup On My Site!

This was the week that the world figured out that no game goes on forever and eventually ya gotta tear it down to get at the rot in the walls. Hang on... But CLICKIT first




Down 6% in bonds and 25% in the Washington Mutual Fund in 8 months and with more to go. That's just pathetic.

I'm just not totally clear why being defensive and "timing the market", which I do, is the wrong thing to do here. It's not like there was one correct moment to get defensive and that there will be only one correct moment to reinvest in the market. There was/is a certain slow motion aspect to this train crash. Ask the guy's who went to cash before/during/after I did.

Read this!!!

http://www.thestreet.com/files/tsc/land ... pprentice/

But most especially THIS!!!

http://www.thestreet.com/_tscs/comment/ ... 50118.html


And stay tooned 'cuz I might write something here about where my head is at for what comes next. And yeah, cash in the 401 and cash/short the market in IRA's and trading account is a really cool place to watch the crash from.

UPDATED 7/7



Another Monday. The public gets excited over the weekend with all the "opportunities" of stocks getting cheaper and cheaper. The Pro's sell to the public at higher and higher prices, and then sell some more after the buyers have spent their money. Prices go down, the pro's cover and bank the spread. It looks like this...CLICKIT!!!!



CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash CASH cash

That's where I am....
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Something hip and clever to appear here when I'm feelin' hip and clever. 


"It is not how right or how wrong you are that matters, but how much money you make when right and how much you do not lose when wrong."
-- George Soros

UPDATED 7/2

Charteses and Table Zup!



AGAIN!! Clickit...







The trend is down. Trends tend to persist. That's why they are called trends. The DOW 30 and S&P 500 are down aroun' 14%+ or - for the year. The 401a stock funds are down from 5% to 18%. What do YOU see in the near future that will change the trend and turn things up? In the meantime, we all gotta contemplate how bad and how long it'll hurt to buy food and gas. Explain again why you would want to retire now and lock in your pension for life at the current level if you didn't have to? Me too.

In my 401a, the name of the game is keep it safe. I don't have the ability to play the finer points, I'm stuck in huge funds that change directions like continents, and the money within each fund is NOT nimble due to trading restrictions. That means the GIC for me. A sure small gain is better than maybe some gain sometimes but for sure big losses for the foreseeable future. I'll put what money I choose to put to work where it can work the most safely; my trading account and IRA's. Leveraged short side and cash has been a great place to be recently and I've been one or the other or both.

GIMME A BREAK!!! CLICKIT





What

IS

this CRAP about "in it for the long run". The long run is made up of short runs and this short run is DOWN!!!!

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Testing..... 

Charts and Table Zup!!!

There's only a some of the stock funds in the 401 I chose to track and I don't invest in them all and even then, only some of the time. Here's how those select funds are doing as of the last five weeks. I'm only in the B/P Fund for the absolute minimum and allergic to stocks in the 401a here and now. I overstayed my welcome in stocks (trying to pick up pennies in front of a steamroller) and gave back more than I'm comfortable with. That's the other side of playing for serious return. It's how much you keep that qualifies how much you make. Oh well. It's keep it mode in the 401a and playin' the dark side of the street in my trading account and IRA's.

CLICKIT!!!!!



Enuf said...

I'm big time (95%) CASH (GIC) in the 401a. I'm also cash and select long and hedged with leveraged shorts in my trading account and my and my wife's IRA's.

Make it when and where ya can with the emphasis on keepin' as much as ya can.

Pretty damn clear to me.

See ya at the hall, Bro and Sis.



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Twist of the Wrist. Get it Up On Two Wheels. He-man Adventure With The Flavor Of White Hot Steel.... 'Cuz life's too short to believe that driving in a cage is all there is. 

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
-- Mom

Charts and table Zup.

Yo K. B., Check out the 5/24 post. See ya at the hall...

Stay tooned for more this weekend.



'Till Then...

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... oss-4.html

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

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... es-up.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01479.html

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ ... ory/energy

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 118V0Q.DTL

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... mp;sc=1000

R.E. the above link; I've posted a lot of information on the American(Washington Mutual) Fund in our 401a (rwmfx). Can anybody provide a good answer why we still have that dog as a 401a investment option?

UPDATED 6/17

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/photos/un ... _61708.gif

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... -po-2.html
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DIT DIT DIT....DOO WAH WAH ... SOMETIME BAD IS BAD....Huey Lewis an' da Gnews. 

"There is nothing so disastrous as a rational investment policy in an irrational world."

John Maynard Keynes

"Is there a choice in the 401 that I can put my money in and not have to pay attention to it?

Local 342 'fitter



If prices are stable in the short, intermediate and very long term, if society and the economy remain essentially unchanged during your lifetime, if no new technology is ever introduced, if resource availablity and scarcity remains unchanged over centuries, then the whole pension investing thing gets a lot easier. There might be one or more "choose this and look at it again when you decide to retire" choice. But that ain't the world I live in and I suspect it might not be the world you live in either. That leaves us in this world where there is the possibility of major mistakes with catastrophic consequences occurring if we make a bad decision(s) let them run for extended time and and don't bother to fix it (them).

Me


Chartses and table Zup



Prolly some major stuff appearing here by the end of the week end. Bloody week in the stock market, political and economic uncertainty, and the imperative to deal wid' it. Seeya here.

Stay tooned...Meanwhile;

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... -reba.html
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Half theYear Almost Gone. Another Year of Life Slippin' Away. On The Other Hand, BBQ Season is Upon Us. Things Work Out... 

"Opportunity knocks, but it has never been known to turn the knob and walk in."
English Proverb

Chartz and Table Zup!!



I shifted some cash to stocks Friday afternoon. The why and wherefores later this weekend...


UPDATED 6/3 SEE BELOW...

CLICKIT!!




Shown above is the S&P Bank Index. Since 2007, the direction of the index has been down. Since January, the index has found support and has repeatedly bounced off it. Unfortunately, each bounce has been to a lower high. The pattern will resolve at some point. I'm concerned that in light of the oil, economy, debt load, and age of the affluent consumers that the next chapter might be really ugly. Think about it. Yet another crash in the banks. That's why I'm always only 2-3 days away from an "all cash" position in the 401a....See below about the GIC and "cash".

So I added some stocks to the 401a. Hey, I'm aggressive by nature and it's a gamble. I think that we're putting in a short term top in the cost of oil tomorrow, next week or next month. I think that there will be a knee jerk reaction to that and the market will spike. So i'll sell if and when that happens. Then I think that hurricane season and damage to the oil infrastructure, the damage already done by credit unavailability (rates don't matter if the bank won't lend), election uncertainty, renewed commodity inflation, things like

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

etc, will send the market back down. Call it picking up pennys in front of a steam roller. My situation is somewhat different than many plan participants; I can and have gone leveraged on the short side of the market in my ira's and trading accounts when that's the trend. So down markets can be an opportunity for me overall. YMMV.


5/3 Update;


I reversed the shift from cash into stocks back into cash. I didn't have the conviction to stay put. Gas at $4.60 a gallon is vacuuming away too much money from the consumer. The governments stimulus (giving us back some of our money) is disappearing into the gas tank and groceries and credit card debt. I don't like what I see on main street OR Wall Street.

When I gamble, I play craps and I mostly play the place bets with odds. That gives me the closest to straight up odds I can get (50.25% to the house and 49.75% to me). In addition, it is the one bet I can take off of the table at any time. It is the way I invest and trade too. The bet may yet find it's way back to the table.

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... a-buy.html

Guess What!!!! the offer has been extended until 6/30!!!!

Stay tooned.

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Never a Dull Moment. Life Is a Never Ending Series Of Thrills Interrupted Only By Moment Of Ecstasy and Bliss. 

"No emergency can justify a return to inflation. Inflation can provide neither the weapons a nation needs to defend its independence nor the capital goods required for any project. It does not cure unsatisfactory conditions. It merely helps the rulers whose policies brought about the catastrophe to exculpate themselves."
-Ludwig von Mises


CHARTZ AND TABLE ZUP





Our government is less than forthcoming (read "lies")about inflation. To whose advantage do you think the modified statistical measures work out?


Checkitout!
http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ ... res-o.html


You know how it goes; Chartz and Table Zup Fri evening or Saturday morning and more here as time an' inclination permit. Long weekend this time around. Ahl prolly take advantage o' it. Know what Ah mean, Vern? Stay tooned....See ya here at the end o' the Memorial Day Holiday. Which is MOST DEFINITELY NOT about the shopping experience many would like it to be.

So I'm here and the weekend is over.

Log on to the K&G 401a website.
Under "My Account" click on "Investment Funds"
Click on "Met Life Stable Value"
Check out that the "Stable Value" (cash equivalent) fund is actually some equities but mostly bonds and not strictly the highest quality bonds either.

Just so you know. As stated and related below, this ain't my first dance and I've seen Chaos and Cratered Financial Markets before.

When I "went to cash" on my personal investments in the 80's when things also got gnarly, I went to a Franklin Federal Money Market Fund. The fund held only US Gov securities with an average maturity of less than a week. It held interest paying securities of an entity that had a standing army and the right to tax. THAT was secure.

I've currently "gone to cash" for 75% of my 401a in the Met Life Fund. The Met Lfe Fund is secure because they say it is.

They "guarantee" (read promise) to pay principal and interest even if they have no money.

I'm down wid' dat onna 'counta the Fed. The Fed has said that regardless of the idiocy and self dealing of any and all financial entities, if your big enough, YOU WILL NOT FAIL. Regardless of how much money they have to print or what the inflation rate is. They say that the public will make it good. That's good enuf fer me. So why am I so heavy in cash?

We've entered a new phase.

Previously;
The cratering of financial markets and real estate pretty much left all other areas of the economy unaffected.

Now;
The cratered financial sector and the cratered dollar and food and oil inflation is affecting the economy. The stock and bond market participants have just figured it out. I'm pretty much set up for the end of a bear market bounce and I may go farther "to cash". I'm thinking "Get Defensive".

And this ain't no time for "The best defense is a good offense.

Of course, I may be wrong. I'll figure that out pretty quickly once it becomes apparent. Until then...
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There are reams of sophisticated fundamental analyses out there that purport to establish what a stock is worth. What you need to realize is that the correlation between a stock's 'value' and the price it is trading at is very loose in the short term. James "Rev Shark" DePorre 

Rick: Your cash is good at the bar.
Banker: What? Do you know who I am?
Rick: I do. You're lucky the bar's open to you.
--Casablanca



UPDATE; 5/22. I CUT MY EQUITY EXPOSURE IN HALF!!! WAS IT WAS A BEAR MARKET BOUNCE AND NOW IT'S OVER? WE'LL SEE...



Chartz and Table Zup!



I'm lookin' at buyin' my first $100 tank of gas.

I'm lookin' at a coupla dollars change left from a $20 bill to fill up the bike.

I'm readin' about the upcoming pass through of food costs to the consumer.

I'm reading that Afghan poppy farmers are starting to switch crops. Wheat is commanding a price where growing the feedstock for smack, a long and successful local tradition, is losing it's risk/reward mojo.

CLICKIT




I'm readin' about the inability of the US Gov to subsidize corn farmers into meeting ethanol production in the upcoming years, no matter how much of my money is spent or borrowed against. Corn into fuel is expected to reach 46% of the US crop in 2015. Which is stoopid. Currently it takes between 3 and 8 pounds of corn to produce a lb of meat animal. What will the subsidy have to be when food costs world wide explode with the emerging of a number of developed markets whose society and eating preferences mirrors the US? See the Afghan farmers above... Currently a barrel of ethanol from corn is $80. A barrel of ethanol from sugarcane is $35. The sugarcane lobby is a lot weaker than the corn lobby. If it wasn't, we'd be growing/importing sugarcane. Any doubt which way US energy production is driving food costs and why it smacks of gasoline on the fire of food cost inflation?

Hey, did you know that natural gas and energy are the main feedstocks of fertilizer? So that adding new arable lands from less preferable farmland to replace the good stuff lost to subdivisions built with subprime....nah, not goin' there... costs bigtime in energy and takes years to get up to speed productionwise depending on how much fast costs? Get used to oil/gas/energy and food costs running in parallel for the foreseeable future. Also for productivity to fail to match historical norms. The Sacramento delta farm land is becoming Stockton and ain't comin' back. Think food cost inflation.

CLICKIT




Maybe this explains why I'm not taking my pension early and locking in a large portion of my future income to a fixed amount for an extended period of time.

CLICKIT




I can't hardly contain my concern. Maybe being informed is the problem. Maybe if I just trust that other people know better and they will do what is best for me. Ya think?

Early retirement does beckon though. If I could predict the future, I'd be a lot more confident about how early is too early. Ya see, I expect to eat, stay warm and cool and drive too. The risks of running out of pension early may be huge.

Thanks to John Mauldin and Barry Ritholtz, who like the white rabbit used to do, "feed my head."
COFG
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There's Something Big On the Horizon...Stay Tooned!!! 

Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present. -- Marcus Aurelius

ChartZ and Table Zup!





A New Post Has Appeared On My Website @ The "Reforming A Pension Plan From The Outside" page.

I'm way busy and I wish I could post at length, but it ain't happenin'.

I have gone to 75% cash in the 401. The short version is;

This time it's different

We're about a quarter of the way into a consumer and housing led long and HOPEFULLY shallow recession. We came through a mostly jobless recovery and we're falling from no great height. As long as you aren't a realtor, mortgage broker, or SUV salesman.

Low inventory levels, cautious capital expenditures, the offshoring of manufacturing, and world wide growth are keeping corporate and business activity afloat or in some cases, on fire. And, as long as you don't work in real estate, housing, or Detroit, jobs probably can be kept. Your dicretionary cash may be pretty sparse once you've filled the tank and bought groceries, but life goes on.

The economy is sucky in some spots and surprisingly strong in others.

The same with the market.

Government statistcs on inflation and jobs lie.

Stocks are up on low volume. Up is good. Low volume is not.

We're in a bear market bounce. we're up nicely but downside risks loom large.

I'm 25%/75% stocks/cash based on caution and distrust.

I'm careful. I wanna keep what I got and when I do let my cash out, it's onna short leash. There will come a fabulous time to go back to 95% stocks. It ain't now.

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