What if everything your parents taught you were salty snack filled lies?

Bugles-50years-1You ever get the sense that your parents lied to you?  Not trivial lies about the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus.  Serious lies.  Ones that have the potential to effect your health and well-being, as well as that of your children.

I get that sense every third Monday when I enter St. Columbine’s gymnasium cum bingo parlor.  My presence there is part of the price I pay for sending my kids to private school — mandatory volunteering for parents.

It’s not so bad.  The people who run it are the salt of the Earth and the elderly players who show up each week are charming in their own way.  But they are fucking liars.

Once they get behind the gymnasium doors they repudiate everything they taught their children while growing up.  I watch in horror each week as bag upon bag of dirty, salty, and often flaming hot lies spill forth from their backpacks and macrame’ shoulder sacks.

I was told growing up that junk food was bad for me.  That if I ate too much of it, my teeth would fall out. That I would get morbidly fat.  And at some point, my arterial veins would be so blocked up with plaque that my heart would explode out of my chest, knocking anyone in its path into unconsciousness.

Yet these folks, these bingo loving Baby Boomers, from the same generation as my parents, from start to finish, shove some of the most heinous crap down their gullets without even blinking an eye.  I’m talking the hard stuff.

They don’t just do Funyuns, they do Chile Limon flavored Funyuns.

Doritos?  Get the fuck outta here!  Nachos Pisco Habanero Rolled Doritos bitch!

If it ain’t Ranch Dipped, Flamin’ Hot, or Jacked, they don’t want to know about it.

In fact, even the most wholesome of snacks, Cracker Jacks, has been mutated into some perverted and “extreme” derivation.

Cracker Jacks — no, sorry, “Jack’D” with a capital “D” — now come in Cheddar BBQ, Zesty Queso, Spicy Pizzaria, and Buffalo Ranch flavors.

OH…..THE…..HUMANITY!!!  Let’s just admit it!  Al Qaeda has already won!

How many other mothers and fathers of Gen X’ers like me are meeting at bingo halls, craft fairs, and “wine tasting events” and secretly pounding down this crap?

All this stuff is bad, but the demon seed of this Snackocalypse is the one they call “Bugles.”

According to the General Mills snack blog — yes, you heard that right, the General Mills snack blog — Bugles were the first cone-shaped corn snack.  It’s origins pre-date the cell phone, personal computers, and even man’s landing on the moon.  From the blog;

Fifty years ago, Bugles was actually among a trio of new General Mills snacks that represented our entry into the snack food market. And we’ve never looked back, as our snack portfolio has since grown wider and more diverse.

Back then, Bugles’ snack siblings were Whistles – a cheddar-flavored corn product in the shape of a whistle and “taste like grilled cheese on toast, only crunchy”; and Daisy’s – a flower-shaped snack that had the flavor of “puffed popovers.”

While Whistles and Daisy’s went by the wayside within just a few years, Bugles outlasted them and many other snacks that General Mills introduced.

But as with all cutting edge innovations, technology drove the evolution of Bugles onward and upward over the ensuing years.

No longer must you be content with putting pedestrian style salted corn flavored cones on your fingertips. Now you can put Chile con Queso, Salt & Vinegar, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Sweet & Salty Caramel, and even Crazed Southwest Ranch style Bugles on your digits.  Yes, you heard me right.  Not regular Ranch, but CRAZED SOUTHWEST RANCH!  That’s crazy!

God only knows what style of Whistles and Daisies we would be enjoying right now had they survived?

It’s hard when you find out that everything you have been taught, every ounce of belief you held sacred is just a pack of lies, perpetrated upon you by those you trusted most.

Sure, my mom puts up a good front these days, stocking her pantry with low sodium Triscuits, organic gluten-free pretzels, and Popchips, but I’m no longer an extreme snack newbie.  If she suddenly starts hitting a pottery class or begins hanging out at the “senior center,” I’ll be watching.

LLBanner620x120

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Insert Generic Robin Williams Tribute Here

Robin Williams

Robin Williams died this week.  He’s still dead.  It still sucks.  And like clockwork, the tributes poured in.

The most interesting one came from Jay Thomas.  You know Jay.  Don’t you?  Sure you do.  He played the beloved character Remo DaVinci for a season and a half on Mork & Mindy.

So basically, the sitcom equivalent of The Great Gazoo on The Flintstones.

Jay weighed in with this heartfelt quote:

“I don’t know anyone that knew Robin Williams. He kept you at bay.”

Cool. A keen insight from someone who knew Robin Williams as an intimate, a friend.  He continued;

“I don’t think I would have known Robin any better if we’d been pals for 30 years, than I did in the 3 years I spent with him.”

Wha…wha…what???

So Jay hasn’t seen Robin Williams for 30 years and yet he feels compelled to weigh in, not on only his death, but his ability to form lasting relationships.

Let’s do the math.  You don’t think anyone can really know Robin Williams Jay, but you haven’t known him for 30 years?

Here’s some more math.  The closer a friend was to Robin Williams, the less they have said about his passing.

Billy Crystal:  “No Words.”

Bobcat Goldthwait: “Thank you for all your love and kindness.”

Kevin Pollak: “1991, my first one-hour HBO stand-up special and my HERO and selfless friend did me a HUGE, unforgettable solid….”

Jay, here is a tip.  Next time the press approaches you to give a quote about a recently deceased icon whom you knew in passing, three decades ago, just say, “I’m sorry, I’m not qualified to comment.”

Choo, choo….choo, choo….

Hey, what’s that sound?  Looks like the train back to obscurity is leaving.  Hop on Jay!

And if you just have to shoot your mouth off, take a cue from Dana Gould on how to do it with class;

DanaRobin

Two years ago, I was performing at The Punchline in San Francisco, and Robin came to the show with our mutual friend, Dan Spencer.

This particular batch of material was the first time I had touched upon my then still-fresh divorce wounds, and big chunks of it were pretty dark. The next day, I got a text from a number I didn’t recognize. Whoever it was had obviously been to the show and knew my number, so I figured they would reveal themselves at some point and save me the embarrassment of asking who they were.

The Mystery Texter asked how I was REALLY doing. “You can’t fool me. Some of those ‘jokes’ aren’t ‘jokes.” By now I knew that whoever this was had been through what I was enduring, as no one else would know to ask, “What time of day is the hardest?”

He wanted to know how my kids were handling it, all the while assuring me that the storm, as bleak as it was, would one day pass and that I was not, as I was then convinced, a terrible father for visiting a broken home upon my children.

I am not rewriting this story in retrospect to make it dramatic. I did not know who I was texting with. Finally, my phone blipped, and I saw, in a little green square, “Okay, pal. You got my number. Call me. I’ve been there. You’re going to be okay. – Robin.”

That is what you call a human being.

LLBanner620x120

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Fatherhood And The Volte-Face

Fatherhood is terrifying

Yesterday, after my morning super fatherhood ritual, which involves waking, dressing, and making breakfast for my kids, I hopped on Twitter.  The first thing I saw in my stream — a phrase I can never say without visions of urination — was this tweet from my good friend @chicagosean;

I had to laugh — out loud in fact — because it took me back to a time when I was afraid, nay, fucking terrified, of being a father.  Like South Central, fatherhood was a hood I wanted no part of.

I came to the daddy game late in life.  The average age for a first-time father in the US is 29.3 years old.  I was 38.

I was so unready, so unwilling, so in denial about being a father that when my wife informed me that her water had broken, I replied, “Are you sure?”

“Are your sure?” is a response that is dicey at best and incalculably dangerous at worst to lob back at any inquiry from you wife or girlfriend, even in the best of times.  But when you say it to your bloated, water retaining, nine-month pregnant, I-just-want-to-get-this-thing-out-of-me wife, hit the shelter boy cause she’s going nuclear.

Even in the hospital room I busied myself with anything, ANYTHING, that took my attention away from my impending fatherhood.  You know what I remember about my first child’s birth?  Trying to get a cell signal on my crappy flip phone so I could salvage a position I was underwater in on $AAPL.

“Hold on honey, I’m about to get filled on this!”

I wasn’t ready to be a father.  But guess what? I wasn’t ready to get married.  Or sell my company.  Or watch my father die.  Or any number of other major and/or minor life events. Who is?

Fatherhood is not the only thing you’ll question

There is no amount of preparation you can do to be ready for most of what life throws at you.  It’s perpetually the summer of your 9th birthday.  You are on the high dive, trying to figure out how you got there and if there is any way on God’s green Earth you can get down without looking like a pussy.  But you can’t.  So eventually you just do it.  You jump.  And you survive.

It should get easier, but it doesn’t.  So when I am facing another of life’s unsure challenges, I do something I like to call “historical projection.”

I pull something out of my history that I never thought I could do/survive/accomplish/get through, and then project into the future and remember that I did.  Like fatherhood. It’s a bit of cognitive dissonance, but it works for me.

I’ve got two kids now.  They seem well-adjusted.  I seem to be a good dad.  And despite all my trepidation, I think I have a handle on it.

Editors note: Check back with me in the teenage years to see if I am eating either my words or a bullet.

LLBanner620x120

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Mad Max: Fury Road Trailer Drops At Comic-Con

The trailer for the fourth film in the Mad Max saga premiered yesterday at Comic-Con.  Original director George Miller is on board and I have to say, it looks like one remake/sequel that will hold up to its predecessors.  Check it out.

LLBanner620x120

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

When Billionaires Cry

unnamed

The Lund Loop is a once-weekly curated slice of what I am writing, reading, and hearing about in finance, tech, music, pop culture, humor, and the good life.  But no sports or knitting….ever!  You can subscribe for free by clicking here.

——-

Welcome back folks.  I know it’s been a tough week for all of us given the horrible news out of the Jay-Z-Beyonce camp but I appreciate you putting on a brave face and checking back in with the Lund Loop.

By the way, if you are getting this by mistake or no longer wish to receive the Lund Loop, be a sweetheart and refrain from reporting this email as “spam.”  Just click the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of the page and I promise I will never darken your doorstep again. Thanks. Now let’s do this….

Writing:

Reading:

Hearing:

Short and sweet….

“Nobody solves poverty by going broke.”

-Adam Braun, founder of “Pencils of Promise” which has built over 200 schools in 3rd world countries.

—–

“People go where they grow.”

-Seth Godin on what attracts people to certain content or products.

—–

“Suicide.”

 -Marc Maron when asked by Norm Macdonald what other professional options he had before starting his podcast.

—–

“He was a natural movie star, not a natural actor. He had to learn that.”

-Scott Eyman, author of “John Wayne : The Life and Legend.”

—–

“Get up, do it, prove you can do it, then do something else.”

-Magician Lance Burton on how to keep people engaged.

Misc:

And finally….

  • When I die, turn me into one of these and then huck it at Justin Bieber/Kanye West/A random Kardashian/Anyone on “The View.”

Thanks for hanging in there with me.  Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and if you liked The Lund Loop why not forward this email to a friend and tell them they can subscribe here.

See ya next week!

-B

LLBanner620x120

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

The Best Movie You’ve Never Seen – Over The Edge

In the early 70′s, driven by the lure of open space, the suburbs of California spread ever outwards.  New “phases” were built in a staggered cadence that often abutted completed and occupied new houses against the skeletons of homes still in progress.  These homes became the playgrounds — my playground — of bored and nihilistic kids who saw no charms in the nascent communities their parents had chosen to move to.

Take that narrative, throw in a soundtrack filled with songs by Cheap Trick, Van Halen, The Cars, and The Ramones, and you have a pretty damn good film called Over the Edge.  It also happens to be the first film that future star Matt Dillion, and future star-then-failure Vincent Spano appeared in.

Check out the trailer with it’s disturbingly Stepford Wives-type voice over.

In a sense, Over the Edge is to the West Coast what The Warriors is to the East Coast.  If you ever wanted to know what it was like to grow up in the 70′s in Cali, this is the movie to watch.

What you may have missed:

The Best Movie You’ve Never Seen – Sexy Beast

The Best Movie You’ve Never Seen – Pool Hall Junkies

The Best Movie You’ve Never Seen – Hollywood Knights

The Best Movie You’ve Never Seen – Gangster N0. 1

The Best Movie You’ve Never Seen – Get Carter

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

CNBC Is Dead – Here’s Why Retail Investors Won’t Miss It

To those of you who have been loyal readers of this blog over the last few years it might be apparent that I have “slacked off” a bit in 2014.  And by slacked off I mean, barely blogged at all.

At the first of the year I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to begin writing for AOL’s Daily Finance and About.com’s Stock Guide, and I am just now starting to figure out an editorial schedule that will let me handle those obligations as well as post regularly here.

In the meantime, check out my piece on the death of CNBC for the retail investor.  Here’s a slice….

CNBC was never really a useful tool for the retail investor, but now it occupies an awkward space where it’s neither fast enough to compete with social media, nor deep enough (nor accountable enough) to compete with long-form digital content, and not accessible enough to compete with online personalities.

Advances in technology have finally revealed the dirty little secret about CNBC — and financial news television in general: Their shows are window dressing for clients in the offices of institutional investors, and obsolete badges of honor for financial pundits.

And if you get a chance, take a look at an “Intro to Technical Analysis” series I just finished.

Thanks for your patience while I get my shit in order.  I hope to be back in the groove of things here on StockTwits very soon.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

The Financial Professional As A Brand

For the last five years I have spent the bulk of my time helping financial professionals monetize their “brand.”  I’ve literally spoken to hundreds, maybe thousands, of traders, investors, RIA’s, money managers, and newsletter publishers trying to get them to think about what they do, and how they do it, in a completely different way.

At times it’s been an uphill struggle because those in finance are often constrained in their thinking by outdated and obsolete ideas.  Nor do most understand that in today’s content rich world their product is no longer just performance driven, but access driven as well.

There was a time when if “A” made a 20% annual return and “B” made only a 15% return it was a no-brainer whom the client would pick.  However in a post Madoff, post financial crisis world, clients are not just satisfied with raw numbers; they want context for those numbers.  Methodology context and personality context, and this is where most financial professionals fail.

Clients no longer just want to know where their money has been allocated, but why it has been allocated there — not the “because my research department said so” why — and who the person is that allocated it there.

Well-Known World Brand Logotypes

A “brand” in financial terms has traditionally been associated with the firm a financial professional worked for.  Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year by those firms to paint a broad picture of honestly, integrity, and competence, but as technology and information flow became more democratized, individuals began to set up their own shops and could no longer rely on macro branding.   And even for those who stayed with their firms, the public has started to view them as separate entities from their firm.

These breakaway advisers have evolved in their thinking about their industry, but not about their brand, because they have never had to think in those terms before. Today, as always, a financial brand has to be about trust, but a modern version of trust which can only be achieved by access, familiarity, and relatability.

Clients want to know not just what your performance is but what your methodology is.  What you like to do with your free time. How your tastes run in books, music, and movies.  Are you single or a family man? They want to know who you are — the person and the professional.  

Time and time again I have seen clients put their money with an individual who provides them better access and visibility, though not necessarily better performance, because they are a known quantity.  A great, but opaque, track record is of no comfort to the public today because without visibility there is no way to tell when a star performer does a “Madoff.”

Financial professionals who understand, and more importantly, accept this concept will have a greater advantage over their peers in the years ahead.

The key is to use technology to provide access that is inherently personal but administered in a general way which helps keep them on the right side of the regulatory fence.

Imagine how a client feels when they are in a position initiated on a Tuesday morning and Tuesday evening have access to a live webinar where the methodology that led to that position was explained? Client attrition rates drop tremendously when they understand the context of their positions and allocations, because that context creates an ongoing narrative — personal yet general — that engages them and creates a stickier customer.

I have even found customers to be more forgiving with their financial professional, at least in the short-term, when they underperform as long as they understand the reasons for the underperformance.

Social media in all it’s forms then rounds out and provides the color for who the financial professional is as a person; completing their brand.

These day you no longer have to work in a high-rise in downtown Manhattan in order to a part of the world of finance, but the public is changing the way it views financial professionals and a trusted brand is something they are beginning to expect for those whom they choose to put their money with.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Your 10 Trade Ideas For The Week

All good trades start with an idea.  Here are 10 of them for this week.

Watch for a flag to set up right here at gap resistance in $ANF.

Wozniak related company $FIO is a dog so far. A break of box & the 200ma may get things started.

Might be a big move starting in $FLIR based on this long-term chart.

High and tight on $FLS.

Don’t tell Todd Hoffman, but there is resistance coming up on the weekly $GLD chart.

A break of this little rising channel would be bearish for $GS.

A break of this channel on good volume would get me interested in $JOY.

A strong break above the arrow on $TLT and we have bottomed.

No idea what they do, but I like this rounding pattern just below all-time highs in $TU.

$WFC near all-time highs, while $C, $GS, $MS, $JPM, $BAC etc. are all way below 2007 highs.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

You Take The Money Where You Find It

You would not believe the amount of shit I took after posting this to the StockTwits stream a couple weeks back….

undefined

I recieved anonymous tweets, angry emails, and sky-written messages above my house lambasting me for suggesting a possible trade in Sears Holdings ($SHLD).

Real traders – - the cool ones at least – - would not touch Sears with a ten-foot science pole I was informed.  I mean after all, it’s not Netflix ($NFLX), or Apple ($AAPL), or Amazon ($AMZN), or Twitter ($TWTR), Facebook ($FB) or Google ($GOOG).  Those are serious “trading” stocks.

Didn’t I know that Sears was a dog?

Didn’t I know retail was dead, and that Sears was the deadest of the retail dead – - literally with zombie stores  - – where the only activity is the occasional visit by a hoodie wearing Brian Sozzi, pursuing his fetish-like documentation of sloppy end caps and under-stocked shelves?

Didn’t I know that Sears was going to go the way of Circuit City, Borders, and Woolworths?

Not much however was said when I posted this to the streams less than two weeks later…

Up 22% since this. RT @bclund: $SHLD has put in a double bottom. If you’ve ever wanted to bottom fish it, now is a good risk/reward spot.

— Brian Lund (@bclund) Feb. 13 at 08:34 AM

Look, the point of this post is not to show how great I am – - though there is a pretty powerful argument that could be made for how great I am – - but to illustrate the point that you find opportunities where they present themselves, not where you think they should present themselves.

And if you are trading, which by definition means you are only using technicals to buy and sell, then whatever the narrative is for the company underlying the stock is irrelevant.

I haven’t bought anything in a Sears in years and regularly joke that if I need a bumper pool table in hurry, it’s the first place I will go.  But none of that matters when sizing up a trading opportunity.  Price, volume, and support and resistance levels have no relation to what Brian Sozzi, or anybody else for that matter, thinks about Sears.

Remind yourself that the point of trading is not to “be cool,” but to make money.  Money can be made in all types of stocks, in all sorts of sectors, no matter if they are hot or not.  And if by chance you happen to look cool while doing it, well then consider it a bonus and move on to the next trade.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.