Facebook Is The New Dope

There is nothing funny about a needle in your eyeball…..or is there?

If you are like me, you probably remember the high school assemblies where a “guest speaker” would show up and tell you about the evils of drugs.

In my senior year it was David Toma, the former New Jersey policeman who the TV show Baretta was based on.  From the moment Toma took the stage it was a bombast of every bad pop culture drug reference I had ever heard; from Reefer Madness to Dragnet to The Mod Squad.

“I want to talk to you about a little thing called grass…….reefer……Mary Jane……joint…..stick…..point…..weed….. number…..whatever you want to call it.”

We just sat there in the bleachers looking at each other, trying to figure out if this guy was for real.

Point..?  Stick..?  Really…?

“I knew a kid, a kid just like all of you.  He was the captain of the football team.  He was dating the head cheerleader.  He was in the honors club every year.  Then one day on his way home a pusher asked him if he wanted to get ‘blazed’ and handed him a joint. He only took one toke, but that joint was laced with dust.  He took his clothes off and ran into traffic.  I spoke at his funeral.”

Umm….okay.

One of my friends near the front of the audience leaned over and whispered to the girl next to him.  Well let me tell you something; that is the exact thing NOT to do to David….”Baretta”…..Toma!

“Hey you?  Yeah you….!” Toma said as he walked over to him.  “Listen you punk, you think I’m all wet huh?  You think that cause I’m ex-fuzz that I’m running a game down on you don’t you?  If you don’t want to hear what I got to say, then get the HELL outta here. I ain’t got time to deal with punks like you.”

As my buddy scurried out of the gym, with the assistant principal right behind him, and the rest of us tried to figure out what “fuzz” meant, Toma continued his bad after school special…..

“Guys like that think this is all a big joke.  They think drugs are cool.  Bennies, uppers, downers, ludes, H, Horse, smack…to them it’s all a game.  Yeah, let’s go out and smoke a “J” or huff gas.”

I remember thinking even at the time that Toma might want to tailor his message to each audience a little bit better.  This was Orange County California, not exactly Beverly Hills, but there wasn’t a whole lot of lot of “gas huffing” going on at the weekend parties I went to.  I actually wasn’t even sure what that was, let alone where it might be considered a cool thing to do.

But Toma wasn’t done yet.  And before he left us, he was going to take this unintentional comedy to its zenith.

“Let me tell you about my nephew.  My nephew got into junk.  He used to shoot up so much that he ran out of veins to put the needle in.  So he started shooting heroin into his eyeball.  INTO…….HIS……EYEBALL…..!!!”

As he said this, he tilted his head to the sky and using his index finger as a proxy for the needle, mimed the jabbing of a hypo into his own eye.  Then he ran along the front row pretending to “inject” each kid’s eye.

The only thing that kept most in the crowd from bursting out in laughter was the fear of eliciting Toma’s attention, and being told to “take a hike punk.”


Bad drugs, bad hair, and bad video quality. Hey, it was the 80′s.

Nobody will argue that drugs are bad. Nobody will argue that kids are at risk from drugs. Nobody will argue that David Toma committed his life to keeping kids off drugs. But so much of life is not just about sending the correct message, but tailoring it and delivering it in the most effective way.  The best intentioned and well-meaning advice will fall on deaf ears, especially with kids, if it’s not delivered in a relatable way.

I can’t speak for other schools, but at mine I think Toma’s appearance probably did more harm than good.  The regularly heard slogan at parties for months afterwards was, “this one’s for you Uncle Toma,” accompanied by index fingers pointed at eyes and the downing of shots or the disappearance of lines of coke.

Fortunately Toma’s dramatics as well as its underwhelming counterpart, Nancy Reagan’s “Just say No” campaign, largely went away with the end of the 80′s as society figured out more effective ways to try to reach kids about the dangers of drugs.

Last week, in an oddly similar gymnasium at my daughters school, I attended a parent meeting entitled “keeping kids safe online.”  I began to get the uneasy feeling that I was about to experience a Toma-esque presentation was when the speaker was introduced as the “Internet Safety Cop.”

I kept my mind open, hoping he would give the parents in attendance some common sense and relevant information on how to keep their kids safe while using social media, but his Tommy Bahama bowling shirt and the eight year old South Park clip he used to introduce his presentation were not a good start.

And when the first slide was about Myspace, I knew I was in trouble

The speaker seemed like a good guy who obviously cared about kids, and to his credit took the tact of trying to be funny instead of angry, but his message was as out of touch as Toma’s was.

He spent the majority of an hour and a half talking about the history of social media, instead of how to keep your kids safe when using it.  And when I say “history” I really mean history.  The words “CompuServe” and  “Geocities” came up, as did “Friendster”.

He explained that “things that go on the internet stay there forever,” about the mystical workings of identity gremlins called “cookies”, and how if you jump in water, you will get wet.  He said that even adults don’t know which sites are safe to go to and which aren’t.

I was going to ask him if AsianFriendFinder.com was a safe site to visit, but my wife’s elbow probably wouldn’t have liked that.

But it was his Toma-like use of bad lingo that really frustrated me.

Three times he used “Tweeter” instead of Twitter, and told the audience that kids often “subscribed” to many different people on that service.

We know cyber bullying is a problem.  We know identity fraud is a risk.  And how many times do you need to see an episode of “To Catch A Predator” to know that pedophiles stalk the chat rooms?

The question kept coming into my mind, “is my generation making the same mistakes in trying to keep their kids safe with social media that our parents did in trying to steer us clear from drugs?”

Technology moves so fast I would dare say that parents today are more out of touch about social media then they ever were about drugs, and the fact that it is constantly evolving gives them even less of a chance to catch up.

I have never touched a drug in my life (beer doesn’t count), but I am pretty much addicted to social media and hope to always know as much, if not more about it than my kids do.

I never want to be that “out of touch dad” who doesn’t understand the way my kids are communicating in this fast paced world of ours, and has to resort to Toma style scare stories about “the class president who went on Facebook, and is now turning tricks on Santa Monica Blvd.”

Now excuse my while I get a hit of “T” and cannonball it with some “F-book.”

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(Note: If you are new to my blog, I post about all sorts of things.  Sometimes it involves something extremely personal, like creating a 30K baby or my Monster Trades.  Other times it deals with hot ex-porn stars who trade stocks.  And sometimes it’s about how to avoid “suicide”.  But a good place to start is The Best of bclund.  If you like what you read, please tell a friend.  If you don’t, please tell two friends.)

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.

Chan vs. Seidel : Don’t Let One Loss Define You.

I have been playing poker (badly) since I was in high school, but when I saw Rounders in 1998, it was the first time I ever heard the name Eric Seidel.

In the movie Matt Damon  and Famke Janssen watch a scene from the 1988 World Series of Poker where Seidel and Johnny Chan go heads up at the final table.  An erroneous all-in by Seidel ends the game and gives Johnny Chan the title.

Here is the actual WSOP broadcast.

Everything about this broadcast, from the commentary to the camera shots, makes Seidel look as if he was a lamb led to the slaughter by the wolf, Chan.  Janssen’s character even says. “Poor Seidel. Kid doesn’t know what hit him.”

Seidel wasn’t quite a lamb, having been a top-level backgammon player, a Mayfair regular, and even an options trader until the crash of 1987.  But he was new to the world of high stakes poker and this was his first major tournament.

I myself laughed at him when I saw that scene, assuming Seidel had gone down in the the annals of poker history as a sorry sidenote.

But that wasn’t the case.  Seidel’s loss began a run that has seen him win eight WSOP bracelets and has made him number one in all time tournament winnings with almost $17 million dollars.

It would have been easy after that stunning loss, or the re-broadcasting of it to millions of people when Rounders came out, to just crawl in a hole and die.  But Seidel did not let that ONE LOSS define who he was, or what type of game he was capable of playing.

Using his hallmark style of focus, consistency, and an almost transcendent ability to avoid going on tilt,  he set himself apart from his competitors.  And these characteristics, along with a forward-looking attitude, have brought him to the top of his profession.

Seidel’s example is a lesson not just for poker, but for trading, and for life as well.

All-Time Poker Winning List (Card Player)

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(Note: If you are new to my blog, I post about all sorts of things.  Sometimes it involves something extremely personal, like creating a 30K baby or my Monster Trades.  Other times it deals with hot ex-porn stars who trade stocks.  And sometimes it’s about how to avoid “suicide”.  But a good place to start is The Best of bclund.  If you like what you read, please tell a friend.  If you don’t, please tell two friends.)

 

 

 

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 “Deli” Is NOT In New York, It’s In Los Angeles.

Growing up in a non-Jewish family, I was late to the world of deli.  In fact I always thought that the word “deli” referred to a restaurant, but came to understand that it in fact refers to a whole genre of food.

One day back in my early twenties I happened to be in Los Angeles during lunch time. LA was not (and still isn’t) my “hood”, so I had no idea where to go other than the usual fast food joints which I just wasn’t in the mood for.  Fortunately I happened to be on La Cienega Blvd, home to a number of fine deli’s.  I wandered into one, ordered a roast beef sandwich, and that was all she wrote.

Over the years I have always sought out great deli food both at home and abroad. One of my favorite things about going to Las Vegas used to be treating my Saturday morning hangover at The Stage Deli in Caesar’s with sour pickles, matzoh ball soup, kreplach, and any number of various sandwiches (always with Russian dressing and slaw).

I am not an expert in deli however, but Bill Handel, the well-known LA morning talk show host at KFI 640 is.  He states unequivocably that Los Angeles has the best deli food in the world, and says that the key to knowing if a deli will be good is that “the waiters have to be rude, the waitresses have to be over 80 years old, and have to have smoked for at least 40 years.”

According to Handel, the best deli in America is Brent’s in LA.  On this point he has some serious allies.  Zagat’s has rated Brent’s as the #1 Los Angeles Deli for 16 years in a row.  And even The Food Network has sung its praises as “the best corned beef sandwich I ever ate.”

Handel’s other suggestions for Los Angeles best deli food are Nate & Al’s, Goldblatt’s, Junior’s, Langer’s, and Labels.

And what of the more well known deli’s such as the world-famous Jerry’s Deli?  Handel has one word for it.

“Inedible.”

Listen To Bill Handel’s Complete Los Angeles Deli Review On The Fork Report.

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(Note: If you are new to my blog, I post about all sorts of things.  Sometimes it involves something extremely personal, like creating a 30K baby or my Monster Trades.  Other times it deals with hot ex-porn stars who trade stocks.  And sometimes it’s about how to avoid “suicide”.  But a good place to start is The Best of bclund.  If you like what you read, please tell a friend.  If you don’t, please tell two friends.)

 

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.

Troops Coming Home: 25 Soldiers Surprise Their Loved Ones

Trust me, just get the tissue box right now…….you will need it!

….and let’s never forget that ones that didn’t come home!

To Help Support Our Troops Visit The USO

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(Note: If you are new to my blog, I post about all sorts of things.  Sometimes it involves something extremely personal, like creating a 30K baby or my Monster Trades.  Other times it deals with hot ex-porn stars who trade stocks.  And sometimes it’s about how to avoid “suicide”.  But a good place to start is The Best of bclund.  If you like what you read, please tell a friend.  If you don’t, please tell two friends.)

 

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.

Have Some Perspective

I puked once during a losing trade.  It wasn’t like a full-on “too many shots of Jäger” puke, but more like one of those sick to your stomach, “I can hold it in, I can hold it in”, dry heave type of pukes.

Puking has no place in the world of trading.  It should be reserved for rollercoaster’s, twenty-first birthday parties, and State of the Union addresses, and it was a sign that I was way too emotionally invested, instead of being objective and dispassionate.

I couldn’t help it though.  Each losing tick of that trade was like a dagger to my stomach.  I wasn’t even losing that much money, but it seemed as if I was in a tail-spin that I could not pull out of.

My field of vision narrowed to the point where the only thing that I knew still existed anymore was my trading screen.  Like Billy Mumy’s character in the Twilight Zone, I had wished everything except that damn screen into the cornfield.

All perspective was lost on that trade. That trade had become my whole world and everything about me.  My value as a human being and my place in this universe was dependent on the outcome of that trade.

In retrospect it’s not surprising that my trading was out of control, as I was going through a tough period in my life.

I was recently married, imprisoned in a business I hated but was too afraid to walk away from, and my ultimate fear, having children, seemed to be coming towards me like a runaway freight train. All this was messing with my head and I couldn’t trade my way out of a paper bag.  Day after day I was making bad choices, ignoring risk management, and pulling my stops, and it felt like there was nothing I could do to change.

Then John Nutting died.

My first memories of John start right after my family moved into our brand new tract home back in 72′.  He and his family were “original settlers” as well, having moved in just a week before we did.  One day there was a knock on our door and when my dad opened it, there was John.  He explained that he was getting all the “guys” in the neighborhood together to help out on a project.

It seemed that when the movers delivered all their belongings to the Harker family down the street, they refused to move the piano into the house and had just left it out on the driveway. John reasoned that if all the guys put their heads (and backs) together, they could figure a way to get that sucker in.  That’s the type of guy John was.

I will never forget the wonderful scene I watched that warm summer day as my new friends and I rode our bikes around the cul-de-sac.  There had to be ten fathers standing around that piano, studying it with intent looks; each proposing options and methods of ingress.

But the best part of the show was how after all the grunting, and yelling, and sweating was done, a case of cold domestic beer miraculously showed up, and this newly formed “band of brothers” luxuriated in the afternoon shade, reveling in their Herculean feat.

My father liked John right off the bat, which is probably why I initially liked him as well. Like my dad he too was handy, and his garage was full of old radios, vintage bikes, and a 57′ Chevy, all of which were in various states of repair.

When you’re a kid you regard adults as if they are entities from another world. You can’t relate to them, and the more they try to relate to you, the weirder it gets.  But with John it never seemed that way.  As a kid, talking with him was like talking to a best friend; always a relaxing and easy endeavor.

A fixture in the neighborhood; if you didn’t see him on one of his twice daily jogs, or working on a project in his garage, you would inevitably run into him at the local supermarket where he was the manager.  He was always there to help, always there to lend a hand, always the embodiment of the concisely descriptive Yiddish word “Mensch.”

As I got older and moved away from my parent’s house I saw John less frequently. When I would go to visit, it was strangely reassuring though to drive by his house and receive the same friendly wave I had remembered since I was a kid.

After my father died, John always made a point of checking in on my mom to see if she was okay or if there was anything she needed fixed around the house.  My mother would talk to him on a regular basis, and on some level he became a proxy male presence in her life in all the best and most platonic ways.

One day in 2003, after forty plus years in the grocery industry, John had finally decided to retire.  His wife and he planned to travel the country in the new RV that was already parked in front of their house.  A large portion of that travel involved visiting his grown daughters and his numerous grandchildren of whom he spoke about with great joy.

One month to the day that he was to retire, John got a call from the manager of one of his company’s other locations wanting to know if he could cover his shift.  Always willing to help out a fellow employee John agreed.  He phoned his wife at work to let her know the change of plans and walked out the door.

Less than three hours later he was dead, lying in a pool of his own blood, with a samurai sword driven through his heart.

That morning a mentally deranged employee entered the store, spoke to the floor manager, then drew a sword from under his coat and in one stroke nearly decapitated her.

A fellow employee recalled at John’s funeral what happened next.

Customer’s and employees ran for cover as the swordsman looked for other victims. People were running away and those trapped in the store began to grab items off the shelves like trashcan lids and beach chairs to defend themselves.

John was in his office away from the initial attack, but came running out when he heard the commotion.  As he saw the killer chase after and wound other victims, he ran towards him trying to distract his attention, putting himself directly in harm’s way.

He tried to talk to him and reason with him but the attacker took his sword and ran it through John.

John died a public but lonely death.  There was no last kiss from his high school sweetheart wife.  No final encouraging words for his loving daughters.  No last press of a slight hand from the grandchildren he cherished so much.  All there was, was a cold steel blade robbing him of every moment he had ever lived or ever would live.

Perspective can come to us in both subtle and dramatic fashion.  John’s death brought it crashing into my life in a way that made me feel small and petty.

Just days before my head was “messed up.”  I was going through a “tough period in my life.”  I was “spinning out of control” and I was puking.  Why?  Because the red and green lines on my computer screen were not doing what I wanted them to do.

It’s easy at times to forget that this is what we are doing; trying to make money off the movements of the red and green lines on our screens.

And it’s hard on a daily basis to keep macro events like John’s senseless death in mind to provide us with perspective.  Our brains are not wired that way.  But without perspective, we often lose the context that keeps us balanced and reminds of this great gift called life, and the good things it has given us.

I try to remember that when I am at a light and see a man in a wheelchair cross in front of me.  Or when I read of the wife and child that a fallen soldier or policeman has left behind.  Or when I feel that I don’t have enough, when I have so much.

Although I still occasionally wring my hands or shout out a brief curse word when a trade doesn’t go my way; I haven’t puked ever since John’s death.  And the thought that I could have lost so much perspective that I once did, makes me feel silly and ashamed.

The Los Angeles Times Report On The Incident That Caused John’s Death

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What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).  Check out “The Best Of bclund” to get started.

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.

Where To Invest In The Next 3 Years

Today I’ve asked my friend and veteran trader Henry Brookins of Stocklooker.com to do some macro analysis in this guest post.

Short-term: 

We are near another short-term market top, but I am not expecting a “collapse” when the markets rest

Longer-term:

It does not matter who is elected President, the stock market and economy will be stuck in “sideways mode” for another 7 years. However, the markets should “bottom” during the next 2-3 years.

The bankers will likely allow the markets to fall a bit, then I expect choppiness through summer, but then we will likely see a nice rally to boost them again in time for the November elections.

War is coming –  it has occurred after almost every single depression – 1930’s (WW-II), 1970’s (Vietnam), 2000’s.  I am fully expecting a war on someone – and right now it looks like we will make Iran the next target – it’s good for business…..at least the Bankers think so.

Housing:

Expecting another 20-30% down depending on the area, and a bottom in the next 2-3 years. Save some cash.

Europe – it won’t be allowed to go into complete chaos. The U.S. (a.k.a American taxpayer) will print money and help them stay just above the abyss. However, I expect a 10 nation group – which means many will fall out.

Where to invest the next 3 years:

Agriculture – arable land, agricultural chemicals, commodities, railroads, and save money for real estate and watch for deals; blue chip companies that have tons of cash and little debt and have been around a while (to include Oil companies) – and just average down as the market slides again.

I am also speculating in small stocks with large daily trading volumes, because I believe these will be “less manipulated” by the computers and Bankers. Right now I am looking at semiconductors and biotechnology, watching solar companies and coal stocks for a bottom.

Good news:  If we are going to be around in 20 years+ – our house prices should recover, and stocks will be early in a 40-year bull market run. Buy and hold will return by 2020ish.

You Can Find Out More About Henry Brookins At Stocklooker.com

(Note: If you are new to my blog, I post about all sorts of things.  Sometimes it involves something extremely personal, like creating a 30K baby or my Monster Trades.  Other times it deals with hot ex-porn stars who trade stocks.  And sometimes it’s about how to avoid “suicide”.  But a good place to start is The Best of bclund.  If you like what you read, please tell a friend.  If you don’t, please tell two friends.)

 

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.

Making Trade Setups Come To You.

About once every five years, against my better judgment, I get roped into going to a professional baseball game with my friends.  I always rationalize how “it might be fun this time,” but sure enough, by the time we get to the fourth or fifth inning I am bored out of my mind.

I mean I can only put up with so much….

…..ball…..strike….step out of batter’s box…..foul ball……foul ball……throw to first to keep runner honest……foul ball……foul ball……naked guy on field…..foul ball….foul ball…….balk……

If I’m going to go to a sporting event it has to be something with some action, like hockey, or basketball, or curling.

Last season I ended up going to a Los Angeles Angels game, and just as I suspected, it was a snoozefest.

However one of the things that I have to admit was pretty cool was how the servers now come to your seat to take your order, and then deliver the food right to you.

In life we are taught from an early age that we have to go after what we want, and that anything worth having is worth is worth pursuing.  But sometimes it’s nice to just sit on your ass and have a mega-beer and a double jalapeño nachos placed gently in your lap.

Can you believe that this guy actually got up to get his food.  Hah….what a loser!!!

When trading, it can also be to your advantage to have setups brought to you instead of having to hunt them down.  By using the “Triple F” method, you can set up your watch list’s to do just that.

The first “F” stands for “filtering”, the process by which you take your macro list of stocks and bring it down to an actionable one.  This can be done with EOD technical and fundamental scans or by just visually reviewing charts one by one in order to find candidates that are approaching entry points.

The results can then be put into three different groups; day trades, swing trades, and long-term trades (or no setup).  Transferring over your day trade and swing trade lists to your real-time charting software then sets the stage for the second “F”, which is “focus.”

Here you can configure and organize your stocks in a way that will keep non-movers out of your way, and bring potential trade setups right to you.

Swing trade candidates by definition will usually be farther away from entry points than day trade candidates, and you don’t want them to get in your way until they are ready to go.  Set alerts on these stocks at 50 cents below your intended buys points, and then minimize the list so it does not take up valuable screen real estate.

Now focus on your day trade list.  Set alerts there as well, which will tend to be closer to entry points than those on the swing list, but also make sure to set your list to auto sort every 5-10 seconds.  If your software has the capability, you want to sort by the “% change in average volume” column criteria.

This will then constantly push stocks to the top of your list that have the highest increase in volume relative to their average, and volume is what moves stocks.  If you don’t have that column criteria available, you can just use “Volume” instead, which although not as effective, will still push movers to the top of the list.

You can now limit yourself to monitoring the stocks on your day trade list that are constantly being brought to the top, and forget about those at the bottom.  If any stocks on your lists get near entry points, your alerts will trigger causing them to automatically be loaded into your chart windows.  Setups literally are brought to you.

This gives you the freedom to watch the indexes or market barometers, monitor news feeds, or look for intraday setups without worrying that you will miss a potential trade.  This system works best when looking for breakout trades, long or short, but can be modified to work for trades off of pullbacks to support or resistance.

And the third “F”….well there isn’t really one, but the “Triple F” system just sounded better than the “Double F” system.


“….we don’t need no stinking (third) F.”

(Note: If you are new to my blog, I post about all sorts of things.  Sometimes it involves something extremely personal, like creating a 30K baby or my Monster Trades.  Other times it deals with hot ex-porn stars who trade stocks.  And sometimes it’s about how to avoid “suicide”.  But a good place to start is The Best of bclund.  If you like what you read, please tell a friend.  If you don’t, please tell two friends.)

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.

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới

For those of you that have not been part of a large extended Vietnamese family for the last 20 years, that phrase roughly translates to “Happy New Year,” and hearing it signals the beginning of Tết, or Vietnamese Lunar New Year, which begins tomorrow.

This is by far the most important and most popular holiday in the Vietnamese culture and preparations by local businesses and community organizations go on for weeks ahead of time.

Unlike the American version of New Years, where the traditions are usually limited to a midnight countdown and speculating as to if Dick Clark makes it another year, Tết has a number of specific and symbolically important customs.

These include the giving of lucky red packets of money to children called (li xi), visiting family and friends, and creating an altar to pay respects to ancestors.

This last tradition is what gives Tết an interesting balance.  Though it is a forward-looking renewal of sorts marking the arrival of Spring (based on the Chinese calendar), it is also firmly rooted in the past, with an important emphasis put on paying respects to ones ancestors.

Although for the non-Vietnamese it may be hard to fully understand all the significance attached to Tết, it is easy to see the pride, and joy, and energy that Vietnamese people put into this wonderful celebration of culture, food, family, and life in general.

Read Wikipedia’s Entry About Tết

(Note: If you are new to my blog, I post about all sorts of things.  Sometimes it involves something extremely personal, like creating a 30K baby or my Monster Trades.  Other times it deals with hot ex-porn stars who trade stocks.  And sometimes it’s about how to avoid “suicide”.  But a good place to start is The Best of bclund.  If you like what you read, please tell a friend.  If you don’t, please tell two friends.)

 

 

 

 

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.

Video: Navy SEALs Being BAD ASS…!!!

Oh, I have connections….

Well not really, but one of my best friends is a Navy diver and part of his job is to help with the training operations in Coronado.

This video shows Navy SEALs taking a simulated Somali pirate ship by force.

….and this is just a training operation.

Let’s never forget that it’s guys and gals like this that help make it safe for us to sleep at night.

The Non-Profit Navy SEALs Fund

(Note: If you are new to my blog, I post about all sorts of things.  Sometimes it involves something extremely personal, like creating a 30K baby or my Monster Trades.  Other times it deals with hot ex-porn stars who trade stocks.  And sometimes it’s about how to avoid “suicide”.  But a good place to start is The Best of bclund.  If you like what you read, please tell a friend.  If you don’t, please tell two friends.)

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.

How To Determine Overall Market Health: Talk To Your Dentist.

The market has been on a nice run lately and many people think that the worst of our economic problems are behind us.  In fact recently somebody told me that they were beginning to buy stocks “like crazy.”

The problem is, the person who told me that was my dentist.

There is an old saying that goes something along the lines of “when your dentist tells you to buy stocks, it’s time to sell,” (a variation on the “Time magazine cover” theory).

The concept behind this saying is that there always has to be a “greater fool” to sell your stocks to at a higher price in order to make money.  This greater fool is also referred to as “dumb money.”

Your dentist’s day is presumably filled up with important dentally things like patients, cavities, and spit.  He doesn’t have time to watch the markets on tick by tick basis because his focus is on running his practice.  The theory goes, that by the time the markets have come into his purview, it’s usually via the constant attention given to them by the general mass media.

By that point everybody that is going go be in the market already is, and when the dentist buys he will have nobody else to sell his stocks to at a higher price and thus becomes a “bicuspid bagholder.”   Hahaaa…hah…hah….biscup bag…..see….cause he works on teeth…hah…hah…..get it?   Meh….!

Besides the dentist indicator, I have seen other non-traditional indicators of market health over the years.

For a long time, the amount of space my local bookstore dedicated to “Investing” titles could give me a clue.  When the market was going crazy in the dot-com bubble of the late 90′s, it seemed as if they occupied shelves that went on for miles.  But after the bubble popped they were reduced to one lonely “Charlie Brown” type shelf in the back corner of the store.

The sudden appearance of TV commercials for trading services or study courses can often be an indicator that you might want to start raising cash.  And if you hear the terms “Ka-Chin-Go” or “Gorilla Trades,” run for cover.

But in the last couple of years I have started to see some correlation between the actions of what I call “Financial Superstars” and that of the market.  It’s something you might want to keep on your radar.

Take for example the following chart showing the Dow Industrials topping on April 29th,  2011….

Now look at this article from the New York Times, dated April 29th, 2011….

Coincidence……?????

Hey, I’m not saying that Erin Burnett’s move to CNN “top-ticked” the market……but if Maria Bartiromo suddenly changes networks, I’m getting the survival gear out and moving my family to a cave in the mountains.

30 Years Of Time Magazine Covers & The Stock Market (via The Big Picture)

The American Dental Association

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What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).  Check out “The Best Of bclund” to get started.

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.