A Very Long Email From Louis CK

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Everybody knows Louis CK.  It’s hard to actually remember a time when he wasn’t ubiquitous.

He’s now a superstar of comedy, in fact, just having finished a sold-out run of shows at Madison Square Garden. But in a rather long email, ostensively related to announcing his new special, he writes in great depth as to why the comedy club has always been where the true heart of stand-up lives.

It is a fascinating look at the history of comedy and includes a little known revelation about the one club that would never let him perform. Enjoy!

Hello.  So below are my messy thoughts about my new special “Louis CK live at the Comedy Store” available here https://louisck.net/purchase/live-at-the-comedy-store for 5 dollars, all over the world…

So this is my sixth hour-long standup special.  The truth is, I really love making these.  I skipped doing one last year and I missed it. This one is different from the recent others.  For one thing, it was shot in a nightclub instead of a theater.  I love doing the theater shows.  When I was a kid, my favorite thing in the world was Richard Pryor’s concert films.  The idea of being a comedian and doing a “concert” was a real goal for me.  Performing in a theater expands your material and opens you up as a performer.  The pressure of playing to thousands of people, I found, always makes you better.  And every concert hall I’ve played has made me feel like I’m getting a whiff of that city or town’s history.  The whole thing can be very exhilarating.

But Nightclubs, comedy clubs, is where comedy is born and where comedy, standup comedy, truly lives.  Going back to Abraham Lincoln, who was probably America’s first comedian, Americans have enjoyed gathering at night in small packed (and once smokey) rooms, drinking themselves a bit numb and listening to each other say wicked, crazy, silly, wrongful, delightful, upside-down, careless, offensive, disgusting, whimsical things.   Sometimes in long-winded, red faced hyperbole, sometimes in carefully crafted circular, intentionally false and misleading argument.  Sometimes in well-chiseled perfectly timed trickery of verbiage.  Pun-poetry.  One line, one off, half thoughts.  Half truths.  Non-truths.  Broad and hilariously wrongful generalizations, exaggerated prejudices and criticism of nothing and everything while a couple over here shares a pitcher of sangria, this table of guys order round after round of beers. These women over here are having vodka and cranberry.  This guy drinks club soda and sits alone. He actually came for the comedy.  It’s a club.  It’s a bar.  It’s late at night.  No one here is being responsible. These are the things we do when we are DONE working and being citizens. We go to a comedy club and pay a bit of money to laugh harder than we ever do anywhere else.

That is the standup comedy that I’ve been doing for almost thirty years.  I have been working theater (and now arena) stages for the last nine of those thirty years but the amount of hours I’ve spent on a club stage outnumber the theater stage hours by more than I can figure.

I’ve been on comedy club stages probably more than I’ve stood on any other kind of spot in my entire life.  I started in the Boston comedy scene, on ground that had been laid by great comedians like Steve Sweeney, Steven Wright, Barry Crimmins, Ron Lynch, Kevin Meany, Don Gavin, back in 1985 when I was 18 years old.  I skipped college (still regret it), worked shitty jobs (will never regret that)  and spent every single night at any comedy club in Boston I could finagle my way into. I would watch every single comedian and I would BEG to get on stage.

In 1989 I moved to New York.  I discovered a bursting comedy club scene, where you could literally do 8 shows on a saturday night. (I remember Ray Romano held the record at 9 shows).

It was a glorious time for standup comedy clubs.  Great comics everywhere. Colin Quinn. Mike Sweeney. Joy Behar. John Stewart. Charlie Barnett. Ray Romano. Dave Chapelle. Chris Rock. Brett Butler. Brian Regan.

All working out every night in clubs all over the city.  There was the Improv on 44th street.  On 1st Avenue, Catch a Rising Star and around the corner on 2nd ave, the Comic Strip (still there).  Carolines was on the Seaport then.  And in the Village we had the Comedy Cellar (still there), the Boston Comedy Club and the Village Gate.

I spent my early twenties bouncing from one stage to the other, from 8pm till about 4am, when Dave Attell, Kevin Brennan, Nick DiPaolo and I would head to a diner and eat breakfast.

The money was terrible.  About ten dollars per show on the weeknights, fifty a show on the weekends.  So every other week you had to leave town and work in another city. You’d go live in Atlanta, Columbus, Phoenix,  Tampa, for a week.  Most clubs would put you up in a condo behind the club and you’d work the whole week.  Tuesday thru Sunday, two shows Friday, three shows Saturday.  You could make about 700 a week as an opening act.  A good headliner might make 2500 or 3,000 but that was rare.  I worked in comedy clubs all over the country and I think I actually remember every single club.  My favorite clubs were the smelly little beer soaked places with dim lighting and low ceilings.  Go Bananas in Cincinnati. The Brokerage in Long Island (still there)  Penguins in Cedar Rapids.   The Comedy Underground in Seattle.

Then there were chain comedy clubs that were always too antiseptic and suburban.  Some of them were literally inside of a mall next to a sunglass hut.  The Improvs, the Funny Bones.

There were some comedy clubs around the country that were legendary.  That lasted out the death of comedy in the 90s.  The independent and truly great rooms where you can still smell the cigarette smoke exhaled by Bill Hicks.  The Acme in Minneapolis. The Punchline in Atlanta.  The Punchline (not related) in San Francisco.  Cobbs in San Fran.  The Laff Stop in Houston.  Zanies in Chicago.  Charlie Goodnights in Raleigh.  The Comedy Works in Denver.  These were the Meccas. When you could get a week at Acme, you know you could continue having the will to do this shit for another few months.  A week at the Punchline in San Fran could get you through the next week at Harvey’s in Portland.
There were club owners that were part of Comedy History.  Who knew how to shape comedy.  Mark Babbit, Lewis Lee, Manny Dworman, Lucien Hold, Silver Friedman, Bud Friedman, Ron Osborne, others.

I spent all of my mid to late 20s and thirties working out in places like these.

Later when I moved to Los Angeles, I discovered a scene out there that was creative and fun and also steeped in show business history. You could see Norm Macdonald. Charles Fleicher. Robert Schimmel.

In LA they have coffee houses and very cool rooms like Largo, where you can bring your notebook on stage and try just about anything.

People like Andy Kindler, Kathy Griffin, Patton Oswalt, Blaine Capatch, Craig Anton, Laura Kightlinger did outrageous stuff in those rooms.

I would sometimes go on stage at places like Mbar or Largo and come out with twenty minutes of new material, cheered on by the young, open and adaptive crowds of the “alternative” scene.  But I never believed those jokes until I took them to the Improv, where the more average and basic character of the audience would cut the new material down to about three jokes.

And then there was the Comedy Store.  I would take the last three remaining jokes to the store on Sunset.  Maybe ONE of those would get a chuckle.  And that joke, I knew, was the true treasure of the night.

I have always found the Comedy Store to be the most intimidating club of my life.  It is what I thought comedy clubs to be when I listened to Lenny Bruce records as a kid.  The black vinyl couches and chairs, the red formica stage.  Andrew Dice Clay on stage playing to fifteen people in open defiance of their hatred and funny as hell.   The Comedy Store is really show biz.  As in Milton Berle with his bow tie undone around his neck show business.   Mop your brow and say “tough crowd” show business.  A guy being beaten up in the parking lot show business.  The Comedy Store is where Pryor cut his teeth.  Letterman fought to get spots there.  George Carlin.  Eddie Murphy.   Marc Maron told me stories about living in the apartment behind the Store and how Sam Kinison pissed on his bed one night. This is the Comedy Store. The wonderful dark side of comedy.

The Comedy Store is the only club in the country that NEVER passed me when I auditioned.  I auditioned at many clubs where I didn’t pass but I always went back and finally did pass. The Comedy Store NEVER passed me.  I just wasn’t right for them.  I didn’t start working there until I became well known enough to circumvent the audition process. Until I became one of those guys who can just walk into a nightclub and go on stage.

So why did I shoot my new special in this place?  I don’t know.  Maybe because, after thirty years of doing comedy, the most exciting feeling for me is going on stage, not entirely sure it’s going to go well.  To this day, when I work at the Store, I feel there’s a one in three chance I might bomb.  Like bomb hard.  To a guy my age who has been doing it this long, that is exciting.   So over the last tour I did this year, I started doing shows at the Comedy Store “Main room” to feel it out. The staff of the club is excellent and they really know how to run a traditional room.  I loved working with them. Pauly Shore and his family were very gracious when we approached them about shooting my special there.

I really feel truly privileged to have shot this special on that stage.

Okay I didn’t mean to write such a long thing about comedy clubs.  The point is I prepared the material for this special on club stages.  I went to the Cellar here in New York, and their new club, The Village Underground, about ten times a week with the occasional trip uptown to Gotham Comedy Club and “The Stand” on third avenue.  I went out to LA to put that spin on it, working Largo, the Improv and finally the Comedy Store, hammering this stuff together in front of late night comedy club audiences.  So it only seemed right to shoot it that way.

That’s all.  I hope you enjoy the special.  Please see the movie “Boyhood”.  It’s a great piece of filmmmaking and even literature. And take your kids to see “Into The Woods”  It teaches the greatest lesson you could teach a kid: If you are paying attention, life is very confusing.

Thanks.

Louis CK

ps.  I guess I didn’t have to cancel the show at MSG tonight.  I don’t blame the mayor.  That storm was a monster.  We got lucky.  When you consider the action taken by the government of entire north east, they got it right.  To expect accuracy from each individual mayor is just too much.
For us in New York and us in my house and us at MSG it was overblown.  But if you expand that “us” to everyone in the path is the storm, they were spot on.  My family in Boston is part of us for me.  So that’s how I look at it

 Louis CK Live At The Comedy Store (Louis CK)

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.

R.I.P. The StockTwits Blog Network: 5 Ways It Changed My Life

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Note: Last week, those of us who have been a part of the StockTwits Blog Network for the last few years were informed that our blogs were being sun-setted.  I don’t know, sun-setted, is that even a word?

Common wisdom says that we will know the days on which our lives will change.  Sadie Hawkins dance.  The Prom.  First date with someone outside of our religion.  First time we kiss with love in our hearts.  Wedding day.  Birth of our first child.  Blah, blah, blah, you get the point.

But that is bullshit.  The real days when your life does a full 180 degree pivot don’t come with a warning or a societally wrapped bow.  They hit you like a tacit 2×4 to the head and you don’t fully understand the impact until long after the fact.

Such a day happened to me back in June of 2011.  A mister Pearlman – make that Doctor Pearlman – called me up out of the blue to say, “Bubba, I like the stuff that you are writing. How would you like to join the StockTwits Blog Network?”

Me?  Join the network that had such luminaries as Josh Brown, Tadas Viskanta, Greg Harmon, Eddy Elfenbein, and that awesome neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie James Altucher?  What was going on in the good Dr. Phil’s head?  Baselining crack seemed to be the only explanation.

Let’s be frank.  I am a lazy, lazy man.  But I know that.  And I know that the only way to overcome my lazy gene is to overpromise.  You see, my overpromise gene can put my lazy gene in a full-nelson type headlock, and if necessary, snap its reluctant neck.

So, reluctantly, and with a voice cracking like that of Peter Brady, I said, “Sh-sh-shur.  I’ll join the team.”  And thus the course of my life was forever altered.

Let’s Get It On – When I first started blogging on the StockTwits Blog Network, forever to be referred to in future literature as “The Hammer of The God Thor Blog Network,” a funny thing happened….I got challenged.  A lot.

No longer could I just spout shit.  People – smart fucking people – weighed in with their counter-points.  And their point-counter-points.  And even their double super point-counter-points.

Their points made me think.  Made me re-check my thesis, my hypothesis, and my conclusions.  This, my friends, is a good thing.  Challenges temper your beliefs.  Refine them and make them complete.

Give Me The Crystal Method – After writing for a few weeks on the blog network, a strange sensation began to take hold.  I began to understand what I thought.  Sounds funny doesn’t it?  Everybody already knows what they think, right?

But do you really?

Here’s my challenge.  Take a few minutes.  Select a couple of topics and decide what you think about them. Now, spend a month writing about them.  I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that by the end of the month, you will forever spell doughnuts either “d-o-n-u-t-s” or “d-o-u-g-h-n-u-t-s.”

Point is, writing things down, on a regular basis, has a wonderful, crystalizing effect on your thought process.

The Broads Love a Guy Who Writes – Not too long after my stuff started getting published on StockTwits, I literally had to go incognito everywhere I went.

Chicks love guys that blog about inside baseball financial shit.  They can’t get enough of us.

Rock stars, British actors in independent films, and financial bloggers – I dare you to tell the three apart.

(Perhaps I am exaggerating a bit on this one, as after four years my mother still can’t seem to bookmark my blog, my wife says, “yeah, great, so where is the goddamn money?” and my daughter says, “can’t anyone just write a blog?”  Touché’).

The Old Man In The Cave – Previous to beginning my blog I was a bit of an insular character.  That is to say, I did not like venturing out and meeting people.  But in the last four years, thanks mostly to the opportunities brought about by my writing, I have met some of the greatest minds in finance.

Howard Lindzon, Dr. Phil, Joshy, Eddy, Tadas, G-to-the-Harmon, Todd Sullivan, Brian Shannon, Jeff Carter, Derek Hernquist, Joe Fahmy, that bourbon cherry making chartist JC Parets, Sean McLaughlin — I have met them all, and so many more.

The only two I have yet to meet in the flesh are the infamous Dinosaur Trader, and Barry Ritholtz, whom I suspect is a just a Long Island accented hologram anyway.

Show Me The Money – And perhaps the most outlandish, incomprehensible, and irrational side effect of being on the StockTwits Blog Network is that other platforms have actually asked me to write for them….

FOR MONEY!!!!!!!

If it were not for StockTwits, there is no way that I would now be writing for AOL’s Daily Finance, About.com, Yahoo Finance, and most recently, TD Ameritrade’s The Ticker Tape.

Being on the StockTwits Blog Network literally began an unlikely, but growing, second career for me.

And with that, we come full circle.  Thanks to the various platforms that StockTwits has opened up for me, I no longer need to write about the markets and finance on this blog.  Just as the ST Network is sun-setting, so too is this blog…at least in terms of finance and the stock market.

In the coming weeks you will see a transition and a re-branding of this blog.  Instead of talking about stocks, I am going to be talking about more personal issues.

My life.  My kids. That dipshit at Starbucks.  My hopes.  Fears.  Insecurities, Triumphs.  Failures.  And the universal struggle we all engage in on a daily basis.

In short, Life in Flux.

I hope you stick with me, but if raw, introspective, girlish-like self-examination is not your bag, man, then feel free to subscribe to The Lund Loop, where I will give you the best hand curated info about what I am writing, reading, and thinking about the markets.

It’s a once weekly newsletter that is completely free.  Click here to sign up.

And once again, thanks to the StockTwits Blog Network — especially Phil Pearlman and Howard Lindzon — as well as all those who have played a part in its legacy.  I am a better investor, writer, and person for having been associated with it.

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 Gratitude Report : Sonic Highways

Actively practicing gratitude can change your life, but can also be hard to do.  To help me in this endeavor I write down 10 things each week that I am grateful for and then share them with you.  Here is this week’s list.

  • Daddy Lunch Day at my son’s school
  • Sonic Highways, the HBO series that features Dave Grohl and The Foo Fighters recording a new song in a different city each week.  It may be the best thing on TV right now.
  • Under Armour “Slides.”
  • Beachwood Brewery.  It makes the best beer IN THE WORLD, bar none, and it is right in my backyard.  Those of you outside of OC/LA have no idea what you are missing.

Don’t hate!

  • My 67′ Mustang.  Every time I get in it I am reminded of my late father.
  • My best friends Chris and Dave, both of whom I met at an age when I thought I was done finding new friends.
  • Internet transparency.  It’s amazing what you can find on it.
  • Yeah, it’s cliche’ but SoCal weather, especially in late November when the rest of the country begins the deep freeze.
Brrrrr.....

Brrrrr…..

  • The Headspace app.
  • The weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal.  It is so good that it brought me back to actual paper (the only real way to read it) for the first time in over 10 years.

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.

Destroying The Myth Of The Intermediate-Term Investor

Just wait for it.

Wait for it….

A couple of weeks ago an email went out to select Virgin America customers, the important part of which went like this;

The LOYAL3 Social IPO™ Platform allows individuals to purchase shares in our IPO at the same price, and at the same time, as institutions and other large investors. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Individuals can elect to purchase shares in our IPO through LOYAL3 in amounts ranging from $100-$10,000, with no transaction fees. Please don’t forward. This invitation is intended only for you and is not transferable. Your Elevate Gold or Elevate Silver Status will need to be effective as of October 29, 2014 to be able to participate.

It was an interesting, but not completely original way to offer IPO access to loyal customers.  Usually I am suspect of approaches like this as the big boys on Wall Street don’t like to share with the proletariat. Opening it up to the average Joe made me suspect that the offering was under subscribed.

Nevertheless, when a friend asked me about it I put aside my reservations and asked him a few questions, including why he wanted to buy, and how long he intended to hold.

His reasoning was straightforward and reasonable — he liked the service.  This was to be a long-term hold he said, in the neighborhood of 5-10 years.  He is a young guy, with no family, who has yet to enter his best earning years, which from my perspective made for some simple advice.

“If you believe in this company and it is a long term-hold for you” I said, “just put in as much as you can afford right now.”

“Right” he replied.

Yesterday I got a message from him;

“I am the biggest idiot in the world.  I talked myself out of buying that Virgin stock.  I reasoned airlines are a bad business and I didn’t buy.  I could have gotten in at $23 and now the stock is at $33.  I am such an idiot.”

“So would you have sold it already?” I asked.

“I would have put in a stop-loss to protect profits.”

“Really? But I thought it was a 5-10 year hold?”

“Lol. Who knows.  Good point!”

What my confused friend was illustrating is that there is no such thing as intermediate-term investing.  In the quest to save investors from their greatest foe, themselves, their only chance is to focus on the “now” and the “forever” —  everything in between is death.  Black death.  A vortex of bad decisions and negative returns that very few investors ever come back from.  You don’t want to go there.  It’s the Jan Brady of investing.

The closer you are to a day trader or Warren Buffett, the better off you are.

The short-term investor has time on their side.  It is transcendent and objective. The minute, hour, day, or week — if obeyed — tells them when to stop.  When the game is over.  And when to start it back up again.

The long-term investor relieves themselves of the burden of themselves.  All they need is a drawer to put their investments in and they are good to go.

The rub is that humans don’t naturally work well in either of these times frames.  We are drawn impulsively and inextricably to the intermediate-term. The time frame between “It needs some time to work out, I’m holding” and “It will never come back, I’m selling.”

I saw how this time frame works, up close and personal, early in my investing career.

My great-aunt Geneva was the oldest of the Kelly girls from Fillmore, Utah.  Yes, those Kelly girls.  A fiery redhead, she had a passion for life as intense as her as the color of her hair.  Though not a woman of means, a series of familial bequests had snowballed in her favor, leaving her in possession of a decent sized portfolio of common stock.

With no children of her own, she decided to leave the stock to my sister and I once she had passed. But before that could happen my father got very ill, and knowing our family as a whole would need it more, changed her will and left it to him.  Shortly after her death he took possession of my former stock, walked straight into the crash of 87′, and sold it all not far from the bottom.

I remember the stocks well.  There was Bank of America, Ford, CSX, General Motors, and a host of other blue chip names.  I can only imagine what that stock would be worth today if it had been given to me instead of my father.  Imagine, of course, because as a naive 20-year-old, I would have sold it just as quickly as he did after the crash.  Maybe even quicker.

That’s how the intermediate-term gets you; it feels so right, and the alternatives feel so wrong.

Day trading is one of the toughest things you can do and swing trading is only easier by comparison.  And the long-term approach requires investors to maintain a state of active ignorance. Neither time frame feels natural.

In early 2000 I read an article about some of the “dellionaires,” men and women, well, really only men, who had bought Dell stock when it IPO’d and had become millionaires, some many times over. This necessitated holding the stock for over 12 years.  Who, other than Warren Buffett does that?

I bought a stock in 1992, after the girl I was in love with introduced me to some friends who were looking for a drummer to join their band. They were all biotech grad students who worked as interns in the lab of a new pharma company.  (I’m sure you can imagine what a rocking band that was).

The company was (is) Cortex Pharmaceuticals and according to my new band mates, had a blockbuster drug that was going to cure Alzheimer’s.  I am still a long-term investor in the company and on the days when the stock actually opens, it trades around a nickel. That’s how long-term investing has worked out for me.

And those dellionaires, did the intermediate-term claim them when less than a year after that article was published the market crashed, or were they able to hold the stock for another 12 years until Micheal Dell made their choice for them by taking the company private?

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.

In Which I Tweet’eth The Mid-Term Elections

I hate both parties and I am an equal opportunity piler-oner.  But since this time it was the Dems turn to get their asses kicked, well, let the tweets fall where they may….

Tune-in in 2016 when the GOP gets their turn.

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 Win A Complete Trading Library

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There is an oft repeated expression – made famous in the Malcolm Gladwell book “Outliers” — that says you need 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery of any given field.  That’s a lot of time.

Take trading for example.  Even if you practiced for 6.5 hours every day the market was open, according to Gladwell, it would take you 6.15 years to get to the level of expertise where you could make a living at it.

As human beings we naturally want things faster.  As traders we want them now.  Unfortunately there is no short cut to becoming a master trader, but there are some hacks that can expedite the process somewhat.  And that’s where The Lund Loop giveaway comes in.

I am giving one lucky winner a complete trading library of books — my trading library in fact.  These are the same books I used to learn about the markets and trading, and if you are a novice, these are also the same books that can shave months, if not years off your learning curve.

Even if you are an advanced trader, these 25 books will be a great addition to your own library.  Here are the books I am giving away…

UPDATE:  The generous people over at McGraw-Hill have added 5 titles to the giveaway bringing the total number of books to 30;

  1. Market Wizards by Jack Schwager
  2. The New Market Wizards by Jack Schwager
  3. Stock Market Wizards – Interviews with America’s Top Stock Market Traders by Jack Schwager
  4. How to Make Money in Stocks (4th ed) by William O’Neil
  5. How to Make Money Selling Stocks Short by William O’Neil
  6. 24 Essential Lessons for Investment Success by William O’Neil
  7. The Successful Investor by William O’Neil
  8. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator  (Annotated w/ Foreward by Paul Tudor Jones) by Edwin Lefevre
  9. Trade Like a Hedge Fund by James Altucher
  10. Backstage Wallstreet by Josh Brown
  11. The StockTwits Edge by Howard Lindzon
  12. Trading Options Using Technical Analysis – Greg Harmon
  13. The Trading Book by Anne-Marie Baiynd
  14. The Trading Book Study Guide by Anne-Marie Baiynd
  15. The 5 Secrets To Highly Profitable Swing Trading by Ivaylo Ivanov
  16. Candlestick Charting Explained by Gregory Morris
  17. Getting Started in Chart Patterns by Thomas Bulkowski
  18. Millionaire Traders by Kathy Lien
  19. Techniques of Tape Reading by Vadym Graifer
  20. The Complete Turtle Trader by Michel Covel
  21. The Disciplined Trader by Mark Douglas
  22. Trading In The Zone by Ari Kiev
  23. How I Trade Options by Jon Najarian
  24. Laughing at Wall Street by Chris Camillo
  25. The Intelligent Option Investor by Erik Kobayashi-Solomon
  26. The Complete Guide to Option Selling by Michael Gross
  27. Dual Momentum Investing by Gary Antonocci
  28. Money by Steve Forbes
  29. No One Loves Your Money Like You Do by James Jackson
  30. Surprise Book #23 -TBD

That comes out to over $750 worth of trading and investing books.

So how can you win all 25 books?  It’s simple, just click the contest link below to enter.  And once you’ve entered you will have an opportunity to increase the odds of winning in your favor even more.  It’s all reward, no risk, the type of set up every trader dreams of.

ENTER THE CONTEST

Good Luck!

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.

What To Do Right Now In The Stock Market

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A few weeks back I warned that we might be seeing signs of topping in the market.  Whether or not we have seen the top is an open question and won’t be determined for a long time.  However, the recent volatility has unnerved a lot of investors who are worried that a crash might be coming soon.

Tomorrow in The Lund Loop I am going to tell you exactly what you can do right now in the market to minimize your risk, but more importantly, maximize your potential upside.

You can subscribe for free by just clicking this link.  As an added bonus, just for subscribing you will receive a free copy of my book “Trading: The Best of the Best – Top Tips for Our Times,” which contains over 200 trading and investing tips from 60 of the smartest people you will ever meet.

See you tomorrow.

-B

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.

Satan Wants You To Buy These Stocks

satan_wall_street

Everyone knows that each time a share of $AAPL is bought, another angel gets his wings.  But what about the other side of that equation? What about buying those “sin stocks” that Satan himself probably owns?

I’ve got a piece up this morning on AOL’s Daily Finance that explains why from a financial, moral, and pragmatic standpoint you SHOULD be buying these types of stocks.  And not just the obvious suspects. Sin stocks don’t just announce themselves with tickers like $DETH, $HELL, or $CNCR, so I’ve got a whole Sodom and Gomorah-ish list to check out.  Just click the link below.

Even The Righteous Should Invest in Sin

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.

Why You Never Say Never In The Stock Market

Robert Downey Jr.

Investing may be your passion, but the process — the analytical process you need to find winners — should never fall prey to the trap of sentimentality, or worse yet, nostalgia.

This is where investing and art part ways.

As Americans we love our art, which in this modern world really means television.  With six-hundred channels to choose from we stalk our content with a retardedly keen eye, curating out that which resonates deepest in our soul, and throwing the rest away as if the chaff of the craft.

We binge watch our favorite shows, infusing an immediate and intense relationship with our favorite characters.  We love them — often more so than the material figures in our lives — exulting in their triumphs and despairing with their failures.  It is a part of our human condition, which forgets the line between art and reality.

Not so long ago I found myself in the restroom of an office building, standing in front of a waterless urinal which had recently been installed.  I turned to the right and remarked to my colleague standing next to me;

“Do they really expect these things to catch on?  The smell is awful.”

“Well they are supposed to cut down on water use.  It’s all a part of a drive to make the building more green,” he said.

“It sounds like they want to make it more yellow,” I replied, my Shakespearian wit going into overdrive.

“They’ll never go for it,” came the reply from my left.

“Who?” I said, turning to face the author of these comments

“The unions.  They will never go for it.  These waterless urinals mean no plumbing.  No plumbing, no work for the plumber’s union.  They will never go for it.”

The author of these comments was a forty-something man, who despite his scraggly beard, unkempt hair, and baseball cap pulled low across his brow, could not hide a somewhat boyish face.  There was a familiarity in his eyes that I could not immediately place.

“Right,” I said.  “The unions. They will never let them get away with this.”

“Besides,” he continued.  “They make the place smell like piss.”

We all laughed and small talk was exchanged as we washed our hands and made our way out into the hall.  Turning away from the stranger, I looked at my colleague and almost immediately, as he said, “Do you know who that was?” realized in fact who I had been talking to just a moment earlier about urinal politics.

“Luke Perry,” I said.

“Luke Perry,” he replied.

Imagine a time before the internet, before social media, and before six hundred channels of cable pumped content into our homes 24/7/365.  A time known as 1990, when there were only three and a half real television networks, and if you were on one of them with a hit show, you were a true superstar.

And Luke Perry was a superstar.  Playing the role of the ever brooding Dillon on the seminal show “Beverly Hills 90210,” he reached a level of fame that you could only imagine today if Robert Patterson and Justin Bieber were mutated in some horrible industrial accident into the cutest vampire pop star that ever lived.  It’s too dreamy to even imagine.

He was white-hot.  Every girl wanted to sleep with him and every boy wanted to be him.  But when his show ended, effectively so did his career.  Now he is the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question.   A Twitter punchline at best.

This is where art and investing reconnect.  Stars, once fallen, traditionally never rise again.  And stocks, particularly momentum stocks, once broken, do not return to their glory days.

The overwhelming exception to this rule seems to be $NFLX.  A stock which rose 600% in a little over two years and then lost 83% of it’s value in the following year.  This stock should, like Luke Perry’s career, be dead and buried.

History is full of momentum darlings that crashed and burned and have never recovered.  $CSCO, $BRCM, $BBRY, and $POT immediately come to mind.  That is the way it has always been.  Like a financial law.  So has it been written, so shall it be done.

But this bull market is changing the rules.  Stocks like $NFLX are not only resurrecting themselves, but surpassing their previous glory.  Look around.

$QCOM, a 90’s internet bubble casualty is getting dangerously near its all-time highs.  $TASR, a one-time momentum favorite in the early 2000’s is about 33% off its all-time high.  Doesn’t sound too impressive until you realize that from its peak at one point it had lost 99.992% of it’s value.

This market is so powerful that it has done the near impossible.  It has turned “Luke Perry” stocks into “Robert Downey Jr.” stocks.

I don’t know if this is a good sign or bad sign for the future prospects of this market, but it is sure more interesting to talk about than waterless urinals.

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.

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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.