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.

Tweetlights Of The Week

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.

There Is Nothing You Can Learn From George Soros

Geroge Soros Market Wizard

Earlier this week the Irish Times ran a piece celebrating the 84th birthday of one of the most successful — and arguably, most well-known — investors of the last century, George Soros.  (Hat-tip to my friend Josh Brown).

Soros’ prowess in the markets is legendary, so much so that deconstructing his process in order to learn the secret to his success has become a cottage industry in financial circles.  In the world of  “Market Wizards,” Soros is Saruman.  Tolkien baby…look it up.

However, in the Times’ article, his son Robert demystified the source of the Elder Soros’ alchemy in such a simple and definitive way that it may drive market historians to acts of self-immolation.

Apparently It all comes down to a pain.  In the back to be specific.

According to his son, Robert, Soros’s trading was always influenced by more than reflexivity. “My father will sit down and give you theories to explain why he does this or that”, he once said, “but I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking, ‘Jesus Christ, at least half of this is bullshit’.

“I mean, you know [that] the reason he changes his position on the market or whatever is because his back starts killing him. It has nothing to do with reason. He literally goes into a spasm and it’s this early warning sign.”

Soros has admitted to relying greatly on “animal instincts”, saying the onset of acute pain was often “a signal that there was something wrong in my portfolio”.

His decisions, then, “are really made using a combination of theory and instinct”.

That’s right.  Though you and I did our damnedest to read between the lines and glean some sort of insight from The Alchemy of Finance in the 80′s and again with Soros on Soros in the 90′s, it was all for naught.  Now we know the true source of this modern-day Tim The Enchanter’s genius.  Monty Python baby…..look it up.

This revelation might tempt some of you to adopt the same market style as Mr. Soros, a view I wholeheartedly endorse, as long as the profile fits.  It’s easy to see if a spasm based methodology is right for you by answering a few simple questions.

  1. Are you a passionate student of the market?
  2. Are you open to considering a wide range of investment themes?
  3. Have you ever booked a $1 billion dollar single-day profit by breaking a sovereign bank?
  4. Did you marry a 41-year junior third wife on your $22 million dollar Westchester estate while Paul Tudor Jones and Julian Robertson looked on?
  5. Have you booked over $40 billion in cumulative profits?
  6. Do you have a full head of hair well into your eighth decade on this planet?

If you answered “Yes” to 5 out of 6 of those questions, then by all means, adopt the “discomfort” approach to your investments.  Let your back pain, your trick knee, or even your throbbing headache from the 13 Jack and Cokes you threw back at the bar last night be the guide to your entries and exits.

For the rest of us who move in more mortal circles we will try to use objective, data driven, risk averse methods to move our thousands, and if lucky, millions, in and out of the market.  We’ll try not to let our fear nor our greed drive our decision-making process, and ascribe that pain in our back simply to less than optimal ergonomic choices in our office furniture.

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 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.

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.

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

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.