Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cash from Chaos

Greetings from Costa Rica where I'm scoping out a real estate deal in Mal Pais. As it turns out, the day I spent travelling was the day that the stock market got hammered. Boy was I ever nervous, at 9:45 the market lost 4% and the Asian market had crashed. I thought that I was fucked.

As it turns out, I was smarter than I thought. I had sold off some inflated risky stuff last week (ICE, CHL) and bought into some beaten down bargains (VRNT) to soften my risk. I put in stop losses at 5% on the stuff that had high PEs and they all triggered by 9:45AM, 15 minutes in. All the other stuff didn't move much. So 2/3 of my portfolio was out or in a safe place. Today I bought a serious bargain (GS @199) and replaced my position in DIVX 2 bucks cheaper than I sold it yesterday. All in all, I was still up 2% and replaced my positions in a much better deal.

I'm not as dumb as I thought I was.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Not so quick Steve

Even though I dislike their products in a romper room/fischer price irritation kind of way, Apple has made me some money and lots of people like them. In turn I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Steve for lining my pockets and for all of you guys who own ipods for keeping their revs up.

Having said that, I'm not so sure anymore that the iPhone is going to be the slam dunk that a lot of people think it is. Here's why:

5) It's too expensive and Steve is a greedy pig that doesn't give stuff away
4) Cingular is the only US carrier
3) It's a closed system and the other carriers will be really pissed about not getting a good cut of the revenues and won't be able to push their own music stores
2) There's going to be a bunch of stuff coming from LG, Motorola and Nokia that does the same stuff and flash memory/lcd prices are plummeting so fat margins will be gone
1) NVidia and Marvel have killer chips that they will license to everybody that does stuff like the proto phone below

I'm not saying that it's going to fail but it's not a slam dunk just yet.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Value Bounce

Looks like the equities market has bounced back so it wasn't a correction, just a minor nervous pullback.

So here's my strategy that's making me the most money. I call it the value bounce - I look for a company that is well run, profitable, growing and just announced ahead of earnings call that they missed their earnings by a small margin (5-10%) and maybe cut their guidance by 2-5%. This usually causes a 20-40% drop in their stock price.

Here's the trick, let them hit bottom, buy and wait until the earnings call then ride it up and jump off before the peak. Don't get too greedy.

I've done this on these stocks:

LYTS - bought Jan 11, sold Jan 25 (22% bump)
HP - bought Jan 4, sold and then got back in this week (20% bump)
NTRI - bought, sold, bought again in the past 2 weeks @ around 41.52 (looks like 23%+ bump)

Cramer hates all of these companies but there is opportunity wherever there is panic and greed. Don't panic and don't get greedy and you might get lucky.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Slingbox love affair

For valentines day I have a new love but don't tell my SO.
In my line of work, I get to play with a lot of great gadgets but I have to say that the most amazing gadget that I have seen in years has to be the Slingbox pro. Simple enough, plug it into your set top box at home, plug it into your home router and you can watch tv and recorded programs anywhere with an Internet connection or anywhere in your wifi neighborhood with a laptop.

I plugged it in and it worked with no fuss, didn't even realize how simple ethernet plug and play was. Holy crap, this thing is awesome. Keep in mind that I have a high def DVR at home with tons of recorded content and now I can grab all of it on the road and at the office (CNBC mostly ;).

This is a highly recommended product if you are away from your home a lot like me. If you know my personal email address, I'll even let you try watching and controlling my TV - just drop me a line.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bear Week

Seems like there's a market correction in play right now so the past couple of days have been really terrible for equities. Subsequently I've cashed in 2/3 of my portfolio and taken pretty much everything out except for DIVX, TM, TWX, HPQ and DEO.

The only bargain that I did buy today was MPEL which was a steal at the current price.

All in all I have 2 portfolios, a moderate personal one and a larger corporate one reaping 18% and 2.1% respectively in about 5 weeks. Even with the bitter winds of correction in my face, I'm doing way better than a GIC. The big haircut that's in process now is going to create a great time to restock when the panic peaks.

Friday, February 09, 2007

More Zune

Somebody asked about my Zune versus ipod and iphone. Here's a quick wrap up, it's super easy to use, has a nicer XBOX-esque UI than an iPod and the software is mildly different than iTunes.

I don't use the subscription service but it is available in the US, not sure about Canada yet. Basically it's an all you can eat service for fifteen bucks a month, the downside being that your downloads stop playing when you stop subscribing.

I still buy CDs so I can rip them in any format and quality that I want and bounce them between any devices I choose any time I choose. I'd never let Steve or Bill make that decision for me.

Regarding the Zune phone, I don't know anything yet but it would be ideal if it had a smaller form factor than the first gen Zune and was laid out something like this Samsung Ultra 700. The Samsung seems to be a giant killer, fingers crossed on availability.

Bouncing Souls

Wicked, the Bouncing Souls are playing in Montreal on Sunday April 22nd @ Foufounes. Prolly gonna sell out in a day or two. We saw them in NYC at the end of Jan and it was a wicked show, their last show here (aside from Warped tour nonsense) was the best/most fun live show that I've ever seen.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

In the snow again

I've been snowboarding again recently since it's been cold and snowy enough. It's great to be out in the sunshine even when it's a little brisk. We hung out with Paul and Marko this past weekend and my head is still throbbing a little thanks to an abundance of "anti-freeze". We're off to le Massif in a week or two, I'm hoping for some good weather but it isn't looking terribly promising.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I still like Jordan

I think Jordan Greenhall has a great company that's only going to get greater. This dude could very well be the next Mark Cuban or Jerry Yang. So how many of you bought DIVX like Rick and I and made 10-17% in the past month?

Timing is everything and I don't see any good deals to buy right now (besides maybe Microsoft and Nutrisystem). Microsoft will drop a bit more but will recover in the months to come and Nutrisystem is at their floor and everybody hates them so when the panic subsides it will go up unless a short squeeze kicks in. If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, don't dare buy anything and watch the charts and understand the numbers for a while before getting in and even then be very very careful.

Friday, February 02, 2007

HP and Microsoft

Did any of you besides Rick buy Helmerich and Payne stock? Well if you did, you would have made 15-22% ROI in 30 days like we did.

Zune Phone/GPS:
I have this sneaking suspicion that Microsoft is going to turn the Zune into a multifunction mobile wifi device with (wait for this) an integrated phone and GPS. I am not alone in believing this.