The Trading Almanac

A diary of investments in my IRA, a daily look at my stock watch list, and additional commentary/discussions on individual stocks, the overall market, economics, technology, etc.

Location: United States

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Playmates Kicking Ass. (Update)

Over at TradingMarkets 2006 playmate stock-picking contest, 10 ladies have picked a portfolio of 5 stocks that they will hold for the whole year. The winner at the end of the year will win $50,000 for her favorite charity.

Depite being buxom, they are also brainy (or lucky...but luck never hurt a trader....). 6 of the 10 are beating the S&P 500 return of 2.55% so far, with 5 of them over 10%. Amy Sue Cooper is up an astouding 21%. Puts my measly 4% to shame.

Previous Contest Posts: Jan 5 / Jan 9

Hindsight Report for Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own today:

BOT Chicago Board of Trade
CME Chicago Mercantile Exchange
CMG Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (Recently spun-off of McDonalds...)
GILD Gilead Sciences
HAIN Hain Celestial Group
MOH Molina Healthcare (blowout earnings after disastrous 2005)
PEIX Pacific Ethanol Inc
RHEO OccuLogix Inc
SCSS Select Comfort
STP Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd
UNH UnitedHealth Group Inc (Cramer says it looks cheap here...this stock goes up over 30% annually...a big baby-boomer play, also watch if Democrats win control of Congress.)

The Hindsight Report STORY

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Go Seahawks!!!

Sector Watch List: Asian Mobile Gaming/Content Stocks

Mobile Gaming and Content is all the rage in Asia, and is SLOWLY catching on over here.
These stocks are not for the faint of heart and can experience wide swings on a daily basis.
Dramamine, a seat belt, and a crash helmet are required. As it is, the group below is up an average of 7.33% on the year. NCTY and PACT have the best charts of the group. If you like to trade momentum stocks, these can have some nice runs, just be sure to have some trailing stops in place...

asian mobile gaming/content stocks:

CNTF China TechFaith Wireless Comm
KONG KongZhong Corp ADS
LTON LinkTone Ltd. ADS
NCTY The9 Limited ADS
PACT PacificNet Inc
SNDA Shanda Interactive Entertainmt
WTHN WiderThan Co Ltd ADS
WZEN Webzen Inc Ads

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Google and my House of Pain

Google disappoints. Trades down to $350 in the after-market, and since recovered to $380. Tomorrow should be interesting.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Hindsight Report for Monday, January 30, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own today:

AMGN Amgen Inc
AMTD Ameritrade Holding Corp
BBD Banco Bradesco (Brazil)
BIVN Bioenvision Inc
BOT Chicago Board of Trade Holdings Inc
CETV Central Euro Media Enter (Central European Cable Company)
CHS Chico's Fas
COT Cott Corp (beverage company)
DDDC Deltathree Inc (VOIP)
ECA EnCana Corporation (natural gas)
EGHT 8x8 Inc (VOIP)
HAIN Hain Celestial Group (Organic foods...)
ISE International Securities Exchange Inc
LBTYA Liberty Global Inc (used to own this...another Euro cable company)
LRW Labor Ready (Tacoma's finest)
NTRI NutriSystem Inc
SCSS Select Comfort
STP Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd
TEVA Teva Pharm Indus ADR

The Hindsight Report STORY

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Go Seahawks!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Hindsight Report for Friday, January 27, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own today:

AMLN Amylin Pharmaceuticals
CETV Central Euro Media
ECA EnCana Corporation
GIL Gildan Activewear Inc
MSFT Microsoft Corp
NTRI NutriSystem Inc
NWRE Neoware Systems
SIRF SiRF Technology Holdings Inc
SOLD HouseValues Inc
SYK Stryker Corp

The Hindsight Report STORY

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Repurchased Sulphco (SUF)

Monday, (see previous post), Sulphco (SUF) handed me my worst loss ever. The company has been in turmoil since last weekend Barron's issue questioned the integrity of the company's technology and that of the company itself. The company is vigorously defending itself and has recovered some of its stock losses. The stock was up over 20% today. I got in at $9.45 on an intraday breakout. The stock made it up to $9.80 and then came down and hit my stop at $9.60. After fees, I made back a grand total of $1 of the over $300 that I was worth the try...

Hindsight Reports: January 25 and 26, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own in the last couple of days:

January 26

AMLN Amylin Pharmaceuticals--Biotech with diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular drugs
AMTD Ameritrade Holding Corp--Earnings look good, merger with TD Waterhouse complete.
AMX America Movil'L'ADS--Mexico's largest cellular company
BBD Banco Bradesco SA Pfd ADS--Hott Brazilian bank
DIET Inc--Like Nutrisystem (NTSI), hard to believe it can really make any $
LRW Labor Ready--Headquartered in Tacoma, WA, will continue to do well as long as unemployment is low and companies cannot find enough laborers.
NDAQ Nasdaq Stock Market Inc--Frequent appearances in the Hindsight Reports....
RNWK RealNetworks Inc--Seattle company, A flaky stock but catching some momentum
SBUX Starbucks Corp--Seattle company, I would like Starbucks to be one of my core stocks
SCSS Select Comfort--The stores are empty, but stock is on a nice run.
STP Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd--I've traded this recently. Oil up=STP up. Simple equation.
TRAD TradeStation Group--Wait, I do own this.
VLTS Valentis Inc--I like this biotech with potential treatment for PAD. See previous post.

January 25

CBEY Cbeyond Communications Inc--A VOIP company
CX Cemex S.A. ADS--Mexican cement company, oh yea, largest domestic producer of cement in the US...
FFIV F5 Networks--Seattle company, Internet traffic managment
ITRN Ituran Location & Control Ltd--Israeli GPS stolen vehicle locator
JWN Nordstrom, Inc--Seattle company, High end still doing well, see Coach, Chicos, & Saks.
NDAQ Nasdaq Stock Market Inc--the Nasdaq, trying to get Disney on board after merger with Pixar....
RHEO OccuLogix Inc--Biotech, treatment for dry macular degeneration in the eyes
SiRF SiRF Technology Holdings Inc--Manufactures GPS semiconductor chips. Recovering from a nasty week or so..

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Falling Knife: Sulphco (SUF)

As I noted in my Friday Hindsight Report , I owned Sulphco (SUF). Even though the Dow was down 213 points, my position in Sulphco was actually up for the day. The stock had been on a huge tear all year, putting a nasty squeeze on shortsellers. It showed up in one of our Telechart stock screens, and I put it on my watchlist. Friday, it was one of the few bright spots and I purchased a $1,000 position. On Sunday, Barrons slammed the company with a vicious article. In one paragraph, Bill Alpert writes:
"In one current complaint in a Manhattan state court, a hedge fund that invested in a prior Gunnerman venture calls him a fraud who never even finished college and who has promoted "a series of failed businesses" based on "bogus technology." In the U.S. District Court of Nevada, another disgruntled investment fund complains that Gunnerman swiped SulphCo's patented technologies from the same prior venture."
A stock that had closed the day over $19 a share, opened around $13 on Monday. I sold at $13.11 for a 32% loss, my worst trade ever. The stock continued to get pounded on Tuesday, trading down below $8/share.

Is there anything you can do to avoid these situations? Not if you trade momentum stocks. GE would never gap down 40%, but you could own it for 5 years, and never make a dime...Owning stocks is risky, no doubt about it. Luckily, I made all the money back and more on yesterday's and today's big moves in Google. Easy come, easy go.

And I now am trailing the Russell 2000 on the year. I've got some making up to do.

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

2 for 1--Hindsight Reports for January 23 and 24, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own on Tuesday, January 24th:

America Movil -- Largest cell phone provider in Mexico. Everyone has a cell down there.
BBD Banco Bradesco SA -- Brazilian bank goes up everyday. Hmmm.
BOT CBOT Holdings Inc--Another exchange. Enjoying heavy volume in commodities.
CME Chicago Merc Exch Holdings--Stock been trashed lately. BIG day today, almost back to $400.
DVA Davita Inc--Kidney dialysis company. Baby-boomer play.
EWW iShares MSCI Mexico Index-- Mexican market catches a bid.
GILD Gilead Sciences -- Cramer said that people are taking one of their AIDS drugs, Viread, is being used as a preventative drug by some to drastically reduce the chances of HIV infection.
HANS Hansen Natural--Hit $100, came back down. Should hit a new all-time-high soon.
ISE International Securities Exchange Inc--Exchanges and brokers coming back
NTRI NutriSystem Inc--Perrenial high flyer. Are that many people buying diet pills?
SIRF SiRF Technology Holdings Inc--Traded down in sympathy with Garmin last week. Coming back?
SOLD HouseValues Inc-- Real Estate buyers and sellers increasingly using the internet.
WBMD WebMD Health Corp -- I don't understand how this company makes money.
WMS WMS Industries--Making the list again. (gaming machine company)

Stocks I would have liked to own on Monday, January 23rd:

Ameritrade Holding--Online Brokers still on fire
CBEY Cbeyond Communications Inc--VOIP, you never know in this sector
CME Chicago Merc Exch Holdings--Last couple of weeks have been disastrous, starting to come around though
GRZ Gold Reserve'A'--A Spokane WA gold mining company (mines mostly in Venezuela). My trading rules would not allow me to own this. (I do not usually buy mining stocks for personal reasons).
HBX Hana Biosciences Inc--I've traded this before. Disclosure: My firm owns this stock.
HXM Desarrolladora Homex SA de CV--Mexican homebuilder, real estate market is on fire, interest rates are favorable in Mexico.
IPS IPSCO Inc -- Steel is on a comeback
JWN Nordstrom, Inc--They keep posting good numbers. Went to school with one of the Nordstrom boys. BIG parties. Now he is the CEO...
MOH Molina Healthcare--My health insurance provider...Horrible 2005. Rebounding?
SOLD HouseValues Inc--big mover recently. Short-timer?
WMS WMS Industries--Manufacture of gambling devices/software. The stock zigs and zags periodically.

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hindsight Report for Friday, January 20th, 2006

Stock I would have liked to own on Friday the 20th:

Even on the worst market days, some stocks go up...

AMLN Amylin Pharmaceuticals
CBEY Cbeyond Communications Inc
FFIV F5 Networks
HBX Hana Biosciences Inc
PACT PacificNet Inc
RHEO OccuLogix Inc

I actually got into these three stocks (I'll post my entry points on Monday...)

STP Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd
SUF SulphCo Inc
TRAD Tradestation Group

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hindsight Report for Thursday, January 19, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own on Thursday, January 19th.

BBD Banco Bradesco SA Pfd ADS
CX Cemex S.A. ADS
EBAY Ebay Inc
EWW iShares MSCI Mexico(Free)Index
FFIV F5 Networks
HBX Hana Biosciences Inc
HXM Desarrolladora Homex SA de CV
ISE Intl Securities Exchange Inc
NDAQ Nasdaq Stock Market Inc
PSYS Psychiatric Solutions
RHEO OccuLogix Inc
SUF SulphCo Inc
TRAD TradeStation Group
TRAK DealerTrack Holdings Inc

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Small Caps on Confounding the Pundits--and Me!

Russell 2000, new high. Buyers are ignoring the Large Caps and are buying momentum. Isn't this finally the year that the Small Caps were going to be sold off in favor of larger, more stable companies? Not yet. And I'm 34% cash. I've been caught flat footed with my 3 holdings experiencing a consolidation period and my watch list giving me many opportunities to participate, but I didn't pull the trigger.

As it is, I'm pleased that Apple's post-earnings downside has been reserved. And Google can't go up everyday, can it? Whole Foods looks like it has turned back to the upside after bouncing on a short-term trend. Tomorrow I will look to put some of my cash to work, if conditions allow. It is essential in situations like today's when I feel "left behind" to not blindly dash in. Prudence is key.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How should stocks be picked?

How are you finding your stocks? Are you watching Cramer on Mad Money and simultaneously punching in orders on your laptop? Or buying a stock because your daughter loves her designer jeans as in the Ameritrade commercial? Or listening to your brother in law because he works for Morgan Stanley? The guys at the gym?

Look at how one pro finds and analyzes his stocks: Charles Kirk at the Kirk Report. In his post Stock Screening and Watch-List Management he tells his own and very successful process. It might not work for you, but give it a read.

The large majority of stocks that I trade come from watch lists that I put together. The Hindsight Report stocks also come from my watch lists. I put alerts on the ones I'm most interested in and also watch to see which ones are consistently moving. A good screening service is TeleChart2005 from Warden Brothers (subscription service). A good watch list product (and it is free!) comes from Medved's QuoteTracker.

Hindsight Report for Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Stocks I wish I had owned on Wednesday January 18:

ADSK Autodesk, Inc.
BIVN Bioenvision Inc
CBEY Cbeyond Communications Inc
HOMS Homestore Inc
ISE International Securities Exchange Inc
MOH Molina Healthcare
STP Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd
WMS WMS Industries

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Big Day for my portfolio. AAPL to report earnings tonight.

So far I'm down 1.5% on the day thanks to both Google and Apple. Luckily, Whole Foods has been perking up the last couple of days. My weighting is 41% GOOG, 13% AAPL, and 34% cash (and 12% Whole Foods). Apple announces earnings tonight and if yesterday's earnings announcements from Intel and Yahoo were any indication, investors will NOT accept anything but perfection. Well, since I still hold Apple and Google, I believe that their earnings will beat all estimates (GOOG reports on Jan 31). If they gap down I will consider buying more.

That is my strategy. A bit of a gamble I suppose. We'll see how it turns out. If you sold, bought, or are holding either Apple or Google, leave a comment.

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hindsight Report for January 17, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own on Tuesday, January 17:

BIVN Bioenvision Inc
DNA Genentech Inc
ECA EnCana Corporation
HAIN Hain Celestial Group
HXM Desarrolladora Homex SA de CV
ISE International Securities Exchange Inc
ITRN Ituran Location & Control Ltd
JSDA Jones Soda
PXN PowerShares Lux Nanotech
RHEO OccuLogix Inc
SUF SulphCo Inc
TRAD TradeStation Group

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Monday, January 16, 2006

Hindsight Report Performance Review

As promised last week I have began a rudimentary tracking system of my Hindsight Report lists that I put out after every trading day. The purpose is to see how well these stocks perform following them grabbing my attention enough to be posted on this blog. Almost all of my trades will come from stocks having appeared recently in the hindsight report.

Here is the first summary for the performance of each and every stock to appear on the hindsight reports since January 3rd:

If I had bought the stocks on the open of the day after them appearing on the Hindsight Reports and sold them on the close of that day, each trade would be up an average of 0.58%. The CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) is astounding; over 725%. Basically, in a hypothetical situation, if I started the year with $1,000, purchased an equal weighting of each stock in the hindsight report at the opening price of the day after it appears, sold all of my positions at the closing price of that same day, and then reinvested 100% of in assets in the same manner in the next day's list, that would hypothetically go to $8,255 by the end of the year. Good Stuff, Maynard.

Now, I must take into account fees and commissions and of course slippage. Slippage is the difference between the price you actually receive compared to your target price in a transaction. In this case the target prices are the open and close of the day after a stock appears on the list. Commissions and slippage can be a huge drain on your trading returns...

If I extend the analysis out to one week (invest in the list on the open the day after the list is released and then hold for one week, selling at the closing price), the average return is 2.64%. Compounded for a year, that would be 288%. Not too bad either, and somewhat easier to manage.

Conclusion: So far, I am pleased with the results of my study. I want to further break it down by looking at the maximum drawdowns in the 1 day and 1 week holding periods and see if returns can be increased and/or risk decreased by using a pre-set stop. I can go really nerdy, and do some deeper statistical analysis too. I want to compare my hypothetical returns to those of the market indices to gain perspective and to measure my alpha. Also, the stock market has been HOTT this year. I want to see how these momentum stocks perform when the market is in full correction mode before I truly would trust my hindsight report list as an actual investment vehicle. Just last Wednesday, the Hindsight Report list was down 1.1% the following day.

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Hindsight Report for Friday, January 13, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own on Friday the 13th of January

ADSK Autodesk -- Consolidating for a nice move after a weak 2nd half of 2005?

BBD Banco Bradesco -- Brazilian Bank, one of Cramer's hot picks right now.

CYPB Cypress Bioscience -- Wild Biotech

EBAY Ebay -- Will Skype make a difference? I prefer Craigslist myself...

HANS Hansen Natural -- Herb Greenberg keeps warning about this stock (subscription required) and it keeps going up. Generally, when Herb red flags a stock watch out. But he has been consistently wrong on HANS.

HOMS Homestore -- An interest rate play

ISE International Securities Exchange -- Broker and Exchange stocks have been streaky.

JSDA Jones Soda -- I just sold this one. Still keeping an eye on it.

MOH Molina Healthcare -- Horrible 2005, should rebound here.

NDAQ Nasdaq Stock Market -- Another of the high flying exchange stocks. I will show a little portfolio I'm tracking of exchange/brokers soon.

NWRE Neoware Systems -- Internet service provider.

RHEO Occulogix Inc. -- Cramer got this stock rocking on Mad Money.

TRAD Tradestation Group -- Making its record 6th appearance on the Hindsight Report. (Broker)

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Trade Recap

It has been a little crazy in my neck of the woods, so I must catch you up with my trades. On Thursday, I sold out of STP at $34.85 for a quick gain of 7.89% (6.36% after commission...). Like with some previous trades, a trailing stop ensured that I locked in nice gain.

On Friday, I bought and sold JSDA. Jones Soda was flying because HANS was up over 14% and mentioned the word "acquisition". I stopped out with a 1.61% gain (0.35% after fees). I'm not a day trader and this one was a little HOTT for me.

All in all, a good week. I closed 6 winning positions and my portfolio went up slightly over 3% for the week. My portfolio is up 10.36% on the year (9.33% after fees). I won't complain. One worry, one of my core holdings, Whole Foods (WFMI) was weak all week and down over 4% on Friday. I expect some consolidation in this company because of its rich P/E, and will be deciding soon if it is time to get out, or purchase some more! My other two holdings, GOOG and AAPL are doing just fine....

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Friday, January 13, 2006

Hindsight Report for Thursday, January 12, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own on January 12, 2006:


Even when the market is rotten there are stocks that go up!

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Hindsight Report Story

What good is hindsight in choosing stocks you say? I'm not entirely sure myself. But soon you will find out. Coming this weekend I'll be preparing a spreadsheet that calculates all of the Hindsight stocks' performance after they appear in my nightly reports. I foresee posting an aggregate total that demonstrates how stocks do the day after appearing, one week after, one month, etc.

Look, for the most part, I'm not a value investor, especially in upward trending markets. Most of my purchases will have appeared in the Hindsight Reports at least on one occasion if not many before I actually get in. I like to invest in companies that are showing relative strength before I get in.

Do you like the Hindsight Reports? Would you change anything about them? Post a comment or drop me a line: tradingalmanac AT gmail DOT com

Please Read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Hindsight Report for Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Stocks I wish I would have owned today:

Market Indicator? Have you noticed the list gets bigger every day? There is a lot of momentum right now. Be sure to have stops in when traders take their profits.

AMTD Ameritrade, brokers are enjoying a buying frenzy.
BBD Banco Bradesco. A Brazilian bank that has been on fire. One of Cramer's favorites.
BIVN I just sold this and it comes right to the hindsight report! Slightly above my sell now.
CHS Chicos Fas. Up an average of 80% a year for 10 years. Get out of the way of a train.
CX Cemex. Mexican cement leader popped on news that US would allow for export of more cement.
EGHT 8X8. A VOIP company. I like VOIP, but not this stock. I have Lingo at home. However it makes big moves for those of you who like to juggle flaming chainsaws.
EWW Mexico ETF. Consolidated some yesterday, up nicely again today...
HOMS Homestore continued yesterday's strength. 2nd day on hindsight list
JWN Another local company, Nordstoms. High end retailers are doing much better than Walmart and Target.
NTRI Nutri-System. I don't know why this stock goes up so much. Sorry for the lame write-up.
PXN Powershares Nanotech ETF. Solid trading since it appeared late in 2005. Many do not believe it is a good representative of the Nano movement, but if it is going up, it is going up.
SOLD One more Washington State stock, is a lead generator for real-estate agents. Should trade in tandem with HOMS.
WBMD Why is WebMD going up? Put up a comment if you know...

Please Read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Correction Imminent?

7 straight up days in the Nasdaq. All weakness is bought. Froth.

Well, we will have a correction at some time. When? My stocks will tell me. What did they say today? Not yet.

I was stopped out of Valentis 10 minutes from the end of trading. I had gradually been ratcheting my stop up and all of a sudden someone dumped 40,000 shares on the market at once. My stop was triggered for a 5.65% gain (4.21% after fees). Not too bad for a day's work, but disappointing nonetheless. I will invest in Valentis again if it allows me a good entry point as I still believe in the company's future.

As for Suntech Power Holdings, I'm still in it and up 2.26%. I thought about closing the position before the close, but the stock was holding well. Additionally, I looked at it's brief trading history and so far, it has no history of gapping down at the open. Regardless, I have a GTC (good til cancelled) stop on for $32.89 which will ensure a positive trade.

Apple continues to astound, up another 3.76% today. With my Valentis and Suntech trades along with Apple and a nice 0.40% move in Google today, my portfolio was up another 1.1%, putting me up 10.39% on the year. I have a healthy cash position (24%) and will make moves to protect capital if/when the market brings in the reins.

Please Read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

2 Momentum Buys

Comforted by the resiliency that the indices are demonstrating, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and purchased 2 high flying momentum stocks: Valentis Inc (VLTS) at $3.36 and Suntech Power Holdings (STP) at $32.30 which was in yesterday's hindsight report. While I bought them after they had already made significant moves, I set tight stops right after purchasing and they are both even (minus my darned commissions of course....) as I type with 2 hours left in the trading day.

Valentis released a press release after market hours on Tuesday claiming favorable results on its lead compound in Phase IIb placebo testing. Valentis' drug is being designed to fight Peripheral Artery Disease (known as P.A.D.), a debilitating disease affecting 8-12 million Americans. There is very limited treatment and with VLTS 934 you only need a dose once quarterly, with equal or better efficacy than current treatment options. The Phase IIb testing was supposed to be completed in mid-2006. The company has plenty of cash and should have no problem raising more as they approach Phase III testing. While I have set a tight stop, I would like to hold this stock. However, if it looks weak going into the close, I might close the position today and look to get back in later. DISCLOSURE: The firm where I am employed owns a small position of VLTS.

Suntech Power Holdings: What can I is a high-flying Chinese alternative energy stock. I'll be honest, I do not know too much about this company except that it is moving strongly to the upside and is in a popular sector. I have a tight stop and will probably sell before the close, hopefully for a gain. I am slightly up now.

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

An AAPL a day (and 14 million IPODS) will keep the doctor away...

Apple is amazing. 14 million IPODS sold in the 4th quarter. New products delivered to stores on the day they are announced. You can read the play by play account of Steve Jobs' address at Engadget.

So, with the help of Apple, my portfolio is up another 1%.

I sold Bioenvision today. As I said yesterday, I really put on a tight stop. I took home a 17.99% return (15.30% after fees.)

Market was solid. It was only barely up, but after the last 5 days, it consolidated nicely and the initial weakness was jumped on by the Bulls. Just like the Seahawks defense: Bend but Don't Break. I am at 33% cash and will look to put some to work tomorrow if the market cooperates.

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Hindsight Report for Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Stocks I wish I would have owned for Tuesday January 10.

BOT CHICAGO BOARD OF TRADE (Recent IPO has been strong lately...)

BSC BEAR STEARNS CO. (up an average of 25% every year)

EXPE EXPEDIA INC. (recent spin-off from Barry Dillars' Interactive Corp)

HOMS HOMESTORE INC (helps real-estate professionals advertise online)

ITRN ITURAN LOCATION (This is an Israeli GPS vehicle anti-theft company and a recent IPO...)

NTRI NUTRISYSTEM INC (Up over 1000% in 2005--can it do some more?)



TKO TELKONET INC (This company enables the transmission of voice and data over electric utility lines--you then hook the service up to your house or a commercial building and have internet access from any electrical outlet...)

UNH UNITEDHEALTH GROUP (baby -boomer play)


Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Monday, January 09, 2006

Hindsight Report for Monday, January 9, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own today:

AMLN Amylin Pharmaceuticals -- patent holders for a new diabetes drug, this high flying biotech was just added to the Nasdaq 100 index.
AMTD Ameritrade -- Jim Cramer loves this online trader.
CWTR Coldwater Creek -- Another of Cramer's recent recommendations and a daily participant in the Hindsight Report.
EWW Ishares MSCI Mexico Index -- ETF This Exchange Traded Fund, offered by Ishares mirrors the Mexican stock market and was up over 40% in 2005.
PXN Powershares Lux Nano Index -- ETF This is a new ETF offered by Powershares. It is filled with some flaky stocks but is interesting to watch.
SHLD Sears Holdings -- A beleagured retailer, KMART and Sears. Enough said. But the real estate play on its property may still be in effect.
STP Suntech Power Holdings -- *WARNING* This is a CHINESE, small cap, solar power company. Everytime the oil prices go up, the alternative energy plays get a pop too.
SYK Stryker -- Disappointing stock in 2005, this orthopedic implant company has 20 years of 28% growth and should do well with the aging of the baby boomers.
TRAD Tradestation -- Here is this stock, again. Stock is up 27% ytd. Can't touch it now, too extended.
WBMD WebMD -- Recent IPO, hitting new highs.

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Sold 2 more positions, tightened stops, 27% cash

I was looking back since April when I first started keeping a detailed account of my trading activities and I have never had this much cash. Not that it is a bad thing. Sure I've missed out a little bit on some big movers (TRAD) but for some reason I feel it will pay off soon.

I sold SiRF today when it triggered my stop. It ended up closing higher. The position earned me 4.18% (1.84% after fees). I will definitely keep it in my radar. I also hit a stop I set intra-day on HANS. Still made 2.74% (only 0.92% after fees...). I am wary of this one, but it to closed well above my stop. I am poised to jump back in as well.

Google (GOOG) now has a 43% weighting in my portfolio. Until it proves otherwise, I will be heavy in Google. By the way, if you haven't checked out their new Google Pack suite of free software, check it out. Included is Google Earth, Picasa Photo Manager, Trillian (which lets you chat with AOL, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, and Google Talk all from the same platform...), and a few more.

My position in the risky biotech Bioenvision (BIVN) is up over 20% in one month. It closed at $8.11 today, towards it's high. I put in a tight stop at $7.97. I refuse to give back the gains on this one.

Update on my Monday sales of LBTYA, JSDA, and QCOM were timely. While Qualcomm was up 0.5% today, Liberty Global and Jones Soda were both down over 1%. Now if I could only put the cash raised from these sales to use, I'd be golden.

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Playmate Stock-Picking Contest Update

Look I promise that I will not write about this too often, if you want to check it out yourself, here is the link: Playmate Stock-Picking Contest. (This site is SFW-safe for work). All I can say is just when I thought I was doing well, there are two playmates right on my tail. So far they have only revealed 6 of the 10 girls' portfolios (stock portfolios!) While my portfolio is up a robust 8.23% ytd, Miss November 2001 is up 6.94% and Miss January 2005 is up 5.96%. Am I up for the challenge?

11,000 So what?

Have you seen what stocks are in the Dow Jones Industrial?

You have GM, Alcoa, AT&T, AIG Insurance, GE, IBM, Verizon, Walmart, Disney, and more. If it weren't for Boeing, Caterpillar, and Exxon, the Dow would still be below 10,000.

Not that I wouldn't ever trade any of these stocks, but there are better fish to fry (for now).

I'll trade anything except for tobacco, most mining, and some energy stocks--as long as they are going up. I'd even buy Walmart or Microsoft if they weren't so flat.

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

Hindsight Report for Friday, January 6, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own on January 6, 2006

ADSK Autodesk
CWTR Coldwater Creek
GME Game Stop
LRW Labor Ready
NDAQ Nasdaq Stock Market
TRAD Tradestation
YHOO Yahoo

Not much to say--my portfolio had a great day. BUT, it could have been even better with the stocks listed above.

Tradestation: it is on the hindsight list EVERYDAY!! It has gotten away from me. Sometimes even when you are right on top of something, you can't take advantage of it. Will look to buy some after it pulls back.

By the way, I finished the week at 14% cash, much more than usual. I feel the market is overextended here.

All in all, a great way to start the year.

Please read my Disclosure

Banner Day for my portfolio and some new holdings.

At one point, the weighted returns of my portfolio was up more than 3.7% on Friday, and closed up 3.3%. One of the data points I keep track of is the largest upside move and the largest downside. The previous upside close record was 2.71% in November 2005.

It is important to not let the giddiness of such a nice move blind your judgement and with that in mind, I took the opportunity to divest my most disappointing positions, entered one new position, hoping to be prepared for a new week. From a technical standpoint, the next few trading days will be a power struggle. Will the bulls maintain last week's momentum and solidify their holding on multi-year highs? Or will momentum fade? Some of the market prognosticators claim that the market will take one more swansong south before really going up. I personally, have no idea, so I tightened stops on half of my remaining positions.

Stocks I sold:

Liberty Global is a cable spin-off from John Malone's Liberty Media. While the company jolted upwards from its post spin-off lows in 2004, 2005 was very disappointing. The company spent the year acquiring companies in new markets, solidifying its current holdings with equipment upgrades and is aggressively offering new services such as video on demand and VOIP phone service. The company is the largest cable company in the world outside of the US with key holdings throughout Western and Eastern Europe, Japan, Chile, Argentina, and Puerto Rico. Because of the upside, Ihave alerted the stock and will get back in if earnings start to grow. I still believe in the company but needed to trim the 'dead money' from my portfolio.


Jones Soda. What can I say? They are a local company in the hot energy drink market. They have a great guerrilla marketing campaign and are cutting edge. Unfortunately, they've been in the news more for their Turkey Gravy flavors more than for outrageous growth. I had 10% of my portfolio in Jones and took a 12% loss overall. Ouch. Meanwhile, while I ownd Jones, big brother competitor Hansen's Soda (HANS) is up over 100%. I'll file this set of trades in my "live and learn" category.

Qualcomm. I owned this stock for more than 90 days, and it just went positive for the first time on Friday. I sold it for a slight gain (3.11% before commissions, only 0.73% after). Stock is breaking out, but I am feeling a little queasy here and decided to lock in a gain.

My purchase:

Hansen Natural, was up over 300% in 2005. Most famous for it's Monster energy drink brand, it's juices and sodas are enjoying an increasing market share and distribution network. The stock is also buoyed on the speculation that it is a buyout candidate from the likes of Pepsi or Coca Cola. I owned this stock a few times during 2005's spectacular run and had much lower returns than I should have as I let some hefty gains get away, finally selling for unspectacular returns. With that in mind, tight stops are the rule for this position.

Please read my Disclosure

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hindsight Report for January 5, 2006

Stock I wish I would have owned on Thursday include:

Coldwater Creek CWTR
Gamestop GME
Nordstoms JWN
Select Comfort SCSS
Tradestation TRAD

Tradestation (TRAD) makes its 3rd appearance to the Hindsight list. I owned the stock this fall and made out well. Lots of retail stocks today.

Have you heard of Coldwater Creek (CWTR)? If not, you will soon. This Idaho company, best known for its catalogues, is rapidly expanding throughout the country. Their target audience is the sophisticated, middle-upper class, 35-55 year old woman. Comparable to Chicos FAS (CHS)--and Chico's stock has gone up 80% a year for the last few years.

Market refused to go down today, though many stocks were weak. I'm happy with my returns so far this year, just short of 4.5%. Can I keep it up? I'm thinking about tightening my stops going into the close tomorrow (Friday).

Hasta Mañana

Please read my DISCLOSURE

Peter Lynch: Market Guru

Peter Lynch is a veritable investment guru. He managed the Fidelity Magellan Fund from 1977-1990 with average returns of 29%. He used a common-sense approach to picking his investments that amatuers will ever endeavor to emulate. Read this summary of a presentation he made recently. Included are 8 rules/observations and the "10 most dangerous things people say about stock prices". Read the article here: The Wit and Wisdom of Peter Lynch. Thank you to Kaushal B. Majmudar CFA for this summary.

Have to be a genius to pick good stocks?

TradingMarkets is sponsoring this year's Playboy stock picking contest! Each girl picked 5 stocks before Jan 1 and the performance will be measured for all of 2006. The winner will be awarded $50,000 for her chosen charity.

So far Miss November 2001, Lindsey Vuolo is leading. She is up 3.44% on the year, beating all the indices, and just behind...ME! Her picks are Bluefly (BFLY), Boyd Gaming (BYD), Google (GOOG), Researh in Motion (RIMM), and XM Satellite Radio (XMSR). Not bad.

So who said you can't have beauty and brains...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hindsight Report for January 4, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own today!


What's really annoying is having stocks appear in the hindsight list on consecutive days. Today's repeat offenders are Tradestation (TRAD) and F5 Networks (FFIV). Tradestation is one of the best online brokers. Their clients are very active traders and have large accounts. F5 networks helps companies manage their internet traffic. I might have to raise some cash soon from my underperformers, mainly Jones Soda (JSDA ), Liberty Global (LBTYA ), and maybe Qualcomm (QCOM ).

It was nice to see the market have a good day after a sour start. There seems to be an underlying bid right now. Don't know how long it will last. Small caps are still outperforming the Large Caps, despite the views of numerous famous pundits that the large caps MUST do better this year. I'll keep watching and trading the little guys until proven otherwise.

Please read the Trading Almanac DISCLOSURE

First Purchase of the Year: SiRF Technologies

I purchased SiRF today on a high volume breakout to an all time high. I got 19 shares @ 32.03. (I would have bought more but I didn't have any cash, that's right, I'm 100% in). This position is 5.79% of my portfolio. Sirf produces semiconductors that are GPS enabled and used extensively in cell phones and GPS devices. I've followed this company since their pre-IPO days in 2003 and they have quality products and are well managed. The only downside I see at this time is the fact that insiders sold over 600,000 shares in December around $30/share. With that in mind I'll have little tolerance to the downside.

Hindsight Report for January 3, 2006

Stocks I would have liked to own Tuesday and will be watching closely:

HANS Hansen's Natural
TRAD Tradestation
CWTR Coldwater Creek
FFIV F5 Networks
GILD Gilead Sciences

Please read my Disclosure

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Fed Mumbles--The Market Goes Up?

I'm not complaining. What looked like a weak open turned into a frothy buying frenzy. My portfolio was up over 2% today thanks in great part to who else but Google and Apple. Unfortunately half of my holdings were down today. Liberty Global, a spin-off of Liberty Media has been weak since last year. It seems to go down everyday. I like the story but am feeling the pain on this stock. My micro-cap holding, Jones Soda, never seems to trade with the market, which can be good on a down day, but frustrating on a big day like today. Whole Foods was down as well, but hey, it had a great 2005 and had a huge surge last week following a stock split.

Back to Google: Piper Jaffrey raised their price target to $600. A favorite analyst of mine, and also a local, Jon Markman, took it a step further over at Marketwatch, read what he has to say: "Expect the price to move substantially higher by midyear on enthusiasm for the market-share devouring beast of the Googleplex, where it will stall at the $666 level after achieving a $200 billion market cap and the mark of the devil." Devil stock or not, I will gladly hold my 10 shares of Google up over $600, with a stop limit order to sell at $665, just in case!!

That's it for today. Final thought: Dow 11,000 or Dow 10,000, which comes first? Not many days ago, say last Friday, I'll bet most would have said 10K. Does one day make a big difference? I'm not sure, but I'll say it now--I see 11,000 before February.

Please read my

Monday, January 02, 2006

Can't wait for tomorrow

That's right, I'm ready to make some money. Tomorrow is the first trading day of the year.

The consensus for this year? Beats me. Talking heads all over the internet and television give compelling arguments for the market to go up and others for the market to experience a downturn. So looks like we are going up or down. Charles Kirk in the Kirk Report -an excellent investment blog!!- says it best: "Our goal, as always, is to figure out a way to profit from anything and everything that Mr. Market gives us. I'll leave the prediction business to others."

On that note, whatever is given to us, there will be some stocks going up.

First thing I'll look for this week is any weakness in Apple ( AAPL ) to add to my current position. Last year the stock had a strong run through Christmas and then blew everyone's expectations away in mid-january. I think they'll beat everyone's expectations again. How many Ipods did you see under the tree this year?

Please read my Disclosure

The Apprenticed Investor Series

Barry Ritholtz has one of the best series for investor education on the internet, which is offered for free at His series is titled the Apprenticed Investor. His latest offering discusses the importance of planning to investors. I estimate this to be his 23rd posting in the series. My favorite so far was posting about why keeping a trading diary is such an important key to one's success. Use the advanced search function on's to find the rest of Barry's work. Unabashedly, I also recommend his blog: The Big Picture He discusses the economy, politics, and a little of everything else.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005 Summary

I started on April 11th with a tidy sum of $8450.99. It was a rollover from a 401K I had earned at my college restaurant job. Not too bad considering the company refused to give me the matching amounts (plus any gains I made) because I had not worked 40 hours/week (not many waiters do...). My ending balance as of December 31, 20005 is $10,220.24, a 20.94% gain. This gain is net of fees/commisions. My broker is Scottrade, so I pay $7/trade. Without fees/commisions I garnered returns of 26.24%. In that same period, the Dow Jones returned 2.44%, the S&P500 5.68%, the Nasdaq 10.90%, and the Russell 2000 10.87%. Not too shabby, but I hope for a better year in 2006. I'll provide a complete list of all my 2005 buys and sells soon, but for now I'll leave you with a list of my current holdings. (coming soon also: a breakdown/analysis of each stock I own)

Current Holdings as of Dec 31, 2005:

Liberty Global LBTYA
Liberty Global LBTYK (this is a non-voting class of shares, received in a spin-off)
Google GOOG
Jones Soda JSDA
Whole Foods WFMI
Qualcomm QCOM
Apple Computer AAPL
Bioenvision BIVN

What do you think about these companies?

Please read my Disclosure


Welcome to the Trading Almanac. And welcome to 2006. My goal with this blog is ambitious. I endeavor to provide a step-by-step, trade-by-trade account of my activities in my IRA. I hope that by writing down and explaining my thoughts that I will become more disciplined and make better decisions. What's in it for you, the reader? Hopefully, you'll see that you don't need to pay commissions or fees to successfully manage your own investments. I will not be making recommendations, rather I will demonstrate one person's process for selecting and managing investments.

Additionally, I will throw in some other things of interest to me: interesting stocks, trading strategies, links to other financial and technology blogs, etc. Please feel free to leave comments or write an email.


Please Read before reading the Trading Almanac

The Trading Almanac contains Thomas Hellyer’s own
opinions, and none of the information contained therein
constitutes a recommendation by Thomas Hellyer that
any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction,
or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.
Thomas Hellyer will not advise you personally concerning
the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular
security, portfolio of securities, transaction, investment
strategy or other matter. To the extent any of the
information contained in the Trading Almanac may be
deemed to be investment advice,such information is
impersonal and not tailored to the investment needs
of any specific person. Thomas Hellyer’s past results
are not necessarily indicative of future