Tag Archives: Trading

It’s a dry heat

We are back from Arizona. We rolled back into our garage this morning around 1am Eastern. We had been gone since Tuesday morning when Knoxville was being pounded (flurries of some substance) with snow and schools were closing (which they do at the mention of “snow”).

Our trip went well and without much trouble either. We had one meeting that was rearranged, which gave us a free day on Wednesday and a meeting on Thursday night. As a result we were able to sleep in and adjust to the time change… AOT which is Arizona Only Time. The heat has gotten to those in Arizona and they don’t change their time for no one… ever. So, no one is ever early or late for church twice a year… well, they can’t use THAT excuse at any rate.

With our free day we went to a county park and took a few pictures. It was absolutely gorgeous and every view was a picture postcard… even the one where I got stuck with a couple of cactus pods… that postcard would say: “Damn, out of towners…”

We even played with some linear perspective and made some funny pictures…

The conference that we attended was Mary Kay Leadership, which is for Director’s only. That’s the top 2% of the company. This year’s theme was Think BIG! and that is what I did! I learn a bunch at these conferences, and so I took lots of notes and am in the process of consolidating them. Also the time allowed me to work on other things…

  • I have most of my Trading Journal edited and will be printing that out to help track my trades from week to week.
  • I have my 2009 Running Schedule penciled together and my Two Main Focus Marathons will be Flying Pig (Cincinnati, OH) and Flying Monkey (Nashville, TN)
  • I worked a little bit more on the ASD Athletes’s paperwork. More importantly, I realized that I did more on the December Cruise than I thought, so I need to consolidate everything and I should be able to send that thing in soon

However, while I was there I didn’t get to do any running like I wanted… but I didn’t eat that unhealthy while I was there, so that’s about the same right?

But now I am back and start back up at work tomorrow… Poor My Lovely and Talented Wife had some gluten yesterday… the infamous Gluten Hangover that we get… she’s been sleeping ALL day. She woke up just briefly to eat some and then back to bed. Talk about messing up your sleep pattern… maybe she’ll be reset of time-zone/jet lag because of it… I dunno.

Oh, about the Au Pair, since there were a few comments about that… her Au Pair program is over and is over the age limit to continue. She changed her Visa to a student’s Visa and is now taking classes, therefore she is a full time student right now and taking classes.


I am needing a little self-help here. With the Stock Market picking a direction, it should be like taking Candy from a Baby on making money trading (NOT INVESTING!) right now. I mean, I was making money off my trades when The Market hadn’t decided what it was going to do. I am being stoooopid and trying too hard, so I need to regroup and FOCUS – I mean, how am I supposed to support my Photography Addiction (new lens, camera hood, gorilla pod, etc) with out capital? Or how about my Charitable Addiction (ASD Atheletes, NMSS, Pay It Forward, MKACF, Feel the Boobies Save the Ta-Tas, and more)? Or even the $20 here and $25 there for The Elder and all these Kindergarten things that come home every day?

This is a mantra that Dave Johnson taught at the Advanced Technicals Workshop that will help me get in the right frame of mind. After all… when you are going to take candy from a 500lb Gorilla, you got be in the right frame of mind.






I’ve got Georgia on my mind

Because I am in it.

That’s right for 2 days, I am in different zipcode and state! And my residence is a Microtel room near Duluth, GA. I am here for an Advanced Technicals (Trading stuff) 2-day workshop.

This will slightly alter my marathon training schedule, but it shouldn’t be too bad in the big picture.


We had our first official Parent-Teacher meeting yesterday and it went well. The Elder is behaving “fairly” normal, although there are a few things that he is doing that isn’t out of the ordinary, just that they are signs of immaturity – so that’s a very positive sign. Of course, we do have things that we need to work on with him, but our biggest fear – That he would stand our because of his Aspergers – was not substansiated.


Being Green On The Road

Since I drove to Duluth, I decided to go ahead and be a Tree-Hugger as Green as possible. I have collected all the non-food contaminated paper and will toss that in the trunk of the car. The room has plastic cups (which I am thankful) so I will use those and collect those for recycling. We’ll see how it goes.

Project Elijah: MTB

One of my heroes is Elijah Talley. He’s my Lance Armstrong of the kid universe, so much in fact that I replace my LiveSTRONG bracelet with a Pray for Elijah bracelet. Although I have never met him, I am very good friends with Susan from Olive Branch who is Elijah’s biggest fan. I would not doubt for a moment that if Susan from Olive Branch were to have kids, if the boy had “Elijah” in the name or the feminine version in the girls’ name. If Elijah was ever missing, she would be suspect #1.

Oh, did I mention that this dude has beaten cancer twice… and he’s 7?

So when life throws him some lemons, Elijah makes lemonade. Not just any lemonade, but high profile Lemonade.

Here’s a link to Susan from Olive Branch’s site about Elijah’s Lemonade Stand

If you couldn’t partake of Elijah’s Frosty Beverage yourself, you could contribute to a virtual lemonade stand. Well, when I was writing a comment to Susan’s post, I had a great idea! I’ll Trade for Lemonade. Sure! I donated $477 to Knoxville’s Breakthrough Corporation on World Autism Day on a trade that I made on that day. Well, I am going to do the same… and you can follow from home. In fact, maybe this will encourage you to donate to Elijah’s cause. And I love games/contests so this is going to make the trade fun and it’s for a good cause!

So here are the rules:

Elijah’s Trade:
MTB AUG 08 $65 PUT
The company is M&T Bank Corporation

This is PUT option which means we want the stock price to go DOWN.

Stock Price at Market Close on 07/14/2008 is $58.85
I bought this option for $380. Currently it’s worth $945 as of close of business on July 14th.

I will continue to hold this option until one of these scenarios happen:
1)The Stock Price shows no more weakness and looks as if it will start to increase

2)It decreases in value to $760, which I will close the trade out for 100% profit of my purchase price… $380 to Elijah, $380 back to me

3)This Option will expire on August 21st. I will close it on Aug 1st to preserve any time value left in the option and what ever profit will be sent over

And yes, there is a selfish reason for me to do this… I want to help Elijah’s cause and get the tax write-off (win-win). So, I am going to try to set up something in my Sidebar so that you can track from home

Mountains to Mountains

I’m in Draper, UT… Given the distance, it might have been prudent to have rented a car. But I don’t have that risk to worry about, but I won’t really be able to go explore Salt Lake City on the way back to the airport.

I am staying at a Fairfield Inn, so if you need some expert opinion, mine won’t be any good since this is not a Holiday Inn Express. I doubt that I will get much time to blog or play on facebook or anything else during the day, although I might get some free time. I will be around in the evenings here, but I think they are going to give us some homework.

The view here is impressive. My view hasn’t changed a whole lot, I still mountains when I look outside. However, these Mountains are much more pointy. I do have Stella with me, so I will take some pictures. Had a car, perhaps I could have driven to some places to snap pictures.

I am going to try to run Monday, Wednesday and check out the workout room Tuesday and Thursday. There is supposed to be a cold spell here, so that might cut down on the outdoor running. Of course, I am running at altitude ( 4500 ft) but I don’t think that I will be here long enough to really gain any benefit… *sigh*

I am approximately here: -111.871223,40.52693899999999

Well, I better rest…

Blood, Snakes, Utah

Looks like it’s going to be one of those Digest versions of the week. I did have some incidents that could warrant a seperate entry all to itself, but I ran out of time.

Monday: Terry Day got switched from Tuesday to Monday, so I ended up running 4.4 miles at Lakeshore under some beautiful conditions. After I ran, I made my way over to Panera Bread so that I could use some Wifi while I did some Stock homework for my up coming trip. I had planned on just getting a drink since Panera is the House of Gluten and I can’t really eat anything there. So, I am standing in line and an atheletic couple with their kid is ordering and the guys says he’ll have a salad. The dim lightbulb above my head brightened by 10 watts. Salad? He’s having a Salad! Can I have a Salad? I can have a salad! So, as I was on the computer I was eating a SALAD! And it was a good one too… only think “bad” about it was the casein in the cheese… but no biggie.

While I am at Panera. A mom’s group comes and sits down in the same “area” in Panera. This basically means that you are part of the conversation even if you didn’t want to be, it’s you just can’t chime in. This is why blogging when things happen is so much easier than one of these re”crap” posts. The mom’s group was pretty funny… to get away from their lives for a little sisterhood bonding over coffee in Panera, they sure did talk about their kids alot… oh and pregnancy… and epidurals… and childbirth… and their kids… and their friends kids… and the therapies their kids are taking.

So after I left Panera, I headed to errand run at Target. I did the “Perimeter Run” in Target to see if there were any good deals on the Clearance, but no such luck. I found some running shorts that I could use, but decided to just use what I have for right now. So I am in the check out… waiting… it’s almost close so there’s only one cashier open on the electronic’s side of Super Target.

I would have sworn the couple ahead of me was a Hooker and a Trick, based on the way she was dressed. Then I noticed how much they resembled each other… and so then it was just a father/daughter outing. But While I was paying, this woman is storming out of the store… walking fast with bags. Then you here “Hey, I am talking to you. Hello?”

“I’m talking to you,” he calls again as she is just out the store. She does say something to which you hear him reply, “Liar!” Oh, THAT’S going to end well tonight. Too bad there was a kid following the dad. I guess the woman could have been his daughter, given the fact that I had mistaken the hooker daughter earlier.

Tuesday: I gave blood: 1) I could give again, 2) I don’t have a race until the end of the month and 3) They called me personally to ask to give because they were short in the blood supply. I am in demand. Of course, now I am “untouchable” for 16 weeks. And I forgot to bring in my Super Donor card for my extra t-shirt.

Wednesday: Nothing Really to Report

Thursday: In our neighborhood, we have a neighborhood watch program which requires (loosely) to patrol the neighborhood once a year. This is a deterrent for criminal activity, but doesn’t deter houses getting Rolled (with TP). Thursday was our day… and out of ALL the days in the week, Thursday is the worst day. 1) I have the kids in the evening and 2) My Lovely and Talented Wife has her unit meeting that night.

So instead of the normal: Tub Time, PJs, Books and Lights Out, it was Get Your PJs On And Head To The Van!

Now, the last time we went into the van in PJs, it was BOOMSday here in Knoxville so The Elder asks, “Are we going to see fireworks?”

“Not this time.”

We drove around the neighborhood once and then parked near the entrance so that I could inspect the cars that were going in and out of the neighborhood and Make My Presence Known! The kids were watching a video and I even popped some popcorn for them while in the van with the hopes that they would fall asleep and I wouldn’t have to do anything but lay them in their bed.

After a while I felt the urge to go. I would taken care of it right there in the van, but I am still trying for that Parent of the Year Award and although it would have been resourceful, using the 20oz Diet Coke bottle as a portable receptacle was not really prudent with the kids. So, we went home, briefly.

We snaked around the neighborhood again looking at basically nothing. It had been raining all afternoon and there was not a soul outside. Not even some punk kids having fun in the rain. I did stop and unclog a storm drain that had been partially clogged from the Eucalypus leaves and pollen. There was a small dam formed and the water was backing up making a 6 inch deep area, that was about 3 feet from one of the “High Voltage” boxes in the neighborhood.

On our way back to the stakeout point, I saw something in the road. It looked like a curvy stick, but what’s better than a curvy stick? A SNAKE!

And that’s what I said, “A Snake!”

“Where?” questioned The Elder.

“In the Road, right here,” as I pulled upside it so that I could take a picture. I had Stella with me in case I needed photographic evidence of something. I took 1 picture and the batteries died. *sigh*

“You want to see the snake?”

“Yeah,” The Elder replies trying to get out of his seat, “I want to see the snake.”

“Me Too,” chimes The Younger.

“OKay, Hold On.” I back the van so that I can approach the snake from a safe angle. But I pulled The Elder out of the van and showed him the snake. This was one of those non-domesticated snakes. It started to pull it’s head up as if to say “My Dad was a Cobra and My Mom a Rattler… so Back off!” But seeing that the snake was almost accross the road, I put The Elder back in the Van and popped out The Younger.

By the time we got to the snake, it was almost in the woods. But he did get to see it move. Had I not been holding The Younger, I would have grabbed the snake out for a better view… but I didn’t, although I did touch the snakes tail.

So we went back to our stakeout place and we hung out here for a while. It was now dark and rainy and I couldn’t really see much of anything. By the time I got home The Elder had fallen asleep, YES! But The Younger was still (wide) awake, DARN! So, it sorta worked out.

Friday: After 3 days of not working out, I finally decided to run. My intention was to do 5 miles, but once I got started, I bargained with myself to do 4 miles. But the 1st mile was REALLY hard. I could not figure out why it was so tough. At the end of the 1st mile, that I would only do 2 miles with a long walk break in between. As I was walking, I realized that I did give blood this week and this was the first workout since then. So, I wasn’t so upset that 2 miles was about to kill me.

Next Week: I will be in Utah for most of next week at Trading Education Seminar. Although I will be very busy, I will have computer access, so maybe I can catch up on some people’s blog and actually leave meaningful comments. Maybe even work on a little Gravity while I am there!

Days Like This

I have been going crazy today… and it doesn’t stop for a while.

I had a very long, dry conference call this morning that when on for an hour and a half. Bor-RAH-A-RING… then I decided to shop for some more eBay inventory to sell and was a little disappointed that the jackets I wanted to get had some black spots on the sleeves and so there was no way I was going to sell them. SO, that was a disappointment. But truth be told, I think I am leaning toward kid’s toys as a basis for my eBay business.

Then this afternoon, I am trying to cut my day short so that I can grocery shop and get home so that My Lovely and Talented Wife can help decorate for VBS. But I have to wait for the Market to close at 4pm so that I sell some of my positions. Then I need to go through my coupons before I leave. Oi! And I tried to reorganize my desk.


That post was typed on Wednesday. I didn’t even get a chance to look at it on Thursday much less post anything worthwhile. I think I may have read a few blogs but I was just too busy with work and family stuff.

So: Let’s get everyone caught up to date with the short version… I got 7 minutes before I go do my tune up run for tomorrow’s race.

  • Tomorrow I run a 5k, if you haven’t played Guess My Time, go NOW and you can win free movie tickets.
  • Thursday, The Younger got clearance from the doctor that his trigger thumb is trigger-less and that he is free and clear…
  • Currently, we are waiting on a few pieces of paper to complete our taxes. If anyone can find our listing of donations that we gave the woman’s shelter here, that would be great. That’s a chunk of change of charity that we can deduct from our taxes
  • My Trading has been crap this week. I have started a Trading Blog called ZSG Trading (Zombie, Sniper, Gunslinger trading), that I will use as my Trading Journal. Feel free to go over and laugh at me… but when I make huge bags of cash, I’ll remember
  • I should be getting some pictures up from the Knoxville Marathon
  • Tuesday, I had a great session in the pool and decided to go ahead and sign up for the Trideltathon, now I have to at least sit on my bike.
  • I’m now behind on 2 episode of Gravity… I think that my new Episode will go out next week as a prelude to the Ribbon Run 5k. The episode after that will follow shortly, as I have a few things to record for it.

I’m going to end there as I go for my 2 mile run. See you in a few

World Autism Donation Result

As I posted yesterday, I was going to take a trade and allocate the profit from that trade as a donation to an Autism Charity. Well, I had one position that I closed with a profit yesterday. The trade was a call option (Apr $230) that I purchased for $1840 for First Solar Inc. (FSLR). I very foolishly had a put option from the same company that was pretty much a waste, unless something monumentally bad happens with the stock price, so I was feeling bullish about the stock.

A Call Option is like a coupon. It said that I’ll buy 100 shares of FLSR at $230 sometime for the option expires, in this case April. What’s nice is that I can control 100 shares of stock for $1840 as opposed to $23,000 if I bought it out right.


Looking at the pretty graph, you can see the first green oval is when I bought the option, 3/28. 3 Trading days later, I decided that I wanted to sell it.

  1. FSLR stock price can move a lot in one day and I didn’t want to lose any money
  2. Since I don’t have enough money in my account, I have to take small gains until I can build enough to do all the trades that I would like to do.
  3. I wanted to have a winning trade for World Autism Day, like I had promised and this was my only position that was doing well.

So, I put a stop loss order on it and went on to do something else. I then noticed that the option had closed, so I checked out what happened. The Option sold for $2320. So that’s $480 minus the $3 commission to make the trade and BOOM, that’s $477.00 to go to an Autism Charity. But which one?

I decided that I am going to donate it to the Breakthough Corporation, why?

  1. They are fresh in my mind since I will be running their 5k race on April 19th
  2. They deal with Asperger’s for adults, something which really needs some support. There is support for children, but nothing about those (like myself) that are all grown up older being diagnosed with Asperger’s
  3. They desperately need the funds to get established in the area
  4. Did I mention they host a road race?

So now I need to send the check in.

The Zombie, The Sniper and The Gunslinger

As many of you know, I am a novice trader, yet a professional one (by definition, I guess). I have been trading stocks since August of 2007 when I stepped out of Paper Money (i.e. trade like it’s hot, but with monopoly money) and into the big bad world of real money. As I am learning (you are ALWAYS learning in this profession and as a Scholar, I love it) I have found out that I have 3 basic trading styles all of which I will highlight for you in my results for today. Just so you know, today was a DOWN day in the market… the Dow Jones (the main stock indice that people use) was down 293.00. So do you want to know how I did or should I tell you about my styles… Let’s go into my styles:

ZombieThe Zombie: Plan my Trade and Trade my Plan, I am only under the control to make money, but I do it without emotion. I set my price target and I act on it. If I thinks go wrong, according to my Plan, I get out. The Rules are the rules because they are the rules.

sniper The Sniper: I am in to get a quick hit of cash. Typically set around $100 or 10%. Set it up, get in, get the shot and get out. I don’t typically milk the trade, but if it jumps in my favor, I chase the cash with a tight Stop Loss (gets you out at a set amount). Typically, these are low risk trades and last a short time.

Wild Bill Hickock The Gunslinger: I get gun happy. I shot at things with little forethought or try to chase things bigger than what they appear or are telling me. I catch myself in a gun fight with the stock and I almost always lose.

So this is how I did today:


Here is how to read this:

Symbol is the Stock Symbol
Mark Chng is Market Change for the day of the stock price
%Change is the percent change for the day
P/L Day is the Profit or Loss for the day
P/L Open is the Profit or Loss since I opened that Trade
P/L YTD is the Profit or Loss for the Year to Date for that Stock Symbol

The Short Version: This was by best day by far. My previous best day was +$1196, but I do have bigger trades here. I was fortunate that the market moved down while I was away from the computer. I had no idea how my day ended until 6:30pm.

The GunSlinger: Look at FSLR (First Solar, Inc.) in the 1st trade I made with FSLR I close at +$1800. However, Gunslinger got involved and now I am down in the Trade and down for the Year (-$1295). At one point I the stock was stuck in between two of my trades and there for the stock had to move ALOT for me to get out unscathed. Also, look at BSC (Bear Stearns), I was in the huge drop on Friday to the tune of making 900% on my trade (that tune is I’m in the Money, I’m in the Money). However, Gunslinger decided to buy a Call Option, only to have BSC hit rock bottom on Monday with little NO chance to recover the monies. But you can see that the P/L YTD is in the Green, so I made $42.50 on a $60 investment.

The Sniper: ICE (Intercontinental Exchange) ice baby. ICE was a trade that I took too soon and went into Gunslinger Mode. So much a Gunslinger mode that I daytraded (and did get some of my money back) but I slapped with a margin, meaning that I had to add more cash to my account since I am severely under the minimum amount to daytrade. In anticipation of a down day, at least maybe in the morning OR in the afternoon (but not both). I took the trade at opening bell, made my 25% and got out. Boom, Boom $520 and I got out. Truth be told, I could have made more money had I stayed in but that wasn’t how I was treating this trade. I have no regrets. Okay, I do have one regret that I didn’t have a larger trade to work with… I only had 2 Put options in this trade.

The Zombie: This is where the rest of the trades came into play. DBA (this one was left to rot out in the hot sun) but the other part of this trade was a mindless transaction. Unfortunately it didn’t work out. IWM (Russell 2000 Index) and SPY (S&P 500 Index) were both new trades today (although I had traded SPY earlier this year). I will set stops for both of these so that I will come out profitable. XL (XL Capital)is a trade that I have been in for a while and has been pretty stress free (although it has retraced – meaning gone in the opposite direction- for a while). You can see that I am up considerable for this stock, not sure what the return rate is but you can better believe that it’s better than what the bank is paying you… LDK (LDK Solar) is a solar stock that has been a little tough to trade. I am down for the year in this trade, I didn’t take the cash when I was in the green, but I have about 30 days left in this trade to make the money back. SBUX (Starbucks) – this is one of those trades, that I bought thinking it was going to go UP but it goes down, so I sell it thinking it was going to go DOWN, but it goes UP. *sigh*, It’s a small amount of money (relatively speaking), so I’ll probably take a small loss and go drink my Tall Soy Caramel Latte (although, I might make out with some green).

So as this probably bored the tears out of some people, this gave me a chance to write DOWN, how I trade so that I can be a better trader. This way I can have kick-ass stuff for contest on this site. Plus I can do stuff like Asperger’s College Scholarship, Sponsor an Athlete for a Marathon or Ironman for the fall, Wii for the house, and many other COOL ideas that I have running around in my Noggin. Oh yeah, there is stuff like lower our credit card payments and build emergency stash… but that is like… BORRRRing.

But I should stress is that none of this is a suggestion to buy or sell any of these stocks. You can lose significant amounts of money (like FSLR above) and you should know how to manage your RISK (the KEY to it all). All I am providing here is historical data on my trades.

“I’ll take you out like a sniper on a roof
Like an M.C. at the fever in the D.J. booth”

-from Professor Booty by Beastie Boys

Losing 2 Grand That wasn’t yours

Don’t you hate it when you lose $2000 that wasn’t yours. Of course you do!

Okay, this is a trading scenario, so if this bores you… move along, move along, this is not post you were looking for.

Here’s how I lost $2000. Friday afternoon, I bought 2 First Solar (FSLR) “put options”, meaning that I anticipate First Solar to decrease in value. It’s a SELL high, BUY low kind of idea. The transaction was around $3380 or 66% of my account (not a wise inherent move). During the later part of the afternoon, I was down around -$300 and up +$300. Lots of movement that settled in at closing +$270.

So this morning, FSLR is going in the direction that I wanted to go. I was up +$600 at one point and then up +$270 another. TO protect my profit, I use a Stop-Loss order. The name says it all it (helps) Stop (my) Loss on a trade that goes bad.

So I set my stop and I got kicked out of my trade at around $3780, so that was $400 profit for me! YAY!

EXCEPT… that one instance where my trade got stopped was the last big up movement before the stock started to fall.

first solar

SO it’s NOT $2000 out of my pocket. It’s $2000 that COULD have been in my pocket.

But I still made a 12% in roughly 6 hours of trading…