Saturday, June 23, 2018

More thoughts from the late Jim Rohn

If you want the future to change for you, you have to change. 

How to get whatever you want: Ask

Ask intelligently: Set goals. Asking is the beginning of receiving.

Goals must be written. Be specific. You must write your plan.

Success is not in short supply. It isn't rationed. It's like an ocean. If that's true, what's the problem? Some people go to the ocean with a teaspoon. 

Believe you can get what you want like a child. Ask with faith.

You won't get everything you want, but if you work at goals you will get plenty.

Resolve: Promising yourself you'll never give up.

Attitude disease: Indifference

Attitude disease: Doubt

Attitude disease: Worry

Attitude disease: Overcaution

Attitude disease: Pessimism

Attitude diseases: Complaining

Our lives are affected mostly by the way we think things are, not how they actually are.

Everything begins with thought.

Listening to the "experts"

In a previous post, I mentioned about ignoring all the noise of the talking heads and experts on TV and in the media in general. 

Case in point. I was looking at the Australian dollar futures this week and did a quick search for any news. Well, I found two articles. One talked about how the Aussie dollar was on a down-trend (true) and it would go to .70. The other claimed the Aussie could hit .50.

Well, the chart below kind of tells you why you might want to ignore the experts and just focus on what the market does. After those two articles were published, the Australian dollar went from about .7345 to .7440 in two days. If you could have caught the bottom and top (very hard to do, but this is for illustrative purposes only), that would have been worth $900 per contract. 

Pay attention to the markets. They will do what they do, regardless of what the "experts" think.  

Friday, June 22, 2018

Update on the SPY Chart

Notice each high is actually a bit lower than the last high? This indicates a weakness in the market. That's why I'm in cash right now, except for a few minor positions in telecom and short-term treasuries. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Interesting Chart Pattern for the SPY

I thought this was an interesting chart pattern for the SPY. Note the gaps for the last three days (June 18, 19, and 20). Futures as of 1 am on the 21st indicate another gap, but this time up. We'll see what happens. 

If it gaps up, and the gap doesn't close in the first 30 minutes, I might place a long trade. 

Lower lows, without higher highs, signal weakness. Tread with caution. Remember your stops. Calculate your positions size based on calculated losses first. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Random thoughts from the late Jim Rohn

Success is something you attract, not something you pursue. 

Success is looking for a nice place to say. 

True happiness is not contained in what you get. True happiness is contained in what you become. 

For things to change for you, you have to change you.

Life and business is like the changing seasons.
You cannot change the seasons, but you can change yourself.

Learn how to handle the winters (problems)
Learn how to take advantage of the spring (opportunity)
Learn how to take care of your crops all summer

  1. All gardens will be attacked
  2. All values must be defended

Learn how to reap in the fall without complaint or apology. Take full responsibility for what happens to you.

It's not what happens, it's what you do.

You don't have to be the same after tonight, only by choice.

Major step to success: discipline and self-motivation.

Find out how things work. Put the information in your journal, not your head. Study. Be childishly curious. Read. Learn the set up.

Set goals. Success is doing what the failures won't do.

Many people work hard on their job, but they don't work hard on their future. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Saudis to increase oil production

After increasing production levels, along with Russia, in May by nearly 100,000 barrels per day, there is now talk of that Saudi Arabia will continue to increase production in June. This comes after general signals about supply increases.

The price of oil has fallen (WTI) from nearly $73 per barrel to close at $65.56 (Jul 2018 contract) on Friday, June 8.

As discussed at

"The fascinating dynamic between the three most important players here – the US, Russia and the Saudis – is going to tell the real story of what the final outcome from the OPEC meeting will be and where oil prices are going to go from here."

This climate of rising supply, even if only imagined, may drive these prices lower when the markets open today, June 10, at 5 pm CDT. That would be an opportunity to short, but I may wait to see if it gaps. 

There is already supply areas around $65.80 and $66.10, with some demand at $64.90. We'll have to see what the market does. 

Update at 11 pm CDT: The price of oil barely budged since 5 pm. In the first 15 minutes, it did drop 30 cents, but slowly rose to about 65.70 and is now 65.65. Not much movement. When the big markets open we'll see what happens then. Most likely, talk of increased supply over demand has already been priced into the market.  

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Not just predicting economic disaster, hoping for one

In light of my post the other day about predicting an economic disaster, how about some who will hope for an economic disaster, or at least a recession? Just because they hate President Trump? 

Bill Maher openly hopes for a recession -- IJR

Bill Maher Says He’s ‘Hoping for’ a Recession to ‘Get Rid of Trump’ -- SFGate

“Because I think one you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy. So please, bring on the recession,” he said. “Sorry if that hurts people, but it’s either root for a recession or you lose your democracy.”

What an idiot. 

I find this typical though. Politics above everything else.

6 Things Successful People do Before 9 a.m.

Doing something useful when you feel least like doing anything almost guarantees a productive day.

From Entrenepeur Magazine. Good advice.

6 Things Successful People do Before 9 a.m. 

Successful people do whatever they need to do even when they don't feel like it. Toughen up. - Dwayne Johnson

Friday, June 8, 2018

Predicting economic disaster

When will economic disaster strike? Well, according to the Democratic Party, it should have already. 
From Investor's Business Daily:
Just last November, for instance, a blog post on the Economic Policy Institute's website informed us that "Republican tax plan will reduce American competitiveness." That was, to be kind, wide of the mark.
Similarly, the liberal Brookings Institution opined in March of last year that "Trump's 'America First' budget will leave the economy running behind." Didn't happen.
Going back even further, many economists and pundits were wrong — dead wrong — about Trumponomics. But to this day they can't bring themselves to admit it. Imprisoned by the illogic of their own liberal ideology, they all saw not just failure, but instant disaster. They still do.
We've run the following quotes in IBD before, but in light of this new report they bear repeating:
"We are probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight," said New York Times columnist and Nobelist Paul Krugman, just one day after Trump won the election. 
"Under Trump, I would expect a protracted recession to begin within 18 months. The damage would be felt far beyond the United States," said Larry Summers, the former top economist for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, speaking in the summer of 2016. 
"If the unlikely event happens and Trump wins you will see a market crash of historic proportions," agreed MSNBC's Steve Rattner, a former Obama administration official, speaking in October of 2016.
The market is up 30 percent since the election. Oh well. There hasn't been a recession yet. Bull markets and economic expansions don't last forever, but don't believe what people are trying to tell you -- especially those with a political agenda. 

Urban Myth: You can't time the markets

You can't time the markets, so stay fully invested with a diversified portfolio. That's the advice from financial magazines, stock brokers, and other "experts." 

Bullshit. Why in the hell would you want to ride out a bear market (an average of 37 percent decline) when you could be in cash? 

Another nice little piece of advice: The market always comes back.

Sure it does. The market turned over in late 2007 and declined 53 percent (based on the SP500 EFT SPY) and didn't recover fully until late in 2013. That is about 6 years. I don't know about you, but I don't want to wait 6 years to get back to even. If you're near retirement or actually retired, you just can't. 

Why do they tell you to be fully invested? Simply because it's in their best interests, not yours. 

Stock brokers, mutual funds, banks, EFTs, and just about anyone who makes fees off of you owning stock certainly doesn't want you to sell. For one thing, the higher the balance of the fund, the more money they make. Everyone charges fees, so if you're not invested, you're not paying fees. 

Secondly, they will advise you to re-balance your portfolio. This means selling certain stocks or funds and buying others. More fees for them. Paying fees is part of the cost of doing business, but let's not get carried away.

Another factor for funds is their position size. It takes time to move a lot of shares. As William O'Neil, founder of Investor's Business Daily, said:

"The erroneous belief that no one can time the market evolved more than 30 years ago when most mutual funds that tried it weren't successful at it. This is because they had to both sell exactly right and then get back in the market at exactly the right time, but due to their asset size problems, it took weeks to raise cash and weeks to re-enter the market. Therefore, the top management at these mutual funds imposed rules on their money managers that required to remain fully invested (95%-100% of assets)".

The average person, with average intelligence, through patience and a little study, can see trends. No, you can't pick precise moments when a bull market becomes a bear, but you can see trends. That's all you need. Whether the escalator is going up, or the escalator is doing down. 

I once had that mindset, of always being invested, until I was introduced to a financial advisor in Dallas named Ken Moraif of Money MattersHe wrote a book that I highly recommend, called Buy, Hold, and Sell. He'll even tell you in a free newsletter when to Buy, Hold or Sell.  It's easy to understand and will enlighten you. 

Also, Taylor Dart, an author I follow on Seeking Alpha, has written a pretty good piece on this subject. I highly recommend you get familiar with the concepts presented. 

Don't be afraid to sell. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

AMD nears buy zone, says Investor's Business Daily

Update June 18: Entered position on June 11 at 15.48. Currently at 17.18. 

Update after market close: My position in AMD stopped out after about 90 minutes for a loss of $80. Seems the IBD buy point did not work out. After a high of 15.96, AMD closed down .77 at 14.90. See below for details.

Yesterday, IBD was all excited about AMD. The company announced new chips at a trade show. IBD bases their buy-zone on a weekly chart which shows it close to high points reached in the previous 18 months.

But, look at a daily chart below, and you can see a slightly different view, one that I would have reacted to if AMD had been on my radar (I can't track 7,000 stocks, sorry). 

I think a buy point arose in early May, when the price gapped up and then passed 11.31. That showed demand for the stock, and the trend started up as well. But if AMD does open at or above 15.75, I may pick up some shares and see what happens. I'll put a stop just under 15 so I'm only risking about $80. (Note: Always calculate your risk first before deciding on your position size). 

A small position, but I would have rather bought at 11.35, which would be a return of 38 percent in a month!

For more information on the new AMD chips, see AMD Momentum Accelerates.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Ignore the noise, follow the markets

I tend to ignore the noise of the news when it comes to investing. Talking heads on TV, opinions of market "experts" and predictions from gurus just confuse the issues. 

I follow the market. It makes me a technical guy. So be it. I do pay attention to some fundamentals. For example, I don't invest in a company that doesn't make money, no matter how crazy investors get. Take Tesla, for example. Won't touch it. 

Talk is cheap. The market is going to do what the market does. Millions of buyers and sellers dictate markets. Guys like Jim Cramer on Mad Money might make a ton of money, but he doesn't know where the market is going any more than you or I do. 

It's big institutional money that drives markets. So if you're a long-term investor, just pay attention to the trend, and invest in the broad market. You really need to know what you're doing to invest for shorter term gains. 

The market is generally like an escalator, with you playing with a yo-yo as you ride it. The little ups and downs don't mean anything. Pay attention to whether you're on the up or down escalator.

Right now, we're on an up escalator, but we're getting close to the top. Can't see the top, but be ready to get off.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Ashton's top 10 rules for success

"You are not entitled to anything, but there isn't anything you can't earn." - Taylor Swift.

This is from a video by Ashton Kutcher. Some of the words he speaks come from Steve Jobs, who he played in the movie "Jobs" filmed in 2013. Still good advice. 

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