Monthly Archives: February 2012

Growing up, Bloomberg’s Portfolio Tracker and MarketWatch’s VSE

When I was in elementary school in the early 90s our class participated in the Stock Exchange Game. At the time I found it boring and another thing to learn that I would never use. I have the certificate of participation somewhere around here.

Later in High School we played the gave again briefly. Using the NY times to monitor our stock pics and learning about what the symbols meant. I didn’t pay it any more attention in high school than I did in elementary. Many moons later in college I again participated in a stock exchange competition, which had a price of $100. This is where I actually had some interest as there was some money motivation. We used a web site called Virtual Stock Exchange, which is a part of MarketWatch.com. Out of the maybe 30 participants I think I cane around 7th, so I didn’t win the 100 bucks but I suppose the intent was to just get us familiar.

Currently, as you can see by the existence of this blog, I have become more interested in the market.  It’s not a game now as the money isn’t virtual, its my money. Not not a especially good time to learn from scratch, but it would seem that life has lead me to this point. I have really been playing this game since elementary school.

I logged into my old VSE account and use it to monitor my stocks, as the site I use to actually do trading is basic. No information on volume, P/E, no charts(only a pie chart). Its basically design for a investor that does not plan on making multiple trades, and isn’t constantly monitoring the values. So moving to another service is something I am in the process of doing.

In the mean time I have found VSE useful and also Bloomberg Portfolio Tracker. VSE gives all the information you need, but Bloomberg gives the same and additional features such as the ability to draw trend lines. You may be saying, [well I already have that]. Thats fine, but its news to this writer. Using trend lines doesn’t conform to my philosophy of monitoring the news and current events but if your dealing with a stock that exists in some kind of vacuum I suppose a trend line would be a good crystal ball. I find the trendlines useful when combined with the monitoring of current events. As a result I have downgraded my expectations for WRES, PSTR, and LOAN to $4.15, $4.20, and $1.18 respectively. Comparing to the values on the days I made the suggestions that would result in a gain of $0.25, a loss of $-0.09 and a gain of $0.05 respectively. Since warren Buffet recently fessed up to his poor reading of the ouija board, I guess I can fess up too. Still, if holding equal numbers of shares in the three aforementioned stocks, that would give a profit of $0.0833 average per share. Which is nothing to write home about but a W is a W.

Below is a screenshot of Bloomberg Portfolio Tracker:

Financials

Back in January 2012 when Greece was discovered as a country and not as a movie starring John Travolta, I set my sights on NBG(National Bank of Greece). At the time the stock was approximately $2. Now the bank of a country cannot go out of business, that would be crazy, and the world financial entities were working hard to stave off such an event anyways. So by mud February the stock had gone to approximately $3. Among all the bad news investors saw that the hype surrounding the stock and the fact that the survival of the Euro would depend on the saving of the Greek financial system, would bring funding. So money was pumped into Greece and austerity measures were implemented to increase the confidence of lenders. S there you have it. Unfortunately I was cowardice and sold the stock before it turned a profit. That was a learning experience.

Now I suspect that financials will rise again. Though the housing industry is bad news, sales are up for January. That means more people are taking advantage of low interest rates and low home prices. The recent settlement between the US government and the banks regarding foreclosures is expediting the foreclosure process and will put many more homes on the market. So there will be a lot of activity and of course a lot of borrowing. Through out the housing bust there was one place that had a steady growth. Brooklyn USA. Brooklyn has been growing in residential and commercial real estate. Its the new Manhattan, but a little cheaper(for now). Today I discovered the stock symbol LOAN. This company provides short term loans to businesses, especially in the real estate industry. The company is based in Manhattan but has a Long Island phone number.  The current price is $1.13. This stock I expect to go up to at least $1.30 in the spring when developers want to do renovations or the love in the air convinces people to buy up the cheap houses  now on the market. Then again everyone is afraid as a result of the fear-mongering by politicians,  media and movers and shakers in general. So putting down roots appears a risky undertaking for some.  LOAN provides loans to businesses, and business people are risk takers by nature. Still, considering the real estate developer and the buyer LOAN is a safe bet to rise to $1.25. So a profit can still be made. At less than $2 this is a hard one to pas up.

Stock Picks for February 27 2012

Everyone is ranting and raving about a pending increase in the price of gasoline. Even those of us that do not own vehicles. This frenzy has caused the hawks to swarm in. Before the bubble pops, and while the fear is fresh its time to invest. Wisely. Recent foreign policy decisions have come back to bite us in the nether regions. But just because politicians appear foolish doesn’t mean they are. The more enemies we create the more chance there is to make money. Now let me cut straight to it. For the week of Monday February 27th the following stock are smart to hold until Friday. GBR, WRES, PSTR. All are related to domestic crude oil exploration. Now that we are not friends with certain nations it will be the responsibility of domestic oil companies to provide the black gold. Al the aformentioned stocks are below $5 and since the news of gas price increases have increased as much as 64%!!! This may or may not last but another week of panic should be a safe bet. So if you can afford it get a lot of these, hold until Thursday or Friday and dump them. There both hovering around $4. Dont expect to get to $5 in a week. Make 10 to 20 cents and get out. If your a person that likes to skydive and bunji jump maybe you hold out for 35 or 40 cents.

See the performance of the aformentoned stocks on Google Finance.

See the state of mind of the consumers(investors also) on Google Trends.


For a summary of how I make my stock picks see the about page
HERE.

John’s Stock Tips

There are two sites which I prefer to use when speculating on stocks. The sites are as follows:

Google Stock Screener: http://www.google.com/finance#stockscreener

Yahoo Stock Screener: http://screener.finance.yahoo.com/stocks.html

I have limited funding so I set my sights on stocks lower than $3 and higher than $1. Usually stocks in that range cannot risk going lower as the will be delisted from the NYSE. Also, stocks lower than $1 incur extra charges by some trading sites whaih make them more of a problem than a earning opportunity.

I am not particularly concerned weather a stock pays dividends as I don’t plan on holding it for more than a week if it is profitable. If the stock looses value I usually ride out the wave until I break even and can get out.

Aside from the price he P/E ratio is important as it will depict how the stock has been performing relative to its price. I like this number to be high but not unrealistic. A P/E ratio of between 5 to 20% is fairly realistic for stocks with values under $3.

The stock chart is the visual and easiest to understand, indicator of things to come. I prefer to view charts on Google.com/finance or on ETRADE.com. Google finance is convenient for looking up stocks that may be on various exchanges(NYSE, PINK, OTC…). While ETRADE provides more relevant news on the specific company.

At times you may find a stock out of your price range. BizShark.com is a useful resource in determining the companies competitors. It may not be the company you want bid its the same industry.

Looking at the stock chart, you should expand the view to at least 5 years. If the stock belongs to a market that is seasonal, such as travel, clothing, fruits, back to school, thanksgiving, Christmas etc. the season must be observed over a few years to determine how the stock is expected to perform in the coming season. Therefore you can make a purchase off season and sell at peak season.

More important than using a stock screener or a chart is to keep your ears and eyes open for news pertaining to the industry the stock belongs to. You have to keep informed of weather  there is a legal, legislative, public relations, employee relations, weather condition etc.  that may affect the consumers choice to buy.  The more buzz there is in the consciousness of the people the more the stock will fluctuate. Its like the butterfly effect, everything is connected, and you must view everything as such.

If you like gambling, the stock market is the safest place to do it. You may loose your shirt but then again you might make some money. If you do thorough research you can just about predict what will happen. This will call for you to be well informed. Calculated risk, is a oxymoron but I dont think anyone wold consider wall street millionaires any kind of moron.