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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Taking Stock...

Ok, I know it is Super Bowl weekend but I do have a duality idea for this blog.
Sports and Stocks. And one resolution I will try to keep is, at a minimum, a monthly (last weekend of the month) review and post of stocks and investing.

So, here it goes...

Two weeks ago I put together my first post regarding stocks and my basic strategy along with a January watch list.

So, How did I do?

My watch list beat the DOW and NASDAQ index for the month :-)

I was lucky enough to purchase two stocks which did well. :-)
At this point, I would like to thank all you hard core gamers who do not know what a recession is. :-)

And you may notice that I have multiple listings of GIGM, GME, and one (ITI) which I did not originally purchase. So, I will explain...

Part of my strategy is that I have a marker for +/- 20%. If the stock hits either mark, I generally sell. (Basically take the money and run or cut my losses)

GME crossed the 21% marker so I sold. Afterwards, it ended up going as high as 26% before falling back down to it's current level.

I still have GIGM but I will have to watch it more closely. It almost hit the 20% mark but did not and has fallen just a bit since then.

Earlier this week I was scaning the list and noticed some interesting things about ITI.

> It had a significant drop-off in the middle of the month but had since recovered nicely.
> The company had recently paid off a significant amount of debt early.
> Although we are in a fiscally challenged economy, they had recently one a couple nice size contracts for services.
> I did not see any indication of pending or significant layoffs.
> The company was doing reasonably well over the past few quarters.
> I did not see anything which would indicate a bad earnings release due Thursday evening.
> And the stock was in an interesting pattern, showing good increase in money flow (people putting money into the company's stocks, rather than taking out), a rising strength index, and an very interesting ascending triangle pattern.

Here is a definition of an Ascending Triangle pattern:

The ascending triangle pattern resembles a narrowing triangle with a horizontal line of overhead resistance for the stock and an ascending trend line or rising trend line beneath the stock. The overhead resistance temporarily prevents the stock from advancing higher, while the rising trend line beneath the stock signals that buyers are still present. An upside penetration of the upper horizontal trend line is a technical buy signal for a stock breaking out from an ascending triangle pattern.

So, I purchased ITI with my proceeds from GME a day before their earnings release. ~ $1.30 a share.
So far, the pattern and strategy seems to be going as expected. I will have to wait and see just how well it works.

I'll be putting together another watch list for my next post.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009


As we anxiously await the, hopefully, climactic end of the 2008-09 NFL football season, I realize that my family and I had a lot of good football memories occur this past year.

My eight year old son Mark played in his first Fauquier county sports football league.
They went 2 and 6; but that really did not matter. They all had great fun and really enjoyed themselves.

One of the highlights of the season is Spirit Night. That is when all the youth sports and cheer leading teams get to run out on the local high school field at half time and go through some exhibition plays and routines. They get formally introduced by the announcer as they run out on the field accompanied by the high school band. They are the team in red with the Falcons logos.

A funny side note to this is that William,
our 2 year old,
thinks he is really 8 and a member of the team.

In fact, he kept trying on Mark's gear.

We also saw our first Redskins NFL games at FedEx Field this year. One of my co-workers got "the letter" saying that his number was up and he now had an opportunity to purchase season tickets.

It only took 12 years...

A note to Mr. Snyder - Hey, I did my part (I purchased your $11.00 hot dog/fries combo and $7.00 beer)


both games I went to,
The Redskins Won!

9/14 VS Saints W 29 - 24
12/21 VS Eagles W 10 - 3

And, last but not least...

Mark and Genna both got to see a real live professional football player up close and personal.

A fellow school mate won the NFL's "Take an NFL Player to School" Contest.

You can read the entire PDF release here.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

A House Divided...

No I'm not talking biblical terms, or speeches by Abraham Lincoln...
Rather our house line on the Super Bowl!

Pittsburgh 3
Cardinals 3
Undecided 1

Me: I think the Cardinals will win - but don't tell my boss ;-)
Alex: "Are you kidding me... Pittsburgh!"
Eric: Thinks Pittsburgh will win but wants Cardinals.
Alaina: "I'm psychic and Cardinals are my Team!"
Genna: Pittsburgh
Mark: Pittsburgh
William: Is two and half and points to whomever you mention last...

Some interesting stats and trivia...

The fifth-oldest franchise in the NFL and were founded on July 8,1933.

25 playoff appearances
14 divisional championships
7 conference championships
5 national championships

> They have hosted more conference championship games than any other NFL franchise.
> From 1974 to 1979 the franchise became the first NFL franchise to win four Super Bowl titles in six seasons, a feat which is yet to be matched.

Oldest continuous football franchise founded in 1898.

7 playoff appearances
5 divisional championships
1 conference championships
2 national championships

> Last played for national title in 1948 and holds the longest title drought record.
> Strangely enough, in 1944 during the (no players available) lean years of WWII, the then Chicago Cardinals merged with Pittsburgh and became one franchise and were known as Card-Pitt (or, mockingly, as the "Carpets") and went 0-10.
> Earned the nick name "The Cardiac Cards" during the 70's, back when they were "almost" good...

So, even though we are a house divided...

I thing the Cardiac Cards are going to make it exciting and actually pull this one off.

They certainly are overdue and I always have a soft spot for the underdogs.


Friday, January 23, 2009

I wish I had a house in Tampa....

Then I could afford

to hang with the stars in a Milk Commercial...


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History in the making...

OK, So, How do I tie in Obama Coronation, oops I mean inauguration, in with the theme of my new blog?

We go with the "New Theme" and try something new...

In the immortal sports casting words of Warner Wolf...
"Let's go to the Video Tape"

Click on the links...

New President...

New Drop in Stocks...

Hey Mr. President... How 'bout some hoops...


Monday, January 19, 2009


Ok, so the other half of this blog topic is Fantasy Football.
Over the years I have done reasonably well in my leagues.

I've also come to realize that there are some similarities between Football and Investing.

Prepare for the unexpected - Anything can happen.
Strive for a good mix of youth, talent, and experience.
Stick to the plan but don't be afraid to take risks.
And remember good basic fundamentals.

This past year I:
Came up with a plan...
Fell victim to not sticking with the plan and followed the crowd.
Went for a mix of young talent, and veteran experience...
Took a chance...
And shook my head in disbelief at some truly incredible bone-head plays...
And still managed to make it into the playoffs.

Some highlights of the season:

> Only two running backs in the entire NFL have 'turf toe' and they are BOTH on my team. I kept one (because even when injured, LT is pretty good)

> I had Adrian Peterson at the top of my draft list.
He was great on my 2007 team. But wouldn't you know it, I got 1st pick! (I never get first pick never before in my whole entire life)
So, do I say "Great now I get my first choice!"
No, I toss my "plan" out the window and picked who most everyone else in the world would pick and chose LT. (See Turf Toe listed above).

> When Tom Brady (no I did not draft him) went down I figured Matt Cassel had too good a team around him. Besides he had a pretty good organization believing in him.

> One of the young talent picks I drafted did well over-all this season. He had some good kick returns, good receptions but still needed a reminder on the "you have to actually carry the ball across the goal line to score the 6 points!" lesson.

And who did I end up with on my team?
Well this is how my roster ended up...
QB Matt Cassel, NE
RB Jonathan Stewart, Car
RB Chris Johnson, Ten
RB/WR LaDainian Tomlinson, SD
WR DeSean Jackson, Phi
WR Donnie Avery, StL
WR/TE Devin Hester, Chi
TE Chris Cooley, Was
D/ST Steelers
K Rian Lindell, Buf

Santonio Holmes, Pit WR
Chad Pennington, Mia
Panthers D/ST, Car
Clifton Smith, TB RB
Ricky Williams, Mia RB
Derek Stanley*, StL WR
Shaun Hill, SF QB


Sunday, January 18, 2009

OK, So what makes me an expert....

The Internet... LOL
Honestly, regarding stocks, I have about a half dozen screens that I've put together (on free sites) that I run once a month. From there I come up with a short list of stocks based a couple of factors like:
Frequency (how many times the same stock shows up on different screens)
Note Worthy News (mentioned in other articles, product announcements, etc)
Key Financial Indicators (PEG/Ratios, Debt Ratios, Estimates, %ownership, etc)
And yes interesting Patterns (I'll admit it, I dabble in pattern investing from time to time)

So, How have I done with my January Short List?

Note: I certainly do not have enough money to invest in all these. I usually pick one or maybe two (if any at all). As of right now, the market is too scary for me to invest a lot of money for a really long time. So, I have been investing a little for a short time. And yes I did invest in two which I may sell to collect my gains and possibly invest in my upcomming February short list.

Which ones did I pick? Fortunately they are still both gainers. The deciding factor in this case was an article which I read that basically said "the word recession is not in electronic gamers vocabulary". So I took a chance on GIGM and GME.

And how have I done with Fantasy Football?

I'll save that for another post... ;-)


Know the Rules

These are my Fumbled Returns Rules of Fantasy Football.

Rule #1: Have Fun.

Rule #2: KISS (Keep it Simple . . .)

This is especially true if you are commissioner. Clearly defined and agreed upon rules before the season starts is essential will save everyone heartache.

•Establish rules that everyone can live with and make sure everyone understands them
•Stick to those rules, giving one team preferential treatment will undermine the leagues credibility.
•If your league is playing for money, make the money aspect secondary to the competitive aspect. Its amazing how a two dollar controversy can snowball.
•Solve any league controversies quickly and decisively
•Every leagues scoring parameters are unique and different, don't make them complicated.

Rule #3: There is no “i” in fantasy. Just like the real thing, this is a team sport and the competition of and interaction between owners and the rest of the league and system is what makes this the most fun.

Rule #4: Bragging rights are priceless. Just like the real world sports. The goal is the playoffs and ultimately the championship.

Rule #5: Come up with a strategy. Look for favorable match ups and potential players on the waiver wire. And then laugh at yourself and others as everyone watches that strategy crash and burn with an unknown backup or mediocre team suddenly getting hot and blowing that strategy out of the water! (But I would suggest not getting too carried away with lots of trades and switches – Remember the long term goals).

Rule #6: Be sure you know all the deadlines for trades and waivers and any little custom settings (like in my league of Punt and Kick Return yards) Josh Cribbs Rocks in these leagues but totally #$@! In regular leagues.

Rule #7: Remember the first 6 and come back next year and sign up all over again.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Calling all Dogs

OK, I'll admit it, my wife convinced me to start a blog.
If you want to view hers, you can find it on the list of blogs I follow called Hope and Greyz.

Of course the thing to do with blogs is pick a topic you are interested in. That was easy.
The title required a bit more thought. Hope you like it.

And yes, I will be searching blogger for people with similar interests, however... here is my first post (obviously) and my attempt to get her followers to at least look at mine... ;-)

So listed below is the bones of my first post.

DoggieNation is a really cool site that sells stuff for the envy of all pet owners
and their site does seem to fit the theme of my blog :-)

And for those who have both furry and non-furry children...

And yes, there is a famous Doggie theory called "Dogs of the DOW" which in it's basic form takes the previous years poorest performing yet good paying dividend paying stocks and predicts that they will be the ones most likely to turn around the following year beating the index averages. In fact their is a site dedicated to this theory here.

And last but not least,
here is a small chart dedicated to stocks which are dedicated to selling products for pets and their owners.

Petsmart - We all know...
MWI Veterinary Supply, Inc. - Distributes animal health products to veterinarians
Patterson Companies Inc. - Operates as a distributor to serve the dental, companion-pet veterinarian, and rehabilitation supply markets.


Friday, January 16, 2009

It's all about

Fantasy Football and Trading Stocks!
Two of my three favorite things!

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