Thursday, September 30, 2010

Trouble with E-Trade

I had a problem with E-Trade today. It was charging me for trades that I didn't make. For a while it looked like I owed them $319 for bonds that haven't had any value for the last year or two. I called them and they said that they would have it straightened out at the start of trading, tomorrow.
It's been an interesting day of trading. I was up by $150 at the start of trading. Then it went down to where I was down by over $200. Its been coming back so I think I'll be alright at the end of the day. I saw what looks like an inverted head and shoulders pattern on several charts. That should foretell a big upside potential for the rest of the day or maybe tomorrow.
The beginning of the day was driven by good jobs figures. At least, it wasn't as bad as it has been. I don't know why it went down during the middle of the day.
I now hold Caterpiller, Cognex, Ford, Freeport Mcmoran, Lazzard, Microchip, 3M, Nvidia, and Red Hat.
I recently sold A T&T because of something I heard on CNBC about Verizon getting Apple phones and that A T&T customers being ready to switch when Verizon got the Apple phones. I also bought some silver options.
Well the markets are about to close and I have to go to a WRAP meeting soon. That stands for Wellness and Recovery Action Plan. It's a support group that I go to every Thursday.
I checked my account balance and it shows me as being up by about $500, today. That's a mistake but I can hope that they start valuing my bonds instead of showing them as worthless.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Did well on the market yesterday

I made about $530 on my stocks yesterday. The market itself went up about 200 points. Last week I sold my gold mining stock and bought some options on a silver ETF. Everything went up yesterday, but my big movers were Freeport McMoran, Nvidia, and the silver options. They are on an ETF with a ticker of SLV.
I now have stock in Caterpiller, Cognex, Ford, Freeport McMoran, Lazard, 3M, Nvidia, A T&T, and Whole Foods.
Cramer said that now is the time to unload my losers. I'm disappointed with Whole Foods. They are expanding and making money at a time that their competitors are losing. I just wish that I saw more action with them. I feel that I can make more money with a semi-conductor company that Jim recommended on his show last night. He said that he expects the tech stocks to move in a big way. Nvidia is a tech stock as well as A T&T, so I'll end up being heavily weighted in metals and tech.
I can handle that because I think the Chinese will keep the metals moving for a few years. They might also buy the products that the tech stocks make. A T&T won't benefit from the Asian markets.
 I think the developing nations will pull us out of the recession. A government agency said that we are already out of it, now, anyway. I think stocks and metals will benefit from inflation, which is what a lot of people expect.
I dropped out of college last week. I was getting behind in my keyboarding class and I felt that I was spending too much time studying. The only work-study job I had any hope of getting involved cleaning bathrooms. Now I need to find a part-time job to bring in a little income. I would prefer something during the weekend so it doesn't interfere with my trading. Evenings would work as well.
I was disappointed with the rent assistance. I was approved for it but I would have had to spend 1/3 of my income before they would have kicked anything in. That came to $430/month. Since I only pay $410/month for my rent, it wouldn't have helped me.
 Now that I'm not going to college I might see about getting a cheaper apartment. I have to factor in the inexpensive heating bills that I save $150/month on the heating bill by being at my apartment. I end up coming to Decorah 3 or 4 times a day so I'm losing hundreds by driving back and forth. I could save that money by living in Decorah but the rents are more expensive, here. I'll go to some Realtors and apartment owners and find out what I can expect to pay in rent here.
 I spend most of my time hanging out at the Co-op and Java Johns. If I can walk here then I might be ahead financially. Another factor is the wear and tear on the car. It's on it's last legs anyway.
I took Windows off on my good desktop so I won't be able to upload any pictures. I might buy another camera or reload Windows. I don't know what I'll do about it. Shortly before I erased the hard drive something about Windows used up all of the hard drive space. I might have had a virus. I prefer Linux for it's invulnerability to viruses. I would really like to get this camera to work with Linux but I fear that it's impossible. If I keep making a lot of money on stocks, I'll get another camera.
I'll keep you posted on how my stocks do Monday. I expect the market to be down so it'll be a good time to buy some more stocks.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Investments doing well

My investments have been doing well, lately, but aren't getting me rich.
I sold my Polypore when I saw that DuPont was getting into their business. There might not be room for both of them. I bought Ford stock. I also got out of AEM which is a gold mining company and bought the silver ETF's options for January at a strike price of $20. I felt that the gold run might be a little tired, and since silver is an industrial metal, it might go longer. It's a bit risky but I'm an old commodity trader.
I now have 9 stocks and some options on an ETF. They are:  Caterpillar, Cognex, Ford, Freeport-McMoran, Lazard, Nucor,Nvidia, At&T, and Whole Foods.
I'm trying to be diversified but most of the stocks move when the market moves up. The silver and Freeport-McMoran move with the price of metals like gold, silver and copper. Lately the market has been moving up so I'm doing well. I think we've turned the corner on the recession and the market will keep moving up. Another factor is that the developing nations are expanding and that will keep our markets moving up. At least that is my hope.
I've been following the teachings and guidance of Jim Cramer. He has a television show on cable named Mad Money. He advises doing your own homework and I'm grateful that I've been able to spot situations like Dupont getting into Polypores business. I also bailed out of 3M a week ago because they were buying other companies. I'm afraid that their stock prices might get diluted.
My brother-in-law died the other day and my sister is rather distraught. I've been keeping in touch with her by phone. She lives in California, a little North of San Diego.
I hope that she comes out for a visit when she gets a chance.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rent assistance

I've been taking forms for rent assistance to their office in Postville. They needed a copy of my birth certificate and a copy of my proof of payment from Social Security. I'm at the top of the list. I hope I qualify. It will save me around $200/month. I got lost on the way back from Postville. I missed a turn and wound up going south about 10 miles.
I'm still invested in the stock market. I sold my Conoco stock today and bought Nucor. I read an article on the Internet about how Iraq is increasing their oil output by leaps and bounds. Cramer recommended Nucor. He said that China is stopping the production of steel for a while. He feels that Nucor is positioned to take up the slack. I lost $220 today, mainly because gold and copper went down. I'm having doubts about my investing. I need a steady movement in the up direction for it to justify buying stocks.
Today I interviewed for a job as a file clerk at Spectrum Industries. They provide jobs for the developmentally disabled. I'll hear in a few days about whether I get the job. Tomorrow I'll go to see about a custodian job at NICC. That's the college that I'm attending. It involves cleaning bathrooms so I've been putting off applying for it.
I need the income so it will be worth it.  Disability doesn't go far enough to live on month to month. And frankly I have doubts that investing in stocks will make up the slack.
I'm doing well at school. I'm taking accounting and keyboarding. I'm already typing over 40 words a minute so I'm acing keyboarding. Accounting has been easy so far.
I've got 6 computers ready to sell. I have doubts that I'll be able to sell them. Computers, even laptops, have gotten so cheap that I might have to give them away.
Well, that's it for now. I'll try to get my $20 camera working again and post some pictures. Lately, it's been rather dark and dreary. Maybe Sun will be out tomorrow.