Reversing my longest-held long (Energy) after the holiday.
Reversing the Emerging Markets... getting long just in time to get whipsawed?
(SPXL) | SPXS, Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bull and Bear 3x Shares, 2008.11.05
TNA | TZA, Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull and Bear 3x Shares, 2008.11.05
ERX | (ERY), Direxion Daily Energy Bull and Bear 3x Shares, 2008.11.06
FAS | (FAZ), Direxion Daily Financial Bull and Bear 3x Shares, 2008.11.06
(UDOW) | SDOW, ProShares UltraPro and UltraPro Short Dow30, 2010.02.09
(TQQQ) | SQQQ, ProShares UltraPro and UltraPro Short QQQ, 2010.02.09
NUGT | DUST, Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull and Bear 3x Shares, 2010.12.08
JNUG | JDST, Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull and Bear 3x Shares, 2013.10.03
LABU | LABD, Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bull and Bear 3x Shares, 2015.05.28
QID | (QLD), ProShares UltraShort QQQ, 2006.07.11
TBT | (TBZ), ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury, 2008.04.29
UCO | (SCO), ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Crude Oil, 2008.11.24
UVXY | (SVXY), ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF, 2011.10.03
TVIX, VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN, 2010.11.29
() Parentheses denote relatively illiquid sibling, no link to product page.
No changes this week.
After moving back to America from China in July 2015, I quickly gained around 30 pounds, going from ~190 pounds to ~220 pounds. I'm a little over six feet tall and broad shouldered, so I can carry a lot of weight without looking especially fat, but I began to feel uncomfortable (even my "fat" pants didn't fit) and decided to lose all the extra weight.
I didn't join Weight Watchers, I simply got their Getting Started guide, Complete Food Companion, and Points Finder card. You can find these cheaply on eBay, mine is the 2001 edition. I don't need the support group or peer pressure aspect of the program since I'm self motivated.
Because I started at ~220 pounds, the program gives me a daily "point range" of 24 to 29, and they suggest targeting the middle of the range, i.e., consuming 26.5 points of food a day. Obviously the reason anyone gets fat is because he is overeating. The great insight of Weight Watchers is that you should not undereat, that is, you must consume at least 24 points of food every day. Vegetables are zero points so you can consume an unlimited amount of them.
I had tried eating only 500 calories two days a week (Monday and Thursday) earlier in the year, but it was a disaster. I would eat twice as much on the days preceding or following the fast day. It was an idiotic idea. It figures that I learned about it, while browsing People magazine in the supermarket checkout line, from a late-night talk show host. Fasting occasionally might make sense if you are very fit, but it's a terrible idea if you are fat.
You must keep a detailed food diary recording your points consumed. You need to be honest with yourself and strictly record everything. If you cheat, you will fail.
You can gain points by doing exercise, but not a lot. I row every day (Concept2), always have, through fit and fat. A gentle 30 minute row will give you two extra points, but I still shoot for my 26.5 point goal despite gaining these points. I suppose some people might want to consume those extra two points since they "earned" them, but I simply "bank" them.
Here are examples of what I eat every day:
Breakfast (6.5 points total)
- Egg fried in 1/2 teaspoon of butter: 2.5 points
- Slice of rosemary olive oil bread, toasted (no butter): 3 points
- One boiled egg white: 0 points
- One orange: 1 point
Lunch (8 points)
- Beef tenderloin (or chicken breast) fried in 1/2 teaspoon of butter: 3.5 points (three ounces cooked weight)
- Salad (only the avocado, olives, pesto, and dressing have points): 4.5 points
Supper (10 points)
- My wife cooks supper so there's a lot of variety here, but I'm always careful about counting the points accurately and sizing portions appropriately.
Snacks (2 points, some examples below):
- Apple: 1 point
- Orange: 1 point
- Cup of grapes: 1 point
- 1/2 banana: 1 point
- 3 cups popcorn (oil popped): 2 points
- 1/8 cup Craisins: 1 point
- 1 tablespoon hummus: 1 point
Tips for Success
Bubble tea straws, carrot sticks, and Ricola Honey-Herb cough drops. When I started out, I was eating a TON of carrot sticks every day (zero points) just to have something in my mouth -- some kind of oral fixation thing, I guess. The other tip is sucking on Ricola cough drops (I only like the Honey-Herb flavor). Again, they are sweet and satisfy some oral craving, and you can suck on them a long time (I think five of them equal one point, but you only have one from time to time).
Drink water with every meal. A bubble tea straw will help you consume a lot of water very quickly.
I started on the Weight Watchers program on December 1st, 2016 at 217 pounds and weighed in on the 31st at 206.5 pounds, so I lost around ten pounds in one month, which is a lot! The interesting thing will be seeing how things go in the second month now that the "easy" weight has been lost. I will continue to report my progress (he says hopefully) at the end of January 2017.
The great Kenny Rogers singing Mel Tillis's song in 1972 ... that old crazy Asian war was still ongoing.
No changes this week.
Every fellow Idiot Waver has been watching BHP Billiton $BHP for many weeks now, waiting for a good spot to get short. Those who got short on the reversal in early October were shaken out by the post-election surge, but that set up an even better entry: short below $37.40 (protective stop at $40.xx). This is a weekly chart, a very long-term set-up, if it works out it will take *months* to do so, not a "day trade."
What's important about the whole play is how it shapes your thinking towards industrial metals, Australia, China, Brazil, currencies, The Donald playing a completely unsuitable (and potentially catastrophic) role, etc. You don't need to take the trade, just keep it in the back of your mind.
No changes this week....
No live version so I'm forced to embed this. Discovered via Spotify. Sounds Elvis Costello-ish to me, but those are very dark lyrics (which I like).
No changes this week.
Tesla (TSLA) looks like a long to me now, from an Idiot Wave perspective. Seeing the current chart reminded me of the last time I thought Tesla looked like a long: December 19, 2014. That trade resulted in a ~$30 loss. Then on January 23, 2015, I thought it set up again. That trade also resulted in a ~$30 loss. Finally on March 31, 2015, I thought it set up again. That trade (entered in early April) resulted in an ~$80 gain, for a net gain over the three trades of ~$20 (less commissions, taxes, and my sanity).
See why I call it the Idiot Wave?
Reversing the last of my election-time whipsaws.
- 10 table poker room coming next February, they say
- 12 table poker room opened December 2, 2016
- Weekly Tournament Schedule (pdf)
- Weekdays: Noon & 7PM ... Buy-in $90-$105;
- Weekends 11AM & 4PM ... Buy-in $90-$155;
- Tue/Thu 8:30PM ... Buy-in $15 cheapie
- Saturday Night Tournament (pdf) 7PM $100 (prize pool) + $25 fees
- First Sunday Monthly Bounty Tournament (pdf) 11AM Buy-in $230 = $150 (prize pool) +$30 (fees) + $50 bounty
- Third Sunday Monthly Bounty Tournament (pdf) 11AM Buy-in $330 = $200 (prize pool) +$30 (fees) + $100 bounty
- Looks like they have only one no limit hold'em tournament daily (different stakes every day), that's it.
In Persian. 119 minutes so at least 20 to 30 minutes too long. Streamed on Netflix so no possibility to fast forward. I think a lot of it gets lost in translation. For an ignorant American like me, I don't know anything about Iran or Persian culture, but the basic conflict here is between modernity and traditional values and the secular world and the sacred. It was interesting to me to see the level of development in Iran, it looked poor, like China did 15 years ago.
A group of educated professionals from Tehran go to the seaside (the Caspian sea) for a weekend. Three couples plus one of their old classmates (Ahmad), recently divorced and living in Germany, and a pretty teacher acquaintance (Elly) whom they are trying to hook up with Ahmad. Elly disappears and they don't know if she has drowned or run away. The writer/director (yes, a W.D. By movie) is interested in group dynamics and human nature and how small lies can build up and things (relationships) can fall apart fast when strained (think Lord of the Flies).
Anyway, there are also class issues here (the slack-jawed bumpkins they rent a house from represent rural, unsophisticated, religious society, I guess) that the director explored a lot more thoroughly in another movie of his ("A Separation," which I really liked). It turns out that Sepideh, this stunningly beautiful woman, knew that Elly was engaged to another man before she tried to hook her up with Ahmad, and this is a major no-no in religious Iran (apparently religious fundamentalists are in power there, and they have rules about how engaged women should behave). Elly shouldn't even have gone with them in the first place, and they resent the pickle she's placed them in (even more than they mourn her death).
If you're interested in Persian culture, and this sacred/secular, modern/traditional divide, then you should see it. It gets a yellow rating from me (not green, not red).
Here's my master list of all the movies from 2015 that I've watched.
In Japanese and English. 105 minutes, but felt longer, probably because I streamed it via Amazon Prime (no fast forwarding). This a W.D. By movie, two brothers named Zellner (not Coen), obviously fans of David Lynch. A bizarre movie, not mainstream, the average Joe would hate this, but I didn't mind it, gets a yellow at least. It's about a mentally ill Japanese woman with great cheekbones and lips. She sees the funny scene in Fargo where Buscemi buries the money in the snow (with the long look in both directions, the classic Coen Brothers' joke), and sets out to find it, arriving in snowy Minnesota dressed like Little Red Riding Hood (or the matchstick girl).
There are many little set pieces that are funny, but the underlying feeling here is tragedy, this is bleak stuff, really really grim, so you have to be in the mood for it, which I strangely was. Rinko Kukuchi is a good actress. The reason it doesn't get a green is captured by this reviewer's closing line: "Kumiko feels like a collection of amusing and/or depressing riffs stitched together within a context that barely matters."
Here's my master list of all the movies from 2015 that I've watched.
When I wrote about the VWO last July, my Twitter buddy @kaushikgala mentioned that the set-up looked like it might apply to the Indian stock market as well. I only follow the INP, so I looked at it, and sure enough, it was more or less the same thing ... I thought it might run as high as $72-$74 before reversing.
The target for INP is around $51 which is a little more than 15% down from here (around 27% from a perfectly timed short entry in September). It has been going down in a straight line recently, but I'd expect it to back and fill its way down to $51 over many months ... it takes time to reach targets taken from the weekly charts.
128 minutes so at least 30 minutes too long. This was on my list of 80 "non-documentary" movies to watch from 2015 since it was mis-categorized at Rotten Tomatoes as "Art House," instead of "Documentary," so I've removed it from that list. Anyway, I like a few Amy Winehouse songs, and I did recognize her talent the *first* time I heard her (one of those stop-everything-who-is-*that*-singing moments), so I was interested in watching this.
She was troubled by some demons (depression, bulimia, etc.) which gave rise to her musical brilliance, and unfortunately she was never able to balance her crazy side with her creativity (often the case). She was responsible for her demise, but her idiot boyfriend and greedy father come off especially badly in this movie. She tried to keep the demons down with booze and pot, and later some really hard drugs, but then back to booze, which I think eventually did her in. If you're interested in her music, and creative geniuses in general, you'd enjoy watching this documentary (though overly long). I don't give documentaries the green, yellow, red treatment ... they're all targeted at niche audiences.
Rex's review: "...it’s difficult to summon much sympathy for the depravity that drove her to a form of generic suicide."