Sunday, September 30, 2007

T-minus 10...

So September is historically the worst month of the year and November and December are usually the best (the last 12 years, we've only had one down year and it was only down 1%) so the big question of today is... what does October get to be?

Well, if the stock market is like a rocket, October is countdown time and everything is shaking all over the place. In plain english, it's volatile. So it means some potential opportunities before the holiday season to get in some last bets.

Although it's not like September (for 2007, August) where the market had a serious pull back (the deals are screaming), there are still some great buys if you are willing to look. So here are some questions that I'm asking myself and a short answer ... uh... to myself...

Is this the last time we see Apple Stock (AAPL) at 150 (Before it goes to 200+)?

- My guess... ya...

Is Universal Display (PANL) going to give back the gains it had no reason making?

- probably

Is Best Buy (BBY) going to well like it usually does or will be it a dud like last year (that was the exception)?

- No hot device this year, flatscreens not making the margins like they used to... ya... a dud...

Is eBay (EBAY) going to finally explode this year and hit 50-60?

- Yes, *play the Conan the barbarian themesong*, I say they come out swinging in the fourth

and has Amazon (AMZN) finally turned the corner and going to start kicking some serious retail ass?

- Yes, and if they haven't already.

... as always, we'll see. But the point of this entry is for us to keep our eyes open and our order forms ready just in case an opportunity does happen to appear.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hang on tight!

So I haven't written in a while mainly because there really is nothing to say. I've been making a lot of moves recently and I finally got my portfolio to a place where I'm really happy with it. So here's an analysis of what I'm looking at and how I think it will do.

AAPL (Apple) - Do I need to talk about this one?

AMD (uhh... AMD) - New product has been released and with the recent spotlight on Intel's shady practices, Intel will need to "play nice" during these antitrust inquiries so as not to draw additional attention. Let's hope for a recovery on the stock.

ARNA (Arena Pharma) - Passed the safety trials for Lorcraserin easily and announced positive data on their insomnia drug today. There is no reason why this stock should be in the low 11's.

EBAY (...eBay) - It's wintertime and the site doesn't look like crap anymore. I'm hoping for a strong run this holiday season.

GLUU (GLU Mobile) - I'm trying to reduce. Might take a loss at the end of the year.

ISV (Insite Vision) - Azasite is out to market, let's see how it does. Better yet, let's see if Inspire finally buys them out!

LOOP (LoopNet) - Triple Hidden Gem pick that has yet to take off. The other 3 already exploded. The deal with CBG doesn't hurt either =D (if you are wondering... MIDD, CTRP, BWLD are the other 3 members of the triple HG club).

PANL (Universal Display) - UP and Down and on and on. I love the volatility of this one.

SBUX (Starbucks) - It's getting cold and dark again, You gotta love Starbucks in the winter like you love Valero in the summer. Deal with iTunes is intriguing... I want to see what it does.

VMW(VM Ware) - When in Rome...

Overall, I have a lot of optimism and with the Fed dropping the rate half a point with more to come, hopefully investors will be willing to put the money that's been sitting on the sidelines for another run. What do you say all? Let's make some money!

Friday, September 7, 2007

AAPL (Apple Inc): Steve Jobs has Balls of Steel

So Apple recently released their next generation of iPods and dropped the price of their current iPhone by a whopping $200 making all the people who bought the iPhones for $500 and $600, and for lack of a better phrase (but probably most accurately describes the situation), "bust a nut".

In response to the overwhelming outrage, Apple CEO, Steve Jobs released this letter:


To all iPhone customers:

I have received hundreds of emails from iPhone customers who are upset about Apple dropping the price of iPhone by $200 two months after it went on sale. After reading every one of these emails, I have some observations and conclusions.

First, I am sure that we are making the correct decision to lower the price of the 8GB iPhone from $599 to $399, and that now is the right time to do it. iPhone is a breakthrough product, and we have the chance to 'go for it' this holiday season. iPhone is so far ahead of the competition, and now it will be affordable by even more customers. It benefits both Apple and every iPhone user to get as many new customers as possible in the iPhone 'tent'. We strongly believe the $399 price will help us do just that this holiday season.

Second, being in technology for 30+ years I can attest to the fact that the technology road is bumpy. There is always change and improvement, and there is always someone who bought a product before a particular cutoff date and misses the new price or the new operating system or the new whatever. This is life in the technology lane. If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you'll never buy any technology product because there is always something better and less expensive on the horizon. The good news is that if you buy products from companies that support them well, like Apple tries to do, you will receive years of useful and satisfying service from them even as newer models are introduced.

Third, even though we are making the right decision to lower the price of iPhone, and even though the technology road is bumpy, we need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price. Our early customers trusted us, and we must live up to that trust with our actions in moments like these.

Therefore, we have decided to offer every iPhone customer who purchased an iPhone from either Apple or AT&T, and who is not receiving a rebate or any other consideration, a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. Details are still being worked out and will be posted on Apple's website next week. Stay tuned.

We want to do the right thing for our valued iPhone customers. We apologize for disappointing some of you, and we are doing our best to live up to your high expectations of Apple.

Steve Jobs
Apple CEO


Here is my reply:

Dear Steve,

You have balls of steel and I commend you for the seriously gutsy move. Much props. Although your stock will get destroyed in the short term, I think you are right that this is the right thing to do for now and that everyone will see the wisdom in this move. You’re in this for the long term and it’s about the customers, not the investors. As both, I would like to say that even as an investor, this is the right move.

I made the mistake of selling too soon before, I will not make the same mistake again.

Bagger John

P.S. I caved and bought an iPhone today. Thank you for making the prices more reasonable.

In Portfolio: Will be again soon
Duration: I'll never sell you again... ever!
Yay!: Football is upon us!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Feeling Good About the Portfolio

I think one of the most important things about a portfolio is feeling good about it. We all make bad calls on stock and ,no pun intended, we pay for it. Learning to take a loss is extremely important and unfortunately, the #1 thing people say when a stock comes down is: "I'll hold onto it until it comes back". Big Mistake. What a way to keep stale cash. The bottomline is this. Having good stocks that you really believe in is so important. Especially when the market starts to sour. For me, I have reached a point where I love it when the market takes a dump. I see sales when those days happen and I try to dig in more at a discount price.

So in the past, I have took a position in Roxio and man did I ever get burned on that one. It's been so good until recently however when you take a bad loss, you need to re-evaluate. Unfortunately for the stock, Loopnet happened to hit 17.69 and the decision was easy, I got out of SNIC and got into LOOP. It rebounded to 18.5 and Roxio is still where it was. But the most important thing is I feel good about the portfolio. I got rid of the losers (which will in all likeliness still be losers) and picked up a winner that everyone is salivating over now. Even more important is that if it drops even more, you know I'll be getting in more.

Moral of the story. Sell when it makes sense. Buy into things you really believe in. Enough said.