Patrick's Rants


Done – EGY Closeout

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 8:44 pm

EGY finally hit 8.99 on 04/21/2014. Purchase price was 7.55 on 3/22/2013. Total purchase amount was $1142.49 total sale was $1338.48. Simple ROI 17.15% and annual return works out to 15.75%.
So was the purchase worth it? An annual return of almost 16% is not bad but my cash was tied up for a year. There might have been some opportunity costs along the way. This does show that even though I could have cut my losses, believing in the chart and the fundamentals of the company does work out. Of course the results are different from my experience with Advanced Battery (ABAT) but with ABAT, there were indications that some very shady accounting was going on over there in China. I think I wanted to believe that gel lithium ion batteries were a much bigger part of the economy than they really are.

Do your own research, no investment recommendations here, just entertainment and educational value – one hopes


EGY Today

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 9:51 pm

If you had bought EGY when I had and hung onto it like I did you might asking yourself, “why?” right about now. The answer should be, because it’s going to go up to the price that I saw in the chart. It might be a bit of a wait though, since profits came in really low and the PE shot up to over 1000… I like lower than 20, so something has to change here.

This could be a stock that sits in the portfolio that I sell calls against. The October 7.50 calls (just below break-even) are selling for $0.60. This is not what I bought the stock for, but one reason to look at stocks that have the three “income” components: Dividends, Options, and the biggest component, Capital Gains. EGY doesn’t currently pay dividends, so we have to make our money on the appreciation and the options. Option pricing is pretty darned good for a stock with this high of a PE (it could be they are all winding down and all the purchases are from speculators who sold them when they were higher, but someone is selling them) and selling for $0.60 increases the profit of just closing out. Selling these options, I would be hoping to be called out – or not. If I’m not, sell them again. If I am I take 2/3 of the position size out of my account. Part of the reason I haven’t sold the calls is I really want to sell all 150 shares and selling calls that tie up just 100 shares increases transaction costs. So I wait a little and ponder the options.

This is what I’m doing in my account and not a recommendation that you take the same financial beating that I do



Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 6:55 am

On 3/22/13, I bought 150 shares of EGY at 7.55 looking for a move to 9.00.

This is what I’m doing and is for educational and entertainment purposes only and is not a recommendation or offer to sell any security listed.


Almost There

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 7:37 am

After a year of sitting on EGY (first bought in 3/2013, then reviewed and lamented) it seems as though I may have been accurate about my price prediction – at least it’s now on its way to $8.99 and above the original purchase price. I would have preferred to be right faster, but this is long term money. 2013 ended up being a slower quieter year when it comes to this account, maybe I’ll be back in the swing in 2014. After all, with around $900 to play with (assuming the price climbs to my projected goal) it will be time to start looking at new investment/trading positions again.

Anyone get in when I did and stick it out?

Remember, I’m not your adviser, I don’t sell stocks and I post my trades for entertainment and educational purposes only.



Filed under: Idiot Barber — site admin @ 6:39 pm

I’m not sure how to title this post. It’s a forward from the idiot Barber. In it we’re going to see how specious all prior arguments about freeloaders and socialism really are. I mean – the government owes Barber a ton of money by his(her?) calculation. It’s all wrong because nothing the Barber forwards is fact checked – I’ll do a little through the email:

Who died before they collected Social Security?


Remember, not only did you and I contribute to Social Security but your employer did, too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that’s close to $220,500.

Actually, Barber, Social Security is 6.2% of your wages, the employer pays the other 6.2% which, in math in the real world, amounts to 12.4%. There is an additional 1.45% (matched by your employer) held out to pay for Medicare when you get to that age. I can see where you would think it’s 15%, but you are already wrong. So $220,500 is 15% of $1,470,000. The real amount, then, is $182,280.

Read that again. Did you see where the Government paid in one single penny? We are talking about the money you and your employer put in a Government bank to insure you and I, that we would have a retirement check from the money we put in, not the Government.

Actually, according the the history of the program on, the government has put some funds. But the idea was that it be totally “self-funded”.

Now they are calling the money we put in an entitlement when we reach the age to take it back.

So you aren’t “entitled” to receive payments? What else can it be called?

If you calculate the future invested value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% interest (less than what the Government pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you’d have $892,919.98.

Again, according to,

The numeric average of the 12 monthly interest rates for 2012 was 1.458 percent. The annual effective interest rate (the average rate of return on all investments over a one-year period) for the OASI and DI Trust Funds, combined, was 4.091 percent in 2012.

So yeah, I can see how 5% is less than what the government pays on the money that it borrows.
So let’s see… I can get the math to work. One lump sum each year of $4,500, one compound/interest payment per year. If you don’t own a time value of money calculator, check out this future value calculator. Of course, the real number to use (not 4,500) is $3,720 and the future value of that is $738,147.85. Aside from the fact that the money is not “invested” in any real sense of the term. The current working force is paying for the current retirees. There is a “trust fund” that is really the other pocket of the government and the interest paid on that comes from gasp! the government general funds. Look! The government did put other moneys into social security.

If you took out only 3% per year, you’d receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you’re 95 if you retire at age 65) and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit!

Honestly, it took me a while to realize that although they want to talk about earnings and interest rates there is no interest rate attached to the 3% withdrawal number. That’s the only way that figure works. It also helps if inflation didn’t require you to raise your withdrawal rate over time just to keep up.

If you bought an annuity or another investment and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.

Not in the real world. Here you have to decide on a withdrawal rate that is lower than your return – else you are going to have to eat into your principal as your expenses and and inflation rise. Of course you could decide on a withdrawal rate higher than your rate of return but you have to be confident about how long you have to live. There are variations, of course but Barber is trying to keep it simple.

Another thing – if someone died in their 50’s or before, they never withdrew one cent of their social security money that they paid into all their lives – so that money just went up in smoke?

Maybe. If they were single and never had any children. Part of Social Security is survivor’s benefits. Your spouse and children receive these funds whether they contributed anything at all. It’s only while your children are still minors, but still.

Entitlement my foot, I paid cash for my social security insurance! Just because they borrowed the money for other government spending, doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!! Remember Congressional benefits? — free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days.

Now that’s welfare, and they have the nerve to call my social security retirement payments entitlements? We’re “broke” and we can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, or Homeless. Yet in the last few months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, Turkey,Egypt and Pakistan.

Again, if you are entitled to it what else can we call it?

Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!! And they can’t help our own citizens in New York and New Jersey! They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives, and now, when its time for us to collect, the government is running out of money.

Why did the government borrow from it in the first place? It was never supposed to be part of the general fund. They (the scum bags in Washington) stole $5,000,000,000,000 (that is $5 trillion from the Social Security Trust Fund).

It’s not gone. The only thing that the Trust Fund can be invested in is US government issued debt. There is nothing else it can be “invested” in.

Sad isn’t it. 99% of people won’t have the guts to forward this. I’m in the 1% — I just did

You’re in the 1%? Now wonder I don’t like you. 🙂 It bounces around with rates of return, then 0% return. I know. Simple minds, but at least start with real world numbers. The correct withholding amount would a good start.


Portfolio Review

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 7:12 am

My active account has taken quite the beating this year, pretty well wiping out all of my gains since I opened it. It is a dinky little account, though so no harm no foul, it could just be worth a bit lot more. The dividend stocks that I hold continue to pay out their dividends and I patiently wait for recovery of HMY and EGY

On a much more positive note, my wife’s passively(semi-actively?) managed account is doing just fine. We look at the Prime Interest Rate to decide which ETF or Mutual Fund is the “right” one for right now, move the primary investment as the Fed makes adjustments that move the Prime Rate, dollar cost average into the funds as deposits are made into the account. I may add options – covered calls and cash secured puts – but no single position has round lots so there will have to be some rebalancing or continued growth of holdings before I can add that extra boost to the growth of her account.

In the overall scheme of things, my active account is only a small part of my expected total retirement funds so for it to be beat up down and sideways – while a bit ego bruising – is not currently a major concern. I do, however, have to prove to myself that I’m capable of taking the existing nest egg and making it grow over time


Stock Round Up

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 8:58 pm

My calls on YHOO were in the money on Friday so I had 100 shares assigned away from me at $15.00. Looking back I bought these on 6/23/11 for $14.98 so before commissions it’s $0.02 profit… but the last calls I sold netted $113.23 after commission and the calls sold over this year netted $347.04. For the year that’s 23%, for the single sale it’s 7.5% in 5 months. There are several ways I could measure the profit percentage, but these two are probably the most reflective of owning YHOO for the year.

This morning I changed my strategy just a bit from my original plan and sold the YHOO Oct 16.00 calls for $1.00. While I do look at daily gyrations, I try not to let them cloud my judgement too much. I’m looking to close the position somewhere around $0.30 which will require a bump in YHOO’s price or a serious decline in time value or both. If YHOO recovers from this total market decline I might be able to close out of this position quickly, if not I will have to wait until October to see if YHOO trades around $15.70 with no time value on the options. This is a bit riskier plan as I am selling these puts in the money by $0.40, but most of the risk is in the decaying time value.

This is what I’m doing in my own account and is for illustrative and educational purposes only. Do your own research.


Climate Change Deniers Documents Leaked

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 7:01 pm

Discover Magazine has an article on the false science and spin of the Heartland Institute when it comes to climate change.
Now, the Heartland Institute has issued a statement about supposed Stolen and Fake Documents

Yesterday afternoon, two advocacy groups posted online several documents they claimed were The Heartland Institute’s 2012 budget, fundraising, and strategy plans. Some of these documents were stolen from Heartland, at least one is a fake, and some may have been altered.

The stolen documents appear to have been written by Heartland’s president for a board meeting that took place on January 17. He was traveling at the time this story broke yesterday afternoon and still has not had the opportunity to read them all to see if they were altered. Therefore, the authenticity of those documents has not been confirmed.

Really? Your organization cannot comment on the validity of the documents because the president of the organization is traveling? The documents are real or they are not, whether he is a in an undisclosed location has nothing to do with pushing your personal agenda when it comes to climate change.


CMRG Partial Close

Filed under: General,Money,Stocks — site admin @ 7:24 am

Closed 200 shares of CMRG at 3.40. It looks like the new range is 3.10 – 3.40, so the buy order is in for 200 @ 3.10. I had actually bought 200 shares @ 3.97 (11/9/11) and 100 @ 3.20 and with commissions my average share price is 3.78. This is a net loss that in theory lets me back in at the lower range. It was not my original strategy to lose money on this trade, but I’m still in 100 shares and I’m looking at this apparent new range to roll a few times 3.10 – 3.40 to recover some of this trade down.

Disclaimer: I’m trading CMRG.


Nokia Investors Throw Shares Out the Windows

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff,Stocks — site admin @ 7:00 am

Nokia CEO under gun to justify Microsoft switch

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Investors have panned his shake-up strategy and employees are rankled. Now, Nokia Corp.’s Stephen Elop, the first non-Finn to lead the world’s largest maker of phones, is in a hurry to justify his decision to ditch the company’s smart-phone software in favor of a former employer’s, Microsoft.

He has a lot of ground to cover.

Nokia’s stock, which lost 14 percent after the Microsoft deal was announced Friday, fell by more than 5 percent Monday. Nokia employees showed their displeasure with the software switch on Friday, using flex time to head home en masse

Ok, so what do we take away from this quote from the Associated Press? First, that a former Microsoft executive has decided that Microsoft is the best development partner for his new company’s cell phone OS. Second, that the Finns don’t agree and came down with BSOD flu – they used flex time to shutter up the shop on a Friday afternoon like high schoolers getting “lost” on their way back to class from a pep rally.

Admittedly, Symbian is getting a little outdated. But it does what it’s supposed to do; hold your contacts and make phone calls. Of course, just everyone believes that “smart” phones are the wave of the future and what’s smarter than Windows? What indeed? Perhaps, the iPhone OS or Android.

Microsoft Corp. launched a new phone operating system, Windows Phone 7, late last year. Reviewers hailed it as big improvement over previous attempts, but so far it hasn’t made a dent in the dominance of Google’s Android software and Apple’s iPhone.

So the software is a big improvement over what Microsoft had before. Does that say more about how good it is now, or bad it was before?

Lastly, Microsoft is paying Nokia billions of dollars to switch to Windows Phone 7. That’s like walking onto a car lot and having the dealer ask you how much you want to take this car off his hands. Microsoft is a huge company. Their products are everywhere. Why should they have to pay a company to use their stuff? Maybe because it’s everywhere and people can see how “good” it is.

Nokia stock is back up, but it fell 14% on the initial announcement and another 5.8% on the following Monday. There’s a long road ahead, hopefully they can see clearly through the Windows.

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