Thursday, September 18, 2008

bank interest rates

Hey everyone

I found a great web site for comparing savings and cd rates. It is called Check it out.

As for today's! Can't say I've ever seen that.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

AIG continues socialism for rich

Hey Everyone

Yesterday, the federal government had an opportunity to lower rates and help the American worker and consumer. Instead, they chose to protect an insurance company. It is my opinion that the AIG bailout is a development that adds onto the idea that the federal government continues to bail out those on Wall Street while not showing people on main street any true compassion.

The progression of this cycle is frightening. First, we had the lowering of rates while banks kept theirs high. Then we had a flat out grant to the banking industry in the form of overnight liquidity issuance by the Federal Reserve. That was followed by a "stimulus package" to consumers that was primarily used to pay for things like credit card payments, gas, and even groceries. Then a major shoe dropped and Bear Stearns went under and JP Morgan bought it with Fed guarantees. Now, we have an international insurer that has been bailed out by our federal government. My question is where does it stop?

Beware people. Previously, as after 9/11, the federal reserve took rates as low as possible. It has not happened this time which makes me think there is still another level to this crisis. I'm thinking that Washington Mutual and Wachovia are on their last leg. There has also been news about Morgan Stanley not making it through this. It is amazing to me to see Goldman Sachs trading as low as one hundred dollars today.

If you have cash, there might be some buying opportunities out there. But only if you completely understand what you are buying. Otherwise, I would stand pat right now. The dow already has lost close to 800 points this week. Let the dust settle.

Monday, July 14, 2008

GLD, GE, and PBW

- It looks like my call spread trade with gld will be in a holding pattern until time value expires. I could have done a better job of analyzing the pricing on the options throughout the spread cycle.

- GE seems to be a holder but I cannot do much with it right now. I am holding as they are looking to sell some businesses.

- I am thinking that PBW is at a bottom for the rest of the year. The down trend which was fierce the last month has stopped completely. That is not to say that the ETF is moving up. Just that the down trend has stopped.

This type of financial environment is volatile to me but not scary. It is the reason I bought GLD in the first place. I believe every market has its opportunities. You just have to find them. If you have a strategy, then you will find a market or stock for that strategy. Be patient and do the work necessary to find those positions.

Friday, July 11, 2008

learning to make money with spreads


Recently I started to look into investing in spreads to minimize the risk, yet still make a decent profit. My first trade was with PBW. The stock had gotten taken down in January and formed a buy doji the length of a runway. For protection, I went out six months to buy the June 22/24 call spread. The stock had gotten as low as 18 but because I had time on my side, I still held. Well, in May the stock moved up to my sell point and I was out of the position with a 47% gain.

Wow! 47% on the first trade. This looks like something I can do with my extreme discretionary funds.

The next trade I made was with GE. I bought the 32/34 Dec call spread thinking that the formula worked once, why not again. But right now the stock is around 27 with new earnings out that met expectations. I still feel pretty safe with this trade because I believe the downturn was the fault of the earnings miss the previous quarter. They also are looking to sell some divisions that should boost the earnings and the stock price.

I have also recently purchased the Dec GLD 92/94 call spread. I purchased this two weeks ago when the ETF was at 91 and today it is at 95. With both calls in the money, I figured that I would carry the two dollars and sell. Wrong.

It seems time has a strange formula that I had not picked up on with PBW. With PBW, there was barely any time value left on the trade. So the spreads were basic. But this is not the case with GLD as there is still five months to go before expiration. The time value for the 94's is currently more than the time value for the 92's. So much so that I am going to have to wait for my profit and now have the risk of the ETF going down during that time. This is an eye opener and I will have to add that to my list of issues with trading spreads.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Gold for $$$$

Hey everyone

I have recently entered into a call spread with GLD, the gold ETF. I purchased the Dec 92/94 call spread. My analysis on the ETF is fairly simple and are shared below. Remember to always do your own due diligence when investing/trading. I purchased it for $1.25 (includes commissions) and have a sell order in for $1.80 (before commissions).

- Dollar very low

- Oil very high

- ETF broke out of range to the upside

- It is volatile

- European Central Bank will probably raise interest rates to cmbat inflation unlike the US Fed Reserve

- War troubles

- G8 meeting creating worldwide focus on economic issues

Friday, May 23, 2008

Time to buy GE

Hey everyone

This week, GE reached a new low. The stock has now gone lower than when the earnings hit came a month ago. GE just reported that they are keeping '09 figures ($2.46) where they are. That is an increase of ten percent per share. With the current price, this puts GE's P/E at a very likeable 14.

I believe GE is in a great position with what I call "The Green Revolution" (shown by the turbine purchase from T Boone Pickens Fund). This success will only grow as the presidential candidates continue to press their own green plans that no doubt will include purchasing systems and materials from GE.

I think the financial house is in as good a shape as it can be and that there will not be another Bear Sterns surprise. Many people forget that that episode came during the quiet period before earnings so the company couldn't say anything. But as the Bear episode reminded all investors, if you don't have access to all info, anything can happen.

They are also looking to divest themselves of their appliance division that should garner 5-10 billion.

So over the week I purchased a 32/34 December call spread. I think the stock is fundamentally positioned to add value. has the profit to get us moving positive over the next few months. Technically resistence levels don't show up until the 34 range.

Monday, May 19, 2008

sold spread

Hey everyone

Today I sold the PBW June 22/24 call spread for a profit of 40 dollars or 47%. I'm going to go over some points on the trade just to get the information out there to use in the future.


- The money spent on purchasing the spread was not needed in any other capacity. But purchasing a spread allowed me to get into a trade.

- I had based my sell on the basis of the regular research done both technically and fundamentally on PBW and its components. This was key as the time to expiration came close because PBW had not moved up in the profit range since Feb.

- There was a clear buy signal during the market sell off where

- The fact that it was an ETF gave it a level of stability needed. The solar and alt energy stocks are extremely volatile and this type of trade (spread) is not compatible to a highly volatile stock (in my mind).

- I have a general interest and general knowledge in the alt energy market leaving any necessary research needing to be done easy to do.


- I should better clarify my selling strategy before entering the trade.

- I should have a larger profit N when determining the loss N


- I did well on this trade. I found a spot to enter with the market meltdown in Jan. I also found an unusual high up day to get out. I found a spread that was probable. I paid a price I could afford. I made money with not panicking or being that surprised at the result. I researched the companies in the ETF and understood what was coming. I could tell from the chart that there would be a blowout of the triangle formed. I have put a percentage from the profit into my base account to make my family wealthier. I will continue to try to find more trades to make:

1) That there is an edge (like the oversold point.)
2) Better identify my sell point
3) Identify my N and the ratio of loss to gain

- The price has since come down and might provide another opportunity to purchase a six month term spread. I like the fact that this ETF is better balanced with wind, solar, geothermal, and biodiesal companies. But I will step back today and wait until I find I have an edge before I trade again. I hope I do.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Time to straddle PBW again

Hey everyone

The chart of PBW is again telling us to straddle. I would pick the Sep 21's and 22's. With earnings coming up in the next couple of weeks for the companies covered, there should be some decent volatility. The image is blurred but you can see the price is right on the 15ma and the bands are closing. The chart will allow a straddle because of the volatility and the consistent following on the edges of the bands to provide more than enough profit to cover the loss on the other side. Also, 700, shares have been traded by 1 PM eastern which is fairly heavy at this point in the day. Thanks to Optionsxpress for the chart.

tax rebate worries

Hey everyone

I heard about the feds hurrying up with the tax rebate checks and I am concerned about why they are doing this.

My feeling on the subject is that they are quickening the process because as the president said this weekend "People need money to pay for their gas and food." Now this is a dramatic change from when the plan was first announced and the president talked about using it on consumer goods such as electronics or clothing.

The other reason I am worried is that I bet there is someone at the fed who is increasingly worried about the economy in general and made this hurry up happen.

My two questions to the fed are how bad is it and how bad is it going to get?

Friday, April 25, 2008

PBW Earth Week

Hey Everyone

I was very encouraged by all the news coming out of the companies that PBW encapsulates. Here are some of the stories. The chart also looks bullish as the bands are getting closer together and the 15 has crossed the 50. Earnings will be coming out in early to mid May so be ready for some volatility. You might think a straddle is in order here just to be safe.

Solar in General - CNBC clip and article on Solar

PBW - Najarian recommends

FSLR - New IR chief

TSL - New 6 year silicone contract

Monday, April 7, 2008

PBW news and holdings 4/7

Hey everyone

Here are the top ten and news stories for PBW and the top ten

Fund Holdings subject to change
Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (ADS) 3.74%
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (ADS) 3.69%
JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (ADS) 3.65%
First Solar Inc. 3.56%
Trina Solar Ltd. (ADS) 3.55%

Evergreen Solar Inc. 3.55%
SunPower Corp. (Cl A) 3.54%
Ormat Technologies Inc. 3.17%
Echelon Corp. 3.12%
Energy Conversion Devices Inc. 2.80%




PBW - Seeking Alpha article on top revenue by ETFs

YGE - Solar starts week strong

TSL - Motley Fool article on solar

ESLR - Rueters article on plant expansion

ELON - Yahoo article on Philips agreement

Thursday, March 27, 2008

PBW news

Hey everyone

Here is the updated top ten list with news:

Fund Holdings subject to change
Cree Inc.
Applied Materials Inc.
Itron Inc.
MEMC Electronic Materials Inc.
First Solar Inc.

Ormat Technologies Inc.
JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (ADS)
OM Group Inc.
American Superconductor Corp.


AMAT - Clean Energy hold potential
Closed Mixed on Wed.

Ormat - drop in net for quarter

AMSC - CEO sells shares

Monday, March 24, 2008

PBW news for 3/24

Hey everyone

These are the top ten holdings with their percentages as of today.

Fund Holdings subject to change
Applied Materials Inc. 5.43%
Cree Inc. 5.25%
Itron Inc. 4.55%
MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. 4.48%
Ormat Technologies Inc. 3.79%

IDACORP Inc. 3.66%
First Solar Inc. 3.50%
American Superconductor Corp. 3.41%
Cosan Ltd. (Cl A) 3.40%
Portland General Electric Co. 3.39%

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3/17-19 PBW news

Hey everyone

Belated Happy St. Patty's day!

Below is news, and any upgrades/downgrades of the top ten holdings of the ETF. I am still bullish on the ETF and still own the 22, 24 June credit spread. I would like to thank Yahoo! Finance, Marketwatch, and Powershares for the information.

Top Ten Fund Holdings subject to change

Applied Materials Inc. 5.47%, Cree Inc. 4.95%, MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. 4.64%,
Itron Inc. 4.39%, Ormat Technologies Inc. 3.75%, First Solar Inc. 3.65%, IDACORP Inc. 3.57%
American Superconductor Corp. 3.56%, OM Group Inc. 3.52%, Cosan Ltd. (Cl A) 3.44%


AMAT - In a story reported by Marketwatch, Applied Materials was upgraded by Caris and Company with a price target of 27 from 21. The full story is also in news.

News Stories

AMAT - Upgraded by Caris

MEMC - CEO made 1.8 million dollars last year

ITRI - NY Investor Day

FSLR - Cramer thinks this day is different

AMSC - New Orders from overseas

Thursday, March 13, 2008

3/13/ PBW

Universal Display is releasing earnings after the close today. So we should see some movement on this tomorrow.

Here are the news for the 13th on PBW:

IBD article on Itron

Motley article on Ormat and First Solar

CNBC article on First Solar

Have a great day

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

PBW 3/12


PBW has hit another bottom and has moved up over a dollar from that low. I am thinking there might (and I stress might) be a W forming here. The 50 day has crossed over the 200 day average and is located just at the middle of the prospective W (at about 23). I believe there is a short term bullish call up to 22.50. There will be some resistance at that point so watch out for that. If it breaks through this point, we will have a W. If not, I would wait and figure out if there is a range to be traded. Another note is that the bands have opened up and this stock has a history of riding the edges both negative and positive. Keep that in mind. Here is a graph as of 10:45 CST today. Stories of the day are below the graph.

Thanks to Yahoo Finance, Optionsxpress, and Powershares.

Seeking Alpha article on PBW

Seeking Alpha article on Suntech

TSC article on CREE

WSJ article on ITRI

Yahoo! article on Solar

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

PBW for 3/11

Hey everyone

The dollar will continue to drop with Fed action. Cheney is in the Middle East to beg the princes for more oil. The clear fact is right now we are not in the bargaining position as China and India are a bigger percentage of oil consuming nations.

PBW has hit the skids big time here. I am screaming buy! This sell off is in a market where energy prices are driving people to alternative clean energy technologies. The sell off is still in the majority the financials and currencies. So this is a bargain. Per disclosure, I still have my June 22-24 call spread open. I still believe the fundamentals are still there for the company.

Here are some news stories about PBW and its companies:

Seeking Alpha article,

CNBC AMAT article

WSJ article on FSLR

TSC article on Solar

TSC article on Cree

CNBC article on Cosan

Monday, March 10, 2008

Put Congress in the blame


I am getting pretty angry over Congress' attempt to show it cares by putting Countrywide CEO's feet to the fire. The idea that smart men and women, elected to represent their community, did not know what was going on until now is an absolute joke.

They let these predatory lenders into their communities. They covered the banks' recent financial losses by accepting the Fed's rate cuts instead of demanding a higher rebate package. They simply had their head in the sand and their hands out for donations. I wonder what Countrywide and the other lenders political contributions were like.

Congress members failed their communities as much as the lenders failed. And now our financial system is in trouble. To be clear, I feel that this is not a democrat or republican failure. This is an institutional failure.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

3/6 PBW and more

Hey everyone

PBW is testing 20 for the third time in a month. A couple of days ago I suggested a 21 straddle and that trade looks like a winner on the put side of things. I would actually look to sell the put at a profit at this point and ride the call. For disclosure purposes, I own a 22-24 June call spread that I still feel positive about.

Buffett is the richest person in the world. That is not surprising. The diversified but focused investment approach is in my opinion the best.

evil empire introduces 401k debit card

Hey everyone

Recently there has been an idea and execution of getting a debit card for your 401K plan. Stay away from that! It is simply another way for the banks to get at your hard earned dollars through fees, fines, and penalties. There is a plethora of articles on the subject with this one from genxfinance as an example.

Speaking of the banks, it has been noted here before how they have been saved by the federal government. I read in the Wall Street Journal today how Citi might be letting go of over 25,000 employees! Can you imagine what the damage might be had the feds not covered their butts?

PBW is trading at the low end of the range.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

2/27 PBW

Hey everyone

Greentech Media put out an article about the solar industry on Seeking Alpha.

The chart is consolidating and is creating a nice wedge. There might be an opportunity to put a straddle on at 22 or 21. I would make it at least six months out to give sufficient time protection.

That said, I am still hanging with the call spread I own. I personally think that the sector has a lot of growth ahead of it and it will benefit from both public and private funding.

Monday, February 25, 2008

PBW news 2/25

Not much movement or news today. There was a story about First Solar in the WSJ's Investing section but it was fluff being the hot stock in 2007. But press is press.

The bands are within 2 points of eachother which is the closest they have been in 3-6 months. Expect some movement this week as the fed chairman speaks to congress and a couple of the companies are releasing earnings.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

PBW info

Hey everyone

The following stories about companies within PBW seemed relevant to post. I also posted the stories on Yahoo! Finance if that is easier

- article on First Solar (company web site)
- seekingalpha article on PBW (company website)
- reuters article on Itron (company website)

I think the ETF has hit a gathering period. I still feel my 22-24 June spread is a good trade.

A penny for your thoughts.......dollars for our investments!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

PBW's situation


PBW is continuing its way up. The 22-24 call spread moving forward. A recent article in Seeking Alpha mentions PBW.

Look to start buying the banks. The rebates are headed their way. The Fed chief just mentioned possible rate cuts again.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Alliance of Banks and Government

Hey everyone

The recent government actions have shown why the banks have a stranglehold on government. I feel that the recent infusion of capital, the allowance of foreign governments to purchase large interests into our banks, and the rebate bill currently proposed will benefit nobody more than the credit card companies and banks. The idea that this money will get to consumers and will get into the economy is wrong because the banks will not release the money either because they are using the money to cover their own losses or they have tightened their credit limits.

When the fed dropped over forty billion into the system and initially dropped rates, they said it was for making the consumer be better able to handle the growing housing and credit issues. In reality, what they did was make it easier for the banks to cover their own losses in the housing and credit issues! Do you really think the CEO's of Citi and Merrill Lynch would get their golden shoots if it were not for the US government? There is a trader in France who is up against charges for losing 7 billion. I know for sure the heads of Citi and Merrill knowingly supervised losses that dwarf 7 billion dollars and still received their retirement! In the meantime, the banks are tightening their lending standards so that they don't make the same mistakes. By doing that, the money train stops at bank station. So the percentage of the billions of dollars that the Federal Reserve released into the banking system actually getting to the consumer is very small.

Speaking of not servicing the American consumer, I would like to bring Congress into the discussion. I am not a little surprised with the fact that the Congress did almost nothing to confront the fact that the banks have sold large portions of themselves to other countries government run financial organizations. The same government that wanted to handle the ports and had to back out has now purchased a large portion of Citibank. There is an article in the Washington Times that quotes Senator Chuck Schumer as saying "this deal will keep New York as a financial center." Now I know they were not given voting rights. But really, do you think they need voting rights to get what they want? They have the oil we need. I don't think they were too concerned with voting rights. With this deal, it is my opinion that the financial center has moved a little closer to asia, not stayed in New York, like Senator Schumer has suggested. Senator Schumer might want to find out how the Morgan family and other bankers were able to wrestle the financial capital away from London and bring it to New York. He and the rest of the Congress might want to find out how those hefty dividends will be used.

The rebate deal passed by the House that is going to give taxpayers like myself a few hundred dollars is almost certainly going to be going to put into credit card bills or house payments. That is all well and good, but the only benefiters of this in the short run are the banks and the credit card companies. I am all for paying those credit cards off. I will be doing the same with my check. I mean people would be stupid to go to Best Buy or Macy's with that money if they have existing debt to pay off.

The fact that the Fed had to drop rates drastically and infuse cash has been a one two punch on the dollar. The value of our currency is in such bad shape, the Canadian dollar is worth more! American manufacturers have seen a bounce because of the low dollar. That is good. But overall, I think there is a long term prospect of having too much money into the system.

So let see. The fed saves the banks by issuing more cash. Foreign government run financial organizations are allowed to buy into our banks, and the rebates will be put towards banks and credit cards. I've heard the tale of the oil companies running this government, but the banks need to be included into the conversation.

Now, with that all said, I do believe that the recent half point rate cut will finally start to put money into the consumers hands. But the simple fact is that it took over 40 billion in cash, two percentage points on fed rates, and a rebate completely designed for the banks to get over the mistakes of the banking industry. I also feel that the banks would probably make a good investment as we now know there business is insured by the US Government.

Friday, January 25, 2008

purchased call spread for PBW


With the manic activity in the stock market, the price of a solar ETF (PBW) came down to a point where I could purchase a call spread.

So I went ahead and purchased the June 22 calls, and sold the June 24 calls (that is the spread). My thought is that with the continued spending on solar will continue in earnest by both private (corporations) and public institutions (government), the ETF will do well in the next few months. The max profit on the trade is around 115%. I do have a stop loss on the trade but will not show it. When the spread was purchased, the PE of the ETF was as low as 20!

I was able to handle this trade with the great assistance of Optionsxpress. Thanks to them!

There is a stock and options site that I find very good information. The site is called Phil's Stock World. It has very good analysis on the world markets.

Good luck to all traders. May you see value in your purchases and profits from your sales!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Clean Energy ETF (PBW)

Happy New Year Everyone!

I am writing to let you know about an ETF that I have found and like very much. It is called the Powershares Milwall Clean Energy ETF with the symbol PBW. I like the ETF because it falls under the four principles of Warren Buffet’s investing style (management, price, industry growth, and value). The ETF is managed well. The ETF has included industry leaders like First Solar in its portfolio. It also contains companies that cover the entire process from idea to product usage. The technical aspects of PBW’s chart show that it is in an upward trend. Its Price to Earnings ratio is reasonable. The profits for most of these companies will grow at an exponential rate because there is demand from both public and private sources.

The one downside I would say that it has is that a great majority (over 91%)of the ETF’s holdings reside in the US and I would like to see more exposure to clean energy companies outside the US.

As always, do the homework necessary to get your investments correct. I do my homework by using Yahoo Finance and Optionsxpress. They are both excellent resources.

As of right now I do not own any shares, optionsof PBW, or any shares or options of the securities within PBW.

Please post any comments as you see fit.