Saturday, January 31, 2009

Change of Direction

This move is probably overdue by several weeks, if not months. Now is as good a time as any, so...

I am in the process of converting my brokerage account into a pure trading vehicle. All investment activities will occur in either my employer 401(k) OR in my self-directed Roth IRA. I plan to migrate all of my existing investment allocations to InvivoAnalytics' Satellite Portfolio into my Roth IRA over the course of the year. It will be a slow process of rebuilding in the Roth, but it's for the best.

I have liquidated all holdings in my brokerage account that are long term investment oriented holdings. I won't be switching to another broker (for now).

I am doing this because mixing the 2 objectives in a single account had become...messy. I have found it difficult to maintain focus, which has distracted me and slowed my decision making. Slow decision making has led to missed opportunities.

Converting the brokerage account for purely trading will also allow me to take more concentrated positions than I can currently. I believe this will allow me to grow my brokerage account faster. I am to the point where the balance in my brokerage account, while not huge, is large enough to actually do something "useful". In a sense, my account finally has some weight.

Finally, the long horizon investment holdings will sit in a tax advantaged retirement account. I've had this account open for a while, but it has been dormant. Increasing the activity in this account will lead to tax diversification, which is always a plus. The investment holdings will also be allowed to grow unencumbered by my need/desire to raise trading funds, not that I was sacrificing them anyway. However, now that the split is physical and not just logical, I no longer suffer from temptation to touch those long term holdings.

For the next few trading sessions, I will be essentially "paper trading" - researching and studying trades ahead of trading sessions, but not actually executing them. Instead, I will watch how my proposed trades perform and how I can adapt my trading system(s) before I start risking capital. Even though I have had more success than failures on the few trades I've made, and I do want to start trading to earn money for various purposes, I've decided to spend a bit of time on my education by doing this. It sucks, but losing real money would suck more.

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Quick Scalp

Well, that was short-lived.

Remember that energy play I talked about recently? Well, I sold out my position in DXO just now after 2 weeks since entry. Not as large of a profit as I could have made, but definitely positive by $963 according to my calculations. I'll do the final numbers and let you know.

And if you're wondering why I never mentioned the ticker before now, its so that no one can accuse me of talking my book. I trade (and win or lose thusly) based on my own thinking and instincts. You should do the same.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Re-balanced the hell out of my 401(k) in the last 2 weeks. That would appear to be the best time to sell out of all the vested employer stock that the employer contribution took the form of. All of the excess is going into the money market option for the time being, so I will have some dry powder available after I finish re-allocating most of the cash.


Also started building a small position in an energy ETN. Will start looking for a (roughly) equivalent ETF but so far, this is position is rocking! Up approximately 20% in 2 weeks. It's actually a bit more than that, but I haven't calculated the exact amount since I purchased at 2 different entry points. Funniest part is that I bought this with a time frame of 12 - 18 months, even though it is a bit aggressive as an investment. I never thought I'd see this kind of performance this quickly though!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 Goals

Well, that was an interesting year! No matter what happened, 2008 was the best year of my life ever. Now it's time for 2009 to claim that title.

I fell down on my 2008 goals. September 2008 came around, put its foot in my ass, and I just stopped dead in my tracks. I stopped tracking my spending to the penny. Everything stopped.

It's really not important what happened. I'm fairly clear on what happened and what I need to do to breakthrough that block. (This post at gives a bit of insight on what that process looks like.) The first order of business is to post my 2009 goals here, for the world to see. Next, I plan to post them everywhere within my daily life, so that I remain present to them. Then I'll share them with people close to me, as I already have with my coaching partner, so that the people I most care about, and who most care about me, can hold me accountable to those goals.

Needless to say, I'm feeling some stress around some of these, in particular the first goal on the list of regular goals. Oh man, what have I gotten myself into!

Regular --

Business: Finish writing e-book by 9 Jan 2009. Publish by 16 Jan 2009.
Business: Make 3 contacts during Money:Tech 2009 (6 Feb 2009).
Personal: Ride a blue trail by 31 March 2009.
Professional: Find and accept an offer for an awesome new career opportunity by 31 March 2009 (end of 1Q2009).
Fitness: Achieve 10% body fat by 31 Mar 2009 (end of 1Q2009).
Fitness: 25 dips, full extension, full body weight by 31 Mar 2009 (end of 1Q2009).
Personal: Cook 1 meal per week by 30 Jun 2009 (end of 2Q2009).
Business: Finish unwinding my real estate partnership by 30 Jun 2009 (end of 2Q2009).
Fitness: 1 hr of cardio on the Precor EFX 556 in interval mode by 30 Jun 2009 (end of 2Q2009).
Fitness: 10 wide grip pull ups, full body weight, by 30 Jun 2009 (end of 2Q2009).
Personal: Save $15,000 for house down payment by 30 Sep 2009 (end of 3Q2009).
Personal: Read 1 book per month (12 total) by 31 Dec 2009.
Personal: Accumulate $30,000 in emergency funds by 31 Dec 2009.
Personal: Achieve $90,000 in net worth by 31 Dec 2009.
Personal: Pay AmEx down to $0.00 by 31 Dec 2009.


Fitness: Achieve a visible sixpack by 30 Sep 2009 (end of 3Q2009).
Personal: Achieve $150,000 in net worth by 31 Dec 2009.
Personal: Read 1 book per week (52 total) by 31 Dec 2009.
Fitness: Achieve 8% body fat by 31 Dec 2009.
Fitness: Chest press 200 lbs for 15 reps by 31 Dec 2009.
Fitness: 1 hr of cardio on Precor EFX 556 in hill climb mode by 31 Dec 2009.
Personal: Accumulate $50,000 in emergency funds by 31 Dec 2009.

Looking at the list of stretch goals, in particular, scares me. I mean, I feel tension and fear around those and my chances of achieving them. That lets me know that they are well chosen and will push me. I'm thinking that I should spend more time pursuing the stretch goals, and by doing so, I will likely achieve many of my regular goals as a matter of course.

So there you go. It's time to get started!

Happy New Year!


It is both amazing and disheartening that the last time I posted was on 7 December 2008. Not quite how I envisioned the final weeks of the recently passed year progressing. Not at all.

Oh well.

I'm in the midst of preparing some long awaited (by me, anyway) posts that I hope you too will enjoy. So I hope you'll join me for the trip as I start out making this year the best ever as Alpha Guy.