How To Easily Eye-Ball Correct Serving Sizes

9 09 2009

Did you know that only 1% of the total population can gauge serving sizes correctly? Understanding how much to eat is vital if you want to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain your weight. The first thing I’d recommend you do is get a measuring cup and play around with different measurements for a couple of weeks so you can get a feel for different portion sizes.


Keep reading the “How To Easily Eye-Ball Correct Serving Sizes” post…


How To Avoid Plateauing And Continue To Lose Weight

9 09 2009

For some women, after a few months of beginning a new exercise program they’re able to see incredible results. They’re able to lose some pounds and maybe even drop a dress size or two.

But, a lot more women are allowing themselves and their exercise routines to become dull predictable. They allow themselves to get comfortable and never really push their body more than what it’s use to. At this point they “hit the wall” or “plateau”.


Keep reading the “How To Avoid Plateauing And Continue To Lose Weight” post…

Stealth Bear

7 09 2009

I did my usual routine yesterday, going through all my charts. I found 100 new opportunities, but it is still decidedly lop-sided. 73 of them are bearish, and 27 of them are bullish. And, I’ve got to say, the bearish ones tend to be large, widely-traded outfits whereas the bullish ones are these weird little firms no one has ever heard of. So, frankly, I’m not sure what components of the indexes keep finding the strength to rise. The real strength is in all the lame, scummy stocks – – not the quality end of the spectrum.

I did notice that there are several instances of sectors that Slopers were trying to short for a long time and, finally, just gave up on in disgust. The “casual dining” sector is a perfect example of this. Some here will remember how during the Spring we kept trying to short the likes of DIN, EAT, and other eating establishments, all while the stocks kept exploding higher. (The basic theory was that people were depressed about the state of things and wanted to shove low-cost, high-calorie food into their mouths; why else would anyone elect to go to a place like the International House of Pancakes?)

The funny thing is that, after people gave up on them, they did indeed start to fall. In fact, they peaked way back in April! Just take a look at this one:


The graph may not look that dramatic, but the stock lost 43% of its value over the past four months. That’s the kind of “performance” I’d like to see from my shorts.

The point is that the vast majority of my shorts and my potential shorts look exactly like this stock did in April. What’s agonizing and frustrating is waiting for the damned things to actually break.

Persistence and Resistence

7 09 2009

I’ve read before that, for an active trader, in a given 52 week year, there are only a few weeks that “make” the year. It’s like the old saying about how life comes down to a series of moments. The trouble is, you never know when those moments are going to come.

I haven’t had a “moment” in the market for a while. In other words, this market has been pretty much a big fat drag for me for most of the year. And I find myself – like yesterday – staring at the screen as the market drew to a close saying, out loud (for the umpteenth time), “I hate this {colorful gerund} market.”

Now, if you had asked me in, oh, early October of 2008 or February of 2009, I’d tell you the only thing I didn’t like about the market was that I hadn’t poured more money into it. Because it was like an ATM machine for me. So it was easy to make money, and my only failing was not pushing more aggressively. Whereas, these days, I am fighting like hell just to keep on an even keel. I have never worked so hard for so little.

Let me illustrate with a couple of equity curves. The first (whose dollar figures I’ve eliminated, but it’s the “big one”) is like this:


See that green tinted area? That represents the six-week period where I made virtually all of my profits in 2008. That’s key for me: all the other times, represented in the leftmost yellow, represented day after day after day of a total slog, boredom, and frustration. I was working like mad for nothing. And them – voom! – my equity curve absolutely exploded higher. Times like that is what makes people thinking trading is “fun”, but the “fun” it outweighed by the “sucks” by a pretty huge ratio. You just have to be able to tolerate the sucky part more than, oh, just about everyone else.

My 401-k account makes a similar point:


Make no mistake, not a day goes by that I’m not trying my best to make money. But it only works a portion – sometimes a minority – of the time. The first green zone was great for me since I was trading ultra-ETFs (which, as we all know, are verbotten by our deal Principal Brokerage friends now). The yellow that follows was a pretty big draw-down due to the market’s brief resurgence. And then the next green zone was the lift I enjoyed from lottery plays. And now I’m back in the yellow zone, just grinding away.

The point I’m making – which is just as much for me as for you – is that these graphs remind me to be patient. I am a very, very, very frustrated trader right now. And I’ve been equally frustrated before. But, every morning, I amble downstairs to my trading system, fire it up, and try to do the very best I can. Because those green zones are worth the wait.

No Cigar

7 09 2009

Well, Monday and Tuesday did the “bear tease”, and the rest of the week wiped it clean, as if it never happened. We’ve got three days to rest and recuperate. For Friday afternoon, it’s the usual – – reckless virtual imbibing.


Time to Try Shorting Retail?

7 09 2009

My attempts to short RTH have, in the past, been money-wasters. I’ve shyed away from RTH for a while, since I’m not a masochist. But something about a 9.7% unemployment rate………


……..and a chart showing a very robust retracement to the underside of a huge broken trendline……….


…….makes me think maybe this could work out for RTH bears for the balance of the year.

Trio of Lottery Long Ideas

7 09 2009