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Old 12-21-2010, 11:28 AM   #21
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... starting at the end of June I kept buying and selling MSFT. I noticed the stock kept going down then up; down then up; repeatedly. I have now bought and sold 4 times for a total of 14.5%. Each individual purchase was around $10-12k and averaged over 3% after holding the stock for about 3 weeks. It is in the 401k so no capital gains/tax hassles. I have never done this before - but so far it is fun and successful.
Most of my trading is in IRAs too - which eliminates the capital gains and tax recording. Smart move! I too find it fun.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:32 AM   #22
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Most of my trading is in IRAs too - which eliminates the capital gains and tax recording. Smart move! I too find it fun.
Indeed. It is no fun to make $1000 on a trade only to have your uncle take $300+ in taxes that year. I only wish I had done it in a Roth vs a traditional IRA. But I am going to do the best I can with this conversion and possible recharacterization idea to give my uncle the smallest tax possible.
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Any more quick in & out stocks?
Old 12-21-2010, 12:07 PM   #23
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Any more quick in & out stocks?

Any more quick in & out stocks?
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:28 PM   #24
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Any more quick in & out stocks?
You ever consider a part-time job as a straight man?
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:44 PM   #25
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Any more quick in & out stocks?
Well my VNDA pick certainly would have worked well for a quick in and out, but I am holding it long term and in stocks, not options. (bought at 8.80 friday, currently trading at 9.60+)

But for short term (<6 month) I still kind of like microsoft, and I also just went a little in for Cisco to test the waters there. I bought 50 contracts for July 2011 $21 calls at $0.98 today (ok, a puny order, but it is my first foray into Cisco). I think it is undervalued a bit at <$20 and look for it to move to $22 over the next month or three. I think I will sell the contracts at $1.50 to lock in some profits, probably missing out on at least an additional $0.50 per contract. We shall see. I do admit this is very fun and addicting. I will probably lose big one day soon, but I have locked in $30,000 in gains that I placed in a Vanguard lg cap fund so all will not be lost. (pesky wife decided that my IRA was no longer at play money levels).
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:08 PM   #26
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Any more quick in & out stocks?
Sold OVTI this morning as it rose to $30.68. It fell back to $29.81, reloaded, and sold again as it approached $30.69 at the close. Rinse and repeat. Analysis have $35 to $40 target. It's like shooting fish in a barrel, but it is not for the timid.
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:58 AM   #27
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From Mark Twain:

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"October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February."
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:29 PM   #28
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Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.
Warren Buffet

We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.
Warren Buffet
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:42 AM   #29
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Sold OVTI this morning as it rose to $30.68. It fell back to $29.81, reloaded, and sold again as it approached $30.69 at the close. Rinse and repeat. Analysis have $35 to $40 target. It's like shooting fish in a barrel, but it is not for the timid.
I did that for a while on a penny stock... and got stuck with the last buy. Still waiting for a return. However, I think it's a good company, stem cell R&D, so I'll share: ASTM. Especially at its current price.

Despite Speculators, Stem Cell Sector Stocks' Potential Lies in the Longer Term - Seeking Alpha

By the way, check out "seeking Alpha" - great coverage on stocks in general, free access.

www.seekingalpha.com

ASTM is a stem cell research company but it is adult stem cells so there's no public screaming about where the cells come from. They have interesting products in the works. Yes, I'm still waiting to get my (last) money back, but I just bought some more to reduce my average cost.
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Old 12-25-2010, 02:35 PM   #30
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I guess I will put my mouth where my money is. My largest holdings going into 2011 are:

ABT
ADP
JNJ
KO
PG
SYY
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:05 PM   #31
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Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.
Warren Buffet
I never have that strong a conviction in any of the 100s of stocks that I own in order to narrow down to owning only, say, a dozen. OK, I admit that I don't really know what I am doing and only have a suspicion that the stocks I do own will do better than the ones I do not. However, if my stocks altogether add up to something that's better than the S&P 500, I am happy. And that is my humble goal.

Quote:
We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.
Warren Buffet
Now, that is something that I believe is the key to riches, whether one does it by buying and selling MFs, individual stocks, or ETFs. And I don't care if people call it "market timing" or "portfolio rebalancing". As long as the result is "buy low sell high", who the hell cares about semantics? Being a pragmatic, I don't care as long as I have more money to count.

The above said, more and more people are getting upbeat about their portfolio performance, including this thread where people start to talk openly about their individual stock holdings. I have no personal favorite among my many stocks, but the following is what I guess will happen. The market will continue to rise in 2011, such that all of us stock holders will feel like geniuses. I just hope I will switch from "greed" mode to "fear" mode soon enough to bail out before the next decline.
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:13 PM   #32
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:28 PM   #33
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I look for stocks that pay substantial (6%+ at time of purchase) dividends and also have capital gain potential. I mostly put them in my Roth IRA and IRA. I started doing this a couple of years ago and it has paid off well.
This sounds great, but in practice there is a price. The price is that one has converted capital gains to ordinary income and the gains will be taxed at a higher rate than the long-term capital gains tax rate of as low as 0%. Furthermore, one cannot benefit from realized capital losses. Your heirs do not get a stepped-up basis when you die either.

I like using a Roth to make gains, but I sure don't want to have any losers in the Roth. I think it is a special account that should not be used for trading. I prefer a taxable account for this kind of stuff. I have plenty of carryover losses to offset any gains for many years to come.

In the last couple of years (especially since 3/9/2009), everybody made money without doing any trading. They just had to buy anything since everything went up and up lots.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:43 PM   #34
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In the last couple of years (especially since 3/9/2009), everybody made money without doing any trading. They just had to buy anything since everything went up and up lots.
while I generally I agree with this, it is worth noting that the last two crashes had victims that never recovered

many folks overweight techs never recovered from the crash at the beginning of the decade and folks overweight financials never recovered from the last crash

of course this is a lesson in diversification that we all know --- all assets crashed but some just got killed
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:43 PM   #35
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This sounds great, but in practice there is a price. The price is that one has converted capital gains to ordinary income and the gains will be taxed at a higher rate than the long-term capital gains tax rate of as low as 0%. Furthermore, one cannot benefit from realized capital losses. Your heirs do not get a stepped-up basis when you die either.

I like using a Roth to make gains, but I sure don't want to have any losers in the Roth. I think it is a special account that should not be used for trading. I prefer a taxable account for this kind of stuff. I have plenty of carryover losses to offset any gains for many years to come.

In the last couple of years (especially since 3/9/2009), everybody made money without doing any trading. They just had to buy anything since everything went up and up lots.
Ummmm. I get the point, but I will be (now am) in a lower tax bracket in retirement so the ordinary income/capital gains tax rate issue probably will not apply. I assumed that all along. I like the simplicity of the accounting this way - as in, none...

The investments I put in my Roth - I just did a conversion - were bonds trading below par with a nice dividend, stocks that I think will go up in price for various reasons, that sort of thing. Investments where I could expect either dividends or capital gains or both, and now untaxed.

I don't have children so no heirs as such to worry about - I hope to spend it all and live to a nice old age.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:55 PM   #36
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I never have that strong a conviction in any of the 100s of stocks that I own in order to narrow down to owning only, say, a dozen.
Wow! I could never own hundreds of individual equities. It is hard enough keeping track of the 7 that I do currently own and searching for one or two profitable new ideas a year. I don't think I have ever had more than 10.

Just to give some context, only 16% of my portfolio is in individual equities.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:48 PM   #37
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DW/me hold more than 500 indivudial company equity holdings from around the world.

I know, since I did the "stock intersection" on M* X-Ray, on our joint holdings.

We could never be happy just holding a few (so many companies - so little money); that's why we hold mutual funds...

It's the same reason that on the rare occasion I visit a casino, my game of choice is Roulette (and no, I don't bet on a straight number, at 36-1 odds).
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:08 PM   #38
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Well, I used to have something like 120 individual equities. I have been trimming down and just now counted 88 stocks. In case anyone is curious, this was how it happened to be such a mess.

When I left megacorp 15 years ago, I rolled out my 401k. Up to that point, I owned only MFs, but as the MFs in the 401k plan were proprietary, the account was rolled out in cash. So, I was faced with reinvesting it.

In the heyday leading to the 2000 stock bust, discount brokerage houses began to lower the trading cost over the Internet. Buying individual stocks for diversification rather than MFs became cost effective and feasible. As I had read that even a monkey could pick stock, why not became a monkey myself? Tech stocks were hot then. I wanted to get weighted more in semiconductor stocks, but the only ETF in that sector then was the venerable SMH. It had too much of Intel, and I wanted a different composition. Before long, I owned a dozen chip makers.

Then, I thought perhaps I should own some retail stocks. Not being able to choose between my top 2 choices, Costco and Target, I added both. How about agriculture next? And mining, and chemical, and metals? When I added a sector, I usually could not decide what was the top stock in that sector, and usually ended up adding a couple.

My array of stocks also grew in other ways. For example, I saw that I liked to shop at Lowe's more than Home Depot. So, I bought Lowe's. That worked well, and I was gratified to see Home Depot kept sliding in sales compared to Lowe's. But then, when Nardelli was canned as CEO of HD, I decided that it was time that HD would turn around. So, I sold half of my shares of Lowe's and "rebalanced" that into HD, and ended up owning both, for a while that is.

Another reason for the number of stocks to grow was spin-offs from companies I have. For example, I am looking right now at 21 shares of VPG that was spun off from my holding of VSH. Usually, the child company tended to do well, so I would add money to buy more to make it a round lot.

I started to do this back when there were not as many ETFs as there are now. I have been thinking about cutting back and use only ETFs, but that takes time as old habits die hard.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:11 AM   #39
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I have all my assets in fixed income. I would like to learn about buying and selling stocks and investing in the market. Is there some place, book, method, area of study that could get me started in the right direction?
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:52 AM   #40
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I have all my assets in fixed income. I would like to learn about buying and selling stocks and investing in the market. Is there some place, book, method, area of study that could get me started in the right direction?
Here's my two cents and it wouldn't work for everyone:

I did it with trial and error and an honest broker (who says I'm unusual in his experience) - and kept in mind the thought "buy low, sell high"... Look for companies that seem to be doing well. Also - a lot of smaller steady companies exist. A lot of times I invested in companies I knew from shopping there, but not always. Or in tech companies where I used the product (no longer a good niche in general).

I've been mostly doing dividend stocks lately since I retired. Keep some money handy in case the market goes down - or a stock goes down - that's the time to buy if the fundamentals are good. The dividends smooth out the price fluctuations. I look for dividends >5% and generally more like 7 - 8%. Yes, they're out there.

The stock market can be viewed technically - lots of nice statistics around, trends analysis. I go with basics and also my gut instinct. A lot of stock market movement is psychological and not rational, not based on any technical indicator. IMHO. I know others do it differently but I'm doing well at this game. I also mostly bought when the DOW was at 8500 or so, recently, so of course I've got a nice capital gain. Still there are good stocks out there and I continually buy as I find opportunities.

There is a list of stocks I own earlier in this thread.
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