Posted by: guinness222 | January 20, 2009

“Time for a new hobby!”

          No, I’m not stopping my blog. Some of you are now depressed that I’m not,….tough luck, but as my daughter used to say, “You’re not the boss of me”.
I am a bit of a “perfectionist” when it comes to being a property manager, which is good, and equally bad, in that it’s like taking medicine, it’s god for you, but you hate it. Same exact thing. Folks want everything run right and beautiful, but when I “twist the screw” to get collections done, get things working right, “make hamburg out of sacred cows”,…well they don’t like the pain. SO I’ve decided I might be just too intense for this property management, doing it the right way that is, or My way. So while it pays the rent, I’ve going to have to “moderate” my management style to become like the rest of my compatriots, change to their philosophy of property management, i.e. “pissing on the highest fire”! Let everything work itself up into a froth then step in and slap the shit out of it, go home and back off until the next crisis. (Understand I personally think this is lazy and stupid, and definitely NOT the right way to operated, but it’s working for hundreds of other managers, particularly my boss, “The Boy King”.
No wonder my two favorite Associations love me. (Had the Annual meeting of one on Saturday, great meeting, I run it like a meeting of IBM ‘s Board of Directors, and all works well, so well we will only have three Board Meetings this coming year, all will be by telephone, and all will last less than an hour! It’s called “the right way to manage”. Additionally they gave me a small Bonus (gift card to my favorite Pub,….God bless them all!), and then invited me to Lunch with them and picked up my tab!
          For them I will still “manage” the right way, for it’s not the gift card or the free lunch, …it’s the freedom to do my job correctly, the respect that I am the professional and know what I’m doing. Six more like this Association and I’d feel guilty getting paid to do the job.

           But onward to the “new” career. Stock Trader. Stop groaning, I won’t bore you with all the details in my blog, (but I did start another blog at “www.tradingtolive.wordpress.com”, it’s called “The Survival Trader” flip over to check it out whenever you like.)

         “What are you crazy?” “Hello, the financial world is in a shambles, who do you think you are?” “What do you know about stock trading?” and finally “You’re throwing your money away, stupid!”

           We’ll answer those questions one at a time.

           #1 – Am I crazy?– Well a lot of folks think so, but not me, but then again the same folks told me “You can’t make a million dollars selling band-aids,….but I did.” I asked my wife and family to give up a four bedroom home with a nice big back yard all fenced in with a swimming pool, a great neighborhood, a lot of great friends for the kids as well as my wife and I and like I said our own house that only had a $25,000 mortgage on it that would have been paid off eighteen years ago. And I asked them to move to a different state, live in a poorly maintained old cheap rental house almost “in the woods”. They trusted me, and I made it work. (And yes I actually built a company that sold $1 Million in band-aids and other stuff) Again I asked them to give up a brand new Colonial Reproduction Home we designed and had built from scratch on a six acre piece of pasture in an old field which was my wife’s dream that we built from our little “Band-aid” success. We moved to a rented two bedroom townhouse so I could try another idea, my infamous “Country Western/Irish Pub Entertainment complex”. Like the man said, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.” That time we lost, and I mean lost, lost it all. Left town in a 12 year old car crammed to the hilt with everything we basically owned, just enough room for me to fit behind the steering wheel and drive, and off on another journey,…this time to Florida. I had to go back in a month and bring my wife down after I found someplace for us to live once I got here. She had moved in with a friend for that month while I worked my “eternal optimism”.
        Here we are eleven ears later, we are back owning our own home, three bedrooms, two baths, vaulted ceilings, a “loft” (known as “The Pit”, for me and my computers), with a large screened in back porch on a lagoon that empties into a huge lake where they water ski year round, a two car garage, and it’s like a scene from “Chuckie” (or whatever that horror flick was), and just like Jack Nicolson,….”I’mmmm baaack!”.
         I promised my wife we keep the house, I’ll use what’s left of the IRA’s ( Individual Retirement Accounts ), and my own “Social Security” monthly payment and “go for the gusto”. AND I’ll keep my Association Management job, and just “tone it down” to just “piss on the highest fire” like everyone else. If I’m fortunate enough to pick up another two or three clients like the two I have now, then we’ll split off into our own company and let the “model company” grow and I’ll find someone with the same mind set I have to run it for us.
In the “old days” I just would have jumped in both feet, everything I had and could get my hands on, but at this age I need to be sure I’ve got my wife covered,….just in case.”

          #2 – “The financial markets are in a shambles, who do you think you are?”– Short answer? I think I know that not only are the stock markets in a shambles, BUT most of it is an emotional response, and NOT based on the “real actual” value and capacities of the companies represented by those stocks. Or simply put,…stock prices now are at “yeard sale prices”, there is literally a “Ton” of money, cold hard cash, sitting on the sidelines, until the “traders” conclude the bottom is hit. Persoanlly I think another three weeks and we are there, maybe five, but I’m setting up now to be ready, have my money, and have my choices already made, as to what I will buy, before March 1st. The Election, and Inauguration of Barrack Obama today, will be the “emotional stimulus” to get this financial morass moving forward. I’m holding off until March 1st on my own personal “jump in the pool” to corroborate several factors supporting my trading strategy.

         #3 – “What do you know about stock trading?” – After getting out of the U.S. Navy in 1969, I went to work in a Mutual Fund Transfer Agency, the “back office” of several Mutual Funds. I learned the accounting, the banking, and the mechanics very well, I was subsequently hired by another Mutual Fund which actually owned several Mutual Funds, my office was in the same place as the “traders” the “portfolio managers”, the guy who made those mutual funds. I had coffee with them, I went to lunch with them, I had beers with them. (If you know me I am a sponge I suck up knowledge like a Bounty Paper Towel commercial. I started going to college nights, in particular a Banking discipline, I even began studying for my stock brokers licence for a year or so. (I opted out at that time because with two young (four and two year old) children, living in a rented home, trying to build a career, and no real “moneied up connections”, it would have been a HUGE risk. One mistake and nothing. Odds I could have lived with but not what I would ever subject my family to endure. So I just kept going to college, learning, learning, learning, and moved up and onward. But aside from the profile of an elephant,….I never forget! (In retrospect the ,markets in the 1970’s were really simple. Computers were not really being used yet, trading was done by hand on “The Floor” with slips of paper and the like, there were no cell phones, there were no “models”, and basically there was nothing but “The ticker” or a teletype to give you the “what’s up” on sales and pricing.)
            I used to go over to the old “Boston Stock Exchange” sort of the “strip mall” version of the “big mall” , the New York Stock Exchange, and just stand and watch on my lunch hours. That was then, this is now, the basic differences today is they are as technologically advanced as the Space Shuttle. Computers actually do all the “trading” and management today. They make the decisions based on complex mathematical models, programs loaded with “triggers” which is as close as we will get to a Sci-Fi world where we just “graze and breath”, computers do the rest. In reality only a few things that have changed in my mind, the speed with which the stock market works mechanically, the speed of communications, rumors, and “experts” all running amok, and the increase of thieves, scams, and ripoffs. But that is to be expected. I have always been a “just make decision” kind of guy, you are either right or wrong, don’t beat yourself up over it, just get your “right” decisions to an 80% level over a 20% level for your “wrong” decisions.

         #4 – “You’re throwing your money away fool!” – Well this answer is the easiest, simplest, and least worrisome. …..”We’ll see!”

-30-


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