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Stock Tips Are For Waiters

I went out the other night to pick up some carry-out food (paleo of course) from a restaurant.  When they handed me the bill I noticed a “gratuities are not included” statement on the bottom of the check.  I don’t get carry-out very often and normally I don’t even think twice about tipping as I am the one who has to get out of the car and up the wheelchair ramp.  Regardless, I ran a poll to see if others think it is customary to tip for carry-out service.  Here are the results:

Typically, I tip 20% on a normal dinner service, maybe 25% if the waitress is cute.  But I was dealing with the cook in the back so I wasn’t sure what was appropriate for this grease monkey.  5-10%?  I’ve never worked in the restaurant business but I’ve always figured that the waiters kept all the tips and didn’t split them with the cooks since they are typically the better looking ones.

Since the overwhelming majority of you do not feel the obligation to tip on carry-out service, feel free to steal my latest and greatest idea:  Instead of giving a monetary tip when you receive the bill, write down your most speculative stock tip.  Don’t forget to put the cashtag in front.

Trust me, they will thank you later when your stock tip turns out to be the next $VRX, $GPRO, $SUNE, etc., as long as they sell before the bubble pops.  But hey, that’s on them at this point.  You just need to plant the seed and it’s up to them on when to harvest.

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April FOMC Minutes Word Cloud

Top 10 words:

54    rate
54    inflation
46    economic
45    prices
45    market
39    growth
37    continued
36    funds
35    quarter
35    conditions

I subtracted out ‘Committee’ and ‘participants’ from the top 10 as I didn’t see how they mattered.  Everyone thinks the minutes were hawkish but that was just so we could get another buying opportunity.  Stay thirsty my friends.


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Dude, Where’s My Ramp?

I didn’t want to post my March numbers because I was embarrassed.  But, being the stand up citizen that I am, and to show I play with an open hand, I decided to show them anyways.

March Totals

As you can see my numbers suck.  I don’t have a problem with getting it up, just a problem with keeping it up. I may need to have a chat with my doctor about that.

Now contrast that with the April numbers:


The Ramp works best when the market is volatile and swinging both ways (no homo).  In the end I can’t be mad at the March numbers since the market ripped anyways.  It also looks like I might need to start working overtime as there are gains to be had.

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Out Of Office Alert: Don’t Do Anything Stupid

I’m taking vacation until Monday. I will be monitoring the Ramp remotely. I am entrusting you, the people, to fill in during my absence and close out April strong. I will be traveling to California (“Carly Fiorina” extra Schwarzenegger) to enjoy some vintage wines and expand my palate.

Don’t do anything stupid while I’m gone.

Examples of stupidity include: Buying $TWTR stock, buying $TWTR calls, selling $TWTR puts, using Periscope, saying Periscope is a game changer, shorting anything other than VIX, selling in May and going away.

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$CMG, $AAPL, $TWTR, And Your Portfolio, Destroyed

Three big names are being crushed today coming off terrible earnings reports: $AAPL $TWTR and $CMG. I’ve decided to make Crying Jordan memes for any stock that misses in the future. Here are a few examples of my handy work.

image image image

I’ve been long all of these names at one point recently. A couple months ago I dipped in Chipotle around $400 and flipped it for $50 in less than a week. Haven’t looked at it since. I sold all of my $AAPL over 18 months ago at $118.  Haven’t looked at it since. For some insane reason I continue to hold $TWTR. I may need to go to the doctor to check for brain tumors.

I think the reason that everyone on Finance Twitter hates Twitter stock is because they all own it but won’t admit it; and because it is the biggest piece of shit in the market right now. It’s down nearly 40% YTD and over $50 from its all time bubble high. I could have sold it multiple times for decent profits but held instead for paper losses.  I don’t mind owning it until it goes to zero.  It has really just become comical at this point.  Luckily, I only have enough skin in the game equivalent to a fill-up of the gas tank on the yacht.  Wait, why am I even telling you this? I don’t lose.

As much as I hate to say it, Twitter will never be as good of a stock as Facebook. It’s a shame because I despise using Facebook now but have grown to love Twitter more and more each day. Even Snapchat is better than Facebook, yet Facebook actually knows how to monetize their platform and isn’t run by a bunch of overpaid hipsters. The time to sell Twitter stock is when you hate using it. By that time, Twitter management will have ruined their core platform and alienated their user base in the sake of profits and appeasing shareholders. That’s pretty much what has already happened to Facebook as the younger generations flock to other social media sites that don’t include people bitching about their lives and posting baby pictures.

I will continue to hold Twitter stock as long as I continue to use the product.

Currently Twitter is down 15%, Apple down 8%, and Chipotle down 5%.

But enough talk about shitty earnings. Focus on today’s FOMC minutes. It’s the only thing that really matters.

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A Big Move Is Coming, Keep Your Eyes Open For The Ramp Signal

The market hasn’t been this compressed since the August meltdown last year.  We’ve been trading in a tight range for the past 3 weeks, circlejerking bulls and bears alike.  Every time we get a whiff of a sustainable decline (bear trap), a Fed head comes out and starts spoutin’ off saying they have the tools to accommodate any global slowdown.  Every time we get a whiff of a sustainable Ramp (bull trap), some pajama boy comes out and rallies hard with the short camp.  We’ve been in an uptrend the past 2 months and now we are finally starting to see a leveling off.  We could be resting for the next move higher (pain trade/most likely) or we could be in a sea change where the lines for the Ark will stretch across the globe.  In that case, you should ask Fly if there are any remaining tickets being issued.

Earnings season is upon us and it doesn’t look good.  But, the great thing about earnings is that they don’t matter.  Look at Alcoa for instance:  their first-quarter earnings fell 92%, hurt by weak aluminum prices, and said they could cut as many as 2,000 jobs.  So what is Wall Street’s response?  Alcoa isn’t a bellwether anymore.  Although I agree with them, you can bet your ass they wouldn’t be saying that if Alcoa didn’t suck so much.

Regardless, the market is waiting for a catalyst and the only one I see is earnings.  Do we ignore the fact that revenues are earnings will be down year over year as long as they beat consensus and the whisper number?  Current estimates from analysts have earnings declining over 8% from last year.  But, as long as we can just ignore energy, materials, and banks, it should just be transitory.  We only have 2 and a half more weeks until the ‘Sell in May’ folks come out from the shadows.

Side muse: Does anyone still follow the Presidential election?  The appeal seems to be waning.  I think everyone is just so damn demoralized with the lack of options that we’ve all just given up.  I’m still writing my name on the ticket come November.  I would appreciate it if you would do the same.


PPS: Shout out to @forensicinvstor for the lovely featured image.


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The Password Is: Inflation

Below is the top 10 word count from Janet’s speech today at the Economic Club of New York.  Can you say inflation?  Really, what I think she means is deflation, but you will not find that word once in her speech, so let’s just ignore it for now.

47    inflation
32    economic
30    will
27    rate
24    policy
22    federal
22    funds
20    prices
18    financial
18    developments

My favorite line from the speech:

“…I continue to expect that overall PCE inflation for 2016 as a whole will come in well below 2 percent but will then move back to 2 percent over the course of 2017 and 2018, assuming no further swings in energy prices or the dollar.”

Good luck with that.  We will never hike again.

Full text here: https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/yellen20160329a.htm



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Buy Lent, Sell Easter

A month ago, I admit I was scared.  We all were.  We were scared the world was going to end, but I decided to bull-up anyways because that’s just who I am.  On February 8, I tweeted out:


That day we dropped nearly 50 handles from the open and hit a low of 1828.  Sure enough, the day after Lent, February 11th, marked another millennial generational bottom and we’ve since risen nearly 250 handles in 6 weeks.

The markets are closed tomorrow in honor of Good Friday.  For all you non-Christians out there, Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday, on which the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is commemorated in the Christian Church.  It is traditionally a day of fasting and penance.

Your penance is to say your prayers that Janet doesn’t raise rates again in April.

We need an Easter miracle to save us from halting our 6 straight weeks of gains.  Hopefully the VIX doesn’t rise up from the dead on the 3rd day in fulfillment of the scriptures.  Otherwise it may just be a sell Easter event.



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Thoughts And Prayers

My last trip through Europe I flew in and out of Brussels and stayed there for a couple of days.  It’s a beautiful city with amazing chocolate and waffles.  It’s a bit scary to see the attacks there this morning.

Before you go polluting social media with your thoughts and prayers please watch the video below.  Today is a tragedy, don’t turn it on yourself.

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March Madness

I am happy to admit after the opening weekend of March Madness I am sitting in first place in my pool, up a cool 80 points to the nearest competitor, currently residing in the 99.9 percentile nationwide.  Would you expect anything less from an AI bot? This is not a new feeling for me. One of dominance, supremacy, and complete control.

It’s too bad I don’t work for Berkshire Hathaway otherwise Warren would surely owe me $100k.  His new offer this year was the employee with the most correct picks through this year’s Sweet 16 will win $100,000, and any employee who guesses every pick in the first two rounds correctly will win $1 million a year for life.  Luckily for Warren, there were no perfect brackets left heading into the Sweet 16.  Buffett wins again.  Recall two years ago he did a publicity stunt where he offered $1B to anyone who could turn in a perfect bracket.  The odds of turning in a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion.  Obviously, no one won, and no one ever will.

Whilst watching the games and sucking down whiskied drinks in honor of St. Patrick, I drew a conclusion that there are many similarities between the March Madness tournament and the stocked market.  They are both fun, unpredictable, crazy, emotional, and possibly rigged.  I threw that last one in there for fun.  I’m sure there is some point shaving going on somewhere.

With a little over a week left in March we are up a cool 120 handles, up double that (240) from the mid-February lows.  With the S&P 500 and Dow up on the year, all time highs are in reachable distance.  If we continue to melt up to a tune of 1-5 handles per day we will be there in no time.  Don’t be surprised if this happens.  The shorts will continue to clamor that we’ve come too far too fast.  And just because “nothing has changed” in the past month doesn’t mean that we went down for a justified reason in January and February.  The only reason we went down in January and early February was so that we could buy the dip and get even larger returns in 2016.

The video below reminds me of the market in the past month.  Texas A&M was down 12 points with less than 45 seconds left.  An impossible feat to overcome. Sure enough, they started chipping away (like the bulls) and UNI got complacent and lazy (like the bears).  What we were left with was the largest last-minute comeback ever.  It really is a site to behold.

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