Last week of 2009 and the question is, do we get some fireworks, or just a real dud?
The good news is, so far the January Effect list is doing quite well indeed! A couple of very nice winners so far. We'll see, but I'm feelin pretty good about it heading into the year's home stretch. As the commercial goes, accept no imitations! Rockin' the casbah...but let's not get too cocky just yet. A couple of them I really love. I'm not playing so heavy simply cause I'm still dealing with my rehab stuff from the car accident in March and shopping for presents for my girls. I celebrate every holiday. My feeling is that it's all good, and all an excuse to give my girls more presents! While I don't spend what I used to on gifts like most everyone else, they just like to open up a lot of small stuff. So, I buy them a whole bunch of little cool things and they go nuts unwrapping them. That's enough of a gift for me, I don't need anything else.
In the meantime, Tuesday we'll be doing the final Window Dressing class of the year, so if you're interested send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and CC email@example.com and we'll see what we can do to sign ya up if you are interested. The list will have at least 10 stocks that I think if the trend works should finish the year higher. Remember, its the final week of 2009 and the market has rocked overall this year, are investors really gonna dump the last week and pay all those not so yummy taxes? Hmmm, I suggest you take the class, folks. It's not expensive, not remotely. This is a cheap class as compared to most, so you might as well check it out. Stay tuned and email me or email Ilene@trendfund.com for even more details!
You know, on Thursday I spent about 5 hours in the ER because I couldn't walk. I was there til like 3 am. I pulled or strained or tore something in my ankle and foot and it was excruciating. I've never used crutches that I can remember and I have to admit it was not fun or as easy as I thought it would be. I know I've been very lucky in that regard. Actually, now that I think about it, I think I did use them once, yes, when I had surgery on my big toe several years ago. My memory is shot, but it comes back slowly at this point.
But, it was a necessary thing and I'm grateful it isn't broken, which is what my PT doctor/therapist said it might be earlier in the day on Thursday.
That isn't my point here. While sitting there I saw some pretty cool human interactions. There was an older guy, maybe 65 to 70 and he looked somewhat disshevled. He was a white guy. He asked an African American young guy, maybe 30s for something and I couldn't hear what it was but I could see that the young guy wanted to do with what the old guy. Now I have no idea if race had anything to do with either of their interactions, but at the very least the age did I think.
The young guy's mother, who looked to be in her late 60s, was in bad shape, I felt horrible for her, no matter what they did to try to make her feel comfortable she was moaning like crazy.
The older guy was just wandering around and looked confused. A few minutes later the older guys wife showed up and she had an ice pack on her hand and her face was bloodied and basically she was a huge mess.
All of a sudden the younger guy started to bond with the older guy and his wife. I think the reality hit him head on and he saw that he wasn't the only one who had a loved one suffering.
And, conversely, the older man started asking about the other gentleman's mother and took notice.
Pain has a commonality. There are very few things that bond people who normally wouldn't have anything to do with them. It seems to be often one of them. It's also easy to sometimes get stuck in self pity without caring about our fellows.
Everytime I go to Physical, or Cognitive or Occupational therapy these days, which is twice a week, I get a bit down. I hate not feeling 100% and I hate having to take the time away from work. I also don't like feeling like I'm not in "control". To many clients I'm a good dude and I've helped them (as they have me btw). I try to give my all to what I do. I work a lot of hours and am always striving for better things and doing research that hopefully helps others. To some, I've been told, I can be an inspiration. That's not something I take lightly, we get inspired, each of us, but different things. I'm no hero, not in the least, I am very fallable and certainly feel like I'm the first to admit when I'm wrong, though I am sure I'm even flawed in that area. No one is remotely perfect, certainly I'm not.
When you are in a hospital you realize how little control you really have over your life in many ways. When I had the car accident in March I really felt like I was on top of the world. I was the James Cameron of traders and fathers. I have two beautiful, wonderful girls who I adore and who tell me often how special I am. Nothing beats that. But, when my car collided with the other guys car head on basically and the airbags deployed and knocked me out, I very suddenly felt not so great. It knocked me down to size, you could say. It humbles you to have that happen and realize your own mortality. It also humbles you when you trade and have a few bad months in a year. I've talked about it in every class I do, and on here when I feel up to posting. For me, as we come up to year end, its been a rather big swing year, this 2009. I've had some really really great moments and some really really bad moments. That includes my personal life and my trader life. In the end I think its all "good" and as long as I learn from it it can all work for the betterment of me, and hopefully my clients.
One thing that is clearer to me now more then ever is the commonality we all share. I like that, frankly. The truth is we are all vulnerable in some way(s) and there isn't anything wrong with it, as long as we are able to look at it and adjust for it.
When I start to feel sorry for myself for having to deal with not being on top of the world a few short months after feeling as though I was, all I have to do is look around me twice a week. See, at the hospital while I'm doing physical therapy because my neck and back, and now foot hurt pretty intensely at times, there's always someone within view who has no legs, or perhaps no arm or is hunched over because they broke their back and will never be the same again.
And, when I feel sorry for myself because I have memory lapses and my vocabulary at times is limited, all I have to do is look around me at somewhat who lost an eye, or doesn't know who he or she is due to illness or accident.
And, when I feel sorry for myself because it's harder for me to work a gazillion hours now, all I have to do is look around me at the many people who are out of work altogether, or had a far worse accident, or illness and can't work ---- period.
And while everything is somewhat relative, the truth is universal and that is that there is always someone(s) who are far far far worse off then we are. And, so when someone asks me for help, or needs something, if I can offer it up I try to. When the lady who had the ice pack and the busted face looked at me, I smiled at her. And, for a brief moment that, I think, helped her because she smiled back.
Sometimes thats all we can do. Maybe thats really corny and a doffuss who is 6'4" sounds like a sap for saying it. Cool, I can live with being corny, my girls like me to smile at them as well, and I enjoy theirs probably even more.
What's the point? I don't know, random musings and some gratitude. Times are tough for most everyone I know. They are tough for me right now as well, but times change and people can transform and adjust.
And, perhaps, smile at times through it all.
Happy Holidays to all, and hey, you want some market musings? OK, am I the only one who sees these Bank of America feel good commercials and wants to puke when they talk about how much they have loaned? I'm sorry, that's disgusting. But, I guess in theme, they do make me laugh, cause it has to be a joke that they are trying to get over on everyone saying "hey, we're the good guys!"
Well, you know what? Happy Holidays to them, too. What the hell, happy holidays to all. Today was a good day, it snowed in NYC and I love and I mean LOVE snow. I took my youngest sleigh riding with her sister and watching them laugh and have fun and make snow angels, well, it was enough for me, for today and today is all I have.
Michael "Waxie" Parness